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.”

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Good Deed a week challenge!

A friend of mine Drew Guest began this page on Facebook and it is a world changing event which requires minimal effort from people. From Drew:

So here's the idea as the name suggests you are challenged to perform at least one good deed every week for 2011, that's only 52 good deeds throughout the year. That shouldn’t be too hard, in fact chances are, if you are looking at this page then you already come close, if not, exceed that goal already.


Friday, December 24, 2010

A little history and logic for the holidays perhaps? :`)

The History of the Devil as well as Heaven and Hell... an excellent and informative documentary, knowledge is power folks.  Please take no offence at the choice of images or clips being provided here.  The object is provoke and promote free thought, do what you will with the information provided.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A positive reminder............

The following was posted on the Senshido International forum by my bro Les Turpin back in 2006 (thanks bro, I never forgot em ;`), it's something that I believe should be read, shared and applied by one and all...

Attention all CANUCKS!!!!!

Please stand up for your rights and freedoms as they are slowly being taken away from us, will you stand for this??? I will go to jail before I allow this shit to happen. The pen is mightier than the sword, please write our governcunt (no offense to the vagina meant in any way) protest letters against this Nazi garbage. Thank you.

Monday, December 20, 2010

There's light IN THE DAMN tunnel....

we're just going to fast to catch it.... this is mighty inspirational, something the first world countries could learn enormously from... write your governments, ask them how come they have enough money to fund wars killing millions but they can't feed the poor of their country while a presumably 3rd world country like Brasil manages to make certain everyone has good quality and healthy produce?


Share this, in hopes of inspiring, in showing there is hope and that decency, morals and ethics are still alive and well on this earth, just not where you'd imagine you'd find it....

Sunday, December 19, 2010

New set of pics...

Another set of pics to provoke emotion and thought... what do each mean to you?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Humanity does have a chance....

With people like this brother doing their part, humanity does indeed have a chance. A true inspiration. We can all learn something from this:

Please share this, it is both inspirational and motivational. A real life super hero.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Simply one of the best articles I've read

I found the following article posted on a friend's page on Facebook. It is written by Ryan Dawson and you can find the original piece here:

I simply couldn't have said it better nor agree more with it. This needs to be shared and read:


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A picture's worth 1000 words? How bout these?

The following are pictures I personally found to be both emotionally and thought provoking images. Go through them one by one (may take a few minutes, there are quite a few there) - what do each of these trigger in you and why?

Click on each one to see them larger and individually.


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Free Safe for Life workshop, Beirut Lebanon

Call 031 499 712 or email

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Holiday specials and updates.......

Hoping this message finds everyone more than well. Please note that Senshido International has a new address and telephone number:

P.O. Box 3133
Jasper, Alberta
Canada T0E1E0
Tel: 514-500-2535
Emails: - -

We also have several new Team members who joined us recently: Tuomo Malinen of Oulu Finland, Joe Saunders of Brisbane Australia, Patrick Ressler of Germany and very son to join us as a new Senshido International Team member Malachi Bond of Anchorage Alaska.

For those interested, curious or simply haven't gotten around to ordering any of our materials, we are having a holiday special from November 24th to December 23rd.

Purchase any 2 DVDs and get any third item for 50% OFF or purchase any 4 DVDs and get another DVD or book of your choice FREE of charge!

Special Packages:

New series of DVDs being filmed this coming July 2011 and will be available for purchase by August 2011.

Upcoming Seminars:

We will be in Toronto Canada on February 26th and 27th, please contact Christopher Roberts for details and bookings at

We will also be in Australia for a tour come April/May 2011, for details and bookings please contact Joe Saunders at

Coming seminars for 2011, no dates set yet but will soon be advertising for Germany, Belgium, California & Arizona... more details soon.

New website still in development and with any luck this time, we'll have it up and running before the end of the year.

Thank you all, much peace, love and happiness for the holidays!

Rich Dimitri & Senshido International

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Friday, November 19, 2010

Heart and Passion

Senshido international Team member Wes Derequito of Ara Academy in Montreal Canada covering take down defenses. The mark of a great teacher is passion and heart and Wes has much of both going for him.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Drug wars??? lmfao @ the hypocrisy...

Canada offers a wide array of heavily discounted pharmaceutical drugs to an international client base. The cost of these drugs are massively subsidized by Canadian tax payers, without their knowledge.

We host thousands of on-line pharmacies that sell our subsidized drugs to people around the world.

Visit some of the pharmacies in Canada's little bordering towns with the USA… why do so many little towns with less than 5000 people have pharmacies as big as supermarkets?

