(my epigraphs)

...each night I try to think of something interesting, in the form of an epigraph, influenced by the days events. Here are my thoughts so far...

"Nothing arms you against life's hardships better than living through them."

"If it's true that War brings Peace, we're due a long period of Peace soon."

"Nature is perfect, Science is our clumsy approximation of Nature; Scepticism is the awareness of the gulf between the two.."

"Not everything that can be created by mankind can be controlled by mankind."

"You will never give up on meat, I will never give up on animals!"

"Dominance will always be preferential to stasis or peace; fear is our worst enemy, unity our ally."

"Mental Illness - A new way of thinking."

"The worst mistakes in life are the uncorrected mistakes."

"There are far more things for us to worry about that that COULD happen than there are things which DO."

"If we are never defeated by the strong, we will never muster the strength to rival them."

"Fear is the ONLY thing that ever stands between a person and their dreams."

"People love power but Love empowers people."

"Even the smallest gap will make the largest circle incomplete."

"A theists best and worst deeds will result from either a Love or Fear of GOD, an Atheists best and worst actions will result from a Love or Fear of Mankind."

"Act only for the Good of Mankind, not the Fear of God."

"Until we learn to protect what we need, we will continue to kill for what we want."

"It's good to have to try hard to achieve something; after all, if you haven't really tried then you haven't really achieved."

"The goal is imperative, the route is superfluous."

"There is no one best Martial Art; it's the practitioner, not the practice, which makes all the difference."

"The scariest thing about war is not learning what they are capable of doing to you but rather what you are capable of doing to them."

"Karate is like water - it's best in its purest form but we try adding different flavours to see if we can improve it."

"When our bodies ache and demand we slow down, we must be mindful not to give in lest we become old."

"External conflict is human nature, Internal conflict is humane nature."

"If you can't fix it, don't break it!"

"By taking everything from me, you leave me with even more opportunity and potential."

"You never really lose if you learn from each defeat."

"Irrespective of victory or defeat, there's a difference between trying and trying hard."

"I'd much rather crack than allow myself to be bent by their iron hammer."

"Throw out many roots. Know that some will die and some will thrive. Nurture only those that will strengthen you."

"Ex-soldier wakes from nightly battle." (Six word story)

"Knowledge is to wisdom as root is to tree."

"Peace is counter-productive to the profiteering War-wagers."

"Words can be inspiring and thoughts provocative, only action can be empowering."

"Don't count your dead until you've won the battle."

"Peace is not difficult to find; it's there by default."

"For all our intelligent philosophies which speculate or confirm our place and purpose in time or space, it matters not one jot what we think; for this is a physical realm and it is only what we do here that really matters."

"Easier to believe the lies than be faced with the uncertainty of not knowing."

"To doubt my reality is not to question my sanity but to question everyone else's."

"Time: Our greatest friend, our greatest teacher, our greatest enemy ."

"We have all the time in the world yet still we want more."

"The wisest man recognises that he knows nothing."

"By merely doing nothing, I am lifted far above the wrong-doers!"

"Genius lies not beyond answers but beyond question."

"Sometimes life is like a fish - it stinks!"

"The most basic of all things is no thing."

"To protect your enemy with your life is to express the ultimate understanding of humanity."

"Those who never have to try hard in life never will."

"We are only individuals because there are so many of us; when we are alone, we lose our individuality."

"Never worry what people say of you, unless they say you look worried."

"Time, health, friendship and money all come and go - use them wisely when you have the opportunity."

"If there is a hell and if I end up there, at least I wont be lonely."

"Ignorance breeds frustration. Anger is born of frustration. War ensues rage.

Buscuitification n. bus-cuit-i-fi-ca-ti-on n.

1- the use of a long, made-up word to impress or bemuse.
2- frequent or inappropriate use of long, made-up words.

"Until there are no fences, there will always be people on each side of the fence."

"Homeless Veteran freezes in Legion's Doorway" (6 word story)

"Six-hundred-billion activities - T.V. is only ONE of those."

"At the very end, in our final hour - all that we are is all that we have been."

"When life is full of excitement, it's so much easier to become bored."

"When you have nothing left, you must be all right."

"Energy: Everything that is, was and all that has been will not be."

"The Future never comes, The Present is fleeting but The Past is here to stay."

"If I could be granted just one wish?...I would ask for less time."

