Not much new going on at The Open Matt (TOM) these days except for Progress…

A new garden 

Some handmade paper blinds (that looked really zen in the japanese paper store and when they’re put up in a warehouse, they really just look camouflage)

More shows, new partnerships (Nicolette Tura) new students.  Teaching, practicing, seeing students getting better and better and being able to spend time with the great characters that grace the mat.

And now… The Fruityvale Bruisers have formed…


A rag tag bunch of martial arts/yoga/gardening/dancing/you name it, the do-it-all swiss army knife of Golden Gangs.  They hit as hard as their shorts are short, they ride bicycles, and cook like champions, they know ridiculous facts about science, mythology, pop culture, it’s a nonstop ride of excellence.

Originally, they reminded me of a Doo Wap group in the 50’s or 60’s (I don’t really know when doo wap gangs ruled the streets… I could fact check since I’m on a computer writing but I’m a man of feelings and action not heady researchey factual facts.)

The way they’d stand in the corner and talk w/ animated faces and hands, every now and then whipping out a move of either dance, martial arts, or a high five.  It’s hard to think that anything will follow their obvious doo-wap gang body language other than some harmonizing.   It still hasn’t happened, close, but not yet,  I’m patient.

Their very dedicated to their training, and just another shining example on how practicing really pays off.  I come in sometimes and they’re all here running their Yama Series, or holding pads for each other.  Talking about going camping and getting their friends to practice with them.  I’m honored.  That’s how I started teaching.   Just practicing in a field and people started showing up.  Next thing you know, I’m too busy to have a job and surrounded by great people moving towards their health.  Practicing gave me the awareness to see how rewarding such an accident can be.   Nothing happened according to plan, and I think I’m a little better for it. Welcome Bruisers.