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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Aging in Martial Arts or Budo no roka [武道の老化]

First and foremost it must be understood that I have no research or medical credentials on this subject. Second, this and any other posting on the aging process for martial artists comes from my personal experiences only and are not meant to project these theories on to anyone else. It is meant to convey the experience so that any other martial artist approaching or in the winter years of life will understand that some things that they experience are not indicative of some kinda of perceived loss. It is just the way life is.

Third, to allow for some validation to what I write I will say that I have been practicing martial arts since I was a teenager. Not seriously until much later, i.e. as a Marine I began serious practice circa 1976. There were smatterings of things martial all during my Marine career and I actually boxed for a period of time as a teenager and unofficially with other Marines during my first four years. I still practice and train with my system of martial arts, i.e. Okinawan Isshinryu karate. Oh, and I am fifty-nine years, one year away from officially being in my winter years. 

I will start with one mental aspect. Not to say all of this will not be affected by anyone's mental state but this one I consider important. I begin with recognizing and accepting that I am not twenty-four years old and that when I participate with others that are within that range I cannot allow myself to be psychological influenced by their state of health, fitness and ability. I have to consider using the fundamentals principles of martial systems to remain steady in practice and training that allows me to be craftier when training with those younger martial artists. There is no shame and there is not stigma I will allow to influence my status as a winter year martial artist. I am now different and as my Sensei used to say to me, i.e. he is fifteen years older than I, that he had to be sneakier than us to remain able and willing to teach, learn and practice with a bunch of testerone overloaded young Marines with a can do and cannot be overcome attitude.

Next is the discovery that those things that our bodies and minds ignored in those summer years will not be ignored in the fall and winter years. If we are lucky the injuries we sustained and overcame in those years will not be as influential in our fall and winter years. We who are at this stage know that when we first rise from sleep that the creaking and aching are not necessarily something we experienced in you youth. If we did it tended to last about two seconds but now tends to last at least a few minutes or sometimes much longer. I have these and I have accepted them as a part of life and allowed adjustments to compensate. 

I used to jump right in with minimal warming up and go to town and now accept that to train and practice with injuries in mind I will warm up and stretch for a minimum of fifteen minutes. I also add in time for the slow and gentle art of tai chi chuan and chi gung exercises so that my body is prepared. It is a shame I glossed over this in those early years for that would and could have possibly reduced the intensity of those aches and pains of today. 

Then there is my thoughts on how one trains, practices and work out. I use to run mini-marathons. I ran all the time. I ran in any climate. I also used weights, heavy weights - both free and machine. I now use stairs, bicycles, etc. to do my fitness and health training along with martial arts practice. I learned and now use tai chi chuan and chi gong as a softer exercise model. You get my drift and the reason I did this was to adjust to how my body, mind and spirit spoke to me as I did the old stuff. Another one of those things some tend to try and stay with just so they can say, "see, I am an old guy and I can run circles around you young guys." Competing of sorts is fun. It is challenging to attempt to do what younger folks do but with the caveat that when the body and mind tell you, you adjust so as to NOT take the body beyond its natural limitations. 

As an aging martial artist you do not have to do everything that your kohai do in the manner they do it simply because you are older. You can still do a lot but in some instances you must relinquish some teaching to those younger black belts who want to some day be sensei. I don't mean stop completely and let your body, mind and spirit sluff off till you get fat, slow and unhealthy. There is no excuse for that regardless of age. 

Then there is eating, the fuel you ingest. Sugar, fat and salt - the deadly three. We young-uns can't get away with eating what we want but I can tell you that at fifty-nine years that doesn't work anymore and all those days of eating fun food and drink will come to haunt you. My knee injury this time took about a year to heal vs. the original two to three months. I could hardly walk and I can tell you whenever I consumed sugar, fat and/or salt it exacerbated the condition a lot. I would take a half hour to get my legs going and when I stopped sugar, fat and salt I found my knee working just fine and that half hour disappeared. The moral of this story is truly, "you are what you eat." 

Strength, the muscular kind. This is a more direct thought previously discussed but relevant all the same. In our more youthful days we rely heavily on our strength and size. It is part of nature that the strongest and strongest includes strength gained by size as well, always survive the best. In the past this was probably true to a certain extent but I expect that histories warriors didn't remain clued to strength and size alone to carry them in battle. I suspect from my studies that the famous Greek warriors used fundamentals principles of martial systems to supplement that strength and size. Then you take into consideration the smaller stature warriors who relied on strategy and tactics coupled with strength, intelligence, knowledge and fundamental principles of martial arts to be the great warriors they were. So, what is it that carries us through to the older ages, the knowledge that it is not just strength and stature that are strong but a combination of the mind, spirit and body so when the body ebbs the mind and spirit take up the slack.

I wonder why we refuse to allow the mind and spirit to grow and prosper along side strength. I speak of strength in muscular form here not the psychological and spiritual strength that makes most warriors - warriors. You can get away with just the physical strength in youth but as time flies you had better have all of it. Every wonder why some good and strong football players stop in later youthful years and then suddenly become a bit heavy and lack that aura once held on the field that is no longer perceived or even present? 

Growing older requires an adjustment so that the mind and spirit can accommodate the diminishment of the body due to time. This is what I am trying say here. 

Maybe allowing for less active roles the mind and spirit morph into the wise person who can pass down knowledge and experiences to the youth. It is not adhering to some belief that we have to remain young and strong and upright but rather knowing we have to manipulate the great three to keep balance so that we may remain productive and respected in our winter years. 

Enough for today, I will continue this thread as thought comes up from within and allows me to realize the truth to it. Then again maybe this is just the ramblings of an old man. Remember one thing tho, if lucky we all will reach and experience our winter years. How we do that matters. 

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