Promoting peace via sports diplomacy
G. Brundage 石龙
Updated August 4, 2021
The whole world needs to start to work together for a change to rebuild our world. We need to restore health to the world community and our ecosystems. 整个世界需要开始共同努力，以做出改变来重建我们的世界。 我们需要为国际社会和生态系统恢复健康。
I like building bridges and so I write, take photos and build internet sites. Communication and education are the best tools for social change. Towards that effort I hope you take a look at my publications page.
Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13) introduced the US Department of Peacebuilding Act of 2021 on February 18, 2021. That’s a great step forward but it may be 245 years too late. Economic polarization in “liberal” democracies was far too extreme before COVID-19, and since then has has become vastly worse. The US stands on the brink of an economic-based civil war, while simultaneously poised to start World War III. Still, obviously I whole-heartedly support Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s effort. Where there is life there is hope.
I also have traveled a lot on all continents and read a lot. This is a link to some “alternative news” sources I like reading. I don’t agree with everything all of them publish, but know I need to know more than Mainstream Media (MSM) calls “news” to have any idea about what’s really going on in the world.
Why do I write? Several reasons.
At the age of six in 1963 my family moved from the USA to Cambridge England. Every day on the playground there was a big gang fight. The cool kids were the “British,” the “losers,” the overweight, low IQ, and other “weird” kids were on the “other side,” the dreaded “Yanks” (Americans). Being the first American in that school I was automatically on the Yanks side of that big gang fight. Simultaneously very day in history classes the teachers taught about the American Revolutionary War: “And then the vicious Yankee dogs shot down the good British lads because they didn’t feel like paying taxes…” I’d never even heard of the American Revolutionary War before that. Being a real “American” (Yank) I was a special target. Every day I had to fight gangs of much bigger boys. First, I learned I don’t like bullies. That was also the beginning of my personal anti-colonial wars. I can’t count the number of times I was punched in the face and had my head literally bounced off the cement. One time walking home from school I was first hit from behind in the head, and then beaten unconscious by a gang of bigger British boys. I learned how to fight gangs that year, and that I really don’t like bullies.
In late 1968 my family moved back to the USA from a year in Madrid followed by a long tour of Europe. Right across the street from our family house was a large state university. In 1969 I started Judo classes and then a couple of years later Kung Fu Classes. Over the next 15 years I fought in more than 300 martial art tournaments including Judo, Kung Fu, Karate, Taekwondo, kickboxing, Western Fencing (epee), and some years later, Kendo and Korean traditional archery (which uses the incredibly powerful Mongolian bow).
I’ve traveled and lived in 30+ countries for about half of my life. Wherever I go I train and usually live with locals. That’s a great way to make new friends, have fun(!), and stay healthy too. That’s the good life!
When I was 14 or so I was living in the US and some people opened a “Zen house” on the other side of the block where I lived. The first time I went there they taught me how to “just sit” and how to sit properly with the pelvis tiled slightly forward on the pillow so the spine can float upright naturally. It helps to visualize a thread pulling you up from the center of the “cow-lick” on your head. With proper alignment the spine just floats up!
It seemed strange at first, but over time it became a regular thing for me. At age15 or 16 I had a Chinese friend named Chin Lin who was a graduate student in Engineering. He told me I needed to study medicine, because a martial artist that does not study medicine is not complete. He also introduced me to Tao of Tea. Ever since then I have studied medicine, including most of the undergraduate university classes taken by medical students, and Chinese traditional medicine. In the late 1970s and 1980s I did grocery shopping at a natural foods store and got a free vegetarian meal by doing a few hours of volunteer work every week. That’s when I started learning about healthy eating and herbal medicines.
I’ve continued that approach to healthy natural foods and study of traditional medicines in many countries, including here in China. I built a small site about Chinese Traditional medicine that can be found here. Also I took a three month class in acupuncture at a university in downtown Beijing. I’m not licensed to treat anyone, but am qualified to relieve some pains I occasionally have by needling. I truly believe it made chronic knee pain I had for years go away.
Maybe the greatest medicine is having good human relationships and I’ve been lucky in that regards during my life wherever I live. I have always been an advocate for peace, with self-determination and honor. I have never advocated for violence, however will fight in self-defense if there is no peaceful option and there almost always is, if one is creative enough. But, tragically, not always.
What happens to a culture wherein advocating for peace is viewed as an act of war against the political establishment? I recently wrote to a friend in the US suggesting I might visit. He wrote back: “Your anti-American posts have brought you some unwanted attention from various authorities. The mood of the American people are hostile towards the views that you have been presenting.” So I salute Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s efforts to start a Department of Peacebuilding. She’s stepping up into the direct path of a trillion dollar war machine, and that is not a comfortable place to be, as I well know.
Excellence in professional endeavors, including sports and martial arts has to be a way of life or those efforts will be weak. Mostly it’s about self-discipline. In martial arts that means regular training, a healthy diet and clean living. In sparring and competition that means controlling the timing, being sensitive to the “micro-tells” of opponents (except for masters who don’t have any), speed, clean precise techniques, sharp perfectly timed combinations, knowing a thousand tricks, flexibility, strength and so on. Likewise in business one must be attuned to the news and subtle fluctuations in various related markets to know what and when to buy and sell.
Even more important is having a healthy mind that is not fixated on “things” that narrow perceptions. To have a healthy mind one needs healthy relationships. To finish this front page I offer a link to a great YouTube video that teaches something critically important about good relationships.