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


“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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Gaining Experience

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

In a recent article the author of said article made a statement that got me to thinking of the subject of experience. It is often touted as criteria to apply certain disciplines such as self-defense. There is a point the divides the gaining of experience where common sense, logic and just plain stupidity come into play. 

Here is the actual quote and the link to the article follows so you can read the entire thing, i.e., “Now I’m having conversations with young, un-fucked-up people who want to get fucked up. They want to get themselves into high-risk situations, knowing that they are high-risk situations, because they have been told that that’s the only way to get experience. They have been told that until they have enough experience, they’ll always be second-class citizens in the self-defence community. And they have been told that in the context of their self-defence instruction. Violent incidents as rites of passage; it may be true, but it’s also unconscionably stupid.” - Gods Bastard, Gatekeeping

Remember, I am diverging from her article here.

As I commented at the blog, no one comes with that type of experience. We are all born without it and as we survive/live we build and gain experience. If our tribe is one that lives in an open-minded way then they will experience and accept things that most societies today tend to obfuscate/hide/bury because it is ‘uncomfortable’ and triggers ‘fear’ in us due to its dangers toward our very survival. 

Professionals, both civil and military, all come to the table with little or no experience in both conflict and violence at these levels. Yes, we all experience life’s conflicts along with certain types of violence but not the levels and types addressed in self-defense, combat and so on. When you enter into these professions/disciplines you are basically what we in the military call ‘a boot’ meaning you know nothing, you are hopefully a blank slate. Once accepted and in the disciplines/professions everyone, I mean everyone, goes through training and practice and certain kinds of experiences before they go out and perform their jobs and responsibilities - it is just a fact of life and you cannot bypass it. 

Example: In the military you go through boot camp; then you go through what is called infantry training; then you spend a certain amount of time applying your training and knowledge where you may or may not actually do so in a combat situation. This type of training and practice is where your mentors are going to try to apply training and practices that come as close to reality as possible with certain limitations. The goal here is to take the boot and bring them to a point where when they are confronted with the chaos, dangers and adrenal stress-conditions of the reality of grave harm and death they are able to “Break the Freeze” they will have and act. Even then, it will take more than one exposure to take that initial step, it is just a fact of life. 

Even if you train and practice in this manner, the encode primal conditioning is not complete or correct. They hope that the reality-based training will get you close enough but that first step still requires some changes in the conditioning that cannot be achieved in a training and practice environment even if reality-based - close, very close if done right but not all the way. 

So, if you are being trained for self-defense, a professional discipline or toward fighting/combatives this becomes critical. At no time will any of the above examples consider, advocate or approve the boot to go out, on their own, and expose themselves to such dangers - especially alone. That is just plain stupid and counter-productive to goals in such models. In most professions those trained in basic and more advanced, like the military example above, still are exposed to the reality of conflict and violence under the guidance, tutelage and protection of a mentor - mentor being the most experienced capable of teaching you in the chaos of the discipline. 

If your Sensei, teacher or instructor alludes to or indicates to you that you don’t belong, you cannot achieve some level of expertise or become a sensei, teacher or instructor without first exposing yourself to the actual dangers of conflict with violence that will expose you to grave harm or death - run like the wind and get the flock out of there, that just ain’t right!

Yes, there is and always will be a division between being a boot, inexperienced, and being a professional, experienced but know the types of experience involved for many great leaders, teachers and sensei have experiences that stand outside of actual experience in violence and they are most professional and expert in what they provide. In combat, so I am told by combat veterans, the boot will always stand outside the team to a certain degree until they prove themselves and gain that certain specific type of experience. It does not mean the boot goes on patrol in combat on their own so they can gain entrance to the club, so to speak, but it does mean when they demonstrate that the training, the practice and that experienced gained is first translated into combat experience through mentoring, etc., with veterans, they are taken by the hand and led by those veterans. 

Don’t let someone influence you into endangering your life and health with some stupid concept of belonging only if you go out and expose yourself to violence, remember that avoidance of such things is of higher importance along with your health and well-being. Exposure to such things intentionally, as a non-professional, will come with repercussions that you will have to live with, if you live, for your entire life - buyer beware!

