Archive for Thoughts

Sifu Lee on Giving & Pain

Posted in Day's Lesson, Miscellaneous, Philosophy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 15, 2012 by Sifu Freddie Lee

I love giving, but the problem that I constantly encounter is that it teaches a person to become spoiled. For many years I have always had a problem with spoiling others. If you spoil others you do not teach them. They never learn how to wash a dish b/c you always wash it for them. They never learn to do their own laundry b/c you always do it for them. They never really learn to be self-sufficient b/c you have always babied them. People have a very hard time going backwards in life. You give them something they like, they will become very upset if you then take it away.

If you never gave it to them in the first place, they would not know how to be upset b/c they have not become attached. If you have never smoked before, it is easy to stay away. But if you have been smoking for many years, it will be hard to let go. We have all been so accustomed to the internet, if they take it away, it will cause pain for many. Understanding both sides is not easy. A child may have to go through many decades of life before he understands the actions of his parents in the past.

Sifu Freddie Lee

[via FMK’s Facebook]

The West, Still Not Ready | Sifu Lee

Posted in Day's Lesson, Miscellaneous, Philosophy with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 4, 2012 by Sifu Freddie Lee

When Bruce was alive, he knew that the West was not ready for real Martial Arts, he was disappointed with the progress of his kwoons, so he decided to close his kwoons to go into acting. Over 40 years later, right now, the West is still not ready for real Martial Arts. I love teaching Martial Arts, but it is almost impossible making a living doing so if you teach it the way that it is truly meant to be taught, I’ve decided to go into field of personal training to make a living. The masses of people just want to lose weight, gain muscle, feel & look good – few of them truly wish to learn real art. Out of 100 people, you will be lucky to find one that has the Martial Spirit within.

People can be taught but they must be ready to listen.  Many are not ready to listen. I love to give, but if I give too much, I will go out of business. Martial Art is not meant for business.  I am truly experiencing the struggles of how to get a Martial Art school to stay completely pure & uncorrupted. You work so hard to find people who have the Martial spirit within them, but then they have no money to pay. Then you find those who have much money but then they are far from being ready to enter into the realm of Martial Arts.

You have to reach out to the right people, but the right people are often times thousands of miles away. I will try to last as long as I can, but eventually I may have to once again become more hidden, working a job to make ends meet, while keeping the spirit of the Martial Arts within me, hidden from the mass of society. The mass of society is not ready for what I have to teach, & during the course of my lifetime, I may never see a time when they are ready. The truth is meant to be hidden; it cannot be exploited & mass produced.

Martial Arts requires thousands of hours of study & training.  How can anyone progress rapidly if they must pay for every hour? It is like a child who must pay you by the hour in order to raise him until the age of 18, he will have to repay you for the rest of his life, or at least take care of you for 18 years in which to break even. It takes time to develop into a Martial Artist, but who has the time to wait? Bruce could not wait. By waiting you are slowing your own development, but forging ahead you are leaving loved ones behind, finding the balance is a difficult thing. I know if I forge ahead there is nowhere to go – Bruce already taught me this. By waiting I can be of great assistance. But I will only wait for those who show appreciation; I will not wait for those who do not appreciate. Some people are ready, some people are not, those who are not, I will not force. When they are ready, they will show me, they will not just tell me.

The pressure is on to make me perform. Without the pressure, I will find no need to perform. Why try hard if you are already living comfortable? When your living conditions are rough, that forces you to work hard, when you work hard you grow. This kwoon can only grow through hard work. Nothing comes easy in this commercialized world. The masses are constantly being bombarded by negative advertisements that it makes it very difficult to see the positive.

Sifu Freddie Lee

[via FMK’s Facebook]

The 3 A’s of Good Business Practice

Posted in Day's Lesson, Miscellaneous, Philosophy, Teaching Topic with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 17, 2012 by hybridfightingmethod

I am willing to bet that everyone reading this right now has at least one customer service horror story?

A gym that intentionally bills you more than once each billing cycle. A phone company that destroys your life with astronomical and irrational charges. And any other possible shady situation that leaves you regretful and resentful.

Too many martial arts instructors are great martial artists, but are horrible business people. They struggle and suffer at their own hands because they do not know how to handle adversity, or they have personalities themselves that are rather off-putting.

In my opinion, if everyone incorporated these three concepts into their business practice, they would dramatically improve their business, their clients’ experience, and their own quality of life.

ACCEPT

My parents always told me when growing up, that if I did something wrong or made a mistake – that if I told the truth about it I would be in less trouble than if I lied and got caught. They were trying to teach me to take responsibility for my actions. This goes a long way in business.

