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 (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
Kamae (Kah-my) or Kokorogamae (koe-koe-roe-gah-may)
In Japan under Zen Buddhism is that one is taught that if the body and mind have been totally integrated by the combination of meditation and physical activity, the doing of a thing is as easy as thinking it - as far as the mind is concerned, thinking and doing are the same which is also validated through the recent study of the brain and belief system of the brain. This overall philosophy of mind-body integration is expressed by the Japanese through the word, Kamae or attitude.
It is possible to associate the martial art meaning since a part of attitude concerns also the bodies attitude when it communicates meaning through the posture of the body, extremities and facial expressions, etc.
In Japanese methods of skill development it is believed that any activity is learning and keeping proper attitude. Different skills through different disciplines require different attitudes. The job of the Master teacher, Sensei, is to impart on to students the proper attitude as it applies to the discipline or activity. It is then taught/known by students that to learn with proper kokorogamae that they must achieve both kamae and form. This is in martial arts form by itself is not enough but form with kamae, attitude, is the whole that provides mastery of the activity.
In ancient feudal times the samurai swordsman can judge the skills of another by observing his attitude or kamae - often before the first move in combat allowing one to achieve victory before striking.
防御の構え（ぼうぎょのかまえ） / a defensive posture, a protective position
身構える（みがまえる） / assume a posture of defense, stand on guard, take a stance, square off, stand ready
Today, kamae is often expressed as kokorogamae (koe-koe-roe-gah-may: 心の態度) which means something like, "mental attitude" or more accurately "heart attitude. (心の態度)" This is considered a key element in all training.
The differences as often written on this blog is actually the characters used to express the meaning. As can be readily seen the English words can have meaning that can only be clarified as to Japanese by the character or characters provided. It has been written in my sources that this is often the tactic Japanese use to clarify their communications, i.e. communicate in words and supplement with the written character(s).