I’ve been asked so many times over the years as to what I think is the most important aspect of close-quarter combat training. Before I detail, I’ve found the answer holds true for martial arts training and pretty much any other physically demanding activity requiring honed movements demanding speed and accuracy.
Firstly, where do things like speed, accuracy, stamina, lightening reflexes, and the ability to focus movement and awareness in more than one direction at once come from? Of course some comes from the many systems running in the body, and their ability to run efficiently. Everything from the circulatory system, respiratory system, digestive system, endocrine system, lymphatic system, nervous system; all the meridians and the many layers of body tissue come into play. Even a highly trained individual will succumb to physical breaks in hardcore activity if a single system forms a weakness. That is just life.
However, even with all the physical training in the world, it’s just the lesser aspect of close-quarter combat training. Those who excel in martial arts, combat training, and other highly demanding and dynamic physical activity, all share another level of skill.
If, for example, someone wishes to get a chance at gaining entry into something like Special Forces training, before physically and emotionally tested, they are mentally tested.
The key to excelling in a highly demanding and dynamic physical activity is found in the power of the brain. Intelligence is the key. Though we cannot limit the meaning of intelligence to a single form. Intelligence must be honed in many forms.
The brain controls every aspect of the body. Strength, speed, accuracy, stamina, vigor, control, power, movement dynamics and everything else all comes from brain function before it becomes body function. I’ve seen so many people train their bodies to insane levels trying to excel in their sport, activity, and fighting style, whatever, but without doing the same with the brain; the skill will only go so far.
A wide variety of brain skills need to be utilized exercised and honed in order that the most dynamic physical abilities benefit. Skills such as:
Each one of those skills activates different regions of the brain, giving the brain a full workout and thus developing all areas. Just like the many forms of exercise and training to develop all the regions of the body, the brain also needs the same attention to not only develop, but also heal and rebuild over the years. The old saying goes that we only use 10 percent of our brains, but this is not a fact. In all actuality research has shown us that the many regions of the brain all function at varying rates and times, and all together those functions in a healthy brain constitute 100 percent usage.
Remember, the body only follows the brain and so can only function as well as the brain. The more of the brain that is exercised and developed, the more of the body will benefit.
The intelligence level of any individual comes down to how many connections there are between brain cells. Every time we learn something new our brains create new connections between cells. These synapses are the real key to brain power.
Another reason to train our brains as diligently as our bodies is the fact that ongoing stress kills cells in the hippocampus. The hippocampus is a crucial region of the brain involved in memory. And with stress in today’s modern world being as common as air, we are gifted with brain plasticity. Medical science has proven the brain can re-grow neurons through brain training, all the way through our lives, no matter the age. But also physical activity has been proven to lower the risk of dementias. So training the brain assists both brain and body, and exercising the body assists both body and brain.
In the early 1990’s researchers showed that those who exercise regularly were quicker to learn new material. They also showed people that exercise regularly (or are simply physically active), are better at focusing, less easily distracted, can learn faster and remember more efficiently than those people who do not.
Since about 20 percent of the oxygenated blood flowing out of the heart goes to the brain, proper breathing exercises become an essential part of a healthy brain. Breathing isn’t just important for good physical health! A smooth and free flowing circulatory system is also not only essential to good physical health, but also brain function. Blood is like water in the body, both are yin fluids. If we are dehydrated the yin fluid coagulates, bind and slow. Since our brains are about 70 percent water, it takes good hydration practices to keep the brain – fluid.
The brain takes a lot of energy to function properly and efficiently, and this means the body and brain must be exercised equally. A highly varied physical exercise/activity regime helps hone the entire body. Likewise, a highly dynamic and rich exercise routine for the brain helps is heal, grow and function at peak levels. And since the brain consumes around 20 to 25 percent of our daily calorie intake, it is just as important to eat a healthy and well rounded diet for good brain health.
To put the energy expenditure of the brain into perspective, there is an average of 100 billion neurons in the human brain. Between each neuron there can be between 1,000 and 10,000 synapses happening! Within a section of the brain no larger than a single grain of sand it is said there are about 1 billion synapses communicating with one another. Combine that with the fact that information can travel around 268 miles per hour through our brain tissue! No matter how you look at it, the brain takes a lot of energy to function.
Healthy well exercised, well fed brain = more opportunity for better body function
Healthy well exercised, well fed body = more opportunity for better brain function
Activities such as reading (both fiction and non-fiction), drawing, painting, writing poetry, studying music, studying languages, mathematics, geometry, physics, puzzles of all kinds, riddles, games of all sorts, geography, awareness and observation games, adaptability challenges (ingenuity development), speed thinking activities and slow burn thought process challenges (short-term and long-term focus activities), changing up habitual activities and challenging yourself to think about and do new/different things than your usual routines and preferences - all of these kinds of things will exercise your brain and help it grow no matter your age!
The old saying, “The best way to defeat your opponent is to out think them”, is very much a true statement. Another good saying is that far more fighters lose a fight than win one. Basically this reflects human nature of making mistakes and mistakes in a fight usually loses a fight. Therefore the mistake loses the fight rather than the other person successfully winning by outsmarting their opponent.
In my Roots of the Warrior blog series, I have stated: Prices are paid through training. We do not rise under adverse conditions to the level of our expectations. Instead we fall to the level of our training and what we have or have not paid.
The key to the most efficient close-quarter combat training, or any other highly dynamic physical activity = training and feeding the brain just as much and dynamically as the body. Simple as that, do not neglect either.
When most people think about or have the desire to learn to become a warrior they usually have no concept of what it actually entails. Well how could they? If one has not become the embodiment of a warrior then one cannot fully comprehend that state of being. That is truly what it is, a state of being. I explained a little of this in the article series called Roots of the Warrior quite a while ago.
This short article isn’t about becoming a warrior. Rather its focus is the misconception concerning training.
Typically when someone starts a path towards growing into a warrior and embracing a life of a warrior, they want to delve right into learning how to fight and use weapons. It’s an ego thing. Even if someone has become proficient at fighting and weaponry, this is a far cry from a warrior. The training path of a warrior must begin far earlier than learning fighting skills.
Before learning weapons and fighting techniques and dynamics, a growing warrior must learn to be proficient in the arts of Survival, Adaptability and Ingenuity. The skills, mindsets and layered understanding of:
If someone is incapable due to ignorance of keeping themselves alive and well in the primitive regions of this world, just as the modern ones, they are not a warrior. Even if they are an exceptional fighter, they are just a fighter. All of the above skill sets are far more important for the entire lifestyle of a true warrior than knowing how to fight and wield weapons. One must be able to survive and fully live in the natural elements, just like the modern ones, to remain alive, strong, well, wise and centered if one is to have the realistic opportunity to fight for a cause and purpose.
Like I said, anyone can learn to fight, but that doesn’t make them a warrior when the natural world could easily kill them with the strength of their own ignorance and lack.
In most pre-technological cultures around the world; Native American, Celt, “Viking”, African, and Asian for example, all started warrior training at home and most with the mother. Kids learned first skills of the household and then skills to survive and live off the land away from the home long before they ever began studying to fight. By the time they began training to fight they were more proficient at the above listed skills that most adults today. Even Special Forces today, around the globe are highly trained in the arts of primitive survival.
If you want to become a warrior you will need the diligence, patience and fortitude to broaden your training far more than fighting dynamics. Otherwise just stick to fighting. It takes far less time, energy, dedication, brain-power and layered development of the self to gain proficiency.
What are some of the more important qualities to possess and utilize in a combat situation? Of course there are many, but just to list a few:
When you stand before your opponent you need to employ the highest level of observation/awareness as you possess. It behooves you to read their strengths and weaknesses in body, mind and spirit before ever the first physical moves take place. Without this ability to read your opponent you will walk into a confrontation completely blind, and if they can read you, game over.
