"The Society that separates its Scholars from its Warriors, will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools." Thucydides

PURPOSE: Become the Scholar Warrior for your Goals

Improve Every Single Day!

Improve Yourself 1% a Day = 3600%+ in a Year

Thought-Technique-Strategy of the Week:

Image

Create Your Powerful Identity

Let's say you wish to excel in the art of painting. Or open your own woodworking business. Or become a Filmmaker which I did many years ago. The key is to utilize a Powerful Identity in reframing your Focus. Let's stick with painter for the moment.

Use the words: "I am a painter." The powerful use of the "I am..." phrase welds this new outlook to you mentally, intellectually but, more importantly, emotionally. Why emotionally? When you talk about painting (or any very exciting goal), then you can feel the electrical excitement within your body and Being.

"Being" is the act of existing within this newly embraced identity. Then you grow and become.

READ THE MAIN ARTICLE HERE

7 Actions To Change Your Life

Michael's Kenpo Karate Weapons Form - Knife & Pistol

You can see my Pistol & Knife form at approximately 10:31 here in the video from 2010. This is at Bryan Hawkins Kenpo Karate where I have studied Kenpo Karate for approximately over 35 years. The form is one that I created to advance in the system, utilizing Kenpo Karate principles. I use the form with the primary weapon as the firearm, duly guarded and using the knife for close-in drills. This is the training the Warrior phase!

Technique

Creating the Scholar Warrior Identity: Teach Yourself

October 30, 202311 min read

Teaching the Kid's Class from 12 to 1pm on Saturdays at the Kenpo dojo was in my personal dictionary under the word, "Joy."   I have studied Kenpo Karate for thirty-six years and am a 5th degree black belt and other martial arts for twenty years.

How does martial arts training translate to people working toward their Goals? I think that they should view themselves as Scholar Warriors. Scholar - learning, evolving, transforming, seeking knowledge and wisdom. Warrior - fighting for their goals, fighting their own inner demons and difficulties and more.

Scholar Warrior. That’s you. Put that hat on for a day and walk around telling yourself three mantras, using an example goal: Painting. In this case, your mantra would be:

“I am a Scholar Warrior.” (Umbrella Identity)

“I am (present tense!) achieving my goal of painting three times a week on Tuesday and Thursday nights at 7pm and Saturday at 4pm.” (Specific Goals with Times)

“I am a Painter.” (Extended Identity)

Write it down!

In this manner, you have an Umbrella identity under which you can put many identities. I use “Creative Explorer” as my umbrella identity with “Scholar Warrior” as an extension identity along with “Writer”, “Filmmaker”, “Parent”, etc.,

One great advantage in my interpretation of using a Scholar Warrior Identity is the duality of this Scholar (curiosity, disciplined learning, erudition) and the Warrior (ferocity, battle hardened, principled) which provides a starting point of determination, simplicity and reverence for my path.

New Thinking For New Directions

While I truly enjoy dealing with creative minds, collaboration and clarity in the film industry, I got so much from the teaching martial arts.

The Mission is to Help the Student.

Every time I teach, I am learning because teaching is not a one way street.  I teach young people and adults who learn in so many different modes - visual, audio, physical, playfully, seriously, musically, mathematically and more.  So I must explore new ways to explain and illustrate Kenpo which may not a natural method for me. When the Teacher adapts to the student and forces himself or herself to find and discover alternate teaching techniques, then the teacher learns and relearns their acquired knowledge in new neural pathways.

The very point of brainstorming (see Brainstorming the How: Mindmapping) is to come up with ‘out of the box’ thinking and more.

You have a Goal.

  • How would explain your goal to a person without sight? Touch. Clearer explanations. Using a hand to draw.

  • A person who did not speak your native language? Better drawings. Perhaps almost like a comic book with unique panels unreeling.

  • A person who could only understand you if you sang your goal? You might discover more enthusiasm (higher notes?) for the more enjoyable and enthusiastic sections of a goal. And lower notes for the unenjoyable parts of your goal.

Crazy, huh? But as humans, we rely on an enormous number of patterns because routines and habits (patterns) allow us to function in our lives, families, societies, jobs, etc., Martial Arts also uses orderly well-constructed patterns in various Forms, Sets, Techniques and other methods. However, our opponent (or Enemy) may not fight in a pre-ordained manner fitting one of our learned patterns. Therefore, in Kenpo, we strive for ‘Spontaneous Formulation’ to respond to the stimuli (the attack) without preconceived patterns.

Kenpo Technique: “Attacking Mace” taught in Steps.

What is you constructed positive “steps” in your own technique to vanquish your own Enemies?

Are you aware and using your patterns positively as in workouts, walks, self-improvement, positive activity? Or are your patterns controlling you in smoking, poor eating habits, no plan for your ambitious goals, etc., ?

So, taking your goal and working through a new, unique and maybe uncomfortable pattern might give you new ideas about how to accomplish your goal or change your life. Looking at knowledge, material, ideas, concepts in a new and unique manner. Then making realizations about connectivity, leaps for solutions or arriving at better ideas too.

This is the essence of Brainstorming.

Be The Student, Be the Teacher

Named after the illustrious and influential Greek philosopher Socrates (470-399 BC) , the Socratic Method engages the student’s minds through constant and focused questioning. Isn’t that you, as the Student, in the above scenario? And aren’t you also your own Teacher?

I think that having a learning method - the Socratic Method - named after you is one the coolest mantles one could earn. Millions of students remember your name and your method.

Wikipedia defines this method: 

Socratic method (also known as method of elenchuselenctic method, or Socratic debate), named after the classical Greek philosopher Socrates, is a form of inquiry and discussion between individuals, based on asking and answering questions to stimulate critical thinking and to illuminate ideas. It is a dialectical method, often involving a discussion in which the defense of one point of view is questioned; one participant may lead another to contradict himself in some way, thus strengthening the inquirer's own point.

So, put these two hats on: Student and Teacher. Back and Forth. Yin and Yang. On and off. True and False. Right and Wrong. These sensibilities are indeed patterns and dualities without the subtleties of context and nuance, but a forced choice. The “Y” in the road has two choices and not any footpaths or tunnels. I read an article in Psychology Today about “Too Many Choices” which leads to Decision Paralysis. With so many options, one might take no action rather than be disappointed with any of the actions.

How will that accomplish your goal? It won’t.

Simplicity has its own enormous benefits in pursuing your goal when you give yourself fewer choices. I understand the “Decision Paralysis” because whenever I go to my favorite Mexican Restaurant, other people are ordering different seemingly exotic dishes. Me? I’m happy with my two beef crispy tacos with rice and beans every time. For me, making simpler choices makes me happy. So keep your plan simple.

As General George Patton once said, “A good plan executed violently now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.” Now, Patton was leading a battle so time was of the essence in his European Theater of Operations, but his intensity of action now versus waiting for perfection in there future applies to all of us. Time waits for nobody.

Talk to yourself as the Scholar Warrior in two modes. Sometimes as the Teacher. Sometimes as the Student.

Define the Terms: Opponent or An Enemy?

The age group in my class is about ten to thirteen years old.  The older ones are entering young adulthood.  They read headlines, seeing the news about crime, emergencies and man’s inhumanity to man.  Parents would like to shield their child from these outrages - but that’s not life.  I am trying to create a channel between childhood and young adulthood.   Their experiences have been primarily shaped by grade school and their parents' devoted - and even parental ‘helicoptering’ - attention.  That will change.  They are moving into high school with a more independent, highly socialized and mobile world.   Mobile meaning not just smart phones but the mobility of their own cars, friends, school, events and more.   They will drive, take the bus alone and soon be away at college. 

I want them to develop the mindset of the Warrior.  A point fight in the dojo is far different than a physical fight.  In the dojo, you are 'fighting' a fellow Kenpoist, trying to improve your technique and movement, but for points.  In a street fight, you have an antagonist who may seek to rob, rape, assault or murder you.  No, this is not a pleasant topic, but are we thinking adults here or not? This is dealing with reality.

They will not fight fair.  That’s one reason that I match up a much smaller kid with a bigger one.  No, it’s not fair.  Too bad.  And I tell them that.  

Do I really want them to embrace the friendly framework of a dojo sparring match in a truly dangerous situation?  

Not. A. Chance.  

Differentiate the Terms: Opponent vs. Enemy

If an antagonist comes at you in such a violent assaults, you must energize your entire Being into a martial framework.  The Japanese developed a ferocious warrior class system under their code of Bushido.  In many Japanese writings, the samurai swordsman is not to focus on anything but the fight.  Not even his own life or death.   This was a reality of survival in the Imperial Japanese Realm of the vicious sword fighting in 18th century Japan - but not without reason in 21st Century America of an Enemy with deadly intent or a knife or another weapon.

I stress to students to understand the difference between an Opponent and an Enemy. The skill I want students to acquire is to differentiate between the two polarities of Opponent vs. Enemy.  An Opponent is a practitioner in the dojo with whom I am working out to get better. We do not wish to harm each other - better to keep each other physically intact for an actual exchange. An opponent is a Kenpo comrade willingly engaged in the study of Kenpo or another martial art.   A comrade will suffer from your strengths and point out your weaknesses - so that, as individuals, we grow stronger together.   

An Enemy is an Enemy. Let’s not smooth talk this situation.   An Enemy seeks to do you physical harm - serious injury or death. Good human beings don’t want enemies.  We want to get along.  But that’s not always Life.  An enemy could be the burglar who threatens your family, the mugger, the bully or more, especially in an era of rising crime and defunding the police. A criminal is willing to use physical harm against you - serious injury or death.   This is not a movie, a video game nor a theory. It is survival.

Words Matter In Your Self-Teaching

In one test, a bright young (meaning anybody younger than me!) student, Nicky, was participating in a test night. My question to the group was: “What are the reasons to Ki-aye loudly?” A “Ki-aye” is a loud exhalation of breath accompanied by a controlled scream during a physical move such as a punch. The three reasons given were: 1. Fortify the body. 2. Call Attention to yourself. 3. Make the opponent scared.

