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

Search This Blog

Metacognitive Skills and Martial Arts: Learning to Know About Knowing

How often have you been exposed to a topic where a requirement is set that you perform in a manner that is actually at a level higher than you knowledge level of the topic, subject or discipline? In today’s martial art communities regarding self-defense they are exposing students to incomplete knowledge of the subject matter of self-defense. 

It is obvious that in order to achieve a higher level of expertise in self-defense that one should have a foundation to work from. A person seeking self-defense shall have a certain level of knowledge about that subject in order to realize that they don’t understand it “before” signing up for the training simply because a lack of knowledge will automatically handicap that person. 

In order for the student to gage and understand  they must allow the need to have an ability to measure what they are learning against reality, instead of against the fantasies inside their head put there either by their lack of knowledge, their false perceptions put there by modern media entertainment modes or by the fantasy set by an instructor of self-defense also lacking appropriate knowledge. 

What you have in your head may not relate well to the reality of conflict with violence and that puts a student in a bad situation where criticality of health and wellbeing are compromised.

Then there is a sense of “false confidence.” Better yet, lets say that people tend to hold overly higher views of their abilities in many disciplines, social and intellectually, that promote this false confidence. This comes from being unskilled and lack knowledge that would prevent a person from reaching bad conclusions where they make inappropriate choices in self-defense. If the person is unskilled and remains only skilled in skewed training and practice then they will suffer when reality sets it in a real live conflict. 

A term that will help one to understand this better and to achieve a higher level of knowledge with confidence is “Metacognitive Skill.” This is a skill a person should acquire that means some what simplistically as “knowing about knowing.” This particular skill is gaining knowledge about when and how to use certain strategies for learning and for problem solving. These two are especially critical when the discipline involves conflict and violence. 

It is about learning to know what you know is complete knowledge on a discipline. It is about a self awareness of a person own knowledge along with the ability to understand it, control it, and to change it according to their own personal cognitive processes. It is a continual growing learning process. 

It is about learning to learn. It is self-monitoring of your own learning. It is recognition of what is being presented to you as true and accurate facts, information and knowledge about a discipline, i.e. in this case self-defense where safety and heath are concerned. It is the ability to see inconsistencies in the self-defense training regimen. It is about looking and seeing and relating the material against a knowledge base adequate to achieve this skill. 

It is the skill of meta-comprehension. It is about relating the current training information to prior knowledge. This is an ongoing process as you achieve higher levels of knowledge through training whereby you achieve a skill level in cognitive processes that allow you to see, feel and hear when something is good vs. something is not good. It is about an ongoing process of learning where the student makes adjustments to that learning process in response to a personal perception of the information taught along with feedback achieved using the skills acquired, your metacognitive skills. 

It is about learning to monitor your learning without out external influences or the persuasion of a very talented instructor, etc. You have to achieve a level of proficiency that allows you to maintain your own attitudes that allow you to invoke the skills necessary. 

This is a complex subject that for self-defense can be summed up as follows, “One should have a solid foundation of what self-defense is and the many facets involved before taking up a course.” This means having enough knowledge before engaging in the study of self-defense so as to have the ability to exercise your metacognitive skills in a learning environment. A person seeking this form of knowledge and skill must first look out for themselves and not rely on others to impart self-defense but to make a partner ship that fosters a complete knowledge of and training in self-defense. 

Note: I am just beginning to understand this particular topic so read the above link for a clearer picture. 

No comments: