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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Warrior's Prayer - Based upon the Holy Bible verses found at Ephesians 6:11-17

Heavenly Father, 
Your warrior prepares for battle.
Today I claim victory over Satan by putting on the whole armor of God!

I put on the Girdle of Truth!
May I stand firm in the truth of Your Word
so I will not be a victim of Satan's
and his demons' lies.

I put on the breastplate of Righteousness!
May it guard my heart from evil
so I will remain pure and holy,
protected under the blood of Jesus Christ.

I put on the Shoes of Peace!
May I stand firm in the Good News of the Gospel
so Your peace will shine through me
and be a light to all I encounter.

I take the Shield of Faith!
May I be ready for Satan's fiery darts of
doubt, denial and deceit
so I will not be vulnerable to spiritual defeat.

I put on the Helmet of Salvation!
May I keep my mind focused on You
so Satan will not have a stronghold on my

I take the Sword of the Spirit!
May the two edged sword of Your Word
be ready in my hands
so I can expose the tempting words of Satan.

By faith your warrior has put on
the whole armor of God!

I am prepared to live this day, in spiritual victory!
In His most Holy Name!!!


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Use of Deadly Force for Lawful Self-Defense - Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

In receiving a license to carry a concealed weapon for lawful self-defense, you are undertaking a great responsibility. A license to carry a concealed weapon is not a license to use it. I am sure you share my hope that you will never find it necessary to use a weapon in self-defense. If you do, the law will protect you only if you have acted within the law. Those who are choosing to arm themselves with weapons should, therefore, be armed with the most indispensable weapon of all knowledge.
We are providing this information to you as a service in pursuit of that goal. Only you can provide the wisdom, restraint, and good judgment that the law demands of those who possess the ability to take another human life.
Adam H. Putnam

A License to Carry a Concealed Weapon is not a License to use it.

