Sijo James W. DeMile
EVOLVING FROM THE DARKSIDE
A Personal Journey
James W. DeMile
The basis of my thinking comes from a dysfunctional childhood, a rocky road to adulthood and over 50 years of marriage that cover two marriages. Ten years that were unsuccessful and over 40 years of success. Three things shocked my thinking and emotions and caused tremendous personal change. First was being arrested and put in jail for 59 days, while facing a possible jail term, the second, getting divorced and the third was meeting legendary martial artist Bruce Lee.
Because of a bad family environment I had been brought up in an orphanage for the first 12 years of my life and developed a “survival of the fittest” attitude. Dysfunctional is the proper word to describe my linage. My grandfather was from Alabama and a proud member of the Ku Klux Klan, as was my grandmother. My mother said she recognized when grandpa marched by in clan parades because of his shoes. Grandpa worked for the railroad and they moved him to Texas and then Oregon where mother ran away at 14. She went to San Francisco with a friend, who was caught and sent home leaving mother alone and lost in a strange city. A series of events pushed her into a marriage, at 16, to a 46 year mental/physical abusive gambler from the Philippines, which made grandpa almost hang himself with his KKK sheet. My father was half French, ¼ Castilian Spanish and a ¼ Filipino.
Unable to deal emotionally with the responsibility of three children by the age of 19, and a husband who treated her as a punching bag the Catholic services sent my brother and I to an orphanage and my sister to a foster home. I cannot remember the orphanage in California, but I recall St. Mary’s in Oregon, run by nuns, which was my introduction to eternal damnation if I didn’t follow God’s rules. The nuns had an amazing talent to tell stories that filled you with fear and guilt and the importance of suffering for your fellowman.
While St. Mary’s was psychological, Briscoe Memorial school in Kent Washington, run by the Christian Brothers of Ireland, was physical The Brothers believed in harsh corporal punishment and carried leather straps that I came to know well. I have to admit that the majority of whippings were deserved since, according to them, I sinned a lot. Once I left the orphanage I went to a Catholic school, in Seattle, also taught by nuns. I was constantly in trouble. Although I had excellent grades, my playing hooky from school as well as my disruptive behavior finally got me expelled from school. The nuns did not carry straps and only threatened me with going to hell and eternal damnation, which scared me, at least for awhile.
By the time I was 15 the school system decided that only a judge could determine what to do with me. I belonged to the capitol hill gang of young hoodlums and was getting into a lot of fights and misc trouble.
The Judge gave me options: school, reformatory(a prison for kids) or go into the military service. I opted to go into the military. My mother signed papers that I did not have a birth certificate and was 17 years old. So, three months before my 16th birthday, March 1954, I joined the Air Force. Actually it was very good for me. Not as disciplined as the army or marines, they still did not put up with my disruptive attitude or behavior and I very quickly became a model airman.
Waco, Texas (my introduction to giant cockroaches) was my first assignment and my beginning of southern discomfort. I was neither Black or Mexican, but dark from the Texas sun. It was the mid 50’s and the south wore the badge of prejudice proudly. Separate drinking fountains and restaurants for those of color was the law. When I went to the movies I was always stopped and asked what race I was. I was not sure myself, but being of mixed Filipino descent was not helpful. So rather than argue I would go upstairs where Negros and Mexicans were allowed to watch the movie. Needless to say I was very happy to be restationed in Alaska, so I thought. Although I did not get into any trouble in the service, I boxed a lot and this allowed me to vent a lot of free floating frustration. Being stationed in Fairbanks Alaska for two years was like being in another dimension where the sun shined day and night for six months and then disappeared leaving darkness and 40 to 60 degrees below zero for the other six. It was my first introduction to what going crazy meant. It was so isolated, cold and lonely during the winter that a number of airmen cracked as if their brain froze. A few went to the top of the barracks, three stories, and dove into the snow as if it was water. They found others, frozen like popsicles, after having sat out all night in their underwear. One guy, in our barracks, started shooting at an imaginary polar bear trying to eat him. He was about 5’ 7” and 140 pounds. It took six of us to tackle and control him until the medics came. It showed how insanity could change a small monkey into a 600 pound silverback gorilla. It was really scary. To stay sane, other than boxing, I used to cut down trees with a Tommy gun from world war two and collect a bounty on wolves ears that I and some other adventurists accumulated from dropping hand grenades out of an air/rescue helicopter into wolf packs following the migrating reindeer.
I was transferred to Florida, icebox to an oven, where I had my second introduction to southern unhospitality. This time I was lucky because I hung out with a number of guys from Hawaii, who looked like me or me like them? The local population tolerated us as not black or white. However they became upset when we would drink out of both water fountains and laugh that they both tasted the same. Or we split up and would ride at the back, negro section, and front of the bus. Since they were not sure if it would be OK to hang us, they finally complained to the base commander that we were insulting their sacred customs. So, we quit irritating them, but agreed amongst ourselves that the south would make a perfect testing range for the atomic bomb.
