The Essentials

Martial artists are taught how to defend themselves. Perhaps the most famous awareness tip is to “be aware of your surroundings.”

The monastery, whose lineage is descended from the martial arts, has a few additional daily tips, distilled from centuries of martial arts teachings.

1. Compete with no one except yourself.
2. Be aware of your surroundings.
3. If you are surrounded, relax.
4. Abide. Your surroundings will want to imitate you. That’s nature.
5. Self defense? The main thing you have to defend against is yourself.

It’s pretty easy to change the world, but it gets harder when you try to improve it. We’re not out to change the world, except by first improving ourselves. This is a softer, more supple approach. Far more manageable and do-able. Generally speaking, force doesn’t work too well when it comes to improving the world.

The more meaningful goal is one in which we learn to be more effective, as human beings, in our everyday life, relationships and circumstances. It’s one thing to tuck away in a monastic cave and sort through deeper inner challenges, experiences and meanings. But it’s another thing altogether to learn to do that in everyday life. In some ways, that's a significant order of magnitude more challenging.

We are the monks and nuns of everyday life.

The concept of applying monastic principles and approaches within the context of everyday life may appeal to you. If so, you may consider reframing your life path to allow room to be an everyday monk or nun. As defined by you.


Some monasteries are associated with martial arts. The monastery observes that tradition in three ways:

  1. We share training experiences as well as lessons learned along the way. We like to share stories about how martial arts philosophies and its practical, related approaches can make a difference in everyday life, much like when adventurers find themselves sharing trail secrets while sitting around a comforting campfire at night. We include experiences and lessons from traditions that are not based in the martial arts.
  2. We write, organize, collect, archive and make available important essays and work that’s an outcome of martial arts principles and esoteric realizations. Related poetry, essays and other work that is not necessarily from the martial arts is openly welcomed and advocated.
  3. We offer a form of informal, everyday life Jiu Jitsu to the Dudeist religion. Our Dude-Jitsu School of Self Defense is a resource to over 450,000 priests worldwide.

To the best of our knowledge, The Little Creek Monastery is the only monastery in existence that is based on a Jiu Jitsu heritage.

The monastery is in each of us.

Martial arts has a unique way of forming and molding us, ranging from improved physical and mental health and flexibility, to helping sharpen or focus our minds, to providing us with highly skillful mindfulness training, to giving us the courage to relax and remain equally calm when facing both life and death.

“To pray is to descend with the mind into the heart, and there to stand before the face of the Lord, ever-present, all seeing, within you.” — Theophan the Recluse