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

Search This Blog

Space ("ma")

Sometimes we get stuck in a literal meaning. That tends to be a normal function for us and it is one that we as martial artist who practice a more combative form or even a traditional form should work to see and hear outside of that box.

Space involves personal space and personal space is not just that space around your body, the physical, but also a emotional/psychological and values space as well. Physical, psychological, and values - three critical space concepts that apply in martial practice.

When we consider space lets include a person's possessions - your clothes, your home, your furniture or even a particular piece of furniture, and so on. Then consider that our space around us physically extends outward making an invisible boundary - a boundary that triggers emotional and physical responses as one enters into that energy space where our personal rhythms are disturbed like a stone thrown into a clear calm pool of water - ripples.

When we speak of entering a person's space we must include the emotional space as well where such things as put-downs (dissing one), nosiness, unwanted advice, manipulation and just plain manipulation through supposition, etc. tend to cause ripples in our personal space, physical and psychological.

I would feel that a first line of defense in self-protection is an understanding of one's space and then honoring those spaces and any negative intrusions would result in a interruption of their space, rhythms and energies that would affect the emotional triggers that result in fear, anger, etc. This could mean an attack to protect what essentially is their personal belief space system.

Another aspect of space for us is: flight space, flight distance, critical distance (critical space and critical situations), personal distance, and social distance. This is a bit involved so recommend reading, at a minimum, the book by Edward T. Hall, "The Hidden Dimension," chapter II, Distance Regulation in Animals to get a better view of this aspect or just read Rory Miller's books on violence and violent people cause he covers all this stuff even if not directly named by the names I provided here.

Oh, before you go there .... as to the Animals in the titles don't be fooled into thinking this does not mean the human animal either. The more you learn, the more you know and I have realized how connected all this is to aggression, nature and the human drive toward aggressive behavior, environment, social groups, etc. which Mr. Miller teaches in his seminars and books.

p.s. In the study of Shikata I am finding that a good part of the Mother of Kata comes from the development of Kanji which is kata-ized to the extent that the strokes are governed by specific kata where even the "empty space" that surrounds the strokes is exacting and why they come to create the art of "Sho-Do or the Way of the Brush."


Rick said...

This is timely. There is another good article on "ma" at The Classical Budoka:

Charles James said...

Thanks Rick, I have bookmarked the site and will read it soonest .... looks like an interesting site so will investigate its content .... always looking for source materials for my studies .... :-)

Charles James said...

Rick, read the article .... good article and provided for terms and such I had not heard before .... thanks!