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, March 21, 2011

A Taste of the Philosophical Side of Senshido

Senshido is an interesting methodology in several respects, from their famed “RBSD” (reality based self defense) high standards (should any self-defense method not be based in reality?), their Shredding conceptual tool and emphasis on behavioral/emotional delivery system to their hard-core approach on protective offense training and physical culture. One component of the Senshido methodology that began quietly but is budding more and more in the spotlight is their personal and daily philosophies, what is referred to as “Zenshido” on their old website (2 weeks, eh boss?).

When I began in the “Senshido International movement”, I was very much against philosophy. In fact, I recall one of the first posts I every made on the Senshido forum as knocking Bruce Lee’s JKD due to its philosophical nature. I was blind and thought I was tough (or at least wanted to sound tough, as most armchair warriors do) so I didn’t “need” the philosophy “junk”. I was also hypocritical in that I preached and attached myself to a particular faith, without ever truly exercising its principles (at that junction in life). I had “book smarts”, but had not experienced my faith through putting it into physical, behavioral, emotional and psychological practice. I’d like to think that I’ve come a long way from then, but I am not egotistical to think I have “reached” the pinnacle of what human beings are capable of.

Senshido has forced me to evaluate myself on several levels, why do I do the things I do, why do I believe the things I believe, think the way I do, behave the way I behave, why is my initial reaction to such-and-such this-and-that? I am not referring to religious beliefs, but rather, what makes me tick the way I do? This has caused for serious introspection and honest self-evaluation – something that I was not too fond of, due to the complexity of the human nature and my desire to lie to myself, believing I am not as “bad” or “in need of help” in certain areas as I truly was. Please understand, I still have my demons I fight every day. I am not where I should be at, but I am making progress. I have learned, via my time in Senshido, to see my own illusions that I have built around my life and my mind, to understand that they are illusions and even how to begin to change them to where they reflect reality. This has been such a freeing experience, words cannot do justice.

I used to fight and argue. I grew up in a home where I was yelled and cussed at for 8 hours at a time for something stupid kids typically did and tried to hide and suffered some rough punishment, as others have (thankfully not as bad as it could have been or as others suffer daily). I have always associated pain with violence and fear with violence. I was at the point where I would hit my head on a cabinet door that I opened up and clinched my fist in an effort to hit the cabinet door. This was instinctual, took no forethought. Now, before we go any further, the truth of the matter is – this was childish and rather stupid. It’s an object, has no emotional or intentional qualities about it. It was my own mistake, misjudgment, etc. It was my fault short and simple. Honest introspection has caused me to evaluate why I do what I do, what is the root, and to change it. I began to realize why I associated pain with violence or why I have a short fuse and have begun changing my response and reaction. It is liberating.

It might not be a popular thing to say and I am sure many will disagree with me (sorry GEE!), but I believe Senshido to be a rebirth of what the “traditional martial arts” was meant to be. Originally, Martial Arts were methods of fighting that included philosophical emphasis on maturing and correcting the self.

Senshido has given me the tools to begin this process and for that I am very thankful. Sure, my confidence handling myself in a street altercation has greatly increased, yes, I am more tactful and respectful when dealing with people and working on eradicating my pride/ego, this has been the greatest gift I have personally received from Senshido.

If you want a method that enhances your survivability, then you cannot go wrong with Senshido and hundreds of thousands of people would tell you the same. However, if you want the means to begin to heal yourself, to see who you truly are and if you don’t like it, acquire the tools to change it, then I highly recommend Senshido as well. This, I believe, is the essence of Rich's "In Total Defense of the Self". Continue training realistically to survive reality, be it physical, verbal, emotional, psychological or spiritual.

Now stop reading and do some shit.

Always thankful,

Malachi Bond

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