The Real Message Behind the Movie Avatar…

Recently myself and a few other students went to see the movie Avatar over the Holiday’s, to say the least it was an incredible visual and auditory experience for the senses. I have to admit that bar none it is the best movie that I have seen to date and believe me I have seen plenty over the years. I highly recommend it and If you haven’t seen it don’t wait any longer.

The story is a powerful and moving one with several environmental undertones that are sure to strike a cord.

WARNING: If you haven’t seen the movie yet, you might want to wait to read this post!

Note: This article and picture are courtesy of Chris Feldt of the New Way Network.

The jaw-dropping special effects, 12-year production process, and massive budget for James Cameron’s Avatar may be the qualities that are at the front of your mind while you’re watching the film, but don’t let the look and feel of the film distract you from its environmental message. Cameron has been frank about his intent to make the film a sort of green parable, highlighting his own eco morals—he and his wife live on a solar-powered ranch in Santa Barbara—while creating a story and film that get the point across. Here’s what should stick with you even after the credits roll. (Note: the information here is from other articles and reviews, but there are some minor spoilers.)

Climate change isn’t the only issue.

Most of the movie takes place on an exomoon known as Pandora, where a team from Earth has been sent to mine a resource said to help with the planet’s energy issues. But while Cameron acknowledges the danger of global warming, he believes there’s more to environmental responsibility: “Science is unable to keep up with our industrial society. We are destroying species faster than we can classify them. We are destroying the food chain faster than we can understand it. The politicians are over in Copenhagen talking about climate change…but there are other issues as well,” he told The Sun.

Respect Mother Nature.

Pandora is home to a race of blue aliens known as the Na’vi, who place a huge premium on having a positive relationship with nature; by contrast, the Americans who travel to the planet are trying to take advantage of Pandora’s resources to fix the problems they’ve created on Earth. An ex-Marine becomes a liaison between the Na’vi and the American team, and then deals with the way both worlds collide—and the way they think differently. The Na’vi are clearly meant to be the “good guys,” and their respect for their environment plays a big part in that.

Respect the Earth.

Though they sound similar, this isn’t exactly the same as respecting nature; here, the lesson has more to do with resource management. It’s easy to see Avatar as a cautionary tale—a look at how things could be in the 22nd century if we aren’t more careful with the resources the Earth provides now. But once we’ve used up everything here, who’s to say this elusive replacement mineral will really exist on another planet?

Environmental issues aren’t always so simple.

In the movies—almost all movies—it’s easy to tell who’s the bad guy and who’s the good guy, but when it comes to real environmental debates, it’s not always so simple. As Michael said over on TreeHugger, even oil companies aren’t always as villainous as they’re made out to be, since “fundamentally, the reason why those companies are producing 80-something million barrels of oil each day is because most people have cars and drive around, and buy products that have been shipped from far away, etc.”

By Blythe Copeland
Great Neck, NY, USA | Wed Dec 30, 2009 08:00 AM ET
Planet Green

For Planet Greens Website…CLICK HERE


Are you ready to Live Like a Champion in 2010?…

An inspirational message from Master Tom Callos as he starts his “Live Like a Champion Project” in 2010.

The Live Like a Champion Project, with my friend, student, and now coach, BJ Penn, begins January 1, 2010 –that is, in just a few days. The concept behind the project is, of course, to live like a champion –and to do it for a solid year; as if we were getting ready for the Olympics or our own World Championships or, as this is a version of The Ultimate Black Belt Test, for our own black belt rank-test.

Now let me explain why this is an important undertaking and why it could quite possibly be a model for all of your belt tests, for your philosophy and approach to studying and teaching the martial arts, and for every year you live.

On a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being the best possible rating, what kind of life do you want to live? At what “level” do you hope to appreciate your loved ones? Your health? The preciousness of each moment? How about the taste of a carefully prepared meal, the softness of a bed, the joy of a sunrise, the feeling of being in love, the symphony, the run, the great book, and the feeling of a newborn baby in your arms?

