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 (this applies to this and other blogs by me as well; if you follow the idea's, advice or information you are on your own, don't come crying to me, it is all on you do do the work to make sure it works for you!)
“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 (note: you are on your own, make sure you get expert hands-on guidance in all things martial and self-defense)
“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
Points to Ponder in Sparring
1. Are you creating habits? Rituals?
2. Are you aware of your intent and does that intent relate to violence?
3. Do you allow the threat to enter our space for the sake of training? Do you allow the threat to assume a position of either or both a physical and psychological dominance for the sake of training?
4. Do you feel that the intensity of the training session is directly related to violence? Does it feel real? Does this seem like a natural feeling?
5. Do you realize that your martial art in essence is about doing damage, i.e. break bones, tear ligaments, crippling or possible killing another human being? Is your sparring take this mental aspect into consideration?
6. Do you realize due to training constraints and rules that you are training to "not hurt" as well as "hurt" in the many reps done?
7. Do you realize that sparring is NOT a fight simulation?
8. Do you spar with threats much heavier than you? With and without weapons? In places that are similar in environmental settings in lieu of the clean, spacious and unobstructed environment of the dojo?
9. Do you experience getting hit, hit very hard, frequently in your training?
10. Do you experience getting hit and hitting a moving and non-compliant threat?
11. Do you realize and fully understand fighting/violence hurts, a lot?
12. Do you train to surprise, intensity, flurry, chaos, etc.?
13. Do you know, understand and consider that your safety gear does not indicate what will be vulnerable to injury in a violent encounter?
14. Are you "use to" taking and giving hits? Do you consider this as a special ability in your MA system?
15. Does your training/sparring build courage?
16. Does your sparring/training/practice encourage moving and controlling the body, i.e. both yours and the threats?
17. Does your sparring encourage you and enforce your confidence in handling threats that far outweigh you? Does your sparring ignore weight classes in training?
18. Do you realize in violence that moving well and controlling a body are to promote "escape or disabling?"
19. Does your sparring consider "bad guys and weapons and obstacles" are important to understand and train for in violence?
20. Do you understand and consider in intent the flaws with non-contact and controlled-contact vs. violence and violent encounters?
21. Does your sparring teach you to be "relaxed," "to know exactly what the threat would do or where he would shift to attack," and do you "know when you are safe and know exactly what to watch for should the threat move or try to move?"
Pardon any omission and mistakes. This is an effort to convey some important information while initially encoding it into my brain. I do expect that encoding to be changed as I get feedback and review the material. Please access the article by Sgt. Rory Miller and let me know if this resonates or not. I would appreciate it as a learning experience/goal.
Normally when I extract quotes or redact information like this I try to add my thoughts and theories but in this instance it is too new as to a perspective so prefer to wait until I get feedback and comments to validate or provide adjustments. To really get it, you have to read the Chiron Post - maybe two or three times.
Miller, Rory. "Values in Sparring." October 13, 2011. Chiron Blog. 13 October 2011.