latest news

Master Bullard now head of Memphis Martial Arts Center

Former head of Memphis Martial Arts Center Moe Denbow has retired from teaching professionally. Effective October 1, 2001, Master Bullard is the new head of the school.

New location!

Effective June 1, 2011 we became a part of Memphis Martial Arts Center, 2543 Broad Ave, in Memphis, TN.

Master Bullard now certified to teach Wild Goose Qi Gong

Master Bullard received his instructor's certification to teach Wild Goose Qi Gong from Master Shane Lear. after the seminar in Nashville the weekend of March 5-6, 2011.

Wild Goose Seminar in Nashville 3/5-6

Master Bullard will be one of the assistant instructors at the Wild Goose Qi Gong seminar in Nashville, TN. The seminar will be hosted by Cooper Karate & Jujutsu Center and will feature Master Shane Lear.

Students honored by Grandmaster Dillman

Master Bullard and several of his students were at the DKI seminar in Nashville, TN the weekend of October 23, 2010. They were honored by Grandmaster Dillman for their extreme dedication and hard work through their recent loss of the building which had been their dojo.

Master Bullard in Albany, NY

Master Bullard taught an introductory seminar in Albany, NY the weekend of Friday, Sept 16, 2010. Topics included pressure point basics, introduction to Elemental Theory, and starting to view forms as something beyond the level of a middle-school physical education course.

Master Bullard at Ali Training Camp

Master Bullard was one of the instructors at the weekend-long DKI "Summer Camp" at the Mohammed Ali training Camp, Memorial Day weekend, 2010. Topics included a new interpretation (bunkai) of a portion of Seiuchin kata, three different fist positions and the reasons for using each, and ways to significantly enhance the effectiveness of a basic punch.

Sensei Bullard promoted to Master!

At the July 2008 DKI SummerCamp in Indianapolis, Sensei Bullard was promoted to the rank of Master (4th Degree Black Belt).

Musings

"Death of Osama binLaden"

Master Clifton Bullard, May 2011

Last night our televisions and radios informed us of the death of Osama bin Laden.

I really wasn't sure what to feel. The news made me remember what it had been like that Tuesday morning in September of 2001. I yelled. I screamed. I cried. I prayed that it was a variation on the 1938 radio broadcast of "War of the Worlds" and that I was among those who had missed the announcement that this was a work of fiction. Oh, what I would still give for that prayer to be retroactively granted.

I decided to go back and look through some of the things I'd written during those days right after the attacks. I was quite pleased to see that even in the midst of that horror and pain, I had not lost all sense of Right and Wrong, of Justice.

Here is a snippet of an email that I wrote two days after the attacks:

Those who fear retaliation against innocent people are right to do so. Many of us are hurt and raging and wanting to lash out, and they are looking for a target. Since no one has stepped forward to claim responsibility, people are becoming less rational about their choice of targets.

Those who desire retribution, even vengeance, are also right to do so -- so long as they are willing to limit their scope to the responsible parties. I will be the first to admit that my heart cries out as loudly as anyone's. My primal side, my Beast, is screaming -- *DEMANDING* guilty blood in payment for the innocent blood we have lost.

Am I wrong to feel this? I am not, and I defy anyone to bring convincing reasons to support an opposing claim.

Would I be wrong if I unleashed my Beast onto those whose only 'crime' is to have been born in a particular nation, or to have followed a particular religion, simply because of the actions of someone else from their nation or belief system? Yes, and again I defy anyone to bring convincing reasons otherwise.

With these valid points from both sides, what should I do, and how do I find a course of action that is right for *all* the parts of my Self? Not an easy question, but one whose answer I must find, if I am to be able to look at the face staring back at me from my mirror in the years to come with anything other than revulsion.

And what now? Now that our nation's Boogeyman has been declared dead, now what do we do?

Rather obviously, this does not mean an end to terrorism, or even to al-Qaeda. Nature abhors a vacuum, and I'm sure that it will only be a matter of time before someone steps in as the new al-Qaeda leader. Will he be as effective as bin Laden was? I pray that he will not.

In the short term, there will almost certainly be some retributive strikes against Americans and our allies. We need to be alert, but not to the point of paranoia.

Perhaps this would be a good time for all of us to re-evaluate our own awareness levels. Have we gotten lax about noticing that abandoned vehicle parked on the curb? Do we still familiarize ourselves with the exits when we walk into a new room, or store, or restaurant? Have we gone back to walking through the shopping center parking lot with our hands full of parcels, looking down or texting on our cell phones as we walk, standing alone at our car as we dig for our keys? When we come home at night, do we pay attention to things like windows that shouldn't be open, or lights that are off (or on) that are different from how we left them?

Most of us are unlikely to ever have to deal with a terrorist situation. It is far more likely that we will have to deal with a mugger, rapist, or other violent criminal. This doesn't change the simple fact that the only attack we're guaranteed to survive is the one we manage to avoid.

This type of avoidance is a two-level active defense. The first level is your common sense. If you know that the hot new nightspot in town is in the middle of a high crime neighborhood, your common sense should tell you that you're taking a risk by going there. Let's be honest, sometimes we're going to go into areas we might avoid otherwise, either because we must or because there is some particularly strong lure puling us there. We simply need to remember that when this happens, we've taken away our own first level of defense.

The second level of defense is awareness. I don't care how awesome your fighting skills are, or how fast you can run - if you're not aware of an impending threat before it becomes an active attack, you're in deep trouble. Your running speed and your fighting skills aren't going to do you any good if you're already bleeding from a knife wound, or if your head is already ringing from the blow you never knew was coming.

Some of the ways our country has changed over the last ten years concern me, but I think a few of them are good. Among these, I think that we have become more aware, and more likely to report something that seems out of place. I just hope we can continue to maintain and increase our awareness without going to the point where we live in constant fear.

Studying the martial arts is not only about training the body to fight. Use your common sense, sharpen your awareness, and stay vigilant. Train your mind and your senses as hard as you train your body, and you'll survive where someone who only trains their body would fall.