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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Seems like a redundant stupid sign? You’d be surprised how many people need to be told things that should be taken for granted.
“Brush your teeth”
“Get off the couch and go exercise”
“Don’t eat all that junk food, it will kill you”
“Don’t drink and drive”
“Don’t piss off the giant gorilla”

Common sense is not all that common. We innately know the things we are supposed to do in our life and yet we stubbornly ignore them. Is it laziness? Arrogance? Have we become to expect being told everything and we can’t think for ourselves anymore?
Time to take charge of your life…. Don’t drown!!!!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Trail running journal, data entry #4

Another fun training day: a short run, 2 hours of edged weapon training then blending all this into an awesome drill. There were 3 of us, Kasey, Jeff and myself. For the ending drill, we chose one person (the good guy) to stay behind and the other 2 would go ahead on the trail and ambush the good guy and then take turns.
First of all, hiding to ambush a guy with the purpose of killing him is kinda creepy. It makes you realize how deranged the perps have to be. They live in a different world we do.
Second, it really brings you up to very high level of awareness (we already discussed this after a different drill we had). To know you are going to get attacked at some point is creepy at another level. It made me realize how difficult it is to truly hide… unless you are a sniper. For a guy to hide with the sole purpose to attack you, it is actually difficult. We could pretty much spot everyone hiding way before we came up upon them. This made us realize that with good awareness, we can prevent a lot of attacks. Most perps are not professional snipers. Their clothes, body, arms, something will stick out or stand out. I am not that big and yet my butt still stuck out from behind the tree. And for them to really hide well, they would have to get in deeper in the woods, which makes their approach to the trail very clumsy, noisy and slow. Add painful if they trip and impaled themselves on a pointy branch (right Jeff??). The only thing that would work well for them is having a very large tree or bush right on the side of the trail. Guess what… this should be a wakeup call that you need to be extra careful around really large trees and bushes that can possible hide very large bad men. And same in the city, you see something that can be a good hiding location for a potential perp, be careful. Stick with more open areas. Like Rory so eloquently said “if you jump in the water, you are going to get wet”. If you hang around potentially dangerous locations, you might get hurt.
Another lesson learned: even though I could see people hiding, I still waited for them to attack instead of being pro-active. It was the script in my head that someone was to attack and I was to defend. In real life self defense, you make your own script. Sticking to a pre-programmed response might get you hurt. Speed and surprise can make up for size and strength. I should have either chose to run away toward safety or cut them down before they had a chance to attack me. After all they did not know I saw them, I had the advantage. I still survived, I suffered cuts but I prevailed. Next time I will dominate.
Keep on getting better each day and never give up.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

"Make a game of finding something positive in every situation. Ninety-five percent of your emotions are determined by how you interpret events to yourself."
-Brian Tracy

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

"Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned."

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Police shooting

POLICE SHOOTING - Watch The Video BEFORE You Read all The Text

What do you see? Officers ordering the suspect to put the assault rifle down and it appears he is complying and then he is shot! Is that what you see?
Want to know what it is like to work the streets and what risks you face daily?
Watch the video again and watch the suspect's right hand while he places the rifle down with his left hand. What you don't see, but the officer behind the suspect does see, is the suspect pulling a hidden handgun from his rear pants with his right hand. Watch as the bad guy goes down, the handgun is still in his right hand. Just a reminder -- what you think you see at first does not always tell the truth.
Be grateful for the good men and women out there who risk their lives daily to keep YOU safe!!!!

Monday, September 20, 2010

"Eagles come in all shapes and sizes, but you will recognize them chiefly by their attitudes. "
-Charles Prestwich Scott

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Trail running journal, data entry #3

Overcast and cool… perfect day for running. Another day on the trails. We tried a different route today… longer, tougher, very awesome and beautiful.
I started my run behind Kasey and 20 seconds into it my phone rang (need my phone as I use the Running Ap on it.) No I did not answer it but I had to stop to reset my Ap as to not lose my data. This put me a bit behind. So I ran hard to catch up with him. Keeping up with Kasey is hard enough, catching up with him is tough. I caught up after a while.
Of course he sped up as to remain undefeated… in case you never noticed, Kasey doesn’t like finishing second… as a matter of fact he doesn’t even like tying for first. No matter, I kept running hard. At one point I encountered a couple of mountain bikers, the first one I was able to pull over and still keep running. The second one, I met as he was coming down a steep hill covered in large rocks and boulders. I figured it would be smart to completely pull over and let him through as I do not really enjoy being run over. Very inconvenient. Stopping is always a huge runner’s mistake. To be honest, I have to admit that pulling over and taking a break felt great at the time. But soon I hard to restart, and of course it was immediately going up a good size hill… yeah. The legs would NOT cooperate… jello…. tired…. refusing to move. It was very hard to start again. But I kept repeating Dalton’s famous words of wisdom “Pain don’t hurt”. It was a tough run. As an experiment I thought I would try stopping again to see if the same thing would happen. Bingo... it did. Amazing. But I did not stop as long and this time it was a bit easier to restart again. Now slowing down during a difficult part of the course did not produce those results. Even while going up the hill from hell (I could swear I saw Satan sitting on the side lines laughing while I was climbing that one).

