Being Both Others- and Self-trained

All true martial artists are both others- and self-trained.

We’re all on a “training continuum,” finding ourselves somewhere between one end, where we’re totally mechanical, and the other, where we’re fluidly creative. To become fluidly creative, we must begin in ignorance (first innocence) and move through all the many paradigms of growth.

During the first five to ten years of training, we’re largely the product of the direct input of others. In the latter years (10–40+), we’re far more self-taught (through deep introspection and experimentation, and through our pursuits of mindfulness, genuineness, selflessness, and whole-heartedness in our devotion to practicing everything we do in life); but we’re others-taught too, albeit less directly, through our cogent observations of them. Yes, while we’re engaged increasingly in significant self-training during these seasons, it’s amazing how much other people still influence us.

When you’re young, you may have just one or two teachers. When you’re old, everyone and everything has become your teacher. Writing from the latter perspective (as an "older" trainee), it's really cool to have so many teachers. Those who train with me have probably never thought of themselves as my teachers. But they are—every last one of them. And I'm so very grateful to have their influence in my life.

Here’s a list of a few “successful” martial arts folks to study (in terms of their learning and training processes): Muhammad Ali(1, and see youtube clip below), Bruce Lee, Dan Gable, Frank Shamrock(2), Chuck Norris, and Miyamoto Musashi.

God’s peace to you on your journeys...

Muhammad Ali Clip


  1. Muhammad Ali is my all-time favorite martial artist. In my opinion, he's perhaps the greatest boxer the world has ever seen. Bruce Lee found himself keenly drawn to the man as well as to his strategies and evolutionary processes as a fighter.

  2. Frank Shamrock is my MMA Grandpa. Coach Daniels, my former MMA coach, trained with Frank in the Lion's Den before coming out to the east coast some fifteen+ years ago. In terms of versatility as a fighter, no one rivals Frank—in my opinion, of course.


My new book, Experiments in Prayer: Monastic Practice in Ordinary Life, is now available on Amazon in Paperback and Kindle/eBook formats.

Click here to access my Amazon book page.

100% of all author royalties are, most gratefully, donated in equal parts to Christ the King Church and Zoweh Ministries.


A Note to All My Blog and Social Media Friends and Followers:

I've made it a point, over the last decade, to accept friend and follower requests from any who ask. I think I've "defriended" only three or four people in the last ten years and did so only because they posted inappropriate material to one of my walls or timelines. Thankfully, it's been several years since anyone committed such a breech of etiquette.

I write all this to indicate I have many "friends" and "followers," whom I do not know personally (yet!). Lately, I've been getting countless (sometimes more than 200 a day) messages from people I don't know. Please know this: I speak a brief word of blessing over each person who sends me a message, but I can respond directly to only a few each day. If I did not discipline my activities in this way, I could, conceivably, spend my entire day every day responding to such messages.

By disciplining myself to the above social media activity-limitation plan, I in no way want to belittle or disrespect anyone or hurt anyone's feelings. My hope and prayer is that, even if I don’t respond to your message directly, you will know I cherish you and pray you'll experience God's love and grace personally and deeply. Experiencing God is the highest Good anyone could ever experience. May each of you experience such Good through your pursuits of Divine Union with Jesus Christ, the Eternal Living God.

As always, may the Lord bless you and keep you…


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