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

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Is karate ...

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

based on principles or technique? The answer seems simple but as with all things martial arts you end up with - "It Depends!"

First, define principles?
Second, define technique?

Starting with the second first, technique(s) can be defined two ways where the most obvious is derived from the modern technique based training model while the second ways is more apropos and at the same time either unknown or misunderstood.

Then there is the first, a principled based model where the universal underlying principles connected to multiple methodologies, etc., is the basis or foundation for all martial arts.

Herein lies the rub to the original question that started the mess to begin with. Herein lies the article you will read today in my attempt to put a light on the question so I will begin as before, with the second.


Technique is not about specifics, techniques are any and all methods used to achieve a principle based situational application(s) necessary to achieve goals, tactics and strategies to avoid and/or resolve conflicts and/or violence. Marc MacYoung refers to technique in his eBood, Writing Violence: Defense, and states, “A move is an action, a technique is a collection of movements. Each consecutive movement of a technique builds on the success of the last. They should provide fense, it should disrupt the adversary’s ability to attack and it should set up the next move.” 

Note that Mr. MacYoung does not use this term like so many karate dojo, i.e., the technique of punching with the fist, the techniques of striking with a palm or the technique of kicking with the ball of the foot. This is all novice stuff meant to teach not necessarily techniques but how to move, it is the moves to achieve actions, it is about a collection of appropriate moves for the situation that becomes, in that moment only, a collection of movements that make up the technique used in fense. Then the rest is basically tactics to apply those techniques to achieve a goal of fense. Learning how to move and the proper physiokinetics necessary to perform those movements as techniques and so forth. 

“Technique is the easiest part. Knowing when and how to apply the technique is the second easiest. Making yourself do it may be the hardest and that is the part I am not sure can really be taught.” - Rory Miller, Facing Violence

I believe you get the picture regarding technique(s), so now lets take a look at a favorite subject and perception of fense karate, the principles. The principles to which I speak are those fundamental principles of fense through the discipline of karate or martial arts. They are the same regardless of style or system, the are universal and they provide us the foundation to make any fense discipline work. 


These principles that I am writing about are the majors while within the disciplines of the mental and physical there are other principles involved as well. These minor principles tend to involve some aspect of technique, moves + actions + collective = technique, such as certain principles involved in body manipulation, i.e., ball joints vs. hinge joints, etc., and the process to manipulate them to achieve a tactical and strategic goal. You can find out more about that specific example by getting Rory Miller’s video’s on that subject. The application of major and minor principles also involves methodologies used to get things done, i.e., methodologies are a collection of techniques as described above but are not always techniques per say but those actions that lead to things like avoidance, awareness, and escape and evasion - all fense strategies and tactics to get-r-done.


Now, lets diverge a bit from the original question that I would pose and that is, “Is karate based on principles, techniques or changes. For me, my mind tends to go toward changes because as I will explain, everything is about change, everything is about yin-yang and everything is about how we apply ourselves toward not just change for changes sake but the balance we achieve toward the ever flowing chaotic change that life presents every single moment of life be it normal day-to-day things or when it comes to serious conflict and its resulting violence. 

The true question is not whether karate is about principles or technique or even both; it is a question of "change!" The true nature and essence of karate is the principle of change, learning the patterns (kata) of change. We endeavor to learn rhythms, cadences and patterns when the truth is we should be learning about change.

The very basis on which like and the way, Tao, is about change and resulted in the creation of the I Ching and other classics. The effort was to teach about the Universe and that means it's only constant - Change!

The very essence of life is change: birth, growth,  decline and death. The fabric of our universe is about birth, growth, decline and death therefore that process is about the changes life pulls us through and change is life's cornerstone.

Evolution is about change, to grow one must learn from that experience meaning change meaning survival or human kind would have ceased to exist long ago. The very word and process of evolution is change geared toward survival according to the very changes naturally occurring as a result of the natural changes that come from the very nature of our world and universe. 

If not for the nature of changes life as we know it may not have come to be - change is inevitable. If not for the changing seasons the fuel we need for sustenance would not be possible.

All this says to me that the true nature of disciplines such as karate should be based on change. It is amazing how many karate-ka work so hard to avoid change that the very nature of karate, change, has all but disappeared.

Karate as a fense system is about learning how to handle one of the most chaotic and changing form of conflict and violence where mastery comes not from the memorization of technique but our abilities to adapt to - change!

I feel that all my studies to date have come to realize that the underlying theme to all reality based models of fense are about handling changes, unexpected and unique changes from moment to moment and situation to situation.

Oh, forgot, now I am going to throw my personal monkey wrench into the mix by answering the modified question. No, it isn’t going to be a long repetitive answer since you already got that one but a much shorter answer.

Here it is: “In a nutshell, karate is based on all three concepts, i.e., it is based on principles both major and minor; it is based on technique as described as moves, actions, a collective and its resulting techniques; it is based on change, i.e., the chaos of violence and conflict that requires rapidly changing circumstances and environments that is conflict and violence. In short, it is all three of those. 

Bibliography (Click the link)

Socially Acceptable Behavior

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

Recently, walking from the BART to the Office I came across one situation that got me to thinking, “Why do folks not know the socially acceptable behavior of our environment?” There are these socially acceptable behaviors that are not written down and yet should be known by each of us if for no other reason that to make our social encounters more emotionally capable to avoid unnecessary conflict and occasionally violent. 

