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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Diaphragm and Stomach = Breathing

Often, in martial practice I am asked how to breath properly. I often answer with, “It depends.” So today, I am going to lay out the very fundamentals of breathing. 

First, proper breathing involves many things but the absolute fundamental is that breathing involves the stomach and the diaphragm. There is an important connection between the diaphragm and the abdominal muscles. 

A small fact that the so called six pack stomach is actually a hindrance to achieving a full and comprehensive breath. If the muscles of the stomach is too tight it tends to inhibit the proper functioning of the diaphragm thus affecting adversely the oxygen intake and carbon dioxide removal from the body. 

Like many things, the relationship between the abdominal (stomach) muscles and the diaphragm must be balanced for peak efficiency. If the balance is off it affects the body’s entire structure. This causes issues with the lower back, the neck, the shoulders, and even areas of the hips and the knees. 

One of the important things to remember, “The chest should NOT be a major player during normal breathing. It should expand significantly ONLY during the forced inhalation, and only after the abdominal muscles have relaxed during the breathing process. This usually occurs when a person is working out or when competing or even more important during a conflict/violence where that breathing process can actually assist in controlling such things as the adrenal flooding effects, etc.

A tense stomach is often a result of stress because we all tend to hold our stomachs or abdomens tense. Then there is the image factor where men tend to think that having a belly is wrong and does not look appropriate, i.e. the old adage in gym class to “hold the stomach in and the chest out,” image. 

To check your breathing, sit quietly and focus your mind on your body and the breathing. Hold your hands while standing on the abdomen and lower spine, breath slowly in and out and then visualize how that area where your hands are as a ball you are attempting to fill with air. 

Check you capacity using a simple test, hold your breath and see how long you can, i.e., you should be able to hold your breath for about 50 to 60 seconds. Try training your breathing with the “Straw Test.” This helps you to train your diaphragm, i.e. breath deeply, and slowly, in and out of the straw. You may be able, to start, do this for a few seconds so work your way up, slowly over time, till about a minute or more. Work up to several “Sets” of one minute each, three or four times a week, for up to 8 weeks. 

This is a fundamental way of breathing naturally and normally. It all occurs down around the abdominal area utilizing the diaphragm and stomach/abdominals, not the chest - except in those instances requiring the deeper diaphragmatic breathing. Once you lay this foundation of the fundamentals of breathing then you can expand on that by learning the breathing required for martial disciplines or other Yoga like disciplines for health, fitness and well-being. 

One key basic fundamental that you should add to this mix, is always breath during all movement and exertions. We tend to hold our breath when doing certain actions in the mistaken belief that it gives us more power and strength. It may feel that way but it is not optimal. You should breath in and out continuously with no stops in everything you do especially in martial arts. This is important to remember especially if you end up in a SD situation because continuous diaphragmatic deep rhythmic breathing is going to be your savior along with all those other SD goals, tactics and strategies. If you feel, like when bench pressing heavy weights, a need to hold your breath to get that bar up then you are lifting way to much weight. Proper weight lifting, like martial arts, etc., involve the type of continuous breathing.

Maffetone, Philip Dr. “The Maffetone Method: The Holistic, Low-stress, No-Pain Way to Exceptional Fitness.” McGraw Hill, New York. 2000.

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