I just got off the phone with my senior student who has been with me for almost 10 years. My way of teaching is to plan messages and concepts in the subconscious brain. This bit of understanding is needed if you are to understand this article. Some people like to make a point of conversation with strict parameters of fact and the lessons to be learned. For example in martial arts, the instructor (instructor not a teacher — the reader should look at instructor versus teacher) will teach many specific techniques whether it be a defense from a grab or something off the ground the message will always be the same, there will always be a specific answer to a specific problem.  the problem with this is that the student is never left to explore or learn. They are given strict parameters in which they must believe and therefore they are deceived. an instructor or anyone who does not truly care about the pupil was simply pointing out their point of view and demand that it be taken as an indisputable law of the universe. A teacher, on the other hand, does not teach life lessons within such a narrow parameter allowing the student to develop his own hypothesis. A true teacher will merely plant ideas and concepts that the student can ponder — but never state anything as concrete as this will deter the student from questioning the truth. I believe that conversations leading to nowhere should be filled with valid points, whether understood or not, that the student can draw on for the rest of his life. An example would be a father that is constantly preaching to his son to put tools away, he is constantly preaching the value of such tools and constantly preaching that without these tools there are many projects that cannot be completed and therefore the only remedy would be to call someone who would charge a great deal of money and most likely not do a very good job. The child, and his arrogance and all-knowing wisdom, is constantly rejecting the father’s wisdom — he cannot, will not, and absolutely rejects the value of the tools. Though the father/son has gone unheard and unappreciated for a time, later on in life when the child has his own home and things are breaking, he will draw upon the wisdom that was once given to him. Though as a child she rejected the wisdom, now in his adult years he will cherish it and continually learn from the lessons he once thought were useless. Such is the way with teaching. I feel that many conversation should be had with the student that you truly care about — whether it be about nothing or subject of importance, points must be made that may not be understood at this time but he will draw upon and find success in his life later on. A teacher of the true path is not teaching fighting rather teaching living. Long after I am gone I hope that my students and this one in particular will reflect on the conversations that we have had and draw wisdom that has gone unseen for many years. In return, they will pass that wisdom to their children and that will honor me as their teacher.


Now that you have a basic understanding of my teaching methods I wish to impart an experience that took place at the gym. Though I pride myself on being the teacher I also pride myself on being the student. There is an older gentleman at the gym, a psychologist, who I love to talk with. Whenever I am contemplating teaching a seminar or just putting a valid point across in class, I like to bounce it off him and get the clinical diagnosis of money point to me made. Whether it’s just a big word or a scientific train of thought, I enjoy talking with this guy in hearing his point of view. An instructor would dismiss his thoughts entirely because instructors are not teachers. However, as a teacher, I am not only obligated but bound by duty and adherence to the old codes to continually learn myself so that I may pass knowledge to my students. A recent topic was about a seminar I was teaching on this scam of martial arts and in particular self-defense classes. Without going into great detail my point was simple — self-defense in modern martial arts teaches the student to be fearful. Now many of you are probably arguing this point already. Open your mind and try to understand rather than argue. Modern day martial arts is not the true military art that was taught many years ago. It is not the same training that I went through back in the 70s. Today it is all about money and money is only generated when everyone is happy and feeling successful. Now on to self-defense. Self-defense classes claim to give you the power to take life in just a few minutes am practicing maybe two or three moves. Self-defense classes claim to give you power over your assailant — power that will keep you safe and keep your loved ones safe. This is the biggest lie and bring shame to anyone following the old code. My conversation with a psychologist was about fear. My position was that modern martial arts and self-defense in particular teaches the student to become fearful of a strike or a threat. His position was that fear is a healthy thing and keeps us safe. I kept insisting that I understand his point, especially from a clinical diagnosis. Fear is indeed a healthy thing and does keep us safe in many ways. Through in many many years of genetic and coding and many years of development, the human mind has developed this emotion called fear. Whether you think it is thousands were merely hundreds, we all possess innate desire to survive, to live, to avoid death. Fear has kept us safe in many battles and in daily life. However, my position remains that fear is just an emotion — a ghost that can be overcome through training. Knowledge reduces fear and most often takes fear a way completely. So why do we have fear is the first question on my mind? However the psychologist rooted in facts states that fear is the essential human emotion that keeps us safe. I strongly disagree with this. I agree with fear keeping us safe for the amateur, for the week, for the unsure, and especially the untrained. When you break down the fear, it reduces to a simple equation. Fear can be broken up into two categories — known unknown fear. That lecture could take hours just to begin to make the point so I will avoid unnecessary clutter and just leave it as fear is an emotion created by the unknown. The psychologist held his position that fear has kept us  safe through the centuries and continues to keep us safe in modern times. I couldn’t make him understand that fear is only useful to the untrained.


