Archive for special forces training


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




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.



Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 12, 2011 by thebrutalityofreality


One of the biggest things lacking in today’s commercial schools is the absence of training to understand the pain. When I talk to members of other schools all I hear is “we simulate” or “we practice but would never do that“.  Training for combat requires you to practice something to gain knowledge of it and how it makes you feel and react.  If you only do what you feel you can and never push yourself past you limits,  if your training is all simulated and safe, it cannot be counted as Koryu – which is the Japanese word meaning the old hard way of training. Very few systems practice  koryu today. they all claim that they do but the reality is they are just a hobby class for the weak to feel like they have some importance in their otherwise boring and useless lives.  In reality they only function they serve is paying the rent.


Let’s explore the difference between a true koryu and what goes on today. Without getting into a lengthy discussion of each style and every school, let’s just leave it at the military trains their special forces in a very harsh manner to expose them to every possible scenario and make them experience every possible emotion. Special forces personnel are indeed tortured so that they can understand how their bodies will react and become familiar with this unpleasantness. That could be considered a system that is based in koryu.  Another example of military koryu is S.E.R.E training. It stands for survival evasion resistance escape.  It consist of taking personnel through very real scenarios of trying to hide from the enemy and surviving in the wild. They are taught primitive skills such as fire starting and living off the land. They actually have to start a fire and they actually have to eat some pretty gross things. They experienced the training. They don’t just talk about it and act it out “just in case” but never really do it/   they live it.  The resistance and escape training encompasses a very real exposure to what the enemy may do if they were captured. Some personnel go through it just fine and others crack. The week are quickly exposed.  Without getting into any specifics, we will leave it that these people are put through a great deal of unpleasant training to prepare them for a real encounter,  they emerge stronger and more confident.  So why would someone want to avoid pain and call it “real” training?


The military puts their people through training that mimics real life and real situations as closely as possible, those things in the military have also become very lax and subdued compared to what the troops went through years ago. Even the military has become soft due to politics. But the basic point is still there that you cannot train for something if you are not exposed to it in all its facets and made to go through the unpleasantness and unpredictability of the situation. It is quite different when you are at the mercy of someone who wants to hurt you and you do not have an option to tap out or rely on an instructor or coach to intervene when it seems you have had enough.


In the so-called “Martial” arts schools of today they do not trained in anything close to reality. They train in simulations and theories. Many times I speak with students from other schools and ask them why they do a certain thing or how do they know it would work — it’s always the same answer — pretty much they don’t know and are just going on what someone told them. They never test the magic killing techniques, and even worse they never ask for any evidence from the instructor that it works.  Sadly I have been the victim of an instructor who  was nothing but a self anointed guru of bullshit.  I wasted years with this jerk, the only training that provided any learning was what I did on my own time with another student.  Class was full of claims but the instructor never let anyone test his knowledge or skill,  he just hit me but I could never defend.  A true coward.  Sadly,  very few schools make their students actually hit each other and even fewer schools use any type of striking that is very real in any manner.  These days there are so many constraints if you have to conform to an insurance policy that it is impossible to train with any type of reality. So  people are soft, lack  motivation, have little integrity to finish what they have started, and most of all just simply can’t take pain.


So now let’s talk about pain. Think for a moment before you read on what your perception of pain is. Would you say that pain is simply something that hurts? Many things can hurt you. So is pain broken up into emotional or physical? Possibly you feel that pain is both. Just stop reading for a moment and think about things in your life that have caused you pain.



for some readers many things came to mind and for other readers only a few things came to mind. Before we get into the science of pain lets explore why some things seemed to hurt one while it does not hurt another. Let’s start off with insults. Why are some people so fragile and others so thick skinned? Personally I do not get hurt by words. But many that I am around seemed to get hurt by all words. At the gym I find examples daily of people who get offended by every little thing. I can’t joke with them or even have a serious conversation — everything “hurts” them. Perhaps their pain is due to their failure in life or their low self esteem.  Whatever the reason,  they get upset over little things because they don’t know what real pain is from really  large things.   Many adults need the lesson I got as a kid.   I remember crying and being told that I better knock it off or I would really have something to cry about,  and sometimes I did.   And the little thing I was crying about wasn’t so bad any more.    Now let’s not turn this into a parenting issue,  the point is that when you don’t experience things,  little things are the end of the world.   So to it is with pain.   People that are afraid to get hit live a sheltered life.  They probably never hit their finger with a hammer or fell off a ladder.   When a prospective student wants to train,  a large consideration is how they live their lives.  A desk jockey usually doesn’t have the mental or physical toughness to train.   A person who isn’t handy and has to call someone for every little problem usually is too frail.   Why? Simple, they do not have much to compare pain to so their tolerance is very low.  Whereas myself and my students that are handy and do a lot of physical work have sustained a great deal of painful injuries,  we are used to pain in some manner so it naturally makes us tougher.   A good example is my back today.   I pulled it a couple of weeks ago and yesterday I really hurt myself squating.  Many would advise me to take some time off to heal but that is the weak mind talking.  Pain would cause the average person to avoid anything that would make it worse.  I still finished my leg workout in pain and today I did my usual chest workout in pain.  I will continue to do my normal things in pain.   To me it’s training and I would be humiliated if this little thing would keep me down.    Though I can’t move and I feel like crap…. suddenly my leg just goes out and I can’t sit up… I have to roll off the bench each set,   compared to other pain I have experienced,  this is nothing.


Emotions can truly be hurtful and cause pain. We have all experienced the pain of losing someone we loved dearly or watching someone we care about suffer. Emotional pain is indeed a very real thing but the question still remains why do some people experience pain and in the same scenario others do not? Emotional pain gets into a personality difference but let’s stick to this point about training.  In koryu training, you cannot get your feelings hurt .   You can’t rely on constant positive reinforcement.  You have to take your insults when you fail and count it as an opportunity to learn.


Now let’s talk about physical pain. Physical pain affects everyone differently. Stop and think for a second about physical pain that you have experienced and how bad it hurt. Everyone is familiar with the scale of pain. The doctor will usually ask how great the pain is on a scale from 1 to 10. Take a moment and think about times in your life when you have had 1 pains, 5 pains, and 10 pains.  This is a point that you should discuss with others. You will quickly find that there is a majority that has a common perception of the same type of pain. If you ask someone about a migraine headache everyone will instantly tell you it is definitely a 10 pain. If you ask someone who has had kidney stones they will most likely agree it was a 10 pain. Yet others may tell you that a paper cut was a 10 pain. There will be discrepancies but generally the degree of pain interpreted is pretty close these days as everyone is generally soft and makes a big deal out of nothing.

So far we have established that pain can be emotional and physical. We have established a basic understanding of koryu training and given attention to the lack of it in todays schools. As usual I will get off the martial arts path for a bit and apply the concept of pain to life and daily living. Think about times that you have stayed home from work or neglected a duty because you are in just too much pain to do it. Think about coworkers who have stayed home because they were in so much pain they could not possibly come to work. Think about all your legitimate reasons for using pain as the sole reason you did not do something or failed to do something. Let’s just take a moment to explore in totality all the criteria involved in those decisions…………………………………


To start our understanding of pain we must understand our own weakness. Some people make a big deal out of nothing while others take a great deal of pain and think nothing of it. In my own life I have had broken bones and surgeries that were quite painful. I remember on a nose surgery… the doctor laughed at me when I told him I would be teaching class that night. He chuckled quite arrogantly and told me that after surgery all I would want to do is take painkillers and lay in bed. I replied that I have never missed a class and would not start now over something as small as pain. I did indeed prove him wrong. That night after surgery I did have class. I had to sit on a bucket and bleed into a garbage pail as there were no packings used in the surgery. My nose would bleed for several weeks as it healed but every week I was in class. I demonstrated techniques quickly with a rag under my nose.  But I did it and did not let pain be an excuse.  If someone asked me on a scale of 1 to 10 how bad was the pain, I would have to say that it was at least a five, maybe even a seven at times. The surgeon informed me that the pain would most definitely be a 10 and warned me about taking too many painkillers. I must admit that during the first night after class I did cave and after shaking with intense pain for several hours I did take a pain pill — however, it was quite a letdown when it did not relieve the pain.  Since then I had a second surgery and on my way to a 3rd but I never missed class or work.   I also had a knee surgery and trained with a crutch, went to the gym limping and using a cane,  but our of respect for the code and my own integrity,  I never missed anything due to pain.