Americans and people from around the world buy drugs from Canadian pharmacies because of the price difference. Trouble is the "price difference" is completely paid for by Canadian tax payers… year after year.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

She completes me... she's weird; but she definitely completes me.

The week we first met after 23 years.

yeah, cause I'm weird... lmao... see next pic!

See, we're perfect for each other lmfao...

A real angel... with butterfly wings. told ya she was weird. :`)

Helping me demo during a seminar.

Finally looking somewhat normal the both of us... :`)

Tania Garby... I hadn't heard that name since 1986. She was my first 'real' girlfriend. Real as in we were each other's 'first'. Yeah. And she broke my heart. Twice. :`) She broke up with me twice during the course of 8 or so months back in 1986 and I was never to hear from or of her again. Until one fateful day back in 2008 and out of nothing more than complete curiosity... I typed her name into Facebook. Of course, if wasn't to be as easy as that... her profile picture was of the tip of a kayak and her security features were good enough to not let me see any other of her pics. So I wasn't sure if it was indeed her or not... after all, it had been 22 years now.

Is the knock out your primary defensive strategy?

If it is, one has to consider the responsibility of such an action and the possible ramifications of such actions.

There are many in our industry who boast and claim hundreds of knockouts in street-fights, something I personally find difficult to believe for many reasons. Not that it isn't possible, sure, it could be possible to have knocked out hundreds of men in real violent confrontations, but probable? I think not and I will share with you why, make up your mind from there.

There was a story that made the news several years ago in Quebec, Canada where 2 fathers watching their pee wee children's hockey game got into a physical altercation. Upon this altercation, one dad sucker punched the other flush in the face knocking him out before he even hit the ground. And herein lied the problem... it wasn't so much the punch that killed him as it was his head bouncing off the concrete when he hit the floor. He couldn't reflexively brace himself because, well, he was knocked out on the way down by the punch.

The ripple effect of this altercation at a pee wee's hockey game no less, was 2 fatherless children, 2 husbandless wives,one of them a widow; and the other dad doing 5 to 15 for involuntary man-slaughter. Now let's think for a minute, how these 2 children will grow up. One will grow up with great sorrow and anger, the other with great sorrow and confusion. How will this effect their lives, their future children's lives etc?

Take a look at the following 2 clips. The first illustrates a sucker bitch slap which worked very well might I add (now besides the fact that the other dude has his hands down, we can obviously see the benefits of adopting the passive stance in such a situation, but that's another article. :`) But watch the other guy drop... no bracing. The potential for such a fall to lead to further problems accumulated to the original sucker punch could very possibly lead to several worst results such as a coma, brain damage, permanent disability, even death.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Return from Finland

Chillin with Christopher. And Ville. lmao.

With Finland Senshido International team members Ville Kaivonen, from Tampere (left) & Tuomo Malinen from Oulu (right)

I just returned from a successful Finnish seminar tour in Helsinki, Oulu and Tampere. The seminars were a huge success and the Senshido International Team has a new family member, Tuomo Malinen from Oulu. A truly great human being and strange character fitting in perfectly with our gang of misfits lmao... can you say 'gimp suit'? lmfao... ahem...yeah... I digress...

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Free Fundamentals DVD....

Click on the following link, sign up and enjoy... it's that simple... free:

Courtesy of our New Zealand Team members Phil and Athena Thompson of Protect Self Defense.

Please feel free to cut and paste... it's a nice ripple effect ;`)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Another life changing day in Cairo, Egypt

Recently completing a part 1 of a Fundamentals of Personal Protection seminar where I got to meet yet another great bunch of people, the impact made was tremendous. I was approached by 3 of the participants on the same day telling me that their lives were changed within the first hour of the workshop. 1 woman went on to tell me that she was holding tears back as every cell in her being was screaming out at her "THIS IS TRUTH SMACKING YOU IN THE FACE!"

One of the participants and also the organizer of the event, went on to describe the day as such:

"In a borrowed apartment on the other side of town, Richard Dimitri held today a workshop that was supposed to last four hours and lasted seven, that not only prepared participants to face direct violence but that exposed the futility and dangers of all violence, that provided a space for those there to take remarkable risks in talking openly about some of the most traumatic experiences they have had and are having, and that was delivered with such passion and genuine care and dedication as to release in everyone's questions that will transform their lives. Richard, we are much honoured and thank you for this tremendous gift you gave us — 1000 salam" ~ Ian & Haleluya

One of the ladies Ian mentions in his quote above, revealed to us the violent experiences she has been and is still currently going through with her ex husband and on that day, finally made all the decision to change her life.

