Books to build character.

A mans substance can be felt and though flash and pose is shiny, it is not lasting.

Books to build character:

  1. Beyond Band of Brothers by Richard Winters.
  2. The Doctor and the Soul by Victor Frankl
  3. Westward the Tide by Louis L’Amour
  4. Inside Delta Force by Eric Haney
  5. Maps of meaning by Jordan Paterson
  6. The Dichotomy of Leadership by Jocko Willink
  7. The Ashley Book of Knots by Clifford Ashley
  8. Write your own book by you…

A single idea can change your life. Each of these books has many ideas that can alter the course of time in your life. Invest wisely.

Games are the best teachers

Fun games to strengthen and bring more movement awareness to kids and adults with heart

1.       The broken cement truck – one person starts transitioning between being on all four limbs facing the ground and facing the skies as one or more use their feet and legs to try to keep him in one of those states.

2.       Ground glue – one person brings themselves as close to the ground as possible with all their parts and one or more use their hands to peel them off as they move to maintain contact with the ground.

3.       Wave surfing – One moves to pass through a line of people holding hands together as they move to bring him back from whence he came.

4. Medusa – one group or person is moving toward the watcher/medusa. Whenever the watcher hears something, they turn swiftly and if they catch the movement, they get to change places.


|What are we not hearing?

Much of the intuition and sixth sense comes from seeing and hearing and smelling things that we only somewhat acknowledge.

It is not that we are asleep, it is we are conditioned to handle one thing at a time and thus we lower our high brain functions.

We can easily negate this practice by working two at a time stimulus drills and the reward is exponentially greater than just a martial practice.

Before this though, I ask you to consider how you think before considering what you think! Our thoughts come and go but the process lingers. It is the process which leads us from A to B and that is where we must place our focus. Each and every one of us has setbacks. Dwell not on the failure to succeed in a particular time and manner, Dwell on the thought processes that got you to that point and alter them. Learn to ask different questions of yourself and the world. Independence is a process.

And now, to the work:

  1. Create two stimuli such as light and sound or voice and music. Engage in a particular movement when both are present (it can be talking to a partner while doing a calm movement drill) and as one of the stimuli is gone, you engage in a take down and disengagement.
  2. Notice your partners breath pattern and their hand movement. Engage in walking together and read the changes in both as they prepare to attack you by drawing a knife. Release the first response that comes to mind as you are moving and allow yourself the mental space (in the drill environment) to actually think.
  3. Place yourself and a partner on hands and feet. Play in pushing each other with your limbs, head and body and have a third party calling either X or Y. Relax your body on the X and tense it on the Y as you push and pull and learn how the body moves in different tension levels and how to workaround it to maintain your freedom above all.

Words are power – Choose wisely

Let us invest a moment to choose our words instead of repeating what is in broadcast.

Be a wordsmith to cast yourself out of mental slavery to the overlords.

A few examples:

 

Do you encounter PROBLEMS or CHALLENGES

Do you go to your MAN CAVE or do you advance yourself in your STUDY

Do you have a  SAVINGS ACCOUNT or an INVESTMENT ACCOUNT

Do you call yourself a GUY or a MAN

Do you TAKE CARE of your children or do you RAISE THEM

Do you WORKOUT or do you ENGAGE IN PHYSICAL CULTURE

 

We tend to parrot others in order to fit in, Say your own words and live your own life.

It matters.

Six ways to make ourselves better

The world gives you many things. It gives you better things on average if you apply yourself.

  1. WRITE – reading is great. Writing forces you to create. It forces you to think and to articulate in style. Write.
  2. LISTEN – Most people just wait for the other person to stop talking so they can speak. Listen (This does not mean you let people talk over you) to what people say and you will learn and others will find you more interesting and refreshing.
  3. STOP – Stop from time to time to adjust, to make choices, to avoid being swayed by shiny colors and charisma. Stop so you can return to yourself.
  4. MAKE – Art is easy and art is hard. Start by simple crafts from learning new ties so you can make a hammock or a climbing apparatus. Make something out of clay or even crayons (Marines) but create something from yourself instead of relying on others. Learn to draw and draw, Learn to fix things yourself. Learn to make fire with your piss in the tundra. Yes, it is possible.
  5. SPEAK – Go past just talking to friends reaping the same words and ideas. Talk to people you don’t know (not in the bathroom) and learn to be persuasive and affective. Talk in front of crowds and find your own voice.
  6. PLAN – Throw away the “Living la Vida loca” cassette (yes, I am old) and make plans. See them come into life by your daily towing the line until you bring down the mountain of uncertainty for your progeny. There is no harder matter than flesh with purpose.

Don’t wear a mask that allows you to forget you are alive.

Twisted mobility

Here are three mobility movements for the shoulders, spine and hips. All involve moving two patterns of movement together to create human movement. We are more than one tool playing in the dark.

