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

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

Please take a look at my Notable Quotes

Hey, Attention on Deck!

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


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


I've stopped knives that were coming to disembowel me

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

WARNING, CAVEAT AND NOTE

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


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



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



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



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

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Words are Power(ful)

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

The experts tell us that, "Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate and to humble.” Considering the 'powerful force' of the words we utter, we must discipline ourselves to speak in a way that conveys respect, gentleness and humility."

I would extend this meaning of the word, "help," to teaching, passing down that information to those who follow as a means of survival or today, "security and safety of self and families." 

In recent postings and articles it has been said by those who don't believe that words have power that the need for such words one must act, perform and practice to achieve growth and change in karate and martial disciplines, in particular.

I believe wholeheartedly that words have power and I believe that it goes a lot further than mere words. Words do have literal meaning as one can imagine when looking up a new word in the dictionary. The definition is an approximation of what social reality wants us to understand as to meaning, literal. It changes as you probably already know when used, i.e., it comes to make true meaning once we add in the human component. 

Words written have meaning and can be powerful.
Words SPOKEN have greater meaning and power because of all the traits that make up communications.

Each human carries with them certain traits that are expressed in a variety of ways toward helping others receive and understand the spoken word-message. This is a two stage process much like the diametric pairing of speaking words-n-active listening to words. 

What happens when people begin to communicate with words to one another, the process as you can imagine is far more complex and complicated as it seems. Humans, especially today, take words and communications for granted in that they ASSUME what they do is proper and adequate when as you already know it is more complicated than that.

Lets us a few words to break it down:
  • Human Components: Culture, Social Reality, Concepts, Experiences, vocabulary, understanding, tone, rhythm, cadence, facial expressions coupled with body language, attitude, character, personality, connection with recipients as to social reality, listening over speaking abilities, focus, respect (allowing for face saving, etc.), acknowledgment of other speakers, observation skills, reflecting, appreciation of others, motivation toward listening over speaking, attentiveness, positivity, ...
  • Avoid jumping to conclusions.
  • Avoid assumptions of what a speaker is saying.
  • Avoid interruptions.
  • Using all our sensory systems as humans to actively listen. 
  • Posture. (Body Language)
  • Mirroring. (Body Language)
  • Remembering and Positive Reinforcement.
  • Appropriate questioning at appropriate moments in the communications (Clarifications, etc.).
  • Summarization when appropriate.
Principles of Communications:
  1. Stop talking, actively listen.
  2. Prepare to listen: focus on the speaker, put extraneous thoughts out of mind, avoid distractions, etc. RELAX body and mind.
  3. Focus on what the speaker is saying; pay attention to their body language and facial expressions, set your body and facial language, the unspoken influences.
  4. Empathy when appropriate.
  5. Patience, patience, patience. 
  6. Avoid prejudices from seeping into thoughts as the speaker communicates. 
  7. Listen to the person’s “tone, rhythm, emotional content, cadence and content, etc.” Listen for idea’s, concepts, BELIEFS and related experiences, etc. Listen to those words and concepts conveyed by these traits. 
  8. Pay attention to the non-verbal communications for often the words and non-verbal don’t match, listen to the non-verbal body language and facial expressions first. 
    • To active hear;
    • To understand;
    • To remember;
    • To properly and appropriately and accurately interpret;
    • To properly and appropriately and accurately evaluate;
    • To properly and appropriately and accurately respond. 
Words do have power; the human non-verbalization has greater power and reinforces or disavows the spoken words; the combination of non-verbal, social reality, beliefs and experiences support the non-verbal and can support the words.

You see, as you can imagine and as you already know and understand words are powerful when utilized with other forms of human communications to convey idea’s, theories, concepts, experiences and other factual related information for change, evolving of the species and its very survival. No where else will this concept be of greater importance than in those actions and deeds we humans take toward self-preservation, i.e., our abilities to applies skills for self-protection and self-defense. 

Read these words, seek out literal definitions to understand their essence then communicate to the author or speaker in an active way to learn their actual concept and intent in that written word - or spoken when using the art of avoidance and deescalation - by performing the art of active listening, to the WORDS and all the underlying non-verbal communications that drive the words, meaning and understanding of the speaker/author. 

Bibliography (Click the link)

When Does Self-Defense Begin

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

People will start right off by assuming that self-defense begins the moment a person is faces by a threat that will cause bodily harm or death, is this true? Most who participate in karate for self-protection imagine that upon being attacked they have the privilege to respond with skills attained in the dojo, is this true? 

In my mind, self-defense defense starts way before anyone even remotely begins sizing someone up for attack be it as a process or as a source for some resource. Self-defense begins in the mind and it is about learning and applying appropriate coping skills of a human who is a member of a society with a culture and belief system consummate to the needs of the society. 

