Blog Archive

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


Cliff Byerly, BTS's lead MIL/LEO trainer, got me thinking about this (again).

The word warrior gets thrown around a lot. It's used for people who actually go fight wars. It's also sometimes used for people who fight in cages, rings, or on mats. Sometimes it's used for people who run long races, or races with a lot of mud involved, or long races with a lot of mud involved. Occasionally, it is used for people who are dealing with financial struggles or other hardships of life.

I have mixed feelings about all of this. The English teacher/writer/editor part of my brain recognizes that language evolves and changes, and that the way people use words is something outside of our control. (This is why I always look askance at people who complain about dictionaries "changing the definition of words", for the record. Dictionaries don't change the meaning, they record the change that was already made.)

So, if, as a culture, we've decided to turn the word warrior into shorthand for "person who persevered through a difficult time", I guess that's what we've done.

But I really dislike it. For a couple of reasons.

One, I think it cheapens the word. Warriors engage in warfare, and that is a scary and impressive thing. In the United States, it's more impressive to me because it's a voluntary profession. Our warriors choose to become warriors. You can agree or disagree with the politics, or the people who start the wars, but the ones who sign on the dotted line to go fight? They deserve some serious respect for that choice.

But on the flip side (and this is the other reason it bugs me): being a warrior is not the only noble profession in life. I have never been a warrior (choices of youth, somewhat regretted). I have been a teacher, a coach, a student, and a bunch of other things besides. I have been privileged not only to know some real warriors, but some amazing people in a number of other professions.

Trying to make everyone into a warrior not only cheapens the word warrior, it cheapens everything else. A great fighter is a great fighter. Not a warrior, but a fighter. Doesn't make him (or her) any less tough, it just means they do a different job. A great teacher is not a warrior either, but it hardly makes them less important.

Society relies on all professions to keep it going. We should be impressed by all of them, not trying to steal titles from each other.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

CrossFit Is Like Reverse Fight Club...

There's a joke that CrossFit is like reverse fight club: the first rule of CrossFit is that you ALWAYS talk about CrossFit.

There is a corollary to this is, which is that if you don't like CrossFit, you ALWAYS talk about how much you hate CrossFit.

While both behaviors can be irritating, I'll give the CrossFit lovers this: at least they're talking about something positive. Yes, you may want them to shut up already, but at least they are trying to add something positive to the world. The haters are adding nothing.

I wonder what it is about our society (or the Internet) that causes people to want to spend their free time crapping on other people's activities. Seriously. Of all the things you can think of to do with your free time, you want to use it talking about why other people suck? Why not make a positive contribution to the world instead?

You think CrossFit is a terrible fitness program? Fine. Share the one you think is better. 

This applies for a lot of things, not just CrossFit. You don't like a particular martial art? Great. Share one you think is better. You don't like a particular diet? Great. Share one you think is better. 

Add something useful to the world, not just more negative drivel. 

Alternatively, just get off the keyboard and go train. Stop worrying about what other people are doing with their time, because in the end, it doesn't affect you anyway.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Upcoming Events

Got a couple of things coming up, for those local to me.

The Martial Arts of Thailand

On September 14th, I'm participating in an event called The Martial Arts of Thailand. A full day of training in Muay Thai, with some sessions on Muay Boran and Krabi Krabong in the mix. Should be a fantastic event.

Date:Sunday September 14th  
Time: Registration @9:00 AM 
Start time 9:30 - 4:00 PM

Just Train, North Kingstown R.I. 02852

The intention of this event is to celebrate the martial arts of Thailand and hang out with other like minded martial artists. No "my school/your school" crap. Just a loooong day of training, good people and a good time.
Whether you're a fighter or a martial artist you will leave this event with more than you can handle so bring a notebook and a pen.

Topics will include:
•Expanding Your Clinch Game
•Troubleshooting Your Kicks-More Speed More Power
•Muay Boran Making concrete and steel your friend
(outside in parking lot)
•How to Close the Gap and Land Your Combos
•Krabi Krabong Weapons Work
•Working The Teep-Feints, Set Ups and Follow Ups
•Expanding Your Clinch Game
•Combos to Set Up Takedowns
•And Much, Much More..

Details and registration here

Introductory Self-Defense Seminar
On September 20th, I'm doing an introductory PDR/SPEAR Seminar at Integrated Martial Arts/
CrossFit Prototype in Westborough, MA. The seminar is free, but we are asking for a 10-15 dollar donation.Space is limited, so we're asking folks to register by phone or email.

What: The culmination of over twenty years of research into the realities of confrontation and violent assault, the Personal Defense Readiness program is widely acknowledged as being on the cutting edge of personal safety training. This class will flow from mind-set, to contact, to confrontation, using the PDR’s unique Three D's model: Detect, Defuse, Defend. Using our Non-Violent Postures™ you will learn how to identify pre-contact cues, position for interception, and convert the startle-flinch using the world's first behaviorally based self-defense method - the S.P.E.A.R. System™.
This course will not interfere with any prior training and can be used to augment your personal toolbox. It is course is open to students of all levels ages thirteen and up. Students should wear comfortable clothing that they can move and exercise in.

Please RSVP By email or Phone: