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
Do you have a positive influence on those who follow your guidance in martial arts? Can you gain support and aid form others to accomplish tasks without effort? Do you live a process of social influence by which others excel in a discipline? Do you aid and support others in accomplishments both personal and group oriented? Do you encourage leadership in others so it emerges naturally? Are you a good organizer? Can you achieve common goals with the assistance of others? Are you able to follow the leadership of others? Is your dojo one that is cohesive and coherent?
Do you have the social skills indicative of a leader? Do you have an open-minded perception of all things? Are you able to make decisions and then live those decisions as an example to others? Does your communication skills foster your leadership in the dojo?
Do you have the trust and confidence of those you lead? of those you follow? Do you help your kohai? Do you go the extra mile to communicate the system in the dojo? Do you share readily and easily the information necessary for practitioners to achieve proficiency or even mastery of the system and way? Are you trustworthy? Are you flexible? Do you apply attention to those who follow you?
Principles of Leadership, i.e. Shido:
Know thyself; seek self-improvement diligently and continuously.
Be technically proficient in your system.
Seek out responsibility.
Be responsible for your words, deeds and actions.
Be decisive yet willing to admit errors.
Know your practitioners and keep aware of their well-being.
Keep all persons informed.
Have a strong sense of responsibility for your practitioners.
Ensure your teachings are fully understood, monitored in practice, and accomplished.
Train and practice as a synergetic group.
Use the full capabilities of your system, style, group, dojo and fellow martial artists.
Be and always remain professional in and out of the dojo. Remain loyal, selfless and responsible for the dojo and its members. Be honest, competent, have candor, be committed, remain of high integrity, have unfailing courage, be straightforward, and keep your imagination lively and relevant.
Know that you are a follower, leader, communicator and listener. Know your strengths and weaknesses. Remain diligently in control of your emotions and how others respond to stress. Know when and where to go for help. Know the culture and beliefs of your system and your practitioners and how they relate in teaching, practice and training. Provide proper direction such as setting of realistic and valid goals; properly resolving problems and issues; planning; and create a culture, atmosphere, environment and belief in a morale and esprit de corps in the dojo, in training, and in reality.
Shido, not an easy path to follow but a hallmark of all good Sensei.