The intention should be set into place with your heart and mind upon reading your opponent. The intent can vary depending on what strengths and weaknesses you find. For instance, if you see that your opponent is bullheaded and in a blind fury, unable or unwilling to listen to any sort of reason, then your intent would most likely be very different than if you read hesitation, fear in their heart or perhaps some sort of injury.
A great view of strategy then steps onto the stage. Once you’ve read your opponent and you’ve set your intentions based upon that reading, it is time to design your strategy. What will it require to lead you to the final destination, or end of confrontation? Physically speaking you can employ angles, distance, timing, and feinting, hard and soft advances and so on. But on the finer levels of the game you can think in terms of deception and manipulation. That is where the master game is played as all combat relies upon those two art forms.
Is your opponent stronger than you, larger; are they shorter, slower, quicker? How is their reach? How are they built? That will usually tell you where their physical strengths lie, as well as their weaknesses. So many people are predictable if they don’t have lots of training, and even more importantly, experience. Bigger people tend to rush smaller folk in an attempt to crush. Smaller people tend to aim for speed with hit and run’s.
How do they stand? What do they look at when viewing you; chest, eyes, shoulders, knees? What are they wearing and how can any of it be used to your advantage? It makes little sense to try a body punch to someone who is wearing many layers and a full winter parka! Likewise trying to toe stomp someone wearing heavy work boots (possible steel toe) is also not a solid option. BUT work boots are heavy which slows down the legs and can give more leverage to crank the knee joint. And a heavy winter parka with many layers underneath also slows down movement and gives ample opportunity for grasping and tangling.
What sort of terrain are you on? What is the air temperature and humidity like? Will wetness or dryness be able to assist you? High humidity creates sweat which can interfere with vision but also grease someone’s skin to make grasping more difficult. Humidity combined with heat can cause breathing to be labored. It can also make terrain slippery. Dryness can interfere also with breathing, especially with exertion. Where is the light source? Could positioning be used to allow the light source to help you advance or retreat?
The more you can read in your opponent the more of an opportunity for advantage you will gain. This means not only physically, but also mentally and emotionally. A wise combatant will try utilizing their own mind to overcome their opponents mind long before using their body. Out think the opponent before trying to out fight them. But just as important in using strategy on the emotional level.
Elevating or suppressing someone’s emotional state can end a physical confrontation before it ever begins, or press them to make a mistake right from the get-go. Make them angry and they may overreact, over commit. Induce fear and it will undermine their desire, their intent to fight and steal their inner stability and force them to make a mistake. They want to fight so where did that desire come from? Which emotion led that commitment? Not only which emotion, but if you study emotions you can take a pretty good guess of the topic range of where that leading emotions was born out of. Is it Fear – insecurity. Anger – comes out of fear. Grief – fighting out of the pain of loss. Jealousy – the pain of not feeling self worth. Depression – fear of feeling nothing, like you’re just slipping away.
Every emotion has a reason, a birthplace and can be manipulated, or the resulting action can be capitalized upon. Action stems from emotion, some desire being forced to the surface from the deeper layers of the psyche. We do not act unless we have a desire to do so, and that comes from an emotion and that emotion comes from a deeper reason. In a confrontation, the more you can read in the other, the more you can control the situation. You can then dictate what sort of endurance is necessary to carry out the tactics.
Let’s briefly look at this on a larger scale.
Today we are in the middle of what is being called a Pandemic. There is now plenty of contradictory information that makes one seriously question the reality of the COVID-19 virus. Major doctors; virologists, immunologists, scientists and people of like training and experience around the world have and continue to come forward with their proof of this Pandemic hoax. That much is clear. What is hazy are the exact reasons why. Of course we hear reports of pharmaceutical corporations mainly being able to make their insane amounts of money through vaccines today as opposed to other medications. Create a Pandemic, even if it is a hoax, and create a new miracle vaccine to administer to the population. We also hear about and see new public control measures being implemented around the world at a rapid pace. Reports also claim while small businesses have been forcefully closed, and many going out of business because of it, big business is raking in the cash. There is a fear that China will now start sweeping in to buy up as many suffering small business as possible during this global crisis. Reports by some people also claim that while much of the world is under a mandatory Stay Home, Stay Safe quarantine (enforced by the law in many regions of the world now), companies involved in the new 5G technology are erecting as many towers as possible while the public eyes are partly blinded. They are all over the place now throughout the Internet, just do some research and you will see. Who knows what else is being done tactically while the public eyes are blinded? After all, it is a presidential election year in America and there is a huge movement to unseat the current administration. What better way than to instill in the public eye a serious lack of trust in the president and his administration - and a pandemic blown out of proportion by the google owned media could do just the thing. Constantly present lies to the public about what is really going on, point fingers at a man in the high seat who has no control over it and enforce excessive and abnormal rules and regulations to keep people in fear and misery.
Personally I do feel there is a virus, but I don't believe its a dangerous as the media claims, unless perhaps someone has other severe underlying health issues upon contracting it. I don't buy the story about this virus being of nature's making from bat to human mutation. The virus to me reeks of human design.
Look at the first part of this article and put the dots together.
We are told the death rate has skyrocketed because of this global Pandemic of COVID-19. But if we look at the CDC website we clearly see a very different picture.
This chart from the CDC says it all:
CDC Chart 1
The total death rate has not increased from this "virus". They've just redistributed the deaths to account for deaths from the "virus".
This shows the normal death rate for the year 2017.
CDC Chart 2
If you divide 2839205 by 365 days per year, you get about 7779 deaths per day in all of America.
Looking at the first chart listed, the total deaths of 476602 from 2/1 to 4/4 is equivalent to 7565 deaths per day. So it has actually decreased from 2017.
What can we see going on since December 2019 until today?
Awareness --- The “Secret State”, “Hidden Agencies” (or many other names for a globally positioned and potently powerful organized people) are more aware of the nature and habits of the masses than most. With the very start of the public surveillance programs, NSA Project SHAMROCK in the mid 1940's, Project MINARET in the 40's, Project Amber in the 60’s, TRAILBLAZER Project, and the FBI DCSnet, all the way through today with mind boggling technological advancements on a global scale, human habits are one of the most documented things on the planet. Read and know your enemy – acute observation and the ability to interpret are vital. How and why will they act and react to any situation presented? Plan accordingly.
Many people among the global masses live in fear, low self worth, anger or depression. Easy to manipulate if you create a situation that amplifies any of them.
Intent --- With that information set your intentions. What do you want to accomplish?
Strategy --- Layout the master plan to manipulate the masses around the world, especially the industrialized regions.
Feinting – is it an escaped bioweapon of China? One smuggled in from an opposing country? A mutated virus from wildlife? Natural immune system toxic releases from a new and intense technological stressor? What is it? Is it this, or that, or his fault, or her fault? Where did it come from and why? There is so much information from so many different places right now we really don't know for sure what the bottom line really is. Flood the public with vast amounts of contradicting information; keep them confused, frustrated in fear, anger and depression and sooner or later most just give up caring.
Pacing --- start slow, set the stage and then escalate the situation tactically to make sure it has the full desired effect of widespread fear and panic – easier to implement new controls with a fear ridden population. Hit a single region in China first. Let it grow, develop and deploy the properly weighted stories and fabricated facts. Let the anger and fear of the rest of the world start pointing fingers and hate at the country and its people. Then allow it to “spread” a little ways, like the Middle East, to show its ability to move. Move it next to mainland Europe to start really inducing fear and panic. Then onward to America.
Angles --- Employ the media to do what they do best – LIE, distract from facts and real events and spread panic. All the while allowing intricately placed power pieces in government to manipulate the direction of the mainstream government and its policies. Just look up Operation Mockingbird. After the assassination of JFK in the 60's the CIA coined the term "conspiracy theory/theorist". They used this term as a weapon against the public to slander and deface anyone who questioned the mainstream flow of information they wanted to feed to the world. In less than a decade Operation Mockingbird was devised and employed to fully capitalize upon the public information release platform.