It was a fulfilling day in many ways... the new friends made, the lives that were directly affected and were nudged along towards betterment through personal evolution and the undeniable ripple effect this day had in my opinion, makes my job the best damn job in the world. And to think there were times I wanted to pack it all in, quit and change my life entirely... well, this day and many others prior wouldn't have happened had I done that... once we find our paths, better to stick the course as life knows best...

Thank you to all who participated and shared their stories, you are the people I know and trust will make this world a better place.

Much peace,

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Friday, September 17, 2010

Combative Corner Interview Part 2

PART 2: Richard Dimitri Interview


Richard Dimitri is one of the foremost authorities in reality-based self-defense and hand-to-hand combat. Recently, the Combative Corner had the honor of asking Mr. Dimitri “10 Questions.” He was so generous with his words that we’ve decided to separate this particular interview into Part1 and Part 2. For more information on Richard Dimitri and the close-quarters conceptual tool know as The Shredder™, please visit his website at Senshido.Com

Full interview here:

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Combative Corner Interview Part 1

10 Questions with Richard Dimitri

Richard Dimitri is one of the foremost authorities in reality-based self-defense and hand-to-hand combat. Recently, the Combative Corner had the honor of asking Mr. Dimitri “10 Questions.” He was so generous with his words that we’ve decided to separate this particular interview into Part 1 and Part 2. For more information on Richard Dimitri and the close-quarters conceptual tool know as The Shredder™, please visit his website at Senshido.Com.



Some grim realities important to be aware of and speak out against.

Caution: the following article contains much depictions of brutal violence.

Robert Fisk: The lie behind mass 'suicides' of Egypt's young women

Part three of our series demolishes the official claim that Egypt, where a farmer decapitated his own daughter, has no 'honour' killings...

Facebook dangers... awareness is paramount

As per our forum by one of it's members Adam, who shared the following link with us:

Don’t Get Robbed: Burglars Use Facebook to Pick Targets

People said it would happen with Foursquare, it may have already happened with Twitter, and now the trend has continued on Facebook: Burglars in Nashua, New Hampshire looked at updates from Facebook to figure out when one target wasn’t at home.

Truth be told....

If an American doctor of the late 19th century stepped into a time warp and emerged in 2010, he would be shocked by the multitude of pharmaceuticals that today's physicians use. But as he pondered this array (and wondered, as I do, whether most are really necessary), he would soon notice an equally surprising omission, and exclaim, "Where's my Cannabis indica?"

No wonder -- the poor fellow would feel nearly helpless without it. In his day, labor pains, asthma, nervous disorders and even colicky babies were treated with a fluid extract of Cannabis indica, also known as "Indian hemp." (Cannabis is generally seen as having three species -- sativa, indica and ruderalis -- but crossbreeding is common, especially between sativa and indica.) At least 100 scientific papers published in the 19th century backed up such uses.

Then the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 made possession or transfer of Cannabis illegal in the U.S. except for certain medical and industrial uses, which were heavily taxed. The legislation began a long process of making Cannabis use illegal altogether. Many historians have examined this sorry chapter in American legislative history, and the dubious evidence for Cannabis addiction and violent behavior used to secure the bill's passage. "Under the Influence: The Disinformation Guide to Drugs" by Preston Peet makes a persuasive case that the Act's real purpose was to quash the hemp industry, making synthetic fibers more valuable for industrialists who owned the patents.

Meanwhile, as a medical doctor and botanist, my aim has always been to filter out the cultural noise surrounding the genus Cannabis and see it dispassionately: as a plant with bioactivity in human beings that may have therapeutic value. From this perspective, what can it offer us?

As it turns out, a great deal. Research into possible medical uses of Cannabis is enjoying a renaissance. In recent years, studies have shown potential for treating nausea, vomiting, premenstrual syndrome, insomnia, migraines, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, alcohol abuse, collagen-induced arthritis, asthma, atherosclerosis, bipolar disorder, depression, Huntington's disease, Parkinson's disease, sickle-cell disease, sleep apnea, Alzheimer's disease and anorexia nervosa.

But perhaps most exciting, cannabinoids (chemical constituents of Cannabis, the best known being tetrahydrocannabinol or THC) may have a primary role in cancer treatment and prevention. A number of studies have shown that these compounds can inhibit tumor growth in laboratory animal models. In part, this is achieved by inhibiting angiogenesis, the formation of new blood vessels that tumors need in order to grow. What's more, cannabinoids seem to kill tumor cells without affecting surrounding normal cells. If these findings hold true as research progresses, cannabinoids would demonstrate a huge advantage over conventional chemotherapy agents, which too often destroy normal cells as well as cancer cells.

