So what exactly is the Shredder? Well, that’s kind of difficult to answer. As Rich repeatedly emphasizes, the Shredder is not a technique, but a concept. No two “shreds” look the same. The most common target is the head area, but depending on how your opponent is positioned and in keeping with the Senshido maxim of “closest weapon, closest target”, you may find yourself shredding their ribs, femoral artery, or even their baby-making equipment.There are a couple of common principles, however. Perhaps the primary one is an emphasis on simple but effective movements that don’t rely on fine motor skills. The higher the degree of co-ordination, flexibility, and skill required to complete a strike or manoeuvre, the less likely you will be able to successfully pull it off in a real live situation. Flashy kicks and spectacular takedowns might work fine when you’re wearing wrestling shoes on a matted training area, but what happens when you’re on a concrete sidewalk, wearing Cuban-heeled dress shoes, with your back facing a large glass shopfront, and some crazed, nut job is coming at you like a runaway train, screaming, cursing and flailing like a man possessed? At this point you’ll really appreciate simple but effective moves that require a minimum of skill to excute. Which is why The Shredder is designed to override the cognitive brain and rely instead on gross, rather than fine, motor skills.
No, nyt tuli taas uusi haave unelmien kirjaan: osallistuminen Richard Dimitrin itsepuolustuskurssille.
THE WARRIOR’S WAY…
Due to our hard core approach to personal protection and hand to hand combat, we have been accused of having no philosophy and being nothing more than a blood and guts mutation of the traditional realm. I beg to differ. There is reason behind our madness.
According to the Webster dictionary, the definition of philosophy is: A study of the processes governing thought and conduct; theory or investigation of the principles or laws that regulate the universe and underlie all knowledge and reality; included in the study are aesthetics, ethics, logic, metaphysics etc.
Wow… when Master Sensei expressed that Senshido had no philosophy behind it and that his art’s philosophy is: ”Never look for trouble, but if it comes, be ready.” Or, ”Only use your skills to defend yourself and help others”. We had to ask ourselves these questions: Is that the answer that Plato spent his life looking for? Did Jean-Paul Sartre miss that concept? Is that what the Epicureans are missing in their life? Hmmmm. I think not.
A personal philosophy is acquired through participating in the struggles of life. Hard work, rigorous training, your interaction with your partners, teachers and coaches will play a part and affect your perceptions of life, but still, it is a small part of the equation of life. The journey is where you will develop your philosophies. Change, or rather, the willingness to change is where it all begins. The Warrior’s mind set……….
”We are where we should be, doing what we should be doing, or else, we’d be somewhere else doing something else.”
Where you are today is where you chose to be. Directly or indirectly, the choices we made in life were ours. It is called free will.
In order to have a total understanding of Senshido one must first come to understand themselves. Senshido is a vehicle towards that path. Introspection is imperative to those who walk the Warrior’s way. Most people are conditioned by their fears, values and beliefs. As Dan Millman brilliantly states in his book ”Way of the Peaceful Warrior” ”The human mind is their predicament”.
There is however, a considerable difference, between the ”mind” and the brain. We posses a brain that directs the body, processes information and stores that information. We refer to the brain’s transcendent process as the ”intellect.” The brain and the mind are different. The brain is real; the mind is our perceptions of the brains processed information. The ”mind” is nothing more than an illusory development of our basic cerebral process. It comprises all of our random, uncontrolled and unproductive thoughts that surge into our awareness from our subconscious. Consciousness, attention and awareness are not part of the ‘mind’. The mind for the most part, becomes an obstruction and aggravation to our daily lives. It is an evolutionary mistake in the human beings development. We have no productive use for the fettered mind. The difference is, warriors let it go and others cling to it.
Look at children for example, when we come into this world we are born knowing only life. The infant’s gift for learning is incontestable. Perceptive and keen observation of children can reveal the sources to their natural abilities. We can see that the child’s body is relaxed, free of limitations and preconceived obstructions and therefore sensitive and receptive. The child has no established or learned concepts, yet. Their unbridled emotions account for great motivational energies. The child learns complex patterns of speech and movement quite easily and rapidly and doesn’t yet understand the terms ‘quit’ or ‘failure’. The child doesn’t see the ‘impossibility’ of their tasks, if they did, we’d all be crawling and goo goo gagaing right now.
We were once that natural being, the child, remember? Our potentials were practically unlimited in any field of endeavor (learning to walk or communicate through speech for example) but then something happened. The socialization process that gave us essential information also, unfortunately, inflicted upon us fears, neuro-associations, concepts, attitudes and beliefs that drew us out of our natural patterns.
Our ‘minds’ formed an illusory self-concept; we learned to criticize ourselves; we began to fear failure; we placed (thanks to society) the wrong ideologies of life inside our ‘minds’. These emotional constrictions and inhibitions resulted in physical tension and dis-ease.
As we aged, we began to struggle with what we considered problematic and developed a variety of psycho/emotional-physical imbalances and compensations. I.e. lower back pains, muscular tension, headaches, stomach problems, ulcers etc. True consciousness is a sensitivity of the entire organism achieved through cognitive clarity and emotional intuition, all of which are spiritually linked together. If it were nothing but an intellectual (logical) affair, then babies would never be able to learn.
The adult ‘mind’ is comprised of compulsive, random and usually problematic thoughts. If we remain blind to our weaknesses, we cannot correct them. The longer we accept failure, the more difficult it becomes to experience success. This compulsive attention to the ‘minds’ moods and impulses is a basic error. If we persist to give into these thoughts created by the mind, then we remain ourselves and change never occurs, I cannot fathom a worse fate. The true warrior welcomes change, always willing to sacrifice who he is today for whom he can become tomorrow. This process can begin with the art of disillusionment.
