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
We Want to Feel Special
A trend I personally find kind of "interesting [being kind here]" is this fad of wearing really baggy pants down around your hips and below. I watch guys walking around as if they have something caught up their backside, you know a bit like the Charlie Chaplin walk. This trend got started in an underwear ad, i.e. Marky Mark at the time did an ad with no shirt and his pants down enough to display the upper half of white skivvies.
It seems we have no limits because I have even viewed sites that actually have a mock up of a uniform with indications as to where all the patches are to be placed and in one there is almost nowhere on the uniform that does NOT have some patch showing.
Ok, you saying, who the f*&^ are you telling me yadda yadda yadda. I once held that patches and titles were acceptable in my instruction and practice. I had the Isshinryu patch over the heart and then I added one for being in a tournament referee's certification org, the association patch and then another set of patches for the shoulder with some kanji that had some special "warrior quote." I been there, done that and now realize just how stupid I was going there as it did not do anything but get a few laughs from folks I respected.
I also feel that our need to stand out and feel special carries forth to our "great need" for external validation from guys who we think are the end all experts and authorities on the art of karate and other martial systems. In reality I discovered those who were really, really experts and authorities on their respective systems didn't go with this stuff.
Yes, again I went this way as well so I speak from "personal" experience. I joined two different Isshinryu orgs in those early years, i.e. early 1980's, only to discover that if I looked beyond the fluff it became political/control with a lot of money driving it forward. I came to know that if I did not spend my money to attend sanctioned seminars or buy their karate/martial gear/uniforms, etc. or I didn't participate in their sanctioned events, i.e. tournaments, etc. I could not qualify for any promotions and then only if I paid the fee. Let me tell you, even then, the fees were pretty big when you consider your paying it for a piece of paper with some guys signature who has never seen you, instructed you or even worked out with you to see if you could actually, "do it on the dojo floor!"
Am I getting cynical in my old age? Guess so or maybe I am finally growing up a bit. Now, now, if you take offense remember this is me and my view so don't personalize it. Yet, if you do maybe you should take a closer look at yourself.
Super Grand Master of Masters of Okinawan Karate, Kobudo, Iaido, Kendo, Kenpo Gokui, Budo, Bushido with a red belt with darker red stripes to indicate my high status mucky muck title and position in the world of Martial Arts.
- Like my title ;-)
Inspired by Mario McKenna Sensei blog post, "More Useless Titles."