Leading --- Employ globally known and controlled organizations like the CDC, Media, Military, Law Enforcement, Medical Community and major corporations to generate non-factual details that are designed to blanket the public eye and convince them of a lie. Once in fear, lead them where you want.
Deception --- Tis the name of the game. It is the one major player that ensures a strong possibility of success when the smaller percent is opposing the larger. Project Mockingbird created in the 60's is in full swing right now through the media. Create a media monopoly, feed it lies and watch the mockingbirds chatter across the nation and world.
Manipulation --- at every turn.
Employing strategy --- time to layout the grand plan into action. Start in a location that already has a strong military and law enforcement control over the population – China. Start there because it is easy then to force people into lockdown and even easier to completely sensor the information they can receive or send, like the Internet. The people become blind and the rest of the world’s public will only receive what the big players what them to. Let the staged information percolate across the globe, planting seeds of fear. Then open up the next stage of the game – the spread. Then the next – new control measures. Then work on new fortifications, such as tower erecting and satellite deployment and institutions to house and contain people. And all the while manipulating supply and demand, the global economy and people’s now and future ability to move/travel…
Endurance --- percent and timeframe already foreseen and planned for in the Strategy level. Once you begin such a global plan of attack you need the insight, resources and energy to see it through, and then some or it fails before it begins.
Strength --- show the opponent strength in a way that makes them feel comfortable. In this case create a major fear and then be the strong leaders and sturdy shoulder to lean on. Tell the kids of a boogeyman and then supply them with a nice hug, snugly blanket and a nightlight before going to bed. And all the while knowing they won’t step foot out of their beds that night because of the fear seed that took root.
Precision --- the key to the new control measures; the right amount in the right locations, implemented in the right ways to make them stick like glue. Too much and too fast and people’s knee-jerk reactions engage and fight back. Too little spread out over too much time and people won’t take any of it seriously.
This entire Pandemic is a global war of the few working to manipulate into greater control of the many. It is all laid out like a combat 101 class. But since far too many people are not trained in such ways, and or distracted by material possessions, habits, addictions, comforts, and weak immune systems from poorly lived lifestyles, most are too tired to care to think for themselves. The fear, low self worth, depression and anger are all too easy to play upon. And they will turn on each other in their pain and chosen ignorance and do more damage to themselves that the opposing force doesn’t have to expend energy on. Sort of like the movie that came out in the 90’s I think called Wag The Dog.
Things to think about.
Many folk over the last handful of years have asked me similar questions dealing with my ability to maintain strength, speed, flexibility, precision/accuracy and power when I struggle with my overall health. Those of course are great questions and if I weren’t me, I would wonder as well!
For those of you who have followed my work, know me personally and understand bits and pieces of my history, it is well known that I’ve spent the last thirteen and a half years dealing with ongoing health challenges. Ever since I was poisoned my body and health have not been the same and my organs, endocrine system and nervous systems have struggled greatly because of that event. None of this is new information. In my last interview, found through this link, I explained briefly of these ongoing struggles.
Nevertheless, the question remains on many people’s minds; how is it I’m able to maintain the core foundations of my martial skills and abilities?
The answer dwells inside and deals with internal arts.
As I’ve told students for years, the external physical body will breakdown with age and weaken respectively. There is nothing we can do to change that in the long run. It’s just a fact of physical life. Though conditioning and training of the external body is vital throughout youth and adulthood, the external physical strength and vigor of youth will always outdo age down the line. Sorry but when you’re 50 your body just isn’t 20 anymore, no matter how much strength and aerobic training you might do.
It is the development, maintenance and refinement of internal energy that is the key to continuing skills and abilities into old age.
When I speak of the external physical body I refer to muscles, tendons, ligaments and all the things can be developed and used for part of our lives for strength, speed, flexibility and movement in general. The internal body, if you will, points to the core energy that flows through the entire physical mass. Muscle, bone, tendon, ligament, tissue are all just parts of the physical mass, the vehicle in-which we ride. The internal energy is the oil and fuel and the refined internal energy is the combustion of that fuel that moves the mass and gives it life.
Every cell of the body runs on that fuel and the combustion of it. Without it, the physical body becomes lifeless. Scientifically speaking the internal energy can be viewed, in-part, comes from the mitochondria, which are literally the work-horses of every cell. They produce somewhere around 90% of our body’s internal energy. Mitochondria are the parts of the cells that transform protein, sugar and fat into useable chemical energy. That process is called oxidative phosphorylation. They also help break-down waste in the body and help old cells die-off so new ones can take their place.
Even if we have or develop some sort of physical issue that prevents us from conditioning our external body like we used to, this does not mean we need to deteriorate and lose our physical abilities, specifically in reference to martial skills, but also all other general or specific life skills. Let’s face it, being able to grab something or say lift 30 pounds is typically far more useful and required in our daily life’s that throwing a powerful kick. But trauma from injury and physical damage can dramatically interfere with being able to execute the level of physical conditioning we may have embraced before. Just because someone might not be able to do 100 or even 25 push-ups like they once could, does not mean they need to lose strength.
Push-ups are a form of external conditioning, just as running, swimming, bicycling, and other forms of calisthenics and action sports. But they do not develop, cultivate or refine internal energy, only external strength and circulation. But if that is all you know how to do, injury and other traumas that steal those abilities can seriously hamper your physical body and ability to move and live.
This is where the focus on internal energy development comes into play. It will not allow you to live forever in your physical body, but it will help increase your quality of life in ways that sit-ups and running could never do. And it will not fatigue and degrade the integrity of your body as you age, like many action sports and conditioning practice certainly do.
This is not a “how-to” set of articles on internal martial practice, but rather a brief description on the types of energies and how I personally have and continue to use them for health and wellbeing, especially when physical health challenges prevent other forms of regular exercise.
It will give you a pretty good idea of why, though I can no longer drop and do 100 push-ups or run five miles, I can still execute martial techniques and hand-to-hand combative techniques with refined precision, penetrating power and lightening speed, even more so than I could when practicing with full daily conditioning routines. Just ask students of my Combat Survival Camps :-)
I spent over 25 years training daily in the hardcore aspects of the external conditioning routines of martial arts, sports, fighting and combat. But I was also training in the internal energy development. As of today I’ve spent 37 years developing and practicing the internal energy aspects of my body and life. Since I was poisoned my ability to physically condition like I used to has become impossible. However, my ability to continue with internal energy development and usage remains strong.
Truly, it has been that internal energy training and focus that has saved my life, and today allows me to function in ways I otherwise shouldn’t be able to because of my extreme history of physical trauma.
In the following articles I will address the energies of:
For a more detailed explanation on this video please read the blog post for it here:
Internal Fire Strikes in Snow
I wanted to say a few words concerning the Survival Combat Camps here in Vermont. Though there are some other pages on the Small Circles of 5 Animals Jujitsu website dealing with the topic of Combat, it still seems that some more detailed reminders of some of the information is relevant.
As opposed to many civilian offered combat classes and camps available around the world, the ones offered here are raw, for lack of a better suited word. While at other classes and camps much of the information is presented and practiced in a controlled environment (indoors with controlled temperatures, lighting, sometimes padded floors and so on), the Survival Combat Camps here in Vermont are primarily outdoors. The conditions are all natural, raw and most importantly, REAL.
I am not a fan of learning something out of context and thinking it will work for you in a real situation. It’s much like the idea of learning to swim and always practicing in a pool, and then jumping out of a helicopter in the wild ocean and trying to swim the same distance you can in a pool. Another example is running in circles on an indoor track and then trying to run the same distance on a woodland mountain trail.