Here’s my point. Someone throws a punch at your head. Your innate fear to survive and avoid death makes you flinch — perhaps duck a bit and retreat from the strike. The modern so-called martial artist bobs and weaves trying to avoid the strikes. Modern martial arts classes teaches to avoid strikes, redirect them, and at all costs just avoid getting hit. While this may seem logical it is teaching the student to be fearful — fearful from being hit. I think some of you may start to see the point of this article. If you are fearful of being hit you cannot have a viable defense. As the samurai said, when you accept death only then can you begin to live. Perhaps this is not the exact quote but the point is they are. As I teach my students, trained to take the hits so that you can focus on the fight — if you are worried about getting hit you have no time to think about your defense or counter defense. There are so many lies that are taken as truth that martial arts and daily living in general has become a fantasy world geared towards the weak mind. Whether it’s hiring a personal trainer who claims the amount of weight you lift is not a factor to the self-defense class that brags about teaching you in five minutes how to kill someone, these are all lies years towards the weak mind.


My point with the psychologist was this, if you are fearful of the strike you will not engage it wholeheartedly and with proper form and aggression to neutralize the attacker. Though I have proven my point over and over with professional personnel who actively engage in high-level threats, the psychologist who has never been in a fight, who uses words and point of view as his defense, adamantly disagreed with me. Think about this, if you are afraid of getting punched you will shy away from punch and even if you block it successfully you have the innate fear of being hit. Through training you can transcend this fear, which is an illusion not fact.  self-defense class would teach you to dock and cover or perhaps block and avoid the strike. Sport martial arts, which is all you can find these days, we’ll teach you an array of moves and strikes that are said to be effective against any assailant. However, if you talk to law-enforcement, executive bodyguards, even met X. and firefighters — personnel working in a trauma ward — they will all tell you that people on drugs or with mental issues do not react in rational ways. Therefore, everything that is taught in self-defense classes and modern martial arts is a lie.  The proof lies within the experiences of people who actually deal with life-threatening situations. The lie deals within around of commercial classes taught by instructors who have never engaged in real battle and believe by students that have never been in a real fight and probably never will be, they are taking the class to satisfy the ego and compensate many shortcomings within their own lives. This is not martial arts, this is a fantasy — A. bundle of flies to feed the weak ego of losers.


My point with the psychologist was that through training you will not shy away from the strike unless it is part of the technique. There are many techniques were you slide the punch or even letting a raise you a bit further greater good of winning the battle. There are many techniques where the prescribed maneuvers demand that you seemingly shy away from the strike, however this is not fear-based, this is based on a strict proven form — a method — of the technique. There is a difference between “defense” “counter defense”. That is a long discussion and would make for great article, but for now let’s just say that self “defense” is not real. Why is it not real? The answer lies within the argument of the psychologist versus my argument of the teacher. His argument is concrete, backed up by facts, proven and laboratories, but lacks real life experience. My argument is based in real life experiences, backed by facts from people who have been in these real-life experiences, and cannot be proven in the confines of a scientific lab — only in real life — on the streets — were true warriors live. Through training you gain confidence, with that confidence comes greater scale because you are no longer fearing the consequence of failure. With the confidence comes Karen to encourage — though they are mental they aid the physical.


