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
Semantics - Naming
Dr. Suzette H. Elgin, PhD wrote several books on the gentle art of verbal self-defense. "The Last Word on The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense" has shown me how important this is for our martial arts. It has shown me how important it is in human communications/interactions. I have come to believe that in all endeavors we do ourselves great service if we take the time to understand the semantics, or naming, we put on those endeavors.
I have found a critical endeavor that warrants this belief and started a diligent and dedicated effort to do so.
Dr. Elgin's entire GAVSD has provided me the awareness, a good beginning, to what I hear, what I say, what I read, what I write and many other things of importance in life. I am grateful to have read her books and I am grateful for that extra effort Mr. Rory Miller placed in his bibliography describing the first book of the series of five [note: there are others but they become specific to personal relationships, etc.].
An example is given, "mental hospital:insane asylum, senior citizen:old person, sanitation engineer:garbage collector." In karate if we specify that a particular move in the kata teaches us to block. We have provided that technique with a limited name. It may or may not be a block so why name a kata meaning with a specific. It you get locked into a name and its perceptions then you may miss other valid applications of the kata move.
I have also come to "see" some personal traits I had no conscious clue I possessed by reading these books and other materials associated with their teachings. I speak of focusing effort inward to achieve "enlightenment" before directing efforts to the outside and found that I needed to step up to the plate and swing away. I was missing some very important, critical traits, that need to go.
In closing, if not for karate and its studies and practices I might have gone my entire life living within a dysfunctional life system that caused others to suffer and that is unacceptable. I can say than now because - I have a greater self-awareness that is far and above karate or martial arts. I am self-inspired to improve.
I can truthfully recommend enthusiastically these books as primer's for martial practice with emphasis on self-defense and more importantly as primer's for verbal self-defense.
The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense
More on the Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense
The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense at Work
The Last Word on the Gentle Art of Verbal Self-defense
The Gentle Art of Written Self-Defense