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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Karate Influence or Application in Self-Defense

This would actually apply to martial systems but I use karate in the title because that is what I practice. It came to my mind today regarding self-defense and karate and you can couple this with the majority of practices - sport martial arts.

The question I asked myself was this, does karate actually provide you the techniques you need in self-defense or is it more of an influence as to how one would handle self-defense? This is assuming what is practiced is actually geared toward self-defense rather than competition and/or self-improvement. 

I tend to lean toward the martial systems being a strong influence toward what you actually use in self-defense and/or competitions in sport. I rarely observed in the training halls of which I participated people actually using karate or martial techniques when the spar. Yes, they use kicks and yes they use punching but rarely would I see actual karate or martial techniques. I remember when full contact karate first came on the circuit and what I saw was boxing with kicks or kickboxing. In my view I scoffed at it and said that ain't karate. 

So, if my observation and theories are correct what good is karate or the martial arts? First and foremost, if taught and practiced correctly with as much reality as to violence and self-defense the fundamental principles of martial systems contribute a lot toward how you will defend yourself in a conflict. When the chemical dump occurs (adrenaline, etc.) your lizard brain will go back to what works and what is closer to survival instincts along with what you trained in properly and mostly to overcome some hinderances from those ancient survival instincts. The influences of the fundamentals the the rhythm, patterns and practices of marital arts when coupled strongly with those fundamental principles may prevail so therefore contribute a strong influence in your training toward self-defense.

I observed a video of a ku-dan sparring for a young persons sho-dan testing and what I saw was not much different from what I observed of this person many years ago when they were a lower grade/level black belt. Granted, what he used he used very well because his long experience made it good for him. What I am amazed at as I could not detect any changes or influences as to actual martial arts techniques. It was more or less kicking from naihanchi stances, back fists and straight punches and a lot of bouncing and moving in back and forward directions when fighting and a little circular moves left and right, not complete circles but ten to twenty degree moves back and forth. In other words it was strictly sport oriented sparring. Nothing wrong with that but they were also promoting the practice as self-defense. 

When I trained I worked hard to overcome those natural tendencies toward boxing and kicking and to work in all the principles as well as the tactics and strategies that come from the more combative as applied to principles aspects of my karate. I would work with a senpai-kohai/tori-uke relationship to use actual karate techniques against karate techniques. I also tried hard to use more street violent attacks to see if I could make the actual karate techniques work in defense. I still have not had to prove their worth in a real altercation, at least not in these last two decades. I am pretty good at avoidance and some occasions deescalation but as to the physical fight I have avoided it except in training and practice on the training hall floor. 

Like most, will it work when I need it. I believe that is a matter of experiences and mind-set along with long, hard and realism in training and practice. How do I know if I did the training and practice correctly. Mostly from what I have learned over the years as to personal experiences, although not plentiful, and those expressed experiences of professionals who work in environment where they use this stuff frequently. 

Karate or martial influences are more of an underneath type thing where one hopes that what they practice and train will overcome natural instincts to do things like freeze or curl up in a ball hoping to weather the storm or to, and I feel this one a good one if you are able to do it, run baby run till you are back to a safe zone. You don't want to rely on running because in a lot of cases you may not get the chance and defending would or is necessary before running. That is the point that your training for self-defense has the appropriate INFLUENCE on what you do when the rubber hits the road. Do you have the opportunity to avoid it altogether? Do you have the ability to deescalate it so as to avoid the actual fight? Finally, when all else fails, do you have the ability to make it work in real life defense?

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