Tag Archives | Martial Arts

Why I Didn’t Take the Blue Pill

drunken taoistFighting always scared the hell out of me.

And that’s exactly why I have spent a good chunk of my life doing it.

Often, when people who know about my training and fighting in martial arts meet me, they look confused. I am nothing like what they expected. They had pictured encountering a killing machine with a mean streak and muscles growing evenout of his ears, and instead they get my mellow, nerdy, glasses-wearingself. Their surprise is the same even if they don’t meet me in person, and instead just talk to me on the phone. I don’t exactly have a small, whiny voice, but I still don’t exude that aggressive machismo—that gruff, grizzly-bear-who-just-woke-up-in-a-bad mood vibe they had imagined.

I am freakishly sensitive, very emotional, non-confrontational—a happy puppy who wants nothing but peace and love.I have spent thousands of hours with my head buried in books,and I hate conflict—physical or otherwise.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Initiation, Individuality, and the Alchemy of Danger

samuraiDanger, and an appreciation of one’s mortality, is of importance for most spiritual traditions, from Freemasonry to the Zen-informed worldview of the Japanese Samurai. In the Masonic Ritual, we find, for example, the initiate being met with a dagger and caused to lay on the ground as if dead, often — e.g., in England — on a “carpet” representing the grave. For the Samurai, the danger was profoundly real and ever-present. He faced death in duels or on the battlefield, or at the whim of his master, who could order him to commit seppuku (ritual suicide) at any moment.

In regard to both Western and Eastern forms of esotericism and spirituality, Craig Williams, author of Tantric Physics Vol I: Cave of the Numinous is, for me, one of the most interesting thinkers around today. He has been a practitioner of Yoga, Ayurveda, Tantra, Jyotish and Vedanta for more than 25 years, and is also a Bishop of the Ecclesia Gnostic Aeterna, and an adept of Esoteric Voudon.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

M.I.A.’s Kung Fu Fighting

dragon-girls-movieFeaturing the controversial and highly-talented British rapper and artist M.I.A.Gener8ion has just released “The New International Sound Pt. II,” from a four-track EP.

While I like the song a lot, with the video — which features no less than 36,000 students from Shaolin Tugu — the musical and visual work is highly captivating.

The footage is adapted from Dragon Girls, a documentary about three girls from China’s biggest martial arts school, located right next to the Shaolin monastery. In the video for “The New International Sound Pt. II,” young Kung fu students are shown sparring and practicing kicks, punches, open palm techniques, sword, and forms (pre-arranged sequences of different techniques and movements), as well as exercising, stretching, and hanging out or getting ready outside of practice.

However, while the choreography of the martial artists in the video is certainly impressive, what is more striking, if more subtle, I think, is the eyes of the students — full of determination, seriousness, and purpose.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Tantra, Martial Arts, and The Metaphysics of Pain

From the the Christian image of the crucifixion to statues of a skeletal Buddha, pain and suffering, and pushing beyond them, have been perennial themes in religion and spirituality. Both in the East and West — from the samurai to Freemasonry — practitioners have contemplated their own mortality, as part of their practices, reorienting themselves away from trivial personal concerns and toward, to borrow a term from the East, the “Way.”

Yet, today, we are increasingly concerned with comfort and security. Even spirituality itself is repackaged to reassure rather than to challenge practitioners. Offering rare insight, Craig Williams, author of Tantric Physics Vol I: Cave of the Numinous, elaborates on pain and its lessons in the martial arts and Tantra:


“Pain is one of the keys to unlock man’s innermost being as well as the world,” wrote Ernst Junger. “Whenever one approaches the points where man proves himself to be equal or superior to pain, one gains access to the sources of his power and the secret hidden behind his dominion.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Mastering the Mind and Body Through Meditation, Jiu-Jitsu and Ayahuasca with Nicolas Gregoriades| the midwest real podcast


Nic Gregoriades is a world-traveling, ayahuasca-drinking, elite Jiu-Jitsu black belt. He’s founder of the Jiu-Jitsu Brotherhood and co-host of The Journey Podcast.

Via Midwest Real

“Life is not a problem to be solved, it is a mystery to be lived” – Osho 


What a mind-blasting reminder that is, “life is not a problem.” So many of our personal shortcomings, issues and anxieties stem from just such a mindset- living life as if it’s a series of problems to be solved. Over the centuries, we’ve questioned and tinkered with what life is and what it “means” so much that we’ve condemned ourselves to a poisonous abyss of paradigms, expectations and momentum.

