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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Mental Toughness

Physical toughness is not that hard to achieve. There are ways of physical development to achieve a body that is healthy, fit and tough. In martial arts there is a body toughening system called “karada kitae” that when taught and practice properly develops a hardened/tough body. A side effect of that training is a form of mental toughness that cannot be achieved any other way. It is like training, practicing and playing through certain types of pain encountered in a tough game, like football. 

This type of mental toughness is a good thing but is it sufficient when in a life or death encounter, a fight or in a self-defense encounter? Mental toughness beyond the sport version or even the version in competitive martial competitions does not really take you to that place where success relies completely on your mental abilities. How do you achieve such mental toughness?

If you take a military route you will learn how to achieve the mental toughness that will take you way beyond physical toughness into a realm where you achieve great things. Great things that our ancestors achieved for modern folks through the sacrifices often only achievable in combat. You never truly know or understand what that means until you have experienced it. You can get an idea from those who have, if they lived to pass along that information.

The military understand this and work diligently to provide the realism necessary to introduce a person to what is achievable. Every thing is achievable and it relies more on that mental toughness then physical capabilities. In the sport world some actually get a glimpse of what true mental toughness is and how it can take you places you would never imagine till that moment. 

This type of mental toughness is a personal discovery for each person. It is that mental toughness that sees the body break then pushes it on regardless so to achieve victory in what ever endeavor you are pursuing be it combat, fighting or self-defense. 

The disciplines in the martial arts community introduce you to that mental and physical toughness. The system of karada kitae introduce you to that mental toughness. The system of “shugyo or austere” training and practice also teach the person mental toughness. Another way to experience the development of mental toughness can be achieved on a small scale as a civilian.

The Spartan races are one way to check your capabilities in the mental toughness arena. I have not experienced a Spartan race but witnessed it not long ago when my brother and his son ran the “beast” where I live. I got the chance to witness a good part of the race and that means the many varieties of people who experienced it as well. 

The first step in mental toughness is to see the unknown and then overcome that unknown. The unknown is very scary. When you don’t have a clue as to the course route and the obstacles they invented you have to have a mental toughness when you encounter that obstacle just to go on. The obstacles are similar to the military obstacles courses. There are a wide variety and differences between each obstacle. Then you add on steep hills, distances and other requirements you start to understand how one gets or develops a mental toughness. 

When you are exhausted, shaking from the strain, muscles quivering and you collapse at almost every step then you look up only to see more miles (at the largest race 26+ miles and some obstacle every few miles, etc.) knowing it is not over yet. Then you don’t know how long it will take or when you will get to the end you have to have the mental toughness to continue on relentlessly to finish. Only then do you get a sense of what mental toughness really is and you have to know that this race is nothing compared to the training and duties of our military along with other professionals such as Police, etc. 

Look at the mental toughness of combat prisoners from the Viet Nam era. To be imprisoned without any contact then subjected to torture for years only to get to the other end, released and then to assimilate back into normal life - that is true mental toughness. 

I enjoyed the exposure to the Spartan race and I witnessed a lot of mental toughness for those who raced the beast. I witnessed those with restrictions that many would think make the race impossible for those folks only to see them beat others with greater physical ability to complete the event. That is mental toughness. 

Mental toughness is something to seek out when in martial arts. It is that something that gives us the true warrior spirit and ability. That knowing you can do something even when confronted with apparently unsurmounted difficulties is unique and special with a feeling unlike any other normal folks experience. 

Nothing I can write or say will give a person an idea to what it is to have mental toughness. You are not born with it but you can achieve it if you want it. I look at mental toughness as a human condition that when man hunted the prairies of ancient time hunting and protecting the tribe as a survival instinct. It is about survival of the fittest. 

In civilian arenas it is about overcoming the predator to defend yourself. In civilian work it is achieving goals beyond imagination. In combat it is far, far more - it is survival of the man, survival of the team and survival of society. That is a huge responsibility and only the toughest of mental ability can achieve that goal. 

When you have achieve something difficult, find the next level and go for that, then the next level and the next level and the next level. The only limit is the one in your mind and the mind has no limits. 

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