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
He, rightly so, provides a story to show how "honor" has and still does get us, the male species, into heaps of trouble. I really liked his post today and it got me to thinking about "honor." What is it and why does this most important traits we males tend to fight over, go to war over and often die for? Do we truly know and understand what honor is and do we know when it became such an important aspect of human interaction - mostly male because few females get into a conflict over something that cannot be touched, felt or traded for anything of value.
Is it possible that we allow our monkey brains attach some perceived value on this word "honor" and if so who and what validates the meaning behind honor? Is this some carried over knights of the round table honor that has been built up into something it was never meant to be through the "urban legends, stories and fables" passed down and exaggerated over time?
How many lives have been lost over some perceived slight to one's honor? My recent studies on the Bushido and samurai connections toward the traditional martial arts through their culture and beliefs brings about the question, what is honor in the martial arts? Is it accurate or is it subverted depending on the who and the why of its conveyance through martial practices and training?
Maybe today's martial karate-ka is subject to influences that are unrealistic due to television, movies and other "stories" both presented as non-fictional and sometimes fictional. Once you get an answer to a question you end up with about a dozen more questions all requiring answers to achieve some semblance of truth and understanding that is reasonable and prudent in their application to a life that interacts with others in life.
Honor: Respect and esteem are tied to the meaning of honor which seems to be tied to that persons perceptions, cultural influences and overall belief systems that are both personal and driven by the requirements of the group, tribe and societal needs for survival. Honor is achieved by a person or thing whereby it is a credit earned from the same group, tribe and society driven by the requirements of their culture and beliefs. Honor is a privilege also bestowed in the same way.
One who has "honor" tends to be held is an exalted position in regards to others. This seems hierarchical in a sense as one who is in receipt of honor by others is thus in a higher and stronger position. This can and does promote jealousy, resentment and envy of the one in the honorable position that can either promote a desire to do better to reach that level or promote a desire to bring the one in a place of honor down of the pedestal ..... a double edged sword.
Honor can also be that something conferred upon a person as a distinction such as the "medal of honor" for bravery above and beyond or similar to a world achievement of honor such as "Gandhi Peace Prize or the International Peace Prize."
Honor is also "honor with regard to great respect." It is tied to "privilege" which in of itself causes a disturbance in the balance of interpersonal and group relations, i.e Jealousy, contempt and envy.
The one that I suspect leads to a good deal of conflict today is honor as it is tied to "respect" where one is shown respect or is required to display respect towards someone or something. It is that state of being honored where a group honor's another for some reason, act or perceived requirement.
It can be tied to a quality of being honorable but the requirements toward what is honorable is a bit muddy. A person of honor is also subject to the group, tribe and society with its culture and beliefs. Who says what makes an honorable person and is that set of requirements of an honorable nature.
The samurai code of honor which is tied to the bushido, the way of the warrior, is also filled with both acts of honor and acts of dishonorable actions. If you take the opportunity to dig deep you find that both sides of the coin of good and bad are filled by the Bushido that is part and parcel of the samurai culture. The wonderful thing of this code is that it still lives in the Japanese culture and it has some wonderful traits that fit all cultures across the world but also has some less than stellar traits that even the Japanese would and should consider losing.
Which to keep and which to lose is another question and only those who adapt the code can determine which is of value and which is not. Maybe honor is service to others without expectations.
In closing I don't come to any conclusions as to what honor is but would like to say for martial karate honor is that trait that allows the practitioner to achieve a level of enlightenment that promotes peace and non-conflict interactions with all peoples and the details of that can determine what it takes to have and hold "honor."
p.s. Oh, by the way, a fight may begin under the heading of "honor" but the actual tactics used will have nothing to do with honor or right or "FAIR." In that light the fight has nothing to do with honor either, it is simply monkey brain stupidity driving you into a "mess."