Category: William Stynetski

What are some defining characteristics of the Japanese Samurai culture?

Theirs was a culture rising from war. From the very beginings they served their employer or daimyo in protecting cities. This was before they rose up to power as a class, or in politics. They were servants bred in warfare and combat.

They were experts in warfare and trained for the battlefield. They were experts with weapons such as the bow, spear and sword, and experts in unarmed combat.

They trained constantly in the use of these weapons, for the purpose of combat.

Theirs was a culture of service in war and peace. They were fierce, and for the majority of them, loyal warriors.

Those that survived the many major battles throughout Japan’s barbaric history, walked, limped or crawled away from battlefields. where tens of thousands on both sides lay dead, and another tens of thousands on both sides lay screaming or in shock waiting to die from their wounds.

It was not until around the 10th century that samurai grew into a ruling class in Japan.

  • William Stynetski

I’ve been training seriously for some time. However, over the last few weeks I’ve lost some enthusiasm. What do you recommend to reinvigorate training?

Change up your routine so it doesn’t get boring. Mix things up a little…add swimming one or two days a week, or go play some disc golf once a week.

Adding other activities to the training schedule trains other parts of your body and mind, and depending on the activity could have added benifits of training balance or speed or coordination or flexibility and so on.

Just pick something you like to do.

Another suggestion is to join in an activity with other positively motivated and like minded individuals. So if you enjoy running, or you add that to your routine, also try finding a running group or trail running group to train with once a week.William Stynetski inverted rope climb

Or add in a team sport like soccer, or flag football or softball in which you are joining in with others for some practice and games.

The key is not to get too bored with the same routine and not to keep doing the same repetitive motions over and over again, but to enngage in a couple of different activities in addition to your workouts, even if on a recreational level. Add a little bit of cross training or changing gears, if you will, to keep your body and mind fresh.

What is it like to be a blackbelt in a martial art? Are you ever afraid of your own safety around rough people?

Look at it this way. A significant number of assaults causing lasting and permanent damage (those requiring multiple surgeries and facial reconstruction), and deaths caused by bare hands or with a weapon or instrument have occoured throughout the history of man and continue to this day.

I would wager that 99.9999% of those were caused by persons without any significant martial arts training at all.

It does not take a black belt degree in some martial art to inflict serious damage, maim or kill someone. Nor is a blackbelt any kind of guarantee that you will survive every encounter.

Our nations elite combat troops receive some of the best combat training in the world, yet, unfortunately, some of them do not make it back alive.

Martial arts training does give you a set of tools, figuratively speaking, and an ability and knowledge of how to use those tools.  This is coupled with a sense of self confidence and awareness that is also developed over years of training.

Fear can be an incredible ally. Being controlled by fear isn’t ideal, but ignoring it isn’t the way to go either.

William Stynetski writes about the military, martial arts, parkour, health and fitness.

How to Best Prepare for Bootcamp or Basic Military Training

There is no best way to train for boot camp. It is impossible for someone who has not been in the military to even fathom what recruits go through.

You just go and do everything you are told to do. You will be pushed. You will be punished. You will be tested. Stay alert. Do your best at EVERYTHING. Stand out and shine among those that are not doing as well.

Then turn around help and motivate those very same recruits that are not shining as bright. You will know when to do that, you will know how and where to do that in due time.

It is not about what you do and how you do it. It is all about attitude. A positive attitude wins each and every time in basic, and throughout a military career.

William Stynetski

Want to get better at cooking? Here’s how:

For me, I will find a style of food that I am interested in. Then I will go to Half Price Books and buy 3–4 cookbooks on that style of food.

So if I want to learn to make Indian food, I pick out some recipes from those cookbooks and start learning how to do them. It is more involved than that, though, because you also (with the better cookbooks) learn some of the history and how to stock your pantry with the right ingredients for that style of cooking.

I will follow a recipe once or twice to get it down, then susequent times I cook that food I will make adjustments to suit my own tastes. I will do this with single recipies, or entire planned out meals.Campsite Breakfast-1

It doesn’t have to just be a particular ethnicity of food though, either. You can buy a books on cakes and pies and have fun with those. Or a book on sandwiches and make a different sandwich every Saturday for lunch.

The most important thing, though, in my opinion, is to try recipies that introduce you to new cooking techniques and methods. Oh, and to have fun while you are doing it.

William Stynetski

Easy Traditional Japanese Breakfast: Tamago Kake Gohan

Tamago Kake is a pretty traditional and easy Japanese breakfast to prepare and enjoy. I like to use reheated leftover rice.  I will heat it up to steaming hot again in the microwave, and then make a little well in the rice, much the same way people make a well for the gravy in mashed potatoes.

Then crack an egg into the well.

Tamago Kake Gohan 1I will let it sit for a minute or two, then mix it all up. The hot rice will cook the egg a little, but it stays mostly raw.

Tamago Kake Gohan 2Next you can add some toasted nori (seaweed), sesame seeds, or furi kake.

Tamago Kake Gohan 3Serve it up with hot tea and some miso soup (I used instant here, but usually will make my own dashi to make home made miso soup from scratch).

Tamago Kake Gohan 4Mix it all up and add some shoyu if you like.

Tamago Kake Gohan 5And there you have it.  Tamago kage gohan, or Tamago gohan for short.  A really easy and traditional Japanese breakfast.  It’s really good.