The American Budo Society 2019 Clinic Recap

As I mentioned the other day, I spent last weekend at the 2019 American Budo Society annual clinic near Kansas City, Missouri. I’ve already recounted the adventures I had getting there. The seminar itself was pretty good, too.

The great thing about this particular seminar was the huge range of styles and martial artists present. Sessions ranged from Aikido flow drills and shinkendo sword techniques to sport karate kickboxing and jujitsu grappling.

Me and StephenIRL at the 2019 American Budo Society Clinic

For me, personally, the highlight of the seminar, however, was a session taught by a man better known to the world at large as “Stephen IRL.”

Stephen is a two time national gold medalist in Judo. He’s also fought twice in professional MMA, and won both matches. In his day job, he works as a bail bondsman – AKA a bounty hunter. He had some fun stories to tell, but even better is that he actually live streams all of his arrests. His channel is pretty fun – you should check it out.

Stephen ran a course on Judo. I’ve been in the martial arts for almost twenty-five years now, mostly training in a style that combines karate, kickboxing, and judo/jujitsu. I still pick up a new techniques and tips and tricks from time to time. But it’s very rare at this point that I encounter something that fundamentally changes my entire philosophical approach to the art. Stephen managed to do that in about 45 minutes.

I had the good fortune to have Stephen join me at the large group dinner that evening, and got to spend a couple of extra hours picking his brain and swapping stories.

All in all it was a solid seminar, and I look forward to next year’s.

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