Podcast episode 52: Martial arts cults and cult-like thinking

After a recent Facebook post, I got some questions and decided to tackle this topic of martial arts cults and cult-like thinking in the martial arts. I also answer a reader question about what it feels like to get a broken nose.

Enjoy!

The information mentioned in this episode:

Thanks for listening!

Like, share and leave a review!

You can support the podcast in various ways right here

Subscribe to the podcast and automatically get the latest episode:

Spotify

iTunes

Stitcher

Podcast episode 51: Interview with René Dreifuss

I interviewed René Dreifuss at the beginning of the pandemic and then life went crazy, which is why this episode is so late. But it’s ready now and I hope you find it as informative as I did talking to him. The bonus episode is available here.

Enjoy!

You can reach René at:

https://radicalmmanyc.com

https://www.facebook.com/radicalmmanyc

Thanks for listening!

Like, share and leave a review!

You can support the podcast in various ways right here

Subscribe to the podcast and automatically get the latest episode:

Spotify

iTunes

Stitcher

Rites of passage and self-defense

This article is about self-defense, but it will only make sense when you get to the end of it. Hang in there…

Initiation rituals and “Rites of Passage” have existed in cultures throughout time. They have many purposes I disagree with, but there is one I will write about here: to mark the transition from childhood into adulthood. Once you passed this initiation, you were one of the adults of the tribe or family or whatever other social structure you came from. This typically came with some benefits but also responsibilities: you were allowed more liberty and freedom, but you also became more responsible for yourself and others.

Though there are still certain traditions today that uphold these rites of passage, they are slowly disappearing in Western societies. That is neither good nor bad per se. Societies changed tremendously over the last hundred years or so, which doesn’t make it surprising these rituals are less common now. But I believe there is still value in some of them, so I decided years ago to do something like that with my own children. My daughter turned 18 a few years ago and we did it then, my son became an adult earlier this Summer so the time had come for his turn.

Here’s what we did.

I told him I would “kidnap” him for an afternoon to have a talk and show him some stuff. The first thing I did was take him to Antwerp. I explained this would be my last talk from the typical position of a father teaching his son what he believes he needs to know.

My kids are used to this because I have spent a lot of time talking with them from early childhood. The reason was simple: I divorced my ex-wife almost 20 years ago and I knew I wouldn’t have as much time with my children as I would’ve liked. I wouldn’t always be there to teach them the things they need to know as they organically came up throughout their lives. The next best thing was to always answer all the questions they had and motivate my decisions towards them. I abhor it when somebody says, “Because I say so!” as an answer to the question of “Why?” I always explained why it was important for them to do certain things, like say “Thank you. and “Please.” Or learn to postpone rewards until after the work is done.

I’m very fortunate in that both my children are turning into wonderful young adults. I like to tell myself that my parenting had something to do with that.

All that to say that it is not uncommon for me to spend time discussing things with my children.

 

We went to a place just outside of the city where real estate is extremely expensive. We stopped in front of a huge villa and I asked if he recognized the place; he did.

This needs some explaining:

After my divorce, I was pretty much financially ruined. I had to work as much as I could to recover from that setback. That meant I often worked weekends, but I also had my kids every other weekend. I couldn’t afford a babysitter for the entire weekend, so I asked some of my clients if it was okay if my kids came along while we trained. Without exception, everybody was fine with that, for which I was extremely grateful. I then taught my kids what was expected of them: they had to behave while I was working, not trash the place obviously, be polite, and so on. In the meantime, they could watch a Disney movie on my laptop until I finished the training session. There were never any problems when they came along. It’s one of the things I am still proud of, to see them behave so exemplary.

The place we stopped in front of was the house of one of my oldest clients. He no longer lives in Belgium, but we used to train a lot, so my kids know that house quite well. I told my son that the kind of life he leads, the material things and status he acquired, it’s about as high as you can get. Then I explained how for the past 20 years, he averaged 14 to 16 hours of work every single day. Barring exceptions, all that wealth doesn’t come for free; you have to work extremely hard for it.

If that is what he wants, a career that takes him to that level, he would need to work just as hard and obviously get lucky too. And if that’s what makes him happy, then I’m okay with it. But he shouldn’t expect to get there with anything other than a full commitment.

 

Next, I took him to the red-light district. [Read more…]

Podcast episode 50: the return of the hillbilly thug

Well, the pandemic messed up my plans for the year and the podcast got put on hiatus. But now we’re back. A bit of a recap of what my life was like since then and what’s coming next.

Enjoy!

The information mentioned in this episode:

Thanks for listening!

Like, share and leave a review!

You can support the podcast in various ways right here

Subscribe to the podcast and automatically get the latest episode:

Spotify

iTunes

Stitcher