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
Jiriki and Tariki
The characters/ideograms mean "self power; one's own potential; real ability; one's own strength." The first character means, "ground; Earth," the second character means, "power; strength; strong; strain; bear up; exert." It is the rehabilitation of oneself through one's own efforts.
Jiriki or self-power is in reference to one's acknowledgement that all things that happen are either directly or indirectly caused and affected by you as an individual. It is therefore necessary to remove the negativity, ego and pride, etc. from within yourself rather than looking to others or ourside sources to change you as an individual.
Martial Arts is a blend of both inner work and outer influence work to gain mastery. In the beginning one is dependent on "outside help (tariki [他力])" simply because in order to practice and train you have to learn knowledge and ability in the form of principles, fundamentals and basics. Yet there must come a time when one must reach beyond tariki and gain momentum, inspiration and progress through self-reflective promotion of self-power whereby one achieves mastery beyond the fundamental aspects of martial systems.
The analogy used to help explain this concept is derived from the term tariki, i.e. what the Japanese called the way of the kitten. As a kitten needs its mother to pick it up by the scruff and carry it so does the fledgling budo-ka but when the kitten is older, wiser and more experienced the mother stops carrying the kitten by the scruff of the neck and requires the cat to go out on its own and survive.
The characters/ideograms mean "outside help; salvation by faith." The first character means, "other; another; the others," the second character means, "power; strength; strong; strain; bear up; exert." It is the reliance upon others for attaining one's own objective.
Tariki is reliance upon others. Where this starts to become an issue of concern is when it extends beyond the initial acquisition of knowledge necessary for the person to seek jiriki for issues, conflicts and life's way. It is relying on the perceptions, cultures and beliefs of others to fix yourself.
It may be necessary to seek out things from others as that is the way of the group, the dojo, and society but one must still seek within themselves answers to the questions that involve the self, you, the individual.
It is like making the assumption that others know better than you. Experts are not the end all of knowledge but merely higher conduits of the flow of knowledge one must assimilate and process with a modicum of skepticism and validation of other sources to decide for "yourself."
This is the essence of martial arts training, practice and applications. If you are angry all the time it is not up to others to find out why and do something about it, it is up to you.