Please take a look at Articles on self-defense/conflict/violence for introductions to the references found in the bibliography page.

Please take a look at my bibliography if you do not see a proper reference to a post.

Please take a look at my Notable Quotes

Hey, Attention on Deck!

Hey, NOTHING here is PERSONAL, get over it - Teach Me and I will Learn!

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


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

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When the Brain Takes Over - autopilot

Ever have a moment when say performing kata with intent, visualization, etc. and suddenly you realize your outside that kata and doing a set from another kata or your just starting to perform another kata? If you do, what do you do at that point?

Once I watched a Ni-dan doing his kata when suddenly he stopped, turned and took a breath, turned back and said "pardon me" and then commenced to do the kata from the beginning again. It made me think those many years ago about when something doesn't work in a fight so you either stop or you try to restart that same technique again and then again and then again - stuck in a loop. In a nutshell you butt is in a fix and your in receipt of damage, not good.

I do understand that as a novice your goal is to learn the essence and context of a system but there comes a time when you must embrace things when the "brain takes over" and goes into autopilot - this is actually good in the later stages of learning and practicing.

Lets pick a level where this should begin. Assuming the sho-dan is a level that says you are actually now a dedicated student we should assume that you are still striving for perfection in the essence, principles and context of the system, in my case Isshinryu. As you travel through the path toward say san-dan your working to perfect and to encode things into memory.

Now, you have reached san-dan. Now is the true beginning of the path to mastery of the ability to "make it work" in a fight, combat and/or violent conflicts. When you do a kata as previously mentioned and run into a sudden difference that feels like it does not belong ..... go with it and see where it leads you. If it leads you to one or more other kata techniques, parts or combinations let it flow, accept it and let the brain or limbic lizard brain do its thing and let your thinking brain relax and be in the present moment like the smooth surface of a still water reflecting the sun's light off the moon and onto your mind/water/stillness. 

Don't say sorry or pardon me but let it flow and if it returns to the original kata then finish and feel like you made it work. Let the brain work toward autopilot so the lizard drives the action as appropriate to your mind's visualizations, intent and context - a fight, violence, self-defense. 

When the brain takes overs and sets on autopilot and your training and practice have been as close to reality as possible along with other training and practice models and methods you can pretty much deposit that check in your account for when you need it most - in self-defense, the street or when conflict comes a knockin on your door. 

You may even want to mix it up when doing kata. Stop following a strict enbusen, pattern and directions and let you mind shift into autopilot and do any or all of any combinations or single techniques from all your kata and your fighting drills into a new and unique kata as dictated by your visualization or better yet your two person practice of kata which is another solid practice where you have a group of say eight stand in a circle around you and work attacks and defenses in a random manner - no real speed but rather a speed that promotes random counters, etc. changing directions, seeing, hearing and feeling the body movements, contact, the techniques and see how in time your mind in autopilot will start to naturally choose appropriate responses.

Caveat: don't' get locked into any one particular set of techniques or patterns but allow true randomness. Also keep in mind it is more important to remain steadfast in the principles of martial systems when applying any technique, combination, etc. Also, make this your last line of defense in any conflict so you don't lose sight of first "avoidance," second "deescalation," and so on ..... enjoy and learn grasshopper ;-)

Those who are still following the kyu and first three levels of dansha, remain steadfast in the core context of the system. 

p.s. also, just because your moving to a different level of practice and training as a san-dan when you reach yo-dan, go-dan, roku-dan and above does not mean you leave behind that which you learned in the lower levels - remain steadfast and in practice with that aspect as well, add all of this on top of that foundation. You have to maintain your foundation even when it is finished, solid and secure for time tends to wear our a foundation if forgotten and not maintained. 

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