You have to ask yourself, "Who is the potential enemy you may face?" This triggers an immediate response of an attacker who may be someone using social violence to get something they want or an attacker using asocial violence, process or resource. In truth, the greatest threat to each person is the threat of society itself. Societies beliefs and perceptions on aggression and violence along with what that society will accept and deem as lawful and appropriate actions one can use to defend themselves against the various forms of dangers, aggressions and violence that will cause harm or death. 

Even when the law defines in detail the appropriate violence allowed go protect and defend against another person using aggression and violence against you depends not just on that law, it depends on the very legal system that enforces those laws and critically important is the societies perceptions, concepts and beliefs, regardless of the law and legal system, that make them feel safe and secure they will accept as bonafide and appropriate self-protection/defense against you from others who insist on doing harm to others. 

Yes, society and group dynamics are about protecting the group and society and those rules imposed on its members can be dictated by laws and the legal system and yet the most harmful mandates of that group or society can be more dangerous than the law, the legal system and the professionals that work within those boundaries. 

Your very life, freedom and status, both economic and group oriented can depend heavily on the whims of the other members often not driven by laws, rules or requirements. It can shift on the winds and whims of every day feelings and emotions dependent on how the group or society feel at any given moment and situation regardless of laws, legal systems, rules and requirements set by the society. This is where one’s true regard is to self-protection and defense as you can probably imagine at this moment sits even when a person has literally used appropriate legal acceptable measures to defend and protect simply because one or one small portion of a social construct or group decides by emotions of an arbitrary nature to disagree and decide what you did is just not acceptable in that moment and situation sending you off to jail and literally ruining your economic ability to survive. 

Learning, studying, training, practicing and applying self-defense is a moving leaf on the wind blowing hither and yon landing who knows where and this is what we need to learn, study, train, practice and apply to survive. This is why professionals speak, teach and believe that everyone must focus on avoidance and escape and evasion to win this battle of protection and defense. 

You can’t do that without first understanding how society works, what it expects and how it will react to your efforts to protect and defend when threats, aggressions and violence rear their ugly heads, can you imagine it? 

Coping Skills; Social Reality Obstacles; The Law; The Legal System; The Self-Defense Defense; The Ramifications of Violence; The Ramifications of the Law; The Ramifications of the Legal System.

The competitive aspect, symbolized by sport of football, in the Legal System? 

Football:

Home Team: The prosecutor.
Away Team: The Defense.
Cheer Squad: The Jurors.
Referee: The Judge.
You: The Football. 

In my humble opinion the legal system is NOT about justice, it is about winning just like each team in football winning the game. The legal system is a game and the law is merely a set of rules to govern and contain how each team plays the game. The cheer squad cheers dependent on who takes the lead, prosecutor vs. defense. The judge makes sure to referee both the prosecutor and the defense to ensure they don’t step too far out of bounds. 

Now, YOU, the DEFENDANT/FOOTBALL like the football have very little say, unless you exert yourself with the defense attorney that you should do, and you will get tossed, kicked and carried around willy-nilly according to who has you in their control, prosecutor or defense. 

One side goalposts lead to jail, the other to freedom. Your experience, especially if you fell out of the self-defense square (Thanks, Mr. MacYoung) is going to be confusing, stressful to the ninth-degree and expensive while you still flip the coin as to freedom vs. prison. 

As you can imagine by the time all is done and played that the winner has nothing to do with you and how the game is played. It is about the prosecutor, whose wins ensure reelection and a status of law enforcement while the defense attorney builds a reputation of getting clients off and you are just another football he or she has to deal with. Each of them will use what tools they can to convince the cheer squad to cheer loudest for their efforts so they can win. They both will stretch the rules, the law, as far as they can to achieve their, PERSONAL, goals and objectives for their own self-serving wins vs. losses. You are just the football at the moment that provides them a means to achieve their personal and professional objectives, to WIN

Me, as you can probably imagine, my objective is to keep my life within my control as much as social reality allows. The only dealings to have with the law and the legal system is serving as a juror and the rest remains in someone else’s field. 

So, “when does self-defense begin?” It starts through social conditioning of coping skills ranging from how to handle emotions all the way up to how to handle bullies and the monkey dance and finally how to deal with life’s aggressive and violent nature. Ignoring or avoiding or dislike or discomfort are just excuses to avoid uncomfortable subjects and yet they are necessary subjects that should be taught throughout, at minimum, the educational span of humans. 

Like “Math” and “Science” and the “Multiplication Tables” and “Gym Class” coping skills should be addressed not as a substitute to the responsibilities families have, especially parents and uncles/aunts, etc., to teach proper and appropriate coping skills. It should be to address skills enhancements families today may not have an understanding in passing it forward to family members. 


Bibliography (Click the link)

R.E.S.P.E.C.T.!

