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ULTIMATE Defeat the Darkness


Ultimate Defeat the Darkness

Shame On You


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In a lot of ways this is difficult, even painful, for me to write, I have never liked “throwing anyone under the bus” but if you know me, you know I can NOT stand McDojos or snake oil salesmen. I was actually writing an article on the history of the obi, the karate belt, and got tired of thinking and started surfing the web for films of self-defense techniques. At one point I went to Google and typed in “fight like a girl self -defense techniques”. This link came up about third down the line.

What I saw in this deeply disturbed me. Here we have a black belt in Gracie Brazilian Jujitsu teaching children self-defense using his daughters to perform the techniques. I had heard that these same sort of techniques were being taught here around town in some of the schools and it bothered me just hearing parents and kids describe them to me.

I honestly don’t know if these techniques are authorized Fight Like a Girl moves or not but they are certainly using the name on the video. Here’s the newsflash for you:

THEY DON’T WORK!

With the exception of one technique where the guy picks the child up from behind and she starts kicking him, they are worthless. The ending of that technique is fundamentally wrong as well. Whoever created these moves has absolutely no understanding of either body mechanics or insight as to how a predator attacks. I know. I, wanting to at least give it a chance, went to the dojo and worked with several students of different ages, sizes, and degrees of body strength. Not even adults could get the first couple to work. I can’t understand for the life of me why a black belt in a grappling art would waste his time putting these out there.

Let’s walk through the video and I will explain.

0:19

I will start here because this is basically a repeat of the first 18 or so seconds at a different angle.
First of all, pause at 0:22 seconds. Notice the position of the attacker’s body. His arms are outstretched and locked. His hands around the girl’s neck. This shows the attack has just begun. The attacker is attempting to subdue the victim. THAT is what his attention is on. Now, note his body position. He is between the girl’s legs. In most cases a sexual predator will NOT move into this position until he has already gotten his prey under control. (Although, believe it or not, it does make the escape easier). He will straddle his victim to further control their body.

0:23

The girl moves her arms across the attacker’s arms, pulls down, and breaks the choke hold. Notice also at exactly 0:24 he opens his hands thus releasing the hold. NOT! If you are on top of someone attempting to choke them your arms are locked and the majority of your body weight is pushing down. A weaker smaller person will not be able to break the hold in such a manner as depicted on the film. After at least 10 attempts to mimic this move in our dojo with unsuspecting victims, none of them worked. Quite simply the child is trying to use muscle instead of any kind of technique to break the hold. Coming from under the attacker’s arms with both hands to the elbows would probably work better. Then again, turning her head and biting a hunk out of his hand would be more efficient.

Back to the attacker releasing the hold: once someone has you in a position like this, maintaining the hold they already have on you is imperative to them. That is why deceptive moves like going for the eyes or groin will augment a technique and cause it to work…it takes the attackers mind OFF of the primary hold. In this case, the attacker simply releases his hold without attempting in any way whatsoever to regain it, thus regaining control.

0:24

The girl simply wiggles her way out. The attacker doesn’t attempt to regain any kind of control whatsoever. (Dad just lets her go). She kicks him a few times in the chest (no effect if the attacker is a large person). The only redeeming factor is that she finally kicks him in the face, rolls away, and escapes (although with no sense of urgency at all).

0:35

This is so ridiculous I’m not going to even waste a lot of time on it. Sure enough, last time I saw a larger person attack a smaller weaker one they got right down on their knees and tried to choke them. I think the thing that bothers me the most is that it seems to be a re-occurring theme in a lot of these techniques for the child to LAY DOWN on the floor and start kicking. Gee, that puts them right back in the situation we saw at 0:19, aka…JUST where a sexual predator wants you!

0:50

Probably the best idea of the bunch. The attacker grabs from behind and the girl starts kicking him until he lets go of her. This is a good sound move UNTIL the attacker releases her and we, instead of getting away immediately, go right back to laying down on the floor and kicking.

