Friday, July 29, 2011


"Change is the result of all true learning." -Leo Buscaglia
Education is a lifelong journey. A passion followed becomes our driving force. The journey to get to where we become who we are is often elusive at the time. When I was training formally in the traditional martial arts, often I thought to myself,

"What the hell am I doing?"
"This is insane."
"Why am I here?"

Especially after about the thousandth strike, or after the absurdly extended amount of time sitting atop of my feet in 'saiza' listening to the loooong winded instructor wander back and forth in front of us lecturing. Once your feet go numb, they don't really 'hurt' anymore. Until you stand up. The pain is intensely indescribable.

But the trials of my training, and the methods in which I have been trained have all brought me to the point where I am now. No, it wasn't always 'fun', there were contusions, concussions and dislocations, but, yeah, overall, in retrospect, it was fun. (We ol' school martial artist have a warped sense of fun.) I still get to roll around in the floor (sometimes in the dirt and concrete) but now the learning has reached the next level, it's all for discovering something specific. Learning how to see what I was training for.

A quote from George Bane, "Theory may inform, but practice convinces." should always be a part of one's education. We can hear lectures from long winded instructors, and we can have the discipline to do hundreds of thousands of strikes, but when the rubber meets the road, one's foundation must be massive.
Education helps build that foundation.

My long-winded instructor had lots of information, personally I didn't mind listening. The brutality of training was also a positive in maintaing a body that still has its original knees, is flexible, and a mind that can push beyond what the body 'thinks' it is able. The foundation has opened doors to allow me to train along side Middle East US Embassy body guards and it has provided mentors to guide my way because of the depth of the foundation.

Education. It is not something that you can horde away and keep to your self. Nor is it something you can force onto others. It is not something that is concrete. It changes as you change, and it flexes when life does.

Education is something that becomes wider and broader the more we open-mindedly share it.

I have much gratitude for the educational foundation that was built with my core teacher(s) and often give thanks to the universe for allowing many unparalleled opportinities to continue my education with phenomenal teachers.

Monday, July 18, 2011

In search of...

I have heard the saying, "When a student is ready, the teacher will appear." ...or something along that line. It seems we live our lives having teachers appear from out of nowhere, right there in front of us. Many times it is not realized until they have come and gone and their lessons finally sink in.

Life is full of gifts, ya just gotta recognize them as such. I had been gifted with a teacher whose training was so engrained, very harsh, and yet comprehensive. His process of teaching has opened doors for me that would not have been otherwise. I am very fortunate. Yea, though I walked thru the years of traditional training methods, I realized that at one point, I needed to find other expertise to enhance and refine what I had.

In setting the course to familiarize myself with the vital aspects of self defense, specifically for women, I had to find a competent, well-informed teacher who had walked the talk. I knew I did not have the critical information to educate women of their personal defense. I found that teacher, the bad news was that he was clear across the country, the good news is he was authentic, sincere, and warrior. A modern day master. Phil.

The skills and information gained from Phil, his courses and students was what I was looking for when it came to filling in the areas missing from teaching self defense that I needed. Training at Modern Warrior is an experience that leaves me in awe every time I go.

Then, when it was time for the next level of my training. Which is really the morrow of what my path is about - violence. Personal defense is about violence. Avoiding it. But when the fecal matter clashes with the flat revolving blade, what really happens? Violence is a few seconds of chaos, you may or may not 'win'; you may or may not survive. You will, however, be hurt and be changed for the rest of your life.
It's not the movies.

The person I have found for the next phase of my training is again someone who has been in the foxholes, and truly knows the topic. Authentic, bona fide and humble. He is a great human.

For anyone who is sincerely interested in personal defense, and all it entails - reading, "Facing Violence" by Rory Miller is a must.

When I think of the teachers that have crossed my path, (the list is much greater than these two gentlemen), and realize they all did so at the time of my searching... I am blown away. I am honored to have been in the presence of such wonderful guidance and friendship.