Please take a look at Articles on self-defense/conflict/violence for introductions to the references found in the bibliography page.

Please take a look at my bibliography if you do not see a proper reference to a post.

Please take a look at my Notable Quotes

When you begin to feel like you are a tough guy, a warrior, a master of the martial arts or that you have lived a tough life, just take a moment and get some perspective with the following:

I've stopped knives that were coming to disembowel me

I've clawed for my gun while bullets ripped past me

I've dodged as someone tried to put an ax in my skull

I've fought screaming steel and left rubber on the road to avoid death

I've clawed broken glass out of my body after their opening attack failed

I've spit blood and body parts and broke strangle holds before gouging eyes

I've charged into fires, fought through blizzards and run from tornados

I've survived being hunted by gangs, killers and contract killers

The streets were my home, I hunted in the night and was hunted in turn

Please don't brag to me that you're a survivor because someone hit you. And don't tell me how 'tough' you are because of your training. As much as I've been through I know people who have survived much, much worse. - Marc MacYoung


The postings on this blog are my interpretation of readings, studies and experiences therefore errors and omissions are mine and mine alone. The content surrounding the extracts of books, see bibliography on this blog site, are also mine and mine alone therefore errors and omissions are also mine and mine alone and therefore why I highly recommended one read, study, research and fact find the material for clarity. My effort here is self-clarity toward a fuller understanding of the subject matter. See the bibliography for information on the books. Please make note that this article/post is my personal analysis of the subject and the information used was chosen or picked by me. It is not an analysis piece because it lacks complete and comprehensive research, it was not adequately and completely investigated and it is not balanced, i.e., it is my personal view without the views of others including subject experts, etc. Look at this as “Infotainment rather then expert research.” This is an opinion/editorial article/post meant to persuade the reader to think, decide and accept or reject my premise. It is an attempt to cause change or reinforce attitudes, beliefs and values as they apply to martial arts and/or self-defense. It is merely a commentary on the subject in the particular article presented.

Note: I will endevor to provide a bibliography and italicize any direct quotes from the materials I use for this blog. If there are mistakes, errors, and/or omissions, I take full responsibility for them as they are mine and mine alone. If you find any mistakes, errors, and/or omissions please comment and let me know along with the correct information and/or sources.

“What you are reading right now is a blog. It’s written and posted by me, because I want to. I get no financial remuneration for writing it. I don’t have to meet anyone’s criteria in order to post it. Not only I don’t have an employer or publisher, but I’m not even constrained by having to please an audience. If people won’t like it, they won’t read it, but I won’t lose anything by it. Provided I don’t break any laws (libel, incitement to violence, etc.), I can post whatever I want. This means that I can write openly and honestly, however controversial my opinions may be. It also means that I could write total bullshit; there is no quality control. I could be biased. I could be insane. I could be trolling. … not all sources are equivalent, and all sources have their pros and cons. These needs to be taken into account when evaluating information, and all information should be evaluated. - God’s Bastard, Sourcing Sources

“All I say is by way of discourse, and nothing by way of advice. I should not speak so boldly if it were my due to be believed.” - Montaigne

Repetitive Practice - the concept …

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What is, “Technical Repetition?” How can its practice, depending on the definition, be with depth through bunkai? Does the ratio of tech rep and in-depth bunkai matter? These are the questions I was able to derive from the following quote from a group member on FaceBook.

“Is it ever appropriate to practice kata in technical repetition only? Must it always be with in depth Bunkai? What would you advice as do ratio between the two? Thoughts?” - on FB Group Wall

The thread’s responses from other practitioners tended toward a particular view or perspective of that individual often stimulated by one part of the entire quotation. One said, “90% technical repetition and 10% bunkai.” The problem with that assessment is it didn’t contain any in-depth explanation as if the reader should, could and would fully and completely understand. Then some actually added in some atomistic particulars that probably spun up out of the depth of memory by the human pension toward what is termed as, “Automatic Thoughts.” AT is about background assumptions about oneself and the people in one’s life that reflect their deepest emotional attitudes. In this example I mean, “The background assumptions about how that person trains, practices and understands martial arts from a distinct and personal belief and viewpoint as it is derived from practice and training with their Sensei and within their dojo - a micro-environment that holds a very narrow perspective on the system or style involved.” 

Yet, the actual full and comprehensive answers to the open ended question remains hidden behind the automatic thought process of relationship thoughts as to technical repetition and in-depth bunkai of which both are not explained and no one will ask for fear of seeming lacking in knowledge and understanding and so on. 

What is technical repetition? Honestly, I have not a clue but I would surmise that it means that a person performs an action as physically and as to adherence to the rules of physics in applying said techniques toward a target. The trouble with this is its lack of completeness as a whole. There are factors that are missing toward this model in application of the essence of martial arts, combating conflict and violence. 

As to actuality, technical repetition is about a repetitive aspect of technical communications but tends to mean nothing in regard to the physical applications of martial arts. In short, technical repetition is not an adequate phrase for the assumed subject and meaning. It is redundant for the term,. “Repetition” as a stand alone way to explain the practice of a form along with bunkai, not in-depth bunkai for that too is a misuse of the term and therefore in need of discard. 

In truth, one should ask, “Is it an appropriate practice and training method to perform ‘Repetitions’ using the ‘Bunkai’ to achieve proficiency in application for self-defense, fighting, combatives or sport oriented competitions?” The second part might be, “Does repetitive practice require bunkai to be a valid form of practice and training toward their applications in fighting, combatives and/or self-defense?”

I have to ask myself, “Did the original question come from a thoughtful consideration as to what kind of knowledge the person was seeking, i.e., is repetition good with or without applications/bunkai?” I think the question came from a hip-shot and that led, for me, to confusion as to what is the actual topic of the discussion the person was trying to bring up in the forum. 

Now, to answer the questions I came up with through the original question after some thought processes to gain a bit of clarity. Repetitive practice is both a good thing and beneficial and a bad thing being not beneficial. The reason for this answer is because, “It depends.” 

It depends on how that repetitive practice is done, the goal of that repetitive practice and how it will be used in training and practice toward the higher goal of self-defense. Repetitive practice with or without bunkai that are missing certain components, i.e., like those discussed in the six phases of training for self-defense, is good to train for a more performance oriented competition like “Kata competitions.” As for fighting/self-defense, not so much if at all. 

One of the reasons why such limited communications, the written question, where a lot of missing information that is assumed first by the person asking and then by those assumptions reached by the person reading the questions and comments leads toward a huge chasm of missing information where intent and content are just a small part lead to misunderstandings, misinformation and in the end incorrect applications that effect the outcome of a fight or self-defense. In other words, it is complicated and such things should be geared more toward stimulation of further research and study rather than the expected definitive answers for there are no definitive answers to questions and concerns regarding conflict and violence. 

Back to repetitive practice with bunkai, depends right? Got it? Now, go forth my young “Padawan” and seek out the answers you desire, need and must have to apply your skills in combat!