As long ago as 1975, researchers reported that cannabinoids inhibited the growth of a certain type of lung cancer cell in test tubes and in mice. Since then, laboratory studies have shown that cannabinoids have effects against tumor cells from glioblastoma (a deadly type of brain cancer) as well as those from thyroid cancer¸ leukemia/lymphoma, and skin, uterus, breast, stomach, colorectal, pancreatic and prostate cancers.

So far, the only human test of cannabinoids against cancer was performed in Spain, and was designed to determine if treatment was safe, not whether it was effective. (In studies on humans, such "phase one trials," are focused on establishing the safety of a new drug, as well as the right dosage.) In the Spanish study, reported in 2006, the dose was administered intracranially, directly into the tumors of patients with recurrent brain cancer. The investigation established the safety of the dose and showed that the compound used decreased cell proliferation in at least two of nine patients studied.

It is not clear that smoking marijuana achieves blood levels high enough to have these anticancer effects. We need more human research, including well-designed studies to find the best mode of administration.

If you want to learn more about this subject, I recommend an excellent documentary film, "What If Cannabis Cured Cancer," by Len Richmond, which summarizes the remarkable research findings of recent years. Most medical doctors are not aware of this information and its implications for cancer prevention and treatment. The film presents compelling evidence that our current policy on Cannabis is counterproductive.

Another reliable source of information is the chapter on cannabinoids and cancer in "Integrative Oncology" (Oxford University Press, 2009), a textbook I edited with integrative oncologist Donald I. Abrams, M.D. (Learn more about integrative cancer treatment from Dr. Abrams.)

After more than 70 years of misinformation about this botanical remedy, I am delighted that we are finally gaining a mature understanding of its immense therapeutic potential.

Andrew Weil, M.D., invites you to join the conversation: become a fan on Facebook, follow him on Twitter, and check out his Daily Health Tips Blog. Dr. Weil is the founder and director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine and the editorial director of

Monday, September 13, 2010

Rising above it...

My team and I have been discussing personal/human evolution on our private forum and during the course of this conversation, it was brought up by many who shared the experiences of their own personal evolutions as well as many of their students, however, there are some people who are stuck in their molds, they haven’t truly evolved in decades, still holding onto the same beliefs, same fears, same insecurities and fighting tooth and nail for them.
I understand these people well as I was once very much stuck in my ego as well, now I get to fluctuate to and from my ego and my higher-self, with my higher-self winning the battles much more often as my life goes on…
Coming from a time where I was 'stuck' I can share with you the following which I surmise maybe similar for many. These are my views and beliefs and I will reveal much of my mind sets over the years and some of the things that lead me to where I am today, agree or disagree, you are right for your reality is yours and mine is mine. Please do feel free to “absorb what is useful, add what is specifically of your own and disregard the rest.”

I fancied myself a kind of super hero. I was majorly influenced by the movie heroes of my time, Bruce Lee, Stallone, Arnold, Mel Gibson, Clint Eastwood, Bronson etc. and the lives they were portrayed to live in those films that I actually created a similar reality for myself. My ego was all about injustice, righting wrongs and fighting for the underdog... I was big on vengeance, you have no idea how big on vengeance I was... I've committed some pretty despicable acts in the name of justice and revenge.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Urban Combative's Lee Morrison's Shredder Review

From my bro Lee Morrison's website - Senshido’s Shredder seminar with Richard Dimitri, 7th of November 2004

The Tokei martial arts centre in Tooley Street London was the venue hosting one of the best modern combative seminars that I have attended in a while. Canadian instructor Richard Dimitri hosted his most excellent presentation of the Shredder; a close quarter conceptual tool that would make a useful addition to anyone’s combative arsenal. This seminar was part of Senshido’s UK tour and saw many proficient instructors and trainees in attendance. The seminar kicked off around 11am and for the next five hours we were presented with a goldmine of useful information and functional drills. The Shredder is a conceptual tool that is designed to override the startle/flinch mechanism that is the hard wired natural response to a physical attack. This flinch response is an immediate reflex to any indication that a physical assault is coming and is kicked into play via the Amygdala; an almond shape threat detector that is located in the brain. (For more info on this check out the review of Dennis Martin’s 2nd International seminar) The Shredder bypasses this mechanism through its avoidance of any pre-indication of attack by using a spontaneous assault of gross motor movements that to quote Richard; are launched on a quarter beat, attacking vital areas of the face and throat making the attack virtually impossible to stop or intercept. This method of attack is extremely invasive in nature as well as psychologically disrupting, creating primal fear in the recipient by switching the potential aggressor from predator into prey. This concept also fits in with Senshido’s 5 principles of physical retaliation these are as follows and in no particular order; Economy of motion, Non-telegraphic movement, Opportunity striking, Tactile sensitivity and Primary target acquisition. Richard went on to talk in depth about the principles of de-escalation from a natural position. He demonstrated this with some of the best role playing that I have seen. Emphasising important points of non-static use of the hands as you control space along with body shifting and moving, providing you with the opportunity to actively scan your environment as well as interfering with your potential aggressor’s position. Thus taking away his opportunity to set up for his attack. I must say at this point that Richard’s ability to put forth information was absolutely top class. Richard is a funny man who teaches with demonstrative passion, he makes you want to pay attention. This is a crucial element in teaching and is basically NLP based. The ability to change voice tonality as well as present demonstrative visual demonstration is what makes a good instructor and will appeal to everyone’s learning curve.

