Picture of Shihan

February 2001

Volume 3 Issue 2

This  Issue...

1.  Some things to ponder on               

2.  Precept

3.  Special Advancement

Judging your abilities by your own beliefs, can give you a false verdict?

Aibudo Kanji

Latest Advancement

Sempai Jim Curtsinger to

1st Dan (Shodan)

Funakoshi's #14 Precept

"The Battle Unfolds According to How You Move Guarded and Unguarded".

          Funakoshi was ahead of his time when he advocated moving according to the moves of our opponent.  This principle applies in karate sparring, kickboxing, reality-based combat and virtually every other type of martial arts practice.  With a little extrapolation, it can also apply to competitiveness in business and career development.

          Excerpted from the article by Frank M. Kushner in BlackBelt Magazine, dated December 1999

Technology, good or bad?

     The Hoodoo's late this month, not because of the lack of desire or time, but because of technology.  It used to be that all you had to have was a pencil and paper to put down your thoughts or put together a bulletin or newsletter.  Now it takes the internet, with it's host, space for the webpage, ftp software, publishing software, a scanner and it's software, a computer, the data processor (a person) and then finally the thoughts to put the information together.  If you pondered on all that too long, you would probably just get tired and say forget it.  This month, I didn't say forget it, my computer did and I hate to admit it, but "it beat me this month"!

     In away, the martial arts is somewhat like that today.  Some schools are so involved in the promotional aspect of what they are trying to do, that the true result of what is supposed to be accomplished gets lost.  Training can turn up on the short end of the stick, as they say.  Look at what the practitioner has to deal with today as compared to just 50 years ago.  A simpler time with simpler technology.  More time for themselves as people instead of inert pieces of equipment.  Darned if you do and darned if you don't.  Forget technology and get lost in the fog.  Stay involved and up-to-date and the human factor suffers.  Just to stay in middle someplace is a non-avoidable battle with life and it's controllers.  Are we tougher for it or weaker all the way around? 

An (un-named) "10th Dan" Shaolin

"Grand Master" and one of his "stories"::

Once, when I was sixteen I went on a high school trip to Bali and Java.  While I was there I rode a big horse around a lake, kicking him all the way to make him run.  When I got off to pay the man, the horse turned around and kicked me!  I blocked the kick with my arm, but it hurt so much I thought I had broken it.  So, without hesitation, I gave the horse a side thrust, right into the lake! 

This is a true statement right out of his own book.  It is also an example of a Grandmaster story from a 10th kyu man.  What would he do, if he was asked to demonstrate or duplicate his "feat?  Why would anyone, except in the presence of small minded individuals, even attempt to put forth a story such as that? 

What I'm attempting to accomplish with the above, is that you must be very careful, when verbally stating what you wish for someone to believe of  your capabilities.  The day may come, when you have to back up some ridiculous, impossible task.  All you will have accomplished then, is the loss of their possible respect of you as a martial artist and their belief in you as a clown.  Either way the martial arts will have lost a battle and it will take many, many wins to bring back that respect.  Not of you, for that is forever lost, but for the martial arts, which you owe what your are, not what you wish you were.

-- Bravery--

     Is it something that you brag about to accomplish or demonstrate through your everyday actions, without the thought of it?  Is it as you are or wish you were?  If it's a wish you have, you have a way to go.  Don't tempt it!