Password Self-Defense

ktadmin Posted in Identity Theft

Here are some simple rules to help with your Internet Self-Defense…

  • Passwords are like Underwear… Change Yours Often!
  • Passwords are like Underwear… Don’t Share Them with Friends!
  • Passwords are like Underwear… Be Mysterious!
  • Passwords are like Underwear… The Longer the Better!
  • Passwords are like Underwear… Don’t Leave Yours Lying Around!

Make sure you keep your identity safe on-line by remembering your underwear rules…I mean password rules!

No fanfare for you…

ktadmin Posted in Quotes,Tags: , ,

The majority of us lead quiet, unheralded lives as we pass through this world.  There will most likely be no ticker-tape parades for us, now will there be monuments created in our honor.  This does not lessen our potential impact on the world and the people we share it with.

There are scores of people waiting for us to come along; people who will appreciate our compassion, our encouragement, and who will need our unique talents.  Some one who will live a happier life merely because we took the time to share what we have to give.

While these are thoughts typically reserved for the Holiday’s it is important to think of them every day, in every season.  The simple things in life, the smallest actions often have the biggest impact.  Take a moment and pay attention to those around you, someone may just need a helping hand or kind word, who knows, you may find you feel better too.

ICU – Intensive Care Unit

ktadmin Posted in Articles of Interest,Tags:

You never know when you will get a reminder that you are mortal. Mine came earlier this week. It was a regular day, I woke up, ate breakfast and went off to work, nothing out of the ordinary. Around 11:30 I suddenly got the shakes, it was weird, one minute I felt fine, then I was shaking all over and felt like I was on fire. It ended quickly leaving me feeling slightly odd, but I didn’t seem to have a fever or any other symptoms, so I carried on. Carrying on is one of the things I do best in life, regardless of the sense of it! The event was soon history as I continued with my work, until around 2:00, just as suddenly I was hit with the shakes and a fever. This time they did not dissipate but continued to get worse. By 2:30 I knew I was in trouble, I headed for home and bed. By 4:00 my fever was up to 103.4 and nothing was helping. The rest as they say is history, as my body crashed in the Emergency Room (or as most hospitals call them, Emergency Departments – guess that sounds more professional?) I was desperate for help. I spent the next two days in ICU as they stabilized me and tried to determine a cause. They were successful on the former but not so much the later.

You may wonder why I am sharing this personal story.  Because it has direct bearing on our training and actions as martial artists, personal limits.  When we are healthy and training we often forget we have limitations.  This is easy to do as we are always pushing past our limits to increase our abilities to punch harder, faster, be stronger, lift more, run longer and inevitably we usually succeed…for a time.  In our success at training to stretch our limits we often forget that limits do still exist.  This is often the reason for unnecessary injuries or over estimation of our abilities (a little ego mixed in!).  My most successful students see their limitations and respect them even while challenging them.

As we train it is important to train with situations which cannot be won.  Initially this will seem pointless and frustrating however with time these impossible situations, for example multiple attackers, will become less impossible.  With familiarity the loss will become less demoralizing as the student strives to succeed, at that time the student will begin to recognize the turning point in situation, when winning is less possible without assistance.

It may sound crazy but reflecting on my stay in the ER and ICU that is the wisdom I have to share!

A Time for Self-Defense

ktadmin Posted in Articles of Interest, Self-Defense,Tags: , , ,

In good times people don’t think about bad things but as times become more uncertain people think about planning for the possibility that things will get worse.  With apparent turmoil in almost every aspect of our lives, people have begun to think about and even prepare for the worst.

With a worsening economy, perceived threats to our freedom, rising religious extremism, a perceived demoralization of our populous, many are led to conclude that a more dangerous future might await us.  Right or wrong we as a society seem more aware of the dangerous world we live in and our need to prepare for the worst so as to avoid it.  An ounce of prevention type of reaction…  As a result self-defense sales of goods and services have soared in recent years.  This increase supports the reality that people feel they may need to defend themselves due to ever increasing dangers.

