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
“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
Attitude vs. Cockiness
Just think of the military. They train military to assume a positive and strong body position/pose that projects strength and depending on the service training it can project the type of attitude and body language that instills fear into the enemy. Military start with the position of attention. Stand up straight so the body looks bigger and stronger, i.e. posturing in a monkey dance conflict where one puffs up the chest, etc. Put the hands and thumb along the pants seam, head erect, spine rigid, etc. etc. you get it right.
Then think of marching and the unit marches in unison, i.e. team development. Ever hear a Marine Silent Drill team, the sound of the weapons hitting the deck and the hands slapping in unison as if one hand, one weapon, etc. The sound in combat of a team of military can be daunting. Just picture in your mind ancient greek/roman soldiers with fierce facial features, shields up, spears facing toward you, the singular and very thunderous thud of the phalanx stepping toward you step-by-step; fearsome and daunting.
In a much less aggressive pose a person can project a type of attitude that says to others, "I am not a victim, pick someone else," where nefarious folks will seek out someone easier to rob or fight. How you look at someone in the street, how your body assumes a posture/pose, all of it can promote the type of defense that says, find another victim dude!
How many times have you watched someone enter a room and immediately feel like they are strong and capable and you know almost instinctively you don't mess with this person? You will see, if you attain the knowledge, etc., that they have a certain attitude expressed in mannerisms, body pose, posture, and the way they move. Much like a dancer, most people can see in their movement they are dancers, watch one and see what I mean.
Karate or any martial system if fundamentals are taught adequately and completely will provide you those traits. Much like military training and practice but less intense will achieve those results. The big point here is that although the martial systems will teach this you have to have the stuff to back it up if you are challenged, i.e. a person either cannot see your attitude of leave me alone and find another victim and approaches you where avoidance, deescalation, manners, etc. don't turn the tide away from physical altercation so your mental intent must be correct in what you practice and how you apply that practice and training.
It comes down to attitude with backup and just plain ole misguided cocky ego driven pride. Both will project attitude but only one will truly give you the tools to avoid, etc. physical altercations be it self defense or just plain ole fighting.
It should be noted that attitude be it one of strength and confidence or that cocky prideful ego driven monkey a person can either avoid trouble or draw that trouble to them like a magnet. Even in a verbal altercation what you say, now you say it and how that might "diss" the other persons personal or tribal system can get you clobbered or leave it in a amicable and mutually beneficial way.
Look at it one more way, cocky is when someone is entering a dangerous environment/situation and simply says, "I am a professional MMA fighter and this is nothing to me," and then continues as if the world should fear them or we can look at it another way, proper attitude of strength and confidence where you may be entering a dangerous environment/situation and simply say, "Uh oh, better turn around and get the flock out of here."
Remember that one of true strength and confidence does not allow themselves to "have to prove it" and moves on while the ego-pride-cocky one does what they do cause they lack self awareness and strength and confidence in themselves. Remember ...