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The Resolution of Paradox – Life Mastery Through the Traditional of Martial Arts

My career in the martial arts started in 1964 with irony. I studied a martial art normally categorized as “soft” judo, but found that in application there was a lot of “hard”. Judo provided the toughest workout of any sport I had ever practiced including football. I had more sore muscles, more muscle strains, and more bruises in judo than in all my other sports combined. And, in contest application, the concept of harmonizing energy or using the other person’s strength against him was all but invisible. It was struggle, plain and simple. Later I added the “hard” art of karate and the “soft” art of aiki-ju-jutsu to my repertoire. Unifying them made me realize that at times karate can be soft and aiki can be hard. Teaching emphasis was one thing, application another. One’s personal interpretation of and skill at the art also had an effect on the resulting “hardness” or “softness”.The apparent dichotomy of hard and soft was being homogenized and unified within me as a martial artist. Other major themes (long vs. short range, straight vs. circular movement, internal vs. external energy, traditional vs. modern practices, etc.) seemed also to be in conflict and yet existed within one martial artist, one method of instruction, one school, one style, or one art–this was a paradox. But I did not accept it as a true paradox since I believed that paradox is a statement of our own limitations in understanding. Something cannot be black and white at the same time, in the same sense, in the same context. That they may seem to be paradoxical but are actually ironic. Apparent paradoxes then should be able to be resolved.F. Scott Fitzgerald once said that the highest form of thought was to be able to hold two conflicting ideas at the same time. I do not agree. Conflicting ideas produce inadequate understanding, indecision, inaction, thus inadequate achievements. But apparently conflicting ideas which are resolved within the thinker–now that’s something else.Certainly mastery and “high thought” are not achieved simply by taking a few conflicting ideas, figuring out how to resolve them to one’s own satisfaction, and then promoting oneself to twelfth dan (traditional ranks go up to only tenth dan which are very rare and are usually awarded to very experienced, very elderly, and usually very wise practitioners of the martial arts). Instead, mastery of any subject, especially those like the martial arts which are fraught with perfectionism, dedication, true believers, fidelity, and multitudes of methods and emphases –mastery of these arts means that the ironies and apparent paradoxes of that study must be understood and resolved.Karate and Aiki each present us with a philosophical “paradox” when applying them in self-defense. Karate says “Do not fight until pushed to the limit. When there is no other choice, then fight full-out, to the death if necessary.” Aiki says, “Harmonize with your opponent and try to frustrate his aggression or, if necessary, control it through the use of his own overextended balance and strength.” If pushed to the limit Karate resists while Aiki accepts and redirects. And yet a technical direction in each art seems to contradict the philosophical route each prefers. Karate insists that the first movement should always be defensive. Aiki suggests that one can catch an opponent more unaware and off-balanced if one “attacks the attack”. Yet Karate is often seen as an aggressive art; Aiki is seen as a defensive art.Of the perceived philosophical choices between Aiki and Karate, I tend to prefer the more peaceful Aiki route. But I realize that (a) a single perception may not accurately portray the art as a whole and (b) even if it did, sometimes a person is given no choice but to stand up for himself and resist! Aiki’s peaceful “redirection philosophy” means very little ethically if one does not have the cannon of karate “fight to the finish philosophy” in one’s arsenal. You do not choose a peaceful harmony if that is your only choice!Similarly, there are challenges within the martial arts community which must be met one way or another: with resistance or with acceptance. Many martial artists are unnecessarily critical of each other, perhaps showing a lack of confidence in their own art, or, more precisely, in themselves. You can see this in the letter section of any martial arts magazine in any given month. Some who may appear uncritical politically, perpetrate a watered-down version of a martial art, inflate their credentials, make false claims about their history, abilities, etc. They don’t criticize, they brag. Another version of those who provide the fuel for martial controversy are the sales-oriented martial artists who care more about selling superficial knowledge and recognition than offering deep understanding and qualified skill. When these people present themselves in the martial arts, it is like a challenge not only to the livelihood of hardworking legitimately qualified martial artists, but more fundamentally to the reputation of the martial arts in general. But how do we meet this challenge with the philosophy of Aiki or Karate? If one uses “karate” to directly oppose because one feels “pushed to the wall”, one also becomes one of the criticizers of which there are far too many–a voice in the multitudes which cannot be distinguished. If one takes the more tolerant Aiki approach, one sees the quality and benefits of martial arts study gradually being eroded and the meaning of a black belt becoming ludicrous. What a paradox!Not only is the idea of resolving paradoxes important to individual mastery but the method toward mastery may just be what we, as a society, need to balance our philosophical extremes. Great masters of the martial arts, notably Funakoshi (karate), Kano (Judo) and Ueshiba (Aikido) intended the study of their art to be a method of improving the