Now, lets cover the question, “What is repetition?” Repetition is a simple, effective way to create connections. The most common strategies involve, as to the physical, repeating a movement repetitively. In this instance what is effective is to practice a set of movements then indiscriminately replace or substitute a movement with another movement similar to the first. Use care to ensure that the practitioners and observers do not assume that the new movement is actually a new concept that changes the original, i.e., like changing an original basic technique or movement within a kata, into what some assume is a new basic technique or kata. It also disallows one to practice a particular move or movement without it seeming to be repetitious, i.e., repetitious can promote complacency and complacency breeds a type of rhythm and cadence that loses sight of bunkai, etc.

It is also to be understood that too much repetition can be as damaging as too little. It is about finding a balance much like intense physical strenuous exercise balanced out by an equal and necessary period of rest and relaxation, etc. 

“Developing an effective style is like a balancing act: you do not want to practice too much/little in either direction. However, what counts as too much or too little repetition is not determined by a formula or magic number; rather, the appropriate balance depends on context and intent, etc., structure.” - unknown

In a nutshell, repetitive practice has its place but reality dictates that practice come from what Rory Miller calls, “Playing.” Far more effective and it took me a lifetime to start to understand what Mr. Miller meant - I am getting there, step-by-step and inch-by-inch.

Bibliography (Click the link)

There Art No Masters

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Yeah, I said it, regardless of all the titles and all the highest of grades you see in the MA Community there are actually no masters, none; zilch; nadda; no why no how there ain’t no masters.

What makes a master is interesting depending on who and what org you talk to but in reality the old meme of, “Jack of all trades, Master of none,” applies here because everyone is so hell bent on accumulating systems, styles, grades, ranks, levels, accolades, awards and trophies they have missed the boat leading to mastering a martial art. 

Just think, would Tiger Wood be the master of golf he is if he had practiced and played golf, football, basketball, tennis and a plethora of other sports? I really do doubt that, really. He would have been mediocre at best and just another “Jock” at worst. 

Then there is what one focuses on when deciding what they want, not need but want, to become a master of a martial art. Most focus, as previously stated, on longevity, social connections, and the quantity of things vs. quality of one thing. You cannot master anything by pinging on everything that catches your eye like the glitter of metal that attacks birds. It is distracting rather than focused. It is a way of life now with all the instant gratifications and constant changes toward technology and so on and yadda yadda yadda. 

Someone said to me a while back, “Well, to master karate you really have to master all the styles or systems (he then emphasized the main ones over all but that is still a lot) because karate consists of all these various styles and systems.” Well, no you don’t because every single empty-handed style or system all have one main thing in common across the board without fail, principles. 

Take a look at Rory Millers DVD on Joint Locks, you will see him teaching the principles of joint locks, not separate uniques individual joint locks but the principles that drive every single joint lock you could possible use. It, to me, is advocating how knowing and understanding a hand full of principles gives birth to any number, infinite, of techniques and methodologies, etc. 

In order to master a martial art you have to find that “One wholehearted Thing,” that transcends personality, ego, perceptions, perspectives and belief systems and can be seen, felt, practiced and applied no matter what system or style or anything you would use for self-defense.

Hey, there ain’t no martial arts masters!

Bibliography (Click the link)

test our techniques on the dojo floor (a meme?)

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You know what a “mantra (or a meme)” is, right? In a nutshell, for my edification here ya see, a mantra (or a meme) is a word or sound or statement or slogan that is repeated frequently as an aid, i.e., in some disciplines it is a repetitive sound or word or phrase used to aid concentration in meditation. Look at martial arts as a form of moving meditation but remember that to adhere strictly and dogmatically to a mantra (or a meme) like this one over time will actually stifle and stunt progress rather than merely promote it. 

One of the most egregious mantra (or a meme)’s I have heard in the last decade or so is the one whereby practitioners are told emphatically, “Test your techniques on the dojo floor” to ensure they work. In some circles this is appropriate simply because those who use this mantra (or a meme) actually test things out in a variety of ways in and out of any type of training all. A good example is one professional with a huge amount of experience, knowledge and understanding tends to teach in areas that actually experience violence and conflict like bar room halls. 

Then there are those professionals who train in a more cerebral hall, the hall of the mind where the actual locations matters not at all but rather what is trained of the mind, i.e., reality-based training that exposes the practitioner to the threat and stresses of the adrenal flood. A unique kind of training that is a mind-state and mind-set thing where the location be it a dojo floor or the floor of a bar room is less significant. Combining the two really is a grand idea too.

When most say, “test technique on the dojo floor” with the meaning and intent of making sure it will work often use verification and validation a matter of what one “Feels” like it will work. Here is the inexperienced teacher and student whose only exposure to conflict and violence is in all probability the type found in fictional stories told through print, video, movies and television. It is easier, it is testable and it promotes the type of training that makes money but does not provide defense in self-defense. 

There are a lot of assumptions and expectations goin on there on that dojo floor. It is a shame that the thoughts of some professionals toward such martial arts is tainted by the majority yet they will tell you straight up that if one were to add in the right stuff their martial arts would excel in providing for self-defense. Ain’t that a kick in the pants?

Where it really goes hinkey is when someone who trains in one of those dojo actually has to defend themselves and they get lucky and things work. They then assume that the experience “Proves without a Doubt” that it all works. That just ain’t true, even the pro’s will tell you that what works once may fail the next go-round. Nothing about conflict and violence is set in stone, no such trick in martial arts will work each time, every time or even the first time. 

There are many benefits but there are just as many obstacles, trip-wires and booby-traps on the other side of that coin, Tread carefully! There is so much more than simply, “testing our techniques on the dojo floor!”

Bibliography (Click the link)

A meme, i.e., an element of a culture or system of behavior that may be considered to be passed from one individual to another by non-genetic means, especially imitation; a humorous image, video, piece of text, etc. that is copied (often with slight variations) and spread rapidly by Internet users.

Martial Arts Self-Defense Training Requirements

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Rory Miller provides us with what is absolutely critical (my words absolutely critical) to achieving adequate self-defense and what I am proposing is a matrix, if you will allow me some latitude, for martial arts use in ensuring the full spectrum, i.e., all necessary essential requirements, is achieved. It is not meant to replace other martial arts dojo requirements for grades but a supplement that adds to those grade requirements when the dojo teachings self-defense as a part of their curriculum. 

Mr. Miller introduces us to the six phases, a complete system of self-defense that, “Should and would cover everything from talking to shooting, and more.” I have created, tentatively, a matrix that requires each phase according to the Kyu level of the practitioner. To research more on this subject from the perspective of a professional, Rory Miller, read the book, “Meditations on Violence.” 

