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

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

CPW: Experts, Masters and the Knowledgable

Experts are those who have taken the time, made the effort and have shown due diligence in a discipline so as to learn, understand and know about that discipline but there is a hitch. 

The hitch is those who follow. If the expert, master and the knowledgable fail to convey that what they are passing is subject to correction, change and falsehood then those who follow fall into the pit that creates dogma, a dogma that is irrefutable and unchangeable. 

Through out history the experts have gone as far as killing others who refute or question their teachings and beliefs. When persons reach a higher level of expertise they often fall into the pit that what they do and their level of expertise means they know it all and no one can tell them about their discipline. 

Some times this leads experts into a false sense of superiority over anyone with less time, less knowledge and less experience. This fogs the teachings and often instills a certain attitude not only in the leader but in the followers. 

Experts, masters and the knowledgable are seekers of change, growth and progress, not just knowledge for knowledge can fool you into thinking there is no more and there is no chance that what is known is changeable and open to falsehoods created by self-limitations. Experts are aware that what they are experts in can become simply a stepping stone toward another different discipline and this is what expertise means, a means to a greater depth and breadth of life that stimulates progress, a progress with no end. 

Experts sometimes succumb to the monkey mind by labeling any attempt to expand and question a belief as blasphemy and blasphemy is a good excuse to validate the current dogma and to give excuse to punish those who don’t follow the doctrine. 

Liar, cheater, blasphemer! Experts see these traits as a signal that they must self-analyze and self-evaluate and seek additional validations of both their expertise and those questions, comments and criticisms that could open the next door along the path of that discipline often leading to a new discipline. 

Experts, masters and the knowledgable are leaders of those that follow and seekers of truth that will build upon and provide growth to the discipline along with the expert and those who follow. 

Stabilizer Muscles

Ok, lets get to it, lets discuss how we can segregate and exercise those special muscles we call “stabilizer muscles” to improve our martial arts practice, training and most important of all “applications.” You know, those muscles we use to provide us stability when punching and kicking, etc. These muscles need to be addressed with special exercises that will result in what some call “good chinkuchi.” Wait a minute …..

Here is the rub when someone makes the statement that some exercise or system provides for stronger stabilizer muscles therefore creating a stronger body part, i.e. hands and wrists, feet and ankles, etc. If you do some research, especially in the fields of kinesiology or anatomy, you will not find any category called, “Stabilizer muscles.” 

Here is a more exact response to the notion of “stabilizer muscles,” whereby to stabilize the human body our muscle can and do ACT as a stabilizer during the execution of a movement. It is all about what you are asking a muscle to do depending on the task at hand. Our muscle can act as both agonist and antagonist when performing an exercise or the performance of a particular task. 

Depending on the task or exercise the muscle can act as a stabilizer in order to allow other muscles to function as needed for that exercise or task. It is a bit like this, “Understand that when a muscle contracts it pulls equally from both ends. In order to have movement at only one end of the muscle other muscles must come into play to stabilize the bone to which the other end of the muscle is attached, in place.”

Another defining explanation is that a stabilizer is more a set of muscles that contract so that there is no significant movement so that it will maintain a posture of fixate a joint. In that light then it is understand in karate circles of Okinawa a chinkuchi action is about “fixating a joint or set of joints, etc.” In one suggested physical exercise the forearm, wrist and hand muscles will fixate so they don’t move or move only very little to achieve a solid unmovable forearm-wrist-fist configuration while the rest of the body continues to move its muscles in the agonist and antagonist fashion signifying normal muscle activity. 

Note: my explanation is a bit simplistic and may involve a bit more explanation of complexity but you get the idea.

So, in a nutshell there are no “stabilize muscles” as if a type of muscle you can dedicate an exercise to in development. It is more about utilizing your muscles in an appropriate way to both move and stabilize the skeletal system so that movement and certain types of moves can be accomplished in the most economical and beneficial way maximizing the strength and physiokinetics of the body, i.e. those that are explained by the fundamental principles of martial systems such as posture, spinal alignment, structure, sequential locking and relaxation and so on. 

Yessis, Michael. “Biomechanics and Kinesiology of Exercise.” Ultimate Athlete Concepts. 2013
Yessis, Michael. "Kinesiology"

Know When to Hold-em, Know When to Fold-em

Note poker but in self-defense. As you are aware there are rules in self-defense. They are not necessarily the ones your self-defense instructor told you but the ones society imposes on you if you are dragged into court to convince the judge, jury and prosecutor that you used self-defense properly. 

Marc MacYoung, in the book “In the Name of Self-Defense,” states pretty succinctly, “You have to know when to stop!” He also states and I came to realize that a lot of what martial artist are taught regardless of whether the moniker of self-defense is there or not, is illegal and will get you in a lot of trouble if you use it in a defense situation. 

Mr. MacYoung, over the last few years along with some other professionals such as Rory Miller, has rung my bell a lot causing this little light bulb to click on in my brain bringing me to the conclusion that what I had practiced and taught is NOT SELF-DEFENSE!

The concept of knowing when to fold-em or STOP makes self-defense very, very difficult to learn and to teach. It brings to my mind the criticality of “knowing” what self-defense is and how it applies in “reality, reality, reality.” 

Mr. MacYoung provides some real world examples of what and how easy it is to cross that line, the line that is printed with “STOP HERE NOW!”

My example for this post is the cross over kick in my system. Usually this kick is applied, bunkai, when you have taken an adversary down to the ground and you cross over the kick while restraining the adversary by his hand and arm and kicking them in the throat, face, chest, etc. to “finish the job.” There are so many examples in this one statement that say, “Oh Shit, you crossed the line dude!” Once you cross the line, in most instances, you are screwed, screwed, and screwed. (note: trying to put a little written color into my post like Mr. MacYoung in his book - makes for a fun read of his stuff while learning, great combination)

MacYoung, Marc. “In the Name of Self-Defense: What It Costs. When It’s Worth It.” Marc MacYoung. 2014.

The full verse: “No when to hold-em, know when to fold-em, know when to walk-away and know when to run!” sounds like good self-defense advice, yes?


I am surprised that both ego and pride don’t appear in the fundamental principle of martial systems. When you look at the principle of Philosophy you encounter sub-principles that may or may not address these two but unless one is versed in how this affects training, practice and application you may fall prey to them.

When I think of ego and pride I think of the monkey (thanks to both Rory Miller and Marc MacYoung for exposing me to these concepts). The monkey brain seems to have its own unique emotionally driven approach to things often at odds to our thinking brain, the Vulcan mind of logic and common sense. The monkey uses emotions to take control and to make the person think that the things it drives us to do are “good, logical and beneficial.” So far from the truth it is just not funny. 

In Martial Arts circles with an Asian philosophical flavor they talk about getting rid of ego and pride. They do recognize that both tend to push people to take inappropriate actions yet these same Asian philosophies fall prey to things that may have been acceptable and relevant to the times but in modern times end up sending folks down a deep and dark hole called civil, legal and emotional hell. 

This is an attempt to bring the monkey up and into the training of martial artists because when you allow the monkey out of its cage you can find that training, practice and application are far removed from any and all aspects of self-defense. 

Even police and military are governed by rules that would put such actions taught under the auspices of traditional combatives tend to cringe under the scrutiny of others who take a vested interest in their actions. No wonder the professionals are subjected to restrictions and limitations that tend to hinder doing the job safely, etc.

I have to agree that those traditional Asian arts or combatives have it right, that ego and pride can misalign the true objective of such disciplines and that holds true today with repercussions that most don’t know about or even begin to understand - until it becomes way to late. 

When I think of the philosophical principle and sub-principle of mind, mushin, zanshin, etc. then I also think of the monkey (emotions, ego, pride, etc.) that affect how we train, practice and apply our lives toward conflict. Even when many definitions of these sub-principles may not extend outward to encompass such esoteric concepts it becomes something teachers and practitioners/professionals need to consider. 

I believe Marc MacYoung, in the book “INOSD,” states that many incidents of violence come from emotions and how those emotions are expressed from the mouth of participants. 


Bibliography - updated 8-21-2014


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Just Sayin

I know that I can be a bit intense sometimes and that my pursuit of knowledge and clarity in my martial arts (actually I do it in most of what I do) sometimes seems or is perceived as pushy, opinionated and critical. If you have been on the receiving end I apologize. I apologize because it isn't about you, what you are, who you are, what you believe and in MA what you teach or don't teach. It is actually about knowledge, a huge thirst, a dedicated attempt to understand as much as possible. When I write, talk or do I want it to be as close to correct as possible and that sometimes leads to friction (actually conflict because friction is about conflict).

With one individual I have, of late, been a bit critical about some aspects of what they are presenting electronically and via media like video's but I tend to expect a great deal from those who teach. I expect perfection from myself and tend to be harder on me than others when I am wrong. I expect a certain level of perfection of other teachers, or in this case Sensei, and when it is not present, my perspective and perception, I tend to get a bit animated and aggressive to see the complete picture - the rest of the story you might say. Especially when I perceive ego, the monkey, taking over due to any number of reasons both real or imagined.

It is a shame when such things cause one or the other participant to take umbrage and remove their presence from the conversation, so to speak, thus resulting in a loss to both sides.

If I have caused it you can bet I will regret it far more than most ever would and I will be harder on myself than anyone could possibly be to me. It is a personality flaw I am working on diligently.

The deal here is that such changes, sometimes, when involving habitual traits takes time to reprogram as in I know in the last few weeks or so I have been especially "monkey-ish" and allowed my ego to lead the charge for knowledge. That I apologize for, wholeheartedly.

Regardless, when you fail to provide a complete picture, i.e. explanations and reasoning behind things that are oriented toward self-defense and martial arts you are demeaning the system, the practitioners and most of all - your self. In a discipline such as what constitutes self-defense, fighting and/or combatives whether it be a vehicle of martial arts or other physical activity you endanger folks. If someone does not have the "rest of the story" they can be hurt, injured or incarcerated along with other peripheral troubles such as civil law suits, large legal and medical costs and truly deep and damaging psychological repercussions that affect you, your family and your friends.

One reason, here it comes, why I recommend so much, present so much and make the suggestions I make to gain knowledge. It is why I am so, sometimes, aggressive when I encounter things that don't seem - right.

If it were merely something like missing a meal or taking a wrong turn it would be less important but when it involves lives, living and heath, etc. then it can be of greater importance.

So, with that, as to those who have recently un-friended my from their FB sites and removed the ability to participate in such important things I apologize BUT it is important and I believe in what it is wholeheartedly and when I get less than the best from someone in such an important role then I am saddened, both for them, for me and for those who follow what is done, taught and believed.

Have a great day!

Ma-ai or Distance

In any self-defense situation the distance you have and maintain between you and your adversary is important. As long as you have distance you can dial down your need for dangerous activity that can both get you hurt or killed and get you out of self-defense and into jail. 

The following quote is from the book, “In the Name of Self-Defense,” by Marc MacYoung. It is a quick way to determine and practice how to judge safe distances with an adversary. There is not hard and fast spacing, like say five feet, due to the size of an adversary. As the height changes so does that distance where an attack can occur.

“Stand if front of a friend and measure the distance from his or her eyebrows to the floor. Take that same distance and lay it down on the floor between you. that is pretty much an empty-hand person’s attack range (weapons extend that range). that’s the distance they can reach you with using an empty-hand attack without taking a step. Draw a line halfway through that distance. the half closest to you is kicking range (where they can reach you with a kick). The half closest to him or her is punching range where he or she can strike you. But to do that, one has to step closer.” page 74, chapter three of In the Name of Self Defense

Note that this is just what it is and is easily changed due to various conditions including but not limited to adrenal effects, etc. In other words your spatial acuity is changed in a violent situation thus making this a bit harder to actually determine accurately. This is why one should get the book and read the entire thing cause there are so many variables. 

I just thought this quote would be a good starting point for a newbie martial artist trying to get a handle on ma-ai concepts. One additional aspect to the concept of ma-ai is that many martial artists attribute only that type of ma-ai that involves sport competition type encounters but in INOSD it is about that range that will tell you someone is within attack range. Add to this, attack range without other variables is simply an attack range. The danger may or may not actually be there. There is more …… Think JAM and to find out about that part, guess what :-)


MacYoung, Marc. "In the Name of Self-Defense: What It Costs. When It’s Worth It." Marc MacYoung. 2014.

On Knives in Self-Defense

I observe things as a natural course of walking around in this world. It is not a matter of being hyper-vigilent toward danger although if something tweaks my spidey sense I do pay attention. I mean I am kind of hyperactive in that my eyes are always roaming. I suspect this comes from being an introvert who actually gets drained of energy in large doses being around other people. 

When I do my environmental watching thing I often see things like knives in pockets. I then try to imagine why and often it is when I see persons dressed in work clothes like electricians on the BART train taking care of said train or construction workers going to work. But, I do see folks that have them who I can’t tell if they use them for work or just like to carry a knife, for whatever reasons. 

