Afraid of what?

ktadmin Posted in A Zen Thing, Awareness, Quotes, State of Mind,Tags: , , , , , ,
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You can do anything if you’re not afraid.  – from the movie “Daredevil” (2003)

Well almost anything.  Let us remember this is a quote from a movie.  And not a very good movie either starring Ben Affleck.  Regardless the quote bares further contemplation.

Everyone is afraid of something, unless they are insane.  Some are afraid of the dark, some water, some spiders or snakes.  Even the most fearless warrior is afraid of something, even if he never shows it.  There is a difference between being afraid and appearing afraid.  Each has its place.  Fear is a normal response to things that are new, unexpected or we have been conditioned to fear.  I’ll admit it, I am afraid of spiders.  My fear stems from being forced, by my parents, into a spiderweb filled storage crawl space under my childhood home 2-3 times a year.  I had to crawl into the 3 foot high, dirt floor space a good 4 feet to reach the chain on the light.  There were spiders everywhere.  Even though I know where my fear comes from and I can mostly control it, and I understand spiders aren’t usually the bad guys, the fear is still there.  You won’t know it if you throw one in my lap, but my pulse will elevate!

Controlling fear is the key to success.  When we spar we begin with a fear of being hit, this leads us to flinch and thereby typically lose the match.  As we train and gain more self-control we learn to control our fear and thereby our flinch, so we might begin to win a few matches.  The fear however is constant as hopefully no one likes to get hit.  The fear will lessen but that is because we are masters of the fear instead of the fear mastering us.  The path to self-control and controlling your fear starts with an act of sheer will, the decision that you are not going to flinch or run screaming like a girl!  (Sorry girls)

There you have it, boil it all down and fear is a decision.  Following the Sept 11th attack on the World Trade Centers, many of the people trapped in the buildings chose not to be afraid of what they knew was about to happen.  Instead a few of them called loved ones to share a final moment, one such caller was described as calm.  I am sure others were consumed by fear, for themselves or their loved ones.  None of us can say with honesty or certainty how we would react in a similar situation.  We react to fear based on the situation, on our state of mind, on so many factors, but if we train to control our fears beginning in the sparring ring we will be better equip to face and handle our fears when they catch us unaware.

If you are a person of faith I would add fear, like worry, is a lack of faith.

Consequences

ktadmin Posted in Awareness, Video,Tags: , ,
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Our actions have consequences and those consequences impact lives.  I have seen families destroyed, friends dead, and crippled.  Recently a friend was seriously injured as the result of someone else’s actions.  Recovering from surgery his life may never be the way it was.  Fortunately in this case no children were involved.  Consequences impact lives, sometime those of innocent bystanders.  This 1 minute video should give us all pause to reflect on the consequences of our actions.

Notice there is plenty of blame to go around, actions, consequences.

Controlling your Body

ktadmin Posted in Awareness, Control, Technique, Training notes,Tags: , , ,
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The main focus of the Martial Arts is control.  Control of yourself, your body and your situation.  Perfecting a technique or Kata is all about being aware of your bodies position and controlling your bodies movements.  This awareness and control translates into the sparring ring allowing you to become aware of your opponents movements, patterns and ultimately vulnerabilities.  It all starts with control of your own body and movements.  The following video is an excellent example of a man who is in total control of his body and aware of it’s position and movements.  It is not a martial art demonstration but dubstep dancing, watch and be amazed…

The point to sharing this video is control starts with practice if you want to perfect any discipline or technique.  Whether it is Karate, Ballet, Mathematics, a musical instrument or Knitting it all starts with practice.  Practice takes perseverance to find success, so commit to practising everyday so you can find your control and perfection.  You won’t regret it!

The 2nd Ammendment

ktadmin Posted in Articles of Interest, Awareness, Law Enforcement, News, Politics, Self-Defense, Video,Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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Think you know what the 2nd amendment is for, think the world safe, think you know what you are talking about?  Invest 7 minutes, watch the video and perhaps you will be able to answer these questions honestly.  Or you can remain blind and deceived by the lord of lies and his minions…

IF only our citizens would elect someone with this much honesty and fortitude.  Alas we would rather elect a celebrity than a leader or statesman.  How blind are ‘we the people’ that we continue to be so short sighted…

PS:  I’ve been looking for a reason to use the world minions!!

Gun Grab…I mean Control!

ktadmin Posted in Awareness, Law Enforcement, News, Self-Defense,Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
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I wish I had more time to write on this topic as I (like most people) could write volumes of intelligent articles to battle the emotional response under-informed citizens seem caught up in.  Since I don’t have a ton of spare time right now I wanted to share this video that covers all the major bases and mentions my home state, Connecticut!

