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

“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

“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

Search This Blog

Why Styles Don’t Matter for Self-Defense

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

In truth, as I believe; as I stated a time or two; as I have written in various articles styles are personal labels and symbols to a person’s perception and distinction as to how they, and they alone, apply their practices, training regimens and teachings of a system of multiple methodologies applied in situations that require certain levels of force for defense or to combat an enemy. 

I advocate that styles are not what truly matters in self-fense, fighting or combatives but that fundamental principles along with multiple methodologies and force decisions, etc. Now, in this light I read an article by a respected martial arts expert where a ‘master’ from Japan provided a demonstration on why it is not about styles and this is what was written:

Sensei  grouped the men together and asked for a volunteer. He blind-folded the man and randomly asked for a second volunteer from the group to apply a joint lock to the blind-folded man’s arm. He then asked the volunteer to tighten his stomach muscle in preparation for a light kick and punch from the 2nd volunteer. At the end of the demonstration the 2nd volunteer returned to the group as sensei  removed the blind-fold and asked the 1st volunteer to tell everyone which style had applied the joint lock, the kick, and the punch etc.? Naturally, he could not. “A punch is a punch, a kick is a kick, and the elbow only bends one way” sensei  said! 

Now, to my mind, that makes sense because if you remove all outward manifestations and sensory input effected by perceptions and distinctions of the mind all you are left with is, “Principles, methodologies and force applications.” In a sense deprived way you find that without sensory input effected by perceptions you CANNOT perceive actual styles being applied. So, if that is actually true and relevant then styles don’t matter except toward a very human condition of both perceptions and distinctions caused by conditioning by the very sources of styles. 

So, even tho styles exist and are important to humans or the martial arts and karate communities they actually have nor real applicable purpose in the scheme of things as to self-defense or the actual application of such methodologies such as, “Actual tactics and attack methodologies of impacts, drives (pushes), pulls, twists, takedowns/throws and compression.”

I would also remind the reader about those principles I advocate over styles as the underlying foundation to the way of applied methods and forces regardless of style designations because they don’t vary just because they are applied under the heading of one style or another, i.e., as follows:

Principles of, “Theory, Physiokinetics, Technique, Philosophy, Self-Defense and Chemical Cocktails,” with sub-principles of physiokinetics that seem to dominate in the physical teachings and applications that tend to govern how we perceive and distinguish styles from one another, i.e., “Breathing, posture, triangle guard, centerline, primary gate, spinal alignment, axis, minor axis, structure, heaviness, relaxation, wave energy, convergence, centeredness, triangulation point, the dynamic sphere, body-mind, void, centripetal force, centrifugal force, sequential locking and sequential relaxation, peripheral vision, tactile sensitivity, rooting, attack hubs, attack posture, etc.”

Query: If anyone can provide an example that refutes the above demonstration and theory on detecting styles in applications of principles, methodologies and force levels, please make a comment with the material used and any applicable references so I may analyze and synthesize my theories, idea’s and teachings. Much appreciated!

ATTENTION: To my mind, styles MATTER because they are useful to humans and to teachings and toward satisfying certain non-physical philosophies of martial arts and karate. After all, one main fundamental principle is philosophy and styles although cannot be put into a wheel barrow do apply as part of philosophies and therefore matter. But, as indicated herein, as to its actual application in defense and/or combatives not so much. 

Bibliography (Click the link)

You Can Lead a Horse to Water … But …

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

How many times have I heard this meme in my life? I can remember hearing it even in my pre-teen days, coming from my mother and father when they wanted to get the point across as to how stubborn I was and how that resulted in my refusals to change even the simplest and easiest of things. I still suffer, to a degree, today on that aspect of my personality. Where differences arise like cream on top of milk is that I realize my stubbornness and am now willing to make changes - depending …

I can remember how changes were there in front of me concerning my disciplines in the martial arts and karate but that stubborn refusal trait kept me in the darkness of my beliefs until just one person was able to get me to make a change in my ability to see and in a more surreptitious way, where I wanted to see and change over being ‘forced’ to change by others. 

