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


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

I am not a leading authority on any one discipline that I write about and teach, it is my hope and wish that with all the subjects I have studied it provides me an advantage point that I offer in as clear and cohesive writings as possible in introducing the matters in my materials. I hope to serve as one who inspires direction in the practitioner so they can go on to discover greater teachers and professionals that will build on this fundamental foundation. Find the authorities and synthesize a wholehearted and holistic concept, perception and belief that will not drive your practices but rather inspire them to evolve, grow and prosper. My efforts are born of those who are more experienced and knowledgable than I. I hope you find that path! See the bibliography I provide for an initial list of experts, professionals and masters of the subjects.

It's Primordial in Nature

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

Think, “flight-or-fight” response, the monkey-mind that has kept us alive for thousands of years. From the time on the Serengeti to the towers of New York this part of our brains has been our survival guide. It is our early warning system that is quick, powerful and overrides all other parts of our brain, mind, giving the monkey-mind control. 

The number one primary job of our brain is to stay alive, to use the flight-or-fight response per the directions of our monkey-mind. That is the primary goal of the monkey-mind and in addition its second function is to keep us as individuals connected to one another. We tend to gravitate towards like-minded others to create clans, tribes and groups. 

The monkey-mind is about the detection of threats. Not just the obvious ones that bring down violence on us like being hunted by lions and tigers and bears but to recognize “social threats” that would undermine the group dynamic that bonds a group together with the ultimate goal of surviving conflicts and violence. 

After all, back in the day, humans were and are thin-skinned, don’t have sharp teeth or claws, and in relation to all other species of animals we are not very strong no matter how much we can bench press because in the overall scheme of things that matters little up against other predatory animals like lions and tigers and bears, oh my. 

Remember, this is important even in modern times, social status in a group dynamic, i.e., families and tribes, is crucial to our very survival. The monkey-mind spends a lot of modern time watching and listening and feeling others around you especially those within your tribe, looking for signals and triggers that say whether you are respected, loved, and especially whether you belong. If triggered the monkey-mind spills some fear with a side of shame to remind us that we must adhere to the groups dynamics, rules and expectations because they mean - survival. 

After all, back in the day as well as today, modern techno-times, there are two ever-present possibilities - we die and we lose our social status OR we are kicked out of the tribe - banished. These two possibilities are referred to as our primordial threats. The very ones nature imbued in humans the moment we squirmed out of the primordial ooze and tried to crawl up on land. This is soooo critical that nature built or hardwired it directly into our brains. 

Modifications are a slow evolutionary process that our ancestors learned through the school of hard knocks that made it into our DNA, informing the monkey-mind and adjusting its abilities to perceive threats and allowed us to survive to modern techno-times. 

Here is the rub, where the tire meets the road or the smartphone finally connects at super fast speeds. IF the monkey-mind DOES NOT recognize or has not been programmed to recognize a viable threat, both physical and psychological (the social status thing), it has to guess whether or not it is a threat and the monkey-mind don’t like that one itty bitty bit. You can guess what happens next because if there isn’t anything there to trigger an appropriate action of the monkey-mind it defaults back to fight-or-flight (some would say it’s better to refer to it as “freeze, flight or fight” response. 

I say again, IF THE MONKEY MIND DOES NOT RECOGNIZE WHAT IT DOES NOT KNOW OR DOES NOT KNOW IT DOES NOT KNOW it cannot protect you or your tribe. Perceptions is everything, belief is reality and to achieve self-protection in self-defense you MUST program the monkey-mind to provide action appropriate to the situation. 

The monkey-mind is unable, cannot; will not; just ain’t happening, to perform risk analysis and assessments. When the fear button is triggered we all become simple-minded and single-minded as our ancestors who roamed the Serengeti hunting and gathering. 