I also follow SD training that use weapons such as knives and guns. I do this because sometimes I am asked what I think about them, all weapons, as carry items for self-defense (SD). 

Guy handling security at a hotel bar where I worked asked me one evening about something when I noticed in his top pocket martial art shuriken. I asked and when he told me he had them for work, working the door security on the bar I recommended he put them in his locker and lock them away. Why? Because as I explained to him using them in the job might be a bit difficult to explain to the police, especially if he actually used them.

Anyway, this post came about because while reading, the second go round, of the book, “In the Name of Self-Defense,” by Marc MacYoung I came across a short quote about knives, “knives are lethal force instruments. That means their use is limited by the same rules as a gun. You don’t use a knife unless you are in ‘Immediate danger of death or grievous bodily injury.’ This lethal force instrument designation also includes using a closed knife as a strike enhancer.” He goes on to state, “Bet your guru SD instructor didn’t teach you that.” (I added in SD instructor)

I bought a really nice quick open pocket knife a while back thinking I might need to carry it for SD. After it arrived I did some research before making the decision to either carry it or not starting with the California weapons and self-defense laws. Then I did more research at Marc MacYoung’s “No Nonsense Self-Defense” web site and finally all the books by Mr. MacYoung, Mr. Rory Miller and other professionals not to mention posts on knives at the “Animal List.” Simply put, I decided “NOT TO CARRY A KNIFE!”

Since that time I have watched a variety of knife training films and came to a feeling that they were missing some very important aspects. Assuming they didn’t cover the next outside the training observed. First, is this training for training sake or is it for self-defense? Second, are they explaining all this plus the force requirements of law, etc., in the area where the training is conducted? I would bet a lot on these training systems don’t discuss or teach any of that stuff simply because of economics. They are there to sell and earn money, not actually diligently teach all that encompasses self-defense. Actually, with my limited experiences in self-defense (what I called my MA until recent years) the only sources that actually push learning all that encompass self-defense, i.e., the before, during and after stuff, have been the groups associated with Marc MacYoung, Rory Miller and other professionals who participate in their profession. 

I know I am pushing hard to look to these guys and to change the way you think, believe and most importantly “teach” self-defense but as those guys keep saying over and over and over and over again, not knowing what you don’t know will get you and/or your students in a lot of trouble. I can’t take back the crap I once taught but I can express this and what is relevant in the hopes some come to the same conclusions I came to and do just one, simple, easy (ok not so easy)  thing - change.

Take a look at the following top search results at google images for self-defense folding knives and tell me honestly if you were sitting on a jury looking at this type of knife wouldn't you assume by it make and such that it is a combat fighting type knife or what?

Click for larger view

Personal Space

This is, again, about self-defense. Space has a significant meaning to all of us. We have our personal space, which is the main topic of this post, we have spaces that extend our personal spaces such as our home, our office, our automobile and then we have spaces that encompass our neighborhood, our town and our country. Space is so important that it is often the reasoning behind conflict, i.e. personal conflict when someone invades our space in an aggressive manner, our home space if someone trespasses and our societal spaces if someone decides they can benefit from owning it and want to take it away from us, i.e. an invasion of our country, etc. 

We even have issues when our space is change such as when your work environment dictates you have to move. It can be felt when the move is to a smaller and less prestigious space or it can be felt, in a more positive light, when you get that corner office with a view (that, by the way also means more responsibility and power).

Thinking of street groups (think gangs) who decide they must control their space, i.e. several blocks in their neighborhood, and that means when you move through it or trespass you had better have a good reason and you better follow their rules or suffer the consequences. 

This post is mainly about our personal space. We must control that space but it can be complicated. Our space control is influenced by a multitude of factors such as where you are, who you are around and what you goal is as you travel through various other spaces outside your home, office and automobile spaces - and so on. Marc MacYoung provides some inspirational insight as to how this works with both environmental and situational awareness in his book, “In the Name of Self-Defense.” 

When you move outside your normal home, etc., spaces you should also utilize “situational awareness” because you are actually leaving your comfort zone and encountering other personal spaces as you travel along with all the rules and requirements those other spaces dictate. You have to remember that because you can do, say and believe certain things, beliefs, that those things do not apply in other spaces. Your self-awareness as to your perceptions and beliefs should be held in abeyance when encounter other spaces because those spaces are owned by others and those folks have their own rules, perceptions and beliefs as to how things go - space governance is an individual and/or group thing. 

As you travel around either walking, taking public transportation or driving your own vehicle you have to extend your personal space detection tools so as to perceive, i.e. Observe, Orient, Decide and Act, according to their rules. For instance, driving requires you follow societies rules - the motor vehicle operation laws, etc. - and that means you don’t speed, drive someone off the road or hit a pedestrian because you fell entitled because they pissed you off. There are consequences for breaking societies rules. 

You need to extend your hearing, your visual acuity awareness and your personal aura to encompass everything within sight, hearing and tactile contact. Take a look at the following graphic. There you are in the center of your universe, your space. You have control over you tactile space, i.e. when one body makes actual contact with your body - you are walking and looking at a Tesla when you bump into someone who just happens to be looking at the same Tesla, “ops, sorry, please excuse me,” say both of you who smile and continue on your journey. Then there is that space that places you within grappling range of another person but the space where danger begins is your exclusion zone, i.e. where another person can either kick you or put their hands on you with extended arms/legs. You really want to keep perceived dangerous folks outside that zone. Screw being polite, if you sense danger then you keep them at that minimum distance (think JAM when you are making such decisions, etc.).

Then the next distance where you use your hearing and visual acuity is your environmental space. This space, as well as all those personal spaces, is in constant fluid movement. Unless you remain still in your home that space changes and moves according to your ability to see, hear and feel. How you do this is situational awareness (won’t even try to give a full definition of what this is, read Marc MacYoung and Rory Miller’s books starting with INOSD by Mr. MacYoung). 

Just think that good situational awareness is about avoidance. How you use it can mean avoiding the types of conflict that mean violence, etc. It isn’t all that hard and it does not mean you have to stay “frosty” all the time. Just doing it in normal every day movement along with training in the type of SA that will detect dangerous stuff you will be safe and secure, pretty much. 

Click for a Larger View :-)

Movie Syndrome in Self-Defense

When viewing those selfie’s or cell phone video’s or even security video’s when violence occurs is not truly telling the entire story. Even when it seems that the entire incident is shown on the video we cannot take that as a full and complete picture. The question on my mind is, “Why?”

