People often ask “How do you define success?”

They ask as if there’s an absolute answer to this question.  Is it defined by money?  Only when monetary success is the question.  Is it defined by athletic achievement.  Only to an athlete attempting to achieve something.

Sometimes success is the journey, more than  the destination. Some will not understand that and miss the forest for the trees.

Every facet of our lives calls out for success.  Success in one area is really seldom enough to define a life as successful. The success of a promotion at work is overshadowed by loneliness.  Many athletes are successful in their sports.  But recently there was mention in the news of some “successful” athletes that go hungry because they can’t afford some meals.  There are the wealthy who would give up wealth for love, acceptance and understanding.

On the spiritual side it’s been asked “what will it profit a man to gain the whole world yet loose his soul?”

We need to achieve success in whatever area of life is calling out for it at the moment.  You may be poor, but money is not what you want when you long for companionship.  You may be wealthy but your body calls out for healing.  And, once success is achieved in one area, the call comes from another.  Sometimes several areas are calling out  simultaneously.  What to do then?

Prioritize.  This is your call.

Friends and family will counsel you according to their values, and some may be appropriate.  But our spirits speak to us in whispered intimacies meant only for us to know about and act on from our same spirits alone.  I know I have acted in ways that may have seemed unsuccessful to those around me, but my apparent failures were my own, and I can accept them.

These days the word choice is closely connected to my ideas of success.

On the other hand, I have mimicked others’ acts that have led to their successes and while sometimes they work, when they fail they are my greatest regrets. Regrets for having ignored the voice of my own soul and not being true to myself.  The regret of giving someone else the 5-handling-successpower to direct my mistakes.

There is wisdom in the abundance of counselors, but that wisdom must be checked, sifted and governed by your mind and intelligence.  Otherwise you are but a child needing to be obedient for you have not yet developed the resourcefulness of your soul.0e7ce98
How do I define success?  Right now, by not having anything underlined by spell check.

Solo Martial Art Training

You can’t always train at the gym. 

Training in a state of the art gym or dojo is a great thing.  There you’ll likely have space, time, equipment, partners at different levels, and coaching.  But not being able to get to one for whatever reason (money, responsibilities, time, distance) should not stop you from training and even making progress on your own, at home.

If you don’t have a lot of stuff you can do calisthenics and bodyweight exercises (pushups situps, pull-ups, etc.) anywhere.  There’s your cardio and strength straining.

You can shadow box in front of your shadow or a mirror.  When you do, do several rounds, start slow and easy, and progressively add realism and intensity.  I consider this a really important part of martial training; rehearsing your moves with intent and energy will bring them up with intent and energy.  Practice at three speeds:  1. slow and mechanical, 2. Half speed and smoothly flowing, 3. Twitchy, super fast or “red line” speed.

Hit something regularly, a punching bag, a makiwara, a makeshift Item you can hang or post to practice both intentional hitting, and casual hitting, I mean hitting without preparation, no stance, no telegraph. Why?  Because you may not always be in a position to do a perfect hit, but should do a hit anyway.

Visualize the techniques and try them with your eyes closed (in a safe space of course).  Practice from different positions, standing, sitting, lying down.  Try to train both under duress, when tired from cardio and strength, and when very relaxed.

 Rest.Training under too much continual stress may burn you out, and actually make the practice less beneficial.

Train and practice under less than optimal conditions.  I wear glasses.   I train with and without glasses.  A shooting instructor brought this home when he asked; if in the middle of the night I hear a break in at home and a rush to the bedroom door, can I just grab my gun, point, and shoot to 15 feet in the dark  without bothering to look for my glasses?  I can now, thanks to dry fire practice and taking off the prescriptions at the range.  Sometimes, I may be sluggish from a cold/flu and medication.  Yes, I’ve looked to see how effective I am in those conditions, what I can and can’t do, and how fast.

Research other methods beyond what you are taught at the local school.  Some places just teach one thing, say Mesopotamian Kung Fu, that doesn’t mean you can’t train Jiu Jitsu for yourself on your own time, or a spin kick, or a particular kata.  Who are you doing this for, the school/instructor, or yourself and your family?

Speaking of family, is there someone that might help you out A LITTLE BIT at home,  If they’re not training for themselves they probably won’t want to be your training partner, but “help me work out this  move for 5 minutes” might be feasible.  Don’t hurt or aggravate them, and they might help you again.

I tell my students over and over, that they are taught in the gym but learn at home, and that everything is homework.  This is what makes a martial art yours, and part of your lifestyle not just a “class” you take.


Ladies!  You can see the entire series on youtube in 5 parts , called “Last Woman Standing -Kali, Filipino Martial Arts”  this is part 4 where the tournament starts, enjoy…

I think our female training partners already strike and defend a little tighter, and have a little more footwork, but I am biased, I think they’re great.  NONETHELESS, we will continue to train –  for personal development.


Training this Sunday in Campbell Park in Deltona, 1pm.

For the regulars attending the Deltona Sunday in the park training group, this Sunday we’ll be adding a little more intensity, speed, and power to the practice.  We will still train safe, it makes no sense to me to have beginners get hurt before they fully learn a skill, but for something’s you guys and girls are ready to start projecting.  Remember you are still in the compliance stage, not in the really trying to “get” each other stage.  It’s a good way to learn.

That said, we will continue to work sumbrada.  I learned this particular practice from an Instructor named Jimmy Tacosa many, many years ago.  I was impressed with how fast it made you, to reflexively change and adapt to a follow up movement, whether a defense or counter.  Then from Gregg Alland and others, I learned insertions, the disarms and finishes possible at each point.

I hear some people pooh pooh the practice of sumbrada as mechanical.  I don’t see it.  At the early stages you are compliant, but that is the learning process for the drill.  Even then you are continually adjusting things like distance, angles, footwork, breath, gaze…Once you have the drill down you add the insertions.  Because the insertions can come at any point in the drill, it is less mechanical. add to that being able to recounter the insertion it becomes less mechanical.  Add to that being able to shift to dakupt and punyo, hubuds, or any of the sinawalis and you have one of the most dynamic weapons training drills around.

We’ll be having some fun.  Anyone referred by their instructors are welcomed, thats why I’ve visited the local dojos, if you come with one of the regulars as well, or if you drop me an email or a call.

As the instructor I reserve the right to decline anyone on the basis of attitude or behavior.


Sinawali Practice

Deltona Kali Silat training Group meets on Sunday at 1pm in Campbell Park, Deltona, Fl.

We do Sinawali in many variations: double weapon, single weapon, uneven weapon, empty hand, and even unusual weapons and combinations.

Training Sinawali this way keeps you in continuous flow, and makes you have to “think” less about whether you are using a weapon or not, because you are combatively functioning regardless.

You are the weapon, everything in your hand is only a tool!