Nicky brought up the last one #3. She is absolutely correct but in the ensuing discussion, I asked her if we might change the words on Reason #3. My suggested words were “Strike fear into the heart of the enemy.” Much more intense, visual, forceful, active, aggressive against the attack for me. I visualize a flaming sword striking right into the Enemy’s heart and watching their aggression whither away. This is my preference. You can figure out your preferences. But remember: Words are powerful, colorful, memorable and energetic so choose your words carefully.

I want students to realize that an Enemy may exist in the future - and that they have to be ready to save their lives or the life of a family member.  Parents particularly don’t want their darling child to consider that there are Enemies in the world.  It’s the natural parental instinct to shield them from a cruel world as long as possible.  But a dose of reality comes eventually.  I would advocate that it’s better to have the skill of identifying an Enemy and putting on the responsive hat than the delusion of avoiding this Identification.  The old saying is: “Better to know and not use, than not know and need.” The consequence of living in denial could be fatal to your child in the future but the parent must make clear their child’s moral choice. What degree of force is warranted? Do I take the risk of using less force and not surviving?

I teach the “How”. The “When” and “Where” is in the future. Learning the moral “Why” is the choice of the Individual.

In the dojo, I also tell them "I'm not your friend.  I don't want to be your friend.  I am your Teacher.  And I will not subordinate my DUTY to this dojo nor your parents.  That Duty is that - if an altercation occurs - then you will come home safe."  

Sorry, no emotional mollycoddling here.  Buck up. 

Identify Your Enemies

So what are your enemies?

  • Fear of Rejection?

  • Poor Lifestyle

  • Present Circumstances

  • Lack of Clear Thinking?

  • Procrastination

  • Bad Relationships

Identify your Enemies.

Notice that when you emotionally ‘declare’ an Enemy, then you are engaged to fight them. Freaked out about declaring an enemy? How about drug addiction, phone addiction, procrastination, drinking, smoking, fatty foods, toxic and abusive personalities and others? Are those merely…opponents? I don’t think so.

Embrace Your New Identity.

By becoming a Scholar Warrior, you create a sense of continuous learning and forward movement. You define your enemies and fight them with all your might. At the end of the day, you move the dial toward your true authentic goals which will enrich your Human Journey.

Join the Fight. It’s Yours to Win.

blog author image

Michael Mandaville

Michael is a writer, filmmaker and dedicated World War II historian who studies martial arts, action films and is learning more about VFX every single darn day. Oh and a Scholar Warrior

Back to Blog
Technique

Creating the Scholar Warrior Identity: Teach Yourself

October 30, 202311 min read

Teaching the Kid's Class from 12 to 1pm on Saturdays at the Kenpo dojo was in my personal dictionary under the word, "Joy."   I have studied Kenpo Karate for thirty-six years and am a 5th degree black belt and other martial arts for twenty years.

How does martial arts training translate to people working toward their Goals? I think that they should view themselves as Scholar Warriors. Scholar - learning, evolving, transforming, seeking knowledge and wisdom. Warrior - fighting for their goals, fighting their own inner demons and difficulties and more.

Scholar Warrior. That’s you. Put that hat on for a day and walk around telling yourself three mantras, using an example goal: Painting. In this case, your mantra would be:

“I am a Scholar Warrior.” (Umbrella Identity)

“I am (present tense!) achieving my goal of painting three times a week on Tuesday and Thursday nights at 7pm and Saturday at 4pm.” (Specific Goals with Times)

“I am a Painter.” (Extended Identity)

Write it down!

In this manner, you have an Umbrella identity under which you can put many identities. I use “Creative Explorer” as my umbrella identity with “Scholar Warrior” as an extension identity along with “Writer”, “Filmmaker”, “Parent”, etc.,

One great advantage in my interpretation of using a Scholar Warrior Identity is the duality of this Scholar (curiosity, disciplined learning, erudition) and the Warrior (ferocity, battle hardened, principled) which provides a starting point of determination, simplicity and reverence for my path.

New Thinking For New Directions

While I truly enjoy dealing with creative minds, collaboration and clarity in the film industry, I got so much from the teaching martial arts.

The Mission is to Help the Student.

Every time I teach, I am learning because teaching is not a one way street.  I teach young people and adults who learn in so many different modes - visual, audio, physical, playfully, seriously, musically, mathematically and more.  So I must explore new ways to explain and illustrate Kenpo which may not a natural method for me. When the Teacher adapts to the student and forces himself or herself to find and discover alternate teaching techniques, then the teacher learns and relearns their acquired knowledge in new neural pathways.

The very point of brainstorming (see Brainstorming the How: Mindmapping) is to come up with ‘out of the box’ thinking and more.

You have a Goal.

  • How would explain your goal to a person without sight? Touch. Clearer explanations. Using a hand to draw.

  • A person who did not speak your native language? Better drawings. Perhaps almost like a comic book with unique panels unreeling.

  • A person who could only understand you if you sang your goal? You might discover more enthusiasm (higher notes?) for the more enjoyable and enthusiastic sections of a goal. And lower notes for the unenjoyable parts of your goal.

Crazy, huh? But as humans, we rely on an enormous number of patterns because routines and habits (patterns) allow us to function in our lives, families, societies, jobs, etc., Martial Arts also uses orderly well-constructed patterns in various Forms, Sets, Techniques and other methods. However, our opponent (or Enemy) may not fight in a pre-ordained manner fitting one of our learned patterns. Therefore, in Kenpo, we strive for ‘Spontaneous Formulation’ to respond to the stimuli (the attack) without preconceived patterns.

Kenpo Technique: “Attacking Mace” taught in Steps.

What is you constructed positive “steps” in your own technique to vanquish your own Enemies?

Are you aware and using your patterns positively as in workouts, walks, self-improvement, positive activity? Or are your patterns controlling you in smoking, poor eating habits, no plan for your ambitious goals, etc., ?

So, taking your goal and working through a new, unique and maybe uncomfortable pattern might give you new ideas about how to accomplish your goal or change your life. Looking at knowledge, material, ideas, concepts in a new and unique manner. Then making realizations about connectivity, leaps for solutions or arriving at better ideas too.

This is the essence of Brainstorming.

Be The Student, Be the Teacher

Named after the illustrious and influential Greek philosopher Socrates (470-399 BC) , the Socratic Method engages the student’s minds through constant and focused questioning. Isn’t that you, as the Student, in the above scenario? And aren’t you also your own Teacher?

I think that having a learning method - the Socratic Method - named after you is one the coolest mantles one could earn. Millions of students remember your name and your method.

Wikipedia defines this method: 

Socratic method (also known as method of elenchuselenctic method, or Socratic debate), named after the classical Greek philosopher Socrates, is a form of inquiry and discussion between individuals, based on asking and answering questions to stimulate critical thinking and to illuminate ideas. It is a dialectical method, often involving a discussion in which the defense of one point of view is questioned; one participant may lead another to contradict himself in some way, thus strengthening the inquirer's own point.

So, put these two hats on: Student and Teacher. Back and Forth. Yin and Yang. On and off. True and False. Right and Wrong. These sensibilities are indeed patterns and dualities without the subtleties of context and nuance, but a forced choice. The “Y” in the road has two choices and not any footpaths or tunnels. I read an article in Psychology Today about “Too Many Choices” which leads to Decision Paralysis. With so many options, one might take no action rather than be disappointed with any of the actions.

How will that accomplish your goal? It won’t.

Simplicity has its own enormous benefits in pursuing your goal when you give yourself fewer choices. I understand the “Decision Paralysis” because whenever I go to my favorite Mexican Restaurant, other people are ordering different seemingly exotic dishes. Me? I’m happy with my two beef crispy tacos with rice and beans every time. For me, making simpler choices makes me happy. So keep your plan simple.

As General George Patton once said, “A good plan executed violently now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.” Now, Patton was leading a battle so time was of the essence in his European Theater of Operations, but his intensity of action now versus waiting for perfection in there future applies to all of us. Time waits for nobody.

Talk to yourself as the Scholar Warrior in two modes. Sometimes as the Teacher. Sometimes as the Student.

Define the Terms: Opponent or An Enemy?

The age group in my class is about ten to thirteen years old.  The older ones are entering young adulthood.  They read headlines, seeing the news about crime, emergencies and man’s inhumanity to man.  Parents would like to shield their child from these outrages - but that’s not life.  I am trying to create a channel between childhood and young adulthood.   Their experiences have been primarily shaped by grade school and their parents' devoted - and even parental ‘helicoptering’ - attention.  That will change.  They are moving into high school with a more independent, highly socialized and mobile world.   Mobile meaning not just smart phones but the mobility of their own cars, friends, school, events and more.   They will drive, take the bus alone and soon be away at college. 

I want them to develop the mindset of the Warrior.  A point fight in the dojo is far different than a physical fight.  In the dojo, you are 'fighting' a fellow Kenpoist, trying to improve your technique and movement, but for points.  In a street fight, you have an antagonist who may seek to rob, rape, assault or murder you.  No, this is not a pleasant topic, but are we thinking adults here or not? This is dealing with reality.

They will not fight fair.  That’s one reason that I match up a much smaller kid with a bigger one.  No, it’s not fair.  Too bad.  And I tell them that.  

Do I really want them to embrace the friendly framework of a dojo sparring match in a truly dangerous situation?  

Not. A. Chance.  

Differentiate the Terms: Opponent vs. Enemy

If an antagonist comes at you in such a violent assaults, you must energize your entire Being into a martial framework.  The Japanese developed a ferocious warrior class system under their code of Bushido.  In many Japanese writings, the samurai swordsman is not to focus on anything but the fight.  Not even his own life or death.   This was a reality of survival in the Imperial Japanese Realm of the vicious sword fighting in 18th century Japan - but not without reason in 21st Century America of an Enemy with deadly intent or a knife or another weapon.

I stress to students to understand the difference between an Opponent and an Enemy. The skill I want students to acquire is to differentiate between the two polarities of Opponent vs. Enemy.  An Opponent is a practitioner in the dojo with whom I am working out to get better. We do not wish to harm each other - better to keep each other physically intact for an actual exchange. An opponent is a Kenpo comrade willingly engaged in the study of Kenpo or another martial art.   A comrade will suffer from your strengths and point out your weaknesses - so that, as individuals, we grow stronger together.   