I try very hard not to put myself in a position where I will have to apologize and be an inconvenience to someone. But if I do, I don’t play the blame game – I accept the responsibility for my mistake and I will offer not only my apology, but also something above and beyond to make up for the mistake. That could be free lessons, free merchandise, a gift card to a restaurant…the options are endless.

If you do this, your clients are likely to be more forgiving of your shortcomings.

Accept responsibility.

ADOPT

Sometimes random things happen that aren’t your fault. But that won’t stop people from blaming you.

I remember one year back in college, I was flying across the country to get from my parents place to my school. When we got to the airport, we were told that the airline’s head office had a major shutdown and the computers were offline, delaying every single flight that day. That company was WestJet. This was a make or break moment for WestJet in the eyes of all those affected.

My flight was delayed for 5 hours. Some were less, some were considerably more.

WestJet began by apologizing for the inconvenience, ordering pizza and drinks for the entire airport, and announcing it over the PA system. That was cool, but what came next was amazing.

Two weeks after the incident, my family got a letter in the mail from WestJet. It was an official apology for the mishap, with a note that for every 2 hours our flight was delayed, we would receive credit equivalent to the fare of our purchased ticket. Because my flight was delayed 5 hours, and I had only booked a one-way flight, we received $598.00 to apply to future WestJet flights.

I will now always speak positively to people about WestJet and their customer service. As long as they keep up this behaviour, they will be here for a long time.

Sometimes things happen that are out of our control and that are not the fault of anyone. But if you can adopt responsibility for whatever happened, and go above and beyond for your clients, you will gain far greater value than you could ever lose.

ATMOSPHERE

Finally, people want to know that you care. People are social creatures, and we gather around other people of similar values, likes, dislikes, etc.

There are few feelings more nauseating than going into a gym or membership-based business and feeling like a dollar figure rather than a valued person.

I had a woman come up to me just last night after seeing a portion of my class, and asked me when she could come try it. She is on a one-week trial membership, and she told me that in the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class she took the instructor was too busy texting on his phone and talking with his buddies to offer any assistance to the students in class. Sounds ridiculous, right? I have seen worse. That class is just a paycheque to him.

My good friends Gordon and Ashley Wood run a highly successful martial arts school in Ancaster, Ontario, Canada called Evolution Martial Arts. They are always expanding, and they are always getting voted as #1 martial arts school in their area by anyone and everyone who has had the pleasure of training there.

I equate their success with 4 things.

  1. They plan their classes. They do not just show up and wing it. Their curriculum is structured and this structure allows them freedom to invest most of their time into their students.
  2. They make you feel important. They know you by name, and they make you feel like a part of a family.
  3. They are highly skilled martial artists, and highly skilled martial arts instructors.
  4. They do not have contracts. If I want to leave them for any reason whatsoever, I can do so with absolutely no penalty. I will also not be made to feel guilty or negative in any way. This, I believe, has led to positive word of mouth that has launched their business into a rarified atmosphere that few other schools can claim to know.

If you can create a positive atmosphere where people are genuinely cared for, you will be amazed at the positive yield that it brings.

To summarize…

If you can both accept and adopt responsibility for mistakes that are or aren’t your fault, and create an energetic and caring atmosphere – you will improve your business exponentially in several ways.

T.J. Kennedy

Hybrid Fighting Method

Secret Training Method of Maul Mornie

Posted in Philosophy, Training, Videos with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 9, 2012 by Combative Corner

“…The advanced is the mastery of the basics. ‘Effortless’ comes from constant correct practice. In SSBD form (structure & intention) is important from the beginning to end.”

A lot of people ask me how do I train in my free time. I train nothing but basics and conditioning, because that is all I think what is important. And most people would just say “That’s its?  Oh… it’s a secret huh? I get it.”

I emphasize my personal training for 1st contact in self defence (not competative fights), because all movements begins with the 1st contact.  The connection between the given intention & receiving intention (without contact), the connection at the point of contact between body and body, and then progressing to gerak langkah to the breaking of structure (or in Japanese terms from Sabaki to Kuzushi).

An Aikido friend introduced me to a clip of Shihan Seishiro Endo a few days ago and he took my interest straight away when he spoke about “Atari”.  To my understanding it is the engagement and connection of intention (energy, ki or chi if you will).

When people ask me how do I make people bigger and taller than me fall without any effort, without physically training with me I can never explain it, but Endo Shihan is able to explain the concept in just over 1 minute.  As Einstein said,

“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”

I guess that is why Endo Shihan is a master and I’m just starting my journey in understanding the art.

Maul Mornie

[via Facebook]

RELATED ARTICLE

10 Questions with Maul Mornie

Wretched Hive of Scum and Villainy

Posted in Day's Lesson, Discussion Question, Martial Arts, Miscellaneous, Philosophy, Teaching Topic with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 4, 2012 by chencenter

As Sir Alec Guiness’ character in Star Wars said of Mos Eisley Spaceport,

“You will not find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.” 