individual so as to eventually influence society. They saw their mission as one of spreading their art so that the more individuals would improve, the more improved individuals would populate a society, and the more common ground the individuals in a society would have. Yet if this martial method gets corrupted not even the individual can improve, and certainly society can not be effected in a positive way. I would like to submit that individuals do have an influence on society but not by force of numbers alone, rather by positive example and by creating ideas and technologies which philosophically influence other individuals and thus indirectly influence their societies. I think the masters of the previous era might accept a small variation to their theme of peace and harmony through the martial arts: the martial arts provide one method by which paradox can be studied and eventually resolved. In my opinion, it is the method of resolving paradox which is the key to personal mastery, and a philosophical change in society.The martial arts are a relatively insignificant sub-culture in a world of political extremists, religious paradigms, and self-improvement methods. As a whole, one cannot say that the very study of any martial art makes one a better person or improves society directly or indirectly. Martial arts are not a direct means to a given end. Rather, martial arts offer one method for personal challenge and self-discovery through which time mastery can be attained. It is during the attainment of mastery that methods of resolving paradox are discovered. Those individuals who have reached the high goals of inner peacefulness and personal worth may choose to reach for yet higher goals outside themselves. These are the people (martial artists or not) who will change the world. Major philosophical changes have come from the influence of methods and experiences of much less significance than the martial arts. But for practicing martial artists, traditional budo may just be the most appropriate method of life-mastery and then of social renaissance.Everyday we are confronted with experiences which are, in the larger world view, insignificant, yet these items challenge us with indecision because they make us face philosophical paradoxes.Three teens in a banged up sedan zip into a parking place by entering the parking lot against the flow of traffic. Should one oppose them? Or should one say to oneself “teens will be teens” and tolerate it? Opposition would be difficult if the teens did not take kindly to verbal discipline, since there are three against one, and words would probably not influence their driving or parking habits in the long run anyway. Yet tolerance of little incidences like these encourages their repetition. The offenders convince themselves they can get away with inconsiderate behavior on a regular basis. Repetition of such behavior without any retribution creates in the offended party, an unconscious sense of disorderliness and, more importantly, helplessness to protect what one perceives to be a socially accepted right. In short, one takes a relatively insignificant situation and raises it to symbolize deeply important philosophical principles.Should we tolerate the little things which challenge our individual rights or personal safety? Should we take the chance of opposing too soon and become like fascists? Resolving paradox, even in seemingly insignificant matters, is itself no insignificant matter. Ultimately, in this example, the paradox unresolved comes down to a permissive versus a restrictive society. By what guidelines does one choose the balance? I do not propose that in a little column about training toward martial arts mastery, I can offer the answer to this most difficult of questions or even more minor situations which are emblematic of these questions. Rather I intend to show that the traditional martial arts, properly studied, lead those who wish to achieve higher goals than learning how to punch, kick, throw and lock, to the confrontation with paradox. And that it is the resolution of that paradox whether it be through opposition or redirection, that makes one a master of one’s art, one’s self, and ultimately gives one a framework by which to tackle much wider philosophical problems.Ultimately, paradoxes reduce to “What Should Be vs. What Is.” Either we are logically stumped because our reasoning, although faultless, is confronted with an equally faultless yet opposite reasoning (Light it has been proven is both waves and pulses simultaneously), or we are ethically confounded because our ideals, no matter how carefully parallel to apparent human nature, always seem to be frustrated by those who take advantage of them (“Treat them with discipline and they hate you; treat them with love and they take advantage of you, thus becoming undisciplined.”)What Should Be vs. What Is: is it the ultimate paradox or is it just a larger cousin of the little ironies we face (and resolve) every day? In the martial arts such frustrating questions do not occur to the everyday practitioner. If they occur at all, it is to the experienced and dedicated martial artist who has more years in his/her art than most students have in their entire educational career. “What Is” in the martial arts is, for the most part, short term students studying a catalogue of physical movements in order to feel better about themselves. “What Should Be”, at least to this author, is that students become artists, who during the years of mastering their art, confront the ironies and seeming paradoxes and use these confrontations to master themselves and the living of their lives. How does one resolve the paradox of What Is vs. What Should Be in the martial arts? By helping create a path for some of the short term students to become long term students, for some of those studying physical movements to stumble into the grotto of intellectual and emotional self-development. And how does one do that? One begins by writing this article.

