Warrior Athlete Philosopher

World-Class Martial Arts with Joseph Simonet and Addy Hernandez.

Month: June 2016

We Don’t Follow Trends, We Set Trends

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KI Fighting Concepts is more than a martial arts training source, more than a collection of fighting tools and teaching viewpoints. We pride ourselves on being the source of innovation in today’s martial arts world–a wellspring of creativity that pushes this field past it’s archaic status quo and away from the regurgitated and antiquated technologies of decades or perhaps centuries past. As in any field, our knowledge, no matter how steadfastly and diligently it is acquired, will ultimately stagnate without constant refining and “out of the box” thinking. Unless we embrace the mentality that expertise is an illusion and progressive learning is the only truth, we will ultimately become dinosaurs, doomed to extinction.

In my timeline, I have had frequent conflicted interfaces with some of the “masters” of various disciplines–not because I was resistant to training or disrespectful, but rather because I was resistant to knowing. Let me explain. Since childhood, I was always the student who questioned the dominant paradigms that were accepted by mainstream culture. Being a contrarian, I embraced curiosity over confirmation, sought creativity over acumen, and above all, I wanted to understand. This means I wanted my teachers to lead me in that process of discovery, but so often they were unable or unwilling to take on that role because it meant relinquishing the status of “expert” and embracing the status of student themselves. As much as I have always had the most profound deference toward anyone I learned from, I have been forced out of systems time and time again because there was an inherent frustrated collision between my path and the prevalent and popular course. Although these experiences were deeply painful at the time (and still mark my heart with scar tissue), I have learned to accept that these contentions are part and parcel to the course of innovation.
Trendsetting is a way of thinking, it is a lifestyle, never a final endpoint. Once the trend is “set”, then one stops being a trendsetter, as the trend is always evolving. As many of you have seen in our online library, the material we continuously produce spans decades and reflects a tenacious commitment to the genesis of novel and improved perspectives. I built my first wooden dummy in 1982, and in 1993 I created the Slam Set, which at that time consisted of 108 movements. To reflect my ongoing course of system improvement, the Slam Set currently contains 180 movements, and is endlessly developing. I knew when I created this system that it was about 90% complete and today I can say that it is…90% complete. Such is the process of unfolding refinement, and it will be 90% complete on the day I die. I ceaselessly take out that which is non-essential and add that which is more expedient. My process is reducing complexity, both simplifying and expanding the system simultaneously. That is ultimately the trend I want to set with KI Fighting Concepts–an interminable pursuit of that which is more essential, more concise and also more expansive at the same time. I call this “simplexity”.
The trend we set is not just in our systems of martial arts, it is also in the type of martial artist that we seek to cultivate. I want all my students to learn not just WHAT to think, but HOW to think. Leo Tolstoy writes in “War and Peace” about the broader systems that yield the outcomes of history. It is a common tendency to attribute the happenings of our world to individuals–great leaders, dictators and tyrants alike. However, when one adopts a more enlightened and macroscopic lens, we can see that events emerge due to systems, not individuals. As martial artists, we look at our achievements and ultimately our fighting capabilities as being the result of idiosyncratic characteristics, without considering the broader systems under which we operate. If these systems are flawed, outdated, ineffective or limited in scope, then the potency of any one pupil will be confined to those same parameters. Trendsetting means expanding the potential of the paradigms under which we operate. KI Fighting Concepts is a broadening and distilling force and we intend to both widen and streamline the latitude of the martial arts world, so that you can achieve maximum impact potential.
To date, we have over 400,000 people following our martial arts movement. By reading our blogs, watching our clips and engaging in peer discussions, you are hopefully expanding your horizons as a fighter and a thinker. However, to fully benefit from our philosophy and methodologies, you must immerse beyond the onlooking stage and become a fully-engaged student of our methods and methodologies. Sign up for the online library today so that you can attain the velocity worthy of your potential. Click here for more information on our KI Online Library.

