Archive for July, 2008

July 30th, 2008

Sept 6th fundraiser for The DEA Widows’ and Children’s Fund

Posted in Seminars by Mark

Its that time of year again, when we think of helping others in our community, who may need our assistance. This year Mr Jack Hoban, Mr Matt Hilldreth, Mr Brayner Martinez and myself ,will be donating our time and efforts freely for this event.

The Fund is a 501(c)(3) charity and all donations to the Fund are tax-deductible. Donations can be earmarked specifically for any of the above-mentioned trusts or simply sent to the Fund in general by writing a check or money order payable to —

The DEA Widows’ and Children’s Fund
c/o The Detectives’ Endowment Association
26 Thomas Street
New York, NY 10007
Attn: Victor Cipullo, Vice President.

As with this and past events all monies raised go to the charity itself, we have streamlined all expenses to the point where there are virtually none, everything is a donation including the venue, the wrist bands andT-shirts. This yearly event has been and is an important part of the healing process that needs to happen so we as a city and a nation can move forward and heal.

The purpose of our fundraising efforts are to help others while trying not to reopen or renew painfull memories for those in our community that bore the brunt of the tragedies that befell us over the last decade.

Everybody has the right to go to and return home after a hard days work to their loved ones without fear or threat of harm, its is not until we become involved ourselves in an event, that we realize for the first time how many people are involved in keeping us safe and secure everyday. These are our Armed Services, the men and women of law enforcement, the fire department and corrections, the doctors and nurses that tend to us, and even the good Samaritans that happen to pass by unhailed and often remain anonymous.

Our Sept fundraiser is an attempt to acknowledge and say thank you to those that help us and protect us in our daily lives, their unselfish efforts and selfless devotion to our community should never be forgotten.

The daily actions and good deeds made by these brave individuals, whose sole drive is to help others, generally go unnoticed and even less often thanked. We the public are often too quick to remember the negative and slow to celebrate the positive.

This simple effort of ours is but a tear drop in an ocean of apathy, but an effort none the less, so let us open our hearts to those that have made the ultimate sacrifice for us, and keep the memory of their heroic deeds alive, we owe them so much more, they can never be replaced, and they should never be forgotten.

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July 29th, 2008

“A cut above the rest”

Posted in Website Information by Mark

This year after taking stock and taking charge of several issues in my rather chaotic life, I came to the realisation that there where several skills that I had a hankering to learn  but had yet to master, languages was one and the use of a Straight Razor was another, there are more skills, but I will limit this post to the Classic Razor.

A few years back a close friend of mine became interested in straight razors and I thought he was just plain mad to attempt something so dangerous as to apply a very sharp blade to a very bare neck, this comment needs to be taken in context, myself and Eddie have dueled and sparred over the years with various classical weapons,  and I am aware of his skill and control of these particular Japanese bladed weapons, it was this knowledge that made me acutely aware for my own personal health & safety.

The straight razor was commonly called the “cut throat” razor, I don’t think it earned this dubious distinction from peeling apples, no matter how deftly or precise that operation may be performed. My stepfathers father was a barber in London and though I don’t know if his razors or scissors have survived, the notion of using a razor myself, has always been hanging around somewhere in the recesses of my mind, under the topic of, “maybe this is something I should look into”.

So it was with great trepidation, and a lot of sweat, that I took my first step, albeit this step was taken with my hand, on the path to the closet shave I have ever had, and closer still to the ever elusive desire for self mastery.  Its amazing how steady your hand is, and how calm you become, when your own neck is on the line, this was the first realisation I had, it may have been an epiphany but I couldn’t/wouldn’t take my eyes of the mirror  to allow myself even the most fleeting moments of introspection.

I use the term self mastery because there seems to be two distinct processes  taking place a the same time, one is learning the skillful use of an extremely sharp instrument, and the other learning about yourself. This learning experience has been an interesting journey of self discovery, like a gambler who uses his own money, its not until you put your own neck on the line that you learn to trust your own instincts and skills, the downside of gambling is loss of money, whereas the downside of poor shaving technique is possibly the loss of some blood.  It’s a good thing if you suffer from Iron Overloading and bad a thing if your anaemic.

Anyway to make a long story boring, I started shaving, and its been several weeks now of regular shaving and I haven’t cut myself I can now feel the differences in blade sharpness and heft, and I can appreciate them. There is no room for doubt, or an imprecise stroke, there is no place or space  for ego between the blade edge and the skin, there is less distinction between where the blade starts and the skin begins, you become an artist through self education and self enlightenment, and you become painfully aware of your own mortality with a single drop of your own blood, shed by your own hand.

 To grasp life by the throat and to live to the fullest, takes a skill and determination that requires practice and constant honing, it is only through the process of wearing down a razors edge with continuous use against your skin that you can create a razor sharp mentality, and a polish/shine that radiates outward that puts you simply “a cut above the rest”.

 “The wearing down of one, sharpens the other”,  but that’s just my spin on it……..M.

For more information contact :

 www.vintagebladesllc.com 

For all your shaving needs, you will find them very knowledgable, helpfull and friendly.

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July 18th, 2008

Summer Fest 2008 July 19th & 20th

Posted in Seminars by Mark

Its that time off year when we strap on our outdoor tabi, and venture forth to the wilds of upstate NY. As always its a great pleasure to be heading up to Matt Hildreths dojo in Poughkepsie, this years theme will be covered along with the use of various weapons that are  more suited to the outdoor environs than the dojo proper. Anyone who should try to make it there for at least one day, and share in the fun, havoc and mayhem that ensues if you havent been to one of these seminars before now, then take this opportunity to attend and you will have a great time, as always I look forward to seeing many friends and fellow practioners there, you never know we may see you there, Regards in Budo Mark.

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