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

Hey, Attention on Deck!

Hey, NOTHING here is PERSONAL, get over it - Teach Me and I will Learn!


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

WARNING, CAVEAT AND NOTE

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 (this applies to this and other blogs by me as well; if you follow the idea's, advice or information you are on your own, don't come crying to me, it is all on you do do the work to make sure it works for you!)



“You should prepare yourself to dedicate at least five or six years to your training and practice to understand the philosophy and physiokinetics of martial arts and karate so that you can understand the true spirit of everything and dedicate your mind, body and spirit to the discipline of the art.” - cejames (note: you are on your own, make sure you get expert hands-on guidance in all things martial and self-defense)



“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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Group Dynamics and Metaphors

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

Metaphors are simply a figure of speech in which word(s) or phrase(s) are applied to an object, action or situation to which is is not literally applicable making is representative or symbolic of that something else, especially something abstract. Group dynamics is a processes involved when people in a group interact with each other, exchange idea’s, theories and results, or the study of these. 

So, what does this all mean? Human survival still depend on group dynamics and in the exchange of idea’s, theories, and results along with actions toward such objectives there is often an exchange of many experts of a subject or situation whereas creativity is abundant toward answers, idea’s and results new and innovative that allow for the groups survival. 

Yes, I will attempt to clarify this a bit more because both the dynamics involved work only if the exchange of data toward survival has some meaning and effect toward such changes and that is where the brain, the mind, works best through the metaphor. 

I quote, “A key aspect of creativity is the process of finding great metaphors - symbols that represent something else. The neocortex is a great metaphor machine, which accounts for why we are a uniquely creative species.” 

The additional quotes in support of my theory goes as follows, “Finding a metaphor is the process of recognizing a pattern despite differences in detail and context - an activity we undertake trivially every moment of our lives.” The author uses as an example his technique to avoid or combat the effects of specializations by bringing together, into a group, as many experts then encourage each to contribute his or her particular techniques and terminology. When the group throws out that terminology so the group can analyze the synthesize their own terminology. Invariably it has been determined that metaphors from one or more field solve problems from other fields. 

What is happening is through a group dynamic exchange expands our neocortex through a collaboration of multiple humans, a group effort. This is accomplished routinely via communications between humans gathered, into groups, for problem solving. 

It comes down to this, if you wish to benefit from the greatest possible span of learning you need two things, first is a group of like minded folks with open minds, the ability to actively listen and an openness of communications across all involved, all disciplines and all perceptions/perspectives to create a wholehearted body of knowledge and understanding that goes beyond any specializations such as a particular style or way often created by the individual for the individual. 

It is no wonder that evolution requires humans, for survival, ban together into collective like-minded groups because only through the exchange of a variety of experiences, perceptions, beliefs, knowledge and understanding can the human and the human mind evolve faster than natures’ own evolutionary process. After all, once an answer to an issue is resolved then it is passed along, without a need for the details, etc., learned quickly and applied quickly to ensure the groups, and individuals, survival. 

Bibliography (Click the link)

Kurzwell, Ray. “How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed.” Penguin Books. New York. 2013

It’s Not About the Teacher

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

It’s not about the teacher, instructor or sensei, it is about the individual. Yes, teachers, etc., have an influence with the students but in the end the students proficiency, knowledge, understanding and expertise comes from within the student themselves, not from their teachers, etc.

Even the best of the best teachers cannot force, coerce or inspire a student if the student does not take the initiative and proactive effort for it always, always, comes down to the ability, attitude and EFFORT of the student. 

Connections with others be they a teacher or a fellow student is just one aspect of the learning process for to have a group exchange provides a student with varying perspectives, perceptions and beliefs so they can personally analyze and synthesize their own way. 

I know of some very good martial artists who excel beyond others who have famous names they can drop as to teachers, mentors and friends. This does not make either one better or worse; greater or not; expert or not; proficient and efficient or not. It is the student and it is the student alone.

Why then, does the connection to a famous martial luminary hold so much weight? Well, simply put it comes down to nature’s social survival drive … ‘STATUS’ within the tribe, clan, family or group. We humans use such things to establish status and a pecking order within a group dynamic such as a dojo, an association or in Isshinryu’s case, like many other systems or styles, the style itself where the ‘status’ of being either a ‘first generation student of Tatsuo-san’ or a direct student ‘of a first gen student’ places the individual in a perceived higher status as if that association allowed them to gleam some special understanding and abilities others just cannot have, obtain or understand. 

I learned a long time ago, in the dojo, that those types often were not as proficient as they thought of themselves. Understand, many were still most excellent martial artists but from my perspective and perceptions they didn’t hold any greater or lessor ability and understanding then those who say were my students over a first gen’s. 