When I got out of the service I immediately stepped back into the role of a street punk by associating with my old friends who thought breaking the law was a challenge as well as fun. Although we never hurt anyone or did anything major, we still fit the bill of “petty criminal”. I had never been arrested or been accused of anything illegal. I had spent the first 19 years of my life just enjoying the thrills of doing what I wanted to and never really related it to being legal or illegal, I was just having fun. However, a certain reality was about to hit me. Things that were a misdemeanor as a juvenile were now a felony as an adult.
In 1959 I was busted and along with my accomplice went to jail. We both pleaded guilty and stayed in jail while awaiting sentencing. A moment of enlightenment: That is how I remember being in jail. Sitting amongst felons who were looking forward to going back to prison was not only scary but downright traumatic. Sitting on the floor, off to the side and watching them play cards for cigarettes and get into a fight over a piece of bread made me feel like a chicken who woke up in a den of wolves. These were going to be my roommates for ?????. And then the clouds opened and I heard a voice say, go forth my son and sin no more. I can’t say it was a really a religious experience, but a voice was telling me something. I don’t know if I prayed, but I sure was begging for a break. And lo and behold, before the wolves woke up, a miracle happened. The Judge determined, since I had no prior record, excellent grades in school and a long list of personal references, including Sister Irma, who had me expelled from school, that the only reason I got into trouble was because of running in the wrong crowd. I was given a three year deferred sentence, which meant that if I was good for three years, they would judge me not guilty and clear my record. I wasn’t about to correct him and immediately accepted my sentence of going back to school and according to Sister Irma, sin no more.
The trauma of almost going to prison and losing my freedom made me rethink my value system. Although most people would think it was a terrible event in my life, it in fact was a very lucky event. Who knows what would have happened if I had not been arrested at that time for a petty crime. Things would have only gotten worse and the outcome could have been tenfold.
Not only was I lucky to have my downward spiral stopped, but I went back to school (Edison Technical on Broadway) and that is where I met and trained with a 5’ 7” 18 year old kid from Hong Kong named Bruce Lee. Edison Tech was for adults who had not finished high school and needed make-up grades to go on to the University. Bruce had been expelled from a Catholic high school in Hong Kong that was taught by Christian brothers. Bruce and I had three things in common. We were both born in San Francisco, taught by Christian brothers and were expelled before finishing high school. Bruce taught me instant humility and became my mentor in developing a more creative and realistic way to look at life. It was because of this period in my life that I was able to formulate the steps to bringing the mind/body and spirit into balance by writing my book, Tao of Wing Chun Do.
Going back to school was a definite turning point in my life. Not only because of my meeting Bruce Lee, but my new found interest in psychology. I studied everything I could about individual behavior hoping to find solutions to my fears, frustrations, confusion and other questions about myself. It was hard to identify with Freud and Jung because they lived in a Victorian age and seemed to shape theories around that period and its strict views of sex. Alfred Adler, although from the same period as Freud impressed me with his views on “feelings of inferiority” and its effects on self esteem. Maslow’s Humanistic Person-Centered approach made even more sense and later Carl Rogers Client-Centered Therapy refined Maslow’s theories even further. However, the different points of view only added to the confusion. One, there were no facts, only theories. Two, they were complicated and took too long. And three, they were very dependent on the clients vague definition of their problem.
The three reasons presented a problem. Which theory to follow, how much time would I have to commit and how could someone else understand my problems when I had a hard time understanding them myself? My reading suggested that each mode of therapy adapted whatever you said to fit their theory on how to deal with it. I experimented with applying a specific concern, having been brought up in an orphanage, to a variety of different theories. Needless to say the inconsistency of the results left me more confused than ever. Unfortunately, at this time, I was too young and inexperienced with life to take my thinking any further. It would take ten years and a failed marriage to give me the insight to evolve to the next level of personal growth. All the information I had previously studied, about psychology, had been stored in my subconscious and was expanded on with new subliminal information absorbed as I journeyed thru life.
Enlightenment…. an interesting word. Most definitions of this word are philosophical or intangible. I think of it as “a moment of awareness that dramatically affects your life and causes major emotional, perceptual and thinking changes”. It takes information from a thought stage and converts it to action. I dislike words that are supposed to have deep and profound meaning, yet only stay profound and deep, but are not useful to make specific changes. Marriage, Love, Death, Birth, Self Awareness, happiness, self fulfillment along with enlightenment, are all just words. By giving a word form and substance and relating it to your reality, not someone else’s, it becomes a working tool to help you evolve. So I look for moments of “enlightenment”.
Getting arrested, divorced and learning humility the hard way was three of them.