"4n ever"

"There are only so many hours in one day": unless you're at war - then, somehow, there are many, many more.

"Those with 'thick hides' need not hide."

"While most people are made blind to the truth, those that do see oft wish they were blind."

"If you've done no wrong, you've done good."

"The mastery of time is to keep only the things from the past which you'll later come to depend on."

"Without difference, nothing would move."

"Only a novice can become a master."

"Balance is found at the beginning and the end of all things. The heft of ones own life can be measured by the displacement between these two points."

"Lies gain credence from believers - Truth is independent of belief."

"Those that take, have - those that give, have more."

"Our past and their future both shared a common present-day."

"I place little value on money."

"Shall I conquer my fear or does it serve to protect me?"

"To seek reward is to lack dignity in ones actions."

"Time: There will only ever be one today, one tomorrow and one yesterday but one day soon there will be no tomorrow and the day after that there will be no today and the day after that, no yesterday."

"I'm not one for pushing my boundaries - I pull them down and trample them!"

"To do and fail is far better than to fail by not doing."

"Don't worry - new opportunities will always arise so even your biggest mistakes in life can be superseded in the future."

"Truth will always elude us while we lie to ourselves."

"Being blind to the reason is far better than being powerless to do anything about it."

"A great ruler will look back on his followers to make sure he hasn't left anyone behind, A great leader looks ahead of his followers to ensure he doesn't lead them astray."

"Speak not of tomorrow in the presence of today."

"If you're not a good runner, choose to hide from your problems instead; if there's nowhere to hide - problem solved."

The cynics among us will know that really "He who laughs last, does so under his breath."

"While our life leads us to old age, so our dreams take us back to childhood."

"Linux - it's not shit, it's just free. Windows - it's not free."

"The brain is a sponge, it quickly fills and requires a good squeeze to make it useful again."

"Death accepts no excuses."

"Even the smallest step can take you further off course - always check that you are heading in the right direction."

"While They tell us that money is the root of all evil, I would say that Their taxes are the equivalent of weed killer."

"Individually we are all different, collectively we are all the same."

"Life is a journey, there are no maps but occasionally you may stumble upon a good guide."

"Reality is subjective, not objective; we each experience the same thing differently."

"Quantum Physics, thought by many to be the most complex of all studies is, in fact, the most rudimentary foundation."

"How fitting that the safety-man is never in the danger-zone."

"What really determines right from wrong is not the act itself but the perpetrators understanding of right from wrong."

"The most hideous of our Air-dropped weapons are made safe by the hands of inquisitive children."

"Just as the days events manipulate our thoughts, so too our thoughts manipulate the days events!"

"Reality - the mind's ability to interpret sensory stimulation.
Psychosis - the mind's ability to recreate sensory stimulation."

"Of course Time-Travel exists - we all do it, every day."

"How do I rid myself of this veil of illusion that parades itself so boldly before me? I shall figure it out if it's the death of me."

"Question- How do YOU know I didn't try hard enough?
Answer- You're still able to speak."

"Determination: Far easier to raise questions than to find answers."

"If you could help to end child cruelty tomorrow - would you?
If you could help to put an end all future wars tomorrow - would you?
If you could help to make someones life just that little bit better tomorrow - would you?
If you could save the life of one just one precious animal tomorrow - would you?
I know that you'll have answered YES to all my questions but read this again tomorrow because, my friend, today is yesterdays tomorrow."

"While it's true that life deals us all the cards, we at least get the choice whether to stick or twist."

"If you always take shortcuts, you'll end up cutting yourself short."

"Both the coward and the hero have one thing in common - their terrifying predicament."

"If all you do is lead people round in circles, eventually you'll wind up following the idiot at the back."

"Live the dream, don't dream of living."

"Only we should decide who we are and what we will become."

"Smiling is infectious but unfortunately they've found a cure."

"The impending darkness shall rest my eternally grateful eyes."

"Life is a canvas,
You are the pencil and
Time, the eraser."

"Someone once told me that no-one will make it in this world - they were right; I used to be someone, now I'm a no-one."

"If you feel as though you carry the world on your shoulders, take a different viewpoint and see that the world is supporting your headstand."

"Encumbering Rifle, Searing Deserts. My Penance!" (6 word story)

"A bird sits caged for countless years, dreaming of the Heavens. Now free, it cannot fly."

"When a soldier is killed, his brothers-in-arms will rise up to seek retribution. When he is maimed, they kneel by his side."