Enjoy and please post your comments and opinions here so we can have a conversation or flame war, your choice 😉

Gun Control

ktadmin Posted in Articles of Interest, Awareness, News, Self-Defense, Video, Weapons,Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
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I’ve remained silent for a while now, out of respect for the dead and because I don’t like exploiting situations like this.  Unfortunately those who support gun control have no problem sensationalizing, over reporting, and frankly traumatizing the public with stories like these.  They have been at it for years, they will be at it for years to come.  Who wants gun control?  The uninformed and those who do not like the idea that you may be able to stand against the things they believe in.  Fascists, communists, socialists and progressives like gun control, history teaches us this.  Unfortunately we are living in a period of history where we (the collective we) have forgotten the lessons of history and begun to believe that we are better than our predecessors, more civilized.   These people think things turn bad quickly with easy to spot signs.  History teaches us differently.  From antiquity the story always plays out the same and unfortunately it always has the same ending, death and enslavement.  There are many different forms of slavery, they all begin with fear.  Guns level the playing field.  The age old mantra of gun control proponents is that if we have no guns society will be a a safer place.  Reality could not be further from that belief.

Let us say that we could in fact remove ALL of the guns from society, including those that the criminals have.  That would be utopia, no?  I mean crime would go down, no more crazy people shooting up schools and theatres and such…right?  Wrong.  So the criminals are disarmed does that mean they will suddenly become law abiding citizens?  No it does not.  But now they have the advantage.  How?  Well guns have an equalizing effect on society.  You see a 70 year old man being attacked by a 20-30 year old attacker is going to lose in 99% of the cases.  What choice do the defenseless (the children, the seniors, the women, the weak, the timid) have but to submit under gun control?  NONE.  Think about the defenseless group of “the weak” for a moment, that group might include a 6 foot 5 inch man who weighs 300 pounds, if he is confronted by 4-5 thugs with baseball bats.  The defenseless become anyone who is a law abiding citizen.  The criminals know this, the police know this, the politicians know this, they are banking on the fact that you won’t realize this.

Facts.  People who want gun control HATE FACTS.  They are emotional beings not willing to admit that bad things happen and life is often unfair and cut short.  They do not want to solve the problem, they want to feel better.  Unfortunately for them, only after we loose our freedom with they realize their mistake.  Anyone who ignores all facts and rationalizes away anything that conflicts with their ideas, is probably… well probably suffering from some sort of insanity.  I know that will make some cringe, but that is part of the problem.  Evil relies on the fact that “good”, nice people are willing to try to find compromise.  Good people do not compromise when the facts are on their side.  If they did, we would be drinking a lot more tea today!

Now that I have said most of my peace, I want to share a few videos that present a few different perspectives and some clarity on several issue I have not touched on.

Let’s start with the facts about the current gun control move, a decent presentation without the sensationalized coverage:

Next let’s look at the facts and a case study of a country, not unlike America, that has implemented gun control, Australia.  How has that been working out for them?  See for yourself:

Let’s see what Ice-T had to say about gun control after the 2012 shooting in Denver, CO.

I’ve already liked Ice-T, not necessarily a fan of his music but he is now one of my favorite people in Hollywood!

This slightly choppy, computer generate cartoon seems to cover every argument for gun control:

And of course probably my favorite, because it spoofs what the left wants but isn’t willing to do, live now be the rules they want to impose on all of us.  I think those in favor of Gun Control should implement this in their work and home immediately.  They could even label their cars!!  That would show how much support there is for gun control!  Take a look:

And the real reason we MUST fight Gun Control, to defend our liberty and our freedom.  Don’t believe it is possible:

For those not willing to understand history and not willing to look around the world with their eyes wide open, Gun Control may seem like a good idea.  To the rest of us, we understand that America is the last stand of freedom in the world, the last protector of liberty.

Results – Get Some

ktadmin Posted in Awareness, Questions, State of Mind, Training notes,Tags: , , ,
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The image says it all.  Think about it and then truly ask yourself if you are doing the work to get the results you want?

Happy Thoughts

ktadmin Posted in A Zen Thing, Awareness, Quotes, State of Mind,Tags: , , , ,
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To think bad thoughts is really the easiest thing in the world. If you leave your mind to itself it will spiral down into ever increasing unhappiness.
To think good thoughts, however, requires effort.
This is one of the things that discipline – training – is about.

