“LOL” (the acronym for “Laughing Out Loud”) is the flashing warning buoy by which to help one steer clear of lazy minds.

You may wonder why I have such animosity against the use of LOL, ROFL, LMAO, and other internet slang. After all, it helps people communicate faster (typing “LOL” is obviously much faster than typing “Laughing Out Loud”) and makes it easier for people with big fingers to manage tiny cell-phone keyboards.

I don’t care. Call me a “H8r” if you want, but in a world overrun by acronyms, people short-cut the power and elegance of communicating, and the malaise of chatter like “LOL”, as far as I am concerned, debases language.

It is probably beside the point to note when someone uses what I consider the-brain-mush-feeder-response “LOL”, they are almost never actually laughing out loud. They are likely not laughing at all; they might be smiling, but probably nothing more. In other words, the acronym does not even mean what it is intended to mean–even the acronym is debased! (Let alone ROFL or LMAO; I have never in my life seen a person actually “rolling on the floor laughing” and I think I would be panic-stricken, terrified, and in need of an ambulance if I actually “laughed my ass off”.)

Recently, I have seen what I can only assume are mildly retarded people incite multiple LOL’s. At the end of a message exchange, for example, one might find this gem, “HA! You crack me up lol, lol, lol…”. The acronym is dumb by itself, but it seems outright stupid to repeat it as indication of something funnier than… funny? What does “lol, lol, lol” mean to its fanatics, anyway? Do these people literally laugh out loud, then stop, then laugh out loud again and stop, only to start laughing out loud yet again? A person doing so must look like a loon to whoever was watching. Is “lol, lol, lol” perhaps part of an obscure rating system? Did I get three “lol’s” out of five? Or is it 3 out of 10? I mean, how funny was my comment, according to the communication moron scale?

Is there any reason to indicate, via text, that you laughed out loud more than once?

Unless U really R a crazy loon like, say, Prince, please do not write in lazy acronyms to say what U mean. Consider this idiot speech—the lowest common denominator, the McDonald’s of communication.

If you wish to communicate, please use whole words; speak, write, or type intelligently, and actually think before spewing time-wasting chatter as I assume we are all busy people.

This could be a separate rant, but if you are on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or other social networking sites, I beg of you…do not waste limited my time of life telling me about your grocery shopping, what time you woke up, what stupid thing your kid, your parent, or your friend did today, what you ate at the bar last night, how much you exercised this morning or partied last night, pictures of your meals, etc…

Tell me something interesting about yourself or your view on life, or impart information that is likely to be useful to me in some way.

And if someone says something funny, just say, “That’s funny” or “Ha ha”—the already universally accepted annotation for laughing. I mean really, “Ha ha” is only one letter more than “Lol”. I think you can handle that; I really do. By the way, in case you were wondering, as I wrote this, I was SQTM.

Smiling Quietly To Myself.


A Martial Life


When people hear the phrase "Martial Arts", what springs to mind is usually something violent: kicking, punching, gouging, chopping, etc. The first thought is probably not of meditation, concentration,  book-study, or Philosophy. That is to say, most people focus on the "Martial" instead of the "Arts".


To be an exceptional Martial Artist, we can not have one without the other. The Martial Arts are inclined to both war ("martial") and beauty ("arts"). The inclination to war obviously lies in the fighting–martial arts were created to help people protect themselves and their families from attackers. The inclination toward beauty is in understanding martial arts does not only teach someone how to fight.


A student of nearly any fighting style will surely learn to use his or her body to its best potential. That is only part of the beauty, though. A great master ensures his students learn the Philosophy of the art, as well. It is as much a part of the training as kicking, punching, and blocking.


Martial arts teach us not only how to fight properly, but also how to live properly.


I am lucky to learn under a great Master and from my fellow students. Thanks to that and a lot of studying on my own, I see as I learn to discipline my body, I also learn to discipline my mind. This principle has a cumulative effect. When I learn to discipline my mind, I also learn to discipline my body.


Think of a basic punch. Learning to throw a proper punch disciplines the muscles required to do so. Remembering the principles of a proper punch disciplines the mind, which, in turn, makes a stronger punch and further disciplines the body, which makes it easier to concentrate on the punch, thus disciplining the mind, etc.


Through martial arts, I gain focus, patience, control, confidence, self-discipline, strength, and personal power by learning to use my body to its best potential. I retain youth, endurance, flexibility, and stamina, which I am able to apply in other areas of life. For example, I need less sleep than I did before starting Karate, and that leaves more time for studying, training, or just relaxing. I feel healthier and more alert which improves how well I do my job. I am able to be more physically active with my family and friends whereas before I avoided strenuous activities.


In Ancient times, this was called, "Sit Mens Sana in Corpore Sano"—the famous Latin phrase for "A sound mind in a sound body". It means total health is about more than physical exercise. That is why martial arts is the perfect path to fitness–physical, mental, and even spiritual fitness are available to anyone willing to learn and train. Through complete and proper studying of the martial arts (which means learning the physical elements as well as the philosophical), you benefit by getting regular exercise, learning new skills, finding new approaches to life, gaining personal power, and no doubt making deep, personal friendships along the way .


Through study and physical training, I become a Martial Philosopher as well as a Martial Artist. To me, that is a thing of beauty.