No styles, no systems, no rituals, no lineages, no masters, no labels, no belts, no katas, no uniforms, no dogmas;

Only the process of self actualization & personal expression of truth through functional combative movement and fitness.

On a purely physical level, we share how to individually and collectively use all of our natural tools as well as extended ones, offensively and defensively in a strategic and tactical manner and in all ranges of combat.

We're put through functional physical fitness training where we learn to push ourselves through our own perceived limitations. We also have much to offer on nutrition, health and optimum performance.

On a more cerebral level we learn about the psychology of violence, fear, stress & confrontation management skills, deescalation strategies and holistic survival tactics.

As the mind navigates the body; by challenging personal self defense dogmas and individual & core belief systems, personal growth and evolution occurs.

On a human level, we learn about the ripple effect and the moral, legal, and ethical consequences of our chosen actions while self examining our darkest emotions. We are encouraged to question everything, to learn to think for ourselves, to be more accountable and research everything we learn and to be open and responsive to life without judgment.

On a personal level, the training can make you face and slay your own demons.

Everything shared here is highly encouraged to be individually researched, to “absorb what is useful, add what is specifically of your own and disregard the rest.”

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A success story from Down Under...

(So many grossly underestimate the true power and ripple effect of de-escalation)

A seminar participant from our Australian seminar tours writes in to share in my opinion, a very important lesson and message he recounts of a situation that could have easily unfolded very differently. There is a disturbing trend in our industry of pre-empting way to early without first determining the true nature of the confrontation which, unfortunately has proven time and time again, resulting in far worse and sometimes even fatal outcome.

"Dear Rich,

Hope this message finds you well. I'd like to share a story with you about what happened to me and my mates last night in Sydney. At the moment the news here is full of stories about Indian students being targeted by groups of gangs etc.

Last night I was out with some friends. My best mate, his fiancé and myself are Indian. We got hassled by a group of drunken guys who asked us if we were Indian and then threatened to beat us up and stab us etc.

We walked away though, towards a nightclub 20 meters in the opposite direction we were heading in, because it had bouncers working outside. Anyway, the guy and his mates walk towards us yelled some more shit and walked away, but the thing is it had the potential to get out of hand and we didn't let it! AND IT WASN'T HARD!

I couldn't help but think to myself what could have happened if we started mouthing off at these guys. I gotta say it was a different feeling. I've trained in martial arts where someone mouthing off at you and threatening to hit you would have been enough to hit first. I just realized to myself that these guy didn’t want to hit us, unless we gave them a reason to. That's something that I learned from your seminars and your articles etc. If you take actions which don't command, challenge, threaten, or insinuate a person is wrong then you reduce the likelihood of violence. So once again man, thank you for your teachings and hopefully I can use them again to get out of trouble.

Thanks & GOD BLESS!
Aye Jay"

Another potentially violent confrontation avoided. The origins of every senseless act of violence committed, amongst other things are fostered in ego, insecurity and an enormous lack of love and belonging. Understanding this at the core helps one deal with such situations without the interference of ego and from an empathic perspective giving one a greater control in dealing with such situations.

Now I just gotta let Aye Jay know that he really shouldn’t look forward to applying this philosophy again... that would mean trouble found him again and he would have missed the first step of the equation.... avoidance through heightened awareness ;`)



  1. A thought provoking post. I have to admit, that I would likely pre-empt too early by your estimation (one I respect greatly), in most situations. The reason for this, is, I believe, that in most confrontations I can envisage, I cannot imagine the majority of individuals fronting in me in an aggressive manner were they not serious in their intent. Woofing to save face? Yes. But closing in and even initiating contact? No. I am not the biggest guy around, your mate who you posted a pic of below in an earlier thread, puts me to shame, and yet, my size has always been enough to bring in the old animal equation into play in the past, that, and just the way in which I carry myself (legacy of too many years doing security in Oz). Of course, I don't go out to clubs, or frequent dangerous areas, so that helps with my present day avoidance. Still, that is where I stand. Perhaps wrongly.
    Coupled to this, in my scenario training to date, I have found great difficulty in maintaining control of the situation beyond anything more than a few back and forths. Back and forths which, thanks to the legacy of the afore mentioned security work, are handled far from passively. It is at this point where I recognize that if the bloke hasn’t backed down by now, there’s a bloody good chance he won’t. And so strike (in training and in visualization). Not always at a nuclear level. Sometimes just a palm heel to the chest.
    I say all of the above, not to present myself as being unarguably right in my reasoning. But rather just to offer and honest assessment of where I am at, and my likely reasons for being so.
    Perhaps a greater feeling of control comes with time and experience. Then again, I know of others who are possessed of more real world experience than myself, who incline along such lines when it comes to time spent in de-escalation.
    I don’t have the answer. Obviously. Lol. I suppose the point of this reply is to present what has been for me a question which has gone unanswered for a long time. Different approaches for different people when it comes to time spent in de-escalation is what I hold to at present. Though I freely acknowledge that there is likely far and away more to it than that.