While self-defense activists applaud this trend, there is a significant responsibility for the average student that I don’t feel is being properly communicated.  Too many students come in for a short self-defense class and leave pumped and feeling invincible. Or students that purchase a self-defense tool like mace, pepper-spray, a gun or other self-defense tool with little or no training.  Notice I called these items “tools” and not weapons, because while we classify them as weapons that classification leads to the students misconception and thereby increases their danger.  Most people think of a weapon as something to be afraid of, which it is.  But how frightening is a pair of nunchakus in the hands of an amateur?  Honestly they are more of a danger to the amateur then they are an aid!  Honest, law-abiding people assume that everyone shares their fear of the weapon they wield; whether that is their self-defense skills or karate skills or their self-defense tool makes no matter.  How many movies have we seen where the good guy warns the bad guys that he/she know karate?  How often are the bad guys even fazed by this fact?  The reason, they have accepted that their chosen profession, being a bad guy, comes with the risk of injury.  I have seen it with inexperienced police officers, who assuming because they wear a badge that people will respect it and thereby do as told.  When they face someone who isn’t impressed with that little shield they carry, their perception of power can and does quickly evaporate.  Unfortunately many officers, like the honest, law-abiding citizen, learn the harsh reality of self-defense: vigilance and control.

It is a good thing that people are taking a more proactive approach to self-defense but the instructors must help the students understand that self-defense is a skill that requires practice and a state of mind.  Self-defense is not something you learn about and then put on the shelf until you need it.  If that is your approach then you have a false confidence.  Even the most seasoned and skilled fighter who is out of practice is rusty and thus vulnerable.  In the Rocky movies, Rocky doesn’t simply get back in the ring, he trains and prepares himself.  The difference is that Rocky knew when he was going to face danger.  For the honest, law-abiding citizen that eventuality is very abstract.  When I was growing up it was very unusual to meet someone who had *never* been in a fight.  Today it is unusual for me to meet a student who has ever been in a fight.  While some may feel that is a testament to our advanced civilization, (I have another article coming up about that topic), it leaves most ill prepared to ever face a conflict.  Anyone that has been in a fight and been hit, remembers that first hit they took, you really do see stars!!

How do we learn to defend ourselves?  Must a student enroll for life to stay sharp?  Unfortunately, No.  Must a student attain his/her Black Belt to have adequate skills?  Unfortunately, No again.  The student must understand that taking responsibility for their self-defense carries significant responsibilities as well.  The responsible self-defense student will train regularly to become familiar and comfortable with their chosen techniques, style or tool.  For most this is the fun part of ‘practicing’ self-defense.

Students can practice their skills all the time, staying aware and looking for the pitfalls that potentially await them.  In doing so this heightens their awareness and keeps them ready.  But doing this without practice of the physical skills is almost pointless as you will be aware of your dangers but unable to deal with them.  That is like owning a gun but keeping it in a locked safe in the basement, not much good if you are in your room upstairs when you need it.  Without practice you will find yourself in an ‘if only’ moment of dread.

This begs the question of adequate practice, what is it and how can it help you prepare?  That is a hard question and can vary from person to person.  My simplest answer is, you want to practice in an environment that is constantly challenging you to do better, that means it shouldn’t feel comfortably safe, but it should be comfortably safe…  I hold to the precept that students should take at least one refresher course once a year as long as they are practicing with a friend or loved-one throughout the year.

Without practice you will be ill prepared despite the most elaborate preparations.  Remember that physical practice is only about half of the battle, you have to be mentally prepared to defend yourself.  Practicing coupled with vigilance in your awareness of your surroundings will help to calm your mind in the event of a real need to defend yourself.  Vigilance and control are the keys to self-defense, vigilance in your practice and awareness, control of your body and mind.  Self-defense is something everyone should be involved in, young and old alike, it leads to respectful confidence (as opposed to false confidence) and a peace of mind that you no matter the outcome you have done your best.  No man is truly old until he knows regret, don’t regret your lack of preparation, learn to defend yourself today!

After all you don’t want this to be you when your loved one’s are depending on you…do you?

Training Questions #3 – You need…

ktadmin Posted in Questions, Training notes,Tags: ,

You need to maintain “This/These Thing(s)” during all martial arts moves?

How many can you come up with?  As a hint it is less than six things…

See you in the comments…

Training Question #2 – Eyes

ktadmin Posted in Questions, Training notes,Tags: , ,

Where should you be looking when practicing Kata or set routines?

Like learning the proper physical moves it is important to learn the proper mental state.  Where your eyes look tell a lot about your mental state when training.  So where do your are you looking when you train??

Training Questions #1 – Sparring

ktadmin Posted in Questions, Training notes,Tags: ,

This is going to be a new series to stimulate some discussion and get different perspectives.

Where should you look when facing an opponent?

This is an important question that most students don’t seem to get right away. Many instructors I have worked with also don’t seem to have ever learned this, I believe mostly from a lack of experience.

SO what is your answer? I’ll follow up in the comments with my 2 cents once the discussion gets started.