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  • Have you been the victim of an assault?

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    Have you been the victim of an assault?

    Teaching people to not be “victims” of assault is what I do.
    It is what I have tried to do for a few decades now and I have been told by people from all over the world, and all sorts of government agencies, that I am very good at it.

    Being an “assault victim” is a different frame of mind from having been “assaulted.”
    Notice the tense of each? The reference to time? The choice of words? It frames how you think.
    You STILL ARE A VICTIM or you WERE ATTACKED. Take your pick.

    “I am an assault victim” or “I was assaulted”.

    You may have been assaulted the past but there is no need to label yourself as a “victim” at all.

    You almost always had a choice of taking steps to help prevent an assault (or heart attacks or getting fat for that matter) from happening.
    Body language, lack of assertive confidence, strategic & tactical choices, and a lot of other factors demonstrate to predators that you are a target.
    Do these steps always protect you? NO, of course not. But you need to take appropriate steps if you want to improve your odds.
    If you chose not to even take those steps then that is on you. You probably made choices that made you a target, a “victim”.
    These choices were not necessarily conscious ones or there may have been extenuating circumstances – being a defenseless child is an obvious example.
    But frequently adults who were assaulted go through various stages where they realize mistakes were made, even if they do not acknowledge it.
    “Why me?”… then “What if?”… “Why didn’t I…” “If I had only…”

    You have to choose to change how you think, how you carry yourself, how you look at the world.
    Getting out if the habit of thinking like a “victim” is not easy or even simple but it can be done.
    Sometimes you only need a healthy level of paranoia. You are often the most vulnerable when you feel the most comfortable.

    Most of this comes down to Wolves, Sheep and Sheepdogs.

    First thing to understand are the Sheep.

    The Sheep are a large and important segment of our society. We need them to do almost everything.
    They go through life, often bumping onto each other and occasionally annoyed with each other.
    The key is that Sheep usually only hurt each other on accident.
    There is nothing wrong with being one of the Sheep.
    The problem is that choosing to think and act like one of the Sheep -like a victim- makes one easy prey for the Wolves.
    One of the Sheep thinking and acting like a Sheep is an easy and simple choice, but one the Sheep may pay the price for.
    If you want to choose the easy way then don’t whine saying “Why me?” or “But this is such a nice neighborhood!” if you are assaulted.
    Many people have no real understanding of violence and may even use their fear of violence to hide from the realities of it.
    That leads is to the threat: Wolves.

    Wolves are different than Sheep because Wolves hurt people on purpose.

    Wolves move among the Sheep and try to prey on the Sheep whenever they desire.
    Wolves often hide among the Sheep -a Wolf in Sheep’s clothing- and can be hard to spot.
    Wolves often hunt in packs and wait to target the weakest and most vulnerable prey.
    The Wolves are frequently on the prowl looking for vulnerable Sheep.
    Wolves choose easy prey that is isolated from the protection of the Sheepdogs and the rest of the Sheep.
    They may do this ruthlessly in mere moments without the Sheep having enough time to come to terms with how much danger they were really in.
    “Remember: When seconds count, help is only minutes away.”

    Then there are the Sheepdogs. Sheepdogs exist in part to protect the Sheep from the Wolves.

    Sheepdogs are usually under no obligation to put themselves in harm’s way to protect the Sheep.
    However they often do so anyway and get little appreciation for it, sometimes they get derision and scorn for it!
    Many Sheep fear or dislike the Sheepdogs for various reasons.
    Some feel this way because the Sheepdogs tell them what to do, where to go, or have too much power.
    Others because they fear the Sheepdogs, who remind them too much of the Wolves.
    Maybe they have encountered a “bad {sheep}dog” who was merely a Wolf in disguise.
    Sometimes they see a Sheepdog that is forced to make a split-second decision that may end a life, right or wrong.
    The Sheep have little understanding of this level of responsibility but decide to judge the Sheepdogs anyway.
    There are many reasons why the Sheep may complain about the Sheepdogs or say they don’t want them around.
    But when the Wolves are at the door, the Sheep often run to hide behind the Sheepdogs or even complain that there are too few of them or that they didn’t do enough to protect them!
    Being a Sheepdog is often a thankless job, with long hours, low pay, high stress, dangerous situations, and more but most do their job admirably every day.

