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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Manuals -n- Handbooks (Training -n- Practice, oh my)

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

Recently I posted about another set of terms, training and practice, that I felt due to a professionals book who explained the differences that really do enlighten how one should view, feel and apply both their training and practice. Because, intent in both training and practice are pretty darn important if you want you stuff to work in a clinch be it sport or an attack. 

Marc MacYoung posted on his FB page some interesting views that I understood but pretty much forgot over the years especially as in the past I tended to ignore things that didn’t seem appropriate to what I was doing such as teaching self-protection/defense stuff. 

In the military we have manuals that break down in as much detail as possible a subject or applicable physically manifested process, etc., such as shooting a rifle. Also, in the military we had handbooks whose sole purpose, when issued after certain training and practices are completed, was to remind us of the fundamentals and basics of the subject or system or applications, etc. 

Note of critical importance, both manuals and handbooks are tools to help professionals with experience convey to the troops, non-professional novices aiming for pro status, what is needed to get off the starting blocks so that training and practices have meaning, intent and objectives so when one gets in the mix, they have something to draw from leaving them only that one psychological step to take, fire it off when needed in lieu of the freeze. 

This is why practice and training are so important because with out the appropriate combination along with knowledge and understanding not to forget reality-based and Reality Experiences because without a solid foundation in those many in the military who go into the combat zone will not survive. 

Manuals are thick and comprehensive and still have a good solid bibliography of references for further research, study, analysis, practice-n-training, synthesis processes to reach a product of value that only needs to be blooded in combat. Handbooks on the other hand are light weight for ease of carry and reference with a much denser and comprehensive set of references, i.e., handbook to references to comprehensive references to manuals to even more comprehensive supporting references all geared to take a body through natural stages of learning to reach understanding to reach applicable abilities that result in, “Survival!”

First rule of manuals and handbooks, “None of them are the end and only answers, they are guides to help each person gather or accumulate knowledge, understanding and real-experiences that forge a warrior into - a warrior.” These are just tools and one of their purposes are to stimulate the creativity of the owner who then asks questions, discusses with leaders and brothers to synthesis what will work and get the mission accomplished all within the confines, requirements and necessities of combat. 

This, in essence, is true of everything in the defense-protection arena of martial and karate disciplines whether to build persons of proper abilities or to help one progress personally. It’s like principles, principles are what carry the day in any style or system to accomplish all objectives - to survive be it in a predatory attack, a socially driven monkey dance fight or through the competitive environment of sports. 

Note: It is with pride I can say my “professional experience” in one field was supported by manuals and what is called, “Check Sheets” that literally guided and informed a process that literally meant avoiding three things. First, a broken arrow; second, a bent spear; and finally, a dull sword. The very documentation, manuals and check sheets (equivalent to handbooks but not, more critical) kept some very dangerous and serious things safe, secure and ready. 

Bibliography (Click the link)


Compliance Profession (Hypnosis)

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

Giving full kudos to Scott Adams for directing me toward the hypnosis studies. Don’t get me wrong, don’t assume as I know your thinking that I am taking classes to learn how to hypnotize folks like they do on stage. In my past studies toward understanding how to deescalate and/or negotiate toward avoidance I studies a bit about the compliance profession, a profession that uses a form of hypnosis through influence principles to sway folks into spending time and money on what they want to sell us. 

As I begin my studies I can’t help but realize just how much we all use some form of hypnosis to change our beliefs. We are taking information and using confirmation biases to manipulate that information so that it fits neatly within our belief systems. It is just the human thing we do. 

Do you sit seiza and meditate on clearing your mind so that you can focus as much as humanly possible on training and practice, staying in the moment of training and then practice? If you said yes, I know you did and you actually bobbed your head in the affirmative while thinking that, then you are performing a form of self-hypnosis. 

Isn’t all self-help psychological methodologies simply a form of self-hypnosis therefore being a self-compliance influence we all use on ourselves to become better - what ever that may mean to the individual?

