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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Force Decisions Teaching Self-Defense and so on ...

First, I am not an expert on force decisions. If you wish to study the subject for your self-defense requirements or for teaching self-defense or learning about what SD is before seeking out a training hall for self-defense then read the bibliography. This post is about my perceptions regarding a post I read that had a variety of “Self-Defense techniques” taught in their training hall as self-defense. 

Second, I am making some assumptions about their view of what techniques qualify for their self-defense. I am assuming they either know or do not know about the full spectrum that is self-defense because if they actually know of it as I understand it from my sources (see bibliography) then they would not be using those particular techniques or at least they would be supplementing them with reasons and qualifications as to the necessity for that level of force. 

Third, I am again making an assumption from their quote that what they teach and practice is strictly self-defense and not sport yet they don’t mention any of the legal and moral ramifications along with such things as “Stress adrenal flooding reality based no bullshit training models” because when providing those questionable techniques for SD they are making the assumption that MMA competitions provide all you need, etc. 

Forth, the following quotes, of course, are removed from the entire comment made so they will reflect a specific context in this discussion. The remainder of those comments simply explained their reasoning of that statement or quote.

Before I provide the list of techniques that prompted this post let me say that “There is no ONE method or model of training that will provide you ALL you NEED in SD!” Don’t believe me, then at least read the bibliography (not all inclusive or exhaustive as a list but a very good start) below before you jump up and down proclaiming I am “full of shit.”

The List (my comments are in italics):

disarm people with guns

In reality, if I understand it correctly, anyone who is armed with a gun needs to be handled according to the script because not one of the techniques I have witnessed for gun disarms are actually a realistic self-defense move. Add in that there are many other ways to handle a gun situation then dropping down into your karate or kung fu moves that is all likelihood will get you shot are not recommended. This comment is open ended and made on an assumption that is not from experience or even good research into SD and firearms. Me, I would hope that I could, and I can, avoid situations where I would be confronted by a gun. This subject is like knives, it is often taught as a cool karate move and most of the actual and important stuff you need to know about guns and SD are left out for ease of teaching or from ignorance of the instructor due to a lack of research, relevant training and/or plain old ignorance. Uh Oh, now I am in real trouble!

Practice, practice, practice

The only real comment I can make is, what kind of practice? Just practicing karate moves or any other type of SD physical techniques will not do it. It is the type of teaching method and the type of actual practice and training that will give a person the tools to act when an SD situation rears its ugly head. One aspect that is missing from, my assessment and mine alone, almost every single MA SD course is training and practice involving a “reality based adrenal stress induced flood training.” What most consider adequate flood type reality training is actually sport oriented and thus very limited. I am not saying that type of stress is not beneficial but it is, in my view, incomplete. Then ask, do they practice how to avoid conflict/violence? Do they practice applying levels of force according to situations at any given moment? When you ask such questions you begin to gleam just how much more is necessary to teach, to practice and to apply self-defense.

serious practice and mental participation

I can get under this one but it must be clarified and distinctions made if it is to point to the full, complete and relevant knowledge and experience to actually teach, learn and apply SD in reality. 

realistic attacks

By who’s definition? How does one determine realistic attacks for self-defense along with realistic techniques to combat said attacks? What about social verbal aggression, how does one defend against that when all they learn are physical counter moves that could be interpreted as aggression thereby making you the aggressor meaning you attacked someone vs. you defending yourself from someone. Verbal aggression is violence and an attack so, “How do you teach that and what are the techniques (not necessarily physical applications, etc.) you will teach and they will use to handle that situation. Remember realistic attacks are not standing back, bobbing and weaving and then striking out at a safe distance as many attacks are a surprise or at least telegraphed before hand and they tend to be either socially driven over hand large punches, etc. to those more violent very close in aggressive blitz like attacks that come out of nowhere type attacks. 

studying what the actual common attacks are, and simulating those (HAOV), you're not really training for self-defense

There are no common attacks as this implies, i.e. this guy will do this punch and you will block and counter attack with this punch, etc. Yes, there are common things that will happen, scripts if you will, that are learnable but as to actual physical attacks as common, not so much. You can view indicators that will “tell” you that something is amiss and most times if you don’t slide into your monkey brain you will be able to see them but again to lump them under “Common Attacks” might be a bit convenient yet not realistic. 

I'm quick to recommend something like boxing, Muay Thai, or Judo to someone when they ask about self-defense is that those systems pressure-test common attacks every night (straights, hooks, clinched knees, side headlocks, etc).

I agree that boxing, Muay Thai and/or Judo will provide you many things that are useful for self-defense but where I draw the line here is that since they are sport oriented that they are not truly providing “pressure-testing toward common attacks.” Granted straights, hooks, clenched knees, etc. may be relevent toward SD provided they are actually proper levels of force applied to that given situation but to make them a blanket “will work because of” statement is not good. Everything is of value. Some will say that karate is absolutely great for body mechanics, i.e., physiokinetics, etc., but most karate dojo don’t teach their system where it matters for SD due to such influences like sport orientations. 

All the disciplines you listed we IMHO sportive as they have rule sets attached.. However they would all be deemed more than capable in a self defence scenario... we can't pressure test them fully as they are clearly too dangerous

This statement is ludicrous as it implies that simply knowing that something will translate to the wold of SD in conflicts/violence makes it so. That is not true. Yes, they have aspects that will be beneficial toward SD but as to the how and how one gets them there is outside the implied teachings in the MA disciplines. This clearly too dangerous maxim is a convenient explanation to push away the fact that there is missing information and knowledge about SD and MA as an SD tool. it is convenient because to say this is to imply that what is said is factual when in reality it is merely a deflection away from having to answer the question with, “I don’t know.”  It is also a matter of contest that one can pressure test them fully, pressure test how and with what? Is the pressure testing involving reality based stress adrenal flooding with no bullshit training and how that is defined as well? It just plain ain’t that simple guys.

something as simple as having a guy gear up in a Bulletman suit and have him act as uke is actually really, really close to reality, compared to going through motions but not making contact or following through.

