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
Attention and shifting that attention are really a huge fundament mental practice a karate-ka or any martial system should use to train the mind to "shift" it from one stimuli to another.
Lets say someone attacks you. Your attention goes to the attack and may cause you to say, "What the ... that hurt ... ," and then your mind is stuck paying attention to the first strike while the attacker is adding strike upon strike and punch upon punch overwhelming your mind so it never catches up.
Shifting attention to me is an ability that must be developed with practice over time. Then if you are attacked and training was adequate then your mind unconsciously, you hope, pulls "acts" out and off you go with some adequate response. Others call this the "loop." A loop like I describe earlier that keeps "looping" on that same stimuli locking your mind up.
This is just another way of explaining the OODA loop from Marc MacYoung's self defense site. Now, here is the question, how do you train to not get stuck in the loop. Training has to be realistic enough that when your mind reaches that loop it bypasses it instinctively so your body acts and puts the loop back on your attacker.
Mindfulness and Mindful Awareness through meditation has the ability coupled with proper and realistic training to reprogram your brain to do what you need in such a volatile scenario. The book "Fully Present" by Dr. Smalley and Ms. Winston explains how this all works. It is a matter of your practicing the meditative mindfulness and awareness process then taking that into your karate, martial system, training so it is applied to that model.
There is no proof it will work in the martial arts but it does have proof it works generally for our emotions, etc. If it works, changes the brain, allows for change in your everyday life then it can, I firmly believe, apply in training and practice. You can learn to shift your attention, conscious and unconscious, so the brain/mind go to appropriate responses, i.e. shift the minds attention away from the attack and into a counter the shift the loop to them.
This is my theory anyway ... oh, on another note the mind tends to fill in the gaps, fill in details that are missing, but what it fills those gaps with may not be totally relevant to the situation so practice must be such that those relevant issues are connected for proper responses. The only way to achieve this is through knowledge and application of knowledge in training and practice.