Why? Lets take a look quickly at the movie industry. We know that the movie industry controls the story from beginning to end so you might say, “why use this as an example, the video’s in question are not controlled?” 

First, all video’s are controlled, controlled by the person holding the camera and shooting the digital film. There positioning, the movement from the person’s body movement, what frames they shoot and why, the direction of that shoot and so on only covers a small part of the story. So, if this is true then why do folks “assume” they are seeing the whole and entire story that drives them emotionally to act and react as they do? The movie industry along with the television industry!

When we go to the movies or watch television we are transported. Time becomes something mysterious as in movies we can view someone entire life in only two hours. We travel to different planets, to different times and to different cultures all while sitting in a theater absorbed by the movie for two or more hours. Nothing on the screen is real yet we are transported to a mind-state that makes it all feel absolutely and completely “real.” 

This is the danger when we view video’s on youtube especially when it deals with violence and lives. It is similar to that video of the basketball players with a bear doing the moonwalk we don’t see unless we are told what to look for. This is a problem when it comes to what we view in video’s, we tend to “NOT SEE” things because we don’t have the knowledge and/or experience especially when it comes to violence. We make assumptions based on what we do know and what we have experienced and in almost all cases that is our personal lives, perceptions and experiences flooded with influences from the media with emphasis on television and movies - it is all fiction. 

There was a video yesterday of an elderly gentleman who early one morning stopped in to get gas. The video is very short and only seems to provide the actual attack. Two persons unknown to the police and unidentifiable by that same video were positioned, an assumption by the way the accosted the gentlemen, so when the gentleman got out of his truck to fill his tank they beat him and robbed him under duress from their presence, demeanor and the firearm held by one person. Note: all this is assumptions I have made from my knowledge and what little is provided on the video.

Now, the purpose of this video is the police are hoping someone who views it will recognize the two persons attacking the gentleman so they can question them. I say question them because even if say, I, think I might know the two the way they covered their faces or had their back turned I, even if I actually thought I knew these two, could not state emphatically that anyone I might know may not actually be the two in the video. 

Now, what inspired this thought pattern of movies, television and videos of this sort is all the emotionally infused comments that followed seem to be from the monkey making assumptions of what could or could not have occurred and that is because we make such assumptions based on factors that include our life time exposure to television, movies and other such media driven productions. 

It is best to remember that if anything comes from such video releases is that when our emotions get incensed we should direct that energy to asking a lot of questions and attempt to gain the rest of the story, the full story, before passing any judgements. Now, how we do this is we first must attain the proper knowledge of what violence is and how it is processed, by both parties - violent people and those who are being subjected to such violence. Until we gain that knowledge then we cannot ask relevant and valid questions and neither can the authorities. 

This brings what I am “assuming and perceiving” as a huge issue in our society today. We tend to think when horrible things happen that it is best if we remove that horrible stuff from our minds, hearing and sight. We bury it, we ignore it and then we try to say that we are not violent people, etc., and so on because it makes us feel “uncomfortable.” In truth we have to embrace our real selves completely, learn about both the good and not so good aspects of what humans are and then study and learn about both parts so we can teach ourselves to control, avoid and restrain our more aggressive sides allowing the human side of us to prevail while putting chains on our monkey side. 

We cannot achieve this by sticking our heads in the sand. We cannot rid ourselves of our true nature as human “animals” but we can learn, understand and gain experience through this process in controlling and restraining our true natures for the good of the group, society as a whole. 

I have spent an good deal of time learning and practicing martial arts with an emphasis on defense and as a Marine the combative aspects of martial arts. I thought I knew what I actually didn’t know - about violence. It has been only in the last decade that I have come to a certain enlightenment about violence and until the last or recent times have not found one good true source, a beginners primer so to speak, that addresses our true nature of conflict and violence. 

Even so, the material available today is astounding and amazing. Because of our technological advancements we have come to create a venue that can provide us with an amazing amount of knowledge. The least, and in my mind the most important for everyone if for no other reason then to gain a fundamental framework of knowledge on a subject that is as vast and deep as the universe itself, and most important start is “In the Name of Self-Defense,” by Marc MacYoung. This is just the start then there are several other tomes of knowledge on this subject starting with the books by Rory Miller about violence, force and other topics related to all of this. 

I recommend that the reader take a look at the following list as a start. If I could accomplish one thing it would be to make INOSD a required subject in our educational system along with a new subject of study to gain a law degree or to become a police and/or corrections person. Everyone, in my humble opinion, could benefit from what both Marc MacYoung and Rory Miller present from their knowledge, understanding and most important experience in this subject. 

Don’t let yourself succumb to the movie syndrome because one day you may be on the receiving end of such ignorance. Do you want your lawyer, your jury, the police who respond to your predicament, the prosecutor and most important of all the society that immediately condemns your self-defense defense because of the movie syndrome. Remember, every action we take is subject to being recorded and submitted to the public so do you want to be the one going to jail because of the publics perception as dictated by the movie syndrome?

p.s. the video of the gentleman being robbed is on my FB Wall if you want to see what happened but remember, take it with a grain of salt cause it ain’t the rest of the story. 

