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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Trying to Hard

I remember in the fist year I steadily and diligently practiced my karate. I was, of course, a kyu but I was determined as a Marine can be determined. It was what I was trained to do. This meant that I applied myself with true vigor, determination and focus. What I failed to learn was that all things come and go of their own speed, duration and time. 

I spent time trying to "force" my body, mind and spirit to achieve great things. This was a frustrating thing for me since most things came quickly for me. I had a natural if not awkward physical ability I now attribute to being a "touch sense" person. Then there is the introversion that means in one sense I internalize many things and I do it well. 

Trying to force things faster than natural is incorrect. There is a natural pattern, rhythm and timing for every thing in nature. It is a part of the immutable law of nature some refer to as "yin-yang." There are other names and symbols that identify and describe this natural flow of things. It is like the ebb and flow of the tides, the natural tones and emptiness that expresses music and it is that spiral path that every single thing in the universe follows as naturally as breathing, blinking and thinking. 

What usually happens when you try to force things beyond their natural way is you get calamity and discord. When forced usually something will give way causing that particular thing to fail. 

In martial arts there is a natural flow to everything and that flow is governed by nature and the individuals genetics. Some of us can learn things faster, some slower and some not at all. If you are a bit on the slow side learning things, let that rhythm and flow follow its natural course because in time you will learn everything well. 

Forcing things often also creates ripples in the flow of life and those ripples are usually some repercussions created by that force. Force is power and a power that is misguided usually damages everything within its ranges. 

How I found this rhythm in martial arts was through the time spent in training and practice. I noticed that things would good smoothly until I came to a point that excited me into pushing or forcing my training and practice. I then noticed that things got muddy and I would find myself stuck in one place. I would find that even the things I had already learned well would lose ground as if I were heading backwards. Things like kata suddenly got sloppy and mistakes would come more often and more frequently. I learned later that when I would compensate and push or force my practice harder things got worse. I would get to a point of frustration that I would break away from training for a short period and when I returned I just practiced only to find that suddenly and perceived quickly that it all would fall into place and work. 

What I am trying to say, especially to those just starting out in martial arts, let the natural way of things, both external and internally, go at their own pace, rhythms and patterns. The speed will come naturally as you progress. Don't become impatient and begin to force things for that is how delays and obstacles obstruct progress. You, as an individual, have a natural way that is you and to achieve expertise and mastery you have to follow that path as it twists, turns and winds its way up the mountain. No matter which direction it takes you your patience and perseverance will achieve wonders but try forcing things to get there quicker will only obstruct your progress. 

Contemplate this at your next practice session. Mokuso!

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