This article presents a generalized requirement list for the Kyu grades that include the two of three most important steps or levels of the “Dan” grades, i.e., both Sho-dan (1st) and Ni-dan (2nd) levels. I used these lower levels simply because, like learning and practicing fundamental principles, you need to set the proper foundation early on in training to prevent the long process of retraining if not done at the novice martial arts levels. Add in that you must find a solid experienced Sensei to teach this part. I say this because there are many Sensei teaching MA-SD that don’t know they don’t know all of these requirements. 

Note: Below’s short terse explanation of Mr. Miller’s phases are my notes from the book and I don’t guarantee they are accurate but recommend reading his book, Meditations on Violence, to verify and validate. My premise in incorporating the phases into the martial arts requirements are meant to get more into the MA self-defense requirements to bring martial arts up to speed in the conflict, violence and self-defense arena. 

         10th Kyu: 
Phase 1 - This phase is first and should be done long before violence hits. This one is about learning and familiarization with the legal aspects of self-defense such as force decisions you can legally use and so on. It is also about answering both the moral and ethical issues with regard to violence.
           9th Kyu: 
           8th Kyu: 
Phase 2 - This one is after phase one, of course, but still before you encounter any type of assault, the physical stuff. You need to understand how to avoid and prevent attacks. Understand terrain. Develop awareness - all kinds. Study about predators, crime, and violence dynamics. Learn how to deescalate yourself and someone else verbally. You need to learn the warning signs when it is too late to make de-escalation work. Remember that the predator won’t give you a chance to use this level.
          7th Kyu: 
          6th Kyu: 
Phase 3 - Use operant conditioning in your training and practice. Optimally, train a small group of counterattacks to sudden assault and train them to reflex speed. This is one of those things that can derail a predator’s attack plan. 
          5th Kyu: 
          4th Kyu: 
Phase 4 - Train to break the freeze. Learn to recognize and act when hit with the freeze.
          3rd Kyu: 
          2nd Kyu: 
Phase 5 - When in the fight, everything you learn in martial arts now applies - if you get here. Phases three and four, in the authors experience (Rory Miller, Meditations on Violence), are usually neglected in martial arts training. They are critical to remaining functional long enough to access your training. 
          1st Kyu: 
          1st Dan: 
Phase 6 - All the stuff that follows the full blown all out attack and survival. You have legal issues, you have health/injury issues and you will have emotional issues
          2nd Dan: 

“If you are training for self-defense you MUST address all six phases of training. If not, seek out training and instructors that will fill in all the missing phases to your martial arts practice. No matter how skilled you are in martial arts or how skilled you “think” you are in martial arts, failing to address any of the six phases can result in your possible death, great bodily harm and all those legal and medical after effects you will have to deal with.”

All of these phases should be taught in tandem with other martial arts requirements with none more important than the fundamental principles of martial disciplines. As can be seen, especially with the physiokinetic and technique principles, the principles are critical to learning the necessary requirements of phase two and three. Take a look at the principles, all of them, and do a comparison to what the requirements are in the phases of SD training, there is an interconnectedness necessary to make both work. 

PHASE 1: I consider this the most important phase to learn. It involves all the things you don’t know and that you don’t know you don’t know. There is an additional set of principles added to the fundamental principles that covers a lot of territory necessary to learn academically so when you take on the next five phases you can begin to “Understand” those requirements thereby encoding them along with other mental and physical necessities. 

Articulation and conflict communications are about learning to listen and communicate to achieve such goals as avoidance and deescalation. Add in topics like, “Emotional Intelligence, the three brains, JAM/AOJ and five stages, adrenal stress conditions with reality-based training scenarios, Types of violence, Pre-attack indicators, Weapons, Force levels, Repercussions of using SD, Attitudes and Diplomacy, Legal requirements of self-defense, awareness, permission, initiative, multiple attack methodologies and more … all need to be studied beforehand, before violence occurs, and before you use your skills in self-defense. 

The Principles Discussed Herein:

PRINCIPLE ONE: PRINCIPLES OF THEORY (Universality, Control, Efficiency, Lengthen Our Line, Percentage Principle, Std of Infinite Measure, Power Paradox, Ratio, Simplicity, Natural Action, Michelangelo Principle, Reciprocity, Opponents as Illusions, Reflexive Action, Training Truth, Imperception and Deception.)

PRINCIPLE TWO: PHYSIOKINETIC PRINCIPLES (Breathing, posture, triangle guard, centerline, primary gate, spinal alignment, axis, minor axis, structure, heaviness, relaxation, wave energy, convergence, centeredness, triangulation point, the dynamic sphere, body-mind, void, centripetal force, centrifugal force, sequential locking and sequential relaxation, peripheral vision, tactile sensitivity, rooting, attack hubs, attack posture, possibly the chemical cocktail, Multiple Methodologies [actual tactics and attack methodologies of impacts, drives (pushes), pulls, twists, takedowns/throws and compression, etc. are best for stopping a threat]???see below)

PRINCIPLE THREE: PRINCIPLES OF TECHNIQUE (techniques vs. technique, equal rights, compliment, economical motion, active movement, positioning, angling, leading control, complex force, indirect pressure, live energy and dead energy, torsion and pinning, speed, timing, rhythm, balance, reactive control, natural and unnatural motion, weak link, non-telegraphing, extension and penetration, Uke. Multiple Methodologies [actual tactics and attack methodologies of impacts, drives (pushes), pulls, twists, takedowns/throws and compression, etc. are best for stopping a threat])

PRINCIPLE FOUR: PRINCIPLES OF PHILOSOPHY (Mind [mind-set, mind-state, etc.], mushin, kime, non-intention, yin-yang, oneness, zanshin and being, non-action, character, the empty cup.)

PRINCIPLE FIVE: PRINCIPLES OF SELF-DEFENSE (“Conflict communications; Emotional Intelligence; Lines/square/circle of SD, Three brains (human, monkey, lizard), JAM/AOJ and five stages, Adrenal stress (stress induced reality based), Violence (Social and Asocial), Pre-Attack indicators, Weapons, Predator process and predator resource, Force levels, Repercussions (medical, legal, civil, personal), Go-NoGo, Win-Loss Ratio, etc. (still working on the core sub-principles for this one)”Attitude, Socio-emotional, Diplomacy, Speed [get-er done fast], Redirected aggression, Dual Time Clocks, Awareness, Initiative, Permission, multiple attack/defense methodologies (i.e., actual tactics and attack methodologies of impacts, drives (pushes), pulls, twists, takedowns/throws and compression, etc. are best for stopping a threat)

PRINCIPLE SIX: CHEMICAL COCKTAIL: (Attacked Mind, Train It, Breath It Away, Visualize It Away, Sparring vs. Fighting, Degradation of Technique/skills, Peripheral Vision Loss, Tunnel Vision, Depth Perception Loss/Altered, Auditory Exclusion, Weakened legs/arms, Loss of Extremity Feeling, Loss of Fine Motor Skills, Distorted Memory/perceptions, Tachypsychia (time slows), Freeze, Perception of Slow Motion, Irrelevant Thought Intrusion, Behavioral Looping, Pain Blocked, Male vs. Female Adrenaline Curve, Victim vs. Predator, The Professional, Levels of Hormonal Stimulation, ???)

