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.”

Monday, August 24, 2009

A time for Change...

For those that have been following our work pre 2005, you’ve probably noticed a bit of a shift in Senshido’s approach and philosophy over the last 4 or so years. Senshido has shifted from being what has come to be known as a Reality Based Self Defense System (RBSD, a term that I and many others feel is redundant but understand the need to differentiate in the industry from the Traditional Martial Arts, TMA, and Mixed Martial Arts, MMA) to also becoming a world wide Movement for Peace and Unity.

2005 Was a defining and monumentally significant year for both Senshido and I. My world as I knew it then, had collapsed from under me (much of course to my doing). I was to undergo tremendous change within a 4-year period…. I went through 2 divorces, 1 marriage, 2 heartbreaks, a few backstabs, loss of 2 homes, 2 lawsuits, an intense rekindling, 6 moves, the sale of the Senshido School itself, a shedding of an old skin & soul and a final move coming up in October leaving North America for an indefinite period of time. Quite a bit for a 92-month period…

Through out these trials & tribulations, something else happened… I also began to change, to see the world from an entirely differing perspective; I let go of the egocentricities and began focusing on the collective-centricities. I began seeing the bigger picture. I started to understand that humanity, is not a mass of individuals but a collective… and through that shift, Senshido began to change with me. I saw life as a singular energetic entity and not a vast sea of individual lives, species and races… but one single, driving energy lead by love.

Senshido the RBSD system is now and has always been really, the vehicle we (our International Team) use to reach people. It has also become, as stated at the end of the first paragraph, a worldwide movement for peace and unity, for tolerance and acceptance and ultimately for the message of love. Love, the moving and driving force that should be guiding us all…

And so Senshido’s International Team is growing and is comprised of those who teach and spread the Senshido way of life through the RBSD/Martial arts industry and those that spread Senshido’s Movement of Peace & Unity through their own every day chosen vocations, not having anything to do with the combative aspects that has brought us worldwide fame. Senshido has expanded much beyond the RBSD/martial arts realm today.

I began to understand that our worst enemies are a very huge and indeed, identifiable part of us. The Ego. The ego is also, unfortunately the primary driving force in most first world societies today. The ego is responsible for pride, racism, jealousy, insecurity, fear, hatred, anger, stress, pain, individualism, selfishness etc. The higher self however, is responsible for love, unity, coexistence, compassion etc. the higher self knows no fear, as it understands its place in the grand scheme of life.

And as ego is the primary motivational drive of all confrontations, Senshido began addressing the individual’s own emotional state (fear, stress, anger, hatred) as the springboard of defense for anyone harbouring any or all of these ego based emotions should be more concerned about the damage they are causing themselves and their loved ones be it directly or indirectly, it will always be worst than anything any “bad guy” or criminal will ever do to us. The simple understanding on a higher level of this concept alone is empowering enough to change one’s entire life for the better.

Going from the perspective of Self Defense for Self Development, Senshido and I yet continued to evolve… our testimonials went from thank you for the skills that helped survive a violent confrontation to thank you for changing my and my family’s lives. This set me off on a new direction again. I wanted to reach people way beyond the Shredder, way beyond the psychological or behavioural self defense arsenals… though these are still the foundational source of our vehicle in reaching the masses as we have a worldwide audience through DVDs, magazines, the internet and our International seminars.

I wanted to start a revolution, a peaceful one… this, after much ‘va et vient’ with my team and a select group of trusted friends and family, turned into us wanting to continue an Evolution as opposed to starting a revolution. An Evolution started long ago and lead by people like Jesus Christ, Mother Theresa, Gandhi, John Lennon & Yoko Ono, Bono, Lady Diana, Martin Luther King etc. We all live in this world, someone once said to me, you are either moving towards love or away from it... by every word, every action, every intention.

And more we began to do… a legacy project had already begun, I just needed to define it and focus on the ripple effects of it all. This is because legacy work is different from other good, solid and valid work. If you want to create something that will provide tremendous value to others and outlast your own life, you have to be able to clearly answer the question, “How will this really help humanity?” For most of us, asking this question can be difficult because it may cause us to realize just how little we do that has only insignificant long-term importance. It may reinforce that burning feeling we all have in our guts that we try to quell through various means but never succeed, and that is because it is greater than you and I.

