Here at the frontier, the leaves fall like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians, there are still two cups at my table.


Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~


Monday, November 18, 2019

The Dao De Jing, #73: If You Are Courageous in Daring, You Will Die

The Dao De Jing is not only one of the world's great classics, it is one of the foundations of Philosophical Daoism. A free online version of the Dao De Jing may be found here. Today we have #73: If You Are Courageous in Daring, You Will Die.


If you are courageous in daring you will die.
If you are courageous in not-daring you will live.
Among these two, one is beneficial and the other is harmful.

Who understands the reason why Heaven dislikes what it dislikes?
Even the sage has difficulty in knowing this.

The Way of Heaven is to win easily without struggle.
To respond well without words,
To naturally come without special invitation,
To plan well without anxiety.

Heaven's net is vast.
It is loose.

Yet nothing slips through.




Friday, November 15, 2019

Educational Beatdown

At Active Response Training was an article about the phenomenon of the "Educational Beatdown;"  teaching a lesson through the application of violence.

Below is an excerpt. The much longer original post, together with the video referenced may be read here.

Food for thought.

Rory Miller and Marc MacYoung often talk about social dynamics and what they call an “Educational Beatdown.”  The best description of this phenomenon is found in Rory Miller’s article More About Violence Dynamics.  Rory says:

“Most of the people reading this will be comfortable products of comfortable homes with significant education and socialization. This is the norm in North America, where I happen to be writing. The norm is so powerful and pervasive that it can be very easy to believe that the values of middle-class Americans are universal. They are not. There are societies and sub-societies where violence is merely an easy way to solve problems; where a beating is considered as easy  and more effective than talking.

There are places in the United States where if you do something rude and improper you will get disapproving looks and people will whisper about you. They might snub you in the coffee room or not invite you to go bowling. And there are places in the U. S. where doing something that society considers rude will get you beaten without a second thought.”

The “Educational Beatdown” is the first thing I thought about when my friend Tim posted this video to his Facebook page.  It is footage of a reporter interviewing some folks in New Orleans about drugs, gangs, and violence.  During the interview, a man arrived and started making disparaging comments.  It seems he didn’t appreciate how the publicity generated by the interview might negatively affect his neighborhood.

His comments were out of line.  In that community, those comments were cause for an “educational beatdown.”  Such a beatdown commenced while the cameras were rolling.

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Distilling Sun Tzu to Self Defense

Below is an excerpt from a post at Okinawan Fighting Art, which adapts the "Five Essentials" of Sun Tzu's Art of War to personal self defense. The full post may be read here.

Sun Tzu, The Five Essentials for Victory:

  1. He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight;
  2. He will win who knows how to handle both superior and inferior forces; 
  3. He will win whose army is animated by the same spirit throughout all its ranks;
  4. He will win who, prepared himself, waits to take the enemy unprepared;
  5. He will win who has military capacity and is not interfered with by the sovereign.

You already understand and you probably already know that in a modern society there is inevitable changes to mandate how one provides security and safety for themselves, their families and the social structure or group to which his or her families belong. It is my expert provision in this article to expand on these essentials for victory as set down centuries ago how great Generals would successfully carry out the mandate of Heaven and his sovereign to gain victory agains all enemies both domestic and foreign. 


In our world of martial prowess where self-protection is provided we can readily detect a need to follow these ancient teachings while making allowances to our modern times. Therefore the above will be revamped to reflect those changes and mandates as set down by law, the legal system and those who enforce for the sake of societies protection, security and safety. 


There are “Five Essentials for Self-Protection.” 


Commentary: I don’t use the term victory because that tends to lead to certain dissonances due to our modern societies pension toward competitive sports where the dangers of grave harm and death are governed by rules that are sanctioned, mandated and set by society through its laws and legal systems. Even the use of self-defense if not fully explained can lead to mistakes in perceptions because it is used, generally, to explain actual defenses and it is also used, generally, to explain a legal definition since the legal system uses the term as a legal one. 

  1. He will achieve success who knows when to protect and defend and when not to protect and defend;
  2. He will achieve success who knows how to handle aggressions and force both psychological and physical;
  3. He will achieve success who knows how to protect and defend within the limits set by social legal laws and systems;
  4. He will achieve success who, prepared him/herself, waits to take the attacker unprepared; 
  5. He will achieve success who has martial capacity and is not interfered with by societies systems. 

Now, commentary on the five essential principles of self-protection.


Sunday, November 03, 2019

Vintage Video of Kam Yuen

Kam Yuen was the second martial arts coordinator for the ground breaking TV series, Kung Fu. He was a master of Tai Mantis, a style in the northern Shaolin tradition. He is also a doctor of chiropractic and continues to practice.

The video below is from the1970's. Enjoy.