I feel the same about most forums.  That’s right.  I said it!

I’m speaking primarily about martial art forums (as I don’t have much use for other forums).  As fellow Combatant Sifu Lee said in his latest status,

“I don’t understand why so many practitioners of the martial arts are fighting amongst one another. It’s ridiculous!”

And I couldn’t agree more.  I recently had a brief (online) exchange with a fellow martial artist who said that he will no longer be subscribing to our channel because of who we (as the CombativeCorner) ‘endorse.’

First of all, I hate to lose anyone from the family of martial artists that we are building here but if I might throw in a simile –

“In order to make the steak healthier, we must trim the fat.”

In this case, the ‘fat’ just fell off the bone.  Some may argue that the fat is what makes the steak tasty…  You’re wrong.  It’s the Texas Pete.

All Jokes Aside ::..

It is important to understand that the martial arts hold a different meaning for different people.  You will… We will… never appeal to everyone.  And I learned long ago, if you try to play that game, you’re just setting yourself up for a big fall.

Some people view the martial arts as ‘truth.’ Others (like myself) view the martial arts as ‘sharing.’  I may have been tainted long ago with Mr. Miyagi, but (I feel) one fundamental lesson that should and must be instilled in every martial artist is this:

The martial arts involve your mind and your heart.  This is your bedrock.  You disconnect the heart, you become a scientist.  Even though you occasionally make forward progress in skill, the ultimate goal of peace is still out-of-reach.  Often further.

Lying Liars

It’s those directed at ‘truth’ that often get so ‘caught-up’ in this tacky spiderweb.  And ironically, this ‘web’ creates enormous amounts of disinformation.  For example, if you go to any martial art forum (I’ll leave out the sites, as you can easily find them) and look up names that have been under fire like Greg Park/ChosunNinja or Luke Holloway/Raw Combat, you’ll undoubtedly uncover a string of hatred, bashing and lies.  For some reason, the website and the people, feel the need to ‘police the streets.’

The Hater’s stance is often one of “saving others from making a mistake in following or learning from them.”  Their so-called evidence is usually second or third-hand information, a disgruntled (often ‘ex’) student, or someone who is so damaged emotionally (and/or socially) that they have to retaliate, draw attention, or make themselves out to be ‘holier than thou.’ [Read our article on ‘Fakes]

Like all humans, we are curious.  Can this be true?  Drama is so much more exciting.  Right?  But does anyone know what the opposite of drama is?..

Peace.

Peace is the antonym for drama.  Peace (apart from Freedom & Love) is what we strive for.  Aikido, an amazing artform literally means – The Way of Peace*.  We as humans want peace, but often make war.  We want to be martial artists, but often end up directing our energies along an unhealthy path.  This is something very important that I wish more people would connect to and at the very least, attempt to understand within themselves.

What might be the answer?

There is never going to be just one answer.  But in my personal opinion (an opinion that I hope to share with many others) is that we must seek what we love and share that passion with as many people as we can.  It’s all very simple.  There are people that will lie, some will pad up their resumé (so-to-speak) and some will speak negatively about others and their styles.  Let that be about them; not about you.

When, for example we are given the privilege to learn from someone, the information given to us is personally filtered.  We will, most certainly, lean a certain way based on our personal beliefs, biases and associations.  While learning correctly is ideal, it is only with personal dedication, ingenuity, making mistakes (yes, it’s true), time and patience (among other things that I may have left out) that we develop into the artist we hope to become.  And the definitive truth, we never truly reach the destination.  Bruce Lee and Dan Inosanto never had a limit.  The Gracie family and many of the jiu-jitsu practitioners that I’m running into these days are continuously evolving.

Regarding Greg & Luke

We are happy to have them as a part of our martial art family (as we would just about anyone).  When you watch their videos, the one thing you’ll notice is that they share – and continue to share, despite the haters and personal attacks.  This should account for something, but to the haters, Greg & Luke are just ‘remaining in the game.’  The second thing you may see from their videos is a passion for teaching.  Thirdly, and most obviously, you’ll see and hear the lecture or demonstration presented.  Whether the technique or tactic is practical or not to the viewer, it is up to the student-viewer to filter the information themselves.

Now, granted, teachers should be held accountable.  But what you know is what you know.  (And keeping in mind that you’ll never be 100% in agreement with the masses)… You must (in Obi Wan Kenobi’s words),

“Do what you feel is right, of course.”

When coming across something new, even disagreeable it might be helpful to view it as Master Feng (Zhiqiang) would.  He would say something along the lines of, “Interesting” or at worst, “I don’t understand it.”  Never this is right, this is wrong… but this is “something I don’t yet understand.”