Another instance in my life took place a few years ago. I had a severe backache. It hurt for a few days while I was working out and then the pain became more and more constant. I had class that week and figured my backache would go away. The following week my backache was getting worse and the pain was pretty bad. I was also painting my house at this time.  Going up and down the ladder with a bucket of paint was quickly becoming a painful episode every time.  Bending over and lifting heavy doors off hinges and carrying them was hurting pretty bad.  But I pushed thru.  A doctor had just signed up for class a few months prior to this. He really did not know much about me and was not familiar with my perception of pain. When he came to class the following week I informed him of my pain and asked him if it was possible that I had a kidney stone. I had never had one but heard stories from people who did.  I didn’t think it could be as they all told me horror stories of how much it hurt and how they couldn’t move. After almost 2 weeks of this I thought it was something else. His first response was an arrogant chuckle as he looked upwards rolling his eyes during which he informed me that there was no possible way it was a kidney stone. He looked at me in a sort of demeaning way and told me that people with kidney stones run to the emergency room and many times wished for death it is so painful. Hearing this I was relieved feeling that there was no possible way this could be a kidney stone. After all I did not want to go to the emergency room and I certainly wasn’t praying for death to come — it was just a pretty bad backache and with all the physical abuse my body takes I figured I just pulled something. He suggested that I just take it easy in class. Well we started fighting and every time I would get squeezed around my kidneys or punched I reacted quite differently than I usually do. Other students started asking me what was wrong and I again used this backache as an excuse. I really felt terrible and humiliated that I was leading a backache in the way of training. After all my preaching about never quitting in class I had to uphold the standard myself. About 45 minutes into class and a few kidney punches later I again asked the doctor if there was any possibility it was a kidney stone because I never felt the pain like this before. He stood me up and asked me on a scale of 1 to 10 how great the pain was. I didn’t understand the question as we had already covered this in the beginning of class and I told him the pain was about a 2. Before I could ask him what he meant he gave me a pretty good chop in my kidney. It startled me more than hurt and I reacted quite theatrically. He asked if it hurt that bad and what it was on the scale. I explained that I could not honestly answer because I was not ready for it and asked him to do it again so that I can accurately describe pain. So he again chopped me and I suspect it was harder than the first time but this time I was ready for it and did not flinch. It hurt pretty bad and I told him it was somewhere between 2 and 3.  He again told me in no uncertain terms that there was no way it could possibly be a kidney stone so I got on with class and just ignored it. I’m sure you figured out where this is leading to. A few days later I contacted him and told him that my backache would not go away. He reluctantly said that he would bring a urine test strip by and that would tell the story. Well it turns out I had a good-sized stone and gravel. He was amazed that I could take all that pain and still fight. I don’t know why he was so surprised when later on he recounted the story of his own kidney stones and stated that he did not miss work because of it. He stated he sat at his desk shaking and sweating and at one point had to lay on the floor but he still made work. I guess he just didn’t think too much of me at that point. Since then I have earned his respect and he knows how much pain I can tolerate. Now if there is a problem and he asked me to describe the pain he knows that by the time I say it hurts any normal person would be screaming and calling for death to come.  He and another student also had knee surgery at the time I had mine,  we all had our surgeries one month apart and each of us were in class that night.  On crutches and training in a chair but training.  No one missed work.  The other student owns a restaurant .  He was at work and completed his tasks/  we all said it hurt but it wasn’t too bad.   I’m sure others would have been drugged up and not able to move.   According to our experiences and personalities,  it was more of an inconvenience rather than a painful experience.

I want the reader to always form their own conclusions. As is my style I throw many different angles on the subject to allow the reader’s mind to be open minded and explore their own thoughts. Only a weak mind believes everything that is in print – only a writer with ego and a small mind wants the reader to only see his point of view. I want intelligent readers. Only intelligent readers will explore the ideas and come up with their own facts. So why do you think there is such a difference in what I call pain and what others call pain? The answer lies in our anatomy and in our mind


Pain alone does not hurt. It is the perception of pain that causes the emotion of pain. There is a difference between a threshold of pain and a tolerance of pain. Our human anatomy makes us all pretty much the same on our threshold of pain — the point at which we feel pain, however, it is our personal experience and mindset that gives us vast differences in our tolerance of pain.

Pain is a very complex issue. If we categorize it as an emotion it really does not have all the characteristics that every other emotion does. Pain is the one thing that cannot be duplicated. We can remember it, we can remember how it felt, but we can never really duplicated and feel it again in our minds. Unlike other emotions such as love or fear, joy or sadness, pain is but a memory of something. If you stop and think about your first love you get a certain feeling, if you think about a time that you almost sustained serious injury or nearly escaped death you can experience that fear to some degree all over again. If you think about most any emotion other than pain you can experience some type of feeling that mimics the actual experience yet with pain you can only recall an unemotional memory. You can remember how hurt but you cannot actually feel it again. I’ll make one amendment to this concept. Though this is generally recognized as a rule I do believe that with meditation and training of your mind you can relive pain. I say this because I can but it has taken many years of meditation and training my mind to be able to do this. But the reason for it is not relevant to this chapter.


let’s talk about the positive side of pain. Pain is a much-needed tool for the body. People generally associate pain with bad things but pain is a good thing. On a physical level pain tells us what we should not do something. Imagine if you could not feel pain and you put your hand in a fire or smashed it with a hammer. How would you know to stop if he did not have pain? Fear of pain dictates our choices. The law revolves around fear of pain and unpleasantness — if you do this the consequence will be… Pain Can be a good thing in many ways. But sometimes the body malfunctions and the receptors that tell the brain to make you feel pain are damaged.  So you don’t feel anything.  Sounds great but it could be very dangerous.  There is a condition known as congenital insensitivity to pain whereby the body simply does not send signals and the person does not react to pain because there is no perception of pain. Imagine if you couldn’t feel pain. Not only would you hurt yourself but there are many things that you would not learn.


Let’s break pain down in a more medical and scientific level. Up till now we have spoken of pain as physical and emotional. We have interpreted it as some type of sensation. We have explored examples of one person saying that the pain is excruciating and unbearable while another person may say the same pain is not so bad. Why do you think this is.? Once again I will deviate and briefly talk about my teaching style. I teach my students to look at things from a spiritual point of view, a medical point of view, and a very commonsense point of view simultaneously. Other schools teach a very flat one-dimensional way of everything. It’s either right or wrong-it this way or that way. I really do not know of any other school that gets into the physiology of the human body or teaches students about emotions and philosophy. The key here is how we view pain.  As stated earlier and in the title pain itself does not hurt…. it is the interpretation of pain.


Let’s break pain down in a very scientific manner. Pain itself is noticed at the “threshold”. Pain becomes a degree of discomfort according to our “tolerance” of pain. Pain alone is not real — it is not an absolute it is merely subjective. Pain is not a stimuli. That is why people interpret pain on so many levels and so differently from each other. What I believe is pain is much different than what you believe is pain. What my students perceive as slight discomfort other schools perceive as intolerable pain. Later on we will discuss how to use pain to your advantage in daily life but for now let’s just seek to understand it. Pain can be broken down into three basic categories. Take a moment and think about the pains that you have experienced and the reason that you have experienced these pains. You would be hard-pressed to come up with more than three categories. Something that causes pain from a physical stimuli would be much different than something that causes pain from an emotional stimuli. If you stick your hand in a fire that is a physical stimuli which is causing physical damage and though there may be an emotional factor to it generally it is a physical pain that is the main culprit. Matters of the heart really do not cause us  physical pain though there may be physical side effects from the emotional distress but generally the pain is an emotional response. Lastly there is a cognitive response which causes pain. If we break pain down into these groups — sensory, emotional and cognitive, we start again a much greater understanding of pain and how we perceive it. So taking this into consideration and understanding that pain is subjective we can see that there is no possible way to measure pain with an absolute certainty there is only the individual interpretation of the particular person of the particular pain on their particular scale.  This brings us back to the problem with trying to understand someone else’s perception of pain. You can understand someone who was crippled — you can understand how it is to sit in a chair and not be able to get out of it. You can understand many physical things. You can understand a person without an arm cannot use that arm. But you cannot really understand another person’s pain.

How does this fit into koryu or real combat?  If you have a higher pain tolerance than your enemy, you should have a great advantage and prevail.  If you know how you will react to injury or pain,  then you should be able to make good choices during battle that will save you as you do not have to assess your injury.   If you understand the difference between pain and actual injury you should be able to keep fighting.   If you become familiar with very real scenarios and practice taking hits,  hard hits,  then you won’t mind getting hit in a real fight and should prevail.


Let’s touch on martial training for a moment. Though I cannot understand the perception of pain that a student has I can rate them as to what I believe they are capable of tolerating based what I see in their reactions and emotional responses to certain stimuli. Then , based on my years of experience, I can draw a very accurate assessment of what they are able to withstand and how far I can push them. Many times during private lessons or seminars  someone says “it hurts”. I know that their perception of pain is not the same as mine or my students. My students nor myself would not even count the same stimuli as uncomfortable. We train so hard that our perception of pain is far beyond the normal person. So back to the commercial schools of today that simulate and just take things as fact never testing them. If they get in a fight their perception of pain will defeat them. They do not train to understand pain. They are subjective in their understanding of pain. Their understanding  is that any little thing hurts like hell. When the fight comes you have to be able to take pain or you will most definitely lose.


Think about this for a moment. Someone goes to the hospital with a regular headache and the doctor asked them ‘how much pain do you have;? They reply with a 10. To them the pain is absolutely unbearable and there can be nothing worse after all 10 is the top of the scale. Of course there are the losers who say it’s a 20 or something higher than 10 to indicate their extreme pain. Maybe these losers should just be swatted to give them something to compare their pain to. However, this is most likely because they have lived prior to this pain without any pain. Again look at it as a subjective. So if this same person that is claiming this unbearable pain is given a drug and the pain subsides to a seven, how can we accurately know exactly how great that pain is? We can’t. This person is merely comparing what they perceived as unbearable to somewhat bearable. It is subjective. This person perhaps never has any pain and now has a tiny wee bit of pain and calls it a 10. Now let’s reverse it. Let’s say a person suffers from migraine headaches daily and on one particular day has just a normal headache. This persons subjective perception of pain would be that the normal headache is probably a one or two at the most. Whereas a person who never has a headache would count the same perception of pain as a 10. Now you are starting to form a new thought and idea about pain. Pain is subjective to your experience. I tell my students all the time that if they live a soft life and don’t push themselves then they will not be good fighters nor will they be good people. If they do not push themselves with some degree of pain and discomfort daily it will overflow into their lives and they will find an excuse for everything. A child who grows up in a foreign country who was constantly hungry and thirsty, who was beaten daily for no reason has a totally different perception of pain that an American child who is spoiled and never wants for anything. At the gym my subjective view of heavy weight is quite different from the losers whose subjective view of heavyweight is 20 pounds.


