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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Training the Mind

We train hard, we train the body to do some extraordinary things and we often train the mind only through the rigorous training of the body and that is good but how do we train the mind for things that have nothing to do with the body? On my way to work today and event occurred that inspired me to post on training the mind outside the training hall.

I catch a BART train to work every day. It's convenient and provides me all sorts of inspiring thoughts as I ride and observe all the goings on around me from my start point to my final stop. Today I got on the train and all the seats were taken except one. The person in the second seat had a bike with him and by positioning had blocked out that one remaining seat.

My first thought upon observing this was, "what an asshole, taking up space and not allowing anyone to sit down." Then I started to think about what I just thought. I said to self, wait a minute. Did you ask this guy to let you sit in that spot? Did he refuse? Does he look like the type that would refuse? What made you think he would refuse? If you asked him isn't it possible that he would move the bike to let you sit? Isn't it possible that he may be thinking or be relaxed so that he just doesn't realize that he might move the bike to allow any one of the group that got on the car with me to sit especially the women? Haven't you seen others who are asked suddenly realize they were being distracted and jump up with enthusiasm to allow another person a seat? What would happen if you asked, he just might say "sorry" and move or get up to allow you or someone else to sit?

I was making an assumption, an assumption that might have resulted in a mind-set that could have caused me, in my youth it would have, to confront this person vs. simply and politely asking and what would, could or might have occurred? He might have taken my confrontation as an attack and did a monkey dance response that could have resulted in escalation and possibly physical altercation. 

This is a simplistic example compared to most monkey dances that end in a fight. It doesn't exactly address a predatory attack but in a more or less social situation predatory attacks are not a large threat simply because social situations mean lots of people but then again .... This simplistic example shows us a method of mind training.

Mind training is first self-examination with questioning things similar to my example to find those things that get under your skin, that make you a bit miffed and tend to make you respond in an emotionally ego pride driven monkey dance way - both simplistic such as my example then complex as a social encounter that is a conflict not yet physical (you still have time to avoid and deescalate).

Remember that in deescalation you are the main component, i.e. you have to deescalate yourself first then focus on deescalation of the other guy. Often, as the experts write, it is your monkey dance ego driven pride responses that usually get you into trouble to begin with so deescalate yourself. Use my simplistic example above to recognize your reaction to stimuli, ask yourself why you are thinking that way and then find out better ways to react to that stimuli.

I decided that it would be best to do one of two things. First, simply ignore the guy and his bike. I don't have any clue as to what he is thinking or why he is positioning his bike over his and the empty seat. I don't have a clue as to how he might react. If I take the second thing I could approach the guy in a proper positive mind-set and ask him respectfully if he would allow me to sit. I would be ready for either a positive or negative response. If positive I would thank him after I sit, if negative I would simply sorry to bother you and turn aside and stand until I get to my destination or a seat becomes available. I would then not look or give him any reason to think that this was anything other than a respectful request he denied and give it no reason other than it didn't work out like I hoped but what the hey. As one person said once, take the high road and leave the low road alone. 

This is what I am trying to convey as to mind training for martial systems. It is a method you should use every moment that you encounter another human being in society. To take a moment to assume the best in everyone but keep an awareness in case the best in them is not present. Think about what your thinking and consider the options, i.e. is this a monkey dance ego pride thing or are you giving the benefit to the others and responding respectfully or not at all, etc. depending on the situation and stimuli encountered. 

We all to often just react without first considering things and mind training in every day life events such as my simplistic example gives us the mindful moment to consider options before we act - called deescalating ourselves. If we do this in as many mundane things that might trigger our resentment, anger, fear, etc. when we still have a lot of control then when things really get hinkey it just might allow us to act in a more positive manner to avoid and deescalate. 

The next time you encounter a stimuli that makes you feel irritable take the moment to recognize it and then think about it and see if maybe it is you and not the other person. If you find it is the other person then decide how to act or react without projecting your irritation, etc. toward them that will result in escalation and conflict. 

Does any of this make sense?

1 comment:

Felicia said...

It does! Thanks for sharing it :-)