When the monkey-mind shouts to the top of its lungs, “Woo-woo-woo! Something is wrong? DO SOMETHING!” It has to find it in its repertoire of fight-or-flight OR it has to have it conditioned in its hard memory properly trained and practiced and experienced closely simplistically related to that fight-or-flight response system. 

It comes down to this, “Know what is a threat, know and understand the actions you need to deal with that threat and then… train that to your flight-or-fight system because it is about WHAT YOU LEARNED TO REACT TO IN THE PAST (we call this experience; both in training and in real-life encounters) is how the monkey learns to use it when the monkey-mind triggers the fight-or-flight reflex along with that come the chemical dump of hormones and emotions and feelings and moods that will bury the rest of your brain in deep sand much like burying your head in the sand. 

When the monkey-mind is yelling, “Woo-woo-woo! Something is wrong? DO SOMETHING!” your brain is going to be hijacked and trigger two of our biggest mistakes, “First, to overestimate the threat and then to underestimate our ability to cope with those negative emotions in the monkey’s alarms.” Add in that without training, practice and experiences to supplement the flight-or-fight system ANY task we attempt, CAN FAIL. A big one is, “when we open our mouths and we offend others with what we say.” How we tend to trigger and escalate things, yes.

Other monkey-mind obstacles: 
  1. we over review past errors; 
  2. look to our future to prevent making more mistakes; 
  3. we debate our abilities and decisions we have already made; 
  4. we recycle old concerns; 
  5. we indulge in endless regrets; 
  6. we OBSESS over things we cannot control; 
  7. we try to manage things:
    • check smartphones;
    • turn on TV;
    • pour ourselves a drink;
    • get a snack; 
    • go shopping; 
    • triple check everything we do, say or decide upon;
All this and more tend to undermine the very things we need to accomplish to remain alive and to maintain our social status in the clan - all about survival or NOT DYING. 

Remember, it is futile to resist our monkey-mind, it can’t be done. It is that ancient part of our brain that is simple, focused, and hardwired to be autonomous, beyond our direct control. One way to learn to handle things is through conceptualization. If you learn about your personal, tribe and environmental threats, you understand them thoroughly and you create and learn a program that enhances the monkey-mind fight-or-flight alarm and response system then when it chatters in your ear triggering the chemical dump you will begin to UNDERSTAND its the monkey-mind and that you are not the monkey but because you can now diffuse the monkey’s antics you create a space or void that allows you through training, practice and experiences to do something appropriate to the situation.  You allow your rational logical human-mind to notice your thoughts, emotions, and learn the things necessary to override the monkey-mind.  

If you create a program that trains you to build a resilience to the monkey’s alarms so you can think and act clearly in lieu of the usual monkey-hijacking process. Resilience means flexibility and resourcefulness for when threats rise up and you will find with practice, training and experience you will feel less out of control caused by the monkey-mind. 

In short, add to all your other “awareness models” a state of awareness of your monkey-mind. Remember that the monkey-mind is our action center that calls to action what the monkey-mind properly and effectively perceives as a bonafide and valid threat. The monkey-mind ain’t goin anywhere so get used to it and then learn to recognize the monkey and then learn to deal with it by learning and understanding all those things that may, could or possibly be a threat to you and your family and your clan. 

Become One with the Monkey!!!! 

For reference and sources and professionals go here: Bibliography (Click the link)

Mind/Body Connectivity

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

We have, as a species, strayed off the mark a bit by thinking that the body and the external drives the internal so we focus on the external to the detriment of the internal. We focus on the body while assuming the mind follows naturally when the truth is that everything, reality of beliefs, is a product of the mind-works. If we learn about focus, concentration and control through the effort of our minds as it directs the actions of our bodies with an intent to realize the works of the mind we can visualize how the mind leads to body and the body follows the mind. 

In this effort, as yin/yang principled practice, we know that a balance can be achieved of the mind/body connectivity where a balance of the internal, mind-state and mind-set, and external, the bodies ability to manifest the results of our mind-works, we achieve mastery of the mind/body. 

