Monday, March 2, 2015

Power Signals, Posture and the Christian Martialist, 3

Continued from "Power Signals, Posture and the Christian Martialist, 2"

In the previous post I established that the Bible links physical posture to inner moods and attitudes. In the next post, I want to tell a little bit about how I use the power poses in my own training.

First, though, let's look at some of the poses I use. I'll call on two of my favorites, Doc Savage and The Phantom to illustrate.

Above, you can see both Doc and The Phantom taking up space, a classic characteristic of power posing. To me, this pose signifies ready for anything.

Dr. Cuddy calls this "the Wonder Woman pose". In reality, almost every comic book hero assumes this posture often.

Usually, folded arms connote weakness, but not here. The Phantom has not hunched his shoulders, his chin is up, and he has assumed a wide stance. This pose virtually screams, "I'm in charge, here.".

Doc Savage projects power with arms upraised. The upper image reminds me of what I call the strongman pose.

It's difficult to find comic book heroes using the victory pose. When I use it, the word "exultant" comes to mind.

Both Doc and The Phantom project authority, even when seated. For this one, you need the biggest armchair you can find, then spread out to fill the space..

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Power Signals, Posture and the Christian Martialist, 2

Continued from "Power Signals, Posture and the Christian Martialist"

In the previous post, I presented the principle that how you position your body affects your own inner attitude. When you are in a hostile environment, you want to project confidence and power to yourself as well as to potential adversaries.

The Christian Martialist, however, must ask himself the question: "Does this principle represent some fad in pop psychology, or does it arise out God's built-in design? Of course, the Word of God holds the ultimate answer to the validity of power poses.

I did a study on where the Bible associates physical posture with inner moods and attitudes. I also checked some commentaries that help to confirm and explain those connections.

Posture, Mood & Attitude

Psalm 42:5 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.

Why art thou cast down, O my soul? - Margin, bowed down. The Hebrew word means to bow down, to incline oneself; then, usually, to prostrate oneself as in public worship; and then, to sink down under the weight of sorrow; to be depressed and sad. The Septuagint renders it, “Why art thou grieved?” - περίλυπος (Barnes)

Psalm 27:6 And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD.

And now shall mine head - Now shall I be exalted. So we say that in affliction a person bows down his head; in prosperity he lifts it up. This verse expresses the confident expectation that he would be enabled to triumph over all his foes, and a firm purpose on his part, as the result of this, to offer sacrifices of praise to his great Deliverer. (Barnes)

Psalm 110:7 He shall drink of the brook in the way: therefore shall he lift up the head.

Therefore shall he lift up the head - Therefore shall he triumph, or be successful. The head falls when we are faint and exhausted, when we are disappointed and are ashamed, when we are conscious of guilt. It is lifted up in conscious rectitude, in success and triumph, in the exuberance of hope. (Barnes)

Psalm 119:48 My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved; and I will meditate in thy statutes.

My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments ... - As an expression of delight or rejoicing, as people lift up their hands with their voice when they give expression to joy. It denotes a high state of joy, such as leads to an outward expression; not merely that which exists in calm contemplation, but where the heart is full, and when it finds outward expression. (Barnes)

Psalm 134:1 A Song of degrees. Behold, bless ye the LORD, all ye servants of the LORD, which by night stand in the house of the LORD.
Psalm 134:2 Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the LORD.
Psalm 134:3 The LORD that made heaven and earth bless thee out of Zion.

Lift up your hands in the sanctuary - Margin, In holiness. The Hebrew word properly means holiness, but it may be applied to a holy place. See Psalm_20:2. The lifting up of the hands is properly expressive of prayer, but the phrase may be used to denote praise or worship in general. (Barnes)

Lam 3:41 Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens.

Heb 12:12 Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;

Lift up the hands which hang down - As if from weariness and exhaustion. Renew your courage; make a new effort to bear them. The hands fall by the side when we are exhausted with toil, or worn down by disease; see the notes on Isa_35:3, from which place this exhortation is taken. (Barnes)

Isa 35:3 Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees.

The weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees - Strength resides mainly in the arms, and in the lower limbs, or the knees. If these are feeble, the whole frame is feeble. Fear relaxes the strength of the arms, and the firmness of the knees; and the expressions ‘weak hands,’ and ‘feeble knees,’ become synonymous with saying, of a timid, fearful, and desponding frame of mind. (Barnes)

Job 22:6 For then shalt thou have thy delight in the Almighty, and shalt lift up thy face unto God.

