The Need for Practical Self-Defense

I’d rather get killed fighting a vicious attacker defending my family or my life than to die like a coward. As I study different kinds of self-defense techniques, a thought crossed my mind. Many of these self-defense techniques are actually good and effective if the person is skillful and bold enough to perform them under life and death situations. I believe that where we fail as Martial Arts instructors is that we do not seriously take into consideration the way our Sympathetic Nervous System reacts in times of extreme pressure. It is one thing is to practice a technique in the Dojo among people that do not want to hurt you and another to have someone that actually wants to take something valuable from you, hurt or even kill you. When facing these life and death situations our heart rate goes from a normal 80 to over 175 beats a minute. At that moment we must make a drastic choice: to stay and fight or to run as fast as possible.


Some years ago, I used to live within minutes of Downtown, Jacksonville. It was very normal for me to take a jog around downtown and go to the Gym there. I remember that it was getting dark and that particular night I just wanted to walk to the Gym. I saw these two guys pass by me in two bicycles; they actually asked me if I was straight. I thought they were questioning my sexuality. Later, I found out that they wanted to know if I had some drugs on me. I guess, as fast as I was walking, they thought I was on my way to buy some drugs, so they assumed I had some money on me. I did not feel good in my spirit about these guys, but they kept on going in their bicycles and I kept walking fast on my way to the Gym.


I had the choice to stay on the street that I was on and add a few more minutes to my walk to the Gym or cut into the local park. That park was very dark; nevertheless, even with the red flags, I took the turn on that park. I was only about one hundred feet into the park when I felt those two bicycles behind me. They both got out of the bicycles; one pointed a gun directly at me from about 20 feet: “N**a, give me yo money,” he demanded. My whole life flashed before me in seconds. I was in a solitary place; it was dark and as one came to see if I had anything of value on, the other firmly pointed that gun at me. There was absolutely nothing I could do to defend myself. My best defense was to listen to that voice that told me to stay on the street and don’t take that turn. That night I had nothing on me but my keys! All I could do was to remain calm and to pray for God’s protection. These guys allowed me to go with no trouble and no injury; however, even as a Black Belt and a Martial Artist of many years, I could remember the stress that I was feeling. It actually took months for me to recover from that incident. How much more therapy would I have needed if a Physical confrontation would have taken place? I was in a dark place, my visual was very limited, I was nervous even as I projected being calm. There was a weapon that could rapidly end my life and on top of it all, there were two guys. However, the greatest wakeup call for me was that even with all my years of training, being a second degree Black Belt at the time and even a Martial Arts Instructor, I really did not have a clue about how to properly defend myself if these guys would have came closer. I knew how to fight; but self-defense is not about fighting but about protecting your life, family and even the innocent under extreme and unpredictable circumstances.


In times of extreme pressure we do not think as clear as we do under normal circumstances.  People that are extremely terrified are as thoughtless as people that are extremely angry. It is almost like our brain becomes very limited in placing complex thoughts together. That is the reason why a good self-defense technique in theory can become a disaster in practice because this reality was not taken into consideration. All that grabbing, twisting arms and acrobatics go out the door when we realize that we are one second away from dying. We need to have knowledge and skills in practical, effective and brutal self-defense.


The good news is that God created us in such a way that our bodies already have a defense mechanism, if you will. When we are scared, and probably many can relate, we can jump higher, we can run faster and we can hit harder. Based on this fact we can build a simpler, but at the same time, more effective Self-Defense Program. Just as we prepare for natural disasters, the statistics are making a strong case for us that practical self-defense is a must. I am not stating to go after a Black Belt or even to get involved in regular martial arts programs, even as martial arts offer many benefits. I am talking about the need for good, practical and brutal Self-Defense’s classes. The good news about these kinds of Self-Defense Techniques is that it does not take you years to learn. If you already have a fighting background, you will be ready for any possible attack within a few months.


It is my goal in my program that all of my students be able to know how to defend themselves against any possible attack. Not for my students to learn a million techniques, but for them to learn a few effective ones that will also give them the freedom to change things up. I do not want to teach a robotic self-defense class, because real street fights are unpredictable. You do need to know natural reactions of the Body, I will give a structure, but from there you have the freedom to build according to the way you feel more comfortable.

Moving Forward

No longer will I be conformed by the mistakes of my past! Today, I am moving forward! I am free and you will not make me a slave. Because of God’s grace I can enjoy my freedom. No, I did not use His love as an excuse to do all that I wanted to do; but I fell! No excuses, it was my choice; the devil did not make me do it. I went for it and paid the price for it! But my Daddy dealt with me; with His nonnegotiable discipline He dealt with me.

The devil wants to silence me, the devil wants to keep me condemned, the devil wants me to stay in the past and be one more that could have done this or could have done that, but did not. I am moving forward today; let it be known…I am moving forward today, for the Lord has dealt with me. The Lord has disciplined, the Lord has given me consequences, but the Lord has forgiving and today I am restored.