    So what should the Sheep do? A good start is to make sure they don’t look like easy prey for the Wolves.
    Simply because you are one of the Sheep doesn’t mean you should walk around all day going “Baaaaa!” so the Wolves can find you easier.
    Behave somewhat like one of the Sheepdogs. Make reasonable tactical and straegic choices.
    Practice Assertive Confidence. Stick with the rest of the herd as much as possible.
    Practice basic personal protection skills. Maintain a reasonable defensive posture.
    Be a little paranoid. “Just because you are paranoid doesn’t mean the Wolves aren’t out to get you.”
    Simply put: Don’t look, act or think like a victim.

    As one of the Sheep you do not have to follow these guidelines, that is your choice also.
    But don’t go crying to the Sheepdogs and say “I cannot believe that happened to me!”

    The average American has around a 1-in-3 or 1-in-4 chance of being assaulted (in some form) during their lifetime, depending on what statistics you use.
    That is math. You have can lessen the odds of that being you based on choices you make.
    But you may still be assaulted merely by being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
    No matter if you have been assaulted or not, the real question is: Do you want to go through your life thinking and acting like a victim?

    For more on Wolves, Sheep and Sheepdogs, check out On Combat: The Psychology and Physiology of Deadly Conflict in War and Peace by LTC (RET) Dave Grossman (ISBN-13: 978-0964920514)

    and here http://www.cqbkajukenbo.com/on-sheep-wolves-and-sheepdogs-from-the-book-on-combat-by-lt-col-dave-grossman-u-s-army-ret/

  • Iron and The Soul by Henry Rollins

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    Iron and The Soul by Henry Rollins

    I believe that the definition of definition is reinvention. To not be like your parents. To not be like your friends. To be yourself.


    When I was young I had no sense of myself. All I was, was a product of all the fear and humiliation I suffered. Fear of my parents. The humiliation of teachers calling me “garbage can” and telling me I’d be mowing lawns for a living. And the very real terror of my fellow students. I was threatened and beaten up for the color of my skin and my size. I was skinny and clumsy, and when others would tease me I didn’t run home crying, wondering why.

    I knew all too well. I was there to be antagonized. In sports I was laughed at. A spaz. I was pretty good at boxing but only because the rage that filled my every waking moment made me wild and unpredictable. I fought with some strange fury. The other boys thought I was crazy.

    I hated myself all the time.

    As stupid at it seems now, I wanted to talk like them, dress like them, carry myself with the ease of knowing that I wasn’t going to get pounded in the hallway between classes. Years passed and I learned to keep it all inside. I only talked to a few boys in my grade. Other losers. Some of them are to this day the greatest people I have ever known. Hang out with a guy who has had his head flushed down a toilet a few times, treat him with respect, and you’ll find a faithful friend forever. But even with friends, school sucked. Teachers gave me hard time.

    I didn’t think much of them either.


    Then came Mr. Pepperman, my advisor. He was a powerfully built Vietnam veteran, and he was scary. No one ever talked out of turn in his class. Once one kid did and Mr. P. lifted him off the ground and pinned him to the black board. Mr. P. could see that I was in bad shape, and one Friday in October he asked me if I had ever worked out with weights. I told him no.

    He told me that I was going to take some of the money that I had saved and buy a hundred pound set of weights at Sears. As I left his office, I started to think of things I would say to him on Monday when he asked about the weights that I was not going to buy. Still, it made me feel special. My father never really got that close to caring. On Saturday I bought the weights, but I couldn’t even drag them to my mom’s car. An attendant laughed at me as he put them on a dolly.

    Monday came and I was called into Mr. P.’s office after school. He said that he was going to show me how to work out. He was going to put me on a program and start hitting me in the solar plexus in the hallway when I wasn’t looking. When I could take the punch we would know that we were getting somewhere. At no time was I to look at myself in the mirror or tell anyone at school what I was doing. In the gym he showed me ten basic exercises. I paid more attention than I ever did in any of my classes. I didn’t want to blow it. I went home that night and started right in.

    Weeks passed, and every once in a while Mr. P. would give me a shot and drop me in the hallway, sending my books flying. The other students didn’t know what to think. More weeks passed, and I was steadily adding new weights to the bar. I could sense the power inside my body growing. I could feel it.

    Right before Christmas break I was walking to class, and from out of nowhere Mr. Pepperman appeared and gave me a shot in the chest. I laughed and kept going. He said I could look at myself now. I got home and ran to the bathroom and pulled off my shirt. I saw a body, not just the shell that housed my stomach and my heart. My biceps bulged. My chest had definition. I felt strong. It was the first time I can remember having a sense of myself. I had done something and no one could ever take it away.

    You couldn’t say s–t to me.

