(L to R) Craig - Margarita - Doug - Jack - Dale
Relaxing after a long (but good) week of RGI Training
Here is the 2012 review and 2013 projection that my Friend and Teacher Jack Hoban puts out. Because Jack and my path often intersect, cris cross and run parallel to each other, I thought many of you out there might find Jack's words interesting.
So, without further ado here you go:
Resolution Group International (www.rgi.co) is in it's third year and continues to flourish and make an impact.
RGI is made up of military and law enforcement professionals who teach how to resolve conflict under stress. The RGI curriculum extrapolates on the work I have done with Robert L. Humphrey and the Marines in the areas of ethics, conflict communication and physical protection skills. We had three more RGI Conflict Resolution Courses in 2012. We had participants from the NYPD, NJ State Police, Park Service, Marines, and many more.
Joe Marine Shusko sets the pace!
The July course was especially rigorous and HOT; but everyone persevered and seemed to get a lot out of it. Check out some of the testimonials here.
Another fine group of Ethical Protectors!
If you are interested in learning how to apply the Ethical Protector training as a law enforcement or military professional – or just want to explore the concept with the top-notch RGI instructors in a hands-on setting as a civilian warrior – check out RGI Events. To see more training photos, you can "like us" on Facebook here.
As a representative of RGI, I had the honor of sharing the Ethical Warrior concept with many law enforcement professionals at the International Law Enforcement Education & Training Association (ILEETA) trade show in Chicago for the second time last April. Thanks to Gary Klugiewicz from Verbal Defense and Influence (the new name of the late George Thompson's Verbal Judo system) for introducing me to this great organization.
The response to the Ethical Warrior concept was overwhelmingly positive and I have been invited back in 2013 to do a session on Ethical Leadership.
RGI also has two videos, now. Check them out!
Jack and I on the set in Chicago filming RGI's second DVD
John Phillips - James Morganelli - Jack Hoban & Craig Gray while filming in Chicago
And don't forget Joe Shusko's book, "Tie-Ins For Life."
In addition to the above, I even wrote a new book. For years people have asked if I was going to have "Ninpo: Living and Thinking as a Warrior" reprinted. The answer is, "probably not." That was then; this is now. My thinking has evolved quite a bit in the years since the "Ninja Boom." I am more interested in what comes next than what I thought then. The new book is called "The Ethical Warrior," and you can get more info here or on Amazon.com; it's even available for Kindle.
This past year I was again privileged to work with the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (MCMAP) in Quantico, Virginia. This fine program is led ably by LtCol Pat Beckett and my good friend Joe Shusko (LtCol USMC ret.). It covers armed and unarmed martial arts techniques, combat conditioning, mental training, and character development.
I can't say enough about these young Marines who I am privileged to train with. They are physically and mentally tough, yet respectful and ethical. Many are veterans of both Iraq and Afghanistan. The methodology we use is simple but vitally important: train a lot, talk a bit, train a lot, talk a bit. The Marines relish the physical training, and then are open to hear how to use their training and core values to maintain their ethics and a "combat mindset" under the adversity of war. In martial arts training, it is often easy to focus on the physical part while giving mere lip service to the mental and character elements. But all three parts must go together.
"Training - What if..." - USMC photo courtesy of Homer Brett 2012
"Talking Ethical Warriorship" - USMC photo courtesy of Homer Brett 2012
"Marine Ethical Warriors" - USMC photo courtesy of Homer Brett 2012
On November 10, 2012, I was especially honored to be the Guest of Honor at the TBS Marine Corps Birthday Ball in Richmond, Virginia.
2012 Marine Corps Ball
Joe and Kadie Shusko provided needed moral support; there were 2,500 people in the audience for my keynote address!
Pretty pleased with the above. Semper Fidelis!
Which brings us to 2013...
With the Ethical Warrior book and all the articles last year, it is not much of a secret what is on my mind – philosophically, at least. In June I had dinner with Hatsumi Sensei. We talked about the good old days and a little bit about what I was doing with the Marines and law enforcement community. In the middle of the conversation I asked him if he had any advice. He looked at me as if I was nutty and said – "Well, no." And then changed the subject. Upon reflection, I think he was saying (without saying), "Jack, you are a grown man with 30 years of training experience, isn't it about time you knew what you were doing without me having to tell you Grow up!" You have to laugh at that one.
Painting by Masaaki Hatsumi - from author's personal collection
So let's all grow up. Take what we have learned and go out and use it. Stop dressing up in funny outfits, making believe we are ninjas and playing at the martial arts. Buyῡ Ron Forzani said this year: "Budo is not about fascination; it's about dedication." Ron is 77 and still training everyday; he knows what he is talking about.
And let's stop waiting around for other people to tell us how to train and live. We must go out and make a positive difference. Ourselves. Let's do what martial artists and warriors are supposed to do: stop conflict and protect others. Be Ethical Warriors. Remember, if we are not ethical from the inside out, expect our neighbors to demand controls on our behavior from the outside in. If we believe there are too many rules, laws and regulations imposed upon us today, and want fewer of them, then we know what we have to do…
That said, in my own training I will be working on becoming stronger and more flexible – again, from the inside out. The rage today is big muscles. I suppose that looking strong on the outside is supposed to make people feel strong on the inside. I'm not sure it works that way. Have you ever been hit by Hatsumi Sensei or Noguchi Sensei? They have no muscles, and they are 80 and 70 years old respectively. So how are they so strong? Think about it.
If you want to work on becoming strong and flexible together, well, come on over some time and let's train!
So here is the theme of our Buyῡ training this year: Improve every aspect of our physical, mental and moral fitness from the "inside out." Let's enjoy ourselves and do our best!
~ Jack Hoban
Well, there you have it. (Thanks Jack for letting me share) Now I have to get off my butt and do a year recap and projection for my stuff as well (no pressure). Oh wait a minute, I guess I DID that already! Lots happened in 2012 and 2013 is already off to a great (and busy) start. You can read that by clicking here:
Until next time, take care.
All the best,