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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Eye contact, karate vision, look at the eyes!

I don’t see the benefit of looking at ones eyes in a fight or in combat. It is a misunderstood concept due to sound bits in all probability promoted through the media of movies, i.e. the eye of the tiger song and reference in the Rocky movies and don’t shoot till you see the whites of their eyes  type thing. In reality, is it beneficial to look at the eyes in a fight or combat?

In a fight relating to civilian self-defense your eyes should be doing far more than merely looking at your adversaries eyes when fighting. Considering that most professionals relate that a real fight tends to be very close, personal and chaotic it would seem to me that tactile ability trumps trying to look at your adversaries eyes. 

The eyes are not going to tell you very much. Using your peripheral vision works far better. Some might suggest that keeping your direct vision at a location around the upper chest, neck, shoulder area will give your peripheral vision more to detect. It is also suggested that your peripheral vision allows a more direct connection to the mind where instincts react faster and without thought. 

Then again, if you are attacked there is a great chance it will not be frontal attack. Predators and criminals will want to give themselves the greatest advantage possible and a lot of times it was suggested that an adversary would tend to surprise attack you from behind and to overwhelm you with that attack to remove any possible chance of action in response from you, the victim.

I also believe that eye contact is best used when a social conflict is the dominant conflict mode. There are levels a social conflict will take to persons where eye contact and other aspects of self-defense can result in avoidance by deterrence. After all, in a civil fight one must make an effort if it is possible to avoid the violent aspects of conflict. Your eye contact along with verbal self-defense may be the best and most expeditious avoidance you can achieve before things go south. 

As to combat and the eyes. In my mind as a Marine (currently in inactive status) I don’t want to see my adversaries eyes and I don’t want to have him see my eyes. This means the enemy is too damn close. In my mind I want to achieve my strategic and tactic goals using my weapons from a distance. If I am forced to confront an enemy combatant up close then I want to, like the civilian predator, eliminate any chance the enemy has and make him pay the ultimate price for his country leaving no chance of his survival. That means to me that if I get into a situation where we make eye contact and can see into each others eyes even for the moment before one’s demise then I have failed and done something wrong or my training was lacking something. 

In combat, we don’t want to expose ourselves to any hand-to-hand or close quarter combat because that is just plain dangerous. It is not the best policy, strategy or combat small arms grunt tactics to allow for such a combat. Distance combat is our friend and as Marines we have the training and ability to achieve great victories using our expertise as marksmen as well as grunt ground tactics to achieve this goal, this strategy, necessary for victory, etc.

I also believe that such sound bites used in the karate community may stem from the practitioners and sensei’s inability to express such things in modern ways. We forget that the ancient ways were fine for those times and forget that in modern times self-defense and combatives were not required in those ancient times. It is best to use the ancient teachings to learn adaptation for modern times. Modern times where self-defense laws dominate and the rules of engagement in combat tend to be more convoluted and restricted.  

I also tend to interpret karate vision differently and would not associate it with eye contact or looking into ones eyes. This seems related solely to a more sport oriented competitive match system. Consider what we practice today stems from the conversion of combative style martial arts toward a more educationally oriented watered down version implemented in the late 1800’s into the school systems of Okinawa and Japan. 

Even then, the more ancient forms of karate of Okinawa were more a prerequisite to the arms training a military or security force used as a prep and fitness system for combatives with weaponry. The old stories of how the banning of weapons started the move toward karate and kobudo seems to be false. This warrants additional research and study (see Karate 1.0 by Andreas Quast). 

As responsible sensei and martial artists we must take care in what is passed down. At least when passing along such information do so by placing it into proper perspective, i.e. this quotation originates from ancient practices or from changes accorded and necessary for implementation in educational institutions, etc. 

I feel it is better to think before passing and allow for open discussions so clarity dominates history in the making. 

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