Here I am Lord, use me; all the glory belongs to you oh God. All of my life belongs to You and I can never repay you! I am nothing and you are everything; I love you and I want to give you glory. The Lord did not remove His Spirit from me. The Lord did not abandon me. The path of holiness is before me and I desire to walk in Your ways. No longer will I be conformed by the mistakes of my past! Today, I am moving forward! Where are the souls that you have given me? Where are the broken, the hopeless, the frustrated and the poor? Here I am Lord, send me!

Confessions of a Former Pastor

I used to be a pastor in Winton, North Carolina. As matter of fact, all hell broke loose in my life the moment I answered the call to pastor a local congregation. The death of the mother of my children, a wife of eighteen years, took place just six months after I so happily moved from Jacksonville, Florida to Gates County. Later, as I remarried and experienced a disaster of a marriage which ended in divorce, I surely felt that for me it was over. I tried then to rise up, but was KO’d by my own sins. This time I knew for sure that it was over.


My “clean record” is now not so clean; however people continue to call me pastor. I have been declaring that I will never be a pastor again and encouraging people not to call me one. However, I can see the Lord ministering some things to me. The reality is that my record was not too clean to start with. We glorify a false idea of self-righteousness until life shows us how full of “nothing” we really are.


Today, I am able to understand that it is not that I refuse to be a pastor again, for I continue to love people and truly enjoy giving, serving and helping. Today, I understand that I don’t want to go back to the established idea of what a pastor is. People exalt pastors too, much and the sad thing is that many pastors enjoy such exaltation. Consequently, folk in the current system, for the most part, are delegating their Biblical responsibilities of prayer, intimacy with God, the study of God’s Words and ministering to their own families, to this person known as, the pastor. Their whole Christian experience is based on those couple of hours of church service on Sundays. If you follow my blog long enough you probably know that I am tired of the Sunday concerts and shows. I am tired of the motivational speakers.


I remember in my own church, showing up for a Sunday service, and not having the anointing to share a message. I had things to share, but no power, so I decided to be honest with my little congregation and ask if anybody had a Word from the Lord. People looked at me like I was crazy, but little-by-little, they began to share and it turned out to be a beautiful service; truly one of my favorites. That is my heart, for people to be real about their relationship with Christ and then when we come together, we come together to have true fellowship where we can sit around Christ and laugh, eat, rejoice, worship, share testimonies, share a Word that can actually be confirmed by two witnesses, enjoy freedom for all the gifts to flow, minister to one another and have a giving heart so that we can take care of one another in moments of crisis as we also reach out to others in need as the Lord blesses and guides us. I want to have many sons and daughters in the ministry, I want to make disciples, I want to see them using their talents and I want to be able to send them out so that they can be all that God has called them to be. I don’t want to be bound by a building. As a matter of fact, I’d rather meet in houses. If we do buy a building, we will buy it cash with no debt, eliminated the demon that is hurting the majority of churches. They are so consumed with the financial responsibilities of a building that they can’t do anything to help their own people. We don’t have to go out and save the world; we only need to be faithful in the territory God would have us to serve at.


I believe this is possible! To be a pastor in a congregation with such a way of doing ministry truly excites me. Anything less is not appealing to me at all! With these principles in mind, I am ready to start a ministry.



Spectators or Participants

The Lord did not call us as Christians to be spectators; He called us to be active participants of His work as we Minister to Him in Worship and to His people in love. I am not a fatalist or pessimist when it comes down to the church. I am not a great scholar of the Word of God. Nevertheless, I know the Word enough to know that the church is the best thing on this earth. The church will only get better and better, to the point that one day we will be without spots and wrinkles. However, part of the process for God to prepare His bride includes Him speaking, fixing, restoring, equipping and rebuking His people.


As a good coach gets in his team’s face and trains them as he prepares them for the great game, how much more is God preparing us? He will indeed, get in our faces, push us, encourage us and correct us in our errors; not with the objective of humiliating us, but with the objective of helping us grow and preparing us for battle as we go out and minister to others. The problem is that many in today’s church are just spectators; they are satisfied with sitting on the bench week after week. Some sit back and criticize as if they are not a part of the team.


Can you imagine someone being a part of a team and not wanting to play? Can you imagine that same person criticizing his team when he/she refuses to play and help the team? Week after week the coach asks him/her to go in and play and week after week he/she refuses. That is exactly what we are dealing with in many areas of the church. Many see themselves as fans and some others as spectators, but they are not realizing that they are undeniably a part of the team and if the team is losing, in part, it’s because of their irresponsibility, laziness, apathy and cowardice.


God has placed in you the answer for what His church needs; release today that River of Living Waters. You are a part of the team; will you help us today?