SIMPLE THINGS versus CRITICAL ELEMENTS
(it's all perspective)
                                      By MAAJAK

There are things in life which seem simple and straight forward. But with closer inspection it is often found that even the "simple things" have their devilish details.
Knife fighting and the tactics of edged weapon usage are often over simplified for the sake of broader understanding. I suggest avoiding these myriad simple ways.
That level of knife play is what might be called "instinctual" and it requires no special training. A murderous intent, a sharp blade .. it doesn't take much.
But in order to get it, to fully understand the intricate world of the knife fighter you MUST pay attention to the details. The essence of the knife is not seen in the cut or thrust per se, but rather in the subtle movements that are unnoticed and mostly unseen.
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There are those would tell you that these little details are not of any importance. They lie. They wish their limitations to be yours. You must deny them and look beyond such limiting philosophy. If you truly seek the truth, you shall eventually see that I am on target with this advice I am giving you. It is not MY WAY, but it is a way of logic and intelligence. It is logic, physics, science and intellect that guide the "in-tune" knifeman, not personal bias or cult like opinions. Too much of todays knife training is based upon the teachers interpretation of it. Basically add-on bullshit to squeeze another dime out of the public's wallet. Knife combatives have taken a downturn in the last two years due to the glut of teachers, experts and schools.
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Rather than seeing a general level of improvement, the knife fighting glut has occurred and the overall quality of the entire mess has fallen dramatically. People who possess no knowledge of the knife are now "teachers' and are espousing some very bad stuff as if it were the "way". Violence has replaced skill, group insanity has become the norm, just look at some forums or attend some seminars. They reek of madness, cults of death all. I can tell you something true if you are stuck in your training & thinking patterns - there is a better way - but you are going to have to grow in order to make it yours ! Time to expand and have some fun.
You (and our entire industry) are ready for the next stage of development.
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For too long have martial arts been technically oriented. The physical body mechanics are touted as being the apex of accomplishment. But in all honesty, it is the
timing(s) that are the real secrets behind succcessful knife usage. The control of distance and the addition of tactical ruses complete the scene. It is often these things which practioners tend to ignore. Instead they focus upon stupid shit like how hard they can whack a non-moving target. For example, a hanging piece of meat. Ugh ... weak. They explain that the knife "really cuts" to those gawking fools that just clued in to the part about "knives really cut". Durrrrr! Like I need someone to point this out.
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The meat whackers all distain any attempts to reveal the true secrets of knife play. They want your attention upon their "show" and their lazy man's version of how the knife is used. Their distain and denial of such crucial aspects of real knife skill demonstrate the surprising lack of common sense that real, well trained knifemen so highly prize. Of which path now wither thou goest O' scholar? Your feet tread now upon the crossroads eh ? Dare you you aspire to greater things or shall past self-limiting programming continue to win out? False loyalities and false premises have always lead fools to early graves. Does the gravepit await ye brave slicer? or... ?
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To set your feet upon another path takes courage. It also requires a re-investment in yourself. The proverbial "turning over a new leaf' so to speak. Re-dedication !
At some point the survival necessities which drove any of us to seek out knife skill will have been met. Now, ... now that you are convinced of your deadliness and ability to survive that which life throws in your face, can't you just ease off on the whole intense subject somewhat? Mission accomplished in most cases! So now amigos you must learn to enjoy life some. That is when real ability starts to appear. Consider: The lion cub learns his hunting and killing abilities via play with his mates initially. It is within the safe, relaxed atmosphere of the den and the pack which the real skills are formed. Then the new skills go afield when ready.
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When you are more at ease you learn better. If you are enjoying what you do, having fun, you learn even easier ! When having fun, those things which seem unattainable can be toyed with, fumbled and dropped - no harm done ! No lives at stake, no ego involved. This light play soon adds up. Then magically, through experimentation and light hearted spirit those elements of knifeplay that were beyond your reach (physically or intellectually) are suddenly available. The critical details automatically surface in your conciousness and can be addressed in your relaxed, but intensified training - you are ready for them to appear, you have finally allowed it, they were always there. Hence the difference between tribal arts and martial arts is apparent once again. It's in the approach. Are ya following me lads? Are ya think'in with yer dipstick Jimmy? Let's hope so anyway  ...
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The same situation has befallen the state of KUNG FU training. The populace have been sold an inaccurate image of this magnificent art and so many long standing msiconceptions still abound about it. Kung Fu once reknown for it's fighting prowess, it's meta-physical connectivity and it's spiritual foundations has been reduced in the west to "Chinese kick-boxing". Any references to any of the lesser known levels of Kung Fu (beyond that cursed kickbox level) are prime for ridicule. MMA has nearly crushed the life out of real KUNG FU.
And what a shame it truly is my friends. I weep in frustrated fury at what has became
of one of the great loves of my life (Kung Fu).
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The tsunami that has became MMA has swept away mind and body of a generation. While being an athletic, technically brilliant combative sport it falls way short of being a life enhancing, life saving, health maintaining combative methodology that true Kung Fu offers to one. The higher levels (many levels) of fa jing, the internal powers of the ancients, real secrets of longevity and more are rapidly being lost. To teach them or even speak of them in today's gone mad martial environment is tantamount to being branded a phony or worse. I teach such stuff behind closed doors and to special students only.
Yes, I fear misunderstanding and ridicule
just as the other guy does.
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I have learned not to display my personal beliefs or the controversial sides of my training. Life is easier that way. Why do I speak out now ? I speak out now because we are losing vital ground to commercialism, anger, blood lust and outright short sighted stupidity. Whether knife or Kung Fu, the circumstances are the same. Erosion and corrosion from the bad tribe (in yer face) are eating the good things (the hidden gems) slowly away, including our most precious gem, our civil rights ! Turning the good things into shit is their game. Destroyers all.
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Each one of us represents the whole of the cutlery industry, each one of us represents the entire martial arts scene --- it is important to put our best foot forward at every chance we get. To offer an image, a professional standard that we are proud to be judged by. To co-exist with others in advanced thought, live and let live, do business and prosper via the ancient paths of the blade and hand. Do not let slip those precious things that our fathers well battled to possess. I bid you friend, gaze far, look higher before we all lose things we love ...
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Begin the secret process of rebirth and inner growth, renew, renew. Regain the wonder, mystery and respect for life which these true arts teach. Therein lies deadly ability, thereupon a man has confidence, therefore a good life is led. The circle is complete for us, not as '"warriors" but as what we are, men - mankind. The simple and the complex, forever it is thus. Now build upon this if you can.
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Stay positive, go forward, enjoy life, fight if you must, but only if you must.
Try enhancing & bettering your world as your next project.
It's time to really grow or to fall far below ! Man up Bunky !
It's all about you and your choices ! It's all about tomorrow !