Sunday, March 28, 2010
Me at the gates of Hell in Hell, Michigan (ironically on my way back home w/Will "Buddha" Weatherby from Jack Hoban's Buyu Camp in September, 2010!)
I am still sitting here listening to Robert Plant belt out the jams and I wanted to share some things with you; things that have been on my mind today regarding some marketing that I put out.
Earlier today I put out a marketing flyer that promotes one of my upcoming seminars (www.roninkravmaga.com for more info!). I have always had a difficult time blowing my own horn (I know some of you are thinking, "yea right!" :-). It is the most assertive advertising that I have published to date. Anyway I have to admit that I feel a bit funny about it. Not that it's not true, because everything that I said is factual and honest. It is that I feel a little funny proclaiming it to the mass public and more importantly to all of you. I feel strange tooting my own horn to everyone on facebook, LinkedIn, all of my friends, my clients and everyone on the internet! It makes me feel a bit self conscious, boisterous, arrogant... a braggart or a sell-out.
Now, I have been in corporate sales for decades, yet this feels different. It is easier to promote someone or something else, but it can be difficult to promote yourself in the same way. I feel...well vulnerable in a sense! I am waiting for the hammer to fall so to speak. I'm waiting for the critic, for someone to say something bad. This someone would probably be a person that I most likely don't even know. Someone who has never met me let alone trained with me. I fear that this person would tell me that what I said is BS, that I am just full of myself or that I must be in it just for the money. In a way I feel guilty of that, even though I know it's not true.
I think this feeling has a lot to do with how I was raised. My folks were humble people, people who never would tell others about their business; good or bad. They were friendly, but kept their cards close to their chest so to speak. That said, it is an interesting opportunity for me to grow.
I remember something that Tony Blauer wrote that helps me in times like this: His definition of Fear: F.E.A.R. = False Evidence Appearing Real. Wise words! Words that I try to keep in perspective during times like this when I feel vulnerable!
Why do I choose to share this with all of you?! I don't know really. I think that there is so much out there that really is bullshit and so many people who are so full of themselves that it is difficult to be around them or know when they are being honest with you. I try to be genuine and not drink (too much of) my own Kool Aide, and I guess I just hope that I am not viewed in a way that is something other than my intentions.
I always try to learn and grow as much as I can. As I travel along my path I also try to give as much as I can to help others live safer, healthier, happier, more empowered lives. I am not used to tooting my own horn so to speak, so I guess I am feeling a little awkward doing so! I guess I haven't quite found my groove regarding marketing myself yet. I am confident I will grow into it!
Well, there you have it, my pink belly exposed for everyone to see... I still believe that the fears we face make us stronger. Why? Does it all really matter anyway!? We are all just travellers passing through this crazy, wonderful, paradoxical life anyway, so what is a little criticism, what is a little fear, many others have faced much more. Still the challenges we experience no matter how trivial can sometimes seems huge, but it just gives us all another chance to practice trying to breath, relax and letting it go! :-)
Thanks for listening!
All the best,
Moshe Katz and I at a recent seminar here in Grand Rapids, MI.
It is Sunday night, I am sitting here watching/listening to Robert Plant and the Strange Sensation DVD. It is a good one. I've always been a Zep fan and Roberts performance on this one is great! He and his band play one Zep tune and then one of his songs from the Mighty Rearranger. The Zep tunes are done in a very cool non-conventional way; keeping a great energy, yet a different twist on the old songs we know and love. A great DVD! If you like Zep and Plant pick it up!!
I was on Moshe Katz IKI site the other day reading his latest blog "Multi Cultural Krav Cuisine" and it really resonated with me. I liked it a lot, so I asked him if I could copy it and use it in my blog for all of you to read and hopefully enjoy as much as I did!?
I believe in a universal life value and I thought this reflected that sentiment as well.
Multi Cultural Krav Cuisine
Yesterday as I was driving to Brooklyn to visit my rabbi, I got off on the wrong exit. No worries, everything in life is a lesson. As I was driving up Avenue “U”, in the slow moving traffic, I looked at the physical and human landscape. Brooklyn is still is a city of immigrants. I saw many signs in Chinese and other Far East languages, I saw signs in Hebrew, and I saw signs in Russian. Some signs were even in English.
I saw signs advertising Glass Kosher restaurants, and Vietnamese cuisine. I saw signs saying “Products from the Middle East”, and “Products from the Far East”. Even while trying to fit in to America they are still trying to hold on to the life they left behind. They want to keep their culture alive and pass it on to the next generation.
I observed the fascinating human landscape, people hustling and bustling, all trying to make a living, to make it in the American Promised Land. I saw them loading trucks, negotiating deals, rushing across busy streets, shouting in a variety of languages.
Some were dark skinned Jews from Iran or other parts of the Middle East. Some were burly Russian men; others were Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean. Arabs, Jews, Russians, Chinese, all different but all the same. I wondered, what would they create?
As I looked at them and tried to imagine their hopes and dreams, their struggles and disappointments, I tried to imagine what the next generation would look like, and think like. They would be some sort of mixture. They would speak English better, hold on to some traditions and drop others. Some might stay in the “Old Neighborhood”, while others would move away. What was clear is it would never be the same. Nothing remains the same.