Things like:
  • Those disembarking from the train or elevator or store should be allowed to exit first before you enter when reaching the door at the same time.
  • Those walking should pass one another to the right.
  • Those talking while walking should be aware of foot traffic and make appropriate adjustments to accommodate passage, etc.
  • Those taking stairs should stay to the far right to allow free flow up and down.
  • Things like saying, “Pardon me,” when bumping into one another in crowds.
  • Things like hold the door for a person behind him or her when entering a building
  • Things like that alcohol consumption in public will be in moderation.
  • Things like one's nose in public is not an acceptable behavior.
  • Things like using the phrase "thank you" is expected when someone has provided a service.
You get my meaning and here is what made me think that possibly our current totally independent and selfish like social behavior with a good deal of expectations and a high sense of entitlement type behavior, i.e., “When leaving the BART station by the stairs to the surface I move to the far right while noticing a young woman entering from above but moving to her far left. As I climbed she defended. I used body language to indicate I would say right if she would move slightly left to allow each of us to pass. 

I used my right hand opened and palm to my left side, held up about waist high with elbow near waist and looked her in the eyes for a brief moment so as to not alarm or indicate anything other than a polite signal. Most people when we are passing on the sidewalk will move with a conditioned response by moving slightly to their right so we can pass safely and politely.

I realized at the last moment when she kept approaching then stopped directly in front of me, I stopped as well, then makes a comment that indicated she expected me to move out of here way. I stood and said nothing with a calm and serene look on my face until she moved to her left and went around. The deal here is I could not move more right because I was as far right as I could be. I was a bit taken aback because in the last several decades when this type of thing occurs the unspoken socially acceptable behavior is and was to pass one another to the right. 

I then proceeded to ascend the stairs and go to work. Normally, on occasion and mostly from the males, when I see someone on the same path coming toward me I use such body language and signals but occasionally I can tell from their body language they are not going to move aside. I understand it as a male ego power trip so I move more to the right accordingly to pass and on occasion if no other room I move left and use the opposite body language to clearly indicate my intent - most, almost all, understand and move accordingly.

I realize that if I were paying a bit more attention, mind on work ya-know, that at a certain point I would have seen the resistance of this woman to move to her right so we could pass and I could have and would have moved then to the left to go around her but in this one instance I missed that one, it happens on occasion. I think it might deal with a lack of signals indicating some sort of danger, my inattention in that moment and possibly my assumptions when it comes to women that most often they, being more socially inclined toward such acceptable behaviors, will move in that socially acceptable way. I also thought she might have been a foreign visitor whose culture is the opposite, i.e., like driving on the left vs. driving in the right type thing. 

This reminded me that awareness even with the simplist things is necessary in our modern society because, in general, it seems we are becoming less socially and emotionally aware of others and that our totally independence we may be losing sight of how socially acceptable behaviors matter and should be taught somehow and somewhere. 

In our techno-society where we tend to connect through technological venues where body language, etc., does not exist such socially acceptable behaviors may be going the way of the do-do bird. 

Here is a list of what may or may not be socially acceptable behavior issues:
  • It is expected that one would hold the door for a person behind him or her when entering a building.
  • Normal dress for women at work excludes clothes that are highly revealing.
  • It is not considered acceptable for a woman to be highly sexually promiscuous.
  • It is expected that one will be on time for work the majority of the time.
  • It is expected that alcohol consumption in public will be in moderation.
  • Stealing is considered unacceptable under any circumstance.
  • Adults are expected to work in order to support themselves.
  • Nudity in public is not acceptable in most areas.
  • Picking one's nose in public is not an acceptable behavior.
  • Farting in public is not an acceptable behavior.
  • People are expected to be honest.
  • Respect for other people's property is important.
  • If a promise is made, it is expected it will be kept.
  • Chewing with one's mouth closed is expected.
  • Using the phrase "thank you" is expected when someone has provided a service.
  • Quick repayment of debt to another individual is an expected behavior.
  • Remaining loyal to one's spouse is an expected behavior.
  • Rising for the national anthem is an expected behavior.
  • Sending a thank you note to someone who has given a present is expected.
  • Providing adequate housing and food for oneself and one's family is expected.
  • Shorts should not be worn in a professional work atmosphere.
  • When dressing for a job interview in an office, men should wear a suit and tie.
  • If something is knocked over in a store, the person who did so will clean up after himself.
  • Belching at the dinner table is not an acceptable behavior.
  • Cursing in polite conversation is not acceptable.
  • Rudeness to service staff is not societally acceptable.
  • Going to work or school barefoot is not socially acceptable.
  • Being kind to animals is socially expected.
  • Slurping one's food is not acceptable in the U.S.
  • Ignoring someone when they are speaking is not acceptable.
I know this may not seem like a topic for martial arts and self-defense (fense = defense + offense) but remember if you will that certain etiquettes are taught and expected in the dojo and our social behavior goes a long way toward avoidance of conflict and violence. How we act among ourselves and others makes a huge difference and both those unwritten social behaviors along with some knowledge of cultures and beliefs, especially in social gatherings where the differences in modern society are more prominent, will go a long way toward keeping the social peace. 

Knowing and living and being socially mature and enlightened are some of those often unspoken and assumed understood behaviors that allow us to live, work, and play in social collectives making conflicts and violence less of an issue and obstacle to social cohesiveness, etc.

In a “fense” situation you should understand that if you traverse through a variety of tribe like culturally different environments knowing such socially acceptable behaviors while in their territory would be a very good start to avoidance and even deescalation if situations arise while you are there, kind of makes sense don’t it? 

