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

“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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Sensei’s Pledge

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

You see these types of things from time to time, a pledge from one person to another or others they will act a certain way and in return those people or others would act accordingly. In many dojo the hierarchal system has a leader, the sensei, and practitioners or students who follow. Within we have a hierarchal system of deshi to senpai to kohai, etc., but seldom have I witnessed a solemn pledge/promise from one to the other such as I suggest herein, below. 

This graphic I present is merely a copy, with appropriate changes to fit my needs, of the Marine Corps Drill Instructor’s pledge to recruits. I liked it a lot and recommend sensei to use this or something similar to pledge to their dojo-mates a certain morally driven promise to one another. I further make the suggestion that it be placed on the dojo wall and every few months both Sensei and deshi sit mokuso, write it out by hand on a piece of paper and then sign it with their signature. 

There is not better way for a dojo to make a commitment to themselves and to the others as tribe members do hold, demonstrate and live a set of standards with morals and skills that have become the hallmark of the karate and martial arts black belt tribe/community. 

Bibliography (Click the link)

“In order for any life to matter, we all have to matter.” - Marcus Luttrell, Navy Seal (ret)

Click snapshot for larger, readable, view. 

Practice (Training) -n- Experience

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

I have come to one conclusion with absolutely no doubts at all in my mind, i.e., “There is no substitute for Experience!” Add in that “There is no substitute for Hard Work!” Finally, I would add, “The Right Experience is Critical.” 

Experience, there are a variety of ways to accumulate experience but it has and should be noted that the type of experience matters and in the game of conflict and violence it is critical to success, critical to, “Getting-r-done.” 
  • Experience of Practice: Practice comes in many forms, i.e., one being second-hand practice in that one learns from others in a controlled environment to gain fundamentals as a foundation for any discipline. Practice can also be beneficial if it can be as close proximity to reality as possible where certain effects are triggered that would be close to reality such as reality based adrenal stress-inducing models causing effects encountered in situations such as one’s possibly resulting in grave harm or death. 
  • Experience of Training: Based on sources, conditions, environment and those who mentor or teach the discipline or subject. It is often a group, tribal like environment, dynamic beneficial to all participants/members where exchanges occur allowing for individual and group analysis and synthesis that is tested and validated in actual experience in the reality of, for example, self-fense against a predatory process/resource attack. 
  • Experience of Reality (specific to the discipline and goals because that matters too): Someone able to recount an event they witnessed or took part in has "first hand experience". First hand experience of the "you had to be there" variety can seem especially valuable and privileged, but it often remains potentially subject to errors in sense-perception and in personal interpretation. Second-hand experience can offer richer resources: recorded and/or summarized from first-hand observers or experiencers or from instruments, and potentially expressing multiple points of view.  

  • Physical Experience: Physical experience occurs whenever an object or environment changes. [3] In other words, physical experiences relate to observables. They need not involve modal properties nor mental experiences.
  • Mental Experience: Mental experience involves the aspect of intellect and consciousness experienced as combinations of thought, perception, memory, emotion, will[citation needed] and imagination, including all unconscious cognitive processes. 
  • Emotional Experience: Emotional Intelligence, i.e., “the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one's emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.” 
  • Social Experience: Social experience provides individuals with the skills and habits necessary for participating within their own societies, as a society itself is formed[citation needed] through a plurality of shared experiences forming norms, customs, values, traditions, social roles, symbols and languages.
  • Subjective Experience: Subjective experience can involve a state of individual subjectivity, perception on which one builds one's own state of reality; a reality based on one’s interaction with one's environment. The subjective experience depends on one’s individual ability to process data, to store and internalize it. 
Experience is without a doubt a critical component to gaining proper abilities to cope with a certain issue, situation and environment, i.e., like conflict and violence. It is even true, as many professionals have expressed in their publications and work, that even in specific matters experiences not directly related to that type of experience can be limited and an obstacle to success such as self-fense. 

To clear the air to my expression and communications of the differences between practice/training-experienced to experience in reality I would us a particular art, the dart arts. 

In darts, like any discipline be it sport or combative, etc., you have to practice, practice, practice and then you have to train, train, and train some more BUT even with a huge experience in both training and practice it still comes down to reality performance and application. I practice and actually express my proficiency and expertise when I practice the dart arts. Even so, it almost always falls down to novice and proficiency is drastically reduced when I enter into a competitive environment, i.e., face off against adversaries in the dart arts. 

