A Word About Tyranny...

One thing that is consistent throughout history: Men and Women have always rejected tyranny. They have fought against it. Sometimes actively, sometimes passively, but they always fight. Right now, our nation is very confused. There are those who believe that progressives are tyrants and vice versa. While we both fundamentally agree with each other that freedom, prosperity and love are what the end game is, we go about it from two diametrically opposed views on what that means.

We need to stop and consider. Charles Schumer, the senator, says that his main goal is to have a progressive supreme court. Why? Because he knows, as do all informed Americans, how much power the court has. They decide if the congress has passed a law that is constitutional. They dictate to the executive branch how to enforce the laws. Consider that one supreme court justice decided for the entire nation, that Homosexual Marriage is the legal law of the land, overriding states with constitutional amendments (like Missouri) that define Marriage between one man and one woman. Irregardless of your beliefs about gay marriage, that is a tremendous amount of assumed power. And if you support Gay Marriage, consider a conservative supreme court that would rule against or effectively overturn Sutter's majority.

The problem is that half the country disagrees strongly with Schumer's world view. So much so, that his world view becomes tyrannical.. What do THOSE people do? What do progressives do when 150 million people decide that they are not being governed but ruled? What happens to our country when a significant percentage of those 150 million decide that the status quo isn't worth enslavement? If you identify as progressive or conservative, consider what happens when you enrage the other half of the country to the point of violence? What happens then? History teaches us that whatever happens, it's bloody, brutal and ultimately makes us all worse off.

When you vote in the general election, vote your conscience, but also vote understanding another's position. Extreme people cause bloodshed and violence. Respect, honor and tolerance (true tolerance, not some extreme cynicism of it) is the only way that we succeed.

One last thought. All other "isms" have utterly failed. Communism, Democratic-Socialism, Authoritarianism, totalitarianism.. The only successful "ism" is Americanism. Because fundamentally, we Americans trust that our fellow Americans know what is best for them. We agree that we are all smart enough to know that. Of all things, we Americans abhor the elitist who would dictate how we live our lives because they believe that they are smarter than us and will show us a better way. We know what we want and what is best for us, thank you very much.. From our religion, to the best way to protect our families, to our lifestyle choices. We should live with our failures, but completely enjoy the fruits of our successes.. Do not tread on us. How can Charles Schumer know what is best for my daughters than we do? For our sons? Secure the country. Build the roads. Manage the national parks. Stay out of our churches, schools and businesses..

At the end of the day. If Mr. Schumer assumes too much power, it will be taken away from him. That goes for any politician, or group of politicians. Sooner or later, they will lose. Others throughout history have tried. They all have ultimately failed.

~ Shihan Jakle

Politics Versus Philosophy

Normally politics isn't something that we discuss on this site, and upon reflection, this isn't actually politics.. It's more of a philosophy.

I run across many people whose inclination is that of statists. One of their underlying fundamental ideals, that I do not completely understand, is the interpretation of the second amendment of the constitution as a "collective" right. If I understand correctly, they believe that the right to keep and bear arms is at the descresion of the state and not the individual. The purpose of the amendment is to protect the state in times of threat by pressing a populous into its defense and only then and at their leave, to people have the right to a weapon. Only in this context are people allowed firearms to protect their state from harm.

My primary objection to this view is the assumption that what is good for the individual is good for the state and vice versa. It assumes a benevolent state whose sole purpose is the protection of the individual.

It is the firm belief of OMAA that the problem with statism is that the state is first and foremost fallible people who have a natural inclination to do evil.

Statism and socialism are absurd notions. There is no evidence, in the history of mankind, that the "state" operates to benefit the people. To the contrary, over and over we see where the state, drunk with power, abuses the citizens to the point where they are turned into subjects; or worse, slaves.

More narrowly, it is the contention of OMAA that protection is the RESPONSIBILITY of the individual and therefore must be defended at all costs.

How can we expect the state to act in our interest in all other matters if not this one?

OMAA does not support the 2nd Amendment because we advocate violence (however we do believe that violence has its place), but because we value the individual and their rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Please support organizations that support our individual right to self protection !! God bless.

~ Shihan Jakle

Is He a Dangerous Man?

WARNING: This contains a bit of bad language.