If you want to become a great swimmer, you must swim rather than run for training. If you want to become proficient in hand-to-hand, close-quarters combat then you need to train in just that. Training in a martial arts class is great and you will develop wonderful martial art skills, but it isn’t raw hand-to-hand combat. Likewise if you wish to become proficient in hand-to-hand combat then you need to train in REAL conditions, unbuffered by the comforts of controlled environments.
Here I firmly believe in training in the elements. That means as a student in a Survival Combat Camp you need to not only learn the skills, but also how to handle heat, humidity, cold, rain, sleet, snow, blazing sun, mud, rocks, uneven surfaces, water, insects and other natural things dealing the body discomforts and unpredictable circumstances.
Beyond that it becomes necessary to learn hand-to-hand combative skills in various microclimate structures (clothing or lack of). Hand-to-hand combat varies greatly whether you are wearing a snowsuit or a swimsuit, heavy boots or bare feet, winter gloves or no gloves. How does your body respond and act while wearing heavy clothes in a fight when it’s hot outside or minimal clothing when a cold rainstorm rolls overhead? Has your body been trained to function on flat asphalt, soft sand, a heavily sloped forested hillside, in a river, in thick mud and on lose gravel? Have you trained in both a wilderness environment, and urban areas?
All the training in the world, isolating your body in a controlled environment on predictable surfaces (hard flat floors or mats for example), won’t prepare your body and mind for the REALITY of the wide range of conditions a fight might come to you in.
Of course to train under such natural conditions means you typically have to “go out of your way” and leave the ease and convenience of traveling to a city or resort.
It is true here the Survival Combat Camps run in the remote locations of Central and Northern Vermont, mostly out of doors no matter the season, and take place in the rawness of the natural elements. It may not be the most convenient, comfortable or predictable venue. It may and will take you out of your comfort zone. And it may sound difficult and very challenging. The fact is that the camps are all of that and more. But there will be no compromise, no washing down of the reality concerning hand-to-hand, close-quarters combat training in these camps. Yes it is “out of the way”, uncomfortable, difficult and quite out of most people’s comfort zones, but that is exactly where it needs to be to work.
In these Survival Combat Camps students face reality because it is the best teacher, the best school house and the most effective learning grounds. And this is why our camps are small and don’t have lines of people waiting. Most want buffering and convenience, even if it is far less effective. The Survival Combat Camps here are for people who want reality; who want to really get into the depth and meat of who they are. Male or female makes no difference. It’s not about what sex a person is. It’s about what’s inside them, what drives them and how willing they are to learn, grow and experience.
So would these Survival Combat Camps be for you? Only you can say. But camps are not run unless there is a minimum of 4 people or a maximum of 16.
What and how many compromises do or are you willing to make when it comes to your experiences in this life?
Read more on the Camps here:
With enough genuine interest I am willing to design and run a Survival Combat Camp that runs 3 weeks. Obviously this takes extreme commitment, so is difficult to find enough people willing. But if you are interested in any of the camps feel free to contact me with questions. (see contact page)
Being a martial artist, a true martial artist, one needs to have knowledge and continually work on gaining the wisdom of the body, among other aspects of life of course. One simply cannot claim to be a martial artist by practicing techniques, forms, styles and building the exterior of the body; muscle, sinew and so on. Anyone can do this with some focus and time.
The true essence of martial arts comes from the core, the depths of all an individual is, was and has the potential to be through the energies of the universe. This takes a strength that cannot be built by or sustained through muscle and the memorization of forms/katas and individual techniques. It cannot be nurtured and developed through sparring and conditioning.
Many practitioners of the martial arts today want the quick easy method of obtaining flashy skills to appease the ego. Those who do not understand view such practitioners as really good or even great martial artists. Rarely do you find an individual who has the wisdom and fortitude that it takes to develop what is really necessary to become a good martial artist, or better. Most, even those who can perform eye catching techniques are actually not very good martial artists, because they lack the internal foundation and depth of growth.
Potency of energy that fuels martial arts practices and lifestyle stream out of the organs. The organs dictate the entirety of the body. It is a common misconception that a weak muscle or joint is the weakest spot of the body, and the body in martial art practices will only be as strong as that weakest point. But the reality is that true strength of the body, and its fortitude, comes from the organs within.
Everything from our muscle strength, flexibility, stamina, drive, mental clarity, speed, intelligence, reflexes, ability to gauge timing and distance, and so on, all come from our organs and glands (endocrine system). The internal world of the body takes far longer and far more dedication and patience to develop than the exterior. Developing the internal regions also doesn’t usually draw many eyes like taught sinew and carved muscles do. So in our mostly frail ego driven modern world of materialism, that which goes unnoticed by the eye gets pushed aside.
Take for example the ability to make quick decisions, split second choices in a sparring match or a fight. The purely external martial artist may think this ability simply comes from practice and the development of the speed of the body. In reality however, this is not the case. Someone who has never trained in fighting martial arts can easily make split second decisions. So is it then the development of the brain in the specific skill one uses in life? Race car drivers, baseball players, first responders, fighters; even teachers, mechanics, skiers, parents and really anyone who lives requires the ability to make split decisions from time to time.
Split decision making actually comes from the energy of the organs. Have you ever had moments in your life where all of the sudden it was very difficult to make a choice? You just couldn’t decide! It could be something so simple like making a decision on what to order in a restaurant or what kind of music to listen to.
This energy comes from the small intestines. The job of the small intestines is to separate clear energy from turbid energy. It is the stage of digestion after the stomach breaks down food. The small intestine needs to literally separate what is useful from what is waste; clear from turbid. It must decide which is which. If the small intestine is struggling in health and wellbeing, a person will have difficulty making choices.
The spleen is the next stage of digestion as it takes the clear energy from the small intestines, processes it and feeds the lungs with that energy. If the spleen is weak then it can invade the small intestines, bogging down the natural decision making process, which then not only interferes with the body’s ability to gain proper nutrients from foods, but also suppresses with the brain’s ability to make clear choices.
How about someone who can come up with ideas, but is unable to actively, engage, pursue or initiate the drive to bring the ideas into fruition? Perhaps a martial artist was always able to play out the sparring game, many moves ahead, with ease and had the ability to see it through physically. One day they noticed the idea and visualization was there but they just couldn’t initiate the action. What causes that?
One of the liver’s jobs is to supply the energy of idea making. Like a growing tree it is a source of creative growth. The gall bladder, which sets atop the liver like the adrenals set upon the kidneys, is responsible for drive and initiation of formulated energy. The liver comes up with the idea and the gall bladder sees it through. They work hand-in-hand.
If the liver is congestion, hot and sluggish a person could have difficulty with the development of ideas. If the gall bladder is congested or aggravated then a person can have trouble following through with anything; a lack of gall or drive.
Another example of how the organs truly dictate our external abilities in this world:
The spleen needs to be warm and dry like a desert to function properly. If the spleen is cold or damp it fails to function properly. When the spleen is taken care of it transforms energy from digested food into clean light energy to support proper lung function. If the spleen is damp and imbalanced, it will struggle to make this light clear energy. It will not succeed in feeding the lungs with that energy. Instead it will bloat, create mucus from the digested food rather than light clear energy and either dump that mucus into the sinuses or lungs, or invade the small intestines, bogging them down.
If the spleen is weak a person will feel sluggish all over, unmotivated, bloated, cool, gassy and much like a grey damp, chilly day.
The study of the internal body can lend an understanding to why some martial artists develop coughs and are prone to strep throat living and training in places like Colorado or Arizona or even Spain for that matter. Or why certain practitioners develop digestive issues, stamina difficulties and sinus congestion in the Northwest, the Northeast, Great Britain and other such locations. There are reasons only the organs can tell about why a martial artist can develop overly tight tendons and stiff muscles, even if they stretch for 3 hours a day, or why a great sparring tactician one day suddenly gets hit over and over by a slower and weaker opponent.
