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

Repetition and Muscle Memory

I am in the process of reading a book I believe I noticed in one of Rory Miller's blog posts. Very good book. I am reading the Accelerating the Loop chapter and a quote or two got me to thinking about self-defense requirements.

In the section on ACT/Individual he asks the question, "How do you get there?," you have to get the book and read it to find out why he asks this question, he answers repetition and muscle memory. He then explains that for muscle memory (we know there is really no such thing but the actual process is a bit more involved so we assume the complex process goes under the heading of muscle memory) you need 2,000 to 3,000 repetitions to master a simple skill. He also referred to the process of 70% dry practice and 30% live. 

Now this got me to thinking of another martial artist that stated one must actually hit, strike, kick something for about fifteen minutes for each hour of practice. If you are not hitting something and simply doing the air karate your in for a bit of a surprise when you actually hit something. Anyway, I agree that you must hit something that often be it makiwara, padded shield, hand pads, heavy bags or an adversary in practice. 

Thinking about what he author said, out of its actual context, make sense in addition to the above. If you practice and train using things like visualization, etc. then you need to also apply it against a live human being as close to the real actual set of scenarios you would most often encounter in a real live self-defense situation. If your a professional then it is another whole ball game and since my experiences are more outside that realm I will stay with self-defense and martial arts. So, you need to use a similar spit of 70-30. If all you do is air karate or air martial arts then much like those air guitarist you may look cool but your not going to play that guitar in a concert any time soon. 

Now, as to the repetitions vs. simple skills. This simply speaks to what others have said for years. If you want something to work you keep it simple and I, as others have as well, add that it should be similar to what your human natural instincts would use to survive. If it deviates a bit that is ok as repetitive practices will encode it properly but remember that you have the 70-30 split so it that practice and training does not involve the 30% live acts then it may not work. 

If it takes about 2 to 3 thousand appropriate and relevant repetitions to gain experience and proficiency in a simple skill then consider how many it would take to encode, ingrain and apply more complex skills in a highly volatile and strenuous/stressful situation that results in damage, etc.? 

When you look for self-defense this and many other considerations must be known and applied to validate what you get yourself into or your possibly just deluding yourself into thinking a health and fitness program is going to provide you protection in a possible violent conflict. 

Howe, Paul R. Msg U.S. Army. "Leadership and Training for the Fight." Authorhouse. Indiana. 2006.

1 comment:

SueC said...

This all sounds like good advice Charles, thank you ;-)