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


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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Belief vs. Skill or is it Belief+Skill

Today I read a post that turned on another light in a very dark room. It was not because I don't know this but that it actually pointed out a big, my theory again, gapping hole in martial art instruction and training and practice.

It also opened the door wider to an understanding that acquiring knowledge is one very important step in many that lead to proficiency of MA for defensive intent. If you don't know about something odds are you not going to filter out the crap from the gold or the water-n-sand from the gold dust. I wanted, always have, the gold dust yet find today I had to travel through a lot of water and dirt to even learn of the gold's presence.

If you don't know that really gold colored, somewhat for gold is not really a gold color until the impurities are taken out of it; another esoteric point for another post, stuff at the bottom of you pan is valuable you most likely going to dump it out with the dirt and water as you pan for gold. Funny analogy huh?

Marc MacYoung when posting on a topic of fear and other sundries mentioned a maxim of "belief vs. skill." I feel/think he was trying to say that in today's MA training one tends to achieve a belief that tells them a story that makes them feel safe, secure, and comfortable. I can because of my training handle any and all threats and I will have no fear because my Sensei taught me how to be a killer martial artists type belief. But, will it equate to those skills necessary to deal with all that comes with violent encounters?

You fall into a false sense of proficiency in regards to violence that what you did in the dojo all those years will take care of your fear and your attackers. It is also a statement as to the type of training, etc. where a lot is not the type of realistic training scenario's that will provide you what you need when you get there, you know, that violent person ready to take your head off for looking at him the way you did.

It is once again to me like saying this or that technique will handle this or that attack which is just a single technique nor even proven effective in real live attacks. It is the belief that this set of supposed self defense techniques will do it but are not really the "skills" necessary to actually do it. Skip over the psychological issues and those physical adrenaline ones and expect those techniques taught in a very controlled environment to boost your "belief" that you are dangerous and safe while your attacker beats your brains out while your still trying to utilize that one technique you learned years ago but felt due to the belief you acquired it would still be there for you vs. a skill set that requires continued practice to keep it viable and available and hoping it will work this time for this moment for this incident.

Belief may mean one who relies on the system to do it for them while skill is where one achieves that which does it for themselves. Maybe belief is external or let someone/something else deal with that for me or skill which is internal or assuming full and complete responsibility for dealing with that yourself.

Maybe it is actually both, the belief that your system does what it is supposed to do; your belief that it does what it does and the skill to do what you have to do. Two sides to one coin, yin (belief)-Yang (skill).

Do I have it right? Yes? No? Maybe? Comments?

Let me quote Marc:

"a popular training myth -- especially for people who deal with their fears via training alone. Such a myth believes that the quality of the training is so awesome you can just casually stroll over the canyon on this completed bridge. Or drive across in the comfort and ease of your car. That's because the system is so good that, just by knowing it, you are a super-stud --at least that's what they'll tell you.

That is what a lot of people believe, too. As long as you never step outside the safety of the Internet, the training hall or the sports ring, you CAN believe this.

In those places, you never have to make it all the way across the canyon. Therefore, the missing pieces are easily ignored or replaced by ersatz substitutes. Substitutes that are emotionally intense, but not necessarily specific to the task itself.

For example, I know of an MA school where, as part of the black belt test, serial sparring occurs. For one minute each round, the candidate spars with one of five black belts. The official reason given for this action is it helps develop one of the tenets of the system (indomitable spirit). In that regard, yes it is a means to challenge the tester to push him- or herself.  Unofficially though, I encountered the attitude from several black belts that -- because they'd done this -- they were confident they could take on multiple opponents. Seriously, they really believed that. A belief that had no basis in reality because they had no idea of the tactics that work against multiple attackers. A belief that I pray will never be put to the test. But a belief they can maintain and hold in the comfort and safety of the dojo environment.

Now one can argue that it is this 'belief 'that people are seeking and not the actual skills. A belief  to soothe their fears. But fears are not the same thing as actual dangers. Again, as was pointed out by Rory, but I ran with the idea. There's a big difference between fear management and danger management: " [good source; from no nonsense self defense site run by Mr. MacYoung]

Source of excerpt:

date: Mon, May 2, 2011 at 10:01 PM
subject: AL: SD: The Last Length of Bridge
From: "Marc MacYoung"
Sent: Monday, May 02, 2011 12:16 PM
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