Exceed the Teacher, pt II (Lesson from Bouie Fisher)

This article is a nod to one of the late, little-known masters of the fighting arts:  Bouie Fisher. It is also part II to this article–but will ride the topic of fight strategy. I am still putting the article under “Teaching Philosophy”, because the thrust behind my reason for writing this article is to share my view on the journey from fighter to  fight philosopher to teacher, despite the lessons in strategy we will present here.

And pour yourself a pot of coffee or tea:  this will be a long one.

First, for those who are unfamiliar with Bouie Fisher, he is the trainer of Hasim Rahman and more famously, boxing master Bernard Hopkins. These two men are perfect examples of the saying to “exceed the teacher”. Fisher was a good amateur who did not turn pro (or perhaps he did not fight long as a pro). He had eight children with his wife, and the life of a fighter is not financially stable enough for many men to be able to gamble their family’s standard of living on it. I wasn’t there, but I suspect (like many fighters) his wife probably told him to get a job. Either way, Fisher became a trainer and after 20 – 30 years of doing so–retired from boxing. He had a fighting philosophy that was unique, but no champion to prove its worth–or perhaps no student to fully develop those theories into proven methods.

Maybe I should jump in here to say something about that.

Any teacher can come up with a theory about fighting and technique. We do it all the time. We all have students to teach those theories to. But not every student will be suited to completely learn, develop, master, test, and prove those theories. The teacher must either be that fighter himself, or get someone to be that ultimate student. This is the dilemma of striking out on your own and forming your own style. Most teachers, unfortunately, become stuck at the theory level. Meaning, they form the theory and simply start teaching it–skipping all the stages of development. Sometimes it’s due to ignorance. Sometimes it’s due to laziness. Many times it is due to their desire not to have those theories tested, and possibly proven wrong. Ego has kept many teachers’ methods from being fully developed. Fear is the other head of that oppressive monster. Teachers have the dual challenge of devising a superior fighting style as well as finding the appropriate student to carry that technique forward. Many teachers just don’t want to have a champion who is known to be better than themselves. Few teachers, however, are driven to have a student who not only proves his method is superior–not only to exceed his own skills–he is willing to sit in the background and allow his student to rise all the way to the top, even if onlookers fail to give the master credit for the students’ success. One of the things I can tell you about the difference between boxing teachers and martial arts teachers:  Boxing teachers flaunt their students’ successes as for their pride. Martial art teachers promote themselves. Look at the websites. Master so and so will tell you all about his accomplishments, but don’t tell you crap about his students. Boxing teachers tell you almost nothing about themselves, instead choosing to boost up their pupils. A martial arts teachers’ resume is padded with his own accomplishments, while boxing teachers’ resumes contain nothing but students. Think about it. The big lesson from Bouie Fisher was that he was extremely proud of his fighters, and pushed harder and harder for his students to be known as the best in the business. Despite that his prized student was the pound for pound best fighter in the world for years–Fisher was relatively unknown, silent during interviews, and satisfied. Talk about selfless commitment to the role of a teacher…

And let’s keep in mind two things. First, Fisher did not have a lot of fighting experience. He had fights, yes. But he had to cut his fighting career short, so what experience he was able to accomplish, he used as a base for his theories about fighting. His system was mostly untested, by professional fight standards. Secondly, his method represented an older school of fighting. As fighting became more mobile and based on points, rounds became shorter, and the fighting rules were more concerned with safety–many of his methods were being considered outdated. But worse–they were considered inferior to the new methods, which were becoming known for efficiency and less prone to being countered. When he retired the first time in the 80s, Fisher joined the ranks of boxing trainers whose methods were obsolete. Then someone suggested he took a look at an up-and-coming lightweight named Bernard Hopkins.

Bernard had lost his first fight, and was entering the fight game at an age most would deem too old to start a career in boxing. But he was hard-working and disciplined, and these two factors made him a good prospect for tutelage. Those of you who are teachers know exactly what I’m talking about; we all encounter physically talented, but lazy students. You can bring out hard work ethic in a student, but it isn’t easy. When you find a student who is both hungry for knowledge but also naturally hard working, baby you just hit the jackpot. Who among us wouldn’t love to have a gym full of these guys?