1:21

Another one I can’t figure out why a Jujitsu guy would even entertain teaching. I am a Nidan in Japanese jusitsu. An adage my Sensei pounded into my head over and over again was “If they push, you pull. If they pull, you push”. By following this you take away the attackers strength and basically turn his power against him. I teach my students in such an attack to either move into their attacker with an offensive move or attack his hand as he pulls you. Once again, we find our young heroine on her back on the floor kicking.

Anyone who is out there teaching these things, especially if you have training and know better, should be ashamed. Why are you passing on to children of all people, worthless techniques that don’t work, make no sense, and place them in more danger?

Here are some tips if you are really attacked.

Do NOT lie down! Prone on your back is the LAST place you want to be.

The face is almost ALWAYS open. Punch it, scratch it, hurt it going for the eyes.

There is NO SUCH THING as a “fair fight” when you are attacked. Bottom line: you walk away or you get carried away.

When you get the chance…RUN! Don’t “pretend” to run. Don’t half-way run. R-U-N!! Get away. Get to help!

You’re Doing It All Wrong

April 8, 2013 2 comments

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The dojo completed our Defeat the Darkness benefit for Family Crisis Services last Saturday standing against Domestic Violence, sexual assault and abuse. At the end of a very long day I was exhausted both physically and emotionally. We raised approximately $600.00 toward ending Domestic Violence in our community.

I learned a lot that day. One of the greatest lessons I learned was that all though some people are apathetic to the plague of violence that is rampant in our nation today, there is a host of others that are caring and concerned about the people around them that are suffering silently.

The speakers left an ever-lasting impression on me and I hope to the audience in attendance. These people, many of them volunteers, touched my heart and soul. I even found the courage to tell my own tale and all of it brought tears to my eyes at times.

There are some that turn a blind eye to the subject. There are those who want to help in the beginning, find out what a task, a battle, there is in front of them and back away. Although I understand this aspect of their thought pattern, I wish these people would at least be honest to the public and the victims.

One person related a story to me of a group who went full throttle into helping with the problem. These good-hearted, community-oriented people were great in the beginning. Then at the end of a past Take Back the Night Walk when everyone had gathered in the park (there’s a nice photo and article on this in the archives of this blog) people were allowed to stand up and speak openly. Some people publicly announced they were taking a stand against abuse. Others found a voice and told their own stories of how they had been abused.

This “community- oriented” group and its’ leaders were offended by one or two of the stories that were told. They found the outpouring of emotion and sometimes grief from these people too graphic and offensive. In what I can only consider their self-righteousness they chose to pull out and no longer support the move.

Are you crazy?

Want graphic? How about this…if you have a deep wound and you rip the scab off of that wound, it’s going to bleed! If you have a diverse group of people gathered together on the subject of Domestic Violence and abuse, emotions are going to rise to the surface because the thin veil that is holding back all of that pent up anguish is going to be torn away. This is the real world not some sanitary environment you have created where the boogie man lives outside somewhere. The boogie man lives right next door to you. He may be hiding in your own home. Real life is not a fairy tale where stories of dragons and monsters are told. We don’t live in the Middle Ages where priests told stories of demons and monsters living “out there” in the forests and had rituals and magics which would get rid of them which were never really used because at the end of the day no one had actually saw a monster. This is the 21st century. We have our own dragons and monsters and they are real. We really see them every single day when we watch the news or read the paper.

If you are out there, especially those of you who teach martial arts, and you have this kind of mind set, you need to wake up! The monsters are real. Violence is real. Abuse is real. People come to you in order to learn to defend themselves. Some of these people have experienced violence. They have been attacked or know someone close to them who has. They have met the monster. They have shook hands with the Devil. They are looking to you for help. For you to sit in your little make believe world and refuse to accept that is wrong. For you to teach people self-defense methods and techniques that you’re not even sure will work in real-life is wrong. Most of all and most important, for you to be angry or offended at a person for opening their heart is wrong! Don’t get angry or offended at the victim for opening up. Get angry at the crime. Get angry at the suffering! Get offended at the fact that we see this every single day an treat it like it’s “just life”. Or even worse, we ignore it completely.

