Chaos From Every Angle – Intense harmony

Last weekend was Kasumi Mountain Martial Art’s Chaos From Every Angle – A Seminar  with 7 of Asheville’s Top Instructors.  The Line up included Sean Kennedy from Kasumi Mountain Martial Arts with mastery in Budo Taijutsu; Steve Ledford from Asheville Integrated Combatives with mastery in Commando Krav Maga; Stephen Opper from Manual Medicine Asheville Massage with skills in qi-gong, Chinese Medicine and Tui-na; Spencer Bolejack from Land of the Sky – Wilderness/Martial Arts with mastery in Tang Soo Do; Charly Aurelia from Mountain Forge with mastery in Systema; Thabiti Sabahive from Honu Martial Arts Academy with mastery in DonZan Ryu Jujutsu; and Michael Dickinson from Sun Soo Tae kwon do.  The vast amount of information acquired during the three days is to much to remember and to much to write.  What you’ll read is an overview of what I’ve remembered and the most valuable principals I learned.

Friday night started with a bang.  That bang more explicitly, was someone’s body hitting the floor.  The private Friday night session gave each instructor 15 minutes each to demonstrate a technique centered on the theme of chaos, a taste of the next 2 days.  Eye gouging, stealthy ninja tricks,  and soft hands with incredible power were all demonstrated then executed by the participants.  Everyone left that night with  smile. I was particularly pumped!

Saturday and Sunday amalgamated into some form of ordered chaos.  Here is my recount of it.  Stephen Opper  demonstrated body awareness exercises, as the class followed along.  “Feel the weight in your legs, like heavy bags, drop all that weight into your legs.”  I felt no pressure in my back, I was letting my bones hold the structure for me, no muscles.  He invited us to reach our hands parallel to the floor, perpendicular to our chest and begin to pivot our hips.  It was amazing, for each small rotation produced by your hips your arms had traveled a long distance.  Strong stances are where the power comes, it was evident after this very simple exercise.  My favorite ninja trick from  Sean Kennedy, for dealing with multiple attackers was finger crawling.  Rather than using large muscles or your hands to control your opponent, dig your fingers into the opposition and crawl up them, slowly, deeply.  This hurts, no really it hurts!  This was one of the coolest tricks that works in a variety of situations and positions.  Michael Dickinson gave one of the best Tae Kwon Do classes I’ve experienced.  The class was able to execute the three major kicks, front kick, round house, and side kick in a variety of different positions, from standing to on the ground.  We were also treated to experience how these kicks work in chaotic environments.  One example walking your opposition into a hook kick.  One of my favorite instructors was Charly Aurelia, though he had the oddest “stances,” and body movement he gave a smaller guy like me hope as I saw how devastating and powerful his punches were.  Among other techniques Charly’s no Bullshit approach was freshing as he taught what I dubbed, “face shmeer.”  Using the bridge of the hand placing it under the nose, pushing the head away, up, then straight down to the floor hindered any chance for escape.  It was a destructive technique.  Steve Ledford has a similar principal regarding the nose… It WILL control the body, the whole thing, not just a part.  Steve led us through a couple drills, which all held a similar principal.  Step away then into the attacker, hit as many times on the way in, control the nose/face.  Steve’s Krav Maga is not for the faint of heart, it is effective and brutal.  Spencer Bolejack, in my opinion, had a gentle demeanor, a smile on his face 99% of the time, and somehow somewhere sat this intense, martial art that focused on sticks, knifes, and a principal that no matter what you hold in your hand you’re doing the same thing.  It was exciting to practice the moves he showed the class on Saturday, in a live environment on Sunday with gear.  Practical and awesome.  Lastly, Thabiti Sabahive taught us one of the best core principals I’ve ever learned (currently, I still train with him).  Head, Knee Toe alignment.  Your body can only generate power on this alignment.  Whether you are punching, kicking, or throwing, this is critical to being powerful with efficiency, and stable like a deeply rooted tree.  I will say it again Head, Knee Toe, -> and again, Head, Knee, Toe.

After attending my first Palmetto Jujitsu Fall Clinic in 2013 I learned one core principal that permeates all EXCEPTIONAL martial arts.  They all do the same thing, it’s just a different flavor.  This seminar held the same principal and because of that I know the quality of instructors is exceptional as well. To paraphrase Thabiti, “Your body needs protein.  You can eat meat, beans, or sprouts, but they all give the same thing, it’s just a different flavor.”

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The Universe: NOT your Cosmic Bell Captain

I was listening to something by Bob Proctor and what he said really resonated with me.  I had heard as a young boy in religious education, in Catholic High School, and as part of the New Age paradigm that if you prayed, or focused your attention (the secret) on whatever you wanted God/The Universe would make it come true.  Then Bob Proctor said this:

God is not your Cosmic Bell Captain, that is just going to run because you spoke.  You must act!

