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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Ma-ai [間合] and Self-Defense

The character/ideogram means "space (between); gap; interval; distance; time (between); pause; break; span (temporal or spatial); stretch; period (while); relationship (between, among); space; room; time; pause." 

The character/ideogram means "space; room; time; pause." The characters/ideograms mean "interval; distance; break; pause; distance between opponents (kendo)." The first character means, "Interval; space," and the second character means, "fit; suit; join." 

Space and interval, often referred to within the timing of an event, i.e., in martial arts applications. There are distances a martial artist must have knowledge of and be aware of in physical altercations. 

How you manipulate and use both space and timing can make the difference between damage and death or avoidance and no damage. This is also something left to natural learning as one spars or competes in sparring matches. It is seldom taught outright outside of the sparring training module but can be taught using various techniques. 

The complexities are numerous and many MA and SD models don’t touch on every aspect of ma-ai. Ma-ai is also relevant toward visual distortions regarding the adrenal stress induced flood of chemicals that have varying and differing types of effects on folks who are forced into self-defense. 

With visual distortions one must learn to gauge distances in a different way to achieve good SD. In a state where distortion occurs you will feel and fear the perceived proximity of an adversary, an attacker. There is a technique that can be practiced so that when it happens you can judge and gauge the actual distance between you and an attacker. Marc MacYoung writes and teaches that ma-ai, or distance, is important in the SD arena. Distance provides you time, time to avoid, deter and/or deescalate creating a possible way to avoid conflict and its associated violence. How that technique is done requires one thing from the reader of this post, you read his book, “In the Name of Self-Defense.” 

Another aspect of ma-ai in SD is associated with the art of “Uke.” In learning and teaching about Uke the mind-set and mind-state must be changed and this applies to SD as well. That change is more about receiving with a product of losing the impulse and desire to “Win” toward a more “Not Lose” mind-set/state. We use ma-ai to create opportunities to attack and this mind-state of “Attack” opens the door to winning but also opens the door so that one can leave the room called Self-defense and enter the other room that is fighting or the illegal fighting room. 

In SD one must remain within the circle/square of SD. Always aiming for the win often takes you right out of the circle/square and straight into the repercussions that include economic ruin and prison let alone the ongoing adverse effects toward family over time, a long time.

All to often when teaching about ma-ai in MA circles it is about winning, and winning at all costs. Yes, there are rules in the competitive forms of MA that control such things but if a mistake is made that breaks those rules you have referees to stop things and get things back on track. In SD you have yourself who is so intent on winning they fail to see those rules that take you out of the SD circle/square and straight into the circle/square of illegal. There are no referee’s and with a mind-state/set like described often unchains the Monkey and that ain’t good. 

There is so much more to all this in the MA world and this is but one effort to train the mind toward a new mind-state/set, toward one that takes the win out of the SD arena and puts “Not lose” in there. It is a paradigm shift that must be taken if you use MA or other skills for defense. 

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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