In defense-protection models a significant part of that is to, first avoid if at all possible; second, is to deescalate things so they don’t go physical, i.e., avoiding the physical; third, to persuade the other guy -and- ourselves to avoid  the monkey influences of our brains while deescalating both ourselves from the monkey brain suggestions and those currently influencing the adversary you may be facing. All assumptions this is the type of violence and aggression not asocial predatory toward either a process or resource project by the attacker. Think about that one a few moments, I can almost hear you say how important that part was causing a re-read. 

Hypnosis, so far as to my understanding, is projecting a certain type of confidence the others can read; it is using body language and verbal words, sentences and phrases to influence others and finally to cause them, the others, to WANT to change their minds and do something more - peaceful. 

Oh, yeah, I hear you and your saying, “What about all that Gentle Art of Verbal Self-defense you are always writing about?” Well, think about it, it is just another form of compliance efforts using influence principles or in short, “A Form of Hypnosis.” 

Then, if you are FORCED into a physical encounter then you can retrieve from conditioned memory those methodologies and force levels necessary to stop the damage, end the attacker and then - using your compliance hypnotic influence tactics and strategies - you can articulate the first responders so you can avoid jail and avoid prosecution. Now, ain’t that a better way? 

p.s. hey, you say, what about when we try to manipulate or are being manipulated? Wait, one moment, manipulation is an attempt to influence you into complying with what the person wants so it too is a less then stellar form of, “Hypnosis.” 



Bibliography (Click the link)


Training -n- Practice

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

How often have you heard or read about how one “trains, practices and applies” there martial discipline, i.e., principled-based methodologies? I know if you are a regular reader here that you have read those three terms in almost all my stuff. Here is where I take my own assumptions and put understanding to them, something I may not have thought of, “our loud (proverbially speaking/writing).” 

Is there a difference between the two and I believe there is else I would not have used the two but here is where it gets a bit sticky, I assumed that I understood the differences and I assumed the reader did too. 

When I started reading Rick Wilson’s book about pointy things he said, “Keep prominent you your mind: Training is for learning and practice is for function.” Whoa, that is so good, so simply and yet it never occurred to me to distinguish the two because I assumed I already knew and understood the assumed students know and understand the differences as well. “Mistake!” 

Here is what Sensei Wilson said, “What I mean by this is, in the Training Drills I want you to take your time and do everything as described but also understand why you are doing it. Stopping in the middle of a movement in training to understand if you are in the strategic spot you should be is okay, because you are learning.”

Then he adds, “In Practice, you don’t do anything you don’t want to do in a real situation (i.e., stop before being safe, hand the knife back for another rep or help the bad guy up). In Practice, we are going for things to work. The principles are important. If a successful move had the principles but didn’t look much like what was described for Training, so what? The success of the principles was more important.”  

You already know and I can hear your mind saying, “He is a bit preachy,” but herein lies the conundrum that I preach, “Explain the details and be comprehensive.” I often write about excerpts that seem to lack understanding and since they are in the social arena with a huge audience you can’t expect or assume readers are going to understand what it is you are trying to convey. 

So, this is my effort to clear the air on the terms we all use often without actually explaining what we mean by them to those who are studying what we have to teach. 

It is so simple and Sensei Wilson says it well, or writes it well in his book, and it is something we all should NOT assume the student, reader or all recipients of our efforts - understands. 

Clarity is required in understanding for one small wrong can cascade into a system of wrongs subverting, changing and obscuring the very essence we all seek to understand martial disciplines. 

Bibliography (Click the link)


About the "Dojo Kun [道場訓]"


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

Dojo Kun, each dojo regardless of its origins as culturally manifested; no matter of any major organizations that may govern the dojo; no matter who the Sensei is; no matter who the students are; and no matter where it is located in the entire martial community world is a collection of precepts that govern the dojo teachings where both those who lead and those who follow create a reciprocal set of traits, rules and conditions meant to foster the best of the myriad of things within the dojo. 

It is and always has been a unique thing specific to the dojo while often within each dojo adopted from what style may be trained and practiced as originally set down by the style or systems creator. As can be seen in the few examples of translation and meaning it can be thought of as, “Rules, teachings, explanations, instruction and/or readings.” This is significant in translation because those not of the culture of origin may assume just one specific or specified meaning is implied such as the assumption that the dojo-kun are “Rules.” 