First let’s break pain up into two categories. The first is pain sensitivity, the second is stimuli in intensity. When we first experienced pain it is based upon these two things. If we are extremely sensitive to pain only a small amount of stimuli is required for the perception of pain. If we are quite insensitive to pain than the intensity of stimuli will be much greater. Getting back to martial arts and koryu training, it is imperative to train hard and grow accustom to the stimuli and constantly push yourself to endure greater and greater intensity plus reducing pain sensitivity.When we move in our daily lives we do not experience a perceived pain or if we do it is so little that we don’t pay attention to it. This can be classified as” innocuous” pain. When pain becomes so great that it is about to cause injury it is called “noxious” pain. At this point the body is telling us we are about to sustain damage. However ,without proper training and experience this is not possible to interpret accurately. For instance someone who has never had their arms twisted until it is almost about to break cannot know how far it can be twisted before damage is sustained. In the case of training when schools simulate strikes and simulate arm breaks both the aggressor and the defender are being cheated. The defender is being cheated because he never experiences how far past the threshold of pain his tolerance will allow him to go and furthermore going to the “noxious” stage of pain we cannot have any real idea of when he is in danger. He will merely perceive a certain amount of pain that he deems to be a noxious point and in a real fight will most likely give up much sooner than he should have and be a victim. The aggressor who is simulating all these devastating strikes and bone breaks is also at a loss because the defender gives up so easily it puts a faulse sense of security into the aggressor. In a real-life confrontation the aggressor who has been conditioned to exert a very minimal amount of pressure  has been fooled into thinking that it is actually a devastating amount of pressure will get his ass kicked very quickly in real life.


Everyone has taken some type of drug for some type of pain. But do you know how it works? Without getting into a medical lecture Let;s just think of it this way. There are large fibers and small fibers in your body. A nerve basically works off the small fibers to produce pain. The large fibers do not really have too much to do with pain transmission. A drug either subdues the signal or totally blocks the signal from a particular nerve to the brain. On a side note pain can also be blocked by physical stimulation. For instance, maybe some of you have heard of a remedy for a headache. If you squeeze your head around the temple area and suddenly let go after about 30 seconds it appears that your headache subsides. Sometimes you have a pain that is muscular and a vibrating massage appears to alleviate the pain. It would be a long medical discussion of why this works but let’s just say that pain can also be masked or manipulated to be interpreted as something other than pain. In Eastern healing arts they believe that channels of chi or your life force are blocked at certain junctions and therefore the life force cannot heal an area. Acupuncture is said to open the channels and allow the life force to heal the body. Many of the spots, however, lie over clusters of nerves and the Western mind explains it as nerve manipulation rather than a life force manipulation. Again the large diameter fibers within your nerves are your friend — they tend to block pain. This gives validity to the home remedies of vigorous vibration or compression and also explains acupuncture in a more scientific way. When a needle is placed on a nerve center at the point of injury it stimulates the nerve and could be explained from a Western point of view as a type of vibration therapy. Conversely when a nerve is manipulated with acupuncture distal from the injury it is in essence blocking the nerve the same as a drug would do. When the nerve is blocked at some point there is no signal of pain being sent to the brain so you do not perceive the sensation. The greatest and simplest example would be the dentist giving you the numbing shot in your gum. While the dentist is mercilessly drilling your teeth and laughing at you, the pain can’t be felt.  This is because the nerve function has been disabled as evidenced by your drooling and lack of control of your face as the drug wears off.  Yes you look like a retard and everyone is laughing at you ,,,,  not with you.


Many times something that we see, hear, smell, feel — anything involved with our five senses brings about an emotional response. This is particularly true with the perception of pain. Again remember that pain is subjective. When the threshold of pain is met and the intensity of stimuli is perceived as pain it can bring about emotional distress or some type of emotional response. In the case of martial arts I train my guys to look at pain as a motivating factor — to embrace it. When we use pressure point tactics on each other I tell them to not move away from the pain rather pushed into it. To most people this sounds absurd and sadistic. It is retraining their minds so that the threshold of pain is not easily met and the intensity of stimuli is increased to where ultimately the threshold of pain is just barely met in the stimuli is not great enough at any point to perceive pain. In eastern fighting arts they have been doing this for thousands of years. Armed Forces trained soldiers in this fashion but today’s schools lack any remnant of this koryu due to the restrictions of insurance and the weak society that applauds failure and scorns true success.I’m sure you have heard of the expression “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. Well the same holds true for pain — pain is in the eye of the beholder also. Pain is an emotional response. In the case of combat the threat of being hit makes the actual strike seem more painful because you fear it. Once you get over your fear the pain is very minimal. From a  medical point of view the cortex of our brain is the giant computer with all the programs but the limbic part of our brain is kind of like another hard drive with its own set of programs. The limbic system controls the multitude of functions in our body but for this article we will simply say that the limbic brain is the emotional brain. Emotions such as anger, fear, happiness, sadness, hate, envy, self-esteem, and all the other emotions are created here. From a combative point of view it is important to understand the limbic brain and be able to manipulate it during battle. For instance, someone gets in your face and threatens to rip your head off and shit down your neck.  the typical response could be fear or anger or any multitude of emotions but the emotions felt will be random and with no purpose. If you understand the limbic brain you can quickly assess your adversary and use his limbic emotions against them. He has confronted you with the obvious intent of backing you down by threat, trying to use your fear , your fear of pain, to win a victory before the physical confrontation even starts. If you can change his perspective on the matter and take away his confidence you will take away his position. Perhaps you can explain to him that no matter how hard he pulls your head will not come off and it would be quite difficult for him to shit down your neck as the angle would be all wrong. Just by reading this your limbic brain has sent signals out and you feel some type of emotion. Probably laughing if you are not a tight ass.  The assailant will also feel some type of  emotion, it’s not important what it is, but during this time that he processes what you are saying you can kick him square in the crotch and produce another emotion in his limbic brain. Pain activates the limbic brain.The limbic brain then sends signals out causing you to begin to experience emotion. Studies have shown that when the intensity of perceived pain is increased the limbic brain increases in activity. The more activity in the brain the more emotions you’re flooded with which ultimately causes decisions to be made based solely upon your emotion and not on sound logical reasoning. This is why training to the extreme is so important. When you are faced with an overwhelming stimuli you will be able to put your emotions aside and react calmly and logically. You will always revert back to what is natural.  If you don’t train enough your natural reactions will be emotional.  If you train correctly, you will revert to your training without thought or influence from emotion.  Many times people are caught in emergency situations and freeze. The stimuli is too overwhelming and there are too many emotions associated with the event causing them to not react or react in the wrong way. When I fight with my guys we hit each other full bore in the body and if we should get an arm bar or joint lock we put it on until the bone or joint is about to break. It takes great skill not to injure each other while training in this manner. Once again commercial schools cannot do this because of the inept student base maintained and the quest for money instead of quality students. Only through training and the experience of pushing yourself to the breaking point and beyond will you be able to react in a proper manner when the real situation confronts you.


one of the treatments for people with chronic pain is to get them active stimuli. This makes a lot of sense. Instead of relying on a drug to block the signal of pain you can also block the signal of pain with outside stimuli. For instance someone who has a toothache and just sits in the chair focusing on a toothache will soon become so frustrated they won’t know what to do and the pain will be too great to bear. If you think hard enough right now, I bet you have a headache, and it’s getting worse as you are suddenly aware of it.  It’s throbbing a bit and now you really can’t stop thinking that your head actually hurts.  wow it really hurts.

But if that person has a good mindset and engages in some activity that they enjoy the stimulus of enjoyment will override the pain to some degree if not totally. I use training and the gym in this way.  Once I get there and start working our and chatting I tend to forget about my pain.  There should have been times in your life, unless you are a total loser, when you have had pain and something took your mind off of it letting  you forget about that pain for a while. Wouldn’t it be great if you could learn to do this at will and block pain? It is possible to do if with study. Certain meditations and internal arts such as tai chi and chi gong can train your brain to override certain emotions with other emotions into use certain stimuli to override the perception of pain. Chi works like this to some degree though there is a much deeper basis focusing on the exact points on your body. But to some small degree acupressure causes a pain that overrides the pain you are trying to alleviate. It is very important to train your mind to be able to focus on things other than your perceived pain. For instance ,if one of my guys uses a pressure point tactic on me and it hurts I cannot focus on the pain or I will quit. I must use some other stimuli to override my emotion and mask my perceived pain. Much of this is just a mental attitude produced by many years of conditioning and of course you have to have a fighting spirit. You cannot throw a beagle into the ring with pitbull — the beagle just doesn’t have the spirit or the body. If you are a total whining whimp and think training at a commercial scam school will make you a fighter,  well go pick a fight and see how your training works,  then sue your instructor for your injuries.  Another interesting point of one emotion to block the perception of pain is classes that pregnant women take. Birth will hurt a certain amount no matter what they do but they focus the classes on teaching the pregnant woman to breathe in a certain manner. The husband is supposed to encourage her.  This is just external stimuli to divert the perception of pain.  In the Western mindset the breathing is something to focus on to take the attention away from the perceived pain, however, there is a deeper value to this breathing. Breathing, if done correctly, can release endorphins and block sensations. Not only does it give you something to focus on and take your mind off of a perceived pain or emotion but it helps the body to do what it has to and allows your life force to move where to where it is needed. Being a big believer in the eastern arts I see breathing as a way to move things internally in your body. For many years there has  been much doubt about the eastern “voodoo” of the internal arts. Acupuncture was not understood because technology could not explain. Now that technology has come so far and computers can produce images of our internal body there is a better understanding and a medical foundation that supports the internal arts and their legitimacy. If we go back to the old ways we can understand our bodies better and learn to block pain without the use of drugs. More importantly for the focus of this article you can train yourself to block out pain while in battle which could save your life.