Bibliography (Click the link)

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


Self-Defense, Oh yea, we train for this …

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

Michael Clarke Sensei over at the Shinseidokan Dojo blog has provided another really great perspective on karate and self-defense (click this link to read). His photo tells us some of the information and below is my input on what I can see just glancing at the photo. The real question is, “What am I not seeing here? as well as “Could all this have been avoided?” 

Click for larger readable view, comments are mine and mine alone!
Hat tip (Ritsu-rei) to <Shinseidokan Dojo Blog by Michael Clarke Sensei> as the inspiration for this post.


Bibliography (Click the link)

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

Secret Bone Breaking - Oh My!

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

Sigh! Sometimes I wonder just how gullible humans are and don’t for a second assume I don’t include myself in that inquiry because although rare, I do fall for such things from time to time because of our human nature to compliance triggers (see/read the psych of influence book for this one). Before I get into the concept of bone breaking techniques lets do some inquiries on bone-breaking in general.

“The amount of force required to break a human bone varies depending on which bone and its density. On average, the human femur requires 1,700 pounds per square inch to be cleanly broken, while a weaker bone, such as the clavicle, takes considerably less force to break. … Many factors influence how easily a bone is broken. The density of the bone and the force being put on it must both be calculated. If the force is concentrated to a single point, it is easier to break a bone. A bone with higher density requires a higher amount of PSI to break.”

“For a strong bone, such as a femur, it could take as much as 160 pounds of pressure to cause a fracture. This number can vary depending on different factors. Some of the factors include a person's age, how healthy he or she is, how strong a person's bones are, and how physically active he or she is.

According to some medical sources fractures occur due to high force impacts or stress. The question of causing bone fractures in the dynamics of violence, combat and fighting are iffy at best and often tested by groups and organizations who benefit from such findings so agenda’s are involved skewing those research results accordingly.

Some information regarding most bone fractures, i.e., they are most often caused by falls and accidents. The less obvious type of fracture one can endure are stress fractures that result from repetitive movements such as running improperly. Where this article may lead us is that a ‘crack (not only a break)’ in bones are also known as fractures, the breaks I consider a part of this article are what the medical profession call ‘clean breaks’ that don’t damage surrounding tissue or tear through the skin often referred to as simple fractures. 

“Most human bones are surprisingly strong and can generally stand up to fairly strong impacts or forces. However, if that force is too powerful, or there is something wrong with the bone, it can fracture.”

“Stress fractures, which result from repeated stresses and strains, commonly found among professional sports people, are also common causes of fractures.”

This should be enough about breaking bones to go on with the articles topic, “Secret Bone Breaking” in karate or martial disciplines. I recently read an article about how a karate-ka was teaching the secret bone breaking ability found in kata bunkai. Here is my take on it:

  • The use of the phrase ‘secret bone breaking’ is merely a sales tactic, a compliance strategy to trigger certain influence principles to get people to sign up for the program that teaches this secret for self-defense. 
  • In truth, even if the kata bunkai technique is actually and originally meant to break bones it is not the actual fracture but more a stress fracture that may, stressing the term ‘may’, lead to validation of this phrase in karate.
  • Bones alone are extremely tough and resilient then adding in health, fitness, musculature, structure, alignments the combination of tendons, cartilage, and bone combinations; then add in the movement involved in the dynamics of fighting or defense/offensive chaotic situations; then the dynamics of adrenal stress-induced conditions that add to the ability of the body to endure stresses that might lead to breaks or fractures you have a ever changing situation where the likelihood of all those factors being in alignment that would allow for a bone break are, in my humble opinion, virtually impossible. 
  • If a bone is broken it will likely come from the result of a technique that causes the person to fall and cause a fracture, not because of some manipulation of the body. 
  • Even tho many will profess that some MMA like compliance/manipulation techniques when applied will result in broken bones even those are questionable in a non-sport controlled situation such as an attack and even in the social monkey dance more often encountered in sport bars, etc.
  • In most attacks, there is not time to find the optimal situation that will allow one to implement their secret bone breaking technique. The skills and experience levels necessary to achieve such goals especially under the influence of surprise, the flurry of the attack, the loss of balance often involved and then overcoming the effects of the chemical dump, the adrenal flood, leaves little room even for the most practiced and experienced dojo training possible to break bones expect in controlled situations and fighting along with defense is not controlled but chaos. 