Why does one get married? In reflecting back to before my first marriage I remember feeling lost, confused and depressed at the thought of the future. I was going to school and still feeling the fears of going to jail. I had no idea of tomorrow or sense of purpose or what life was about. I was in a limbo. I had dated sporadically and never gave woman much thought. I was too busy showing the world how tough I was. Yet, when I thought about it, I did not know diddle squat about women. My only real experience with a women was when I was in the 8th grade at Immaculate Conception, a Catholic school, and became friendly with a woman who lived across the street from the school. I used to do some chores for her to pick up a little money. I was not sure what she did for a living except that there used to be a lot, I mean a lot, of merchant marine seaman who visited at all hours of the day and night. One day she asked if I knew anything about women and I told her that I spent twelve years in an orphanage and only saw women sporadically. This response must have triggered her female instincts, so she went about teaching me about women. The bottom line was that although I had an academic understanding of the physical side of the female, I did not have the foggiest idea of how their brains worked. In fact, when confronted with having to deal, on a social level with a woman, I felt like an ice cube in a hot oven, I sweated a lot. I guess my subconscious decided that I was incapable of handling the decision making process of dealing with women, so the best thing was to get married. My first wife was married, but getting a divorce at the time. She had two children, a job and the burden that comes from a husband who drinks, gambles and ?????. She dreamed of a knight in shining armor that would sweep her, and the kids, up onto his horse and ride off into a future of happiness.
Well, she had to settle for a guy who did not own any armor, drove around in a 49 ford, went to school and thought that a steady job was anything over two weeks. Back to the question…Why did I get married? Although there must be many reasons, a few stand out. I was lonely and desperate to find some stability in my life. She was lonely, frustrated and afraid of facing an uncertain future. I did not realize that I was falling off the mountain and was reaching out for someone who was also falling off the mountain. It took ten years to hit bottom. She needed someone and I needed someone, so we got married (a marriage of convenience rather than love). I settled down, continued school, got a decent job and became a husband and a father. I adopted her children and we had two more. While studying psychology I became very interested in Hypnosis and took a number of courses in induction procedure. In the mid 60’s I opened an office called the “Hypno-Cybernetic Institute” and specialized in teaching Self Hypnosis. Everything seemed to be OK, life was good. And then suddenly, we hit bottom. All the dreams we had talked about, all the plans, the future, suddenly became a blank screen. We decided to have a serious talk. She had been brought up in a carnival where her parents worked. It was fast paced and exciting. She missed the thrill and stimulation of the wild activity that surrounded her. In a nutshell, that was it. I was a good husband and father. I did not drink and was faithful. She was a good wife and mother, but as a woman she was bored to tears. I was happy going to a samurai movie, training in gung fu with my few friends and eating Chinese food. She wanted to go dancing, have a few drinks and hang out with people who lead an exciting life. I didn’t. So, by mutual consent, we divorced. Time suddenly reversed itself and I was back in the same vortex of loneliness and confusion. Desperate to escape the dark cloud that followed me everywhere, I took my meager belongings and fled to Hawaii.
An Epiphany or Eureka moment, “ a sudden intuitive insight for a solution to a question”. Shock, disillusionment, fear, failure, anger, depression and other dark emotions still clouded my days as I sat on the beach and tried to make sense of the insanity of life as well as the last ten years.. For one year, everyday, I sat at the beach and thought and thought and thought. Why, why, why preceded every thought. At first I felt like an ant trying to crawl out of the bathtub. No matter how hard you try you keep sliding back. But suddenly I see a path, a thread of thought. Narrow and steep, but yet it goes upward. And then a weird thing happened. It was as if clouds parted and there was the sun. The fears, confusion frustration, anger and guilt began to take on a form I could understand. Instead of a boiling cauldron of dark emotions I began to see a series of events that were like pieces of a puzzle and the longer I studied them the more a picture began to form. Once again I realized that luck was on my side. The divorce, like my arrest, was to force me to dig deeper into myself and discover the insights that only “Enlightenment” can bring. I realized, up to this point, I had been just a passenger on a train in the journey through life.
I had not been using my life experiences as signposts to follow, but was just looking out the window as life past me by, guided by other people’s thoughts and beliefs and events that molded my daily existence. I suddenly realized that my emotions had acted like bumper cars at the carnival, knocking me in every direction, but forward. They had been in control of my life and my intellect had just been a bystander. My sub-conscious emotions filtered up feelings of insecurity, inferiority and frustration, yet my conscious intellect said I was OK and was as good as anyone else. But regardless of my positive thoughts I was still overwhelmed with negative emotions. Why? Then the answer appeared like an oasis in the desert.
An answer to the question “secret to the mystery of life” was to have the emotions and intellect work together, as a team, bringing the power of personal emotions and the depth of personal intellect into a single harmonious flow. Become your own master therapist. How? By designing a method for the conscious and subconscious to communicate and resolve the confusion of mixed signals. To create a basic structure that could be applied to any personal concern and act as a pathway to resolve any conflict. To identify, define and validate or invalidate a problem would establish a clear path to resolving the conflict. That would be the intellectual conscious effort. The sub-conscious would then need to modify the negative emotional association to the memory by neutralizing it.