You would think with enough practice and training I would have created a tape in the deep mind that would take over and keep my proficiency up to the level I gained in that practice but don’t make that assumption. I can play against an opponent and play horribly, a frustrating thing on its own, then immediately after when warming up for the next round my practice hits targets that would make a master professional dart artist sweat. 

That switch from one form to the actual reality is a huge one and warrants understanding that no matter how good you get in the dojo against your friends and dojo mates, no matter how well you throw darts in practice and in warming up for competition, when you are exposed to the dangers and trials and tribulations of an attack on the street and when you step up to the competitive line, to ocky line in dart arts, to compete against an unknown competitor you just don’t know what will happen. 

Reality-based adrenal effects triggering training and practice are necessary and even with that you have to gain actual hands-on experience, actual hands-on experience being attacked by a predatory or playing darts against an unknown experienced darter your training and practice and those experiences may not keep you to the levels your training and practiced have achieved in those environments. 

Lets refer to that gap, the chasm you must leap across to gain reality experience, cognitive dissonance. CD is that something that happens when you are confronted with the reality of a situation outside the dojo, the practice arena, and conflicts with what your mind has created regarding that discipline. You have to come to grips with this but your mind tends to do its own thing so it triggers a rationalization to compensate for the discrepancy you encountered. This is how our brains work. You have to spot it so that you can shift gears and hope that the mind allows you to redirect toward reality. Then the realization comes that even with a ton of practice, training and practice/training-experiences often rationalized as effective methodologies for perceived, yet never experienced reality, reality to cause CD to make you feel good, to self-sooth and to place a non-realistic belief to remain comfortable and to provide excuses to avoid realistic experiences. 

The goal is to spot this CD and then take the first step by gaining realistic experience. In the dart arts, as I provide an example above, it is easy to decide to compete in a live competitive chaotic fluid environment because the repercussions are simply to lose the game. In self-fense, one that exposes you to conflict and sometimes extreme violence with grave harm or death as a result, it is extremely difficult to gain that type of experience unless you work in a profession that lives, breathes and deals with conflict and violent people in a violent environment such as military, police, and other such disciplines. 

It just goes to show that all the years of repetitive practices in a controlled environment often without realistic training regimens that expose you to the reality of conflict and violence WILL ALWAYS fail you in violent predatory situations, always. It has become clearer to me in my studies that those professionals with far more experiences and understanding of these things are truly knowledgable, experienced and professional people who provide us necessary and critical knowledge that is often missing from the Self-Defense Martial Arts/Karate Industry. 

In my mind, it will always come down to the type and appropriateness of training, practice and experience and it will take only that type of reality-experience to truly master the more violent aspects of the arts. Until that moment when you have to act, to finish the OODA process in a truly violent situation, your efforts may or may not be there for you. 

I once taught, if you want to use your skills for Self-Fense you are going to have to hit someone and that someone is going to have to hit you AND not just in and on the dojo floor. I am not talking about social violence where two guys do the monkey dance but the asocial predatory process/resource kind of reality that the guy attacking you has the advantage, took that advantage and is committed to doing extreme violent harm to you, totally committed and already half way to his goal. 

Anything less is just playing, having fun and just pretending. Don’t fool yourself unless you are aware of and accept the conditions of your discipline and reasoning toward participation. It is just too dangerous to allow yourself to accept reality for what it is, not what you think or feel it is or should be. 

Look at it this way, using a meme from a famous sport gear manufacturer, “Just do it!” You have to do the thing to achieve proficiency in that thing and I don’t mean doing the dance done in the dojo!

Bibliography (Click the link)

“In order for any life to matter, we all have to matter.” - Marcus Luttrell, Navy Seal (ret)

Traditions - A Perspective and Perception

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

“Tradition is Tending the Flame. It is NOT Worshiping the Ashes.” Humans have and rely on memory to live and survive and it is well studied, documented and not well known that humans upon retrieving memories change those memories according to the moment along with past experiences, etc. 

Yes, I am saying that our memories are not written in stone nor are they as exacting or exact as we believe. Our memories every time are tweaked accordingly, in the moment and to support our belief systems, etc. Even if we want to hold on to a tradition as an unchanging thing our human species naturally changes the very thing we wish to hold on to and label as tradition or traditional. 

In all things but especially in karate and martial arts we think of traditional as something to maintain in an unchanging form even to the reasoning of “To Honor and Remember our Founder.” This strict adherence to past precedence is very common especially in some martial/karate circles excluding any possible change.