An interesting medical practice for people with chronic pain is to implant an electrode in their brain. Without getting into a long technical debate about morals and how it works, basically when the patient feels pain they zap themselves. The brain now has a direct stimuli which causes it to release certain chemicals which mask your perceived pain. Once you realize how great and magnificent the brain is in all its capabilities you can begin to utilize it. I tell my students all the time that knowledge is the key. Sadly many who want to train in martial arts are only interested in the physical side and have no desire to study. This article alone is very useful to a martial artist because it will allow them to manipulate their brain and their tolerance of pain once they understand how things work.Once you are open to something you can begin to use it.  But it is not interesting to the loser mind whose only driven by ego and who has little self-worth. You cannot manipulate anything — you cannot work the machine if you don’t understand how the machine works. By understanding how our brain works to some small degree we can begin to enrich our lives and be more successful. It is only our brain that holds us back and makes us lazy, weak, or lack sufficient goals. It is only our brain that gives us our perception. If we can understand how our brain works we can do much more in life. A side note,  I’m not suggesting anything associated with a positive attitude.  I view needing a positive attitude as the need of a weak loser.  Sometimes you have to see things for what they are,  and reality sucks.  But you should still try your hardest and not be held back.  See other articles on positive attitude.   So back to the wonders of the brain as it relates to pain. As the patient introduces an external stimuli into the brain from an artificial source the brain is signaled to do its thing. This medical procedure is quite amazing in that it will block certain pain but not all pain and it doesn’t disable you. But wouldn’t it be much better if you didn’t have to go through surgery and to learn to manipulate your brain without an external mechanical device? I’m not saying that there is not a need for these medical interventions. I’m simply relating this to the fighting arts in our daily lives. Once you learn how to manipulate your brain and look at things from different points of view you will become much stronger in all aspects of your life.


For the sake of this article and as it relates to fighting we will limit the manipulation of the brain to endorphins. I’m sure everyone has heard of endorphins and their function. The brain needs a reason to release these endorphins in the brain needs a reason to reroute electrical currents. In the case of pain the brain can mask it with endorphins and by blocking nerves. In the eastern training meditation and certain body movements that were once thought to be hokey Pokey are now seen as having an absolute medical base and substantiating claims of healing and other miraculous feats previously thought to be just a voodoo of sorts. It is no surprise that the postures of the internal arts such as tai chi align the body in such ways that pressure is taken off of nerves and pathways of information. The deep, controlled, rhythmic breathing inflates the diaphragm causing it to put pressure on certain nerves and release certain chemicals. Yoga is very effective in that the methods of stretching do much the same as tai chi and allow the body to let its life force flow as it should. Stagnation of chi or the life force can cause a myriad of problems. In the Western mindset you would say that if you do not stretch you become stiff and your joints don’t move. In the eastern mindset you would say that that the chi has become stagnant and your body has become toxic. Western medicine does not buy into toxicity of the body unless you’re referring to a stagnation in the bowels or some physical manifestation or a virus. The eastern mindset refers to stagnation in the body as  the inability of the life force to flow causing a sort of poisoning of the system. Now that technology has come so far we can see that both East and West are saying the same thing on many levels but the Western medicine and science can only explain so much. Eventually there is the question of what makes us alive? The eastern mindset says it is the life force the Western mindset says our bodies run off of synapse and electrical pulses. I have devoted my martial career to correlating similarities between the two not disputing differences.In the end I have found and personally experienced several key things that I think will help anyone in their life through martial training. The first is you should seek knowledge about everything. Once you understand how something works you can manipulate it and use it to your advantage. The next thing is to not fear what your body does. You should try to understand what your body does and embrace it. You must let go of your ego and explore why you feel what you do. If you feel that you are too macho to admit that you are fearful you will never conquer your fear because you will never embrace it to find out why you are fearful. Much like a bully that scares the hell out of you, beats the crap out of you daily and causes fear, years later when you look back you see that there were options. Maybe you couldn’t do anything about it at the time because of physical limitations but it’s not as fearful as it once was because you look at it from a neutral unemotional standpoint and see it for what it was. Most likely looking back you will feel you should have just beat the shit out of the bully when he wasn’t looking with a pipe.   ….  or maybe not.  Embrace your fear whatever it may be and seek to understand it. Many people are afraid of knives yet they train with fake knives for real-life attacks. How stupid!!!! if you are afraid of a real knife then that is the most important reason why you should train with a real knife. I used to be very afraid of blades. I remember a few classes in my youth when we would use fake knives or a pen and just the thought of a real blade would get me very nervous and not allow me to train correctly. Now in my adult life after being cut both in training and in real-life altercations I do not have a problem training with the real-life that will cut me or take my life. My only concern is that my partner be responsible enough to ensure some reasonable aspect of safety and not actually cut my throat open. But I will put a knife to my throat and press my throat into it trusting my partner that he won’t put any more force  than what I put on it. If I get cut in training it is no longer fearful -it is actually a bit of a pump to know that I took the cut and did not flinch. When I have had to engage someone with real knife and in a  real confrontation this training  mindset has been invaluable. Again, today’s laws will not allow such training in the public forum but the other schools do not recognize the fallacy of training with a rubber knife.  It’s like tactical shooting from behind the line with no movement or stress, or relying on that magic one shot killing strike.   BULLSHIT!

Whether you have a physical ailment or some disease causing you pain I hope that you have a better understanding of it now and can manage that pain in your life. I would strongly suggest that you look into the eastern internal arts but be forewarned that they take many years of diligent practice and dedication to even begin to understand them. You cannot go on YouTube and watch a two-minute video and be able to heal yourself. You cannot take a two-hour seminar and just because someone gives you a certificate for the money you paid don’t feel that you have any skill in the internal arts. As for the combative side, train with as much pain as you can. Pain is subjective. What the beginner thinks is excruciating pain the intermediate student sees as tolerable and the advanced student sees as a mild distraction. The problem with America is that everyone has grown up so sheltered and spoiled that the slightest inconvenience is translated into a torturous pain. If you want to truly ready yourself for combat then you must experience on a regular basis all the pain that comes with combat.  This can also be applied to living a productive life.  Don’t let every little excuse make you fail.  Don’t stay home from the gym because you have a little pain.  Don’t call into work over discomfort.


If you learn how your brain works and what causes the perception of pain, you can learn to manipulate it.  Science can now prove that through the ancient internal arts you can indeed release your bodies natural pain killers at will.  Through the practice of chi gong and tai chi you help your body to regulate itself.  Exercise is indeed the fountain of youth but you must work the internal as well as external.  With years of dedicated study and practice, you can learn to divert your attention from your pain during battle or just daily life from injuries and pain at a an instant.  Through an intimate understanding of your brain according to western medicine you can begin to make sense of the eastern philosophy of the body.

Once you have gained this knowledge it will forever aid you in your life.  In my own life I credit my study of the internal arts with my power at the gym.  Feeling as badly as I do with my injured back and taking into account that I have just finished a grueling 9 weeks of very physically demanding work which did not allow me to eat for 12 or 15 hr intervals,  – I lost 12 lbs –  I still put up 315lbs  for 4 reps today and worked out with 295 doing about 15 sets.   Sure this is down from my usual but feeling like I do, at least I made the workout.

There are so many things our bodies are capable of.  We just have to take the time to learn about it’s function.

The old “voo doo” rituals actually were very advanced.   They produced results that modern medicine is just beginning to figure out and in many cases cannot duplicate even with drugs.

Pain is what your are not familiar with and what you fear.   If you become familiar with heavy lifting, soon it’s not so heavy,  if you get used to a hard schedule , soon it’s not so hard= if you get used to pain, soon it won’t hurt.

So you can study for many years, meditate, research, make your mission to study multiple arts and in 10 years you will have a basic understanding of things.    or just take a pill,   it’s a lot easier.

but the easy path leads to no where,  the short path leads to a hole of nothing.   The long path is the journey of life.


Posted in special forces training, body guard, judo, tai chi, punching, kicking, blocking, stick fighting, knife fighting, kung fu, ninjutsu,, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 9, 2011 by thebrutalityofreality

I was just about to get out of bed this morning when a thought popped into my head. What is the difference between somebody who gives up something because they are quitter than somebody who gives up something because they see it as useless and move on to something more useful? In my martial arts career I have continually run across people who proudly state that they have given up this or that and moved on because they saw a more useful style. I started to ponder if I had become the same loser that I view them as. I started to think of all the similarities in my life to what people have told me — I view them as quitter’s — have I become a quitter too?  So I started to pick it apart — what have I given up in martial arts?