Now getting onto my students comment that I wholeheartedly disagree with but I see the validity of his position. First I would offer this example to prime the readers mind. If you are trying to cook a meal and it comes out terrible — the taste is horrible — would you try again? Now some of you are saying yes and a couple say no — I would modify the recipe. If, in the beginning of the recipe you became frustrated, would you walk away and leave everything on the stove or would you continue on trying to do your very best at the meal knowing that you would fail and in the end it would be horrible? Probably most of you are saying that you would continue on — but this is probably a fault statement generated by your ego — the innate need to succeed. Let’s be honest. You’re cooking a complex dish that requires money or so ingredients. I am a great cook — I understand that cooking is not simply following a recipe but it is following your instincts. Much like a self-defense technique or any thousand are old martial arts technique, cooking requires a connection of the soul — a creativity that is far beyond the written word of a recipe or a technique. When you are done with the meal — when you know you have work your hardest on — you taste it and find it true that you knew all along, it’s horrible, it’s disgusting — you can’t eat it, you have to just throw it in the garbage.


The preceding example of cooking was a strategic example because cooking cannot be walked away from. Once you begin looking you must stay there and complete the project. That is the point of the example. It doesn’t matter what the dish, it doesn’t matter what the problem, the point is that once you have started cooking you cannot stop because you are frustrated, you cannot stop because you feel that you are not doing a good job. Once you start cooking a meal you are obligated to endure to the end. It is at the end that you will find your success or failure. But there is no opportunity to leave the meal and come back to it when you feel calm and confident. That’s the key words in this article — calm and confident. Just think about this, you start boiling macaroni you are preparing a homemade sauce which takes 10 hours to simmer on the stove before it is done. Well, in the first hour you are frustrated because you can’t peel the onions, in the second hour you are frustrated because you can’t open the can of tomatoes, in the third hour you are frustrated because the box of macaroni won’t open easily and you spilled it on the floor. At any point of your frustration would you walk away from this and leave the water boiling and what little sauce you have simmering and continue on with the meal a week later? At any point during this frustration would you just discard everything, throw it in the trash and say to yourself “I’m just going to walk away from this for now but next week I will make a good meal”?


I would hope that all of you will be thinking that you would not abandon the meal and just make do as best you could. Throwing food out is never a good thing and now that you have begun the process how can you stop. Even if you did stop this is your food for that day and perhaps for the ones you love — so if you walk away and intend to come back a week later when you are common and confident, nor your loved ones, will eat that day. This is my point. You cannot walk away from things that frustrate you — much like the example of fear in self-defense — you must train yourself to transcend the emotion and still take action.


I was working on a project, welding some things I’m a smoker I am building, when suddenly everything started to go wrong. The lengths of steel I so carefully measured to win three times somehow were not correct. After I cut them I found that I had made a mistake and somehow, through some stupidity, they were different sizes. Later I started to have welding issues, it was not my scale rather a bad piece of steel that just seemed to disintegrate. Everything was going wrong. I was so frustrated, I was so disgusted with myself for making mistakes that should never have been made. Many other things went wrong as is usual in these circumstances. Frustration sets in compromising cognitive skills and mistakes grow larger and larger causing more and more work just trying to correct them.


And I was telling my student how everything went wrong and I had to cut many pieces off the smoker and then modify them only to re-weld them again. And sometimes when I re-welded them it was wrong again — I had to cut it off and do it all over again wasting material and precious time. I felt like such a loser — how can they make such stupid mistakes? But I feel pride and honor that I did not quit and work through all the frustration though I kept making stupid mistakes, I didn’t complete the tasks for the day. However, my student’s comment, was “I learned to walk away”. I wholeheartedly disagree with his statement though I understand it. Many times people preach when you are upset and frustrated just walk away. Is this a valid point? Yes it is. Many times we get frustrated and our cognitive skills leave us — therefore we cannot see the remedy to the problems before us and continue to make more mistakes compounding our frustration. So the point of walking away and calming down is valid. Many times when you come back to the project you will see things that you didn’t before and find new solutions to unsolvable problems. However, there is a problem with this.