When you strip away all the non-wheel barrow items and leave behind those items that actually physically fit in a wheel barrow you find either a good martial artists or a not so good martial artists. In the end, regardless, it depends. 

Example: My sensei is a first generation student of Tatsuo-san. He said he trained in the honbu dojo and often saw Tatsuo-san sitting on the side lines observing. Now, depending on how you define training under Tatsuo-san the mere fact he was in the presence of Tatsuo-san and may have received personal instruction at one time or another could mean his status as first-gen is authentic. Then one day I came to realize that simply being in the dojo when Tatsuo-san was without extensive hands-on training with Tatsuo-san may mean that only those with this experience can or could say, “First-gen student of the Master.” 

Example continued: So, if true, then my sensei is not a first-gen student. Simply association in a physical sense without hands-on personal training under close guidance of the master means he and a lot of others are NOT first-gen students. I also understand that my sensei was a student of Nagle Sensei then like the above example I came to realize that, yes, he trained under the Nagle Dojo but like Tatsuo-san never had hands-on personal training under close guidance of Nagle Sensei. His brother tho, did and his brother taught him Isshinryu. 

Example continued II: Yet, if I wanted to, I could say that I am a student of a first-gen Isshinryu’ist and that he was also a first-gen student of Nagle Sensei but in truth that would not be accurate. 

You cannot attain any special understanding and ability simply by association but you can gain special understanding and ability through hard work, EFFORT, study and EFFORT and gain exceptional martial arts understanding if you put forth EFFORT. 

Now, if you accomplish all this and you just happen to have such connections then you can, if you feel this is necessary for your expertise and abilities, gain a higher STATUS within your dojo or your group or your style. In the end, that is all up once again “TO YOU!”

Bibliography (Click the link)


Defense-Protection - Motive vs. Behaviors vs. People

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

In my recent studies from a new book by Rory Miller on Principled Teaching he made a statement that stuck out to me so I wanted to quote it here:

“Motive of the threat is absolutely unimportant in a self-defense situation. Even a pro can’t tell at a glance whether someone is mentally ill, in an extremely emotional state, or on drugs. The person throwing you in the van may be sadistic or the product of a bad childhood. None of that matters. In a self-defense situation, you are dealing with and, if necessary, stopping behaviors. Not treating, not diagnosing. You are dealing with behaviors, not people.” - Rory Miller (remember, this quote is taken out of context therefore may lead to a whole different meaning than Mr. Miller intended so - read his book, you won’t regret it)

This is what I would perceive as a paradigm shift necessary along with reality based adrenal stress-conditioned exposure to get us closer to the reality of defensive-protection (self-defense).  I don’t expect to shift the minds and beliefs of the self-defense/martial arts industry because to shift to this type of thinking simply may not be a income generator or appeal to the folks out there looking for this product. 

Then he wrote on the art of active listening, I call it an art, and that one also spoke a bit to me especially if one is going to be true to self-defense, defense-protection, through avoidance - active listening. This is the quote on that one:

“We tend to listen to the voices in our own heads first. It’s been accurately said that most conversations are just two people waiting their chance to interrupt. One person starts to say something, the second listens to the first four words or so, finishes the sentence in his imagination, composes an answer, and then waits impatiently for the first person to stop talking so that he or she can talk.”

AND

“Active listening is as simple as shutting down your internal dialogue. Don’t finish the other person’s sentence in your head, don’t compose your answer until he or she is done. There’s a little more. Monitor the rate, tone, pitch, and volume of his or her voice to get a handle on his or her emotional state. Watch body language.” 

AND

“The second aspect of active listening is intelligence gathering is to keep the subject talking. The more he or she talks, the more you learn.” 

I’m guilty as hell of that but I am getting a tad better in my listening mostly due to a personal need. It keeps me out of deep, deep and deeper trouble. It is good training because if I ever again face off with an irate individual who is woofing at me, I can then trigger and turn on a switch, I hope, and deescalate thus avoid escalation to the physical. At least it makes sense to me!

Note: I did take a skosh of license by adjusting a very small part of the quotes such as changing he to he or she, etc. Just in case you are checking the quotes against the book. :-)


Bibliography (Click the link)

Strong Caution Advised

You are all adults and you all take responsibility for your actions in life regardless of whether sport oriented or what ever even when you jump off the curb while texting to cross the street. As adults you should not need to be told that everything you do in this life has consequences and those consequences depend solely and exclusively on you. It’s like jumping off what may appear to be the deep end of the pool, even tho the water is clear you must research and discover what lies below before you take the plunge. If you plunge anyway then what ever you get once you enter the water is all on you, it isn’t anyone else’s responsibility. Check the water first and what ever that means is on you.

