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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To scan is to apply both conscious and unconscious awareness to the environment your body resides in at any one moment in time to achieve EWS capabilities which contribute immensely to our ability to perceive and determine when to "avoid" things that might put us into harms way.

Karate/karate-do + Ken-po Goku-i (yang + yin of martial systems) teaches us to use our body-mind to achieve something unique in our practice and life. A core teaching of both is the use of both "eyes and ears" to see and hear many things both literal and figurative as our minds interpret what is seen in scanning so we may act accordingly with out resorting to a somewhat ineffective, for our time, instinctive reaction to stimuli, etc.

Click for larger view.
Take a look at the associated graphic. I use it to help "see" how both "eyes and ears" are used in scanning. These are useless if one has not attained adequate knowledge of what to encode in the brain so the mind can evaluate its perceptions and translate them to useful data to act on. As can be seen, the eyes have both direct and peripheral vision while the ears have a much larger area to hear sounds that would trigger the eyes and head to rotate in the right direction for gathering more pertinent data to evaluate. All this when trained properly; when educated properly provide almost instantaneous responses/reactions/actions necessary to "avoid; deescalate; remain aware."

Using your imagination and training to rotate the head to the left and right provide your eyes, both direct and peripheral + hearing, a full three hundred eighty degree area coverage. If something is detected to the absolute rear by hearing an peripheral vision the body can turn ninety degrees either way to verify data before acting, if time permits.

Give this some serious consideration. After all, in my view, this scanning is actually the first physical training fundamental that provides the art of avoidance its best chance of success.


SueC said...

Nice post. The senses are so important in awareness and avoidance. What about smell? You may actually be able to smell an attacker before you see or hear him, e.g. cigarette smoke, aftershave, sweat etc. Do you think that sense of smell could be part of your 'scanning' arsenal?

Charles James said...

Yes, so is tactile as to touch. Both are related to someone being much closer tho and means they passed by your early warning system, i.e. sight and hearing, which is not really good yet if as fallible humans they do get closer smell would be one way to gain attention and bring back appropriate awareness.

Sometimes smell left in an area where something happened can achieve Early Warning System alarms then coupled with sight and hearing as well as instincts developed in practice along with attaining knowledge of such things as what constitutes violence and violent behaviors, etc. truly will help you avoid conflict.

You can look at it as levels or zones of protection.

The outer zone is those area's that extend as far as eyes and ears can detect, i.e. but not near enough to actually interact or close quickly to interact. The clear zone as I like to call it.

Then as your awareness detects and triggers the early warning system alarms you then have time to decide on actions.

When they come into the exclusion zone then you still have time to do something like deescalate it or bring on some action that deters, etc.

As you can see the knowledge of area's that are conducive to violence is the first layer.

Recognizing those area's is next.

If you accidentally or are forced to pass through those area's then knowledge of violent people; how violence occurs; being a target, etc. etc. is another.

Seeing and Hearing what the environment/area is another layer of warning.

As you can see there are many things that occur that if your awareness is there you can ALWAYS avoid violence.

It is complex but doable.