Telemedicine in the Affordable Health Care Act Explained

Telemedicine is an important component of the robust and technology driven Affordable Care Act system (Obama care) and provides avenues for reducing costs in the new healthcare structure, because it offers options in how to access healthcare services.The Affordable Care Act is the most comprehensive overhaul of the nation’s health care system in decades and it’s implementation and sign-ups will all be processed through marketplace exchanges.What is the Meaning of Telemedicine?Telemedicine is the use of telecommunication and information technology to provide clinical health care without a traditional face-to face consultation. It helps eliminate distance barriers and can improve access to supplementary medical services for people with:
Basic or No Insurance
High Deductible (HDHP) Insurance
Traditional Insurance
Tele-health Vs Telemedicine’Tele-health’ is an older, broader term for services such as health education and is not limited to clinical services, while ‘Telemedicine’ narrowly focuses on the actual curative aspect between the patient and healthcare professional. Examples of Tele-health are health professionals discussing a case over the telephone or conducting robotic surgery between facilities at different ends of the world.Tele-Health has a broader scope than telemedicine and is sometimes called e-health, e-medicine, or telemedicine. Health care professional use tools like e-mails, e-visits, e-prescribing, after-hours care, e-reminders, health assessments, self-management tools, health coaching etc.The State of the MarketThe Affordable Care Act (Obama Care) Health Insurance Exchange (HIX) opens on Oct 1st, 2013. and goes into operation on Jan 1st, 2014. The Obama Care exchanges, are State, Federal or joint-run online marketplaces for health insurance. Americans can use their State’s “Affordable” Insurance Exchange marketplace to get coverage from competing private health care providers.Steps to Sign up for Health Care Plans
Participants enter personal information into a web portal
Learn their eligibility for subsidies based on income, state-determined criteria or employer-based options.
Use a price calculator to shop, compare and choose a best benefit health plan.
Several major health companies have programs like TelaDoc in Aetna, KP-OnCall in Kaiser etc, trying to set up footholds in a market that is widely expected to grow rapidly. All participants have to do is research for telemedicine benefits through their health insurance plans or sign up for independent programs.How Health Care Professionals Administer TelemedicineDoctors can treat most everyday health needs by phone or a scheduled video consultation. A study by the American Medical Association shows that 4 out of 5 visits to a primary care doctor could have been treated over the phone instead. After each consultation, patients will receive a clinical report which can be emailed to a primary care physician.Registered Nurses manage triage calls and act as health coaches. For some specific symptoms, they give guidance for the most appropriate care, and over 32% of the time will offer self-care options so patients avoid a visit to the doctor, ER or Urgent Care facility entirely.Common symptoms often treated through TelemedicineRespiratory Infections, Cold/Flu Symptoms, Urinary Tract Infections, Sore Throats, Headaches/Migraines, Sinusitis, Allergies, Insect bites, Certain Rashes, Sprains/Strains, Arthritic Pain, Stomach Aches/Diarrhea, Gastroenteritis, Minor Burns and many non-emergency medical conditionsBy 2014, the law mandates that all non-exempt Americans have health insurance or face a tax penalty. The Affordable Care Act has far-reaching advantages such as prohibiting insurance companies from dropping a clients’ coverage if they get sick or discrimination against anyone with a pre-existing condition and extending children’s eligibility on parent’s plans.For entrepreneurs, who will most likely be responsible for their own health insurance, knowing how telemedicine can supplement their health insurance plans, means they can take full advantage of the options, savings and benefits.