Goleman, Daniel. "Emotional Intelligence: 10th Anniversary Edition [Kindle Edition]." Bantam. January 11, 2012.
MacYoung, Marc. "In the Name of Self-Defense: What It Costs. When It’s Worth It." Marc MacYoung. 2014.
Miller, Rory. "ConCom: Conflict Communications A New Paradigm in Conscious Communication." Amazon Digital Services, Inc. 2014. 
Miller, Rory. "Violence: A Writer's Guide." Pacific Northwest. Wyrd Goat Press. 2012.
Cain, Susan. "Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking." Broadway. New York. 2013. 
Bown, Tim and Miller Rory. "Leading the Way: Maximize Your Potential as a Martial Arts Instructor." Rachelle Bown. Kindle. 2012
Overland, Clint; Anderson, Drew Dr.; Kane, Lawrence; Trahan, Terry; Burrese, Alain; Demeere, Wim; Eisler, Barry; MacYoung, Marc; Miller, Rory; Miller, Kamila. "Campfire Tales from Hell: Musing on Martial Arts, Survival, Bounding, and General Thug Stuff." CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. 2012.
Miller, Rory and Kane, Lawrence A. "Scaling Force: Dynamic Decision-making under Threat of Violence." YMAA Publisher. New Hampshire. 2012
Miller, Rory. "Force Decisions: A Citizen's Guide." YMAA Publications. NH. 2012.
Bolton, Robert, Ph.D. "People Skills: How to Assert Yourself, Listen to Others, and Resolve Conflicts." Simon & Schuster. New York. 1979, 1986.
Navarro, Joe. "What Every BODY is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agent's Guide to Speed-Reading People." Collins. New York. 2008.
Kane, Lawrence & Wilder, Kris. "How to Win a Fight: A Guide to Avoiding and Surviving Violence." Gotham Books. New York. 2011.
Grossman, Dave LtCol. "On Killing: The Physiological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society. Back Bay Books. New York. 2009.
Grossman, Dave Lt.Col. Christensen, Loren. "On Combat: The Physiology and Physiology of Deadly Colnflct in War and Peace." Warrior Science Publications. 2008.
DeMente, Boye LaFayette. "The Origins of Human Violence: Male Dominance, Ignorance, Religions and Willful Stupidity!" Phoenix Books. Kentucky. 2010.
MacYoung, Marc. "A Professional's Guide to Ending Violence Quickly: How Bouncers, Bodyguards, and Other Security Professionals Handle Ugly Situations." Paladin Press. Boulder, Colorado. 1996.
Newberg, Andrew MD and Waldman, Mark Robert. "Why We Believe What We Believe: Uncovering Our Biological Need for Meaning, Spirituality, and Truth." Free Press. New York. 2006
Sutrisno, Tristan, MacYoung, Marc and Gordon, Dianna. "Becoming a Complete Martial Artist: Error Detection in Self Defense and the Martial Arts." Lyons Press. Connecticut. 2005.
Miller, Rory Sgt. "Meditations of Violence: A Comparison of Martial Arts Training & Real World Violence" YMAA Publishing. 2008.
Miller, Rory Sgt. "Facing Violence: Preparing for the Unexpected." YMAA Publishing. 2011.
Pearlman, Steven J. "The Book of Martial Power." Overlook Press. N.Y. 2006.
Elgin, Suzette Haden, Ph.D. "More on the Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense." Prentice Hall. New Jersey. 1983.
Elgin, Suzette. "The Gentle Art of Self-Defense at Work." New York. Prentice Hall Press. 2000.
Elgin, Suzette. "The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense" Barnes & Noble. 1993.
Elgin, Suzette. "The Gentle Art of Written Self-Defense" MJF Books. 1997
Elgin, Suzette. "The Last Word on the Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense" Barnes & Noble. 1995
Elgin, Suzette. "Staying Well with the Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense." MJF Books. 1990.
MacYoung, Marc. "Violence, Blunders, and Fractured Jaws: Advanced Awareness Techniques and Street Etiquette." Paladin Press. Boulder, Colorado. 1992. 

45 Degree Angle

Have you heard of this one before where sensei says you should move to a 45 degree angle off an adversaries centerline while maintaining your centerline to attack or counter-attack? Yea, do you know why they tell you to do that other than a quick quip that it is a tactical move? 

One of the martial artists who made a video talks about the human tendency to orient on the 90 degree of their circle, that circle around our bodies we sometimes refer to as our space. It is that space when someone enters triggers a response from the lizard brain. The response depends on how the lizard came to see that invasion of space. 

When you happen to be facing an adversary centerline to centerline your moving to the 45 degree spot to his left or right side puts you midway between his 0 degree spot and his 90 degree spot. It is what Marc MacYoung calls his “semi-blind spot.” Marc MacYoung goes on to state that 99 times out of 100 your adversary will stop, reorient, observe, reorient back into his forward line putting his centerline back in relation to his attack vector, and then act again - most likely to knock your block off once and for all. This should sound familiar, say the OODA loop. That spit second or so can mean an opportunity to strike and stop his attack against you. 

Don’t forget, you will maintain your centerline and your wedge so that you can act accordingly taking advantage of that small time respite you can use. This 45 degree move also allows you to avoid any attacks, i.e., blows, strikes, etc., and thus also disorient them, i.e., the OODA thing again. This also positions yourself for other methods such as spinning him along his vertical axis when you continue to move past him. 

Kind of provides you with a meaning and validation for learning how to move to that 45 degree angle in a fight. Does this work for the street? Yea, or so says Mr. MacYoung but don’t take my word for it, read his book listed below.


MacYoung, Marc (Animal). “Taking It to the Street: Making Your Martial Art Street Effective.” Paladin Press. Boulder, Colorado. 1999.

Flooding - The Flood

Flooding is a new term I am using to address the often miss titled adrenaline rush or dump. It actually applies to all emotionally driven stress responses be it a conflict leading to the need for self-defense or any stress induced conflict like a family dispute - that by the way can sometimes end up leading to that conflict leading to the need for self-defense or fighting or what ever with Uncle Bob staggering around arguing about whatever.

I decided to use this generic term simply because upon reading about it in the book, “Emotional Intelligence,” I said to self, “self, this stuff sounds exactly like a monkey driven egoistic pride filled triggering flood of adrenaline chemicals in the body when the fight/anger is present. 

Learning Chinkuchi

There are always questions regarding chinkuchi and how a person learns to use it in martial arts, i.e. specifically in Isshinryu since this system tends to stress chinkuchi more than others - at least in my experience. There are those who insist that one cannot learn chinkuchi without a qualified sensei teaching them using a more tactile approach. I disagree, to a point.

The point is that to implement it properly the tactile approach is the best method of teaching and yet where I disagree is kyu level students can learn about the process and practice a method on their own to help them learn and apply chinkuchi. So, how is this done? Well, I ain’t going to give that away for nothing mind you so you will have to go a bit on your own to find out what method to which I speak.

Now, as I have written in the past, chinkuchi is all about the fundamental principles and this chinkuchi thing is a great way to learn and apply principles. I just don’t want anyone thinking that the learning process that I am about to reference is a stand alone one but rather one that will get a novice started. Call it a pre-requisite to learning more about both principles and chinkuchi.

Ok the answer is: Marc MacYoung’s book, “Taking It to the Street: Making Your Martial Art Street Effective.” Yep, I was reading this book when I came across a section that just kind of jumped out at me saying, “Wait a minute, that sounds a lot like learning chinkuchi!” So, get the book and go to page 138 and start reading. When you get to Phase 1 you will be there. It has four phases of training and practice. This is critical to learning to be a bit more street effective while leaning about the dynamic tensioning or sequential locking and unlocking principles, etc., that when applied properly provide that chinkuchi that Isshinryu’ists understand to mean “power.” 