In other words: You’re doing it wrong and your heart is in the wrong place. What is even worse is that in your pious indignation you are hurting the very people you claim to want to help.

Take your blinders off. Stop thinking about your reputation and your desire to make money for a moment and realize that you have intentionally put yourself in a position of authority and knowledge. People look to you for guidance. They look to you for advice. In a lot of very deep and personal ways, they look to you for compassion and understanding. If you’re going to place yourself in a position to help people then do it. If you don’t have the talent, knowledge, or courage to see it through then stop dancing around the thing. In the end you will get someone hurt either physically or emotionally.

I’m not a professional counselor. I have no degree. I do not want people to look at me in that manner. However I want to help. I am committed to help. In that commitment I have made connections with people who are professionals. I am set up so that if anyone comes to me and needs help I can direct them to people who can help them.

I suppose you could say I am a “professional” martial artist although I hate to use that term. I am trained and I have real-world experience with violence. I can, in that capacity, teach people how to defend themselves. Although I do attempt to increase my knowledge and continue to learn, I have no need for outside self-defense programs, catering to women or otherwise, to augment my teachings, line my wallet, or fatten my bank account. In that aspect I can confidently contribute to ending violence. I’m not a savior. I’m not even, in my mind, a leader in this fight. The volunteers that man those phones 24/7, the people who put victims up in safe houses, the staff who counsel and advocate for the abused, those are the leaders and heroes in this fight. I’m just a voice. I’m just a single pair of hands that are outstretched to try to help. I am a simple Sensei who refuses to turn a blind eye or a deaf ear to what is going on. I have seen enough real violence in my life that I am not so thin skinned that I would turn my back on anyone simply because I felt “offended”. If you are one of these people yet you have set yourself up to be a champion for the cause; You’re doing it all wrong! And I have to wonder what else you claim to be or take up a cause for that you will simply walk away from because you find something offensive or something doesn’t fit into the nice little box of your life.

Declaring War on the Monster

February 28, 2013 4 comments

One thing I have hoped since I began this blog is that it would educate and inform others. If not that, I had hoped it would at least entertain people to some degree. One thing I have noticed is that more often times than not it educates me. At least it makes me think.

My last article was on Domestic Violence. I thought that it was time to begin looking at the subject and getting feedback from others. As I began actually researching the subject even more some of the things I wrote about, and some I didn’t, sickened me.

It seems that not a day goes by that I don’t open a newspaper or turn on the evening news and am bombarded by horrible stories of violence and Domestic Violence. You notice I capitalize the words. That’s because Domestic Violence has become almost a living breathing thing in my mind. An evil thing.

It’s not that I have just discovered it. Neither have you. It isn’t that it just became an important issue. It always has been. Has it grown in intensity? Yes, I believe it has. Yet even noticing that growth is not the reason it has suddenly came to the forefront of my mind I don’t think. I saw it when I was very young. It is one of my earliest childhood memories. I think it has probably lurked in the back of my mind all of my life like a silent ghost.

The thing that I think brought it forward in my life was a story in the news from Colorado Springs a few weeks ago. A man, I hesitate to call him a “Father”, murdered his two children then took off on his motorcycle. He wrecked the bike and killed himself only a few miles from his home.

How many of these stories do we hear every single day? Often times there are more than one or two stories in the same news broadcast. We listen to them. See them. Absorb them. Then we go on with our lives. I have been just as guilty of it as anyone. Finally I threw my hands in the air and asked WHY???? Have we gotten to the point that we are so desensitized to it that it’s “Just life”?

I haven’t.

I have seen a lot in my life. Looking back I think I have actually sought out violence in a weird round-about way. Twenty-four years in Corrections is pretty much putting yourself right in the middle of violence. I know it, have embraced it, have walked hand-in-hand with it. I would say that I have been, because of that life experience, pretty much as numb to it as anyone else could be. Some would say that gives me an advantage. I suppose in a lot of ways it does. But I have come to the point that I will not be as numb as the average person because of it.