My way is to stick with it no matter how much frustration, no matter how much failure, no matter how many problems, and no matter what obstacles are front of you — stick with it till the end — make it right — make it perfect, if you have to do it over and over and over and over again — do it — just don’t ever walk away from it because that means you fail. Now many of you may disagree with this and what I would offer is that you lack commitment. Think about this. A special operator — a warrior — the elite of the elite is sent on a mission — his success or failure will have tremendous effects upon the nation. As soon as he is the ploy he has met with many obstacles. He cannot navigate because the vegetation is too thick and has thorns — the enemy is not where he was told the enemy would be, therefore it poses many problems for him. The weather becomes fierce and now he has to deal with climate and rain. Through all of this he loses his rations and now must go days without food or water. On top of all of this he falls down a steep cliff and loses his supply of ammunition. Now he is left with only a few rounds that are in his rifle. He is stripped of all his technology, his survival, his advantage, his navigation, and things continue to get worse. He knows that if he fails at his mission the nation will suffer — however he is frustrated because everything is against them. Should you walk away from the mission agency is frustrated? Should he radio in explaining his hardship and asked to be picked up? Should his position being that things went bad and he was just too frustrated so he’ll get back to it at a later date when he is calm and can see things more clearly? I think the reader is starting to get my point. The average mind, the civilian, the weak mind, that come for mine — when it doesn’t matter you can walk away from your project because you are frustrated however, this breeds bad habits for the rest of your life. It is my position that when things become frustrating and all odds are against you, that is when you must dig in and try harder — complete your project at all cost — but never — never ever walk away before you have failed if you do.


So in the case of the psychologist taking his position that fear is a good thing in my position that self-defense and martial arts these days teaches fear rather than defense what is the right path? If you are a sport martial artist or a weekend warrior, then there is nothing wrong with the techniques taught in the lies spoken as truth. However, if the consequence of failing his death then you cannot afford to believe lies or walk away when things get tough. In the case of my welding, I stuck with it no matter how many things went wrong, I never quit, I never walked away. This is the training. Through perseverance you can learn to overcome many things. If your position is that every time you get frustrated — every time the odds are against you — you will walk away and come back to it at a later date, then you are teaching yourself to quit. You are teaching your subconscious mind, which is your total being — not your conscious mind — you are teaching yourself that any time life gets rough you can quit and come back to it. This works out because there are few consequences associated with this way of thinking. We live in a great nation with many laws and many safeguards created to protect the weak minded person. For instance, you are at work — you have an office job–your boss comes by and yells at you for lack of productivity. You feel that everything today has gone wrong and the odds are against you. You explain that you just need some personal time to regroup and tomorrow you will come back 100%. Since you have personal days available you take that time — do whatever it is you do to regroup — maybe drink a lot or just sleep — and the next day you are back at 100%. This would prove that walking away from a problem is the right solution. However, I would argue that stating that you should never have gotten that frustrated in the first place that you couldn’t handle reality. The fact is walking away from most things in life holds no consequence. The world is geared towards the weak mind. Now, if your boss held a gun to your head and told you he would blow your brains all over your computer if you did not complete the daily work — walking away would be a death sentence. The point is to live life with perseverance and honor. Nothing good comes from walking away. I understand frustration — I get frustrated more easily than the average person, however, I keep in mind that I am the teacher — as a teacher, which I take so much pride in, I cannot walk away from problems because I would be setting a bad example. I also take pride in the jobs I’ve had when lives were on the line. When someone and trust you with their life, you cannot walk away and come back when you’re not frustrated — you cannot walk away because they will die. It is this higher mindset — the warrior mindset that I live by and has allowed me to enjoy much success in my life. Even now well being a smoker from a beer keg, I have pride in upholding the standards that I preach. I run into many many problems but I never quit. Even if I worked late into the night I won’t quit because of frustration. The same is true for learning self-defense or a martial art. There is no walking away because you’re frustrated — that is for the loser, the warrior endures, the warrior never quits, the warrior learns as problems arise and solutions are found.


