Unleash the Power of Your Ultimate Potential
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Ultimate Potential“Ever since I was a child I have had this instinctive urge for expansion and growth. To me, the function and duty of a quality human being is the sincere and honest development of one’s potential.”
Bruce Lee

History has a strange way of repeating itself and so I find myself in a similar situation today that I’ve faced in the past. I’ve come a long way since those early days of teenage rebelliousness and angst, but I’m still not living the life I imagined for myself.

Please don’t misunderstand me, I’m living a great life and am very grateful for the many blessings that have come my way.

  •  I’m grateful to work for a growing and generous financial planning firm.

  • I’m grateful for my loving and supporting parents, friends and family.

  • I’m grateful to own my own home with heat, a/c and running water.

  • I’m grateful for the healthy organic food that nourishes and builds my body.

  • I’m grateful for my freedom and ability to live my life as I desire.

  • I’m grateful for the insights, lessons and wisdom I hope to share with you.

  • I’m grateful just to be alive in this time of global awakening and transformation

I know there are millions of less fortunate people who would be happy to trade places with me in a heartbeat.

Whenever I feel like I want more money, more toys, more fun times, MORE… MORE… MORE… I often think of them and how I’m already living like a king compared to the daily reality that many must face.

This gnawing feeling in my gut is NOT so much about the ‘riches of life’ as it is about the ‘richness of life’ … of fulfilling my calling, purpose and mission.

It’s just that, deep down inside, I know there’s more for me to do, experience, and fulfill in this lifetime than the level at which I’m currently living. I have big dreams for my life, yet for some reason I’m not living up to my ultimate potential.

Can you relate?

What it really comes down to is that I’m NOT going after my goals aggressively enough. I know there are things I’m supposed to be doing (like putting my heart and soul into this website) and yet I’m not doing them with consistency and urgency!!!

Something is holding me back…

Down to the Cross Roads

I’m kneeling down at the cross roads again. I’m not here to make a deal with the devil, but rather to choose a path and stay on the fucking thing. To do what I came here to do!

Now, I can walk the path that so many of us follow, which I will call the Curse of the Sleepwalkers. This is an unconscious path. A path of mediocrity, of blindly following the herd, of giving in to doubt or fear, and succumbing to a life that is not the one truly desired… rather the one we often settle for.

Or I can choose another path, what I will call the conscious path or the path of the enlightened…

“This is the Path of the Awakened Warriors, of being your own man or woman and living consciously, of kicking fear and doubt in the face and embracing courage and confidence. This is the path of self-evolution, of following your heart, speaking your truth, and living the life you’ve imagined for yourself.”

 

Path of the Awakened

“Follow the Path with Heart”

Truth be told, I’ve started down the path of the awakened several times… and I’ve often fallen asleep on the quest. In doing so, I failed to fully commit to the journey.

When you lose consciousness and focus in this manner you will typically lose your way, hopefully only temporarily. At some point, you’ll suddenly be startled awake, only to realize that you have wandered off the path and are now lost in the woods.

At this point you can either give in and set up camp “mediocrity” or decide to get back on the path and keep walking until you reach the majestic summit.

Well, I can no longer meander aimlessly in the woods. I must choose a path and consciously follow it to where it leads. There’s really not much of a choice to be made for me, actually just the vow and the valor to walk down the path least followed.

I’ve already chosen the Path of the Awakened Warriors (or rather it chose me.) This is about walking it, living it… embracing it fully and following it to wherever it may lead.

As a matter of fact, since you happen to be here reading this… maybe this path has chosen you as well?!?!? Could it be an act of fate that brought you to this site (out of all of the millions of other websites on the interwebz?)

If so, I’d welcome your company on the journey! 🙂

Whatever the case may be for you, my friend, just know that this path is not the easiest path. That’s for sure! It’s fraught with difficulty, rough terrain, and obstacles the average sleepwalker is too afraid to encounter. After all, that is why it is the path least followed.

If it were easy… we would all unleash our ultimate potential!

That’s why, before we set out upon this path together, we must go through physical and mental training.

No one becomes a warrior without first going through a period of preparation to strengthen their body and toughen their mind. It would be foolish to embark upon this journey without first arming ourselves both physically and mentally.

For many, this training often becomes the path… and so this is where we MUST begin!


Body Mind Mastery and the Way of the Warrior

Bushido Kanji

Bushido: the Way of the Warrior

Our ultimate goal for this blog is to create a tribe of Awakened Warriors that are following an enlightened path to strength, vitality and personal growth.

I’m talking about taking full responsibility for every area of your life… physically, mentally, spiritually, personally, socially and financially.

At the end of the day, we want YOU to achieve your highest potential in life! We want you to enjoy the process of pushing beyond your comfort zone to become (as one of my mentors Chris McCombs would say) the “happiest, coolest, ideal version” of yourself.