Bibliography (Click the link)

Friction of Personal Art of War

Blog Article/Post Caveat (Read First Please: Click the Link)
  • Cause the adversary’s rhythm to fall apart.
  • Make a powerful attack causing the adversary to react in lieu of acting.
  • Arrest the adversary’s attack at the point of the very impulse to act.
  • Make the adversary in a hurry to act. 
  • Do things to make the adversary feel fear or anger, either one will result is his taking chances.
  • Do the unexpected.
  • Seize the adversary’s moment of fright, take advantage to win.
  • Fighting at close range when it is not going well, stick tight to the adversary.
  • When the adversary advances move to the edge/corner and attack.
  • Inflict injurious pain to the adversary.
  • Attack rapidly and unrelentingly. 
  • Make the adversary think confusing thoughts.
  • Concentrate your force, speed and fluidity with crushing force.
  • Disrupt the adversary’s rhythm, cadence and balance.
  • Change technique, tactics and methodologies rapidly and never repeat until defeated.
  • Become a rock wall, inaccessible to anything at all, immovable.
In Boyd’s cycle he speaks to friction so I thought I would try to collect and list those things that would be seen as friction, i.e., the types of frictions that would benefit you while obstructing the efforts of an adversary. These concepts could cause a type of friction the bleeds off the adversary’s ability to defeat you in a violent encounter but that is not all because this spans all those fense (defenses/offenses) before and after any physical intervention you may feel necessary to achieve your goals. 

Take a look at the list, I feel you can see as martial artists how this would cause frictions that are beneficial to your goals in fense. The idea here is for your applications to come closer to the OODA loop or cycle derived from Boyd’s Discourse on Winning and Losing, etc. 

Boyd’s Modern Art of War, called the Discourse, states, “Friction is thus a crucial concept, it is a weapon as well as a threat. The idea of friction as a weapon flows directly from the recognition of uncertainty as the one thing any system is constantly facing and trying to reduce. … maximize enemy friction, one should plan to attack with a variety of actions, executed with the greatest possible rapidity in a variety of tempo’s.”

Bibliography (Click the link)

Marc MacYoung on Good Guys and Guns

I like Mr. MacYoung’s work, he doesn’t hold back and is blunt but that is actually the charm to his writing. I say this because I have read most of his works and find them illuminating. In my last posts I have written about how I feel regarding current events of this nature (not connected to Mr. MacYoung’s work except in a round about way that may or may not be accurate, just personal mindless meanderings). I read Mr. MacYoung’s latest at his blog, “MacYoung’s Musings.” I am posting a link to that article below:

OFF TOPIC: On Gun Control and Responsiblity

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

You're either with us — or you're with the terrorists.- Gun Control Backers
You’re either smart and knowledgable — or you’re with the GCB. - Unknown 

Why oh why do people believe that laws will deter terrorists and the criminal element of our society? So far, all the current laws on the books failed to stop the Orlando situation and what makes anyone believe that more laws will stop another Orlando situation from occurring? The issues and obstacles to such violence is far deeper, broader and complex with resolutions that are not easy and able to stem the flow of such violence from reaching every corner of our communities, our country and the world. If it were that simple we would simple write a law that bans both conflict and violence with repercussions commensurate to those very laws (which by the way would have to be socially mandated violence). 

Why do we always focus on laws that only “LAW ABIDING CITIZENS” will obey? Criminals and Terrorists have no rules, no laws and not even religious mandates against their actions and deeds so what makes you all think that just because we have a LAW on the BOOKS they will suddenly cringe, shake and suddenly believe they MUST obey the LAWS? 

Sounds like our world is stupid is as stupid does, don’t ya thunk? Again, I would love it if they mandated, by decree or law or other requirement, an appropriate training program that would teach us all, as kids or young adults, how to cope with conflict and violence such as those strategies and tactics necessary to first and foremost protect the individual in those first few moments so they can survive until the rapid response of the authorities can react and act accordingly. 

It comes down to self-defense or what one professional calls, “Fense.” It comes down to knowing how to apply fense in any situation where decisions are made and people survive. It would be an ongoing school subject and requirement to handle the reality of conflict, the reality of violence and the reality of human nature. 

If it were so easy to just write and enact a law, then all of us would never have had to deal with the tragedy of the Orlando event. Stop the common cognitive distortion such laws promote where everything is either black or white because violence has a ton of gray space. Stop jumping to conclusions, when you are ignorant to conflict and violence, from our feelings rather than facts and logic. Stop making it personal because it ain’t personal, its about conflict and violence and that is a human condition that nature has not evolved beyond - yet. Stop holding everyone else responsible for conflict and violence and take personal and social responsibility for our roles in protection, security and safety, WE THE INDIVIDUAL ARE ACTUALLY THE FIRST RESPONDERS (if appropriate toward safety and the situation) until the legally mandated first responders get there!

There are no laws or rules that will actually mandate the actions of people and others as to social behaviors because we need to reconnect in a more tribal cohesive bonding way before we can survive as a society. Stop using our emotional reasoning to find answers to such conflict and violent behaviors and beliefs, make them believe in our social beliefs and culture once we reestablish those values and beliefs. Stop trying to label everyone and everything in accordance with our personal belief systems because as humans we are all as different as there are stars in the heavens. Believe that we are NOT always right and that laws for the law-abiding are not always the answers, if you add them in make sure they are on a foundation of additional and supplemental actions that will actually get the job done. 

Lets remove all the cognitive distortions that seem to drive such inadequate and inappropriate answers and actions to this growing issue of grave extreme violence. Try creating a social environment where we all belong and we all can connect on a personal deep bonding like level and try creating responsibility that spans the individual to the tribe to the social connectedness to the world social yet distinctly separate needs of our cultures and beliefs where conflict and violence become unnecessary. 

The answers are there and they are glaring in their presence but we are hiding behind the barriers we build through such cognitive distortions and emotionally driven illogical responses that we will continue to succumb to such events over and over and over and over again, time for a paradigm shift!