An Enemy is an Enemy. Let’s not smooth talk this situation.   An Enemy seeks to do you physical harm - serious injury or death. Good human beings don’t want enemies.  We want to get along.  But that’s not always Life.  An enemy could be the burglar who threatens your family, the mugger, the bully or more, especially in an era of rising crime and defunding the police. A criminal is willing to use physical harm against you - serious injury or death.   This is not a movie, a video game nor a theory. It is survival.

Words Matter In Your Self-Teaching

In one test, a bright young (meaning anybody younger than me!) student, Nicky, was participating in a test night. My question to the group was: “What are the reasons to Ki-aye loudly?” A “Ki-aye” is a loud exhalation of breath accompanied by a controlled scream during a physical move such as a punch. The three reasons given were: 1. Fortify the body. 2. Call Attention to yourself. 3. Make the opponent scared.

Nicky brought up the last one #3. She is absolutely correct but in the ensuing discussion, I asked her if we might change the words on Reason #3. My suggested words were “Strike fear into the heart of the enemy.” Much more intense, visual, forceful, active, aggressive against the attack for me. I visualize a flaming sword striking right into the Enemy’s heart and watching their aggression whither away. This is my preference. You can figure out your preferences. But remember: Words are powerful, colorful, memorable and energetic so choose your words carefully.

I want students to realize that an Enemy may exist in the future - and that they have to be ready to save their lives or the life of a family member.  Parents particularly don’t want their darling child to consider that there are Enemies in the world.  It’s the natural parental instinct to shield them from a cruel world as long as possible.  But a dose of reality comes eventually.  I would advocate that it’s better to have the skill of identifying an Enemy and putting on the responsive hat than the delusion of avoiding this Identification.  The old saying is: “Better to know and not use, than not know and need.” The consequence of living in denial could be fatal to your child in the future but the parent must make clear their child’s moral choice. What degree of force is warranted? Do I take the risk of using less force and not surviving?

I teach the “How”. The “When” and “Where” is in the future. Learning the moral “Why” is the choice of the Individual.

In the dojo, I also tell them "I'm not your friend.  I don't want to be your friend.  I am your Teacher.  And I will not subordinate my DUTY to this dojo nor your parents.  That Duty is that - if an altercation occurs - then you will come home safe."  

Sorry, no emotional mollycoddling here.  Buck up. 

Identify Your Enemies

So what are your enemies?

  • Fear of Rejection?

  • Poor Lifestyle

  • Present Circumstances

  • Lack of Clear Thinking?

  • Procrastination

  • Bad Relationships

Identify your Enemies.

Notice that when you emotionally ‘declare’ an Enemy, then you are engaged to fight them. Freaked out about declaring an enemy? How about drug addiction, phone addiction, procrastination, drinking, smoking, fatty foods, toxic and abusive personalities and others? Are those merely…opponents? I don’t think so.

Embrace Your New Identity.

By becoming a Scholar Warrior, you create a sense of continuous learning and forward movement. You define your enemies and fight them with all your might. At the end of the day, you move the dial toward your true authentic goals which will enrich your Human Journey.

Join the Fight. It’s Yours to Win.

blog author image

Michael Mandaville

Michael is a writer, filmmaker and dedicated World War II historian who studies martial arts, action films and is learning more about VFX every single darn day. Oh and a Scholar Warrior

Back to Blog
Technique

Creating the Scholar Warrior Identity: Teach Yourself

October 30, 202311 min read

Teaching the Kid's Class from 12 to 1pm on Saturdays at the Kenpo dojo was in my personal dictionary under the word, "Joy."   I have studied Kenpo Karate for thirty-six years and am a 5th degree black belt and other martial arts for twenty years.

How does martial arts training translate to people working toward their Goals? I think that they should view themselves as Scholar Warriors. Scholar - learning, evolving, transforming, seeking knowledge and wisdom. Warrior - fighting for their goals, fighting their own inner demons and difficulties and more.

Scholar Warrior. That’s you. Put that hat on for a day and walk around telling yourself three mantras, using an example goal: Painting. In this case, your mantra would be:

“I am a Scholar Warrior.” (Umbrella Identity)

“I am (present tense!) achieving my goal of painting three times a week on Tuesday and Thursday nights at 7pm and Saturday at 4pm.” (Specific Goals with Times)

“I am a Painter.” (Extended Identity)

Write it down!

In this manner, you have an Umbrella identity under which you can put many identities. I use “Creative Explorer” as my umbrella identity with “Scholar Warrior” as an extension identity along with “Writer”, “Filmmaker”, “Parent”, etc.,

One great advantage in my interpretation of using a Scholar Warrior Identity is the duality of this Scholar (curiosity, disciplined learning, erudition) and the Warrior (ferocity, battle hardened, principled) which provides a starting point of determination, simplicity and reverence for my path.

New Thinking For New Directions

While I truly enjoy dealing with creative minds, collaboration and clarity in the film industry, I got so much from the teaching martial arts.

The Mission is to Help the Student.

Every time I teach, I am learning because teaching is not a one way street.  I teach young people and adults who learn in so many different modes - visual, audio, physical, playfully, seriously, musically, mathematically and more.  So I must explore new ways to explain and illustrate Kenpo which may not a natural method for me. When the Teacher adapts to the student and forces himself or herself to find and discover alternate teaching techniques, then the teacher learns and relearns their acquired knowledge in new neural pathways.

The very point of brainstorming (see Brainstorming the How: Mindmapping) is to come up with ‘out of the box’ thinking and more.

You have a Goal.

  • How would explain your goal to a person without sight? Touch. Clearer explanations. Using a hand to draw.

  • A person who did not speak your native language? Better drawings. Perhaps almost like a comic book with unique panels unreeling.

  • A person who could only understand you if you sang your goal? You might discover more enthusiasm (higher notes?) for the more enjoyable and enthusiastic sections of a goal. And lower notes for the unenjoyable parts of your goal.

Crazy, huh? But as humans, we rely on an enormous number of patterns because routines and habits (patterns) allow us to function in our lives, families, societies, jobs, etc., Martial Arts also uses orderly well-constructed patterns in various Forms, Sets, Techniques and other methods. However, our opponent (or Enemy) may not fight in a pre-ordained manner fitting one of our learned patterns. Therefore, in Kenpo, we strive for ‘Spontaneous Formulation’ to respond to the stimuli (the attack) without preconceived patterns.

Kenpo Technique: “Attacking Mace” taught in Steps.

What is you constructed positive “steps” in your own technique to vanquish your own Enemies?

Are you aware and using your patterns positively as in workouts, walks, self-improvement, positive activity? Or are your patterns controlling you in smoking, poor eating habits, no plan for your ambitious goals, etc., ?

So, taking your goal and working through a new, unique and maybe uncomfortable pattern might give you new ideas about how to accomplish your goal or change your life. Looking at knowledge, material, ideas, concepts in a new and unique manner. Then making realizations about connectivity, leaps for solutions or arriving at better ideas too.

This is the essence of Brainstorming.

Be The Student, Be the Teacher

Named after the illustrious and influential Greek philosopher Socrates (470-399 BC) , the Socratic Method engages the student’s minds through constant and focused questioning. Isn’t that you, as the Student, in the above scenario? And aren’t you also your own Teacher?

I think that having a learning method - the Socratic Method - named after you is one the coolest mantles one could earn. Millions of students remember your name and your method.

Wikipedia defines this method: 

Socratic method (also known as method of elenchuselenctic method, or Socratic debate), named after the classical Greek philosopher Socrates, is a form of inquiry and discussion between individuals, based on asking and answering questions to stimulate critical thinking and to illuminate ideas. It is a dialectical method, often involving a discussion in which the defense of one point of view is questioned; one participant may lead another to contradict himself in some way, thus strengthening the inquirer's own point.

So, put these two hats on: Student and Teacher. Back and Forth. Yin and Yang. On and off. True and False. Right and Wrong. These sensibilities are indeed patterns and dualities without the subtleties of context and nuance, but a forced choice. The “Y” in the road has two choices and not any footpaths or tunnels. I read an article in Psychology Today about “Too Many Choices” which leads to Decision Paralysis. With so many options, one might take no action rather than be disappointed with any of the actions.

How will that accomplish your goal? It won’t.

Simplicity has its own enormous benefits in pursuing your goal when you give yourself fewer choices. I understand the “Decision Paralysis” because whenever I go to my favorite Mexican Restaurant, other people are ordering different seemingly exotic dishes. Me? I’m happy with my two beef crispy tacos with rice and beans every time. For me, making simpler choices makes me happy. So keep your plan simple.

As General George Patton once said, “A good plan executed violently now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.” Now, Patton was leading a battle so time was of the essence in his European Theater of Operations, but his intensity of action now versus waiting for perfection in there future applies to all of us. Time waits for nobody.

Talk to yourself as the Scholar Warrior in two modes. Sometimes as the Teacher. Sometimes as the Student.

Define the Terms: Opponent or An Enemy?

The age group in my class is about ten to thirteen years old.  The older ones are entering young adulthood.  They read headlines, seeing the news about crime, emergencies and man’s inhumanity to man.  Parents would like to shield their child from these outrages - but that’s not life.  I am trying to create a channel between childhood and young adulthood.   Their experiences have been primarily shaped by grade school and their parents' devoted - and even parental ‘helicoptering’ - attention.  That will change.  They are moving into high school with a more independent, highly socialized and mobile world.   Mobile meaning not just smart phones but the mobility of their own cars, friends, school, events and more.   They will drive, take the bus alone and soon be away at college. 

I want them to develop the mindset of the Warrior.  A point fight in the dojo is far different than a physical fight.  In the dojo, you are 'fighting' a fellow Kenpoist, trying to improve your technique and movement, but for points.  In a street fight, you have an antagonist who may seek to rob, rape, assault or murder you.  No, this is not a pleasant topic, but are we thinking adults here or not? This is dealing with reality.

They will not fight fair.  That’s one reason that I match up a much smaller kid with a bigger one.  No, it’s not fair.  Too bad.  And I tell them that.  

Do I really want them to embrace the friendly framework of a dojo sparring match in a truly dangerous situation?  

Not. A. Chance.  

Differentiate the Terms: Opponent vs. Enemy

If an antagonist comes at you in such a violent assaults, you must energize your entire Being into a martial framework.  The Japanese developed a ferocious warrior class system under their code of Bushido.  In many Japanese writings, the samurai swordsman is not to focus on anything but the fight.  Not even his own life or death.   This was a reality of survival in the Imperial Japanese Realm of the vicious sword fighting in 18th century Japan - but not without reason in 21st Century America of an Enemy with deadly intent or a knife or another weapon.

I stress to students to understand the difference between an Opponent and an Enemy. The skill I want students to acquire is to differentiate between the two polarities of Opponent vs. Enemy.  An Opponent is a practitioner in the dojo with whom I am working out to get better. We do not wish to harm each other - better to keep each other physically intact for an actual exchange. An opponent is a Kenpo comrade willingly engaged in the study of Kenpo or another martial art.   A comrade will suffer from your strengths and point out your weaknesses - so that, as individuals, we grow stronger together.   

An Enemy is an Enemy. Let’s not smooth talk this situation.   An Enemy seeks to do you physical harm - serious injury or death. Good human beings don’t want enemies.  We want to get along.  But that’s not always Life.  An enemy could be the burglar who threatens your family, the mugger, the bully or more, especially in an era of rising crime and defunding the police. A criminal is willing to use physical harm against you - serious injury or death.   This is not a movie, a video game nor a theory. It is survival.

Words Matter In Your Self-Teaching

In one test, a bright young (meaning anybody younger than me!) student, Nicky, was participating in a test night. My question to the group was: “What are the reasons to Ki-aye loudly?” A “Ki-aye” is a loud exhalation of breath accompanied by a controlled scream during a physical move such as a punch. The three reasons given were: 1. Fortify the body. 2. Call Attention to yourself. 3. Make the opponent scared.

Nicky brought up the last one #3. She is absolutely correct but in the ensuing discussion, I asked her if we might change the words on Reason #3. My suggested words were “Strike fear into the heart of the enemy.” Much more intense, visual, forceful, active, aggressive against the attack for me. I visualize a flaming sword striking right into the Enemy’s heart and watching their aggression whither away. This is my preference. You can figure out your preferences. But remember: Words are powerful, colorful, memorable and energetic so choose your words carefully.

I want students to realize that an Enemy may exist in the future - and that they have to be ready to save their lives or the life of a family member.  Parents particularly don’t want their darling child to consider that there are Enemies in the world.  It’s the natural parental instinct to shield them from a cruel world as long as possible.  But a dose of reality comes eventually.  I would advocate that it’s better to have the skill of identifying an Enemy and putting on the responsive hat than the delusion of avoiding this Identification.  The old saying is: “Better to know and not use, than not know and need.” The consequence of living in denial could be fatal to your child in the future but the parent must make clear their child’s moral choice. What degree of force is warranted? Do I take the risk of using less force and not surviving?

I teach the “How”. The “When” and “Where” is in the future. Learning the moral “Why” is the choice of the Individual.

In the dojo, I also tell them "I'm not your friend.  I don't want to be your friend.  I am your Teacher.  And I will not subordinate my DUTY to this dojo nor your parents.  That Duty is that - if an altercation occurs - then you will come home safe."  

Sorry, no emotional mollycoddling here.  Buck up. 

Identify Your Enemies

So what are your enemies?

  • Fear of Rejection?

  • Poor Lifestyle

  • Present Circumstances

  • Lack of Clear Thinking?

  • Procrastination

  • Bad Relationships

Identify your Enemies.

Notice that when you emotionally ‘declare’ an Enemy, then you are engaged to fight them. Freaked out about declaring an enemy? How about drug addiction, phone addiction, procrastination, drinking, smoking, fatty foods, toxic and abusive personalities and others? Are those merely…opponents? I don’t think so.

Embrace Your New Identity.

By becoming a Scholar Warrior, you create a sense of continuous learning and forward movement. You define your enemies and fight them with all your might. At the end of the day, you move the dial toward your true authentic goals which will enrich your Human Journey.

Join the Fight. It’s Yours to Win.

blog author image

Michael Mandaville

Michael is a writer, filmmaker and dedicated World War II historian who studies martial arts, action films and is learning more about VFX every single darn day. Oh and a Scholar Warrior

Back to Blog
Technique

Creating the Scholar Warrior Identity: Teach Yourself

October 30, 202311 min read

Teaching the Kid's Class from 12 to 1pm on Saturdays at the Kenpo dojo was in my personal dictionary under the word, "Joy."   I have studied Kenpo Karate for thirty-six years and am a 5th degree black belt and other martial arts for twenty years.

How does martial arts training translate to people working toward their Goals? I think that they should view themselves as Scholar Warriors. Scholar - learning, evolving, transforming, seeking knowledge and wisdom. Warrior - fighting for their goals, fighting their own inner demons and difficulties and more.

Scholar Warrior. That’s you. Put that hat on for a day and walk around telling yourself three mantras, using an example goal: Painting. In this case, your mantra would be:

“I am a Scholar Warrior.” (Umbrella Identity)

“I am (present tense!) achieving my goal of painting three times a week on Tuesday and Thursday nights at 7pm and Saturday at 4pm.” (Specific Goals with Times)

“I am a Painter.” (Extended Identity)

Write it down!

In this manner, you have an Umbrella identity under which you can put many identities. I use “Creative Explorer” as my umbrella identity with “Scholar Warrior” as an extension identity along with “Writer”, “Filmmaker”, “Parent”, etc.,

One great advantage in my interpretation of using a Scholar Warrior Identity is the duality of this Scholar (curiosity, disciplined learning, erudition) and the Warrior (ferocity, battle hardened, principled) which provides a starting point of determination, simplicity and reverence for my path.

New Thinking For New Directions

While I truly enjoy dealing with creative minds, collaboration and clarity in the film industry, I got so much from the teaching martial arts.

The Mission is to Help the Student.

Every time I teach, I am learning because teaching is not a one way street.  I teach young people and adults who learn in so many different modes - visual, audio, physical, playfully, seriously, musically, mathematically and more.  So I must explore new ways to explain and illustrate Kenpo which may not a natural method for me. When the Teacher adapts to the student and forces himself or herself to find and discover alternate teaching techniques, then the teacher learns and relearns their acquired knowledge in new neural pathways.

The very point of brainstorming (see Brainstorming the How: Mindmapping) is to come up with ‘out of the box’ thinking and more.

You have a Goal.

  • How would explain your goal to a person without sight? Touch. Clearer explanations. Using a hand to draw.

  • A person who did not speak your native language? Better drawings. Perhaps almost like a comic book with unique panels unreeling.

  • A person who could only understand you if you sang your goal? You might discover more enthusiasm (higher notes?) for the more enjoyable and enthusiastic sections of a goal. And lower notes for the unenjoyable parts of your goal.

Crazy, huh? But as humans, we rely on an enormous number of patterns because routines and habits (patterns) allow us to function in our lives, families, societies, jobs, etc., Martial Arts also uses orderly well-constructed patterns in various Forms, Sets, Techniques and other methods. However, our opponent (or Enemy) may not fight in a pre-ordained manner fitting one of our learned patterns. Therefore, in Kenpo, we strive for ‘Spontaneous Formulation’ to respond to the stimuli (the attack) without preconceived patterns.

Kenpo Technique: “Attacking Mace” taught in Steps.

What is you constructed positive “steps” in your own technique to vanquish your own Enemies?

Are you aware and using your patterns positively as in workouts, walks, self-improvement, positive activity? Or are your patterns controlling you in smoking, poor eating habits, no plan for your ambitious goals, etc., ?

So, taking your goal and working through a new, unique and maybe uncomfortable pattern might give you new ideas about how to accomplish your goal or change your life. Looking at knowledge, material, ideas, concepts in a new and unique manner. Then making realizations about connectivity, leaps for solutions or arriving at better ideas too.

This is the essence of Brainstorming.

Be The Student, Be the Teacher

Named after the illustrious and influential Greek philosopher Socrates (470-399 BC) , the Socratic Method engages the student’s minds through constant and focused questioning. Isn’t that you, as the Student, in the above scenario? And aren’t you also your own Teacher?

I think that having a learning method - the Socratic Method - named after you is one the coolest mantles one could earn. Millions of students remember your name and your method.

Wikipedia defines this method: 

Socratic method (also known as method of elenchuselenctic method, or Socratic debate), named after the classical Greek philosopher Socrates, is a form of inquiry and discussion between individuals, based on asking and answering questions to stimulate critical thinking and to illuminate ideas. It is a dialectical method, often involving a discussion in which the defense of one point of view is questioned; one participant may lead another to contradict himself in some way, thus strengthening the inquirer's own point.

So, put these two hats on: Student and Teacher. Back and Forth. Yin and Yang. On and off. True and False. Right and Wrong. These sensibilities are indeed patterns and dualities without the subtleties of context and nuance, but a forced choice. The “Y” in the road has two choices and not any footpaths or tunnels. I read an article in Psychology Today about “Too Many Choices” which leads to Decision Paralysis. With so many options, one might take no action rather than be disappointed with any of the actions.

How will that accomplish your goal? It won’t.

Simplicity has its own enormous benefits in pursuing your goal when you give yourself fewer choices. I understand the “Decision Paralysis” because whenever I go to my favorite Mexican Restaurant, other people are ordering different seemingly exotic dishes. Me? I’m happy with my two beef crispy tacos with rice and beans every time. For me, making simpler choices makes me happy. So keep your plan simple.

As General George Patton once said, “A good plan executed violently now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.” Now, Patton was leading a battle so time was of the essence in his European Theater of Operations, but his intensity of action now versus waiting for perfection in there future applies to all of us. Time waits for nobody.

Talk to yourself as the Scholar Warrior in two modes. Sometimes as the Teacher. Sometimes as the Student.

Define the Terms: Opponent or An Enemy?

