Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Wonderful People of the World

Far too often the news media bring us all the bad news of the world. It would seem this is what draws people's attention. Sadly, their good deeds and works of the good people around this world are highly neglected. As for me, I would like nothing better than to see a news program that brings out the wonderful charitable deeds to so many people around the world.

The news seems to be about sensationalism, rather than emphasizing the good works of so many wonderful people in the world. The hungry, sick, the dying, are neglected, but thank goodness there are those who will make an effort to help these people in every way possible. Their primary objective each day of their life is to bring them some help and relief. It would seem to me, if the news would bring out more of these good deeds of these wonderful people it might set a good example for those who might be of some help to others, and just maybe more would take part in this wonderful and charitable undertaking.

What about those wonderful people who volunteer their time to feed the poor, to aid the sick and dying and to bring comfort to those who were alone in the world? How often do you see newscast highlighting these wonderful people? Sad to say, you might see one report of the charitable work that these people do as compared to numerous negative reporting.

Think of the countless thousands of people, women and children alike who are starving this very moment. Yet here in America we throw away in one day, enough to feed all the hungry people of the world. Think of those who spend a dollar or two for ice cream soda or McDonald's hamburger when that same two dollars could be bring relief to those suffering. Needless to say, living in this world is hard enough as it is, but if we had more giving people we could alleviate a huge amount of problems that persist throughout the world right now. Yes, there is charity wards, and institutions such as the American Red Cross will try their very best to bring relief to those in suffering. But compared to the population of this world, they are few in number.

There are people in this world right now living on his little as a dollar a day. How is one expected to care for and feed a family on this trivial amount of money? Instead of telling the story of these wonderful people who volunteer their services on a daily basis, the news likes to highlight negative news. Needless to say, the news is a powerful medium that can be used to help many people throughout the world, yet because of TV ratings they tend to focus on the negative instead of the positive.

On anyone news broadcast, you would be lucky to see one uplifting news report. The rest is concerned about who's persecuting who, and any other story that might be considered just pure sensationalism. Obviously, we cannot cure all the ills in the world but if people had more of a charitable heart we could save many people from starvation, sickness and death.

Right now we are in an election year, but I think it would be safe to say no matter who is elected as our new president, few things will really change when it comes to helping the poor. Just imagine for a moment, how this world would change in an instant if we all join together to help one another.

They say to make it in the world one needs a good education. But how many can truly afford the tuition and fees to attend a worthwhile college. To the poor and hungry, this is but a dream that will never be fulfilled. We often fail to realize how fortunate we really are simply to have a roof over our head and some food on the table. Far too often, we simply do not appreciate what we have, as compared to those who have nothing.

When I was a child, at dinner time, if I did not clear my plate of every speck of food my father would often remind me by saying," son, do you realize right now some would kill just to get the remaining bits of food on your plate?" I never forgot those words, and even to this day I have never thrown food away.

I have often spoke of the evils of the world, but I feel it is now time for me to speak of those wonderful people who was so giving of themselves to help others. I have come to realize, everyone is my brother and sister under the skin, and I ask you what brother or sister would not help their siblings?

Did you ever wonder for a moment why charities or even instituted? The reason should be obvious, if people didn't organize such charities nothing would be done to help the unfortunate people of the world. It will indeed be a glorious day and bring a smile to the face of God himself, when people start caring more for their brothers and sisters who are in need.

I am a firm believer of that old saying money is the root of all evil. I can recall in the 60s and 70s when communes was started throughout the country. For those who may not be familiar with this concept, a commune was a place where all people worked without the need for money but rather to help one another without financial gain. Sad to say, because of today's society communes are rare indeed, If you can find one at all.

In conclusion, it is my hope and prayer that one day people will realize it's not all about material things. But rather for our society to live in peace and harmony with each other, and wipe out poverty where ever it may exist. It is my hope, the next time you see a person in need do what you can to help. It will be a blessing long remembered in your afterlife. Truly, the act of giving will warm your heart. Whereas, only taking will harden your heart for more materialistic things which will only wither away in time. Remember, there are no pockets in a shroud; you cannot take material things to the grave. However, the one thing you can take to the grave is the knowing you have lived to help others; this I assure you will bring you a sense of peace.

I am not a rich man, nor do I long for riches. My needs are few, simply clothing to keep me warm and food to nourish the body. It really does not take much to make people happy, other than the necessities of life. My final bit of advice, is try giving more and taking less. You would be amazed how good this makes you feel that you have done your part as a human being.

Thursday, January 5, 2012


People do not like to think about death, this is why most cemeteries are built on the outskirts of town. However, the truth of the matter is, in one year 56 million people die. It is not only that we all pass away, the young, the old and children as well. There are certain facts about death that we must come to understand. Death is a part of life, nothing lasts forever, either human beings, or the entire universe will fade away only to be regenerated at another time. Things come into existence and things go out of existence. Why is it that people fear death? I've come to understand, the simple reason for this. We are all disconnected from one another, but one thing all of the human race have in common, is we all feel alone and separate. Whereas, the truth of the matter is there is nothing in the entire universe that is not connected. This means, each individual is connected to the other, and all others are connected to the universe.

I have written a number of blogs on my website voicing my opinion of how science has progressed and coming to understand the nature of life itself. Needless to say only a few answers have been found, and so the mystery remains. Science has a name for this joining of all matter, namely the unified consciousness. It is my firm belief after much study and research that everything is indeed connected. Consciousness itself still remains a mystery to the scientific world. Scientists are still deliberating as to where consciousness comes from. Many scientists still argue that it is part of the brain function while others will argue consciousness is universal and we are all part of this universal consciousness. It is this consciousness that survives the physical death.

There are a number of great scientists who study the workings of the human mind and functions of the brain that have concluded there are microtubules located in the brain that all but receivers of consciousness. The brain is somewhat like a radio, when you are listening to a specific channel on the radio that wavelength exists, and yet there are numerous other wavelengths that are playing at the same time, which we cannot hear, simply because we have not tuned to that channel. By selecting another station, you find another wavelength. You could tear the radio apart bit by bit and never find the announcer. He is simply not there; the radio was nothing but a receiver and transmitter, of wavelengths.

At this point I would ask a profound question, what is life? The answer to this question has yet to be found. Science has progressed tremendously over the years, and now show with the study into quantum physics what we once thought to be true about mathematics has changed dramatically. It would seem this study of quantum physics has shattered the laws of physics the way we know it. Many scientists cannot explain with any certainty the way quantum physics works. Some would even argue the point that quantum physics shows a direct relationship to the mind. Some scientists state the world that we see about us is but an illusion. True or not true, I have no way of knowing. However, if this is true, what we think about death could in fact be totally wrong.

Death itself is not painful. It is only this sicknesses by which people die from which bring pain. In the scientific world today doctors and scientists alike in all fields of study are looking into the phenomena known as near-death experience. This experience is not new and has even been recorded in such ancient writings such as the Bible. Of course, like everything else in the world, there is always the Yin and Yang of things. Some will tell you these experiences of near-death are only a reaction of a dying brain. Whereas, others will tell you the same experiences occur even when the brain is long dead.

The truth of these experiments has yet to be determined scientifically and proven. As for me, with each day of further new study and deep investigation into these matters I tend to believe more and more consciousness survives death. Science will admit we live in a three dimensional world, and counting time would give us a total of a four dimensional world. However, the latest findings are that there is a great possibility that there are in fact are 11 dimensions or more. Therefore, it is possible to say that upon the death of the physical body we merely move into another one of these dimensions.

As science progresses in this research with each new answer that is found, comes another question. No definitive answers have yet to be found. If you search the Internet, you will find numerous conclusions as to what these theories mean to a life after this life. Some may call me a dreamer, and based my conclusions on unproven hypotheses. It seems to me, there is much more to life and death than meets the eye. As our eyes look out into the world, what exactly are we seeing? Science will tell you it is nothing more than a projection from the brain formulating a world that we think is there. Based upon what we have been taught since birth.

I am not a scientist, nor physicist, I am also not as smart as many of these learned men of the world but somehow I feel we all have what is called a soul. I think it's only a matter of time before the truth is revealed to the world. We are all one, sharing the universe together, we are in fact part and parcel of that infinite being known as God. When you say the word God, people tend to picture a man in the sky with a long white beard who controls everything. To me, God represents natural forces of the universe which is highly intelligent and is more likely a membrane or brain that spans the universe. This concept is drawn from a study known as the M theory.

For the reasons mentioned above, I do not fear death, for I firmly believe there is no such thing as death. Death is only a passageway from one dimension of being to another dimension of existence. Do we reincarnate into a new life form? Or do we simply merge back from whence we came? I wish I could give you the answers to these questions, but due to my limited understanding I am not able to do so.