"Life's all about working out what you're meant to do and then doing it until you die, most people give up at step one."

Ridiculosity n. ri-dic-u-los-i-ty

1. Something that is ridiculous.
2. The quality or character of being ridiculous.

"They KNOW so much of oh so little and so little of oh so much!"

"Balance: The stronger the light, the stronger the shadows."

"When we destroy an 'enemy', we destroy a part of ourselves."

"I may not have tomorrow but at least I have today."

"It is only our searching which renders us lost."

"We DO need social classes; without them the 'Upper Class' would be exposed as lazy, scrounging degenerates who steel from those who labour for them and then squander the wealth on themselves."

"Heroism is not ignoring ones fear nor disciplining or conditioning ones self; heroism is confronting such fears despite grave consequence."

"When asked about his success, Daniel Lambert replied - I never expected to get this big."

"By always reaching out for new ideas we can never fully grasp the old ones."

"Such Great Heroes, Such Tiny Epitaphs." (6 word story)

"When voicing your project, project your voice."

"Only we can decide who we are and what we will become."

"Perfection is the infinitesimal point between 'not enough' and 'too much'."

"Your success is owed equally to your failures as well as your triumphs."

"Life: many Destinations, one Journey."

"In a lifetime as humans we will collectively experience less than 0.00000000000000000000000000000000000000000001% that this world has to offer. Make best of the time we have."

"Be happy with what you have, seek nothing more."

"How strange to think that in the vastness of infinity: all that is now never has been before and never will be again."

"To learn most about trees, best to plant one and help it grow rather than kill one by reading a

"Almost every book you read has been 8 years in the making."

"War extends far from the battlefield, deep into the psyche of all who have known her."

"It is from the darkness we best see the light."

"Indebtedness: From all things, never take that which you do not intend to replace."

"Never give up until just after the very end."

"The flame of rage can be spread by animosity or quenched by compassion."

"When the body and mind falter, the spirit must take over. When the spirit dwindles, all is lost."

"No boundaries, no limitation, just thoughts!"

"Fake heroes and medal-hunters desire reward for their actions, true heroes find reward in their actions alone and will resent such trinkets."

"The coward appears braver than the hero should their roles be reversed just once."

"Peace is something which exists without doing; by doing, it is destroyed."

"By always asking, we never hear the answers."

"When struggling up the mountain, keep climbing.
When you can go no further, rest for a while.
When you lose your way, enjoy the adventure.
If you hang from a ledge, let go; you may find a better route next time.
If you reach the top - admire the view and look for another to climb.
If you don't make any headway - at least you tried; no hardship lasts forever."

"Each person who lives will die. Let's make sure that each person who dies has lived. That is the goal of humanity."

"Poverty: Tell the child whos Mother starved to death that 'Money cannot buy you happiness'."

"The common man will spend his whole life working, just dreaming of living."

"Nothing hinders advancement more than a lack of mistakes."

"Static minds soon become stagnant."

"Those distant echoing battlefields will ring forever more."

"We are not many, we are one."

"The hardest part when seeking enlightenment is to stop looking once you find it!"

"Streaming eyes, hidden by sand-storm." (6 word story)

"You're all, Highly Decorated Armchair-Warriors." (6 word story)

"Distant medic hears their last cry." (6 word story)

"Screaming baby watches tanks drive away." (6 word story)

"War is proof that hell exists only here on Earth and that if there is god, it is not omnipresent."

"Cluster bomblet dis-armed by young child." (6 word story)

"Dirty Fists, Bowed Heads, Makeshift Grave." (6 word story)

"Peace ebbs through blood and tears." (6 word story)

"My Head Hung when He Hanged." (6 word story)

"People who never lie find it just as difficult to sleep at night (unless they can sleep standing up)."

"A soldier is like a machine's cog, neglect to oil it and it will neglect to turn for you, spreading its corrosion, spoiling efficiency from within the system."

"What worth has success if you've down-trodden others in your scramble to the top?"

"A sheep's blood-pressure is measured in baas."

"A goats heart-rate is measured in bleats-per-minute."

"A cat's staple diet is meowsli."

"Sometimes being apart brings people closer together."

"If we each follow in someone else's footsteps, eventually we will all get stuck in a rut!"

"Conspiracy: Crop circles are man-made; they're burned into the ground by bored technicians using the high-power LASER energy of our anti-ballistic-missile satellite capability to test/calibrate their aim."

