DF: RIP Tony Adams

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Sep 11, 2006
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RIP Tony Adams
By Crafty Dog - 06-08-2009 05:34 PM
Originally Posted at: Deluxe Forums


A Sad Howl:

In our lives, there are people whom we run into in the context of certain
times and places only. We may know very little about them outside of those
times and places, but in the context of those times and places, they feel
like friends. For me Tony Adams was such a person. A long time member of
the Inosanto Tribe, his martial skills were deep and diverse and his savate
skills were quite notable (he taught at Bud Thompson's Kali Academy for
example) but most of all I liked his personality. There was something about
him that was a pleasure to be around.

Two Saturdays ago I saw him at the Inosanto Academy as I was getting ready
to teach. We smiled to see each other and asked each other how we were--
the usual pleasantries. I showed him the latest move I've been developing
for "Kali Tudo"-- not only for the kind words which I was sure would come
whether they were deserved or not, but because I respected his opinion and
wanted to get his spontaneous reaction to the move in question. Then it was
time for us to go to our respective classes. I'd like to be able to say
that I sensed that something was off in him, but the truth is that I didn't.
Looking back, all I can say is that he seemed a little low-key.

Many of us are going through tough times now. Some of us have lost their
homes. Many of us have had major portions of our life savings severely
diminished. Many of us wonder how much further we may fall. Many of us
have lost jobs, or now work far more for much less. Many of us begin to
doubt our sense of worth, perhaps as relationships deteriorate under
financial pressures. Many of us now doubt long standing assumptions about
what our tomorrows will bring.

It is import to remember, as the saying goes, "Tomorrow is promised to no
one." The warrior mind, body, and spirit that we seek to cultivate
remembers that Death can come for us anytime , , , perhaps this is why a
suicide is so unsettling?

So what do we do with THIS day? I think Jim Morrison got it right when he
said "Oh Great Creator of Being! Grant us this hour to perform our Art and
perfect our lives."

The Adventure continues,
Crafty Dog


"He Had His Art" (c)
by Marc "Crafty Dog" Denny

Several years back, a man I had fought at a "Dog Brothers Gathering" went
out behind his school and blew his brains out. He was involved in intense
law enforcement work and I was told that his marriage was ending. He left
two daughters and a separated wife.

He was a part of the extended Inosanto Tribe as well the Dog Brothers tribe
and so I mentioned it to Guro Inosanto. He was surprised, and instantly
exclaimed "How could he have done that? He had his Art!"

As I tried explaining how perhaps there had been gremlins planted or
unleashed by his work, and that perhaps he had cracked as his family was
breaking up, Guro seemed to not even care what the reasons were-- he had his
Art and why had he not turned to it?

I certainly had no answer in his case, but began to reflect upon the Art and
its larger role in life.

At its core level, martial arts is about Love, the belief that you (and
those you wish to protect) are worthy of defending from the Aggression of

So what is Aggression for?

In DBMA we often look at things through a lens of evolutionary
biology-psychology and speak of the three reasons for Aggression: Territory,
Hierarchy, and Reproduction. There is much value in this perspective-- but
we do not experience our lives in terms of evolution.

We experience our lives as individuals living the time we have. As men,
this usually means we are The Protector. The Protector faces a great
dichotomy-- he must be ready to connect with his Darkness in order to
neutralize or defeat the Darkness of others-- and at the same time be
conscious of his own Shadow tricking him into being the Problem instead of
the Solution. The greater this dichotomy, the profounder the transformation
that results from balancing its halves successfully.

Thus, as a natural person living with our Intelligence and our Animal
Natures in service of our Heart, (I refer here to the three corners of the
triangle of the DBMA emblem: "Mind, Heart & Balls") we come to "the three
H's of Bando: Hurting, Healing, and Harmonizing".

Typically we come to the Art seeking to learn how to Hurt. In the process
of learning to do so, we too are hurt, and thus develop the need to Heal
ourselves. With this beginning experience of our own mortality, with
empathy we learn to see others as no different from us. From there, an
Awareness is available which takes us through a portal to different way of
seeing things. It is to realize that the darkness we recognize in others,
named by Carl Jung "the Shadow", is also within us, and those with whom we
conflict the most have a Shadow most like our own --a truly annoying and
challenging thought this is! Yet, by so doing we bring consciousness to our
solutions to Aggression. As Jung said in the words opening the first video
in our first series, "The idea is not to imagine figures of light, but to
make the darkness conscious."

The Art becomes seen not as a matter of doing Aggression well, but of
dealing well with it-which may or may not be a matter of doing it "better"
than The Other. In other words, we become increasingly able to engage with
others in a Harmonious way, and become increasingly inaccessible to hostile
intentions, provocations or neurosis on the part of others.

And the more grounded we are in this space, the clearer and more effective
we should be in our will to act when circumstances require-and as surely as
no one beats everyone, equally sure it is that there can be times and places
beyond one's ability to harmonize. If the flying fickle finger of Fate puts
you on Flight 93, it is time to say "Lets Roll."

Those who dedicate their lives to protecting others (soldiers, policemen,
prison guards, etc) deal with those with whom efforts at harmonization may
well be suicidal. These Protectors face the dichotomy in particularly acute
form. I remember a conversation with my good friend and hero, Dogzilla - a
federal prison guard. We were speaking as we often do, of his life at work.
He runs the kitchen (a truly weapon intense environment) and is on the cell
extraction team-particularly high adrenal jobs both. "How do you do it, day
after day, keeping alert surrounded by bad men with nothing better to do for
the next 20 years than to study you for weakness and opportunity to exploit
it? How do you go into a cell to extract a criminally insane man in a
psychotic killing state and drag him out without becoming that?" I asked

"That's not the hardest part" he answered. "The hardest part is getting in
my truck at the end of the day and not going off on all the jerks on the
road and going home to my wife and little girl and walking in the door in a
state of love."

"So how do you do it?"

"I have my Art. (Those words again!) I go out back and train. I train to
be able to move through a room full of men looking to take me down and kill
or make me pregnant and get out the door at the far side of the room and
make it home to my family. I enter into the space where I am capable of
whatever it takes. When I am done tuning up my body, when I am done
discharging all the fear and all the unexpressed anger, and I know that I
have trained with what Don Juan called 'impeccability', then my workout is
done and I am ready for both my job and for my family."


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