In conclusion, my advice to all those reading this article is to make the effort to study with an open mind. Knowledge is the key to finding answers, or drawing rational conclusions. As for me, each day of study contemplation and meditation brings me closer to my own conclusions. No man's truth can be your truth. You must question and re-question, examine and re-examine only then can you make a decision that will satisfy your curiosity about these matters. I do not believe we are simply born and die and nothing else in between. Nothing appears from nothing, nothing disappears into nothingness, everything is connected and I firmly believe we are part of this ongoing process of creation.

Finally, it is you who must make the final decisions as to what life is and your purpose in living it. To me, we are here for one reason, namely, to discover the truth about whom we are and where we came from and where we are going. This is the greatest undertaking you will ever make, for once you find the truth and have a firm belief in your heart that you have found the answers you seek, death will lose its grip over you forever.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Reality Kung Fu

Many will come to a martial art school have great expectations enjoining. In many cases many would like to become an instructor of the martial arts. However, few realize how difficult it is to maintain a true martial arts school, especially a traditional school. Finding the proper space, equipping the school with the necessary training equipment, paying for insurance and overhead, and meeting the monthly bills can be a daunting process. For this reason, many traditional schools close for the simple reason they aren't able to meet the expenses needed to maintain the school. Unlike commercial schools, where contracts are employed and high rates are charged to maintain the school survival. Traditional schools, do not utilize contracts, the initial cost for training is low cost as compared to the commercial schools. Money is never the objective of the traditional school, passing the Arts down to the next generation it is a traditional schools primary purpose.

Everything done at a traditional school is based on one's honor. The teacher gives his word to do his very best to train the student to the best of his ability and gives his word, to help the student in every way possible. Because of the low costs involved, it is imperative that a student pay their monthly dues on time so that the teacher may maintain the schools viability, when this does not happen, far too often traditional schools close their doors forever.

A teacher's job is never-ending; we must maintain all forms and techniques so as to be able to pass this on to new incoming students. Forms and techniques is not the way we fight in Street condition, they are only used as a means to learn the way a martial artist would move in various situations. There is no such thing as the ultimate technique or form, that will make one the perfect martial artists. However, there is no other true way to learn the martial arts without the use of these prescribed forms and techniques which teaches a student how to move and utilize various techniques for self-defense purposes.

It should be obvious that in a street condition where self-defense must be employed for one's personal safety nobody can dictate what move or technique you may need to survive the encounter. Traditional forms and techniques are used to train an individual to see opportunity and apply the appropriate technique for that specific moment in time.

Far too often, new students coming into a school have a misguided understanding of what it's going to take to succeed in becoming an expert in the martial arts. Unfortunately new students tend to think that just by learning a martial art, they will never be hit. This could not be further from the truth. Whereas, the truth of the matter is in learning the arts you will more often going to be hit rather than be able to hit your opponent. It takes years of trial and error in applying once techniques to be able to ward off a constant barrage of attacks from an opponent. Only then, will you be hit less often. Far too often, when a new student experiences being hit for the first time they drop away from the school.

To become proficient in the martial arts one must be able to prepare himself or herself for great disappointments. Sometimes you win, and sometimes you will lose. How you deal with winning and losing will play a big part in how proficient you will be in the martial arts. In the old traditional schools of martial arts a student was required to be able to accept a strong hit so as to prepare them self to withstand such an attack and not fall apart, thus enabling them to counterattack.

There is no such thing as one perfect martial arts style, if this was the case we would need no other style of martial art. Many who are not experienced at being hit no matter how good their martial arts skill is, will usually fall apart and lose their self-control thereby causing defeat. A true martial artist is expected to be hit and is able to withstand the shock of being hit so he may counterattack.

Hitting and being hit is part of the training program. Part of the training is to withstand a strong blow to your body; this is accomplished by breath control and not becoming rattled when hit. But rather to maintain one's composure, withstand the strike and counterattack with the appropriate method. This should be evident to newcomers into the art, yet it is not. Ask any heavyweight boxing champion of the world if he has ever been hit and you will find that they will tell you they've been hit more times then they care to remember. It was their ability to withstand blow for blow that enable them to become the champions they are.

Some may recall the famous motion picture entitled Rocky, this motion picture painted a true picture of what a boxer must endure to become a champion. Boxing is a rough sport to say the least and requires years of training and brutal punishment to withstand 15 rounds in the ring. However, there are rules to boxing, which do not exist in a true martial arts encounter. In a boxing championship, there is always a referee present in the ring to see that no illegal blows are thrown. When we are in a street encounter, there are no referees; there are no rules, anything goes, and usually does.

In a street condition is no such thing as a fair fight; anything might be employed in order to win. This includes broken bottles, knives, even guns. It is true, that being proficient in a martial art can and will give you the upper hand for victory and self survival. However, this does not mean that you are untouchable. For this reason, it takes a special kind of person to excel in martial arts training. The very term martial arts refers to military arts, which primary purpose is to win at all costs, which can mean even putting your life at stake during an encounter.

As I have already stated, being hit is part of the learning program, yet many people join a martial arts school thinking the art itself will prevent them from being hit at all. This is far from the truth, as one can get hit more times then you may like. Half of our training is learning how to withstand a strike to any vital point of the human body as well as having no problem in returning the vital blow to one's opponent. If a student to get past this barrier of the fear of being hit then the chances are very good they will be victorious in a street encounter.

In reality the martial arts is the world's dirtiest form of fighting. Anything goes when it comes to self survival. I have had more people drop away from the martial arts training because they had some illusion that knowing martial arts would prevent them from being touched in any way, shape or form. Those who succeed in this art are those who have a realistic view of what combat entails.

In conclusion, I don't say these things to frighten people away from training, but rather to make you aware of what might be expected if you decide to join a traditional school of self-defense. If you join a school knowing these facts, you will have a much better chance of surviving a brutal street attack. It would be a grave error to mistake a traditional martial art school from a commercial school where this kind of contact is limited. The reasons for this are simple to understand. Commercial schools primary purpose is to gather as many students as they can for the purpose of making money. Whereas, a traditional school primary purpose is not the amount of students they gather but rather to teach a method for surviving brutal street, assault.

Finally, it is you who must make the final decision as to what you want from the martial art you are learning. If it is sport, competition and trophy winning then a commercial school will serve your purpose well. On the other hand, if you're looking for street survival techniques you would be better served in a traditional school of martial arts that deals with reality.

Monday, December 19, 2011

The End of Times

Eversince the dawn of the Neanderthal, mankind has been in mortal combat. Real combat is seldom seen in the movies, or TV, it is simply too graphic to show to the public. The truth of the matter, is warfare is a horrifying sight. First, let me mention that fighting in and of itself is an ugly affair. There is no such thing as a pretty war. Idyllicly it would be a beautiful dream to see brotherly love amongst all mankind, however, this dream is more far-fetched than the one I'm about to speak of, namely self-destruction. The real question is, why do people fight to begin with? I think most can answer this question , namely money, the total lust for power, position, and control of others.

The bulk of our national debt is spent on the tools of war. Billions of dollars of our national budget go towards development of new weapons that have one purpose and one purpose only, namely to destroy life. I think because of the nature of man, it is most unlikely that we will ever see the end of fighting. If fighting is to stop at all, I think this will only happen when we encounter the next nuclear holocaust and we destroy the world completely. Is this possible? I think it should be obvious, it is very possible. It is just a matter of time before some mad man pushes the button to start the beginning of the end of mankind. It is only a matter of time, and circumstance that this will occur.

The only way to prevent the total annihilation of all human kind, is a total ban of all nuclear weapons, which I doubt I will ever see in my lifetime or my children's lifetime. All it takes is one madman to start the beginning of the end. I would think most would agree we have plenty of those madman in the world today. To me it is more shocking that it has not already occurred. Most are unaware that we came within minutes of a nuclear disaster at the time of John F. Kennedy. This occurred when the United States put up a naval blockade against Russian ships to deliver nuclear devices to Cuba. It was a standoff, I will never forget, for I was part of that engagement. This was known as the Cuban Missile Crisis, which Cuba was building military sites which would enable them to launch nuclear missiles at the United States. It was a frightening affair that will always stay embedded in my memory.

It would be a wonderful thought to think mankind will be around for a long long time. But I am not that naïve to think that this could be true. As smart as mankind is, we are equally that dumb. If a natural disaster such as an earthquake, global warming, meteor strike to the earth, or some other natural disaster doesn't finish us off, I'm sure, mankind will destroy itself.