Assuming now that talking the situation down has failed us we then went into the dynamics of the Shredder. For those of us whose game plan calls for ballistic pre-emptive strikes may find the concept of just closing and grabbing the face and head a little against what you’re used to. But as soon as you see how effective this can be you will see how the Shredder can compliment your game. You can Shred pre-emptively then strike off that as a follow up with no pull back or time delay; a principle called worming. Or you could strike first then close to clinch and shred from there. Using tactile sensitivity as you rip, tear and gouge at the eyes, nose, ears and throat you could simple continue to incorporate shredding and striking as the opportunity presented itself.

Senshido 2006 Black Belt Shredder feature

Being able to employ “dirty fighting” in a violent encounter can spell the difference between life and death. The often-maligned category of moves includes gouging the eyes, raking the face, ripping facial features, pulling hair, biting, seizing the windpipe and delivering a variety of close-range blows. Many martial arts and self-defense instructors recognize the importance of these techniques, but few offer a realistic way of learning and practicing them—which is essential if you want to make them usable.

One instructor who bucks the trend is Richard Dimitri, founder of Senshido.... Read the full article here:

A personal account of the Shredder concept

"Stop! Shredder Time! I've taken quite a few classes in some of the different martial arts. Muay Thai, JKD, Tae Kwon Do, Kali and just tool..." My Travels Through Ebay and Life: Shredding... Not just for cheese any more...:

Friday, September 3, 2010


Enough war. Enough killing. Enough racism. Enough hatred. Enough spreading of personal venoms for vindication. Enough greed. Enough intolerance. Enough waste. Enough rape. Enough inequality. Enough suffering. Enough genocide. Enough guilt. Enough destruction and annihilation of species and nature.

Haven't we learned enough???

Friday, August 27, 2010

Close your bibles, friends

Life is like a rock concert: Sometimes, the music is so
good, it makes you cry tears of joy. Other times, it sucks.
No sugarcoating required, that's just how life is.

Sometimes, I hear you say: "I want to believe in God!"Sometimes, I hear you say: "But the search for my purpose is such a tiring-terryfing-wonderful journey."

Whenever I hear you saying this, I ask myself: If you don't believe, what's the point in wanting to? If you don't believe in The Man in The Sky (or any other story that was made up by humans, including the story of "It's not a story, it's been handed down to us by God"), what's the point in forcing yourself? What's the point in convincing yourself to believe in stories (stories, as opposed to facts).

Why don't you just learn some techniques that make you happier and help you deal with hardship? Why is there an obvious need to surround the psychological techniques of religion (prayer, confession, etc) with completely made-up stories? Is it the desire to become as a child again, with Big Daddy watching over you?

Is it the desire to purposely bow to a man-made construct that is said to have created everything, therefore also, logically, the Devil? Doesn't this sound twisted to you? What would you think about a father who begets many children, only to teach some of them how to be lowlife scum and lead their brothers and sisters into temptation? A father who punishes his children for engaging with beings and things he himself has created?

Let's assume for a moment that God, or any god for that matter, exists.

Does God love you? And let's remember: God is, as the preachers say, absolute Love. Since God has created everything, why has he created Evil? It's only there to make your life miserable -- and Absolute Love, God, has created it?

God is all powerful, say the preachers. If he is all powerful, why do the preachers say he can't defeat Evil at the moment? If somebody is all powerful, then they have the power TO MAKE EVIL STOP NOW. Why doesn't he do it?

These questions can only be asked by someone who believes or wants to believe.To paraphrase it: Belief or Faith drags people into a hailstorm (or hellstorm) of difficult philosophical questions. And if they manage to answer one question, there's already another one waiting for them. Philosphy doesn't help anybody because it doesn't teach techniques, approaches, methods. Philosphy is cerebral, mind-based, concept-based. But human beings don't need more concepts, they need a hands-on approach: We need to FEEL ourselves again, or maybe for the first time in our lives. Most of us have forgotten how it feels like to be ourselves, to be centered within us, to be rooted in the vast emptiness that is us, unmasked.