It was a tough totally awesome 40 some minutes run. Amazing how much harder running trails is then just running on the road. I was drained and exhausted and very happy to have pushed myself hard. There is a mental component to training along with the obvious physical benefits. Finishing something, reaching a goal, pushing yourself hard is a mental victory as well. And the endorphin rush is so much better than ANY drugs can ever give you.

Learning point: when you start something it is much easier to keep going even if you have to slow down at some point then to completely stop. How many of you have at one point started on a “healthier lifestyle” (better nutrition, exercise) and came across a bump in the road (party, vacation) where you had to stop for a while? How hard was it to re-start again? And the longer we waited the harder it was, wasn’t it? This goes for any area in your life but even more so in training. Things happen at some point that forces you to stop or slow down. Always choose the slowing down options if you can. And no matter how hard it is….. Always start again.
NEVER give up!!!!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Keeping your balance is a must in any good self defense attempt. If a light breeze can blow you over, you should consider doing exercises to improve your balance and coordination.
Here are a few example of things to do to help you achieve this task.
As always choose the level of intensity that is appropriate for your skill level. But keep on challenging yourself to increase that skill level all the time.
Good balance makes just plain common sense!!!

You don't have to spend a lot of money either. Most of those things you can do at home with no specific piece of equipment.
Pogo balls are inexpensive and work great.
Can't afford a big exercise ball? Go to Walmart and get a $2 ball in the toy department. Also works great
Don't let excuses get in the way of bettering yourself!!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

It's not always what it seems

A little story that was told to me by Rory and Marc:

Once upon a time, there was a non-conforming sparrow that decided not to fly south for the winter.

However, soon the weather turned so cold that he reluctantly started to fly south. In a short time, ice began to form on his wings and he fell to earth in a farmyard, almost frozen. A cow passed by and crapped on the little sparrow. The sparrow thought it was the end, but the manure warmed him and defrosted his wings. Warm and happy, able to breathe, he started to sing. Just then a large cat came by, and hearing the chirping, investigated the sounds.

The cat cleared away the manure, found the chirping bird, and promptly ate him!

The moral of the story:

1. Everyone who craps on you is not necessarily your enemy.

2. Everyone who gets you out of the crap is not necessarily your friend.

3. And, if you're warm and happy in a pile of crap, keep your mouth shut!

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Some of the best lessons I have learned were shared over a cup of coffee or a glass of scotch and a cigar. Be it stories, ideas, questions. Thoughts are running on a higher plane. And sometimes even tables are flying. I have been very blessed to have been taught by the very best. I have had people come through my life with incredible experience and knowledge and the best part is that they were willing to help me grow and better myself by imparting this knowledge. The best of the best have stimulated incredible amount of thinking and self introspection, letting me find some of my own answers.
It is my duty to the universe to pay it forward and share what I have learned with others. Yes there is a book in progress but meanwhile, I love sharing what I have learned through this blog. If it can help one person, saving their life or bettering it, it will be all worth it.
Please feel free to share your own questions, experiences, lessons and knowledge. If I don’t have an answer I am sure someone will.

Sunday, September 5, 2010


Yesterday was a gift from the Gods. Exceptionally awesome weather, 68F, slight breeze, blue sky…. first day off in a long weekend. I was up for playing, decompressing. I wanted nothing with worries, a list of “to dos” and responsibilities. The hubby and I headed out for Taylor Falls for a long hike/ rock climbing fest. It’s a long drive but a beautiful one and very much worth it. Taylor Falls is a gorgeous area.
We get to the park and started our trek. The trail started off easy since they expect beginners to be able to enjoy it. It was winding, up and down, with tons of rocks, roots and trees to deal with. The path winds around rock cliffs to circle back to the river. Hmm…. a giant rock pile covered in trees and moss… spells challenge to me. Mark should have known he was in trouble when he saw me leave the house wearing my hiking boots. The heck with the nicely laid out trail. Giant treacherous rock pile… here I come.
Photos do not come close to do it justice.