I related all this to Krav Maga. I thought of the countries I have been to and the wonderful people I have met. Krav Maga is very Israeli but it is also multi-cultural. It draws from the Jewish experience, from the Israeli experience, from the Eastern martial arts of China and Japan, even from Russian martial arts. And in the uniquely American way, like American and Israeli culture, it is a blending of all these different cultures.
People from all over the world are learning Krav these days, and like any fine cuisine, each impacts the art, each one shapes it in some way, adding a little according to taste, adding a little local flavor. And just as each one adds something, each one learns something unique. Each learns a little about the soul of another people, about their history and their struggles. Just like that busy street in Brooklyn we are all in this together, we may look different, speak different languages but we are still on the same street, loading those trucks, trying to make a sale, keeping our heads above water, surviving and hoping to pass on something of value to the next generation.
Blog Post Written by Moshe Katz
Head Instructor Israeli Krav International
Monday, March 22, 2010
I found this video while on Tim Ferris's www.fourhourworkweek.com blog. ki'une's video is great. The song is one that I heard years ago and was casually keeping my ear open for it with little success, so it was good to have found it after all.
Those of us who have been training a while are often asked why we do it? People will come with a gleem in their eye wanting to learn to "fight," to "defend themselves," to "kick some ass." I think that what they truly seek is very different from what they ask for. I believe that what people are really looking for is empowerment. Empowerment to live, to protect and to inspire. To live up to ones true potential and if neccessary to defend and protect themself and others. To develop the courage to do as Joseph Campbell said, "Follow your bliss." It takes guts to do this and it helps to surround yourself with others that are on the path as well. We can all help one another to stay on track; to lift one another when we fall; to be honest with one another and to kick each others ass when needed. The wolf is only as strong and the pack and the pack is only as strong as the wolf.
As those guys in the Bujinkan always say, "Keep Going!"
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Imagine yourself sitting at your favorite coffee shop sipping on your latte', chai, whatever; your laptop's open as you update your facebook account or ramp up for your next business meeting, when all of a sudden some goon walks in wearing a long trench coat. As you notice that something is just wrong with this picture, he whips out a rifle and begins to hold up the place. Yea, I know what you are thinking, "this sounds like some cheezy movie...how cliche'!" Well, this really happened at a local Grand Rapids coffee shop called The Bitter End. It's a place that that I often go because it's less than a mile from my condo.
I'm not a stranger to violence, I've been around the block my fair share, but I haven't been in a situation where there was some gun toting thug in the middle of a place where there were numerous people that I could put in jepordy if I were to decide to take action and things went South.
So here is my question to all of you. What would you do? Check out the video and see what one young guy did and then think what you would do if you were in the same position. Please share your comments on the blog so everyone can benefit from your insight.
See the entire episode here: http://www.woodtv.com/dpp/news/local/grand_rapids/Law-student-turns-hero-during-robbery
Thanks Brodey for bringing this to my attention!
Monday, March 15, 2010
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
The Dual Life Value
Reacting to conflict - The Hard Form
Hard and Soft Approaches versus the Dual Life Value
Treatises on WarSun Tzu wrote that:12. Therefore, in your deliberations, when seekingto determine the military conditions, let them be madethe basis of a comparison, in this wise:--13. (1) Which of the two sovereigns is imbuedwith the Moral law?(2) Which of the two generals has most ability?(3) With whom lie the advantages derived from Heavenand Earth?(4) On which side is discipline most rigorously enforced?(5) Which army is stronger?(6) On which side are officers and men more highly trained?(7) In which army is there the greater constancyboth in reward and punishment?Perhaps Sun Tzu was not an individual as some scholars argue but a refined collective knowledge by generals of the period. This would actually strengthen the case that millennia ago the complexity of war was fully understood by many individuals. The very idea that 'Moral law' was highest on his list, the understanding of the far reaching implications of combat and rejection of simple minded objectives. Other famous authors such as Carl von Clausewitz have re-iterated similar understandings of morals only centuries ago which highlights even further a constant quality to the nature of war. It certainly hints at an understanding of the Dual Life Value where what is best for all is best in conflict. However as great and inspirational these works are, the objective to deconstruct them and create a practical and effective method for teaching ethical values is probably more than a lifetime’s work
Monday, March 1, 2010
I am sitting here listening to Led Zeppelin's "The Song Remains the Same" DVD and catching up on some on-line stuff.
Check out my latest interview on Frontlines of Freedom Veteran / Military Talk Radio with Lt. Col. Denny Gillem (Ret.). We talk about one of the fundamental aspects of defense, empowerment and life: Attitude. The person who does not have the proper attitude is at a huge disadvantage regarding survival and life. As a buddy of mine says, "If you're going to be stupid you'd better be tough, because stupid hurts!"
Check out the podcast, I'm on part 3 about 6 minutes in:
Listen to my interview on Frontlines of Freedom talk radio http://www.frontlinesoffreedom.com/podcasts.html
Talk to you all later.