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
Apparently black belts are not the only ones as the only snap shot I could find was the one you see here. I wonder what this says about the person if anything. I can say several thoughts traveled through my mind.
Much like the time in a dojo where I was a guest Sensei I observed a black belt wearing a clean but very wrinkled karate-gi. The obi was not even at the ends, it was very very long (almost down to his knees) and it was tied loosely with an open knot and down around the hips cocked forward and his thumbs were hooked into the front by the loose knot with feet far apart, etc. Does this speak to the person's attitude? Does it speak to his position as Sensei or Associate Sensei? What does it, if anything, say as to this person's ability to lead?
This seems to fall under the requirement that once a person decides to be a black belt and especially to "teach" that they must assume a certain level of professionalism that speaks, projects and feels like someone who leads by example. What you say and "do" speaks volumes beyond mere words spoken. Communications depend mostly on such things as the body language. What you project tells more than any certificate, any trophy and any color belt.
I have seen "kyu graded" folks who project more than some very highly graded karate-ka. I will admit that some of my examples fall into the category of military bearing. This is due to my history, training and belief system but if you were in a meeting and the chairman walked in unshaven, hair disheveled and wearing pajama's (no pun intended toward the gi :-) would you have respect for that person?
The adjacent picture of the karate-gi with naming is one that projects, from my beliefs and views, what a karate-ka should look like in the uniform. Note that the belt is comfortable, secured properly and of a acceptable length. A pressed uniform with the body maintained, i.e. fingernails trimmed, hair neat, body clean and oder free and so on, denotes a person who cares about themselves and cares about what they project to those who are going to look up to them in the dojo, yes?