A true martial artist studies not only style, technique and all the neat fancy stuff, but also the deep, slow unseen actions and structures of the body. Through constant study they will come to understand the liver requires a cool damp atmosphere to function optimally, but the spleen needs dry warmth. They will understand not only what environmental conditions (warm, dry, cool, damp, hot, elevation, season, time of day, phase of moon, air pollutants, allergens, pressure systems, mineral, plant and animal presence, etc) support and stress each organ, but also what foods, supplements, emotions, thoughts, visual and sound exposures, past traumas and physical ailments strengthen, weak or balance the body. This obviously includes the relationships between each organ and each system in the body; how they can support one another as well as invade and destroy each other from within.
This is not only a necessity for the understanding and optimal utilization of their own body, but also for being able to read their opponents body in a confrontation. The more one understands their own body, the more one can read the body of another. But also read where another person is mentally and emotionally. Though as it is with such wisdom gained, it is only possible to read in another what you yourself have already been through and surpassed. We can only read levels behind us.
The external studies of the martial arts, that which can be easily seen by others, is not even half of the totality of the true studies. Anyone can learn to hit, hit strongly and accurately. It takes a person with extreme dedication, patience, fortitude and understanding of greater things (things more lasting) to understand where that hit comes from, why, how it can be projected, how that will differ depending upon time of day, season, age, etc, what will interfere with it from within and without; at what point to strike and at what depth, angle and speed, and exactly what that will do to the deeper levels of the target, how and why.
To just learn how to hit hard gives one only the perspective to strike. But to learn everything else I mentioned above gives the wisdom to strike, not strike, and play other cards and possibilities, all based upon a greater and vaster view far beyond the vision of the external body and training.
A hard hitter can falter, weaken, become slow to react and make decisions, and lose accuracy; all of the sudden get upper chest cramps or sharp pains in their ribs when throwing a punch. A real martial artist with years of experience and depth of training will understand why and know how to fix the imbalances.
Life flows out of and through us all. To understand the self and others requires the study of life and the continual flow of energy in its infinite rivers. The martial artist then takes that knowledge and creates wisdom in the body that can project out from an origin of internally developed strength.
Train the external so it can withstand the powerful flow of internal development, but rely upon the internal strength to see you through the years and beyond from a deep place of honed wisdom.
When it comes to our internal energy there are three main vessels that set at the foundation.
The Ren flows up and down the front of the body starting in the perineum and flowing to the underside of the tongue. The Du runs up and down the back of the body from tailbone over the crown of the head to the pallet of the mouth. The act of touching the tip of the tongue to the roof of the moth behind the teeth connects the two vessels and completes the flow of the microcosmic orbit, which is the flow of energy through both vessels.
The Chong is lesser known to many martial arts practitioners. This vessel is the center vessel and runs up the middle of the body. The Chong begins in the perineum running up to the pubic bone. From there is continues up the middle of the body, between the Ren and Du all the way into the face. It is the deepest of the three vessels.
The Ren, Du and Chong are viewed as the three well springs of the human body, supplying the body with all the energy it requires for life. Eastern Medicinal Philosophy has known about and utilized these three wells for thousands of years. Through acupuncture and the entirety of Eastern Traditional Medicine, the three vessels are cornerstones of health and wellbeing. To high level martial arts practitioners, who study deeply the internal arts, the three vessels are also highly important.
Without conscious focus and understanding of the three wells we cannot feels them or tap into them at will. Without this knowledge we cannot hope to understand through our internal awareness the breadth of their potency, control of and complete interactions with all the organs and systems of our physical bodies. Beyond that the three vessels also control our perceptions and awareness, emotional constitution, dream world and connection to the non-physical.
For instance, the Ren is the Conception Vessel. In short, this vessel is the receiver and transporter of all the energy through all the feminine (yin) organs of the body. Feminine organs are the kidneys, spleen, lungs, heart and liver. It is in control of feminine fertility and all that goes along with it; pregnancy, menopause, uterus, menstruation as well as respiratory function = the breath of life. It therefore also connects to the birthing process, both physical as well as birthing ideas, desires, and anything stemming from a creative action. As the front of the body is energetically the feminine energy, the Ren controls the feminine side of the human body in both male and female, as we all have both.
The Du is the Governing Vessel. The rear of the body is the masculine energy and so the Du literally governs the energy of all masculine (yang) organs. This includes the bladder, both intestines, gall bladder, and stomach.
Survival is the energetic focus of the Du. Physical grounding in the here and now, transformational cycles of our lives and all survival instincts and functions are a direct result and function of the Du vessel. This means independence, standing tall, risk taking and assertiveness are processes of the Du.
Those are basics and known by, or should be known by all higher level martial artists. If they are not then the martial training is severely lacking and the practitioner’s skill will also be lacking.
The Chong, more rarely spoken about, is the deepest and most potent of all the vessels. Even though I am only touching three, there are actually eight “extraordinary vessels” concerning our genetics. The Ren, Du and Chong are the most potent of those eight.
The entire flow of energy through all of the body, all meridians, organs, vessels, brain and so on is regulated by the Chong. All organs, tissue and even bone are filled by the Chong. If the Ren works from the Yin/Feminine energy and the Du from the Yang/Masculine side, then the Chong is the master flow through it all. It is the deepest of all vessels and therefore taps and controls the deepest level of our genetic imprinting. All cellular memory is dictated through the Chong well. Interestingly, any trauma we endure is stored in the Chong vessel if unresolved. Stress and resulting exhaustion, found in epidemic levels in today’s modern societies, disrupt the Chong vessel more than all the others. After all, stress is a sort of trauma if it isn’t being dealt with successfully.
Organs of the body have their own unique positions. They are where they are for a reason and if they become weak they can prolapse and sag out of position. The energy of the Chong helps to maintain proper organ position, so weakness in the Chong can lead to prolapse of organs. When organs prolapse they start losing their ability to function properly and the entire body suffers.
The Chong can be seen ad energy reserves, the deepest and most primal reserves of the human body. Therefore the Chong vessel is the seat of our self-love and self-acceptance. Issues with pregnancy, the heart, lungs and digestive system can all be traced to insufficient Chong energy.
Our ability to truly live life, express our own life force and genuinely care for and love ourselves comes straight out of the strength of the Chong. Ongoing depression equals an issue with the Chong vessel.
An interesting note, facial hair, the beard in males is a direct result of the Chong. In males the Chong flows upwards to the face and expresses itself through facial hair growth. Throughout the ages the beard has always been a symbol of masculinity. The simple fact is that it truly is and it is because of the flow and energy of the Chong that this is the case.
In females the Chong flows downward and controls the health of menstruation. When menstruation is heavy, it is a sign of weak Chong energy. If menstruation is scanty it shows a deficiency in blood energy. During pregnancy the Chong energy reverses and runs upward in the female which then helps to feed the fetus in its growth. Once the birth process is completed the Chong reverses and once again flows downward. The Chong can also affect breast size in females. Meaning that in cases where the size of a woman’s breasts has declined and shape or tone has deteriorated, the Chong should be looked at. The proper flow of the Chong vessel and spleen meridian are responsible for proper breast health in the female body.
Facial hair on females and issues with birthing shows an imbalance of the deepest vessel, the Chong.
The chakra system also generates out of the Chong. Since the Chong runs up the inside of the spine, 4 of the chakras set inside it. The chakras inside the spine come from ganglion nerve bundles. Each of those four nerve bundles literally creates the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th chakras. Those nerve bundles are controlled by the energy of the Chong along with electricity of the brain, of course.