Open Sparring

First, what is it? “Open Sparring is about physical interactions of a more or less violent nature with no judges, no points, no time limit, and no stopping after a strike.” ~ (some additions in italics added by me) Marc MacYoung, Taking It to the Street: Making Your Martial Art Street Effective.

I will continue with this in a manner that is more personal as to experience and implementation rather than the martial arts community as a whole. How I see this is from my personal experience and note that this occurred in a dojo type environment, i.e. a training hall, room or outdoor setting. This is how Henry sensei taught me to fight using karate. 

Open sparring is closely related to the concept of jiyu kumite or “as it pleases you to grapple by hand.” What is considered important especially in regard to self-defense is that it is a step up and away from the sport oriented type sparring. It is a natural step in martial arts heading toward a more realistic stress training regimen. Depending on the intensity it can cross the line whereby one or both participants can experience injury or injuries. 

If the participants can achieve a stress reaction during open sparring then they can achieve a closer relation to realism in a physical violent encounter, self-defense. 

Henry sensei used almost exclusively an open sparring regimen in the dojo, Okinawa 1979, and I followed that model as I began to teach Isshinryu after returning to the states. The idea was to hit hard, get hit hard and all the while avoid injury if possible. We depended on sanchin to create through that systems dynamic tensioning to build a body that would protect against such possible injuries. Add in the fitness of a Marine along with the attitude of a Marine you get a decent mixture of fighting capability. Even so, it still is not as realistic as you would need to truly train for stress situations that involve chemical (adrenal rush) type dumps and so on but it will be closer than a lot of sport oriented martial systems. 

Cracked teeth, broken ribs, pulled ham strings and groin muscles, knee stresses just shy of bad injuries, toes broken, foot bones bruised badly, hands/knuckles bruised and injured are just some of the frequent injuries from open sparring practice. As stated, not a true street violent type regimen but it does get you a bit closer to reality.

One of the reasons why Henry sensei would not let anyone open spar until they reached some level of proficiency and that meant, in most cases, the level of green belt or go-kyu. What we did was practice using real actual karate techniques from basics and kata in a drill type fashion, i.e. drills with one step, three step and five step controlled sparring. We considered it a natural progression to then move to open sparring at the go-kyu level as that pretty much was a good indicator that they could create technique on the fly.

This is pretty much a simplistic description to convey what it is I feel open sparring is and is about for the system of karate, martial arts, I practice and train in but the actual progression to really implement and apply martial principles is a bit more involved but this gives a good idea and a means to pursue it as a model of training and practice for the early kyu's.

Jiyu Kumite [自由組手]

The first two characters/ideograms mean “freedom; liberty; as it pleases you.” The first character means, “Oneself,” the second character means, “wherefore; a reason.” The next two characters/ideograms mean, “paired karate kata; wooden joints; belt-work.” The first character means, “Association; braid; plait; construct; assemble; unite; cooperate; grapple,” the second character means, “hand.” 


If I were to be asked about what I thought could, would and sometimes is the culprit in conflict I would tentatively say, “Impulse control.” If we are to make self-defense work even as far back as the possibility of avoidance all together then impulse control seems a good one. I quote from the book, “Emotional Intelligence,” “The root of all emotional self-control, since all emotions, by their very nature, lead to one or another impulse to act.” When you try to define the word emotion you find that its root meaning is “to move.” 

In conflict I can see why having a strong impulse control mechanism could actually provide you the ability to avoid conflict. Especially that conflict that leads to violence (especially physical violence where you really don’t want to receive damage.). 

When I think of impulse control I think of Rory Miller’s references to our monkey mind. Impulse control is how one may prevent what Marc MacYoung calls the “monkey slide.” Where you tend to slip and slid down that very slope paved by your monkey mind telling you that what you need to do is this or that in direct contravention to good self-defense. 

I suspect, if this is true, that one must develop the capacity to resist that impulse to act (or to talk out of turn - so to speak - when you get in that dig, etc.) so that you can avoid danger, conflict and violence. It is the ability to squelch that incipient movement, most likely translates at the high level of the brain function into the inhibition of the limbic signals to the motor cortex (speculative). 

Add in that this ability must weather the storm that arises from that chemical stress rush often encountered in conflicts that trigger great emotional upheaval that are then stroked and stoked as a hot fire by the run away monkey chatter that pushes us down that monkey slide. Resulting in violence. 

How do you train to control your impulses. First, give it conscious attention and self-analysis. Second, expose yourself to a reality based stress training system so that you can learn to control your impulses and emotions when the stress chemicals hit. There are a few great programs out there and you may even find one or two that are martial art oriented to supplement your martial arts training. 

The following bibliography will have recommendations within their materials along with a lot of knowledge on the SD world. 

To Study (Forgive me, a cross post - arghhh)

Lets define this: “the devotion of time and attention to acquiring knowledge on an academic subject, especially by means of books; a detailed investigation and analysis of a subject or situation: look at closely in order to observe or read.” 

What does this mean to me, it means I want to learn, to become educated, to do the academic work on a particular subject by a detailed investigation and analysis of that subject. When it comes to martial arts like Isshinryu it includes close scrutiny of the physical aspects as well as the academic. It is to scrutinize, examine, inspect, consider, regard, look at, observe, watch and survey and so on to gain the most from the effort to study that particular subject.

What this means to me is I have to remain open minded to “all” aspects of that subject regardless of any one perspective, ideal or belief. It is overlooking any power structure and group dynamic that would stagnate the growth potential through “study.” It is about overcome any obstacles and restrictions that would impede the search for knowledge. 

If I were to fall into the trap of egoistic beliefs that disallowed the possibility of change and being incorrect, inaccurate or just plain stupid then all efforts “to study” that subject or discipline is doomed to failure. If I were to allow group dynamics and status to color my efforts toward bias then I am doomed to failure. 

There are no excuses when studying, i.e. discarding data or a set of data simply because it is outside my perceptions, perspective and beliefs leaves me doomed to failure. 

To study the views, understandings and knowledge of any other source regardless is to leave a gap that could have filled a void. Part of the effort to study is to check, double check and then check sources again until all doubt is driven away with one exception, that even those facts and data are subject to change again when new materials, etc. are exposed and to expose them is accomplished in only one way, to listen, talk and exchange ideas.

If you discard other views, etc. without first asking the question, “In order to understand what another person is saying (or another source is providing), you must assume that it is true and try to imagine what it could be true of.” Then once accepted try to fact check it again, again and again. No one source is the end all of any subject or discipline but rather a key to open the door to all knowledge - that is to study.