  1. Shoulder mobility comes to release held tension and fixation in the shoulder and upper spine.
  2. Spine mobility comes to release rigidity of movement and release new patterns of movement in the spine to avoid injury and facilitate energy transmission over the spine in intake and outtake.
  3. 3. Hip mobility comes to release fixation in the hips and to allow the body to channel movement to and from the ground.

 

1+1 = more than two sometimes.

Breathing is a bridge

Once you can feel yourself breathing, you can open your sphere to connecting to others on the basic level. This applies to bodywork, to martial art and simply being aware.

 

Place your open hand on your partner and feel them breathing. It is easy on the chest area and more challenging in the limbs 🙂

Move with your partners breath to release their tension or to bring them to a stuck area they pay less attention to.

Place your mass on your partner (hand, fist, foot…) and sink in with relaxation as they exhale. Move deeper and deeper to allow relaxation in the contact and understanding in yourself.

Be static (standing, sitting) a step away from your partner and listen and look for their breath.

Walk with your partner and notice their breathing constantly.

Stand a step away from your partner and aim to make contact with them in between the inhale and the exhale. Have them move while on the edges of the pendulum.

Lie on the ground and roll over each other. Aim to be over your partners body and use the breath as a wave to ride over any obstacle.

Your breath is the key. It is not the only key.

The trident of martial art awareness

Ask yourself why you train and for what ?

Do you train for an event or do you train for life ?

The trident of martial art awareness comes in the simple timeline. There is a before, during and after to a fight. Three prongs as military educators love to indoctrinate 🙂 I ask you to think of nature and the nature of separation. We live in society and die in society. There is no existence aside from it and if you remove yourself from it, then you carry it with you. The same goes for the barriers we place between events such as I go out, I get into a fight, I survive, I cry in the shower when no one is looking or someone cries over me…

All events and ourselves are connected and intertwined. The same way the wolf does not exist without the leaves the pray eats, the same goes for us and our awareness, state of mind and body we carry along the adventure.

An art that ignores the whole picture and lets you focus on just one unnaturally divided part of the whole is doing you a disservice. Be aware of the connected moments that make your life. Learn to live and be in each connected moment. Otherwise, like a character in a Lewis Carrol novel, you will be running just to stay in the same place.

Life is one whole piece that takes a lifetime to digest. Keep breathing, keep noticing and build each moment both anew and connected to the ones coming and the ones that are in your memories.

Drill:

Have a partner swing a stick or his fist at you. Focus unnaturally on his fist or the end of the stick and move to keep your comfort and facial structure in tact.

Remove the fixation and allow yourself to note both the middle of the stick and the elbow in the work.

Remove even more and allow yourself to see the shoulder movement and the held stick.

Be free and note how your eyes and senses create part of the picture unfolding in front of you. Freedom comes from removal of self imposed limitations. Return to being part of the movement instead of swimming upstream.

Quality

Testing brings us to defining ourselves by our measurements. How fast you are. How strong you are and how well you perform in the tests you chose to do.

The problem lies in defining ourselves by our measurements. Are you your pull up test score or your ability in a ruled test with practice blades with no real danger to them ?

I suggest you let of of  some of the measurements and open yourself to the idea of quality. Your personality and self awareness is what will drive through life. You can be the best at everything but as long as you are not the commander of the ship, you will not be using or steering the ship well.

Tests come in order to place a mark on you in order to place you on a grade in society hierarchy.  That grade allows you to act a certain way and instead of knowing yourself you define yourself by an external measurement.

Here is a drill for you:

Do push ups every day. Learn how you feel differently about it each and every day. Feel how doing the same each day brings you new and different lessons each time. All you have to do is move and pay attention.

And smile. 🙂

Defiance

To me defiance stands for personal freedom. Freedom of thought and action.

An attacker wants me to be either frozen and static or responsive in the manner of his or her choosing.  I choose to do it my way.

Drills to carve this ability out of the soup of response based conditioning.

  1. Have your partner attack you in some way. Your mission should you choose to accept it J is to avoid reacting in any way to his attack and do these two things:
    • Keep breathing in a pace that is comfortable to you.
    • Move to attack him/her without any response to his attack.

Example:

Johnny swings his club to hit you in the top of the head. You do not block or move away and instead step sideways and place your foot on his as you relax forward.

Heather tries to choke you from behind with a shoe string. (Tread carefully) . You do not try to stop her hands or hold onto the string and instead place two fingers on her eyes and gather her lashes.

  1. During a conversation with your partner say something offensive to you and you choose to avoid treating it as personal or influential. Instead simply note the information and continue to talk without giving in to the hook.

Example:

Johnny says “Everyone who is not stupid know the movie True Lies is based on actual events” You note his point and way of stating it and avoid consider it a sly if you do not agree to this statement and at the same time maintain your frame of thought and direction.

Keep breathing and see far.