In can best be said that those who we lean to worship as great persons all achieved that level of respect and admiration because they were innovators, creators and developers of the very system or style of discipline that is labeled as traditions or traditional. They took the traditions they received, they analyzed those traditions, they developed appropriate changes for the times in which they lived and then they synthesized new traditions to pass along. They demonstrated that one cannot just accept things the way they are but they understood that one must take those traditions and still move forward, to allow that very same tradition to evolve. 

Study history, study the ways of the past - traditions, remember and hold them in your heart but remember that spending too much time and energy on the past slowly kills it and takes it very vitality as an art and way, stagnating its potential and creativity. Build your way with a foundation of history and traditions. Don’t focus exclusively on the past and its past ways for that is to stifle and stagnate any possible future. 

Traditions are about fanning and fueling the flames of learning, understanding, creating creatively and then analyzing and synthesizing new traditions firmly connected to the old making all traditions fluid, changing and evolving for each time, each moment and each individual.

Respect the Old; Respect the Past; Learn from Traditions and Create the New; Create from the Past; Synthesize New Traditions! 

Bibliography (Click the link)

“In order for any life to matter, we all have to matter.” - Marcus Luttrell, Navy Seal (ret)

Complexity vs. Simplicity in Karate

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

“High rank doesn’t always mean you are good. It means that you need to work harder because people will look to you for guidance.”

“The student mistakenly thinks that the more complex a movement or technique is the higher the level. Then the student starts to complicate things.” 

I would venture to say and believe that complexity is the necessity of the novice but simplicity the hallmark of mastery. To understand simplicity you have to learn the complexities of things but the key then is to “Let go” of the complex and allow the simplicity to manifest in creative ways. Modern practices simply fail to let go of the complex to allow for simplicity much like letting complex thoughts dominate when allowing for being in the moment is more balanced and productive in living properly. There is a time to think of complexities and a time to allow the mind to let go of such complex thoughts and allow for the simplicity of things to naturally and creatively to manifest - in the moment. 

In order to allow simplicity to manifest you have to remove the unnatural such as unnatural movements, thoughts and actions so that the natural simplicity of it takes action but to do this you first have to know and understand all those seemingly complexities that underly all the myriad things of our world then “Let go” so they fall into the deep mind to be trigger from necessities of life - naturally and with creativity and unencumbered by the thoughts of the logical mind allowing the faster, deeper mind, to act (think of the OODA here too).

It should be, in my mind, a requisite to master and higher ranks because simply passing along the first novice levels due to a misconception and perception that complexities mean mastery and high rank is to stagnate the evolution and  progression of the arts and systems, you have to learn the complex and let go to achieve the simplicities of mastering of the arts. 

Bibliography (Click the link)

“In order for any life to matter, we all have to matter.” - Marcus Luttrell, Navy Seal (ret)

Hat tip (Ritsu-rei) to <The Budo Bum> as the inspiration for this post.

Cross-Training in Karate and Martial Arts

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

The Budo Bum wrote a nice article on the subject of cross-training in Budo that inspired me to contemplate and let my mind meander a bit on the subject of cross-training. 

What is cross-training? It is to train in two or more disciplines in order to improve fitness and performance, especially in a main discipline. It is to learn another skill, especially one related to one’s current discipline. In karate and martial arts it is thought of as training in another style, system or discipline - choose your poison. Cross-training is a term/phrase that is most often expressed in the sport arena but since karate and martial arts are more often than not about sports it fits. 

Cross-training in karate and martial arts was frowned upon a few years back with the more traditional practitioners using the heritage, culture and honoring of the system/styles founders as a reason to remain steadfast and dogmatic to how it was taught and practice, historically speaking.  Cross-training in karate and martial arts in truth, to my meandering mind, does not exist except as a means to foster, promote and solidify the status and perceptions of a style or system to the participants, tribal members if you will, of that system or style, etc.

Truthfully, ALL styles, systems and disciplines of both sport and karate and martial arts, it is not about those differing styles or systems but about the underlying, common and cornerstone, principles and methodologies that are exactly the same regardless of the cover of the books called karate, martial arts or various other styles or systems. 

There is no real cross-training if that is true, merely a mind-matrix-manipulation of one’s beliefs and perceptions to provide a feeling of something more, something greater and that something that is used to validate egoistic status of higher ranks, etc. In short, you can’t put that in a wheelbarrow. It is an ego-stroking self-soothing influence of those high ranked leaders to foster continued membership in the style, system or discipline club. 