Martial Body and Mind Conditioning (Working on some Theories)

The first term that comes to mind is, “karada-kitae.” This is body conditioning. When a martial artists, traditional, thinks of this term they usually think of Hojo-undo, i.e. more specifically the makiwara. What I tend to think of when I talk about karada-kitae is not just the makiwara but other techniques and exercises that toughen up the entire body. 

The reason I wanted to discuss this model, as well as mind conditioning, is because there is more to body conditioning that merely conditioning the knuckles, ball of foot, etc. Usually when karada-kitae is practiced it conditions specific parts of the body. Some of those conditioning exercises focus on the parts of the body that are naturally able to take a blow, etc. due to physiology, etc. The body naturally takes certain impacts if the body is healthy and in physical fit condition. 

When I start to speak of karada-kitae I lean heavily toward conditioning the body to endure the stresses, strains and pains that may come from an attack against a person requiring self-defense. I also think of the conditioning of the body to make it strong and resilient so when encountering damage in a conflict the body holds up well enough to allow you to extricate yourself from the attack, the violence being rained down on your body. 

I like the makiwara, I feel it has its uses above and beyond mere body conditioning such as the fist - fore-knuckles, etc. It comes back to conditioning the body using a variety of tools be they weights or some form of cardio conditioning. It is about strength and endurance so the body can with stand a violent attack. 

It is about doing things on a regular basis to keep that body in that condition. It is the ability to endure such things as “spartan race type ability,” or “death race” fitness and ability or the current rage of “cross fit” fitness and ability. Those types of stresses that constantly expose your body to the hardships of the obstacles that put your entire body to its limits. 

Then there is exposure to the chemical rushes that come from stress and emotional floods such as fear and anger. It your body cannot work and resist those effects and those damages an attacker is inflicting then you are done. 

Stressing your body in a variety of ways is essential if you want to have the ability to apply self-defense. There is more tho, as body conditioning or karada-kitae is only what is necessary for training the body. It is similar to professionals like the military, etc. to achieve a level that will prepare them for the rigors of combat and to maintain that level of conditioning through out a career. 

Karada-kitae in the fullest and complete sense is not a weekend model but a dedication to that degree and type of condition through out one’s entire life. You can’t just do this stuff like a fitness club session, i.e. three times a week, etc. It takes a daily effort to maintain that type of physical conditioning that will prepare your body for physical violence. This is long after all the other self-defense knowledge and learning that is necessary long before you step on the training floor. 

Note: The idea about karada-kitae, body conditioning, is that you can only condition those parts of the body that will have a natural ability to resist the strike or kick. There are parts of the body you cannot strike or kick without doing considerable damage. The idea with this conditioning is to train the body and mind to not let the strike, kick, etc. when it lands to distract you from acting. Many when hit solid and hard tend to freeze up with wonder as to why that hurts, etc. Much like striking the hands and feet, etc. where it is recommended that for every hour of training you spend ten minutes actually hitting something hard. It goes the other way that you should be hit, hard but with control, to get used to the idea you are going to get hit. I would say that during the ten minutes per hour of training should also be spent getting hit. Not the light touch type hits that get you points but those kind that will stun you. Working through the pain of that and the discomfort will tell your mind that you can still act, still move, still do something even when you feel the strike, kick, etc. 

Then there is “shin-kitae [心鍛え].” The forging of the mind. The first character/ideogram means, “mind; spirit; heart,” the second character means, “forge; discipline; train.” 

Shin-kitae is about training the mind in martial arts. If a martial artist is going to also practice with a goal of self-defense there are additional mind-set training that is required because a self-defense situation involving a physical attack results in other factors that are not always encountered in martial arts training. Especially when martial arts, karate in my case, involves more traditional, health, fitness, philosophical, etc., training for human personal betterment and so on. Example is training the mind to deal with the adrenal rush, that chemical cocktail that the body dumps when stressed with fear, anger, or both as well as other emotional stuff. 

All the karada-kitae along with various “shugyo” training sessions will lead you toward that type of shin-kitae. But, before you dive deep into shugyo, karada-kitae, shin-kitae involves a solid knowledge base. That base should be made up, if you want your martial art to be self-defense oriented, the type of information that involves the complete self-defense spectrum. 

I decided on this term because many give lip service to forging the mind. The one thing that will get you from here to there in self-defense is your mind and the mind-state and mind-set you have. There is more than just having the willingness and ability to apply self-defense fully and completely, within the laws and societal rules set for SD. Even one who has the mind-set to do what is necessary they still need to train the mind to overcome the lizard when it decides that it wants to handle it one way even when your thinking mind has told you to do it another way. 

In addition, a mind-set and mind-state will give the one person who may not have the level of skill of a martial artist but having the right mind-set and mind-state can often carry the day for them while a martial artist who fails to address such things or overlooks such things will get their hat handed to them in an attack. Example: “I know of a sixth degree black belt sitting in a restaurant who was approached by an attacker, seemed like a revenge thing, who simply threw his coat over the guys head, jumped on him in the bench seat of that restaurant and then commenced to pound the crap out of him. The assailant simply walked away, out the door, to his car and drove off.”

Shin-kitae is a term created to use so that such things are addressed when training in self-defense even if not a martial art. 

Using such martial terms as “mushin” and so on are cool and interesting but if they don’t actually cover those mind-states and mind-sets along with shin-kitae then they are just interesting terms - lip service. 

Another viewpoint to shin-kitae is you develop a mind-set and mind-state that says to an attacker, “You are not an easy victim. No matter what, if you attack this guy you will have to pay a price for you efforts, or just simply your body and mind says, ‘It ain’t gonna happen dude!’” Your mind-set and mind-state is going to tell your attacker simply that violence is not going to get him what he wants!

Another aspect of training the mind is the need to realize that reality sucks. It sucks because when someone decides to attack you they are going to come at you as if they are a total maniac and they are intent on doing you a lot of damage, really really fast. He is out to give you serious injuries. If he breaks something all the better especially when it cause your mind to seize and you curl up in a ball hoping for the best - he will stop and go away. 

You have to know there is nothing going to intervene with him doing you damage other than your actions. There are not sensei or senpai to stop the match - it ain’t a match either. There are not judges and most of all there are no rules. Most don’t realize this and don’t know how to handle it when it comes and that is why I created the term “shin-kitae” to push to the forefront of your mind that this stuff is critical to make your self-defense training and practice - WORK. 