This comes down to knowing and understanding and how it all interconnects and functions in the world of conflict and violence. The list of study material necessary to set a solid foundation in self-defense just sets the stage where what you learn is used to learn all the other phases. 

In this phase there are no shortcuts. Unlike martial arts training where often practitioners either pass up, gloss over or totally ignore the boring and repetitive stuff the first phase is going to be tedious and require the same efforts of study and discussion you used to get yourself through all those years of education, i.e., grades one through twelve and then on and into the various programs of University. Just look at it as if you were going to become a physician, there are a ton of years and studies you will have to endure long before you can practice medicine on another human being. Consider your self-defense as a means of practicing that defense on other human beings where grave bodily harm and even death are on the table - cause in both disciplines lives are on the line.

Granted, this is a huge amount of data to learn but where better than up front in order to set the rhythm and cadence of training, practice and its applications over a lifetime of martial arts. It is like the story of how “Tiger Wood” trained to become the greatest golfer, i.e., through a long tough and challenging training and practice regimen over a lifetime. 

All I can say is that once you achieve such a huge and important goal never once in your entire life will you ever regret taking the time and effort and strength to walk this path. Learning to walk the path both in good times and bad is the point. Accepting human nature in conflict and violence is the point. Taking the proverbial heads out of the hot sands of denial and social conditioning is the point. It all begins here.

PHASE 2: Here is where the fun stuff begins, the part where you begin to play. Things like applying principles to actually apply force and power along with all the other cool stuff begins here. Yea, you got to do other martial arts stuff like basics and even kata along the study path but now you really begin to get into the meat and potato’s stuff that will set you for staying within the self-defense square (coined phrase from Marc MacYoung). 

Here is where other things often not taught in the more general martial arts self-defense training. Thinks like awareness, i.e., one of those things I personally feel provide us all the understanding and training to recognize conflict and violence in its earliest stages so we can avoid and/or deescalate, etc. This is the second most important thing I feel once can learn in self-defense. This is where we self-analyze using the learning in phase one to assess and change ourselves for it is often our monkey brain that gets us in conflict and leads toward violence. Not always, but a lot of the time this is true.

Some other things that will be taught here are, “Understanding terrain and developing all the kinds of awareness, studying about predators and crime and violence dynamics, using verbal skills to deescalate yourself and someone else, learning waring signs when it is too late to make deescalation work, and what to expect when a predator, process and resource types, attack with sudden, surprising, painful, structure and balance disrupting, close in and a flurry of injury inducing pummeling …

I consider this phase as a good place to introduce things like, “Adrenal stress conditions reality-based training scenario’s” as well as operant type conditioning necessary to make it work in the most difficult positions one can be in necessary to apply self-defense. 

PHASE 3 (Note: Usually neglected in MA training): Here is where operant conditioning becomes serious. It is recommended that one, “train a small group of counterattacks to sudden assault and train them to reflex speed.” Here we can pull up things you studied early on such as what will cause a freeze and how that effects your self-defense at all levels, a kind of intro into phase four. 

PHASE 4 (Note: Usually neglected in MA training): Breaking the freeze, the OO bounce and other debilitating aspects of conflict and violence. Often this phase trains folks that in most cases have never encountered and/or experienced the conflict and violence that would cause the freeze/OO bounce. I can almost guarantee that a good majority of martial arts self-defense never even acknowledge this part of required training and practice let along teach it in a manner that will actually be useful if attacked. 

PHASE 5: The do or die phase or maybe better, “The do or get injured or die phase.” Everything you have learned, practiced and intend to apply as appropriate to the situation now applies, i.e., the get-r-done phase. I am not sure exactly what Mr. Miller meant as to my notes on this phase but I suspect this is the phase where you have to make it work. It is that phase where the adrenal dump effects are triggered through adrenal stress conditions reality-based training scenario’s. Yes, we did some of it earlier as a kind of prerequisite so it won’t be a surprise here but here is where the rubber meets the road at least to as great an extent that can be done with relative safety and without actually exposing yourself to “Real Violent Encounters.” 

This is where the military and police, etc., take it as far as possible for it is in this phase those without hands-on experiences need to learn, practice and understand because when the proverbial crap hits the fan they are going to need all five phases to achieve success in phase six. 

PHASE 6: My interpretation, perception and perspective on this phase is to teach and train all five phases while learning to understand and apply them as if in a full blown all out attack and survival where you learn about legal issues and ramifications, the health/injury stuff and all the emotional effects you will endure before, during and especially after an incident. 

I remember a close friend who was suffering, many many years after combat, some emotional and psychological issues as a result of combat and killing in combat. He once let me know that he could not understand why, after years and years of nothing, he began to feel and suffer because of his actions in Viet Nam. I had just finished the books by LtCol Dave Grossman, i.e., On Killing and On Combat, because it seemed to me important for my friend to know and understand why what he was feeling, etc. was actually normal along with ways to handle it, etc. I got a call from him long after that discussion simply to say thanks and that those books went a long way to help him understand and accept what was happening. It all helped and that is why this is so important to martial arts training in self-defense. 

Remember, without such training and practice when you encounter conflict and violence, especially at the higher levels, that lack of knowledge, understanding and application at least in training and practice WILL result in the FREEZE and you will suffer the consequences of that I have no doubt. 

Rory Miller discusses these phases at length and his materials do to a deeper level of study, training and understanding but this short article should at least provide martial arts dojo a better view of what self-defense NEEDS to get-r-done. Hopefully no one will have to make use of this education but since humans are still a violent animal species, albeit a higher level species, that use conflict and violence at more levels than what most understand. 

Bibliography (Click the link)

Fantasy Martial Arts

Blog Article/Post Caveat (Read First Please: Click the Link)

I just read today’s post on the God’s Bastard Blog and it made me think of this question. I recommend reading God’s Bastard’s post HERE first.

When I read the last paragraph it hit me, modern American martial arts are simply self-soothing fantasies that rarely take anyone out of their comfort zones. Yes, they can be physically demanding but when compared to “Real Violence” you have to wonder. I have felt for a time now that in my recent past participation in a local dojo that it was more about social club like connections rather than self-defense or self-defense martial arts. I personally felt that the black belts avoided any type of physical conflict even in the dojo. That ain’t bad unless you self-delude into thinking repetitive basics and kata mean or equal defense against “Real violence.” 

I feel that it is time to “Wake Up!” I am not saying martial artists should drop the other aspects to its studies but if it involves reality-based violence as to the applications of self-defense at least give that its compete and total attention toward the entire self-defense square. 

Thanks God’s Bastard for the reminder, much appreciated. 