In that light, intent and focus and concentration should be of the mind where it takes control of the actions of the body to dictate how the body reacts when the mind is engaged in realty, situations that effect the mind, like the monkey-mind, in how the mind reacts thus triggering the bodies reactions, i.e., stressors, anxieties, emotions and feelings, the adrenal stress-induced chemical reactions that all combined lead the body one way or the other dependent on the mind-state and mind-set of the mind. 

Know this: 

"Believe nothing until you find it out for yourself - that is what teaches us. Truth requires no prop to make it stand." - Vivekananda, Raja Yoga

“We shall find how intimately the mind is connected to the body. The mind is simply a finer part of the body, and that the mind acts upon the body, then it stands to reason that the body must react to the mind. … When one is angry, the mind becomes disturbed; and when the mind is disturbed, the body becomes disturbed. (when the mind is calm, the body becomes calm.” - Vivekananda, Raja Yoga

“We have very little command of our minds. Therefore to acquire that command, to get that control over body and mind, we must take certain physical helps; when the body is sufficiently controlled we can attempt the manipulation of the mind. By manipulating the mind, we shall be able to bring it under our control, make it work as we like, and compel it to concentrate its powers as we desire.” - Vivekananda, Raja Yoga

For reference and sources and professionals go here: Bibliography (Click the link)

Note: in martial arts for self-protection in self-defense it may be critical to ensure one achieves a certain proficiency in mind studies, training and practices before qualifying for their dan-sha and then a main focus of all levels from sho-dan and above. 

The Karate Fist

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

It would seem that an exorbitant amount of time, thought and effort are being placed on the fist in karate. It is understandable because karate means empty hand and the inference and reference is meant to point to karate as an empty-handed form of protection and defense. There is a problem with this, karate if done right, is about using our bodies when no other form or venue of protection and defense are available to us. The heavy focus on the fist is more a distraction than benefit. 

The fist, without certain concepts, traits and conditions is NOT a very good weapon. It is also used in social violence because in most cases there is no intent to do "grave harm" or "cause death." Using a fist leaves a wide space between a socially driven educational effort and the asocial need to cause damage or death. We humans don't really want to gravely harm or kill others except in rare cases and in those cases it requires a certain psychological conditioning, for soldiers and sailors and airman and Marines, in order for those folks to cause grave harm and death - all required in war.

In truth, thinking in terms of the definition of karate being "empty hand" we can step away from the fist and focus on the empty hand in the opened position for the open hand is far more effective and useful than making a fist. Also, to make a fist and apply it without all the damage that would cause, to your fist, requires a great deal of training and practice along with almost all "luck." Luck because in the adrenal stress-conditions of violence along with all those psychological and physical effects another aspect is that ability to hold the fist in chaotic changing conditions is going to be almost impossible. There is a reason professional boxers tape their hands then put on gloves because it is less about the damage to your opponent and more about damage to your fists. 

In truth, giving the fist its due along with all the other fundamental principles is ok at the novice level but when you are in the zone to learn and apply principled based methodologies that involve the entire body working in unison with structure, alignment, and movement, etc., is when you truly attain a level of skill to apply the body in its entirety toward protection and defense assuming all other methodologies, like avoidance and/or escape-n-evasion, are applied efficiently to get the job done. 

So, as to the question of which is more powerful as to applying our fists? Well, you have to consider the power and force necessary to get the job done and that is about principles applied efficiently and effectively while the body mass is moving because force and power don't some from using the fist but from moving our bodies effectively and efficiently against a moving target, our adversary, to which both of you are attempting to use force and power against one another. In truth, under these conditions the fist is fundamentally a minor part of the whole that is self-protection for self-defense. 

As to that minor application of the fist whether vertical or horizontal or any of those gradients of angle between? It depends on the situation in the moment during the heat of violence because it depends on things like the target, positioning of combatants and a slew of other factors that dictates say, "in this situation the vertical is superior or in this situation the horizontal is superior, etc." 