The age group in my class is about ten to thirteen years old.  The older ones are entering young adulthood.  They read headlines, seeing the news about crime, emergencies and man’s inhumanity to man.  Parents would like to shield their child from these outrages - but that’s not life.  I am trying to create a channel between childhood and young adulthood.   Their experiences have been primarily shaped by grade school and their parents' devoted - and even parental ‘helicoptering’ - attention.  That will change.  They are moving into high school with a more independent, highly socialized and mobile world.   Mobile meaning not just smart phones but the mobility of their own cars, friends, school, events and more.   They will drive, take the bus alone and soon be away at college. 

I want them to develop the mindset of the Warrior.  A point fight in the dojo is far different than a physical fight.  In the dojo, you are 'fighting' a fellow Kenpoist, trying to improve your technique and movement, but for points.  In a street fight, you have an antagonist who may seek to rob, rape, assault or murder you.  No, this is not a pleasant topic, but are we thinking adults here or not? This is dealing with reality.

They will not fight fair.  That’s one reason that I match up a much smaller kid with a bigger one.  No, it’s not fair.  Too bad.  And I tell them that.  

Do I really want them to embrace the friendly framework of a dojo sparring match in a truly dangerous situation?  

Not. A. Chance.  

Differentiate the Terms: Opponent vs. Enemy

If an antagonist comes at you in such a violent assaults, you must energize your entire Being into a martial framework.  The Japanese developed a ferocious warrior class system under their code of Bushido.  In many Japanese writings, the samurai swordsman is not to focus on anything but the fight.  Not even his own life or death.   This was a reality of survival in the Imperial Japanese Realm of the vicious sword fighting in 18th century Japan - but not without reason in 21st Century America of an Enemy with deadly intent or a knife or another weapon.

I stress to students to understand the difference between an Opponent and an Enemy. The skill I want students to acquire is to differentiate between the two polarities of Opponent vs. Enemy.  An Opponent is a practitioner in the dojo with whom I am working out to get better. We do not wish to harm each other - better to keep each other physically intact for an actual exchange. An opponent is a Kenpo comrade willingly engaged in the study of Kenpo or another martial art.   A comrade will suffer from your strengths and point out your weaknesses - so that, as individuals, we grow stronger together.   

An Enemy is an Enemy. Let’s not smooth talk this situation.   An Enemy seeks to do you physical harm - serious injury or death. Good human beings don’t want enemies.  We want to get along.  But that’s not always Life.  An enemy could be the burglar who threatens your family, the mugger, the bully or more, especially in an era of rising crime and defunding the police. A criminal is willing to use physical harm against you - serious injury or death.   This is not a movie, a video game nor a theory. It is survival.

Words Matter In Your Self-Teaching

In one test, a bright young (meaning anybody younger than me!) student, Nicky, was participating in a test night. My question to the group was: “What are the reasons to Ki-aye loudly?” A “Ki-aye” is a loud exhalation of breath accompanied by a controlled scream during a physical move such as a punch. The three reasons given were: 1. Fortify the body. 2. Call Attention to yourself. 3. Make the opponent scared.

Nicky brought up the last one #3. She is absolutely correct but in the ensuing discussion, I asked her if we might change the words on Reason #3. My suggested words were “Strike fear into the heart of the enemy.” Much more intense, visual, forceful, active, aggressive against the attack for me. I visualize a flaming sword striking right into the Enemy’s heart and watching their aggression whither away. This is my preference. You can figure out your preferences. But remember: Words are powerful, colorful, memorable and energetic so choose your words carefully.

I want students to realize that an Enemy may exist in the future - and that they have to be ready to save their lives or the life of a family member.  Parents particularly don’t want their darling child to consider that there are Enemies in the world.  It’s the natural parental instinct to shield them from a cruel world as long as possible.  But a dose of reality comes eventually.  I would advocate that it’s better to have the skill of identifying an Enemy and putting on the responsive hat than the delusion of avoiding this Identification.  The old saying is: “Better to know and not use, than not know and need.” The consequence of living in denial could be fatal to your child in the future but the parent must make clear their child’s moral choice. What degree of force is warranted? Do I take the risk of using less force and not surviving?

I teach the “How”. The “When” and “Where” is in the future. Learning the moral “Why” is the choice of the Individual.

In the dojo, I also tell them "I'm not your friend.  I don't want to be your friend.  I am your Teacher.  And I will not subordinate my DUTY to this dojo nor your parents.  That Duty is that - if an altercation occurs - then you will come home safe."  

Sorry, no emotional mollycoddling here.  Buck up. 

Identify Your Enemies

So what are your enemies?

  • Fear of Rejection?

  • Poor Lifestyle

  • Present Circumstances

  • Lack of Clear Thinking?

  • Procrastination

  • Bad Relationships

Identify your Enemies.

Notice that when you emotionally ‘declare’ an Enemy, then you are engaged to fight them. Freaked out about declaring an enemy? How about drug addiction, phone addiction, procrastination, drinking, smoking, fatty foods, toxic and abusive personalities and others? Are those merely…opponents? I don’t think so.

Embrace Your New Identity.

By becoming a Scholar Warrior, you create a sense of continuous learning and forward movement. You define your enemies and fight them with all your might. At the end of the day, you move the dial toward your true authentic goals which will enrich your Human Journey.

Join the Fight. It’s Yours to Win.

blog author image

Michael Mandaville

Michael is a writer, filmmaker and dedicated World War II historian who studies martial arts, action films and is learning more about VFX every single darn day. Oh and a Scholar Warrior

Back to Blog
Technique

Creating the Scholar Warrior Identity: Teach Yourself

October 30, 202311 min read

Teaching the Kid's Class from 12 to 1pm on Saturdays at the Kenpo dojo was in my personal dictionary under the word, "Joy."   I have studied Kenpo Karate for thirty-six years and am a 5th degree black belt and other martial arts for twenty years.

How does martial arts training translate to people working toward their Goals? I think that they should view themselves as Scholar Warriors. Scholar - learning, evolving, transforming, seeking knowledge and wisdom. Warrior - fighting for their goals, fighting their own inner demons and difficulties and more.

Scholar Warrior. That’s you. Put that hat on for a day and walk around telling yourself three mantras, using an example goal: Painting. In this case, your mantra would be:

“I am a Scholar Warrior.” (Umbrella Identity)

“I am (present tense!) achieving my goal of painting three times a week on Tuesday and Thursday nights at 7pm and Saturday at 4pm.” (Specific Goals with Times)

“I am a Painter.” (Extended Identity)

Write it down!

In this manner, you have an Umbrella identity under which you can put many identities. I use “Creative Explorer” as my umbrella identity with “Scholar Warrior” as an extension identity along with “Writer”, “Filmmaker”, “Parent”, etc.,

One great advantage in my interpretation of using a Scholar Warrior Identity is the duality of this Scholar (curiosity, disciplined learning, erudition) and the Warrior (ferocity, battle hardened, principled) which provides a starting point of determination, simplicity and reverence for my path.

New Thinking For New Directions

While I truly enjoy dealing with creative minds, collaboration and clarity in the film industry, I got so much from the teaching martial arts.

The Mission is to Help the Student.

Every time I teach, I am learning because teaching is not a one way street.  I teach young people and adults who learn in so many different modes - visual, audio, physical, playfully, seriously, musically, mathematically and more.  So I must explore new ways to explain and illustrate Kenpo which may not a natural method for me. When the Teacher adapts to the student and forces himself or herself to find and discover alternate teaching techniques, then the teacher learns and relearns their acquired knowledge in new neural pathways.

The very point of brainstorming (see Brainstorming the How: Mindmapping) is to come up with ‘out of the box’ thinking and more.

You have a Goal.

  • How would explain your goal to a person without sight? Touch. Clearer explanations. Using a hand to draw.

  • A person who did not speak your native language? Better drawings. Perhaps almost like a comic book with unique panels unreeling.

  • A person who could only understand you if you sang your goal? You might discover more enthusiasm (higher notes?) for the more enjoyable and enthusiastic sections of a goal. And lower notes for the unenjoyable parts of your goal.

Crazy, huh? But as humans, we rely on an enormous number of patterns because routines and habits (patterns) allow us to function in our lives, families, societies, jobs, etc., Martial Arts also uses orderly well-constructed patterns in various Forms, Sets, Techniques and other methods. However, our opponent (or Enemy) may not fight in a pre-ordained manner fitting one of our learned patterns. Therefore, in Kenpo, we strive for ‘Spontaneous Formulation’ to respond to the stimuli (the attack) without preconceived patterns.

Kenpo Technique: “Attacking Mace” taught in Steps.

What is you constructed positive “steps” in your own technique to vanquish your own Enemies?

Are you aware and using your patterns positively as in workouts, walks, self-improvement, positive activity? Or are your patterns controlling you in smoking, poor eating habits, no plan for your ambitious goals, etc., ?

So, taking your goal and working through a new, unique and maybe uncomfortable pattern might give you new ideas about how to accomplish your goal or change your life. Looking at knowledge, material, ideas, concepts in a new and unique manner. Then making realizations about connectivity, leaps for solutions or arriving at better ideas too.

This is the essence of Brainstorming.

Be The Student, Be the Teacher

Named after the illustrious and influential Greek philosopher Socrates (470-399 BC) , the Socratic Method engages the student’s minds through constant and focused questioning. Isn’t that you, as the Student, in the above scenario? And aren’t you also your own Teacher?

I think that having a learning method - the Socratic Method - named after you is one the coolest mantles one could earn. Millions of students remember your name and your method.

Wikipedia defines this method: 

Socratic method (also known as method of elenchuselenctic method, or Socratic debate), named after the classical Greek philosopher Socrates, is a form of inquiry and discussion between individuals, based on asking and answering questions to stimulate critical thinking and to illuminate ideas. It is a dialectical method, often involving a discussion in which the defense of one point of view is questioned; one participant may lead another to contradict himself in some way, thus strengthening the inquirer's own point.

So, put these two hats on: Student and Teacher. Back and Forth. Yin and Yang. On and off. True and False. Right and Wrong. These sensibilities are indeed patterns and dualities without the subtleties of context and nuance, but a forced choice. The “Y” in the road has two choices and not any footpaths or tunnels. I read an article in Psychology Today about “Too Many Choices” which leads to Decision Paralysis. With so many options, one might take no action rather than be disappointed with any of the actions.

