Definition “That which is known” “applied knowledge is power”

Lesson 1

We explain that knowledge is everything we know and learn. We ask how do we get knowlede? We learn in school, from other people, from TV and movies. We gain knowledge by studying martial arts. We teach our students that “Knowledge is Power”. Knowledge allows us to do great things. By gaining knowledge in school and getting good grades, which can lead to going to a good college and then getting a good job. The more knowledge we have the more choice we have on the sort of life we want to live.

Lesson 2

We teach our students that reading is one of the best ways of getting knowledge. Reading is like riding a bike, it can be hard at first but gets easier the more you do it. It doesn;t matter what you read once you read. And when you learn to read you have a gift for life. We teach that in some parts of the world people don’t get the chance to learn to read. Imagine if you could not read a street sign or sign your own name? We encourage students to learn to read and try their best.

Self Defence is an open system. In a closed system there are known factors and there are right and wrong answers based on these factors. In an open system there are many ways to be right and wrong .

The difference between self defence tarining and martial arts training is that self defence teaches students and martial arts teaches subject matter. 2 simple examples are; self defence teaches power generation, martial arts teaches multiple different strikes or self defence will teach a 20stone man differently then a 8 stone female, martial arts teaches everybody the same syllabus. The reason for this is a 20 stone man doesn’t need to worry about being draged into the back of a van and raped, a 8 stone female will needs advice with how to deal with a monkey dance.

Self defence training must give each student the tools and freedom to solve their problems in their own way.

To understand and defend yourself correctly on the street you must understand the difference between social and asocial violence, and the tactics that must be used to deal with each.

Social violence = the monkey dance, the interview, sparring/dueling, sorting it outside, have a knockabout. Social violence is violence used for social status, dominance or to teach a lesson. Examples Dave’s mad he took on that huge bouncer last Friday, or how dare he do that, I’ll teach him.

All predatory animals have social violence or some sort of play fighting. Think dogs, foxes, lions or tigers wrestling and playing. This is how they learn to fight, hunt and display dominance. It is never lethal Humans social violence is designed not to be lethal and when it is it is usually from falling and banging their head. With social violence it is for dominance/status or to teach a lesson, ie punching someone to teach them to show you respect. The mindset for this has to be justified. You will subconsciously be hitting to communicate, not to eliminate,

Asocial violence = the group monkey dance, violent crime, a predator. If you go to kill an insect do you need to get worked up or get angry? Do you need to convince yourself that this is a bad insect? Do you need to justify it like its justice? Do yo give the insect a chance and fight it or just kill it. This is asocial violence. This can be lethal. Experienced violent crimals have gotten past this and treat people like animals, which gives thema huge advantage. Most people defending themselves cannot. Unless you train to flip the switch.

The things that can prevent or de-escalate social violence can invite asocial violence and vice versa. In a predatory approach you must be able to distingush between a crime motivated by cash from one motivated by cruelty.

Bad guys don’t fight, they’re not in this to lose. They use surprise or bitz attacks. Martial arts work well in social violence where you have time and choices. Asocial violence comes as a surprise and you will be surprised, don’t kid yourself that you wont be surprised.

Self defence is not a physical skill its an emotional skill, it is all about how fast you can recover when injured or surprised. What to do is alomost never the problem. Actually acting or beating the freeze is the issue.

See other articles on the monkey dance, the group monkey dance

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The Group Monkey Dance (GMD)

The GMD is another dominance game very different from the individual monkey dance.  In this ritual, members of the group compete for status and to show their loyalty to the group by showing how vicious they can be to someone perceived as an “outsider”.  It is purely a contest to prove who is more a part of the group by who can do the most violence to the outsider.

Group psychology and the power of mobs plays a huge part in this, making normal decent people behave in a way they would never have imagined, as they get caught up in the “feeding frenzy”.  The victim is completely inconsequential.  Once it starts, the victim is literal a non-person.  Any pleading, fighting, passivity will be interpreted by the group as proof of “otherness” and further justification to escalate.  Sometimes even the death of the outsider doesn’t stop the dance.

The receiving end of the GMD is an ugly situation.  There is a lower level GMD, where an “outsider” is seen to be intruding into an “in-house” dispute.  This can sometimes explain a victim of domestic abuse turning on police officer called to the scene, or an audience turning on a stranger trying to break up a fight.  This level is rarely as vicious as the GMD, the group wants the outside out.

For more information on this I hihghly recommend the book

Meditation on Violence by Rory Miller

What is Social Bullying?

Social bullying, sometimes referred to as relational bullying, involves hurting someone’s reputation or relationships.  More likely to happen in primary school then in secondary school, and also more likely to happen to girls more then boys.

Social bullying includes:
*Leaving someone out on purpose
*Telling other children not to be friends with someone
*Spreading rumors about someone
*Embarrassing someone in public

The effect o social bullying?

