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The Twelve Principles of Temple Martial Arts Training

  1. Train constantly, recognizing that training is not so much something you do as it is something that flows in and through everything you do.

  2. Be present with yourself, those around you, and your assailant/s (threat/s or opponent/s). Assume your assailant means either to end your life (and the lives of those around you) or cause you (and those around you) great harm. Assume, too, that he's heavily armed with multiple weapons (a knife, a pistol, fists, feet, knees, etc.) and that he intends to use all of them if necessary. But don't go for his weapons—go for his mind. Look for the holes (the openings in his personhood), disrupt his "diseased" plans, and short-circuit his cognitive abilities to regroup and improvise. This is all about being present, paying attention to what's happening in the moment, and not fixating on any one thing (like, say, his left-handed grab [while he's thrusting an unseen knife into your side]).

  3. Be mindful of your surroundings, and use your environment to your advantage. If you've (unfortunately) placed yourself in a dangerous situation, recognize that you've placed yourself there, and take responsibility for it.

  4. Learn first to move healthily; then, to move often. When under attack, don't stand still—move!

  5. Simplify, eliminate the non-essentials, and eradicate extraneous and counter-productive movements.

  6. Relax, with focused and visualized intent.

  7. Intercept your opponent's attack.

  8. Systematize your responses with impulsive, whip-like, wave movements ("Spaghetti Man/Woman").

  9. Be target-centric in your responses, seek to create first-injury, and then stack your responses right on top of each other until you (and those around you) can escape to safety.

  10. Go hard, fight dirty, be nasty even....but strive for greater and greater humaneness in your responses.

  11. Winning (or submitting/tapping/destroying your assailant) is not the aim; not being there is. As I wrote above, if you've (unfortunately) placed yourself in a dangerous situation, recognize that you've placed yourself there, and take responsibility for it. If you can't avoid being there, deescalating the situation is the aim. If you can't fully deescalate the situation, escaping is the aim. If you can't escape (without first disabling the threat), disabling the threat and then escaping is the aim.

  12. Pray for yourself, your assailant, and any victims of said assailant.


IKIGAI Weekly Blog Schedule (per The Training Trinity):

Mondays: Meditative Prayer

Wednesdays: Holistic Discipline

Fridays: Martial Arts Practice​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​


The Life You Were Born to Live

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