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

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Titles - So Many .....

I often wonder why we Americans, humans maybe in general, are so enamored with titles. We have things in IT like "programmer analyst," "release engineer," and "software engineer." In the many system of Asian fighting we have, "Kensei," "Kyoshi," "Hanshi," "Shihan," "Daishi," "Deshi," "Doshi," "Renshi," and "Myoshu." This is just the one's I know of.

Other semi-titles are, "Sho-dan through Ju-dan," and "Master, Grand Master," etc. Some Okinawan?Japanese oriented and others Western names and titles created/developed over the last twenty plus years.

If we cannot attain a title for what ever reasons then we tend to gravitate toward "creating titles" that suit our needs, wants and desires. Is this a good thing, does it live to the spirit of the system and do they have any true, accepted, meaning outside either the person, training facility or system associations?

Then we have to ask, does it matter either way? I have/had titles in my life and they were and are very important ..... to me. Often they were for work and were important simply because sometimes a title denotes a proficiency that meant "more money."

A company manager may make a certain level of money while a Chief Executive Officer will make a ton more .... this seems to be the way of our culture. Culturally speaking in regards to Asian systems of martial arts it began in feudal Japan where a hierarchical system with titles adopted from Chinese influences are still in use today in Japan.

This is a bit like a lineage, ancestry be it family or martial system. It has and always will matter at one level or the other. It seems a human condition and is present in cultures and belief systems. Even religious history shows titles, statuses and hierarchical rule.

Oh yea, we have titles or labels for everything so it seems it might be a natural tendency to label or give a title to all things. Even the Tao which is not explainable with words gets explained with words. The unnamable tao is till labeled the tao.

Last question, when someone utilizes a title does it say anything particular about that person? Does it matter? I use to wear a red/white paneled obi. One day I needed to leave the dojo to go down a public hall to the rest room. I took it off, folded it neatly and placed it atop my gear bag. Another practitioner asked, "Why did you take off your belt to go to the rest room?" Simple, in many eyes it might convey "master status" and that may prompt someone to test that premise, I don't wish to instigate some conflict." I wonder if someone at a function failed to use a persons title if it would instigate some conflict?

This of course brings up another troublemaker, "a person's sense of entitlement." The anathema to humbleness. Then again if everyone had knowledge of me, called me some title and caused me to be flattered - wouldn't I too allow the title to stand? How does this stand next to the Asian culture and belief regarding "humbleness?"

My Title: 

You can call me "master" for short!

1 comment:

Rick said...

There is a Chinese martial arts saying that goes something like "he who has the kung fu is the teacher"; which renders titles and lineages superfluous.