This is often left out from both practices in my experience.  If your friend or family member is sick; pray or ask the universe for assistance, then pick up the phone and call them or go visit.  If you desire financial abundance, pray or ask the universe for assistance, then go out and create a new financial path for yourself.

“Prayer” is the method of moving the energy from “No-thing” to an idea, but you must ACT upon that idea.


A man praying at a Japanese Shintō shrine.
A man praying at a Japanese Shintō shrine. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
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Spiritual Power & Delusion

As of late, a lot of new experiences have been flooding into my world.  This 13 minute audio clip has been the most profound of those.  The audio is from Tom Kenyon and is available for Download from his website and the link below.  The title is “Spiritual Power and Delusion.”  This talk is an excerpt from a workshop Tom did in Seattle, Washington in 2011.  The focus was on the pursuit of spiritual power and the task of separating it from delusion.

The Punch Line Quotes:

Every Religion has dogma and imprisonment and your task as an initiate is to sort through the truth & the untruth.

I was in search of the Satguru, well there is no such fucking thing.

Tom tells a compelling story in which he sold his belongings for healings, for what he thought would give him the answers he yearned for.  However, to his dismay, he learned that all this did was put his power into the hands of others, as his idolized guru was in fact a con-artist.  Tom goes forward in explaining how his spiritual quest was instead a quest of power.  Finally, as “intuition” lead him to a beach he saw imprinted in the sand “I Love you Tom.”  Tom’s epiphany was to love one’s self through this process, while understanding the power was in him.

Listen Here:

Spiritual Power and Delusion Download


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American’s Agree: We disapprove of Congress

At least the American People agree on something, we disapprove of congress.  Today the Gallup Company released the congressional job approval graph (pictured below).

Job Approval of Congress, monthly

As you can see we have gotten pretty darn low at 12%.  My only question is how is something that is so disapproved of, remember 18% approve which means the other 82% disapproval, still in operation?  They battle like children.  Which ironically is the front cover of Bloomberg business week in which they are mocked for acting like children.

I find it rather funny that as much as Americans disagree on issues from abortion to the president we still allow the government that serves us to operate in a fashion we disapprove of.  Here is another graph from the Gallup people…  This dislike of congress even transcends party lines! OMG the humanity! We agree on something! I’m so happy!  Whats even funnier is we have agreed on this since 2011.  Did we hear the presidents talk about this during the debates? No! why would they?





Job Approval of Congress by political party

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Market Tarot January 7th

Daily Market Tarot

Today’s Market Tarot is less about the market and more about my Trading this morning.  I had a great number of losers and nearly reached my daily lock out for the day.  In the afternoon I asked “what happened this morning, What can I change.”  These are the cards I drew.  Again,  the set I use is The Wild Wood Tarot created by Mark Ryan & John Matthews with illustration by Will Worthington.

20. The Great Bear – This card is about judgment.  These includes judgement of self and others.  It teaches us to be compassionate and loving to self.

5. The Ancestor – Represents your inner guide, the part of your unconscious that knows everything. She is leading you to a new path.

17. The Pole Star – Is about guidance, again from your inner self.  Knowing that the stars are aligned so that you may follow.

I saw this layout as The Great Bear crawling towards the other two cards.  That my judgement is attacking if you will my inner guidance.  Both from a feminine & male perspective.  While the Ancestor leads you into the woods with her heart, the male depicted in the pole star follows point A to B.  Knowing how my morning went I understand this as following my intuition, my trading ideas, and to stay away from judgement.  That being kind and forgiving to self is most important.

In turn, I had a successful afternoon :)

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Market Tarot January 4th

Market Tarot January 4th 2013


Today’s Market Tarot I drew two cards.  The set I use is The Wild Wood Tarot created by Mark Ryan & John Matthews with illustration by Will Worthington.  There is no path way to be read it is just to gather an understanding of what may occur today in the market.

Nine of Arrows: Dedication – Staying focused, knowing that it may take hard work and discipline to achieve what you desire.

Seven of Arrows: Insecurity - This card talks about instability and panic due to un-grounded fears.  The woman in the card looks as though she is entangled and being attacked and has footing on an unstable surface.

What this said to me in the morning was that the market would be focused, dedicated to staying on whatever path it chose.  At 8:30 AM judging from yesterdays afternoon price action, I thought this would be a focused path lower.  However we have been pretty much flat.  The second card said to me that this dedicated move would be based on insecurity on ungrounded fears.  Yesterday the Fed came out and said “We may raise rates.” Whether they do this in 2013 or 2015; it is mere speculation by the fed.  In turn investors begin to speculate.

In the end there has been a focused moved to no where and after such a huge rally from January 2nd, the government has throw insecurity into the market based on speculation of what they “may” do.

