Kyoshi's Technique of the Week

April 21st, 2013

From Kyoshi Sal Scaglione, Shihan Ueshiro East Meets West Karate Dojo, Centreville VA

Building Warrior Spirit- The Benefits

The many benefits of the book “Building Warrior Spirit”, authored by Hanshi Robert Scaglione, have been the subject of numerous ToTWs and are well documented in this space over the years. A common theme is the application of the four principles that well-define a warrior on and off the deck. As noted throughout the book, Hanshi implores us to understand and hone each principle and embed the warrior spirit in our being.

As an example of how far reaching the "Green Book" can be, recently John Fassel, son of former New York Giants Head Coach Jim Fassel, and currently the Special Teams Coordinator for the St. Louis Rams, reached out to Hanshi to detail what “Building Warrior Spirit” personally meant to him and his role as a football coach. Fassel also held a similar role with the Oakland Raiders and was an assistant with his Dad for the Baltimore Ravens. Those familiar with football know that special teams coaches and players (specialists covering kicks & punts) are high energy, very exuberant, and display what can be described as reckless abandon as they execute their job on the field. John Fassel is the embodiment of these characteristics and the quintessential example of a Special Teams Coordinator. High energy defines Fassel, a finisher of over 50 triathlons, and whose wife Elizabeth describes as “being crazy in the best way." One of John's lifetime goals is to sign-up and complete the Hawaiian Ironman at age 70.

So how do Hanshi Scaglione and John Fassel come together? As Fassel explained to Hanshi, he was looking for ways to inspire and motivate his players and used the internet to search for books on visualization and came across our beloved “Green Book”. Fassel read through it and realized he had discovered a valuable tool that possessed exactly what he was looking for. He began to introduce various parts of the book and the warrior principles to his special teams players. Each week during the season they focused on a particular concept and worked that concept into drills in preparation for the upcoming game. Fassel was so intrigued by the book that he wanted to hear more from the book’s author. He came across Kyoshi Mackay’s name on our web site who put him in contact with Hanshi. They spoke at length about Hanshi’s warrior philosophy and even discussed a passage from the “Book of Five Rings” with Hanshi describing application of the thought. Fassel told Hanshi that his copy of “Building Warrior Spirit” was well used, dog-eared, and highlighted throughout! No doubt many of our books look the same. On and off the deck the lessons from the "Green Book" can have a tremendous effect and impact our world keeping us all moving forward.

We can all learn from this story as we certainly have ready access to Hanshi Scaglione. It took great spirit for John Fassel to do the research and ultimately seek out Hanshi to offer his appreciation for the book and glean some additional wisdom. We all have numerous opportunities each year to do just that, right on our playing field, the Shorin-Ryu Karate deck. Thanks John Fassel for reminding us that we have GOLD right here with us and the benefits we can all reap from Hanshi Scaglione and messages within "Building Warrior Spirit" are far reaching!

Domo Arigato,
Kyoshi Sal Scaglione