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
Shinsa and the Events Encountered
Now, Shinsa to me does not necessarily mean a "test" but rather a "state" where one achieves a state of proficiency that results in the award of a black belt. It is a transition point in the way of a martial system. A significant pivotal point in martial arts so it warrants a special place for both the individual and the dojo.
I have been asked, "How should I prepare and what should I do when I encounter events that are less than stellar?" Preparation is really in individual thing so I can only say that if you have reached this pivotal state then you already know what you need to do. When I discuss events that are less than the person is capable of in the shinsa, i.e. that date where the dojo brings the entire past of the practitioner into that one moment of truth, theirs and not anyone else's, then I tell them if they encounter that event just let the moment drift past just as quickly as the technique or what ever is done.
As an example if doing a kata and you miss something, skip something, turn the wrong way, etc. just keep going. Do not stop, do not start over again, do not apologize, do not make excuses ... don't attach any story to it, experience it in only that exact moment and move on as if nothing happened. Remember ... if this were a real life encounter you can't stop and correct any mistakes, errors, or omissions; to late. If you just continue on to the next thing, that next thing may save your bacon. Shinsa is a better place to display this trait than in combat.
So, go from moment to moment in the shinsa. Do not let your mind, your monkey brain, go to the past or the future or to any stories of oh shit I made a mistake. Keep the monkey in its cage and just experience each moment for that moment only and keep the moments moving. Remember, everything comes and goes, everything is on its way somewhere and once it leaves the present moment it is gone and best forgotten.
Shinsa is your moment, your state of change, change is inevitable and you can embrace it or let the monkey take it away. The choice is yours, always has been and always will be, embrace it for what it is, your moment to achieve the stars. I was given a quote once I like. Don't just reach for the moon, go for the stars!