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AS IT RELATES TO A CONVERSATION WITH GREEN BERET, A COP, AND A FRIEND, ongoing thoughts and discussions.

Posted in special forces training, body guard, judo, tai chi, punching, kicking, blocking, stick fighting, knife fighting, kung fu, ninjutsu,, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on May 22, 2017 by thebrutalityofreality

the conversation was about us getting old and how our lives have isolated us.   many of my articles discuss this,  he finally said  ,   in short,    we have earned the right to discard what we want,  because we have the experience to make the choice,

there was much more to the several hrs of discussion,  but that’s the meat of it,    i asked him to write something i could post ,  and here it is..     whether martial arts, or any thing you study,   if you require someone to learn from ,   shouldn’t you learn from someone who has at least as much experience as you wish to learn?    then why go to the corner dojo,  the commercial “business” ,  the day care center?   in the end,   it’s experience that gives us the scales to measure the truth.   the problem today is no one has much experience,  so the majority becomes the rule and the rule is not very experienced.   so people like my friend and myself are the small isolated group that is looked down upon  ,   we just don’t fit in because of “experience”  and “knowledge”

here’s his thoughts as it relates to the conversation of getting old and living a life where we never really fit in,  accept in a small circle.

 

“My pursuit, is the vehicle powered by passion that has brought me to knowledge and experience. That knowledge and experience gave birth to my objectivity. They entitle or perhaps provide me the right to now cast aside an opinion, a principal, a philosophy, one move, one method, or even an entire ‘art’- forever or temporarily.  At minimum I deserve, and I am allowed to decide for myself what I will value, what works, what is real, or what is useful.  No, I’m not arrogant, I am confident and courageous. 
My courage is fueled by respect and duty- that courage compels me to share, but it also tells me at times not to share.  That courage is to blame for why others will hear me say, ‘that is what remains, and it is mine’.
And yes, what I cast aside will always have value, I said aside, not away. I will keep it close. Maybe I will need to use them as a resource- maybe I see in them, subjectivity. You can’t have objectivity without knowledge and experience, so If and when I choose to share, I can’t think of an easier or other fair way to ‘recruit’ appeal to what I did not cast aside, but to be able to point out an example of what I see as subjective… a claim of objectivity is nothing of value without an example subjectivity.”  R.J. Tucker, with Anthony Carrano,2017.
another great reply in reference to a conversation about training for reality, whether it be combative or just a skill in life,    people train thru illusion.  They never seek the truth because the truth just slaps them in the face screaming loser.  The truth of the loser is that they always look for the easy way out.   Whether it be martial arts with the “3lbs of pressure can kill a person” bullshit or the any other skill,    only training for reality, in realistic scenarios will give the experience required to look objectively and see subjectively,  what you need and what is useless.
this great reply comes in reference to a training vid,  the participants talk about quick kills and one shot stops with punches that are just plain weak.   there is a method to training correctly and this reply pretty much sums up the way to look at it ……
Mental
Physical
Spiritual
Emotional
Intuitional
Innate- what you were “born” with. That must be tempered with what you have learned – but if you have learned something you know as to be negative or non-productive.
-Merge Carnal & Temporal 
As the saying goes

 

HAPPINESS AND CONTENTMENT- IT’S ALL AN ILLUSION

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 24, 2013 by thebrutalityofreality

HAPPINESS AND CONTENTMENT IS AN ILLUSION WE CREATE BASED ON OUR PERSONAL EXPERIENCES, VALUES, AND OUR PERSONAL MAKE UP.   HAPPINESS CANNOT EXIST WITHOUT CONTENTMENT,   HOWEVER,  CONTENTMENT CAN BE WITHOUT HAPPINESS.

THE QUEST FOR PERFECTION OFTEN LEAVES US WITHOUT CONTENTMENT,  BUT THAT’S A POSITIVE THING IF IT CREATES DRIVE

WHEN THE MAJORITY IS MADE UP OF LOSERS… THE BETTER YOU ARE,  THE MORE ISOLATED YOU WILL BE.

Regarding the infinite battles in life there is the never-ending quest for happiness and contentment. Everything we do is centered around our innate need to feel fulfilled and grounded. People who do not have a direction in life often find themselves on the wrong path continually seeking a placebo to fill the void. Many times you can find people that seem extremely happy and content but if you dig deep you will readily say that it is a life you would not want. Let’s explore for a moment the general groups of people that we deem to be truly happy. Not all of you will agree with every assumption ,however I think there will be something here for everyone.

The iconic rich guy with all his big boy toys living the business life would seem to be very happy. After all he drives the best, where’s the best, usually has a good looking woman, and  wants  for virtually nothing. Now some would argue that money does not buy happiness, some would say that you have to be happy with yourself before you can be really happy about anything. However most of the people that say this don’t have very much. Just hold on to that point for a few minutes. Then you could say happiness is about the little things in life. Watching a perfect sunset or enjoying an ice cream on a hot day could be the epitome of happiness to some. We could go on and on about what happiness is to each person. Let’s focus on the common thread. Happiness is something that makes us feel content and worth something. When we are happy we feel as though we have something special. Whether it be an object that makes us happy, a person, an award, achievement, or just a complement, the thing that makes us happy is not always relevant to what we really want. There is the ongoing argument for the value of a positive attitude. It seems everyone thinks that a positive attitude and being content with what you have is the ultimate accomplishment in life. However, I would disagree strongly.

On one side, you could unhappy,  not being satisfied with being a brat. No matter how much you get, no matter how much you have, you are just never happy because you are a brat. Let’s think about that angle for a second. Someone who has things and keeps accumulating things, or keeps getting promoted and yet is still never happy is not what I’m speaking about. That person simply does not have value nor do they value what they have. On the flip side some people have nothing and appear to be very happy. So let’s discredit them also. They are happy with nothing because they have no ambition, they have no drive to do anything, and our general losers. So far we have explored  both extremes. The person who has everything and appears to be happy and the person who has nothing and still appears to be happy. Somewhere in the middle there is the person who has everything and is unhappy and the person who has nothing and is very unhappy about having nothing. A little off the center between unhappy and happy is a grounded person who does not reside in one place too long. I would say that an intelligent person bounces from a little off the left to a little off the right going from happy and content to unhappy and discontent flowing with life’s ups and downs.

I would say someone who is always happy is just as sick if not more mentally unstable than the person who exhibits severe depression. Life is not a constant anything, though it seems to be a constant pain in the ass when you have to deal with other people. I would say that a healthy person who is in touch with reality will be able to bounce from happy to unhappy daily perhaps, even hourly and still lead a very productive life. It is my position that someone who focuses on the good and positive too much has a weak mind. I’m sure that has sparked outrage among many weak minded people. Let me explain a little deeper. There are things that we should be happy or unhappy about and things that should make us feel content or lacking. A balanced mind can see the difference in these things and will not get too wrapped up in the positive or negative attributes of such emotions.

Let’s say that you grew up with everything that you ever wanted. A real spoiled brat. Chances are that in your adult life you will want the same thing. You want everything that you want and want  it when you want it. Now is that a bad thing? Most would say that is however, there is an upside to this. It could be used as a very positive thing if it is used to drive that person to find success. Most likely someone who was always given everything did little to receive it and in their adult life will be slackers and constantly complaining about what they do not have and never appreciating what they do have. On the reverse side there is a person who grew up with very little and in their adult life probably still has very little. This also could be a positive or negative thing. If the person who had nothing uses that poverty in a positive way, that person will strive for success and work very hard to have things that were not attainable in their youth. However, if these values were not taught to the child the adult will be quite the loser never expecting much and never accomplishing much either.

As is my style I like to jump around a lot to get the reader to explore their own thoughts. I have taken examples that seem self evident and turn them around in an attempt to make the reader open their mind and not be stuck on one analysis of a certain situation. The point that I think is relevant to happiness and contentment is this. Any feeling, any emotion, is always relevant to comparisons within our experience. A child who is hungry every day, who has no clothes, who lives in fear, would be very happy and content just to have a weeks worth of food, good shelter, and not to live in fear for that week. The happiness and contentment are directly related to the experience. However, someone who always has food, good shelter, and has never lived in fear would cringe at the thought of having only one week of comfort. When someone has pain and they say it is unbearable, it is only unbearable based on their experience of pain that they have endured previously. To some a hangnail is the end of the world and death would be a better alternative. To some who have suffered extreme endeavor’s that same hangnail would go unnoticed and not be counted as pain at all. The same with success. Someone who has little drive will count a menial thing as success whereas someone who is constantly striving for excellence would be very discontent with the same “success”.

