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Scott Koban has lived an unusual life. After spending a total of two months inside psychiatric facilities – one in Arizona and one in Illinois ('one of the scariest places on earth') he sought healing from within Apache prayer wheels six thousand feet up in the mountains. To strengthen himself he fought Indian Reservation fires and trained for years under sensei Shojiro Koyama - often bare-foot in the desert. He once sparred on the decks of the QE2 in a mid-Atlantic storm.
     He is familiar with war zones and conflict: WARCHILD sent him to Bosnia to work for Pavarotti. Laima Vaikule (the Russian star) sent him to Moscow to design her rock concert next to the Kremlin. ('Thugs from Chechnya with thick necks were all over the place').

      Scott on survival. 'Ideally self-defense starts before you even leave your home. Why am I going to that place at that time wearing these clothes. With these people.
      I've never used what I've learnt from my Japanese sensei and I hope I never have to. If I have to defend my life or the life of someone I love then something in me will take over and my darkness - which we all have - will for a brief moment mingle with my training. Hopefully we will be alive afterwards. But this is a last resort. Don't be there in the first place if possible.
      Like a lot of people I deal with demons on a daily basis. What to do. Meditate and become Buddhist? No good unless I clear the crap out first. No point putting a blanket of 'peace' over the abyss.
      One option: turn darkness into light. The only option.
      My agent Crow knows that to be an effective operator - who never uses a gun - he has to turn his own darkness (his addiction to guns) into something more than light: into something formidable. Something the targets fear more than anything: the unknown.
      In the field the greatest threat to Crow's life is his own ego. I was once met at Split airport by a big muscled British soldier who took us into Bosnia. He gave our passports to armed border guards. Then started to argue with them. He was showing off because of his military status. I had to talk him down to avoid conflict. I told him they had our passports. And guns. Which we didn't. Because of his macho crap we were refused entry into Bosnia. We had to try another border entry. I briefed him on how to behave at the next border. Offer a cigarette and smile. But he was still too cocky. Had to wait for someone to come and get us. Tough is not only about muscle. I don't punch my hands into tubs of rice or do flying kicks but people sometimes say 'I wouldn't mess with him'. Training with my sensei has changed the way I walk. Maybe that's it. Whatever it is it comes from the inner world. Not the outer one. The inner one is where you go to sort out the difficult stuff.
      I heard about a Japanese house which was made of wood. A guest was woken early in the morning because he could feel the whole house trembling slightly. Thinking it might be a mild earthquake he got up and went downstairs. He found an eighty-year old man leaning against the central wooden pillar of the house. He was using some kind of internal martial art and the whole house was vibrating. That is real power. Humility is also power. I've watched my sensei for years. He's the embodiment of humility. Poetry in motion. Seventy and deadly.
      I'm tired with violent films. I won't watch a movie if the poster shows a gun. There's enough violence in the 'real world'. And it's escalating. Because of the numbers. So there's a battle between dark and light at the moment. I believe light will win. I want to believe that because that's what I've had to believe for myself.'