On a scale from 1 to 10, when it’s all over –and it will all be over someday –how aware do you want to have been?

To be a champion, like BJ Penn for example, you must know how to prepare yourself; then you must know how to step into that ring, on that day, and perform at your peak, despite the obstacles and despite the fear. That one day can shape an athletes life. Hours and hours of preparation, pain, sweat, and effort –all to perform at “level 10” on that amazing day and for a very short period of time.

So, let me ask you: What is more important? Your life and each day you have –or the World Championships? And do you want to live at your very best, your most aware, on one given day in the future –or would you like to be a champion of life, of the here and now?

Living at level 10 –that is living like a champion.

As a teacher and practitioner of the martial arts, “The Arts of Self-Defense,” I must ask you which of these two things are a bigger threat:

—-The bully; the masked assailant; the attacker; the opponent, or;

—-Living, day-to-day, without an appreciation and/or an awareness of just how precious and fleeting life is?

To live like a champion is to work at living fully –fully aware, fully appreciative, fully engaged, fully connected, and living, now. If you have a goal that compels you, if you have a mission, if you have something worth paying attention to, worth “putting your energy into,” isn’t it your own life?
So many people live –but don’t really LIVE; so The Live Like a Champion Project is a “new” approach to being a martial artist –and a martial arts teacher. It suggests that the work is for now, for this moment, and this moment, and this moment. We train for our health, for those we love, to fulfill our potential, to appreciate our gifts, to cultivate a life lived at level 10.

This is a kind of self-defense training that just might be worth the money charged for the lessons. This is the kind of training that might just save your life.

I Don’t Know What Will Happen.

I don’t know what’s going to happen in The Live Like a Champion Project. I don’t know how hard it will be to get members to apply themselves to their own training? But I do know, as a teacher, that I intend to make “the lesson plan” about LIFE. We may do a lot of push-ups, fight a lot of rounds, pay close attention to 1000 meals, engage in a 1000 acts of kindness, and do 1000 community projects, but in the end it’s all about living somewhere near our potential as human beings. It’ll be about kicking our own asses out of “the comfort zone,” and living with gusto, with courage and goals and passion.

Go ahead, wake me up every morning with a bugle! Slap me once at breakfast to remind me to pay attention. Stop me if I don’t comment on the color of the sky or the feeling of your hand or the taste of my food or of the pleasure of putting on my uniform and stepping onto the mat.

Bring me a list of people who have really lived; let me surround myself with people who served, who understood, who tackled projects that caused them to stretch and groan and stumble under the weight of it all. Pinch me, no, SLUG ME –if I let another day go by living in a coma of complacency.

I’m not ready to die while I’m still alive. I’m going to LIVE like a champion –and die trying.

I’m glad you’re here to live too.

This year we begin our practice anew. This year we start again and again and again. This year, a year that will never repeat itself, we’ll seek to live in a way that shows respect for ourselves and others. We’ll engage, we’ll try, we’ll pay attention, we’ll get up off the couch, out of the office, off of the mat, and we’ll LIVE.

Now how’s that for a World Championship?

Tom Callos

What the experts are saying about Martial Arts…

I recommend sending children to a good martial arts school
to increase their focus, to get them to concentrate better, and
to gain more self-control

— World renowned child psychologist
Dr. Ruth Peters (featured on Oprah Winfrey Show, Good Morning America,
CBS Good Morning, NBC’s Today, CNN Morning News, and MSNBC.)

“Children reap numerous benefits from martial art training.
With progressive training, children become more enthusiastic,
optimistic, and self-reliant.”

–Dr. Mary Kurian, child development

“It has been found that girls who train in Taekwondo feel
better about themselves physically, personally, and socially.”

— Harvard Medical School study.

“Carleton University found that children in martial arts
have a lower level of anxiety; an increased sense of
responsibility; a decrease in the willingness to take foolish
risks; a higher sense of self-esteem; and a higher level of
social intelligence”.

— Psychology Today

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The POWerful Word for December is…Open Mindedness