The true aim of karate lies not in victory or defeat, but in the perfection of character of its participants.
— Gichin Funakoshi

This is a check-up

Often times, we are faced with challenges. You may find yourself, at any point, in front of a major life obstacle, or a very unpleasant business dealing. Perhaps you don’t like a particular someone, or maybe you’re having a hard time adjusting to a loss. Whatever it is, and despite how difficult it may seem, the fact have a choice in how you respond. Neither you, nor I, or anyone else on this planet is obligated to behave in any particular way.

Of course, whenever I say something along these lines to anyone (including to myself), I know to expect the instant-automatic response….which is to look for some excuse as to why you (or me) were forced into a behavior because something happened that was, “out of your control.” Yes. Things do happen that are out of our control. Sometimes those things are just neutral, and sometimes they really really suck. Does that make it OK to respond in some way that may cause harm to another person, or in a way that may have negative consequences? Should we ignore the result of our actions in these moments because the impetus to react without thought is so strong?

Absolutely not.

Swallow the pill


When you think of Empowerment Through Personal Safety Training, you are probably thinking that the road to get there is paved with butterflies and sunshine. It’s not. It demands one thing above all else. Honesty. By being honest with ourselves we can find truth. And, as the saying goes, “the truth will set you free.”

So how do you start? We’ll Yuuki Defense is about shortening the learning curve so that you don’t have to spend 10+ years battling through some esoteric training regimen, or even worse, a commercial dojo cheerleading program, to realize the benefits of martial training. Learning about empowerment through the condensed lessons of traditional martial arts is powerful. You just have to be ready to swallow the pill.  

Get ready for the side effects

There’s a funny thing that happens at the most basic level of martial arts training. No matter your style, no matter the system or your instructor, at some point you have to say, “Does this really work?” Many may feel uncertainty when getting down to it, others might say, “not yet, but I’m getting there.” There’s a small last group that relies on their training in a different way. They realize that it’s not about style or technique. They understand that all the training and all the repetition is about forging the spirit to be resolute in the face of conflict. This is the group that says, “I don’t care what happens, I’ll do what it takes to survive.” They’re not sure exactly how their training will manifest in any particular encounter, but they are unafraid engage if they have to, because they have confidence in their abilities. My Sensei used to say, “train until you have the confidence to know without a doubt, ‘I don’t care who you are. If you start something with me, I will finish you.’”

That probably sounds harsh if you’re not used to this sort of thing, but I can promise you something, my sensei NEVER was looking for a fight. I know that he would go out of his way to avoid a physical fight in nearly any circumstance. However, if forced to fight to protect life or family, I wouldn’t want to be the guy standing in front of him. No way.

That kind of certainty, that kind of courage, that kind of resolve... is what empowerment through personal safety training is about. It is normally something forged in the fire of long term training and branded into the fighting spirit of the warrior mind. The really amazing thing about developing that kind of confidence though, is that it’s applicable to every aspect of life.Realistically, in our society, the odds of ever being in a physical fight (especially if you’re not out to start them) are low. If you’re training, then you’d have to find another tangible benefit to sustain your interest throughout all those years of grueling practice. Luckily for you, I’ll cut out the middle part… not in a way that will ever substitute for years of instruction and learning, but in a way that illustrates the principle, so that you can try and apply it to your daily life too.

Your prognosis looks good, grasshopper.

Would you like to have that level of confidence? Would you like to feel that sure in the face of whatever challenge life throws at you? Sure you would! You’d be crazy not to want it. If you do want it, then you have to be honest with yourself like we were talking about earlier. You may not be able to control every circumstance, you may not be able to control if and when you get attacked in the street either. What you can control is your response to that undesirable moment. If you can remember to respond to the challenge, to the disgruntled person, or to the tragic loss ...that you WILL face at some point in your life… with a resolute mind, a calm spirit, and a winning attitude, then you’ll be a very formidable adversary for life and all of its surprises.

Take a second to re-read the quote that we started off with at the top of this article. Hopefully now, it makes a lot more sense. Remember, keep training, keep learning, never give up...and ALWAYS remember the POWER OF A CONTROLLED RESPONSE.

-By Brandon Torrellas