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Blade Philosophies

Dealing With Authority Figures With Big EGOs

Hello My Readers!

If at some point you are experiencing the following: confusion, cognitive dissonance, and anything in between that’s uncomfortable to you (or worse), you may need to read further into this article.

What I’m about to offer you is not book knowledge, but personal observations and how was it dealt with. I hope that this advice finds you well.

This is especially very prevalent in the Corporate setting, where such places are more conducive to envy than anywhere else. You may have graduated from College with flying colors with thousands of talents. Regardless, chances are high that you end up working for a boss that after several years of service, turns out to be an unexpected (or expected, perspective-wise) personality.

After you were able to give your most brilliant ideas and put them to good action. You were able to connect to a thousand more customers, and your revenue increases threefold resulting in a potentially good year and a good life. But then you find out the next day that you are in line for termination of your employment.

Perhaps in class, you were able to explain or break down the Theory of Relativity to your Physics professor but you discovered that you can no longer enter his class until the next Semester.

Why?

We are about to enter into a different realm of human nature. This may surprise you.

Perhaps your boss is an old, single but miserable woman, and there you are at work, smiling too much, greeting your co-workers a little too much everyday.

Perhaps your CEO is short, balding, fat and ugly. Yet you look sharp, tall, muscular and you’re also wearing a wristwatch as expensive as your salary.

Perhaps you are driving your Lamborghini again for the seventh time in front of your supervisor’s home, knowing that he only drives that old hand-me-down truck.

Perhaps you have exposed yourself too much.

That’s one of the few hints that I can give you anyway. Then you can figure out the rest.

Understand: We all have insecurities. Some of us are good at compartmentalizing and hiding it even, but others not so much. Such people would rather display it overtly by throwing tantrums, lectures, guilt trips, and as far as committing murder. They just could not get the fact that some people are greater than they are in some aspects in life. Some of my friends try to contest this by saying that “it’s not entirely true”, but unfortunately the world is what it is, not as it should be.

In order to emphasize its importance, I think it is worth to repeat: We all have insecurities no matter how much we alleviate it. There is nothing we can do.

However, you can always downplay your achievements. You can always mute your colors. You can always disguise your brilliance. and finally, you can always make others around you feel good by elevating them above you.

Paradoxically, upon discovering how much value you can offer to them, they gravitate towards you.

You should discover this by yourself.

Peace, and much love.

 

 

Blade Philosophies, Training and Improvement

How to Find a Good Dōjō

My Dear Readers,

If you have come across this blog post hoping to find any hints of hate against McDojos of any kind (or any Bullshido-related material for that matter), you will most likely end up getting disappointed. McDojos deserve a place in a different blog post category if you ask me.

First, you need to keep some of these questions in mind:

1. What are your goals?

Are you planning of being capable to deal awesome damage to other people in a short time, say 3 months (consequences notwithstanding)?

Do you intend to impress a girl (or a boy, or your parents, or a donkey) that you occasionally see on gym class?

Are you willing to submit yourself to months and years of sweat, drudgery and effort to gain all knowledge that interests you?

Do you intend to improve your overall character as an individual?

Are you open to learning an entirely foreign culture while learning a martial art?

Introspection is key. If you think you have found answers to your questions that sound like the ones I have mentioned above, then feel free to explore the choices that will begin to open up to you.

2. What are your expectations in a teacher?

Some teachers are extremely well-versed and technically skilled in their own craft, yet they have no clue at dealing with people or running a business.

Some teachers are also extremely well-versed and technically skilled in their own craft, yet work alongside you and is well intent on improving you and your skills.

Some teachers will work with you only if you pay them (bluntly put).

Some teachers will work with you not only if you pay them, but if you’re good looking too — and (s)he will be all over you. Believe me, this happens a lot.

Use your best judgment. This is usually intertwined with your goals, short or long-term. But keep in mind that a unique bond between student and teacher is paramount. This is what you are after.