Don’t get me wrong, styles or systems, etc., are critically important to the human species especially since they trigger survival tapes and instincts. They are critical to bring folks together toward like-minded needs and such also of the species survival needs - all critical to survive successfully in the world. 

It breaks down when cross-training is used to explain, think cognizant dissonance here, why one needs to do it. It does have its purposes such as exposure to perceptions that are not currently, in that form, encoded in our deep minds and it does expose us to changes and perceived differences so we may cope and condition our minds and bodies so when some feature unknown to us appears we are better able to overcome the freeze, the OO loop if you will, and act before we suffer grave harm or death in self-fense/loss of competitions in sports and so on. 

In truth, if one realizes after all the study of the complexities within human expressions through styles and systems that it is the simplicities that create a creative and effective actions and deeds for both life and self-fense that cross-training breaks down. Cross-training is a part of the initial novice level toward learning and encoding but the need to “Let Go” of such things so the simplicity of multiple methodologies expressed with fundamental principles, such as physiokinetics, along with force levels of control we have a common denominator to ALL STYLES and SYSTEMS, etc., that transcend the “Technique Based” models mostly used to teach and practice. 

Once you achieve knowledge, understanding and applied principles and methodologies those atomistic technique system or style distinctions lose their importance in applications such as self-fense and sport to become something at the expert and mastery levels of training and practice. It is more critical to my mind to address the chemical dump self-fense principle and sub-principles then to focus on how one style or the other manifests a punch or kick or other technique. In both sport and self-fense, cross-training does not address directly the adrenal stress-conditions and effects of the adrenal chemical dump, that is usually done in hands-on experience that gives the practitioner the perception and impression the cross-training is doing that work rather than something else not directly perceived. Like the side-benefits you get through certain types of training, practice and applications found in martial arts, karate and other physical disciplines. 

Note: Cross-training does expose the practitioner to various methods of expressing multiple methodologies in a more chaotic creative fashion with proper models of training and the experience gained by efforts, etc. 

Bibliography (Click the link)

“In order for any life to matter, we all have to matter.” - Marcus Luttrell, Navy Seal (ret)

Hat tip (Ritsu-rei) to <The Budo Bum> as the inspiration for this post.

Budo no Kiso [武道の基礎]

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

Mental: Compassion, Determination, Respect, Open-mindedness and Joy. 
Physical: Breathing, Walking, Falling, or in short, “Movement.”

Both the mental and physical proverbial cornerstones of budo are actually, in part, in reference to the fundamental principles of martial arts and karate. In short:

Mental: Principle of Theory; Principle of Philosophy.
Physical: Principle of Physiokinetics; Principle of Technique.

Personally, I added a couple of fundamental principles, i.e., Self-Defense and Chemical Dump, as they both contribute to understanding and applying in martial arts and/or karate toward self-fense, combatives and competitions. 

So, in addition, it becomes interesting and natural that the translation of the term or phrase along with the characters/ideograms means, “Fundamentals of Martial Arts.” The first two characters are for Budo, the middle character is a connector of sorts or a way to connect the last two characters, meaning principles, to the first two, i.e., giving us Principles of Martial Arts. (Note: the actual translation for the last two characters is found to be, “Foundation; basis.” Principles are characterized/ideograms with [原則]. The difference may be due to the combination of the four with the no or character changing the overall meaning of all the characters/ideograms. 

Bibliography (Click the link)

“In order for any life to matter, we all have to matter.” - Marcus Luttrell, Navy Seal (ret)

Hat tip (Ritsu-rei) to <The Budo Bum> as the inspiration for this post.

Today I Present Martial Arts Study, Practice and Application

Here lies the true meaning of martial arts - arts. This is a clear demonstration of technique vs. creative application of methodologies, etc.

Sitting Seiza in Karate

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

In a recent blog article by Victor Smith Sensei he talks about something called, “Suwari [Suwari Waza is the generic name for techniques performed in the seated stance in traditional Japanese (Koryū) martial arts.] and Tachi-waza [Suwari waza contrasts with hanmi handachi waza (a person sitting in seiza defending against a standing attacker) over the tachi waza (standing techniques, which comprise the stance in which the majority of standing techniques and training are performed in aikido, and where the attacker and the defender standing).],” and in that conversation he speaks to how most no longer kneel in seiza in everyday life. I wrote in comment the following:

“That is too bad because "traditions,” and "ceremonies" and other such things are all under the heading of "Heritage" and heritage is what all cultures of significance are built from and upon. Seiza, the actual process has its own shi-kata or form from Japanese, Okinawan and Chinese cultural influences. It is what connects and binds us to the heritage of karate and martial arts from that part of the country - too bad. 

