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, January 25, 2010

"The mind is the best weapon." - John Rambo ;`)

The 3 most neglected, unrealized and over looked truths of self defense: 1. You and your ego are indeed, your absolute worst enemies. 2. Your mind and spirit are your best weapons & stronger than your physical body will ever be. 3. Careful when fighting 'evil' not to become the very thing you are so righteously defending against.

That was one of my ‘status updates’ on facebook a couple of weeks ago… I decided to expand on it some.

If the essence of personal safety is avoidance, not being there, not have it happen to you, then shouldn’t we be working more on the ways to recognize, avoid & defuse then the actual defend part? Would think it makes sense to spend more time working at not being involved with violence than at spending as much time or more working on how to defend directly against it. Least, I believe so.

That’s not to say one shouldn’t spend any time or even undermine the necessary physical skills should all else fail… absolutely not, but more time needs to be spent on the underlying issues of violence, the recognition of it on a higher level, the why’s of it and the how’s to defuse it. One has to be aware of the ripple effect on a greater scale than that of the immediate moment while living the immediate moment. Some would say that is attaining mastery in the martial arts… being at ‘one’ in the moment while having a vested awareness to the ramifications of one’s actions.

Self defense on a purely physical perspective becomes nothing more than a band-aid on an infected wound. Sure, it can help you ‘beat up the bad guy’ then and there, but what happens after that? Do we even care? Should we?

Let’s take a look at possibilities that have actually occurred to others. For starters, let’s take a look at the threat of vengeance. Revenge is an ugly and powerful ego based emotion we’ve all felt at one time or another in our lives, but nothing good ever comes from revenge except more of what it is most try and avoid. What happens when the guy you just ‘defended’ yourself against sees you a week or month later walking with a loved one perhaps, and he happens to be with friends? What then? For many, it leads to loss of life.

Then one has to look at the very thing they may have unleashed by purely going physical if the choice of avoidance and de-escalation were indeed a prior option not considered or taken, on the would be attacker… instead of trying to re-write it, I’ll cut and paste an example a good friend of mine Robert Magio wrote on the subject on our online forum:

“However in my experience when a bully is confronted he will stop harassing that victim and he will simply find another victim. So what have we accomplished? However if we understand the bully's motivation and get him rehabilitated then he will not create more victims and he will not get married and bully his wife and 3 children. And what do you think his 3 children will learn? So now we have 3 bullies to deal with who will have 3 kids each, now we have 9 more to deal with and the cycle continues. We cannot simply confront, we must not just deal with the symptoms you must deal with the cause. Statistically 75% of criminals return to prison within 3 years of their release.”

We were using school bullies as an example as well as a metaphor for all violence. And the most pertinent part of that quote there is:

“We cannot simply confront, we must not just deal with the symptoms you must deal with the cause.”

Now this doesn’t mean to try and coach your attacker into sanity there and then, but understand that when violence is the option chosen, it should be because all other venues were indeed shut down. As Judge William Phillip Morris said (and I could very well be getting his name wrong cause I never get it right, sorry Judge :`) he said “Violence when there are alternatives is immoral, violence when there are NO OTHER alternatives, is justifiable.”

Responding to violence with immediate violence if other options were available, and often they are; whether be it through verbal aggression, assault or downright attack, is an ego-based response, it is a response stemming from fear taking over and not the consciousness, it feeds anger and much more often than not, hatred.

As 2 of our Team members, Phil and Athena Thompson wrote:

“If revenge, hatred, anger is what you are focusing on, guess what is going to manifest into your life…more revenge, hatred, anger. And the ripple effect (Butterfly effect as Big Rob calls it) will ensure that everyone around you is also affected. All of your loved ones will feel it. You are a pebble, and when you hit the water you create ripples which touch all of the shores, and something else I notice about that is that when the ripples hit the shore they turn and come right back at you. What do you want to be “putting out there”?

Nope. Real self protection deals with much more than just striking or pre-empting an attacker. It deals with deeper issues, as well it should, it is indeed about protection isn’t it? About safety.

Nietzsche once said that "whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster." I tend to agree. More time needs to be spent on the “knowing of thy enemy” as Sun Tzu wrote, in understanding our enemy, he becomes more vulnerable to us. This can be efficiently used in resolving the matter without the escalation of violence if one can communicate with the ego without using their own as the springboard. Not an easy task… people read the word ‘ego’ and immediately their defences/ego comes up. It’s normal, it is the lie we sell ourselves daily and have been living with forever… but once grasped, once the awareness of the ego exists as a separate ‘entity’ if you will, within, it becomes easier to deal with, ours and others…

This in turn arms us with greater tools and much better odds in avoiding, defusing and if need be defending against violence… make no mistake about it though, the real bad guy and root of all unjustifiable violence is indeed ego.

"An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of ALL humanity." ~ Martin Luther King, jr.

Since the mind does indeed navigate the body, train the mind first and foremost and never neglect the heart.



  1. Great distinctions Rich.


  2. If such wisdom is imparted, then your fighting system is mos def an international recommendation

  3. Such is the corner stone and core message of Senshido brother... thank you for your kind words, glad you enjoyed the piece.

    Peace. :`)