What you encounter in martial arts and toward defense-protection, also referred to as self-defense, is inherently dangerous so do the research, analysis and then come to an educated consensus as to what that exposes you too as to your own mental and physical safety. Leaping off the edge of the pool because you ‘think’ the water is fine is just plain stupid, don’t be stupid. 

Everything, I mean that literally, everything in our world has some level of danger to it including just crossing the street. We live in a world as a species that relies on how well we all connect and work together for our very survival. To ignore possible mental and physical dangers we know of, to ignore possible mental and physical dangers that we don’t know of and to ignore the possible mental and physical dangers that we don’t know we don’t know of is ludicrous, dangerous and just plain irresponsible of us, us as an individual human being and us as an individual human being alone. 

No one should need or be required to be warned by others to the dangers of our world both mental and physical simply because that puts the onus of your mental and physical safety and well-being let alone health and longevity on others. When you are, worst case scenario, are dead and once again dust from which you came it is kind of hard to say, “It was there fault, they didn’t tell me about …!” When I walk across the street I understand the dangers involved not because someone told me but because I take the time to look and listen and recognize the dangers so that when I step off the curb I use caution and actions that will avoid the danger and not get run over with possible grave harm or death. 

Listen and listen carefully, it is on you and you alone to find out things, to know what you don’t know and to know what you don’t know you don’t know to remain safe, secure and healthy for the duration of nature’s intent as to your life expectancy. The only way you can live safely and healthy a long life is to take personal responsibility for yourself, to not project blame onto to others simply because you were lazy in life and then to proceed to tell yourself that if SOMEONE HAD JUST DONE SOMETHING I would not have suffered. There is only ONE ‘SOMEONE’, that someone is YOU!


Remember, do the work, don’t be lazy, know what you don’t know and know what you don’t know you don’t know, then take responsibility and even then seek out experts, professionals and teachers of the subject because a group learns and understands through the exchange of information, idea’s and theories to synthesize a greater understanding of things than anything known to man - especially the Internet!

Quality over Quantity

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

You hear it time and again that quality trumps quantity yet why does quantity still hold sway over martial arts? Everything within the modern martial communities is about how much you know, earned and have such as a plethora of trophies or black belts or different styles, etc. 

Once a Sensei mentioned that in the very early days of Okinawan karate a true master is one who knew, understood in depth and had the ability to apply one, two or maybe three kata. Karate at the time was kata and kata are the tools to use to reach understanding. Or, so it seems and in those days there were no trophies, no belts let alone the coveted black belt and there were no styles per-se, it was all about Ti or Te. 

Another Sensei said that once he taught you something it became yours so it was about what you do with that something that matters to the individual in receipt of it rather than what others thought you should do with it. I kind of like that way of thinking myself. 

We have come to be martial collectors, i.e., we are so busy collecting together as many assets in the martial arts community that we have lost site of its truth. We have competitive conversations about who has what black belts what different styles or systems one has ‘mastered’ and how many certificates, titles and awards we have received in lieu of what really and truly matters, taking what sensei teaches you and make that into something of value to you, the individual, and only you. 

When you break down all the assets collected and peel back the covers you will see very little like having a piece of cake with four times the frosting necessary to make it a delicious fun desert. We are over sugaring our martial arts rather than keeping it basic no frills productive, efficient and applicable martial arts. 

If you have twelve black belts, a hundred trophies and accolades from everyone and everywhere you have to come to realize that of all that only one thing, one thing only, can you apply at a time in any given situation. Try speaking four different words at the very same time. Try jumping up in the air and at the same exact moment run around the room and at the exact same moment doing squat thrusts. 

You can’t apply all your techniques at the same time. You can’t apply all the styles you know at one time. You can’t talk and listen at the same time either, think about it. 

One of the reasons I believed and hold true the word of certain professionals in conflict and violence about all of it being the foundation with all the frosting on top is when I was exposed to principles, methodologies and force levels. It is a hand full of things being obscured and obfuscated by all the frostings rather than the bare bones necessities to get-r-done qualities.  

When you remove all the techniques and look at the principled based methodologies that make them work you reduce what you need to fill your mind and brain with by at least 95%. Now, once you understand what makes the engine run you remove all the extra energy consuming irrelevant equipment and add-ons, the stuff that can consume energy and power and attention and intention, etc., making things simpler and easier to understand and master. 

Now, there is a secret to the art of quality, you really have to dedicate the time and effort to know that subject until it becomes second nature - like breathing. My brother once quoted a acronym, i.e., ACE, Attitude, Character and Effort but that too has to be focused into the proper paths to quality expertise. 

Bibliography (Click the link)