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Query from a Young Martial Arts Student About Death

Hello Sensei,
My name is xxxxxxxx, and I am 19 years old. I have studied martial arts for a good portion of my life and continue today. I have developed an interest in the philosophical side of the arts and I was wondering if you could offer some guidance. I have always struggled with anxiety, but it seems to be getting out of hand lately. Most of my attacks center around a thought of death, and that snowballs until it feels like the life is just sucked from my being. How, as a martial artist and human being, can I face the thought of death and, eventually, death itself, and not be afraid?
Thank you for your time.


You have posited an eternally thought of reality. Obviously, death is something that everyone thinks of, and, in many instances, people will tend to form their own opinions. How someone defines death is personal and, regardless of religious inclinations suggesting certain results of the experience, no one can say what it is; therefore, in my opinion, it makes no sense to dwell on something that can only frustrate your efforts in ascending to their own level of excellence. As well, you are thinking of death in light of your training, which suggests that you fear being hit and dying as the result. This, of course, will prohibit you from attacking with sincerity, integrity, and devotion to your art, martial arts notwithstanding.

This may all sound highly intellectual, but, in fact, it is quite the opposite. No one knows what death is or is not. THAT is what creates the fear factor and limits anyone’s ability to rise to the highest sense of self they can imagine. In addition, at your tender age, the whole idea of the unknown is something that you consciously think about in an attempt to understand the purpose of your existence.

The best way to come to terms with death is to simply give it the finger, deny it any authority in your life, and move ahead in pursuit of your dreams. You will live and you will die in whatever time frame that happens according to another unknown. You will accomplish great deeds, or you will not. Laugh at the idea that everything you are doing is absurd in the best of cases and that you will eventually be the magnificent person you think in terms of being.

Read my version of Musashi’s Book of Five Rings for further clarity:


Disciple: “Master, what happens when we die?”

Master: “Nothing! You don’t.”

Disciple: “We don’t?”

Master: “No. You go to sleep and wake up on the other side.”

Disciple: “What other side?”

Master: “That.”

Disciple: “What’s ‘that’?”

Master: “Exactly.”

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New Cover for Self-Defense Book


By popular request, a new cover has been designed for my newest book, Hanshi Kaufman’s Guide to Ultimate Self-Defense. The book with new cover will be shipping in 10 days. Please visit www. hanshi.com/books to order or visit the book page  http://ultimateself-defense.weebly.com for an in-depth review.


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Lady of the Rings Book

new lady rings

The Lady of the Rings

Musashi’s Book of Five Rings Interpreted for Women’s Empowerment

from the Introduction

(I chose the following paragraphs in a random manner to give you an idea and taste of what to expect when reading the book in complete form.)

“…I thumbed through the book again and read about “differences in cutting and slashing attacks. You must be utterly resolved to cut the enemy down. Slashing can be equated with just tapping the enemy with either a sword or a fist; it is not a truly resolved and committed attack.” Was everything indeed, a battle? No, there is something going on here that I am going to have to learn. I know what I’ll do. I will read it and rewrite it according to a woman’s needs. My needs! I will relate it to my life and the things I, as a woman, have to deal with.

…The introduction also speaks about coming to terms with one’s own skills and abilities and the reality of what Musashi had accomplished that held him to a higher ideal of what life is. I have no problem with that, and I see myself in regards to having built a business from nothing and developing my own skills while learning the secrets of my own trade. Yes, control of my emotions and myself and possibly even those of the person I was involved with for any particular situation.

…The idea became more and more lucid in my mind. When I read that he was also dedicated to painting, sculpture, and music, I felt more comfortable. Why? Because he said his Way of the Sword was not the only thing that mattered, it was the only thing that mattered. I had to think about that for a minute and then knew that this was going to be great for me. I would learn how to deal with reality from a completely different perspective. It would be functional and real. Besides, if a man could do it… Then it dawned on me. My heart, my mind, and my vagina were my sword.

…And, so here it is, ladies … and gentlemen, you had better beware.”

Read more about the book here: http://ladyrings.weebly.com/

Visit Hanshi Kaufman’s website: http://www.hanshi.com

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Overcoming Fear


Overcoming Fear

I received this query from a student who has some years in the martial arts. The question of “fear of being hit” is a matter that concerns a great many practitioners of the arts. Here is one approach to overcoming this fear.

Student: I am studying your book, Hanshi’s Kaufman’s Guide to Ultimate Self-defense and have been learning a lot from it. I was wondering if you could give me some advice. How do you learn to maintain the spirit? How do you control it? I get nervous every time I go to spar and, in some cases, in life.

