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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

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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.


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Degree's of Effort, Intent and Attitude

I was contemplating attitudes the other day ergo the black belt attitude post. I got to thinking in "degrees" of attitude, then intent and then effort. I got this idea that the degree of effort in martial systems contributes to the degree of intent for training and that is governed by the persons attitude, the degree or level of that attitude, the degree it is either yang or yin or some balance, moving, point on the scale. It began to get a bit chaotic in the minds eye.

I said to myself that it might help if it were symbolized somehow. Symbols like labels can be limiting but also if proper intent in the mind can actually be a "key" that opens the lid to the box allowing outside thinking. Cool.

The great tai chi is first a singular point that as it expanded, think of the big bang, formed this circle (clearly in the big bang theory it is more a circular sphere but lets keep it simple) that is ever expanding. It is represented by the tai chi symbol. In that circle there is life and death, night and day, sun and moon, etc. so we have the yang and the yin. As the circle expands the yang and yin grow while within seed of yang forms within the yin - the seed of yin forms within the yang. Cycles the represent birth, growth and death.

The degrees of effort, intent and attitude (not in any specific order to denote seniority for they end up being equal) determine how much one grows in martial systems. At anyone point if one or any other falters then it brings them back to "0." 0 being the symbol of birth. The degrees are also meant to represent, symbolically, time and the more time spent with effort, intent and attitude the greater the degree and the greater the level achieved.

The use of the rank system is not meant to symbolizing anything but growth in martial systems but is utilized in this symbol simply because of its recognition factor to all who participate in martial systems.

It must be remembered that this is not a symbol but rather a representation of the birth (to enter a dojo for the first time, to participate in a martial system for the first time), the growth (to diligently and wholeheartedly practice and train in a martial system) and finally death (to die is also symbolic related not to the actual life and death of the body but rather the life and death of the practice)

To die is to achieve a level that is enlightenment where one comes full circle symbolized by the meeting of Ju-kyu-n-Ju-dan. This is a complete circle where one returns to a birth, a birth that transcends the mere practice and training of a martial system. This is to master the self causing a re-birth of the heart (heart often symbolizes the soul, the spirit, the person becoming more than what they were).

If one were to consider this diligently over time - degree's of effort, intent and attitude - then it can be seen outside this simple box, content and symbolization to apply to the many facets, faces, of life - internal which reflects to the external. This is worth considering, yes?

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