Sunday, November 29, 2009

The "Buzz" and Some Insights

Hey Gang~

I'm sitting here listening to some Dishwalla, thinking about my life, my past, my new career directions and just reflecting on the day.

It's been a good day. Krav class in the morning was good. We worked on some clinching and talked about negotiation and de-escalation tactics and how it relates to Universal Values.

After class wrapped up I went to another great seminar taught by Buzz Smith. Chuck Pippin from Innovative Martial Arts brought Buzz in to teach this all day seminar.

Buzz taught with great thoughtfulness, insight, and respect. I've grown to admire those qualities in him. He always shares his unique perspective and art openly with the skill and care of a true artisan. He explains the concepts in a way that everyone can understand. By making the complex simple he doesn't just show you what he can do, he shows you what YOU can do. The mark of a good instructor. I'm sure everyone left with more than what they came in with on many levels.

I saw and trained with many others that I haven't seen since The Gathering in Spring or at one of the other seminars. It was great to see and train with everyone! Also thanks to Chuck for bringing Buzz in! Much appreciated!

One other thing happened that I want to mention: Buzz asked his childhood sweetheart Deb to marry him! She accepted...of course! :-)

Buzz told us that he chose to propose to Deb at the seminar because he considered us all his family and wanted to share that moment with us as well... people who he cared about and who cared about him. It was a touching moment for all of us. Congratulations Buzz and Deb! Thanks for sharing that with us!


Ok, now here is the educational part of the show... well sort of. For your education and entertainment I picked out some videos and pasted them below. I labeled each with a thought. You should find them rather informative, educational, but mostly just entertaining. Enjoy!!

*For those who offend easily or are upset by profanity you may want to skip this next part! :-)


When to Give Up:








How to Properly Profile a Threat (Will Smith Style):








Private Security 101... I thought you'd be bigger!






Confidence and Being a Good Host:






The 4 Big Questions:






Preparing for the Impossible Krav Style:







What a Real Car Jacking Looks Like (well...in your dreams or if you're Jeremy Wiersma):







Belt Ranking:






The True Origins of the UFC & Life Perspective:






The YOU you Want to Be:





Is This Reality?






A Life in a Dream:






One Night Stands, Melancholy & Serendipity:





Follow Your Bliss, But Ignore This Music!






Predator & Prey / Protecting & Defending:







What We'd Like to do When Someone is Trying to Screw Us in a Business Deal (Explicit):







Well, that's it. I hope you enjoyed my fun little tangent!?

Talk to you all soon.

Keep going,
~Craig

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Freedom Writers


Yesterday was a good day of training. Regular class in the morning and a four hour workshop in the afternoon. I watched the UFC with some friends last night. Some good fights. I was happy to see Forrest win over Tito. I would have liked to see him submit Ortiz, but it went to decision.


So, it's Sunday morning and I am watching Freedom Writers. It is such a great movie. It touches me in a lot of ways. If you haven't seen it I highly recommend it. Talk about teaching Universal Values.


The main character Erin Gruwell teaches at risk teens whose lives are torn by a war zone in the inner cities where they live. The real war zone isn't in our cities, it's not in the countries, it's not in our relationships, it's not in our religion, our race or in our families...It's in ourselves. It begins in the way we see ourselves and then those around us. It's in the way we treat those who we perceive to be different than ourselves. In the way we teach ourselves and others how to engage, interact and experience each other and the world around us. In the way that we externalize those fears onto other people, things, situations, countries, relationships, religions, races, ethnicity's, or anything else we can conceive to distract us from our own inner demons.


It starts small. We rationalize the behavior. We justify our actions. We create an environment that validates its self and the actions necessary to survive, saying the ends justify the means... How Machiavellian. We make it about us and them, this group vs. that group. This color vs. that color. This country vs. that country. This religion vs. that religion. This culture vs. that culture. This neighborhood vs. that neighborhood. This gang vs. that gang. This person vs. that person. etc.


It seems to be easier to take our internal struggle, externalize it, give it a name, a face, anything other than seeing the struggle for what and where it truly is. It's easy to validate this fear, there is enough evidence out there to support your perspective. You've heard it: Blacks are all criminals, Muslims are all terrorists, poor people are stupid and lazy, rich people are insensitive, self centered and exploit the poor, Germans were all Nazi's, our economic struggles are because of the Jews, or the Mexicans, or the Chinese... you get the idea.