How will that accomplish your goal? It won’t.

Simplicity has its own enormous benefits in pursuing your goal when you give yourself fewer choices. I understand the “Decision Paralysis” because whenever I go to my favorite Mexican Restaurant, other people are ordering different seemingly exotic dishes. Me? I’m happy with my two beef crispy tacos with rice and beans every time. For me, making simpler choices makes me happy. So keep your plan simple.

As General George Patton once said, “A good plan executed violently now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.” Now, Patton was leading a battle so time was of the essence in his European Theater of Operations, but his intensity of action now versus waiting for perfection in there future applies to all of us. Time waits for nobody.

Talk to yourself as the Scholar Warrior in two modes. Sometimes as the Teacher. Sometimes as the Student.

Define the Terms: Opponent or An Enemy?

The age group in my class is about ten to thirteen years old.  The older ones are entering young adulthood.  They read headlines, seeing the news about crime, emergencies and man’s inhumanity to man.  Parents would like to shield their child from these outrages - but that’s not life.  I am trying to create a channel between childhood and young adulthood.   Their experiences have been primarily shaped by grade school and their parents' devoted - and even parental ‘helicoptering’ - attention.  That will change.  They are moving into high school with a more independent, highly socialized and mobile world.   Mobile meaning not just smart phones but the mobility of their own cars, friends, school, events and more.   They will drive, take the bus alone and soon be away at college. 

I want them to develop the mindset of the Warrior.  A point fight in the dojo is far different than a physical fight.  In the dojo, you are 'fighting' a fellow Kenpoist, trying to improve your technique and movement, but for points.  In a street fight, you have an antagonist who may seek to rob, rape, assault or murder you.  No, this is not a pleasant topic, but are we thinking adults here or not? This is dealing with reality.

They will not fight fair.  That’s one reason that I match up a much smaller kid with a bigger one.  No, it’s not fair.  Too bad.  And I tell them that.  

Do I really want them to embrace the friendly framework of a dojo sparring match in a truly dangerous situation?  

Not. A. Chance.  

Differentiate the Terms: Opponent vs. Enemy

If an antagonist comes at you in such a violent assaults, you must energize your entire Being into a martial framework.  The Japanese developed a ferocious warrior class system under their code of Bushido.  In many Japanese writings, the samurai swordsman is not to focus on anything but the fight.  Not even his own life or death.   This was a reality of survival in the Imperial Japanese Realm of the vicious sword fighting in 18th century Japan - but not without reason in 21st Century America of an Enemy with deadly intent or a knife or another weapon.

I stress to students to understand the difference between an Opponent and an Enemy. The skill I want students to acquire is to differentiate between the two polarities of Opponent vs. Enemy.  An Opponent is a practitioner in the dojo with whom I am working out to get better. We do not wish to harm each other - better to keep each other physically intact for an actual exchange. An opponent is a Kenpo comrade willingly engaged in the study of Kenpo or another martial art.   A comrade will suffer from your strengths and point out your weaknesses - so that, as individuals, we grow stronger together.   

An Enemy is an Enemy. Let’s not smooth talk this situation.   An Enemy seeks to do you physical harm - serious injury or death. Good human beings don’t want enemies.  We want to get along.  But that’s not always Life.  An enemy could be the burglar who threatens your family, the mugger, the bully or more, especially in an era of rising crime and defunding the police. A criminal is willing to use physical harm against you - serious injury or death.   This is not a movie, a video game nor a theory. It is survival.

Words Matter In Your Self-Teaching

In one test, a bright young (meaning anybody younger than me!) student, Nicky, was participating in a test night. My question to the group was: “What are the reasons to Ki-aye loudly?” A “Ki-aye” is a loud exhalation of breath accompanied by a controlled scream during a physical move such as a punch. The three reasons given were: 1. Fortify the body. 2. Call Attention to yourself. 3. Make the opponent scared.

Nicky brought up the last one #3. She is absolutely correct but in the ensuing discussion, I asked her if we might change the words on Reason #3. My suggested words were “Strike fear into the heart of the enemy.” Much more intense, visual, forceful, active, aggressive against the attack for me. I visualize a flaming sword striking right into the Enemy’s heart and watching their aggression whither away. This is my preference. You can figure out your preferences. But remember: Words are powerful, colorful, memorable and energetic so choose your words carefully.

I want students to realize that an Enemy may exist in the future - and that they have to be ready to save their lives or the life of a family member.  Parents particularly don’t want their darling child to consider that there are Enemies in the world.  It’s the natural parental instinct to shield them from a cruel world as long as possible.  But a dose of reality comes eventually.  I would advocate that it’s better to have the skill of identifying an Enemy and putting on the responsive hat than the delusion of avoiding this Identification.  The old saying is: “Better to know and not use, than not know and need.” The consequence of living in denial could be fatal to your child in the future but the parent must make clear their child’s moral choice. What degree of force is warranted? Do I take the risk of using less force and not surviving?

I teach the “How”. The “When” and “Where” is in the future. Learning the moral “Why” is the choice of the Individual.

In the dojo, I also tell them "I'm not your friend.  I don't want to be your friend.  I am your Teacher.  And I will not subordinate my DUTY to this dojo nor your parents.  That Duty is that - if an altercation occurs - then you will come home safe."  

Sorry, no emotional mollycoddling here.  Buck up. 

Identify Your Enemies

So what are your enemies?

  • Fear of Rejection?

  • Poor Lifestyle

  • Present Circumstances

  • Lack of Clear Thinking?

  • Procrastination

  • Bad Relationships

Identify your Enemies.

Notice that when you emotionally ‘declare’ an Enemy, then you are engaged to fight them. Freaked out about declaring an enemy? How about drug addiction, phone addiction, procrastination, drinking, smoking, fatty foods, toxic and abusive personalities and others? Are those merely…opponents? I don’t think so.

Embrace Your New Identity.

By becoming a Scholar Warrior, you create a sense of continuous learning and forward movement. You define your enemies and fight them with all your might. At the end of the day, you move the dial toward your true authentic goals which will enrich your Human Journey.

Join the Fight. It’s Yours to Win.

blog author image

Michael Mandaville

Michael is a writer, filmmaker and dedicated World War II historian who studies martial arts, action films and is learning more about VFX every single darn day. Oh and a Scholar Warrior

Back to Blog
Technique

Creating the Scholar Warrior Identity: Teach Yourself

October 30, 202311 min read

Teaching the Kid's Class from 12 to 1pm on Saturdays at the Kenpo dojo was in my personal dictionary under the word, "Joy."   I have studied Kenpo Karate for thirty-six years and am a 5th degree black belt and other martial arts for twenty years.

How does martial arts training translate to people working toward their Goals? I think that they should view themselves as Scholar Warriors. Scholar - learning, evolving, transforming, seeking knowledge and wisdom. Warrior - fighting for their goals, fighting their own inner demons and difficulties and more.

Scholar Warrior. That’s you. Put that hat on for a day and walk around telling yourself three mantras, using an example goal: Painting. In this case, your mantra would be:

“I am a Scholar Warrior.” (Umbrella Identity)

“I am (present tense!) achieving my goal of painting three times a week on Tuesday and Thursday nights at 7pm and Saturday at 4pm.” (Specific Goals with Times)

“I am a Painter.” (Extended Identity)

Write it down!

In this manner, you have an Umbrella identity under which you can put many identities. I use “Creative Explorer” as my umbrella identity with “Scholar Warrior” as an extension identity along with “Writer”, “Filmmaker”, “Parent”, etc.,

One great advantage in my interpretation of using a Scholar Warrior Identity is the duality of this Scholar (curiosity, disciplined learning, erudition) and the Warrior (ferocity, battle hardened, principled) which provides a starting point of determination, simplicity and reverence for my path.

New Thinking For New Directions

While I truly enjoy dealing with creative minds, collaboration and clarity in the film industry, I got so much from the teaching martial arts.

The Mission is to Help the Student.

Every time I teach, I am learning because teaching is not a one way street.  I teach young people and adults who learn in so many different modes - visual, audio, physical, playfully, seriously, musically, mathematically and more.  So I must explore new ways to explain and illustrate Kenpo which may not a natural method for me. When the Teacher adapts to the student and forces himself or herself to find and discover alternate teaching techniques, then the teacher learns and relearns their acquired knowledge in new neural pathways.

The very point of brainstorming (see Brainstorming the How: Mindmapping) is to come up with ‘out of the box’ thinking and more.

You have a Goal.

  • How would explain your goal to a person without sight? Touch. Clearer explanations. Using a hand to draw.

  • A person who did not speak your native language? Better drawings. Perhaps almost like a comic book with unique panels unreeling.

  • A person who could only understand you if you sang your goal? You might discover more enthusiasm (higher notes?) for the more enjoyable and enthusiastic sections of a goal. And lower notes for the unenjoyable parts of your goal.

Crazy, huh? But as humans, we rely on an enormous number of patterns because routines and habits (patterns) allow us to function in our lives, families, societies, jobs, etc., Martial Arts also uses orderly well-constructed patterns in various Forms, Sets, Techniques and other methods. However, our opponent (or Enemy) may not fight in a pre-ordained manner fitting one of our learned patterns. Therefore, in Kenpo, we strive for ‘Spontaneous Formulation’ to respond to the stimuli (the attack) without preconceived patterns.

Kenpo Technique: “Attacking Mace” taught in Steps.

What is you constructed positive “steps” in your own technique to vanquish your own Enemies?

Are you aware and using your patterns positively as in workouts, walks, self-improvement, positive activity? Or are your patterns controlling you in smoking, poor eating habits, no plan for your ambitious goals, etc., ?

So, taking your goal and working through a new, unique and maybe uncomfortable pattern might give you new ideas about how to accomplish your goal or change your life. Looking at knowledge, material, ideas, concepts in a new and unique manner. Then making realizations about connectivity, leaps for solutions or arriving at better ideas too.

This is the essence of Brainstorming.

Be The Student, Be the Teacher

Named after the illustrious and influential Greek philosopher Socrates (470-399 BC) , the Socratic Method engages the student’s minds through constant and focused questioning. Isn’t that you, as the Student, in the above scenario? And aren’t you also your own Teacher?