What in the HELL are you talking about, well the old adage of leading a horse to water but not able to make them drink meme popped into my head so I thought, wellll … and here I go on another tirade in the hopes that something will do the inevitable, change. 

Now, I don’t know who fist coined the phrase but it is explained as follows, “You can present someone with an opportunity, but you cannot force him or her to take advantage of it.” In martial arts and karate communities due to certain influence principles most tend to lean heavily toward certain beliefs including those about its history, culture and heritages. Even when these are presented factual information toward a difference or even a drastic change they refuse to change. It is a very human condition of our species and like the horse, the only way to get them to drink the water is to present it in such a way as to make the drinker think and believe the changes are coming from them, their inspirations and their beliefs.  They call this process compliance and it involves presenting things in just such a way as it kind of manipulates the recipient into a compliance mode of an unconscious nature using influence principles to - literally influence them into making a change as if they discovered it and decided through their free will to make the change. There is a whole industry that uses influence principles and it is called, Compliance Professionalism. 

It literally influences or persuades the recipient to literally lead themselves to the water and it gives them such a thirst they drink deeply of the clear, clean, cool waters even when just previously they refused to accept the knowledge and called it blasphemous to the ninth degree. 


When It Originated: 1175

”One of the oldest aphorisms in English, this adage was first recorded in the Old English Homilies: ‘Hwa is thet mei thet hors wettrien the him self nule drinken.’ A modern version appeared in the 1602 play Narcissus: ‘They can but bringe horse to the water brinke / But horse may choose whether that horse will drinke.’”

Bibliography (Click the link)

Morality vs. Fairness: A Conundrum in Communications for Persuasion

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

Let me preface this article with some quotes and a link, quotes from a blog by Scott Adams about persuasion (read the full article here ):

“An interesting article in The Atlantic talks about studies showing that liberals think in terms of fairness while conservatives think in terms of morality. So if you want to persuade someone on the other team, you need to speak in their language. We almost never do that. That’s why you rarely see people change their opinions.” - Scott Adams

“Fairness is a concept invented so children and idiots can participate in debates. Fairness is a subjective illusion. It isn’t a rule of physics, and it isn’t an objective quality of the universe. We just think it is.” - Scott Adams

“morality is usually seen as coming from God; morality as a set of rationalizations for our biological impulses.” - Scott Adams

“If your aim is to persuade, you have to speak the language of the other. Talking about fairness to a conservative, or morality to a liberal, fails; The other side just can’t hear what you are saying.” - Scott Adams

“Logic, morality, and fairness are three different approaches to persuasion. Take most debates out of the weeds of fairness and morality to what I call the High Ground, where everyone already agrees; there is no way to reach agreement if we are squabbling about morality and fairness; we might agree that the Federal government should stay out of the abortion business – both pro or con – and leave those types of decisions to the individual and the states.” - Scott Adams

Why doesn’t this include, “Logic?” In my view because in regard to such important emotionally charged and driven subjects, etc., it is impossible for the species of humans to think, analyze and synthesize a logical answer or response. It just doesn’t happen and we can only hope that humans receive appropriate knowledge and then independently create appropriate understanding so they recognize when they are in the clutches of the emotionally driven monkey brain allowing for a chance to be logical. Ever wonder why Star Trek was so popular over the decades, the Spock and Kirk dichotomy hit on our very core? 

The entire profession of compliance professionalism is about using influence principles in such a way as to overcome such obstacles - mostly. They do work most of the time and that is seem glaringly in our last elections of the highest office of our land (dtd Nov 2016). It is no wonder that the conundrum of persuasive communications is based on the dynamics of morality vs. fairness for the two seldom meet in the middle in a balanced and beneficial way. 