Rules tend to static and unchanged so I tend to not think of the dojo-kun as rules. Precepts also tend to refer back to rules, i.e., a general rule intended to regulate behavior or thought.” I don’t feel that the dojo-kun should mandate anything to the student but should be more of a fluid guide like a map that Sensei passes on so that the practitioner can use it to guide their path while fostering a creative way that translates into something unique to the individual regardless of others also following their own path. 

This is how I find a more personal philosophical understanding of our training, practice and application of all the fundamental principles of what ever system of martial discipline one participates in. Kun, or precepts or rules or requirements just seems controlling and limited often leading to stagnation that is referred to mostly as adhering dogmatically to something someone else created and then called, “Tradition or Traditional.” 

If I could change things, and I can in my dojo, I would prefer to call what I am writing about as, “The Dojo Philosophy.” You see when you change the term, “Rules and/or Precepts” to “Philosophy” you get:
  • the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence, especially when considered as an academic discipline.
  • a particular system of philosophical thought.
  • the study of the theoretical basis of a particular branch of knowledge or experience.
For me, I read and reread that first one because that tells it as best as I can understand the concepts, the fundamental nature of knowledge and reality and existence but would remove the academic reference in this case because I feel it applies to ALL disciplines be they physical, mental or wholehearted. It is about one’s thoughts as the collect new understanding from research, analysis and then synthesis. It is about our effort to study things hopefully with an open mind remaining aware of how our species is subjected to things like cognizant dissonance and confirmation bias, to name just two of many. 

It is about, “read,” in that how we read ourselves, how we read others and how we read the internal and external stimuli be it academic or reality-based experiences all contribute to our philosophy. 

Philosophy is an entity of the mind that changes in every moment from the influences of the constant influx of environmental stimuli through our senses of sight, hearing and especially touch or tactile senses. 

Dojo-tetsugaku [道場哲学] These characters/ideograms are translated by two sources as, “Dojo philosophy.” I am not advocating a dojo or person just dump these, some anyway, historically oriented documents because of their significance to the history and traditions of the founders, creators and all Sensei past and present BUT as to what we today use as a guide or map for students following us down this martial practice and path, philosophy today is more apropos to what we all are working so hard to embrace, practice and live. 

“Dojo kun is a Japanese martial arts term literally meaning (training hall) rules.”

The characters/ideograms translate as, “Road-way; street; journey; course; moral; teachings,” and “location; place,” and “Instruction; Japanese character reading; explanation; read.” 

Another translation of the characters translates to, “The Precept of the Dojo/Teaching Place.” 

Bibliography (Click the link)


Legacy of Isshinryu

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

A recent posting spoke of the legacy of Isshinryu as it regards to things like kata practice. Things like this lead to a huge conversation that often does not provide a real, relevant, answer - a bit frustrating. This inspired me to contemplate the legacy of Isshinryu. 

Legacy, defined, “something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past; the legacy of the ancient philosophers.” 

Hmmm, interesting that when defined it doesn’t exactly say what the something is and how to make use of it as the recipient. It speaks to me that the legacy as received is used by the recipient as they see fit, it is now theirs. The person who wrote about their definition and meaning of Tatsuo-san’s presented legacy said, “it is a systematic method of training that develops the end product of what folks in IR call Chinkuchi, coupled with the strategies and methods preserved in the kata , and understanding contained in the Kenpo gokui.”

On another road I see some interesting things worth commenting on but in essence this is what Tatsuo-san’s legacy is and means to that individual, a very good thing for he/she knows and understands and believes his/her Isshinryu, as left them by Tatsuo-san and their Sensei, means to them. I would assume that this is fluid and changes as they change, grow, and understand their practices of Isshinryu. 

My interpretation and understanding of Tatsuo-san’s legacy titled, “Isshinryu,” is as follows:

A method of study that transmits principled-methodologies of both philosophical and physical disciplines that transmit and teach one in the art called, “karate.” A fluid model that fosters, promotes and inspires a disciple toward self-awareness, understanding and proficiency that inspires continued training, practice and, most important, appropriate application of the philosophically-principled physical that provides first and foremost emotional maturity, physical health, fitness and an ability to apply it in the physical reality of life. 

