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
Skilled vs. Enthusiastic
What would constitute skilled? This is yet another question that would bring about as many answers as there are martial systems and most probably more. It is like the question, "What is a traditional martial art?"
Skilled: It is a person who has or shows knowledge, ability, or training to perform an activity well. I would actually say that in martial arts it is expected a skilled martial arts practitioner who has the knowledge and who shows that knowledge in the actions taken. A skilled martial artist "has and shows knowledge, ability and training of martial arts well."
A person who has skill in martial systems bases that skill on training and experience which will show expertise in that system. It also means a skilled practitioner has gained special abilities through training and practice.
Finally, a skilled martial artist has learned their system to such a capacity they can carry it out for results that come from a minimum outlay of time, energy, or both. This is my interpretation of a skilled martial artist.
An enthusiastic martial artist is a person who may or may not have skill, i.e. a skilled practitioner. An enthusiastic martial artists is a person who has an intense and eager interest and enjoyment in their efforts. It arouses feelings that may not actually affect the skilled aspect of practice and training. Sometimes this equals a overflow of eagerness and sometimes requires sought after approval from perceived sources of authority on said system(s).
I like to think I am an enthusiastic skilled karate-jutsu-do practitioner. I see where both attributes of skilled and enthusiastic can be achieved. Where I run into a difference is when one or the other dominates the training and practice. This is not a diminishing of the system. It is merely a way of viewing a variety of practices with truth and accuracy as an aspect.
The discussion can not be limited by this post. It does need to take in the classifications of practice and training. As an example training to fight, training to compete, and training for self-realization. This is a suggestion knowing full well that we can classify all martial systems even further where skilled and/or enthusiastic efforts can gravitate to one extreme or the other with the hopes that it finds a solid balance like my view of my practice and training.