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Hanshi Kaufman at the Gym

I gave myself a very special birthday gift. I work out three times weekly and focus on my physique and martial arts practice. Here are pictures of me doing a squat machine press of 630 lbs. I think I will try to hit 1000 in the next few months. Don’t ask my age; you probably wouldn’t believe it anyway. Since the 630 lift, I have gone on to do 750 lbs. How about that?

Ready, Set, Go!

For more info on Hanshi Kaufman, visit www.hanshi.com

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The Myth of Salvation and Redemption

“In light of today’s current events: significant religious controversies, terror attacks, etal, the question of sin and forgiveness is more relevant as society continues its downward spiral into oblivion that will seemingly culminate in a totalitarian form unless a new consciousness evolves. A new consciousness, not one with a goodie two-shoes mentality. My article was originally published in January, 2013.”
I have long pondered the ideas of redemption and salvation: sin and forgiveness. In spite of the vast amount of religious ideals and other faith-based ideologies, it is significantly rare that there has ever been a substantial and realistic result other than asking and begging forgiveness from the Almighty, who mercifully and automatically forgives regardless of personal perspective but, of course, with a price. When asking for a cleansing of my soul, I would anxiously await a form of pardon for the errors of my ways, which, when granted, would not curtail my immediate return to my sinning cycle all over again. Experience has shown me that redemption, salvation, sin and forgiveness is based on my own acceptance of announcing to myself that I am guilt free. Heaven forbid the concept of blind faith!

Pondering the many ideas of sin leads us to certain forms of uselessness and, in many more instances, a sense of hopelessness. We begin to think that we will never be able to overcome our evil inclinations. And that is exactly what religion strives to cultivate in our minds. As well, even without piety, a large populace still thinks that they only have to ask themselves for pardon, even to the extent of donning a hair shirt or some other form of self-deprecation and abasement. Guilt runs rampant when we determine for ourselves (or, for that matter, being caught in the act of a nefarious deed) that we must make a decision to rationalize the injustices we have meted out to others and getting to the point of honoring the actual deed by exclusion of ourselves as the guilty party.

The whole notion of sinning has a unique psychology to it, and it probably began when someone came up with rules and regulations for conduct in society. No doubt it was long before the Ten Commandments were prescribed by the Jewish Torah, which, incidentally, lists 613 specific sins that Jews must ask God’s forgiveness for. In general, no-nos have been in place throughout history, when different societies frowned upon certain behaviors that those in charge of that society considered uncool. To cover yourself with an antithetical illusion, try Zen, which does not acknowledge the idea of a God. Zen, too, is also its own game. And forget about karma, which is in itself a profound hype. Every orthodoxy is its own heresy.

Whenever the notion of a sin comes into play, it is almost immediately recognized as something that should not be done, assuming, of course, that we know of its violation of a societal rule and we are not dysfunctional. The problem becomes exacerbated when we try to figure out a way to do the dastardly deed without recrimination. The cycle become endless, and we will all probably end up in hell anyway, assuming there is such a thing. Ah, the joys of self-righteousness!

Considering all the horrors that mankind has suffered and perpetrated on each other through the ages, it seems to me that He would have gotten a message by this point in humanity’s plight that it is virtually impossible not to sin and that we, as mere mortals, cannot or should not be held to such heavenly standards regardless of His intention with the angels. That, along with our self-absorbing consternation that rains down on humanity because of devotion to an Absolute that is entirely without evidence. All of this eventually evolves into the encumbrance of living in guilt, with an untoward fear of offending the Divine Light.

Now, let me be abundantly clear. I believe there is a Creative Power of the Universe. For whatever reasons that I choose to harbor this belief, it is because I cannot accept the idea that all of “this” came out of nowhere. In my estimation there must be some sort of consciousness that started the whole thing off. At the same time, I insist in my own mind that I am directing this consciousness to manifest whatever it is that I desire in physical, mental, or spiritual form. It is essentially what I generally misconstrue in my own mind as my own mind. Nonetheless, I adjure that this “thing” that is, is as well “no-thing,” and I work within myself to alleviate It of Its own mental illness, brave soul that I am.

When it comes to running the show, I will readily admit that there are certain things that no matter how intensely I implore the Creative Power of the Universe, these “certain things” simply don’t come to be until I use the proper words in correct connection to my own particular reasons for being. I readily accept the blame for an absence of a specific manifestation due to my own inability to resolve into elements of a clear and concise sentence my demand in the proper words. Yes, words … coupled with desire on a conscious level for something. There are, however, some things that happen irrespective of my immediate desire and that can only be attributed to past inclinations that have produced current results.

Perhaps a quantum leap in consciousness will alleviate the torment. Maybe God should ask OUR forgiveness, or perhaps we should demand that It, He, or She beg forgiveness for the sins emanating from that source, which acts like a parent demanding subservience and absolute obedience while foisting a concept of enshrouding us in divine love.

