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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Ceremonies vs. Rituals vs. Announcements, etc.

As a prelude to my post you might read "Ceremonies" by Rob Redmond of the 24 Fighting Chickens Blog.

Ceremony: A formal public occasion, typically one celebrating a particular event or anniversary; An act or series of acts performed according to a traditional or prescribed form; The ritual observances and procedures performed at grand and formal occasions; Formal polite behavior, etc.

This is simply a "formal event" that is performed on a special occasion. It is performed in a solemn elaborate and formal way. Sometimes it is related to an event that is religious in nature. A ceremony is an outward sign of a rite or ritual. It is open and a visible witness to those who are concerned and the community, i.e. the dojo members in this case, and recognizably consistent for the purposes of giving evidence of an event related to a given rite. In another nutshell is is a special celebration or ritual for a notable occasion.

Ritual: A series of actions or type of behavior regularly and invariably followed by someone; A prescribed order of performing such a ceremony, esp. one characteristic of a particular religion or church [ i.e. in this case a martial system, etc.]; An action arising from convention or habit; A customary observance or practice; a prescribed procedure for conducting ceremonies; a set of actions, performed mainly for their symbolic value. It may be prescribed by the traditions of a community. The term usually excludes actions which are arbitrarily chosen by the performers, or dictated purely by logic, chance, necessity, etc.; etc.

Announcement: A public and typically formal statement about a fact, occurrence, or intention; The action of making such a statement; etc.

Mr. Rob Redmond provided a wonderful post on "ceremonies" and in the comments differentiates between a ceremony, a ritual, and just an announcement. I tend to think a bit differently on his view of a ceremony. To me if one is applying a public formal act for a specific occasion, i.e. a new person joining a dojo, then it is a ceremony. As to the particulars of such a ceremony, that would provide the difference between it being a formalized ceremony vs. a simple dojo ritual. After all the definitions of both do cross over a bit.

I would agree that if you simply inform the dojo members that here is a new guy please make them feel welcome, that is merely an announcement.

I believe that if a dojo has a formalized ritualistic event, act or a series of acts to start all training and practice then that is a ceremony. If everyone lines up according to some order, faces a wall that may contain a type of setting such as the systems creator's picture, etc. and perform a meditation session which is an act that is part of a series of acts then it is a ceremony. When it continues the series of acts such as bowing to the kamidana, bowing to Sensei, bowing to the Dai-sempai and then rising and given a command to begin training to me that is a ceremony.

This is also a dojo ritual because the meaning actually references it being a type of ceremony. It is also a custom that is considered by some systems as a tradition for that system. The lines can be a bit blurred much like all the lines that are used to differentiate between rank awards, etc.

One person's ceremony can be another's ritual and still another's tradition; but they all, depending on the views of the individual, cam be a ceremony of one level/degree or another.

In a nutshell, it depends and is dependent entirely on those who practice such things. No one outside that particular group can or has the right to say it is or is not a ceremony, etc. Much like I have no right to say if someone is or is not a qualified black belt. That also is exclusive to the relationship of the Sensei and the individual.

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