Now, in martial arts and karate (knew I would get here at some time didn’t you?) the two types tend to be dangerous to self-fense especially if your rely on social conditioning and a total lack of individual coping skills to get-r-done. Social conditions that require us to look to others to solve problems over solving problems ourselves. Yes, that is a truism!

How we believe, perceive and make the distinctions in regard to what we “THINK” is morally right and fair leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to conflict and violence for these two make a huge contribution, due to our ignorance and immaturity in their regard, toward actual conflict and violence that goes outside the self-defense square.

Ever feel like you need to teach the guy a lesson after an argument and fight? Do you realize that if you do teach the guy a lesson, provided you are actually using self-defense in its legal form according to the law, that it will take you so far out of the self-defense square you will go directly to jail and be prosecuted without passing go or collecting two hundred dollars, Oh whorahh, we are having fun now. 

Morality and Fairness seem to my view and perception to be the two major reasons why we fight and often go to war. We think and feel in our culture that the way of life of others who don’t adhere to our social beliefs and requirements needs to be corrected, our moral standing and belief, in order to ensure the others are treated fairly, according to our moral standing and belief, so we go to war to make those others act in accordance with our moral standings and beliefs - ain’t that fair (there is a pun in there somewhere)?

Remember this, in the legal system and according to the law, “Self-Defense is an affirmative defense,” meaning that morality and fairness don’t exist in the law or the legal system. The goals of the law and the legal system is to win using the laws and legal system accordingly. They simply DO NOT CARE about morality or fairness, yours or theirs or others, they simply use the law to play the legal system game to win, for themselves and you are simply a pawn in that game. Not fair is it? 

Now, another aspect is this, avoidance and deescalation, two tenants of realistic self-defense. In order to do either you may have to understand that you may have to forget what you consider fair and forget any moral grounds you may believe that would cause a conflict to go violent, a tactic like running away that would mean being open to violence if you don’t and other such moral and sense of fairness rules you may or may not have. 

If your self-defense training does not address a self-analysis of what you are willing to do and not do you might find that your moral ground and sense of fairness is way over the line when others judge you be it first responders or any remember of the legal system because if it comes down to them what you feel is fair and it may end up being patently unfair, what you feel is right, righteous and morally right doesn’t really matter because it is about the others win-loss ratio’s in the legal system accordingly with some influence of law according to how willing those others are to manipulate, twist and persuade others to judge accordingly - it ain’t about morality or fairness or any other emotional belief system you may or may not have. 

In self-defense, the full monty of self-defense, are you willing to set aside any morals you may have for or against the conflict and violence of the situation, are you willing to let go of your sense of fairness, as to fairness of a competitive encounter, etc., to do what is necessary up to the very limits of the law, the legal system and according to social acceptable behavior to get-r-done especially when it comes to doing damage to others? 

You can say you will but when it comes time to do, will you do it? Often, we can adamantly say we will and we may actually come through but will we do so within the self-defense square? A complex question that must be thought out with all the requisite knowledge and understanding to make such a crucially important decision. Your life and the life of others depends on it!

Another experienced professional asks, “If your children were in danger, would you kill to protect them?” Here is how I would answer that question, it depends? Now, you might be saying to me, shame on you! I would append to that statement my full and qualified answer. If I failed to avoid any and all situations that would, could or possibly lead to violence against my family that would result in their deaths and no other option of avoidance to deescalation were possible or would work then, “I would take appropriate actions to protect my family from death or possible death.” I would hope that I had taken all the lessons and knowledge and training necessary to perform such protections up to and including accepted self-defense within the requirements of the law, the legal system and the social requirements that say my affirmative defense of self-defense up to and including killing another person would be justified. You see, it is complex but I know in my heart that to just say I would kill another in such a question as posed above does trigger an emotional response but I won’t say with a blanket I would unless all options are exhausted of which I have knowledge and have knowledge of what I may or may not know. This is why self-defense in our world, our society, our culture and that of the world can be - complicated. To blankly and emotionally say, YES, without some qualification opens me to other obstacles that could and might make me eat my words and my words are important to how I act both in and out of a moral and fairness sense in my beliefs. I guess I have one quality I find good, the quality that I am willing to change my beliefs to fit the needs of the situation as long as it doesn’t take me outside the square.

