Please take a look at Articles on self-defense/conflict/violence for introductions to the references found in the bibliography page.

Please take a look at my bibliography if you do not see a proper reference to a post.

Please take a look at my Notable Quotes

Hey, Attention on Deck!

Hey, NOTHING here is PERSONAL, get over it - Teach Me and I will Learn!

When you begin to feel like you are a tough guy, a warrior, a master of the martial arts or that you have lived a tough life, just take a moment and get some perspective with the following:

I've stopped knives that were coming to disembowel me

I've clawed for my gun while bullets ripped past me

I've dodged as someone tried to put an ax in my skull

I've fought screaming steel and left rubber on the road to avoid death

I've clawed broken glass out of my body after their opening attack failed

I've spit blood and body parts and broke strangle holds before gouging eyes

I've charged into fires, fought through blizzards and run from tornados

I've survived being hunted by gangs, killers and contract killers

The streets were my home, I hunted in the night and was hunted in turn

Please don't brag to me that you're a survivor because someone hit you. And don't tell me how 'tough' you are because of your training. As much as I've been through I know people who have survived much, much worse. - Marc MacYoung


The postings on this blog are my interpretation of readings, studies and experiences therefore errors and omissions are mine and mine alone. The content surrounding the extracts of books, see bibliography on this blog site, are also mine and mine alone therefore errors and omissions are also mine and mine alone and therefore why I highly recommended one read, study, research and fact find the material for clarity. My effort here is self-clarity toward a fuller understanding of the subject matter. See the bibliography for information on the books. Please make note that this article/post is my personal analysis of the subject and the information used was chosen or picked by me. It is not an analysis piece because it lacks complete and comprehensive research, it was not adequately and completely investigated and it is not balanced, i.e., it is my personal view without the views of others including subject experts, etc. Look at this as “Infotainment rather then expert research.” This is an opinion/editorial article/post meant to persuade the reader to think, decide and accept or reject my premise. It is an attempt to cause change or reinforce attitudes, beliefs and values as they apply to martial arts and/or self-defense. It is merely a commentary on the subject in the particular article presented.

Note: I will endevor to provide a bibliography and italicize any direct quotes from the materials I use for this blog. If there are mistakes, errors, and/or omissions, I take full responsibility for them as they are mine and mine alone. If you find any mistakes, errors, and/or omissions please comment and let me know along with the correct information and/or sources.

“What you are reading right now is a blog. It’s written and posted by me, because I want to. I get no financial remuneration for writing it. I don’t have to meet anyone’s criteria in order to post it. Not only I don’t have an employer or publisher, but I’m not even constrained by having to please an audience. If people won’t like it, they won’t read it, but I won’t lose anything by it. Provided I don’t break any laws (libel, incitement to violence, etc.), I can post whatever I want. This means that I can write openly and honestly, however controversial my opinions may be. It also means that I could write total bullshit; there is no quality control. I could be biased. I could be insane. I could be trolling. … not all sources are equivalent, and all sources have their pros and cons. These needs to be taken into account when evaluating information, and all information should be evaluated. - God’s Bastard, Sourcing Sources (this applies to this and other blogs by me as well; if you follow the idea's, advice or information you are on your own, don't come crying to me, it is all on you do do the work to make sure it works for you!)

“You should prepare yourself to dedicate at least five or six years to your training and practice to understand the philosophy and physiokinetics of martial arts and karate so that you can understand the true spirit of everything and dedicate your mind, body and spirit to the discipline of the art.” - cejames (note: you are on your own, make sure you get expert hands-on guidance in all things martial and self-defense)

“All I say is by way of discourse, and nothing by way of advice. I should not speak so boldly if it were my due to be believed.” - Montaigne

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

Current Affairs: Police Change

Current Affairs: Police Change

Yes, there is a great need to make changes and improvements in regard to how police do their jobs. What occurred to me this morning, listening to all the news media outlets who were providing their perspective on those changes, I thought to myself, "first, what qualifies them to make those decisions, recommendations and advisories? Second, what about us, the people, the masses who may one day face an officer out there... on the streets, what is OUR RESPONSIBILITY in all of this?" Huh, what's that you say? Well, it does, pardon me for saying, it does take "two to tango!"

As a professional who has studied both sides of that coin in regard to teaching, preaching and practicing self-defense, I can tell you that although most perceive the problem being with the officers, the police, they fail, through a human bias, to have the ability to see that we, the people, have a certain social and legal responsibility to change the way we do things in social environments, as well as private. On our side of the coin, when conflict/violence are either in the mix or a possibility, we too have a responsibility.  

