Self Defense, Centering and Politics

Let me preface this by saying this has little or nothing to do with my writing of fiction for adults and children. Or maybe it does and I’ll see a pattern later…

Self Defense and Centering

My daughter asked me the other day to continue training her in Self Defense and Centering. I’m glad she did, because I’ve been thinking about it for some time. As a father of two boys (four if you count my wife’s two), I’m less concerned about their vulnerability than my daughter. Anyone who has eyes and access to the Internet knows that our world is a dangerous place for attractive young women.

I don’t pretend to know everything, or even enough. I’ll probably enroll her in an attack preparation course in the not too distant future. But I like to think that 20+ years of martial arts, as well as 7 years living in New York, have given me a little bit of insight and experience and practice to pass on.

This morning I started in with my basic centering theories and rules and practices for self defense:

Rule Number 1: Don’t get hurt

There is no rule number 2 in real self-defense. In traditional martial arts, rule number 2 is “Don’t hurt other people.”

Self Defense Practices

  1. Be centered in yourself
  2. Be aware of yourself and/in your surroundings

The four centers

There are actually four centers:

  • Your center of gravity
  • Your center of balance
  • The center of gravity for the world
  • Your center of self
Center of Self is awareness of the entire body, relationship between that and other centers, and flows of energy. Note: I'm not much of an "artist"

Center of Self is awareness of the entire body, relationship between that and other centers, and flows of energy. Note: I’m not much of an “artist”

When those three are aligned, you’re physically stable. When your center of balance and your center of gravity are out of alignment from the center of the world, then you’re off  balance. Simple.

If you have a strong center of self (or awareness of your center of self) then you will know when your center of gravity and center of balance are in harmony with the center of the world, or not. And when you’re not, you’ll still have control over your center of self and center of gravity.

It’s all very theoretical. We didn’t get much into the exercises today.


Today’s Providence Journal brags about Electric Boat “winning” a $17.6 billion submarine contract. Promises jobs. People have asked me what government can do to create jobs. This is one thing. Spend lots of money on things that blow other people up and produce no value, except in jobs and the feeling of self-defense.

Admittedly, the actions of Vladimir Putin and Russia make it clear that having armies and navies and air forces is necessary in this world, but let’s say for a moment that Putin’s friends are invested in their arms industry too…. The cynic in me says that by creating fear you create demand for weapons, which means that weapons makers make more money. This is a win for all weapon makers.

Partial Solution? Decrease dependency on foreign oil and gas by increasing energy efficient and renewables. Reduce demand for fuels by changing the way culture “works”.