Yes, there may actually be bone breaking techniques and if they are being taught then they are NOT secret, just not as yet taught and that does not make them secret. Having, knowing and using bone breaking abilities require a lot of luck and more experience of reality than one often can achieve even with ongoing, continuous and dedicated training and practice.

Even those professionals who work and live in conflict and violent professions will admit that even little or more experience still has to make the leap across the chasm created by the adrenal effects of violence, etc. 

In closing, just knowing that say 25 lbs of pressure will break a bone does NOT mean that you can break a bone with any technique and in those cases where it does happen, is that when some predatory attack occurs and you are able to swiftly turn on your MMA compliance and control skills to overextend some body part to break a bone? Or, are you actually tearing ligaments, etc.? 

It is easy to get caught up in things where reality vs. drama-driven things mislead into believing there is some secret bone breaking bunkai that is often un-provable unless experienced in a true attack. I believe even professionals who may have broken bones will say that it may be possible one time and even if the next time all factors are the same and equal it may not work.

Last and important, if you extend beyond a control technique to break a bone, even if lucky to make it work, will that breaking be perceived by authorities as appropriate levels of force in self-defense? I mean, if I am amble to apply a technique that controls my adversary would going to the next level of breaking bones be justified? 

Here is my defense against such secret bunkai, movement. Movement, continuous movement often prevents an adversary from ‘setting up’ the secret bone breaking technique. Using the sensory system of tactile sensitivity any contact with an adversary should trigger some movement for the bodies armor, natural nature given armor, involves movement. Not the move-stop-set-move type you see in kata and are taught in self-defense but more the continuos movement taught is systems like ju-jitsu, etc.

Some things to think about!

Bibliography (Click the link)

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




Profiling - It’s a Tool!

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

In a recent news story on a local radio station a comment was made on the profiling used by humans, it was directed connected to the identification of situations and people by the term, “Minorities,” with emphasis toward the African-American minority. I have issues with this because it smacks of an agenda driven emotionally charged focus on just one person/group. 

First, lets look at the definition: “(noun), the recording and analysis of a person's psychological and behavioral characteristics, so as to assess or predict their capabilities in a certain sphere or to assist in identifying a particular subgroup of people.” 

They use the word, ‘person and people,’ and I don’t see anything there that directs someone to either a minority nor the African-Americans. It does refer to a particular psychological and behavior characteristic. In my mind if someone is inclined toward conflict, violence and law-breaking activities and presents a particular look or set of actions then those are the psych and behavioral symbols that if they span a larger group and become indicative of, say, criminal activity then they should be used to find and defend against less than honorable folks regardless of  race, religion or gender, etc.

Note: Profiling works on both the criminal and non-criminal world, it works on ALL HUMANS. To make the act of profiling illegal simply because when said and done it points to a particular subgroup of people is ludicrous. It takes what is a very important human survival tool and makes it a tool of the legal system to prosecute something and someone merely because it may, might or could be racially/minority motivated. In this, I believe we are all making the assumption of the connection due to the outcry of those who have some agenda and cannot explain or find the facts of truth that say this is not minority motivated. 

Profiling is a great tool for humans to assess and predict especially regarding self-defense. I am not saying that simply because one has a certain pigment to their skin that it means danger but rather to profile someone who stands out in a certain way and then presents several characteristics through words, actions and “tells of criminal intent” means to turn and run to avoid, to use tools toward control and deescalation or if not other methods are available then act accordingly. 

In Marc MacYoungs’ and Rory Miller’s books on conflict and violence they mention culture and beliefs but don’t assign them a label that would take a particular person or group - minority or not - and give the impression that all their work is about minorities, it is about conflict and violence and how to handle it all. 

Profiling is a human tool because it is exactly what we use to identify stimuli, trigger the appropriate and legal responses and then do what is necessary to get-r-done. 

Now, to the actual reference to minorities. It is regrettable but often true that when profiling you find certain groups to live and work in such activities that often are about predatory actions toward resource acquisition or process gratification. If the profile fits the person then their color, religion or culture/cultural belief system doesn’t matter and to use that to misdirect and get someone out of the ramifications is simply that, misdirection in the hopes of getting away with it. 

Even if I use profiling and the first indicator or tell is their minority status then it is my responsibility to determine using other indicators to validate that assessment to make sure my prediction is accurate. One of the ways our society ensures that I made the right choice is when the legal system and the authorities see readily that I remained within the confines of the law, the legal system and the morally justifications of our society. 