The emotions would act as references to identify goals and then the intellect would devise a way to achieve it. A simple concept that would not work if it were too complicated The next question was how were the emotions and intellect going to develop this balanced relationship in an uncomplicated and practical way? The solution was actually fairly apparent. The methods I developed are simple, efficient and practical and can be applied in any area of concern. I will use marriage as one of the ways to describe the thought process since the qualities that make up marriage also contain elements that are applied in other areas of life.
One thing I knew without a doubt, I enjoyed sharing my days, nights and life with someone. I liked marriage. The problem was, who to marry and how to make it work. This was a perfect opportunity to test my moment of enlightenment. So I set about to create the ideal wife. Not perfect (impossible), but ideal. I had minimum but no maximum requirements. I used my year of introspection about my previous marriage and created a pro and con list. One of the major areas of concern that created a problem in my marriage was a total lack of understanding about myself, my needs, my expectations of myself and my wife. Everything was vague. I had no idea of who I was as a man, husband or father or who she was as a women, wife or mother. This was a critical point in my awareness. In reflection I could see that although married, I had separate emotions that affected me in three areas at once. The feelings as a man with all the personal wants, hopes and desires did not change when I got married. I just added another level to my emotions. The same in becoming a father. The emotions were different than being a man or husband. More important, I realized that I had never looked at my wife and her levels of emotion. Enlightenment….. a link to better communication. By stepping back and defining the different levels of my emotions I could identify which level was creating the conflict in the marriage. Was the man’s emotions coming into conflict with the husband or father? Did I understand what commitment meant and can I accept the responsibility? Was the selfish man link to my wife being threatened by her focus as a mother. (The man’s emotional link is different than the husbands) Did her dreams as a women come into conflict with my goals as a man? Who was this woman? What were her dreams before marriage? What where her visions of marriage, of a husband and being a mother??? There was the key to erase the confusion and conflict in our communication, not only to clarify my own levels of emotion, but hers.
If I truly cared for her I would discover who she was as a person and therefore know why the conflict. The trick was not to try and communicate as husband and wife, but man and woman. It was like creating a psychograph of a person. By listing the pro and cons of the individual you could easily see where conflicts were created and just how compatible you would be. That is why I married Irene. I created a picture of Irene, long before I met her and when she walked into my life she was a near perfect image. We met on October 7th and were married on December 31st. And over 40 years later, here we are, sharing our thoughts on what has made our marriage, not only successful, but very successful. Some luck, yes, but mostly it has been clear communication, working together, being honest and having specific tools to overcome the problems that are always a part of the passage of time and a growing relationship. Also, you must truly care for your spouse, rather than marry for convenience, and you must always be honest. Deeply caring for someone is a strong motivation to overcome diversity. Being honest with yourself will determine the end results of your efforts. This is a chance to create moments of “enlightenment”, rather than wait for luck to give you the answers……… It is time to seek answers.
This next segment of my journey deals with achieving self discovery.
SEEKING PERSONAL ANSWERS
Although my marriage to Irene and having our daughter, Michelle, brought my husband and father emotions into balance, I still needed to resolve the emotional scars from childhood and early adulthood.
Trying to sort out an answer from the bubbling caldron of confusion and frustration from the battle between my thoughts and my emotions was futile. The older I got the more complicated life became. How could I sort through this maze of escalating uncertainty? And then, looking at a tree, I found the solution. I had been looking at the forest and was overwhelmed with the vastness of my existence. Every branch represented an element of who I was. Branches overlapped branches. I was engulfed and being smothered by my own thoughts. I had to close my eyes and refocus. When I opened them, there was the answer. The forest was gone and there stood but one tree. Regardless of how many branches, there was one constant for all of them, they had a common connection, the trunk. If I could find the trunk that my thoughts and emotions sprang from then I would always have a reference to keep me on track in my search for who I was.
THE TRUNK OR CORE
What elements make up who I am? My attitudes, values, ethics, morals, emotions, needs and desires seem to be endless. What one word can act as a core or is common for all the elements, so I can structure and simplify them into some order, like building a growth pyramid where every block has a specific meaning. Only one word kept reappearing when I thought about marriage, self confidence, success and many others, It was….happiness….to be happy
Happiness. Feelings of contentment, joy and pleasure. Satisfaction in things being right. A sense of balance and harmony within oneself.
So, by developing the growth pyramid I could breakdown any goal into its elements, such as happiness as the core theme and identify branches or specific areas to build on and define what would make me happy - Self Confidence, balanced emotions, a good marriage, be healthy, have financial security, have good friends, enjoyable environment, to name a few. I could separate the overlapping branches and clearly define the unique qualities of each branch.
A great first step. What next? How to simplify my introspection further?
