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
Holistic + Atomistic = Sychronistic Practice, Teaching and Learning
I posted that it takes a break down into the smallest components to learn and teach martial systems and I expressed emphatically that it does not end there. It continues down that path until you reassemble the individual components into an integrated "whole." The ideal is to see in detail the atomistic aspects of martial practice with an end result of assembling it into a integrated whole that simply feels right to the individual practitioner.
I have alluded to the reasons for this method loosely and over the weekend my research has uncovered more information that may explain why the human condition seems to naturally gravitate toward this method of holistic to atomistic and back to holistic aspects of the practice, training and learning.
Apparently our brains run on a dualistic process. Our brains spend a good deal of time labeling everything we perceive. Our senses are taking in undefined data all the time. This is our perception through the senses then one side or the other of various parts of the brain process that data until it is converted from undefined to defined according to our perceptions and beliefs. Out concepts, our words, and the labels we attache shape the awareness we experience.
Our brains are equipped with a holistic capability that will take the sum of all the individual components or parts and provide us a "feeling" for the whole of all those parts or components. This is a fundamental system of sensory organization. The left side of the brain takes care of processing and formulating information of a logical, rational and a reductionist processes, i.e. the atomistic activity. The right side of the brain is where we view the world in an integrated way and where our connectivity to all the myriad things of the world are stimulated. When something feels intuitively correct this is our holistic view of the entire whole of any combination of sensory undefined data as processed by that side of the brain.
A good example is "facial recognition" is processed by the holistic functioning of the brain. You might think that it would have been the atomistic side for the details but the process is more holistic apparently and we may need to consciously activate the atomistic side to describe a face. This is apparently the reason facial descriptions for criminals tends to be misleading, convoluted and prone to greater error.
If we are perceiving the holistic aspects of reality we are less inclined to require the processes of analyzing, comparing, quantifying or justifying our perceptions and beliefs. Because it feels right we have accepted this as a belief and thus feel no need to cut it up and perform such functions on the components or parts.
We tend to have a holistic feeling toward reality when our overall impressions as identified by some previous analysis of specific features or facts give us that impression or feeling of "this feels right." Holistic is not a function of language since there is no need to express or validate the data with it. Look at the holistic side as a more "intuitive skill."
The dualistic nature of life and the brain requires us to have a left and right side as both separate and distinct functions are necessary to achieve a feeling of satisfaction and a feeling of a whole or completeness. The parts can be considered only in relationship with the whole and the whole cannot be if not for the parts so we naturally take that which does not feel correct or right or just and perform a atomistic action by breaking it down, labeling them and then analyzing, discussing and data mining to validate and then reconstruct into a whole that is either accepted as right or discarded and "not right."
Where martial systems drop the ball is they take the holistic form and break it down into a atomistic form that promotes analysis, discussion and validating actions but then drop it in lieu of reconstructing it back into its whole system.
Lets discuss a bit more detail as to the reductionist form we naturally gravitate to in sensory analysis, the atomistic aspect of training and practice and life. Atomistic is a type of reductionist activity that our survival instincts require. Our brain labels everything that the senses receive. The process then takes the data and either sends it to the right or the left side of the brain where it is either accepted as holistic or "it feels right." Then the rest is sent to the right or left side to be deconstructed into the smallest bits and pieces it can for detailed analysis. This is where we identify all the leaves of the tree and let the whole tree reside in stasis until the process of analysis, validation and identification are completed.
The holistic aspects of the brain depend on the gathering of sensory data more by perceptual elements, intuition or imagination and then comparing that with our stored memories. It may be why we tend to freeze in stress situations as our holistic side is searching short and long term memory to find an appropriate match. Anything that has no match in memory is discarded. If this is so this is important for our training and practice. Train and practice to store the appropriate data so important and previously unidentified data is not discarded when the holistic part searches memory.
I would feel personally that the atomistic aspects of the brain are more important during the training and practice functions in martial systems. It also feels right that the holistic, the whole of the atomistic, are what we depend on in stressful situations. If we train and practice right it will reside in memory and depending on the importance of the data may remain in short term memory for quicker retrieval.
It may be the reason why advice of putting the more simple and most important actions in short term memory so as to give the holistic activity of the brain the time to retrieve the more appropriate responses and actions. In short term the "break the freeze" and the "move" and the "act" permissions may be a method to give you time to act or run or what ever to avoid, deescalate, etc.
Does this make sense? Perception takes us to reality. Reality is subjective to personal perceptions. Perceptions are subjective to social and personal beliefs resulting from various sensory encounters. Reality results to the individual where results of s synchronic matching to others provides for social cohesion by a certain flexibility induced due to survival instincts governing groups. Perceptions and realities seldom truly match so a balance is achieved with brain belief acceptance of a kind. Synchronic communications are necessary to achieve tribal/group cohesion and adjustments to belief systems for survival. If there is a belief disparity the group through this synchronic vibration match accommodates achieving an equilibrium acceptable to all parties.
Newberg, Andrew MD and Waldman, Mark Robert. "Why We Believe What We Believe: Uncovering Our Biological Need for Meaning, Spirituality, and Truth." Free Press. New York. 2006