I am walking in the woods enjoying nature; out of the corner of my eye I see a shape that is slender, long and shaped like an “S”; My mind profiles the stimuli and my mind and body will trigger the survival system of “Freeze, Flight and Fight,” i.e., My eyes will go wide, I will take in a deep breath, I will more often than not jump back and then assess, predict and act accordingly to the profiling data. My mind took the stimuli and associated it with - “Snake!” - but once I take stock of additional tells and data and information I realize it was just, - “A Stick!” But, hey, the way this all works would mean that I was prejudicial to the stick and the snake, they are minorities of the world we call nature so I must have profiled them as snakes and through actions that could have become grave to the snake took prejudicial actions thinking that I was protecting myself. 

So, do I believe profiling is about minorities? No, profiling, especially as a tool of our professionals be they police, corrections officers, military or security, is absolutely necessary not just for them but for all of us in our need to survive. 

The argument will be made that survival is not on the table in modern society as we are safer than at any other time in history but that is not true of our minds. Our minds when triggering certain sub-routines, call it instinctual survival tapes, the mind says, “Danger, death is on the table,” and that is how it works regardless of whether it involves actual violence or just a heated argument or some aggression at work between you and the boss. The lizard has not evolved enough to take the death trigger off the table.

The last part of the definition on profiling is, “Identifying a particular subgroup of people.” It does not say that it is about identifying a particular minority subgroup of people or a particular religious faction subgroup of people BUT IT DOES means to identify a particular subgroup of people that are a danger to our society, tribe, clan or families and if they happen to be of a minority group there is more reasons then merely the color of their skin that says it is so. 

In order for certain groups to satisfy and gratify their emotional immature reactions toward a person who being of the same heritage, culture and/or group will take the very first singular atomistic piece of information the supports and validates, not necessarily true or factual, their feelings and they will use that as a tool, a club, to beat, argue, spit, bug out the eyes, swears, used psychological/verbal violence, waves their arms, screams in your face to get us to believe that things or tools like ‘profiling’ are bad and are about them rather than what they are about, reality - the reality of crime, violence and conflict!

Profiling is a good thing, it is a tool and because of its usefulness of species/human survival it is absolutely necessary and valid. Like compliance professionals who use the principles of influence to get you to keep them in high status economic viability, the BMW and Mansion thing, these principles/profiling can be used by nefarious predator adversarial people in ways that make for bad things happening. 

Yes, profiling can be used toward a specific subgroup of people if used incorrectly and yet it works more often when used to simply identify and stop criminal activities that would put societies people in harms way. 

Now, for the final reality check - police, military and other such professions and professionals use profiling all the time. What they had to do to overcome this stupidity of the emotionally immature is create through analysis and synthesis another way to express, articulate and document their profiling data into a form termed in a more accepted way that data. 

“Observing the person it was noted that they performed the following movements, actions and indicators that when collected and assessed as a whole told us the person or persons were preparing for and readying to enter into a criminal activity that would endanger the public as well as the police first responders. After careful consideration it was determined necessary to take appropriate authorized actions to address the individuals to further gather data, analysize that data with the trigger information observed and the synthesize both the intent of the observed and the actions authorities, in this case the police first responders, to prevent any further potential criminal activity.” Note: I are not a professional police officer so this statement is just the example that came to my mind how to articulate and document any actions before (normally called profiling but now referred to as data-mining), during and after a professional(s) become involved. As far as I can determine, with my level of experience, knowledge and understanding, there is nothing in there that says directly or peripherally it is profiling. 

When media uses such language to convey a meaning by misdirection of compliance methods/principles to steer the general public toward believing the most dramatic ratings generating news story possible that smacks of irresponsible, dangerous and destructive behavior - it isn’t the objective news, it is reality media entertainment. 

I would not, due to social conditions, use the term profiling in my self-defense lessons but you can pretty much bet that it is there even if not on a conscious level simply because it is natures tool humans are encoded with like the flight-or-fight response to danger. It is like saying, don’t bother breathing brother, you don’t need it and it is a bad thing because it means you are using it to single out the minorities. 

STOP making and using excuses for the behavior, take responsibility for said behavior!