Bibliography (Click the link)

Finding Serenity

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Sorry, couldn’t help the play on words but what I am aiming to tell you is in the self-defense world you truly have to know, believe and most of all fully understand what self-defense is and what conflict is and what violence is in order to see it when it comes. You have to know about that something in order to see it, to detect it and to take action in accordance with it. 

This goes further with the other senses, i.e., hearing is listening is hearing is listening but if you don’t about what that sound means especially in self-defense then how can you act when you hear that sound. 

If you don’t know the you cannot see or hear it when it comes at you but here is the rub, if you are not “Looking and Hearing” for that which leads to conflict and violence, i.e., putting your head in the proverbial sand (like putting in ear buds and texting), then when it comes you will have missed every opportunity to avoid conflict and violence. 

What is even worse is when you “Cherry Pick” what you want to hear or see and learn and understand leaving out critical parts then you still must overcome that deficiency to act accordingly - can anyone say, “Freeze?” Can anyone say, “OO bounce?”

Now, lets say you had to defend yourself but things don’t go real smooth when the first responder takes control. Lets say you now have to articulate what happened to justify your actions toward breaking the law, self-defense. If you don’t know it and if you have not trained it and you cannot articulate it then you are in a whole big shiny mess. You might just as well paint that huge target on your back so the system has something to focus aim toward - you and your pocket book and your freedom.

Look at this along with appropriate force in self-defense, if you don’t know what to look for and what you hear how can you determine the threat level and whether the attacker is going to either cause you to be crippled or even kill you? Do you even know the rules that govern how self-defense is perceived and adjudicated? 

Do you know what will be available for your defense and what will be excluded and why? There are rules to this game and there are lessons to learn and information to assimilate and they all mean the difference between freedom, economic stability, health and well being. It all depends on the distance you are willing to go and the choices you are willing to make and the commitment you are willing to accept and act upon.

Here is the rub tho, how can you “Go the distance,” how can you “Make a choice so you can Just Do-It,” how can you “understand and accept the type of commitment necessary to get-r-done both legally and with social morality,” and how can you “be willing do accept and act upon things never experienced nor understood nor training nor practiced?” 

As with a lot of self-defense, it takes a “Leap of Faith” to cross the barriers, obstacles and blockades you WILL encounter if you are faced with that decision, are you ready, willing and able?

“Truth: If we are not looking for something, we are very likely not to see it. If we are not listening for something, it is very likely that we will not hear it. Enough verbalization and physical action to cause a reasonable, prudent person to believe that the attacker manifested intent to kill or cripple? Remember, the witness can’t stand up and yell in court, “Here’s what you need to know!” He or she can only answer the questions they are asked.” - Massad Ayoob on Self-Defense

Bibliography (Click the link)

Count to Ten

Blog Article/Post Caveat (Read First Please: Click the Link)

Today, modern technological times, is when this maxim should be held close as a means of communications. We have forgotten the rules of communications. How did we lose that capability? 

Technology is not at fault but it has made a huge contribution toward our pension to blurt out the first thoughts that come to our minds. In a conflict that can be damaging - psychologically speaking and more important, physically speaking. I only rediscovered this due to a malady that struck me about two or so years ago. More on that later.

Modern times has created an atmosphere where any hesitation is used to your detriment. If you pause to think before answering certain questions the questioner will immediately assume some sort of guilt. When we view inflammatory video’s on the Internet we immediately jump to conclusions that are often a result of biases and agenda’s to see, hear and believe when reality would say otherwise. We have forgotten to “Count to Ten.” 

In martial arts self-defense we discuss concepts like yin-yang, zanshin, mushin and the void but in reality we are simply giving those concepts lip service to makes us look, superior, when in reality the urge to instantly judge, assume and spew forth our agenda’s and beliefs with an underlying self-soothing need regardless of truth, justice, facts and relevancy. 

In martial arts self-defense the void, those natural and necessary pauses, are what allow us time, and sometimes distances, to think before we either spew forth some ego monkey antic type dysfunctionally driven dribble that more often than not gets us slugged. If we took that pause, the insertion of an empty void like the space between notes of a song that make the song - a song, as if we were counting to ten (sometimes very, very fast) we just might pull up an alternative that would allow us to avoid bodily harm or prosecution or even death. Yet, we blurt; spew; regurgitate; disgorge; bring up and so on bringing out the worst results possible.

About two years or so ago I had an incident, a medical incident. One that apparently resulted in, “Slowed reactions, issues and problems with multi-tasking, trouble occasionally thinking, or what some refer to as brainfog or muddy thinking.” What that has come to mean is I am now forced to count to ten, to think a slight bit more before I can understand and respond to stimuli (yes, that means I focus a lot more on my awareness so I can avoid, etc.). I noticed when dealing with discussions that are somewhat sensitive that when in receipt of what someone expresses to me that pause I now take, like counting to ten fast, usually results in the other  person taking offense as if I were trying to think up a lie to tell (yes, that is often the other persons issue projected on me but it does make a point). 

Yes, in such martial defense situations you really want to think quickly but do you really want the first impulsive response to come out? Isn’t that one way you end up escalating into physical violence? Isn’t it possible, especially in social conflict and violence, that you have time since that often has steps taken to reach physical violence so that you can literally count to ten, reconsider your position and then take appropriate actions and words to avoid and deescalate? 

Watch folks around you as you go through your day. Notice something, when the cell phone rings they “Instinctually reach” for it and answer it regardless of what they are doing and where they are going. How many times were you in a discussion with someone when the text or email chime rang and they instantly and instinctually stopped, immediately begin to ignore you, answer it and then respond to that text or email? Don’t you think such instinctual reactions to technology bleed over into other aspects of your life? Could such things cause us to require others to respond to us immediately with the very first thought and word that oozes from our mouths? 

I work in the IT industry and have found over the last decade or so people being forced to respond to the wants, needs and requirements for “Instant Gratification” without pause and if they don’t they are therefore taught to feel they are losing something or being left behind or unable to compete and stay up where that result effects their bottom line, their livelihood - isn’t that a survival thing? If it is a survival thing then doesn’t that make what we are experiencing an “Addiction?” No, I am NOT advocating that because it is an addiction that we are excused from it but am advocating we all take responsibility for ourselves and take appropriate actions to remove that addiction however even if it is just taking appropriate time every day to remove ourselves completely from technology, taking a pause from it or “Counting to Ten” to alleviate the pressures and stresses. 

If this is true then don’t we owe it to ourselves in the arena of conflict and violence to “Count to Ten” before we act, talk or communicate so as to convey true, relevant and realistic meaning beneficial to all parties concerned? Isn’t this how we accomplish avoidance and especially “Deescalation?”

Teach the model of “Counting to Ten” and then practice it, train it, and make it a part of applying the void, the pause, so you can think then act. Make this a part of your self-defense to avoid and deescalate. Stop reacting to technology, stop reacting to the first emotional feeling you get from internal and external stimuli, stop being an asshole and create a personality and character conducive to avoiding and deescalating conflict thus violence. 

