Conquer With Peace

We must – no matter how challenging in the face of the adversary – choose peace and respect in place of anger and fists.  It is in choosing this path that we rise above to a higher vibration to reap the rewards of magic and miracles.  We needn’t ever stoop to the low levels of those who wish us ill for, if we do, we are neither better than they, nor better off…but rather left wallowing in the same poisonous misery they wish to spread.

To conquer with peace is, in fact, the brighter end for us, and the darker for them…

We always have a choice.

Martial Arts Tips – The 5 Rules Of Fighting

 This image crossed my path the other day and though there’s never an end to “tips,” especially in this arena, these are five solid goodies to start. They might apply to a professional fighter, but they also make sense in a self-defense scenario.

NEVER MOVE BACK IN A STRAIGHT LINE

When you get “offline” (for example, at a 45% angle), you are forcing your opponent to slow down. As he redirects to refocus his energy on you, his strikes become weaker, and a window of opportunity opens during which you can retreat to a safe direction, strike back if still under threat, etc.

Moving straight back can also have you backed into something (or on the ground!) pretty quick.  A stagger is a stronger base from which to work, keeping you on your feet….where you need to stay.

 

NEVER SET

Keep moving! A stationary target is a lot easier to catch and strike. Movement also makes it easier to catch your opponent by surprise – a strike from a stand-still telegraphs your intentions much faster than if you are dodging about.

 

REDIRECT

Along with number one… When the opponent has to shift his focus, he also has to shift his weight, balance, and strength, giving you the upper hand.

 

FIGHT YOUR OPPONENT AS HE FIGHTS YOU

You never know what a person’s background is, or necessarily their style of fighting. In the heat of the moment, it’s hard to observe, but try to pick up on what he is…and isn’t…doing…as well as what he has in his arsenal. A knife fight when you aren’t armed means you’ve got a bold opponent fighting you (think: lunging slashes and stabs, unafraid of being cut in return.) If you happen to have a knife also, his movements are going to become a lot shorter, hesitant, and self-protective.

Stand your ground as much as you are able, maintaining that you are not a victim or someone to be pushed around.  The more calm a person can be (and it is a challenge, assuredly) the more nerve you will evoke in the other person. Chip away at the opponent’s self-confidence and he’s going to be a lot easier to get away from, or submit (obviously depending on the circumstance.)

 

PLACE YOUR OPPONENT WHERE YOU WANT HIM

If you are fighter by sport or profession, STUDY…and study hard. Observe what you can before hand.  If you have no ability to do so, test him to see which strikes he’s resorting to, or whether he wants to stay standing vs get you to the ground, whether he baits you, prefers kicks to punches, and which kinds…  When you understand what you are working with, you know where the weaknesses are.  

If in a self-defense scenario, you aren’t going to have time on your side. Do your best to note the person’s movement, as it is guaranteed to be either: their natural movement (and going to occur again), or their preferred movement (and going to occur again.) Being aware of the other person’s overall body movement can also keep us focused, giving us less time to panic.

 

Obviously, there are a slew of techniques and tips and methodologies out there…but these are good tidbits to keep in mind.

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

Martial Arts Humor – Friends?

A friend of mine. . .er, a training partner. . .recently posted this.  Humor to be found indeed!

Most of us see each other on the mat, in the Dojo, and sporting a gi.  Period.  

There are those rare occasions on which we are spotted in civilian clothing but generally speaking, “hanging out” translates to “sparring.”  Again, period.

img_7327

Even our Facebook message threads. . . it’s all about an impromptu class here, a “did you see that fight?!” there… Our social hour includes rolling, choking, striking…you know, the fun stuff.  But I guess at the end of the day it all works out because we are on the same page…er, mat…right?

Don’t judge.  We all have our thing!

Martial Arts – Progression

I’m super thankful that I have been able not only to do five different Martial Arts thus far in Life – having, mind you, only started in my 30’s (I’m currently 38) – but also to have achieved some ranks in each one.  Mastery in the Arts is a lifetime pursuit – belt color doesn’t mean much when you look at the larger picture!  But taking tests – and passing – is a really awesome feeling.  I always like to be as prepared as possible, and feel blessed to have the opportunities to demonstrate my knowledge every so often.