Bibliography (Click the link)

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


p.s. I am so disappointed in news and social media, I feel it all needs to be regulated so that such irresponsible inflammatory agenda driven efforts must be taken to task when it ends up spreading misinformation, once called propaganda, so that still penalties, high - very high - monetary repercussions are levied when such things are published. They may say, but it was the news, yet when reported is often slanted and agenda driven where the facts are supplemented with compliance principles to get folks riled up, pay the price when that happens and maybe we would return to the historical days of real news. 
p.s.s. Oh, by the way, did you know there are several types of profiling? Profiling in information sciences, DNA profiling, Forensic profiling, Offender profiling, computer programming profiling, Racial profiling, Sexual Orientation profiling and Geographic profiling. All these are labeled that way due to the use of profiling to direct efforts toward a specific predetermined orientation of topic such as DNA being the profiling through the use of DNA testing, etc. In this sense then responsible reporting would not use “profiling” as a stand alone reference but rather, “Racial profiling,” in the case of minorities that needs to be justified, valid and factual before using. I would add “Criminal Profiling” rather than offender because it, in my mind, looks to the criminal elements, not the individual, that tells us that possible criminal activity may be taking place, etc. 

p.s.s.s. Offender profiling, also known as criminal profiling, is an investigative tool used by law enforcement agencies to identify likely suspects (descriptive offender profiling) and analyze patterns that may predict future offenses and/or victims (predictive offender profiling). Offender profiling dates back to 1888 and the spree of Jack the Ripper, and the profiling theory describes how profiling will ideally work. Current applications include predictive profiling, sexual assault offender profiling, and case linkage (using profiling to identify common factors in offenses and to help with suspect identification). Goals of criminal profiling include providing law enforcement with a social and psychological assessment of the offender; providing a "psychological evaluation of belongings found in the possession of the offender"; and offering suggestions and strategies for the interviewing process. - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Offender_profiling [NOTE: It is just not a simple subject and as you can see it involves a great deal yet media and news media tend to use generic all encompassing terms and methods toward reporting that leave a lot out thus misinforming the public and creating misconceptions that once set cannot be changed by simply printing retractions even if they are put front page in the news. 

Click for larger, readable, view. Note: I suspect there are
other such graphics out there to help understand
self-defense profiling type things?


OFF TOPIC: Morality vs. Legality

There is a deep divide and they are two separate and distinct things often at odds with each other especially when it comes to money, i.e., resources, etc. Take the sales game, the goal is to entice people to purchase resources such as homes, cars and vacation trips - to name a few. There is two ways you can approach the sales game, one with morals involved where you use the psychology of persuasion to present things to people they may need, want or require. The person is persuaded to consider the product, the resource, and if they find that is does not meet a need, a desire or something similar they simply decline. 

Then there is the legality issue, i.e., where they use the same psychology of persuasion to entice you to make purchases or give up something of value to you regardless of whether you need it, want it or require it. Because there is no law or other mandate from society or the government banning such unscrupulous tactics and greed as well as profit is the only concern of those nefarious predators you end up getting the very principles that make society thrive and grow into something debasing and unconscionable and just plain nasty happen, they take those principles; they trigger the best in you; the use that to dupe you into doing or paying for things you don’t really want, need or desire. 

Yes, these same principles can be triggered form a moral stand resulting in exchanges between individuals and groups and tribes and societies with all the cards on the table and all parties understanding all aspects of the process but to the predatory compliance professionals they trigger you so you will instinctively react and then get caught in obligations, etc., that drive you to do things you would not do normally leaving you feeling guilty of nothing other than being human. 

How do you fight back? You learn about the principles involved in compliance and persuasion, you learn how to feel the old spidey sense - the uncomfortable feeling something is wrong by the butterflies in your tummy - and then you throw the compliance principles back at the predator leaving guilt and anger and regret out of it. 

How do you do that, you start with Robert B. Cialdini, PhD’s, book, “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.” He sets out the most basic and most used principle of, “Reciprocity, Consistency, Social Proof, Liking, Authority, and Scarcity.” I cannot tell you what an eye opener that book was and how it triggered all kinds of “Oh shit moments” for me, it was illuminating. 

Bibliography:
Cialdini, Robert B. PhD. “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.” Harper Collins Publishing, New York. 1984, 1994, 2007.


p.s. now think of it, is this also something relevant to self-defense? :-)


It’s NOT Personal

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

I write, a lot, and I am honored to have people view, read and comment on what I write. I find topics in a variety of ways such as other blog articles where some part triggers something in my mind and I write about it. Sometimes, folks will perceive this as being critical of the source material but I want to ensure everyone who reads this blog, “It is NOT Personal!”