In reviewing my list of elements I noticed that certain elements contained other elements. Self Confidence included dealing with self esteem, self respect, fears, attitude, controlling my emotions, accepting personal responsibility for my life and more. Marriage covered clarifying my role as person, husband and father and how they are one yet separate. Understanding how the husband/wife roles change when having children and having the ability to adapt. Understanding of the word “commitment” and how it would affect my individual wants and needs as a man and the new meaning of emotional and financial security since it now included someone else. Beliefs deal with critical questions. My values and ethics? Is there a God? If so, where did he come from? Life after death? Is there a hell? What is eternity? Do I have Free Will? Am I a physical or spiritual being? If I have a heart, lung, liver transplant does that change who I am? Was man created as man or did he evolve from??? Is there really a purpose to my life? Is there a right religion? Are my beliefs mine or implanted?
Are beliefs facts or assumptions (best guess)?
By identifying the various elements that made up a specific area of concern I could maintain a better overview of that exact subject and not drift to unrelated thoughts. Often, solving one problem solves a number of them. By developing self confidence you also will have high self esteem, positive attitude, less emotional stress and more easily able to deal with daily conflicts.
Any personal development curriculum must have a foundation for the program to expand from. My thinking has certain assumptions that I accept and use as references when developing my thoughts.
*That I am not a physical being. I only reside in my present body. This thought is the end result of a certain logical assumption. Many individuals have had any number of organ transplants, limb transplants and even a face transplant, yet remain the same entity, or person. We are aware of ourselves and our existence by our conscious thoughts. Thoughts are not physical although they are identified by electro-chemical wave lengths that can be studied by EEG. The energy that gives life to the brain activity is the elusive answer to the question, is there a soul? Am I a spiritual entity that exists with or without a body? It would appear so. But, only the individual can answer that by “free will”.
*That I have free will. The words “free will”, in this context, refer “to the right to act or make choices as a free and autonomous being without being bound by pre-destiny. To accept responsibility for my thoughts and actions”.
Pre-destiny is most often associated with cultural or religious beliefs that have been instilled since birth and have specific expectations and/or behavior guidelines which must be followed. These lifestyle rules very often create conflict as the individual grows into adulthood and the rules collide with maturing thoughts and emotions. If this is the case it is suggested the individual step back from the established rules and re-evaluate them as an adult and accept or reject them by the process of examining them by free will. Challenging rules that have been created or instilled by someone else does not mean they are wrong, only that they are not yours by choice, at least not yet. By using free will you exercise the right of free choice and accept the responsibility of your decisions. This was an important point for me since I felt that the imprinting from childhood was still affecting my life.
*That there is a conscious and sub-conscious mind. They work in unison, yet are separate and independent. The mind (brain) has cells that are similar to the chips in a computer and correlate existing data in a physical way that can be identified with an EEG. The conscious/monitor allows us to perceive the physical world thru our sense awareness and along with the associated thoughts and emotions, it is our intellectual perception and defines what it sees, hears and feels. Yet, the source of this conscious process lies hidden within. The sub-conscious, like the motherboard, hums along subliminally doing what it was designed to do. It is the link beyond our physical being, to our uniqueness as an individual entity. (Are our thoughts and emotions physical or from another level that uses the brain as a transceiver for our soul or spirit?)
It is the blending of the thought process and the emotions that validates our existence (I think, therefore I am (Descartes). Like the motherboard the sub-conscious is in total control and can be programmed to suit specific needs. The sub-conscious has certain default settings or certain triggers it always returns to. Some are automatic and some are created. The autonomic, sympathetic and para-sympathetic systems keep the body in a state of balance without need for conscious control. Unfortunately this autonomic control (like computer chips) do not always work well and sometime an imbalance is created. Cancer, tumors and a host of other illnesses are the result of this imbalance. Yet, although not aware consciously, the subconscious is aware of the cause of the imbalance and how to repair it. Spontaneous Remission is an example of the subconscious ability to inherently resolve a physical problem. I believe that it is possible to find and employ “Spontaneous Remission” triggers. However, it is the sub-conscious emotional triggers and conditions, established since birth, where there seems to be a problem or conflict, between the intellect and emotions that we want to resolve.
A primary assumption for the sub-conscious is its ability to file information on a permanent basis. Anything it has heard, read or seen is captured literally. Just because you cannot remember something does not mean the information is not there. That is good, because you have a life source of information. The sub-conscious does not care if the information has meaning or not, it just stores it. This is OK in most situations because it is passing information relative to that moment. However, there are times when past information is necessary to review in order to clarify a current problem. Since data accumulates as time goes on previous information often becomes buried and obscure and difficult for the conscious to retrieve.
