Friday, September 1, 2017

You need a hard winters training

In ancient warfare, armies typically disbanded come the winter. Due to seasonal limitations a total war as we know from the last couple hundred years was just not ideal or simply the way wars were fought. A steady series of small skirmishes culminating in a big contest of sword and steel. Epictetus wrote in Discourses "we must undergo a hard winters training and not rush into things for which we have not prepared."

In order to achieve victory over an objective you must commit to conquering with every ounce of energy you have. LeBron James doesn't have a summer break, nor Mark Cuban or Elon Musk. These people are extreme winners in their field and the only way you can become a conquerer of your industry or your life you must

Modern Armies drill constantly in peace time so as to be ready when deployment time comes, We learned this the hard way with the roll out of the Afghanistan Mission, many member nations struggled to adapt at first but had to embrace this challenge head on in order to get the job done.

The dangers and struggles we face should be viewed like a forge, to reshape and strengthen us, to change our physical form into something superior to what we were previously, to hone us for a specific tasking. Life without an objective is meaningless. You were not born just to pay your bills and die.

Embrace danger and chaos and hard times and use that pain as armour. Condition yourself to become superior to who you are Today.

Stay Fighting

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

You are the product of your training.

"Chasing what cant be done is madness. But the base person is unable to do anything else." - Marcus Aurelius

The dog that is allowed to chase cars will chase cars, the child who is never given boundaries will become spoiled. a mind not in control of itself will be directed on impulses and external events, This is not how one wants to live. You must be aware of these flaws and embrace corrective training with fiery enthusiasm. This is the path towards finding the way.

I spend a lot of time sitting in an office getting worked up about things like the office not having enough paper clips or a building cleaner being mouthy because they made a mistake of some kind. Letting these events attack you emotionally is not productive. being short on stationary is not a problem in an of itself it is merely an inconvenience. It is weak to react to this and that weakness needs to be conditioned with repetitions and drilling.


Grey Stoicism: It is not what happens that hurts it is how you react.

"True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient, for he that is so wants nothing. The greatest blessings of mankind are within us and within our reach. A wise man is content with his lot, whatever it may be, without wishing for what he has not.:"

This is going to be a first in a series of journals covering the beginning of a practical effort on my part to reshape and recondition my mindset and philosophy on life. Mindset has been a key been factor in my writings ever since the first article i published to this little corner of the Internet. Quite simply it has always been my philosophy that your mind is the ultimate weapon I have simply failed in recent years to treat my mind like a weapon and treat life like the ultimate battle.

Stoicism is a gravely misunderstood philosophy, It is often summarized as "be emotionless because emotions are evil" but I do not really believe this is an accurate summary of the philosophy. For starters mental health treatment in 2017 should always be an option for people there is no shame in seeking professional help. The philosophy asserts that it is our perception of things rather then the things themselves that affect our lives and impact us.

It is not what happens it is how you react to it that hurts you.

I write a lot about combat sports, conflict, war and violence and one thing that is key in any conflict is that the better mentally conditioned opponent, The fighter who is more knowledgeable in himself and his foe will ultimately be the victor. Now to say these things is simple and easy, everyone has given you advice before about being more mindful of your flaws or advice on how to think differently. But with this we are going to be tackling this head on through operant conditioning. This is my attempt to bring back the old me.

Now why this sudden extreme change and approach to my life? I last posted to this website in December of 2014 about how the year 2015 was going to be the year that I recommit myself to my passions, However early into the year things would change drastically.

In March/April of 2015 I suffered a significant series of troubling events that pushed me towards things to cope that I never imagined would be a part of my life, Things that I denied from my life as they were in my eyes counter productive to living a Martial Life. From alcohol consumption and drug use, thoughts of self harm and suicide. This was the hardest time of my life and included the loss of a relationship which I expected to last for the rest of my life, I witnessed a suicide and began suffering with my own suicidal thoughts.

The kicker? These problems are still happening today in August of 2017 and I am still allowing them to interfere with my life. And I realized after looking back on my old writings how far I had fallen from grace and that I was not the man I was when I started this program, Now change and growth are natural however when I look at the Grey from the beginning of this project to the Grey of today. I am simply inferior.

To some self deprecation is seen as a negative but I am not above telling somebody they are a piece of shit so I most certainly should be willing to say that to myself when merited.


Sunday, December 21, 2014

2015 and onward

As I sit at my desk around an hour in to my twelve hour back shift, staring at a pile of reports and research papers with my tall bottle of very stale, very warm water courtesy of my zero caffeine resolution for 2015. (Spoiler: this is brutal.) I slowly come to the conclusion that I have missed this little corner of the cyber world that I call my own and that I should get back to it.

So hello internet. It is good to see you again. It has been a while since I have sat down and put fingers to keyboard to add to this project. I am hoping to add more to this place in 2015. Lets do some good here internet.

I have had a ongoing list of things that have kept me away from the project, a summer trip to beautiful Newfoundland, my return to my home province to go back to my old job, It has been a very trying time but there is some good that comes out of the journey, I have been away from the project for far too long. I have not been active in martial arts any more, This has left me with lots of time to reflect but also has introduced negativity. I feel that the need for the controlled application of violence is necessary in my life as a conditioning tool.

According to my stats I get a decent pile of hits and readers, Please tell me what you want me to talk about, comment, share with your friends, offer feedback.