That's the problem of philosphy. Organized religion, to me, is nothing but a philosophy: It tells people what's good and what's bad -- but that's just an opinion. Organized religion doesn't offer techniques and methods to help people deal with pain and hardship. Organized religion simply demands: "Believe us, we know the truth!" But that doesn't fly with many people.

Jesus (and it doesn't matter if he really existed or not) said: "If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple." (Luke 14:26)

Many people who take the bible literally are confused, even shocked, by that. But it is a known fact that Jesus spoke in similes, so why not interpret it accordingly? What Jesus most probably has meant when he said that is, in order to become like him, followers have to give up their old ways, and most decidedly so -- because it's their old ways, their beliefs, their philosophies, their desires, that keeps them from really being.

Jesus was against any authority, a rebel who attacked hypocrites in the temple. A pretty cool dude, if you ask me. He never wanted an organization, never wanted a church. This is all stuff clerical powermongers have invented. You could and still can make decent money with organized religion, let's not forget that.

The ironic thing is that Jesus was an anti-estabishment, anti-church and anti-religion type of person. His teaching points towards a Truth that lies beyond books (even if they're called "scripture") and beyond words. It's the one-that-can't-be-named, a concept-free truth, absolute, without do's and don'ts, without any concept of good or bad. It just is.

And because it just is, there's no need to look beyond reality as it just is. Time to quit philosophy. Time to close the bible, time to stop preaching about imaginary kingdoms in the sky, time to start loving, hating, laughing, crying, helping, suffering -- time to start living, because that's the greatest gift of all.

Norbert G. Matausch
Senshido Team International Member

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

At what level of self-defense will you settle?

After being ingrained in the martial arts and self-defense industry for over 20+ years now, I’ve come across all kinds of practitioners, students and teachers alike the world over. I’ve met some incredible people through this industry and was blessed in many ways with the friends that I have made.

Speaking from the personal protection perspective as that has always been our primary directive; I have found the degrees to which people train in both fascinating and interesting based on various things factoring from beliefs to culture to environment to job etc.

Beliefs were the first things that struck me as most fascinating as the varying beliefs went from extreme paranoia to complete apathy & denial with everything in between as a reason for training or studying self-defense, or not.

I made a distinction between training and studying because although many do both, I have found that there are equally as many who only do the research or studying without putting in any physical training and vice versa leading to what I believe to be a more harm than good type of practice. All theory and no action or the other way around leaves too much room for error and leaves one open to the deer in headlights syndrome, nothing anyone would want to be in when facing a real, live threat.

Since actual factors such as environment, lifestyle and job can vary the ranges of need regarding self-defense training depending on circumstances predicated by such factors, I will be focusing on the two extreme ends of the belief spectrum here.

There are beliefs that range from always being ‘prepared’ or living in ‘code red’ if you will to ‘never worry be happy, violence only comes to those who attract it’. Both interesting perspectives, both a little right and left wing if you ask me but nonetheless, interesting.

Examining the first belief of always being prepared which usually deals with actions such as: Always carrying a weapon no matter where one goes, always keep a weapon in every room of the house, always be aware of improvised weapons, always watch everyone’s hands, train to pre-empt at first or any sign of aggression, etc. is a very safe way of living sure, but it also isn’t a healthy one. Adopting this sort of thought process, unless your ‘job’ or ‘lifestyle’ dictated it by circumstance and choice, it could lead to many personal, physical & mental health problems in the long run.

The constant activation of the adrenal stress glands through the emotion of fear and stress create a physiological imbalance in the body disrupting nearly every system in it. It can raise blood pressure, suppress the immune system, increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, contribute to infertility, and speed up the aging process through the increase of ‘free radicals’ which can lead to various cancers. Long-term stress induced thoughts can even rewire the brain, leaving you more vulnerable and susceptible to general feelings of anxiety and depression.

Regardless to what degree of stress or fear causes one to live as such, as no one lives as such unless they fear an assault or attack at one level or another, the body doesn’t distinguish between physical and psychological threats. Add to that the daily stresses of a busy schedule, an argument with a spouse, a traffic jam when you’re late, or a mountain of bills - your body, on a physiological level, reacts just as strongly as if you were facing a life-or-death situation.

If you have a lot of responsibilities and worries and you add to that the daily chore of concern of protecting yourself from a possible assault, your emergency stress response may be “on” most of the time. The more your body’s stress system is activated, the easier it becomes to activate it and the harder it becomes to shut it off.