Saying all that I have one caveat and this addresses my moral standing and strong sense of right and wrong. If I were in a given situation and circumstance that I felt warranted me taking actions that resulted in someone’s death that I would do so regardless of the consequences then I may do so, I said may because I understand and accept that there are NO ABSOLUTES in anything of human, humanity and human nature regardless. 

Here is why, “There is absolutely no way, not ever and not now how, one can truly, completely and absolutely know what they will do in any given situation such as the question poses and to say absolutely and unequivocally say you will kill is irresponsible, stupid and just wrong and it will come back to bite you one way or another - maybe.” The reason many can say quickly and without hesitation they would is because in all probability, for most, that situation will never happen and they will never have to put the money on the line. This is true for most when it comes to applying self-defense skills in reality, it will never happen - maybe. The chances anyone answering that question will encounter an attack where their choice to kill is the only one is so remote you have a better chance of winning the California Super Lotto. Saying we would kill in that situation makes us feel safe, it tells our ego’s were are brave warriors and it tells our families they are safe and secure in this bad old world in which we live but truthfully, if we lives hundreds of years ago that wouldn’t be as true as today. 

Many who take self-defense want some self-soothing feeling of ego and emotional security while often not exposing ourselves to the actual dangers so we can sleep at night and go through our days with a comforting feeling but feelings are often not reality. We can all be glad that we won’t and don’t have to put the cards on the table and accept them, win or lose, just be glad!

Bibliography (Click the link)

Alternatives, It’s All About Alternatives

If we ignore or discard expressed alternatives we will fail, we fail to have data to analyze; we fail to develop the ability to hypothesize about the data we decide to analyze; and we then fail to synthesize new things from our hypothesis process. We all need to have alternatives and we need that data from as many diverse sources as possible. 

Now, in my way it may seem that I am criticizing the topic and I ask you to accept my apologies for you really don’t know me yet. In my way, I present alternatives to what is the topic so that one can consider my theories and beliefs, one can then data-mine the wheat from the chaff, one then can perform, “Analysis-Hypothesis-Synthesis” so that they can enhance the expertise they have already accumulated and encoded into their practice, their training and their way of it. 

It is best to remember that regardless of what is presented it is NOT about right or wrong. It is about learning, discovering and going through a creative process to better the discipline, the dojo and the individual in their travels along the way.  

So, although I may come across as righteous, as opinionated and as at least knowledgable, allow me to express my apologies up front because my intent is the exchange of idea’s, theories and beliefs not to change you or your way but to provide possible alternatives to supplement what you have accomplished already. After forty-one plus years and at the winter age of sixty-three I still find new things to consider and new ways to think, write, teach and act. I find my life and ways changing almost daily and the discoveries I encounter from young and old, new and experienced, as well as professional and expert to be enlightening to say the least. 


Fear - continued

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

Lets talk about fear, does that make you feel fearful? Does that make your stomach churn, your heart pick up its pace or sweat ooze out of your palms? In a nutshell fear, “Is a pure and fundamental emotion and is preprogrammed in the amygdala.” It is just a fact of life, a fact of our very species and a fact of our species survival. We need triggers and emotions that will get us moving, metaphorically, to survive being eaten by predators or falling prey to natures natural dangers. 

“There is an archetypal list of feared objects: snakes, insects, heights, night, and small, dark, damp spaces that may hide creepy, crawly and slimy things.”