So after all that, all those points that lead nowhere — as is my style to allow the reader to contemplate provide their own solutions — I finally get to the comment that inspired this article — “I learned to walk away”. My student has a valid point that he has learned to walk away when things become frustrating and mistakes are beginning to become the norm. All my life, people have told me to just walk away — I never did. At the gym when I say I am tired or having health issues, people tell me to take a day or even a week off. People routinely tell me that they took a couple days off because they felt tired — or “today I am only doing cardio”. These people are losers — they are quitters. No matter how sick I am or how tired I use the disability as a training method to become stronger and persevere. In the case of my student boldly telling me he learned to walk away, I am saddened by this lesson he has learned. Training the mind to deal with problems will allow the person to transcend the human emotion or frustration. I have not learned to walk away, in fact I have worked hard not to give into that. What I have learned is that in my younger years frustration would overtake me — frustration, like the enemy, cause so much chaos I could not focus on my technique or “counter defenses”. Now in my later years, though I still get frustrated, I work through it and try to regroup and get back to factual thinking rather than emotional.


My point is this. If you walk away from everything that frustrate you you will never complete anything because everything has frustration associated with it. If you only succeed if things that do not encompass frustration that you are engaging in useless behavior and wasting your life. Frustration is to be Met with ferocious battleand an unrelenting will to beat the problem. The problem is the enemy and the enemy must be conquered not walk away from. So when you get frustrated — when you’re having a bad day — don’t walk away from the problems, defeat them as you would defeat an enemy that wanted to take your life. Everything is a constant process of learning and gaining more wisdom. If you walk away from a problem you are walking away from wisdom and knowledge. If you could change your way of thinking you will move forward and gaining much wisdom through the problems and much knowledge to the solutions. But how can I tell my student that what he is so proud of — “I learned to walk away”, is not the right way. How can I tell my student that I care for so dearly that what he sees as wisdom is infecting his entire life? I cannot tell him, I can only point out small examples in my own life and have random conversations with small points that lead nowhere hoping that someday he will look back and understand what I’ve tried to convey in the code that I live by.


I hope for the few of you who have read this till the end, the point is clear and makes a difference in your life. Never walk away from a problem — defeat the problem as you would your enemy — problems, misfortune, they are all our enemy. You would never walk away from an enemy that could kill you — perhaps you would run to survive but you would never walk away. If you have a problem that will take your life, by all means runaway. But if you are merely walking away from frustration in your daily life, you will walk away from everything and never complete anything. Frustration is to be conquered, problems to be solved, solutions to be pondered so that we may keep the wisdom and use it for the next problem. Experience is the key to learning — but only if we find solutions to the problems — if we walk away from problems, then experience dictates our failure.


I hope that some of you have found this article engaging and has given you something to think about next time you’re frustrated. If you are never frustrated that I say you are not living a full life — if you are always frustrated that I say you are not finding solutions to problems — if you’re frustrated some of the time then good for you. I hope you suffer, I hope you have nervous attacks, I hope you scream and throw things — but I hope you never walk away — I hope you gain wisdom through discovering solutions — I hope through your suffering and never repeat the same mistake — I hope for all the suffering that the solutions keep you from suffering in the future and strength and fortitude are your guide to conquer any frustrations in your future. I hope you pass this on to someone you think would gain from it. I hope it has made a difference in your life.

If you choose to believe the lie that comfort you and avoid the truth that hurts you, you are destined to repeat that until you die.




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