When I was young I practiced tae kwon do and tang soo do.  I have given up this practice. In my early adult years I practiced the art of aikido yet I no longer practice the art as a whole, I keep bits and pieces of it — I had given these systems up many years ago. So what makes me different from the person that I view as a quitter and loser who spouts off basically the same thing? Well the answer became clear as I looked for the reason that I gave up certain practices and the reason others give up certain practices. The answer is mostly concerned with the amount of study something has been given before it is given up.   For instance I gave up tae kwon do and tang soo do in my teens because every time I got in a schoolyard fight it never worked in any defensive way. Going all the way back to when I started to my early teens it was always the same story.  I would quickly employ the blocks and try to use the strikes that worked so well in class but here on the playground or in a crowded hall between classes it never worked. I would sustain hit after hit never be able to block them in my strikes would never land — if they did they were not very effective. If I was lucky enough to land a few hits, it was not out of any martial form.  I found out quickly that the engagements I won was due entirely to fighting with anger and dirty fighting.   In my teens I gave up this practice  and switched to judo because the art of kicking and punching proved to be very ineffective in real-life situations. Later on I gave up practicing judo as an art for the same reasons. In my adult life I gave up practicing the art of aikido for similar reasons. Though this art utilizes principles that are sound it does little to subdue a drunk that is flailing about and swinging anything he can get his hands on.

To illustrate the comparison and make the case that I have become the loser I make fun of , I will now talk about the others that have said such similar things. Many have stated that they no longer practice kicking or punching because they have moved on to a more streamlined art. A good example of this is when the mixed martial arts first started. After Gracie started beating everyone with his ground fighting skills many people gave up their stand up arts. At that time the pride fights were indeed great fights. As we watch the sport progress more and more rules were implemented and people gave up more and more techniques until recently I find that mixed martial arts has become a very small world and only employs a handful of techniques. {this comment will anger many that are fans or practice the mma – they will say I am not knowledgeable enough to see the many levels of techniques offered,  but it is my many years of training,  my understanding of the arts as a whole,  my experience that makes me view it as a small world.   They only know that world and don’t see how small it is}. They have given up their traditional striking and much of the groundwork that used to produce wins. Now you see most of the wins with chokes or possibly an arm bar but many are just lucky hits that someone happens to land. As I thought further about things that I have given up such as the practice of forms and very strict ritualized movements it became more and more apparent that I have turned into what I now make fun of.

This would be a good time to refer back to another chapter which I believe was entitled to three people in decision-making or something like that.  in that chapter I spoke about my belief that every problem must be attacked by three people — you must make yourself look at a problem and be three different people within yourself — the person who emotionally wants to — the person who has something to gain or lose by it — and the third person who was neutral and has no emotion or no gain or loss regardless of the outcome. So first I like to look at it from the emotional person — have I walked away from any of these practices because of the emotion? Yes, I guess I have. The emotion of fear. Since I have had the shit kicked out of me trying to defend myself with some of the arts , that weighed heavily on my decision to abandon training in them as a sole art form. From an emotional standpoint I feel my decision to abandon those arts was based entirely on fear — fear of getting beat up or possibly killed if I had to defend myself. The more I got into the security and executive protection realms the more I saw these arts as useless — so I would have to settle on giving them up for the emotion of fear. Next I think about what I had to lose or gain by giving them up. Was my decision based on a selfish reason fueled by greed of self gain or was it a sound decision based on fact? What would I have to gain if I gave these arts up? Well by this time I was starting to think about teaching and if I had not given these arts up it would have been a huge advantage in teaching as everyone these days has a black belt in tae kwon do and the studios have become babysitter factories. So in this case I cannot see any greedy or emotional reason based on personal gain. Actually it was quite the opposite in that choosing to distance myself from these arts I severely limited the people that I would interact with or take on as students. And finally I look at it from the third person who is neutral with nothing to gain or lose and no emotion involved. From this viewpoint we usually see the true reason for most decisions. From this third viewpoint I find that my reason for abandoning these arts was founded on the premise that they did not work for me when I needed them. But still the question remains have I turned into what I make fun of?

As usual I will get off on a bit of a tangent that seems to be off the subject but later will tie it to the point. I think this is a valid chapter that encompasses most every decision in life. Does somebody give up on something because they’re a loser or are they truly founded in moving forward? Let’s look at a college student. I have spoken with many kids at the gym who were constantly telling me that they are changing their majors. They spout off a bunch of reasons why they are constantly changing what they will do for a career and why they have given up on their previous choice. However, they never seem to move forward. Rarely have I ever spoken to anyone who benefits from giving up one thing and going to another. They usually just bounce around and it seems to me they give up when it becomes too difficult and seek an easier path. For instance one kid at the gym first told me he was going to attend medical school. A couple of years later I asked him how it was going and where he had been. He stated that he went off to college a few miles from here but still in the state. I asked him how long it would be before he got into med school and he told me that he had changed his mind. He was not going to be a doctor, now he was going to be a nurse. He spouted many reasons for the credibility of his decision such as not having large loans to repay when he graduates, getting done with school about eight years earlier, getting out of school and immediately starting to make 90,000 per year — all these things sounded like legitimate reasons for his decision and seemed to make sense but I viewed it as being weak and giving up because it was just too hard. He had to know early on what this path entailed and what he was getting into. For him to change his mind after two years of college seemed very weak and showed that he had not thought about his decision. A year later I saw him again when he came home from college on vacation. We started talking and  I asked about his nursing career. He informed me that once again he had changed his mind and now he would become a physical therapist. He spouted reasons again of not having the financial debt when he graduated and getting into the workforce much earlier. But all I saw was a loser seeking an easier path and never completing any of them. It would’ve been much better for him just to abandon college after the first two years and get into the workforce. He will probably not make it to be a physical therapist either and if he does that is a far cry from being a doctor.

Other examples that I see in life are people who are constantly changing their mind about little plans such as diets, home improvements, and my biggest peeve is when they make a plan to get out of debt and just can’t give up anything to achieve their goal. A diet needs no further consideration of explanation — it’s a short subject of the New Year’s resolution or whatever reason people say they will get in better shape and eat better but that only lasts for a couple weeks. Little projects around the house — people make a list, ponder the list, go to Home Depot to look for things that will aid them in their list, but they never actually get down to working on the list. In the end they’re too lazy and they abandon their list. And my favorite, getting out of debt. They say they will adopt new spending habits and a new way of life. They have not really thought about the sacrifice it will take to clear their debt. Many years of careless spending and no discipline cannot be resolved in a matter of weeks. So then starts the long list of excuses of why they cannot get out of debt. Honorable excuses like they’re doing it for the kids or they just need certain things in their lives.  My favorite is the “I deserve” ones like they deserve a good meal after working a long day so they have to go out and drop 200 bucks on dinner or they deserve a vacation because they work so hard. It all comes down to lack of discipline.

So as I lay there pondering if I have become the loser that I despise — after thinking of these examples — which really only took me about 10 minutes while I was laying there trying to get the stiff joints ready to rise– it finally hit me. The loser gives up — gives up for the sake of giving up. The loser gives up because things are too hard or not pleasant in some fashion. In the case of everyday life people abandoned their path because it’s just too hard. In the case of martial arts many people abandon training because they cannot see the use in continuing.  They look for the immediate advantage and never see it as a life long study,  they never give credit to the inner person side.  Many times in martial arts people abandon aspects of a style and incorporate aspects of another style stating that they are following the path of the great Bruce Lee. They justify giving up something comparing themselves to a legend. However, they have no right to do this since they have not followed the path of Bruce Lee.

What these people fail to realize is that Bruce Lee studied complete systems and hand such a raw talent that no one since has ever come close to him.  He was the fastest and moved so naturally.  How can these losers compare themselves to such a legend? They have given up something for the wrong reason. They have abandoned their training because it was too hard to follow a path. I never really hear them backing their decision with legitimate comments about a field that they may be involved in and the art not being suited for that field. Herein lies the difference between a loser who gives up any professional who specializes.

I concluded that my path has not been one of giving up but rather one of specializing. I did not totally abandon the training of my youth and my teens. I stopped practicing those arts as a whole but still practice and teach Many aspects from them. For instance I teach many of the aikido principles as a core foundation. Aikido has its roots in movement and blending. Two things that are extremely important when confronted with a weapon. The tae kwon do and tang soo do utilize blocking and striking that are common to the Japanese karate systems. Though I do not teach the systems as sole systems I do teach the blocking and striking that I learned as a child. It produces a foundation for rooting and gives the student a glimpse into traditional karate. They are easily incorporated into my base system of jujitsu. Now my focus in my adult life is Uechi ryu karate. I have abandoned the karate that I studied in my youth — a Korean style — for an Okinawan style in my adult life. I don’t have the flexibility that I did as a child nor do I have the tender body I once did.  Now I can sustain hits and not be bothered much by it.  Uechi demands physical toughness  and excuses lack of flexibility. The choice has merit.  The difference between the  loser and me is that I studied the systems as a whole. I went through the entire system and back in the 70s getting a black belt was no easy task as it is today. We did not have pads and belts were not just handed out because mommy paid monthly fees. I abandoned those systems for good reason, on the premise of self preservation. Though I am sure there are many practitioners of those arts that can defend themselves adequately, those styles did not work for me. Now at 40 years old I have turned my karate practice to the Okinawan style of Uechi ryu. I have dabbled in Uechi since the mid 90;s when I met the guy who is teaching it to me now.  But my body and mind was not ready for it to be a serious focus then.  The last few years it has been a true study of the art.  I practice the kata daily and have worked on conditioning specific to that art.  It is just the right time in my life for it.  10 years ago I couldn’t do a push up on my index knuckle, now I can rep them out with ease on a thin mat,  my shins are pretty  much dead and strong.  I don’t feel the pain I did 15 years ago.  I find that it is a much more combat effective style and blends easily with what I am already doing. It is a style that demands extreme durability and focuses on hard obliterating striking. It would do the reader well to research Japanese jujitsu and Uechi to better understand my point of combat effectiveness.

