Warrior’s Dance is a powerful marriage of martial arts and dance. Traditional martial arts systems have evolved historically as warriors and spiritual seekers have experimented with and experienced the effects of various ways of moving. These systems originated as inspired students were moved by and connected with a sense of power seemingly related to a certain source of our consciously incomprehensible universe. Perhaps no one is able to transmit such a sense of connection to another, as it is so very personal in nature. Studying others’ movements, however, may provide us with opportunities to glimpse, or begin to consciously appreciate, this sense of connection, thus inspiring students of movement to become masterful in their own right.

To authentically cultivate such mastery, we learn to trust our deeper intuitions, continually surrendering our thoughts, feelings, and bodies with a heightened sensitivity. Consequently, we feel as though we are moved by a power far greater than ourselves.

Our breath seems inexorably linked to this process. Just as the belly of a sleeping infant rises and falls so gently and perfectly, we become unconscious to the deep and fearless breathing that comes from our center. As students of Warrior’s Dance, we close our eyes and breathe as such. Subsequently, our bodies seem softly moved. We become conduits, no longer trying to manage or control ourselves. Instead of being in charge, we feel a sense of harmony with a seemingly vast source of energy.

Warrior’s Dance is a way to prepare for battle. It is a dynamic practice of relaxing and contracting, inhaling and exhaling, yielding and engaging. Our bodies learn to assume the stances, postures, and shapes of warriors, often floating in momentary elegance, though only in preparation for imminent and intense engagements with our adversary. Paradoxically, we let go to connect, thus allowing energy to flow through us as we move. In so doing, we do not so much fight as dance to protect ourselves with the assistance of a much greater authority.

Our teachers demonstrate the shapes and biomechanics of warriors and speak about sensitivity, softening, and yielding, though it is up to each student to ultimately establish their own forms. This seems to be the only way for martial arts to be energetically authentic. Other systems may be relatively effective via brute force, or by accident, due to their close approximation of the movements of genuinely inspired masters. To truly develop degrees of mastery in the martial arts, however, students must cultivate their own relationships with energy as it manifests in their warrior shapes. Mindful students ask themselves why they are learning these warrior shapes at all, and how their training might be of service to others. If we ignore these questions, we risk falling into the unthinking ranks of rigid soldiers, driven by fear and obedience. In contrast, students of Warrior’s Dance are inspired by faith, respect, and love. We move and dance with power far greater than ourselves; we become authentic warriors in every way.


Author's Bio: 

David Lader began developing Warrior’s Dance in 1995 at The Dojang, A Martial Arts Community in Tucson, Arizona. This was Mr. Lader’s fifth martial arts establishment – his previous four schools were located in New York, Vermont, and Ohio respectively. Currently a 5th Degree Tae Kwon Do Master and head instructor of the Warrior’s Dance School in Tucson, David Lader’s original inspiration for Warrior’s Dance derived from his need to develop a safer, gentler, and more mindful warm-up routine for his own aging body – traditional Tae Kwon Do had already begun taking a serious toll on him by his early 30′s. Through the years, Lader’s training included yoga, ballet, and various other martial arts, including Hapkido, Tai Chi, Hsing-I, and Pa Kua. He also went on to become a Certified Group and Individual Trainer through the American Council on Exercise in his late 30′s. Putting his knowledge of biomechanics, martial arts, and dance together seemed an obvious course for Lader. Having had a lifelong passion for music and creative movement, it was only natural for David Lader to develop Warrior’s Dance. At the age of 50, he is still actively creating, moving, dancing, and teaching his innovative approach to martial arts to students of all ages. David Lader and his wife Asa currently live in Tucson with their children Linnea and Noah. Feel free to visit http://www.warriorsdance.com or speak with David directly through his blog at http://www.davidlader.com. You can also find out more about David at
Peace :)