I’m going to stop now, because if you’re a fight fan, you know the rest. B-Hop is known as one of the craftiest, old-school fighters in the game. He had lost a few times, but no opponent had ever made him look like a fool in the ring. If you get in the ring with this man, he will beat your ass. You might beat him on the scorecards, but he will leave you lumpy at the end of the night. He is proof–at 48 years old–that old-school boxing is alive and well, and relevant. Not just that, he also proof that a man pushing 50 can still defeat the young men half his age with superior tactics. Fisher’s system was not fully tested and proven, but with the right student as well as the desire to allow his student to surpass himself in skill and reputation–the master is able to see that system become a well-established school of fighting in the community. I predict that old school boxing methods will make a return to the fight game. I am personally not a fan of the flashy style of boxing so popular today.

And let’s take a look at Bouie’s fighting style, shall we?

  • The goal of the fight plan isn’t to rack up points, but to punish and beat your opponent into submission
  • Every technique must hurt and wear down the opponent
  • You keep moving so that opponent’s can only catch you with glancing blows, but
  • You stop only to fire on the opponent
  • Attacks must be delivered from a position where the opponent has trouble seeing the attack as well as
  • Being out of range of a possible counter
  • Keep the feet near the opponent, but keep the angle of your torso away from his line of fire
  • Kill the body with body shots
  • And deliver those body shots from a position that protects you from counter
  • Apply constant pressure on the opponent, anytime he is not punching you should make him eat punches
  • If a split second passes at the end of the opponent’s attack and he is withing range, make him pay for it
  • As soon as your combination attack is complete–move away.
  • Defeat your opponent by keeping him out of balance emotionally and psychologically
  • Rather than move back and forth, move side-to-side
  • Attack your opponent when he attempts to change positions
  • Punch outside of rhythm. In other words punch before stopping your feet (which 99% of fighters do), so your attack will come while you move
  • Block with your elbows and shoulders, not with footwork (compare this to the Ali shuffle/Roy Jones Jr dancing)–it keeps you in range to fire back
  • Within 2 – 3 seconds, shots should be delivered to both head and lower body
  • Attack the hip and the front of the shoulders. It keeps the opponent from being able to punch as well as move his feet. This is an “investment” that will pay off later

There is more to the strategy, but I think this is plenty for you to take in.  I would like to encourage you to check out some old fights and see for yourself how these theories look in application. You may want to add them to your own arsenal. Thank you for visiting my blog.

The Forgotten Side of the Filipino Fighting Arts, pt VII (The Assassin)

I knew the title would get your attention.

Let’s get to business.

The Filipino Martial Artist spends too much of his training time thinking of the art as a skill of coordination. Let’s see how complicated these stick patterns can be. How many alternatives can you come up with for trapping a punch. What’s the trickiest way to take a stick from your opponent? This isn’t fighting, and it sure as hell ain’t something your Guro’s Guro’s Guro’s Guro’s Guro would have recognized in Eskrima. When we talk of youtube clips and seminars and videos, the big thing is how original can you make this art look–how unique can it be to what everyone has seen rehashed through this guy’s seminar, through that guy’s system, and this Master’s recently-uncovered, secret style? When all the while, the real art–the one that earned the reputation for offing Magellan and carried from island to island hundreds of years ago in the form of battle-tested essentials for warriors–is not the shit being taught in Tae Kwon Do and Kenpo dojos across the world.

When this art was in its heyday, it wasn’t a duel between two guys who agreed to fight. Hell it wasn’t even an “A” team versus “B” team battle in the jungles. It was guerrilla warfare where one man was determined to take the life of another, for whatever reason it was, and screw “tried by twelve than carried by six” cliches…. this was devoid of any legalities, rules, or bragging rights. This art wasn’t self-defense. It was for the preservation of a people. One group moves in on the territory of another for the purpose of enslaving that people, eliminating that people, or wiping their way of life off the face of the earth. These guys didn’t cry about rank and promotions or certificates. They couldn’t give a damn what names you drop from your lineage. They didn’t argue philosophically, they didn’t send out press releases every time your Master farted, or huddled in private rooms to ridicule the next guy’s ideas. One group decides to erase the next, and the next group decided to eliminate the first group before they got him.

They were ninjas before the term got popular.

They were hit men who worked for free.