I’ve been doing Ninjutsu for just over 8 months – I set a lofty and ambitious goal (from the get go!) of making every single testing cycle no matter what.  There are days where that’s not easy to do – I’m either physically not around to be IN class, or I’m flat-out exhausted.  That said, I keep in mind – always – that I have these opportunities NOW.  I may not always.  I want to take advantage of the learning, and progression while I can.

I most recently took my 6th Kyu test, and with that came a second “initiation test.”  The initiation essentially boiled down to one hour of my classmates testing my knowledge of all the techniques from the tests I have done up until this point, and doing it in a less structured, “real life” way – I have to say, it was maybe the most fun I’ve had in any Martial Arts test yet!  

The honor of receiving my Genbukan patch – one aspect of passing my initiation before 6th Kyu – was a big one. I come from a background in Korean Arts, so re-learning, adapting, and working within an Ancient Japanese structure has been a challenge, to say the least (maybe not AS severe as my Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, but difficult all the same!) 

IMG_6831

While I have a LONG way to go – and yes, I have goals in place to pass my 5th and 4th Kyu by the end of the year! – I appreciate the steps along the way.  

Earning ranks, and the responsibility that goes with them, is an honor in my book, and a blessing.  I work hard for it, no question, but I also feel grateful because not everyone can.  Some simply are physically unable.  Others, less able to apply this level of discipline to an activity that’s “extracurricular” and supposed to be fun!  For me, though, learning IS fun – I enjoy the challenge and putting myself in places where I am not at all comfortable.  It’s in that zone where the good stuff happens. 🙂 

More Martial Arts fun!

The Ultimate Aim Of Martial Arts

Whenever I say I do Martial Arts, people almost always ask if I could beat someone up.  OR they’ll say “I wouldn’t mess with you!”  Without fail, I will pause…because I’m not always sure what to say.

I also know some folks who participate in a few of the more “hardcore” disciplines who have abruptly halted another martial artist while speaking to say his or her Art is the most effective.  Shame on them!  There is benefit to knowing how to maneuver one’s body in space and time, regardless of the style.  Regardless of the SPORT, in fact!

I don’t really have to “be clear” about anything, though – one of the greatest swordsmen in history – Miyamoto Musashi – said it best…moons and moons ago:

Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 8.15.50 PM

I personally never pursued a Life with Martial Arts because I wanted to “take someone down.”  I respect – fully – the sports surrounding the Arts, as well as those individuals who train arduously…relentlessly…to be at their peak in a few of the more merciless Arts – they have that right to choose.  Everyone’s goals are different. 

For me, though, it was about discipline, better mastery of my physicality, spirit, goals and challenges, and the ability to get OUT of a turbulent and escalating situation…not to start one.

I was trained as a figure skater and dancer for a huge portion of my Life – Martial Arts, in my own eyes, is a dance.  A deadly one?  It certainly has the potential to be.  The Arts combine fluid precision, with grace, speed, agility, power and athleticism – it is the perfect, seamless dance…once which I am grateful to know on some level, that can be used to exit stage left if the occasion called for it.

Martial Arts DO NOT go hand in hand with bravado, huffing and puffing…  

If that’s going on, it isn’t Martial Arts.

They are meant, in part, to serve you in a time of stress and danger, to allow you to escape as safely and quickly as possible without inflicting any more (or any at all!) damage beyond what is required to stay secure.  

I can only speak for myself when I say that I hope my knowledge is never tested – I simply wouldn’t look forward to such an altercation, prepared and trained or not. I have nothing to “prove” to an opponent (beyond that I can stay safe…and lawsuit free!)

So if a brutal Art form is favored, by all means!  Those training with you will be in the same boat, very likely, so the game is fair.  But for me…it’s more about knowing them, and having the background…but not ever REALLY needing to use them.  

And if I do…let’s just say I hope it’s to neutralize, not devastate…and get as far away as possible.