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
Hero's and Mentor's
Ichi: That we emulate is a good thing. This is similar to emulation of kata, etc. in karate, i.e. emulating that which has come directly from those who lead the way in the martial arts. We will, initially, perform those things exactly. This is good. This is how we learn and then pass down such things. Sometimes others may feel that this is mimicking our hero's and mentor's - the masters of yesteryear in karate.
Ni: To mimic is a high form of praise and thus conveys to the hero or mentor our personal belief that they have something of great value for us that we wish to mimic them for the learning process. Think of it like those who impersonate famous persons. It is an honor that one would find another of such stature they would want to impersonate them and the fact that others viewing this impersonation would recognize either the person or the traits of that person is also praise of the person impersonated. When you emulate those that are considered hero's or mentor's you do them honor.
San: Yet, it is important to be your own person. You can emulate to learn yet you must allow yourself to absorb those traits of your hero or mentor into something very unique to you. You must make it your own and by such absorption remove the apparent connection to your hero and mentor so that you become more than they - another form of high praise. When you do this then you may become a mentor/hero or Sensei/instructor/teacher and thus inspire others to follow your way to find their own way.
All this means that you use your hero's and mentor's to provide you more learning, more knowledge, and more inspiration to achieve much more in your life and with your efforts. This seems to me as a path, a way, a road or "Do" in karate-do, Iaido, Ken-do, Ju-do, or any other endeavor that provides the same benefits. Look for your hero's and mentor's and learn; then become your own hero and mentor.