I remember how difficult it was to sit seiza and perform mokuso at the start and end of dojo practice and training. I never truly got comfortable with it and I rightly assume it was because I didn’t grow up sitting seiza and didn’t sit seiza outside the dojo. Regardless, for many years that was what I did before and after dojo practice because, as I state, it was a way to connect in a direct physical way to the past, the heritage of karate from Okinawa. Yes, Okinawan’s sat seiza and I suspect they started it because of the strong connections they had with China and later, after the 1600’s, they also assumed and kept that piece of cultural etiquette when the Japanese took control. 

Many of the cultural heritage connections such as sitting seiza have been slowly removed from modern karate practice here in the West and I can only assume and speculate that it is because those who removed those heritage connections just didn’t understand, or even care, about the past. We in the West tend to have forgotten about our own past and heritage, as short as that is when compared to such cultures as the Chinese who have thousands and thousands of years in their heritage. Anyway, I digress toward distraction so back on the subject I go.

Sitting seiza is not indicative or inherent solely in the dojo for it is how the entire culture sat or sits even today (well, maybe not so much but some still sit seiza). I do understand that for many it is only about the physical challenges and attitudes and contests of karate and martial arts. I do understand that for many it is only about or in addition too the preceding, self-defense and I understand that for many it is only about the competitive aspects BUT …

Sitting seiza and for mokuso before and after have certain traits and concepts that support and build on all the above reasons why one takes to the dojo. It may not be readily apparent but with some effort and research one can find that connection and find benefit. I can only say that I recently got back into a art form that has competitions in it and due to the connections I made to the historic cultural philosophical principles of karate and martial arts I have progressed rapidly up and back almost into expert status and believe/feel that mastery is not as far away as it normally would be if I had not studied such things as sitting seiza.

You see, there is a kata, shi-kata, to approaching, standing, kneeling, assuming the seiza position, setting down on the heels and placement of hands, etc., just like there are kata that teach principles, fundamental methodologies, force levels, and so on to utilize in self-fense, etc. It is one of the myriad of things that connect us to our past and allow us the ability to analyze and synthesize our practice, training and applications for modern times, the present if you will, while maintaining the core principles developed and taught by the past and allowing for growth, progress and the natural evolution of the systems and arts for now and for the future. Think of it as a three-stage stack where we learn the past and practice it diligently then we synthesize appropriate aspects for the modern times of today and then finally we learn to synthesize new aspects, traits and ways to apply proper principled methodologies toward appropriateness of future systems, dojo and practitioners. I personally see it as how we take the past, learn from it and then take it into the future - creating a three-stage stack. 

Sitting seiza in karate or any martial arts may seem to be not beneficial or realistic for modern times but then again …

COMMENT: On the arts of suwari and tachi waza, although they may appear or seem or be perceived as something we would not encounter in reality, violent attacks, etc., they still hold lessons that will benefit the practitioner in a combative situation be it some socially driven monkey dance or other predatory type of resource/process attack. Skipping such training simply weakens one’s abilities in the end, don’t skip. 

Bibliography (Click the link)

“In order for any life to matter, we all have to matter.” - Marcus Luttrell, Navy Seal (ret)

Note: the following graphics may or may not depict correct seiza, etc., do some research to validate or find
the correct shi-kata to sitting seiza ...

A karate-ka’s greatest strength

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

“A karate-ka’s greatest strength is in observation, the more observed, the more the karate-ka comes to know. Such knowledge gives the karate-ka power, especially when others fail to see.” “The eyes must see all sides,” a ken-po goku-i meme as part of the whole that is the “goku-i.” Awareness is about seeing all sides or the myriad of things in the Universe. Our Universe is not just that of the vastness of the space that surrounds our Earth but the vastness of that space the surrounds each of us as if a micro-cosmic variation of the entire Universe.

To achieve such mastery of the seeing of all sides we must cultivate that which is observed more than merely seeing but to analyze all that we observe then synthesizing what we need to survive in our own Universes. It is truly our greatest strength and the greatest weakness of each individual karate-ka dependent on a myriad of things of which seeing all sides is but one. 

One, being the great “Tai Chi” that through the natural way of the Universe, i.e., Heavens, Earth and Hu-mans, is to divide into the four then the eight and finally into the sixty-four hexagrams that tell us how to travel the path of life as karate-ka. 