Overcoming that conditioning isn’t about running off into the woods and becoming a Luddite. We can’t just climb out of the proverbial pandora’s box of knowledge, stimulation, passion and competition we’re immersed in. But, there’s a beautifully simple escape sitting right behind the eyeballs you’re using to stare at this screen.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Africa, Shamanism, and the Transhumanist Future with Kilindi Iyi – Free Radical Media Podcast

In this installment, the Free Radical crew speaks with martial artist and world traveler Kilindi Iyi. Iyi discusses his travels through the African continent, including his studies of ancient shamanistic practices, secret societies, and martial arts traditions. Kilindi has studied under and worked with tribal elders and leaders throughout Africa. He also details his extensive study of entheogenic substances, particularly psilocybin (in amounts that make Terence McKenna’s “Heroic Dose” look like child’s play), and his theories of the new, natural shamanism and transhumanism.

Kilindi can be reached via facebook.

Free Radical Media can be reached via:

Read the rest

Continue Reading

064. Daniele Bolelli | Taoism and Gravity-Defying Glorious D-Cups

Via Midwest Real

“Where can I find a man who has forgotten words so I can have a word with him?” -Zhuangzi


TScreen Shot 2015-02-15 at 7.29.32 PMaoism is, in a way, the anti-religion. Its very existence is a philosophical counter-punch to the jaw of the saintly pomp revered by most religions. Zhuangzi (widely regarded as one of the greatest Taoist minds) once told a curious man that if he wanted to understand the Tao, he should go take a close look at the nearest pile feces.

This is why Taoism is awesome.

As for the point of Zhuangzi’s poop story– if the questions you’re asking aren’t about making your way through every day life with full reverence and appreciation for each bite of food, puff of air and pile of dog shit you encounter, you’re missing the point.

Of course, there’s more to Taoism than cartoonish stories about excrement. One look at the patriarchal text of Taoism, the Tao Te Ching will make that clear.Read the rest

Continue Reading

Punching Stagnant Ideology In The Face With Daniele Bolelli

I’m happy to announce the Gabriel D. Roberts podcast’s second edition features Daniele Bolelli!  We cover an awful lot of ground in this fantastic and thoughtful conversation.  You can download or stream this baddy, so do it!


Also check out my book, The Quest For Gnosis, where I speak with Daniele and 19 other luminaries about Gnosis in the modern context.  You’ll love it.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Communing with the Muse, Letting History be its Sexy Self and Coping with Tragedy. With Philosopher, Author and Top-Notch Human, Daniele Bolelli

Via Midwest Real

Daniele Bolelli“Once you lose attachment to how you want things to be because you realize you don’t control anything, there’s a curiously liberating aspect of that. I’ve always been a control freak, I’ve always felt that if I try hard enough, everyone I love will be kept safe and everything will be okay. Being shown, in such brutal terms, that that’s simply not the way it works, in someways, it messed me up.  I’ve been through hell, but on another level, if you pile up so much tragedy, it either destroys you, or you just start laughing about it. Because at the end of the day, no one gets out alive.” Daniele Bolelli

When a certain type of person achieves monetary success and notoriety, one of their first moves is to cultivate some sort of bullshit persona.  I’m talking a VIP, tinted window, sunglasses on indoors set of behaviors. … Read the rest

Continue Reading

You Have Dormant Primal Powers. This Guy Can Unleash Them.

Via- Midwest Real

“You can blend respectfully and mindfully with your environment as you move. This is a high level of mindfulness requested here. In my opinion, this is a physical manifestation and experience of my spirit… I would even say it’s a spiritual experience of my body.”

Do me a favor- stand up. No problem, right? Now walk around. That’s pretty easy, huh? Next, smash the nearest wad of food into your mouth hole. Isn’t this fun? Ok, sit down, look at the screen, and you’re done! Sound familiar? I know to me it does. I practice that sequence of movements with devoutly religious regularity. I’m going to make a tremendously presumptuous leap and assume that you do the same. Isn’t it sad that the mediocrity of our physical habits is that god damn obvious? Yet, if you’re lucky enough to be a normal-ish, healthy-ish human being you’ve got some serious untapped potential.… Read the rest

Continue Reading