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Throughout my twenty nine years of training, I have found one constant; any combat methodology must be simple and chalked full of intent, an intent manifested by the individual practitioner. The first factor, simplicity, is often time forgotten in the martial world. There are systems so complex and technique-heavy that it seems more a maze than a functional realistic system of preservation. I have studied such systems and invested a lot of time in my early days trying to decipher what it is they were getting at. Many of these systems are based on the premise of more is more, or should I say, more is better. The problem with this mentality is the lack of principal as it pertains to motion. These systems are taught as a hodgepodge of techniques from a chart to be memorized by awestruck students who buy into this dogma without realizing that what they have done is simply collect static movement without a deep understanding as to how these techniques break down. These students are not to blame. This falls upon the heads of the teachers who themselves have learned this quagmire of ineptness from their teachers. Somewhere along the chain, someone had to have known what it all meant as it approached the western mindset and the “more, more, more” mentality was lost in translation.

The intent factor is a key to proper function and practical function. However, it is a very difficult entity to teach and pass along. There are people who simply have no fire in their guts to manifest the desired intent needed. In training, I teach my people to try and find that inner sanctum that drives them, to go to that place under duress, to find that internal button. Only the practitioner knows this place as it pertains to him or her. As a teacher, it is my duty to help them realize that there is nothing wrong and nothing right within their personal preservation work. In a time of physical conflict, one has to be able to flow on his feet and flow in his mind manifesting the intent needed to render any situation controlled. I have found over the years through teaching and training that we all have it. But often at times it is deluded in systems that teach dogmatic drivel and pass it on as truth when in actuality it is a theory based prayer based on something other than truth.

In SEAMOK, we live by the following axiom's of Simplicity with Intent...Go ugly early and win....There is nothing wrong or right, just flow.....

In the end, it is your ass on the line when it all goes belly up...find your milieu and build it with the help of a solid, practical teacher who understands intent… There are many out there.

-Amo Guro Michael Blackgrave, founder of SEAMOK

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Replies to This Discussion

Simple is smooth, smooth is fast! He who inflicts the most damage first, generally wins!!!! You are a brother with the same thought process as myself. Keep doing what you do brother!!! As will I. We can keep the combat alive!! Combat is obscured in todays MA world. As society has accepted the sport side as the "real deal", and the way of the future. I find styles trying to meld into that market. I believe that vital information and training is being lost while subjecting our training into those areas. This may offend some or maybe many but I stand by my words and actions. I watch MMA matches and get entertainment from them. Thats as far as it goes! I have a friend who has competed in them and he told me I should get involved due to my thought process. And quote "You would win with that thought process!" I informed him my thought process is exactly why I wouldn't get involved with the sport. I explained to him that I train combat...multiple attackers and they all carry weapons! In sport you train with rules and restaint!! I train to go home to my family, period!!! I believe if you train in the sport your abilities to survive in a combative situation decrease significantly. You do as you train! I live and train for the "No win" situations and that is where my heart and soul is. I will cotinue to live by this mantra and teach the truth of it in every aspect!!
I just turned 57 last July 4 and have practiced the art since I was 11 years old but was stalled when I got my license as a CPA and started a business of my own! I came back to the fold of Martial Arts when I came here to the states; that was 14 years ago. You can do the math on how long I've been inactive.

During my early years in Karate in the Philippines, we were required to memorize Katas and techniques that were part of the curriculum to earn a belt. In our training, our instructors have over emphasized tournament techniques and have overlooked the combat side of the art.

I remember when I had a street fight when I was in my early teens; I was applying sport karate - my kicks & strikes were controlled. Can you imagine that the fight lasted for several minutes!! My reflexes and mindset were "tournament karate"! It was during my hibernation that I've realized that in order to be better fighter, one must let go of the "dogmas" still imprinted in one's subconscious and instead be empty & spontaneous! "EMPTY THE CUP"! Simplicity, economy of motion, direct/rapid response and intent are the keys. MEDITATE, PRACTICE, MEDITATE, PRACTICE - REPITITIONS and SELF EXPRESSIONS are the keys.

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