Archive for articles

Talking Does Not Cook The Rice

Posted in Martial Arts and Training, Strategy and Psychology with tags , , on April 24, 2012 by ctkwingchun

Just finished perusing another martial arts magazine.  Unfortunately, I’ve come to a sad conclusion after it all: I didn’t learn anything about anything.

There seems to be little point in contributing to written works and here on the blog.

When the only thing that works in the real world is real world experience, I wonder what words can hope to achieve – because talking about it doesn’t actually cook the rice.  We need pour it in and boil it up.  Read: do the work.

Therefore, upon unsatisfactorily getting my fill, I have redefined my writing goals.  A strong reminder of why I do what I do: I want to help you free your mind.


Time: An expanding Labyrinth by Sati S.

Posted in Quotes and Articles, Strategy and Psychology with tags , on January 3, 2012 by His Dark Side

Instead of considering time as a straight arrow (as suggested by the dynamic explanation for entropy), it may be more useful to think of it as an evolving network of possibilities—that is, an expanding labyrinth of diverging world lines.

This concept of time as a labyrinth was suggested in fiction as early as the 1940s in Jorge Luis Borges’ classic short story “The Garden of Forking Paths.”  The tale conveys time as a book with a non-linear narrative, in which all possibilities are realised – every potential outcome that can occur, does occur.

From the perspective of one of his characters, Borges insightfully refers to this concept of time as an alternative to the absolute time of Newton:

“The explanation is obvious. . . [the story] is an incomplete, but not false, image of the universe as Ts’ui Pen conceived it. In contrast to Newton and Schopenhauer, your ancestor did not believe in a uniform, absolute time. He believed in an infinite series of times, in a growing, dizzying net of divergent, convergent and parallel times. This network of times, which approached one another, forked, broke off, or were unaware of one another for centuries, embraces all possibilities of time. We do not exist in the majority of these times; in some you exist, and not I; in others I, and not you; in others, both of us. In the present one, which a favourable fate has granted me, you have arrived at my house; in another, while crossing the garden, you found me dead; in still another, I utter these same words, but I am a mistake, a ghost.’’   

–   Dr Stephen Albert describes the mystery of Ts’ui Pen’s book to Ts’ui Pen’s descendent, Dr Tsun in The Garden of Forking Paths (1941), by Jorge Luis Borges (godfather of magical realism) 

“I thought of a labyrinth of labyrinths, of one sinuous spreading labyrinth that would encompass the past and the future and in some way involve the stars. Absorbed in illusory images, I forgot my destiny of one pursued. I felt myself to be, for an unknown period of time, an abstract perceiver of the world.” – Jorge Luis Borges 

read about Jorge Luis Borges here

On Good and Evil

Posted in Quotes and Articles, Strategy and Psychology with tags , , , , on December 22, 2011 by His Dark Side

“…. It was only when I lay there on rotting prison straw that I sensed within myself the first stirrings of good. Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either, but right through every human heart, and through all human hearts. This line shifts. Inside us, it oscillates with the years. Even within hearts overwhelmed by evil, one small bridgehead of good is retained; and even in the best of all hearts, there remains a small corner of evil.

…. If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”

Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn (11 December 1918 – 3 August 2008) 

The Truth About Violence

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on November 9, 2011 by His Dark Side

Release Your Demons (by Becky E)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on October 8, 2011 by His Dark Side

“One of my biggest struggles with learning the art of Wing Chun is getting in touch with my anger. When it comes to the skills we are learning the point is to be able to, as a woman, stay safe and have some tools to defend ourselves. Getting in touch with that rage is going to come in really handy when some jerk is approaching with less than honorable intentions.”

‘Does Self Defense Work?’ by Geoff Thompson (Part 4/4)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on November 16, 2010 by ctkwingchun

In conclusion

Be honest about your ability and your standard. If you are not as good, or as fit, or as tempered or as experienced as you should be, make the investment and place yourself before teachers of proven experience. Either that or be honest with yourself and your students about your ability, your knowledge and your lineage. There is great freedom in brevity. It doesn’t matter if a technique or an art (or an exponent for that mater) might not work in the street, who really cares at the end of the day, as long as you stipulate that in your manifesto. There is nothing nicer than doing ‘art’ simply for arts sake. If you kid yourself that you are better able than you actually are it might get you killed. When a live situation places your belief under scrutiny and you can’t make your martial art work at the most vital time, it might get your wife or your family killed.

Be honest with yourself about what a real attack actually is: it is terrifying and violent, it is explosive, it is unpredictable, it is savage and it does not abide by any rules. Often it follows you home or it turns up at your place of work and gets really personal. If you underestimate it, real violence can shatter you. Too many people in the martial arts grossly underestimate it. I speak to folk all the time who have stayed so long is safe systems that they have sanitised reality, they have stripped away all the limb-trembling uncertainty and the depressive terror that a real fight brings, and they teach defence techniques like dance moves, as though applying them for real is a walk in the park.  A walk in the park it is not.

If you are teaching it as a self defence you have an obligation, an obligation, to qualify the potency of everything you sell as self defence, because someone’s life may one day rely on it.

Train in martial art and love what you do, partake in the sport, it is a great pastime and a solid discipline, but above all esle ‘know’ what you do, know its weaknesses and know its strengths, understand where it is lacking and fill the gaps. All you need to do here is be brutally frank with yourself and with your art. This is the age of CCTV, we have all seen numerous real street encounter on film, or outside the pub. Be honest: how would your art and you ability fit into those scenarios?

I watched a ferocious gang fight in a pub when I was fifteen years old and a purple belt in karate and I knew, I just innately knew that my art, my ability and my preparation at that time would not survive an encounter like that. It simply would not fit into it. And because I could be honest with myself I was able to change the way I trained. I still practiced traditional martial art because I loved what it gave me, I still dabbled in the sport (even though I was not very good at it) because it offered challenge, but I separated the self defence element, I isolated it, placed it in its own box and practised it as a different art.

And self defence definitely is a different art.

Once you are able to strip the wheat from the chaff and master the physical elements of self defence things get really exciting, then you can start to look at bigger game, the art of fighting without fighting, where you dissolve threat at the level of thought….

But that is another article for another day.



For your FREE 200 page best selling eBook – Watch My Back by Geoff Thompson –  worth £10 follow the link;


Your Cup

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on August 28, 2010 by His Dark Side

The Japanese master Nan-in gave audience to a professor of philosophy. Serving tea, Nan-in filled his visitor’s cup, and kept pouring. The professor watched the overflow until he could restrain himself no longer: “Stop! The cup is over full, no more will go in.” Nan-in said: “Like this cup, you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup.

The ‘Emptying your cup’ parable suggests that one should keep an open mind, or at the very least one that is uncluttered. Opinions and beliefs should be replaced by a willingness to learn. I’ve often found that those needing the greatest help are the ones who promote themselves as having some special knowledge.  I recognize this fault in myself.

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