While we are out hell bent on making what we perceive, think but mostly FEEL, are changes to the police and their processes, in doing their jobs, we should be spending the same effort, time and money, coming up with changes in how we, the people/society, act and talk out there in the wild wild west of modern society. 

Most of our efforts in this change process is ignorance! We the people have NO CLUE as to how the police go about doing there jobs (we make a huge assumption in the regard mostly from our experience with entertainment, not reality). What if, say for instance, we had classes in the lower educational grade system on police and police processes (Police ROTC) and police standards and practices, etc., to educate folks on how the job is done. Not just the one career day speeches but a full on four semester program for ALL!

Another idea, we have military imbedded in our educational system where those interested are able to participate in a military-oriented program (ROTC) to learn and understand how the military work in preparation for when those who participate may prep for joining after the education process ends. Those who don't join at least have a modicum of education, understanding and experience with the military; that goes a long way to understand what they see and hear through news and entertainment media so they have a better perspective ...

Why not have the same type of program for police in the educational system. Why not have a program on self-defense, the legal version not the one taught in the local gym, so one gets a fuller understanding of those necessary requirements we all will need one day out there, in the wild wild west of modern society? 

There are lots of professionals out there that can lead the way to develop and implement programs that would go a long way to "EDUCATE toward UNDERSTANDING" the trials and tribulations of how and why the police do what they do. It's a yin/yang thing, to balance it all out you need to deal with both the YIN, our social and legal responsibilities and understanding, and the YANG, the legal responsibilities, standards and practiced toward understanding. 

If we continue, this emotionally charged knee-jerk reaction, the direction we are following now; to hobble in lieu of promoting positive changes; in and within the police communities we are DOOMED to failure... much like the continuing failure in our efforts to control firearms, guns and weapons (oh my?), used in criminal endeavors. 

IT'S ABOUT BALANCE guys and gals, ops I mean folks, and only with a BALANCE on both sides of that coin of both police and arms control within our society, we will doom ourselves to wasteful spending while spinning our wheels in the mud and mire of conflict and violence. 

Let us find BALANCE! Let us make changes in both the police and human communities so we can "all get along" better without resorting to conflict and violence. 

Let us find BALANCE! Let us make changes in both the police and human communities so we can "all get along" better without resorting to conflict and violence.  

Tidbits: Blindness

Did you know that ALL humans are blind and that the consensus is we all should be thrilled about it. It deals with attention, i.e., the selection of some information for further processing and the simultaneous inhibition of other information. 

You see, paying attention to one thing requires we be blind to the overwhelming majority of information we received from both our external and internal environments. Look at it as your trusty filter that allows you to sift through the constant chatter of your senses and thoughts, the chatter that tries to tell you when you are hungry, a bit cold or the person sitting next to you is wearing a neon coat. 

What it is, is we are literally blind when paying attention to one things, something. There is a video of this example out on the internet, see link below, of people passing a ball back and forth and you count the number of times the ball was passed. Later, the experimenters asked, “Did you see the gorilla?”

Watch here:

Change blindness can happen not only when we observe photo’s and video’s, but also in real life. For instance, when you are talking to a stranger, say they are asking for directions, if we are briefly distracted and the stranger swaps out with another person in the middle of the conversation, we are unlikely to notice that we are talking to someone else. 

Cell phones, it is an interesting that we would fail completely to notice a clown unicycling down the street while on our cell phones. This is how cell phones are used against us when we suddenly find ourselves being robbed, we will NOT notice the robbers approach if we happen to be engrossed with something on our cell phones. 

Another tidbit, “It appears that even when we look sometimes we don’t see.” We have limitations on our sensory systems so our perceptions thru sensory signals can be limited. Next, is our limitations on short term memories, i.e., short term memory lasts about thirty seconds at the best of times but when overwhelmed, our sensory systems, that can be even shorter. So, when we experience complex scene we cannot possibly remember all of the details in it. 

One more tidbit that makes this even more complex, change blindness can also come from conceptual representations of our experiences in our memories. Our concepts are abstract in nature, they are the ‘gist’ of our memory traces. It comes down to our grossly overestimating our live scene processing abilities and underestimate our own change blindness. 

It seems to work thusly, “our facility for paying attention overwhelmingly works to make us notice ONLY a SMALL  amount of information so that we have a chance of actually processing it, and, in certain situations, remembering it for the future. 

Memory feeds into “attention” to tells it what ‘important’ information is, based on past experience, and attention feeds back into memory to update our internal representations of the world. 