In my opinion, it is only a fanciful dream that all of mankind will someday unite as brothers and sisters in this world. The reason for this, is that mankind's frailties will always prevail namely, greed, hatred and power. In my humble opinion, total world enlightenment is highly unlikely. Even the Bible predicts an end to mankind known as Armageddon. It would appear that even God himself does not think man has a chance to discover peace on earth.

None of this is to say that there are not any good people in the world, for the truth of the matter is there are numerous amounts of people who feel the way I feel. But because of mankind's frailties the end of times is inevitable, it is only a matter of when.

If you're an avid news observer, I believe it's quite obvious to see all the violence that is occurring in the world around us. People against people, state against state, country against country, the list of violence goes on and on. I can't recall in my entire life when I ever watch the news where I did not see violence of some sort going on in the world. There have been many predictions about the end of the world, they come and they go and some will tell you this is been going on since the beginning of recorded history. This is true, but the odds of any one of these predictions coming true is highly favorable in today's tense world. Each year another country attains nuclear weapons, they are not decreasing in number,rather, they are increasing in number. All it will take is for one country to push the first button, this will start the chain reaction that will ensure total worldly annihilation. It is idyllic to think that all of mankind will discover brotherly love before we destroy ourselves completely.

I am not one to stand on a corner with a sign saying the end of the world is near, but I think the facts speak for themselves, with all the tension we have in the world at this very moment. Nothing lasts forever, and if nature itself doesn't destroy this world, I firmly believe mankind will do the job for mother nature by total self annihilation.

In conclusion, would it be fair for me to say that there is no hope at all for mankind? I won't say this, for there is always hope. But it is my humble opinion this would entail a miracle of some sort. All those who agree with me, can only hope and pray for such a miracle. If mankind can wake up in time, we in fact have the abilities to create a wonderful future for all of humanity. Just maybe, mankind will wake up in time, before we have to pay the ultimate price.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

How the Martial Arts Came to the United States

It was during the Japanese-American war that our American soldiers ran up against an enemy that surprised them completely by their fighting prowess. The Asian people due to their genetics are generally much smaller than the American who tend to be bigger, taller and heavier in weight. However, when Americans came face to face in close quarter combat with the smaller Japanese soldier, they found his fighting skills to be superb. In many cases, the larger built and stronger American soldier fell to the fighting tactics of the smaller Japanese soldier. This was his country's first encounter with the so-called martial art called Karate, and anotherr art form known as judo. The very nature of the system of karate is to enable this smaller, weaker individual to overcome the larger, stronger individual. This is accomplished, by use of sophisticated techniques and the ability to hit vital areas of the human body.

It wasn't until the end of the war that many Americans who stayed in Japan learned this art and brought it back to the United States. Today our own armed forces are trained in the use of hand-to-hand combat using many of these methods. Up until this time these Asian fighting arts were not known in the United States, and one of the first to introduce these arts was a man named Bruce Tegner, who wrote a series of small books displaying the arts of judo and karate.

Without getting into sophisticated anatomical weaknesses of the human body, it is safe to say that there are many points that cannot be developed to withstand certain strikes employed by the martial arts. To name a few, the eyes, throat, the brain stem, the solo plexus, the groin, the kidneys, and the bladder. There was once a book written called "the medical implications of martial arts blows." This book was written by a doctor who described the damage that could be employed by use of the strikes to these vulnerable areas of the human body. The result of hitting some of these areas could range from complete blackout, blindness, extreme pain and even death.

Because of the effectiveness of the strikes, it was of little consequence how big your opponent might be. With proper training, the smaller person could overcome the larger. What is needed to be proficient in these arts is muscle memory training so that you move instinctively, and with precision to hit the point. Of course, speed helps, but with proper muscle memory training. Speed is naturally increased. As for physical power, much less is needed due to the vulnerability of these target areas. It is said, that 12 pounds of snapping power can break almost any bone on the human body. If you were to pick up a bathroom scale, and squeeze it with all your strength, you would see this scale register very little. However, if you take the scale and making quick snapping motion with your hand, you will see this scale jump significantly. Even a child can learn to break a piece of wood 1 to 2 inches in thickness through the use of these techniques. This is more than sufficient power to take down the strongest individual.

Of course, learning the martial arts, does not come easy. It does take years of practice and dedication and the ability to endure the hard workouts necessary to train both the body and mind. Each individual is different and how fast they will develop sufficient skills to defend themselves in a brutal street attack. In reality, there is no one art or one technique that in itself is sufficient to defend yourself in all situations. The ways we can be attacked are too numerous to list. Therefore, it takes years of practice in a multitude of techniques that must be learned and developed to their perfection. You must have no fear of hitting or being hit, as well as having no reservations to employ these techniques for your personal safety, as this is the very nature of fighting. No matter how good of a fighter, you may be, if you cannot take a blow, no matter how good your skills are you will lose. Therefore, we naturally train to strike other people, but we also learned how to deal with being hit ourselves and not falling apart.

In conclusion, we must always keep in mind there is no such thing as a fair fight. There's no such thing as dirty fighting or even illegal blows. Someone who attacks you in the streets has no qualms of using anything necessary to overcome you, therefore, you must be willing to go to any measures if you wish to survive a street attack. What you see on television, in fight scenes is pure fiction. Real fighting in the streets can be vicious and brutal. Keeping this in mind, you must always train as if it was the real thing. Fighting for survival is not a sport, it's real. And if you are unwilling to do what is necessary to protect yourself, you just might be the next victim of a vicious attack, which could mean the cost of your life. The martial arts presents us with a chance to survive street attack, but how well it works depends on how hard you work to attain it.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Start of New York Tournaments

The difference between traditional martial arts schools and commercial schools is great. Some would ask when were commercial schools introduced into this country? And what is the difference between these two types of martial arts training schools?
When I first began my martial arts training, little or nothing was known about the martial arts in the United States. The only reason I discovered it, was because I was born and raised in lower New York City along what is known as the New York Bowery or the beginning of the Chinatown area. My reason for searching out martial arts was because when I was very young at the age of nine, I was severely beaten up, and was on the verge of losing my life without medical intervention. After many months of recovery, it was some Chinese friends that I had come to know in Chinatown that advised me I should learn how to defend myself better to survive in the rough New York streets.

I will bypass my training years here, and move ahead to the time the martial arts was first exposed to New Yorkers. This story is going back and arose about the 1960s, in New York City. There was a few great promoters of the martial arts at that time, namely a man called Aaron Banks, Edward Parker and Gary Alexander. Banks was from the New York City area and ran a school known as the New York Karate Academy in midtown New York. Master Edward Parker, was located on the West Coast in the California area. The two had decided to run a huge tournament at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The name of this tournament was called the East Coast versus West Coast. Every known school of the martial arts was notified on both the East and West Coast to attend this competition. By that time the martial arts have spread somewhat in both the East and West Coast and I would venture to say at least 2000 contested showed up at the front door ready to fight. Most everyone who attended were shocked to see the amount of martial artists all in one place. We all felt this was going to be proven as one of the best fights and martial arts histories in New York City.

Needless to say, once the fighting began it was furiously hard and devastatingly brutal. Both the East Coast and West Coast were out to prove who had the best martial arts. At that particular time in martial arts history, there were no rules per se, other than the rules that came from the Orient which stated there were no rules other then to get the knock out winning blow. This meant you stepped into the ring, with no protection whatsoever, because that's the way we were taught we would fight in a street condition. No cups, no mouthpieces, Just two hands and two feet and a eagerness to win was all you enter the ring with.

As the fights progressed the physical damage increased. Contestants incurred injuries ranging from shattered teeth, ears pulled off, bones broken, and in a few cases, almost blindness. By the time the fights had ended many ended up in the hospital. It was so brutal that at one point, the New York Police Department was called after the tournament had completed because they thought they would be a major riot going on in the streets.

Because of this brutal melee that had occurred at Madison Square Garden, New York City voiced its opinion that such competition would not be permitted. It was so violent New York City would not allow this type of tournamants to go forward, as they beleived such fights were a danger to human life. . New York City wanted a set of strict rules and regulations had to be put in place before any other tournament would be allowed. This was to ensure that such brutality would not occur again. If this demand was not met, it was decided that martial arts tournaments such as this would not be permitted again in city limits.

Some months later, I was informed that a governing body would be organized known as the I.C.M.A., which stands for the international convention of the martial arts would be organized. This meeting was held at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. The top names in the martial arts were invited to attend this meeting to establish a set of rules that would safeguard the martial arts tournaments to continue within the city limits. Attending this meeting were the top names in the martial arts, some of which you may recognize as, Chuck Norris, Joe Louis, Gary Alexander, Alan Lee, and myself, which represented Westchester County.