Challenging taks to say the least but so much fun. Find the right foothold, the right grip for your hands… do not step on cushy moss… do not hold on to an unsecured rock…. Always make sure you have a good 3 points hold (between 2 feet and 2 hands… it’s always a safe bet to secure 3 of those appendages). Focusing on the task at hand I found I forgot about all the troubles of past weeks, all the “to-do-cannot-wait” list. Just what the doctor ordered. Lots of hard work later I found myself on top of the cliff. WOW… what a spectacular view. It was well worth the climb. Having chosen the easy well laid safe trail I would have missed this.
How many spectacular things do we miss by always choosing the safe approach? Life is worth enjoying to the last drop. Challenge yourself today, get off the well traveled road and enjoy the scenery.

Friday, September 3, 2010


My first encounter with martial arts was in Tae Kwon Do. Now I need to emphasize that I am not putting down any art. All arts are good; it’s the training methods that make them great and useful. At the time, I enjoyed sparring in tournaments. Although my first tourney experience was a bit on the interesting side. As a 40some year old woman I was usually paired off with younger women. This very flexible young lady attempted to front kicked me in the head; I totally reacted out of a place I didn’t know existed… I swept her leg and put her on her back. TKD people are not notoriously known for their ‘falling down” skills. She was knocked out. I was sent to my corner, properly chastised and DQed (disqualified). Next match, after a very nice spin kick I naturally followed with a spinning back fist… it flows so nicely together. Whistle….illegal technique… damn… again, sent to my corner and DQed. For the next few months, my instructors made sure I did not do any more “illegal techniques” by chastising me and having me do pushups every time I did them. First I have to say that using physical exercises as a punishment is dumb, it’s a training method that should be enjoyed not used as a negative reinforcement. Second, let’s face… at my age I did not have a career in tournament sparring, I was training for practical purpose, for self defense. How does the negative reinforcement of performing a perfectly good technique that has proven to be so effective they made it illegal in tournament will train me in practical SD?
It will not. If I would ever need to use those skills in real life, I would hesitate because in the back of my mind I would remember being “punished” for doing those techniques. Hesitation might get me hurt or even killed. I seriously re-thought my training methods. At the time I did not have a lot of options offer to me. But when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. This is when I met Keckeisen Sensei. Every techniques I was trained to use (you know all those “legal” ones) ended up putting me on my arse when I used them against him. He had the skills I wanted. He had the training methods I needed. The light bulb went on and the rest is history.

Know what you are training for and train accordingly. If you want to train for sports and competition… that is awesome. It’s a fun and fantastic sport. Just remember that the same training will most likely fail you in real life situations. You will be used to play with a set of rules…. bad guys are counting on it. I don’t care what you think you can do, under stress you will revert to the same skills you trained your body to do, day in and day out.

“We do not rise to the level of our expectations but we fall to the level of our training.”

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


In view of last night’s news about a man who allegedly sexually assaulted a 6-year-old girl on the north side of Coon Rapids, it’s a good time to bring kid’s safety to the foreground We need to teach our children the basic common sense self defense. I believe this is a parent’s job. You teach them to walk, to speak, to read, to behave. We need to teach them to make smart choices as well. Kids should be taught what inappropriate behavior is. They should be taught to trust their gut feeling that something is not right. And they should be taught how to avoid getting into bad situations and what to do in case they encounter a “bad person”. Kids should have the confidence to be able to say “NO”.
Take time to teach your kids that bad things happen out there and they can avoid most of it by using basic common sense.
• Don’t go out all by yourself.
• Tell an adult where you are going to be.
• Don’t have conversation with strangers.
• Don’t be afraid to run or scream if you are in danger
• Don’t open the door to people you don’t know, no matter what they say
• Have an emergency plan
• Never tell people that you are home alone
• Don’t be tempted by stranger to go pet a dog or have a treat
• A great ploy is to lure children away from others by pretending to have them help you find your lost dog (or anything else “lost”)
• If you are in trouble, call for help. Attract others attention. Criminals do not like an audience
• When you are outside of the home, be aware of your surroundings: environmental dangers, stray animals, other people.
• Set up a password that only the child and the parents know. The child should never go anywhere with anyone who does not have the password.
• Kicking, biting, spitting, eye gauging are effective methods of self defense if you are in danger
• Look for an improvised “weapon”: a stick, a rock, sand thrown in the eyes, a toy, be creative with what’s around you
• Make sure to have them differentiate that it’s OK to hit people who are trying to kidnap you and seriously hurt you but they cannot use the same techniques on their friends or just because they are having a disagreement with someone

Take time to teach safety to your kids. They are so precious. The few minutes you spend everyday rehearsing these things can save you a life time of heartache if something would happened to them.