When someone lacks drive and discipline they can find success in anything easily. More often than not they find contentment and happiness excusing their failure by convincing themselves and others that it was not important to succeed in that particular area. A good example is the gym. Right now my shoulders are severely injured and I can only work out with 275 on the bench. A year and a half ago, maybe two years I was benching in the 350s and using the 130s on incline dumbbell. I feel like a loser — I am ashamed that I can only bench 275. Two weeks ago I tried to get a spot on the incline bench with the 105 dumbbells and the spotter ended up hurting me. My left shoulder is severely ripped causing  constant pain. If I get a good spot I can put the 105 up for four or five reps and do five or six sets, but I am dependent upon a skilled spotter. On the flat bench I do not need a spotter nor anyone to tell me I can do it with all the yelling and screaming that goes along with muscle heads, I can put up 275 quite easily for two or three reps but my shoulder does hurt quite a bit. I am able to endure the pain and get to my usual 25 to 30 sets of flat bench. I sometimes move up to 295 for about 10 sets but very rarely try 315 anymore. I sure hope my shoulder heals quickly because I am ashamed that I am limited to this weight.

Let’s analyze my feeling for a moment. I am lisfing more than most in the gym yet I am ashamed that I cannot lift more than what I do. A neutral third party would say that I should be very happy with my benching as I am in the upper echelon of the gym. But because I have done so much more and now I am so far below what I used to do, I feel like a loser. I think this is a healthy thing and a Mark of a winner. If I was content and happy with this performance — if I excuse myself and use the injury as my ongoing shield, I would undoubtedly bench less and less,  always finding some excuse to say it was okay. It is only because I seek perfection and always want to do the best that I can that I feel this way. It is matter of pride and a source of strength. I know I am injured, my shoulder hurts to make the motion without any weight in my hand. But I still try to push the heavyweight because I feel the power in my chest and arms. 275 still feels very light to me, I feel the power but my shoulder shuts me down.

Now let’s look at what seems to be the other 99%. They work out with a mere 135 and feel that they are on top of the world. They exclaim with pride that it’s not about weight it’s about form. They tell me that I do not work out correctly because I lift so much. They tell me that I should hire a personal trainer to set me straight. I don’t understand how they could feel good about themselves when they look so horrible. Some are very obese, some are stringy and sickly looking with a big gut, some appear to be somewhat manly but they are just so weak. I do not understand how they cannot be ashamed of themselves. I would say that in their loser world they have little success and are happy with nothing. Even though some are business people, they are puppets within their company. And so the saga continues in their daily life and at the gym. They show up and go through a routine never trying to surpass their performance of the previous day or the previous year.

So how does this apply to martial arts? It seems the modern schools are full of these examples. The students feel that they are excelling and find happiness and contentment because they have nothing to compare themselves to that is greater than loser Ville. A few months ago I was talking to a black belt, a black belt that outranks me. I saw him doing his kata in the aerobics room and it looked horrible. I know if I offer advice no one will take it especially someone who outranks me but my curiosity drove me into a conversation. I asked what the meaning of the movements were or the “bunkai”. The black belt stated  that it was part of the form. It went back and forth for a while as he could not really give me an answer. My point here is that if you are doing a form you should know why you’re doing it, where it was developed, the purpose of it, and all the intricate details associated with it especially if you are teaching it within your school. As I repeatedly asked for knowledge the black belt repeatedly showed his ignorance. I make it a point to study  many systems, even though I am not a practitioner of them, I want to be intimately familiar with them in case they ever have to fight someone from that system. …  but I also want the knowledge and feel it is important that a teacher know more than just his own art. This black belt was of the tae kwon do system. Sadly this system has become one of the most bastardized and useless systems taught these days. I’m sure this will infuriate  some people who are of that system but I say this with facts on my side. In 1976 when I started my training – I  was a student of that system but it was much different back then. We did not have pads nor did we get coddled in a babysitter atmosphere. Training was hard and promotions were earned not given because mommy cut a check. I can’t remember ever seeing a black belt that wasn’t at least a teen. Nowadays there are five-year-old black belts that outrank many… But I’m pretty sure it I can still kick their  ass on a good day. :} As a conversation  with his high-ranking black belt started to get a bit testy,  I offered to help him with his forms. I stated to him with great confidence {because we had become personal at the gym } I would give him a gift that would ensure his kata would be better than anyone else’s. I told him that I would use the okinawan method and teach him power. He didn’t want to hear it and quickly interrupted me stating that judges and his teacher have always told him that he showed great power. I would say that based on his experience and the experience of these others who complement him, perhaps he does show great power but compared to the way I train he has no power. Without getting into a martial arts lesson the point of developing power is that each move is a simulated attack or defense. When you block, anyone looking at your block should know that it was a block and that you were strong enough to stop the attack. With these modern want to be warriors, their blocks or so weak because they never actually block a hard attack. I told him to do his opening movement which was an overhead block. I just barely put pressure on his arms and he caved knocking his glasses to the floor and bending them. He was quite upset with me questioning why I would “hit him” while he was doing his kata. The truth is I just about touched him but because he was not used for training with realism it felt like I had struck him. I fail to see the power of his technique as so many of his seniors have complimented him on. The point once again is happiness and contentment are subjective to your experience.

He is very happy with his rank and feels a great success. He does not strive to be better, many times he tells me that he takes six or seven weeks off from training but it’s okay because he can get right back into it. People at the gym take weeks and sometimes months off and don’t feel bad about it. They proudly state that they came back and could still do what they did when they left. What losers. If I took a month off I doubt I would be moving the heavy weight that I do right now. If I miss a day of training I feel like a catastrophe has befallen me. I feel weak that I was not able to complete my training. I know that I will suffer for taking the time off. In the world of martial arts everything has become so civilized and proper that everyone must succeed.

So here we are back to the original point of happiness and contentment. The black belt who can only compare himself to other losers is indeed a winner but if he were to step into a real class and fight a true martial artist or even trained with the true teacher, not merely an instructor who sees dollars to pay the rent, he would fail and fail hard. I would encourage you to look up a master by the name of Gushi. If you go to YouTube and just hit in uechi gushi you will find many videos of this great man. The first word is the style of karate and the second word is the master’s name. He just died in November of 2012 from lung cancer. Now there was a guy who lived the life and trained hard. You can see in his videos about conditioning he was the real deal. When you watch him do his forms you can see  every strand of the muscle tense. You know that’s a guy that can kill you. If any of these black belts were to train with him they would be destroyed. But they feel content and happy because in their world of loserville they feel content.

I feel very depressed and sad about my martial arts and where the journey has led me to but I also feel pride in what I have accomplished. I believe I have truly led a martial life and continue to do so. But I am not content with my life. I want so badly to have students like I did 10 years ago. They made me very happy because they succeeded and we all cared for each other deeply. Somehow, perhaps times have just changed, perhaps it is bad luck — whatever it is I no longer have those great students. Now I have  very tough students but they do not lead Martial lives as I do. Being stuck here in Florida I cannot get used to the southern lifestyle. When I meet someone from the Northeast they are quick to make a point and they keep their word. Sometimes I bump into someone and tell them “hey shoot me an e-mail so I can stay in touch with you”. They immediately pulled her phone out and asked for my address and send it. Dealing with these Floridians is not the same. Even within my own class I am constantly told to remind someone of something and they still forget. They tell me to call them on a certain day to remind them and when I keep my end of the bargain I cannot get a hold of them because they lost their phone, the battery is dead, their phone is broken, or any host of excuses that are just plain bull shit. But they are very happy, they are very happy the way they live. Back to my original point, they never seem to go anywhere. They do not progress within their martial arts, they always seem to have the same problems, and always  working on something and never completing it.

My loneliness is also a sign of my success. I am isolated because I strive to be better. I keep my word at all cost even when it would be better for me to break it. I do not have to be called and reminded of my obligations. As for martial arts I am very discontent with my technique and my skill level. Not because I have not progressed, quite the opposite. I feel that in the last few years I have made the jump to beginning their journey of a master. In my youth I would get excited about conquering the technique or so I thought. Now I see that I have so much more to learn. It saddens me to a knowledge I will never go as far as I could because I do not have the right people to train with. I offered training to several people tonight but they are busy with their wives and one is going bar hopping with his wife. I would have given anything to get a one-on-one class. When I trained under people that I really wanted to learn from I gave up everything. If I had a date and many times I was in a relationship I would put everything aside for training. So of course I feel they are not being good students but that is just subjective to my experience. In coming so far I have taken a burden upon myself which causes me to feel very discontent and very lonely. If I looked at my training in my life with complacent delusions like everyone else I would feel very good about all the things that I have. I would feel very happy about my big house and my beautiful vehicles. Instead I feel that I am wasting this night — I could’ve been training. I could’ve learned something but instead I am putting down my thoughts for my someday book which will probably never be. Today I pressure washed my house. It took over six hours and I still have my driveway to do and some areas outback. I used to have a pressure washing business — I know what I’m doing but there’s a lot of property to wash. My health is not good,  I’m always tired,  hard to breathe and other pains,  but I press on.  I’m not as productive as I was,  but I don’t stop.   While everyone else was watching sports or just sitting somewhere drinking I was taking care of my property. I wish I could’ve gotten more done. Everyone else is happier than I am because they don’t care what their house looks like. Happiness and contentment are subjective to discipline in your life.    My nights are going to the gym for the second time that day and hopefully a bit of martial training outside of class.   Tonight,  I lit a bag of charcoal and grilled my chicken for the week.   Just watching the fire with a glass of wine,   the quiet night with a full moon,   nothing like chicken right off the grill.   Sure I was lonely,   and sad thoughts of people I have lost come up.   But even that sadness is something to reflect upon.  Did I do the right thing?   Did I keep my word?   Too much tv and computers these days.   More people should take time to sit by a fire and just think about things.   Again,  it goes back to subjective experience.  I feel little contentment sitting by a fire by myself.   I feel lonely because I remember how good I felt when I had others to share that time.   If I were a drinker,  I could go to a bar,   but I hate that.   In my time alone with the fire,  I reflected on my day,  and thought,  I would be a real loser if I gave up and had to order a pizza..   I am cooking for the week,   good food, and trying to preserve my health,   even though I am sick,   I never feel good,  but I push to do things I must.   That gives me a content feeling.   I would be happy if I could have a gallon of ice cream,   but my bad health denies it.  :}          the bottom line with being alone for me is honorable.  I am not hiding in a bar,  I am not wasting time.   A while ago,   I was faced with a choice of staying on the honorable path and sealing a lonely future,  or breaking my word,  my loneliness is honorable for me.   I hope someone special reads this and understands the personal message.

