No man is invincible, and therefore no man can fully understand that which would make him invincible. No matter who you think you are or how good your technique is, there is always somebody out there better than you. Knowing that, keeps you humble and leveled. Once , I met a Taekwondo Black-Belt that said he was invincible, I already knew he was a fool, that statement just confirmed it.

To get close to perfection you must know your strategy (Sakusen) and how to apply in different situations (senjutsu=tactics) Understand: no matter how much technique you know, if you don't know to employ it, it is useless, all generals went to West Point not everyone is Patton, is not about the style, it is all about the human factor.

Mastery is something a man never stops seeking to attain. 
If you think you master anything, you are already dead, seeking mastery is finished when you die, the world is full of masters with their wall full of diplomas, and titles, full of the cocking feeling, fooling themselves with the false feeling of bad ass grand master, sparring only with their students on the comfort of their dojo wearing the sparkling white gi.

Universal Laws don't change for you or for anybody for that matter.
But you can deploy your strategy to accept it and turn the obstacles into your opportunity. Understand: you can bitch and moan all you want because all the "bad" things is happening to you, or you can ask: how can I use this as an opportunity?

To attain perfection, a  man must keep a particular form of study.
You must have a home base to go back to, if you practice Karate, make it as your core training, understand it, practice day and night and after you get in the "Zone" only them you see "it" everywhere

There is no shame in dying, incorrectly is to die a stupid and meaningless death.
How often you see people die a stupid death? happen everyday, drug overdose, food overdose, boredom overdose, careless overdose just to name a few. The only measure in life is to have cross swords with all your obstacles you encountered in your life and even if you did not won, at least you can die knowing that you used all the weapons at your disposal.

The true Virtue of Strategy is allowing us to overcome all odds in daily life
overcoming odds  does not necessary means that everything will work the way you predicted, overcome is to adapt to the odds and make it work for you, observe nature, you will never see a river run a straight line, it makes its way around mountains, rocks, canyons, that is adaptation, understand that with every obstacles, there is an opportunity within. By adapting and finding a new way around problems will bring you closer to consciousness, each new experience continually will lead you to new challenges, therefore, you will grow stronger by crossing your swords with any obstacles that may cross your path.

You must go to battle and get your hands dirty
The way of Strategy can not be learned from your living room, you must attack the task at hand put your plans in motion, if you see an obstacle, formulate a strategy to go around it, making a decision is not enough you must take massive action, take your sword out the scabbard and start "cutting".

Look the old master from the past and learn with them
There is nothing new under the sun, every word has already been spoken, everything has been invented and created, the only thing you have to do is to tap into the universal knowledge, study the old masters of humanity such as: Marcus Aurelius, Plato, Aristotle, Confucius, Jesus the Christ, Buda just to name a few.
Seek the knowledge, nobody will offer or beg you to learn, if you look hard enough you find your master.

The only way to notice the weaknesses of your own technique is to test it against somebody-else's, never get trapped by useless rules and dogmas, you can only learn up to a point, get familiar with different strategies and masters, but not be a collector of useless knowledge, grab and use what is useful and trow the garbage out. Understand that technique is not the end of an art, mas just a tool to learn the deep meaning of your chosen strategy, like I said before, any monkey can learn how to punch and kick, anyone can read or listen to the masters, to understand the profound meaning behind any form of art, and apply it, that my friend is totally different.

To study only one strategy will make you narrow-minded and will keep you from growing outward.
It is impossible for you to learn about the universe if you study only one planet, you may be a specialist on that planet but when someone ask you about the moon, you have no idea, get familiar with every art you come across, study the nature of man involved with different strategies, know their strong points and the weak ones, you can learn a lot about yourself by watching the activity of others, also, you you learn that you may have underestimated your own potential.

It is important to understand what the goal of a strategy is.
It is very important that you understand what is he objective of your chosen art, if you are a warrior you must understand the nature of war, weapons and the men, therefore you can lay out your tactics, don't get confuse between strategy and tactics, they are two different things. Tactics been used is based on profound understanding about the subject ground where it will be deployed, strategy alone don't guaranteed victory, you can have the best weapon but if you give to someone that does not have the proper training you just lost an asset and the men all together. If you are not a submission fighter why take one to the ground?

To understand any strategy you must study day and night, search everywhere, read about it, talk about, dream about it, every single art have their own "spirit" if you study, practice and apply it everyday, it will reveal itself to you. Your success or failure to reach the "zone" depends how far do you want to push yourself to mastery the understanding of  your chosen art. If there is no discipline, how can there be a true realization of  an ideal?? How can you be trusted to perform in society if you don't understand what society needs? To control others and make them to work with your own strategy, you must know them well, therefore you work in harmony with the environment and the rules in place, if you do not, then you not be able to control others, if you can not control others, you will not control the outcome of your own strategy.

As a leader, you must know all the rules of the game.
Having a strategy does not mean you have to be rigid like a piece of wood, you must be flexible like a bamboo in the storm, adapt and readjust your approach as needed, keeping your eye on your goal is a true behavior of a tactician. Just like the salesman knows all about the product he is selling and all the possible objections the buyer will may have, the same concept should be observed on any art, even if loosing your head is not the case.

No matter what art you involved with, you must have a complete understanding of your tools used to complete your task, the quality, functionality, and simplicity of use is crucial. "Polish" your tools everyday and take a good care of them, learn the way of the carpenter, before taking any job, he will inspect the sharpness of his tools and uses only the ones suitable to the job at hand. Do not bring a knife to gun fight.

If you are a strategy teacher:
If you teach strategy, your responsibility is enormous, you can not fake it, not only you are going against the natural laws of the universe but is also a bad karma, you may fool your students for while, but you can not fool the universe, it will find its ways back to you, be honest with yourself and to others, you may have a great school logo and dozen certificates hanging your office, but if your teaching people useless technique you are a thief and a bastard.

The world are full of these false masters pretending to have special powers to knock people over without touching, breaking wood boards and bricks using circus tricks. Teaching false strategies on how disarm aggressor holding firearms is a disaster, some of these false masters even guarantee that the technique will work no matter what, not only is foolish but also dangerous.

By Shihan Joshua Barbosa Marlboro MA 07/04/2014

Brasil won against Colombia, Lyoto Machida will figth Saturday for the world UFC Title

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