We see the same phenomenon in the Martial Arts. These are the individuals who go to bars looking for a fight. All tattoos and abs. All technique and strength but very little brain. The truly dangerous guy is the 75 year old retired Art professor who is legally blind without his contacts and looks kind of round and out of shape; but is, in fact, a master who can kill a man by literally flicking his wrist, hitting the exact right place, with the exact right hand angle, with the exact right amount of force.

To be truly dangerous, one must have patience, discipline and a sound moral compass. Skill and strength are important secondary traits. I find the same to be true with a bo, sword, knife or gun.

~ Shihan Jakle

Schedule for Labor Day Weekend

The Okinawan Martial Arts Academy will NOT have class this weekend (Saturday, September 5th and Monday, September 7th). We hope you have a Happy and Safe Labor Day Holiday!

If you're a history buff, here's a bit of history about Labor Day in the United States:

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country. (Department of Labor)

More interesting tidbits about Labor Day (from this Huffington Post article):

  • Canadian Origin: While most Americans likely consider Labor Day a uniquely American experience, but in all reality, Labor Day has its origins in Canada. Stemming from 1870’s labor disputes in Toronto, in 1872 a parade was held in support of a strike against the (ready for this?) 58 hour workweek. As a result, 24 union leaders who were responsible for organizing the event were arrested under anti-union laws.
  • America's First Labor Day: The first Labor Day celebration in the United States can be traced to New York City's Union Square on Sept. 5, 1882. It was designed as a way to appease city workers after numerous strikes and in some cases even violence.
  • Social Traditions: The first Labor Day festivities included "speeches, a picnic, an abundance of cigars and, Lager beer kegs... mounted in every conceivable place." (quote from a NY daily newspaper)
  • From West to East: Oregon was the first, then Colorado, New York, Massachusetts and New Jersey followed as the first states to declare Labor Day a state holiday.
  • Always on Monday: Labor Day has been celebrated on the first Monday of September every year since President Grover Cleveland declared that day Labor Day in 1894. The extended weekend helps Americans who choose to travel.
  • No White Clothes The Day After:  Instead, other historians speculate, the origin of the no-white-after–Labor Day rule may be symbolic. In the early 20th century, white was the uniform of choice for Americans well-to-do enough to decamp from their city digs to warmer climes for months at a time: light summer clothing provided a pleasing contrast to drabber urban life. "If you look at any photograph of any city in America in the 1930s, you'll see people in dark clothes," says Scheips, many scurrying to their jobs. By contrast, he adds, the white linen suits and Panama hats at snooty resorts were "a look of leisure."
  • Summer Farewell: Originating as a celebration for the working class, Labor Day has also evolved into the unofficial end of the summer season and for many school districts the beginning of the academic year again.

OMAA Has a New Look!

The Okinawan Martial Arts Academy has updated its website. We've tried to make it a bit more manageable, we've added interactivity (blogs, direct Facebook posts), and are now able to embed videos and create a separate photo journal that's password protected if desired. 

Please check it out and send us feedback! Also, if you're viewing this from Facebook right now, be sure to check the website's blog and leave us a comment. 

The "Best" Reason to Learn a Traditional Fighting Art

I was once asked by a student to come up with the "best" reason to learn a traditional fighting art. I thought about that... Not only was that a thoughtful and insightful question, it is THE question. I mean, if one looks at life as a limited amount of time, we can spend that time doing a wide variety of activities... so why martial arts? The merits of various schools of thought aside, I believe that the answer to that question is this: The reason to study a traditional fighting art is to understand the profound nature of the word "NO".

When one says the word "NO" they are exercising a force of will.   "NO" == "I WILL NOT".  It is probably the only form of "free will" that we actually have.  It is a sincere and articulated way of saying "You will not force your will upon me; I will chose my own path".

There is not enough room on the internet to articulate all of the nuances of that idea, much less this blog.  But at its core, traditional fighting arts have been the basis for freedom and confidence for thousands of years.  For the time that a man first picked up a stick and started swinging it around and learned to strike predators and enemies, various forms of combat arts have flourished and died, over thousands of years.  Every civilization has developed a fighting system.  All for the purpose of freedom and security.

Each generation must re-invent what that looks like, but that ultimate truth is constant: The purpose of traditional fighting arts is to provide a way for a weaker or outnumbered individual to exercise their free will; To use the word "NO" and enforce it.

I believe that reason is the ONLY reason to study a traditional fighting art.

~ Shihan Jakle