3. How committed are you?

In my opinion, commitment should be the given the most amount of consideration when looking for a Dojo. Even if you have money to burn for your equipment purchase and membership fees, pursuing an Art with regret after weeks of practice implies serious integrity issues on your part.

This is a perfect opportunity to ask yourself whether you can establish a connection with you teacher or otherwise. This is why good Dojos offer potential students first-time trial sessions. Consider yourself fortunate if they do offer your first month of introductory sessions for free.

4. How much resource do you have?

Money. Although not necessarily applicable to everything, this is needed at least to maintain a Dojo’s upkeep. But if you are committed, interested, and have already made a decision in your head, this should be less of a problem if you keep your affairs and budget in order.

However: If your potential teacher tells you up front that you must be kept under a contract for quite a long time — longer than you expected and before you even started, this should raise a huge red flag. They’re only after your money. When in doubt, how about you take a morning walk for a week, to give you enough time to think about it. No decent teacher should pressure you into parting with your hard-earned savings before you fully understand what you are about to spend it on.

Time. How much time are you willing to spend on learning a new craft? Are you only available until you win a competition? Or are you fully prepared to take this new road a journey for a lifetime?

Location. Sometimes it matters. Driving 2 hours on your way to the Dojo can be quite exhausting. But it also offers lots of opportunities to train your patience and resilience. After all, you are training in a Martial Art that is supposed to take your training, mostly outside of your Dojo.

On the other hand, if you live five minutes away from your Dojo, you will be at risk of making your mind grow soft and mushy just like a couch potato.

You decide.

5. How strong is your support system?

A burning sense of enthusiasm. Burning so bright that nobody is supposed to stop from doing what you like. Until your spouse, parent or friends tell you otherwise. Probably because they can’t live without you during short-term pleasures and the partying at night before your Session.

Conclusion:

In the end, it is your responsibility to choose what lies before you. Either to uncover your own potential, or an easy path to your ruin. I hope that the factors I offered you above can help you choose which you think is best for you. Have a happy journey.

Cheers, and spread the love.

Blade Philosophies

How To Accept Your Weirdness

It all happened to us at some point of our lives. At home when you play with your favorite paper dolls while your neighborhood kids play with guns and swords — and they treat you differently just because you don’t play with guns and swords, or call you “gay” just because you play with paper dolls.

It also happens at school where you are called “weird” when you dye your hair red and yellow, or wearing that oversized spectacles in class, or speaking with a lisp. Or when you choose to sit down reading your favorite book while most of your friends are out there hanging out in the sun playing soccer.

It also happens at work, especially if you are shamed because your junk food-eating co-workers saw you eating carrot sticks. Or a more common case is that you end up getting ridiculed in your office just because you don’t drink alcohol, while they take pride in being drunk every weekend or even if there’s work the next day.

… and countless experiences amongst others.

And after years of such experience, this is what people usually do:

They stop whatever it is that they love to do.
They start looking for approval from their parents, spouse, teachers, and friends whether it’s about choosing a career, what clothes to wear, and what-not.
As a result, they stop being themselves altogether.

All of them are terrible mistakes!

Here’s why:

You must understand:

That all of us are born unique. We have a different set of “genetics”, talents and character traits that was never produced before, and will never be produced again in the future.

That currently, we are socially conditioned to do this and that to get good grades or get promoted at work. We do this and that in order to please our girlfriends. We pay attention to trends and news in our society even if it offers little relevance. We focus on feeding ourselves with tons of Facebook likes. We make fun of other people’s faces or belittle others maybe because, this is a quick fix to make ourselves feel better. We join clubs and organizations just because your crush is an active participant. We seek external and immediate pleasures, and the easier it is to get, the better. Perhaps because it seems easier to ‘go with the flow’, and while in it, we find it extremely hard to get out!

It is your job then, to break free from that cycle. And that alone, requires insight, as well as the ability to accept your own weirdness.