Hanshi Kaufman: From the perspective of your question, I make the following observations. You are preoccupied with the fear of being hit. This is a normal state of affairs when in a physical combat situation, even if it is only sparring. It is not restricted just to the physical, but also includes face-to-face life-choice confrontations. The fear itself is what keeps your spirit from expressing its own higher ideal, and so you must learn to dominate it by giving it, the fear in any form, a specific directive to cease having authority in your own soul. You must consciously work on this until your sub-conscious mind believes your directive as true, based on your self-acceptance of it as functional in this situation.

That said, you should not think in terms of hurting or being hurt. This mindset is natural for some people, but a person can develop it, though it does take some time and depends upon your experiences in combat scenarios, even in practice sessions and your ardent desire to overcome the imposed limitations. You have to define, personally and specifically, what you want to experience relative to spirit. Think about this and get back to me after due consideration.

Hanshi Kaufman: It has been three days. You are taking too long to think; procrastination interferes with ascension.

Student: The fear of being hit keeps me from perfecting technique. I should focus more on my training rather than a false feeling of fear that keeps me from moving forward. Thank you, Sensei, for your words.

Hanshi Kaufman: To overcome the fear of being hit, concentrate on developing unstoppable firepower. Then, your confidence will empower you to drive into a target. When being hit in any manner and, of course, depending on the intensity, your resolve can still carry you through to victory.

Student: Thank you for your words I needed to hear.

Hanshi Kaufman: Go practice! In addition—remember—fighting is not a social event; it can be a matter of life or death. Act accordingly!

© Hanshi Stephen Kaufman

For more info, visit www.hanshi.com

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Train With Hanshi Kaufman


Train with Hanshi Steve Kaufman

Personal Trainer / Physical fitness / Life-enhancement / Martial Arts / Self-defense

Hanshi Kaufman provides a wide range of seminars and courses as a part of his Martial Studies Program. Structured guidance and encouragement empower individual students and groups to further their personal best. Course availabilities range from beginners to advanced students.

Comprehensive physical fitness is incorporated into all courses to develop strength, poise, balance, and the elimination of stress and anxiety. Hanshi provides training at his personal studio in Upper Eastside Manhattan or at client’s home or place of business.

Hanshi has been training and teaching martial arts and physical fitness for nearly sixty years. He works with individuals and groups to empower each person to develop their own personal best in all areas of endeavor. All ages and sexes benefit from personal training with Hanshi Kaufman, who treats seniors, physically challenged, and young people, with genuine concern, understanding, and patience. For more about Hanshi Kaufman, visit www.hanshi.com.  Email: hanshikaufman@gmail.com

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Do Not Be Afraid of Change: It is the Only Thing You Can Depend On



Do not be afraid of change. It is the only thing you can depend on.

Change occurs through all things at all times. It is called life expressing its desire for new understanding and expression. If this did not occur then imminent death would be the result albeit not necessarily physical. When feelings of uncertainty arise in a person, it is usually the beginning of a new sense of consciousness even if that particular person does not go along with the driving force that is creating the unrest and causing a desire for change. There is never progress without conflict. Even in the midst of understanding one’s art to a new level of awareness, the old forms will create impediments and discomfort toward acceptance of the new because of their own innate sense of conceptual beingness relative to the person undergoing the prelude to change. When the desire for a different set of circumstances arise, it is essential that you consider the move to the new consciousness. It is your soul telling you it is time to move on. It will possibly reappear in your mind time after time until you make a decision of choice wherein you make the move or you don’t. Eventually, if you don’t, the feelings will subside and you may wonder later on why you didn’t take advantage of your intuition. If you do, get ready for combat on any level it appears to emanate from. This is not a bad thing if you are prepared and self-assured.


It should be noted that when too much dissension becomes prevalent and a group seeks to topple the status quo of the standing authority it must be done with a sane approach, or the inevitability of required protective tools will be used, bringing about the exact fears in manifest form that were originally protested against. Generally, these are the very same fears that realistically do not exist. People become slaves to their own fears when egged on by malcontents that seek power, at any cost, through their own agenda and who seek to create disharmony for the sake of creating disharmony. This breakdown will cause outside enemies to prey on evident weakness in the society. To bring about positive and productive change without destroying the fabric of a society, intelligent and well thought out discussions are important, the results of which must be adhered to; and not emotional outbursts that play on the fears of the uninformed masses. Force should be considered as never necessary; however, when it is, force is the only answer and the impetus to win must be the primary driving factor toward victory regardless of who is right or wrong, which in itself is always a subjective rationale. Understand this before you plan on a revolution based on unfounded insecurities foisted on the public by groups seeking recognition of their own lack of understanding and failure to come to terms with the tragedy of their own inevitable inconsequence.


