Monday, September 11, 2017

9/11 Tribute & Training (Re-Post)

The New Jersey beach was silent as I warmed up with the the Camden County police officers in preparation for Lt. Col. (Ret) Joe “Marine’s” infamous partner combat conditioning course. The day was September, 11th  2015, the anniversary of a dark day. A day that most professional protectors are especially respectful of. A day that we hope is never repeated.
I can think of many good ways to commemorate 9/11: Showing respect for those fallen; extending condolences to loved ones of the victims; giving thanks to the protectors who are now on duty and of course, training to be a better protector. And that is exactly what we were doing this past Friday, September 11th 2015, in the morning beach sand of a small New Jersey town not too far from where the Towers stood in New York City.  
When we think of what happened and what we can do to prevent something like that from happening again, I am reminded of our diversity, our strength and our resilience. We are ALL protectors and each of us contributes in our own way. Some of us are professional protectors, be it firemen, police officers, military personnel, medics, nurses, etc. others protect in different ways, maybe financial, maybe helping with the clean up or the rebuild. In the moment of crisis many civilian citizens become the warriors and protectors of others who were hurt, frightened, or somehow incapable of protecting themselves.
Out on that Jersey beach early Friday morning working side by side with those officers my mind was focused on my task at hand as Joe Marine put us through the paces. The bigger picture was that we were coming together as ethical warriors. Sharpening our skills to become better protectors to hopefully prevent another 9/11 from happening and when something does happen again we trust that through our training we are more equipped to deal with whatever we are up against.
After we were finished making sugar cookies out of ourselves my friend and colleague Artie Mark shared his first hand experience of the 9/11 terrorist attack. You wouldn’t know it by looking at him, but Artie is the real deal, a true protector and hero. He is one of the humblest, coolest guys that I know. He looks like an average Joe. He doesn’t boast or act like some arrogant ‘delta bravo.’ If you didn't know him you wouldn't suspect that he spent over 20 years on some of the toughest assignments in New York, including a special crime unit that put him in the most dangerous neighborhoods in NYC. His job in those days was to seize illegal guns and drugs to of course protect people from the violence that was out of control at that time. I am honored to work with Artie and call him a friend.
9/11/2001 began as a normal day. Artie was on his way to a court hearing when a plane hit the first tower. He was only blocks away when he got the call and rushed to the scene. Still believing that the incident was some accident Artie saw the second plane fly right over his head striking the second tower. It wasn’t until he heard about a plane hitting the pentagon that the realization came over him that we were under attack.
Artie made four trips into the building helping people to safety. On his fourth trip Artie was helping an elderly woman leave the building, when he ran into an old schoolmate who he hadn’t seen in years. Now a NYPD officer as well, the two quickly reconnected. After Artie helped the lady, his old friend asked him to help him tape off the parameter around the first tower. An act that actually saved his life!
While Artie scrambled to tape off the first building a bike courier (like the character Kevin Bacon played in Quicksilver or Joseph Gordon-Levitt in 2012’s Premium Rush) sped past the barricade. Artie yelled for him to stop, but in true New York fashion the courier ignored the cry. It was a mistake that cost the courier his life. The bike messenger got no more than thirty feet from Artie when a giant sheet of plate glass fell from the burning building cutting him in half, right before Arties eyes. 
“It was just like out of a movie,” Artie said as he shared the experience. 
A moment later the entire tower collapsed, causing Artie and anyone in the area to run for their lives for a moment, before returning to assisting others. 
Artie said that if he hadn’t stopped to help tape off the first tower he would have certainly died as the building collapsed with him in it. 

“It was like the world was coming to an end.” Artie shared with me and the rest of the RGI team. 
He, the other officers and emergency rescue personnel worked frantically to save as many lives as possible. Artie remembers the legs of his pants being soaked with the blood of the bodies that were exploding all around him from the people jumping out of the buildings. It was like the scene of a movie. Sublime. 
A couple days before this beach training Artie picked me up from the airport. We drove through downtown Manhattan and he showed me exactly where he was standing when he saw the tower collapsed. 
After the attack, Artie pulled security and search and rescue efforts on Ground Zero. 16/6/6: For sixteen hour days, six days a week for six months Artie and other NYPD/NYFD protected, searched and recovered the remains of the victims of the attack. In total, the attacks claimed the lives of 2,977 le and caused at least $10 billion in property and infrastructure damage; $3 Trillion in total costs. It was the deadliest incident for firefighters and law enforcement officers in the history of the United States, with 343 and 72 killed respectively.
After Artie finished with his story and we took a moment of silence to show reverence and respect, he went on to say that he knows many of his fellow protectors (and many citizens as well) who suffer from PTSD from the incident, however he never did. He believes that it is his training regarding being an ethical warrior that shielded him from the psychological effects of the experience. 
This is why we train.
Did I mention how much of an honor it is to know, work with and be able to call Artie my friend? I love you brother! Thanks for sharing some of your path with me! I'm glad you are here. My life and the lives of so many others are not only safer because you are here, we are truly happier whenever you come around. We know that anyone in need has a friend in your presence. How can we tell? You communicate it with everything you do, even when you don't say a word, we can even see it in your eyes alone.
All the best & Keep Going!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

