Kapatiran Suntukan Martial Arts


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Rule #16

I have a list of rules that has come down through a few people. It is great, and I refer to it often in class. For this post, I want to look at Rule #16. It reads as follows and has commentary (in italics) by my good friend, Terry Trahan:

I am so dangerous I can afford to be polite, reasonable, and mellow.

Only the weak, insecure, and those who live in fear need to woof. Always treat others with respect, strive to understand all points of view, and never let yourself be controlled by negative emotions.

I thought of this rule outside of class during a conversation about teaching and training the martial arts. The subject came up that the public persona of a martial artist can be that of a thug (their word) or a person looking to prove themselves. The person who brought this up had studied an art in college and was saying how the majority of his classmates became more gentile over time and sought resolution over aggression. They did, however, have the ability and willingness to use what they knew should they need to. That being said, this doesn’t mean there aren’t people with Cobra Kai attitudes out there, they just don’t come from my school.

Because of the nature of what we do, I took away a lesson long ago from Marc “Animal” MacYoung about injecting humor into the lesson to keep things from getting to that point where aggression is the overruling emotion. One other lesson about humor I learned along the way is that humor helps the brain retain more information because you relax and things happen more easily without the tensions of various stresses. Ultimately, we want to enjoy and have fun with what we do, so we have a good time while training with the understanding that we are doing something Rory Miller refers to as the practice of “creating cripples and corpses.” Dire, I know.

The further down the road of studying the martial arts you go, the more you come to understand Rule #16 and see that it is not a statement of contempt but of compassion.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Roll with the changes

KSMA is organic in its nature and we are still adjusting to the workings and trappings any organization goes through in times of change. In order to facilitate a more open group, we have decided to move to a “pay as you play” approach for members. Therefore, instead of paying an annual due, we will ask members to contribute to the group in a manner that fits your abilities, needs or goals. This could be a series of videos or documents to help advance the group, participation in either version of the study group (a note about the study group: if you are exploring your own art, you do not have to submit a payment per student training with you. If you are enrolled in a KSMA program, that's $10 per student training with you in that course to be paid annually - also, unless those students have met the criteria for membership, they are not consider part of the group), or another way you may help out to be settled upon by Terry and Jay along with yourself. If you don’t feel you can contribute something, then monetary compensation is the route for you at the $50 per year rate. The money goes into a pot for group use such as maintaining the website and various administrative needs.

It is still and will always be our desire that we have a group of willing participants who share their knowledge with the group freely as has been our experience in the past.
We are
also going to be focusing on Southeast Asian martial arts such as kali and pencak silat as well as more personal survival tactic methodologies such as krav maga and other no nonsense-type programs. This is not to say that we are excluding members by any means, but merely reflecting who is still active in the group. There was also some reticence expressed by those in other systems may not have fully understood the intent of the group and are certainly welcome to come back on board as we are still open to what other systems can show us.

Some archival papers are descriptive of what we were striving to attain with the group. We feel they are still the driving factors of KSMA. Among those things were:

  • KSMA is a vehicle of discovery and liberation
  • KSMA is a honbu, or non-related family (it certainly has been that, right down to the family squabbles)
  • KSMA is a tribe of common threads, interests and drive to maintain the group
  • KSMA is a reference resource willing to share any and all information

Along with those items above, KSMA is a place for you to receive recognition of your hard work either via the neutral third party aspect of the group or as a supplement to your existing rank if that is something you need or desire. This is important for those who may be outside of traditional schools. We strive to maintain the integrity of your art and the group and completely understand the limitations we put on membership will keep our numbers low. That said, if someone inquires about the group or one of its members, they will know that they are getting world class contacts and information.

Be well.

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