way of warrior front cover

For more info and to order book, visit http://wayofmodernwarrior.weebly.com

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Ultimate Self-defense


To order Hanshi Kaufman’s Guide to Ultimate Self-defense, visit http://www.hanshi.com/books.html

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Author Meet & Greet


Hanshi Stephen F. Kaufman is a world renown Grandmaster martial artist and is best-selling author of Miyamoto Musashi’s Book of Five Rings and Sun Tzu’s Art of War, as well as The Living Tao, The Shogun’s Scroll, The Sword in the Boardroom, Cherry Blossoms for Children, Practicing Self-Revealization Acceptance, and many other books.

For more information on the author, visit http://www.hanshi.com

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Haiku for Miyamoto Musashi



For more info on Homage for Miyamoto Musashi, visit: http://homage-for-musashi.weebly.com

For more info on the author, Stephen F. Kaufman, visit his homepage at: http://www.hanshi.com

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A Master Who ‘Knows’


Visit my homepage at: http://www.hanshi.com


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Appreciate Yourself

way of warrior front cover

Chapter 25

Appreciate Yourself, or You Won’t Be Appreciated

This is the most essential attitude one can have relative to living a sane and prosperous life. Think about this most carefully. Who is more important than you are? If you are not taking care of yourself to the extent that you want to take care of yourself, then how can you presume to take care of anyone or anything else except perhaps on a cursory level, which is at best a superficial mentality? There can be no one more important than you in the universe. There is no one more important than me in the universe. That is why I do not have difficulty in accepting you for what you are. Living thus, there is never a need for conflict. You have nothing that I really want that I cannot have for myself. If I think you can be of value to me, then I can proceed to celebrate my work and acknowledge you as having helped, and you will be that happier with our relationship and seek to do more for the project given to us as a gift from Heaven. If I am greedy, then you will withhold your beingness from me. I would prefer to have your gracious help and be able to say thank you with sincerity. It is most important to understand that what you are doing is merely an extension of the universe needing something done for reasons that you and I will never truly comprehend. Accept this profound gift of life with thanks and gratitude as an indication of due respect and admiration for yourself as being responsible for its earthly representation.

For more info on this book, visit: http://wayofmodernwarrior.weebly.com

For more info on Stephen F. Kaufman, visit: http://www.hanshi.com

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I Am Motivated

The following excerpt is from my forthcoming Volume II of Practicing Self-Revealization Acceptance.

I Am Motivated

I acknowledge and accept my strong desire and need for great accomplishment in all that I do to produce great works in good conscience. Without restriction or delay due to any means or misconceptions, I hereby declare that I am motivated and stay motivated to fulfill all of my desires for my work to be accomplished. With all that I desire to experience, regardless of circumstance, and with full acknowledgement of my abilities, I do not and I will not allow anyone or anything to interfere with my work. I will not permit any impediment to interrupt with my desire to finish my projects with integrity, sincerity, and masterful presentation of all good. Should times arise where or when I am unable to maintain focus on my ideals for accomplishment for any reason, I demand that I will be empowered by the Spirit of the Thing Itself, with the proper Self-Revealization Acceptance to rid myself of any form of delay, hesitation, or lack of motivation to accomplish my goals. Whatever may prohibit my energy or deter my focus from my work, including foolish, distracting, and meaningless thoughts, I immediately deny them authority and do so without restriction or delay. I accomplish my goals without stress, and my work ever flows with ease and grace. The Spirit of the Thing Itself so Named of any of my projects is continuously fostered and reinforced by the incredible authority of the Creative Power of the Universe and is constantly activated on my behalf, without interruption. As a result, I never need to sink into the morass of indifference mediocrity or depression. My creative energy flows through me without restriction, and I stay focused to each project thoroughly, timely, without attempting to do more than one project at the same time. I accept the magnificence of my accomplishments and I give wholehearted thanks to the Creative Power of the Universe, knowing that I will continue to remain focused at all times and by any means, including the repetition of this Self-Revealization Acceptance. Knowing true motivation as reality in my life, I produce ever more works of quality and attain levels of success previously not experienced. I thank the Creative Power of the Universe and the power and authority of the Spirit of the Thing Itself to envelope me with the wisdom, knowledge, understanding, and energy of the universe to accomplish all of my goals, without restriction or delay and to sustain me in perfect motivation.

© SFK 2016


For further into on Self-Revealization Acceptance, visit http://self-revealization.weebly.com

For more info on the author and to purchase books, visit http://www.hanshi.com

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