Also, regularly training under the intended inoculation of the adrenal stress condition phase, causing the over activation of the fight or flight branch of the nervous system (though excellent for replicating reality and a necessary part self-defense training) it can also be detrimental without enough activation of the calm, peaceful, restful and meditative state of the body & mind.

Both branches need equal stimulation if a healthy strong and balanced body and mind are to be cultivated and maintained. That way, if it ever does come down to fight or flight, your nervous system will be able to perform at its peak therefore truly enhancing your survivability rate at its maximum.

It’s important to learn how to be self aware of one’s own physiological responses to stressful thoughts. The most dangerous thing about stress-induced emotions is how easily they can creep up on you. You get used to them. It begins to feel familiar, even normal. You don’t notice how much it’s affecting you as it takes a heavy toll on one's life and then it’s generally too late.

Here are some of the most common symptoms of daily induced stresses that we actually add too through the ‘code red’ type of daily thinking:

On a Cognitive level:

Memory problems
Inability to concentrate
Poor judgment
Seeing only the darker side of life
Anxious or racing thoughts
Constant under the radar worrying

On an Emotional level:

Irritability or short temper
Agitation, inability to relax
General feelings of being overwhelmed
Sense of loneliness and isolation
Sense of being misunderstood
General sense of depression or unhappiness

On a Behavioral level:

Poor eating habits
Sleeping too much and/or too little
Isolating yourself from others
Procrastination or neglecting of responsibilities
Regularly using alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs specifically to relax
Nervous habits (e.g. nail biting, pacing)

On a Physical level:

Regular aches and pains
Frequent diarrhea or constipation
Frequent nausea and/or dizziness
Frequent chest pain, rapid heartbeat or mild loss of breaths
Loss of sex drive
Frequent colds and/or flues

Keep in mind that these symptoms can also be caused by other psychological and medical problems or can even be the side effects of various pharmaceuticals. If you’re experiencing any or multiple of the warning signs of stress, it’s important to see a reputed health practitioner for a full evaluation as well as a good idea to re-evaluate one’s beliefs and perceptions for more congruous ones.

Thoughts can be scientifically measured in energetic frequencies. It has been proven that our very thoughts can and do manifest both emotionally and physiologically, your very thoughts can alter the molecular structure of water for better or worse when in contact with it, even through a bottle or glass. Food, even when ‘dead’ and cooked that is blessed prior to eating it has also been shown to have significant molecular change for the better making the food generally healthier overall.

Therefore the daily practice of less than positive thoughts or thoughts that inadvertently activate the stress glands do indeed lead to less than desirable results within and is completely incongruous with our very objectives of personal protection and survival.

The opposite isn’t optimal either, though it is healthier to live without a significant amount of fear or concern, depending of course on many factors, to be in complete apathy or denial and live with the belief of ‘nothing will ever happen to me’ can be worst and more detrimental than living in a state of ‘paranoia’.

I can hear some people now, “We’re not paranoid, we’re prepared!” LOL… I used to say the same thing, but then, I had the right too, I lived a certain kind of lifestyle which did indeed attract much violence, but for the average ‘civilian’ if you will, this sort of thinking is at best…. overkill & detrimental to one’s health.

Cemeteries, sexual assault centers and hospitals the world over are filled with people who said “This will never happen to me.” Therefore a healthy balance based on one’s individual or familial lifestyle becomes optimal if pure and applied self-defense is a concern, and as well, it should be for every human being out there as “chance favours the prepared mind”.

Put it this way, the training alone providing it includes some form of athletics and physical release beyond beating a bunch of padded assailants in a replication will do nothing but benefit your life in every possible area. Providing you are training with a solid and well-reputed trainer and you balance a peaceful and restful state of mind with the added stress inoculation of training or over training accumulated to the daily stresses of life.

A well-balanced training regimen with a healthy and logical state of mind and proper dietary habits actually reduces the effects of daily-induced stresses in comparison to the ‘paranoia’ mind set belief. It’s good to be prepared, but it isn’t a good thing to damage yourself worst through your very own perceptive state thinking you’re actually diminishing your probability of an attacker jumping you at the local movie rental shop or shopping mall with the James Bond approach to living.

Most ignore their emotional health until there is a significant problem. However, it is as critical to work on your emotional well-being the same way it takes time and energy to enhance your physical health. The more you work at it the healthier and stronger your emotional health will be. Those who possess a balanced emotional state usually deal with adversity with greater ease and resiliency. They remain focused, flexible, and positive in hard times.

Since we cannot entirely eliminate stress from our lives, we must insure the fact that we don’t unnecessarily add to it through our very own belief systems or methods of perceived ‘de-stressing’. We indeed can control how much it affects us.