Guess what happens when you make something greater than yourself… You re-awaken into life. You re-connect to this amazing source of energy that was always previously available to us only we had no idea how to achieve it… Work for collective liberation, because everyone's liberation is tied to each other's. If we are going to be free, we all need to be free… not a city, not a country, but the whole damn planet.

Hope, I realized, as I wrote to a good friend of mine on Facebook, resides in each and everyone of us... but as long as we all simply wait for the other to take action, nothing ever gets done... this is why people must unite worldwide and begin living the changes they want to see, becoming those changes regardless of adversity or perceived threat from the status quo... and Senshido International would like to offer a platform, a venue, a way for those like minded to unite and spread that message as there is power in numbers and as Pink Floyd prophetically sang on their “Wall” album in their song “Hey You”… “Together we stand, divided we fall.” And not as a nation, not separate from any other human being, but internationally… standing together world wide for the greater good of humanity.

Some may look at this and think or feel, too big a goal, impossible… why even bother? Or I have no time to contribute, no money to contribute… etc… but I have seen the changes, I have felt the ripple effect of our movement and the lives that it has already saved, empowered and enriched from the simplest of acts…

It takes little time and requires no money at all… it is the difference between living in our egos (how will this affect, effect, benefit me) as opposed to living in our higher selves (how will my actions affect, effect, benefit humanity, even in what I may perceive as the tiniest of ways…) as even the smallest, tiniest of things that may seem trivial to one, can enhance, enrich or even save another human beings life.

Acts any where in between such as those selflessly done by the people of our Good Deeds thread, which in turn saved a life and gave many others a renewed faith in humanity causing them to go out and commit selfless acts; or on a grander scale such as my soul-mate’s Tania Garby and her friend Sophie’s when they raised $3500 for the Tsunami victims of Thailand and flew there personally themselves to help a family rebuild their lives, in turn creating a ripple effect that affected the entire village giving them hope and belief in the human race. People from all over the world got together to lend a helping hand out of the goodness of their hearts without wanting anything in return.

And so our short term goals are to spread awareness and as mentioned earlier, join with like minded people world wide, get them to actively help us spread the good word... we do this through our actions, we lead by the front and by example and we also appreciate the fact the we are far from perfect, that we have and will make mistakes along the way.

We’re not delusional about this, we only want to be a part of the chain of people that have come before us (Gandhi, Mother Theresa, Lennon, Lady Diana, Martin Luther King Jr. to name a few) to make a difference and create a monumentally loud enough noise world wide about it so that it attracts like mindedness and the ripple effect just spreads...

We’re not looking for free money or investors or to make a profit on this, as a matter of fact, 10% of all Senshido materials sold go into personally helping a less fortunate family in need struck by medical and financial problems... we’re looking for simple things like the spreading of our Good Deeds thread on our forum that has saved a life, our International charity event, etc. these are contagious things... we're the first to have tagged "Self Defense for Self Development" in the RBSD field and already I've seen someone begin "Personal Protection for Personal Development"... it spreads and that's a good thing when a good thing spreads... we want people to “rip off” our ideas... we want people to selflessly spread good... we just want to unify them under one umbrella and give them a sense of "togetherness" world wide as there is strength in numbers and people feel more empowered when they know they are fighting for a positive cause that is also internationally followed....

So if this resonates with you, if you would like to help us spread our movement, simply join our forum, facebook page and blog, help spread our message and know that 10% of any purchase you or anyone makes through Senshido International goes directly into helping a family in need. Help us network regardless of where you are in the world… share your stories with us, with others, spread your love as a little always goes a long way with the right intention and energy behind it.

And so I am still in transition with all of this, I am still developing this ideology more and more as days, weeks and months go by and everyday there is a new revelation, every day I discover or rediscover something that shifts my focus and evolves the direction in which I and Senshido are going… I understand this maybe and is definitely frustrating to some, but this makes it also quite revealing… and so I thank you for your patience during this transition, I Thank you all for reading and understanding, I offer my apologies to those that disagree or maybe disappointed in this new direction, however, this is much bigger than you and I. ;`)

Most sincerely,

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