As a fledgling author I write and I love to write. My goals in writing is to learn, build knowledge and create ever greater understanding of those things to which I write about. In Boyd’s OODA it is understood, by me, that a process of analysis and synthesis is an ongoing process that helps to meet goals such as mine. I try to do that a lot but being human, I sometimes mistakenly write in a way that seems and may be perceived as “Personal” to the reader. 

One thing I have tried to add at the end of each article is to express, at a minimum, a form of acknowledgement to the person, blog and/or article that inspired the one I write, wrote and posted. It may seem that because I ‘tip my hat or ritsu-rei’ to that person, etc., that the article must be a critique of the other source and author - sometimes it is true, but mostly it “IS NOT PERSONAL!”

I am saying this here and now because, similar to Colonel Boyd when addressing seniors at his lectures, I want to ensure that the person on the receiving end understands that it is not personal and that everything I write is about “ME” and my learning process along with allowing others to be exposed because one of the most critical aspects of learning, studying and coming to an understanding is through the exchange of communications with others who have something positive to contribute. This occurs, if done properly, on the dojo floor, in the classroom, at seminars and thorugh exchanges in blogs, video’s, books and other media (through comments and reviews, etc.). You cannot achieve understanding in just your own mind because it just doesn’t work. 

Humans have survived and become the animal at the top of the food chain, so to speak, because over the centuries a few have used such strategies and tactics in learning thus building our societies and species into what it is today. If not for this we all would still be hunting with rocks and sticks, running from predators and gathering food on the Serengeti plains of a thousand years ago or so. 

If I got something wrong, if you feel it needs correction or if you just think I am full of shit, comment constructively because it is how I learn, change and grow - change is critical but only change that involves many, not a few and especially not just the ‘one’. 

Thanks!

Bibliography (Click the link)

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


karate based on 'correct conduct'

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

Micheal Clarke Sensei, Shinseidokan Dojo blog article titled, Correct Conduct … All he says has relevance in karate but no more so than that last sentence where he said, “In truth, I think karate based on ‘correct conduct’ is now all but extinct!” That simple statement led me off into different territory and that is what this article is about, “Karate’s Correct Conduct!”

What do you think of when someone says ‘correct conduct’? I sometimes think it means something different from a standpoint, perspective and perception, of culture, beliefs and other learnings one achieves as they travel through life. It is like the ebb and flow of the tides, it changes the shoreline every cycle because it erodes, or changes, that shoreline accordingly and so should the study of karate and martial disciplines. 

What would you consider as traits of correct conduct, i.e., I would look to several distinctive aspects especially in regards to karate and martial disciplines.

Etiquette and why and how it is manifested.
Ethics.
Morals

You might be saying right now that correct conduct is governed by ‘ethics’ and you would be right because, generally speaking, correct conduct is how a society is run and it refers to the character and personality of its members and in the end it is about the social groups survival. They speak to members being of virtuous reliable character and who live by a code of conduct proper and moral to the social entity be it group, tribe or clan. It includs the morals of that group as well and its internal and external etiquette, i.e., the actions and deeds that inspire and lead the group but also others outside the group, tribe, clan or society. 

To make this work, the people of the social entity must be of reasoned, principled and existing practice where answers and mentoring are of a consistent, reasoned and ethical manner reflecting the highest moral stand and standing of the society, group, tribe or clan. At its very core are the basic values and the purpose of the group and its actions, deeds and other reflective constructs. It is about doing for the common good and survival of the tribe and about the difficult task of applying norms and standards and practices of an ever new and changing environment, circumstances and group dynamics and construct. 

When I think of karate, in particular, I think of the following creative endeavor as to why, how, and what I should study, train, practice and especially apply. Apply not just in the actions taken in applying the skills taught but in the skills beyond mere actions toward betterment of self, the group, the tribe, the clan and society - at ever level from family up to the entire society like the U.S.

In karate, derived from the ancient martial practices of Japan and China, there are the seven virtues of the Samurai, i.e., rectitude, courage, benevolence, respect, honesty, honor, loyalty and an addition I would add to make it eight - humbleness. 

