SEPTEMBER 2017: Combat mentality.

There is a story my martial arts teacher used to tell me, a story which I repeated to my students once I established my own martial arts school in the late 1980s. It is a true story, that highlighted the mental aspects of the martial arts, focusing on the indomitable will of the superior martial arts combatant. Here is that story:


The place is southern China in the 1800s. There was a custom in those days, before kung fu became “sport,” in which anybody could challenge the master of a martial arts school to no holds barred, hand to hand combat. Combat in these matches often resulted in death.

According to custom, if a challenger defeated the school’s master in combat, then the challenger was entitled to take the defeated master’s school over.

In this southern Chinese town of Canton, there were two well-established combat arts masters—men who had reputations as hard men, unafraid to fight to the death–which these two masters had dealt to many an opponent.

One of these masters challenged the other master to combat, winner take all of the defeated’s school, lock, stock and barrel. The challenge was accepted–as it had to be. They then agreed to meet in a secluded courtyard for the fight.

On the day of the fight, the two masters entered the courtyard from different entrances. The first master saw his opponent from a distance, and felt an unfamiliar emotion. He felt fear. Accompanying this emotion of fear that was foreign to his mind, was the absolute certainty that he would lose to his opponent.

His opponent’s willpower was so strong, and his resolve that he would emerge the winner so certain, that the first master submitted to his loss without throwing a punch. In doing so, he acknowledged his opponent’s superior mental state of toughness and invincibility, over his own. He immediately bowed to his opponent, and handed over the keys to his martial arts school.



The uncertainty was over. The months of worry over Twinklebear’s health, exacerbated by engaging in psychological denial, in hopes that the symptoms would prove to be something more benign, came to a crashing end with a call from Twinklebear.

“Sookybear, I have cancer. I was dreading having to tell you that, did not know how to tell you.”

Twinklebear Lesley Maclean is my Twin Flame, my true other half. In September of 2017, we endured more than a year of false hopes in our minds, and misdiagnoses by unmotivated and incompetent doctors.

On the day that Twinklebear gave me the bad news, she had gotten conclusive news of the cancer from a highly competent specialist. Finally, we knew the truth.

You may ask me why I gave you all that information regarding combat arts. It is because, at the very moment I heard the news from Twinklebear, my mind changed modes.

I transitioned to combat mode.

1980s & 1990s

When I had my martial arts school in the Lower East Side of New York City, I was a columnist in several martial arts magazines. I was known in my magazine columns, to excoriate weak martial arts schools, where the so-called “masters” were more interested in the almighty buck or pound. This attitude produced weak schools that did not teach true combat technique–and students who did not fight for real.

There was no shortage of enemies, angry at my attacks on their ineffective schools in my magazine articles.

My school was different. We used only full contact. I only charged my students just enough, to cover rent expenses, and not a penny more.

I also carried on the old tradition of “the challenge,” in which anybody could challenge me for the right to take my school over.

This tradition was something I wrote about in my magazine columns. This resulted in many irate letters to the editor, from so-called “masters” who felt threatened by my calling their techniques and schools, weak.

To this, I responded by placing ads in the magazines I wrote for, with the complete address of my martial arts school in New York.

Nobody ever showed up to challenge me.

Analogously, nobody showing up to challenge me, was like that first master in 1800s China, acknowledging his opponent’s superiority in combat. By not showing up, any potential challengers, gave up the fight without throwing a single punch. Their fear and uncertainty, helped to defeat them.


My mind made an automatic switch to combat mode—a mentality developed from years of martial arts training. This is a mode of thinking in which one focuses with lucidity, and killer instinct—with the goal of defeating an opponent, using whatever works to achieve that goal. My mind was made up.

We’re going to beat this opponent.

Now that the enemy was defined I could concentrate of its defeat. The path toward that goal became crystal clear—and then Twinklebear and I took the necessary steps to implement that total defeat.

MAY 2018

Eight months later, the future is bright.

Twinklebear my love, I am so grateful that we achieved our goal, and I am confident that you are well. I love you!


I love you, Twinklebear
Forever and a day
Twin Flames, Podmates always
Bear Pact Forever
12 12 12 in every way


2 thoughts on ““MEMOIR: COMBAT MODE”

  1. So brilliant! Thank you so much my sookybear I love this we did beat it! Yay!
    I just dread, the 3 monthly checks, but endure them, because I want to know I’m ok.
    I am so happy, that you fought it off, with me. Btw we video called when I told you. Donk ! Bad boy! Ha! I love you! Podmates, Twinflames 🐻 pact forever and a day! 12

    Liked by 1 person

  2. YOU! I said in the memoir, that you CALLED me! Ha! GO look! So bad! Bad girl! Awwww my Twinklebear….I love you so much, TOO much, you sexy brat! Twin Flames, Podmates, Bear Pact Forever! 12 Forever and a day, Baby!


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