"In the days of the yellow emperor, men were made of jade."

Wall Art, National China Museum in Taipei, Taiwan

One of the biggest screw-ups of the modern world is the loss of the family structure and the strength of the father to lead the family through good and bad times. The old days had their problems, plenty of them, but at least you could count on the men around you and you could count on yourself. These days women are lucky if their men even stick around for the pregnancy, let alone the responsibility of the family. Men have lost their traditional leadership role in the family hierarchy for various reasons. The result of this messed up new hierarchy is ever weaker men, wives who don’t respect their husbands, and children who see their fathers as little more than mobile ATMs…if he’s around at all.

The solution to this mess is to go back to the basics of what family actually is supposed to be: a solid unit of people you can count on in good and bad times and against all odds. Led by a strong and capable leader. That is a family, a tribe, a clan, a team of like-minded people who share culture, language, religion and bloodlines and help each other survive in the world. Such a unit must have a strong, capable leader. That leader is you. And tribal engineering will ensure that you can properly set up such a martial family-tribe around you that can be relied on when all hell breaks loose. I’m alive today because of that network I set up years ago…it’s not as hard as you think. You just have to realize the value of the family-tribe and then how to actually put it in place.

Firstly, choose friends that share the same values as you do. Accepting someone as a friend is like accepting a wife: shared values, common interests, mutual respect, willingness to help each other through good and bad times. If you choose a friend because their cool or have a nice car, you’re making a stupid mistake you’ll regret a thousand times before it ever pays dividends. The term “friend” has always carried a lot of responsibility in traditional society and was rarely given away cheaply. A “friend” is not any clown who rocks up at your table. A friend is a carefully chosen investment. And if it don’t make dollars, it don’t make sense. Choose wisely or pay the price.

Secondly, everyone is a distant acquaintance until they prove themselves worthy of the friend title. All that Facebook shit of 1000 friends and counting is just that, shit. Cheaply bought nobility. The 1000 friend Facebook page is what people use to make themselves feel good. In actuality, you have less real friends than you have fingers, and it only takes one rogue digit to gouge your eye out. So build your tribe slowly and cautiously. Target the kind of people who you think will be useful for your tribe and a benefit to the whole, not just some Rambos who can pull off amazing lone stunts. Think for the tribe and not just you. And give the noble title of “friend” to those who deserve such status and have proved their loyalty.

Thirdly, make yourself into a person who is beneficial for others to want to be with. One of the main characteristics of respected tribes of old was their dedication to improving themselves. If you’re a lazy crocodile who does nothing else save watch football and drink cheap beer, the chances of getting anyone close to you is slim. Do things that make you unique and interesting, strong and leader-like, knowledgeable and wise. People are drawn to those types of individuals and you have to fashion yourself into one of them. What you want to attract is like-minded, intelligent and strong people, not mindless worker drones. Be careful and focus on building a functional tribal network, not a cult. In order to do that you have to be able to deliver value to your potential friends and tribe members so they feel it’s a great bargain to be close to you. Remember, if it don’t make dollars, it don’t make sense…that goes both ways. My father used to tell me, “Make money for others and have them make money for you”. You must be able to deliver value to attract quality talent to your team.

Fourthly, create a clear mission and values that support that mission so other people have an opportunity to buy into it. Humans need a reason, a target, an objective, something that will pull them together and make them fight. If you want to build your family-tribe you must find something that can engage like-minded people. Traditionally, tribes used survival against their closest enemies, martial arts training, etc. In Japan, modern companies use tribe-building techniques in their team building training. I met a gentleman the other day who went to Kyoto on a business trip, came back to Yokohama before midnight, and went straight to his office to sleep. When I questioned him why he didn’t go home, he told me he was so tired that he feared not being able to wake up on time to go to work the next morning. That type of dedication is built into people by design. It’s not an accident and it’s not normal. It’s building on the natural human desire to have a mission and a goal in life that is bigger than oneself. If you can create a mission for people you will be able to find people who want to share that mission. It might take time, but as the old marketing slogan goes, “Build it and they will come.”

Fifthly, involve your family-tribe as much as possible in everything that you do. Your reason for getting up and struggling every day is for them, right? It’s for your wife or wives, right? To give them a better life and future, right? So involve them in your activities and in your decision-making process. Decisions have always been made through a group of wise people and finalized through a single leader. Involve your family-tribe in big and small issues, listen to their opinions, weigh the consequences and benefits and make a final decision that is binding on the group. Right or wrong you command the family, and a wrong decision is always better than no decision at all. The most worthless man is the one who is incapable of action, not the one who fails while trying to act. The latter is forgiven and the former is cursed for his unmanliness.

The whole concept of martial tribal engineering is critical for establishing strong family-based networks that help each other ahead in the world. We’ve experimented with soft-hearted approaches to family leadership by metrosexual men who Snapchat their daughters to ask for advice on shoes and coffee shops. It doesn’t work. The world is vicious and it’s not going to get any nicer. So train yourself and your family to be strong in mind, body, and spirit. Set a clear mission for what you believe to be important in life and build your martial tribe-family to share that mission. You will feel stronger, more fulfilled and dedicated to your family and friends. And they, in turn, will respect you as a leader of the household, father, husband, and friend.

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