And frankly, they couldn’t give two hoots if anyone knew they had done it. If your woman got in the way, your kids witnessed it and they might decide to take revenge when they became an adult, or the neighbors got too close, the Eskrimador was going to make this a family affair. No, it doesn’t make for good PR. It didn’t sound pretty when you’re telling fantastical “why-you-should-study-with-me” stories to potential students. The real art of Eskrima didn’t conjure up music to anyone’s ears, didn’t bring back fond memories when someone smelled burning rattan, it didn’t form brotherhoods that made these girls all get the same tattoo like they were in a sorority or something. They didn’t wear T-shirts, they didn’t come up with cool slogans, they didn’t pimp their dead Masters like Biggie Smalls samples in rap music (a lil something for the hip hop heads) for validation. The Eskrimador doing the real thing was a killer. He was cold blooded. He was unapologetic. He did not ask his sons if they’d like to learn Eskrima one day; those boys inherited the skill like a father bequeaths his good looks on a baby–you had to learn it, because one day, I will hide behind you when the bad guys come. I’m telling you, modern FMA guys, that stuff you do ain’t nothing like the real thing.

I could just hear some pussy FMA guys right now on Facebook or FMAchat or whatever they call it:

Well I’d like to see Gatdula show his stuff on youtube so we could see if what he does is so “old school”, since apparently our grandmasters got it wrong….

I’ll do better. Come ask me that question in person, and I will show you personally what I do. But I tell you what, you have never met a man like me before, trust that.

My point is this. The Filipino martial arts is like a cordless mic, those who are holding it, become so happy and full of themselves they wander too far from the source. So they usually end up emitting a lesser frequency. The art must not be mass marketed, because like hamburgers, the more people who eat your hamburger, I don’t care what family recipe you come up with–the more who does it, the more that stuff starts to develop an “M” and a “c” behind it. And one day, you look in the mirror, and some small FMA master from an unknown part of town, in an unknown system who scares the shit out of you in person–so much, he must smile and be friendly so he doesn’t make any more enemies–calls you out and calls your art what it has become:  McSkrima. Old ladies, 10 year old boys, certificate collectors, fat, out-of-shape, lazy ex-martial artists–all are armed with your Black Belt, and no one in the group can prove its worth the way those forgotten Eskrimadors use to do it. And you know exactly what I mean.

That’s why you arm yourself with reputations and websites and rhetoric and friends and associations. Must I say it again… None of those true Eskrimadors had all that shit. And if they were alive today, and saying what I am saying right now, you’d dislike him too, you’d put down his art, you’d hope he sucks in person, and you’d refuse to recognize his credibility because that guy wouldn’t recognize the bruise-free, painless, sticks-and-a-smile “fighting”-like art you do either.

I want you to answer this question to yourself:

I will pay you one million dollars and allow your family to live. I need you to kill a few people. If you don’t kill them, they will kill you and your family members. They may be armed, possibly better armed than you. You choose the day and the time and the place. You won’t have to serve ONE DAY in prison for assassinating them, because they are bad, evil people. You can choose the weapon you want to utilize. You can kill them one at a time, or all together.

(but here’s the catch)

You can ONLY use what you were taught–or if you are a Guro, only what YOU taught–in Eskrima class within the last two weeks. Not modified from what you taught. Not drills, not simulated–just the techniques. They aren’t attacking you first–because you’re an assassin–you seek them and then take them out. Doing only what was practiced in class within the last two weeks…. Can you do it?

Real Eskrima can answer this without a pause–yes. Very few men reading this article right now can even fathom what I am asking you. It’s time to return to Eskrima’s roots, before it was called “Eskrima”. Thank you for visiting my blog.

How to Be the Student of a Mean, Old Cranky Master….

In other words, “Mean and Nasty Old Master, pt II“. But this really isn’t “part III”, because this article is about his student.

Martial arts students today are mostly too soft and fragile to be a student of a real master. They are impatient, too reliant on ill-deserved compliments and require too much darned attention. The old master seems mean and nasty, because he isn’t like your grampa. You’re not his baby; you’re his apprentice. He won’t overlook your weaknesses and faults. He doesn’t think you’re perfect, although he secretly wants perfection from you. He seems like you irritate him, but he is actually proud of you. It’s just that in the process of teaching you his craft, he wants you to suffer and learn things the hard way–the same way he got it.

You must understand that his harsh criticism, his unforgiving way of demanding more from you in practice, your silence, and his endless demand that you practice more and more–and his lack of praise for you–are the only path to true confidence. He is preparing you for the harshest of opponents, and for him to be easy on you when he knows the rest of the world will not is not just unrealistic, it’s unfair. Few masters had an easy climb to mastery. Most had to suffer and sacrifice for it. It has nothing to do with money. In fact, the best Masters had no money to spend on private lessons and comfort. It is through the steep, uphill climb to learning that you will develop the strong legs to stand on your own ability when you leave the “student” level and become an expert yourself.