How? I offer your three courses of action:

1. Know yourself.
You begin by looking back at your eight-year-old version of yourself. Remember the time that your mother or teacher asked you what would you want to be when you grow up? Try to remember what your answer was and how that little smile formed on your face. If you remembered that you answered with confidence, I think that is a good start. Even if your job is way much different than what you wanted to be during that time. That feeling of empowerment no matter how small, should offer you a sense of motivation. But don’t get too excited just yet.

2. Keep yourself grounded in Reality.
It simply means that you can’t keep your head above the clouds all the time. You can’t live your life thinking that all you get is unicorns and rainbows. Neither does it mean that you keep a list of expectations as “what” and “how” the world should be. It is better to see the world “as-is”, rather than ticking that internal checklist of yours on how the world “should” be. For example, while walking down the street, you see a parked motorcycle. “That is a motorcycle, not some machine that will grow a beard and run over you and your grandmother”. “You see a school kid across the street. He’s just a kid standing there and he’s not going to throw rocks at you.” You know what I mean.

On another note, be careful of other people that spout words like “reality” this, and “reality” that; they often turn out to be their own alternate versions that will only work in their favor. I’ll talk about this on another blog post.

3. Get Over the Fear of Offending Others
This should be self-explanatory. But if further explanation is needed, one of the things you need to realize is this: You are your own property. Nobody owns you but yourself. Not your girlfriend, not your spouse, but yourself. You are the only one responsible for your own feelings. It means, you can’t blame others for your own actions and consequences. You can’t ruin your day just because that ant over the corner of your house needs to go out, but just couldn’t get it.

Practically speaking, once you get a feel for technique (1) above, you now have a sense of direction. That whatever friends, teachers, or others say about you would mean nothing. One major reason is that, by this time you know what want, and you want that bad, and will do whatever it takes to get it. Sounds cliché but it really isn’t.

Conclusion
The points above are by no means cookie-cutter techniques. They are by no means “baby food” that we are meant to digest in a few seconds. In the end, it takes a lifetime of practice, self-realization, which is worthy for us to enjoy the therapeutic effect they offer.

Cheers, and spread the love.

Regular Adventures

Meaning of The Sakura

To most people, the Hanami is a once-a-year event that happens every April. As of this year, the cherry blossoms were at their full bloom on the first weekend (Year 2017).

To be honest, I am not the type of person who goes out of the house just to go sight-seeing without significant meaning. I prefer that most, if not all of my walks should provide value into my life.

One of the most significant meanings that I can connect with the Sakura is “a new beginning”. This is perhaps why the Japanese schools usually start in this time of year.

These cherry blossoms only show their real beauty for one week at maximum. This is why people are so excited to see them especially after the long winter months. During this time, you can hang out with your friends, sing Karaoke if you like, and cherish the great moments you have together. Even if you won’t make it in time to see the cherry blossoms in full bloom, you can always walk along the cherry path together with the petals blowing softly in the wind, or the earth glittered with pink petals. Looks romantic if you ask me.

Next time if you find yourself in Japan though, you can always go to the nearest park where you can see the Cherry blossom in full bloom. I happened to wander and took this featured photo in this location: Mitsuike Park (Japanese)

Cheers, and spread the love.

Training and Improvement

The Tengu Geta

I am always intrigued by weird objects. The Tengu Geta is one of those. At first, I found it awkward to wear that I couldn’t last riding on it for three seconds! But eventually I have made it a bit longer. Long enough for me to take a trip to the grocery store and back.

How? When I bought my first pair, the storekeeper simply told me that it’s just like being on top of a pair of roller blades.

Yes, I kind of understood what he wanted to say. But heck, I don’t even “roller blade”.

The Tengu Geta is used by Japanese students days before an examination, which is believed to bring good luck upon the wearer, as well as dancers, sportspeople and martial artists alike who choose to improve their training and technique.

Also, this weird sandals play a great role in improving your posture, attention to surroundings, and boost your self-confidence. Don’t take my word for it, try this by yourselves, in order to appreciate what it feels like to ride on top of a pair.

It costs about 10,000 Japanese Yen, which is in my humble opinion, a good investment for every serious swordsman.