10 Laws of Life

I was cleaning out an old filing cabinet the other day and I came across this tattered piece of paper. At the top of the copy it said "sales success" in some 90's logo. The crooked, distorted text appeared to be a copy of a copy of a bootlegged copy. Anyway, I saved it because I liked what it said, so much so I wanted to share it with you, dear reader. So, without further ado, here are the 10 Laws of Life by some unknown author who may or may not have been employed at some (probably de-funked) 1990's "sales success" organization.  


Life Law #1: You either get it, or you don't.
Strategy: Become one of those who gets it.

Life Law #2: You create your own experiences.
Strategy: Acknowledge and accept accountability for your life.

Life Law #3: People do what works.
Strategy: Identify the payoffs that drive your behavior and that of others.

Life Law #4: You can not change what you do not acknowledge.
Strategy: Get real with yourself about your life and everybody in it.

Life Law #5: Life rewards action.
Strategy: Make careful decisions and then pull the trigger.

Life Law #6: There is no reality, only perception.
Strategy: Identify the filters through which you view the world.

Life Law #7: Life is managed, not cured.
Strategy: Learn to take charge of your life.

Life Law #8: We teach people how to treat us.
Strategy: Own, rather than complain, about how people treat you.

Life Law #9: There is power in forgiveness.
Strategy: Open your eyes to what anger and resentment are doing to you.

Life Law #10: You have to name it before you can claim it.
Strategy: Get clear about what you want and take your turn.

...And there you have it!

Keep going!!


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Shadow Blocking

Shadow Blocking... No it's not some mysterious undefeatable martial arts move, it is actually an option called "hide user" on youtube that blocks someone from posting on your channel. However, the person who has been blocked will not have been notified. Their messages will show up on THEIR computer if they are logged in to their account, but they will be the only person to see it. Interesting indeed...

You may be wondering how do I know this!? Well, I was checking my email last night after class and I see that someone posted a comment on a few videos. I'd like to say that I am excited to see comments, however I am usually first a bit hesitant. Why?! Because these are martial arts videos, where many people feel as if they need to exercise their negativity and pettiness. Apparently some people were never taught "if you don't have anything good to say, don't say anything at all" from their mothers. It's just an unfortunate reflection of where that person is with their life.

I check the half dozen comments left on various individual videos and they were just some troll saying obnoxious and hateful things. I delete them. One of them I report to youtube. The next morning, I wake up to find that there are two more messages that are even more obnoxious than the first ones that Zombie Savior left.

After the last barrage of trolling messages, obviously just deleting ZJ's comments aren't going to be enough. Being that I am really done w/this, I look for a way to block this person. That's where I come across how to "shadow block" or "shadow ban" someone from your youtube channel. Here's a video explaining how to do it:

Unfortunately I have dealt with everything from stalkers, to haters, death threats and trolling... Come on guys get a life out there, you have more to offer the world than just your crazy!

Unlike The 3 Unequivocal Rules to Not Being Bullied post, in the case of trolls, the only real boundary to be set is by not engaging in more communications. Just sever the access to someone who isn't looking for healthy dialog and move on with your life.

Done and done...

And that is how and why I learned how to Shadow Block. =)

Keep an eye out for the new PeaceWalker Membership Site where we are building a community for sharing the Rosetta Stone to dealing w/difficult, disrespectful, even dangerous people. COMING SOON!

Keep going!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

The 3 Unequivocal Rules to Not Being Bullied

past tense: bullied; past participle: bullied
use superior strength or influence to intimidate (someone), typically to force him or her to do what one wants.

"a local man was bullied into helping them"

Bullying seems to be a buzz word that is thrown around a lot these days. So much so that it sometimes can feel as if its something new. As we know bullies have been around since the dawn of the human race. 

Here are the three unequivocal rules to not being bullied at school, work, or pretty much anywhere else! =)

#1 - QTIP - Quit Taking It Personal. A friend of mine (Todd H.) was a vice principal at a (number of) middle school(s) and he shared this acronym with many students and teachers who were dealing with static from others. Basically, don't let people get to you. Let the negativity roll off your back. Most of these people who are saying mean things don't know you. They are speaking from their dark place. It speaks to who they are, not who you are. Try not to let it affect you. 

