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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The Paradox

To be proficient in self-defense one must have experience. Not just any experience but meaningful experience. The most meaningful experience a person can attain in self-defense is real-life experience. You just can't beat it, it teaches you the truest lessons and leaves the hugest impressions. Here is the rub tho ....

Most of us in self-defense, martial arts, will never, ever, never get the opportunity to acquire a large enough real-life experience in this discipline. Self-defense participants often go to this training after one incident or after reading about one incident that makes a big impression causing a knee-jerk reaction, "I just have to get some self-defense training!"

Then there is the professional. Everyone that becomes a professional, i.e. police, prison officer, military, etc., has to begin at ground zero or almost ground zero. This professional has to enter the realm of danger long before building a real-life set of experiences. This creates a paradox for both the pro and the self-defense student. You cannot afford to wait until you're in a real-life situation to learn from the mistakes you will make. 

You need to be proficient. When entering this world for the first time you have no real-life experience or it is very, very limited. This brings us to meaningful experience, i.e. those you get from other means other than real-life. You have to train and practice using real-life meaningful experiences as your foundation.

Another issue with modern self-defense is often, more often than most think, the teacher too has no real-life meaningful experience to draw from to teach. It does not mean they are not good teachers or shouldn't teach. It does mean that the foundation from which they teach must be based on someone's real-life meaningful experiences. 

It is the lessor avenues of gaining meaningful experience that will build the person's abilities to at least handle the first time real-life encounter with some ability to act, if needed. Not just acting as in applying self-defense techniques but act as in taking the appropriate steps. i.e. mental models

You create from meaningful real-life experiences a recognizable pattern that is a base for your action scripts. You than, through training and practice, test these action scripts through mental simulations, i.e. a form of visualizations along with reality training based on real-life meaningful experiences, to develop your mental models the intuitive mind can draw on for you to act appropriately. This will provide a holistic approach to dealing with initial real-life experiences so you have the opportunity to gain real-life experience. 

As you can read I am trying to work this out as another viewpoint or perception that one can use to make it all work when it is most needed. I suggest that we take this and other knowledge to find an appropriate way to learn self-defense. As for the professional, it is my understanding and moderate experience as a Marine that these concepts are already used well. They just may have different names, etc. for how it is done.

In the end whether you call it this or that is moot as long as what you get in the end is right, effective and gains you real-life experiences. 

1 comment:

SueC said...

Good post Charles. I certainly rely on other people's experience of self-defence to guide my training. However, the following of budo is itself a paradox: the true budoka trains to have the most powerful techniques in order that he may never use them on another human being.