Read here a more exhaustive rendering of a code of conduct for a modern practitioner: “The Code” Clarke Sensei is right, there are far too many training facilities that cater to things not geared to instill correct conduct, correct attitude and correct character of the practitioner. 

Hat tip (Ritsu-rei) to <Shinseidokan Dojo Blog by Michael Clarke Sensei> as the inspiration for this post.



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


Psychological Self-Defense

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

I can just tell, from the title of this article many will make an assumption it all has something to do with mind-state and mind-set but it doesn’t - yet, it does, now figure that one out. I hope to make my point of view clearer - or muddier as the case may be. 

What I hope to convey is how the brain takes stimuli, perceptions and distinctions generate of, affecting, or arising in our minds as it relates to a situational mental and emotional state of mind in self-defense as it may or may not affect our mind and behaviors as it pertains to our conscious and unconscious experiences with emphasis on conflict along with the potential of violence. 

It involves our perceptions, our cognitions, our attentions, our emotions, how they effect our maturity and intelligence, our motivations, our personalities, our character along with how we connect and act with others and so on. It is probably the most critical and complex part of learning and applying self-fense as anyone who understands the full spectrum of both psychological and physical self-fense will tell you. 

This is the one area that is also about gender because all that is mentioned is effected and affected by how the genders are socially conditioned. Even one gender over another will have similarities in the differences in social conditions and conditioning as it relates to culture and those cultural beliefs especially since modern society is chock full of varying cultures and cultural belief systems all within sight and sound of one another resulting if frictions and such all subject to conflict but not always to violence. 

No, one does not need to be a psychologist or psychiatrist to understand the psychological aspects involved in self-defense or in self-defense teaching, training and practice let alone applications. It means you have to have a certain sensitivity toward the differences in humans starting with gender then cultures and those cultural beliefs because in communications the differences in how each perceives said communications lead to conflicts of varying levels, nature and severities. 

Psychological aspects of humans, in general, all deal with how the mind effects and leads the body and how the body through experiences takin in through the sensory systems effects and leads our minds for a mind-body/body-mind principle applied to self-fense. 

What I am trying to say is don’t just assume teachings take care of psychological aspects of humans in conflict and violence but allow this aspect to help you achieve your goals in teaching and learning. This is what makes the whole of self-defense hard to teach and why so many gravitate to the easier teachings, technique based. 

Just a bit of mindless meanderings toward theories, hypothesis and a synthesis of something that may or may not hold water in the end, i.e., something to think about, consider, test, evaluate, test and evaluate again over and over again until it either gets absorbed or gets discarded, the way of learning. 

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




Self-Defense Gender Differences

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

In a recent article I wrote about self-defense for women but with the understanding that I had little to no experience especially as it pertains to the differences of the gender under tutelage. I was riding along in the local BART train to work this morning when I observed a woman, yes an attractive woman to me, who stood about six feet tall and probably weighed in at almost 200 pounds and she was athletic, in shape, and moved well. 

What it made me think of was, “What would be the differences between her and a male who were taking a self-defense training course?” 

  • I first considered the academics of the study and find there is no difference. 
  • I then considered the study of knowledge and understanding toward avoidance and deescalation if confronted with conflict and possibly violence and find there is no difference.
  • Of course the next step is to consider the physical aspects of self-defense so I thought of the fundamental principles applications along with methodologies and force types and levels and find any differences mostly insignificant. 

Notes: Yes, there are differences such as the most obvious regarding upper body strengths of the genders but if we come back and focus on applying force, power, multiple methodologies and force levels and types in self-defense then there are no apparent, to me, differences. It is no different to me that the size, structure and body types of the male gender. It is apparent that adjustments are made such as one methodology might be more effective and efficient for a small slight male vs. a lager and more muscular male. Yet, that would be the only difference but that has nothing to do with gender.

Women still carry a total weight and mass, they all have different sizes, weights and body masses from small petite to larger more athletic. Like the differences to the males gender the same overall differences apply to the female gender as long as they are taught the fundamental principles along with the multiple methodologies as well as the type and levels of force. Then all of the practitioners have to learn about how the totality of self-defense is applied to any given situation. I don’t even need to teach them one principle, etc., to another because during training they will discover for themselves what is effective, for them, and what is not especially learning to apply them to their one major threat - larger males with stronger muscles, etc.