Emotional sub-conscious. A subliminal processing area that sets off actions or reactions according to positive or negative input. Active since birth it responds to real or imagined stimuli and sets defaults according to the imprinting strength of an experience. It does not differentiate between beneficial or harmful responses and therefore often creates conflicting emotional turmoil. The default emotional settings are within our control, yet seem too often to be out of control. Unlike the stable auto systems that balances our physical state, the emotional conditions seem to be under a constant state of change and too often cause an imbalance that affects our physical well-being. A major problem in the storing process of the sub-conscious is that it absorbs information without associating it with any specific emotion and therefore an emotional problem can exist without an identifiable cause. Although most therapeutic approaches need to identify the emotional source of a problem, we find it helpful, but not necessary.
My developmental program is about reorganizing and structuring of past sub-conscious information and reprogramming of the emotional triggers and setting positive defaults. It is having the conscious and subconscious learn how to work together to keep both the body and emotions harmonious as it evolves through life.
My program was originally designed for myself and self discovery. I knew that I could not solve all my problems, but any improvement would make life better. My logic was that if I was 50% happy and 50% unhappy and improved 20%, then it would be a 70/30 change, which would be great. Also, I felt any positive change would motivate me to continue. But, over time I came to realize the methods that worked for me could also work for anyone who was interested in self discovery. The process is not meant to replace any medical or psychological agenda the individual may be involved in. It only offers an alternative effort to help the person return to a normal balanced lifestyle by using the powers they already posses.
Our approach is non-invasive and has been developed following three basic rules:
It must be Simple - Something you can do on your own and use tools you already possess.
It must be Efficient - To achieve the maximum results with a minimum of effort.
It must be Practical - It must produce the desired results, it must work.
The program is based on the belief that the individual has the inherent ability to control their intellectual, emotional and physical evolution and only need to access this potential by learning how to communicate with oneself. That, although real, any causal factors for emotional imbalance can be neutralized to a non-emotional memory. That the sub-conscious stores all life experiences as memories and can activate or de-active these memories. Also, the subconscious has the ability create a mind/body problem and/or cure it. Finally, the subconscious will reject efforts to remove memory.
The steps to neutralize specific negative memories or physical imbalance are:
“Accept need for change”, “Life sucks”, “Life is passing me by”, “There must be more to life”, “I want to be happy”, “I do not want this illness”. Etc.
Commit to a time to start a program and follow through to the end.
Be realistic in achieving your goals. Don’t expect perfection.
Have an organized and structured way to achieve your goal and make sure it has a beginning, a middle and an end.
Clearly identify the problem areas and define their elements.
Establish a priority list and identify if possible a root or core problem.
Validate or invalidate if the problem is past or present, real or imagined.
Accept that it is alright to neutralize the problem and keep it as non-emotional memory only.
Create specific commands relative to the defined problem.
Accept the separate rolls of the conscious and subconscious
Train the subconscious to respond quickly to conscious command.
Go to mind center for maximum communication between conscious and subconscious. (Centering brings conscious/subconscious together into one)
Give precise command to subconscious.
Shorten command for reinforcement purposes.
Allow one week for identifiable change.
Modify command as necessary.
The process can be set-up as an ongoing program by compartmentalizing areas of the sub-conscious to reinforce the basic commands 24/7. Bringing the emotions into control is only part of the journey. The mind needs a strong body to create proper balance.
I had an opportunity to spend a lot of one on one with Bruce Lee. This was because I only lived two blocks from the school and Bruce would go to my apartment to make phone calls to his folks in Hong Kong or his brother in San Francisco. While waiting for calls or after making them we would talk about different aspects of training. It is from this as well as my training with the group that I developed my interpretations, which I present here. I underline that the basic concepts Bruce developed were only a nucleus of thought. Years later, I took these inspired ideas and took them to the next level by giving them form so they could be taught to those interested. This is why each of us from Bruce’s early teaching were so different. We each saw Bruce differently and relative to our needs and purpose for training. My primary interest was conceptual rather than fighting.
My recent brush with almost going to prison taught me that fighting and being tough was not on my list of future goals. My main question and motivation for training was: How could this kid embarrass me so easily, without even working up a sweat. I needed to find out. It was my introduction to the “Art” of fighting, rather than the Neanderthal methods I used.
My mentor, Bruce Lee, radically changed my thinking about myself and how I approached life. Even though his teaching was mostly physical, his approach to uncovering new ideas, modifying old concepts and depending on science to validate his discoveries was the basis for how I developed my overall programs. Up until I met Bruce, I had an inflated ego and perceived myself as being respected because I was rough and tough and fiercely independent. My orphanage days had given me a narrow and limited perception of the real world and of myself. It never occurred to me that the respect I got was based on fear.