When studying with old masters, you must learn about their struggles in order to understand the genetic make-up of your teacher. Each type of teacher and their experiences will determine the method they impart these lessons to you. Far too often, students with potential will leave a great teacher because of his lack of understanding of what it takes to be the student of that great teacher. I recently read a review of Master Wu Bin‘s training when he was teaching in Minnesota. The mother of a student had harsh things to say about his “lack of teaching ability”, stating that her son had learned more in a few months and made more progress from a school called “Family Tae Kwon Do” (or something like that) than from a year of “wasted” training with Master Wu Bin. You must be kidding. I’ll let you read up on Wu Bin and you tell me if any learning would be “wasted” with this living legend.

Learning from a young teacher, or an inexperienced teacher is quite different from an old, experienced master. Young teachers focus on curriculum and a large number of techniques. Young teachers value the amount of knowledge they have, and look at factors such as athleticism and agility to gauge progress. Old teachers, on the other hand, value a student’s ability to fully understand the art and through application. Inexperienced teachers put a lot of effort into promoting quickly and political affiliations. Fighting teachers value proven fighting skill. Teachers whose base of knowledge consists of mostly forms will value forms ability over other skills in the art. Knowing what kind of master you have will help you become the appropriate type of student for that teacher. The old Master can either be an old fighting teacher, and old forms teacher, or an old political teacher.

  • The old fighting teacher will talk of fighting skill most of the time and will encourage you to get in front of many opponents
  • The old forms teacher will talk of perfecting form in order to gain the key to all martial arts ability
  • The old political teacher will talk of lineage and inheriting and preserving the system

Often students who want one type of training will spin his wheels with a different kind of master. Or perhaps you will want what that Master has to offer you, but you have chosen to be the wrong kind of student to get it. Know what makes your master tick, and what it will take to absorb his lessons. Learn all you can about your teacher before you decide if this is the school for you. It may just be a bad match.

And most of all, understand that the path to learning is not always pleasant. The master before you is at the end of his road, and regardless of how comfortable his training is for you–he really wants to pass on decades of knowledge he earned to you in the short amount of time he will have you. Make the most of that time, because when it’s gone–you may not have a second chance for this kind of learning again.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

On Martial Arts “Royalty”

This article is written for two groups of people:

  • Martial Arts “Groupies”
  • Martial Arts Royalty

The rest of us, just sit back and read…

In the martial arts, we have martial arts “royalty”. You know what I mean–those who’s claim to fame is that they are related to some famous master, or happened to be in the company of a famous master during his lifetime either as a student, as a business associate or hanger-on. So years after this guy is gone–or worse, immediately after that master’s death–out they come with some martial arts titles or secrets that the master imparted right before dying.

By the way, I typed the word “master” in lower caps for a reason. No disrespect intended.

We must be careful in doing this. Thing about the martial arts, especially Filipino martial arts, is that titles and rank mean little while skill and knowledge mean everything. We don’t really have 9th degree Black Belters in the way that Japanese and Korean arts do. Where we have it, this is a recent innovation. But historically, respect in the Filipino art lies completely in the hands of the man (or woman) in question. Your last name is not as important as your ability, although there are many who believe that familial ties or lineage automatically guarantees skill and knowledge. Or, as some would call it:  authenticity. I once had a conversation with an Eskrimador who laughed at the long stick style called “Tapado”, saying that the art had no history, the word didn’t even mean anything, and he had never heard of Tapado other than what he’d read about on the internet and a few youtube clips. Well, I only know a few Tapado strikes, and let me tell you, not only could I–not worthy of being called a Tapado beginner–disarm, crash through, kick ass… I could KILL this guy with my limited knowledge of Tapado–and he couldn’t do a damned thing about it. So I demonstrated the first strike for him, and asked if he would like to test my completely limited knowledge of the style (by the way, my cousin is a Tapado master and we were 10 minutes from his home if he needed an expert opinion). Naturally, he declined. Now, how’s that for authenticity?

In the FMA the primary concerns are function and truth. And if your art is functional enough to beat most comers, it’s pretty darned true as a fighting form. A guy could call his art “White Fu Do”, and if the art was functional and tested, it’s a real martial arts style. If you want to argue history, then do that. But let’s not get lost in silly stuff when talking apples and oranges.