OODA More … Notes and Quotes, Theories and Idea’s …

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“Goal: High operational tempo and the rapid exploitation of opportunity.” - Colonel John R. Boyd, USAF and the next in line for recognition along side luminaries of the art of war such as Musashi and Sun Tzu. Temp is speed and speed is in the tempo and both are about speeding up our loop to be inside the loop of our adversary’s. This is what I am receiving in my studies of Boyd’s Patterns of Conflict, i.e., his Art of War. No where else to this day have I felt such enormous pride in what a person and his acolytes have done in a substantive way toward the future of our military might, i.e., only if those in charge would listen.

In my mediocre way I attribute such insight into the sights toward better karate and martial arts for self-defense. As I contemplate his saying, as highlighted above, I can now see how other such professionals of the SD communities have exemplified this goal for their teachings also talk about the tempo and rapidity of exploitation of opportunities or as one professional said, “gifts.” 

Gifts as in those opportunities presented unbeknownst to the adversary that give you the advantage and a hand up against their attacks. The types of gifts that through orientation by observation and decision create the inspirational opportunities to achieve your goals. 

Like the art of war and the book of five rings, although meant to be a tome of war is such that it transcends war itself and teaches us those patterns of everyday conflict and violence to find and achieve our every day goals be it in business or in karate and martial arts self-defense. 

“Understand intent, focus on the goals, not the atomistic of taking the hill and holding it, and what ever is necessary to fulfill the goal.” - Colonel John R. Boyd, USAF in my initial thoughts leads me toward a concerted effort to study, learn, understand and utilize all the intelligence possible on the subject of my goals. In this case, karate and martial arts for self-defense. It speaks also to the dogma set ways that the current karate, martial arts and self-defense are taught, mired down in ancient ways that are not adequate to the modern way of conflict and violence. 

Like the current dogma of technique based drill trained linear type of practice, training and application reminiscent of the WWI model of lining up, synchronization of movement and a forward head on charge into enemy fire dependent on greater numbers where the last man standing indicates who won the war. In KMA&SD one person cannot achieve survival standing toe-to-toe hoping strength, size and speed alone with bring survival, success and a winning goal. 

To understand requires concerted effort and due diligence to gather, collate and understand the intelligence of the enemy, etc. not collecting a bunch of techniques, basics and kata learned and practiced out of the scope of violent conflict and attacks. Forget the technique(s) of the attack, focus on the goal of survival through the tempo/rhythm and speed of applied methods of ever rapidly changing methodologies to cause your adversary to lose even before the first blow. 

“It is about an implicit model of training and practice over a more explicit (not fast enough) technique model.” - Colonel John R. Boyd, USAF, speaks as an addendum to the recent comments in that to create an implicit model of action is faster than to rely on an explicit, thus much slower, model of action through a technique-to-technique based drill practice without the other aspects that make things work. 

“Freedom of action!” - Colonel John R. Boyd, USAF, is to my way of thinking, thinking outside the box but while ignoring that a box is also a obstacle to freedom of mind and freedom of action. The only way to achieve freedom of action is to remove any set requirements toward any type of action and allow actions to come from an instinctual procedural sub-routine and function programming effort in an appropriate teaching, training, and practice model supplemented by experience - both training and reality oriented. This involves a analytical and synthesis model of knowledge acquisition, study, understanding, creativity and creation of a variety of things all changing accordingly and spontaneously to the situation and stimuli of the moment. 

“Trust as a moral force to bind the group into an organic whole.” - Colonel John R. Boyd, USAF, this tells me that a trust bond between mentors/teachers and students/practitioners is critical in the training and practice of an organic whole such as karate for self-defense. Trust being the operative word where in a basic trust the teachers and students have a trust in one another that discards any need to micro-manage teachings so that each can trust in the others ability to create from the teachings appropriate results in achieving goals, of each individual. 

“Use actions that increase menace, uncertainty, and chaos in the adversary.“ - Colonel John R. Boyd, USAF, and this makes me think of the tempo and speed of applied methodologies of a principled based application so that the adversary shortens his line, you lengthen yours and that means staying inside the adversary’s loop achieving your goals. This is done by, “Increase initiative, adaptability, and harmony,” as quoted in patterns of conflict by Colonel John R. Boyd, USAF.

“Avoid attrition of the slugfest model of self-defense. Use rapidly changing, free form tactics for weak spots rather than concentrating on power at selected targets.” - Colonel John R. Boyd, USAF, yet this is exactly what I was originally taught and thought was self-defense, to engage in a slugfest and then use my size, strength and mind-set to dominate and win. Oh what a wicked web we create when we first deceive - ourselves. In truth, rapid change, free form multiple principled based methodologies and targeting the weaknesses of the adversary’s mind seems the way to go. That is why I believe Colonel Boyd said, “Attack the mind of the adversary.” 

“Once you start the process, it must not slow. It must continue and accelerate. Success is a trap for the beginner who properly implements the OODA, they are amazed at the success, they pause to contemplate that success in wonder and look to other things instead of pressing the process faster and faster till the goals are reached.” - Colonel John R. Boyd, USAF, and I see this as that “Oh Shit” moment that if not addressed in training and practice, appropriate training and practice, leads to hesitation, disrupted processes and the slowing of the tempo making you vulnerable and susceptible to the freeze. 

Many of the professionals have written that the first step in self-defense, fighting and combat is the hardest and takes the most will-power. In my mind that means overcoming social conditioning and the very instincts humans use to protect the species, we have a most difficult time doing grave harm to one another let alone causing death. Train to trigger the go button, the actions needed, train to never hesitate and to go till the job is done and make sure you train to use the tempo and increase the rapidity of applying methodologies to the adversary. Train to disrupt the adversary’s loop, to remain inside their loop time line and to shorten your line. Don’t spend energy and mind-state/set on success or winning or another thing, remain steadfast and focused on your real goals - end the conflict and violence quickly. 

