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
Testing for a martial system come in a variety of forms and this post is about one of them which some refer to as austere training - shugyo. The most difficult test any martial artist can attempt is one where your mind says to you stop, quit, no more. It comes from any number of sources and reasons. The most common is the first year or two after achieving the level of Sho-dan.
As we travel the path and achieve greater levels the mind also follows a path to many psychological levels and each has its own form of test you either overcome and pass or quit in a no-pass scenario.
I have passed many of those types of tests over the past thirty years. Some were mere bumps in the road while a few are much greater obstacles to move, discard or simply bypass by another path around. It does not denigrate the test as to intensity. One persons minor test can be a major one for the person training right next to them in the dojo.
I am facing a really huge test right now. It is one of those very gradual sneaky type tests that you sometimes fail to see until your fairly deep into the test. This can be, my personal view, a really tricky one. Upon reaching this point or middle ground of a test you didn't recognize as a test till the middle can be much difficult.
Your mental and physical training is also tested here as well. You could be one of those who has tested your system agains real time violent encounters yet this type of test can be more difficult and a lot more debilitating if you allow yourself to hit the no-pass zone. It also becomes a greater test simply due to the aging process. What you endure in life at 25 years can turn into a greater challenge at 60 years and then consider this type of test coming at you again at an age like Keiko Fukuda Sensei of Judo - nearing her century mark. She is inspirational don't you think?
A test comes in many forms and from many directions. Not always of the physical kind. I am ready to stand up and apply my system if violence attacks where avoidance tactics don't do their work or it they are bypassed entirely for the fight, battle, combat. This is where our spirits are tested by fire. The mind is our greatest ally and our most formidable opponent, threat, partner.