Several years ago the dojo began supporting Family Crisis Services here. This organization is simply one of the most wonderful ones I have ever seen. The people there, many of them volunteers, selflessly give of themselves to assist the victims of Domestic Violence, sexual assault, and sexual abuse. They provide training and education to schools, churches, community organizations, and first responders. They offer a hotline 24/7. They also provide a Safe House for victims and are advocates to them as well even going as far as assisting the victims with restraining orders. They help victims develop safety plans for themselves and their children. There are several other faucets in which they act on behalf of those who cannot help themselves. And everything they do is confidential.

One of the things Family Crisis Services is very involved in is the Take Back the Night Walk to raise awareness on Domestic Violence. Several years ago I developed my Defeat the Darkness Women’s Self-Defense classes and seminars to compliment and work in adjacency with Take Back the Night. Even though the program has been a marvelous success I decided it simply was not enough.

This year Defeat the Darkness has taken on a whole new persona. I have decided to do an all-day event including martial arts demonstrations, guest speakers, and the self-defense program. We intend to collect donations for Family Crisis Services and do everything possible to raise awareness and educate the community.

Since I began working on the event I cannot believe the outpouring of support from the community. I can find fellow martial artists to demos at the drop of a hat. That’s no problem for me. The things I thought would be difficult are turning out not to be as much work as I thought. Within one afternoon I had three guest speakers lined up with the possibility of several others. I wanted door prizes and thought getting people to sponsor the event would be problematic. I had seven sponsors within 45 minutes today. I’m not bragging. I feel lucky and very blessed.

I hope this will be only the beginning. As hokey as it sounds, I feel like I am launching a war on a monster. It is a war I am willing to fight but I fully understand it is not one I can wage alone.

I am adding a link to an article one of our local publications printed (including in it a very nice photo of some of my students working out) on the dojo and the subject.

http://www.canoncurrent.com/category/news/karate-school-fights-to-serve-community/

I urge you, please, stop taking the problem of Domestic Violence with a shrug. Get out in your community. Take action. Make a stand. You can make a difference in people’s lives.

The Other Side of Violence

February 11, 2013 5 comments

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In the past I have written a lot on violence in this blog. Violence, as sad as the fact may be, is a part of life. Violence can be placed in two categories:

Social Violence

Domestic Violence

I have written quite a bit on the Social Violence side of the coin. Actually it is pretty much all I have written about here. Social Violence can be considered acts of violence that randomly happen to us. We are in the “wrong place at the wrong time” sort of scenarios are the ones that make up the majority of Social Violence cases. Like physical assault, sexual assault, robberies, and ect, these types of assault happen for the most part on a random basis. In my Common Sense Self-Defense articles I have provided a lot of information on Social Violence and how to deal with it. There is a ton of information on the subject in this blog. I intend to write more on it later.

In this article I want to touch a bit on the other side of the coin. I want to talk a bit on the dark and very personal torture that is Domestic Violence.

What is Domestic Violence?

A pattern of abusive behavior in an intimate or romantic relationship where one person chooses to control the relationship through the use of force, intimidation or fear.

This includes any behaviors that frighten, intimidate, terrorize, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, blame, injure or wound someone.

Domestic Violence’s abuse can take many forms. It may range from physical, emotional, sexual, economical, or a combination of these. It can be extreme as we often picture it, or it can be very subtle. In a relationship, it knows no boundaries or age limits. It happens in straight or same-sex relationships. Either sex can abuse the other (yes, women can be abusers to men). It can, and does, happen to teens as well as adults.

We often picture it as we have seen it in movies but Domestic Violence isn’t just an argument every once in a while. Domestic violence describes an ongoing pattern of abusive behavior when one person chooses to control the relationship (most often a romantic relationship) through force, fear, pressure or intimidation. Sometimes it is not even noticeable. Put-downs in public can only be the tip of the iceberg. It can very often be subtle even to the point of withholding money or taking paychecks.