  2. My reply in 2 parts:

    Part 1

    Hey Craig, nice to see you here... thank you for taking the time to read and reply. Hope you enjoy our blog so far.

    Not only do I appreciate but I also fully understand your position as, there was a time I too not only believed but espoused the same thing as well as have indeed pre-empted too early myself.

    As we are partly a sum of our experiences, mine have led me to realize that every one of our actions create a ripple effect in this world as it were. And since I am in the business of self defence/personal protection which are both naturally by products of improving, enhancing and bettering an individual's life, the way I see it, simply giving them the tools to defend themselves by solely hurting, injuring, maiming, crippling or even killing another human being is in my most humble of opinions; Socially Irresponsible and Hypocritical.

    Allow me to explain. If we are indeed in the business of bettering lives, shouldn't our actions be globally encompassing & beneficiary and not just from a selfish perspective and point of view?

    And so in defending oneself, do we not have the obligation of not becoming what it is we are defending against? Do we not owe the human being in front of us the benefit of the doubt? Is the true nature and goal of our work not to move towards the direction of 'out-birthing' violence and not just trying not to let it happen to just 'us'? Do we not have the responsibility to our future generations to try and ameliorate the state of affairs today for the future of tomorrow?

    For example, one of Craig's students in Sheffield arrived at a mall and was looking to park. He waited till someone moved out of a spot and he entered and took it. As he was getting out of his car, some other guy jumped out of his car, invaded Ian's space and began screaming and cursing at him for taking his spot. Ian got into a passive stance, apologized to the man, told him he hadn't seen him waiting there and that he'd be glad to move his car for him.

    The guy immediately backed off and said forget it, got back into his car and left looking for another spot... now here comes the kicker....

    See part 2 in next post.

  3. Part 2 continuation:

    Once inside and waiting in line to pay, Ian was tapped on the shoulder, turned to see who it was and there was that guy standing there in front of him. Ian thought for sure he was going to start again but instead the guy says to him:

    "I was looking for you for the last 20 minutes mate, I just wanted to apologize once again. I didn't realize how much of a jerk I was, when I attacked you out there and when you apologized and offered your spot, you made me feel real small. So once again, I am sorry for over reacting."

    There are many events as such that have led me to make sure I am certain before I pre-empt anyone of 1 thing: "Is this a good guy having a bad day, or is this really an asshole I'm going to have to unfortunately hurt to get home."

    Once determined, and we teach the formula how, one can pre-empt with a good conscience. The way I see it, there are 2 kinds of people in this world, those who look out for number one, and those who also look out for others in looking out for number 1. Senshido is more of a system for the latter, those who care not just about themselves and there loved ones, but also about the possible effect of their actions in their lives & communities and what kind of legacy they are leaving behind.

    Not that there's anything wrong with the former, as I said, I walked that path for most of my life, no way I can ever judge another, takes all kinds to make a world and all are an integral part of a balance... our job is to make sure that balance remains, and the prophetic 'Dark Side' doesn't gain an advantage ;`)

    So, what ripple effect will our actions have? Will this guy you beat down over a parking spot, a spilled bear, a footie game, a pinched ass, a dirty look, a cut off in line or any other incredibly trivial reasons worth possibly dying or going to jail for ruining not only 1 family but several instantaneously, creating what kind of ripple effect again?

    Will he, after taking your beating go home and beat his wife and kids maybe? Perhaps the next guy he picks to exorcize his demons on after you won't be so lucky because this time, the beating he took at your hands prompted him to carry a weapon?

    The point is we don't really know now do we, and many will say and do say, it's not my business, but I say it is all of our business, as we all live in this world don't we? But what we do know is whatever ripple effect it will cause, it more certainly not going to be a positive one for the most part.

    And so by attempting to properly defuse, giving the individual in front of you a way out without losing face and establishing the fact that no decent person would ever continue an assault after the dialogue you just offered... well then... pre-empt in good conscience brother, cause like I said, that Dark Side can't gain that edge but if we simply lash out without concern except our own, then what pray tell makes us any different than the person lashing out at us? His place in line? The fact that he threatened first? If that helps some get through their day's then all the more power to them brother.

    There were times I was having a bad day and snapped at people myself for trivial things, we are all human after all. I just thank my lucky stars the people I snapped at never studied RBSD cause I'd have wires holding my jaw together right now, if I'd survive an untelegraphed full force chin jab without drooling for the rest of my life. ;`). Nope... luckily these people apologized, so did I and case was closed...

    Herein are my reasons. I'm not trying to change anyone's mind just offering a differing perspective... if you resonate with it, great, if not, great as well. To each there own, what's important is what works for you. All we ask is just make sure your cherries are indeed cherries ;`)