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

Search This Blog

Sensei: Do vs. Teach

John Coles provided a nice posting on Sensei today at his blog, i.e. here:, that made me think of the often assumed trait that if you teach you must be able to do what you teach. To a degree that is very true in a physical oriented system such as martial arts but then again maybe it is not really necessary.

Truly I would prefer that the person providing me guidance and instruction on any martial system be fit, healthy and capable. The question I am trying to pose in this post is to what degree?

I guess this falls to the applications as they fit toward the type of martial system you practice. I mean is it a sport? If yes, then doing is a large part of what the practitioner must do but sensei are not necessarily top competitors. Often a top competitor takes up teaching with sometimes good results but often not so good results. 

Consider this, when you watch your favorite football team compete do you notice the coaches? Are they fit, healthy and capable of doing what the team players do on the field? Not often and even the few players who manage to become good coaches can not actually get on the field and do it with the players. It is possible but often they tend to slack off on the requirements of playing on the field. 

Do we hold sensei to a higher requirement in this case? I know of a sensei who has growing physical roadblocks that affect his practice, training and instruction but does this mean that he no longer has the credentials, knowledge and ability to still teach? I think he can as long as his communications are still capable to convey knowledge, meaning and understanding. Using senior senpai of a dojo are excellent appendages to compensate for any losses to that sensei.

Then there is the world of self-defense. Do you assume that if your sense instructs in self-defense that he must be superior in the applications? Do you assume that since he is sensei he must be tougher, stronger and more capable in the actual application of the system than those who receive instruction? A good teacher is not necessarily good at applications.

In the end the ability to apply the skills is determined by the individual applying them for each separate moment where they are needed. Sensei must simply understand what is being given, they must inspire, they must allow us to look: to see: to understand and to come to our own on our own with simple guidance. They must have the ability to help us navigate but in the end our calculations to reach the destiny must come from within, not from him. 

Is this all merely an excuse to allow those who cannot do, teach? No, it is another nudge on the rudder that guides your boat across the ponds, rivers, steams and oceans that make up the world of martial systems. In the end, regardless, your the navigator and it is on you, not your sensei.

Think of it this way, there will come a time when a sensei will no longer have the capability to do what they do and must scale it back. Do you stop instruction with that sensei simply because this natural process occurs?

No comments: