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Every man has a struggle to fight. There is a dragon to slay in every mans life. As boys we know this but society tries to subdue it. When it succeeds we no longer have the will to handle difficulty. Life is a fight to death. Only the strong survive.

I’ve learned a lot from my son in this realm . This weekend Kenneth Blanchard, II competed in a kickboxing match in Delaware. I learned that what happens is after weeks of training and sacrifice you will meet an opponent of more or less equal size and skill for three rounds, two minutes long to test your combative skill. The truth is no one is equal. One will be always be better. One will have more heart, more skill or better conditioning that the other. And then there is always the judges but one will win and one will lose. Often the opponent in these matches is a no-show and all the sacrifice is wasted but these fighters men and women carry on.

After weeks of fasting, he made weight. He and his team drove to Delaware. This is not like the movies, he didn’t have to fight. It is not for money. In fact, in cost him a days salary plus the sacrifice of food and training to make weight. He fought today but lost in the decision but won the respect of many. He already had mine. He is awesome.


There was no million dollar payday at the end of this day. Kenneth 2.0 did this for the love of it. He said that he was closer to being what his 7 year old self wanted to be. He is a martial artist. He could easily be a model. He is a college educated, employed, clean living, drug free, tax paying, home owning, single, no kids, a follower of Christ.  I love this guy.

….This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.  Mathew 3:17

Because of my son, I created the WarriorCast podcast and blog. Through that I have interviewed several fighters, and trainers.

 

 

Here are some of my sons team.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I asked “Why Do You Fight?

I train to fight because it feels natural almost visceral. Pushing yourself to walls and pushing past gets you ready for real conflict in life. From real adversarial conflict that could be even end up deadly to just trying to resolve a misunderstanding with a friend. -Reed Miller

It challenges me holistically, mind body and spirit. Martial arts also transcends just fighting , I’m a better community member, student, teacher, and woman because of my training – Jasmine H.

I train to improve myself in all parts of life, fighting is the truest form if expression of who you are so you find yourself in it and i love the competition. – Josh Jackson

 

Tips for Fighters

JEROME W – OWNER OF DCBFIT.COM

 1. Calculate the risk.
2. This is a lonely journey that will end painfully.
3. No one really cares, your just a body. When it’s over on to the next fighter.
4. You will not make millions, you probably won’t even make hundreds.
5. Amateur belts and championships mean nothing. You are not a World Champion until you earn it as a Pro.
6. You are your on brand so promote yourself.
7. Have health insurance or money set aside for your injuries.
8. Don’t diet, change your lifestyle.
9. Surround yourself with people that tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear.
10. Enjoy the F%#kin trip because you can fight forever!

 

Will Lewis

  1. Your dreams work as hard as you do
  2. Progress is progress no matter how little or slow
  3. Ask yourself what would you do to defeat yourself? then work on those things
  4. Train from the inside out, mind, soul, body
  5. Rest is important, some athletes dot know when too much is too much, the body needs rest
  6. Nobody will push you as hard as you will push you
  7. it’s okay to need help, pride is not your friend
  8. technique is better than production, quality over quantity
  9. you’re as good as the next man you train with, build up others around you and be willing to grow yourself
  10. Always remember it is okay to fail, effort comes in the tries, progression in every lesson learned. A step forward is more than a step not taken. Compare yourself to none, you create your own vision and become that which you see

Reed Miller

  1. In no particular order:
  2. Make the tedious parts of training fun/interesting
  3. Striking is attribute base, acknowledge the ones you are proficient at and put extra time into your weaknesses
  4. For every ONE hour of sparring you should be doing THREE hours of drilling/padwork/conditioning etc.
  5. Sparring is not for your ego, it’s for working techniques in a live and less predictable setting
  6. You won’t improve vastly over a short period of time, get better 1% everyday.
  7. Consistency is the key to improving
  8. Build up your teammates and put the time in to improve them too, iron sharpens iron
  9. Keep moving, it’s like shooting. Much harder to hit a moving target
  10. Get the fundamentals down before trying to get “flashy” or “tricky”
  11. Just have fun!

 

Steve Holt

1.  Write it down. Journals and documenting technique and progress are huge.
2. If someone kicks your ass sparring train with them more and find out what you should fix.
3. Give back, help someone starting out or show a technique they can use.
4. Monitor your diet and listen to your body.
5. Have fun don’t take things too serious.
6. Competition is healthy but not necessary.
7.  Train at other schools and with other people.
8.  You tube is great for new moves but focus on the fundamentals.
9. Be aggressive don’t hurt anyone but you are training for self defense at the very least.
10.  Pay your dues, training takes time adjust your attitude, there are no quick fixes.

 

 

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. —Theodore Roosevelt

 

 

It was about twelve years ago when I adopted a malnourished runt of a Doberman puppy and brought her home from the animal shelter. After a couple of years in a new house I got the green light from my wife to get a dog. I wanted a Doberman. The animal shelter had a process where you could put in a preference for the breed you wanted and they would notify you when one was available. I waited about a month before a skinny Doberman photo was emailed to me. I went to the shelter and found her on “death row.” Her cage was between two vicious pit bulls with signs that read “not for adoption”. They were barking and jumping as I approached.  She was laying on the cool floor between them looking like it was the end of the world.

I knelt down in front of her  stall and looked her in the face. Hoping she wouldn’t take my fingers off, I reached under the door and petting her nose. She didn’t. She licked my hand for the first time. I told her right then, I was going to get her out of there.

It took almost a month before I actually got her. I had to schedule an appointment for the family to meet her first. I had to bring my household to the shelter. My family didn’t grow up around dogs so the smells and sounds of the shelter didn’t help my cause. They agreed though because “dad” wanted this dog.

The day I picked up the scrawny reddish brown Doberman was a happy day. The attendant brought her into the waiting room after I paid the fees and “Ginger” jumped into my lap before I could stand from the waiting room chair. It was like she was at doggy daycare waiting for me to pick her up. The scene was perfect. Everyone in the shelter that saw it went “aww” in chorus.

I got her spayed and brought her home. A life time of suffering with allergies made the short haired breed appealing. This was not the feared breed in my youth. My family warmed up to her. I outgrew my allergies. When at home we were together we were. When my wife came near us, she would move closer or put a paw on me as to claim her property. My wife called her my “side chick”.

When I lost my job, she was comforting. When I didn’t want conversation with anyone but didn’t want to be alone she was there. She had her ways.  She didn’t like bathrooms or vacuum cleaners. I guessed she was abused and locked up in a bathroom before we got her. She loved to ride in my car. This dog however was a love bug. She was not scary to anyone who knew her. She was my constant companion in my podcast studio. She did everything you don’t want or need in a confined room made for recording and editing other peoples podcast. She groomed herself often. She bit nails. She groaned. She was flatulent no matter what I fed her.

The past few months I watched Ginger slow down. Some mornings she seemed as if she had trouble walking. Like me she had a mole near her eye. We began to look like each other. She never got as big as some other Dobermans I have seen. She slowly stopped eating as much as before. The foxes in the neighborhood were starting to get as much food as she was before I chased them out of the yard. I noticed a tumor growing under her, and her struggling to move more. She got a nosebleed  last week and I knew something was amiss. She was thin like the day we had met. I took her to the veterinarian and waiting for what I knew was coming from his diagnoses. I rubbed her cheek and she licked my hand the way she had the first day. The doctor confirmed that a cancer was progressing in her system and I allowed the vet “put her to sleep” before it got worse for both of us. It was a first for me. It was sad.

Ginger helped me de-stress. She gave me an excuse to leave the party early. She gave me a reason to walk the neighborhood. She claimed me, when nobody else did. She made me smile. She was a example of what you can get from the animal shelter near you. A four legged friend bar none. My podcasting puppy. My side chick. My best dog friend.

When I called my son to tell him the bad news, it broke my heart again.  It hurt me to post about it on Facebook.  It hurt to tell my mother and friends at work.  I am not in a hurry to get another dog.  There will never be another Ginger but the memories of my Old Puppy are stronger than the pain of losing her.  I am glad she didn’t suffer, and for the time we had together.

