Hello, I’m Sifu Joseph Simonet. I am the founder of Ki Fighting Concepts™ and the creator of my most current martial system X-Dtac™ (Extreme Defensive Tactics). I started my martial arts career when I was 18 and now I am in my 60’s. I’d like to tell you about a time when I was profoundly challenged and humbled, and how this experience completely changed my life. The year was 1986. I was 32 years old, and had been training for 14 years. I had attended a Dan Inosanto seminar, going into it feeling like I was at the top of my game. I was fit, skilled, young and strong–and to be honest I felt like I was a master. I went into the event expecting to impress others and manifest my confidence. Instead, I found myself driving down the highway in my 1969 Volkswagen bug having the most leveling emotional experience of my life. With tears streaming down my face, I was screaming and hitting the passenger seat over and over, harder and harder, in agony, to the point that I actually broke my car. Looking back, I see that the most painful experience of my life are also the times when I transcend to a new level of being, and in this instance I was growing in an extraordinary way. You see, when I was exposed to people who had mastered their art on a level I had never conceived, I was overwhelmed with just how little I truly understood. In that moment, the platform of my existence was shaken. Instead of taking my ball and going home, I resolved to rise to the challenge and develop myself into more of a martial artist, more of a student, and ultimately more of a man.
Have you ever had a similar experience? Maybe you feel the way I did and desperately want to push yourself to that next level. If you are like me, you don’t want to be right, you don’t want to know, you want to “understand” and maybe you never stop pushing yourself to pursue the vanishing point of growth and enlightenment in all aspects of your life.
Yet it is exactly this never ending questioning of myself and others that has gotten me kicked out of every martial arts system I have ever been part of. Most of the extant systems are run by people who “know”, who have to be in charge, and that position has caused them to reject and deny me because I threaten their so-called truths. Once again, I could have responded to this rejection by quitting, becoming complacent or becoming cynical. Instead, I chose to develop my own systems and schools where I could follow my truth and pursue my higher meaning. Martial arts is just one of the ways that I seek growth and clarity, and maybe you are like me, also on a never-ending quest for a refined way of being.