The more we can observe through the wholehearted efforts of education, training, practice and attaining of experience is how we accumulate the inherent knowledge necessary for mastery. Observation leads to education; education leads to knowledge; knowledge leads to understanding and understanding leads to analysis and synthesis of old, new and the creative - to see all sides of things. 

I would further add that “to hear in all directions” holds the same weight, i.e., as in “While a persons unbalance is the same as a weight” thus making a lack of observation leading to the end results null and void without the addition of hearing and weight and a loss of balance when these principles are missing or incomplete. 

To observe takes all the senses with the two of sight and hearing dominate, dominant sensory input processes that provide a wholehearted whole of observation and awareness, etc. This is one meaning attributed to the goku-i!

Bibliography (Click the link)

“In order for any life to matter, we all have to matter.” - Marcus Luttrell, Navy Seal (ret)

Is Self-Fense Realistic?

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

In a recent blog reading it came to me that due to the disparities between each human, be they male or female, that trying to teach or sell self-fense to those individuals is just not possible. We, each of us, are unique and have individual needs and wants and other such stuff that is, fundamentally, different from all other of our species.

Yes, we have like things that are somewhat able to match us up especially in the survival mode all humans have to deal with but when you start digging deeper beyond those facades you find, once again, differences. Differences that often require each of us to set aside when dealing with others so that we can - “Deal with Others.” This is true even in families, i.e., between spouses, between siblings and between parents and children. We all have to compromise and shift and change, at least when dealing with others, on a face level minimum. 

In the Self-Fense (most call it self-defense but since I have done a bit of study of MM’s work on violence, as with RM too, I like to use self-fense) model of most vendors they are only able to sell that product if they can create a model that would span a large audience of individuals, all with their own unique needs and wants and requirements, etc. This presents problems that result in self-fense being - NOT true and reality based but generic to the degree it is often useless in reality. 

I have to wonder then, is the self-fense industry any good or realistic or productive or efficient in reality? In general, I have come to conclude that toward most who seek out such vendor supplied products it is more a ego stroking feel good effort over a real reality-based need to protect ourselves. Those who actually need realistic reality-based methodologies are those who work and/or live in violence based environments or jobs that work in violence based environments. Like Police, Corrections Professionals, Body Guards, Military, Bouncers (some) and other professions that expose the members to violence or possible violence. 

This tells me that most, almost, all self-fense programs are simply tools to sell a product and that is why I often shout out when I read their testimonials and web sites and ads are written or presented in certain ways as if their program, for instance, is the ultimate warrior based military proven way to provide foolproof self-defense. Yes, there are programs out there that are realistic and run by experienced violence professionals while the others are sold by using “Compliance Principles (Influence principles)” that make folks feel good about themselves and instill a confidence that they are safe and secure. These folks, like most in our modern times, will never, ever, encounter the types of conflict and violence that truly require true relative realistic self-fense. 

When I view or review many of the karate and martial arts self-defense programs, by attending in the past and by academic reviews today, I feel like they are more what I feel is reality rather than what they think, feel and believe to be realistic. 

As instructors they are forced, in most cases I believe, to use compliance principles to sell the product and sell the individual into believing they are getting something unique and useful, the principles are use every day and in every moment of our public lives to get us to do things and buy things we might not truly want or might not truly realize is useless but it does hit on those human fundamentals so that we feel good and believe that we are safer and more secure. It works and most humans go through their lives completely without the realization of reality for we create our reality in our minds so we can survive. 

Humans tend to not think a lot about stuff for no other reason than if we thought logically about every single decision, etc., we would be stuck in limbo unable to move, to live and to … you get the picture. We look for shortcuts, it is all part of our survival needs and instincts and allows us to use that to survive. When it doesn’t then the self-fense you are sold may or may not work but it too has to be a knee-jerk reactive or proactive model as well so that a need to logically analyze and act is bypassed, think OODA here, and that is why the education, training and practice along with reality-based experiences is needed to program those tapes. 

Self-defense, mostly, is not realistic in my book. We can pay lip service all we want to self-sooth and stroke our ego’s into believing we are gaining and learning all those warrior combatives like technique based programs that are cookie cutter programs that fit everyone while failing to fit each individual but hey, we won’t ever have to prove either’s legitimacy.

Bibliography (Click the link)

“In order for any life to matter, we all have to matter.” - Marcus Luttrell, Navy Seal (ret)