    It took me years to fully appreciate the value of the lessons I have learned from the Iron. I used to think that it was my adversary, that I was trying to lift that which does not want to be lifted. I was wrong. When the Iron doesn’t want to come off the mat, it’s the kindest thing it can do for you. If it flew up and went through the ceiling, it wouldn’t teach you anything. That’s the way the Iron talks to you. It tells you that the material you work with is that which you will come to resemble.

    That which you work against will always work against you.

    It wasn’t until my late twenties that I learned that by working out I had given myself a great gift. I learned that nothing good comes without work and a certain amount of pain. When I finish a set that leaves me shaking, I know more about myself. When something gets bad, I know it can’t be as bad as that workout.

    I used to fight the pain, but recently this became clear to me: pain is not my enemy; it is my call to greatness. But when dealing with the Iron, one must be careful to interpret the pain correctly. Most injuries involving the Iron come from ego. I once spent a few weeks lifting weight that my body wasn’t ready for and spent a few months not picking up anything heavier than a fork. Try to lift what you’re not prepared to and the Iron will teach you a little lesson in restraint and self-control.

    I have never met a truly strong person who didn’t have self-respect. I think a lot of inwardly and outwardly directed contempt passes itself off as self-respect: the idea of raising yourself by stepping on someone’s shoulders instead of doing it yourself. When I see guys working out for cosmetic reasons, I see vanity exposing them in the worst way, as cartoon characters, billboards for imbalance and insecurity. Strength reveals itself through character. It is the difference between bouncers who get off strong-arming people and Mr.Pepperman.

    Muscle mass does not always equal strength. Strength is kindness and sensitivity. Strength is understanding that your power is both physical and emotional. That it comes from the body and the mind. And the heart.

    Yukio Mishima said that he could not entertain the idea of romance if he was not strong. Romance is such a strong and overwhelming passion, a weakened body cannot sustain it for long. I have some of my most romantic thoughts when I am with the Iron. Once I was in love with a woman. I thought about her the most when the pain from a workout was racing through my body.

    Everything in me wanted her. So much so that sex was only a fraction of my total desire. It was the single most intense love I have ever felt, but she lived far away and I didn’t see her very often. Working out was a healthy way of dealing with the loneliness. To this day, when I work out I usually listen to ballads.

    I prefer to work out alone.

    It enables me to concentrate on the lessons that the Iron has for me. Learning about what you’re made of is always time well spent, and I have found no better teacher. The Iron had taught me how to live. Life is capable of driving you out of your mind. The way it all comes down these days, it’s some kind of miracle if you’re not insane. People have become separated from their bodies. They are no longer whole.

    I see them move from their offices to their cars and on to their suburban homes. They stress out constantly, they lose sleep, they eat badly. And they behave badly. Their egos run wild; they become motivated by that which will eventually give them a massive stroke. They need the Iron Mind.

    Through the years, I have combined meditation, action, and the Iron into a single strength. I believe that when the body is strong, the mind thinks strong thoughts. Time spent away from the Iron makes my mind degenerate. I wallow in a thick depression. My body shuts down my mind.

    The Iron is the best antidepressant I have ever found. There is no better way to fight weakness than with strength. Once the mind and body have been awakened to their true potential, it’s impossible to turn back.

    The Iron never lies to you. You can walk outside and listen to all kinds of talk, get told that you’re a god or a total bastard. The Iron will always kick you the real deal. The Iron is the great reference point, the all-knowing perspective giver. Always there like a beacon in the pitch black. I have found the Iron to be my greatest friend. It never freaks out on me, never runs. Friends may come and go. But two hundred pounds is always two hundred pounds.

    This article originally appeared in Details Magazine

    Re-posted from http://www.oldtimestrongman.com/strength-articles/iron-henry-rollins

    Printed in Do I Come Here Often? (Black Coffee Blues, Pt. 2) by Henry Rollins ISBN: 978-1880985618

  • Discipline Over Motivation

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    “Discipline always trumps motivation.  Motivation is about emotion and too many times, we rely on emotion to raise our performance.  Unfortunately, this can quickly wear you down and if you aren’t motivated, lead to lackluster or missed training sessions.

    Discipline doesn’t care how you feel, what the weather is or if you’ve had a bad day.  Discipline will carry the strong.  Discipline will drive success.  Discipline doesn’t need a “hype” video or loud music. Discipline over motivation. ”  — Jim Wendler

    Related: http://www.wisdomination.com/screw-motivation-what-you-need-is-discipline/