"If you never make plans, your plan can never fail but more important, neither will your plan ever succeed."

"To posses is to have and not let go. To love is to let go but still have."

"Sometimes in life, it is the smallest things which make the biggest difference."

"Only the butterfly should advise the caterpillar of the necessity for change."

"As seconds turn to minutes, minutes blend to hours, hours wind into years and years fade into tears, all is remembered in that final blink of her eyes."

"If reality truly is illusion, where can truth be found?"

"Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind", that's the difference between cruel and kind people.

"Shiny Medals gather dust in drawer." (6 word story)

"Genetic Modification- A stream of heavy-metal particles, coated with genetically modified DNA, are fired at the intended target along an ionised path, created by high-power LASER. The heavy-metal penetrates deep into organic matter (living tissue) and the subsequent genetic changes can range from subtle to catastrophic depending on the intended outcome, degree of exposure and the natural resiliance of the victim."

"Forgive and forget? Nonsense; if we've truly forgotten, there's nothing to forgive and if we truly forgive there's no need to forget."

"Your life has ended when you've stopped living it."

"It's always best to be left behind when people are rushing in the wrong direction."

"Life is like a box of chocolates; once you've eaten them, they're gone!"

"Maybe dreams are in fact reality and our 'reality' just a dream?"

"Science: Mans attempt to explain and catagorise every fart, pip and squeak that occurs and to then retrospectively hypothesise and catalogue every fart, pip and squeak that may have or possibly ever could occur."

"To master the body, first we must master the mind."

"In the early hours of the morning the ex-pilot awoke from one of his nightly bombing-raids, his bed soaked with sweat."

"How is a consumer or corporate carbon-footprint even remotely comparable to that of Government Military Hardware tests? - They f@@ked our world so much with NBC that now we have to recycle our crisp packets for them to sell!!!"

People often say "What's the point of life? - You're only going to die anyway."
....you never here the same people say....
"What's the point of eating food? - You're only going to shit it back out anyway."

"Hypocrisy: The Church of England secretly perpetuates wars by funding expensive Military Hardware whilst publicly proclaiming their pursuit of peace, love and unity."

"No matter how pedantic a person, never will they stop to ponder the complexities of half a biscuit."

"The land of the living seems full of dead people. I only hope that the land of the dead is full of people living."

"Questions provide more drive than answers ever will."

"The flame wot burns u is the flame wot learns u!"

"When dignity is stripped, even the hanged man has his pride."

"The truth is: you can only ever truly remember that which you have truly experienced."

"A bullet can kill a man from a great distance; as his last enemy fell, the young snipers heart chilled."

"No matter how unlikely, life on distant planets, we are at least living proof for them that it does exist."

"Think about it - if all wars really were counter-strikes, there could be no wars."

"Self-important people are seldom important to anyone else."

"They trashed my mind with their weapons - how fitting then that I shall trash their weapon industry with my mind."

"At the end of the day, it always gonna be night-time."

"Many people ponder what life is - death teaches us life's purpose."

"People form their strongest opinions on the things which they know least about."

"So many people, so little love."

"If you die happy, you haven't lived."

"The only person who can ever judge, praise or criticise you with any authority is your Self; only you live by your morals, beliefs, understandings, abilities and limitations."

"If we are all free, why are we not all happy?"

"When advised to aim high, be careful not to aim directly upwards!"

"If you think you've found life's secret - you must be dreaming!"

"Science is understanding through the observation of Nature. Nature can never be wrong, but our observations often are."

"Charles Darwin's "...Origin of the Fæces..." is a load of shit."

"'Genius' can be carefully orchestrated by the intellectual and can also be stumbled upon by the common-man!"

"Question- Surely one person cannot make a difference?....
....Answer- The vast deserts are made of single grains of sand."

"Don't pigeons look weird without arms?"

"If we stick to the same path for too long, two things will happen - we wont get very far and we'll become very sticky."

"When a bird flies, it expresses it's freedom, landing reminds itself what it is to fly."

"Women buy new shoes once they've been worn. Men buy new shoes once they've been worn out."

"The World would be a peaceful place but for other people."

"I'm a vegetarian for the very same reason you love to eat animals - I hate veg' but I love animals."

"For all our might and steel and toil, still have we not yet discovered peace!"