That romantic relationship can be between two people who are married, divorced, living together, dating, with kids, without kids. It can be between teenagers, young people, adults, the elderly, between a man and woman, two women, two men, two people from any race, culture, nationality, religion, and from any neighborhood, economic status or educational level… Domestic violence can affect anyone.

It is important to understand that people commit domestic violence because they choose to do so, not because they can’t stop themselves. I think our modern society too often wants to place blame for something anywhere except the place it needs to be…on the person who committed or is committing the negative behavior. Abusing someone is a CHOICE.

We should all know the signs of Domestic Violence, not only to protect ourselves but to possible warn or protect others.

What are the Warning Signs?

•extreme jealousy or insecurity
•constant put-downs
•possessiveness or treating you like property
•telling you what to do
•constantly checking in on you
•explosive temper
•making false accusations
•isolating you from your friends and family
•preventing you from doing things you want to do

What Can be Done?

If you suspect someone you know is being abused, what can you do? The answer is not as simple as one might first think. Unlike in the movies we can’t just storm into the home and stop the violence as much as we might like to. Unlike Social Violence self-defense courses do little good because many people either do not realize they are actually being abused or refuse to admit it.

How can a person not realize they are being abused?

You have to understand that a lot of Domestic Violence / Abuse is psychological as well as physical. It is a pattern that over time has become, in the victim’s mind, normal. If possible pull the victim to the side, get them away from their abuser, and have a serious talk with them. Try to educate them and explain to them that what is happening is wrong. You can also inform the proper authorities. Help Lines and Hot Lines are abundant and easy to find. One thing to keep in mind: you are involving yourself in a very volatile situation on both sides. You absolutely have to use some discernment in how you act and the actions you take. You also must be willing to accept that the victim may not be willing to listen to you or accept your help. Remember, they think in many cases that nothing is wrong. The abuser is already a violent person in one form or another and may at least verbally assault you. In reality you must have a great deal of wisdom and courage if you attempt any form of intervention.

If you are being abused you need to:

Realize you are being abused.

You are in a cycle. You have been brainwashed to certain degree. You have to come to grips within yourself that you are a victim. Most importantly you have to realize that IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT. Remember what I said earlier, people CHOOSE to abuse someone. The idea you have done anything to deserve abuse is part of the cycle that the abuser has set into place in your mind. They have put you, your life, and possible the lives of your children in a nice little box…or cage.

Get Help

There are many organizations out there that are ready and willing to assist you. I support and work with such an organization that not only offers support and counseling but can also offer abuse victims and their children a place to go, a Safe House so to speak. Find these people and accept their help. No matter what you have come to believe, you are being victimized and you need help and support.

Get Out!

Just as it is with Social Violence you need to separate yourself from the thing that is harming you. You need to “escape”. If there are children involved this becomes even more critical. Perhaps your abuser isn’t harming your children physically but there are mental and emotional scars they are enduring that will last them for the rest of their lives. You may believe with all of your heart that things will get better. You may think that eventually you can change that person. Things will NOT get better. You will NOT change your abuser. In all probability without professional help, things will get worse.

You Are Not Alone

As I said, there are people out there that can and will help you. You are not the only person that has had to endure the pain and suffering you are experiencing. Inside of each of us is the heart of a warrior. That heart can take many different shapes and form each warrior differently. One of the main characteristics, the main traits, of a warrior is courage. You have to embrace the warrior within you and find the courage to act. You have to find the strength to reach out for help. Once you can do this you will find that you are truly not alone.

Fight Like A…oh I dunno “Warrior” maybe

December 30, 2012 6 comments

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I’ve touched on this subject before. OK, I’ve done a tad bit more than “touch” on it. The thing nags at me to no end and I can’t help but comment on it again.

