Meditation Point #34

Sensei Posted in A Zen Thing, Quotes
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On the day you are born, you begin to die. Do not waste a single moment more.
— Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

This is not meant as a justification to rush through your life focused only on your goals or perceived purpose as many might take it. We’ve all met people like that, to busy for anyone. No this is really saying cherish each moment…stop and smell the roses. But most of all don’t waste you life on petty, meaningless things. Meaningless can mean different things to different people however that doesn’t mean you are correct! …what?! We like to fool ourselves, we like to wrap ourselves in the blanket of our ego so we can feel important that our life means something or so that we feel like part of something. News flash…no matter how good you are, you’re replaceable. Be true to yourself and start by improving life with a smile and a kind word, the rest will follow. And remember we don’t have to be ‘part of something’ to give life meaning…we are all part of something great already…life and the human race!

Be Aware at all times…

Sensei Posted in Identity Theft
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Police in Montreal have arrested nine people that allegedly used rigged payment terminals to skim debit cards and steal customer’s PINs. The gang is thought to have stolen millions of dollars from 18,000 customer bank accounts. The criminals targeted convenience stores and petrol stations and bribed shop staff to install fake payment terminals which skimmed debit cards and recorded PINs. Local press reports say the gang included a call center employee who worked for a subcontractor to French bank Mouvements Desjardins and is alleged to have sold customer data to the scammers, such as dates of births. Source
Here is a perfect example of how even when we do all the right things we can still fall victim to crime. Even someone highly aware would have a difficult time protecting themselves against this identity attack. When criminals have insider support for a crime like this you might as well walk into a carefully planned ambush! All you can do is hope to recover well. Don’t forget to check your statements and bills every month for unusual or unknown entries, even small ones!! Good luck out there…

Academic Skills

Sensei Posted in Articles of Interest
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This is going to sound harsh to some… I was surfing a Martial Arts organization site (to remain unnamed) and came across this survey:
percentage calculation
Hopefully you see what is wrong here… Percentages should add up to 100%, not more or less! I’m pretty sure what this program is doing wrong is showing the count for each and adding a percentage sign. Fairly easy mistake if you are not checking the output of the programs you are using. I draw attention to this because A) it is amusing (to me) and B) this is a problem I run into routinely in day to day interactions…problems with percentages. Percentages are a form of very basic math with we should all have mastery over. Percentages are a basic part of our daily lives (tests, sales, etc). Yet many of people have trouble calculating what 10% of something is without a calculator. This is embarrassing for the person and anyone around who knows how to make the calculation. So where am I going with this?…

The emphasis we put on education especially math has deteriorated mostly due to fear of math and dislike of math. Fear of math is typically founded in lack of understanding. Dislike of math is usually a product of bad teachers OR laziness. Harsh? Yes, but true, I know from experience. Our schools are failing us and our children. We as martial artists are failing our students as part of that education equation. Math is very much a part of the Martial Arts but it is typically ignored. When was the last time you or your instructor spoke to you of vectors or the weight of a portion of the exam? If that doesn’t make sense then you demonstrated my point!

What to do?! Well we can first start to demand some accountability of our teachers and school systems. I’m not talking ‘No Child Left Behind’ I mean checking the work of our teachers and schools. As Martial Artists we have unique opportunities as role models for children, we can promote much more then the physical and “spiritual” aspects of the students development. Math is all around us, especially in the Martial Arts.

We are failing our children…Think of it this way, for all the effort and energy and emphasis the USA puts on sports shouldn’t we be the world leaders in every sport? How have we done in the last few Olympics? The World Cup? While sports are very important they must remain secondary to academic skills. A hard truth for a group who’s passion is a physical activity…the Martial Arts. But think of it this way, the ancient masters could not have developed the Martial Arts if they did not have a sound understanding of the principles of Math and Physics. So tell your students about math, get them interested maybe even give them an assignment!

Meditation Point #33

Sensei Posted in A Zen Thing, Quotes
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You are lost the instant you know what the result will be!
— Juan Gris.

