Four Lies and One Martial Arts Fact

The meme works as follows. You post five things about yourself. Four are untrue. One is true. All are so outlandish, implausible or ridiculous that no one would be inclined to believe that any of them are true. And despite the pleas from your readers, you never divulge which is true and which are fabrications. You then tag five other people (four seriously and one person you are pretty sure would never participate).

1. I once challenged more than twenty members of a rival Kung Fu school. Continue reading Four Lies and One Martial Arts Fact

Our Top Martial Arts Blogs – The Year in Review

As recently voted by Martial Development readers…

Most Popular Posts

Totally Nude Tai Chi: A DVD Review With Pictures
After writing this, I learned that Tai Chi is just one disc in an extensive nude martial arts DVD series. Other titles include Judo, Kendo, Karate, and Changquan. I kid you not!

Five Questions With a Nei Kung Expert
My thanks to the Mo-Pai disciples who collaborated with me on publishing this interview.

Top Commenters
Thomas Tan
Rick Matz, Cook Ding’s Kitchen
Bob Patterson, Striking Thoughts
Richard C. Bauer, Dim Mak researcher
“Thunderbird”
“Kungfuguy”, a.k.a. “Cobra-Kai”
“Skeeva”

Me, Chi and Bruce Lee

I have randomly selected one commenter to receive a free gift. Continue reading Our Top Martial Arts Blogs – The Year in Review

The Zen Habits of Master Hsuan Hua

What is Zen?

Zen Buddhism is a way and a view of life which does not belong to any of the formal categories of modern Western thought. It is not a religion or a philosophy; it is not a psychology or a type of science. It is an example of what is known in India and China as a “way of liberation,” and is similar in this respect to Taoism, Vedanta, and Yoga. A way of liberation can have no positive definition. It has to be suggested by saying what it is not, somewhat as a sculptor reveals an image by the act of removing pieces of stone from a block.
– Alan Watts, The Way of Zen

If Zen has no positive definition, then everything is Zen. And if everything is Zen, then naturally every blog is Zen too. Right?

Actually, this argument is a perfect illustration of New Age rhetorical misdirection. While one can say that everything is Zen in its transcendent sense, such a statement cannot serve as the premise for an immanent logical conclusion. In other words: Zen proves nothing, by definition.

Applying transcendent or non-dual definitions to conventional worldly contexts is a popular tactic amongst false gurus. Continue reading The Zen Habits of Master Hsuan Hua

Blogging From a Birmingham Jail

Martin Luther King, Jr.

You speak of our activity in Birmingham as extreme. At first I was rather disappointed that fellow clergymen would see my nonviolent efforts as those of an extremist. I began thinking about the fact that I stand in the middle of two opposing forces in the Negro community. One is a force of complacency, made up in part of Negroes who, as a result of long years of oppression, are so drained of self-respect and a sense of “somebodiness” that they have adjusted to segregation; and in part of a few middle class Negroes who, because of a degree of academic and economic security and because in some ways they profit by segregation, have become insensitive to the problems of the masses. The other force is one of bitterness and hatred, and it comes perilously close to advocating violence.

I have tried to stand between these two forces, saying that we need emulate neither the “do-nothingism” of the complacent nor the hatred and despair of the black nationalist. For there is the more excellent way of love and nonviolent protest. I am grateful to God that, through the influence of the Negro church, the way of nonviolence became an integral part of our struggle. If this philosophy had not emerged, by now many streets of the South would, I am convinced, be flowing with blood.

Oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever. The yearning for freedom eventually manifests itself, and that is what has happened to the American Negro. Something within has reminded him of his birthright of freedom, and something without has reminded him that it can be gained.

If his repressed emotions are not released in nonviolent ways, they will seek expression through violence; this is not a threat but a fact of history. So I have not said to my people: “Get rid of your discontent.” Rather, I have tried to say that this normal and healthy discontent can be channeled into the creative outlet of nonviolent direct action. And now this approach is being termed extremist.

But though I was initially disappointed at being categorized as an extremist, as I continued to think about the matter I gradually gained a measure of satisfaction from the label. Was not Jesus an extremist for love: “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” Was not Amos an extremist for justice: “Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” Was not Paul an extremist for the Christian gospel: “I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.” Was not Martin Luther an extremist: “Here I stand; I cannot do otherwise, so help me God.” And John Bunyan: “I will stay in jail to the end of my days before I make a butchery of my conscience.” And Abraham Lincoln: “This nation cannot survive half slave and half free.” And Thomas Jefferson: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal …”

So the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be.

In his Letter From a Birmingham Jail, Martin Luther King Jr. posed a question to bloggers great and small.

Your blog confers a measure of authority, influence, and social capital. How do you choose to spend it? Continue reading Blogging From a Birmingham Jail

Martial Development – Fun Facts About The Author

Reader and contributor Rick Matz tagged me to participate in the 7 things pyramid scheme writing project.

The rules:

  • Link to the person who tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
  • Share 7 random or weird things about yourself.
  • Tag 7 random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.
  • Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Here we go… Continue reading Martial Development – Fun Facts About The Author

Personal Development Out The Wazoo

A few weeks ago, Priscilla Palmer graciously included me on her list of top personal development bloggers, and invited me to contribute a few more entries.  In her words, “This list should include any blog you feel can benefit us in our growth process.”

I’ll take this opportunity to mention some of the articles I’ve read and enjoyed over the past few months:

With respect to all the other members, the complete personal development list is far too long to repost here; if you read all that stuff, you won’t have any time left to practice martial arts!  Here is the subset that most clearly relates to topics we discuss here at Martial Development: Continue reading Personal Development Out The Wazoo

Raving Lunatics of the Twenty-First Century

Based Upon a True Story
Imagine yourself walking through a busy outdoor mall, surrounded by hundreds of shoppers and tourists. Casually perusing the fresh produce and handicrafts, you are suddenly confronted with a disturbing spectacle.


(Photo Credit: Gina Fish)

An unkempt, fifty-something man stands alone in the middle of the boardwalk, carrying on a loud and emotional conversation with nobody in particular. Interspersing pointless vignettes on politics, culture and yesterday’s supper with violent and unpredictable gestures, he manages to draw the attention of a small crowd. They watch and listen from a safe distance. Continue reading Raving Lunatics of the Twenty-First Century

Read More, Write Less: The Key to Blogging Growth

Though you might infer otherwise from the proliferation of high-priced self-improvement seminars, personal growth is basically a simple equation. If you eat more than you excrete, then you grow. Eat less, and you shrink.

Not all growth is positive, of course. If you can’t metabolize what you eat, then you will grow bloated and sick, not strong and healthy. So the desired equation is slightly more complicated: personal growth requires both digestion, and nutritious food to digest.

This rule applies to the physical body, and equally so to the work of a blogger. Continue reading Read More, Write Less: The Key to Blogging Growth

My Experiment with Intention-Manifestation Theory

I was delighted to stumble across the Intention-Manifestation Theory of reality a few months ago. As I understood this theory, the key to achieving success in the spheres of business, dating and health is to intend it.

Fortune smiled upon me that day. Intention-Manifestation Theory seemed the greatest labor-saving discovery since the cotton gin, and I was sorely in need of its utility. Since starting my website last year, I had been overwhelmed by article ideas, but never had enough time to fully develop, transcribe and publish them.

I decided to employ the theory straight away. Continue reading My Experiment with Intention-Manifestation Theory