Please take a look at Articles on self-defense/conflict/violence for introductions to the references found in the bibliography page.

Please take a look at my bibliography if you do not see a proper reference to a post.

Please take a look at my Notable Quotes

Hey, Attention on Deck!

Hey, NOTHING here is PERSONAL, get over it - Teach Me and I will Learn!

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


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

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Context - High/Low

As Sensei we fall into the false sense of authenticity when we try to emulate the Asian Sensei by being more stoic and non-communicative in instruction.  It occurs on occasion not be be disrespectful to those Sensei but in our attempts to honor them by following there example. In this case we forget that this mode of teaching is derived, as my previous posts on Zen attempt to show, from a belief system where the context of communications is different than the one we have and use as Americans - in general.

This once again promotes the often quoted Tatsuo Sensei of Okinawa Isshinryu that it is important to learn and understand the customs of the people of Okinawa.

Context in Asian dojo, in the past, tends to be high-context when it comes to interactions - teaching, instructing or mentoring. Those Japanese Sensei utilize this context simply because it is a way of life for all Japanese. They use a lot more nonverbal elements in communications. This also falls toward the assumptions humans make which are also influenced by context, not just words. Voice intonation, facial expressions, gestures, eyes, etc. will carry more information that any words they may use.

We are low-context oriented which relies a lot on rules, i.e. dojo rules, and we are task oriented. Our messages are carried more by the words we say with minor supplementation of body language. Our verbal communications are direct where we tend to spell things out. This comes from our societies administrative controls that begin as a child and continue through the school systems and into the business world. We see our communications as an exchange of data, idea's and our opinions.

Our learning is thinking; finding the specifics and then taking it to a general with less importance to the general vs. specifics. Our focus is on the details. We rely heavily on individualism and the Asian Sensei toward group for learning and problem solving.

All humans will oscillate from high to low to high and sometimes somewhere in between with a preference or dominant context mode. It becomes important for a good Sensei to observe and determine a practitioners sense mode and context level to provide optimal instruction that will be better absorbed and then applied. 

As I continue my research and studies I am finding the reasons why traditional Asian systems for martial instruction require age when certifying certain teaching levels and credentials. They recognize the benefit and value that age brings to a Sensei. I have often expressed the need to reach at least a San-dan level before taking on a dojo's responsibilities but am learning that it may better benefit the systems as a whole if Sensei were not opening dojo until at least that level and an age of at least 35 years of age. There is no better Sensei than one with the experience of age. I am fifty-seven and actually feel that I am just getting to a stage where my teachings are adequate.

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