Monday, December 21, 2009

Zen Koan Defense

Last evening I received a phone call from Andy, a martial artist who is currently out in Los Angeles. He is a Shorei Kempo student out of Green Bay and would come to study with us from time to time.

Andy is very inquisitive and loved discussing koans and using words as a self-defense tool to freeze the opponent's mind. It makes sense since he is a linguist and contracts with the military.

Well, Andy is around 28 years old and he stated he was out on a date and around 4 in the morning they were out and wanted some gum. They stopped at a gas station, which he sort of knew he shouldn't cause it wasn't in the best neighborhood, but he did. When he went in, four males confronted him on what he was doing and threw some racist and harassing words at him. One of them began approaching him asked what was he doing here...

Andy said his heart was beating and his mind was racing and all of a sudden he said, "I am coming from church." The fellow asking the question looked at him like, 'huh' and all of sudden they were his buddies. He got his gum and left.

Andy said they either couldn't figure out what he was talking about or they had a healthy respect for Jesus. He was just glad everything worked out and he and his date were able to leave without harm. He said he had to call me to tell me about his Zen Koan Defense and its effectiveness...and to thank me for the lesson. The real lesson learned is not to get gum in a bad part of LA at 4 am...unless you just came from church.

Hands palm to palm,

pic from Gahan Wilson


  1. Ha, ha, I absolutely love this story Shinzen, thanks for sharing it. And yes, gum? Stopping for Gum? Stopping for GUM at 4 in the morning in the wrong neighborhood?

    . . . and he got away with it through the power of being in the moment and allowing consciousness to provide him with the words required, beautiful! Lol!

  2. Lol! That was great! Reminds me of the scene on 'That 70's Show' when they are being held by the Mounted Police at the Border.
    What's your business in Canada! HAAHAHA