LETTER FROM THE
December is upon us! Which means, you likley survived the Black Friday sales if you were brave enough to endure the crowds.
At the same time, it’s nice to know that your training pays off when it comes time to dodge a hay-maker from "the big-screen-bandit" in isle-6.
Joking aside, in this issue we highlight an initiative that we are truly passionate about; Inspiring the next generation of martial artists to expand their young minds and grow through exploring the principles contained within a martial arts lifestyle.
To top the issue off, we have a killer ramen recipe from our Budo Sister, Bec Morris (Yoi Dachi.) Plus, an incredible story from our Budo Brother, Farooq Al-Said - A must read story that speaks to the journey of so many martial artists.
As 2016 comes to an end, remember:
You train, so holiday binge-eating is 100% justified!
Featured Budo Brother
The Martial Arts Outlet
I think most people that start taking martial arts have a pretty good idea of why they’re doing it. Some want more confidence and what better way to achieve that than the idea of mastering yourself? Others want to get into shape; lead a healthier life style and you then you have people that want to just try something new for a while, just to say they did it.
I personally feel that most people that start studying the martial sciences aren’t honest with themselves about why they chose this way as opposed to archery, or pottery or some other quasi absurd skill that for all intents and purposes could fill the same gap.
When I started training, I was 6 years old. My parents got me into Tae Kwon Do because I was getting beat up at school, at the playground, everywhere and quite frankly, everyone was tired of it. So I made it very clear in 1991 that I wanted to learn how to fight. Well. Whatever it was that I had to do to learn how fight like the people on TV, in my video games, I was going to do. Now I wasn’t some
Karate punk that just went around picking fights, but once I got to the point where I felt confident in my abilities, I wasn’t backing down from any, either. I would take what I learned in the dojo and apply the techniques in the street to see what worked and what didn’t. It makes sense, right? You have to test-drive a car before you buy it. I never cared for point sparring tournaments; I only competed in a few. The idea of playing tag just didn’t excite me as much as real combat did.
When I was 14, a friend of mine was one of the top 3 amateur boxers in the world and took me to boxing training with him after baseball practice. He figured it could only help my traditional martial arts practice. At 15, I started training in Silat. My instructor was ex military from Indonesia. He stressed the importance of real world importance and combat in its truest form. He would tell me traditional teachings and all that was fine but, “you’re memories can’t hurt anyone”. A lot of the things we worked on were what paved the path for the way I practice and teach today.
Martial Arts always provided me an outlet for coping with whatever it was I was dealing with. My training always evolved with me. Once I learned to fortify my body, my technique became like stone. Flexibility and calmer thinking from training to focus lent a water element to my art. Always changing with me. One of the largest struggles I’ve had and I think a lot of us here in the west have is spending so much time enhancing our Yang and neglecting the Yin. Just due to our culture and day-to-day life and grind, we tend to overlook the importance of internal health. I’ve trained with masters, two specifically that come to mind that have given me a glimpse of what’s possible when pay full respect to your art.
I started competing in underground fight rings around 2002 to earn a little money but really just try to see what I was capable of. I was 15-16 years old fighting with a lot of grown men, bar room brawlers, weekend warrior types that didn’t offer much in the sake of competition, so the next logical step was sanctioned bouts. I ended up taking to boxing like a duck to water and I was able to compete at a very high level. An injury that I didn’t let heal correctly ended up dissolving my pro career before it started, so I looked to round my studies of martial sciences by reading, really looking at the theory and application as opposed to just hard and soft skills.
Eventually, I became very protective of my art. Not in the way a parent shields a child from the world, but rather the way a wild animal raises its young. With steadfast attention I cultivated my body to push past it’s physical peak and use my mind to eliminate barriers that attempted to hold me down. The older I got, the more athletic, resilient and focused I became. I’m in my 25th year as a martial artist, I’ve earned 3 black belts, including a 3rd dan in Shotokan and a superwelter weight amature boxing title. Those titles and ranks have done well for my ego, but at times left me arrogant and difficult to train with, so of late, I’ve been subjecting myself to humility as much as possible.
Recently, while writing this essay for Budo Brothers, My black belts were stolen out of my jeep along with a few other personal belongings. I was crushed and I still am. I felt that part of my soul was removed and that somehow erased the two plus decades of training I pushed through, then I thought about a saying. Being too enamored by your black belt will leave you defeated by it. My rank is not indicative of my skill nor does a piece of cloth define me as a martial artist. I will use this adversity to my benefit to my ego and training.
Yours in the arts,
Farooq Ameen Al-Said
Recipe Of The Month
By : Bec Morris
I'm obsessed with Ramen. It's such a tasty dish that's ridiculously easy to prepare at home, and so versatile. This is a vegetarian recipe, but you can always add any meat or tofu to give it extra flavour. I love prawns in mine!
- Sachet of Miso Paste
- Noodles — I used buckwheat
- 1 spring onion
- 1 egg
- 1 chilli
- A handful of mange tout
- A chunk of ginger
Cook your noodles in boiling water, according to packet instructions.
Boil an egg — to your liking. I like mine to be just turning hard so that the yolk doesn't get in my soup!
Chop your ginger, chilli and spring onion.
Pop your miso paste in the bowl, and fill with hot water. Stir until it dissolves.
Combine all ingredients in your bowl, and you're done!
We both started training at a very young age. But, without the advantage of hindsight, and the perspective that life experience brings, the fringe-benefits of martial arts can be somewhat opaque. Once we started looking back on our individual experiences, and how we've grown from them, everything became clear. Martial arts played a pivotal role in our development.
If the fringe benefits of exploring martial arts could be distilled into pill form, we feel it would include the following vitamins & minerals:
- Vitamin-A: Awareness, Accountability, Appreciation
- Vitamin-D: Discipline, Dedication, Determination
- Vitamin-R: Respect, Resilience, Reliability
- Mineral-P: Perseverance, Patience, Power
The Problem: This isn't something that can be ingested, and hours later start kicking in. It takes time on the mats. It takes getting slammed on the ground. It takes screwing up. It takes getting punched in the face. It takes the relentless loop of internal talk around how “I should have done this, and I could have done that.” It takes failing.
Above all: It takes overcoming challenges.
In our experience, the younger they start, the faster the grow. That’s why we are so excited to help support martial art programs for youth.
In 2016, Budo Brothers used a portion of the funds generated from product sales to support a local Dojo.
Your support helped us enroll 21 kids into our program.
Hands down, the most rewarding aspect of supporting this initiative has been watching the growth that has taken place in these young minds. "San Shin" or the "Three Year Old Heart," is one of the most beautiful things to observe. Watching another human being experience things for the very first time is nothing short of fascinating. Talk about a reminder to fully immerse yourself in everything you do!
Our long-term goal is to expand the program beyond just our local backyard, and start a fund that can help Dojo’s across North America to make training accessible to everyone, regardless of their economic background.
Thank you, our subscribers, for supporting Budo Brothers.
10% of our revenue goes towards supporting martial arts classes for kids.
We are truly blessed to have your support.