There is a fine line between being over compulsive and being disciplined. There is another line between accepting failure and being a loser. There are many fine lines. Once you are happy with something you will stop trying. Once you get that promotion or achieve that goal, human nature will make you complacent. They key is not to be too happy or to content so that you will continue on your journey to perfection. I know that my techniques can be better and I know that as I get older I will have to rely on technique more than physical power. It is this realization that I can be better that makes me feel so discontent and unhappy. It is my commitment to a disciplined life that makes me so unhappy to be around others who have no discipline. But I do not let the unhappiness and discontentment rule me, I use it as a source of power to drive me further along my path. On a personal note,  the once in a lifetime love I once had is gone,   but I don’t go out looking for another, I know nothing can replace it,  I know I will never have it again.   I just focus on the good I believe I did for that person.   I hope they see some honor in that.

In closing I will just add this. With age comes wisdom and that wisdom is solely based upon the experiences we have as we age. I have led a full life and done more by the age of 30 than most will do in their lifetime. Now in my 40s I long for the days when I had better health and was able to do more things. I wish I felt better so that I could accomplish many things I don’t think I can now.  I have a life that was blessed with privilege. Not privilege as far as being spoiled with material things, privilege as far as professional things I was involved in. I miss being privy to information that only a select few would be trusted with. I miss the chaos and uncertainty of having a dangerous job. So many things that made me so happy and now I feel like an old horse that has been put out to pasture. In comparison to the life I once led I am not content. It would make me happy and content if I had the proper students who would take my teachings and create another generation and carry my school name on. But I don’t. So when I look around at all the happy people, I see that they are only happy because they are so neutral in life. The black belt who never attained a great deal of skill cannot be too unhappy with his pathetic performance with me at the gym. Anyone who does not push themselves physically cannot be too unhappy if they cannot perform some physical task or lift a major amount of weight. Anyone who lives a neutral mediocre life cannot be too unhappy about failure as indeed do lead a life of failure. People who won’t take the truth {an insult that is true} are not in touch with reality.  A fat ass who says they look good is a loser,  but they are happy because they don’t have standards.  They should atleast acknowledge they are fat.  Maybe they are very smart,  maybe there are other things for them to be proud of,  but that body just ain;t one of them.

But for those of us who have walked the path and endured the journey, happiness and contentment vanish from our lives as we get better for we become more isolated from society.

Even in my personal life I do not have the happiness and contentment that I use still. 10 years ago I had the greatest girlfriend who was full of energy and would do anything for me. The love of my life in the center of my universe. She was my first student and my top student. She came with me on bodyguard jobs, she was there many times when I almost died and saved my life on more than one occasion. But age change her also. Where I once spent every night with students training in some capacity and my days completing tasks, now as my health has been an issue I am falling behind in my chores and sit alone at night. I still train 2 to 3 hours a day in the gym though sometimes my health won’t allow it. I move slower and have to fight keep moving.  I still try to keep up my property and my vehicles but it is getting harder. The fiery relationship that I once had is now just a friendship. The very chaos that threatened us was the fire that kept us together. When my professional life started to come to an end and she was no longer constantly worried where I was and if she would see me again things started to change. Complacency set in. But even in that I have pride. There was a decision to be made and I chose the honorable way. I could have taken a path that would’ve been more valuable for me but I gave someone my word and I kept it even though keeping my word has produced this isolation. I hope somewhere out there this certain person reads this and understands what I tried to tell long ago. You only get what you want one time and you have to make the most of it. You can only ride the wave so long and when it crashes it crashes hard. We all have demons in our life and the best thing that we can do is try to deal with them and relieve those demons before it is too late. In dealing with the demons of your past or present you can find happiness and contentment. Sometimes the right choice leaves you alone and isolated, but if honor is enough, then you can find your contentment. Such is the case with my martial arts. I absolutely refuse to give into commercialism or to hand out belts for money. I take pride in how few students I have for that speaks volumes of my standards. Even though we do not have the students that I once did I still continue on my personal journey. But as I get older I find myself looking back to my 30s and 20s longing for those days. Life is boring now. So based upon my experiences the happiness I once had and contentment I once felt are gone. Then happiness and contentment came from an extreme lifestyle few will ever know. If I had led a mediocre dull life lacking excitement I would not feel this way now.

On a side note my body conditioning has never been better. Sure when I was younger I had more stamina and could endure a beating without too much discomfort the next day. I think used to fight a lot harder and probably hit with a lot more PSI. But my technique has come so far that I no longer have to fight that hard or hit with so much PSI. My bone density even impresses me. My wrist, fore arms, my shins- the bones are so thick now and dense that even a 30% strike delivers massive damage. When I teach a seminar or just fool around with someone they often complain that I’m hitting them too hard- really don’t believe that I am not hitting at all. It is just my perfection of movement and my bone density that makes it feel like I’m hitting so hard. My throws are clean and precise, my  chi or 6th sense have developed far beyond what I would have thought possible. I have a good understanding of a great many arts and can use a wide array of ancient weapons as well as modern. In spite of  all this talent I am isolated in the world of martial arts. Schools have become contaminated, made into politically correct producers of “black belts”.  Long ago they would have been cast aside as dishonorable losers but now they are the majority and cast me aside as being too fanatical. The irony of success is that too much of it can actually make you a loser in the eyes of society.

In closing I would offer this, screw what society says — you have to have some type of agenda in life, you have to have some type of driving force that gets you through the days and keeps your mind occupied so that you don’t see too many of the bad things. To those people that are full of positive attitudes and never see anything bad I would say you’re missing quite a bit. Be wary of anyone boasting too much happiness- saying they don’t let things bother them. For that is the sign of a true loser. They close their eyes to many things. Someone with honor would let a lot of things bother them — they don’t let it dominate their life but they don’t discard it or discount it either. A person with honor will be sure to punish themselves for a mistake so that they don’t make it again. Only a loser doesn’t pay attention to a mistake – destined to make that same mistake over and over — but it won’t bother them because they are losers……   with a positive attitude.

This whole thing got off my usual analytical point about martial arts and the world in general and took a very personal turn. My ultimate goal for this entire blog is a reference if I should ever find that one student to take over my system and continue my teachings. I feel that as much as the technical data is important to my successor my personal journey through life and my feelings as I grow older is important also for he will surely grow older and experienced much of the same that I am going through. As for you readers I hope you enjoyed it- I hope it gave you a great deal to think about. If after all this you feel that your life is happy and content then I have failed in my writing. If you feel that they’re a great many things missing in your life and you are suddenly infected with an overwhelming desire to accomplish things than I have succeeded in putting a good point across.

In closing I will leave you with this, getting old sucks — gray hairs pop out where you least expect them — I am turning into what I used to make fun of and I hate it. I;m getting veins where I had smooth skin, some are squiggly, some are bumpy.  For the first time I had to shave a couple hairs off my ear last week. I now have three gray hairs in my mustache and my beard is quickly getting taken over by those white bastards. The problem with trying to figure out life, women, or even just trying to perfect some talent is that by the time you figure it out you probably be ready to die — doesn’t that suck!!!!

Better get off your ass and start doing something or before you know it life will be over and you will have done nothing.    And take some time to think about the big screw ups in your life.  Maybe that time you did something and pushed the person who cared most away.   Maybe you think someone tried to hurt you,   but now you can see they did it for you and sacrificed themselves.    Think about some of your choices that made you great and others that made you a loser.    Can’t go back,  but maybe you can find contentment in knowing the truth.         Don’t be too happy,   life ain’t that smooth.   If it is,   you just aren’t trying.

SOME THOUGHTS AND PERSONAL QUOTES

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on January 24, 2013 by thebrutalityofreality

NO MATTER HOW STRONG THE BODY GETS,  IT WILL ALWAYS BE DEFEATED BY ITS OWN WEAK MIND  the physical is but a small part of the total package,  it is the intellect that is important,  and where martial arts is concerned,  you should train for life,  not for “a fight” .   with that said,  it is the mind that unifies with the spirit thru the ritual of training,  which builds the chi, ki, qi,  internal energy,  and that is what builds the body.