There are many things in my life that I have abandoned but few that I have abandoned because I was too weak to continue. I guess one thing that I have abandoned because of the weakness is a diet. When I first found out that I was becoming diabetic my diet was much cleaner than it is now. I just couldn’t go on eating chicken and lettuce every day and not having anything else. As I continued to play the game with my blood work and sneak under the bar of full-blown diabetes I cheat on my diet. This is just weakness — there is no good reason. Thankfully there are  few examples in my life of abandonment because of weakness. In my martial career I have abandoned what I saw as a weakness — I didn’t give it up because of weakness. I specialized in a close quarter fighting system. The more specialized something becomes the less room there is for extraneous things that have little to do with that specialty.

For instance, my training as a youth was more about outside fighting and then in my teens  judo was all about grabbing each other, throwing, and submissions. In my adult life jujitsu has been a combative judo (judo was developed in an effort to keep martial arts alive when jujitsu was outlawed — judo is a sub part of jujitsu). Though I have abandoned judo as a complete art I still teach the throws of the Kodakan and many judo techniques. For as much as I have abandoned the complete art of judo I have broadened my jujitsu. I teach my students judo throws for the sake of knowing judo and the principles of throwing and then modify them to be combative jujitsu throws.

In the end I have taken the systems that I have studied in their entirety and added them to a close quarter fighting style that is based in Japanese jujitsu. The original Japanese jujitsu incorporated much more than what people think of today with mixed martial arts when they hear jujitsu. The original samurai form included blocking, striking, takedowns, joint locks, weapons, throwing, submissions, strangulation, and a repertoire of movement to facilitate true combat. What I have abandoned was for the sake of specializing. I did not just take a few months of something and then claim the path of the great Bruce Lee by stating that I just take what is useful and trim off everything else. I have studied an entire system and incorporated the heart of the system. Unlike others that claim 15 different black belts and their own system of unbeatable fighting, I now only claim one system. My system.  Unlike the others who have spent just a few months trying to get the idea of a system and moving on I have spent years studying a system to truly understand it. Unlike the quitters who now have a bag full of useless techniques and myths, I have a system full of field-tested techniques and hard learned truths.  Each system that I have studied is now part of my jujitsu system. The only thing that is lacking is the forms and a ranking matrix. But at each level in their jujitsu training my students are required to know what is at the heart of each of the other arts.

In conclusion this long wordy spiel has had one point. A loser gives up because it is too hard, the professional gives up what is not useful because he specializes


Posted in special forces training, body guard, judo, tai chi, punching, kicking, blocking, stick fighting, knife fighting, kung fu, ninjutsu,, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 9, 2011 by thebrutalityofreality

it occurred to me that there is little difference between the muscle head on steroids and the jerk off that gets his black belt because dues have been paid and asses kissed. I see the steroid muscle heads every day at the gym. For a few weeks they walk around with their heads held high and their arms out to the side demanding space that they feel they are entitled to. They have a demeaning air about them and let everyone know how big and pumped they are with their screams and grunts. They walk around telling everyone about their magnificent diet and how hard they are hitting it. What really kills me is all the jerks that believe them. People encourage them when they tell them how good they look and the improvements that they see. A typical example is a trainer who suddenly gets larger-than-life with-  veins sticking out all over. Suddenly people are hiring him and everyone is complementing him. They actually believe that he put on such massive size in a couple of weeks because of egg whites and chicken. These members who are so easily impressed are the biggest losers. They do not lift any weight themselves nor do they work out for an extended period of time. They come to the gym sporadically, missing workouts for weeks and then suddenly reappearing stating “I missed the last two weeks so I’m really going to hit it hard this week to make up for it”. No one who is serious can possibly make up for two weeks away from the gym in one week?  Only the loser who doesn’t do much when he’s there anyway isn’t missing that much by taking time off. How can they lose much when they don’t do anything when they are there?


Back to the steroids. These mammoth ass holes walk around feeling superior to everyone for a few weeks, giving advice, and lifting massive amounts of weight. But then suddenly their workout weight goes down and though they are still gargantuan. They are only using a very small amount of weight doing high repetitions but still getting pumped beyond what you would think is humanly possible. It is amazing to watch someone use a 20 pound dumbbell and after about the third rep he is so pumped and his veins are exploding — massive 22 inch arms off that little weight. Like a jerk I am using more than twice that weight and my arms are just tipping 17 or 18 inches on a good week. So they walk around for a couple weeks more with their heads high and arms stuck out to the side while everyone gives them compliments on their tremendous improvement and ask advice from these idiots to aid them in their personal workouts. After a couple of months they are getting smaller but no one seems to really notice. Then suddenly within a couple of weeks they deflate and look like shitt. They stop working out and their arms miraculously go back to their sides as a normal persons would. They walk around with their puny little bodies and stick arms dragging with no energy and telling everyone that they did not have their pre-workout drink and their blood sugar is low because they have not eaten. Yes that must be the reason they are so tired and look so bad. After a week or so you see them trying to work out but the weight that used to be so massive it is now very little and they are struggling. It’s at this point that I always like to ask them if their chicken died. They look at me and I reply “your chicken must’ve died — you’re getting small without the egg whites”.

The black belt is the steroid of today’s dojo. Though it takes longer to get, once they have it they never seem to lose it. Unlike the massive muscle that comes and goes with each cycle the black belt is here to stay. No matter what these people do in life, no matter when they stop training (which is usually right after they get their black belt), no matter what they fail at and how big of a loser they are in life, they will always be able to brag about that black belt. Much like the roid head that takes many pictures when they are at the peak of fitness so the black belt will always refer back to the glory days.   I can’t stand when they have to interject into every conversation “it’s like when I got my blackbelt…. that reminds me of when I was going for my blackbelt…… I used to train hard,  I got my blackbelt and now I just teach”.

what losers,   they stand on that bought belt for everything.

The common thread here is that both live a lie and seek the easy path that requires little or no discipline. One shows up to class the other shows up to the gym. One spends his money buying his black belt the other buying steroids. One walks around for a short time with big muscles that will quickly fade the other gets to keep his black belt forever, but has never really done anything great to get it.  Both have an artificial victory. The other common thing speaks volumes for the stupidity of society. In the gym little weak losers run up to the roid head asking for advice and admiring their artificial victory. The same sort of loser admirers the black belt and boost their egos reaffirming their greatness. How many times have you heard someone — (hope you are not one of these) have a conversation with one of these black belts — somehow it came out that they had this belt — and the loser says to the black belt “I bet you could kill anybody with just a finger — I sure wouldn’t want to screw with you”. What a stupid comment. These people that say that have never been in a fight nor do they have any knowledge to base their comments on. More concerning, why would you want to compliment someone who has taken such an easy path and now holds a piece of material that stands for nothing except weakness? Why doesn’t anyone ever ask what they have to do to get that black belt? It is the ignorance of society. People are conditioned to look at symbols and judge success and failure by those symbols. Someone who has a trophy for sparring that has many colors on it, a big plaque that says first place, is considered a hero. Yet many times these first-place winners are the only one in their group and there is no one else for them to compete with. Since there is no one else in the group they are guaranteed the first spot. Sometimes there is only two people guaranteeing one will get first and one will get second. But none of this ever comes up, people only see the black belt and give admiration and respect to these losers. Every time one of these losers is given respect for the sham of their black belt, it is disrespectful to those of us who have spent many years following the path and suffered many injuries training.  The ones who have sacrificed, never missed training, the few who live a true martial life should be honored, not the shithead that gets his blackbelt in a couple of years.

The same is true for the gym. The few of us who show up daily and lift a good amount of weight naturally without the use of drugs should be held in higher regard than the steroid user who was only on top every few weeks and then quickly shrinks. Why are the few who actually put the work in never given the respect for taking the harder slower path than the ones who cheat? They recently had a squatting competition at the gym. Everyone got all juiced up and looked massive. Yet with all those drugs the winning squat was only 375. In my 20’s I could easily squad in the high fours and sometimes into the 500’s. I remember at 25 I wanted to see how much weight I could actually do and I put 725 pounds on the bar. Though I only got halfway down I was routinely doing this for five or six reps which made going to the ground with 400 pounds pretty easy. But there is no glory in all my hard work, only bad knees. The steroid heads with massive amounts of drugs could only get 375 — what losers.  And to add insult to injury they walked around actually proud of themselves.  How could they not feel stupid.  Now 2 weeks later they are all shrinking by the day.  Every one of them has the same story about not taking the pre workout drink and “cutting up” .  Yeah they will cut up without the drugs since they looked like balloons.  They were so juiced up.   But that just shows how stupid everyone else is and how this country applauds the loser and strives to be a loser.    Just look around,  this country is full of jerks who try their hardest to be  the biggest scum bag they can.  Instead of telling groups who dress like slobs and fail to pronounce their words correctly to be better,  they admire these low lifes and emulate them.  Hey, lets all walk around holding our pants up under our ass cheeks,  yeah that’s cool,   let’s not speak well ,  lets use all that street slang.   Why won’t anyone show pride in their education:?     it’s whore not ho,   and there is an “L” AND “D” in gold,  old,  and so on.   It is OLD SCHOOL   NOT owe skoo.    glad I don’t have kids that have to live in this world.