#2 - Stand Up For Yourself - This doesn't mean "bully the bully." Rather, draw clear boundaries and stick to them. Drawing clear boundaries includes avoiding bad situations and/or leaving situations & relationships that are not healthy. Find Your Voice and Learn to Use It! When communicating your boundaries use your voice, body language, eyes, facial expression and YOUR ACTIONS! 

#3 - Remember You're Not Alone - No person is an island (even if we think so), but it can be easy to feel isolated and alone. Some may think that no one would understand, but if you can find the courage to reach out, you'll find that others are going through (or have gone through) things Just Like You! There's people out there that will lend a hand, but you have to reach out for it. Find a friend or ally. It could be a friend, peer, parent, co-worker, fellow student, teacher, supervisor, manager, commanding officer, counselor, principal, etc.

Keep an eye out for the new PeaceWalker Membership Site where we are building a community for sharing the Rosetta Stone to dealing w/difficult, disrespectful, even dangerous people. COMING SOON!

Keep going,

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The 3 Astonishing Rules for Not Putting Up w/Other Peoples Crap at Work

Image result for trouble at work

Are you tired of the good ole' OPC (Other Peoples Crap) Syndrome at work? Do people treat you badly or take advantage of you? Do do your fellow employees or boss treat you with respect? Or do you frequently get dump on or disrespected? Even if you aren't experiencing any of this, you may still want to check these 3 Astonishing Rules out!

#1 - Be good at your job! 

Remember Hawkeye Pierce (Played by Alan Alda) from that old T.V. Show M. A. S. H.? Hawkeye was a smart a$$ , prankster and a bit of a f#ck off, but he was an excellent doctor! When it came to doing his job, he was awesome! Moral to this story is simple, people are more willing to cut you some slack and overlook a lot of your other quirky traits (at work) if you are good at your job.

This isn't as complicated as it may seem. You see most people spend a lot of time either trying to avoid doing the basic things that would make them more successful and/or they are so busy being distracted by their search for that "magic bullet" (the one thing that will solve all of their problems) that they neglect doing the basics really well. Here are some of those basic things that many don't bother to do:

  • Show up on time.
  • Do your job!
  • Don't take breaks or lunches that are longer than agreed upon. 
  • Be ethical (including being honest and don't take things that aren't yours).
  • Do what you say you're going to do.
  • Over deliver (When possible)
  • If your job isn't done, don't waste time doing things that pull you away from that goal
  • Keep work work, and personal life personal (live and online)

#2 - Create Allies Not Enemies

This statement should be self explanatory enough, however, if you're looking for further clarification, you can read an entire blog post about it here. Or take the quiz here.

#3 - Encourage Transparency 

I know this one sounds fancy or trendy or whatever, but it really isn't. Basically, it's harder to get crapped on when everyone can see it! Here are a few tips on how to do this:

  • Include others on emails from people who often crap on you. (cc)
  • If someone wants to talk who you don't get along with, make sure someone else is in on the meeting too.
  • Talk to your co-workers, supervisors, etc. when you are experiencing problems
  • Document as (and before) needed!
  • Use your work computer for work, not personal stuff

If you are getting crapped on in full view of others and they are either alright with it, afraid to do anything about it or don't care, maybe it's time to look for other employment.

Yes, there are many other things we could talk about, however we aren't... yet. Go try these things first and we'll go from there.

Keep an eye out for the new PeaceWalker Membership Site that will be sharing the Rosetta Stone to dealing w/difficult, disrespectful, even dangerous people more effectively. COMING SOON!

As always...

Keep going,

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The 3 Golden Rules To STOP Getting Crapped On By People

Have you ever felt that people crap all over you?  Hopefully not, but if you do, here are the 3 Golden Rules to cure OPC Syndrome (Other Peoples Crap):

#1 Stand Up For Yourself! 

Quit being a doormat. Learn to say "NO." Communicate clear, fair, consistent boundaries. Expect to be treated with respect. Standing up for yourself can also mean knowing when to just leave a bad situation!

Don't play the victim. It's one thing being victimized, it's another thing all together playing the victim! It seems to be a popular way to "gain power" today (If that's how you want to look at it). Don't agree?! That's ok, just give it some thought.

#2 Don't Be An A**hole!

Yep, that's right, standing up for yourself doesn't mean being a jerk or making demands that are unreasonable or so one sided that you're really being no better than the person who was doing the crapping in the first place!

Strive for Most Good / Least Harm for everyone involved!

Be firm, fair, and nice. The strongest, toughest most dangerous Bad Mofo's I know are also the nicest, humblest people I know! Be so tough you can afford to be kind and courteous!

#3 Remember That WE Teach People How To Treat Us! 

If you consitantly don't like how you're being treated by others, at some point you have to look at yourself! Ask yourself, "How am I teaching people to treat me like this?" What am I doing to train others that it is ok to treat me with disrespect and/or to take advantage of me?