There seems to be a mindset going around these days that women are not suited for traditional karate. The idea is that women are smaller and weaker than men and therefore many of the moves and techniques in traditional karate cannot and will not possibly work for them. I’m not sure how things have gotten so blurred with this subject. I think a large part of it comes from our modern view of karate and the martial arts in general. We have watered them down so much that they are meaningless to anyone who is serious about self-defense. People, and I mean a majority of those who teach and promote martial arts, have lost the true meaning of “traditional” karate. People who know little or nothing of karate see competitions and watch “forms” which are beautifully choreographed sequences of movements. They are very pretty, very graceful, and lack one shred of anything that would be useful to defend yourself if you had to rely on them.

On the other side of the coin we are bombarded with images of MMA fighters. Many, not all but many, of these athletes are huge muscle-bound fighters. They are intimidating to the average person. I have trained for many years and I have to admit that I would have reservations about ticking one of them off.

So, we have been exposed to two different views of what martial arts are about. The meaning of much of traditional karate has been lost. In that meaning lies the very reason that it is not only suitable for women but, for many reasons, women can excel in it much more than their male counterparts.

There are many women of all ages who practice traditional karate. I have listed in the past a short list of some very famous female martial artists including Cynthia Rotheric and Chloe Bruce. Guess what? Despite this new mindset that traditional martial arts aren’t suitable for women, women practicing them is not a new phenomenon. In the infancy of martial arts Shaolin nuns were very formidable in Kung Fu.

I have no idea where the “Masters” of this art or that art or the creators of many of the newer self-defense programs for women are getting their ideas but here are two of the main reasons many of them are citing as to why that you ladies just can’t do it.

• You are smaller in stature than a man
• You are not as physically strong as a man

Ok. Duh. I’m not being disrespectful but honestly these are simply biological facts. Here’s the secret that these people simply do not get: these things are NOT disadvantages in karate. In fact, women have many advantages over men.

Got your interest?

Karate was designed to provide an effective way to defend yourself from an aggressor who is larger and more powerful than you. Though not designed specifically with women in mind, Karate is a martial art that relies very heavily on skill to overcome brute force. Most men will rely on their physical presence to overpower their victim(s), but a well placed blow at the correct time will stop anyone.

Any idiot can make a fist and lash out wildly using weight and brute strength. Karate teaches precision, timing and accuracy to land a single blow which “stops” your attacker.

A woman’s muscles are shorter than a man’s, so they contract and expand quicker. This means that a woman has a natural speed advantage.

The mechanical make up of a woman’s body gives them more fluid and flexible hips, and most of the power in Karate techniques comes from the hips. Women are much better at using their hips to generate power in their punches and kicks (ever look at the average guy trying to dance at a night club? Then you know how hard it is for men to use their hips efficiently!)

Any type of physical training can be rough on women. Physical training can be tough on ANYONE but in Karate you are taught how to train properly. How to move, hit, punch, kick, fall and avoid an opponent. The heart of Karate is learning how not to get hurt.

Statistics tell us that one in three women world-wide will be assaulted at least once in their lives. Karate won’t stop you from being assaulted but it can certainly help change the expected outcome of the assault.

When a woman learns Karate, she also learns self-defense, self-confidence and self-esteem which allows her to be able to go out in life with less fear and with a warmer and more open attitude.

So to all of you “self-defense gurus” and “women’s self-defense masters” out there that are promoting the line of crap that women are too weak to learn and practice traditional karate, to all of you out there with your programs or your films on YouTube who are saying that some of the techniques of traditional karate are too difficult for women to perform, please stop.

You need to seriously take a long look in the mirror. There may be legitimate reasons that karate didn’t work for you. The two that come to mind quickest are:

• Your instructor wasn’t much of an instructor. I am a Sensei, a teacher, it is my JOB to teach my students. Let me re-phrase that. It is my RESPONSIBILITY to teach my students. If I have student who is struggling with a technique it is my duty as that student’s teacher to work with them until they can make it work. If the moves are too difficult it is up to me to modify those moves to the point the student, male or female, can execute them successfully.

