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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Style Lock

This post inspired by the Chiron blog post "Rolling Dirty" by Rory Miller, read it here.

"Doing a style, blinders and all, can lock you in." - Sgt. Rory Miller, Chiron Blog, Rolling Dirty

I went "doah" when I read this quote by Mr. Miller. I often extol the benefits of learning a style or system first before branching out to become, at least, familiar with other systems of fighting. I still believe this and know that this takes time. We have time, most of us, as we will not experience violence often in our entire lives.

But, I do believe wholeheartedly that if you lock yourself into just one style and believe it will be there for self-protection, self-defense or fights you may encounter some disappointment. This speaks to those things I believe when I preach that remaining dogmatically specifically to one system in its exact, unchangeable, form for some belief system associated with traditions you end up locked in with blinders.

It is my belief that a belief system of this type does exactly what I perceive is the meaning behind this particular quote of Mr. Miller's. I also believe Mr. Miller's belief that a person needs to begin thinking for themselves in lieu of relying on what others think and do also applies.

Let me track back to the "shu-ha-ri" concept. Remaining in a style or system in the "shu" stage for most of us is necessary to get the fundamental principles of the system which should actually translate to any other system in their purest form, i.e. fundamental principles of martial systems. The stage where you must "think" for yourself is the "ha" stage. I like this stage as it should be the stage where you experience a lot of "Ah - HA's." Pun intended ;-)

Then I read at the end or near end this quote by Mr. Miller, "I wouldn't give up my early training in solid fundamentals for any bag of tricks." - Sgt. Rory Miller, Chiron Blog: and this also speaks to my last few comments. Your style or system should teach you the fundamental principles or fundamentals and leave all those complex type tricky SD techniques along and think for yourself and find what works for you.

Inspiring post on the Chiron blog, read it for yourself again. (caveat: other than the quotes this is my perception, my view and my opinion - do not assume this is what Mr. Miller means or says or teaches.


SueC said...

Thoughtful post Charles. I like the way you map Mr Miller's ideas onto the concept of shu-ha-ri. I think we'd all agree that the basics have to be nailed before you can move onto anything else...

Charles James said...

Thank you Sue, much appreciated.