Yes, the bulletman suit is a good tool but even so if it is used incorrectly then it is just a tool like the heavy bag. You can beat on the heavy bag or the makiwara all day long for years and years yet find that your perceived ability will most likely not even trigger what technique you used on the bag and makiwara toward your adversary. Having a bulletman suit is not reality yet it can and often is used by professionals who actually teach reality based no bullshit self-defense, etc. There, once again, are missing components to this statement and one should not assume that they are there when on the training hall floor. 

a man that is physically very fit and trains hard and competes In a system that will keep him safe against 90% of the worlds nasties

Really, I don’t get this statement at all without making a lot of assumptions. What system are they talking about? Is it a reality based no bullshit adrenal stress flood induced type training with reality based situations, etc.? How can anyone state that it will provide “90%: protection against the worlds nasties, who and what are the nasties? Are they your friends at a bar who drank to much and got roudy enough to take a swing at you or are they a process predator who has staked you out for an ambush because you are drunk and walking home in the dark on a street where no one else is present or aware that you are a target when you get blitzed up side your head, etc.?

an application that involves the snapping of a neck or the striking of a throat (just of the top on my head) groin strikes, eye gouges..

Ok, this guy professed with the strongest of words that he was strictly a self-defense oriented martial discipline and that his training and practice is all about SD and SD only. Yet, he teaches and practices “snapping the neck” as a good and relevant application of SD. lets look directly at the "an application that involves the snapping of a neck or the striking of a throat (just of the top on my head) groin strikes, eye gouges." The snapping of a neck, ILLEGAL. The striking of the throat, depending on the situation and the JAM you are working under it could be perceived by the authorities as too aggressive and unnecessary leading toward legal difficulties. If it resulted in death then they will look at your level of force and its necessity according to the actual situation you are in. In a nutshell it will most likely take you to court and possibly to jail. The groin strikes depending on your JAM level may be viewed as ok but the eye gouges also depend heavily on your JAM and the level of force society and the law allows as necessary for SD. Remember, if you claim SD you are admitting to breaking the law but for reasons acceptable under the law in your area which means they will break out the microscope and nit pick speculate and try their hardest to show it was not necessary. Along with that those who sit in the legal system as well as society as a whole look to eye gouges as very aggressive and you will have a very difficult time convincing the legal system and the jurors that it was "necessary force." Just saying, …. and this is off the top of my head and I would recommend reading "In the Name of Self-Defense" by Marc MacYoung to get a real grip on the SD thing if you are serous about being a SD MA.

You can cover most of those areas in protective equipment. You can simulate eye and throat strikes against a mannequin head that someone is holding and moving around like a striking pad. Anything that "snaps" the neck can be trained as a neck crank that is applied at moderate speed until the tap

Ok, simply read the last entry as this simply validates that the individual was taught and still believes that if he is attacked and he applies the eye gouge or the throat strike or worst of all “snap the neck” techniques he is home free, it was self-defense officer. A good clue is that the last thing stated was “until the tap.” I guess if the adversary is having his neck snapped all he has to do under the adrenal flood effects is “simply tap out.” 

I have found that the best way to train based on my limited experience with violence is the prearranged kumite at full power and Kata.

Well, here again is the missing components such as the adrenal stress flood with relevant situations type training. Just participating in dojo kumite, not reality training, and applying full power in kumite and/or kata, not reality training and so on, will get the job done. This person really does need to read the bibliography. 

we could all work in a system that has (sportive) techniques and still be "fairly sure they would work"

The only way to address this is, “Do you really want to depend on being FAIRLY SURE it will work” when you are under attack by some really big violent process or resource predator, etc.?

So, that is all I can say about the quotes in a terse written form. Again, you gotta get the idea that what is taught as SD today may not be truly SD. Knowledge is power and to begin gaining that power can be achieved by reading the following:

MacYoung, Marc. "In the Name of Self-Defense: What It Costs. When It’s Worth It." Marc MacYoung. 2014.
Goleman, Daniel. "Emotional Intelligence: 10th Anniversary Edition [Kindle Edition]." Bantam. January 11, 2012.
Miller, Rory. "ConCom: Conflict Communications A New Paradigm in Conscious Communication." Amazon Digital Services, Inc. 2014. 
Miller, Rory and Kane, Lawrence A. "Scaling Force: Dynamic Decision-making under Threat of Violence." YMAA Publisher. New Hampshire. 2012
Miller, Rory. "Force Decisions: A Citizen's Guide." YMAA Publications. NH. 2012.
Miller, Rory Sgt. "Meditations of Violence: A Comparison of Martial Arts Training & Real World Violence" YMAA Publishing. 2008.
Miller, Rory Sgt. "Facing Violence: Preparing for the Unexpected." YMAA Publishing. 2011.
Elgin, Suzette Haden, Ph.D. "More on the Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense." Prentice Hall. New Jersey. 1983.
Elgin, Suzette. "The Last Word on the Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense" Barnes & Noble. 1995
Morris, Desmond. “Manwatching: A Field Guide to Human Behavior.” Harry N. Abrams. April 1979.
Elgin, Suzette. "The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense" Barnes & Noble. 1993.
Elgin, Suzette. "The Gentle Art of Written Self-Defense" MJF Books. 1997

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