My first encounter with Bruce was my introduction to humility. I was going to Edison Technical school, in Seattle, which was a school for adults who needed to make up credits to go on to college. I was in between classes and was passing the auditorium and noticed a sign saying “Asian day studies”, which was talks about the different Asian cultures. Curious, I went in and sat far back from the stage. A young oriental guy was leaping around the stage making odd sounds. He would jump high into the air, spin around, make flashing actions with his arms and land in some pose that looked like a Preying Mantis about to attack a bug. This went on for a few minutes with him flying around the stage like a drunk butterfly. Finally, he finished bouncing around and went up to the microphone. He went on to explain what he had just demonstrated was a fighting style called Gung Fu and was practiced throughout China and Hong Kong as a deadly form of self defense. This statement amused me. So when his talk was finished I wandered up to the front by the stage where he was taking to a small group. The group was about 50/50 male/female. I smiled to myself as he was talking in a very animated way about Gung Fu. How, for hundreds of years the peasants had used it to fight the bandits who roamed the countryside attacking villages. They were not allowed weapons so had devised Gung Fu as a way for close quarter combat. At some point he noticed me with what must have been a stupid grin on my face. He smiled slightly and asked if I had any questions. I knew this was a moment to look good in front of an audience so I said in a sarcastic way, “Kid, we don’t fight like bugs over here. Fighting isn’t a dance, it’s serious and someone is going to be hurt”. His smile got a little broader and he said,”No kidding”. He moved towards me and stopped about an arm’s length away. Now picture this. I was about 5ft 10’’ and 220 pounds. Bruce was about 5’ft 7’’ and roughly 135. I was 21 and he 18. Continuing to smile he said, take a punch at me. Now, I had been an undefeated heavyweight boxer in the Air Force and had very quick hands and decided to teach him a lesson, since he was stupid enough to keep his arms down by his side. I thought I would just flick his forehead with a fast jab. I moved into a loose stance and fired a left jab. Bruce’s movements were a blur as my jab was caught up in a cyclone of action. I felt myself being jolted as he flicked my jab aside, caught my other arm, and in a flowing motion planted both arms crossed on my chest like I was dead. In an act of panic I tried to leap back and away from him. He was like a bad smell, I could not get away. No matter how I moved, backwards or side to side, he stayed with me while maintaining pressure on my locked arms. I finally stopped when I hit the edge of the stage. Before he released me he tapped on my forehead and asked, “Is anyone home”. Wow, talk about learning humility the hard way. All I could hear, other than my own heartbeat, was the chuckling from the group. Embarrassment is an understatement. I did not know whether to run to the toilet and flush myself down or try to hit him again. Seeing his smiling face, relaxed and ready for anything, I opted for the toilet. Better yet, I became one of his first students in America.
Bruce, without knowing it, was a scientist. His way of looking at the martial arts was quite different than any other practitioner. He wanted to be the best martial artist there ever was. He was not interested in how old something was or how many trophys an instructor had, he was only concerned about what would work for him. In order to accomplish this he challenged everything he saw with questions. What was the purpose of the technique? Was it simple, could he do it without a warm-up? Was it efficient, or does it have unnecessary moves. Lastly, would it work for him. These were his initial thoughts. Then he would analyze the technique to see if he could improve on it. However, his main contribution to modern martial arts was his insight on the different elements of a technique. A technique was a number of physical moves designed to accomplish a specific result. In a technique you had the physical act as well as the elements of speed and power. This is where Bruce leaped light years ahead of his peers. He felt just training harder to be faster or stronger was not the answer. He thought this way because if a 200 pound student and a 140 student both trained equally hard, the larger student would always have the advantage. Since Bruce was small framed, this was an important point since he wanted to be able to beat anyone regardless of size. So he looked for the weaknesses in current training and what advantages did a small person have over a big person. Speed and mobility was the clear difference. But, if a small person trained as hard as he did, doing the same thing, then they would be equal. So he had to make changes, create new concepts. His first change was to take what he considered the best techniques and concepts, refine them and modify them to fit him. His next important change was to separate speed and power into separate arts, from technique. He felt that the elements of speed and power needed to be explored alone, since most sports and martial artists just trained harder to be faster or pumped iron to build up more muscle to be stronger. Bruce felt something was missing. His initial research only talked about speed or power in a general way. There wasn’t any information regarding what speed was for different applications. The only repetitious thoughts were about the short muscle twitch. In watching different sports Bruce realized that speed was different for each sport. There was no common denominator that brought them together. The same for power, it stayed general rather than specific. So what was the answer.