After a great deal of deliberation and haggling back and forth as to what we would permit and not permit in tournament fighting, we came up with a set of rules. Only light contact to the face would be permitted and groin strikes, throat strikes, spine strikes and kidney strikes would be forbidden. Forceful body blows would be permitted to the midsection to declare a clear-cut hit. Once the city was notified that we had a set of firm rules in place, only then did they permit the martial arts organizations to compete with one another in martial arts tournaments. And so started numerous martial arts tournaments to be organized and run within New York City. However, even with all the safeguards we put in place, still many injuries resulted, as old habits of training die hard, which meant many still went all out to win and to hell with the rules. It took many years of refining the rules and enforcing them that helped prevent serious injury within the ring.

Today, tournaments are run with much more safeguards in place, such as, mouthpieces, groin protectors, and body armor. This was a far cry from the old way martial arts tournaments have been run through the centuries. However, tournament promoters were fearful of occurring hugh lawsuits for bodily injury, so heavy contact became a thing of the past. Because of these changes in approach, many martial art schools that opened in the tri-state area would limit the amount of excessive contact. Point fighting, which meant , just come close but no contact is made to the individual was commonplace. The only schools that followed the old ways of full contact became known as traditional schools. Fighting contests within the school resorted back to the old traditions, just two hands, two feet and win no matter what.

Today, it is extremely difficult to find a traditional school, most have been replaced by commercial schools which do relatively no contact fighting at all. If competition fighting was allowed at all, the individual had to be heavily protected so no bodily damage would occur. The real useful street techniques that would stop an attacker in the streets were forbidden. Needless to say it is these very techniques are the ones that can protect oneself in a brutal attack on the streets. These target area's were forbidden in commercial schools, even though these still remain your best bet to survive a street attack. Area's, such as the groin, throat, eyes, kidney, bladder were no longer taught as primary targets.. Commercial schools forbid attacking these vital areas which completely waters down the arts effectiveness in real street fighting conditions.

Some of the other differences between a commercial school and a traditional school are mainly associated with money. Traditional schools rarely charge for much of anything other than one monthly fee to attend the school. There were no contracts, your word was your bond. There was no such thing as children's classes, only adults and usually they consisted of males only because of the extreme training involved. Techniques were taught the way they have been for centuries. This meant strikes were permitted to the vital areas of the human body, namely throat groin and even the eyes to some extent. Anything that was effective to bring down an attacker in the streets was taught. Many of the old traditional schools went by the wayside because Masters no longer wanted to teach a watered down art. Commercial schools grew in number, offering children's classes, children's birthday parties, and only tournament point fighting where vulnerable areas of the human body were forbidden to hit. Even in what is called cage fighting today which is considered extreme fighting, the vital areas of the body such as the growing eyes and throat are forbidden.

You must keep in mind that the martial arts was taught for strictly for life or death situations. It was never considered a sport, but rather a tool to protect oneself from brutal street attack. The streetfighter has no rules whatsoever, they will do anything to attain the upper hand in a street fight. Street fighters have no qualms in using knives, guns, broken glass, or anything at his disposal to win. Traditional schools, realize these facts of street survival and also would use anything available to defend oneself as well as attack primary areas to survive. Sadly, traditional schools are shying away from the original methods of self-defense. Commercial schools would rarely teach these methods for defense, thereby making there techniques less effective in real life. And yet commercial schools today outnumber traditional schools fifty to one.
It became so difficult to find a traditional tournament in the United States that at one point in my life, I decided to travel to Taiwan where I could compete in an old-style traditional tournament. Tournaments in Taiwan are under the control of the Taiwan government, and fought in the traditional way. There was no protection, in fact, you had to sign a waiver that if you were killed in the tournament, the government would not be held responsible. The ways of the warrior has gone by the wayside in this country, and i am sad to say because of it the techniques taught in commerical schools could well fail to stoped a brutal attackers in the streets.

With each passing year in this country it is becoming increasingly harder to find a traditional school, as most of being replaced by the commercial school. If you are looking for a school to baby sit your children,commercial schools suit that purpose perfectly. However, if you're looking for a school of pure self-defense with time-tested techniques that work, I suggest you try to find a traditional school. The techniques taught in traditional schools are indeed violent, but needed if the smaller weaker person has any chance at all in defending against the larger, stronger opponent. To negate the practical techniques of the defense is like sending a soldier to war, but not issuing the ammunition for the weapons. How do you think he would fare facing an opponent with a loaded gun and you with an empty gun? I think the answer is obvious.

Monday, December 5, 2011

My Holiday Message to All

With Thanksgiving behind us and Christmas just ahead of us followed by the coming new year. I'm sure most if not all are saying where did the year go? The passage of time is never-ending. As each year passes, we lose loved ones are situations change and maybe they go from good to bad or bad to good. There is no telling what each new passing day will bring each of us.

The Martial Arts is a system of self-defense as we all know, and encompasses within its teachings,what we call the study of the Tao and the forces of Yin and Yang. As most of us know the art of Shaolin kung fu gained its popularity at the Shaolin Temple in mainland China. Most everyone is aware that the Shaolin Temple proselytizers Buddhism, and Buddhism does not advocate the taking of any life be it human or insect alike. Therefore, it should be no surprise to anyone that the Shaolin techniques are heavily tempered as not to take a human life. However, the martial arts was developed for one purpose only, namely self-defense in warfare. A true Buddhist monk would rather have his own life taken rather then to take another's life, as this is the greatest of all sins.

Many of the well known martial arts seen today, such as Tai Chi, BaGwa and Hsing Yi had its roots in Taoist teachings. Tai Chi, Hsing Yi, Ba Gwa are all connected in some way to this study of the two great forces of Yin and Yang, which promote change. In fact, one of the greatest forms of divination ever created by the master Fu Shi was known as the father of the I Ching. This system of divination was based on 64 hexagrams, and if you multiply 64 x 64 you get a possibility of over 4000 various forms of change. Many other art forms of martial arts have been based on this principle of constant change. Today, the I Ching is being used by people throughout the world for guidance in leading a productive and well informed life. You may question what does the I Ching have to do with the martial arts? But if you study the Asian arts long enough, there's no escaping coming across these philosophies built into the teachings of the arts.

The martial arts has so much more to offer than mere fighting, it is a way life, and a way of making ourselves better people. The more one studies the martial arts the wiser one becomes. We come to realize that life is nothing more than a dream passing through our mind. At first glance it would appear that we have little or no control of any of the events in our life. However, at second glance, you come to realize by manipulation of the forces that surround us we can in fact lead a better life.

As we advance in years and gain wisdom, we sooner or later will realize how our life is progressing. We are certainly not getting younger, but rather taking another step towards the graveyard. However, there is hope. If you study hard enough and contemplate the wisdom of these great stages. Those that came before us, came to understand there really is no and, there is only another beginning. The Buddhists believe in reincarnation of some sort and until our soul is fully cultivated we must return to this plane of existance for further purification.. However, once we are fully cultivated we can then enter into some form of the heavenly realm and never return. On the other hand, the Taoist believe we just moved back and blend again back into natures natural forces.

Human beings tend to believe that we are very intelligent. However, most if not all of what we know comes from what other people tell us or or what science says is true. The reality of the situation is, we really can't even trust our own senses. If you look at something, you tend to make a judgment call based upon what you see. However, seeing with our eyes is only a small part of drawing a conclusion. It takes many other parts of the human brain to formulate what you think you see. It is only through our own experiences that we can be reasonably be sure something is real or not, and even then there is no guarantee you are right in your judgment call.

I have spent much of my free time not only in the practice of kung fu, but also in deep study of the sciences and theologies. These studies point to a new understandings of what is real and what is not. As science progresses further new truths are being discovered and older ones cast aside. Today, there are many new discoveries happening in our generation. To name one recent discovery that Einstein's theory of E equals MC squared, has been proven wrong. This theory as most are aware is mainly concerned with energy, mass and matter and relates to the speed of light. Einstein proclaimed that nothing can exceed the speed of light, however, continued research has proved that Einstein's law is not infallible.

Scientists all over the world have always sought to find how the universe was created. The main theory was the so-called Big Bang theory that started it all. However, the question always remained, how could something be created from nothing. Again this brings us back to the study of the martial arts and its many theories. Now scientists all over the world are considering such new theories such as the string theory, which leads to the M theory, which hypothesizes that the universe itself is one large series of membranes much like the human brain. In turn, these theories bring about the possibility of 11 dimensions of time and space. I only bring up these points not to digress from the martial arts, but rather to exemplify how little we truly know about life, God, and the universe as a whole.