I bet if you look around you can find many examples of things that can be compared to the gym rat on steroids. People who get promoted because of politics — people who never get in trouble at their job and they are the worst workers. The best workers who get in trouble for little piddling nothings — and people who were passed over for promotions and never find success yet they are truly deserving of it. It is the world of today and it sucks. People are praised for artificial victories — for taking the short easy path because they are too weak to follow the path of the warrior. While I have been dictating this I have been watching a mixed martial arts segment. There is no question that these guys are in great shape and are great competitors. But let’s call a spade a spade — it is a sport. When it first started with the pride fights there were no gloves and no rules. Those were fights these are just competitions. People ask me why I am not in them if I am so skilled. If I am such a great teacher why my students do not go in there and win. That is not what we do. We are a close quarter engagement school — win for the sake of survival and win within a force matrix. In the ring everyone does the same thing and many victories are just lucky strikes or someone caught off guard, but there is always a referee to pull somebody off the loser. They do not have to worry about working within a matrix to avoid lawsuits. In real life I do not want to fall on the ground and roll around for 10 minutes hoping to find an opening and worrying that somebody’s friend may kick my head off. In real life you cannot hold somebody and do the “ground and pound” as a witness will be your worst enemy when you have a lawsuit against you. In real life it takes a lot of skill to control an aggressor and still be within the law. Actually being right with the law is the biggest challenge not winning the fight.

So look around you, I bet in your office or somewhere in your daily routine there are at lease two or three people who have a black belt and it most likely is in tae kwon do. Sadly that art has become the example of money belts and babysitting. Somewhere around you there is someone who looks really good and tells everyone how hard they work out — they are probably all drugged up. When you open your eyes and look around the world is a pretty sad place full of weakness and frauds. It will get you depressed and people will tell you that you are negative for seeing the truth but if you just open your eyes and look around, you will have to acknowledge this truth.  If you don’t see it you are probably one of them.  If you honestly look around,  and if you are not a weak minded whimp always looking for the positive shit to hide from the bad things,  I bet within one hour of reading this you can find at least one person that you thought well of and now see as a fraud. I find it to be a very positive thing to focus on the negative. I find strength in being aware of the steroids at the gym — it makes me drive harder and gives me more pride that I can do what I do with only a jug of coffee. By  looking at the black belt frauds and how weak they are, I find strength to train hard and not to become them.

Too bad everyone looks the other way.  If more people told these shit heads they were losers,  maybe a few of them would change.   The rules of society are made by society.  If there are more weak losers than strong winners,  the norm will be that of weakness.  Make it your business to compliment the true winner and tell the losers they are losers.  Don’t compliment anyone for their cheating , weak ways.   Don’t ad to the mix of crap out there.

There is only success and failure,  like someone who wants to lose weight and does or someone who tries and only takes off a couple of pounds.   Don’t applaud the “at least it’s better than nothing” crowd.

second place is only the first place loser.

I think any comments of your personal experience after reading this chapter would be beneficial to other readers. I would encourage a reply of comments.


Posted in special forces training, body guard, judo, tai chi, punching, kicking, blocking, stick fighting, knife fighting, kung fu, ninjutsu, with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 15, 2011 by thebrutalityofreality

everyone puts too much emphasis on the just find and forgets about the unconscious mind. In martial arts there is much talk about the unconscious mind that is responsible for directing movement and where the learning takes place. Many people preach that a movement that is done 1000 times becomes a perfect movement. The old adage is “do it 1000 times and you own it”. The other very popular saying is “I don’t worry about the guy with 1000 moves, I worry about the guy with one move who did it 1000 times”. In either case they leave out something very important. What if you practice something 1000 times and you’re doing it wrong? Well, that just means that you track the something 1000 times incorrectly and now you have the perfect habit of doing it wrong. These sayings have little meaning in today’s weak minded world. Increasingly, people in the martial arts world, or in society as a whole, stand on old teachings and bastardized them to fit their pathetic lives and hide their failures.

The point is we all have a knowledge that tells us maybe something is wrong or we can do it differently, but most are too lazy to explore it.   If a project turns out wrong, someone says they had a feeling it was going wrong,  they knew, they were just to lazy to really think about it and fix it.

The subconscious tells us things with “gut feelings”.   In the case of martial arts, we must pay attention to every little thing.  We must ask why something is valid or not.   We must always “feel’ what we are doing.   I try to discover something every class or at least once monthly.   This sounds easy or common,   everyone says they learn something every class,  but It is really hard.   It requires a lot of time just pondering something.   When I’m at the gym, many times I just sit there between sets doing something in my mind.  It looks like useless day dreaming but it’s training.  Most are too weak and lack discipline to keep an active mind.  They talk about sports or other useless “feel good” things, but to actively engage your mind when you could just be sitting there is really a lot of work.  It’s hard.  Hard to stay on that active path.   Try it.   Next time you have a moment, take a conscious look at what you are doing with that time.   Probably texting or looking online.  You should be thinking about some physophical point or going over something in great detail.  It is exhausting.   Think about all the time that is wasted just staring at stuff.   All the time in a job wasted planning to make a plan.   Only thru a disciplined mind that is always searching can we find what we already know.

I like to do kata in a mirror but also with my eyes closed.   Both are so very different.   Then I like to practice moves or bunkai by myself in the dark.  A totally dark room.   Though no room is totally dark as light comes thru cracks and under doors, -but looking into the dark , -that seems endless- in a small room with many obstacles is far different from just closing your eyes.   Just a few examples of challenging what you are doing and it brings up questions.

You get the idea.   We all seem to know something is wrong, not really the best, not “something” or it is “something”,  you just can’t put your finger on it.   The unconscious knowledge is there but it takes great effort to use it and release it.

This is a hard subject to explore.  It takes a reader who is willing to open their mind.   A lazy reader won’t get it.

Let’s just ponder a couple of common examples of closed minded practice in martial arts.

Case one: a student practices a front punch 1000 times. He watched the instructor (notice I said in instructor and not teacher) and did it exactly as the instructor showed it. Now he studies for 10 years attaining high rank and gains many titles within his school. He may win competitions and demonstrate perfect form as far as the judges are concerned. However, through the years while practicing his perfect punches he never actually practiced any punching that was very real. Now with all his training the day comes when he has to engage in a real street fight and has perfect punch only gets him a broken wrist and ass kicking. He can’t understand why his perfect punch that was practiced 1000 times did not save him. The reason is that he never practiced it for real, in a real setting, with a real person, and most of all he never pondered all the “what if’s”.  He never practiced punching without his safety gear such as craps and gloves — he never bareknuckle sparred so when the time came for him to engage in such activity, he was not prepared

Case two the grappler: the grappler works his moves 1000 times and feels that he can take down anyone. He is so confident that he has convinced himself that no standup fighter could beat him. In class he routinely takes everyone down with ease and is unbeatable. He has practiced all the moves from all the positions at least 1000 times each. Then the day comes when he has to fight outside of his class and with all his skill one lucky punch sends him to the floor and everyone laughs at him.

Before I get to the issue of unconscious knowledge I must make a point about the thousand repetitions. It is only valuable to practice something over and over if you practice it correctly. A subject for another chapter is how people practice incorrectly and just developed a bad habit. This is the fault of the instructor. A true teacher would not let his students make such mistakes. However, the true teacher must be aware of unconscious knowledge and teach his students to think in that manner.

One of the biggest things separating the true master from just an idiot who can do a lot of flashy crap is being aware of unconscious knowledge. When executing a move — whether it is a throw, a punch, or just a simple slight movement of any kind, a true master must be aware of the slightest  movement and reaction within his own being. Let’s just explore taking a step. The untrained moron would describe it as putting 1 foot in front of the other. Let’s jump deeper into a psychological standpoint and ponder what a neurosurgeon would say is involved in taking one step. He would explain how  your brain would fire signals to your muscles — all the synapse that fire and how your body interprets electrical charges. Of course his explanation would be much deeper- let’s stick to our subject of unconscious knowledge. The fact that you can open your mind and know that all these things occur before you even make a movement is your greatest wisdom. If you do not explore anatomy and study the nervous systems how will you ever know how the body works? A doctor who is very knowledgeable of biomechanics would have a totally different explanation explaining in detail all the physical things that happen when you take a step. All these things are important and are unconsciously made known to us in our daily lives. It is nearly impossible in this age of technology not to know something happens beyond 1 foot in front of another. Unconsciously we all know this, but consciously we do not delve into the subject and seek the answers of why things are.  As related to martial arts it is the secret to the secret techniques, as related to life…. it’s the discipline and imagination of great minds.

So in reference to case one and two, both practitioners most likely had an unconscious knowledge of the many flaws in their technique. They must have  known that a cheap shot from an unseen enemy would end the fight and crush them — they must have known subconsciously that a bullet could take their life — there are endless unconscious things that we all know but never think about consciously. The master, on the other hand, makes the unconscious knowledge his conscious world. In my own path I have always looked for ways to defeat a technique. I put more emphasis on exposing its flaws rather than working on it strengths.  It is through this way of thinking that I have uncovered many flaws in the traditional and new techniques. Times change and we must change with them. But we must not lose the value of training the traditional way even if it is for the sake of tradition only.