If we move this understanding of the three main vessels into another view it becomes even more interesting. In Old Norse philosophy there are three worldly wells in-which the three largest roots of the Yggdrasil, the Tree of Life, penetrate and feed from.
It is from my personal awareness and detailed observations of the vessels, and my relation to and deep study of Norse beliefs, that I’ve found the following relations between the three main well springs of the body and those of the world.
To me it makes sense that Hvergelmir is associated with the Ren vessel. Urd then would express through the Du vessel and then Mimir would associate with the Chong.
To me this shows that the ancient Scandinavian people had an understanding of the energy relationship between of the universe and the human body, how it is connected and representative of one another. Even if they didn’t have the comprehension that people gained on the Asian continent, discovering details of vessel and intertwined health functions, the coincidence is too… coincidental. And of course I don’t buy into coincidence.
Three main wells feeding the Tree of Life and thus all the worlds; Three main wells/vessels of the human body feeding every aspect of it
This is just another example of how martial artists can open their borders, to explore wisdoms of their own genetic bloodlines, to discover understandings of those bloodlines so as to open genetic coding that will greatly assist their martial studies. Asian bloodlines created Asian martial arts from the energy of their own genetic codes and surrounding environments. Like I stated in my other genetic articles and interviews, anyone can study them, but to truly open the greatest potential of a person, one must discover their own genetic alignment and bring those ancient energies into focus with their present studies, especially if those studies originate from other genetic origins.
All original genetics are equal and their original wisdoms are equal, but that doesn’t mean they are the same. They are unique to each other, but equal in purpose, depth and strength.
In case you missed them:
If you are going to study and work with your internal energy and its relation to all you are and the world around you, you must study the vessels. If you are going to be the best you can be at whatever you do, you need to explore, tap and open your core genetics and connect them to your present pursuits.
This is a short spur of the moment demo that was filmed back in 2014. It was March up here in the Vermont Mountains and heavy wet snows remained on the ground. That particular day it was freezing rain and there was a perfect mist all around.
A director from Finland and a great friend of mine were out visiting. It was decided the director wanted to shoot a small amount of action footage out in the snow. I agreed and my dear friend was kind enough to be the strike model.
We snowshoed out into the landscape, getting soaking wet by the freezing rain. Once we found a good spot we had to walk in circles to pack down the knee deep snow so we could remove the snowshoes and not sink too much.
The general idea was for me to move internal fire energy and direct that energy outward towards vital and sensitive targets on my friends body, while pulling the strikes and recoiling the fire energy back into my bone marrow, then returning it to the hara. The strikes were to be direct and delivered in full, but only to the surface of my friends body where I would then reabsorb that energy using the control of my meridian cavities pressure systems.
This is of course training I've done for many years, but for my friend it was his first time experiencing it. He found it to be a rather intense experience but one he said to be quite rewarding.
He had taken actual jujitsu classes with me before, but this was the first advanced internal energy work he had ever felt or seen. Part of his feedback:
"While in his jujitsu classes and when in close contact with him I can feel the surprising power produced from his light thin frame to be staggering. It feels like there is more than just physical strength, an energetic push, like using the Force in Star Wars. His whole body seemed to emanate this grounded chi-force and I for one felt there was nothing I could do to repel this force even though I am very skilled physically and much larger.
Also, when shooting material for a project I was a training dummy for him to demonstrate his striking skills. He always only slightly touched me with each lightning fast strike but every strike even with that greatly diminished intention felt pretty darn hard as he tapped me in all areas of my upper body and head. I was being hit several times per second from all angles and my mind had no time to register just where they were all coming from. There’s something unprecedentedly lethal in his actions, strikes and moves as I was able to perceive up close and personal. The energy of someone who does not hesitate, even to kill as was required of him in service to his country, but will do so with the utmost conviction in a heartbeat. He has no hesitation about what he will do, no second-guessing, no doubt, no uncertainty. It is a frightening energy that you feel you cannot negotiate with. Elder White Wolf also packs more aggressive energy than anyone, to put it mildly."
Anyway, I finally got the footage back from that shooting and decided to share. Only a small part of the demonstration was filmed. There was about three times the amount of original footage that wasn't saved. Nevertheless, here you go:
This will bring you to the Elder's Page. Scroll down and you will find the video embedded.
Fire Strikes In Snow
continued from - Roots of the Warrior - part 2
The path of the warrior is to embrace and create change during the time we live through, surviving and surpassing our own imbalances and battles through the wisdom gained from living in every moment with full acceptance. Change is each of us and every molecule of life.
Courage, loyalty, honor, truth, strength, solid fortitude, surviving, surpassing, endurance, healing, loving… bowing to no one, standing tall in humility yet a simple pride of knowing the self, freeing oneself within and trusting that if we do the best we are able in alignment of what and who we are as individuals, the universe will do its part also.
I decided not to bother listing types of warriors because I feel it is rather pointless as this time. The meat of what I am saying I find to be more viable to the present than lists of titles.
It is common knowledge that when two or more objects or energies collide there is inevitably a measure of collateral damage. This is a catalyst for change itself for the sake of change. An acorn cannot break open and take root unless there is first death and decay as well as life and growth; both are essential necessities. A warrior, a true warrior understands this, accepts it as the way of this physical life and moves within this knowledge.
Peace is within the acceptance of what this life IS and the wisdom to understand one’s place in this physical system. We cannot change the foundation structure of the universe, and to fight against it is not only futile, but senseless because it shows a complete lack of holistic understanding of what makes this physical reality what it is. Every experience we have, judged “good and beautiful” or “bad and ugly” come from this foundation structure. Our birth comes out of this structure, every step and breath of our lives comes from this structure; everything we know and have comes from this structure. It is a waste of time and energy to fight against the universal structure through “movements” that try to convince people they are not what they are and are not subjects to what we are.
Can you see now why there are so few (compared to the global population) true warriors left today? The system does not want warriors, those who have cause heart deep and with personal spiritual roots, which think for themselves and do what is necessary. The system wants soldiers who simply follow orders to human cause locked away and many times completely contradictory of the natural world. The system tries to breed and brainwash a population of “mind controlled” soldiers and sheep because the system does not want change; it wants stability to protect its way of life, a life of ultimate control, dominion of this world and everything in it. The system is based upon fear, fear of the foundation of this entire physical reality – change, that which is at the heart of a warrior.
Many so claimed or stated “warrior’s” today are just soldiers doing the will of others or young people seeking the glory of a title of which they neither understand nor have proven or gained. Being a warrior is a process of personal evolution. Nobody starts out a warrior even if born to be a warrior. It takes a great deal to evolve into the true path and “title” of Warrior and there are no shortcuts.
What type of warrior am I? I stand for the laws of the wilderness, the laws of the wild and the necessity of challenge for the progression of change. What does that mean you ask? Laws of the wilderness are laws that have successfully run this world since it began. They kept balance in such a way as to continually promote shift and change to better the wellbeing of life here – all life. Laziness, apathy, carelessness, ignorance for the sake of it; all avenues to stagnation and lack of wellbeing.
Those are a few and I think you will see just how much the human system disregards.
Necessity of challenge for the progression of change – not only do I challenge myself, but I challenge others to break out of their shells, out of conformity, think for themselves, test their limits, push their comfort zones and question all aspects of their personal lives in order that they may discover parts of themselves they may not know exist. The few who embrace such challenges in life have a rare opportunity in the modern human world of understanding much more personal depth. This depth can lead to acceptance and an internal wisdom of strength and heights beyond physical limitation. That can completely transform a person’s life through the essential evolutionary change for the sake of change itself and a greater understanding for existence.