Disillusion is a liberation which in turn helps our evolutionary process. However, because of our emotional attachment to illusions, we consider the term disillusion negative. The word dis-illusion precisely states a freeing from illusion. Yet people tend to cling to their illusions letting them take them where they may when clearly it is best to let them go rather than hang on to these prejudiced illusions. Reality is where life happens and if we are anywhere but there, we suffer, whether it is in the short or long term.
Most of humanity suffers in silence; we do not, in essence, fully enjoy our lives. For some, their entertainment’s; the gym, reading a book, movies, sex, are not really entertainment but simply methods of escape. Temporary ways to distract us from our underlying sense of fear and reality, a reality that is not congruous to our objectives of happiness. Life has become nothing more than mundane habit and routine. Before we know it 50 or 60 years have gone by and we have no idea what happened or where it all went. Our obsessive search for distraction and escape from the predicament of change, the dilemma of life and death, seeking a purpose, financial security and trying to make sense of the mystery has diluted our natural sense of being and happiness. This belief in the exterior has diminished our individuality. People are mesmerized by their own confused and mental processes. This acceptance of the ‘status quo’ just because it is deemed normal by society’s terms does not necessarily nor automatically make it right. What is right for others may not be right for you.
Knowledge and Wisdom are two different things. Knowledge is strictly one-dimensional. It is the comprehension of the intellect. Anyone with an average IQ can acquire knowledge. Wisdom on the other hand is three-dimensional. It is the holistic comprehension of the mental, emotional and physical. It comes only from experience. We are prisoners of our own misimpressions and we cannot see these constrictions we have imposed on ourselves because they are deeply rooted from our childhood. These constrictions are then never dealt with accordingly unless they are pointed out – and even then, people choose to ignore them. The path of least resistance is often confused with immediate action that will cause temporary discomfort but be beneficial in the long run. It’s the old band aid analogy. Remove fast and hard or take it off real slow.
All random thoughts that distract us are self-imposed. When the mind resists life, thoughts arise; when something happens to conflict with a belief that is not congruous to our happiness, turmoil and inner conflict sets in. It is fascinating to see one persisting on hanging on to and defending a self they don’t even believe in. A self that has created a self-imposed ideology of fear and limitation. Change is imminent, only the mind is threatened by change. We have many habits that weaken us; the secret to change is to focus all our energy, not on ridding ourselves of the old, but on building the new. Guns and Roses said it best when they sang ”Slipping farther & farther away, it’s a miracle how long we can stay in a world our mind’s created in a world that’s full of shit.”
Cerebral talent through logical processing emerges as we gain facility in diminishing our archaic habit patterns so that we no longer feel compelled to give attention to the obstructions and limitations which are self-creations of our own minds caused by society’s imposed beliefs. (Okay, now take a breath after such a long sentence).
Self-conceptualization and the self-fulfilling prophecy are something I learned about in psychology. It is a very common psychological phenomenon. It basically states that our progress in life tends to be directly co-related and consistent with our expectations. Whether we believe we can do something or not, we are right. The first step is to realize that we own the power to define our boundaries and capabilities. We must then challenge our self-imposed limitations and understand that we deserve better than to be constrained by unreasonable fears, expectations of failure and feelings of unworthiness. The third step is to accept and make the necessary changes required for self-improvement.
If one concentrates on the impossibility of the achievement one will most certainly experience failure. One of my guys, Ronnie, was competing in a grappling tournament and was easily winning fight after fight. There was however one competitor there who had a ”reputation” for being a bad ass. Not to mention he was twice Ronnie’s size. Ronnie immediately began to concentrate on the impossibility of the achievement rather than on the moment at hand. Needless to say he lost that fight when he could have easily won it. Other competitors who Ronnie easily beat prior to the event did very well against the same guy.
It was painfully obvious that an elective self-concept had imposed itself on Ronnie, shattering his confidence and in turn, his victory. When this happens, one can surrender to it, ignore it, resist it or use it and learn from it. If you surrender to it (which is what Ronnie had done in that particular case) you will inevitably create your reality and your past will become your future. If you ignore it, the self-concept will continue to have subtle effects causing you continuous dis-ease. If you resist it, you will waste energy (reason being why people frequently feel fatigue and laziness). One should use it fully. Experience its energy then cut through it by changing the accustomed act. Learn to do what you didn’t believe you could do and the word ”can’t” will lose its power over your life.
Our concerns of the future are valid until they become compulsive or obsessive. Reading the future is based on a realistic perception of the present. Don’t be concerned with the future until you can clearly see and comprehend the present.
”Unless we change our direction we are likely to end up where we are headed.”
This quote is very powerful and true.
”Mushin” in Japanese is the term for ‘No mind’. Living life in the now and understanding that there are no ordinary moments is imperative to a healthy soul. And as James O’barr so poetically put it, ”There is more than one way to purify the soul. There is absolution and redemption, salvation and a means to an end; and if these axioms are of opposing polarities, then there is at least some consolation in the fact that they all have a common ground.” Death. Our final journey. Unfortunately for some, the only inner peace they will ever know.
Bruce lee said that ”In seeking out truth one must search with the heart and seek with the inner eye.” In the long history of martial arts, the instinct to follow and imitate seems to be inherent in most martial artists, instructors and students alike. This is partly due to human tendency and partly because of the steep traditions behind the myriad’s of styles and systems. Consequently, to find a refreshing and original teacher becomes somewhat of a rarity. The need for a pointer of the truth is for many, blatantly apparent and since no one really owns the truth, then it is out there for anyone to seek, acquire and teach when understood and turned from knowledge to wisdom.
I leave you again with Bruce Lee’s words.
”Absorb what is useful, disregard the rest and add what is specifically your own.”
Train Intelligently and diligently.