“Slice your training and practice of the same methods to see them from a different direction and thus provide another view of the same point.” - Colonel John R. Boyd, USAF, this is about analysis and synthesis of what you already know to things you need to know and apply, it is about encoding procedural sub-routine and functional memories of our inner perceived world so we can enable and use a faster loop through time compression, etc. 

“Disorient then follow up with an attack.” - Colonel John R. Boyd, USAF, brings to mind the concept and principle of yin-yang, i.e., disorientation-orientation of the body-cycle. In the process of getting inside the adversary’s loop you tend to cause his disorientation and your effective use of the boyd-cycle through orientation = observations + decisions achieves that and many other goals.

“TO BE or TO DO?” - Colonel John R. Boyd, USAF. Is a philosophical and strategic credo Colonel Boyd used in everything he did, every job done, and every decision he could influence. He believed that it was more important to do the right thing over being promoted. In my limited understanding and toward my self-defense karate and martial arts discipline I see this as “Do you want to stroke your ego with belts and accolades or do you what to do what is right?” It was about personal choice, you have to make that choice as to what kind of person you are going to be and become. You have two paths and you have to choose the path to follow. One leads to all the attributes toward fame, recognition and being a group member or it can be about your humility, professionalism, expertise, proficiency, knowledge and understanding. In either case you have to conduct yourself in a certain way. Go along with the system and show that you are a team player or do things that are truly significant for your discipline fully knowing and accepting that the rewards will be very personal and those from others like getting kicked in the stomach because you dare to cross swords with the status quo, the party line and so on. You cannot travel both paths, choose and choose wisely. You have to decide, “Do you want to the a man of distinction or do you want to do things that really influence the shape of the discipline/system/community, etc.?” It comes down to, “To be or to do, that is the question!”

“Jar your students out of complacency and into thinking on their own.” - Colonel John R. Boyd, USAF. and this means to me in the karate and martial arts for self-defense community to get rid of the management type instruction of the system and move more into the teaching leadership type instruction where trust and the allowing of free thought and creative mind-sets to dominate the goals, tactics, and strategies.  


“The modern self-defense community is still dogmatically connected to the old way of fighting, i.e., relying on the idea that whoever is bigger, stronger and faster and uses the most complex technique based model will win, i.e., it in other words favors the toe-to-toe slugfest in which the winner is the last man standing.” - unknown  and apropos to the very nature of modern karate and martial arts especially for self-defense, fighting (sport) and combatives (military, etc., professionals).

“Use ambiguity and deception, i.e., as did Muhammad Ali by saying, ‘Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.’” - Colonel John R. Boyd, USAF and I would simply provide additional quotes from the U.S. Marine publication on war-fighting. Ambiguity—to act (he must prepare for numerous possibilities and cannot prepare adequately for any one) in such a way that the enemy does not know what to expect. Deception—to convince the enemy we are going to do something other than what we are really going to do in order to induce him to act in a manner prejudicial to his own interests.  I would add in the USMC’s reference to stealth as well, i.e., Stealthto deny the enemy any knowledge of impending action. 

“Timely decisions implies that we must be able to form mental concepts of observed reality, as we perceive it, and be able to change these concepts as reality itself appears to change. The concepts can then be used as decision-models for improving our capacity for independent action. How do we make such mental concepts possible? Two ways, through analysis (deduction and differentiation) and synthesis (Induction and integration).”

“Observe: sense yourself and the world around you.
Orientation, the complex set of filters of genetic heritage, cultural predisposition, personal experience, and knowledge.
Decision, review of alternative courses of action and the selection of the preferred course as a hypothesis to be tested. 
Action, the testing of the decision selected by implementation.” 

“Advantages in observation and orientation enable a tempo in decision-making and execution that outpace the ability of the adversary to react effectively in time.” - General Colin Gray on Boyd Cycle, his quote (starts with timely decisions quote - three combined quotations) on the OODA created by Colonel John R. Boyd, USAF and how I begin to analyze the loop or the Boyd-Cycle to understand it in general and how to understand it in the realm of self-defense regardless of the methodology used. It is very interesting in a recent source that Colonel Boyd, possibly, started out by using the term, “Sense,” making it SODA in lieu of OODA but his pragmatic sensed won the day and used, “observe.” It also makes sense as he studies the workings of the brain and the brain, our reality, is about how we take in data through our sensory systems while using our internal world perceptions in comparison, i.e., kind of like analyzing the two to create, or synthesize, a true perception of the reality that is the outside world (at least close to the outer reality world with a goal of changes that would soon achieve a true measure of reality outside our brains, our minds). 

Focus applies to time as well as to space. We must focus effects not only at the decisive location but also at the decisive moment.” -  General C. C. Krulak, USMC Commandant, MCDP-1 and this adds another dimension to how karate-ka and martial artists will view, “Kime or Focus.” It should be understood that this publication comes from the original works of a Marine Officer, Michael D. Wyly, USMC retired (Michael Duncan Wyly (born c. 1939) is a retired U.S. Marine Colonel. In 1979, Colonel Wyly was head of tactics at the Amphibious Warfare School (AWS) where he, with John Boyd, introduced maneuver warfare.) who initially wrote the book on Marine Maneuver War-Fighting that later became the MSDP-1. 

“Fast Transients: The speed with which you can change and adapt to the changes. (Boyd Cycle)” - Colonel John R. Boyd, USAF, and that speaks to the ability to change, not just change for changes sake but the kind that allows you inside the adversary’s loop. Adrenal stress-conditioned reality based appropriate to the discipline type of training is the best way to cognitively train our procedural zombie sub-routine/functions memory to change in a fluid dynamic adrenal chemical dump environment toward self-defense. 