I think that having a learning method - the Socratic Method - named after you is one the coolest mantles one could earn. Millions of students remember your name and your method.

Wikipedia defines this method: 

Socratic method (also known as method of elenchuselenctic method, or Socratic debate), named after the classical Greek philosopher Socrates, is a form of inquiry and discussion between individuals, based on asking and answering questions to stimulate critical thinking and to illuminate ideas. It is a dialectical method, often involving a discussion in which the defense of one point of view is questioned; one participant may lead another to contradict himself in some way, thus strengthening the inquirer's own point.

So, put these two hats on: Student and Teacher. Back and Forth. Yin and Yang. On and off. True and False. Right and Wrong. These sensibilities are indeed patterns and dualities without the subtleties of context and nuance, but a forced choice. The “Y” in the road has two choices and not any footpaths or tunnels. I read an article in Psychology Today about “Too Many Choices” which leads to Decision Paralysis. With so many options, one might take no action rather than be disappointed with any of the actions.

How will that accomplish your goal? It won’t.

Simplicity has its own enormous benefits in pursuing your goal when you give yourself fewer choices. I understand the “Decision Paralysis” because whenever I go to my favorite Mexican Restaurant, other people are ordering different seemingly exotic dishes. Me? I’m happy with my two beef crispy tacos with rice and beans every time. For me, making simpler choices makes me happy. So keep your plan simple.

As General George Patton once said, “A good plan executed violently now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.” Now, Patton was leading a battle so time was of the essence in his European Theater of Operations, but his intensity of action now versus waiting for perfection in there future applies to all of us. Time waits for nobody.

Talk to yourself as the Scholar Warrior in two modes. Sometimes as the Teacher. Sometimes as the Student.

Define the Terms: Opponent or An Enemy?

The age group in my class is about ten to thirteen years old.  The older ones are entering young adulthood.  They read headlines, seeing the news about crime, emergencies and man’s inhumanity to man.  Parents would like to shield their child from these outrages - but that’s not life.  I am trying to create a channel between childhood and young adulthood.   Their experiences have been primarily shaped by grade school and their parents' devoted - and even parental ‘helicoptering’ - attention.  That will change.  They are moving into high school with a more independent, highly socialized and mobile world.   Mobile meaning not just smart phones but the mobility of their own cars, friends, school, events and more.   They will drive, take the bus alone and soon be away at college. 

I want them to develop the mindset of the Warrior.  A point fight in the dojo is far different than a physical fight.  In the dojo, you are 'fighting' a fellow Kenpoist, trying to improve your technique and movement, but for points.  In a street fight, you have an antagonist who may seek to rob, rape, assault or murder you.  No, this is not a pleasant topic, but are we thinking adults here or not? This is dealing with reality.

They will not fight fair.  That’s one reason that I match up a much smaller kid with a bigger one.  No, it’s not fair.  Too bad.  And I tell them that.  

Do I really want them to embrace the friendly framework of a dojo sparring match in a truly dangerous situation?  

Not. A. Chance.  

Differentiate the Terms: Opponent vs. Enemy

If an antagonist comes at you in such a violent assaults, you must energize your entire Being into a martial framework.  The Japanese developed a ferocious warrior class system under their code of Bushido.  In many Japanese writings, the samurai swordsman is not to focus on anything but the fight.  Not even his own life or death.   This was a reality of survival in the Imperial Japanese Realm of the vicious sword fighting in 18th century Japan - but not without reason in 21st Century America of an Enemy with deadly intent or a knife or another weapon.

I stress to students to understand the difference between an Opponent and an Enemy. The skill I want students to acquire is to differentiate between the two polarities of Opponent vs. Enemy.  An Opponent is a practitioner in the dojo with whom I am working out to get better. We do not wish to harm each other - better to keep each other physically intact for an actual exchange. An opponent is a Kenpo comrade willingly engaged in the study of Kenpo or another martial art.   A comrade will suffer from your strengths and point out your weaknesses - so that, as individuals, we grow stronger together.   

An Enemy is an Enemy. Let’s not smooth talk this situation.   An Enemy seeks to do you physical harm - serious injury or death. Good human beings don’t want enemies.  We want to get along.  But that’s not always Life.  An enemy could be the burglar who threatens your family, the mugger, the bully or more, especially in an era of rising crime and defunding the police. A criminal is willing to use physical harm against you - serious injury or death.   This is not a movie, a video game nor a theory. It is survival.

Words Matter In Your Self-Teaching

In one test, a bright young (meaning anybody younger than me!) student, Nicky, was participating in a test night. My question to the group was: “What are the reasons to Ki-aye loudly?” A “Ki-aye” is a loud exhalation of breath accompanied by a controlled scream during a physical move such as a punch. The three reasons given were: 1. Fortify the body. 2. Call Attention to yourself. 3. Make the opponent scared.

Nicky brought up the last one #3. She is absolutely correct but in the ensuing discussion, I asked her if we might change the words on Reason #3. My suggested words were “Strike fear into the heart of the enemy.” Much more intense, visual, forceful, active, aggressive against the attack for me. I visualize a flaming sword striking right into the Enemy’s heart and watching their aggression whither away. This is my preference. You can figure out your preferences. But remember: Words are powerful, colorful, memorable and energetic so choose your words carefully.

I want students to realize that an Enemy may exist in the future - and that they have to be ready to save their lives or the life of a family member.  Parents particularly don’t want their darling child to consider that there are Enemies in the world.  It’s the natural parental instinct to shield them from a cruel world as long as possible.  But a dose of reality comes eventually.  I would advocate that it’s better to have the skill of identifying an Enemy and putting on the responsive hat than the delusion of avoiding this Identification.  The old saying is: “Better to know and not use, than not know and need.” The consequence of living in denial could be fatal to your child in the future but the parent must make clear their child’s moral choice. What degree of force is warranted? Do I take the risk of using less force and not surviving?

I teach the “How”. The “When” and “Where” is in the future. Learning the moral “Why” is the choice of the Individual.

In the dojo, I also tell them "I'm not your friend.  I don't want to be your friend.  I am your Teacher.  And I will not subordinate my DUTY to this dojo nor your parents.  That Duty is that - if an altercation occurs - then you will come home safe."  

Sorry, no emotional mollycoddling here.  Buck up. 

Identify Your Enemies

So what are your enemies?

  • Fear of Rejection?

  • Poor Lifestyle

  • Present Circumstances

  • Lack of Clear Thinking?

  • Procrastination

  • Bad Relationships

Identify your Enemies.

Notice that when you emotionally ‘declare’ an Enemy, then you are engaged to fight them. Freaked out about declaring an enemy? How about drug addiction, phone addiction, procrastination, drinking, smoking, fatty foods, toxic and abusive personalities and others? Are those merely…opponents? I don’t think so.

Embrace Your New Identity.

By becoming a Scholar Warrior, you create a sense of continuous learning and forward movement. You define your enemies and fight them with all your might. At the end of the day, you move the dial toward your true authentic goals which will enrich your Human Journey.

Join the Fight. It’s Yours to Win.

blog author image

Michael Mandaville

Michael is a writer, filmmaker and dedicated World War II historian who studies martial arts, action films and is learning more about VFX every single darn day. Oh and a Scholar Warrior

Back to Blog
Technique

Creating the Scholar Warrior Identity: Teach Yourself

October 30, 202311 min read

Teaching the Kid's Class from 12 to 1pm on Saturdays at the Kenpo dojo was in my personal dictionary under the word, "Joy."   I have studied Kenpo Karate for thirty-six years and am a 5th degree black belt and other martial arts for twenty years.

How does martial arts training translate to people working toward their Goals? I think that they should view themselves as Scholar Warriors. Scholar - learning, evolving, transforming, seeking knowledge and wisdom. Warrior - fighting for their goals, fighting their own inner demons and difficulties and more.

Scholar Warrior. That’s you. Put that hat on for a day and walk around telling yourself three mantras, using an example goal: Painting. In this case, your mantra would be:

“I am a Scholar Warrior.” (Umbrella Identity)

“I am (present tense!) achieving my goal of painting three times a week on Tuesday and Thursday nights at 7pm and Saturday at 4pm.” (Specific Goals with Times)

“I am a Painter.” (Extended Identity)

Write it down!

In this manner, you have an Umbrella identity under which you can put many identities. I use “Creative Explorer” as my umbrella identity with “Scholar Warrior” as an extension identity along with “Writer”, “Filmmaker”, “Parent”, etc.,

One great advantage in my interpretation of using a Scholar Warrior Identity is the duality of this Scholar (curiosity, disciplined learning, erudition) and the Warrior (ferocity, battle hardened, principled) which provides a starting point of determination, simplicity and reverence for my path.

New Thinking For New Directions

While I truly enjoy dealing with creative minds, collaboration and clarity in the film industry, I got so much from the teaching martial arts.

The Mission is to Help the Student.

Every time I teach, I am learning because teaching is not a one way street.  I teach young people and adults who learn in so many different modes - visual, audio, physical, playfully, seriously, musically, mathematically and more.  So I must explore new ways to explain and illustrate Kenpo which may not a natural method for me. When the Teacher adapts to the student and forces himself or herself to find and discover alternate teaching techniques, then the teacher learns and relearns their acquired knowledge in new neural pathways.

The very point of brainstorming (see Brainstorming the How: Mindmapping) is to come up with ‘out of the box’ thinking and more.

You have a Goal.

  • How would explain your goal to a person without sight? Touch. Clearer explanations. Using a hand to draw.

  • A person who did not speak your native language? Better drawings. Perhaps almost like a comic book with unique panels unreeling.

  • A person who could only understand you if you sang your goal? You might discover more enthusiasm (higher notes?) for the more enjoyable and enthusiastic sections of a goal. And lower notes for the unenjoyable parts of your goal.

Crazy, huh? But as humans, we rely on an enormous number of patterns because routines and habits (patterns) allow us to function in our lives, families, societies, jobs, etc., Martial Arts also uses orderly well-constructed patterns in various Forms, Sets, Techniques and other methods. However, our opponent (or Enemy) may not fight in a pre-ordained manner fitting one of our learned patterns. Therefore, in Kenpo, we strive for ‘Spontaneous Formulation’ to respond to the stimuli (the attack) without preconceived patterns.