So, excuse me if I don’t lick your boots just because your Dad gets monthly write ups in Black Belt Magazine; where I come from, your Dad may be a King but you’re just another man. And if your Dad was a King and you don’t carry yourself like royalty and are unworthy of carrying his jock strap, then you’re even more of a disappointment. No offense.

I recently encountered the son of a Grandmaster, and he looked like crap. I would have guessed him to be a beginner in the art, but he walked and talked like he was hot stuff so I figured something was up. Then he introduced himself, and asked if I had heard of his father. Of course, I asked if he had heard of me. He said my name sounded familiar, I told him to ask his father who I was. Then a week later, when I came back to the school to have coffee with his father, the young man was humble and respectful. While we waited, he handed me a stick and asked me to give him some advice on sparring. That’s more like it.

See, the guy on the street couldn’t care less if you were martial arts royalty. In fact, there are some who would go out of their way to fight you because you’re supposedly a Prince. If you’re going to write a check with your father’s name on it, you better have enough money in your ass to cash it.

At the same time, if you are around martial arts royalty, and you care about the old Master, share what knowledge you have to make sure to protect his good name. I have seen some try and topple the Prince in order to be seen as a Prince yourself and that does the opposite. When the master has left behind children who care to carry the art, the last thing I’m sure your Grandmaster wanted to have happen is for the students he trained with his own hands to compete against the boys he once carried in the palms of his hand. Don’t compete with your Master’s son: embrace him as a brother and show him what his father (or her father) showed you. If you’re going to have martial arts legacy, this is how you handle that. Sometimes the son is a little lazy; encourage him–don’t knock him over. Sometimes, the son is insecure because of students like you. How do you think your teacher would have wanted you to handle that?

Each man stands on his own exploits, or the shoulders of those before him if he does it right. But you cannot do so if you will be weak. Just some thoughts.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

Importance of Cadence in Training

Something we don’t see much of in today’s Eskrima class is the use of cadence during training. This is an old-school teaching tool that many think of as only relevant for Karate and Kung Fu classes. If you have ever studied with an old teacher in the Philippines, you may remember teachers calling cadence endlessly while you threw strikes until your hands bled. This practice is probably too boring for many students, but it is key to having superior skill. But I have a theory.

In the format that is used today by many teachers, there will be many students of different levels in the same class slot. So teachers will give one group of a similar level a few techniques to work on, and then another group will have an assignment, and so on. This way, the students will be practicing level-specific material at the same time while the teacher makes his rounds from group to group.

Another, will be to skip the basics training altogether in favor of some practicing that is more entertaining and interesting, like drills or give and take. This practice is also done at the students’ own pace.

The drawback to all of this is that students do not get enough practice with basic strikes, they are not practicing under pressure and because they are moving at their own pace–cannot adapt to the action-determined pace of a fight. Let me explain a little better.

In fighting, you must train your reflexes to react to a stimulus–a missed strike, a newly created opening (like a dropped hand or the opponent glances away) or some other ideal opportunity. When the student moves on his own timing, he is determining when that strike should be thrown. But in a fight, we don’t always get to determine when the best time to attack will be, do we? While there are techniques we can use to force the opponent to move at our pace–we cannot escape the need to be able to move when the opponent gives us the sign. When a teacher makes the student throw an attack or counter by our count, he is actually training the student to react on cue, which is ideal for fighting. Our ability to adapt to outside stimulus will give us the ability to fire on demand. We will develop this skill while sparring. However, using this kind of trigger to fire off our strikes as often as possible exercises our ability to do so.

When using cadence, play with the timing, don’t just arbitrarily call out numbers. A good technique is to vary the frequency that you call them out. Give periodic pauses of varied lengths. Another is to have students move around randomly, and force them to break their pattern by calling your cadence. This is an especially good skill to have, as fighting itself is unpredictable.

I don’t want to give too much information with this post, as this is one of those “proprietary” things for my school. But I hope you will find some value in these tips.

Thanks for visiting my blog. Please look out for my new book (coming soon) entitled “Teaching Philosophy”. I’m sure you’ll like it!

The Need to Be a Big Fish

This article will be posted in the “Teaching Philosophy” section of the blog because it is a vital concept to the art of teaching. Many of you may disagree with me, but please hear me out. If you learn this notion, develop your own version of it, and absorb it into your own school–I guarantee that you will forever change the course of your school and your lineage of whatever art you are passing down to your next generation.