For many years I was nothing more than a soldier doing the bidding of human masters bent upon their own greed and purposes of dominion. For years I carried shame and guilt for being a part of it. My place was combative, even in youth. Through the many years of my healing path, though I may still struggle physically the most, I have shed the bonds of shame and guilt because I have come to understand my place. I know where my skills fit into this world. I also have come to understand that many of the things I have done long in my past as a soldier and slave were not all of what I would judge as “bad” or unnecessary. In my view many of them were necessary and sections of the world and people (no matter how small or few they may or may not be) are more free then they would have been if I had not done those actions.
When a child is being tortured or a young woman or boy is being raped in an alleyway, do those victims need peace protesters marching around with their signs, or a judge sitting across the county in their mansion eating their 4 course meal who might try the perpetrator in 3 years time… or do these abused instead perhaps a require a skilled blade in the shadows from someone who fights for them rather than the system? Opinions may vary until you are the one being abused.
You see just because someone is physically strong and able to dominate others who are weaker in physique does not mean it is balanced or “justified” by natural law. The strong dominating those “weaker” can be very imbalanced and overall harmful to the wellbeing of life upon the earth. There are a great many who are physically weaker due to their size than others, but who express and share their essential strengths and gifts by other means. Again, the law stating survival of the strongest does not always mean everything physical stronger may dominate those weaker. Strength comes in all shapes and sizes.
Many of those who are no longer here because of my past were such people who dominated those they deemed weaker physically, and thought they had the right to harm them in any way they saw fit. It took me years of healing and soul searching, internal conflict and struggle to evolve into the acceptance and wisdom of what and who I am as a warrior, and that even though I was a tool for others I still had a place and purpose that in many ways was of overall benefit. But only after I came to accept this and shed guilt and shame could the expanse of this benefit truly spread its wings throughout life. Only after I came to understand and accept by shedding preconceived and socially conditioned views could I separate my deeds from beneficial or productive from those not so much. This process helps us put our lives truth into a balanced perspective and allows us to feel good about things we have accomplished and release the baggage of lesser actions with the intention of putting our sights to more productive avenues.
Yes my body is no longer what it used to be. Yes my body has much damage from my past that plagues it daily and though I work continually with the hope that it one day will be fully healed, I understand that it may never be. I understand I am physically where I am today because of my past and I have come to accept this. I have come to accept that the sacrifice was for something higher than myself and I can live with that. This is a very different view than I have had for many years because I have been focusing on and working through so many layers of self healing.
If we hold our deeds to unjustifiable expectations and judgments we chain their energy and they then emit imbalance throughout shame, guilt, fear – whatever non-productive emotion we nurture. Only when we can heal and accept, grow into the personal wisdom of our lives and deeds can all we have done radiate strength from us into the universe.
I think this wraps up my notes and revised notes from my old Roots of the Warrior class from some years back. My hopes is that this information gets out to you all in order that you might come to ponder more deeply the wisdom of the warrior path shed clear of the prejudice oppression of the modern social ways of “no conflict”. Perhaps this information will assist you in coming to understand the true place of true warriors in this world.
The past is no longer, the present is our life and the future has not yet happened. However, the past has created the present, the present gives fruition of the past and the future gives the present hope.
continued from Roots of the Warrior - part 1
I mentioned in part 1 there are many kinds of warriors, but what is the actual purpose of a warrior in life?
A warrior’s placement is to challenge the growth process, to keep moving the currents of life so that the death of stagnation does not set in. It is to fire up natural conflict in every cell until absolute balance is attained. Warrior energy is to promote growth and expansion so the source can truly know itself.
The warrior’s purpose and place is to promote necessary change where the fear of change and the will of stagnation dwells. The warrior challenges life to breech the comfort zone and the trap of complacency.
Does that mean that everyone who challenges their comfort zones are warriors? No. Many people who on occasion challenge their comfort zones or stand up for something in the face of certain opposition many not be in themselves warriors, but rather acting upon the impulse sparked by the actions of a warrior they were or are influenced by. If this meant to be a derogatory statement – absolutely not.
Every energy has its place and purpose. Not everyone is a poet, but perhaps someone who read some poetry was inspired to try their hand at it, if only for a short while. Is that person now a poet – no, but they touched a bit of the poets energy and existence. The poet helped bring enrichment to another’s life through a variation of perspective. That is a form of growth and exploration. Was it prompted by a warrior – no, it was inspired by a poet energy and is no more or less than a prompt of a warrior’s energy, it’s just different.
Everything has a place and purpose, the warrior is simply one, but one that is very misunderstood in today’s modern bias views.
Every year I have a handful of people contact me on Veteran’s Day and thank me for my sacrifice and past service. They understand what I am and they understand that even though partly it was forced service, it had a purpose in life and I fulfilled that small level of purpose at great cost to self and those close to me. So even though it was dark and “ugly”, it had its place and purpose. Predators have as much a placement as prey; disease has as much purpose as health and night has as much a place as day.
Most of you know by now that all my symptoms over the last decade have been due to the damage to my spleen from being poisoned 11 years back. This damage caused an imbalance between spleen, liver, kidneys and lungs; the main trio consists of the lungs, spleen and kidneys in the upper, middle and lower energy sectors of the body. Chronic stasis of blood and energy ensued and generated dozens and dozens of ongoing symptoms. So what does this have to do with this warrior series? Let me show you.
Here is a layout of the progression of stasis complications in my life:
Liver and Spleen Stasis Foundation
The emotional level of stasis
We need to accept who and what we are in this life, and where we are. No matter what society accepts or does not accept, we need to be who we are or suffer the consequences connected by suppressing our very nature. I am a warrior through and through and have been my whole life. Trying to suppress that fact and pretend to be something else is futile and simply dangerous to the entirety of my wellbeing.
I began to shy away from these aspects of who I am because I was told they just aggravate the traumatic memories and enhance cptsd issues. I found out quite the opposite! The suppression of the warrior aspects of me simply flared up the trauma and caused it to stagnate within, unresolved, unmoving, and without hope of further understanding. Slowly bringing these warrior aspects of myself back into the forefront of my life, and once again embracing and honoring them has actually helped subdue and even transform large areas of trauma into more productive energies.
There are people who I am sure will say this is all just programming garbage, but they know nothing, especially not of me. I began to realize this last year which is why I began to bring back Survival Combat camps and training into my school, because it is a large aspect of me and what I do. Suppressing that is like pretending I do not need to breathe or eat. I knew it was the correct course of action not only because of how teaching it makes me feel, but also because the people who came for the entire length of the camps loved it.
Bravery – to fully be yourself, even in the face of opposition.
When we speak of warrior energy and a warrior path through this physical life, there comes a point where we must ponder something very important, essential to a warrior’s path. Earlier in the series I spoke of the warrior and conflict and how the two are inseparable and for good reason. But this leads to the question of dealing.
As a warrior how do we deal with conflict? How do we walk as warriors and remain balanced and neutral within the cause of our own hearts and minds? How do we avoid filling our hearts with hate and how do we continue on with wounds and scars? How do we surpass that which we survive?
I think you will agree how important the answers to those questions are to a warrior’s path.
The answers come down to:
These are all foundations in our hearts and minds dictated by what we have chosen and agreed upon. They are not based upon “right” and “wrong”, even balance and imbalance. They all come from the intentions of our mind’s energies.
No matter if others agree or disagree with our ideals, morals and personal codes of conduct; these are vital to the path of the warrior, to the very roots of a warrior. Without them the path is just dark and pointless. Any path needs purpose and that purpose comes down to personal agreements. A warrior’s path is especially bound to those three personal agreed upon beliefs and structures.
So then what keeps the mind in check? The heart of course. And what keeps the heart in check? Well the mind does. The mind and heart form a bond and one cannot travel far in a balanced state without the other’s input. Both are kept in-check through self awareness and hold nothing.
Samurai were known to meditate for hours and day to try holding personal balance and focus; to let go of all they had seen and done in war. Their lives were dedicated to practices highly refined and strict in attempts to turn every moment into a moment of perfection in order to hold their focus stable. Of course perfection is a personal bias, but can be a useful tool for some in order to gage progress of time through physical life. It can also be a ball and chain that drags one into the grave.