And shalt lift up thy face unto God - An emblem of prosperity, happiness, and conscious innocence. We hang our face down when we are conscious of guilt; we bow the head in adversity. When conscious of uprightness; when blessed with prosperity, and when we have evidence that we are the children of God, we look up toward heaven. This was the natural condition of human beings - made to look upward, while all other animals look grovelling on the earth. (Barnes)

Ezekiel 1:28 As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake.
Eze 2:1 And he said unto me, Son of man, stand upon thy feet, and I will speak unto thee.
Eze 2:2 And the spirit entered into me when he spake unto me, and set me upon my feet, that I heard him that spake unto me.

Jos 7:6 And Joshua rent his clothes, and fell to the earth upon his face before the ark of the LORD until the eventide, he and the elders of Israel, and put dust upon their heads.
Jos 7:10 And the LORD said unto Joshua, Get thee up; wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face?
Jos 7:13 Up, sanctify the people, and say, Sanctify yourselves against to morrow: for thus saith the LORD God of Israel, There is an accursed thing in the midst of thee, O Israel: thou canst not stand before thine enemies,

Pro 28:12 When righteous men do rejoice, there is great glory: but when the wicked rise, a man is hidden.

A primitive root; to jump for joy, that is, exult: - be joyful, rejoice, triumph. (Strong)

Gen 1:28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

A primitive root; to tread down; hence negatively to disregard; positively to conquer, subjugate, violate: - bring into bondage, force, keep under, subdue, bring into subjection. (Strong)
I read a commentary that said this word’s usage stemmed from the practice of kings in the ancient Near East to place a foot upon the neck of a conquered foe, denoting total and absolute subjugation. (C.M.)

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Power Signals, Posture and the Christian Martialist

The following helpful paragraph came from an ad:

There are three groups of power signals, each group or range communicates a personality or character quality.
  • Alpha Signals: Leadership, Dominance, Control. An Alpha will initiate action and take up space.
  • Beta Signals: Competence, Credibility, Intelligence, Confidence. A person with Beta characteristics interacts and shares space.
  • Gamma Signals: Friendliness, Likeability, Interpersonal Attractiveness. A Gamma will respond and give up space.
The ad goes on to say that each serves an appropriate role, depending on the social context. 

I've written previously about how when you project confidence (as opposed to cockiness or bravado), predators tend to steer away from you and look for easier prey. I was also interested to find out that your posture not only affects how others see you, it affects your own confidence levels -- how you feel about yourself.

Power posture -- I like to refer to this as my superhero poses -- has been shown to reduce the stress hormone cortisol. This will serve as one more tool in your kit to control adrenaline in emergency situations. The health benefits that result from regular practice of power poses come as an added bonus.

View the video below for the whole story, and it would not hurt to have your women folk watch it, as well. This could save them from an attack they will never know was imminent.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Fitness and the Warrior Fallen Ill

You train in order to be ready to meet the unannounced threat. But what do you do about training when you're down with a cold, or even something more debilitating? 

The infographic below by Dr. John Berardi addresses when, how and why you should exercise when you're ill. If you have trouble reading it here on the blog, you can access it at THIS LINK.

Monday, January 26, 2015

The Bow as a Defensive Weapon?

I'm not about to throw away my firearms in favor of bow and arrow, BUT when you see an archer who has developed better skills with his bow than many of us have with our guns, well . . . .

I feel the need to practice.

Monday, January 19, 2015

My Barber

I've mentioned my barber here many times. Some of you may wonder what he's like.

His shop is small -- one chair. You'll see one wall dedicated mostly to various pictures of dogs playing poker. On the opposite wall, above a nice, handmade oak bench, you'll see photos, including a huge, autographed picture of John Bianchi, a snapshot of my barber and his wife alongside Ollie North, and an autographed picture of Johnny Crawford that hangs among photographs of several Western actors.

I think of him whenever I watch Tombstone. Do you remember the scene after the big shootout at the creek? Doc Holliday is talking to the two Jacks and one of them says that Doc ought to be in bed and asks him what he's doing there. Doc replies, "Wyatt Earp is my friend."

The other retorts, "H***, I've got lots of friends."

Doc's quietly responds, "I don't."

I've never had many real friends. Close friends. My barber and my veterinarian are at the top of an extremely short list. They've each had my back. I'd like to think I'd have theirs if and when they needed it.

Anyway, if you'd like some idea of what my barber is like, here's a video that will give you a clue. He's somewhat younger than Leroy, and he's a lot more comfortable with a Mk 23 than with a guitar, but he relates to his customers in much the same way.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Have Gun Will Travel Christmas Show

My barber sent me the link to a Christmas show from the "Have Gun Will Travel" TV series. For fans of  "The Rifleman", it features a really young Johnny Crawford.

I don't want to reveal any spoilers, but I will mention that I almost got misty when Paladin took off his hat near the end of the show.

At our house, the Nativity celebration is winding down. Tomorrow will be the 12th day (by my count), then Tuesday will mark Epiphany. Blessings on all of you who have celebrated the advent of the King.