It's what you say (and what you don't say). How you act (and how you don't). How you treat others (and how you treat yourself). How you hold yourself. Your body language. Your expectations. Your tone. Your energy. The habits that you've developed, some that you might not even be aware of, that are creating your current experience.

Remember that old EF Hutton commercial where the announcer says, "When EF Hutton talks, people listen." You see some old guy in a suit go into a room and immediately all the people look over expectantly or put their hand up to cup their ears to listen. Cheezy I know, but it is a fine example of how we program people how to treat us. This happens in subtle and not so subtle ways that aren't just verbal.

How are you training people to treat you!?

Keep going,

Friday, July 28, 2017

Early Footsteps From Judea

A couple of months ago I got a message from my friend Moshe Katz, founder of Israeli Krav International. He said he was putting out another book; an anthology of his blogs from 2010. It's called Early Footsteps From Judea: Krav Maga Blogs 2010. He asked me if he could include one of my old blogs, as well as write the introduction. I was honored to be asked to contribute and agreed to both of his requests. 
Below is what I wrote for the introduction. If you're wondering about the rest of the book including which of my blog posts he used, well, you'll have to pick up a copy to find that out!


It was a crisp winter day in Northern Michigan, Moshe Katz was speaking to a group of concerned individuals who came to learn how to feel safer, more powerful in their world. People who wanted to have a better understanding of why there are those out there who seem to want to spread fear, hate, and violence upon anyone who doesn’t believe in the same way that they do. A reality that the citizens of Israel are all too accustom, a reality that the people of the United States are beginning to wake up to.

One person politely asked Moshe his opinion regarding whether or not the Middle East would ever be at peace. A question that has been asked by many others over the course of time, ranging not in weeks, months or years, but spanning decades, centuries and millennium. The answer that Moshe gave surprised me. Not only because of its simplicity and honesty. Not just because of its truth.  But, also because of my relationship with Moshe. I don’t think the Moshe Katz that I first met some ten years ago, would have given the same answer as the Moshe standing there before the crowd on that snowy day.  

A decade ago, Moshe was just starting a new organization, Israeli Krav International (IKI). His mission began simply to teach people how to defend themselves as well as act as a goodwill ambassador for Israel and more specifically for Jews. His goal was to help people to defend themselves, and not live in fear. He did this by simplifying an approach that was accessible to everyone regardless of their limitations, age or athletic ability. and to share stories that inspired and taught. In his pursuit to accomplish this, Moshe travels the world sharing his vision and in doing so, he faces challenges to his own views and opens himself up to people and cultures with opposing beliefs that are sometimes much different from his own. Over this time I have seen him learn to embrace humanity with a more open heart and rather than fixate on our differences, focus more on that which connects us: Our humanity and our desire to protect. I’ve seen a change in Moshe that can only come from confronting one’s own way of thinking by exposing yourself to the world and its people. A change that is earned not given. A change that if embraced can leverage much greater things than merely teaching self-defense… No, not the same Moshe from ten years ago.

Moshe’s approach to Krav Maga, much like Judaism, is steeped in magnificent stories. Simple tales easily communicated to people from all walks of life. Stories that point to deeper truths. Stories that teach, protect and inspire. I remember reading his blog posts for the first time and wondering if the person who wrote them was anything like the words written on the screen in front of me. He shared his thoughts and insights very candidly, giving his unique perspective of the world he travels and of course, his Krav Maga.

Now you have the ability to read those very stories right here in this book, to enjoy and learn from. I believe his stories as well as his art comes from his sincere desire to share accessible tools to help everyone live a safer life. A life not necessarily free from fear, but rather one that has embraced fear and chooses to continue on in spite of it.

It has been exciting to not only witness, but also participate in the dynamic growth of IKI as well as Moshe, both as a teacher and as a person. What began as an outreach mainly to college campuses has developed into an international organization spanning well over 30 countries, hundreds of instructors and thousands of students worldwide. His dedication to the belief that everyone has the right to defend themselves comes through in the accessibility of what he teaches as well as his profound insights written on the pages you are about to read.

Before I sign off to let you enjoy the stories offered in this book, you may be wondering how did Moshe answer that question on that cold day in Michigan? This was his simple yet profound statement that not only applies to people in the Middle East, but people everywhere,  

“Resolution between Muslim and Jewish people of Israel will not come from political or government intervention, rather the chance for peace will come one coffee at a time. Two people getting to know one another, sharing stories and seeing beyond their differences. One person at a time.”

And now I hope you enjoy sharing in the insightful stories that Moshe Katz has for you in this book!

~ Craig

Follow this link if you want to pick up Moshe's new book, Early Footsteps From Judea: Krav Maga Blogs 2010