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
Awareness + Retention + Intent
1 - Awareness.
2 - Retention.
3 - Intent.
AWARENESS: one cannot be or become aware if the knowledge is not encoded in the brain. Simply to become aware of something is knowledge but to make good use of it the brain must encode it so it can be retrieved when needed. What happens with some is they acquire the knowledge then "assume" that because they became "aware" of it, it will be there when they need it - not true.
RETENTION: is where the brain/mind retains the information and then encodes it - stores it in either or short-term/long-term memory. It then is retrieved when the proper stimulus is encountered. Retention must be of the kind that makes this particular memory available. It you become aware of it, then you practice it for a period, it will be retained yet as to retrieval - that is another issue that complicates things a bit.
INTENT: to become aware and to retain it readily available is our intent when we first acquire the knowledge then the intent of the practice and training that will encode it so a stimulus will retrieve it along with other actions, etc. to properly respond to said stimulus. This part comes up a lot where one feels the need to learn SD, the attend a three day seminar guaranteed to give you what you need and desire, and then it is assumed that those three days will encode the process so when you need it years down the road it will be there for you - NOT!
Even when we implement all three in our training and practice we may find that for it to be available takes a considerable bit more work and effort. Our intent in this part is to realize that nothing comes easy and if we intend to keep it a viable and available action it must be practiced. Here is another crux to the situation, that practice cannot be static. If it becomes static then it falls prey to a very specific and narrow stimulus and when you encounter any variation you will freeze.
Kata is a ritualized and patterned practice that if not taken past the fundamental stage promotes this very stagnate and unreliable intent. Even the drills used fundamentally if not taken outside that narrow corridor of practice/training train the mind to work only in that one narrow view and anything that appears outside that narrow corridor will cause a freeze. Why it is so important to take kata and its practice beyond the limited teaching method of gross movement into much more.
Another issue in this trilogy is to allow our minds to close off to anything outside the tribes belief system so they remain ineffective. In order to see and hear more than what the doctrine of the tribe prescribes one must allow for all data to have possibilities and that it takes more than the initial exposure to the new knowledge to find it value or lack thereof.
The ability to change and to allow for inaccuracies and insufficient data is critical for any and all of martial principles, etc. to achieve its intended goals. The ability to allow for error and correction is difficult yet the benefits will be enormous.
Retention and Intent could be replaced by "encoding and refreshing." Awareness is to open the mind to the possibilities; retention is encoding the data to the brain; refreshing is to practice and train with an awareness to change things accordingly to remain proficient.