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Laws of Kenpo: Law 2 Strike First

The Law: This principle has several meanings. First, it indicates that kenpo is primarily a striking art. Seventy percent hands and 30 percent feet is the classical breakdown, but you can change the proportion according to the circumstances or your body build.
The second meaning is that if a confrontation is inevitable—a thug is climbing through your bathroom window at 2 o’clock in the morning and he starts swinging a baseball bat—you should not wait for the aggressor to attack first. You need to hit him first with a foot, a fist, an elbow or a knee. You also need to hit hard and hit continuously until he is subdued.
The kenpo curriculum also includes numerous grappling and throwing techniques, but research has shown they are used in less than 25 percent of the encounters practitioners have found themselves in, and they are ineffective against multiple attackers. Because grappling uses four times as much strength and energy as striking does, it has been deemed a last resort suitable for use only if your opponent penetrates your first and second lines of defense: your feet and fists, respectively.

Grey Commentary: I think that while the law of first strike and the idea of not waiting around for your opponent to assault you before deciding to act is sound, I feel that this is not applicable to every situation especially in cases of self defence or in work related environments such as security and law enforcement
I believe as far as the grappling commentary is concerned unless you are in a LE or security position grappling and locking up on an people and essentially trying to effect some kind of an “arrest” is not wise your goal should be to strike quickly and fiercely and get off the line of attack and get far away. Grappling with the intention of breaking a limb is applicable in my eyes as it is an effective way of incapacitating a foe that being said there are much faster ways of breaking limbs. My priority is to strike quickly and get as far away from this fight as possible if I am not being paid to be in this fight why would I ever want to stay there?

My stance on that is also not a whole “police/security vs civilian” argument it is simply examining the requirements of the situation if I am a police officer or a security officer I will need to detain the subject I am fighting with because they may be involved in a criminal investigation or might be trespassing and property or might need to be detained for other reasons related to their assault or attempt to flee. If I am a civilian and I do not have devices to restrain an individual it is not an effective use of energy to attempt such techniques.

The one spot I do see an applicable stance on locks and grappling would be to remove an intruder (like the bathroom window) from your home or place of business. strike first with multiple attacks some stunning blows followed by a power shot or two, circle around to a side, apply a joint lock and remove them from the area. That is in my eyes a very street relevant stance for grappling tactics.

The Laws of Kenpo: Law 1 The Circle and the Line

The Law: The first law of kenpo states that when your opponent charges straight in and attacks, you should use your feet to move your body along a circular path. You should also consider moving your arms in a circular pattern to deflect the oncoming force.
When your opponent attacks you in a circular fashion, however, you should respond with a fast linear attack —along a straight line from your weapon to his target. Just as the circle can overcome the line, the line can overcome the circle.

Grey Commentary: I think Circle and Line makes some sense from the most basic of positions. If the opponent steps in with a jab roll over the lead hand to cover the face shuffle step around to their side and then follow with a jab to the temple or a body shot or even a side kick the options are near limitless. That being said there may be instances where such a tactic is not the wisest option where I do not want to count them circling with a linear strike and then be inside their reach and instead circle around with them to maintain a fix on their position possibly circling with them will also allow me a position near an exit to allow me to escape in a street scenario or I may just not want to get close to them by going with the linear attack. Always have options.

The comments of circular blocking motions like parrying or circular outward/inward blocks has its place but I feel this is also relevant to linear fighting as well. I believe that checks and parry’s would be more applicable to circular movements as the goal is speed and not power where as a linear block would be more solid and have more power behind it.

The idea of the line overcoming the circle is a practice found in other traditional asian martial arts like wing chun which is a very linear style of fighting with regard to the centre line concept and its striking styles these styles can also found in parts of kenpo. I feel that both have their place but the reaction to a circle does not always need to be a line nor a line a circle.

This law need not also be applied from the movement of the body but from the angles of a strike, liner strike blocked by a circlular block, followed up by a liner strike of your own circling into another strike of your own followed by one more linear strike. Like the old boxing adage of head, body, head, body

Here is a video from Kenpo Master Larry Tatum. The video is a clip from one of his DVD’s and cuts out near the end but still offers some commentary on the law from a striking application. In this video Master Tatum reacts to a right straight punch with a right handed inward block, followed by a ridge hand to the neck, followed by an elbow to the face, followed by a hammer fist to the liver.  

Musashi's nine principles from the Book of Earth

"To all Ways there are side-tracks. If you study a Way daily, and your spirit diverges, you may think you are obeying a good Way, but objectively it is not the true Way. If you are following the true Way and diverge a little, this will later become a large divergence. You must realize this."
  1. Do not harbor sinister designs. Think honestly and truthfully.
  2. The Way is in training. One must continue to train.
  3. Cultivate a wide range of interests in the ten skills and ten arts. Then one can definitely find the benefits of hyoho and develop oneself.
  4. Be knowledgeable in a variety of occupations, and learn the thinking of people who work in them.
  5. Know the difference between loss and gain in worldly matters.
  6. Nurture the ability to perceive the truth in all matters. It is important to build up an intuitive judgment and understand true values.
  7. Be aware of those things which cannot be easily seen with the eye. Develop intuitive judgment and a mind that freely controls one's body.
  8. Do not be negligent, but pay attention even to the smallest details. Keep them in mind all the time, so as to avoid unexpected failure.
  9. Do not engage in useless activity. Do not argue about useless things. Concentrate on your duties. 
The nine basic attitudes listed are essential for freeing your spirit from negative thoughts that would interfere with the journey. They must be constantly drilled and you must take them into your heart. only once you have accepted these attitudes are you able to proceed.