How to Start a Home Based Business and Grow It to Profitability

In this discussion, we are going to focus on issues pertaining to how to start a home-based business. Many of the most successful businesses were actually started it in someone’s home. We’re all familiar with the many fables and legends of individual starting multi-billion dollar enterprises in their basements and garages and certainly you can develop a highly successful business that is based from home. Of course, only a small and almost infinitely small fraction of the use of home-based businesses will become as successful as the next Microsoft were Facebook, however, you can develop a secondary income for yourself to the development of a home based business. In fact, over time, your home-based business may become your full-time job. When you are starting a home-based business, the most important thing to do is to first determine what type of business at you ultimately seeking to start. Many people, with the advent of the Internet, have taken the starting small e-commerce businesses were small blogs are able to generate a modest amount of income on a monthly basis. As such, we fully recommend that you harness the power the Internet when you are starting your home-based business. However, not all home-based businesses need to be based on the Internet or have a nationwide presence. For instance, if you are very good with numbers and have a strong background in bookkeeping, then it is very common for you to open up a part-time bookkeeping practice that is based solely out of your home.One of the downsides to opening a home-based business that operates with local clients if they can come off as unprofessional that you simply work out of your home as it pertains to the services that you render. As such, you may want to work directly with the client at their location or providing services such as bookkeeping or other personal services that do not necessarily need to be rendered within your home. Over time, you may want to be to able to afford a small office space that will allow you to give your business and more professional look as it pertains to working with local clients.It should be noted, on a side discussion, as it pertains to financing a small business it is somewhat typical. The small business administration typically does not allow for loans made to home-based businesses. This is primarily due to the fact that one of the reasons why the small business administration was created was so that traditional businesses could be launched and individuals would hire other people within their small business facilities. As such, you may be an excellent candidate for a SBA loan however you are going to need to move into a traditional facility before you’re able to receive this type of financing. However, there are a number of other types of financing methodologies available to you. This may include using some of your own savings, using some income from your 401(k) or IRA accounts, taking out a personal loan, using credit cards, or working with a potential investor that can provide you with the financing that you need in order to launch a business. Of course, there is no proper way to ever play in the business, there are a million ways to skin a cat, and as such you may want to tap some unconventional means as it pertains to obtain financing for your home-based business. As it pertains to using credit cards or personal loans in order to finance your home-based business, this can be a very expensive endeavor. Most personal loans are unsecured by any type of tangible property more tangible asset typically has a substantially higher interest rates in the back associated with a secured loan. In most cases, your interest rate can vary anywhere from 9% to 20% per year depending on your overall credit score. As such, it is absolutely imperative for use loan financing in order to start your home-based business recommend that you very carefully to all potential financing options for using personal loans or credit cards. In time, there are other types of lending facilities that you can use as it pertains to receiving the financing that you may need on the ongoing basis.After you determine which type of home-based business one a start, it is time to start the preparation of your business plan. Here, you’re going to want to create a blueprint of how you intend to provide your services or products the general public, how you will integrate certain procedures and protocols into your day-to-day activities relating your to your home-based business, developing a well focused financial model that has a profit and loss statement, cash flow analysis, balance sheet, pregame analysis, business reaches page, and general assumptions page that will be used in conjunction with your company, and a detailed overview of how you intend to market your business.As we discussed before, you can use the power of the Internet to market your business, even on a local level areas many home-based businesses are now also turning to popular social networking websites such as Facebook, Flickr, tumbler, and other popular portals in order to get the word out among people they know. You have a number of contacts within your local area that have a specific need for a specific type of service then you may be able to reach out to them directly by being able to directly contact them via e-mail and through the affirmation social networks. In fact, we strongly recommend that you create a Facebook page and work-related social networking page that showcases your home-based business in exactly the services that you provide as it relates to your company. If you are engaging in e-commerce operations, then it is extremely important for you to invest heavily in promoting your business through social networking media, search engine optimization, and pay per click marketing. In time, you’ll find a number of people