Brown Belt Syndrome

This is a phenomenon that occurs in martial arts classes. Not everyone catches it, but many do. In most dojos the brown belt is the last of the kyu grades before one gets a black belt at first dan. Technically at brown belt you are still “boy”. There is a certain type of brown belt who believes his {or her} level of skill to be higher than it is. They are determined to impart their omniscience to the lower grades and can in fact pass on poor technique. There is a related phenomenon with postgraduate demonstrators in undergraduate laboratories. On occasion I have seen someone with brown belt syndrome hurt lower grades particularly if said lower grade is outperforming them, some of them can be quite nasty justifying to themselves that they are toughening up the recipient of their ego at work. On occasion I have seen someone with this syndrome reminded of their place on the dojo rankings and painfully so.

If you have never been to a full contact or grappling dojo and decided to go to one it would be wise to not be too cocky. Not everybody gets into martial arts for the right motive. I have been badly injured at a sports judo dojo when some arsehole rammed me as hard as he could into the mat during training {note not competition}. I gained a c5-c7 cervical spine injury which caused me to lose most of the use of my left arm and to follow a diet of codeine for near a month. Now some 14 years later I have about 92% strength in my left arm, on occasion it still trembles beyond my control.

In a good dojo the instructor will gradually ramp up the difficulty of technique and the severity of contact. If say a 5th dan Aikido dude gave it to you full Ki from the outset you would be unable to hack it. So, people can have abilities that you know nothing of.

Brown belt syndrome arises out of egoic head swelling and self-importance.

A while back I watched a series of Jiu Jitsu videos in which a Gracie trained petite woman took on blokes at grappling in a park. They may have thought they would simply be getting a cuddle. She choked them out one by one. One dude kept coming back for more and she choked him out maybe four times before he conceded. He found it difficult to accept. It may not have gone through their minds, but if she had wanted to, she could have killed them. A big ego could have ended in death.

My favourite part of judo was groundwork, and my favourite techniques were choke holds. I have been choked to the verge of unconsciousness, so I know what it feels like.

If you don’t know what you are getting into a little caution and much reduced arrogance is sensible.

In Kyokushin Karate there is hyakunin kumite or 100-man kumite. This means 100 rounds of 90-120 seconds of full contact, no gloves, sparring. The kind of individual who can sustain that is hard to imagine. Steve Arneil was one of them, he set up the UK Kyokushin. I still have partially conditioned knuckles thirty years on. I never made it to the lofty grades where I might suffer this syndrome. If in trouble I suspect I would only have to hit someone once, even now.

In a different dojo with a highly Japanese trained sensei, I have been on the mat with several others when one of the guys started giving the sensei some attitude. The sensei switched, looked directly at him with a death stare and said if you want, I will take you all on right here right now. Luckily the geezer who was emanating attitude metaphorically shit his pants and the sensei calmed down close to his normal very well balanced and encouraging self.

In the old days people died in dojos.

Have you ever inflicted brown belt syndrome on anyone?

Have you ever been on the receiving end of brown belt syndrome?

INFJ – No Filter – Offending

For whatever reason I am with this alleged quirk of the INFJ personality today. It started off with me looking at various INFJ memes as I do on occasion, just to remind myself that there are others “out there”.

Variously INFJs say nothing and internalize or offer a truth. That truth can be very detailed, deeply considered and highly accurate from wide perspective, it rarely has any filter. It is a whole truth and nothing but the truth. There is no holding back, it can be both barrels, so to speak.

I have noted over the years that I have offended many people by doing this, offering a truth. Many have sought petty revenge for my offering. People unwilling to accept said truth have sought to punish me for its provision. The quandary is to keep silence or accept a likely angry revenge. From time to time I piss people off, especially those who are prone to self-importance, with inflated and erroneous self-perspective.

One of things I dislike is people being fake, smarmy and toady, brown nosing, if you know what I mean. Yup, I understand that this kind of “politics” helps advancement for those so inclined, but I cannot bring myself to do it. It is akin to my dislike of small talk. Most people seem content enough to play this societal game, which we might call ritual sniffing, like dogs.

People are afraid of being real. They are not real to others and do not like it when people are real to them.

I have heard it described as an iron fist in a velvet glove. That is when an INFJ gives you the benefit of his / her opinion. It comes out of the blue, is totally unexpected and then, BAM!

It is never done to score points or to injure or to offend. It is done to provide clarity and aid evolution. It is done for growth but so often it is not accepted as the gift which it is meant to be.


Pearls before swine and all that.