Even now as I write this article, I am still unsure of anything. The one thing I can be sure of is that I'm not sure of anything. This is the mystery of life. In the martial arts we start out by learning stances and punches, but as we progress in our studies and learn more about the many theories of the martial arts, we will eventually be asking those four profound questions namely, who am I, what am I doing here, what is my purpose here, and where am I going. All humans sooner or later ask these questions, because life seems to make no real sense of purpose without the answers to these profound questions. Fighting is barbaric, and the only reason we fight to this day with each other, and other countries, is because we have not found the true reasons for living.

As I continue my studies, I become more convinced each passing day that there is a higher power, and our true purpose in life is really to try and develop ourselves to higher levels of understanding, love, and goodwill to all mankind. It is my firm belief, when we achieve this, our rebirth into this world of sorrow, grief, and pain will end.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy Veterans Day My Brothers!

To all my follow veterans, I wish you all the very best on this our special day in which we remember all our follow brothers at arms, especially those who paid the ultimate price for their country. You have my deepest respect and prayers. Those that are serving now, my wish is God will bless you and protect .you and bring you home safe and sound.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Kenpo Grand Master Passes Away

This is news I received from my Kenpo Brother, Grand Master Tom Saviano in Chicago. Another noted Master passed away NOV 5th. This is part of all Kenpo practitioners history.

Here then is the announcement.

Ming Lum, along with Jimmy Lee and Jimmy Woo, was one of Master John
McSweeney's kung fu instructors during the late 1950s and early 1960s. I had
the privilege and honor of speaking with him by telephone in 1992, we
discussed the banquet I was getting together for Master McSweeney's 65th
birthday and promotion to 10th Dan by Ray Korda, Mike Vassola and me. Some
years later (2004) G.M. John Tsai invited Master Paul Wong and me to spend
10 days in mainland China to review the National Woo Shoo teams and possibly
assist in their coming to the U.S. to demonstrate their art. While there, I
got to know Master Wong quite well, during one of our many conversations we
discovered that we had many things in common, he told me that he had
breakfast with Master Lum every Saturday morning and invited me to attend if
ever I returned to San Francisco ( I've often regretted not taking advantage
of that invitation). With so many "wanna be" Masters around today, it's
truly a shame that we had to lose a true legend.
God bless you Master Lum, we "will" speak again some day.
Tom Saviano

P:S: Thanks to Zoran Sevic for passing this information on to me.

Subject: Ming Lum passed away
Just found out Ming Lum Passed away. Below is the announcement.


Great Grandmaster Ming Lum passed away yesterday on November 5, 2011.
He was born in Chung San, Canton, China but grew up in Honolulu,
Hawaii. He's known as kung fu's Godfather to two generations.
Grandmaster Ming Lum started his martial arts training while in grade
school at the Chungsan Language School in Honolulu where he trained
Fut Gar (Buddha Family) with Grandmaster Lam Dai Young, one of three
of the best at that time.

He also trained Jujitsu with Grandmaster Henry Okazaki and Judo with
Kenny Kawatachi during 1940-1941 just before WWII broke out. In 1955
he moved to San Francisco, California. In 1957, Grandmaster Lum began
to study with Choy Li Fut Grandmaster Lau Bun. In the 1960's he was
the first to introduce the Shaw Bros. kung fu films in San Francisco
area. He was first to bring Chinese stylists to enter karate
tournaments and has opened the doors for a non-Chinese to learn kung
fu in San Francisco. He introduced Ed Parker to many of the then
secret kung fu schools and masters in San Francisco. In the kenpo and
kajukenbo communities, Ming Lum was venerated as a virtual saint by

Grandmaster Ming Lum has numerous of recognition awards and has also
been inducted in the 1992 AMAPA Hall of Fame. He has also been
inducted into the Hawaii Kenpo Jujitsu Society Hall of Fame in 1999.

He is truly a man of his words and deeds. Highly respected around the
world among laypersons and martial artists alike. In addition to his
many duties, community responsibilities he also serves as one of the
first senior advisors of the Hawaii Kenpo Jujitsu Society since it's
founding in 1995 and as the Senior Advisor to the Whipping Willow
Martial Arts Association.

Great Grandmaster Ming Lum has been council, advisor and public
relations extraordinaire to virtually every martial arts promoter and
tournament promoter in California. His renown is as such that he forms
the cultural goodwill bridge between Asia and the United States.
Primarily because he is knowledgeable of virtually every style of
martial art taught in China and his acquaintance with all of the Great
Grandmasters of both continents.

Great Grandmaster Ming Lum has been responsible for hundreds, if not
thousands, of success stories in the martial arts. Working closely
with the San Francisco Chinatown community and the City of San
Francisco to bring each closer to the needs and understandings of
these contrasting cultures, Ming Lum was a selfless man who always
thought of others first before himself.

We will miss this amazing man but remain forever grateful we were able
to know and be inspired by him. Full salute Great Grandmaster as you
return home to greet your ancestors.

Prof. Carl Totton

Monday, October 24, 2011


Max Ehrmann

This is my favorite Poem I hope you enjoy it as much as I do/.

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
And remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender,
Be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
And listen to others,
Even to the dull and the ignorant;
They too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
They are vexatious to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
You may become vain or bitter,
For always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
It is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs,
For the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
Many persons strive for high ideals,
And everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
For in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
It is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
Gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
Be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
No less than the trees and the stars;
You have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
No doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God,
Whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
In the noisy confusion of life,
Keep peace in your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
It is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Meaning of the Shao-lin Creed

This is from my unpublished book on Shao-lin.

The code, or Way, as it is called in the martial arts, is
The cement, or root of Shao-lin Ch'uan. By following the Way, the
Traditions of Shao-lin are preserved while living the life of a
Shao-lin disciple. To follow the Way is not an easy task. Many
Come to Shao-lin to try, and soon leave. The effort is just too
Much for the average person. You must be a cut above average to
Succeed in Shao-lin. The code is demanding, with no exceptions to
The rules. The rules are simple, as there is only one objective,
And only one way to obtain that objective. You simply have to
Wake up. By adherence to the Way of Shao-lin one will surely
Awaken. Then Shao-lin will take on its true meanings. Those who
Cannot follow the code of Shao-lin will fall by the wayside
Before long. The illusion of life is extremely difficult to
Overcome. It takes a special person, with deep convictions and
Determination, to succeed in Shao-lin training. The code also
sorts out those who might learn the arts for the wrong
Reasons. Because the code exists, the art of Shao-lin has been
Preserved to this day. Those who follow the code are called
Traditionalists. They follow their predecessors' teachings
Without question. They know there is no need to question.
Questions bring more questions and they are tricks of the mind.
There is no need to improve on what is already good. There is no
Better way, only one Way. There is no superior art or person.
Those who follow the Way know this, and therefore, ask no

When I am talking about fighting skills, I say Shao-lin
Ch'uan. When I talk about the higher realms of training, I say
Shao-lin. The former is the outer and the latter is the inner.
The outer will return to the earth, the inner will return to the
Tao. The code is the path to the Truth, the true purpose of Shao-lin.
Those who become teachers in Shao-lin take an oath to follow
The way of our predecessors to ensure the future of Shao-lin
Ch'uan. Without this code of martial arts, Shao-lin Ch'uan would
Be no different than any other pugilistic form. It is the code of
Shao-lin that differentiates an art form from a sport. Without
The code, the study of Shao-lin would, in the long run, become
Tedious and boring. For once you have reached your top physical
Development, where else is there to go? What road is there to
Travel? When the physical challenge is over, boredom sets in.
Soon your interest will be taken by something else. As age
Weakens your fighting ability, you come to realize the physical
Skills of Shao-lin are passing away. All that training for a few
Years of top skill. Enjoy it, for it will change as death draws

Without the code the whole purpose of Shao-lin study losses
Significance. Why even bother? It is Shao-lin's deeper meanings
That make Shao-lin worth while. It is the Way (code) that makes
Shao-lin study worth anything at all. As one of my teachers once
Said, " When you're dead, of what value are the martial skills to
You?" Of course, none at all. The outer skills die with you, the
Inner cultivation lives on for eternity.

Those who follow the Way only become stronger in time. Their
Inner strength will be glowing with chi. Where the physical is
Lacking the awakened mind will compensate. Your kung fu moves are
Perfect, for error cannot exist in the awakened mind. The
Simplest of moves will be totally effective and simple for the
Master. It is the cultivation of the code that brings with it
Everlasting rewards that can be carried past death's door and
Into the next existence.