are able to find your e-commerce platform very quickly and that your infant every turn over rate will be extremely high. Although this is somewhat of a general article pertaining to how to start a home-based business, you are, again, engaged in the business of selling products on an e-commerce basis than we strongly recommend that you also use very popular third-party selling platforms such as eBay and Amazon so that you are able to, again, had a very brisk inventory turnover as it relates to your overall operations. In the following, that at the onset of your home-based business operations, you are typically able to sell more of your e-commerce-based merchandise through Amazon and eBay versus through a proprietary e-commerce site. Additionally, as it relates to e-commerce, these websites often charge minimal fees as it pertains to showcasing the products that you have for sale to the general public. As such, if you are selling products that you are either acquiring or producing on your own that you may want to check out this type of third-party sales platform in order to further your sales as time progresses. Of the utmost importance that you developed a very strong marketing plan especially to if you are engaged in e-commerce selling activities.Relating to our discussion as it relates to financing ongoing business operations, once you have established your business then you may want to consider the possibility of taking credit cards. If you are heavily engaged in e-commerce, you can usually secure a line of credit based on your amount of money that is coming in through the credit card receivables that you receive. For instance, if you operate an e-commerce website that generates $10,000 a month in revenue then you can typically obtain a credit line equal to approximately $10,000-$20,000 depending on the specific lender. This is commonly known as merchant financing and it can be a very good way for you to manage your cash flow on a month-to-month basis as you plan on starting a home-based business. However, unlike in SBA loan that were conventional business loan, merchant financing based on credit card receivables is typically very expensive. As such, it is strongly recommended that you use this type of marketing sparingly as it does cost a significant amount of money. Typically, work in financing is approximately the same interest rate costs associated with a personal loan or credit card.Also, you’re going to want to think about whether or not you shooting for your business or create a limited liability company to manage your business operations. If you do decide to incorporate create a limited liability company then you will have the ability to create a bank account in the company’s name, and don’t conduct business under the company’s name, and have that company almost act as a third-party as he progressed business operations. Additionally, there are many tax benefits associated with incorporating as you will be able to more effectively receive and deduct certain expenses for your home-based business. On a side note, and home-based business should ever be started for tax savings purposes. In fact, the IRS has cracked down substantially on individual entrepreneurs have created a home-based business solely with the intent to write off a substantial amount of their ongoing living expenses were ongoing business expenses. As such, you need to ensure that you are operating this as a legitimate part time business it is simply based out of your home. When you’re starting a home-based business, we strongly recommend that you have a certified public accountant or tax attorney work with you so that you can properly plan out how certain normal expenses within your home will be deducted if you were Corporation or your limited liability company. Of course, you do not necessarily need to start a corporation or limited liability company in order to larger business operations. At the onset of operations, you can decide to work as a sole proprietor which means that ultimately everything that you do as you conduct business is through you as an individual and not as appropriate. However, with this comes the risk of unlimited liability if something should happen or if you are sued. For instance, many business experts often recommend that a individual business does incorporate into the fact that it should something go wrong be litigating party can typically only go after the assets that are held by the corporation. However, if you were acting as the sole provider, any leading party can come after all of your personal assets including your home, vehicles, retirement accounts, and other issues and assets that you may have been held by your person. As such, you should make a determination as to whether or not you will be engaging in any type of activity or selling any product that ultimately could have some potential for you don’t wind up in court for one reason or another. Again, we always recommend these speakers with attorneys for all of the advice as it pertains to these matters.This business can be a fun activity and certainly can provide you with a very good source of secondary income for the ability to eventually turn your home-based business into a full-time job. Again, in summation, you need to always ensure that you are starting a home-based business for the right reasons. The wrong reasons, as we discussed throughout this article, include simply starting a home-based business with the intent of paid tax deductions. The best reasons for starting a home-based business are typically because you want to have a business that provides you with ancillary income that this is your passion and that you want to create a full-time business out of it in the future.The other thing that we always discuss, and recommend, you keep a very reasonable and levelheaded and reasonable as he progressed through starting your home-based business.