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

It is apparent that folks dole out respect without truly understanding what that really and truly means especially in the martial art and karate communities. What drove this article is a comment made on a social media wall, i.e., "my respect" while bowing using a graphic. I do understand and you probably already know or understand that there may be or have been a relationship between the person offering his or her respect to the person or person's that triggered his or her desire to demonstrate and articulate respect. 

Yet, if you can imagine it, there are many more offerings of respect that are not built on any type of relationship and that the expression has become, at least in written form and on social media, a knee-jerk reaction of folks that don't truly have respect yet expect that it is expected in such situations. 

In the dojo, often such demonstrations of respect such as the bow, rei, are mandated rather than earned with the hope that members will come to respect the dojo, the kohai, the senpai and the sensei as well as the art, the style and the systems involved. In many cases and you already know this does occur and still for every situation and social collective that achieves that goal there are, as you can imagine, many that don't and the expression is merely a thing we have to do to get the coveted black belt. 

If we look at the bare bones of the term we fine that to have respect one must discover, attain and develop "a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements."

Just because you observe someone; just because that someone may have a reputation; just because that someone has rank; just because someone achieves some special goal often displayed by trophies, certificates, and other "bling"; just because their status may appear, seem and trigger certain emotional reactions DOES NOT mean that either side has true deep admiration that is often gained through some sort of relationship where their abilities, qualities and achievements contribute something to the other person or trigger concepts of the other person that develops a connection, even if not personal, that inspires that person to achieve some goal or objective for themselves. Not as a copycat who merely mimics the actions of the individual, the creative aspect that one develops and achieves because of another inspirational actions and deeds and beliefs. This is the hallmark of social reality and species survival. 

The best description and definition I have considered and adopted says, "Respect is a positive feeling or action shown towards someone or something considered important, or held in high esteem or regard; it conveys a sense of admiration for good or valuable qualities; and it is also the process of honoring someone by exhibiting care, concern, or consideration for their needs or feelings. AND Some people may earn the respect of individuals by assisting others or by playing important social roles. In many cultures, individuals are considered to be worthy of respect until they prove otherwise. Courtesies that show respect include simple words and phrases like "thank you" in the West, simple physical gestures like a slight bow in the East, a smile, or direct eye contact, or a simple handshake." - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Respect

This kind of respect between persons, groups and social collectives does not just happen because someone or some group demonstrates something on a video or wall or at a seminar. It is something, in my mind, that comes from a relationship, as stated earlier, or at least a relationship, say with your long time sensei, who passes on to you the respect they have from their relationship with someone else. Even then, that only triggers an immediate respect that still has to be earned by a new relationship. 

R.E.S.P.E.C.T. this is what the term means to me...R.E.S.P.E.C.T.! Last word, I provide respectful attitude and actions toward everyone I meet regardless. The continued respect is about that relationship and how the other person and me relate to one another in regard to, "feelings developed; actions taken to one another over time; matching of personal human qualities; how we come to care for our relationship as friends; how we take consideration as to our feelings as they relate to each of our perceptions, beliefs and concepts, etc. You see, respect is not just something you belt out to others just because, it is something special similar to the respect and camaraderie military folks develop through the connection, character, personality, training, and "walking the walk." It is what makes us human while connecting us together to grow, prosper, evolve and survive as individuals and friends and family. 

Thanks for listening to a philosophical expression of R.E.S.P.E.C.T.! The next time you get the urge to express a form of respect to anyone or anything, give this a thought, “Is it true; is it appropriate; is it necessary; does it have substance; and is it TRULY YOUR FEELINGS?” When you express respect, is it true and felt or are you just expressing empty platitudes? We had a way of expressing this when I was on active duty in the military, “Are you truly being respectful OR are you just ‘KISSING ASS?’”


Bibliography (Click the link)

Data-mining

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

What you discover is pretty enlightening when you mine for data without bias and toward growth, understanding and other such good stuff. Data is anything that teaches us something and causes appropriate progressive change in the very concepts of life. To mine for data is to seek out new and interesting data chunks that provide us a trigger toward paradigm change. 

Data, as you can imagine, is a fact or collection of facts and stats that together make a reference or provide toward analysis and synthesis of new concepts. In a philosophical sense data are things known or assumed as facts, always fact check even in philosophy, that make a basis of reasoning and calculation leading to new concepts, perceptions and beliefs. 

Mine or to mine, you probably already know, is to perform processes of obtaining data, in this case, from a data-mine or data repository(ies). Those repositories can be a recording stored in a storage medium like hard drives located in data storage/bank facilities like the cloud. This is digital data. Other media is often in written form as well although written forms include digital writing such as blogs, social media venues, video's both from external sources often transferred to digital repositories like social media, books, periodicals such as magazines and many others. 