Here is a small step, a method to use in practice counting to ten. Remember that breathe, breathing, is critical in keeping calm, clearing the mind and countering effects of adrenal stress. When you detect such stresses begin to count while breathing in-out, deeply and slowly and down into the diaphragm, until you reach ten (you can use the combat breathing method of the four count and to get more out of it do that at least three times so you reach at least ten, if time and distance permit). Do this in practice, do this when you feel stress and urges to blurt out emotional retorts to others and do this when you ready for meetings, etc., at work making it a habit and instinctual. When you truly need it then it will be available, now ain’t that great?

Bibliography (Click the link)

Chiron Training Blog by Rory Miller

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I know you have read my references to professionals like Rory Miller and may others but I just had to add the following articles by Rory Miller at Chiron Blog simply because, for me, they once again slapped me up behind the head (think of the head slap on the show NCIS :-) ). I am amazed about how much I DON’T KNOW and I am truly amazed at how much Rory Miller knows. I am not putting him on a pedestal but hey, you really need to understand that what he provides, teaches, is critical to the world of professionals and self-defense. 

I am a martial artists who has studied, practiced and even taught karate, a striking system. I am not going to say that my efforts are either wasted or wrong but I am going to say that “I am/was MISSING a whole lotta IMPORTANT stuff!” Rory Miller, Marc MacYoung and the many others you can see in the bibliography below are professionals who love the art of teaching and that is to our benefit and good luck. 

I am knowledgable enough to know that I don’t truly “Understand” a lot. I write in the hopes that something I provide will lead others toward those who actually UNDERSTAND and TEACH like these guys. 

Now, the reason I am professing my like of these guys is because of their no-nonsense teachings especially in regard to what is not fully understood in the martial arts communities about conflict, violence and self-defense and the following links take you to the last three articles written by Rory Miller. To me, they were once again “A bitch slap upside the back of my head” - “Doah” - moments, learning moments. Read them in the order given to get the full gist of his message then go from there …

Caveat: Rory Miller and Marc MacYoung and the many others listed are not the end-all sources on this stuff. They will get you a good start but it is UP TO YOU to go the distance in “Understanding” the entire picture (note: understanding takes on a new additional meaning after reading these articles). 

Bibliography (Click the link)

Chi Circulation

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“A nineteenth-century Taoist ink drawing by an unknown Chinese artist, showing the circulation of “ch’i” (or “qì”) through the human body. The early Taoist philosophers and alchemists considered ch’i – which translates literally as breath or air, and figuratively as “life force” or “material energy” – to be a vital force found in the breath and bodily fluids. With the help of different techniques, one could learn to alter and control the movement of ch’i within one’s body, attaining physical longevity and spiritual power. It is a central and underlying principle found in Chinese medicine, philosophy, and martial arts. This remarkable late-nineteenth-century image is originally from a plank found in the White Cloud Taoist Temple in Beijing.” - The Public Domain Review: A project of the Open Knowledge Foundation, “Circulation of Ch’i (1886)” 

I have often written and spoken about chi or ki as it is termed in Japanese martial arts. Chi or Ki are not originally marital discipline terms but actual medical terms as well as terms used in ancient Chinese classics such as the I Ching and the Tao Te Ching - both classics studied and absorbed by both Okinawan and Japanese cultures. 

It is not about some mystical force that one can project as some believe. It is simply the development of our internal physical attributes toward health, fitness and mental/spiritual mind-body-states and so on. It also is about using our minds and bodies at the epitome of its natural efficient potential in all things be it life itself, longevity and in martial arts self-defense its energy toward application of force and power. 

What I mean is through breathing properly and applying physiokinetic principles along with both philosophical and theoretical principles we can therefore make use of the technique principle in martial applications of self-defense but that is not the full extent of chi/ki utilization, development and achievement. 

To allow fluids or chemicals of the body along with other things like the nervous system we can create a body that will last and perform. In martial arts mental and physical performance are critical to martial discipline and application. Note: take some time to research the bodies integumentary system as well because that is part of the whole that protects from bodily damage, i.e., loss of water (hydration/dehydration) or abrasion from outside and it is composed of the skin including hair, nails, etc.). All comprise what they called our “Chi or Ki” systems. 

I quote, All body systems work in an interconnected manner to maintain the internal conditions essential to the function of the body.” - (Functions) [note: when I think of this system I lean toward skin, touch and tactile sensitivity in self-defense]

Now, with that covered enough to stimulate further research the only part of the quote I tend to question is controlling the movement of chi and spiritual power. There is not enough explanation leaving it for the individual to perceive a meaning, a meaning that may not address the actual intent of the author. 

Controlling movement is a misnomer in my view. I have tried to discover if there is some mental way we can control fluids, the nervous system or the integumentary system. Yes, you can control your breathing and through such breathing methods cause effects on the body. Breathing out when applying techniques is one way but often the dynamic tension application is not conducive to force and power but rather a bleed of of energy reducing force and power. 

I do know that breathing does, at least in my body, effect the heart beat thus the circulatory pressure called “Blood pressure.” If you study adrenal stress conditions you know that the heart beat level effects such things as the release of said adrenal chemicals (you could refer to them as fluids - kinda). We can effect things that way. 

In the end it comes down to the limitations of the body whereby through training and practice we adjust the body and mind to maximize what our bodies capabilities have to deal with overall. We have only so much strength; we have only so much mass; we have only so much speed; we have only so much energy and so on. How we manage and use these are key and that is where chi/ki come in, how we maximize those systems to achieve maximum output of the body and mind. One key aspect, there are no limits on what the mind can achieve psychologically and that is called mind-set and mind-state.

In a nutshell we cannot alter or control the movement of chi but we can train our bodies and minds to allow it to move with the least amount of restrictions often caused by misuse of our bodies, i.e., when we fail to achieve alignment; fail to use centeredness; fail to achieve proper structure; fail to feed the body, mind and body systems the appropriate fuel; we fail to breathe and many other factors. You could say this means alteration and/or control but in essence that is not exactly true. 

It is more about training and practicing to release our body and minds potential where failure simply creates obstacles, etc., that reduce our finite available energy, force and power. This is the true nature of what I believe the ancients meant by Chi. 

Bibliography (Click the link)

What is Karate, Look to Funakoshi Sensei

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Often the question comes up, “What is karate?” Some say it is a sport, some say it is a combative system for use in unarmed combat and some say it is to apply skills for self-defense. Then you have the more philosophical model where some feel strongly it is a physical manifestation of a meditative practice toward self-improvement and so on. Some even think that all of these are applicable. 

Truthfully, from my perspective and perception, I believe that most of the above should be a part of karate, i.e., under the heading of principles of theory, physiokinetics, technique and philosophy. This seems to encompass a more traditional and classical study of karate-jutsu-do.