Kenpo Technique: “Attacking Mace” taught in Steps.

What is you constructed positive “steps” in your own technique to vanquish your own Enemies?

Are you aware and using your patterns positively as in workouts, walks, self-improvement, positive activity? Or are your patterns controlling you in smoking, poor eating habits, no plan for your ambitious goals, etc., ?

So, taking your goal and working through a new, unique and maybe uncomfortable pattern might give you new ideas about how to accomplish your goal or change your life. Looking at knowledge, material, ideas, concepts in a new and unique manner. Then making realizations about connectivity, leaps for solutions or arriving at better ideas too.

This is the essence of Brainstorming.

Be The Student, Be the Teacher

Named after the illustrious and influential Greek philosopher Socrates (470-399 BC) , the Socratic Method engages the student’s minds through constant and focused questioning. Isn’t that you, as the Student, in the above scenario? And aren’t you also your own Teacher?

I think that having a learning method - the Socratic Method - named after you is one the coolest mantles one could earn. Millions of students remember your name and your method.

Wikipedia defines this method: 

Socratic method (also known as method of elenchuselenctic method, or Socratic debate), named after the classical Greek philosopher Socrates, is a form of inquiry and discussion between individuals, based on asking and answering questions to stimulate critical thinking and to illuminate ideas. It is a dialectical method, often involving a discussion in which the defense of one point of view is questioned; one participant may lead another to contradict himself in some way, thus strengthening the inquirer's own point.

So, put these two hats on: Student and Teacher. Back and Forth. Yin and Yang. On and off. True and False. Right and Wrong. These sensibilities are indeed patterns and dualities without the subtleties of context and nuance, but a forced choice. The “Y” in the road has two choices and not any footpaths or tunnels. I read an article in Psychology Today about “Too Many Choices” which leads to Decision Paralysis. With so many options, one might take no action rather than be disappointed with any of the actions.

How will that accomplish your goal? It won’t.

Simplicity has its own enormous benefits in pursuing your goal when you give yourself fewer choices. I understand the “Decision Paralysis” because whenever I go to my favorite Mexican Restaurant, other people are ordering different seemingly exotic dishes. Me? I’m happy with my two beef crispy tacos with rice and beans every time. For me, making simpler choices makes me happy. So keep your plan simple.

As General George Patton once said, “A good plan executed violently now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.” Now, Patton was leading a battle so time was of the essence in his European Theater of Operations, but his intensity of action now versus waiting for perfection in there future applies to all of us. Time waits for nobody.

Talk to yourself as the Scholar Warrior in two modes. Sometimes as the Teacher. Sometimes as the Student.

Define the Terms: Opponent or An Enemy?

The age group in my class is about ten to thirteen years old.  The older ones are entering young adulthood.  They read headlines, seeing the news about crime, emergencies and man’s inhumanity to man.  Parents would like to shield their child from these outrages - but that’s not life.  I am trying to create a channel between childhood and young adulthood.   Their experiences have been primarily shaped by grade school and their parents' devoted - and even parental ‘helicoptering’ - attention.  That will change.  They are moving into high school with a more independent, highly socialized and mobile world.   Mobile meaning not just smart phones but the mobility of their own cars, friends, school, events and more.   They will drive, take the bus alone and soon be away at college. 

I want them to develop the mindset of the Warrior.  A point fight in the dojo is far different than a physical fight.  In the dojo, you are 'fighting' a fellow Kenpoist, trying to improve your technique and movement, but for points.  In a street fight, you have an antagonist who may seek to rob, rape, assault or murder you.  No, this is not a pleasant topic, but are we thinking adults here or not? This is dealing with reality.

They will not fight fair.  That’s one reason that I match up a much smaller kid with a bigger one.  No, it’s not fair.  Too bad.  And I tell them that.  

Do I really want them to embrace the friendly framework of a dojo sparring match in a truly dangerous situation?  

Not. A. Chance.  

Differentiate the Terms: Opponent vs. Enemy

If an antagonist comes at you in such a violent assaults, you must energize your entire Being into a martial framework.  The Japanese developed a ferocious warrior class system under their code of Bushido.  In many Japanese writings, the samurai swordsman is not to focus on anything but the fight.  Not even his own life or death.   This was a reality of survival in the Imperial Japanese Realm of the vicious sword fighting in 18th century Japan - but not without reason in 21st Century America of an Enemy with deadly intent or a knife or another weapon.

I stress to students to understand the difference between an Opponent and an Enemy. The skill I want students to acquire is to differentiate between the two polarities of Opponent vs. Enemy.  An Opponent is a practitioner in the dojo with whom I am working out to get better. We do not wish to harm each other - better to keep each other physically intact for an actual exchange. An opponent is a Kenpo comrade willingly engaged in the study of Kenpo or another martial art.   A comrade will suffer from your strengths and point out your weaknesses - so that, as individuals, we grow stronger together.   

An Enemy is an Enemy. Let’s not smooth talk this situation.   An Enemy seeks to do you physical harm - serious injury or death. Good human beings don’t want enemies.  We want to get along.  But that’s not always Life.  An enemy could be the burglar who threatens your family, the mugger, the bully or more, especially in an era of rising crime and defunding the police. A criminal is willing to use physical harm against you - serious injury or death.   This is not a movie, a video game nor a theory. It is survival.

Words Matter In Your Self-Teaching

In one test, a bright young (meaning anybody younger than me!) student, Nicky, was participating in a test night. My question to the group was: “What are the reasons to Ki-aye loudly?” A “Ki-aye” is a loud exhalation of breath accompanied by a controlled scream during a physical move such as a punch. The three reasons given were: 1. Fortify the body. 2. Call Attention to yourself. 3. Make the opponent scared.

Nicky brought up the last one #3. She is absolutely correct but in the ensuing discussion, I asked her if we might change the words on Reason #3. My suggested words were “Strike fear into the heart of the enemy.” Much more intense, visual, forceful, active, aggressive against the attack for me. I visualize a flaming sword striking right into the Enemy’s heart and watching their aggression whither away. This is my preference. You can figure out your preferences. But remember: Words are powerful, colorful, memorable and energetic so choose your words carefully.

I want students to realize that an Enemy may exist in the future - and that they have to be ready to save their lives or the life of a family member.  Parents particularly don’t want their darling child to consider that there are Enemies in the world.  It’s the natural parental instinct to shield them from a cruel world as long as possible.  But a dose of reality comes eventually.  I would advocate that it’s better to have the skill of identifying an Enemy and putting on the responsive hat than the delusion of avoiding this Identification.  The old saying is: “Better to know and not use, than not know and need.” The consequence of living in denial could be fatal to your child in the future but the parent must make clear their child’s moral choice. What degree of force is warranted? Do I take the risk of using less force and not surviving?

I teach the “How”. The “When” and “Where” is in the future. Learning the moral “Why” is the choice of the Individual.

In the dojo, I also tell them "I'm not your friend.  I don't want to be your friend.  I am your Teacher.  And I will not subordinate my DUTY to this dojo nor your parents.  That Duty is that - if an altercation occurs - then you will come home safe."  

Sorry, no emotional mollycoddling here.  Buck up. 

Identify Your Enemies

So what are your enemies?

  • Fear of Rejection?

  • Poor Lifestyle

  • Present Circumstances

  • Lack of Clear Thinking?

  • Procrastination

  • Bad Relationships

Identify your Enemies.

Notice that when you emotionally ‘declare’ an Enemy, then you are engaged to fight them. Freaked out about declaring an enemy? How about drug addiction, phone addiction, procrastination, drinking, smoking, fatty foods, toxic and abusive personalities and others? Are those merely…opponents? I don’t think so.

Embrace Your New Identity.

By becoming a Scholar Warrior, you create a sense of continuous learning and forward movement. You define your enemies and fight them with all your might. At the end of the day, you move the dial toward your true authentic goals which will enrich your Human Journey.

Join the Fight. It’s Yours to Win.

blog author image

Michael Mandaville

Michael is a writer, filmmaker and dedicated World War II historian who studies martial arts, action films and is learning more about VFX every single darn day. Oh and a Scholar Warrior

Back to Blog

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SCHOLAR WARRIOR WAY - COURSES

Scholar Warrior Way

Take Action to Transform Yourself

By taking the Scholar Warrior Way Course, you will get Michael's program for Self-Improvement in his pursuit of Creative Excellence in Writing, Filmmaking, Martial arts and his other pursuits from his major curious outlook. Here are the 7 Steps that he uses....

  • Powerful Why - the Key to Enthusiasm and Fulfillment

  • Scholar Warrior Identity - Embracing the new Mentality - now!

  • Your Morning Routine - Starting the day Right.

  • Brainstorming Your How - Strategy thinking and tactics

  • Create Your Own Systems - Become efficient with predictable results

  • Building Transforming Habits - Habit creates Destiny

  • The Art of Sleep - Long ignored but a necessary health break.

Levels 1, 2 and 3 - Detailing and add more videos, wisdom, resources and Learning Materials for your Growth and Self-Improvement.

FAQS

What is The Purpose of the "ScholarWarriorWay" ?

By engaging in the mental perspective of the Scholar Warrior, you embrace two aspects of your life: The Scholar with a constant focus on self-development and self-improvement. The Warrior whereby you learn techniques about courage, action and derring-do to achieve your true authentic goals for a fulfilled life.

How much does Scholar Warrior Way cost?

The cost of could be absolutely no money if you just want to get on our newsletter to read the various articles on the website. If you want to take the courses on various levels, then you might spend $200-300 per year. Think of it this way: If you could improve yourself 100-200-300-1000-3600% in a single year, then how much is it worth? The price of two meals and drinks at a restaurant that you'll never remember? Make a better life choice.

How do I know I work with the ScholarWarriorWay?

ScholarWarriorWay is broken down into 7 Major Strategies. You can pick one and work on it for a few weeks, then add another strategies. They start with the Powerful Why and end with the Art of Sleep.