Endeavor to Persevere – Indomitable Spirit is Made Not Born

Personal Development Relationships What Your Father Should Have Taught You Worldview

SabersEdge is for a special kind of person. The majority of humanity hides behind psychological protections that prevent them from seeing things truly and using various techniques to hide from change and growth. The fact that you read SabersEdge.Online proves that you are not among the cowards who have to pretend that “it can’t happen here” or that “everything is fine” as the house burns down around them. There are so many psychological studies that explain why you “can’t change someone’s mind” and I assume you are familiar with some of them. Yet we can change ourselves through perseverance and seriousness in training. Since we are living in a paradigm shift it is you, the readers of SabersEdge.Online and Patreon supporters who are ahead of the curve and will be ready for the change while others are engulfed in the flames of change and shock. Many will fall, but we shall persevere.

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SabersEdge Association is creating Videos, Blogs, and Writings for Education and growth | Patreon

There is more for followers on Patreon with suggested reading, additional information for developing character, suggestions for reading, bibliographies, and more for members of the SabersEdge Association Community. Blog posts are just too short to go into the detail these topics deserve and I need to shorten them even more to reach the people I need to. Patreon offers more depth:


The quote at the beginning of the last blog was: in daily life, we should train one’s mind and body in a spirit of humility and honor so that, in critical times, you may unite body, mind, and spirit to be devoted utterly to the cause of justice.

This is my internal voice. It is how I have always remembered the quote but the actual quote is here:

Funakoshi Gichin Sensei was the “creator” of Shotokan Karate. He believed Karate was simply Karate and that the various “schools” were non-sensical and should all be melded together to truly understand the art. Still, he is considered the founder of Shotokan Karate which I learned primarily under the tutelage of Sensei Schmidt. (Dr. Richard Schmidt, UNL and his classes and training in Asian Martial Culture or Hoplology). Both believed that Karate was fundamentally about training a person’s character and it has had a great influence on all aspects of my life.

“Funakoshi Gichin Sensei was a humble man. He placed no importance on competitions, record-breaking, or self-glorification but believed strongly in individual self-perfection. He believed in common decency and respect that one human being owes to another and these values he constantly promoted in has karate teachings and perhaps it’s because of these beliefs, karate-do has spread to every corner of the planet since his passing.” – World Shotokan Karate Federation website.

It was said by Dr. Schmidt, who studied Karate in Japan – where it is very different than the belt-obsessed progression of most American Karate, that in Japan people would practice a single Kata for years. A change from Funakoshi’s father’s time when they might practice a single technique of Kata for years. The greatest masters only knew 3 or 4 Kata in an entire lifetime. Yet I have been thru HopKiDo and TaeKwonDo schools that tried to push you into a test (that you had to pay for over and above club rates) every month. This grated on me when my Sensei said that you should know every move in Kata and be able to use them habitually and naturally, without thought, when sparring. It takes time to build muscle memory and even more to have those moves become so natural you do them without thinking. It was a problem I had doing Kata. If something distracted me and made me think about it I completely lost where I was.

You see, when I trust someone I don’t just learn from them I absorb their teaching, ruminate on it, and work with it until it becomes part of me. That is the way to develop character in training. Sensei Schmidt helped me to learn how to not just learn knew techniques but to transform my spirit and my will to bring out the qualities that otherwise would lie dormant. In the movie and book Dune by Frank Herbert Duke Leto Atreides is talking to his son and he says, “Without change something sleeps inside us and never awakens.”

– The Sleeper Must Awaken! –

Let Training Become Part of You and Blossom to the Full

So I absorbed his words and applied myself to training as he said it “should” be done – as it was done in Japan. Not to advance through belts but to “know” Karate and martial arts. I advanced to a Yellow Belt learning 4 Katas and I stopped. For years I stayed at that level practicing the Katas and I still did not know them to the point where I could use all of the moves naturally, reflexively, and without thinking. Sensei occasionally asked me if I wanted to test to advance and I said no I am still learning these.

One day when we were sparring he set up line fights rotating so that we were not sparring only in our “belt class” and I thought I did OK. I enjoyed the challenge of fighting the black belts and brown belts instead of just the yellow and blue I was used to (since I was still a yellow belt trying to fully learn my 3 or 4 Kata.) After that class and many sparring matches we all lined up for his final comment and after workout stretching. Sensei said, “If you are a black belt or a brown belt and you are being defeated by a yellow belt there is something wrong with your level of understanding of Karate.” I was surprised that I held my own, although it was difficult. After that black and brown belts sought me out in sparring and I had a difficult time. It took all my effort to keep up and I must say I learned my kata and sparring much more intensely. It took all of my effort to keep up. At first, I thought, “thanks sensei, you put a target on me with your statement.” But over time I realized that I needed to advance to improve my skills and the intensity of the training was part of that. I tested for my blue belt; I moved before I could advance farther and despite other training in HopKiDo and TaeKwonDo it is those Kata from Shotokan Karate under Schmidt that stick with me. They became part of my character because Schmidt conducted training for character and because I was willing to accept the growth. The teaching became part of me.

Training for Character – To Be Rather Than to Seem

That is training for character. It is not just knowing things but becoming something beyond what you are and sticking with it. That is where the teaching and training make a difference in your life. I know many veterans and soldiers who have served, police officers, and others. But not all of them are warriors. Warriors are different. Soldiers were in the Armed Forces. But warriors are warriors their whole life. I had someone ask me once. “you and your friend were both soldiers but you are so different from him. You were both cavalry but you seem to live it.”

Not all soldiers are warriors. Warriors carry themselves and their formation through every adversity, every activity, and every endeavor as a warrior. Even as a pastor my church filled back up with WWII and Viet Nam Veterans who had long ago abandoned the church. Veterans recognize one another and understand one another. Warriors, whether they are veterans or not, do too. There are people born with a warrior spirit who do not serve. But, whatever our state. Training for the formation of character can bring the warrior out in all of us. If we let it. I had an instructor at the seminary talk about different styles of ministry. He said “Some ministers make good friends, some make good teachers, some have other skills and there are different situations in ministry where they shine. But if I and my family were going through hell I would want Dan as my pastor.”

One whose spirit and mental strength have been strengthened by sparring with a never-say-die attitude should find no challenge too great to handle. One who has undergone long years of physical pain and mental agony to learn one punch, one kick, should be able to face any task, no matter how difficult, and carry it through to the end. A person like this can truly be said to have learned karate. – that is another paraphrase of Funakoshi Gichin Sensei.

SabersEdge Association trains for pietas, virtue, and character. The character that will carry you through any crisis. That is what sets us apart and it can set you apart, you must incorporate what resonates with you and ruminate upon it and let it grow. Here we don’t want to convince you to join this party or that, vote this way or that. I want you to be a better you. Analyze the facts, see through the lies, and thrive. That is training for pietas, virtue, and character that makes a difference. Tell others who are SabersEdge material because we will all be needed to make it through the coming hard times. Mount up! Let’s Ride!

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