Unconsciously people knew for thousands of years that if metal was heated or if something caught fire it produced light yet it took someone — someone who question why this happened and what materials produced what type of glow or light to invent the light bulb. Many people had an unconscious knowledge that heating the material would cause a light yet it was only one scientist who experimented — questioned — what materials produced what type of light and the light bulb was born. Any invention that is great seems so simple after we see the invention. For instance how simple is the wheel and how great is the invention itself. Unconsciously early man must have seen a rock  roll or a tree fall down and roll down a hill. Unconsciously the knowledge was there but it took someone who was willing to explore their own mind and their own observations to actually invent the wheel. The wheel must have been invented many times over all around globe. I find it hard to believe that early man invented a wheel in one spot and from that one person — that one source it spread throughout the world with the limited technology and travel they had. Anything that has been invented has been from an unconscious knowledge. Think of all the things you don’t know you know. All that hidden talent — all the things you don’t know you can do. This is the essence of becoming the master. By questioning and experimenting and opening your mind you become the master.

Sometimes it only takes a suggestion to push someone in a direction and then once that direction is seen they can be their own teacher. For instance if you give someone a tool and just give them a hint as to what it can do and leave them alone — if they are determined — they will come up with many more uses for it. Such is the case with this chapter. I feel that a direction has been shown and without expounding any more on the subject a basis has been given that will allow the reader to explore their own feelings and unconscious knowledge. I bet there are many things right now flooding your mind — questions that you never had and thoughts you never bothered to think about. If I have opened the door for you to ponder the things that you don’t know and question things that you have taken as an absolute than I have been successful.

It takes an intelligent person to have an intelligent thought — a person with no drive will just think whatever they are told to think-they will take things at face value and never question them. So if you have read this and feel that there was not enough material provided or that the thoughts were incomplete and did not give an answer — if you haven’t finished this with questions on your mind and a willingness to answer them for yourself — then you are an idiot and too lazy to figure anything out. I hope this is not the case with anyone who has read this. It seems that people who read sites like this are in search of knowledge and have the mental fortitude to ponder things openly. But look around you and you will see all the weak minded losers that a subject like this is invisible to. If you ask them a question to get them thinking they will probably respond that they have better things to think about — like a sporting event that is about to come on TV.

Everything is learned in the unconscious brain. We don’t have to think about breathing or making our heartbeat — our blood circulates freely without our conscious thought. Most everything we do is an unconscious maneuver or action. The trick is to learn something new consciously and then plant in your unconscious mind so that it becomes part of you. That is the true journey to becoming the master. Any idiot can do something wrong 1000 times and then learn it wrong. Anyone can perform while there are people watching them or it is a specific class or forum that they are performing in. Only the true master makes everything that he studies part of him — part of his unconscious knowledge.


Posted in special forces training, body guard, judo, tai chi, punching, kicking, blocking, stick fighting, knife fighting, kung fu, ninjutsu,, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 14, 2011 by thebrutalityofreality

this  would be another great chapter to write about.   when will you react and when you will you just be alert and passive?   i have been caught many times unaware and though nothing has happened for the most part i would have been defenseless.  other times i was so aware and ready that a pin dropping would have set me in motion.     i have come to believe that you must always first assess where you are and before you go there make your decision and get your mindset.  example,   when i go to the movies i take some weapon, mainly 2 knives a pepper spray and a small flashlight.   if something happens in the movies, there are only 2 exits , front or back,  you may have a crazy nut who just starts shooting and you have to take cover,   the spray could be the best weapon to shoot from cover and disappear,  or you may be attacked,   you need the light even if it’s just to see what you are sitting in.    try making your decision on your demeanor before you get there.   every place at every time will be different.   keep in mind how you feel and what your ability is at the time.    you may not be well enough to engage.
mainly look for available exits, how many you think will be attacking, what weapons you will have and what is allowed.  your physical and mental status,  who you are with.  you may have to put more emphasis on protection of another than on engaging.   or you may be able to just fight and not worry about anyone else.  terrain, obstacles.    time and place,   are you in a place likely to have trouble,  are you credible to take action or will you be looked at as a nut.  what is the response time for help to arrive and what is there function,  can they actually do anything to neutralize the threat or are they just an over weight out of shape manager who won’t do anything to help you.    if you use a weapon such as a knife are you going to be to aggressive in the eyes of the law,   multiple weapons give you choices.
so back to the original question,   make your decision early how you will react to what.  run some scenarios based on intellect and experience.  assess the “real” threat level of each and act on that info.  in the movies be really alert.  there are too many variables.  you don’t know who is there.  maybe someone just broke up and they are suicidal.  maybe a drunk homeless guy wants to end it all and take you with him.   drugs, kids,  pranks,   too many things could go wrong and no one is there to help you.   in a restaurant, the chances are very low,   maybe a bar fight or a robbery.  but generally you won’t be affected.
The only way you will have the slightest idea of what you will do and how you will react is training.  You must train in your mind all the time.
Only becoming familiar with the engagement can prepare you for the actual encounter.  As you live it in your mind,  you should discover flaws in your plan.  Correct them and do it again.


Posted in special forces training, body guard, judo, tai chi, punching, kicking, blocking, stick fighting, knife fighting, kung fu, ninjutsu,, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 14, 2011 by thebrutalityofreality
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Rhino #4 The Basics

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RA Miller 

Joined: 14 Apr 2000
Posts: 578
Location: Ptld OR USA


Assaults happen closer, faster, more suddenly and with more power than most people can understand.

Closer: Most self-defense drills are practiced at an optimum distance where the attacker must take at least a half step to contact. This gives techniques like blocks enough time to have an effect. You rarely have this time or this distance in an assault. Give some thought to how your technique will work if there is no room to turn or step. Remember that the attacker always chooses the range and the location, and will pick a place and position that hampers your movements.

Faster: When your martial arts students are sparring, use a stop watch and time how many blows are thrown in a minute. Even in professional boxing, the number is not that impressive. Then time how many times you can hit a heavy bag in a second. Eight to ten times a second is reasonable for a decent martial artist. An assault is more like that. Because the threat has chosen a time when the victim is off-guard, he can attack all-out with no thought of defense. A competent martial artist who is used to the more cautious timing of sparring is completely unprepared for this kind of speed. You can strike ten times a second. You can’t block ten times a second.

More suddenly: An assault is based on the threat’s assessment of his chances. If he can’t get surprise, he often won’t attack. Some experts will say that there is always some intuitive warning. Possibly, but if the warning was noted and heeded, the attack would be prevented. When the attack happens, it is always a surprise.

More power: There is a built-in problem with all training. You want to recycle your partners. If you or your students hit as hard as they can every time they hit you will quickly run out of students. The average criminal does not hit as hard as a good boxer or karateka can hit, but they do hit harder than the average boxer (because of gloves) or karateka has ever felt. More often than not, the first strike in an ambush lands. Fighting with a concussion is much different than sparring.
The Dream is damned,
And Dreamer too,
If Dreaming’s all
That Dreamers do.

Post Wed Sep 08, 2004 8:23 pm
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Van Canna 

Joined: 11 Mar 1999
Posts: 10075


What you wrote “hits the nail on the head” _

This has been precisely the criticism of our prearranged work with a view to self-defense ideation as opposed to simply a sparring tool and general sharpening of rote technique.



Closer: Most self-defense drills are practiced at an optimum distance where the attacker must take at least a half step to contact. This gives techniques like blocks enough time to have an effect. You rarely have this time or this distance in an assault.

Van Canna

Post Thu Sep 09, 2004 9:00 am
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Van Canna 

Joined: 11 Mar 1999
Posts: 10075



Remember that the attacker always chooses the range and the location, and will pick a place and position that hampers your movements.

I find this to be totally denied and misunderstood.

The tendency in students’ minds is to replicate an attack which mimics their prearranged training.
Van Canna

Post Thu Sep 09, 2004 9:02 am
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Van Canna 

Joined: 11 Mar 1999
Posts: 10075



Then time how many times you can hit a heavy bag in a second. Eight to ten times a second is reasonable for a decent martial artist.

An assault is more like that. Because the threat has chosen a time when the victim is off-guard, he can attack all-out with no thought of defense.

A competent martial artist who is used to the more cautious timing of sparring is completely unprepared for this kind of speed. You can strike ten times a second. You can’t block ten times a second.

Again, this goes to the “block mentality” that for the most part I find useless.
Van Canna

Post Thu Sep 09, 2004 9:05 am
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Joined: 21 Aug 2000
Posts: 310
Location: Waltham, ma.

Re: Rhino #4 The Basics 


Originally posted by RA Miller Eight to ten times a second is reasonable for a decent martial artist. … You can strike ten times a second. You can’t block ten times a second.

I totally agree witht he point you’re making about attacks overwhelming defense, but I’ll admit I’m surprised at the figure 8-10 times a second.
What kind of punches are these?

I’ve tried flurrying at bags and in air, with various kinds of punches, just to see how fast I can go and never get anywhere close to that. But maybe I’m not a decent martial artist. Smile I’d love to learn how to throw a series of strong punches with that kind of speed.
– Justin Powell

Post Thu Sep 09, 2004 9:39 am
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