Mastering your body and your mind is the first step AND THE KEY to creating the reality you wish to experience.

Seriously, think about it!

“There’s only two things which you have ultimate control over in this world… your mind and your body. That is to say your thoughts and your behavior. You have no direct control or influence over anything else in the universe except through your own consciousness.”



The more you tap into the creative power of your own consciousness, the more influence you’ll have to shape your life the way you want it.

On the other hand, if you give your power away by believing that you are subject to the whims of fate and influence of everyone else… your life will spiral out of control.

Realize that your body is nothing more than a temporary vehicle or avatar through which you may navigate the hills and valleys of the physical world in which we live. Your mind is the engine, creative fuel and raw torque that drives this vehicle forward to wherever you want to go.

The mind leads the body… without it… the body is just a lifeless pile of bones, blood and flesh.

This is why we must incorporate training which strengthens and nourishes both our bodies and our minds. We must take full possession of them and cultivate them into a vehicle that will carry our grandest dreams into being.

About a decade ago my brother, Cory, gave me a book called “The Way of Aikido” and I became highly interested in this popular Japanese martial art.

By reading the book I learned that Aikido is also known as the Art of Non-Resistance and utilizes this universal principle to turn an  attacker’s own force and momentum against him.

“The law of non-resistance teaches that whenever you resist some situation, you are giving more power to it. In this way you make the problem increasingly harder to solve.” – Simona Rich



It has been said that water is the most powerful element, because it is perfectly nonresistant. It can wear away a mountain, and sweep away all that stands before it.

In Aikido there are no attacks, only defensive techniques. So when attacked, the Aikidoka (student of Aikido) doesn’t resist it. Instead, he accepts it fully, blends with it and redirects the energy of the attack into either a projection (throw) or submission (pin.)

Morihei Ueshiba

Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of Aikido was often referred to as O’Sensei (Great Teacher)

A man named Morihei Ueshiba was the founder and creator of this unique and impressive martial art.

After mastering the classical styles of Judo, Kendo, and Jujitsu he created Aikido in correlation with his spiritual philosophy.

In Aikido, one uses throws, joint locks, and pins to subdue an attacker in a nonviolent way.

Morihei developed his “Art of Non-Resistance” as a way to cultivate peace and harmony in the world. He is now renowned as one of the greatest martial artists of all time.

In his written teachings Morihei Ueshiba states that, “The Way of a Warrior cannot be encompassed by words or in letters: Grasp the essence and move on toward realization! The purpose of training is to tighten up the slack, toughen the body, and polish the spirit.”

He then goes on to explain that, “Iron is full of impurities that weaken it; through forging, it becomes steel and is transformed into a razor-sharp sword. Human beings develop in the same fashion.”

I’ve read many books about Aikido and Morihei Ueshiba  and even trained at a Dojo for a couple years. I would love to get back into it and hope to make that a reality soon.

Even though I don’t train in Aikido specifically at the moment, the philosophy of Aikido and the principle of Non-Resistance is alive and well in me. I practice them daily and they have had a PROFOUND IMPACT on who I am as person.

So much so, that even this website has been touched and shaped by the influence of this amazing martial art. In fact, I would go so far as to say that Morhei Ueshiba is the perfect embodiment of a true Awakened Warrior.

The Potential of the Awakened Warriors

Now just because I’m not currently practicing in an Aikido Dojo doesn’t mean I haven’t been training my body and my mind. In fact, I’ve been doing so before I even knew what Aikido was.

Van Damme

I still have that knife from Cyborg, it is a Khukuri or “Gurkha blade”

When we were young teenagers, my brother and I both enrolled in Tae Kwon Do after becoming obsessed with Van Damme and Steven Seagal action movies! haha…

We studied TKD for five years and developed a pretty good foundation for martial arts and self-defense.

Unfortunately, we lost interest in the art after switching instructors and dojos, so we ended up quitting right before our black belt test. Doh!

Instead we picked up guitars and dreamed of starting a rock band. I guess it was time for a change! So we focused on music for many years.

In college I finally got fed up with being a skinny lil’ bastard and started lifting weights again. I made it my mission to gain some muscle and transform my body.

“Little did I know that I was an ectomorph and a hardgainer (which means I don’t pack on muscle easily) so my results were dismal at first.”


It took many years of trial and error and studying the teachings of some of the top strength coaches in the world to learn the Muscle Gaining Secrets that helped me pack on over 42 pounds of lean mass naturally.

 

Body Transformation

My muscle-building transformation from 130 pounds to 172 pounds didn’t happen overnight

 

It was during that time that I learned of Aikido, the law of Non-resistance and began practicing daily meditation. I also became highly intrigued by the Eastern philosophies of Zen Buddhism and the Tao Te Ching.

My thinking has evolved ALOT since I first began bodybuilding! No longer are my physique goals purely about the vain sake of building huge, “all show and no go” muscles.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that, I just want my training to serve a greater purpose than simply building an aesthetically pleasing body.

