Showing posts from November, 2014

Far East Meets Middle East

Pic shows Masaaki Hatsumi (left) talking to Imi Lichtenfeld (center) Doron Navon (right). For years Jack Hoban has suggested that I go to Japan to meet his teacher Hatsumi Sensei and to experience the Japanese culture first hand. Back in May of this year it looked like I would have the time and resources to join him on one of his pilgrimages to the Bujinkan Hombu to finally meet the people and experience the martial art and culture first hand. Knowing that I also trained in Krav Maga, Jack forwarded me an article where Imi Lichtenfeld (Israeli Defense Force's first Krav Maga Head Instructor) was introduced to Masaaki Hatsumi by Doron Navon who was the first non-Japanese person to pass the godan test. Doron who was from Israel had also trained in Krav Maga and was a Judo champion. After being introduced to Hatsumi and watching him train, Imi is said to have told all of his students at that time to go study Ninpo. So, in Jack's own way was he was connectin

Land of the Rising Sun

  Well, after 17 hours or so on a plane I have finally arrived here in Japan. Being that I have to get some sleep before training tomorrow I think I'll begin my time here by telling a quick Japanese Zen story. Don't worry though, I'll write more of my own thoughts and adventures soon enough, but for now it's some zzzzzzzz's for me and some Zen for you:   A Zen Tale from Japan   There was once a man who was being chased by a ferocious tiger across a field. At the edge of the field there was a cliff. In order to escape the jaws of the tiger, the man caught hold of a vine and swung himself over the edge of the cliff. Dangling down, he saw, to his dismay, there were more tigers on the ground below him! And, furthermore, two little mice were gnawing on the vine to which he clung. He knew that at any moment he would fall to certain death. That's when he noticed a wild strawberry growing on the cliff wall. Clutching the vine with one hand,

Thanksgiving Focus

  Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving is my second most favorite holiday, after Halloween of course. Things that I am thankful for are too numerous to list here on this blog, however my main categories are: Health Relationships Experiences Clarity Serenity Prosperity *Not necessarily in that order. What are you are grateful for in your life? The holiday season is full of many things both good and less desired. If we choose to focus on the negative  we will surely find ourselves being drawn away from those things that matter most this time of year: Spending time enjoying the holidays with our loved ones, connecting with things bigger than ourselves, giving, appreciating (oh, is that why it's called Thanksgiving!? =).  So it is really a matter of focus: Focus on what you are grateful for and you will probably have a much better time over the holidays and throughout the year. Focus too much on what upsets you and/or what you don't have and y

A Good Harvest

There once was a farmer who grew award-winning corn. Each year he entered his corn in the state fair where it won a blue ribbon. One year a newspaper reporter interviewed him and learned something interesting about how he grew it. The reporter discovered that the farmer shared his seed corn with his neighbors. "How can you afford to share your best seed corn with your neighbors when they are entering corn in competition with yours each year?" the reporter asked. "Why sir," said the farmer, "didn't you know? The wind picks up pollen from the ripening corn and swirls it from field to field. If my neighbors grow inferior corn, cross-pollination will steadily degrade the quality of my corn. If I am to grow good corn, I must help my neighbors grow good corn." He is very much aware of the connectedness of life. His corn cannot improve unless his neighbor's corn also improves. So it is with our lives. Those who choo

A Pound of Butter

      There was a farmer who sold a pound of butter to the baker. One day the baker decided to weigh the butter to see if he was getting a pound and he found that he was not. This angered him and he took the farmer to court.    The judge asked the farmer if he was using any measure. The farmer replied, "your Honor, I am primitive. I don't have a proper measure, but I do have a scale."   The judge asked, "Then how do you weigh the butter?"   The farmer replied "Your Honor, long before the baker started buying butter from me, I have been buying a pound loaf of bread from him. Every day when the baker brings the bread, I put it on the scale and give him the same weight in butter."   ~Author Unknown What is the moral of the story? We get back in life what we give to others. Whenever you take an action, ask yourself this question: Am I giving fair value for what I am receiving in return? Am I getting back what I put i