The Enduring Flame of Innovation

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When I was in High School I was an avid weightlifter, I trained in Martial Arts, I had a black Labrador named Rocky and my dream was to build a log cabin on 5 acres. Now I am 62 years old and I still lift weights, I am still training martial arts, I have a black Labrador named Rocky and I live on 5 acres and have an Earth berm home. I clearly knew what I valued as a teenager and I value the things I hold dearly to my heart. Although there have been ongoing changes in my life–children grown and raised, friends come and go, the swift transition of our technological and political world–there are some things that endure in perpetuity. I pride myself in my ability to hold onto what I value, to cultivate the rich soils of my creative, emotional and experiential world, and that process reveals the essence of my core self. I am curious if you do the same in your own life, steadfastly and patiently matriculating whatever brings you the most meaning.
Recently, my martial arts teaching career has rapidly changed not in the content or manner of my pedagogy, but rather in the opportunity to spread and proliferate my message to hundreds of thousands of people all over the world, through our online platform. Already, our martial arts library has subscribers in 25 states in the US and in over 23 countries, on every continent except Antarctica. Although I always knew that I would forever be a creator and instructor of martial arts systems, I never dreamed that I would have the opportunity to reach such a diversity of people, and for that I am humbly grateful.
As with everything I truly value in life, I am committed to the enduring propagation of our KI Fighting Concepts message for as long as I hold breath. We are in it for the long haul and we plan to continue building new content, new systems and innovative methodologies indefinitely. Our online library will be the everlasting platform upon which we present all of our new training material, and as we speak, our newest training video is being produced. However, the library is just the start, as our vision is to build an online empire for our students. For instance, we will be launching programs that enable you, our subscribers, to achieve rank and attend live seminars where you can test with me personally and earn your Black belt. I am also building a library exclusively for X-Dtac (Extreme Defensive Tactics). This is a system of my own creation that I have been developing for the past 8 years, and one that I believe to be the most efficient and effective fighting technology to date.
If you peruse our Facebook, you will find a wealth of information, clips, blogs, and training tips. All of this is provided to you, our viewers, free of charge, and we hope this material inspires you to learn more, train more, and develop your martial arts perspective. However, this content is not intended to be your sole learning modality. In order to successfully execute the movements we demonstrate in these clips, you will need much more depth and breadth, training guidance and practice. This is why it is so important for those who are serious about learning our material to actually sign up for the library, review these videos in their entirety, and steadfastly train these skills. Without the full picture of instruction, you will not be prepared to mimic or replicate these movements in a survival scenario. So please, make the commitment to meaningfully developing yourself into a martial artist who is capable and well-trained. We want to create trained fighters out of those who are currently only spectators and fans of martial arts, and in order to do that you have to take your training seriously and make the commitment to studying in the online library.
There are always going to be struggles in life. You have yours. I certainly have mine. What makes the difference is when you can find someone you want to struggle with. Learning martial arts is a struggle–if you are not struggling, you are not learning. In my experience, many people think they already know all they need to know, and are happy and secure in their own zone of expertise and comfort. However, I am fond of saying that I am doing my best work when everyone in the room is a little uncomfortable. That means we only truly grow and progress when we are pushed away from what we regularly do with assured self-confidence. Most fans who like us on Facebook conceive of themselves on some level as being martial artists, which is fantastic! However, to become a serious martial artist, you must embrace discomfort, reach for a higher state of learning, work your weaknesses, be humbled, give up premature accolades and embrace the spirit of the white belt. My hope is that those who value the fighting arts will push themselves to the next level–from fan to serious student, from a bystander seeking entertainment, to an actively training athlete who is steadfastly developing motor skills and muscle memory.
For myself, martial arts is one of the permanent fixtures of my life, and I want my teaching to become part of the enduring features of your life as well. Until my last gasping breath, I will be a creative and high level teacher of the fighting arts, this is what I do and it is who I am. We are what we experience–so who are you?