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
Sometimes "martial masters" mistake their mastery of their respective martial system as control over or superiority to someone else of to something. It is also mistaken for domination, mastery, to dominate or defeat or subordinating a person or persons.
To my thinking mastery is the knowledge and skill that makes you stand out as a source for the topic. The knowledge and skill that denotes mastery over the system, mastery over the principles and mastery over those methods you use in teaching, leading and displaying proper actions.
Recently one was honored with a high level of achievement through the bestowing of 9th level of Dan-sha but that award didn't come from true mastery. It was awarded for some specific accomplishment that did not transcend the particulars and cover the entirety of the practice. It involved tournaments, trophies and other accolades. No where did it become apparent that this honor was in recognition to what I describe above and Kowakan blog describes denotes "master of a topic or activity or both."
Let me provide the example by addressing just one term in the defining of mastery, domination. First, to dominate anyone or anything is not mastery but rather master over. The one word added, over, is significant for a true master of an art like the martial systems does not dominate over anyone or anything, ever - they don't need to, their mastery is apparent in the actions and deeds.
Mastery also does not mean that just because you know the fundamentals, the kata, kumite and all perceivable aspects of your system, your style or your techniques that you have mastered your system, i.e. dominated it by knowing it, but rather something sometimes unexplainable yet detectable is apparent denoting a mastery of something.
Master also has an unwritten but understood meaning that a person is selfless and pure of heart. The person holds perfection in every way even if not perfect - perfection in imperfection. It is something see, heard and felt all the time and in every perceivable form. It is real, complete, pure, unqualified, unconditional, self-existent and conceivable in relation to normal things. Principles are well established and confirmed in all actions and deeds.
In a nutshell, true mastery is one who knows the path and one who "walks the path." I wish to thank Kowakan blog for this inspiration in my defining a master of a martial system.
Mastery, to get on the path and stay on it. - George Leonard, "Mastery"