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
Truthfully, just because I have practiced for 35 years DOES NOT MEAN that I practiced correctly. It does not mean that I am good and it does not mean that I have a high rank. It sounds impressive maybe but really?
I hear of folks professing that they have multiple black belts in multiple systems. Sounds impressive. Is it really? I have walked by a local dojo in my town and observed many trophies and many accolades in writing on the walls with pictures. Impressive isn't it? Is it really?
What is impressive regardless is anyone who follows something over a long haul. In that light my statement of 35 years is impressive but it does not mean anything more than I am persistent, diligent, and highly motivated toward my system. It does NOT mean I can fight, defend, instruct, etc.! If you had been under my tutelage for all 35 years and knew me and my training personally you might be able to say I can do this or that but that is still subjective.
I can post with the best of them. I can post stuff that sounds correct and applicable but it does not mean that I am capable of applying it. There is only one way anyone can determine that and that is to train and practice side by side with me for a considerable period of time. I can impress the dickens out of someone with one or two visits but does that really mean anything and is it really impressive?
I can look good doing kata and you may be impressed yet can I do anything else? Impressions and impressive actions and deeds are subjective for if I were impressive to you the next guy might say, not impressed.
It use to be that a person said he was a black belt that it WAS impressive. Today, the way McDojo's and so many other systems push out black belts that when someone professes to be one I am not impressed one bit but will get that way if they can get out on the dojo floor and demonstrate to my idea of black belt over a period of time, that then impresses me.
Is being impressive or conveying an impressive thing really impressive or just posturing to be special and god like in the eyes of the uninitiated, i.e. an ego trip. If I say I am a certified expert instructor would you be impressed or would it impress you more to have experienced my instruction and come away satisfied with what you learned?
We humans are easily impressed.