It is not, and never was or has been, the intent to remain dogmatically tied to Tatsuo-san’s way at the time he taught and practiced his karate. To remain dogmatic does him a disservice and those, most, who do so are often the  most inexperienced of all. The truly experienced, one experienced professional stated, tend to be the least dogmatic in the studies, practices and applications. Also, “But, the majority (of karate-ka and martial artists) of the inexperienced/dogmatic are dogmatic because they have latched onto an identity that they know, on some level, is untested and they are defending a tribal identity.” 

I also see his legacy as his desire that each individual he has touched or influenced to seek out of their training to, “Maximize Gains,” over the obsession toward, “Minimizing Losses.” 

I feel I live up to his legacy, a legacy I define from the collective information on his way of karate-do in conjunction and connected to his lifestyle, his beliefs and is actions during his karate formative years. Tatsuo-san has earned my respect and desire and by my efforts, writings, philosophy and beliefs have done him and Isshinryu justice.

Bibliography (Click the link)


Wholehearted Help

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

In a recent post to Facebook a martial artists asks a question, “Aging and Arthritis,” as it pertains to training in the are of karate. As with most things, many karate-ka spoke up with advice, after all advice was asked for and gotten but one issue about that advice kept cropping up.

“They, most of them, were actually providing advice better provided by medical professionals rather then from the personal feelings of non-medical professionals. This speaks to one aspect of teaching that comes up frequently especially in sport or martial oriented teaching, “The desire to help others.” 

We all come to close associations with others in the martial arts and that is a good thing. We want to be helpful and provide appropriate advice, lessons and experiences often past that appropriate level into areas one should not go like giving advice of a personal nature or in this case, “Medical.” 

Here is the crux of it, we are martial artists/karate-ka and our professed proficiency is in that discipline, not medical or psychological or emotional, etc., martial - that is it and honestly most are not all that truly qualified to teach anyway let alone teach or advise on matters outside the martial art/karate discipline. 

Here is another way to look at it, advising someone on your personal thoughts about a subject like or similar to both aging but most important arthritis where misinformation of such potential for harm is a bit, unprofessional and inappropriate but most of all open to litigation if your advice causes more harm than good. 

I don’t give advice on personal matters or psychological or medical because my expertise is martial in nature and those other areas are outside my professional understanding, expertise and experience. Now, if you want to know how to damage a person, that is another matter.

Most of the advice was well-intentioned but proper or advisable is another matter all together. This falls into the same category as teaching self-defense because in both the chances are a bit remote that one will encounter a need to use it in self-defense and it is remote that your medical advice will result in more harm than pain, discomfort or another injury, etc.

What if the advice caused grave harm and disability, would you the well intentioned advisor be liable. Yep, you betcha and believe me over the last forty years of life I have come across instances where the liability resulted in economic ruin and even jail time. 

Yes, the probability may be small but do you really want to gamble on your entire livelihood and economic stability by venturing out into area’s where your expertise is strictly a personal feeling rather than based on hard education, experience and understanding? 

At least, if you have come to this sentence, “Give this some thought, consideration and then decide if you are ok to go.” 

My personal Martial Philosophy: I am their Sensei, not the personal confidant; not a family member; not a doctor or lawyer; not their therapist; not their self-help advisor or guru. I am their martial arts/karate Sensei to which I hold a personal obligation to teach them the best I can, to lead them toward their own way in the discipline and to provide guidance in pursuing the martial way, i.e., sport, way (philosophical way), or defense-protection - all other ways I only recommend they seek out professionals in those disciplines such as licensed and experienced doctors, therapists and psychologists, etc.

There is always a certain level of professional distance everyone must adhere to under these types of circumstances. It is our discipline and understanding that best suits leading others in a discipline and our responsibility to ourselves, our students (Tori-uke; Senpai-Kohai; students and practitioners), and the dojo to adhere to a certain professional status to keep stability in the Sensei to Deshi relationship.


Bibliography (Click the link)