The Shaolin Creed

This was taken from my book I wrote over twenty years ago but Never Published on Shaolin.
None of what you will see in this book has ever been revealed until now. I will for the first time reveal various aspects of the book over time for those who love the Shaolin Arts.. Learn and Enjoy





Tuesday, October 4, 2011


What does it take to be successful in the Arts? I have in my blogs mentioned many things it takes to be good, but that does not mean I have stated it all as yet. There is another big word that accounts for success, and the word is SACRIFICE. One definition of this word among others is: "Selfless good deeds for others or short term lose in return for a great gain" That's the great gain I speak of not, not financial gain. If it was all about money I would never run a school, as a traditionalist, money is not the motivation, it is the gratification of teaching.

I think many will be surprised at just what a person goes through to be successful at attaining their goals in life. But if your not willing to sacrifice the chances of you making it to the top will be limited. Without sacrifice you might make it half way up the ladder but certainly not to the the top.

But what kind of sacrifice am I referring to is the next question. The answer is just about anything it takes to be successful. If you draw a line in the sand of what you will do and not do to attain success chances are you have already limited yourself. This is exactly what many do, they wish to learn the Arts or make it to a Teacher or even Master but put limits to what they will do or not do. With limits the chances of attaining your goals are limited simply because you limited yourself.

I always knew I wanted to be good in the arts and it was in my early years I made up my mind to attain my dream. I also knew I would do anything I had to do to attain this dream. I never made excuses to myself and I cant recall ever missing a training class. Was this a sacrifice, indeed it was. I missed out hanging out with friends, going to parties, or even vacations. My friends soon forgot asking me to go anywhere with them because they already know my answer, " I cant I have Class today". So they soon stopped asking me. It wasn't to much later I had no friends outside my Kwoon (Kung fu School). But over the many years of training, even when I was in the Air Force i trained with a martial arts. I did make it and archived my Teachers level. But unknown to me the real sacrifices would now begin. With Teaching comes more demands that only true sacrifice can overcome.

As I have said often the are many reasons why people learn the arts, but for me it was a life style, a Way of living and thinking. It was not just a sport to me or a pastime, the Arts is really nether of these, it is a brutal defense that requires total dedication towards self improvement and cultivation of the mind body and spirit. Anyone who studies the teachings of Lao Tzu knows about this Chinese Sage and what I am talking about. My goal was not only to teach defense but also a peaceful and gratifying way to live life.

I started teaching in the parks, I had no school and would not have for many years. I can add Master Chang was the same, he never had a school. He would teach in parks, or places where they offered space for free. It was not long after that I realized this is fine in the summer months but needed something indoors in the winter months, so I rented space in various CYO's or Church basements and even the basements of buildings.

To help the American people come to understand the Asian Arts I would demonstrate the arts for anyone interested in seeing its effectiveness and beauty. It was years later I was spotted doing a demo by a man named Mike who was an officer associated with the Sheriffs Dept. He approached me asking if I would be willing to teach new Police recruits, as he was in charge of Police training for Westchester County Zone Three Police Academy. I agreed to do this and he got me a job with D.C.J.S. (The Dept of Criminal Justice Services) who handle aspects of Police training. The pay was very little, and I had to do all shorts of odds jobs to making a living for myself as what I received from teaching was little or nothing most of the time. The sacrifice to teach was just beginning.

As I said; I taught for years and in most cases making little or no money at all but I was indeed spreading the Arts which was my main desire. I taught because it was in my heart to teach. I would take the few students I had and did demos everywhere to expose the beauty of the arts to the American people. The gratification I got by doing this, was seeing the expression on peoples faces as they saw the Arts in action.

After some time I did manage to get a better place to teach other then the CYO or basements and opened a small school. I continued to demonstrate the Arts for the P.A.L. ( Police Athletic league) along with Flyod Patterson the former heavy weight boxing Champ who showed his boxing skills and me showing my Martial arts skills to further expose the arts. As usual there was no money to be made, these demo's were run free of charge. I also did charity work for Saint Jude's Hospital by running workshops and donating the money to the Saint Jude's Hospital for the research needed to help the children. I did this because I was asked to help raise money for an important cause, this is just was the Martial Arts is about, so I did all I could to help without financial gain. This is sacrifice because there is nothing in this for me except the desire to help.

I never did advertised as I said, because it was not about having hundreds of students it was about teaching people who really loved the arts and wanted desperately to learn. If I could help, that was my rewards. Even when I first had a so called school, I started to charge a minimum amount to maintain the rent. I never charged more then I needed to pay the bills and have enough left over to pay rent on a small cottage where I lived. I was living on cheap meals as I could not afford much else. The little I made in income just got me by and nothing more.

I was totally focused on my teaching career, and soon I was offered a position with the Sheriffs Dept. When my wife to be came to the states we had nothing when we started, in fact we had to go to a auction house to buy used furniture because we had no money to purchase much else. We were married in the States but I had no money to speak of for the wedding. So I asked a judge to marry us and a rented a hall with the hope my students would come and that money would be enough to pay the bills. I had a musical group I was teaching called Rat Race Quire, they knew I was broke and offered to play at my wedding. This is the true arts namely helping each other out when in need. But now I was teaching both in my new job and after my work at my school.

My job consisted of teaching defensive tactics, weapons retension moves, arresting methods and controls etc. I did this for years and after a while the Sheriff Dept. merged with the Country Police I soon became a County Police officer and again assigned to the Academy to teach defensive tactics. I also taught the Dept of Corrections the use of the PR, 24 know as a Tonfa in the Arts. While on the job I also became a FBI Certified Firearms Instructor to further my knowledge and helped in qualifying the new recruits in firearms. I was always eager to keep learning, this is exactly what the Arts calls for, namely Learn All You Can!

Of course I had shift work meaning I had to go in to work either days or afternoons or evening, this was again another great sacrifice I had to face. There was no time at all for my personal life, it was work and teach and teach and work and nothing else. I taught either most of the night and worked days or worked days and taught most all evenings. I had no time for anything but teaching and sleep. Of course running the school meant I was the first one there and the last one out so I had no personal life at all. When I did have free time it was spent in further study of the Arts so as to keep up with the demands to further my knowledge, which is never ending.

When a Teacher decides to open a school there is great sacrifice involved especially if the school is run in a traditional way. I always keep my school small so I did not have to charge large amounts of money and make the Arts accessible to most anyone on any budget. Even doing this I was always in trouble trying to maintain the overhead, heating phones, rent etc. Plus most would not believe me when I say many students failed to pay their dues even with the low costs I was asking. I cant tell you how many times I paid these bills from my own pocket just to keep the school open. In essence I was paying to teach people, who in their right mind would do this that unless you will willing to sacrifice to make it. Not many I dare say, but traditionalist do it for the love of he Arts.

All of the above statements are made for those who are seeking the be among the best in what they do. You have to work and drive yourself hard to be recognized as one of the best. It's all about that magic word Sacrifice. How much are you will to do, how much are you willing to risk to make it?

By risk I mean financial as well as friendships, and even your family life. There is no getting away from the facts what make people great, it is their willing to focus on their goal and not let anything or anyone stand in their way. It is having the right people with you that don't hinder your ambitions. It is your willingness to lose most of the free time and never give up. This is the sacrifice I speak of. It is the your ability to handle the flack you will get along the way from those who wish to deter you by trying to make you feel bad that you are one sighted and are neglecting others. No, it's not easy, and nobody ever said it would be easy. But this is the sacrifice I speak of.

My rewards are the people I have taught, I cant tell you how may have told me how the training has changed their life for the better. Not to mention the stories many have related back to me how the Arts saved them from brutal attacks in the streets. Often these same students told me by learning the discipline the Arts demanded of them they were able to succeed in life and achieving great goals thy set for themselves, such becoming doctors or lawyers etc. They to learned how to sacrifice, work hard and never look back but rather straight ahead into the future, and in doing so they to archived their goals.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Five "W's".... Who, What, Where, When and Why

Who are we, what is our purpose, where are we going, Why so much suffering, When will we find the answers? Profound questions indeed that have been asked since the dawn of mankind. And even with the thousands of years that have passed since man's creation, no answers have been found. When I first joined a Martial Arts school these questions were not on my mind at all, it was pure defense that I was concerned with. But it was my Masters, especially my Zen Masters, that opened my mind that just learning how to fight was really not the answer, it was much more profound of a problem that caused us the problems we face today.

In the beginning survival was all mankind had on its mind. But over time and the development of the human mind we have come to realize even more profound questions. We fight because we have not come to understand life and the real meaning and purpose of existence. If we really knew the answers, fighting would stop this instant. Wars would end, disputes would be nonexistent, mankind would change for the betterment of all sentient beings in every way. The human existence would take a tremendous transformation.