Now, the one step taken in self-defense regarding the gender difference is one that is psychological in nature. This is the only area that I can perceive, at my current level of knowledge and experience, that warrants close scrutiny and a totally different training model making gender now critical to the practitioner who is female. 

Why, because, at least in my days, females are socially conditioned differently, drastically different, and with one caveat for today that social conditioning seems to have changed - for some. When it comes to attitudes and how one perceives and reacts to things involving conflict and especially violence then the psychological aspects of learning, training, practice and most important applications becomes critical to my mind. This is where other more appropriate programs that come to mind such as one I recently received an email is being provided to the female gender where I work just for that purpose, to provide the female gender a more “appropriate program” that is not found in many self-defense programs especially those tied to martial disciplines and karate. 

UNDERSTAND, I know there are always exceptions to the rule regarding both genders. In general and fundamentally if I were teaching self-defense in the dojo today the gender factor, except from a psychological social conditioning perspective, would not be different and both genders would train and practice together on the dojo floor. First, men need to know and understand that their perceptions of women and their capability to apply force and power physically is just as effective and efficient when they apply the physiokinetics properly toward using mass, movement, etc., to apply multiple methodologies they have found effective for them as individuals as what men apply in violent applications. 

UNDERSTAND, there are many “What-if’s” that can be used to argue against what I am implying here in this article but we all know that there are what-if “Monkey’s dancing” at every seminar and program due to the various reasons one’s does that dance (Yes, I tend to do a what if thing but more academically in articles like in my blogs but on the dojo floor, not so much - focus grasshopper, on fundamental principles and force levels and types, etc., for self-defense. 

Now, you karate folks are going to start in on kata bunkai and how when applied differ because of the obvious differences in genders but if you really allow an open mind you may be able to see how this can be true BECAUSE in the end the full spectrum of self-defense applies to all genders regardless. 

EXAMPLES:

1. Physiokinetics are the same for both genders, i.e., structure is structure; alignment is alignment; breathing is breathing; posture is posture; centerline is centerline; axis is axis; sequential locking and sequential relaxation is sequential locking and sequential relaxation; centeredness is centeredness; centripetal force is centripetal force and so on down the line. 

2. Multiple methodologies are the same for both genders, i.e., impacts are impacts; drives (pushes) are drives (pushes); pulls are pulls; twists are twists; takedowns/throws and compressions are takedowns/throws and compressions, etc.

3. Types of forces are the same for both genders, i.e., spiraling is spiraling; scissoring is scissoring; carving is carving and shearing is shearing.

4. Levels of force are the same for both genders as dictated by the situation, force disparities, legal and legal system laws and requirements, perceptions of those who respond from the legal system and so on, i.e., see Rory Miller’s and Marc MacYoung’s books regarding the use of force at levels appropriate to the forces applied against you, etc.

5. How one applies self-defense is the same for both genders, i.e., the facts of any given situation, the individual perceptions in those situations, the impressions, interactions and observations, etc., based on experiences, knowledge and understandings all in self-defense do not depend on gender. 

6. How adrenal stress-conditions/chemical dumps effect humans are the same for both genders.

7. Sensory stimuli and input to our brains are the same for both genders, i.e., we hear, we see, we touch, we smell and we taste pretty much the same except how we perceive, orient and decide a course of action where the psychological conditioning of genders in a social sense may effect distinctions made and so on. 

So, in the fundamental sense gender distinctions really don’t matter in self-defense. As students continue to study and become aware of and understand how conflict and violence work the fense involved from a full spectrum of self-defense has no gender specificity until you begin to get to the particulars differing psychologically and socially toward each gender, etc. 

What I perceive happening is our pension to gravitate toward beliefs and how those are created, set and rendered in life that we become caught up in a restrictive thought process binding us to beliefs that genders are unique and different yet in self-defense at such a fundamental level - not so much. 

As I discovered, initially and this may change, in the program I mentioned being offered where I work one woman who took the course familiar with the works and training of both Mr. Miller and Mr. MacYoung, two of many such professionals, the program in question followed their methods pretty close.

A Thought: Marc MacYoung uses a test to see if something falls into self-defense, the wheelbarrow test. Maybe if it cannot be placed in a wheelbarrow we can assume it is not gender specific or effected by but simply a psychological thing. Gotta think a bit more about that one.  

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