The Stoic Path to Buddhist Enlightenment

I had thought that I might continue my analysis of the Stoic virtues, but I find myself traveling down a different avenue of thought.  You see, when looking over the virtues of Prudence, Temperance, Fortitude and Justice I noticed that when placed in that order they seem to dictate a clear path to will power.  With Prudence we learn to halt our impulses and consider our action carefully.  Temperance requires slightly more will power to moderate ourselves and not give in to passions.  Fortitude needs still more will which grants us the ability to ignore mental and physical discomfort and finally Justice, which i feel is the most challenging aspect of will power and requires us to always do the right thing, regardless of perceived cost. So in this way Stoicism can be seen as a path to Ultimate Self Control Continue reading

Of Katas and Curios

Katas are somewhat lacking in Western Martial Arts.  Although pretty much universal in Asian Martial Arts, these sequences of movement are an excellent training tool that I think we need to bring to the Western practice.  If nothing else, katas mean that solo practice becomes more engaging.  After all, there are only so many times you can practice basic motions before wanting more.  Katas provide a way of linking these motions together in a set form.  Historically, only a few Masters wrote down anything that can be accurately be described as a kata, but we can build a few more from context within some manuals. Continue reading

An Introduction to Stoicism

I was first introduced to stoicism back in college.  My medieval history professor made reference to a teacher of Marcus Aurelius who was tortured.  During this torture he was placed on the Roman equivalent of the Rack when he calmly announced to his torturers that his arm was about to break.  This almost super-heroic ability to ignore pain intrigued me.  As with many things from history, though, it seemed as though this was a kind of magic that was as unknowable as it was unattainable. Continue reading

The Katana: In which Snark Rears its Head

This is a special request I received: “Will you do one about katanas and how they can cut through tanks, rocks and telephone poles?”  The request was made by one of my students, so you can be assured that there may have been a hint of sarcasm in that comment.  At any rate, it’s still something that deserves to be talked about.  First take a minute or six to watch the following video.  Seriously this guy is brilliant.:

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