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 Marital Arts III

Actually this is about the effects of aging for martial artists. In general our hearing and vision decline, muscles and associated tendons, ligaments, etc. lessen in strength, our skin and blood vessels become less flexible, and lets not forget the overall diminishment of our body tone. 

Body organs perform less efficiently. Depending on how well you took or take care of your body your organs will diminish by different degrees and the healthier you are the less you will experience. 

The immune system protects us against viruses and bacteria. Our immune systems also lose ground as to their ability to provide protective functions via our immune systems, i.e. antibodies, etc. 

Not to put out a dampener for those of us reaching the winter years but knowledge is power and realizing that our bodies are going to make changes that mean less ability, etc. teaches us to make adjustments. It is a reminder that our bodies are constantly changing and we need to change with them. 

At birth we begin developing our muscle strength and the nervous system. As we reach the toddler stages we develop finer muscle control and motor skills. Then we reach adulthood meaning we stop growing and have reached physical maturity. 

In our thirties and early forties certain chemicals change and our bodies begin to decline. Metabolism slows, i.e. why we begin to get that middle age spread. At the ages of 40 to 65 our muscle strength declines as well as vision and hearing. Our fifties provide us the gift of aging by the decline of cognitive abilities. 

As we enter our winter years, our sixties and beyond, our skin becomes less elastic. Our joints and bones may become brittle. Our bodies ability to fix itself lessens. 

I think you see what I am alluding to here. We aging martial artists shall have the need to consider these changes and make the appropriate adjustments in our training, practice and applications. We spend a good deal of time refusing to accept the inevitability of the aging process. In martial arts it can often manifest itself in our attempts at staying up with the younger martial artists. 

As an aging sensei your experiences and knowledge can still be beneficial and is often critical to younger marital arts learning but it may require a bit of a different approach to passing along to the younger artists. 

Part of being a martial artists and a sensei is the ability to go the full distance. Going the full distance means letting go of some things especially some things that may bring you great joy and satisfaction while maintaining the ability to continue on. I believe this type of mind-set and attitude is how those early Okinawan and Japanese pioneers of martial arts were able to teach, practice and train way past their sixties and in some cases right up and into the hundred year deep winter years. 

This also teaches those who are younger and have the false feeling of invulnerability that how you handle your body both externally and internally will dictate how well your body ages. 

Then there is the second of the holy martial trinity, the mind. How one ages in the mind is of equal importance. As we age we will experience a breakdown in the assembly process of memory. It actually begins in our twenties but gets increasingly more irritating in our fifties. 

In our early years we have reached a level where our overall brain structure is set but what continues to be created and reinforces are the connections between cells, the synapses. As we age the strength and connectivity we gain in our early years will define how those synapses begin to falter and that means how well you can retrieve memory. It as all about the drop in certain chemicals in the brain and that is far more complex than this simple post.

According to sources some parts of the brain are more susceptible to aging, the hippocampus loses about five percent of its nerve cells with each passing decade, the brain itself shrinks and becomes less efficient. Then if you inherited some special unhealthy genes or have been exposed to external chemicals, smoked too much or imbibed way past acceptable levels you will experience faster and greater declines when you age. 

I want to add this quote so you will understand that this is not damning  in and of itself but aging has its effects while you can maintain as stated in this quote, i.e. "While some specific abilities do decline with age, overall memory remains strong for most people throughout their 70s. In fact, research shows that the average 70-year-old performs as well on certain cognitive tests as do many 20-year-olds, and many people in their 60s and 70s score significantly better in verbal intelligence than do younger people."

It has been shown that we can both mitigate problems of aging of the mind but we can also reverse them as well. Knowing this now whether your young or in your winter years means you have the knowledge of find the answers and work diligently to limit the effects of aging. A primary means of doing this is what we all do anyway, physical exercise and mental stimulation, i.e. training the mind. The more you exercise and train the mind the more you stimulate the brain to stop cells from shrinking, etc. 

A stimulating environment goes a long way to create a mind or brain that will endure and carry us through our winter years. You may not learn or remember as well as you did you your spring and summer years but you will learn and remember nearly as well. In many cases the lack of brain ability comes from lack of use. 

As you can see the body and mind will reflect your aging but you also will see that exercise and stimulation of the mind and body through exercises and stimulation will defer the effects for a longer span of time allowing us to reach those late winter years while remaining able to get out there on the dojo floor and practice and train - just a bit different than at age 20 :-)

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