YOU CANNOT PUNISH SOMEONE FOR FAILING WHEN THEY WERE NEVER GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO SUCCEED.   make sure you have done your part before chastising someone you partnered with.

EVERYONE HATES WHAT THEY HAVE NO NEED FOR……  UNTIL THEY NEED IT

ASK ANYONE AND THEY WILL TELL YOU HOW HAPPY THEY ARE ,  HOW SUCCESSFUL THEY ARE, AND SO ON. SEEMS TO ME ,   THEY HAVE VERY LOW STANDARDS.

THE PRICE OF HONOR IS OFTEN LONELINESS, ISOLATION, AND HEART ACHE.  …. BUT IT’S STILL BETTER THAN THE FRIENDS YOU KEEP WHEN YOU HAVE NO HONOR

MOST PEOPLE WILL NEVER RESPECT YOU,  THEY ONLY FEAR YOU, ADMIRE YOU, OR WANT SOMETHING FROM YOU. BUT WHEN YOU FIND SOMEONE THAT DOES RESPECT YOU, DON’T SHOW THEM YOUR WEAKNESS, FOR THEY WILL SURELY SEIZE THE OPPORTUNITY TO HURT YOU AND NEVER RESPECT YOU AGAIN.

FUNNY HOW SOMEONE CAN FEAR YOU FOR YEARS, THEN WHEN YOU SHOW THEM YOU ARE NOT A MONSTER, NOT ONLY DO THEY NOT FEAR YOU ANY LONGER,  THEY HAVE NO USE FOR EITHER.

BETTER TO HAVE AN ENEMY THAT RESPECTS YOU THRU FEAR,   THAN A FRIEND WHO WITHOUT HONOR.

BEFORE YOU DIE, MAKE THINGS RIGHT,   THE WORST LAST THOUGHTS START WITH, “IF ONLY I HAD MORE TIME TO…”    & “IF I JUST COULD HAVE TOLD….”         YOU CAN WHILE YOU ARE ALIVE AND HEALTHY,   WHY WAIT?

NOTHING IN LIFE IS WORTH LIVING FOR IF YOU LIVE FOR THE MOMENT,   EVERYTHING IS VALUABLE WHEN YOU LOOK TO THE END OF LIFE AND ACKNOWLEDGE YOU DON’T HAVE TIME TO WASTE.    people who live for the moment never seem to plan ahead or accomplish things that take time.   If you look at life as something with a definite end,  you will see that even bad things mean you are still alive and journey continues.  If you spend too much time avoiding things you don’t like,  you will miss out on the most important things life has to offer.      living is like going on a ride at the carnival.  If you are looking around the next ride all the time or the best game,   you will never know the ride you are on.

PEOPLE THAT CALL EVERYONE “FRIEND” DO NOT KNOW WHAT A TRUE FRIEND IS.   if someone uses a term,  any term or idea too freely,  it has lost all meaning to them.    SOMEONE WHO LOVES EVERYONE LOVES NO ONE.      SOMEONE WHO NEVER MET A STRANGER, IS ALWAYS A STRANGER,  SOMEONE WHO PREACHES HONOR OR RELIGION CANNOT BE TRUSTED.     whatever someone professes to be,   is surely what they are not.

PEACE IS ONLY VALUED AS LONG AS WAR IS REMEMBERED.  when suffering ceases,  people fail to appreciate peace.  only after peace has left do people want it with all their heart,

EACH GENERATION IS SOFTER THAN THE LAST, LESS SKILLED AT A TRADE, LESS HONORABLE, AND MORE SPOILED. the old timers had it hard but they were people of honor and integrity,   today, easy living has everyone dependent on technology,  people can’t perform the simplest of tasks.    soon there will be an app to turn on an app

THE EYES MAY BE THE WINDOW TO THE SOUL,   BUT IT SEEMS THAT MOST THESE DAYS HAVE THROWN TOO MANY STONES AND BROKEN THEIR WINDOWS.   there is no soul where there is no life.   JUST BECAUSE YOUR HEART BEATS DOESN’T MEAN YOU ARE TRULY ALIVE,   YOU MERELY EXIST.

EVERYONE HAS THAT INFAMOUS 6TH SENSE,   TROUBLE IS THEY NEVER USE THE OTHER 5

A MIRACLE IS JUST A TASK YOU CANNOT COMPLETE YOURSELF.   knowledge is the key to miracles.   the more you know, the more you can accomplish,  the harder your life, the more you can endure,  the deeper your love for someone, the more you will see the miracle of life.

OF ALL THE THINGS YOU CAN DO FOR YOURSELF,   ONLY SOMEONE ELSE CAN LOVE YOU.

LOVE IS AN ABSTRACT THOUGHT COMPILED OF MANY ASPECTS OF THE FRAGILE HUMAN PSYCHE, LOVE ITSELF CANNOT EXIST,  IT CAN ONLY BE THE SUMMATION OF THE FEELINGS & EMOTIONS THAT ARE WHAT MAKE US THE MOST INTELLIGENT BEINGS ON EARTH AND SIMULTANEOUSLY THE MOST SELF DESTRUCTIVE AND WEAK ORGANISMS ON THE PLANET.    most things we do are emotion based.   in the name of “love” ,   whether it be love of a thing, an idea, a concept,  a person, –  when it comes to matters of the heart,  the logical brain is slaughtered.

THERE IS NO LOGICAL RESOLVE TO AN EMOTIONAL PROBLEM.    we must learn to step back and look at our lives from the perspective of 3 people.   the emotionally involved,  the logically unattached, and the neutral 3rd party.

IT’S EASY TO KNOW WHAT YOU KNOW,  IT TAKES TRUE INTELLIGENCE AND WISDOM TO WANT TO KNOW WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW…AND THEN FIND THE ANSWERS.

HONOR AND THE COST OF KEEPING YOUR WORD

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 25, 2012 by thebrutalityofreality

HONOR IS A PERSONAL THING,  HONOR IS SOMETHING CREATED FROM RITUALS AND DOCTRINES.

THE COMMON THREAD OF HONOR IS THIS…..  IT’S USUALLY THE HARDEST CHOICE AND THE ONE YOU BENEFIT FROM THE LEAST.   KEEPING YOUR WORD OFTEN MEANS THAT YOU SACRIFICE SOMETHING TO KEEP YOUR HONOR.

PERHAPS THE GREATEST HONOR COMES FROM FULFILLING A PROMISE TO A FRIEND.  EVEN IF IT MEANS THEY SEE YOU IN A BAD LIGHT,  AS LONG AS YOU SERVE THEM MORE THAN YOURSELF.   SOMETIMES THE BEST THING YOU CAN DO FOR SOMEONE IS TO LEAVE THEM ALONE.   SOMETIMES HONOR IS RECOGNIZING THAT NO MATTER HOW MUCH YOU WANT SOMETHING,   YOU HAVE TO PUT THE NEEDS OF THE OTHER BEFORE YOURSELF AND RECOGNIZE THAT THEY DON’T NEED YOU AS MUCH AS YOU NEED THEM…….  AND PUSHING YOUR NEED WILL CAUSE THEM TO GIVE UP WHAT THEY HAVE,   AND WHAT THEY HAVE YOU CANNOT GIVE THEM.    HONOR REQUIRES SELFLESSNESS,  NOT SELFISH.

as usual i’m using the dragon head set so please forgive the mistakes,  the head set doesn’t always get it right,  I’m writing on short breaks, so forgive the more than normal jumping around.  Honor is something that cannot be stated too harshly, it must be eluded to and pointed out to allow someone to come up with their own meaning personal honor.

I’m sitting here the last few days on a security detail,   watching the hustle and bustle of the upcoming event.   Everyone wearing patches and symbols of their agencies or something.   They are all full of “honor:”   They are all walking around being seen and showing their expert skills.

However,  behind the scenes,  a few of us sit,  never noticed,  no uniform,  no title,   just floating around in casual dress blending in and trying to listen to  the crowds and workers.
We are lost in the craziness and when the event is taking place,   the majority of these ‘pros” will be hailed as the example of honor and professionalism.   The cops have gear, weapons, and massive numbers, the average security guy is just standing there staring off into space thinking about everything but his job- but making a presence,  no one really in the presence of danger.   But the few that are not seen,   the ones that are alone,   they are the warriors.   Those who walk among us that are never noticed are the ones with honor,  the honorable let the jerks shine.

“HONOR”      if you think too much about it,   it just doesn’t make sense

HONOR AND THE COST OF KEEPING YOUR WORD

There are many different interpretations of the word honor. Honor is one of those esoteric things that everyone claims to have, but rarely do we see it with our own eyes. From a young age we hear the word honor frequently throughout history. The word honor is thrown around so often that it has lost its meaning. So let’s start off with a few things that everybody can associate honor with. When we think of the elite fighting forces of our military the word honor comes to mind. Perhaps when you think of firefighters or law-enforcement you think of honor. It says it right there in the logo.   A symbol says they are all about honor.  It  has brainwashed everyone into believing that anyone in that line of work is honorable. Just take a look around and you will see there are few are on an honorable path.  Most are in that line of work to feed their egos,  for a power rush, and other reasons that have no honor.  On a side note,  I have a friend who is a retired fireman.  He was in Vietnam, Airborne Ranger,  now this guy has honor,  but he’s old and retired.  Even he sees the lack of honor in the young ones.