“Mental concepts vs. observed reality: the outer world of reality as sensed by humans and then compared to the inner world of our preceptive memories of past experiences.” - Colonel John R. Boyd, USAF, and can you say, “Matrix!” The better encoding of sub-routines and functions along with the most correct inner world of perceptions provides you a mirror of the outer world simply because our inner world dominates the outer in the perceptions. 

“In a cooperative sense, where skills and talents are pooled, the removal or overcoming of obstacles represents an improved capacity for independent action for all concerned.” - Colonel John R. Boyd, USAF, and what this means to me, initially, is the differences between social cohesion for survival along with an independent action personal survival primal/instinctual survival matrix. Instinctually, in our genes, we humans must come together into a group or tribe for survival. More so in ancient history than modern times but still necessary even if only in a family/neighborhood concept and business as in staff members collecting to survive in business by being the best and superior than a competitor. Still, we are driven, if not for survival instincts often viewed by other socially driven modern conventions like fun, party, club like associations, etc., that still are based on natures survival instincts. Even so, we humans also have a natural instinct to an independent action survival need but that is restricted by the social conditioned conventions of the tribe toward its survival. The actual needs of survival are hidden and covered by things today that make it palatable to our current gratification needs but in truth it still comes down to survival, life and how we live it for survival - in other words; survival, survival, survival. 

“Boyd could interpolate among and between disparate bits of information and create from that sweeping insights. Often abstract and flowing from unconnected sources Body was found to be generally correct in his findings/insights. These intuitive leaps allowed Colonel Boyd to understand complex issues while others could grasp only in pieces.” - Colonel John R. Boyd, USAF, and through this process of analysis and synthesis the Colonel came to understand the OODA and therefore his created art of modern war in patterns of conflict and later expanded into the discourse on winning and losing. This quote provides a koan like meme that studied and taken into its parts provides a method of thinking and analysis that creates from the ashes something new yet old, through synthesis. He also said, “Analysis and Synthesis is thinking that consists of pulling ideas apart (analysis) and while intuitively looking for connections that form a more general elaboration (synthesis) of what is taking place. The process not only creates the discourse but also represents the key to evolve the tactics, strategies, goals, and unifying themes that permit us to shape and adapt to the world around us.” - Colonel John R. Boyd, USAF Deceased and that lead to his conceptual spiral, i.e., 

The Conceptual Spiral: 

Exploration - Discovery - Innovation
Thinking         - Doing - Achieving
Learning         - Unlearning - Relearning
Comprehending - Shaping         - Adapting

Hence a Conceptual Spiraling
for Generating:

Insight - Imagination - Initiative

    The Conceptual Spiral

and that brings about a need to also study another zen koan like quote, i.e., “Boyd’s thoughts and vision was thought of as a type of ‘Western Zen’, oxymoron thought that is. It was a state of mind, learning of the oneness of things, an appreciation for fundamental insights known in Eastern philosophy as simply, ‘The Way.’ For the Colonel, the Way si not an end but a process, not a state of mind but a journey.”

All species seek to survive and prosper by enhancing their freedom of independent action or establishing symbiotic relationships through timely adaptation to a constantly changing environment. Those who adapt will survive, those who do not, die.Those who do survive do so by being good at doing OODA loops. A concept by which fighter pilots with only seconds to make a correct decisions or die.” - Colonel John R. Boyd, USAF that validates my premise that survival is the underlying reasons for all types of patterns that lead to all types of goals, tactics and strategies toward and from the modern art of war that is about winning and losing in the discourse provided by the good Colonel. 

“To find solutions, exhaust the possibilities!” - Colonel John R. Boyd, USAF and leave no stone of knowledge and experience unturned. Gather together the knowledgeable and experienced, compare notes, perform analysis and then synthesize possibilities, and then create a strategy that gives birth to the tactics necessary to get-r-done. 

“Swordlessness: The ability to defend oneself without a weapon, a concept that by implication means using the adversary’s weapon against him. It is used to debate, negotiate, and all other forms of competition.” - Colonel John R. Boyd, USAF and I believe this is the path to avoidance, to achieve your goals without resorting to battle. It is about encountering an attack and using that attack to achieve defense/offense against the adversary plunging him into the darkness of confusion and indecision, locking him in his OO loop, the OO bounce, exposing his weakness of mind and taking advantage to conquer his body, mind and spirit. This is applicable to all life’s conflict in debate, in negotiations and other forms of competition, i.e., combat, fighting, defense and sports. 

“Style over brawn, i.e., the importance of style and technique. You don’t have to move your arms faster or flail away to gain speed, you can move more slowly than most, but if you have perfect technique you will move faster because you will be more efficient. It takes less energy to do things right. Wasted motions, however forceful, are simply of little use. How you do things is as important as what you are trying to do. This is an insight into, ‘form and function’.”  - unknown, and this locks on to principled based multiple methodology where adherence to principles maximizes the energy generation with the least amount of movement and effort. Principled applications over muscling it is how smaller folks are able to handle bigger and stronger adversary’s simply because of their principled based use of multiply methodologies in a maneuver self-fense strategy.

“Working within a closed system, over time, the amount of confusion and disorder will increase. The concept of truth is not coextensive (extending over the same space or time; corresponding exactly in extent [the degree to which something has spread; the size or scale of something; the amount to which something is or is believed to be the case]) with provability in formal systems.” - Colonel John R. Boyd, USAF where in a loose relational connection speaks to the creation and adherence to styles and systems often created from individual efforts. Then I would add in the dogmatic adherence to remaining faithful to the exact duplication, without creative license toward change from cheng-ch’i, that tends to close the system and remove its natural tendency toward change and growth potential over the evolution of the style or system according to culture, times, and beliefs along with evolved ways in the art of war. 