Fear, along with anger, are our emergency triggers that tell our lizard brains what to do when facing situations of danger bringing grave harm or death into the mix. When we fact the Lions and Tigers and Bears of life fear is triggered, “The fear program is broadcast into the body via the sympathetic nervous system and the hormone adrenalin, secreted by the adrenal gland. Energy is mobilized through the release of glucose. The heart races and pumps more blood. Respiration accelerates to increase the oxygen content of the blood and all muscle tissue is put on alert.” Then we humans tend to do one of four things, we freeze, we submit, we take flight or we fight. It all depends on nature and our DNA or it is enhanced through experiences that train our conditional response systems of a primal origin. 

If we are properly programmed we go directly into fear but if we are not properly programmed then we all prey to panic where we tend to freeze, not in survival mode, where we take a frozen state of body and mind even tho the more prudent actions would be to run and this is what the predator relies on to catch its prey. This is one of many reasons why education and understanding are paramount especially in these more modern and complex times because more and more threats are there vs. in the old days of lions and tigers and bears. In short, the current information teaches us that, “The neural mechanisms of fear as a hierarchical network with the amygdala as point of convergence of threatening stimuli. The central nucleus of the amygdala projects to the midbrain periaqueductal gray (PAG), the hypothalamus and the brainstem that coordinate flight, freezing, avoidance reactions, submissive postures, reduced pain sensitivity and autonomic arousal.”

For this article we focus on the fear that comes from a confrontation that is either social as in the social monkey dance fight or the predatory process and/or resource actions that often lead to grave bodily harm and death. Either one, if not properly understood and trained for along with a modicum of experience will lead to fear and panic. By training, practice and the reality of experiences from reality based training and actually hands-on create a mind-state and mind-set where our primal conditioned response mechanism is triggered allowing us to use fear and anger for a controlled emotional state and proper appropriate use of those primal conditioned programs to handle the dangers of life. 

Understand fear, make fear your ally and then program your primal conditioned system to respond appropriately and allow yourself to control your fear rather than your fear controlling you because your odds of survival increase significantly in this way.

Bibliography (Click the link)

Anger - continued

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

In a more terse form it is defined as, “A strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility.” It is not about a threat, nor hurt but rather about our perceptions of being provoked, being hurt emotionally or being threatened. It is also said that, “A person experiencing anger will also experience physical conditions, such as increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, and increased levels of adrenaline and noradrenaline.[4] Some view anger as an emotion which triggers part of the fight or flight brain response.[5] Anger is used as a protective mechanism to cover up fear, hurt or sadness.”

What I wanted to know most is, “Why do we humans have this emotion?”, “What does it do for us?” and “Is it still a necessary emotion for our modern times?” 

In my answer from my personal research, “Anger, a perfectly natural emotion but one which, when distorted, causes untold suffering (violent crime, war, terrorism, domestic violence). This highly charged emotion is inextricably linked to our fight-or-flight response, a threat-protection mechanism that’s triggered by a primitive part of our brain. When we feel under threat, this powerful response kicks in, readying us in microseconds to either freeze, take flight or to fight.”

For instance, “If our brain decides fighting is the best option, it sends a ripple of anger throughout our body which, along with a healthy shot of adrenaline and the blood pumping to our major muscles, readies us for action.”

Emotions are our base security system for survival, i.e., our emotions when triggered propel us into action and as to anger, its alarm when triggered pumps us full of chemicals and trigger our base instincts of survival. 

In truth, we cannot discard, dissuade or suppress our emotions for that tactic is chock full of repercussions the very bane of modern medical institutions. All of our emotions are there for a reason, i.e., good vs. bad and gradients thereof balance out our human emotions, i.e., “Problems start when we develop an ‘aversive’ reaction to these emotions - thinking, for example, that we should never get angry, or that it’s somehow a sign of weakness to feel sad. We then find ways of suppressing those emotions, which means they churn away inside, causing all sorts of problems for our physical and psychological health.”

We first and foremost have to accept the fact that we have emotions and upon acceptance we need to find out what they are, how they affect us and those understanding should allow us to find coping skills to not stop, avoid or suppress but to handle, deal and not allow them to control us and our actions. Then we can take actions to encode our primal conditioned responses along with those innate instinctual response of our lizard brain, nature, so that we can trigger more appropriate, acceptable and less dangerous emotions of anger, fear and others that tend to create havoc and chaos in life.

