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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Observational Skills or "Awareness"

I recently came across a video I found very informative if for no other reason it provided some fundamental information on makiwara training. The Shinken Dojo blog has a video on "Machiwara Undo." This discovery brought out the idea of awareness or observational skills because to really see or observe the nuances of what the karate-ka in the video is trying to convey you really need to pay attention and that means with your ears and eyes. 

I have watched it several times to discover new things not seen or observed before. This brings out the idea it gave me to use such analysis as a means to develop and strengthen your observational skills, your awareness. Both are required to achieve a level of skills we in martial arts will and do find critical in self-defense. 

We also can derive this as a means to sharpen our skills as teachers, sensei. It is imperative a good sensei have such awareness and observational skills when teaching practitioners. It is this that allows sensei to achieve strength in teaching a practitioner martial arts especially if it is about self-defense.

This is something a practitioner can carry out into the world especially if they have a need for self-defense be it due to where they live and work to where they work if they are professionals. The ability to "perceive" minute details that will tell you things about situations is a way to provide your mind-state information that will drive what actions you might or might not take. 

Look at "tells." Tells are those things you want to learn to perceive so that you can take appropriate actions thus beating out an adversary in the OODA loop. If you can practice such things as discovering details, very minute details, in video's such as this one on machiwara undo then you will be able to observe/perceive tells and other important things in your environment that will give you advantages.

This extends into every day life as well. Communications are important and imperative to social interactions that are beneficial to all parties. The ability to observe and perceive, an awareness of, others you encounter can provide you information on your inter-actions, i.e. so you can choose to act accordingly in a positive manner. These skills can benefit you at home, you society and at work. When they escalate to something more stressful the practice achieves a level of ability that will allow you to adjust and act properly.

Then take this into the realm of "shugyo" or austere training and practice where stresses and physical chemical effects further reduce your ability to perceive, observe and be aware you can still act according to the situation. In the end it is about practicing and to observe, perceive and be aware of what you view in videos such as this can be thought of as another method to develop, strengthen and achieve "awareness." ("Karate Quality & Quantity.) 

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