If only it were that simple!

For reference and sources and professionals go here: Bibliography (Click the link)

The Art of Observation

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

"The action or process of observing [employing our sensory system] something or someone carefully or in order to gain information. To take in a remark, statement, or comment based on something one has seen, heard, or noticed. AND Observation is the active acquisition of information from a primary source. In living beings, observation employs the senses."

To observe, one must be aware. To be aware, one must have attained knowledge through experience both academic and reality-based. To have knowledge also requires one understand the knowledge. To understand knowledge one must be aware and observe that which goes on around them through their sensory system. 

The art of observation to become a belief that is our reality requires us to assimilate as much as our sensory systems can see, hear, touch, taste and smell while creatively encoding through experiencing the observed stimuli. 

To observe is to have referential knowledge or memories stored in the mind. 
  1. Preparation: to expose ourselves to the greatest amount of knowledge available on any given subject, i.e., an academic experience. 
  2. Experience: to use our skills to assimilate experiences tactically and psychological in the real-world. To practice what we have learned using all our senses. 
  3. Reflection: to take experiences and share them with other like minds in an exchange of knowledge and experiences to cause a creative process to achieve synthesis of both current and possible new theories and idea's. 
  4. Demonstration: to take our results and test them with participation of other like minds to vet out the new experiences. 
Observation skills are truly an art for one who is skilled in observation doe not merely "see" but takes an active role in "looking," to observe that which is unfamiliar, to the changes in situations and environments and self and to note details to understand and explain that which is observed. To train observation skills:
  1. place various objects on a table, or on the ground and note what they are. Have students view the objects for two minutes, then cover them and ask each to list the objects. Increase the number of objects and/or reduce the time for observation and observation skills will be improved. 
  2. in subsequent sessions using twenty items, remove or move their positions for subsequent viewing and then ask the students to note the changes that have taken place. Introduce greater difficulty by moving or removing a greater number of articles. 
  3. next, pull up video’s of certain situations involving conflict and violence for the students to observe and when the video ends discuss what was observed and how one would use that information to avoid, deescalate or apply methods of self-protection for self-defense. (fieldcraft)
  4. when a certain efficiency and accuracy are developed then take the group into a public area, have them note objects in the area, and then convene outside the sight of the area and have each present what they observed. 
  5. as a more advanced observational skill, when students have come to understand certain traits, concepts and aspects of the martial art and self-protection to use that knowledge to observe a public area and present the observations in this light to evaluate with other like minded students and teachers. 
“What is fieldcraft in karate’s self-protection for self-defense? The skills involved in living, traveling, moving, or making observations in the field, especially while remaining undetected. Karate’s fieldcraft is the skills involved in the observation and detection of traits or tells of the people and environment that trigger our self-protection skills for self-defense in order to avoid, deescalate or act in a timely, appropriate and most efficient and advantageous way. “ - cejames

NOTE: Observation Principles

Kinesics: involves people's conscious and subconscious body language. Humans give off signals through their postures, gestures, and expressions that communicate their current emotions and possible future intentions. The ability to pick up those signals is critical to PROACTIVELY identify threats. 

Biometric Cues: the uncontrollable and automatic biological responses of the human body to stress. The physiological responses are key to understanding a person's emotional state and changes. 

Proxemics: allows us to understand groups of people, group dynamics, by observing interpersonal distance and identify an individual's relationships and intentions based on how they use the space around them. It allows us to understand an individual's behavior as it relates to the surrounding people. It helps us understand group dynamics. 

Geographic’s: involves reading the4 relationship between people and their environment. It helps us to understand and identify who is familiar or unfamiliar with the area they are in and how people move around their surroundings. Human behavior is predictable, threat profiles help us to anticipate where people will go and what they will do in certain areas. 