Another perspective says, “Anger is an old animal program that emerges from the reptilian brain - the lizard rises up hisses and attacks. The human rises, threatens with gestures and then, optionally, attacks. Anger energizes aggressive behavior and is both protective and destructive at the same time.” It is the emotion that takes us through the various threat displays and levels of social violence, i.e., the proverbial monkey dance of egoistic testerone infused male of our species. We get angry, we bump chests, we posture and yell - all forms of communications to say if you do this I will stop and if you don’t I am willing to do more - and then if all else fails we flail at one another until dominance is achieved by one party or the other. 

“Anger is a pure and fundamental emotion that is preprogrammed in the amygdala. Anger is a program in the amygdala and when it is turned on, it is really on; when it is turned off, it is really off.”

We are tribal, we create clans for survival and that means protection from predators. It is also said, “Predators, sharing a kill, will growl, snap and jostle each other for a bigger share of the catch, but a pre-established pecking order will usually prevail and minimize the harmful consequences of the competition for food.” This same hierarchal system along with pecking order established as status in humans all work toward the bare needs of survival as described. 

When I speak of social monkey dancing it is about anger but a natural control of said anger as a member of a tribe of humans because, “If every competition led to a serious fight, there would be few survivors. Some members of a group must submit to minimize conflict; anger-submission is a behavioral dyad with survival value. Without submission, anger escalates into aggressive conflict leading to injury or death. Fights tend to have their own rules and suspend rules that tend to promote rational and humane behavior.”

When society and the clan/tribe start to fall apart then we are exposed to a run away train of emotions with anger the train engine puffing out smoke, heat rising in the engine and speed picking up quickly, i.e., in other words, “Rage is the tornado of emotions, a full-volume, high energy anger that overrides all constraint and control. Rage is physical, brief, violent and destructive. Raging humans destroy property, injure and kill others. Rage is produced by maximal activation of flight and fight systems, rapid heart rate, rapid breathing, high blood pressure, flushing and hypertonicity of all skeletal muscles. Maximal muscle strength is achieved in rage and amazing displays of destructive energy are characteristic of rage attacks.”

So, what do we do to train for anger, fear, frustrations and other negative aspects that lead almost always to conflicts and violence? A good question:

  • One, learn and understand and accept this as truth and as natural as breathing. Learn patience and achieve wisdom as tools that control our emotions, especially anger, so that we recognize the triggers or buttons and when pushed we teach ourselves to “STOP” and consider the alternatives to allowing anger to run the train. 
  • Two, train in even the smallest of situational anger moments for creating that ability to stop anger at that stage may stop it from growing out of control. Allow that type of effort to create a mind-set and mind-state that will allow you to better deal with greater angers, etc. 
  • Three, learn how to cope and now to mature you emotions so they don’t take over and control your actions and deeds. Make every day a day of training and practice in all you do, say and believe. This builds your patience in the face of adversities and builds the wisdom to discover, recognize and redirect our negative to positive emotions better to deal with conflict and especially violence. 

Anger is here to stay, it is a part of us and it is necessary for our species survival. In modern society it has become complex and taken our emotional self to an immature level so taking these actions will restore our emotional balance and maturity to a level more conducive to our survival, to societies needs and beliefs and toward a more appropriate way to handle conflict and violence - the two cornerstones of human existence and survival. 

Now, about fear?

Bibliography (Click the link)

Optimal Student-Teacher Ratio?

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

There are many, many studies out there and most deal with the educational system that demonstrates bias due to the conditioning and education of those teachers and educators. In many, it could be stated that the optimal teacher to student ratio would be 1 teacher for every 4 students. It’s almost as if prior experiences along with class sizes and the types of reductions tested to reduce sizes to manageable levels dominates so that when a class is taken from forty students down to twenty, the relief and perception is predetermined through influence principles and compliance processes to that the teachers in the studies would ‘think’ those new smaller classes were better or optimal without even considering the 1-to-4 ration I suggest overall.