Honor was spoken of in the Bible through many references. Honor was the basis of life itself for the classical samurai. Honor is what this country is said to be founded upon. However, there is little honor left in the world.

It seems the more a culture or particular group speak of something the more they lack the something they are boasting about. Whether it be a rich heritage or honor itself, the more someone speaks of it the less there is of actual substance.

So what are we to think that real honor is? As is my style I always let the reader come up with their own conclusions. I will just throw out some ideas to spark your thoughts.

As I see it, the biggest thing about honor is doing something because it is right even though it is usually the hardest thing to do- you don’t take the easy way out even though there are much easier choices. I have found that a good rule of thumb is that the hard road is usually the right road for nothing easy is ever worth very much. In training, a true martial artist spends years trying to perfect the art. After all those years the true martial artist understands that it is much too big of an undertaking to try to perfect the art and chooses to start practicing a single move and trying to perfect that.  I keep saying that “true martial artist” because only a true warrior would spend so many years trying to accomplish a single thing. As the years go on by true martial artist sees flaws that never existed before. Perhaps in the first five years of training he thought that his techniques were coming along quite well and perfection was right around the corner. After some time, he would start to realize that there is a lot of room for improvement and turn his attention to a more detailed regimen. After another 10 or 15 years he would soon see that his techniques are very lacking and now instead of trying to perfect the entire art he would start chipping away like a sculptor – trying to perfect bits and pieces. There is honor in this as the true martial artist has embarked on a journey and basically given his word to someone or himself that training will be part of his life — a lifelong journey that can never be fulfilled until death. The honor comes from  never ending training. Through all the disappointments and all the self-realization of failure emerges the honor of the warrior who does not run but stays and makes it better. This, in contrast to today’s mockery of a martial artist, shows honor. In these modern times people rarely stick it out in one dojo for more than two or three years and actually get their black belts during that short time. The ones who stays longer usuaully stay because there is always immediate gratification and someone is always telling them how well they have done. But there is no honor in that. There is no honor in the easy way.

Now let’s turn our thoughts to honor in our daily lives.  For the sake of this article let’s talk about keeping our word. Whether in the office, on the sports field, within your family, among my friends, or in a bar were a bunch of drunks often give their word, we can see today the lack of honor at work. In the workplace people give their word all the time without any intention of keeping it. You may tell your boss you will complete an assignment when you have no intention of doing so while you already have an excuse lined up. You may tell coworkers a fabricated story to make yourself look good because someone has found out something bad about you. On the sports field there is no honor that I can see. Everyone speaks of winning and how they improve their game with that great “positive attitude”. I hate sports because of their lack of honor. I hate the “positive attitude” crap they are always spouting off about. Both sides say they have a superior attitude and yet one has to lose. Is it because of their attitude? I see positive attitude as the mark of the loser — I’m sure this raises quite a few eyebrows but it’s deeper than what you would think from the statement. In short someone who relies on a positive attitude but does nothing to back it up or quit as soon as their attitude is broken is a loser. I prefer to release attitudes entirely whether good or bad and just look at things realistically. There have been times in my life when I was sure that I would succeed and yet I failed. Conversely there have been several times when I was wholeheartedly convinced that I may not survive a certain ordeal and somehow I did. I won’t bring religion into this as everyone is religious when they are about to die, nor will I say it was just a superior attitude. It was a never quit attitude that had nothing to do with positive or negative- only the will to survive. However, when it comes to honor — I don’t see attitude as having any important role. Honor is something within you and it is something very personal. It cannot exist without ritual.

HONOR CANNOT EXIST WITHOUT RITUAL

just stop and think about that statement for a minute. Honor cannot exist without ritual. Think about what that means to you. I bet so many of you never really thought about honor so therefore you never thought about rituals or the role the ritual would play in keeping honor.

Honor in itself is a ritual. It is the ritual of doing the right thing for the right reason at all costs. Now sometimes honor can be taken to the extreme and things are done in the name of honor that are not very honorable. Other times honor can be used as an excuse to get something that you want. Let’s explore just a few examples of how the weak mind manipulates honor. Probably the most common example would be a fight. You’re sitting in a restaurant or even worse a bar with your girlfriend who is dressed like a slut and of course she keeps getting looks from all the guys trying to get a look up her skirt or down her blouse to rate the surgeons work. So you, being the honorable fellow that you are,  defend her so-called honor. You probably give a very threatening look back at all the drunks and eventually when someone makes a comment you feel that you must defend the honor of your slut bag girlfriend. Words are exchanged and if you had enough alcohol you engage in a physical confrontation all in the name of honor. I’m sure there may be a few of you out there reading this who have an issue with the way I keep referring to a male figure in all of my examples — nothing towards you manly females I’m just too lazy to keep writing he/she and I really don’t care about political correctness. By now you readers should now I write from the heart not the political manual. As far as my reference to the slut bag girlfriend it is pertinent and if you are offended by it perhaps you are someone;s slut bag girlfriend or you just have one of your own.    GOOD LUCK!

The first thing that we should explore in accordance with honor is who we give it to. If you’re a douche bag girlfriend or wife walks around with her tits hanging out or wearing a skirt so short that people think the former president came to town because all they see is “Bush”- then maybe you shouldn’t be fighting over her — maybe you should be making some money off of her. Though the concept seems correct in fighting for your woman sometimes it is not. The old codes of chivalry demanded that a woman’s honor be defended but it was meant to defend an honorable woman. In the aforementioned example there is no honor in fighting for a woman who invites comments. If you know that you will invite problems you should not be too surprised when they arrive. To make this an honorable example we will change the slut bag girlfriend to a conservatively dressed businesswoman type who is sitting there with her well behaved children who say yes ma’am and yes sir. And the husband, not boyfriend, is a well-built man exuding confidence and love for his family. In this example, if someone started making lewd comments to his wife, it would be honorable to smash their teeth out.

Let’s look at another example involving inter-office politics. You work in an office where gossip runs rampant. Promotions are coming up and you don’t want a bad rumor spread about your late-night antics at the bar a couple of months ago as it possibly may have involved a close female friend of the boss. In knowing that your ass is on the line if that should ever get, out you need a way to make yourself appear honorable. So Friday night comes and the same woman is at the bar. In an effort to erase your liability, you wait all night knowing that someone will make the same comments or be guilty of the same actions that you were a few weeks ago. Only this time you will defend her honor. So you sit around and wait all night. Finally, someone goes up to her and makes a comment about getting out of there and going somewhere else s for some fun. You casually stroll over and put yourself in a tactical position and even tell a few friends, “hey, I’ll be right back — I know that girl- I think that guys giving her some problems and I’m not going let that happen”. You take up your position and wait like a sniper or a recon ranger. And then you hear it -he finally offends her. You promptly step into action and ask her if this guy is bothering her — well you can use your imagination to figure out the rest. Monday morning rolls around and you quickly go to the boss stating that you hope you didn’t overstep any bounds as you have gotten wind that the boss may indeed know this woman — you go on to explain how things happened and, you being the honorable fellow that you are, could not just stand by and watch this abomination. You had to get involved and defend her honor. All this because you’re trying to cover up what you are guilty of. Clearly this is using honor for self gain. If we take out the wrong dishonorable actions long before the so-called honorable ones it may have indeed been an honorable act. However, it is rare that anyone ever does anything that does not benefit themselves.

I could go on all day with examples like this but I think you get the idea. Now let’s turn it to keeping your word. Honor cannot exist without rituals. You must have rituals in your life that continually ensure that you will do the honorable thing. For instance, it must be a ritual that when faced with failing at a task or completing one at all cost, it is your ritual that you will put everything else on hold so that you can complete that task. A good example of my own life is welding. I always wanted to learn how to weld and last year I bought a welder. I didn’t have any experience — I never even touched a welder. I watched YouTube videos for two months – 3-4 hours a night — and read all I could. I bought the welder, having no experience and made every mistake in the book. For eight months all I did was practice welding. I made security gates for my girlfriend, my parents, and myself. I learned as I went and screwed up so much that at times I just wanted to put a bullet in my head. But I did not quit. My ritual in life is that once something is hard and I see that I am failing at it, I see it as my enemy and diligently worked to conquer it. That welder was my enemy for many months. I would see it in my sleep and see the weld puddle in my mind every time I closed my eyes.  My dreams were filled the the mistakes i made that day- it was an unending torture.   Every night I would work for three or four hours on those gates and most of the time I would have to cut them up the next day and redo everything because I screwed up so bad the night before. But I kept trying and working through my problems. Now I am a pretty good welder. I have shown my welds to a few guys at the gym who work at a place that manufactures ambulances and fire trucks and some military equipment. They are very skilled so I trust what they have to say. In the beginning they roll their eyes and told me I should go to school. Every time I would go back to show them what I was doing, for months they would just keep telling me I really had to go to school to learn. In the end they couldn’t believe that I was showing them my work as the welds looked so good. One even offered me a job.