Science was the answer. Talking about electro-chemical reactions and actions, the bio-mechanics of motions and the gamma level response of the brain to threat was the path to new concepts and training. We developed nine sources of speed and 10 sources of power. We found that for every strong line of energy flow there were five weak ones. Instead of using strength against your opponent you blended energy with his and actually could control his movement. We established that, once you developed maximum natural speed or power as an art, you could maintain it without further training. With these unique concepts, Bruce feared no man. Another critical point Bruce emphasized was that the saying “jack of all trades and master of none” is very valid. His logic told him that he could never master all his techniques, but that it was OK since the overall training was great for his personal physical evolution. Bruce believed a fight should not last over two seconds. The question is: how much can you do in two seconds? Very little. And that was the key to Bruce’s question of how much to train. Bruce felt that if he laid out all the possible scenarios for a fight and analyzed the fewest possible techniques needed to win all the encounters, then he could focus on those techniques and become a master of them. Bruce knew many styles and was fairly good at them, but he was a master of no more than twelve techniques. Yet, they were designed for any conflict. This concept of selected training is known as the “tool pouch” concept. I trained both physically and mentally, focusing on developing my personal tool pouch. Finally, in reflection, I think one of his finest perceptions, and one of the simplest, was his recognizing that over time, if he did not keep up his training, his skills would diminish and he could be beaten. To solve this dilemma he used the principles behind biking and swimming. Once you learned them, you never forgot them. This was because of nero-imprinting when you use natural movement. Once learned, always remembered. So, Bruce only focused (for his tool pouch skills), on techniques that were based on natural movement or response. And it worked. I still prove this concept in demonstrations and I am over 74 years old.
How does this all relate to the body in personal development?
Confidence and a feeling of self esteem are mainly emotional as part of a thought process. However, a large part of confidence is in your physical well-being and your satisfaction of evolving your physical attributes to a high level, as well as the perception of yourself. A healthy body, as well as refining attributes like speed, endurance, power, balance, coordination, rhythm and timing, contributes to a person’s overall confidence. This confidence allows them to function much better at all levels of society. It is particularly important to reach the point where your mind and body are harmonious enough so an individual could concentrate on discovering more about his spiritual side. The self defense elements of training are only a side benefit since most people will never get into a physical confrontation.
This series of personal emotional (mind) discoveries along with designing and following the academic structure for physical growth (body) in Wing Chun Do was the key to bringing my “spiritual” energy (me, as an entity) into balance and harmony. The three elements were separate, yet functioned as one. I have structured this information into a step-by-step format so those interested can learn and apply it. To identify the overall process I have titled it, “Tao of Wing Chun Do.”
Our goal is to create a worldwide
system to teach the most efficient and practical
ways to achieve individual growth in all areas of personal development, in order to maximize individual potential and bring the mind, body and spirit into harmony.
“Tao” is the spiritual way.
“Do” is the physical way.
“Wing Chun means "Beautiful Springtime"
Springtime is very special for
most people. It leaves the cold
and darkness of winter and awakens the soul to the warmth and beauty of
fresh flowers, singing birds and a feeling of a new beginning.
It is within this context that we use the term "Tao of Wing Chun Do"
IT IS A TIME FOR REBIRTH....A TIME TO GROW
The Tao of Wing Chun Do is a non-profit teaching corporation, incorporated in Honolulu Hawaii in December of 1975. The Tao of Wing Chun Do is also registered in Washington, Oregon and Michigan state as a non-profit corporation. The Tao of Wing Chun Do is recognized as a 501(C) (3) U.S. non-profit corporation with the Federal Government ID number 95-1599958.
PURPOSE AND APPLICATION
The Tao of Wing Chun Do (TWCD) was organized to create non-invasive* programs that bring the mind/body/spirit into balance and harmony. This process is achieved by recognizing that each aspect of the individual is unique and requires a specific pathway to evolve. The TWCD accomplishes its goals by presenting two different, yet compatible approaches that do not lead or interfere with free will or personal spontaneity.
*First is the mind, which encompasses the emotions and conscious/subconscious. To bring the mind into balance, the TWCD utilizes academic personal development techniques rather than philosophy. It employs a Growth Pyramid for clarifying important reference points in a person's life, such as love, marriage, happiness, success etc.. Also, a Game Plan is used for organization and continuity purposes and paired with unique Centering techniques for achieving the desired changes.
*Second, is the body. This phase of individual growth reaches into the past for its answers as well as identifies with specific current behavioral standards. The roots of our physical approach go back to the ancient monasteries that were dedicated to finding the meaning of life. Although we separate from the religious aspect of their beliefs, we find that they offered very useful methods to internalize and detach from external disturbances as well as ways to focus the mind to maximize the search for inner peace and harmony. Their recognition that the mind cannot evolve without the body following is a key element in our modern interpretation and application of their ageless secrets. We know that the mind and body are one and to focus only on the mind or the body creates an imbalance that will restrict reaching one's full physical/spiritual potential. So, we have developed Wing Chun Do, a series of physical exercises that benefit both the mind and the body, regardless of age, condition or gender.
Primary beliefs of the Tao of Wing Chun Do:
That we are one of a kind, spiritual energy in a physical body.
That death is a transition, not an end.
That we have free will, yet exist as part of a larger spiritual force.
That man and woman draw from the same ultimate energy source.
That physical existence is an opportunity for piritual evolution.
That each individual must find his/her own answers.
That our life purpose is to maximize mind/body/spirit balance and harmony.
*non-invasive – To allow the individual self determination in making decisions, free from outside philosophy or dogma.