“Included in Boyd’s notion of Orientation is the idea of institutional memory in the form of doctrine, practices, values, and shared experiences, that guide action and that inform newcomers in the organization.” - Colonel John R. Boyd, USAF and I have come to a greater understanding of the OODA, or Boyd’s Cycle, where orientation is far more than the linear mechanical eyes on stimuli type of orientation. Osinga’s thesis goes on to say, and I quote directly:

“Orientation, seen as a result, represents images, views, or impressions of the world shaped by genetic heritage, cultural traditions, previous experiences, and unfolding circumstances.”

“Orientation is the Schwerpunkt. It shapes the way we interact with the environment - hence orientation shapes the way we observe, the way we decide, the way we act.”

“Orientation shapes the character of present observation-orientation-decision-action loops - while these present loops shape the character of future orientation.

“Orientation is an interactive process of many sided implicit cross-referencing projections, empathies, correlations and rejections [...]. Expose individuals, with different skills and abilities, against a variety of situations - whereby each individual can observe and orient himself simultaneously to the others and to the variety of changing situations.”

“To discern what is going on we must interact in a variety of ways with our environment. We must be able to examine the world from a number of perspectives so that we can generate mental images or impressions that correspond to that world. We can’t just look at our own personal experiences or use the same mental recipes over and over again; we’ve got to look at other disciplines and activities and relate or connect them to what we know from our experiences and the strategic world we live in.”

“Boyd actually made a deliberate effort to look for possible new angles on war and strategy, it was part of his efforts to improve his own ‘orientation’.”

“Sharpening our mental capabilities is critically important if we are to adapt and survive in a complex, uncertain, constantly changing environment. Your best weapon is your mind. Learning how to think well and quickly is the first prerequisite of survival.”

“When it comes to action the thing is to: OODA’ more inconspicuously, more quickly and with more irregularity as basis to keep or gain initiative as well as shape or shift main effort; to repeatedly and unexpectedly penetrate vulnerabilities and weaknesses exposed by that effort or other effort(s) that tie up, divert, or drain-away adversary attention (and strength) elsewhere.” - Colonel John R. Boyd, USAF: ???

“OODA Loop Schematic: In the schematic Boyd has captured and combined elements of maneuver and moral conflict, as well as an element of the description of Grand Tactics, a view on strategy, which focuses on those elements that allow complex social structures to exist and function in a purposeful way and to adapt to changes in the environment.”

  • Tactics: ‘OODA’ more inconspicuously, more quickly and with more irregularity as basis to keep or gain initiative as well as shape or shift main effort; to repeatedly and unexpectedly penetrate vulnerabilities and weaknesses exposed by that effort or other effort(s) that tie up, divert, or drain-away adversary attention (and strength) elsewhere.
  • Idea: Destroy adversary’s moral-mental-physical harmony, produce paralysis, and collapse his will to resist.
  • Aim: Render adversary powerless by denying him the opportunity to cope with unfolding circumstances.
  • Lethal effort: Tie-up, divert, or drain-away adversary attention and strength as well as (or thereby) overload critical vulnerabilities and generate weaknesses.
  • Maneuver: Subvert, disorient, disrupt, overload, or seize those vulnerable yet critical connections, centers, and activities as basis to penetrate, splinter, and isolate remnants of adversary organism for mop-up or absorption.
  • Moral: Create an atmosphere of fear, anxiety, and alienation to sever human bonds that permit an organic whole to exist.
  • Why: unless one can penetrate adversary’s moral-mental-physical being, and sever those interacting bonds that permit him to exist as an organic whole, by being able to subvert, shatter, seize, or otherwise subdue those moral-mental-physical bastions, connections, or activities that he depends upon, one will find it exceedingly difficult, if not impossible, to collapse adversary’s will to resist.

- Colonel John R. Boyd, USAF: and all this contributes to the knowledge that Colonel Boyd’s work is not as simple as some believed through just the exposure to the OODA loop concept. The OODA is lots more and makes the study of great value be it for military use, personal fense use or just everyday use in life - apparently all the intent of Boyd’s end works.

OODA: Orientation - shapes observation; shapes decisions; shapes actions; and is shaped by the feedback and other phenomena coming into our sensing or observation window on the world. It is a many sided, ongoing, implicit, cross-referencing process of projection, empathy, correlation and rejection. It, and the related insights represent an evolving, open-ended, far-from-equilibrium process of self-organization, emergence, and natural selection. Collectively, they mean we are faced with a dynamic, novel, unstable world that we must constantly adapt to even as we try and shape it for our own needs. - Colonel John R. Boyd, USAF: this statement made by Colonel Boyd helps start a better understanding of the OODA loop, it demonstrates its terseness yet complex use in all facets of human existence toward individual and tribal survival be it in combat in places like Viet Nam and Afghanistan or the board room battles of modern business. 

Bibliography (Click the link)

Attitude Adjustments Needed

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

The recent Orlando incident seems to have, at least in one Florida County, caused a change in the way such things are viewed especially as it regards citizen’s readiness if encountering such dangerous situations. I have to put in as well that it is definitely the individuals responsibility to make sure that they are “Aware” of not only the possibility but as to their actions in the rare but possible violent situation.

As a martial arts karate-ka who advocates self-fense (self-defense using defensive and offensive tactics and strategies to safe guard self and others) I believe wholeheartedly that we cannot rely on others for our safety and security. In the Youtube video to follow it is admitted by the Sheriff that response time, although the fastest possible response time, still exposes those at the scene to the dangers of grave bodily harm or death. 