• You simply didn’t try hard enough. I know before you start whining to me that was such a cruel statement. How dare I say such a thing. The very nerve of me to even suggest that it could have possibly been your fault. We do kihon (basics) every single class in my dojo. Each class I tell my students that if they have to use karate to defend themselves in real life that they are going to react in the real world exactly as they do in the dojo. (To be honest that isn’t entirely true. In a real attack you will lose much of your learned motor skills due to adrenalin dump and several other factors in that moment.) You have to practice with all seriousness. If you do not, you will lose. Plain and simple. After you lose you will come to me and probably quit saying that karate doesn’t work. In truth, the karate worked; you didn’t.

For you ladies out there that are reading this; stop believing every bit of hype that you hear or read on the internet. If you’re listening to someone who’s telling you that you are too small or too weak for karate (or anythng else for that matter) politely tell them to go sell their BS to someone else. That is what they are doing you know. They are attempting to sell you a line of goods to convince you of something that isn’t true in order for you to buy into their program or mindframe. Don’t allow yourself to be suckered in. If you are in a martial arts program and find some of the techniques to difficult, go to your instructor and tell him / her that you are having problems. A Sensei worth their salt will do everything they can to help you succeed.

Good-bye My Friend

October 19, 2012 6 comments

Please forgive me. I usually type out my posts on a word sheet and check the spelling. Tonight I will try my best without that so please overlook the typos.

I got the news today that my very best friend in the whole world had passed almost two weeks ago.

Les had been ill for a long while. He had contracted Hep at his job at the prison. To complicate things, he had diabeties. When I last saw him, back in the spring, his arms and face were skinny, yet his stomach was bloated beyound belief. His mom came out here to stay with him and remained all summer. Les retired on a medical from the state prison and went home to MO so his mom could look after him. He had moved to Rifle CO and was too far away for me and my family to check on him,

Les went home. His health steadily declined. We had hoped that being home and being with his family would have helped improve his health. Instead he grew worse. His mom told me that he went to the hospital and it took two deputies and the two ambulance attenents to get him loaded. She said that until they got his pain under control, he would lay there and scream. Once they did he was peaceful. He was put in a nusrsing home for a little while. Terrible thought that a 53 year old man be in a place like that. His mom arranged for hospice and he was brought home. Very soon after Les’ kidneys shut down and in two days time he passed from this world in the middle of the night. He was in no pain when he left this world and surrounded by his family.

I cannot put into words the emotions I feel right now. When I first began my career in the MO Department of Corrections, Les was my teacher, my mentor, and my guide. He became much more than that. When people endure the stress of working in that enviroment on a constant basis, they become more than friends. Les became the brother I have never had. He stuck by me in thick and thin and was more of a family member to me than anyone I am related to by blood.

This blog is all about karate. Les never took one single lesson in his life. Yet he was one of the greatest warriors I have ever known. He was hard and gruff and tough as nails. Unless you knew him personally, you probably would not have liked him. I was one of the few people who was honored to know him personally and to know that he had a heart as big as he was (and trust me he was a BIG man …over sx feet and well over 200 pounds). He treated my daughters like they were his own. Both of them, along with my wife, are deep in mourning for him. He was a force to be reckoned with inside of the walls. He very seldom saw a gray area. There was only right and wrong, black and white. I didn’t always agree with him but then again, he didn’t always agree with me, on philosophies and world views. Yet we blended. In the truest sense we were brothers.

I miss him. I will miss him for a long, long time. He gave me a love for guns, harleys, and helped me discover who I was and become the man I am.

Please forgive me. This may not be the proper venue for this but it’s 2 am and it is heavy on my heart.

Good-bye, my brother. The prison took your life in the most subtle way and it took it way too soon.

This is for you…until we meet again…because we’ve only got 100 years and you got cheated out of half

http://youtu.be/tR-qQcNT_fY