This information was prepared by the Division of Licensing in an attempt to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about the use of deadly force for lawful self-defense. Included are examples of real situations involving the legal consequences of the use of deadly force.
Q. What kinds of weapons are included in the concealed weapons law?
A. The Jack Hagler Self-defense Act defines concealed weapons or firearms as follows: handguns, electronic weapons or devices, tear gas guns, knives and billies. The information provided emphasizes handguns, because they are one of the most commonly used weapons for self-defense.
Q. What if I am in my vehicle?
A. A person has no duty to retreat in his lawfully occupied vehicle against a person who was in the process of unlawfully and forcefully entering or had unlawfully and forcefully entered an occupied vehicle or had unlawfully and forcefully removed or was attempting to remove another against that person's will from the occupied vehicle.
Q. When is a Handgun "Concealed?"
A. The Florida Legislature defines a concealed firearm as any firearm “carried on or about a person in such a manner as to conceal it from the ordinary sight of another person.” A person carrying a concealed firearm without a license is guilty of a felony of the third degree. The penalty for this offense is a prison term of up to five years.
Q. Are there special laws that apply to the use of Handguns?
A. Yes, special laws apply anytime anyone uses deadly force, whether or not the weapon is concealed. Florida law defines deadly force as force that is likely to cause death or great bodily harm. When you carry a handgun, you possess a weapon of deadly force. The law considers even an unloaded gun to be a deadly weapon when it is pointed at someone.
Q. When can I use my handgun to protect myself?
A. Florida law justifies use of deadly force when you are:
  • Trying to protect yourself or another person from death or serious bodily harm;
  • Trying to prevent a forcible felony, such as rape, robbery, burglary or kidnapping.
Using or displaying a handgun in any other circumstances could result in your conviction for crimes such as improper exhibition of a firearm, manslaughter, or worse.
Example of the kind of attack that will not justify defending yourself with deadly force: Two neighbors got into a fight, and one of them tried to hit the other by swinging a garden hose. The neighbor who was being attacked with the hose shot the other in the chest. The court upheld his conviction for aggravated battery with a firearm, because an attack with a garden hose is not the kind of violent assault that justifies responding with deadly force.
Q. What if someone uses threatening language to me so that I am afraid for my life or safety?
A. Verbal threats are not enough to justify the use of deadly force. There must be an overt act by the person which indicates that he immediately intends to carry out the threat. The person threatened must reasonably believe that he will be killed or suffer serious bodily harm if he does not immediately take the life of his adversary.
Q. What if someone is attacking me in my own home?
A. The courts have created an exception to the duty to retreat called the “castle doctrine.” Under the castle doctrine, you need not retreat from your own home to avoid using deadly force against an assailant. The castle doctrine applies if you are attacked in your own home by an intruder.
Q. What if I am in my place of business and someone comes in to rob me? Do I have to retreat before using deadly force?
A. The castle doctrine also applies when you are in your place of business. If you are in danger of death or great bodily harm or you are trying to prevent a forcible felony, you do not have to retreat before using deadly force in self-defense.
Q. What if I point my handgun at someone but don't use it?
A. Never display a handgun to gain "leverage" in an argument. Threatening someone verbally while possessing a handgun, even licensed, will land you in jail for three years. Even if the gun is broken or you don't have bullets, you will receive the mandatory three-year sentence if convicted. The law does not allow any possibility of getting out of jail early.
Example: In a 1987 case, a woman refused to pay an automobile mechanic who she thought did a poor job repairing her car. They argued about it, and the mechanic removed the radiator hose from the car so she couldn't drive it away. She reached into her purse, pulled out an unloaded gun, and threatened to kill the mechanic if he touched her car again. The mechanic grabbed the gun and called the police.
The woman was convicted of aggravated assault with a firearm and sentenced to serve a mandatory three-year prison term. The fact that the gun was not loaded was irrelevant. Even though she was the mother of three dependent children and had no prior criminal record, the statute does not allow for parole. Her only recourse was to seek clemency from the Governor.
Q. When can I use deadly force in the defense of another person?
A. If you see someone who is being attacked, you can use deadly force to defend him/her if the circumstances would justify that person's use of deadly force in his/her own defense. In other words, you "stand in the shoes" of the person being attacked.
Q. What if I see a crime being committed?
A. A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman. But, as stated earlier, deadly force is justified if you are trying to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony. The use of deadly force must be absolutely necessary to prevent the crime. Also, if the criminal runs away, you cannot use deadly force to stop him, because you would no longer be "preventing" a crime. If use of deadly force is not necessary, or you use deadly force after the crime has stopped, you could be convicted of manslaughter.
Q. If I get a license to carry a concealed weapon, can I carry it anywhere?
A. No. To get a license you must sign an oath that you have read and understand the Jack Hagler Self-defense Act (Section 790.06, Florida Statutes). That statute lists several places where you may not carry a concealed weapon. You should read subsection 12 for a complete list, but some examples are football, baseball, and basketball games (college or professional) and bars.
A cool head and even temper can keep handgun carriers out of trouble. You should never carry a gun into a situation where you might get angry.
1. Never display a handgun to gain "leverage" in an argument, even if it isn't loaded or you never intend to use it.
2. The amount of force that you use to defend yourself must not be excessive under the circumstances.
  • Never use deadly force in self-defense unless you are afraid that if you don't, you will be killed or seriously injured;
  • Verbal threats never justify your use of deadly force;
  • If you think someone has a weapon and will use it unless you kill him, be sure you are right and are not overreacting to the situation.
3. The law permits you to carry a concealed weapon for self-defense. Carrying a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman or a "good samaritan."
4. Never carry your concealed weapon into any place where the statute prohibits carrying it.
This is not a complete summary of all the statutes and court opinions on the use of deadly force. Because the concealed weapons statute specifies that concealed weapons are to be used for lawful self-defense, we have not attempted to summarize the body of law on lawful defense of property. This information is not intended as legal advice. Every self-defense case has its own unique set of facts, and it is unwise to try to predict how a particular case would be decided. It is clear, however, that the law protects people who keep their tempers under control and use deadly force only as a last resort.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Importance of Forms Training - Master Pepe Peterson Sr

The essence of forms training is understanding the sequence, timing and application
of each movement within the form. Many times practitioners simply “DO” the form
instead of “ BEING” the form. In your search for perfection you must find the path
that will bring you closer to understanding sequence and timing are equally important
as application. By following the proper sequence and utilizing timing as a spacer will
enable you to see and understand the application. So by combining these three
aspects you become more aware, or focused on your techniques. Often times
instructors will tell their students to “slow down”, “let me see the technique” and yet
not fully understand what they are saying. By slowing down or letting them see the
technique you are actually applying the sequencing and timing aspects of forms
training. Imagine doing a form full speed without stopping or spacing in between
each movement, the form becomes a blur, at times the form is formless and sloppy,
there is no focus. Let’s go the direct opposite let’s do the form slowly almost softly,
this also takes away from the all too important aspect of forms training.

Unless the style you are practicing requires a slow breathing, tension and relaxation
formula in which case the three aspects still apply Sequencing, Timing, and
application, enhancing focus. As a whole most students don’t fully understand the
importance of forms training nor do they think they gain much from it. On the other
hand any prearranged movement is considered a form, for example One Steps,
throws, Take Downs, anything that requires the practitioner to have set patterns.

