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
Y2K - not the bug thing
Y2K was the big year of change for me and my practice/training of martial arts. Before that year I found that I was just as caught up in the incorrect perceptions as to what martial arts are, were and could be. I write what I write today simply because I lived many of the faults and falsehoods the plague the mind-set toward what should be the more traditional form of practice and training.
What I mean is I suddenly reached this state where my awareness about myself began to open up slowly and incrementally. I had one moment somewhere that year that said, "What if my perceptions are not what I feel they are?" I found out that many of the things I thought, believed and taught were not "right." Not really wrong but in the mind-set I had not really right. Violence and what it is and is about, etc. for instance was not as broad as I would have liked.
This is also where the self-reflective aspects of life started to flourish for me as well. A banner year while being a real eye-opening and a bit discouraging year for me but I came out the other end a much better martial artist finding the true path, for me, toward karate goshin-jutsu-do. You might say I practiced Isshinryu that is goshinryu vs. a less combative discipline I wanted from my training and practice.
Not saying what I did before was not effective but it was not the system I had thought it was and soon would be. This is when I began discussing the terms and beliefs we perceive in relation to how we speak and think of martial arts. I started to separate the chaff from the good stuff while keeping the relevant materials and morphing them appropriately these last twelve years.
I have traveled farther these last twelve years then in the previous twenty-four. I wonder at times that this lack of self-reflection thing is indicative of all youth and that the epiphany does not actually hit us until we reach say the fall/winter years. It has been a most enlightening twelve years and I look forward to the winter years in martial arts to come - an exiting span of time and years for me.