Iconography: allows us to understand the SYMBOLS people use to communicate their beliefs and affiliations. Gangs, groups and individuals use iconography as a symbol of group unity, for rapid recognition of other members, and to communicate their beliefs to the larger social community. Observing these symbols, particularly the increased presence or even sudden absence of them, can be key to a threat profiler's situational awareness. 

Atmospherics: focuses on the collective attitudes, moods, and behaviors in a given situation or place. Threat profiling can read the social and emotional atmosphere of an environment and pick up on the changes or shifts in that atmosphere that often signal that something significant has changes or that something is about to occur. Understanding that collective atmosphere can key threat profiles onto those individuals whose attitude, emotions, and behavior DO NOT FIT the given situation - those individuals are anomalies. 

These six observation tells or skills capture the most significant aspects of human behavior in simple terms that aid practitioners in establishing baselines and identify anomalies. 


The standard retort to that is to look and see through awareness and then the individual is pretty much left to figure out on their own what that awareness is and how it must be used. To see you have to have concepts to translate stimuli into something usable in this sense, self-protection of aggression and violence. Concepts are those encoded, trained, things in our mind gathered by a variety of means such as, "words both spoken and written and recorded; thoughts, idea's, theories, etc., from academics coupled with training and experiences that come from the intent and concepts that are aggressions and violence. In short, a whole lot of things that are often left to 'assumptions and assumed understanding' because most teachers don't really know how to articulate and teach such things so the sound bites are left to suggest and influence. 

If you DO NOT HAVE a solid foundation of knowledge and understanding that are the very concepts of your efforts to handle self-protection then you are NOT seeing and therefore not OBSERVING and then UNABLE to trigger that concept so that you actually can ORIENT on the situation(s). 

This is just example and very, very basic with the hopes one understands a lot of research, study and applicable practice in training are required to achieve successes in self-protection... in short, learn the 'rest of the story!'

Observation done properly, completely and comprehensively means you now have the awareness to trigger orientation on stimuli at a distance and with enough time to take actions toward avoidance, etc.

For reference and sources and professionals go here: Bibliography (Click the link)
Van Horne, Patrick. "Left of Bang: How the Marine Corps Combat Hunter Program." Black Irish Entertainment LLC. June 13, 2014.    

Three Types of Bunkai

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

In a recent posting the author mentioned that there were three types of bunkai, as follows:
  1. Omote [] (suitable for beginners), 
  2. Ura [] (intermediate) and 
  3. Honto [本当] (the real application). 
So, after reading it and the following article by the author I had to do my personal analysis of the three terms and their presented meaning. 

First, Omote [] (suitable for beginners). Using the character(s) involved, it translates into English as, “surface; face (i.e. the visible side of an object); front; outside; exterior; appearance; top; first half; cover; foreground.” Now, as to suitable for beginners as a definition we would have to assume the term when used with bunkai along with its intent in karate could mean that omote infers the face, exterior, surface or bookcover of bunkai. 

Second, Ura [] (intermediate). Using the character(s) involved, it translates into English as, “lining, inside; behind the scenes, hidden side, etc.” Now, as to being intermediate bunkai I am left wondering exactly what they mean because intermediate may be inferring something in the middle or a second stage/level of a three level artifact. I have a bit harder time validating the term as indicated. 

Third, Honto [本当] (the real application). Using the character(s), it translates into English as, “truth, reality; actuality; fact; proper; right; correct; official; genuine; authentic; natural; veritable.” If you stick to genuine and authentic it could mean real application but that left me considering “why.” Why real application and why begin with something that isn’t real. What reason is there to have a beginner and intermediate bunkai? 

Fourth, Bunkai [分解]. Using the character(s), it translates into English as, “disassembly; dismantling; analysis; disaggregating; disintegrating; decomposing, etc.” If bunkai actually does mean to analysize something then there can be no beginner, intermediate or real applications because bunkai does not mean application. Bunkai is a process whereby one creates, discovers or finds a real applicable method or methodology. Ouyou is a proper term, Ouyou [応用] translates into English to mean, “(practical) application; putting too practical use; applied.” 

