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.”

Saturday, October 15, 2011

If it it aint broke, don't fix it?!?!?

There aint nothing new under the sun?

How many times have we heard these quotes? In my opinion if we were to listen to these quotes, we'd be sitting on our laurels and progress would cease to exist. I believe that these types of quotes are made by people who are either threatened by change or to lazy to work at evolving beyond the status quo.

As an example, I'd like to refer to our controversial yet revolutionary (as labeled by most who have experienced it) Shredder concept and tool. Are the tools within the Shredder new? No. Has it ever been performed before? Probably but not knowingly and definitely without the fundamental understanding of the abiding principles that rendered what they did functional. In crystallizing the concepts and identifying its underlying scientific principles then putting it together as we did, we created a new methodology to deal with extreme close quarter situations where none prior existed. This evolutionary path is a critical one for further development of functional training or else thousands upon thousands of martial artists today would still only be practicing chi sao, hubud and other dead pattern oriented methods of close quarter combat.

Not to state that these more traditional methods have nothing to offer but there certainly was room for major improvement in terms of performance enhancement and tactile sensitivity development. More modern and scientific approaches like the development drills for the Shredder not only enhance the same attributes but does it in a much quicker and realistic (in terms of replicating a real fight) than any of the more traditional and even modern day methods for that matter.

Although Musashi, Sun Tzu and Machiavelli were brilliant strategists, we don't still train sword fighting (in terms of survival enhancement) due to the fact that not many people in today's modern societies walk around with Katana's on their backs or sides. The foundational principles behind their strategic endeavors are still applicable today but the vehicle in which they applied the strategies are now outdated.

As violence in societies evolved and as the tactics, methods and even weaponry evolved, it becomes necessary to provide evolutionary solutions to the problems which violence presents us with, and more efficient ways of handling such circumstances that replicate the realities of today's needs. Since necessity is the mother of invention we must therefore evolve to acclimatize to the realities of today's world.

Evolution is paramount therefore variables must always change and history must always be taken into consideration as the building blocks. Change over time through what Darwin called 'descent with modification' is a necessity. If we don't take evolution into account, our solutions to today's violence are likely to fail. The instrument of evolution is based on can be found in these four fundamentals:

1. Necessity
2. Variation
3. Optimum Selection
4. The Relevance of Time

However, always keep in mind the nature of science and evidential truth; how do we know what we know? Concepts must guide your planning to the ideas that are central to the understanding of evolution and without science and its governing rules, though inconclusive due to its own evolving nature; we are left with speculation and theory.

Take a look at history and the expansion and contraction of systems and styles as natural progression occurred, for example what Bruce Lee did with the traditional martial arts and the development of Jeet Kune Do. The guiding principle in this case is survival and so we must eliminate what does not directly ensure it and see what remains.

If modifications are necessary then so be it and for the most part modifications will become necessary in order to maintain improvement. Simply put, 'to simplify'. One of our guiding principles at Senshido is to remain open and responsive while maintaining structural integrity in replicating real world attacks as closely as possible in the development of such drills.

This movement is natural thus we must retain that, inevitably, simple truth will be diluted in order to crystallize, and commercialize for ego, money, fame, etc. this is predicated on people's natural fears of evolution and change. That is how the Shredder is an example of this funnel effect, the pieces were already there and I just put them together and pointed it out.

The system must remain open and permeable, it is more of a vehicle to a truth rather than the truth itself but if it crystallizes and/or solidifies, than evolution ceases. In regards to the aforementioned Shredder, although the elements already existed, the method in which it was juxtaposed is what makes it unique or 'new' so to speak. As the majority of the martial arts industry focused primarily on grappling and striking and abandoned most close quarter systems due to the lack of reality and dead pattern oriented drills that were only applicable for the extremely gifted and those who were willing to put in the decades worth of training to make these attributes functional, we researched and analyzed the missing link between the old and the more modern methods of training and found the missing pieces and continue to do so.

So in the end, even if it aint broke, still seek improvement. Both interiorly and exteriorly. There may not be any 1 thing new under the sun but the formulas in which things are presented in order to help achieve better results sure are.

Richard Dimitri 

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