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
Teaching Martial Arts
When I ran a dojo I taught Okinawan Isshinryu or Ryukyu-Te with specificity toward the branch of Shorin-ryu that falls under the Okinawan system of Ti or Te. Phew, just had to get that all out there again :-)
Teaching comes in many forms. The one we gravitate toward when someone speaks of teaching a martial art is the one where folks dress in specified garb for their system, enter into a hall of some sort and in bare feet get out on a hardwood floor and sweat, strain and practice - diligently and with heart. This is not the only venue to teach. It is not the only venue to teach a martial art.
Granted, if you wish to truly study a martial art you will have to go to a dojo or hall or space outdoors or any area where you or you and one other gather to practice and train. The location is secondary.
Once you gain a modicum of expertise in a system the teaching venue does and should grow beyond that dojo, where ever or what ever that may be. Today we have so many other teaching sources it can be daunting to just find and choose those that best suit your learning needs.
When I suggest to a student they keep a log of their training I would include those other aspects as well to keep track of what and how you do and learn things about your discipline. Your time in study of the ancient classics to supplement the physical training and practice is still training and practice of your system in supplementation.
So, with that said - all those venues of learning are also of teaching. The person who writes a blog, runs a forum, participates on a yahoogroup style email system, produces DVD's or writes a book on a particular subject is still teaching someone some thing. I still teach even tho I am not running a dojo now. I have just shifted a bit to the right, or left if you prefer, and provide information for those who are interested to "data mine," sift and sort with retention or discard to achieve more knowledge. Those who do this are students and the martial I provide is still teaching. I hope anyway or should I say, my view.
I learn a great deal from the teachings of people like Rory Miller, Marc MacYoung, the Animal List, Kane and Wilder to name just a few. I learn from their books, web sites, blogs, video's and comments and communications of varying ways. I supplement what I currently know to work with more that I test in my practice. Those still active in the dojo can take it further into testing it out, playing with it and finding what works or does not work. Sometimes I visit a dojo I know just to vet out something that doesn't jel in practice.
Anyway, the point is teaching and being a student of martial arts goes beyond just entering a dojo. There is so much and so much to work out that is available and I guess what I am saying is given a proper "label :-)" it opens the box a bit for better thinking.
Maybe, just maybe this is what it teaches, to get a person to "think." Think about things, mull them over, float them to see what sinks and what swims - thinking, a good thing.