"Reality is the fabric of the mind; Your thoughts, the stitches of a thread. Dream, render your Self in the tapestry of life."

"You fail to see that you can be free because you fail to see that that you are not."

"Through the ardour of removing weeds, we express our respect for the flower."

"Stephen Hawking isn't clever; he's got a Pentium 4 strapped to his wrist!"

"A second can be as precious as a lifetime, a lifetime as empty as a second, depending on what we choose to do with the time afforded to us."

"Reality is what one THINKS it to be; one's thoughts manipulate and form one's reality. To be
free, one has only to THINK FREELY."

"Smiling, with my hands on my mind, I mold myself further from their image."

"Honour: Pearl divers are ashamed to rise for air without pearls."

"Each day following our birth takes us closer to the end but thankfully, due to the wonders of nature, further from our rear-end."

"The disciplined mind follows rules, the undisciplined mind adheres to no such regulation and yet both may achieve occasional greatness. The great minds alike switch wisely between these two conflicting trains of thought."

"Patience comes to those who wait."

"£100's for tiny iPODs and the latest 6-monthly Mobile Phone upgrade, £1000's for huge HD-ready Plasma TVs and fuel-guzzling cars, £Billions spent on war, weapons and military hardware, $Trillions on research into the galaxies and exploring distant planets. All this development and research for the well-being and comfort of the modern human-race yet there's a guy who can't get spare change from us when we walk past him every day in the gutter."

Everything we do, or anyone else does, at any instant in our lives NOW will ultimately govern our future and our past. Every micro-cosmic action affects something else on a micro-cosmic scale. These actions and re-actions we manifest always have their inconsequential or substantial counterpart which impacts on our lives and those around us. Only a tiny percentage of these inter-galactic micro-cosmic events have, somehow, been entrusted to yOUR control; the majority of life events you cannot manipulate, due to time/space constraints, so why then now do you not start making use of these choices for yourself. Every instant of your long (or short) existence amounts to one potentially HUGE impact on everyone and anyone's life, including your own. Only you can choose, only you can change, only you can stop allowing your Self to be controlled and manipulated and have your choices made for you in someone else's favour.

Ask yourself this and then answer me seriously - when YOU open a packet of crisps, why do you ALWAYS ensure that it is the "right" way up?

Where is this elusive freedom of choice, freedom of speech and 'free will' that they preach and profess of?

Open your eyes to the truth around you and close your ears to the lies directed at you. Direct your mind to your inner peace and externalize any good you can find within you.

Do not hide your true Self from others, value ALL life, including your own. yOUR reality is subjective, not objective; no-one else can experience your life.

(We) are unique - it's time now, to start living our own lives, independent of Religious direction, Government indoctrination and media-led social influence/distraction.

Be who you are - not who 'they' want you to be!

If we are all free, why are we not all happy?

Okinawa Tour 2009-

Ultimately, at the very end - in our last hour, all that we are is all that we have been. I'm not sure if we can take anything with us when we depart but certainly we can all decide what we leave behind in the hearts and memories of those we choose to keep around us. Positivity, negativity, joy, hardship, ego, modesty and honesty all play a natural role in the continual personal development of our own character, spirit and personality in this unique journey which we call 'life'.

What we all experienced and achieved during the Okinawa Tour of 2009 is above and beyond normal life experience and opportunity. We have been shown new ways of culture, thinking and Karate - some of which were familiar to us and others not so. What we choose to take from this can be used to shape how we are now and in the future with positive impact on our Karate and, inevitably, on our everyday lives; just as we were given the opportunity to experience the ways of Okinawa, we are now given the opportunity back at home, to nurture and develop what has been taught to us and channel this through the expression of our own understanding of Karate.

One comment which was of particular importance to me was: "It is the still water which best reflects the true picture."
This has reinforced my efforts to quiet the turbulence in my mind, to try to review all things calmly rather than to entwine painful memories with lingering emotion. Although I find this tremendously difficult, I will endeavour to keep this advice in mind in the hope that one day I will be able to learn from the many experiences I have such fear to look back upon.

pict0123.jpg picture by Okinawa trip 2009 Fukushuen Gardens, Naha

My heart-felt Thanks and Gratitude go to Dave Wilkins and Lauren Frearson and all those who made this fantastic experience possible and until I can return to Okinawa, I shall revisit frequently in my thoughts.

Thanks and Peace to all. Pete Tinsley. 27th April 2009

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