When one data-mines a subject or interest if you will they must aggressively seek out at least three, better more if possible, sources of valid accepted chained references that meet standards accepted by one's peers as well as fit into standards of the end fact collections, etc. Often this means some body or collective of experts in a field where one is seeking out data through mining as facts. 

Facts that must be "indisputable to the case in question (reality and actuality and certainty apply)." Information that is and will be used in discussions, written or spoken, of significance of something that is the case.” Information that is or will be used as "evidence" or as "part of a report, story, comment, post, etc., or as a news worthy article, etc.”

Facts that must pass a rigorous investigation in order to verify and validate one's synthesized assertions, beliefs and perceptions. I quote, "Fact checking is the act of checking factual assertions in non-fictional text in order to determine the veracity and correctness of the factual statements in the text. This may be done either before (ante hoc) or after (post hoc) the text has been published or otherwise disseminated." AND "Research on the impact of fact-checking is relatively recent but the existing research suggests that fact-checking does indeed correct misperceptions among citizens (people all), as well as discourage politicians (anyone no matter affiliation; especially through social media, etc.) from spreading misinformation." - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fact_checking (paran comments added by me)

Data-mining is what any subject, discipline, story or other professed truth should go through to validate and reference materials written or spoken to anyone outside the researcher or when the researcher/fact checker/Data miner uses the material to teach, to validate, to reference work(s) that will be used by others, known and unknown, and through any public media such as the Internet and its Socially driven media digital places like Facebook, blogs, wiki-pages, twitter and others. 

When you write something, fact check it as best as possible, and only when found to be useful … print/publish it. 

Bibliography (Click the link)

Data (Shiryou [資料])
Mining (Saikutsu [採掘])

Data Mining (Shiryo saikutsu [資料採掘])

Coping Skills

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

Coping skills are related to social reality and the concepts we learn as we grow up and experience life. Coping skills have a sub-class called, "Self-Protection," that falls into the category of self-defense law and defense. Society seems to pick and choose, as is its prerogative, and leaving out the parts that have to deal with aggression and violence seems defeatist, i.e., hinders our species very survival and ignores the necessity to deal with aggression and violence at all levels. 

Coping Skills Defined (generally): Coping skills are methods a person uses to deal with stressful situations. Obtaining and maintaining good coping skills does take practice. However utilizing these skills becomes easier over time. Most importantly, good coping skills make for good mental health wellness.

What is often left to chance are the skills necessary when dealing with others not just in daily endeavors like family, work, neighbors - when working with others especially unknown, not understood and of different cultural backgrounds, etc. With the world social reality of modern times - our e-Revolutionary e-technology revolution - with social media being what it has become developing skills to cope within ourselves extends outward to coping with others who are not just family, friends, coworkers and neighbors, but our extended unknown unknown others we encounter every moment of our waking lives. This includes those who are predatory in nature and/or socially inept toward socially driven aggressions and violence. Often those encounters not adequately and efficiently and effectively handled tend to lead to grave harms and even death. 

This is why I believe that teaching self-protective coping skills is paramount in this day and age BECAUSE social reality has forgotten and forsaken our very nature when two or more humans encounter one another - natural friction that can build to create fires and disasters of grave harm or death. 

We are all, I hope, taught how to drive defensively before testing and receiving our drivers license so can you imagine the importance of being taught appropriate coping skills that span the entire spectrum of stressors including those of the adrenal stress-conditioned aggressions and violences that physically and mentally harm us and others?

Don’t restrict teaching others mere coping skills to soothe ego’s and make stress less, teach how to cope against all odds internally and externally and especially as to social realities of life of humans. Ignoring the truth, sticking heads in sand and hoping and praying and expecting others to handle such sufferings is ludicrous, insensitive, dangerous and a disservice to everyone in society. 
  • Teach about every level and facet of aggressions;
  • Teach about every level and facet of violence;
  • Teach about every level and facet of emotions as to intelligence, maturity and granularity; 
  • Teach about every level and facet of verbal protection, defense and influence;
  • Teach about every level and facet of psychological protection and defenses;
  • Teach about every level and facet of physical protection and defenses;
  • Teach about every level and facet of social reality;
  • Teach about every level and facet of social responsibility;
  • Teach about every level and facet of law and legal system requirements and ramifications toward self-defense or human-coping skills;
  • Teach about every level and facet of our minds and how fallible it is especially to memory along with things like creative, manufactured, experiences, concepts and so on. 
You probably already know this is a short list BECAUSE this is not a single simple one-thing achieves all contentment and humility and responsibility of being a social being AND that to achieve such lofty achievements, objectives and goals is a life long endeavor that all of us are responsible for maintaining to high levels of ability, expertise and mastery making for a peaceful coexistence among a diverse and wonderful human social reality. 

Now, what happens when you put that toward your teachings, practices and understanding in the world of martial arts and karate for all levels of intent and especially toward self-defense/protection? 

Bibliography (Click the link)