Aging in Karate

It was stated, “It is important to keep building the body as you get past your mid fifties.” I would suggest that as you age you maintain a balance with nature’s natural aging process by “maintaining” what you have when you achieve what you already know as a milestone of life, a great achievement, living on into those winter years.

We of the human species will deal with the natural aging process where, for instance, we lose muscle mass and strength with our already considerable understanding of anatomy that to work against the natural aging process can speed it up so maintain and adjusting to it is smart, but you already know that.

As we age we must not continue to rely on our strength, but rather our mind by becoming smarter about how we do things and this is critical to martial arts/karate, especially as it applies to self-defense.

Yeah, I hear what you are saying, we should be using our minds first, even in our youth or best years physically, but that isn’t how SD and karate are taught in those spring, summer and fall years of life. It’s all about strength and physical abilities, right?

Listen to what nature is telling you as you age, mature, because she is trying to tell you how to live long and prosper 🖖.

I know in many cases squaring off against the younger generation of karate-ka it was more about how smart I applied myself rather than whether I was bigger, stronger or faster. This is especially true in teaching because your focus must be on providing the next generation “all” you have TO pass down.

Hey Sensei, got a second...

In my heyday in the dojo, practitioners would want to ask questions in their never-ending search for truth, justice and the karate way. In one instance the question centered on the self and the effort to manage one’s emotions during the adrenaline dump in the face of violence.

The short answer I would pose is this, how well do you handle your emotions in the chaos of family dynamics because it is in that dynamic we are challenged most by our emotions. The second half of the short answer, how well do you handle your emotions in the chaos of social dynamics involving others?

I then wait patiently for their response because that will open the door to how I might expand my thoughts and thus, comments. I let what I said sink in and then observe the mass of micro-expressions, indicative of their ol-grey matter as it chugs away mulling things over in search of answers.

You see, I try to get things done in chunks, so the mind can begin to function at its optimal in the memory processes. I want things to stick, become important enough and thus be encoded in long-term memory where it can be useful in the creation of responses, word and actions.

As you are already mulling around in you mind, the most sensitive and emotionally provocative environment of family, the test and power of those overwhelming emotions are triggered faster, greater and in anger-infusing ways that test one’s patience, character and status more than any other concept, situation and stimulus’s!

From personal experiences, my emotional maturity has been tested and vetted more in family situations than in any other I know of, including situations of violence.

A key to success is to become consciously aware of one’s emotions in the family dynamic and then bridge that toward the social dynamic with others so that when in the social/anti-social situation you have a greater chance of handling things, to and in, your advantage.

Remember, no one will test your emotional maturity like family, friends and coworkers, etc.! ... especially family because they know your buttons far better than anyone!

Emotions, get a handle on them looooong before your emotions, adrenaline and emotions trigger that monkey mind who does not have your best interest at heart.

Muscle and Breath Control

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

Long ago, in a far off place called Okinawa, my sensei first introduced me to the phrase, “muscle and breath control.” As I contemplate my past in order to create a more robust and accurate factual baseline for my karate I begin to see how it was another way to explain things like fundamental principles and this moving target of a term, “Chinkuchi.” When you couple the above phrase in the training and practice of principles, sanchin and chinkuchi (along with other terms like hara, etc.) it begins to fill in the gaping holes of most who try to explain this concept and principle. 

Sensei Henry, Warner Dean Henry of the honorable linage of his brother Gary and Sensei Don Nagle, used it to lead in to what was to come, i.e., a specific arm exercise that later expanded to legs, etc., then the all important sanchin and finally …

How one breathes along with how one applies skills of the muscular system matter a great deal. Remember, as you already are remembering, how you breathe when pushing up heavy “free” weights in the gym? Remember how the depth and exhalation contributed to your ability to push out that one more repetition? 

Another factor, remember how you learned that one’s breathing, inhale vs. exhale along with dynamic tensions and relaxation, etc., that helped you to ‘feel’ the differences as to strength, stamina and energy in the application of principled based technique practice? 

As you are already surmising in your minds-eye, the combination (yin/yang principles) of inhalation and exhalation timed with movement and the dynamic tensioning of our musculature systems all are critically important to applied principled-based applications - techniques if you must use that term. 

The phrase, as an introductory phrase to the novice of the person who does not know what they don’t know about it, captures the yin (breath)/yang (muscles) concept that later will expand into the more appropriate ways to understanding such as chinkuchi. 

Something to mull over, yes?

Further Research:

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