 

One day I hope you realize there isn’t any extra time to do the things you always wanted.  Live today and appreciate what you have.

 

 

 

 

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

TOGETHER WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

Each year more than 40,000 Americans die by suicide, with an average of 117 completed suicides per day. More than half of people who die by suicide are depressed at the time of their deaths. Additionally, more than 383,000 people in the United States are treated in emergency rooms annually for self-inflicted injuries.

Warning signs of and risk factors for suicide include:

  • Depression, feelings of hopelessness, or suicidal thoughts or statements about death
  • Abuse of alcohol, drugs, or other substances
  • Previous suicide attempt(s) or a family history of suicide
  • Impulsiveness, extreme anxiety, agitation, irritability, or risky behavior
  • Withdrawing from family and friends; isolation or lack of support
  • Loss in relationships, social support, finances, or work

 

 

If you are concerned about a co-worker, friend, or family member, and you think they may be considering suicide, do not leave them alone, and remember the acronym “ACE.”

 

  • A – Ask – “Are you thinking of killing or hurting yourself?”
  • C – Care – Listen with compassion, and voice your concern. Remove any means that could be used for self-injury.
  • E – Escort the individual to receive professional help

 

If you need to call for assistance, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours a day at 800-273-TALK. To learn more about the Lifeline, visit http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

 

Suicide prevention is a responsibility for all of us. We can all look out for each other and encourage a colleague in need to seek help.

If you want to talk to me, call.

 

If you want to write a book or have one already that isn’t selling let me give you some insight. If you are doing it to make money then I have some sage advice from Thomas Edison.

This week I received a proof of two books I published through Amazon’s CreateSpace program. I am excited about it. It looks great. It was a side project that I had to do like a drug addict needs a fix. I gave up sleep and money I didn’t have to do this. The story is one of many I have in my head that needed to get out. A really good friend of mine who is also addicted to creating helped me make this happen.

Derek is a gifted writer that works great with me. He can do what I have trouble doing. Together with the concept, composition and design we have made two short stories called Solomon Love. I didn’t plan it but would love to make this a series.

I do hope also that I can find people that want to buy the book. In my dreams this will be a successful series that becomes a movie or graphic novel like The Walking Dead or Harry Potter.   Hope unfortunately is not a good plan.

When Tower Records and Borders bookstores closed I weeped. It is said that people did more looking than buying. As a writer I thought, “there goes another instance where what I do is not esteemed in my era”. The phrase ‘starving artist’ comes to mind. If nobody is buying books why should I write them? I write because I love doing it.

This is not the way of success.

Successful writers have a sales plan. Everything is selling. Just like with any product, you need to know how to sell it before you create it.

“I never perfected an invention that I did not think about in terms of the service it might give others… I find out what the world needs, then I proceed to invent.” Thomas Edison

Here’s what I learned.

I write about what I think is interesting and hope that other people find it interesting.

If you want to make money on your book you need know five things. to:

1. Who you’re going to sell it to.

2. Who the end user is (sometimes the buyer and reader are different).

3. What price point you’re going to set it at.

4. How you’re going to distribute it.

5. What you’re going to do to promote it.

The answers to these questions will help you write a book that people want to read. If it’s not marketable, it won’t sell.

I hired a sales coach that helped/hurt my feelings with almost everything he said to me. It helped me because I learned. It hurt because it made me realize how much time and money I have lost over the years.

I have come to realize also though that everything isn’t money. Sometimes you have to do things that make you happy. Writing does that for me.

Now that you know, what are you going to do?

My short stories are about a runaway slave that is “rescued” by a supernatural entity. He becomes immortal and hides in plain sight as a blues musician. His secret is uncovered when he becomes the target of a corrupt police officer and unleashes his dark side to protect himself. It also involves others and the world that was once the thing of myth becomes reality for those who encounter Solomon Love.

I hope you will take a gander at the book now available on Amazon.com / CreateSpace.


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