Redemption and salvation can only come from within. Purging oneself of sin and guilt can only be divined by an individual who truly seeks to clear any obstacles from interfering with the pleasure of living a life of joy and freedom. Personal behavior is something that must be monitored to coexist within the constraints of the society that it is relevant to. I do not have to consider excuses to act in ways that will empower me to protect my tranquility.

© Stephen F. Kaufman 2013

For more info on the author, visit www.hanshi.com

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The Frozen Man Now Available as Softcover and eBook

Have you met your demons? Have you met your guardian angels? Have your nightmares ever kept you from waking up? Have you ever been afraid to fall asleep? Have you ever feared what can erupt from within you without your permission? Have you ever had disturbing and perverse thoughts you could not  control or make vanish? Don’t be surprised that you can … or you can’t. The Frozen Man is an adult, horror short story by Stephen F. Kaufman.

ISBN: 958-1546556565  Paper 140 pages  5 x 8
Hanshi Wisdom Press $7.95
For book sample and ordering, visit: http://hwpshortstories.weebly.com/
For more info on the author and to view his other book titles, visit: www.hanshi.com
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A Short Author Interview – Part 2

I had the pleasure of speaking with Joe Rojas, VP of Powerteam Intl. and Chief Visionary of RedSapiens media about my books and philosophy. He was amazed at the profundity of my teachings. Here is a small snippet for your illumination.

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

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A Short Author Interview – Part 1

I had the pleasure of speaking with Joe Rojas, VP of Powerteam Intl. and Chief Visionary of RedSapiens media about Self-Revealization Acceptance™. He was amazed at the profundity of my teaching. Here is a small snippet for your illumination.

For more info about the author, visit http://www.hanshi.com

For more info about Self-Revealization Acceptance, visit http://self-revealization.weebly.com/


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New Book Title Coming Soon


The Frozen Man – A Tale of Neo-Ancient Terror


Coming soon from Hanshi Wisdom Press.

For info on author, visit www.hanshi.com

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Enticing the Target to Accept Its Demise

Hanshi Kaufman on Enticing the Target to Accept Its Demise

The concept of enticing a target to accept your kill shot in mortal combat creates the scenario in which the ‘target,’ however defined, fulfills its own destiny by accepting an incoming attack for its demise as an aspect of its own reality and your definition. This idea is not as bizarre as one might initially think. The whole idea of an attack is to destroy the target, so named, and to do it with ease and grace. What follows is my philosophy toward the title of this article. First, some basic concepts.

Going into the Attack

Going into the attack is about commitment to what you are doing. It is a requirement that you understand the specifics of individual tactics, including proper form and technique. This is sound thinking, and with continued practice of your discipline, you will come to understand the reasoning behind it. Going into the attack is essential thinking for the accomplishment of any action, certainly in self-defense or any form of combat, where life or death may be uncertain. Though the idea of going into the attack may sound alien for any number of reasons, perhaps because of a natural reaction to flinch or to move away from certain forms of danger, it is nonetheless, essential. Proper attitudes of knowing when to do something and when not to do something, coupled with the attitude of going into the attack, takes some thought and practice: an acceptance of yourself as the most important person you know.

Attack the Attack, NOT the Attacker

Practice and reality is the same thing when you are sincere in your endeavor. To explain further, consider attacking the attack rather than attacking the attacker. Though this idea may seem strange at first, the reality is that you will be empowered to alleviate the fear of overwhelming circumstance by an attacker’s size, bravado, or weapon employed against you. This idea will become clearer as you progress in your training, and the sound thinking behind it will become apparent. Attack the attack and NOT the attacker with an intense desire to survive—or do not waste time and energy trying to defend yourself.

Attack / No-Attack

Learn the concept of attack / no-attack for use in all aspects of your life, without having to think about it. It simply means that you should be on your guard and prepared to act, without becoming paranoid, while at the same time remaining calm, regardless of a situation. Training to go into an attack and attacking the attack provides you with the ability act: knowing when and when not to do something. It is necessary to practice with this idea in mind, for the body to be able to act on the physical level, automatically, when it is necessary. In this manner always practice to hone your skills without spending countless hours in meditation; accept accomplishment of a goal as “already done,” and you will experience it as such. To develop the proper attitude of ‘already done,’ and to believe it, do not be nonchalant about the idea and expect it to be there when you want it without conscious training. Practice with the idea of making it permanent in your consciousness as a prerequisite to being competent. Note that the idea of “act” is used, and not “react.” To act in a situation is one projection; to react, is two. Think this through.

