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
Media and Martial Arts
I feel a fundamental basis in reality to self-defense and even violence is necessary to set a baseline for teaching and practicing self-defense. Society is inundated with media, i.e. youtube, movies, television, magazines, newspapers, facebook, twitter and many more which tends to influence perceptions. It is also my theory that in most cases people "assume" that what they hear, read, feel, touch and smell tends to be real or tends to be accurate or factual.
To seperate the chaff from the wheat one needs some foundation, basis or base line of experience to keep their feet on the ground. It is especially important when we receive information from perceived "experts" since that perception tends to shut down our brains regarding skepticism, etc. When ever I hear or perceive "expert" I try to remind myself that I should take it all in with a bit of skepticism and then, regardless of whether it is an expert view or not, vet the data for myself with at least two or three sources I feel are valid and reliable - regardless of how I perceive said expert as reliable and valid.
How would you deal with someone who had no actual experience to draw on? I would then determine that persons sources for if that persons sources were valid and reliable I would accept that but would tend to validate it as the training went forward. I would not hesitate to question things either and that is another aspect of "expert" status along with skepticism, ask questions and expect adequate answers - this is not Japan where the culture expects you to perceive it without verbal communications.
Back to the media aspect, we tend to allow media way to much control. When we read the news we assume it is an expert view and complete with all the pertinent data but often, more often than not, it is incomplete and slanted toward sales, drama and a particular viewpoint. Look at the program on Showtime called Penn and Teller's Bullshit program. The program is geared to express things as if they were bullshit. You can take any subject regardless of its validty, etc. and slant it to say it is bullshit, that is the reason the show is on and popular.
There is nothing I have written in the last ten years that cannot be placed under the "bullshit" heading and those who do or would can justify their viewpoints in a manner that would make me a believe if I shut down my skeptics mind.
Even the cell phone video's that end up on youtube in viral status are not the full story. There is always a story before the video begins, there are stories within the video that cannot be readily perceived, then there are stories after the video stops. Things are a lot deeper than they are perceived to be. If not then the video's on their own could and would convict. At best they are coupled with "other evidence" and used to either convict or not convict.
The danger to us comes when media gets some "expert" to comment on such incomplete and inaccurate video's or media in general where our minds assume, once again, that this person is an expert so I MUST believe what is said - NOT, remember skepticism!
Last, even when vetted don't assume it is accurate for its accuracy is also fleeting because each moment in life might change things and what was accurate and valid may become inaccuract and invalid - think about it, THINK, right?