The point is I found honor in becoming a good welder. I had a task that I want to complete and my ritual is to never quit. If I had not been able to learn how to weld I would have felt a great dishonor and looked at myself as a loser because I could not complete something. However, I feel great honor in becoming the welder that I have become. No instruction, no formal teaching, just a lot of frustration, a lot of swearing and throwing shit around, and finally success.

So as usual I have taken a long way around to get to the point. The point is keeping your word and the honor that comes with it. This would be a much better world if everyone kept their word even when it wasn’t the easiest thing to do. Everyone gives their word about everything these days but they never keep it. People freely give their word because there is no consequence for breaking it. I think we would all have a much better society if there were dire consequences for breaking your word. For instance, let’s say someone offers to help you with the task around your house and give you their word that Saturday they would show up for four hours and help you complete that task. When Saturday comes around and they don’t show up — you call them and they calmly say, ” something came up will have to make it another time”. It should be legal and thought of as honorable that when you see them, you inform them that they have offended you by breaking their word. Their lack of honor now has to be dealt with. Wouldn’t it be great if after informing them you could give them a choice to either perform some duty for you or you would beat the crap out of them? Imagine how few people would give their word if there was physical violence coming their way as a consequence of them breaking their word. But in today’s society of civility and laws that govern everything — even how many times you can flush your toilet in some areas — you cannot impose a penalty on anyone for breaking their word.

I live my life with honor and now in my 40s I take great pride in being able to say that I have rarely ever broken my word and when I have, I have punished myself far greater than anyone else could punish me. Recently I was faced with the dilemma of keeping my word and bringing great pain upon myself or breaking my word and losing my honor. So now we get to the meat of this article. There is a price to be paid for keeping your word in showing honor. The lesson is to ponder heavily what you give your word about and be ready to give up everything to keep it. We must all develop doctrines in our life that will guide us. Too many people lack these doctrines and rituals. Therefore, just float through life making the same mistakes and always breaking their word. They are certain things in life that I cannot tolerate. Many people have told me through the years that I was just being stubborn when I kept my word but I don’t see it as stubborn, I see it as honorable. You must be willing to suffer for honor. You must be willing to lose everything to keep your word.

In my own life I have always made a point to be very clear with people about things that I cannot tolerate and what the consequences would be. But because they have little honor in their own lives they never take these words seriously and then blame me for what they bring upon themselves. Sometimes it has been business dealings where I would tell someone don’t ever break an appointment with me. By breaking the appointment you will break my trust and I cannot do business with someone I do not trust. They give their word but then they fail at keeping it. So even though we are making money together I walk away from the money because I have given my word. My word was the business dealings would stop as a consequence of them breaking appointments — for whatever reason they failed to show up, it does not sit well with me-short of death there is no excuse that is valid. As stated earlier honor a very subjective and personal thing but I feel that when you tell someone a certain action will bring a certain consequence they should not be surprised when a consequence arrives. Sometimes there are actions that cause great distress and loss and other times there are actions that are so negligible in the theme of life that people see them as unworthy of attention. However, I don’t look at things that way. I see a broken word in any manner as a broken word. If someone cares about you — values your friendship — or even professes to love you — they will heed warnings and not break certain protocols. Now this is not a one-sided game. If you are to expect that honor you should also be willing to give it. If someone tells me to never do something and informs me of the consequences that will follow if  i do preach the protocol, then I have to weigh the consequences with the action and if that person is important enough to me or the cause is important enough, I will not breach the protocol. Sometimes, however, people that care about us very deeply just let their guard down in a moment of weakness or frustration and breach of protocol. This leaves us in a very precarious situation. If we overlook the breach and no consequence follows the action, what we’re really saying is, “you can do this over and over and no consequence will follow”. They will surely commit the same act again and again knowing that there is no consequence. When someone breaches of protocol that you have emphatically stated never to do they have lost respect for you.  It is at this point that you must give the offender a chance to make it right.  Perhaps you tell someone to never sit on the hood of your car.  If they do not immediately apologize,  then you know you have lost their respect.  Sometimes the offender may breech protocol because they are pissed off about something,  but it’s at that point that they must ensure they are right in being pissed off and not bringing past emotional baggage into the scene.   If you are to impose the consequence,  you owe the offender the chance to make it right.   You must be right in being offended.  YOu cannot make a mistake here.   Let’s say the offender stopped texting you in the middle of a conversation.   You owe it to them to ensure they deliberately stopped texting.  In today’s world technology can fail.  You cannot assume they broke protocol.   Perhaps a call to  them asking if the offense was intentional is in order.   If they tell you they knowing broke the protocol because they were just pissed off about something,  then you know you lost their respect.    But you have kept your honor.  You didn’t act out over emotion.  You got it straight from them….  they intentional did what you asked them not to.    The only thing you have to count on in the future is more of the same on all levels of interaction.   Today a text, tomorrow a promise,  and disaster if you are making life changing plans with that person.

A very general example would be this. You have someone in your life that you care about very deeply, perhaps this person is the most important thing in your life. For the sake of this example and to drive home the point we cannot let this person be a casual relationship — let’s say that it is a person from your childhood that you have lost touch with. You are eager to show them that you turned out to be a pretty good person and have success. But you remember a childhood fight were you hurt them very badly. Let’s say for many years through your life, no matter how much success you attain and no matter who in your life made you happy or sad, you always felt a heavy guilt that you hurt this person when you were a child. Maybe you beat up your friend over a piece of candy or said something very hurtful to them in the heat of an emotional flare up. Perhaps it was even an honorable thing where you gave your word and told them if a certain thing happened again that you would no longer be friends and that thing happened. Perhaps that friend tried to come back and make things right but you kept your word seeing it as the honorable thing to do and knowing that for as many times as that protocol had been breached it would definitely be breached again so you finally reached a boiling point and walked away with some sort of honor. However, through the years as you grew and matured he looked back and saw your own flaws. Now that you have regained a relationship with your childhood friend whom you have tried to explain that being so young you couldn’t handle certain problems and didn’t know what else to do. You realize that you were wrong in many ways but when you look back at the circumstances stealing that piece of candy or saying that hurtful thing was forced upon you — it was not done out of vengeance it was done out of desperation and despair. So now in your adult life you want to show your childhood friend that you have matured and move beyond those childish emotions. Now they see you as a commanding personality and a power to be reckoned with. When you first meet you are both very professional and on guard and keep the motion out of the mix. There is an honor between the two of you. You are both older now and both have achieved success — there is no reason for childish emotion. However, knowing that perhaps you were the stronger child and your friend still sees you as a bully, if you truly want to be honorable you will allow your friend to now see you as the week victim.

So your honor will dictate your path. If you truly want to make up for what you have done as a child you will let your friend feel pity for you so that the anger and hurt will subside.  After establishing your success in life and gaining the respect of your childhood friend it is now time to show that the monster they once thought you were is actually still that helpless little child who is easily hurt. This selfish thing would be to go on letting the friend think that you have no remorse for what you did as a child. Your ego can easily direct you at this point because your friend sees that you have turned out okay. Why would you want anyone to think less of you? Well it comes to honor. If you know that you hurt this person as a child and for many years wanted to make it right then you must put your ego aside and let this person sort of walk on you to give them back the confidence that you took from them. Perhaps when you were a child you were quick to lash out and engage in a physical correction. Now, to make things right you must show your friend that he can do things to you and get away with it. Perhaps your friend has lived with a lack of confidence in some area because of what you did to them as a child — how you bullied them. Now as an adult to redeem your honor you must let them bully you and see you as a helpless child. The problem with this is the lack of respect and continuing lack of protocols that will surely follow. As time goes on and you show your friend how much you regret your childhood antics and try to explain that had it been a different time with different circumstances none of that would’ve happened, your friend will slowly put down the bags they have been carrying all these years but they will also enjoy new freedom and confidence at your expense. Perhaps your friends parents were the ones to blame. I know in my own life my childhood friends would come over and my mother would promptly put out a buffet of food. Their parents did not cook — I was not invited to their parents house — I was never cooked for or cared for by their parents — so when they came to my house I felt cheated that my family would be so good to them when I had nothing from the theirs. Most of the time it would end up that they grew very sleepy from eating a good meal and just wanted to go home — that was the end of my play date. Many times when we lash out at someone and we lack honor, it is not because we want to, but because we don’t know what else to do. Many times we lack the control to make anything better especially when we are young. Whether it be a friend, a boss, family, or anyone that holds authority above you or the one that you care about, it usually resolves into people that care about each other suffering and the ones that caused the suffering who don’t care to never have a bad day. Divorce, loss of family and friends, usually anything that hurts us is because of an extenuating circumstance beyond our control. Rarely is an argument between spouses about what they are arguing about. It is usually about something outside of their control for  if they were able to control it they would laminate the problem.

