Shout out to the training group

Shout out to the Kali Silat crew this weekend.

We went a little more structured and in order.  Normally I take a look at the students and look to give them what they want or need, but sometimes you have to bring them to what you want to give them.

This week in our Kali Silat training Group class we:

  • Covered #’s 1-12 of the 64 Attacks, r &l hand, full power, double force, broken & fluid strikes.
  • 4 wall blocks
  • Seguidas # 1-6
  • Combat striking set
  • 5 count offensive set; stick, knife, and empty hand
  • Blitz punching
  • 1 counter with takedown
  • Review of basic entries for a lead hand strike and for a 1-2 punch

We had fun doing it, and we fine-tuned at every step of the way.

Good work everybody.  You should always be refining what you’ve learned previously, and adding to it.  The idea is to have material you can develop for yourself and your loved ones all your life.  If you like what we do, feel that you’re learning valuable skills and concepts, having fun while at it, then tell a friend, bring a friend.

My teaching style may not be for everyone.  I’m not a 6″5, 300 lb gruff killer looking individual, I like to joke and clown a bit.  I don’t stress you about you’re not grasping or performing fiercely right away, in fact, I’m rather gentle.  I don’t hold students hostage to the art, or to me.   That’s why I say “every thing is homework.”  Learn whatever I can teach you, personalize it for yourself  (the art was made for man, not man for the art), own it, share it, live.

See you all next week!  Vid image

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Role Models!

Children are often asked who their role models are.  In elementary and middle schools many children have to write an essay of who their role model is and most children will say it’s a parent.  I think my son wrote one once about me!

I believe they say that because it’s an  easy answer, and they know it’s an expected answer.  Can’t loose with that one.  I don’t doubt that in some cases it is true.  Parents who heroically provide for their families, and the children who see the struggle and accomplishments will hold on to that for inspiration.  Parents who are accomplished and obviously have a higher quality of life than others around them have,and values that tend to live on in their children.

But for average households, or for unaccomplished households it’s honestly not the case.  It’s a false equivalency to link admiration and love, as often happens.  Like it’s obligatory to have your parent as a role model or else it means you don’t love them.  Often children admire a friends parent’s more than their own, due to the other’s character, lifestyle, or accomplishments.  That doesn’t mean  they love their parents less, it just means that the ladder they need to climb for personal development is elsewhere.  Off the top Robert Ryosaki comes to mind.

I can’t think of another way to say this but I’ve come from communities where “white people” things were often envied and derided at the same time.  I still see that today  in a lot of those same communities.  That perspective puts up a box around the child to insure that he will maintain a particular culture; foods they eat, music they listen to, etc.  That box which maintains and perpetuates a particular culture comes with unnecessary baggage and a lock.  Fear.  Fear of the different, fear of success. Fear of failure.  Fear of admiring a different role model.

James Bond was my role model.

As a young child I saw a James Bond movie.  He was fearless, heroic, educated, skilled, and worldly.  I was living in Puerto Rico at the time and was 8 or 9 years old.  In James Bond I saw what I wanted to be, to  aspire to.  It was not the being a Secret Agent part.  It was everything else I saw.  He was smooth, poised, spoke well, was charming, loved by women, respected by men, spoke other languages, was comfortable in other cultures and countries, could fly a plane, knew fine art and science, could do karate, dressed sharply.

I knew that didn’t come easily.  I knew that to be that way you had to learn, study, practice.  You had to, in what NLP today calls “modeling” start with the example before you, and build on it.  My karma was not to be afraid of stepping outside the box.  I pursued the sophistication that lay outside my box.

But those things didn’t exist in my community.  My community was largely unsophisticated.  Good hearted, hard working people that didn’t  know fine art, didn’t speak other languages, had no interest in martial arts, many didn’t even drive, and were very content in their box.  In a young child like myself at the time, those aspirations were considered quaint.  In an older child they are considered a distraction, or worse yet, a rejection of your culture, your box, your community.  That often brings alienation.

I’m sad to say the paradigm of the cultural box is alive and well in a lot of the same communities.  And more young people than not are buying into it.  Sometimes celebrating sometimes resenting their narrow constraints, and deriding the greater life around them, which they would enjoy having as well.  It just seems that they would like for it to come into their box rather than go out for it.

They don’t want to learn language and communication skills. They “ax” a question and “conversate.”  Heaven forbid learning Cantonese or French.  Music, only “reggeaton and bachata in our house” classical? folk? No way!  Food, “Ugh. How can those people eat that curry stuff?”  Job/career, auto mechanic or grocery clerk.  Spirituality, “all I know is Jesus is God nigga!”  Love, “I can’t date white people, they can’t dance salsa.”  Stray beyond these confines, try to expand your consciousness and experience and, well there’s a nonsensical term I’ve heard applied; you’re a “come mierda” you eat shit.  I know, it doesn’t make sense.

I loved my parents and family.  But they alone could not direct me to living my life to the fullest.  I found a picture of what I considered a greater quality of life outside of our box.  I would wish for the young people in our communities to become more sophisticated, more worldly, to experience more of what life has to offer, without fear of rejection and derision from their communities.  Otherwise the world and life will pass them by, and they will continue to envy and mock what they envy, when all it takes is realizing that the box doesn’t exist, it’s self created and can be self erased.

James Bond was my role model.

Even they way he introduced himself was distinct. Your name?  “Bond, James Bond!”

No matter where you are, there is a role model expressing a greater quality of life available to you.  It’s not for everybody.  But if it is for you, don’t be afraid of your community, your box.  Be brave, go beyond where those around are.  You will not be alone.  You won’t be the first on the journey, and you will have one less regret in life; you won’t regret not having stepped out of the box.

 

Notes, notes, notes!

A while back I was with a training partner, who like me, had trained around a lot, and traveled to seminars and training sessions with great masters. Not all of us live near the Inosanto Academy, or have top first generation masters ion our neighborhoods, but it’s a different world than 200 years ago, and travel for everyone is a lot easier.  So we extend ourselves for the opportunities to learn from the best.

In some of my early Karate days, I had instructors secure enough to not discourage you from training with other teachers as well as themselves, while others didn’t want you to taint what they were teaching you with other “garbage.”  I take the latter as a bit of selfishness and insecurity, but anyway…

Because you might not see a particular instructor for weeks, month or even years, a lot of us struggled to keep notes, during breaks in practice and sometimes even in the middle of learning a technique or concept.  The training partner I mentioned at the beginning, told us he had 10 years worth of notes, organized, in one notebook!  He is an excellent practitioner, runs a great training group, is well connected and continues to train with others.

I’ve also kept notes, but not as well.  Napkins, tissue paper, scraps of note or typing paper someone spared me, assorted little notebooks, often with barely legible and illegible script or drawings has been part of my treasure house of learning.  That way I could go back to my home school get a partner, and refine things till I got with that instructor next time.  Consider how glad I was once when an instructor for a week gave us a binder of the material we were going to cover!

But personal language and vocabulary also come in to play.  How you effectively communicate to yourself may be unique.  When I describe something as 1-1-2 you may understand for yourself better as right-right-left, and then why complicate it more using foreign terms?

Which is why I encourage note taking.  And I am taking notes now on what I teach and to whom.  No pressure though, everyone is on their own level, timetable, and capacity structure, you are only looking for your personal best.  I’m doing it so I can review that I don’t miss basic essentials for everyone.

Beyond that, I hope that all of you will excel and surpass me, then come teach me some more.  Like I say, we have no tests, yet you are testing always!

See you guys at Black Lightning Martial Arts in Debary, Florida, on Sunday afternoon!  BLMA3BLMA1