Does this really happen? Yup, it does, every day. Some black people ARE criminals... and others like President Barrack Obama are leaders of nations; some Muslims ARE terrorists and some like Pakistani Ansar Burney have fought for peace and human rights their entire lives; some poor people ARE lazy and some like Oprah Winfrey overcome great odds to become successful and influential; some rich people DO exploit those less fortunate and others like billionaires Dick DeVos and Jay VanAndel have donated millions of dollars to build schools, medical facilities and research organizations, some Germans WERE Nazi's and others like Oskar Schindler helped hundreds of Jewish people escape from the Nazi Holocaust during WWII.


Different cultures have customs unique to themselves. Different races may have different skin color or facial features. Different religions may worship differently and call god by a different name. Different ethnicity's may eat different food listen to different music. But aren't all of these things what makes life so interesting? Aren't these the things that make our world so rich in culture and discovery? Our strength comes from our diversity.


But some say: "Let's face it we weren't all created equal in what we can do, what we have and where we were born." Its true, people have talents and skills in different area's. Everyone is not equally good at everything that's what makes this world so diverse and each of us so unique. Although we may not have been created equal in all the things that we can do, where we were born, etc. But we WERE all created equal in Who We ARE as living beings. Which not only gives us basic human rights regarding dignity and respect as a living being; I believe it also gives us the right to have equal opportunity to explore what we might be good at, what we have to contribute to ourselves and others and yes even the right, especially the right to fail as we set out on that journey.


Try to see beyond what your fears and stereotypes are telling you. Look for the similarities. See that others hurt just like you. They have families and friends that they love and care about just like you. They have hopes and dreams just like you. They can learn just like you. They have struggles that are just as important to them as yours are to you. They want dignity and respect just like you.


Our beliefs create the lives we live as an individual, a family, a neighborhood, a society and a global community. When we change our beliefs we will change how we live over time not over night for good or bad.


What belief are you going to embrace and spread?


All the best,

~Craig

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Dash

Hello all~

Here is a little video clip I shot at a place where I go to get perspective when I need to. This goes hand in hand with the poem called "The Dash" by Linda Ellis. I like the poem and thought you might too.

The Dash

by Linda Ellis


I read of a man who stood to speak

At the funeral of a friend.

He referred to the dates on her tombstone

From the beginning to the end.


He noted that first came the date of her birth

And spoke of the following date with tears,

But he said what mattered most of all

Was the dash between those years.


For that dash represents all the time

That she spent alive on earth

And now only those who loved her

Know what that little line is worth.


For it matters not, how much we own,

The cars, the house, the cash,

What matters is how we live and love

And how we spend our dash.


So think about this long and hard;

Are there things you’d like to change?

For you never know how much time is left

That can still be rearranged.


If we could just slow down enough

To consider what’s true and real

And always try to understand

The way other people feel.


And be less quick to anger

And show appreciation more

And love the people in our lives

Like we’ve never loved before.


If we treat each other with respect

And more often wear a smile,

Remembering that this special dash

Might only last a little while.


So when your eulogy is being read

With your life’s actions to rehash

Would you be proud of the things they say

About how you spent your dash?


© 1996 Linda Ellis

Be here NOW, don't waste a minute because we all know it goes fast. We don't know when or how our time is going to end, only that it will. As Mel Gibson so eloquently said in the movie Braveheart, "Every Man Dies, but Not Every Man Really Lives!" Sad, but often too true.

Keep going,

~Craig

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Frontlines of Freedom Military - Veteren Talk Radio


Hello all~

I was just asked by Lt. Col. (Ret.) Denny Gillem and to be the Official Personal Defense Subject Matter Expert for his Military - Veteran Talk Radio Show called Frontlines of freedom - AM 1260 - It is currently airs in Michigan and Florida and is being recommended for national syndication. In the West Michigan area it airs Saturday nights 7pm EST and is Podcast at www.frontlinesoffreedom.com.

You can hear my first segment here:


www.frontlinesoffreedom.com/podcasts.html


Click on the segment labeled - 09 Oct 29th part 3 - to listen.

I am honored to be a part of this program and to be able to contribute to a larger community through the show's reach. Thanks for the opportunity Denny. I appreciate your confidence in my perspective and experience and insights regarding Personal Defense!

Take care all. Talk to you soon!

~Craig