Nutrition Tips for Martial Arts Students - Dr Amy Magnuson, MS, RD, PhD

Good nutrition is a critical component to training and performance. Follow these 5 simple tips to feel and perform your best.
  1. Stay hydrated – Because our bodies are made up of 55-65% fluid, it is essential that active individuals stay adequately hydrated in order to avoid heat illness and cramping. Even being slightly dehydrated can impair performance. Carry a sports bottle with you at all times and continue to refill it throughout the day. 
  1. Consume adequate energy and carbohydrates – Because food is our fuel, active individuals need to ensure adequate calorie and carbohydrate consumption every day. Complex carbohydrates including whole grain breads, cereals, pastas, fruits and vegetables should make up at least 50% of our diets. Carbohydrates, our body’s chief form of energy is stored as glycogen in our muscles (and liver). A diet deficient in carbohydrates and calories can increase the risk of fatigue, injuries and a result in a drastic decrease in performance.
  1. Eat Adequate amounts of protein - Adequate protein, in addition to serving many metabolic functions in the body, is also essential for rebuilding and repairing our body's tissue. Active individuals should consume ample amounts of meat, beans, fish, poultry, nuts, peanut butter, eggs and dairy products. 
  1. Regular meals and snacks – Active individuals may struggle to meet their nutrition requirements if they consume less than 3 meals and 2-3 snacks each day. Eating regularly (every 2-4 hours) helps to maintain blood glucose and energy throughout the day and during physical activity. Eat when you are hungry, stop when you are full, choose foods that you like and consider balance, variety and moderation.
  1. Avoid fad diets and risky supplements – Frequently looking for that extra edge, we are often targeted with products promising special "energy boosting," "performance enhancing" or "quick weight loss" results. Frequently these products or diets have little (if any) scientific data backing them and can actually be damaging to your health and performance. A healthy relationship with food is also important which includes avoid labeling foods as “good” or “bad” and enjoying all types of foods without guilt.

Monday, June 6, 2011

The real meaning of Black Belt - Kevin Geary

I think it’s a tragedy that most people these days view the black belt as the end of a journey. When people begin martial arts training they make a goal to reach black belt. And upon reaching their goal they move on to the next thing. But reaching black belt isn’t the end of a journey, it’s the beginning of a deeper and more meaningful one.
Let’s assume the average time required to reach black belt is 3 to 10 years depending on the art you study. Is that enough time to master yourself and the techniques of that particular art; the thousands of minute details that effect timing, fluidity, effectiveness, and so on?
It’s not.
As you move up through the ranks of colored belts, the main focus is on learning how to learn, how to train effectively, how to pay attention to the smallest of details, and the basics of timing, fluidity, power, speed, agility, and other physical aspects of your art.
You also begin to transform as a human being, learning the concepts of courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control, indomitable spirit, self-discipline, courage, humility, kindness, collaboration, selflessness, focus, dedication, and confidence.
You learn where your physical and mental limits are and you’re trained to make a habit out of pushing yourself to expand those limits. That builds character and proves your dedication to your goals.
If you have a great instructor, you’ll also learn things like healthy communication, healthy nutrition, conflict resolution, project-based leadership, financial responsibility, and other practical concepts centered around redefining self defense. After all, nutrition is self defense for the health of your body. Financial responsibility is self defense for your family’s needs. See how it all ties in?
Understanding this, black belt can’t be the end. It can only be the beginning. The years you spend going through the colored belt ranks allow you time to begin to understand the concepts of everything I’ve talked about. Black belt is where you apply it all.
Black belt marks the beginning of the journey of true self-mastery and art-mastery. It’s the decades of your life that you dedicate to being an amazing human being, a teacher of your art, and an example for the rest of humanity. Reaching black belt is only a sign that your instructor believes in you, is confirming that you’ve met the standard of the basics, and is telling you that it’s time to start getting really serious.
Furthermore, if a black belt doesn’t continue to train they slowly transform from elite martial artist to everyday, regular, average, boring person. You lose the physical ability. And if you don’t hone the mental, social, and emotional aspects of living like a champion and a black belt, you lose those too. Black belt is not a status you keep forever. The belt is only as relevant as the person wearing it and if you stop training, you’re irrelevant.
Lastly, it’s important that our art and the life-altering concepts we work to develop get passed down to future generations. Martial arts curriculums are not static. The study of martial arts continues to evolve every year. Black belts lead the evolution of their arts. They are the ones who come up with the new techniques, new strategies, better ways to develop new students, bring more efficiency to old techniques, and pass on everything they know.
Without black belts who continue to train, serve, and give there is no such thing as martial arts for the next generation.
Black belt is the beginning of everything that is important. It’s not the end of anything. And those who train with the mentality that achieving black belt is some sort of conclusion have made a tragic mistake. They’ve missed the point entirely.