Relaxation techniques such as Tai Chi, yoga, meditation, various forms of art, and various deep breathing exercises activate the body’s relaxation response and state of restfulness. When included in our weekly lives, these activities lead to a significant reduction in our everyday stress levels and a boost in energy levels and feelings of peace and happiness. They also increase our ability to stay calm and collected under pressure. An important factor in any self-defense situation. Remember, self-defense isn’t always or just about protecting ourselves from the bad guy, it’s more often than not, about protecting ourselves from ourselves.

Much peace,


Saturday, August 14, 2010

Here's some words of inspiration....

I decided to write this because my family had this very interesting conversation about jobs, work, and education etc...And my brother-in-law brought up an extremely good point about places such as retail stores (ones without commission) and fast food joints that do not really give their employees a deserving raise per year to having none. Most of the family tried ot explain to him that that's the way it works and the world is like that especially with these big places. But his point was not that. His point was defending the person who may actualy ENJOY his job working at a place like that and can never get to move up or a decent salary for something that particular individual works extremely hard for. Why can't it be about performance. It's all about control.

And I whole heartedly agreed with him. As a society we decided to agree that you need to have a college eudcation to be successful. Which unfortunately is true, especially in developed prospering countries. And that's how it works and it's fine. But what sucks about that is, not everyone is meant to study. And I know this from experience. There are many levels of intelligence. Not just book smarts.
You can be intelligent in the following areas:

-Scolar Intelligence (book smarts)

-Physical intelligence (good with manual work, like construction for example, or putting things together, or athletics)

- Scientifically intelligent

- Artisitically intelligent (anythng from drawing to dance, understanding rythm)
NOTE: I have always been amazed in how a perosn cna be such a great composer for example. being able to pick up a guitar or piano and just find the right notes to create a masterpiece. I had piano lessons and I was pretty good but I could never be able to figure out how to but notes together to create something new!

- even being socially or psychologically intelligent - this relates in understanding society and even emotions. And that is a good field to be smart in ;)

and there's more. And each can have their own subdivision of course. But as a society we are told if you don't know math you are dumb, or you can't read you are stupid. But you give that guy who can't read a math problem and he solves it in 2 seconds, or one guy might be a wiz in math and science but will never be able to learn to draw a cat. Some people really can't do certain things. Or it's not for them. So we push and push people to do things they don,t like to do because it's what we were conditioned to do.

And I feel for those who have these gifts and talents but can't use them because they never had the support. don't get me wrong, because I am an educated person. I have a bachelor's in Environmental Studies and a degree in Aircraft Assembly. And I am going for my certification as a Fitness Nutritionist. I like to do my own research. I am a researcher. I like finding answers. But with all that education I have on my belt, I decided to open up my own gym teaching Senshido, health and fitness, combative sports etc. Why? Because it's what I wanted to do. It was a dream I want to fulfill. And we have got to stop preventing people especially our kids from not pursuing what they really want.

Not everyone was meant to sit in class and memorize (which is what most education is about right now) a bunch of information to end up doing something they hate in life. And then people think they are dumb or even worse that they aren't working hard enough. Most of the time, they are wrong. Yes, there are lazy people who don't care but that's not the issue. I'm talking about the ones who have to try 10,20,50 times harder than most people to focus on a mere sentence. Those same people however, may be able to make the most beautiful masterpieces, or become the leading role in a broadway play. They may not make the real money for it but they will be happier in life.

How many of you hate your job that you studied 5-10 years for? Is that what you really want for your kids? to be unhappy in the end. some people are happy with their studying and their job which is great! But MANY people will not.

I have been around Senshido for over 11 years. And I have seen first hand Senshido is about evolving. Senshido evolved as a self defense system. And now is a self defense for self development. And it would be great if society would do the same. I think we need to encourage people to go for their dream. And it's true, some and many may not reach their dream but there is always a chance. It may be cheesy and to some maybe unrealistic, but we got to be positive! I've seen too many times where a kid wants to do something and they couldn't because they were simply told "No, it's a waste of time and money" or " you know that job doesn't make alot of money... "How do you know that that kid couldn't end up being the next superstar or the best comicbook artist.

In conclusion, we just have to have a little more encouragement. And if someone - if YOU have a dream go for it! You have to work hard for it though, so don't misread this blog as some magical positive thinking words (although there can be something 'magical' with positivity). It's about support, showing you love the people you say you care about by giving them the chance in fulfilling their dream. If my fiancé did not support what I was doing I don't even think I would have tried. And you know what? I'm damn happy :)

Wes Derequito
Ara Academy Owner/Head Instructor
Senshido Team Member