This reminds me of one of my favorite movie scenes in The Replacements when they talk about quicksand. Slightly different twist but same meaning. It is similar to what I tell me students, if you think about walking down the stairs you will trip (disclaimer: trying this may result in serious of lethal injury, so do not! You have been warned!). Seriously thinking about walking will even trip you up, not walking in general but how you do it. It is a natural almost motor act and if you think about it it messes up the ‘natural’ flow. I know there is a much deeper Zen meaning here but I’m a practical guy and I don’t like to trip when I’m walking!! So the next time you know what the result will be (especially in the sparring ring)…STOP, look away and whatever you do don’t think!

The Trials of Training

Sensei Posted in Training notes
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Some days it is difficult to get up let alone exercise! Then there is training, training is much more then exercise it is a much more serious commitment. Exercise keeps you in decent shape and with luck away from the doctors office. Training is goal driven and much more intense. Training is not something you do casually 3 times a week, training consumes most of your time and your thoughts. Training means you think, before every meal or snack, about the impact the food you are looking at will have on your training efforts. Training means never finding an excuse to skip a workout or training session. It is no wonder that most people/professional athletes have trainers!! Without a trainer it can be all to easy to take a break or not push yourself that extra bit you need to progress. Sometimes when we train we use the buddy system to guilt us into training. A good buddy wants out as bad as you do some days but won’t admit it because you won’t! Now that’s motivation…self-imposed peer pressure!
Over the years I have worked with some pretty amazing people both amazingly good and amazingly bad! With the amazingly good people there was never a question of pushing me to far or not far enough. There was a harmony in our mutual efforts. With the bad ‘partners’ they would either push to hard or barely at all, either whimping out or giving way to many excuses. These were good people but they just wanted to exercise, not train! For the past few years I have been going it alone, my schedule doesn’t allow for a training partner actually my schedule doesn’t really allow for training…until now. I’ve realized that I have only been exercising lately and I miss training badly. So I am saying it here and now for all to hear, I’ve become what I loath…a bad training partner! Luckily I am not training with anyone! 🙂 But I have been fooling myself for far to long and giving myself far to many excuses and free rides. It is funny how we can do that…fool ourselves. Equally publicly I am say this…no more!! I will avoid the pitfalls of laziness and drive myself like I know I can for only then will I succeed. So wish me luck for tomorrow is a new day and I will create a new day!

Meditation Point #32

Sensei Posted in A Zen Thing, Quotes
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Life is not about finding yourself,
Life is about creating yourself!
— Unknown

There is to much truth here to comment on…think about it!

Meditation Point #31

Sensei Posted in A Zen Thing, Quotes
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If you ask me anything I don’t know, I’m not going to answer.
— Yogi Berra

‘Battle of the Arts’ Results

Sensei Posted in Competition
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From Milford, MA, USA.
This past weekend the Milford Studio of Self Defense held the second annual “Battle of the Arts” competition. The tournament brought martial artists from Massachusetts and New Hampshire together, pitting the Korean art of Hapkido against two Kempo/Kenpo styles. Twenty-four students placed first through third in sparring, forms and self defense techniques. The grand championship went to Rose Kimba after narrowly beating Mark Cabral both of the Milford Studio. Other sponsors for the event included black belt instructors Ron Ortla, of TMI Self Defense Hapkido of Medway, and Laura Lyon’s Shaolin Kempo Karate of Franklin.
Did you attend the “Battle of the Arts” competition? If so write a comment reviewing the event!

Trust Your Partner…?!

Sensei Posted in Fun Stuff
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Well I’m not a big fan of Mondays so I thought I would start it on a lighter note this week. Like yesterday’s clip this was to funny to not pass on! While very amusing it does drive home an important message about trust when working with a partner no matter what you are doing…but especially in the sparring ring or in this case during a Ninja raid! Hope you enjoy this as much as I did! 🙂

Happy Father’s Day

Sensei Posted in Fun Stuff,Tags: , , ,
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This was to funny to pass up! Hope you enjoy this timeless classic 🙂