F. Braun McAsh…
I’ve been in the professional violence business now for roughly 40 years and am really just starting to appreciate how much I don’t know. I think the first step one takes towards knowledge is being able to admit your ignorance and approach your art with appropriate humility. This is especially true when you’re dealing with the safety of actors, or presuming to teach students self-defense. The day you claim to know it all is a tacit admission of hubris and delusion. Therefore, a day without critical self-examination or review of what you think you know, or without discovering the smallest new grain of knowledge, is a day wasted.
My philosophy? As usual, others have said it better:
“I do not believe in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance.” Thomas Carlyle
“A person reveals his character by nothing so clearly as the joke he resents.” G. C. Lichtenberg
“A man who wastes one hour of time is one who has not discovered the value of life.” Charles Darwin
“Loyalty to a petrified opinion never broke a chain or freed a human soul.” Mark Twain
And barring that, don’t bring a knife to a gun fight!
Joanne L. Bentley
When I was 16, I remember a brown-belt in my Wado Ryu school telling me “You have spirit.” The expression on his face (in the syntax of a somewhat mature forty-something-er) was one of genuine appreciation; there was nothing gender-related in the comment, and without fully understanding why, I began to appreciate my physicality. My power.
It has long been my conviction too many women abdicate their strength in the presence of a male counterpart or significant other — as if by being physically capable, swift, and strong their femininity would be negated. Nonsense. It is wonderful to surrender to my femininity. It is equally magnificent to know the night belongs as much to me as any other.
So, from this root-place, I’ve been somewhat obsessed with discovering if there really is any truth to the idea of a physical limit. Personally, I believe limits reside only in the mind; the same mind which can produce fantastic feats through the physical bodies in which they reside. So limits, therefore, are choices.
A good friend of mine recently told me “You have the look of a predator.” Considering the beautiful predators I have in my life, namely two falcons and a Red Tail hawk, I’m going to choose to take his observation as a compliment. Balancing this element of my nature with the patient tutelage of my beloved friend and mentor Braun McAsh, it is my desire to connect with the techniques, knowledge and traditions left by the great European masters, and develop these martial skills in new students, wheresoever they may be.
In the great words of King Frederick II von Hohenstaufen, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Sicily in the mid-13th Century, grandfather of modern Falconry:
“A day not spent hawking is a day wasted.”
Take my meaning?