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Market Tarot January 3rd

Daily Tarot 1-3-2013
I thought it would be fun to do a reading mid-day on the market. Read the Market Tarot cards can help.  The layout that I felt was Past->Present->Future (from left to right). I drew the following cards…

Aces of Stones: The Foundation of Life – This card discusses manifesting your dreams, wishes etc into reality.
Six of Stones: Exploitation – This card speaks of an imbalance of resources that are damaging to yourself or the environment.
The Ancestor – Represents your inner guide, the part of your unconscious that knows everything. She is leading you to a new path.

How does this relate to the market? The reading was done around 1:00pm EST. Aces of Stones represents the base that was built in the AM. This is also related to the large significant up move we had on Wednesday. Six of stones I believe speaks to the grind higher all afternoon. This was not a healthy move and we have damaged ourselves in the process. The last card, The Ancestor talks about a new path. I would think that this card speaks that the close of today / afternoon trading will represent a new trend in the market.

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Confidence in Trading: The Approach

Have you ever seen a gorgeous goddess?  A woman so magnificent you just are beeming energy inside to go talk to her?  But as you walk over you start to notice how you’re walking, what facial gestures you’re making, where your hands are, confidence fading… You’re becoming self-conscious and that wonderful feeling of excitement has now turned into fear.  Do you remember the last time you talked to a woman in this energy? In this self-conscious / fear mentality?  Didn’t go so well did it?  Why is a stock any different?

It’s all about the approach and mental confidence prior to the trade.  When you approach an event with fear that energy gets transferred into it.  I’ve talked about how The Energy of Fear is Consumption in this prior post.  So if you’re feeling nervous before a trade take note of this.  Where is this fear coming from? Is it related to money? Lack of confidence in yourself? Lack of self worth? It could be a million different things but you need to find and focus on the one that resonates with you.  I’m currently working on a meditation that will assist you through the process of finding this fear and making it your ally.

Remember the emotion will come during the “approach.” Keep track of how you feel, as this will set the course of how the rest of your interaction with the trade will go.  Keep in mind that magnificent woman: Do you approach her as nervous, not confident, and fearful of reject or strong, confident and full of love?


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Traders Edge: Trust in yourself Mantra

Everyday in the office everyone is bombarded with negative thoughts, feelings, and energy from other traders.  Whether you’re sitting next to them, reading their messages in a chat or hearing their irate voice over your headset.  How do you stay within yourself  and  trust in yourself so you aren’t effect? How do you continue to trust your instincts and your ideas rather than being influenced by outside forces in a negative way?

I’ve discovered a simple Mantra in the morning works for me. I tell myself and the energy around me the following “Let my ideas come from within my divine self and let all negative energies trans-mutate into positive energies that serve my idea.”  I can’t tell you how much of a difference this has made for me in two areas:

1) I am no longer influenced by nay sayers unless their idea is able to serve mine.
2) I am able to stay within myself and be confident in my idea.

Here is a fun example I like to tell.  A great trader has been on tilt recently.  Everyday we hear “I should just go home, Down 500… Down 1,000… F*&k it. I’ll trade to 1,200 nothings working today. Who cares.”  Because this individual has had a solid reputation and track record for over 5 years his opinion is respected.  When he says, “There is nothing going on, there is no opportunity today,” unfortunately people listen.  He then goes on to cite who else is down today to confirm that it’s the market making the mistakes not him…  There is a great amount of cursing himself and the market.  Hearing this rant everyday can be draining, not to mention exhausting.  It can also pull you out of your space (whatever that may be).

Using a simple mantra in the morning can help your mind stay focused on YOUR ideas and learn that trusting yourself is where success comes from.  I’ve wrote about trusting yourself here in The Holy Grail of Trading.  Remember learning to trust in yourself is a great traders edge in a any market.


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The Energy of Fear: Consumption

Fear is a tricky emotion to understand, but when it comes to trading I see it perform a very simple task; consume.   It makes the trader hyper focus, trade without logic, and live inside a world that is extremely narrow.  Have you ever been sitting at your console, beginning to lose money and feel worried? Feel scared you’ll lose the money you made for the day or scared to lose more?  This is where the energy of fear takes over and begins to consume.  For that is its sole purpose.  An example of this is revenge trading.

In all the psychological literture there is a technic that has been proven again and again: Exposure Therapy.  However, you’re sitting there saying I am exposed to this everyday!  It is not getting any better!  You’re correct cause you have been consumed by this energy and have yet to step outside of it to see it for what it is. I am currently working on a meditation which will allow you to greet your fear, understand it and let it become your ally, no longer your enemy.

In the mean time when you begin to have this feeling step back, step outside yourself and have a laugh!  Look at what you are experiencing.  Does it feel like truth that you should be so afraid?  Take 3 deep breaths.  On the first breath tell your physical body it’s OK to relax.  On the second breath tell you emotional body it’s OK to relax.  On the last breath tell you trading mind that it’s OK to relax.

Fear is here to consume, it may serve a purpose while defending  yourself or the ones you care for, but even in that it’s purpose is still the same.  Let your body & mind feel what is truth & know that it is OK to relax.


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