So I’m getting back to our example of childhood friends, now you want to do the honorable thing and allow your friend to put down the baggage they have carried with them all these years. Now that you are successful, you no longer claim ego. Now all that is important is to let your friend know how much you thought about them over the years and how much you regret your childhood actions and to make them understand that you never really wanted to hurt them but circumstances were beyond your control, and at that young age you didn’t know any better. So you let time heal the wounds and allow them to grow strong. However, during your interaction you make them aware of your doctrines of your adult life. Perhaps you still carry with you not tolerating anyone who breaks the word. You inform them that as an adult you no longer get mad and lash out when people break their word you just simply stop dealing with them. Perhaps you tell them right up front about all the things that will terminate the relationship. If they care, they will never break these protocols. In my own life I have matured beyond lashing out and now I tell everybody upfront- especially my students, as long as I am bitching at you — complaining to you — complaining about you and telling you all my problems to the point that you no longer wish to hear them —  it is only because I care about you and I am truly your friend. It is only when I start to complement and no longer share my problems that you know that I don’t care anymore. For instance, a student that I care about- I will continually bitch about and  degrade further the lack of technique and many times their lack of honor in their personal life. It is my job to teach and complements do not teach. I tell each new student as long as I am complaining and insulting your techniques you know that I care that you and they will continue to learn — I will show you the personal things specific to you that will make you succeed. At the point that I say good job and  “you can make it work that way so keep doing what you’re doing but everybody else try to do it this way”, that’s when you know I don’t care anymore. Unlike everyone else, I am the most hard to get along with when I truly care about someone because I care about every aspect of their life. When I no longer care, then I agree with everything and distance myself. Many times keeping my word has hurt me. But I have put myself in a pickle. I either keep my word and do the honorable thing or break my word and break my honor. I have tried both ways and find that it is better to keep your word in your honor. If someone is to breach a protocol that you have set forth and there is no consequence they will most certainly do it again and again. If you do not keep your word and walk away you will only invite frustration. You have to look at what is and not what you hope that it will be.

So you have to be very careful about what you commit your word to if you intend to keep it. You cannot give your word about too many things because then you will be forced to keep it. The things that you are forced into doing because of your careless word will not be pleasant or good for you. However, you cannot be scared to give your word because then you will commit to nothing and you will have no honor because you never sacrificed anything. It definitely is a fine line and there is no other way to learn except by mistakes which cause suffering consequences for breaking your word. The price you pay is suffering the consequences of keeping your word when possibly you should not have given it in the first place. The price of keeping your word is definitely a hefty one many times. It requires you to give up what is most dear to you or  what will benefit you the most.

In the end, at the termination of life, the only thing that lays in a casket with you is your honor. It cannot be seen, it cannot be touched, it cannot be felt — it is just something ,that hopefully a few people will show up, and they will know one thing- that what they remember about you is that you are honorable. In my own life I have no siblings, my parents are old and will be gone soon.The greatest mentor, friend, hero and strength in my life i lost some time ago and now i am alone on the planet.  I have no other family and sadly I have just broken up with my girlfriend of 11 years. My breakup was an example of honor. There were certain things that I said would pull us apart and things I gave my word about and now I am forced to keep them. In talking about honor with someone it was brought to my attention that I was lacking in and I had to get my life back on track. Though it pains me greatly and I am so very alone, it seemed that nothing was changing and to live without honor was more painful than this loneliness. I am a very needy person and now I have no one but I do have my honor. My girlfriend was the greatest – put up with all my faults. She literally saved my life more than once — a debt I cannot repay. Without going into it , i have had the connection that I had with my girlfriend — she was my student long before she was my girlfriend. But to appear honorable to one I must lose the other. I don’t know what could show more care to someone then when you give up what you truly need — what you need to just live daily if you’re such a needy person like me,  than to say I threw all this away for the sake of honor. Few would understand.

To go back to the example of the childhood friend, perhaps your career was the most important thing to you — the thing that made you get out of bed every morning because you loved putting on a suit and going to work and sitting in your big office telling people what to do all day. Over the years,  you have started to complain about little things.  The job just isn’t what it once was,  but it’s still better than any other that is around.  But your friend is tired of hearing you bitch.  Perhaps to restore your honor with your friend you would give it all up. Perhaps your friend would throw it in your face that your whole life has been driven by ego- that if you truly wanted to appear honorable you would throw your career away and get a meaningless job but you would have your honor. So you follow the advice and make yourself miserable in hopes that your childhood friend would see you with honor – that after all the years of making them carry baggage from you – you go and allow them to set that baggage down and get on with their life, and now you pick up some bags and carry them yourself.   The honor in following your friends advice has surely not been the easy choice, or the best,   but you do it honor your friend.

A few things come to mind that I would like to close with on the subject of honor. As stated earlier, honor is a very subjective thing. There is no finite line of what is honor. You must develop honor through your life by contemplating your mistakes and evaluating yourself from a neutral third party point of view. You can’t go back and undo what you’ve done so it is important not to make too many mistakes along the way. The only thing you could do is suffer the penance to try to make up for what you have failed to do. I hope that I have given a reader many things to think about. As usual I have jumped around from subject to subject and touching on things that probably seems very irrelevant to one person while another person may see them as very relevant and very personal. I hope that there is a reader out there that can identify with the things that I have talked about and understand that there is more to this article than the written word. I hope in general that everybody will ponder the honor in their own lives and understand that honor requires suffering. Several things I’d like to leave off with is the honor of martial arts, the honor of a warrior, and the honor of a friend.

The honor of martial arts is the commitment to the undertaking of seeking perfection not only in the physical but as well as the mental and spiritual aspects of your life. First, it starts out about violence, then it turns into a fitness type training, then you start to see things differently, and finally — and only if — you have acquired a deadly skill — the skill to take the life of another very easily and the experience of battle — do you start to contemplate life and see things for what they are. A martial artist who has never been in battle — in real fights- suffered real injury — is like a hot dog. It may look like a solid piece of meat- it claims to be made from prime cuts — but it’s really just all filler and scrap –bits and pieces of nothing like the guy who has 15 black belts but really know nothing about any of his arts-                                                   nothing of substance it’s not a porterhouse steak.                                                                                                                                                 No matter how much physical you practice and how good you get at it, the spiritual and mental come from actual battle. That was the foundations of the old ways and that is what’s missing today. Only after facing death can you appreciate life but you must be prepared mentally for that. I feel that there wouldn’t be as many suicides with our returning soldiers these days if they had a martial upbringing. I don’t think these kids have the discipline to go to war. They come from a world of iPods and texting — the military training is not what it used to be 50 years ago as they can no longer abuse the troops physically — the training simply does not prepare them mentally for hardships of war. In my own life after I have faced death several times and now in my 40s I feel my body aging – I look at the gray in my beard and hair daily, I am definitely changing my view on what is important in life. Sadly what I had no use for and abandon is now very important to me and I don’t have it. And what I work so hard to get is starting to mean less and less. My big house is starting to become more than I can handle for upkeep — my porche and my big truck are becoming a burden to keep clean as I am so anal about keeping a show car finish — I am starting to get more and more fearful about riding my Harley as people are getting killed almost weekly around here. What I want now is companionship and someone who truly cares about me but I don’t want the headaches that come with it. It’s like starving and having Liver put in front of you. Sure you can eat the liver and live another day but I really don’t like eating liver. I do want my cake but I can’t have that as I have a sugar problem and am prediabetic. I am still tough as nails — perhaps the toughest I’ve ever been — but now I have no need for it. When I was involved in operations that demanded physical and mental toughness and a lack of care about living for another day I did not have the skill nor the physical toughness that I have right now. Now that I have it there is no use for it and it is actually a liability the way the laws are today.

The honorable warrior. That is a deep subject. It is easier to keep honor in the battle of war than it is in the battle of daily life. When bullets are flying and death is imminent the adrenaline rush and proper training and mindset can make you do miraculous things. You’re forced to live with a constant awareness that you may die but the brotherhood and the mission supersede your fear. This has been proven over centuries as far as military tactics and training. It is still practiced today. These young soldiers are wounded but keep firing to save their brothers — they embraced death for the sake of the mission. They are in a world that they cannot find in civilian life — your brother has your back and you have his — single-minded in purpose and operating as a unit. That is honor. But then they come back to civilian life where no one keeps her word and no one could give two shits if you take another breath or live another day.