One of the leading luminaries toward the acceptance and spread of karate from Okinawa through Japan was Sensei Gichin Funakoshi who wrote the following statement as a part of his, “Third Precept: Karate Cultivates Justice.” (Read about it HERE: )

I quote, “Karate-do is an unarmed martial art because your hands and your legs can be used like swords. You should not use karate-do for injustice or outrageous behavior. You should be in a position of justice and use karate-do only in emergency situations. Then its power will be seen.” - Funakoshi Sensei.

If the karate and martial art communities accept this as truth then it goes a long way to tell us what the true essence is of karate. When I read the part, “You should not USE karate-do for INJUSTICE or OUTRAGEOUS BEHAVIOR,” I lean heavily toward the understanding that the true essence of karate training and practice is about the use of karate for self-defense/protection only in situations where the use of karate skills is necessary and appropriate to the forces used against that individual. 

Read his precept again, the quote also has contradictions but only if your definition of karate-do and martial art are about the more philosophical benefits. The majority of the quote does focus heavily on its use as a combative type application toward defense but in his day with the upcoming World War he may have also meant it as a means to gravely damage and/or kill the enemies of Japan. After all, the article written about this third precept does involve most of the actual statement as a War oriented honor and justification for Japan and its citizens to take up arms against the U. S. and other Asian nations of those times. 

His other remarks toward its use as to justice, justice of the sociality, the governing bodies of that society and its members is clear in that karate should be used to enforce the mandates of that society and government. But the question does arise, “Do we use that as a basis for modern karate?” I ask because we all have to remember that many of the beliefs, precepts and maxims that drove karate practice were relevant then but may not be now. Yet, if one of karate’s founding fathers wanted his karate, note I stressed “his,” to be used only for the purposes discussed and quoted then we can possibly extrapolate it to mean that karate, in essence, is NOT sport; not a method of self-improvement in a more philosophical sense and not meant to be used to earn money as if a studio or club for fitness and self-gratifications, etc. 

Many of those professionals of these modern times also tend to say that martial arts, including karate, are about damage and death, not winning trophies or accolades or grades or control and so on. It is about using the mental-physical violent actions to stop a threat and safeguard the clan or tribe as well as societies mandates. Anything else is just human egoistic self-soothing manifestations derived from a more academic oriented educational form of a physical discipline misnamed as “Karate or Martial Arts.” 

Look at this perception and perspective as one would an “Armchair Quarterback,” for Sunday Football. They have never played but they tell themselves they are experts and often express that loudly during the games. Ain’t we special!

Bibliography (Click the link)

Eccentric -n- Concentric Strength OR Chasing Our Attacker

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Wim Demeere has presented another outstanding article, you can read it HERE before continuing. Chasing the attacker or chasing the target is just my perception toward training the mind and body toward Mr. Demeere’s acceleration-deceleration concept. It is very true that most self-defense systems don’t teach this concept. It is great that Mr. Demeere brings it up to the conscious level because as can be seen in a lot of kumite and sport competitions our tendency to overcompensate and overextend losing structure, alignment, power and force is critical especially if you are training and practicing for self-defense. 

“you need a specific kind of strength (eccentric) instead of the one you use for acceleration (concentric) while at the same time adjusting on the fly to changing conditions.” - Wim Demeere, The Overlooked Part of Effective Techniques

“are classified is into specific types of movement: cyclic or acyclic (also acyclic combined but we won’t cover that now.)” - Wim Demeere, The Overlooked Part of Effective Techniques

“Cyclic means a repetitive movement pattern … do the same movement all the time.” - Wim Demeere, The Overlooked Part of Effective Techniques

“Acyclic means several different movement patterns are necessary.  … Karate, boxing, fencing, etc., … you perform a variety of techniques/movements and go from one technique to another. Acyclic sports typically require good technique, speed and power.” - Wim Demeere, The Overlooked Part of Effective Techniques

“Whenever you fight, in the street or in competition, you perform acyclic movements. You punch, then you kick, then you move then you grapple, then you punch again, etc. It always changes. What’s more, these changes happen because your opponent does the same as you. You have to adjust whatever you’re doing to his movements.” - Wim Demeere, The Overlooked Part of Effective Techniques

“The ability to stop a movement so you can do another, different one is just as important as being explosive with those movements.” - Wim Demeere, The Overlooked Part of Effective Techniques

Note: This is also critical when missing your target, i.e., why some tend to over-extend techniques when the target is not where it was a milli-second ago.

“train your body to explode into action, but also how to stop on a dime, change direction and do something completely different.” - Wim Demeere, The Overlooked Part of Effective Techniques

Deceleration or stopping the technique when it reaches the end of its cycle without allowing the inertia of our mass to carry us beyond that point is critical and involves also a control of principles rather than allowing the technique to control us. Acceleration to move mass in generating power and force as a part of the principle of “Yin-Yang” means once you commit to that acceleration and movement of our mass we must then train and practice to sop our mass through deceleration before we lose control and allow ourselves to overextend, thereby losing structure and alignment and balance, etc., becoming vulnerable to our attacker. This also effects our recovery when we lose such control and time is damage. Economy of motion is a principle that helps us understand this concept and allows us to train and practice it. 

Finding that middle ground is difficult. Wim Demeere uses a term that explains that if we fail to control our actions with control speed, power and force we succumb to two different issues. First is if we exert too much control we often fail to achieve adequate speed, power and control while second, if we try to exert too great of power, speed and force we tend to lose control resulting in lost energy, uncontrolled applications and vulnerability, etc.

Modern martial arts, karate, tend to focus heavily on creating an illusion of force and power through the use of “Muscling technique” that we fail to apply force and power when needed in self-defense. 

“If you want effective techniques, train just as hard on deceleration as you do on acceleration.” - Wim Demeere, The Overlooked Part of Effective Techniques

If you are simply applying “Air-technique” you will not train the dual concept of acceleration-deceleration for control with power and force. A simplistic example is to have uke with a padded shield or hand pads to stand and allow you to hit and kick but without notice to pull the target away at the last moment to see if you over extend, etc. One way I try to train my mind is to apply my techniques as if I am striking a non-moving target but I try to move in such a way as to move my target point to a place where my attacker finds their body, my target, in that targeting point. Hopefully, I don’t apply techniques unless I have a reasonable assurance it will reach its intended target but in a fight that doesn’t happen all that often but if you target, the attacker moves out of that target point, you have that balanced acc-dec ability to adjust on the fly. 

Chasing our attacker is not good for a variety of reasons. First, it means we overextend, lose structure and balance and as a result fall into our void exposing us to damage. Second, chasing our attacker means he controls us rather than we control ourselves along with our controlling our attacker. Third, chasing our attacker means we become locked into that particular application of technique causing us to enter into a loop. Training to acc-dec and the target point putting the attacker in that zone rather than trying to chase down the attacker and the target seems beneficial. Finally, if we chase our attacker trying to use an one method or technique it may look to witnesses and on video as if we are the aggressor rather than the defender. If we use this target zone/point and the attacker moves out of that zone and we decelerate and adjust away, since that may present us the opportunity to gain distance and distance means time and time means the ability to stop the attack by deescalation or avoidance, etc., or to find some other means of stopping the threat thus damage, etc.