Even if the police arrive in a couple of minutes the predator causing such havoc and violence still has the ability to do a lot of harm in a matter of “seconds”. Take the Tueller Drill as an example, if an attacker is charging at you from up to twenty-one feet or so away they can reach you and do a ton of damage in those mill-seconds to one and a half seconds so consider that adding on about 120 or more seconds and you have a life time before the authorities intervene on your behalf. 

So, as I advocate in self-fense, it is up to YOU to get-r-done. It is just a fact of life and what you do and how you do it will make the difference. Saying that, even after viewing the video, you have to become “aware” of all factors involved in such situations. I would start by reading, as a basic foundation toward knowledge and understanding, Marc MacYoung’s book on writing violence, defense because he covers a lot of necessary knowledge you need to learn, train, practice and apply to survive. 

The bibliography that follows this article lists all his writing violence books including the one on defense - read them all, it is enlightenment. OH, and don’t be fooled by his title and intent of those mini-books because his goal is to teach writers to write scenes of violence that are like reality violence. They are short books with detailed concise information on what defense is, what he termed “fense,” and how it works in the reality of real-world violence. 

I won’t say that the following video is appropriate or even the best way to act in such situations but what I do like about it is it appears that law enforcement, at least in this Sheriff’s domain, are taking a more proactive view and action toward society security and safety through a paradigm shift of what we need to do to survive until the properly trained authorities can act. 

I would advocate what I am calling “Maneuver Fense” where you not JUST learn the knowledge but you take such courses, ongoing and repetitive to keep the knowledge and experience fresh, to learn how to, “Be Aware; Avoid when the situation dictates and allows for your safety and security; to have the knowledge, experience and ability to ARM yourself from your environment when the situation dictates and allows for your safety and security; and to FIGHT/ATTACK/FENSE when when the situation dictates and allows for your safety and security. 

The Sheriff makes good points when he advocates citizens, in those very critical moments before deputies arrive and act, to “Escape-Evade-Fight” with no order where the one chosen is the one the individual has assessed and decided to use as the best fense to survive and protect self and others. 

I can’t personally stress this enough that until the modern dangers of such actions of such predatory nature can be avoided we, the individual citizen, have a personal critical obligation to take appropriate actions according to the situation for our own security and safety. 

I also will say that even with the meme’s provided in the video, i.e., “Escape, evade and fight,” and “Awareness, Avoidance, Arm, Attack,” that it will take “Action on your part” to take the courses and repeat the courses periodically to keep it fresh; to practice yourself, to use visualization; to practice with your family and friends and to take responsibility for your own safety and security BECAUSE moments count and even if in the best of circumstances those two or several minutes of response time for police still leaves a HUGE time gap for a LOT OF DAMAGE. It is just the way it is and it is up to YOU.

Social Conditions and conditioning and attitudes MUST change to make this a safer and more secure society. Currently, the attitude about self-defense, the law and the legal system are not exactly conducive to the best fense possible for society and its citizens. It kind of makes, from where I sit, heroism a true danger to legal ramifications regardless. 

I feel strongly that with attitude adjustments along with a more realistic understanding outside of the emotional effects will allow us to achieve a better defense/offense of societies citizens without our personal loss of how we can affect such things in future violent predatory situations. 

Now, here is that video: “It’s Time to Fight Back”  (video link provided by a member of the “Animal eMail List, thanks guys!)

Bibliography (Click the link)

Conserve to Preserve

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

How often have you heard the meme, “Use it or lose it?” How often have you heard the meme, “Conserve it to preserve it?” This second meme only came to my attention in a recent study of mine regarding our bodies as to strength and durability and endurance but in a sense of longevity, i.e., what happens as we age and how that effects our practice and application of martial arts especially for self-defense.

It also came up regarding certain maladies one may have had over the years that now, as we age, have certain repercussions that long ago were not addressed or even given any thought or concern - the durability of a young mind. 

Sometimes how you use it in order to not lose it determines actually whether you truly lose it vs. actually conserving it for longevity. In our youth we in martial arts, at least from a Western perspective and perception, relied heavily on our physical muscular strength to carry the day with a smattering of actual principled based methodologies to get-r-done. Little did I and I suspect others in those younger years even considered that a more balanced way of martial arts and life would provide us the means to get-r-done as well as conserve to preserve those very same things that would provide us longevity and ability to continue our efforts in a martial way.

Fatigue, loss of strength, pain and our endurance all start to decline as our bodies age. How we temper that decline makes a huge difference. What I have discovered is that from a Western perspective we tend to exert maximum effort, strength and spirit in order to get-r-done but now find that a more cerebral view would have made that easier, more appropriate and smarter in applying learned skills in what even application we need or use. 

I have only just recently discovered that many of the ways I did things in fense as well as martial arts was not as efficient as it could be and relied heavily on my size, strength and mind-set to carry the day. I did things, as many did and still do, the “HARD WAY.” It seems, for me anyway, as a means to an end and only as I age and hopefully become wise realize that smart is so much better than hard. 

I also find this apropos because now I have encountered, as the aging process takes firm hole in my winter years, certain obstacles that actually force me to take a more conservative view of my way to make sure things last for the duration of my life. If I had continued to work the hard way I would deplete certain energies and strengths that would in the later winter years exposed me to vulnerabilities that would actually effect the quality of life let alone expose me to the dangers in life. 

Take a look and so some analysis on the subject of “Conserve to Preserve” especially if your reaching those winter years because taking action now and adjusting how you do things, especially in the dojo, will make for a long lasting ability to remain active in the dojo and to show those young-uns just how we old guys get-r-done but smartly. 

Bibliography (Click the link)