As you can see, even if we switch out the less appropriate term of bunkai for the more appropriate term of ouyou it still does not warrant the breakdown of beginner, intermediate and real. Now, if you take a possible method, analyze it, then test it thoroughly to ensure it meets the standards of reality based adrenal stressors, etc., then we can say it has three stages of learning to achieve a real ouyou or practical application for self-protection in self-defense. 

So, to make the clearer and applicable to me I would rephrase it too: “

Theoritical (riron-teki [理論的]) Method (hoho [方法] [理論的方法])
Methodological analysis (bunseki-hoho [方法論分析])
Practical Method (Ouyou [応用]) (jissai-hoho  [実際方法])

To reach a practical methodology we may want to break it down into these three stages of learning, i.e., theoretical method, methodological analysis to practical method. Rironteki-hoho, bunseki-hoho to jissai-hoho. 

Or we can simplify it into two stages, i.e., bunkai or analysis of method/methodologies to ouyou or practical applications in self-protection for self-defense. In short, we do have this pension to complicate things into complex systems rather than the shorter simplified easy system. Even shorter, discover your bunkai then test and translate that into ouyou or practical applications/methodologies. 

Ok, Omote/Ura concept. Omote [] Ura []: It seems to me that the meaning of omote/ura is also not in line with the definition it is given at the start of this article because it is not truly about beginners, that is too narrow a category, and it is not about anything intermediate, that is also too narrow a category, because the concept is about what we see or think we see in relation to what we find or hope to find when we take the actual omote/ura concept and apply it to the other concepts I provided above to find the true nature of things be it methods, methodologies or practice applicable techniques. So…

Omote, the characters/ideogram means "surface; face (i.e. the visible side of an object); front; outside; exterior; appearance; public; cover; foreground." Ura, the characters/ideograms mean "bottom (or another side that is hidden from view); undersurface; opposite side; reverse side; rear; back; inside; out of sight; behind the scenes; opposite; inverse."

Omote and Ura are also significant cultural words, terms or ideogram/character's that help us understand the culture and beliefs that are the foundation of many aspects of the martial arts.

In the martial arts I refer to those obvious things as omote and those things often revealed in addition or underneath the obvious things as ura. It is the obvious, the practitioner, who looks within the reflective mirror to display the inverse or back; behind things to see what is underneath or undersurface of the obvious things.

For instance, omote are the techniques you derive from the various movements of kata while ura are the underlying principles and methodologies you would extract from the experience of those technique-based basics of kata. 

You can also symbolize omote-ura by the Tai Chi symbol, i.e. the yang-yin.

I quote, "In the martial arts, omote refers to the techniques that are officially recognized as being characteristic of a given system, style or branch school. In signifying the surface, the term omote always presupposes that which is underneath the appearances. To every omote there is a corresponding ura, "behind" or "the other side (as in the reflection of the mirror - a Shinto icon in Japan)."

I quote, "To learn, practice and apply martial arts requires it be transmitted by following both sides, omote and ura. The main substance, the fundamentals, of the system, style or branch is provided solely through the visible forms and formulas, so the transmission relies on what is not visible from the outside, the ura."

Omote-ura model is about what is obvious vs. what is considered underlying the obvious, especially since this model is a yin-yang of martial disciplines. It is often misunderstood to mean both what is obvious and what is hidden, i.e. where hidden infers or implies secrecy (secret). This is just not true.

The Ura is actually the follow-on inter-connectedness of the obvious application toward principled based multiple methodologies, etc. to fully implement the system toward its ultimate goal. Look at Omote-n-Ura as the need to see both sides of the coin, i.e., like seeing the yin and the yang of things. It is about seeing that which you don’t know so you can understand the things you do know and grow from there as a natural stepping stone toward proficiency and mastery.

For reference and sources and professionals go here: Bibliography (Click the link)