Although I will often say things like “put yourself in places where you cannot be a ‘Big Fish'”–like a tournament–it is imperative to the martial artist wanting to grow that you have the experience of being a “Big Fish”. I would even go so far as to suggest that every martial arts student must have become a “Big Fish” in his transition from student to expert.

Big Fish, according to my definition, is the state of being the dominant of your field in a circle of peers. The reason I preach against it so much is that too many martial artists, especially those who teach, avoid peers and competition so that they are always the most knowledgeable, the most skilled, and the most confident. When you are frequently the dominant one in your circle, you cannot grow. You will not be challenged on your beliefs and therefore never have the experience of having to defend or uphold them. Skill-wise, you have no one to compare yourself to and compete against, so there is no need to strive to be better, stronger and acquire more knowledge. Stone sharpens stone, and when you put a blade to a surface that rivals its hardness, it becomes sharper. But when a blade is only applied to duller, weaker surfaces, it gradually becomes dull and less useful. So before you realize it, what you have before you is something that looks like a deadly weapon–but in reality it cannot cut anything but butter. Martial arts teachers who surround themselves with friends and students are like the blade that avoids other hardened surfaces. It is rarely tested, and ultimately will lose its luster and edge. This is what happens when a fighter such as Roy Jones, Jr., regardless of skill level, will avoid the best fighters–choosing instead only to fight tomato cans–finds himself unable to beat any up-and-coming, hungry fighter because he has failed to sharpen his skills.

Many Black Belters who made it to the expert level without undergoing a competitive environment are among the least skilled one will find. Those who climb the ladder this way must latch on to non-martial things, like titles, media and alliances for their validation. While those whose peers were a fraternity of rivals and opponents will be among the small elite of fighters who can shut the mouths of the guys with the titles simply by walking the room. As a teacher, you must ensure that you put your students in many places where he assumes the risk of being put on his behind in order for him to grow and develop and develop fearlessness. If you are the type of teacher who shuns competition and gives excuses (such as “tournaments prove nothing”), you commit a disservice to your students because they have untested skill and knowledge.

And contrary to popular belief, unless you are willing to literally kick your students’ behind regularly–neither YOU nor your other students can really test him. The test, my friends, is nothing more than a show for people to see the skill of your students. If were a real test, you would have your students show up, not knowing if they will pass or not. Most teachers have a prescribed point in their training when the test will arrive–or a specific number of classes, etc. Put your guys up against those of another teacher’s, and you will truly have tested them.

If those fighters are to be really confident in the way that they should, they must have experienced the feeling of beating opponents regularly. They must have smelled the smell of a bashed in nose and kept fighting. They must have known the guilt of having hurt an opponent and to understand how damaging his skills really are. They must have been told before that they are great fighters, and felt that no one can ruin their day. Because if they lose the fear of a fit, aggressive, skilled fighter–they will have no fear of the punk on the street. Trust me, I agree with you that it isn’t about the points or the medals. But they must know what it feels like to lose to a man, and defeat many more than they have lost. My grandfather had a saying that the best fighters start out as losers, because after having been defeated, you will know the difference between defeat and victory–and know that you hate defeat. Some men have been defeated so much, they accept it and make excuses for it (like “tournaments are unrelated to real fighting”/”my art is too deadly for them”) or they will fear it (saying the same thing or avoiding them altogether).

And a teacher who has never learned to dominate other man–has never tasted the salt of blood in his mouth and rage in his heart–will be unable to teach a man, who has never done it either, how to deal with it.

Ah, a twist.

See, we need to learn how to dominate other men, how to hurt another man, so that we will be equipped to stop a man who is hell-bent on doing it to us. I believe that a man who is defending himself and his family will undoubtedly bring out the fighting spirit to do what he needs to do. But if he is not accustomed to the feeling, he may not be capable of harnessing it, and wielding it like a sword. Furthermore, if he is faced with another man who has it and wants to hurt him–he will not understand it enough to know exactly how much danger he is in. This is why some men do not fight back or initiate an attack when it is clearly inevitable that he will soon be under attack. Think about your own experiences.

Lastly, a teacher must have felt the feeling of being the best fighter in his circle (or one of the best) so that he can look his guys in the eye and say without batting an eye, “This art I’m teaching you has been tested and proven to be effective in combat,” and not have to rely on what he was told about fighting. He will then be of the few who are teaching from experience, and carry with them the main weapon of choice concealed by the real Masters of the art:  Self-confidence.

Thank you for visiting my blog.