Is this all just wishful thinking? Yes, it could very well be just a dream, maybe we will never learn and we will all just destroy ourselves over time. Self destruction is more likely then finding the answers before it is too late. However, the mind of mankind has improved since the dark ages, so hope still prevails. Science has brought us from the darkness into the light. But still, we are a long way from real enlightenment.

The Buddha knew that when he awake from the dream it was useless to spread his new found knowledge and so, he just sat there and did not move. It is said even the Gods wondered why he did not get up and spread the word of what he had come to know. The answer according to many stories of his awakening; is that he knew mankind would not understand nor believe his new found revelations. He felt is was hopeless for him to even say a word of what the had uncovered. But after a while he decided that even if he could awaken just one person, then it was worth his efforts to spread the word to the people.

Buddha was right, few understood the profound truths of life. Only one or so ever really understood his message. If this was not the case then the world would have changed to that of all enlightened beings by now. But we have not, we remain in the darkness, still fighting, still killing, still suffering. In the preaching of Christ, he also indicated many would to not be saved, but rather many would be lost. He to saw the obvious as did Buddha. All you need do is look how mankind has progressed to see these Masters were sadly correct, mankind remains in the dark as to the meaning of life and its purpose.

Some have asked me; is there no hope at all for mankind? My answer is; I really don't know. I can only hope there will be some kind of earth shattering revelation that will awake mankind up in time. But somehow I am doubtful, only because of what I see around me. My Zen Masters were always preaching that mankind was asleep to truth, and to really accomplish self enlightenment takes more effort than more humans are willing to give. Waking a person up to truth up is almost as difficult as wakening a person from a coma, they simply have to awake themselves, it can not to be forced. Those who recognize truth say it will take more then one lifetime to awaken any one individual, more likely it will take hundreds or even thousands of lifetimes before you see the light of truth.

There is absolutely nothing harder to do then awaken from the illusion of life, and see it for what it really is. If we did, those small words of Who, What, Where, When, and Why would have been answered and the world you see today would have been long gone. But sadly, we as yet remain in darkness, which blinds us from the light of truth. I can only remain hopeful I am wrong and some how, some way the light will prevail over the darkness and in time and we find what the Buddha found.

My definition of enlightenment: = Release from Hypnotic Self Deception.

Enlightenment occurs only when you finally come to realize you been wasting your life by playing the fools game of Hypnotic Self Deception. Only by exposure to the light of truth do we have the capacity to wake up. Only then will the fool's game truly be over.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Let's Just Kill It!

The martial arts was created for self defense, and I have no problems with a person protecting themselves at any costs. Your life is too precious to allow anyone to take it. But when it comes to killing people or any living creature on purpose when you don't have to, I am totally against that.

In my opinion mankind is vicious, we as a people seem to have no aversion to killing. The only instance I can see where killing is necessary is when there is no other way for your survival. We know anything backed into a corner will fight for its life, as it should be. But to kill when there is no need, then this is life's greatest sin.

If you look at Buddhism when they dig into the earth for some reason such as planting or building something, even if they come across a worm they move it to another spot so as not to kill it. Some will go as far to to wear a mask to they don't breath in an insect and kill it. I may not go that far myself but as for killing on purpose, as i said, I am totally against that.

When I was teaching people the Martial Arts I often said, in the ancient times people were at constant battles with each other, they had to fight for their life from road bandits, and in many cases fight hard just to stay alive. Well if you must fight, fight well and fight to win, but if you have an option not to kill, then the choice should be easy and obvious, NEVER KILL.

In today's so called modern age, we still go to wars, you would think after all this time people would find better ways to settle arguments rather then killing one another but is seems this is still not the case. Why don't those who have a problem with something, fight each other, rather then bringing in the entire world into their disagreement,as they say winner takes all. But killing mass amounts of people in wars or any violent act is the work of a sick, dumb mind.

We are suppose to be an intelligent race but you certainly can't tell that by our acts, the fighting that goes on in this world is simply insane. If there is a alien race of spacemen looking at us, I am sure they are saying this race on Earth is barbaric. They still go to wars and kill one another. As I have said in the past, if your life is on the line and there is no other way to survive to live and you have to kill your attacker or be killed then I guess you just might call this justified. But still I hesitate when I say this, because mankind tends to justify the most idiotic things if you analyze the decision mankind has made over our existence.

The US just executed a man by the name of Mr. Davis just a few days ago. They kept him in a cell for 22 years waiting to be killed. Can you imagine such torture on the human mind? He was convicted on hearsay testimony. The worst kind of evidence there is as people all see things differently or imagine the events they think they see, it becomes their reality. Also these so called witnesses all recanted their testimony over the years saying they were not sure now it was even him. Yet we killed this man.

There have been 138 known people who were innocent that have been executed according to an organization that investigates these matters and are still fighting against the death penalty. This year alone we have executed thirty eight people so far in the states and more waiting now to die on death row. Yet,they say sixty percent of the population still justify the death penalty. When this view changes then and only then will I say mankind is beginning to wake up the real values of life. Let God judge the so called guilty, not man, we are not capable of making intelligent decisions as history proves when it comes to killings. We even kill in God name. Somehow I don't think God advocates killing, if you think so, this is a not the divine loving God that I know.

Look back at the witch hunts that went on in our history and all the innocent people we burned alive simply out of stupid superstition. It is almost insane to thing people could be so dumb yet history proves just that about human decisions. If it wasn't for the sane people in this world I think we would have killed the entire population of the the Earth already, which by the way we still may do, with the Atomic bombs. I am still waiting to hear the announcement; the bombs have been launched, then all that is left to do is bend over and kiss your butt goodbye.

Life is precious, so much so that even within the known universe around us we cant find life as we know it. Not to mention how short our life span is, so what do we do, Kill everything in sight. If there is life somewhere else in the universe it better hope we don't find it, because for sure we will kill them to. You have heard the slogan, if it moves Kill It!.

What I cant understand is even though mankind has the potential to do such great things and invent such great things how can we yet be so stupid when it comes to the value of human life? Our goal should be for total preservation of all life. We are killing species of animals in the world so fast that almost every species of animal is on the verge of extinction. We hunt them down and guess what, WE KILL THEM. In many cases just for sport, or to use the skins or body parts of our own needs. Look as the poor Fox as an example, nice fur coat your wearing isn't it, you killed for that coat.

I hope some day mankind will come their senses and use the brains God gave them and learn to live in peace, without being killing machines. The key to everything, as I always say is Love, Love of all humanity, Love of all life forms , Love of the Earth, We must learn to keep a deep appreciation for the life God has given us. Amen!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Woman in the Martial Arts

When I started in the martial arts there were few if any woman in the Martial Arts. In fact, in my classes I never saw a woman training, but I guess there were some woman in other schools unknown to me? Even if this is true, I still believe not many woman were training in the early days of the Arts in this country. Of course we know woman had been training in Asia for centuries but that is because that is where the Art comes from and it was well known and practiced by both male and female.

In Asian Martial Arts history it is recorded that a women created a style known as Wing Chun, or so it is believed. Some will argue this as true, there is conflicting stories as to the birth of Wing Chun but one of the reasons given why this style came to be is because the moves were better suited for woman. This is the same style Bruce Lee trained in so don't think it is a women art alone because it is not, in fact it is very popular today and is very effective and studied by both men and woman.

None of this is to say woman are perfectly suited for fighting, lets face facts, fighting history is centered around the fighting exploits of men most often. The reason for this is simple, because in many ways men are better suited for combat it just a simple fact most will admit. Men have always been known as the protector of the lady in distress. I am not into politically correct answers just to satisfy the ladies, I am into facts the why they are. Let's face facts, Little boys seem to learn toward playing with their little toy soldiers and fighting, whereas the girls are into their dolls and being motherly. It just nature's way, but that does not mean men cant play with dolls, " even though I don't @! " or that woman cant fight either, because they can!.

But to get back to the Arts, we all know there is physical differences between boys and girls such as body mass and strength and bone structure etc, even the female brain differs from men, which most men are still trying to figure out. But I am not going there, let's just say the bodies are built differently. The question is; do these differences effect a women's effectiveness in self defense? The answer is both yes and no, it depends on the person and the style they pick and how well they use it. This has always been the case with anyone practicing a martial arts, male or female alike.

However in Asia there is always a division between the male and female as seen in every tournament, the woman are not paired off against the men. But in a street condition, there is no division and most of the time woman will be attacked by men not other woman , so what are their chances of being effective in real life situations? Well the answer is they can be very effective if well trained. With the right techniques a women can defend her self just as well as any man, but they need focus on their strong points and use the right moves and hit the target point effectively.

