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
Removing the Ego
It occurs to me that the strictness of this doctrine in the ancient references is similar to many of the doctrines, procedures, processes and political aspects where one is controlled and governed as a group with an intent to keep the yoke around the groups necks maintaining membership and dominance. This may simply be my ego and pride along with my cultural individuality speaking here but it is perceived by me in this fashion.
Getting rid of the ego is tantamount to trying to change the structure of our DNA. Yes, science can make some modifications but the essence of DNA is fundamentally struck in stone. We can work to remove the influences of the ego in certain circumstances but to get rid of it is like saying we don't need our blood to fuel our bodies, mind or spirits. We tend to die when the blood is removed, yes?
I feel that my paradigm is being shifted a might to actually train to overcome influences from the ego, pride and other monkey chattering stuff the mind uses in daily life. I attempt to achieve moments of present moment mind or what is often referred to as no-mind. This can be done yet discarding the ego and pride is not entirely possible.
To forgo the ego, even if possible, is removing an inherently instinctive survival tool that nature gave us and for good reasons. I feel the ego has assumed a greater role in the life of human kind simply because of progress and the industrialization of the world. Mother nature, in essence, has not changed our DNA so to speak to keep up with technological/industrial evolutions. We have exceeded our capacities as nature intended, for good reason as well, so that our ability to reach higher levels outside ourselves resulted in a type of dissonance within our mind, body and spirits.
The ancients taught a more extreme means of keeping folks towing the line that connects with the ego, a part of human kind that is not removable and only barely controllable so no matter the degree of effort and in a lot of cases suffering the persons are always driven back down to the beginnings keeping them yoked and controlled.
Martial Arts are meant, from my perception, to give us a means of handling or controlling our ego's so that we can survive and most ego training as it is defined is not a possible goal so the real goal is to "try" and "try" as much as we can within the limitations of our lives, our bodies and our minds as perceived and influenced by the times in which we live and are raised, the culture, ethnic and belief systems in which we lived and are living, our power relations with others, the group and society, the perceptions we have as to the perceptions of others regarding truth and accurate facts, our internal and external environments and our perceptions of movement; perceptions of body language; perceptions of facial expressions; perceptions of tone and intonation, etc.