Bibliography (Click the link)

Body Armor

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Natural body armor that is and when associated with structure, alignment and movement provide humans with adequate body armor. The kind that protects us in hand-to-hand situations - mostly. Granted, once you add in weapons then that body armor capability diminishes dependent on the type of weaponry involved. 

In hand-to-hand self-defense, for sake of this argument no weapons involved (can you say “Fiction?”), we generate force and power through a variety of principles such as the movement of our mass and the application of our mind and bodies to apply such principles as structure, alignment and stability, etc.

Add in movement, movement is critical to body armor. Our bodies alone with its skeletal structure as well as muscular create through movement, posture, position, etc., provide us the ability to bleed off force and power applied in an attack. Movement allows us to deflect, redirect and absorb force and power. When you couple that with the attackers applied principles such as structure, alignment and stabilizing efforts either effectively or ineffectively you gain more credible ability to exert body armor as to their applied force and power. 

When you witness and later articulate a potential attackers attack posture along with their attack indicators you will recognize when that attacker assumes a position that accentuates and presents optimal body armor and attitude in preparation for a physical attack. 

When you combine your structure of the body, its proper alignment of skeletal system using the muscular system as support and stabilization as well as an enhancement in applying force and power along with your and your adversary’s movement you can find ways to apply and use yours and their principles to your advantage. Lets not leave out another form of armor created by the adrenal dump we will encounter in a dangerous situation. Also, remember that your attacker is also going to have that available so it comes down to how you can use that to your advantage.

Body armor is about the efficient use of what nature provided us to maximize our power and force potential while using our attackers use of power and force against him along with what ever potential tools, both natural and man-made, that helps us survive damage and death along with proper use of self-defense, staying within the self-defense square. 

Bibliography (Click the link)

Martial Self-Defense and Creativity

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Who remembers their sensei talking about creativity in martial arts, especially in the self-defense martial disciplines? Creativity in a lot of martial arts is pretty much suppressed because in most cases that martial system relies heavily on conformity and the specifics of questions and answers. In self-defense martial arts one must conform inadvertently to the self-defense technique drill model that is very limited then there are those questions asked in answering what is necessary to TEST and Qualify for rank, i.e., promotions. It models many of our school systems that are also formulated toward conformity and the question/answer model of testing. Creativity is about non-conformity so that questions and answers become more diversified, i.e., allowing for open-minded answers that involve variety, etc. 

Creativity is about divergent thinking. Divergent thinking is about development in varied and different directions. It is a thought process whereby the student generates within themselves creative ideas through the exploration of as many solutions as can be generated. When you are stuck in a more conformity model of drills and so on without being allowed to “diverge” toward other possibilities you lose out on developing a more creative way of applying self-defense. 

In reality one needs to develop yin-yang, a principle of philosophy, by training, developing, applying both divergent and convergent thinking. You have to have correct answers to standard questions so you can build up your knowledge base. Knowledge is a factor critical to creative thinking but there are, like the balance point of yin-yang, limits where one or the other suffer if exceeded to far.

One factor that alludes toward the “Adrenal stress condition reality-based training scenario” model is creativity flows from action. Actions tend to stimulate our brain cells and get the creative juices flowing. If you are taught with creativity in mind your brain is always working to find unique and possible answers where in a more conformity question and singular answer model you just memorize an answer and that is all you need. Here is the rub tho, you need to develop creativity outside the pressures of adrenal stress conditioned reality-based training but you need to TEST that creativity and using the “Adrenal stress condition reality-based training scenario” model is the best way. 

Now, as to the process of teaching, learning and applying our creativity in the martial discipline of self-defense, that is a whole complete article that should lead toward many books and articles on creativity. Fair warning because although knowledge is critical to development of creativity it also can hinder that same creativity if one packs in too much knowledge and information especially if one leans heavily toward specific detailed “trivia” type knowledge. A good example is a teacher and practitioner who has encoded, cataloged and trained thousands of “Bunkai” to just one technique. It comes down to when action and adrenal stress hit in an attack the practitioner has way too many choices that come from analytical thinking processes and encoding while the more creative process was suppressed and lost. It is our creativity trained and practiced along with adrenal stress conditioned reality-based training that will give us what we need to, “Stop the threat, end the damage and remain in the self-defense square.” 

Quotes of Inspiration from Robert Ringer’s article, “Creativity.” 

“To be creative, you have to think divergently, which entails considering many solutions. And that, in turn, requires you to disregard conventional wisdom and consider far-ranging possibilities.” - Robert Ringer, Creativity

“Studies have demonstrated that the left hemisphere of the brain is responsible for convergent thinking, while the right hemisphere is the home of divergent thinking.“ - Robert Ringer, Creativity

“Creativity becomes suppressed by a system that values conformity and specific answers to specific questions.” - Robert Ringer, Creativity

“Knowledge is another factor that is critical to creative thinking, in at least two ways. First, because the left brain is the cerebral filing cabinet for specific knowledge, it keeps the creative right brain from running wild. We’ve all known people who come up with an idea a minute, but most of their ideas either fail or never get off the ground. Usually, it’s a result of their lacking enough specific knowledge in their brain to silence their creative right brain and tell it to move on to the next idea.” - Robert Ringer, Creativity


“Second, and even more important, if your left brain is overflowing with knowledge, your right brain has access to the material it needs to be creative. Good ideas and concepts are only as good as the knowledge upon which they are based.” - Robert Ringer, Creativity

“But it gets even trickier. There is convincing evidence that too much specialized knowledge can actually inhibit creativity.” - Robert Ringer, Creativity

“It's much easier to be creative when you’re not under pressure. That’s why it’s a good idea to get away from your office periodically and relax. Some of my best ideas have come to me while cruising at thirty-five thousand feet — no telephone, no e-mails, no projects piling up around me. Vacations, the theater, attending conferences, and just going for long walks all serve the same purpose.” - Robert Ringer, Creativity

“Develop the habit of grabbing hold of random, creative thoughts and quickly getting them down on paper. Nothing frustrates me more than realizing that a great idea I came up with yesterday is gone because I was so certain I’d remember it that I didn’t take the time to write it down.” - Robert Ringer, Creativity

“Creativity flows from action. Action stimulates your brain cells and gets your creative juices flowing. What happens when you take action is that the atoms in your brain increase the speed of their vibrations, which causes your “mental paradigm” to expand. And when that occurs, you begin to see new ideas, new concepts, and new possibilities that you may not have previously considered.” - Robert Ringer, Creativity

“Employ your free will and force yourself to take action. And when you do, motivation is almost sure to follow.” - Robert Ringer, Creativity

Read the entire article by Mr. Ringer HERE

Bibliography (Click the link)