Notice also I said, ‘manageable,’ where that is managing bodies while my focus is the best ratio I think, feel and theorize would best assist in student learning, retention and understanding. Then there are other factors not mentioned as to the abilities, motivations and diligence, etc., of students as related to the subject matter. 

In my analysis, not a scientific one, and findings I think when all parties are motivated to learn, motivated to the discipline/subject and seemingly of similar intelligence that a one-to-four ration of teacher and student to be optimal. As the ration skews to one-to-eight or one-to-twelve, and so on, the success and viability of that teaching diminishes accordingly assuming all things being equal.

Now, that ration can be extended, i.e., when you reach a certain level of education and understanding, etc., then you can split up the four to lead, with your guidance, four or five for each of the four bringing the dojo session up to twenty total. You, the teacher, the four leaders and the sixteen followers under their guidance and the control of the one teacher. Honestly, I would not allow my dojo attendance to exceed this and only if the four core students could teach properly, adequately and efficiently so no one is left behind or suffers from missing important component of the martial disciplines.

Even all the studies as affected by criteria even those of cost benefit and funding the end result in almost every case is to say, “Then there’s a ratio of 1 to 4.” 

Bibliography (Click the link)

Chivalry is Dead; Long Live Chivalry

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

In Japan, it is customary for the woman to walk three paces behind the man. Does this sound familiar? Is it possible that this three steps behind may have a meaning other than being subservient to the man? Is it possible this same thing was a part of the European culture of its long and ancient history? When did modern society come to assume that walking behind a man was degrading, subservient and not nice regarding women? 

I have come to the conclusion, theory is mine, that the same reasons the Japanese of ancient times used in walking three paces in front of women in their company was distorted in an agenda driven way to come to mean something vastly different in modern times. In a recent article I read Dave Lowry made a statement, “And because Japan’s highways were vulnerable to robbers and brigands, men adopted the habit of walking a couple of paces ahead of the women in their company. Over the years, that protective measure evolved into a courtesy that has only recently begun to disappear.”

Maybe this isn’t true, maybe there was no like cultural thing in European’s history of Knights, etc., with chivalry but it seems to me that it may be true even about our desire to have women walk behind us men even tho women today are just as capable in defending themselves. Like many things in the modern West, historical cultural models like walking in front of women companions get skewed due to ignorance into something often agenda driven toward a personal emotionally driven goal. 

Just think of it, by simply saying the man always walked three steps in front of their women companions does take some of the perceived bite out of it as it lends credence toward the reasoning, to provide protection as one walks along, etc. 

This brings us back to why one should practice “reishiki or etiquette” in the dojo as well as life. Dave Lowry also wrote, “The reason for reishiki in the dojo is twofold. First, it’s a basic tenet of the budo that the way to live honestly, respectfully and free from distractions is to immerse yourself regularly in an activity that suspends conscious thought.”

In a recent posting of a speech given by a Navy Seal at a commencement address at the University of Texas in 2014, the officer spoke of many such etiquette driven actions one takes in the military such as making your bunk every day, etiquette practices are about manners and social necessities that literally speak to the survival of us as individuals, as a tribe and as a nation. 

I also would add a partial quote, “ If you observe the spirit of reishiki as a part of your daily life and make it an unconscious component of your interactions with others, then you will find your breathing, timing and posture are maintained through reishiki, you’re apt to find yourself more adaptable to unexpected or stressful situations.”

Chivalry, reishiki or those pesky social manners all remind us of our necessary actions and deeds that promote harmonious connectivity to the group, the clan and the tribe for survival and that means permeating such practices into every level, every facet and every action-deed from the moment we wake in the morning till we fall asleep in the dusk of night.

Bibliography (Click the link)