You are going to react out of habit and that habit comes from how you train both your body and your mind. Karada-kitae and shin-kitae are just tools to help you reach that level of mind-set and mind-state with a body able to withstand punishment and damage until you can stop the attacker and run to safety. 

Shin-kitae should include some sort of mind training the promotes what a real attack is like and how you respond. The following quote from Marc MacYoung should spell this out a bit, “It’s a totally different set of physics, a different mind-set, and a different set of motor skills to be able to hit an angry, charging person in a vital area hard enough to stop him.” This is a major mind bending difference from what you train and practice in the dojo, from what you apply in sparring in the dojo and what you use to win a tournament match. There are differences and they are apparently wide and where this touches on shin-kitae is that it takes a lot more than merely thinking, “I have to do this to make it work in the street.” What I am getting at is your training, if includes self-defense, must put your mind-set and mind-state into practice and training. If you focus on martial arts as a traditional practice thinking that it will easily move into the realm of self-defense then you are looking to get your clocked cleaned and that will introduce you to the thoughts and feelings that, “my martial arts doesn’t work.” 

Just thinking that things will work without putting that to the test in some kind of realistic training and practice means you will act out of habit when that screaming, charging and suicidal attacking asshole comes at you in all probability things will fall apart and you will get hurt. 

Don’t believe me, do a fact check if you will and research all this from others who have lived this kind of life and have ooodles and ooodles of experience using self-defense in the streets. 


Ok, what are some other ways of achieving shin-kitae, lets try achieving a model of training that includes “Stress Training.” This is a big deal because if you cannot train under stress at least part of the time and by part I mean so that it is encoded into your brain so that the lizard uses it in the fight then it won’t work. The type of stress that produces all kinds of body and mind effects such as those imposed when the body and mind run into the kind of stress that induces fear and then the adrenal rush hits you and does all kinds of neat things that can impede your effectiveness. This is a whole nother ball of twine and you need to seek more in the bibliography. 

Another shin-kitae is to learn what violence is and what it does so that you are not hit unexpectedly when violence enters your life. Knowledge is one way to achieve this goal then training in stress, etc. along with realistic scenarios will help you achieve this mind-state and mind-set. This is another reason why you have to “work hard” at differentiating between sport, fighting, combat and self-defense. Just saying you have to make a change is not enough - you have to train it and train it enough to matter to your thinking, monkey and lizard brains. 
Here is how you train for the street, seen our a scenario-based training course. That was easy, seek out a scenario-based training course to augment your martial arts training. Then do what Marc MacYoung suggests, nit pick your system to find those things best suited for self-defense. 

Shin-kitae is necessary if you want self-defense but here is the rub. Most who take self-defense never, every encounter a situation requiring self-defense. Most physical altercations are on the side of social violence and that is another whole story you would get from sources such as the bibliography given above. 

Karada-kitae and shin-kitae are merely fundamentally basic tools to train the mind and body so as to create a spirit that will overcome such adversities that end in violence. Then again, maybe I have it all wrong. Geez Louise!

My Martial Art - Explained

I practice martial arts. That seems to those who read this blog and my posts as a redundant statement but I am about to clarify what it is that I practice to ensure clarity to many aspects of the posts herein this blog or blogs.

First, I practice a physical, traditional, developmental, health and philosophical discipline called Okinawan Isshinryu Karate-jutsu-do. I do NOT do sport. I don’t practice it for self-defense (mainly because this is a fighting/combative discipline in nature as it would apply toward its practice and application on Okinawa during the period starting early 1600’s through to its conversion to an educational discipline in the late 1800’s. If all I wanted to do was to damage another human regardless of the reasons this system would supply that capability but in truth it would have to be modified a good deal toward a more modern combative losing its traditional roots. 

My focus can be said to point toward a more spiritual and health or fitness direction with a lot of philosophical drive behind what is called the body, mind and spirit development through the disciplines of martial systems. So I focus on the spiritual, health, traditional disciplines of Okinawan martial system called Isshinryu. 

At one time I thought I was actually teaching, as a part of this system, self-defense. I have since found that what I was teaching was how to fight - on a limited scale. The fighting I taught, first and foremost, is illegal in today’s modern world. Also, that fighting would lend more toward a more sportive perspective than self-defense or true fighting because it lacked many components that make for legal and socially accepted self-defense. I was one of those guys who overstepped the true boundaries of what I practiced, training and taught. It was not intentional because I was, like many, passing on what I had been taught until now. 

I write a lot about self-defense because I have spent a good deal of time and effort researching that subject through sources I feel strongly have the knowledge, ability and experience actually applying self-defense in the real world. What I will try to teach in martial arts, if that is a practitioners reasoning for taking lessons or guidance from me, is avoidance. I also will write about and teach all that I personally understand about self-defense without the physical applications because I find those parts that are physical are out of my expertise as I state here. 

Know this, if I had to defend myself I would do so without hesitation. I can say this due to some modicum of experience in this in my early years but also because I have learned a lot, academically speaking, in the last five or more years. I also attribute my ability to defend myself in the more esoteric meaning of reality due to my training and experience in the military with a caveat that I know and understand the differences between fighting/combatives of the military and the self-defenses of civilian life. 

I wanted everyone to know who reads my materials that this is where I stand as to knowledge, understanding, experience and the reality of life so there are no misunderstandings as to what I provide. My most strong desire when it comes to self-defense is that I convey the absolute necessity for anyone who takes up that discipline has exposure to the full and complete realm of self-defense. There is so much out there that is good material and my sources are provided through my library listings and the below bibliography that is far from extensive or complete. There are literally volumes of solid material that one who seeks self-defense training or instruction must find, read, learn and understand before trying to apply it on the street.

I remind everyone that what I present is based on about 5% experience and 95% knowledge through studies as I present here. I have extensive experience and expertise in my model or discipline of martial arts. I have spent thirty-seven + years in practice and study. One of the reasons I wanted to explain in more detail what it is I actually study, practice and train.  I don’t want anyone misunderstanding my credentials in the posts that speak of fighting, combatives and most importantly self-defense realms. Here is where I first practice “avoidance” as I wish to avoid misunderstandings by those who read my stuff. It is important if I am to gain any semblance of respect in my writing. 

So, I am a martial artists of a traditional nature and a knowledgeable academically motivated self-defense source. When it comes to the parts that require application in real life I can recommend without question and doubt a person contact some of the authors below for seminars and instruction. They all have a level of experience and capability that makes me look, as I truly am, a novice - a rookie.