Respecting the Target

It is important to understand the necessity of seducing the target with instantaneous subtlety to bring it into compliance with your desire for its demise. You accomplish this aspect of the combat mentality with ease and grace by developing a desire to be victorious and not just having a desire to win, that with certainty, the enemy has as an attitude as well. Without using any cute, philosophical platitudes, it is essential that you be in complete communication with your true inner self and a solid visualization of your ideal of perfection. Be assured that this concept is not to be confused with “seeing” an enemy dead, or “wishing” an enemy dead. It is about “making” the enemy dead, and that is a completely different thing. This ability, developed over a period of time, is one that you must absolutely commit yourself to accomplishing. When a “target” encounters your approach, it, (not he, or she) succumbs to your incredible position of extending to it an invitation to let itself be destroyed. It will, out of respect for your intention. Think this through carefully. It is real, and it is functional, and it works according to the dictates of your higher consciousness: not a Buddha consciousness, not a high-minded consciousness, and certainly not the consciousness of presumptuous arrogance you observe when you look in a mirror.

© Stephen F. Kaufman 5/2017

All Rights Reserved

Visit Hanshi’s webpage at: http://www.hanshi.com

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April Birthday Book Special

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Metaphor and Substance


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Fight Scene from “The Hanshi in Brussels”

The Hanshi in Brussels by Stephen F. Kaufman

Chapter 50 – The Fight Scene

Robert’s red Saab convertible wound through very narrow streets that must have one time been ancient cart paths. With what seemed hardly enough room for one car, traffic sped by in both directions. The Hanshi sat silently hoping that Robert didn’t pile up against the front door of a building or someone else’s front seat as they zipped through Saint Gilles, always just slightly missing either a bicyclist or an old priest gently ambling by in the streets. He wondered if there were seat belt laws in Belgium. The area looked like a faded postcard from the post war forties; boulangiers, pattissieres, salons.

The car came to a stop on a street that could have been in any number of cities on the continent, or for that matter, if the signs were in English, the twisty streets could have been the West Village in Manhattan. Robert jumped out without opening the door. It was harder for the Hanshi to get out than when he got in. They walked towards a non-descript building with green doors and heard American be-bop floating through the air. The entrance to the building looked ancient and opened up into a center court revealing six stairways leading up to what must have been hundreds of doors. The Hanshi smiled as the courtyard reminded him of an Escherian labyrinth.

Seeing his look of inquisitiveness, Robert mentioned that one got used to it after living in the area for about twelve years. The Hanshi’s antenna started to rise as they walked through one courtyard into another and finally into a third.

“Looks like a film noir setting,” said Robert with a smile.

The remark instantly put the Hanshi alert. The place seemed oddly still even though there were people seemingly going about their normal routines. Five men came walking towards him and the Hanshi instinctively knew they were going to attack.

A man with a club came right at him. Two others moved to his sides while another pair, one with nunchukus, tried to get behind him. They formed a circle and moved at him while demanding his money and watch. Robert began backing away. Don’t need him anyway thought the Hanshi as he moved a fake attack directly to the center of the man with the club. Noticing the obvious move the man stepped back avoiding the Hanshi’s attack as if he was trained to do so which was exactly the response the Hanshi wanted. Hearing a click from behind and knowing the sound was that of a butterfly knife, he feinted and drew the man with the club into him while beginning a fierce and prolonged shout. Instantly and with blinding speed he fired a straight punch and a fore knuckle strike into the man’s nose and throat totally cutting off his air supply as the club was raised to strike. Grabbing the club the Hanshi kept moving forward putting the other four to his rear. The man with the nunchukus came directly towards him and walked into a straight back kick under his chin forcing him into the knifer and forcing him to lose his balance. The Hanshi spun turning to face the remaining three as another charged in low and was easily thrown away with a one handed aikido move. The man fell flat on his back. Before he had completely landed, the Hanshi back stepped and blasted the man’s kneecap with a blow from the club, perfectly placed to the outside of the man’s leg turning it to gravel and jelly. The man screamed hysterically while a back fist smashed his temple. The fourth backed up and tried to draw a gun as the Hanshi rolled forward in a somersault and came up smashing the club against the man’s hand breaking the bones permanently causing the weapon to be dropped as the second part of the move jammed the end of the club into his face. The man began screaming as he went into instant shock. Without hesitation the Hanshi whipped the club into the knifer’s face and side stepping, drove his fingers into the man’s throat following with an elbow under the jaw snapping his neck. Backing away he smashed the club down on the man’s head then went back and finished the man with the broken knee splitting his head wide open with the club before finally whacking the one who had eaten his back kick across his face completely destroying the man’s nose and knocking out at least ten teeth. The whole thing had taken less than ten seconds.

The Hanshi crouched as he looked around and saw people who were watching and knew he had to get out of there fast. He took one last look around him and started to leave. Keeping the club because of his fingerprints he took two steps and turned around again. The attackers were writhing around on the ground moaning and crying. He picked up the fallen gun and continued in the original direction he and Robert had used.

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



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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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