There are many effects of social bullying. There are effects like depression that can lead to suicide. think the four main effects are low self-esteem, the victim feels rejected, unwanted or hated. Rejected and unwanted because if a group of person bullies you and treat you like if you’re nothing, you’ll feel like nobody likes you and then you’ll feel rejected. Hated because when you’re a victim, you know that the bully hates you. Your self-esteem won’t be as good as a normal person. These four words are the ones that say the most about how the victim of social bullying feels. I think the word unwanted describes better how the victim feels than unloved and unpopular, but they are still good words to show how the victim feels. Humiliated, intimidated and inferior are also good words to describe the victim’s feelings.

Dealing with it

Support your child emotionally.  Let them know its ok to feel upset, talking can have a huge effect, also knowing someone will listen can greatly help.  Concentrating on other friends can help also.   Ignoring the excluding children, or making light of their behaviour or focusing on friendships with other children can be good tactics in trying to move on from the situation. However, it is important to acknowledge that for many children who feel socially excluded these tactics can be very hard to put into practice. Feeling excluded can make you feel powerless and isolated, especially when there is more than one child involved.

For advice on dealing with it read this report from the Irish Times

24/7 365…  Our thoughts loom large in our heads, never stopping, insistently rolling like waves on the beach.  The correct thoughts can make us feel happy, elated, glad to be a life, negative thoughts however can lead us down a darker road, to sadness, guilt, misery or depression.  Correct karate training with the correct mental attitude and instruction will lead to “control” over our thought process, allowing us to control our emotions and thoughts leading to calmer, less stressed lives.

Think of your thoughts (mind waves) like ripples in a pond.  You want to get ready of the ripples (lets say stress).  By throwing a pebble into the pond we get more ripples, so we throw a larger stone and get more ripples, which collide and bounce off each other creating chaos.  The way to get the ripples to stop, is to leave the pond alone.  Let the ripples fade of their own accord.  So too it is with the mind.  Aimlessly sitting in front of the TV, does nothing to reduce stress or benefit the mind.

Karate or meditation, and they are two sides to the same coin focuses your mind, giving it something to concentrate on, to allow our thoughts to settle and stress to melt away.  The purpose of training is to develop Zanshin (awareness) or mindfulness and later to develop Mushin (No Mind).  See other articles in this series for explanations of these terms.  Your practice the correct mind set in class.  Calm, focused, alert, positive, proactive.  At first your practice is limited to moments within a class, then filling an entire class, then becoming a sustaining habit your entire waking life and in the fullness of time sleep life.  Leading to calm, controlled stress life, where you learn to respond, not to react to the world around you.  As your studies progress you gain insight into your negative triggers and purposely condition more positive responses.

The secret to this mind set… is practice.  Correct physical and mental practice.  Goal setting is important  but do not be concerned with your destination. Just practice.  Initially on the dojo floor, and then later in your life outside the dojo.  Practice for practice sake.  One step at a time, one class at a time, one thought at a time.  We all have a unconscious tape playing over and over in our minds.  It is with our whole lives that many are unaware that they are listening to it.  But this tape may be holding your back not making you happy and your dreams come true.  How do you know what the tape is saying in your head.  Listen to your feelings.  Ask at any moment of the day how your feeling?  The answer is what your head is saying to you.  If your feeling sad your having sad thoughts.  If you are happy you are listening to happy thoughts etc.

Proper training will lead to greater mental abilities, like those shown by master in martial arts movies throughout the years.  once this great power has been achieved it becomes nothing, commonplace, like child birth.  Ask any expecting mother in the glow of pregnancy and they will tell you it is a wonderful thing.  But once the child is born it giving birth becomes more common place.  So it is a special thing and a ordinary thing at the same time.  So too are the mental stress relieve abilities of a high grade karateka, a special thing to taking years of practice, that becomes everyday ordinary once it is achieved.

When we stand in the dojo (training hall) we have some rules.  But the purpose of these rules is not to make everyone the same, but to allow each to express their own self more freely.

We must own our own physical bodies… We must exist right here, right now… When we have our body and mind in order, everything else will exist in the right place, in the right way.

But usually, without being aware of it, we try to change something other than ourselves, we try to order things outside us.  But it is impossible to organise things if you yourself are not in order.

Studying books on karate is a kind of food for your brain.  Of course it is necessary to take some food for your brain, but it is more important to be yourself by practicing the right way of life (karate).

Referring back to the story of the hole in the ground (majority of people will say the hole is too deep, never their arm is too short) you must practice coming back to ourselves.  Not blaming the external world without 1st looking at the internal.  Time spent training is time away from your everyday life, what happens before you train is forgotten, what will happen after you finish training is forgotten.  This time is your time, to focus on the now, to focus on you now.  A timeout from the worries of your world.  Train the correct mind set, to be focused, to be strong, to be determined, to be confident, to be self aware, to be present in the here and now.  Practice the correct form, practice the correct mindset.  Practice become habit and habit become a way of life, if the practice is right…