If an INFJ motivated by an upswelling of unconditional love goes to the trouble of offering their truth and it offends…

Then they are increasingly likely to stay silent.

Full of apparent “contradictions”, is what others say but there is logical consistency and no contradiction. It is simply cause and effect.

Oh well inner nuance foster journeys…


Is Coronavirus an Agent of Karma?

A thing which is not actually living, and which is smaller than a human hair width by a factor of around one hundred is going “viral”. {We probably should not have invented this phrase.} It is propagating around the world like the latest trend or meme. Those countries in which it has not been respected have faired worse. It is infecting our computers (minds), there is no Norton or McAfee to keep it at bay. It a malware eating at our files.

People who have pooh-poohed have got a dose. Sir Boris The Most Decisive of Clarity City ended up at the O2 stadium so to speak. Orange man has been ousted by some tiny electrostatic time bomb bag of RNA and his unwillingness to listen to anyone other than his bigly genius hunches. Yup he did put America first and they are number one in the charts, he made ‘em great. Right now, several countries are movers and climbers, the UK will soon knock France of its current spot in the charts and become a top five hit, pop pickers.

People will kill their relatives because they want that Thanksgiving dinner and can’t go cold turkey on Xmas.

Like a teenage turtle it is starting to mutate into a ninja virus. But we must keep schools open even if it kills us all. Like van Helsing we now have our stakes, crosses, our precious phials of Holy Water {thanks to pharma}, with our medicinal garlic to keep the little bugger at bay. People keep going on about normal, forgetting the fact that elements of the economy will no longer exist. Right now, ‘tis winter and the virus is in the Northern Hemisphere, in a few months’ time it will head South. If it goes green, we will have SARS-Ninja-CoV-3. Sometimes art imitates life or predicts it.


It is really dangerous to get overconfident that the vaccine will cure the pandemic, because karma likes quirks of fate. Get all self-important, that karmic boomerang will be back quicker than a Terminator, hasta la vista baby.

The virus is getting many to “kneel”, which sounds a lot like karma to me. If we continue to mess up the planet it might well “retaliate” by manufacturing more surprises for us.

I think that this virus is an agent of karma, in that it does demonstrate quite well cause and effect. Procrastination causes death, will full behaviour causes infection. Sometimes karma teaches us by pain to ourselves, sometimes it takes away that which we love, but karma does eventually teach even the deniers.

We could learn or we could continue to imagine ourselves Masters of the Universe, Sovereign Lords over the most Beautiful Blue Planet full of tears (sic). Maybe we should listen to what the planet is trying to tell us…

Dharma of the Day

self importance is a root cause of suffering
both for the self
and the others you inflict it upon

your self image is a pack of lies
insistence upon its reality
causes suffering and impedes evolution

if you are sure you are not being separative
then in your conviction
you most certainly are

unless omniscience is a quality you own
behaving as if you have the consciousness of a God
is inconsistent with reality

the wisdom of humanity
is an oxymoron
in nearly every case

pride and arrogance are also
root causes of suffering
they stem from the same germ

the desire for and enactment of revenge
not only causes dual suffering
it is one of the most karmically damaging things a being can do

clinging in all its forms suffocates
better to release a dove from a cage
than to watch it wither and die

living a redemptive life
not only eases suffering
but gains karmic merit

whilst karmic debt persists
enlightenment is not possible
and rebirth consequently inevitable

power over another being is an illusion
such illusory power is corporeal
and therefore has no reality
at the level of the dreamer there is no such thing

the primal root of all suffering
is individuating identity upon carnation
all beings resent this
few have sufficient knowledge to see this

emptying the cup of karma removes all suffering
this is the way to Bodhi mind
and eventual liberation

actions beget karma
redemptive action works this off
there is no other way


Some can tend to be very self absorbed and self important. This is a mild piss take.


Not far beyond the event horizon

gravity is so very importantly intense

that light cannot escape

this is the domain of the most venerable



All the heavenly spheres

rotate around that singularity

in Space-Time

the one ring which binds

the ring of Power


Forged in the fiery cracks

of Mount Doom

the valley of death

where rode the six hundred

with cannons on all sides


The endoscope of Ego

examines sphincters

on a cold winter’s day

to see the cosmic Manvantara

there, always at play


It needs aloe coated,

quilted paper to burnish

and Anusol

to clear all the piles

of leaves


The Autoproctologist

lays ostrich eggs

with his head buried

up to the ears

and sometimes past


In his eyes

there is no us

no you, no me

only He

or She


Not far beyond the event horizon

gravity is so very importantly intense

that light cannot escape

this is the domain of the most venerable