I have had some very tough woman in my classes in my lifetime. In fact, one young woman I had was so tough she assisted me in teaching the Police one year at the Police academy and most of the guys did not want to come near. After a while, she was hurting many of the men and I had to tell her to go easy, she was that good. She was not using Wing Chun she was using Kenpo and joint locking techniques, she was that good. Yet she was not that big she was just plain old tough and determined to be good, and she was. The men gave her a wide birth and respected her abilities to defend herself very well indeed.

Women have certain attributes that are hard for men to attain, such as the shear beauty in their moves. I love watching woman perform much more then men. Men can appear awkward in the moves and not look graceful or flowing, whereas woman tend to be beautiful and flowing. But good defense has little to do with looking pretty either. It may win your points in a tournament where beauty grace and form mean a great deal but in the streets winning has all to do with hitting a vital point effectively, beauty has little to do with it. Beside's
there is nothing beautiful about getting hit in the groin, but it will certainly stop most men in their tracks.

Of course men tend to be more powerful but again this is just nature at work. But no matter what differences there may be between males and females in the strength category we have to admit, a poke to eye does not require muscular power, a child can do that. It is all about focus, and this is important to both males and females alike. A well placed knife hand to the windpipe will do wonders in stopping an attacker in their tracks as well, and this does not take that much strength to be effective. About twelve pounds of snapping power is enough to do great damage to anyone being hit in this area no matter what their size, especially if the hit is to a vital area..

The Martial arts has a vast array of movements that can be applied effectively by woman and be very effective to defend ones self. What really counts however is to fit the proper style to the person. If your sixty pounds in weight and four foot two it is a bit difficult to throw a man that is two hundred pounds. But on the other hand it not that difficult to push your finger into an eye socket and blind a person of any weight. It is always the style you pick and the person in the style that counts.

As another example you don't see many woman in Sumo wrestling as you would see them Aikido where strength is not the case to throw the person but rather to upset the center of balance which females can accomplish with little problem.. Many woman do learn Judo or Shuai Chiao as well, and under the right conditions and weight and size of their attacker they can be very effective. As I keep saying, picking the right Art for the person means a great deal for victory in the streets. But if you pick the right art for you and apply the techniques correctly both male or female are equally effective.

The bottom line is woman are effective in Martial Arts if they take into consideration the natural difference between the male and female and use moves wisely and effectively based on their physical differences.. Also in the streets woman wont be facing another Martial Artist so woman can defend themselves very effectively as they have the element of surprise and skill on their side.

We should also note the legs have been called the cannons or big gun of the Arts because legs are naturally powerful and a mans legs and woman legs both can muster a great deal of power, more then enough to stop an attack if you hit the targets. The main difference between men and woman is really more in upper body strength. But again I must inject if focus is right on, woman same potential to take a person down with a well placed kick. You don't need a massive amount of upper body strength to do this, just precision.

Today there are many well known female Martial Artists some of which are really good and have proven themselves to be worthy adversaries. I can tell you in China and Taiwan as well as Japan their are some top rated woman in the Arts. To name just one is Master Keiko Kurisake, my sister in the arts who runs her own schools in Japan as well as in Florida USA. She is a world class champion and for sure you would not like to be hit by her willing. In here schools she has more men then females, this must tell you something. She practices Shuai Chiao and many Chinese styles of Kung Fu and has proven to be a worthy adversary for anyone who crosses her path. In conclusion, the arts when used properly is effective for both male or female and has been so for decades in Asia and now more then ever in this country...... I bow to the woman in our Arts.

Faster then the Speed of Light

One of the article I wrote called What if ( see Below) actually happened A particle called a neutrino moved faster then the speed of light! I believe in time many more of these What If's will turn out to be " WHAT THEN?

I did not mention the speed of light but the fact E=MC2 has always been thought to be true and a fact of physics turns out to be not so......

1905 theory of special relativity says that light travels at a constant speed, regardless of how fast an observer is traveling, and that nothing in the universe can go faster than it.

Wrong Again!!!
On Thursday, scientists in Europe reported an experimental result thought to be impossible: They had observed particles moving faster than the speed of light.

A press release from the OPERA collaboration at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, reviewed the basics. It noted that the surprising result was based on more than 15,000 "neutrino events" that had been created when researchers sent a beam of subatomic particles called neutrinos from the organization's headquarters near Geneva to a detector at the Gran Sasso Laboratory in Italy, ABout 450 miles away. This particle moved fsster then the speed of light. The experiment was done 15,000 times so there is little doubt this is not true....

The bottom line here is that a particle actually moved faster then the speed of light which could change all of physics as we know it, The theory of E=MC2 would be wrong!!!!!

As I have been saying, what if the "What If's," turn out to be true Then what??? Well it happened!

Now What??? Maybe you should read my article again on What If?


Thursday, September 22, 2011

An Old Martial Arts Story

This is an old story which I wrote in more detail in a Biography of myself I am working on. But I thought you might enjoy one story from it. So here it goes, Enjoy!.

I had been working out and training in Chinatown in New York for many years but after my first Master decided to return to Hong Kong and retire I was hard pressed to find another Master. I was always on the search for anyone who could teach me more. As I have said in the past, finding any Teacher at all in the old days was a hard task to say the least. Martial Arts was not the popular here yet only in the Chinatown did you really have a chance of finding anyone plus at the time they were not teaching many to begin with, and no Americans at all. The only reason was because I actually lived near Chinatown and had a few Chinese friends that lead me to one Master that would teach me. I was in fact the only American boy in the class when I started with Master Huey.

The Brooklyn bridge is close to Chinatown so one day I decided to cross over the bridge with the hope I had could find a Teacher. I was told by one of my friends he had heard there was somebody called Mr. Body there who was teaching some form of karate, I think he was a mix bread guy from what I remember, half Philippine and half American, but I did hear this guy was good. I am not sure if Mr. they was his real name, but who cares, I think it was his nick name because he had a great physical body, very strong and seeing everyone called him that, so did I. I really had no idea where the school was so I just headed to the area my friend said he thought the school was. I walked from block to block looking for a sign or some hint where this school could be. Well after searching the area I was told he was teaching in I had some luck and spotted some guys with uniforms in their hands. They were waiting outside a building, I did recognized the uniforms worn in Karate, so that was the big give away.

I approached the guys standing there and asked them if they knew of the karate school around here, expecting a yes answer, which I got from them. They said they were waiting there for the Teacher to come to class, he had the keys so they had to wait outside the building until her arrived. They said he was expected soon and just to wait with them until he came. I asked about their Teacher and they praised him up and down and said he was very efficient in the Karate. I asked if I could join the class and they said well you will have to ask him, but wait and see, which I did. I never mentioned I had some Kung Fu experience, I acted like a total beginner which was the advice I was given years ago by my Master never to tell people or brag of one's skills even though mine was very little.

After while they said "Oh I see Teacher know, there he is" as they pointed up the block. I spotted a small man but well built holding a Karate uniform haggling over his shoulder and tired in a roll with his black belt. As he turned the corner I spotted three bigger guys step in his path and stop him by putting their hand on his chest and stopping him from passing. Just then one of the student standing by me said, "Oh no looks like trouble". I said maybe we should go help out, they answered "I don't mean trouble for Teacher I mean trouble for those guys, they don't seem to know who they are messing with".

I looked back to see what was happening when they said this but what I saw seemed to end so fast I can't recount just what a happened. All I see was a series of kicks and flashing hands and the three guys were all laid out on the street. It was over in seconds and Mr. Body picked up his uniform cleaned it off and headed to meet his students who were standing there with open mouths at how quick the encounter was over. Needless to say when Mr. Body reached us standing there I bowed and asked if I could join his class. I told him I was looking to learn martial arts. I told him I would be honed if he would accept me and but I knew nothing about martial arts. He nodded his head in approval and said, Ok join us. As he opened the doors to the building his students asked what happen with those three guys. Mr. Body answered, "oh them they just needed a lesson in manners" and said nothing more about it, but I will never forget it for sure.

I must say training with Sensei Body was an enlightening experience. His classes were rough and the style was very clean and not complected like Kung Fu but powerful. I stayed with him for a short time after that, maybe under a year as I was going into the Air Force. He was a good Teacher and loved his arts, I believe it was one of the Ryu systems called Isshin-Ryu Karate, "The One Heart Way" if I can recall, but there are many variations of the Ryu styles brought back to the USA, so I am not sure which one this was, but it certainly was effective and that's all I cared about. When I left him I did so on good terms and he wished me luck and said "keep up your training in anything you can find, remember he said, all martial arts are good". I did just that even when I went into the service. I really don't think I ever stopped training all those years but that's another story. But one thing for sure I will never forget Mr. Body.

If I ever finish my biography there are many such stories and more about Sensei Body and many more of my Masters.