James Clavell, in his novel “Shogun”

I read this book as a young man and have to say it is still one of my favorite novels.  At the time I was training very hard in Karate and this novel steeped me even further in the history and culture of old Japan, brutal, savage yet elegant.  Today I teach students in the art of Karate and hopefully Life.  I am an avid observer of the world and I see increasing negativity in general.  One of the aspects of how I train my students is control of themselves and their minds.  The above quote goes to the root of my teachings (though I never connected the two) in that we control nothing in the world without first controlling ourselves.  Negative thoughts are destructive to yourself, your world and those around you, it is like a disease.  Our thoughts are ours to do with as we please.  Yes our thoughts can be influenced by the things around us.  That is why it is a bad idea for an Alcoholic to hangout in a bar with his/her friends.  Ultimately though we have ourselves to deal with, the environment or situation we are in are only as influential as we let them be.  This all sounds so easy but it is a lifetime of work and practice and failure to become proficient at.  The world is dynamic but our inner world’s are infinitely more dynamic, to infinity and beyond!  But like any lesson it starts small, baby steps, with awareness.  We cannot change or control anything we are unaware of, become and observer of the world.  First we need to see the small things most people never see.  We can find perfection in the small things, the cut of sunlight through a cloud or the beat of a butterfly resting on a flower, or even the silence of being totally alone in a room.  Some of the things you will notice may make you uncomfortable in a strange way, that is your body fighting awareness the way you fight waking in the morning (if you are like me!).  What does this have to do with not being negative?  Everything.  You could start by focusing on not thinking negative thoughts, however your success would be short lived.  You have to have something to fill the void left by the negative thoughts you eventually will banish.  Why?   Because your brain never stops, it is always churning away, in the computer world we call that paging.  Paging is moving information into and out of usable memory, if you page to much you can’t do any useful computations or make any useful observations.  Observing the little things in the world require you to stop thinking so much, to quiet your mind or in computer terms to limit or stop paging so we can take in new information.  As you do this you are increasing your positive memories and thoughts and reducing your negative thoughts without trying to force it.  You will eventually get to a point where you will be able to control what your brain is processing positive or negative and more importantly know when you are paging negativity because you are more aware.  Awareness is one of the keys to good thoughts with its byproduct, happiness.  As an observer you often find yourself in a calm state of acceptance like someone watching a play…but that is a topic for another discussion.
‘Stop and smell the roses’ are words of supreme wisdom which few of us ever understand until it is to late.  Stay positive, train hard, train often.

To Serve & Protect??

ktadmin Posted in Awareness, Control, Law Enforcement, State of Mind, Technique, Training notes,Tags: , , , ,
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Here is a story that will make you feel safe…unfortunately it is an all to common event.
In ENFIELD, CT (as reported here)

Two female officers were hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries Tuesday afternoon after responding to a reported domestic violence incident, police said.

One officer was struck repeatedly in the face and the other’s arm was injured while she was trying to protect herself, police said. Both were taken to Johnson Memorial Hospital, treated and released.

The two officers were at a house on Garden Drive around 5 p.m. when the altercation began, police said.

One person, a 15-year-old male, has been arrested. His charges have not been released because of his age.

There is very little discussion about cases like these because the violate the politically correct environment society wants.  In the comments on this article someone mentioned that there was no mention of the size of the 15 years old assailant, his size shouldn’t matter.  Police Officers are well equip and even if they are not should be sufficiently proficient at defending and subduing someone, especially two to one!  Any Martial Artist or self-defense instructor can show multiple ways for any situation to over power bigger, stronger opponents.   Of course experience counts for a lot, you can practice a technique all your life but until you try it in a live or realistic simulated environment it is untested.  The biggest problem with the above story is it demonstrates that the officers lost control of the situation, a luxury no Police Officer can afford.

Another commenter stated “Police Officers DO NOT receive hand-to-hand combat training.  They have not for almost 25 years, since a female officer was injured in training and sued over her injuries (and won).  I love what the public is willing to believe about those elected or hired to protect them, based on common sense yes, facts…no.”  Most people will not believe that first statement it is true, (which proves the third sentence), at least in Connecticut.  Some Officers seek their own training however while they should it is no replacement for training common to all Officers, where they can test and challenge each other.

Perhaps the next time you think about your safety you’ll remember this story and realize you are on your own more then you realize.  Perhaps it is time to get back to that Karate Class and hone your skills!?

In Case of Emergency

ktadmin Posted in Awareness, Self-Defense,Tags: , ,
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To some Self-Defense and the Martial Arts are just one more tool in their survival tool belt.  If you are one of those people then you should check out the Emergency Survival Kit over at Ready.gov, yes brought to you at least in part by the Department of Homeland Security!  I don’t trust the government to do much well but the list is pretty comprehensive, though I do wonder how many mules I will need to carry everything!

An interesting observation, the list does not contain any Self-Defense or hunting items (gun, club, knife, etc)?  For anyone that has seen the movie “The Road” that movie makes one thing apparently clear, the four things you need to survive are guns, ammunition, sanitation and food, if you have those then you have a much better chance of survival.  Without those and you are at the mercy of those who have them.  Are you ready?