Master Feng knows this and is fundamental in becoming a Jedi.  Avoid becoming a Sith.

I leave you with these words:

“As soon as you concern yourself with the “good” and “bad” of your fellows, you create an opening in your heart for maliciousness to enter. Testing, competing with, and criticizing others weakens and defeats you.”
Morihei Ueshiba 植芝 盛平 , The Art of Peace

We, at the Combative Corner are looking forward to your thoughts and opinions.  Knowing fully well the hypocrisy that this may ‘seem‘… the difference is respect.  Be respectful.

Thank you.

Michael Joyce

*Aikido is made up of essential three parts: “Ai” which means harmony or union and “Ki” which the energy-spirit of the universe and “Do” that means way or path.

Related Posts:

Roundtable Discussion 017: What is a ‘Fake’?

5 Things I Hate About You(Tube)   |  T.J.Kennedy

Interview with Greg Park  |  ChosonNinja

Interview with Luke Holloway  |  Raw Combat Int.

CombativeCorner Turns 2 Years Old!

Posted in Miscellaneous, News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 3, 2012 by Combative Corner

Joyce  |  This has truly been… and continues to be, a wonderful journey.  I want to thank all of our readers, our Combative Corner family for making these 2 years seem like 2 days.  The martial arts is a bottomless well, and with each fetching of water, I hope everyone continues to wet their lips.  The Combative Corner was founded on April 1st, 2010 and is one thing I deeply treasure, but not as much as the friends I’ve made.  A deep thank you to our Combative Crew: Vaughn, Kuo, Lara, Lee and Kennedy and a special thank you for each and every one of our “extended” family wherever you may be.  Cheers!  Oss, Michael Joyce (CombativeCorner.Com founderTwitter  |  Facebook

|  Lee  | My thoughts on the “Combative Corner” reminds me so much of the Martial Arts club I had founded in Purdue University from the years of 2000-2004 called “Fighters United.” The goal of the club was to bring together many talented Martial Artists in order to learn from one another. I see that Combative Corner aims to do the same in the online world. But great talent usually also comes with great ego. Without a Master, you have a bunch of students fighting amongst one another to prove who is right. When you gather a bunch of Masters together, now you may have a bunch of Masters fighting amongst one another to prove who is right. But a true Master does not fight; those that do fight are not Masters.

True Masters know the truth within & they do not need to express it with any words, they simply lead by example. Combative Corner aims to bring together Masters in order to share & learn from one another. YouTube, Facebook, Wikipedia, & the internet in general bring people together on a large scale. Combative Corner creates a smaller close knit community so that there is a closer connection amongst those involved. YouTube is like a University, Combative Corner is like a Fraternity within the University. Yes you can make lifelong friends while attending a University, but if you join a group within the University that promotes a strong brotherhood, it will increase your chances of creating everlasting friends. Combative Corner aims to be the place where you immediately connect with true Masters of the Martial Arts, there is a regulator to control who is qualified & who is not. On YouTube & the internet in general, there is no regulator. Without a regulator, it will be very difficult for the novice to determine whether or not a Master is true or false.

|  Kennedy  |  The one thing I love about the CC above all else that I love about the CC is it`s lack of politics. Drama free….makes life so much easier. Kudos to MJ for running it that way. It makes me proud to be a part of it.

|  Kuo  |  Combative Corner has a unique feel. Michael has managed to get a diverse bunch of martial artists with different viewpoints together and express their thoughts in a civil manner. What has come out of this grand experiment is interesting posts and discussions covering a range of topics. All the while, things have not devolved into flame wars and name calling, which is all too common on the internet, especially when you get opinionated martial artists in the same forum.

As a group, we are not a mutual admiration society just restating the same opinion. We are also not a reality-show clash of personalities. The fact that different perspectives can get expressed without politics or personality clashes taking over is a tribute to both the contributors and to MJ for fostering a constructive environment at Combative Corner.

|  Vaughn  |  Anytime there is a chance for martial artists to come together and share their knowledge and experience with no bias towards style, age, years training or personal beliefs I think it is a great thing.
I was and still am honored to have asked to have been apart of it.
We are truly doing something great at the combative corner and I want to thank Michael for starting it all and bring us all together to not only share what we have learned with the masses but with each other as well. Let’s keep it going.
Happy Anniversary Combative Corner!

|  Lara  |  I feel this is a great honor to be able to share our arts with each other as well as view points. Without it we will never grow.  I have learned so much from my fellow Martial artist here as well. Thank you to each one of you for your fine posts! I look forward to many more years of growth here together at COMBATIVE CORNER.  Rei,  Robert Lara Shihan

Please let us know what you think of us in the comment space below!

What was your favorite article or interview perhaps? What do you hope to see more of in the future?

The lines are open.

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