Some Native American tribes would have a line of women available to comfort, through hugs and song, the warriors as they returned from combat to help them let go of the inner pains and trauma that goes along with a warrior’s path.
It all comes down to release, but for release to work there must be grounding and that requires 100% focus of and in the moment. Not long ago I wrote an article on the Complications of Release Work you may wish to review.
All great warriors have come to the understanding that their greatest power in conflict comes from being as empty as possible in the moment and rely upon their earned roots, gained and formed by a life of dedication and training.
Without morals, codes of conduct, ideals and the understanding that releasing experiences is vital to the path of a warrior, a warrior will not stand long. Experience and the built energies of extreme conflict will eventually crush the heart and mind as they fail to communicate and empty themselves of that which is not necessary. It comes down to Survival.
No matter what style warrior, there must first be survival before one can evolve to surpass. What does survival require? It requires the following:
A warrior never willingly undertakes a battle of any kind when they know the odds are stacked against them. Only when forced should they jump into battle that holds poor odds for a survival outcome. Soldiers on the other hand and simplistic fighters will embrace any old conflict just to try proving themselves or placing the meaning of their lives within the bidding of others wills.
The warrior must be intelligent as well as patient and able to see many angles and outcomes dependent on various choices. If you view the list above, and ponder each word, you can begin to see the dynamics in-which the warrior’s attitude towards survival and cause flow dynamically within one another. With a warrior you cannot have focus for one without the other.
Though what is survival for if not to surpass current experiences through growth processes? Therefore beyond survival is the ability to surpass. To surpass experience requires:
You may at first think some of those words are contradictory, but truly they are not. For instance we have Shielding and Trust. How can we express trust if we are shielded? First we must understand the word Trust. Trust does not always mean trusting others. Before we can learn to trust others we must first learn to trust self. Without self trust we have no core strength, no internal substance. However, as we learn self trust we must also shield the self from external harm. For a fire to burn brightly it must first start from a spark and that spark must be shielded from all that would snuff it.
To surpass an experience a warrior understands that they must first shield themselves from the trauma so they can start gaining perspective through self trust. Once this is built, trust can begin to expand into life itself in-which the warrior sees themselves an integral aspect of. Trauma can then be dissolved since the strength of self trust and trust that all things have a place and purpose in life, and therefore self is a reality. With that level of self trust the warrior can transform the original shielding into personal understanding that they are experienced enough to handle life without hiding behind a shield.
Go ahead if you will and take it upon yourselves to analyze the words in the above two lists and see through your own inner depths how they all relate and work together, even if they at first appear contradictory. Next I will present the challenges, the pitfalls or imbalances a warrior must face along the path.
All forms of a warrior in any level of life is prone to imbalance just like anyone else. Imbalance is the constant challenge of life in this world. None are exempt. A very important piece of wisdom for all of us in all areas of life in-which we exist to embrace is understanding the imbalance we are prone to.
For the path of a warrior the major pitfalls of imbalance dwell within the following:
Of course as with any list you could always add to it, but those are some of the major imbalances a warrior path can expect to encounter along the way. For myself I have run into many of those on many occasions. It just happens to be life, and with the path I have walked and continue to walk, those are energies that set within shadows as well as in the light.
None of us are perfect and imbalance touches each of us. The most important thing we can remember is that to dwell upon the times we trip and fall into the imbalance snare does us no benefit. Rather that focus drags on us soul deep and hinders our progression of self learning.
Awareness, acceptance forgiveness and the will to strive to attain a more complete sense of balance within is all we can hope for along the path of constant challenge. We can acknowledge when we stumbled and set our focus of heart and mind to the task of standing back up and continuing on, knowing full well that we will stumble again because that is life.
Striving to learn what we may with each stumble helps us understand that the next time we stumble it will be upon another snag and not the same one that tripped us before.
The trick of the game is that the more a person upon a warrior’s path suffers, the more prone they become to the pitfalls of imbalance, and all true warriors who walk a warrior’s path suffer. It happens with many different paths in life that people tread. It’s one of those “catch 22’s” of life we must deal with. The further along you go, the higher the stakes and the further the fall. Focus on attaining as much balance as possible becomes essential.
As with any path of challenge laced with potential pitfalls we must address yet another connected topic – Endurance.
Most of us never really walk the path in life we expected or thought we might. We envision all kinds of paths as children, but the path that finds our feet and all it entails can never truly be anticipated, only lived and dealt with along the way.
In a warriors life there are inevitably demons. Some of the persons own making and some made long before who patiently wait for our shadow to pass by. For a warrior the act of ridding ourselves of those demons in life is counterproductive. The demons are there for our deepest benefit – survival, learning and surpassing. If we try to snuff them out we tear part of ourselves away and leave a gaping hole that something else will try to fill. No, we must keep them close and learn from them as we learn to control them so they do not control and dictate our path beyond our will.
Endurance becomes an essential aspect of the warrior path, and endurance requires:
Yes these actions can be carried over and utilized in a great many pathways of life, but since we are speaking on the warrior, these fit right in.
Grounding of course I have spoken and written a lot about. Staying present, paying attention to the senses and details of your body; your thoughts and feelings as well as details in your immediate surroundings and how you are interacting with them.
Smiling in care of the self is an essential and integral part of a healthy lifestyle. Basically giving gratitude to all aspects of the self and the body which carry you through life.
Staying active to stay healthy – obvious necessity to well being.
When we move down through the list most are quite obvious, simple and yet potently effective. Releasing the heart is one that takes a bit of time and focus and goes right along with release work, as does the release of wounds, trauma and illusions. Taking the time to focus on and let go of acute energies detrimentally affecting you is essential to health and balance within body, heart, mind and spirit. Of course trying to release specific non-beneficial energies/experiences within you that are connected to unresolved core issues can be counterproductive and extremely wearing. Just like I explained in my article Complications of Release Work.
Releasing the illusions might be one that is confusing to some of you. What this means is the process of letting go of the preconceived. As some examples:
We seek then to replace illusions with – Everyone is who they are and do what they at any given moment because they must be so to gain the experiences required for evolution. If you are part of the experience then you feel you need it for your own evolution and you must not judge yourself or others for it. Instead it is about learning from it and surpassing and moving past it all.
Judgment and punishment are not for us to deal in, even within and to ourselves. Our responsibility is to take responsibility for our every feeling, action and thought and not punish ourselves for them, but instead learn to surpass our own imbalances. This requires change and the courage to do so.
Like in all paths, a warrior’s path too also requires the diligence to focus on and evolve the core issues within our beings. It is simply an essential aspect of this physical life, one we all must face daily. Endurance is required along most pathways and though the type of endurance will vary, the necessity of the above actions in the list can be utilized by most people in my opinion.
Does conflict require combat – no not always. Does change require rashness, harshness, violent energy – no not always. There is a place for everything in variation and change is no different. A sunrise that brings day from night can happen with such lack of celebration from the elements that except for the light you would never know the difference between them. Other times can be very different. Some dawns, as the sun rises, stir up such thermals that create extreme winds and kick up severe and violent storms that rip the land to shreds. The onset of evening twilight can be equally as turbulent or easy.
Change is required by life in order that life continue, but change can come smooth and easy just as it can come harsh and violent and both have their place in the universe. There are various kinds of warriors and not all warriors walk the path where violent change occurs. Other kinds of warriors do stride violent paths connected to harsh and dramatic life changes and shifts. None is better or worse than the other; both are necessary and have their place.
Before I list a few different kinds of warriors and warrior paths in part 3, go ahead and take a little time to ponder it for yourself and see what you come up with.
continued in - Roots of the Warrior - part 3
Elder White Wolf: