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.”

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Gang Awareness

The following is an exert of our self published book Guardian Angel (which has since been re-written and updated by our New Zealand Team Members Phil and Athena Thompson and can be purchased through Protect Self Defense by clicking the Guardian Angel Link): 

The book contains much valuable information for parents in relation to safety for children. Includes: Kidnappings, stranger awareness, abduction avoidance, assaults, bully prevention, unwanted touch prevention skills, awareness principles, and much, much more. 


Seems that the recruitment of gang-bangers or potential gang members gets younger and younger each year.  No longer is this a problem with inner city kids. No matter where you live, the city, suburbs or even country, everyone is a target for a potential member.  The best defense is the best offense you can offer to the existing problem.

Stay involved in your child or teen's activities.  Although it is healthy for children and teens to want to explore certain areas of life without their parent's shadow, do not close the door or turn your head as to what direction they wish to travel in their current perceived innocent explorations.

Pay attention to the child/teens behavioral changes.  Every child/teen changes that is a fact.  Pay close attention as to what changes are made.  You may not agree with certain ideas and changes but you should keep an open mind and open door to your child/teens new likes.  Healthy debates are great for a teens character.  It builds more confidence and allows the teen to become more comfortable when speaking their mind.

Careful of disagreements.  Do not belittle the child or try to humiliate them.  This will only shut doors on your relationship and communication.  It is ok to agree to disagree.  Important question, is your child being hurt or is someone else hurting due to your child’s ideals?  Mistakes are a part of life but question which ones are best avoidable and have suitable answers for your child when discussing them.  A parent doesn’t necessarily need permission from a child to agree with their statements but if you the parents wish to acquire respect in the household, you also have to give it. 

If you notice your child is questioning gang type behavior or may be exposed or even if not at all, it is always good to educate both yourself and your child and learn at the same time about the various activities or situations, which occur in your very own neighborhoods.  The best part of this safety measure is that you and your child/teen are learning and doing an activity together.
Contact your local authorities and get involved (both you and your child) in neighborhood watch programs or kids helping other kids type programs.  This will allow both you and your child to understand a little better as to what is going on right outside your door.  Your child volunteering will be taught the benefits of community servicing and its rewards.  Volunteering could include the removing of graffiti, repairing vandalism or the removal of any gang type advertisement. This will also send a message within your neighborhood to the gang members that this is a community that will not be bullied by giving up their security for gang type behaviors and actions.

The child learns and gets to see for themselves why it’s not a good idea to become a member or involve themselves with gang members since they see other unfortunate kids living a world which is not so glamorized by Hollywood and TV.  This information the child obtains on their own can then be discussed with their parent and it is information which the parent not merely pointed the finger to say, this is bad or this is good.  The child explores that area in what they feel is by them granting them the feeling of independence.  By experiencing more independence the thought of throwing all they have earned away is less desirable.  The gangs and gang activities are evident still to the child/teen but with a lesser-desired effect to experience the consequences of being in or participating in gang type activities.

Work with your local Police department and report any suspected gang or gang like activities within your community.  Find out before hand which emergency numbers correspond with what type of emergencies for gang activities within your neighborhood.

Here are some tips in which you and your child or teen can play games and heighten their awareness, avoidance and assist in defusing or refusing to engage in possible threatening situations.

Gather some friends, neighbors and other parents with their children for a scenario training day.  The meeting place you choose should offer enough space for all to be able to participate comfortably in.  For example, parks, basements, a backyard, amusement center. 

Prior to meeting with all who intend on playing make sure that you as well as other parents have previously thought of specific scenarios in which your children will benefit from.  For example, make sure you cover the topic of someone wanting to entice a child to come closer to a car.  An adult asking a child for help or for their name.

Once you and other parents have drawn up enough scenarios, place the children in two or more groups and make the scenarios a team effort where points can be earned.  One child or more is selected for random scenarios and their teammates may call out advice to assist their team members.  Rewards are whatever you and the other parents decide it to be.

There is a thin line between negative and positive reinforcement.  In stating this, should a child make a mistake or a team lose by points, make sure no one is feeling less secure or feeling like they are easy victims.  Focus on congratulating the child/team on their correct responses rather than focuses on their errors.  Instead of stating “You’re wrong to…”  it is better to state, “Rather than…” or “Instead of…”  and following it up with “What do you think could have been done so the result would be different and safer for you…”  This provides the child the opportunity to problem solve further without pressure or stress.

Of course these are merely examples, you decide what words would work best to better reach your child and/or the group in a positive manner.
For older teens, a talk around the dinner table is great but without the information coming across as a lecture.   Try a debate for points.  You take on the pros of an activity and your child can have the cons.  Various situations are written on a piece of paper by each player and randomly selected out of a hat.  There should be one judge who will be fair for the teams and by awarding points should also explain why certain points are awarded.  As the parent you should be on the side of the PRO gang activity and your teen the CON side.  By you playing your part well the teen will have to work harder at finding reasons (for themselves and by themselves) to come up with reasons as to why gangs and gang like activities are not best suited for a healthy lifestyle. Rewards could be whatever you decide as a group is fair and fun at the same time.

Excerpt from Senshido International Guardian Angel Book:  Turning Parents Into Warriors and Making Predators Child's Prey (No longer for sale, new updated version available through Protect Self Defense)


  1. Good Post. Good content in the blog. team activity

  2. Senshido International,

    Thank you for posting such an engaging view about gang awareness. Many parents and people are not educated about gangs. They stereotype according to what they see through the media and being the media they hype up different scenarios all the time. I appreciate how you addressed different ways regarding how to approach the topic of gangs. Young children are more knowledgeable now than when I was their age because they are exposed to more mature content earlier in their lives. It is a good idea for parents to be concerned about what their children are involved in and to stay active in their lives. This can be as simple as asking how their day was. A lot of children want to grow up faster than they should, but parents should not stop them from exploring and discovering what type of person they want to become. There will be a time where parents and children do not agree on certain ideas, but do not discourage them because it will result in the parents being the "bad guy" in the situation. People make mistakes, which is a part of growing up. Parents should respect their children and children in turn will respect them. By introducing a game, it is a great way to get a point across. If a child loses the game their errors should not be the main focus, but the child should be allowed to fix their error by themselves or with some help from outside factors. Teenagers are a harder audience to please without them voicing their own opinions. Since they like to argue, a debate game is a good idea to get points across. When they get the answer correct, reward them with something they want.

    However, when you address these points you do not discuss the other factors that may effect the person's decision regarding gang involvement. You do not specifically address how children and teenagers can keep themselves out of trouble. You talk about neighborhood watch programs, but you do not name specific programs; that would have been a good example of how these programs work and if they are successful. By observing a child's change in behavior that may be negative, parents should propose positive activities such as sports, musical instruments, and academics. You discuss the idea of volunteering and community service. My question is how would you engage a child in this type of behavior? Most children only want to do things for physical rewards. Children and teenagers are constantly going through changes and phases. Parents have to educate themselves and imagine thoughts from a child's perspective. You discuss the role of playing a game, but you do not relate the child's game to gangs. Although this example is important for child safety it does not necessarily imply gang association. You discuss parent and community involvement in children's lives, but you never bring up the concept of school. School and peers play an important role in a child's behaviors and attitudes. If a child mixes with the wrong crowd that can impact their lives because they can get involved in drugs, gangs, and other illegal activities. I would like to hear your thoughts about schools and peers regarding children because parents are not always going to be around their children. What would you suggest parents do so their child gets involved with positive influences rather than negative influences? Again, thank you for the great read.

  3. Thank you so much for the kind and supportive words. Much appreciate the time you took to express yourself and share your thoughts.

    Much peace,

  4. Wow, ok I just reread that above and I apologize for my earlier reply Michiko, I believe I had simply approved it without reading it wanting to come back to it later and simply forgot, my sincere apologies.

    You bring up many excellent questions, many of which are answered in other sections of the book this particular exert comes from, others of which we cannot answer as the answers would vary greatly from continent to continent, parent to parent, school system to school system.

    The peace was meant to bring awareness and attention as well as offer some possible examples in which the reader can then judge and decide for themselves based on their environment, school system (private, public, inner city etc.) country, parents, peers, etc.

    Fantastic points and excellent analysis by the way! I checked out your blog, keep up the most excellent work. Once again, my most sincere apologies for seemingly ignoring your thoughtful reply.