Honor and friendship. Definitely the hardest to find, the most obscure to see, and the easiest to be overlooked if it is ever there at all. I would say the most honorable thing anyone could do for another person is to sacrifice themselves, their happiness, their wants and needs, for the betterment of the other. And as far as giving your word, sometimes when you give your word it dooms the relationship from that moment. Whether you give your word about never advancing sexually towards a friends wife and break it which ended your relationship or telling someone to never hang up on you – even if the  conversation was out of frustration because that would definitely end that relationship. However you break your word or they break their word — the word must be kept. The tragedy about honor and friendship is that the honor that keeps you together is the same honor that will ultimately keep you apart. Once frustration takes over and the protocol is breached the person who has promised a consequence must keep their word or they will not have honor. Sometimes you have to push away the person that is closest to you — sometimes you lose the one that you love the most in life — sometimes you lose your family — sometimes you lose your life. It will never make sense to anyone but you what you see as honor. Only those who truly care about you will respect what you see as honor and perhaps if they have dishonored you, the too one day will try to make good on it. So in closing I will leave you with a short story about honor

There was a village and the young people were starting to discover new technology — the ways of the West. The village had survived for centuries by the old ways — no power — no running water — the toilet was a hole in the ground. You get the picture. The old ways were dying out and it eventually became so bad there were only a few elders left,  a few very young children who couldn’t leave, and the ancient way of life doomed to parish. As the elders died off, so did their knowledge of how to live.  The farming techniques, hunting methods,  everything that was traditionally passed on from old to young was dying out.  No one was talking of the old ways.  Rivals were seizing the advantage of the weak village – taking their food and killing off the few warriors left.   Certain doom awaited this village. There could not be another generation as the knowledge to survive was not passed on.  One old martial arts master lived in the village. He alone carried the secrets that were passed down from the original master when the village was settled. He alone carried the knowledge to produce another warrior and carry-on the tradition of this proud village. As the young people were leaving one of his students came to him and informed him that he too would be leaving as the village did not seem to have a bright future. Wars were starting with neighboring villages about land disputes, food was getting harder to find as the population was growing, and in general the life had just become too hard. He wanted to experience the comforts of new technology. The master asked him why he wanted to leave and what honor there was and taking on this easy way of life. The student replied telling the master about all the new inventions like microwaves, air-conditioning, and how great it would be to take a crap on an indoor toilet that flushes. The master again asked what honor does this lifestyle have to offer? The student again went on to tell him about all the conveniences of modern day life- it was just a short journey away to get on a plane and embark on this new easy life. After much conversation the master he did not understand this way of thinking and did not see any honor in the student’s decision. The student asked the master, “well what do you have to offer me if I stay?” The master replied, “all I can offer you is a hard life, hard training, and when our village is taken over- a short life and a painful death –” the student looked at the master with great confusion and before he could utter a word the master said, “stay anyway and keep your honor”.

Be careful what you can give your word about. Think about what it will mean to keep your honor if you are called to task and have to keep your word. At the end of life you may discover that keeping your honor has lost you everything or you may die peaceful knowing that you kept your word and your honor – that if you had neglected these things your life would have been far more cluttered and those who have hurt you would’ve kept on hurting you. Honor is not just about keeping your word, it’s also about when you give your word. It’s hard to give your word about anything these days when it concerns other people because no one will take you seriously if they lack honor. In a rare occasion when you do find someone who truly cares about you and you give your word, sometimes down the road in the heat of frustration something will be said or done that will put you to task in keeping your word. It may be the hardest thing you’ll ever do, it may be that you know you are throwing away what you searched for her for so many years, it may be that you bring a sadness on yourself that you can never get rid of, but you must keep your word. The trick is to exhaust all possibilities of rectifying something before it ever comes to this.

I think the greatest advice to end with is to be sure that you know what you are committing to and be sure you are able to keep that commitment. In the case of relationships, where things are usually blown out of proportion due to some type of emotion, it is important to look far down the road and know what the facts are before you act on them. Perhaps you meet someone who you think you want to spend rest of your life with, you better test the waters and piss them off to see what the outcome would be on a trivial matter because if you are living together you know there will be far worse things that will come along. If a joke or something trivial turns into a big thing then you know there is far greater things to follow if you embark on a journey together. If you’re looking for a business partner, you had better test the waters when it only concerns a few dollars to avoid bankruptcy later on. If you’re looking for a best friend and you casually say one day, “you are a bit of a bitch” — and they get all pissed off, then you known some day you would’ve said something bigger and that would’ve been a much bigger issue ending in a much bigger loss.

When people get upset is usually for something other than what they appear to be upset over. For instance, I cannot stand to be hung up on — early on I had a girlfriend that would always hang up on me. I was young and emotional. Now in my adult life it is my protocol that once someone hangs up on me I cannot go back to speaking with them. I make this very clear in the beginning of every relationship to ensure it will never happen unless they want to terminate our relationship. An old martial arts training partner who I was pretty tight with once hung up on me. I was trying to tell him about my girlfriend’s daughter helping me detail a van that had some chemical that I had put on the roof to get the scum off that had built up.  I sent the kid up there to scrub as I was too heavy and would have dented the roof. The strong chemical had burned her knees.  My girl was inside with her daughter trying to wash the chemical of. I felt so bad and scared of the consequences that I turned to my friend. He could not have a serious conversation with me and kept making jokes. I snapped at him telling him that this was a serious matter and that I just needed someone to talk to — he got all upset and yelled “fuck you” and hung up the phone. I never called him back and we never spoke for 12 years. The only reason why we ever made contact again was because his son was working at the grocery store and remembered me. I told the son to tell his father hi for me,  and the father told the kid to tell me high. I gave the kid my phone number and the father called me. It took another few years of casual calls every couple months or so until we started getting tight again but now the second time round I have laid down barriers that are not to be crossed as in my youth this guy used to pick on me and literally beat me up in martial arts class because I could not defend myself against such raw power and skill as he is 20 years my senior. When I look back, he showed little honor in abusing a young man that just wanted to learn. Now in my 40s, the age he was when I met him, I see I am very different — very honorable — compared to him as I would never treat a young kid as he treated me. But it all comes back to honor and giving our word. My first girlfriend had scarred me so badly by hanging up on me all the time that I could not take it as an adult when a grown man did it to me. Since then there have been a few that I’ve never spoken to again because of that. But I am always careful to tell somebody going into her relationship that the one thing that will definitely and are communication is to hang up on me because I had too much of it when I was a kid. So even though someone may hang up on me that means the world to me, whether it be a family member, a best friend, a business partner, a student — anyone — no matter how much they mean to me — I have given my word that once someone hangs up on me that will terminate communication and I am bound by honor to keep that word.

In closing I would refer back to the childhood friend. Let’s say that childhood friend hung up on you and it was your doctrine to never communicate with someone who hung up on you. If you have fulfilled your duty and allow them to put down the baggage that you made him carry all those years, then you have acted with honor. If you have allowed them to see you as a weak child and get rid of the view of the monster that once bullied them — if you have succeeded in making them understand that your childhood fights were not about you and him rather about people around you making the fights such as parents that would not let you play together or imposing curfews that interfered with your playtime, then you have acted with honor. In the end if your childhood friend is better off and you are suffering to make up for your past sins and you have acted with honor. It is rare that anyone sees this as honorable for doing the right thing but the one that cares about you — that truly loves you — will see that everything that you have done was for them and out of honor. Whether it be a girlfriend, family, or your gym buddy —  it takes people with honor to see honor and people without honor will never understand.

I hope the reader can come up with some examples of honor and dishonor in their own lives and from now on will act more diligently with the consideration of honor. I hope the reader will not be afraid to give their word and commit to things but will always evaluate what they are committing to and not give their word to freely. In as far as the martial artist, well I think we are the last dinosaurs soon to be wiped out by modern civilization and immediate gratification. It seems there is no place left for personal honor -only what the collective society sees as honor.

The ignorant are truly the bliss. A bird who has lived its life in a cage with clipped wings does not miss flying and soaring to great heights looking down on the earth. But a bird who has lived his life doing such things, being free, living life to its raw limits would rather die than have its wings clipped and finish its days in a cage. People who have done nothing with their life, who have not experienced hardship and looked death in the face cannot understand many things such as honor. It is sad that when people of honor come together the very thing that makes them honorable usually keeps them apart. A good friend would never have an affair with his best friend’s wife. Sometimes two people are meant to be together but because of honor they cannot. A good business partner would not cut a deal that would be the best financial move of his life for the sake of personal gain if it was not honorable.  For the sake of honor and not being a cheat to his partner, he must pass up this one time opportunity.  But that honor is what may very well destroy his life – he is giving up the one time chance at being a multimillionaire.

So think about the end of life so that you can direct your journey. If you just live life day to day there is no reason for honor. If you think about your final hours and what you’ll think about when death is approaching, you will carve out your journey a little differently.

“Not being tense but ready.
Not thinking but not dreaming.
Not being set but flexible.
Liberation from the uneasy sense of confinement.
It is being wholly and quietly alive, aware and alert, ready for whatever may come.”
Bruce Lee, Tao of Jeet Kune Do

The tongue like a sharp knife… Kills without drawing blood.
Buddha

It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell.
Buddha

To be idle is a short road to death and to be diligent is a way of life; foolish people are idle, wise people are diligent.
Buddha

Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.
Buddha

The whole secret of existence is to have no fear. Never fear what will become of you, depend on no one. Only the moment you reject all help are you freed.
Buddha

I never see what has been done; I only see what remains to be done

budha

 

I suppose the best compliment anyone could give another person,  “I’m proud of what you have become,   even if you had to throw me off the cliff to prove your strength”.