These days my training is about consistently and progressively developing the body and the mind so that I may achieve Body/Mind Mastery and Unleash the Power of My Ultimate Potential.

Although, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to look good naked too!  :mrgreen:

My Purpose with this Website is to Create a Hybrid Method of Training.

A training philosophy that combines the best of both Eastern and Western modalities to refine the body, mind and spirit into a unified whole. It will also utilize techniques from a variety of physical disciplines such as bodybuilding, gymnastics and martial arts.

Awakened Warrior Training is designed to build functional strength, increase athleticism and promote mental sharpness, toughness and enlightenment.

“Like Aikido, the essential point of training as an Awakened Warrior, is to forge and sharpen the sword that is YOU! A jaw-dropping physique is just going to be a natural and lovely side-effect of following the Awakened Warriors Training Methods!”



This system will integrate a variety of disciplines to achieve this purpose:

Bodyweight, Rings, Free Weights, and Martial Arts training will be used to build muscle, strength, and simultaneously transform the body into both a weapon and a work of art.

Recovery Tactics such as Self-Myofascial Release, Mobility and Stretching will help to increase recovery ability, tissue quality and joint integrity, while having the added benefit of injury prevention and pain reduction.

Cutting-Edge Nutrition and Supplement Strategies will provide the essential nutrients and building blocks through which health, vitality and overall well-being will radiate from every cell of the body.

Techniques from Aikido, Tai Chi, Yoga and other eastern wisdom traditions are incorporated to develop the inner warrior, heal the body-mind and cultivate Chi (life-energy.)

Daily Meditation, Self-Hypnosis and Visualization will be included to promote mindfulness, harness the power of the subconscious mind and eradicate any negative or limiting core beliefs that may be holding you back from your goals.



As I see it, this is the future of health and fitness and we will be breaking new ground by utilizing such a holistic method of training.

Of course, in order for us to bring such a training method into being we’ve got to start taking MASSIVE ACTION towards this goal. Luckily, I’ve already begun and it all starts with healing my body.

Warrior Pose

Work with your body and never against it

You see I’ve been training for over a decade and due to some carelessness on my part, as well as, pushing my body harder than I should have over the years… I am dealing with some injuries to my shoulder tendons and rotator cuff muscles. Also the adductor muscles in my left leg.

It has been a long, frustrating process for me over the past couple years. Even so, I’ve come to see these injuries as a blessing and part of the learning process.

Such adversity can teach you valuable life lessons if you look for the opportunity within them.

Because of my injuries I have learned a lot about anatomy and how the musculoskeletal system works.

I’ve had to rethink my training methods and seek out the knowledge and expertise of the best strength coaches.

I even decided to start over from ground zero in an effort to relearn the movement patterns, correct weaknesses and imbalances and give my body the extra time it needs to properly heal.

Further, I’ve learned TONS of corrective and preventative exercises that work to achieve muscular balance, restore proper functioning and help alleviate the pain and symptoms of sports related injuries.

As a result of these injuries I’ve become a lot more knowledgeable about these topics.

“The biggest and most important lesson I’ve learned is the necessity to work with your body instead of against it, to become more in-tune with it and listen to the subtle ways that it communicates with you.”



My focus for the next few months is to apply everything I know about healing the body and restoring its ability to function at a higher level so I can get back to training like an Awakened Warrior.

As I continue to heal my body, I’ll be documenting the training programs and modalities that I am using to correct my injuries, weak points and regain my athleticism.

This also gives me the opportunity to explain how one may begin training correctly from the start and avoid the MANY mistakes and pitfalls I’ve made. Hopefully, this will allow you to reach a higher level of progress and success without the set backs.

I wish you the best, thank you for reading and am looking forward to sharing this journey and the lessons I’ve learned with you!

 

 

About Brandon Cook

Brandon Cook is the founder of Awakened Warriors.com, a website with the sole-purpose of helping one million people Unleash the Power of Their Ultimate Potential. Brandon has been studying the principles of success, philosophy, optimal nutrition and strength training for almost two decades. Additionally, he has a bachelors degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Banking and Finance. Brandon has worked for one of North Carolina's premier Financial Planning and Wealth Management Firms for twelve years. His main hobbies and passions include singing and playing the guitar, motorcycles, martial arts, and exploring the great outdoors.

Comments

Unleash the Power of Your Ultimate Potential — 2 Comments

  1. Best exercise of all is walking. Walk my friend, and keep on walking for the rest of your life.

    Nurture your body and mind, don’t over do it, and use your subconscious to heal any collateral physical or mental damage accrued along the way.

    • Doesn’t get more functional then walking! You’re right it’s great exercise and one that most people can put into practice immediately. Having two dogs has definitely helped make walking/hiking a daily habit for me. Take care and walk on! 😉

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