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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Kata in Three’s

Caveat: this post is my interpretation of readings and studies therefore errors and omissions are mine and mine alone. It is highly recommended one fact check the data for clarity. My effort here is self-clarity toward a fuller understanding of the subject matter.

Notice how kata tends to go in groups of three’s? Ever wonder why? I have provided my thoughts on this in the past but today I am presenting another reason. It has to do with self-defense.

As we study the karate system of Okinawa we find, historically, that it was meant to be a prerequisite toward the training, practice and use of weapons in combat. You know, like the one day class you get in the military for hand-to-hand (circa 1972) combat training. Well, there is a particular aspect to violence and attacks with bare hands (yes, karate was also the hand-to-hand system back then) that I believe resulted in the professionals of those times putting in the “Three’s” into the kata.

Let me set the stage by using the modern forms of karate training, i.e., kumite in the dojo and competitive tournament karate. It revolves around the one point system. We tend to train in a way that often has us applying a technique then jumping back to see if it resulted in a point. Not all the time but often. We also kumite with one or two strikes then jump back to see what the other guy is going to do and so on. This is not a good model for self-defense training. 

Now, when you are attacked you are not going to have time to get into a stance, face off, then play around trying to feel out your opponent before applying your karate techniques. As Rory Miller puts it in his latest DVD, you are already under attack by surprise and feeling the pain and damage causing your fear to rear its ugly head. In training it is best to start training for what you do after you are under a surprise attack. Rory Miller had his associate demonstrate by hitting him in the neck/face the Mr. Miller said something like, “This is where your training should begin.” How many of us in dojo actually train this way? (Caveat: to actually hit someone like an attack is not really done but play acted because there is too much damage that will occur, not good for training and that present the question as to how you train for this, see his video as I am sure he has suggestions :-) ).

Anyway, back to the three’s. (kinda got sidetracked huh) When you are defending yourself you have to deal with chemical cocktails or what I call adrenal flooding and so does the adversary (although the adversary attacks when his flood is at the optimal levels) and when that happens the effects are something you have to deal with. For instance, in competition and/or sparring if you connect hard you can cause your opponent to stagger or most of the time they “Stop” and so do you, that ain’t good in the fight. Then there is that same punch used in a self-defense situation that your mind will say, “OK, I hit him, stop and wait to see what he does.” Again, not good. Why? Because he didn’t’ even feel it, not even a little bit. So, more often than not you are going to have to keep at it until you can determine that he is stopping or leaving or running away or just down and out and then you stop because, as you know, your application of force is no longer needed. But you are going to have to go at it to get-r-done. 

This is why I feel their are three’s in kata. It is because they are teaching their students that it is often necessary to apply a flurry of techniques for a variety of reasons until the threat is stopped and along with it the damage you are taking. That would be the minimum of applicable techniques needed before you try to determine if the threat has stopped the damage to you. It isn’t easy because you have to be able to tell when to stop but also if the adversary is still able and demonstrating the continuing threat of damage you have to go beyond that three. 

In another view another professional once said that you need to end it within about three techniques because going beyond means you are fighting and prone to leaving the SD Square or as I call it the circle. That, of course, is a whole nother post about removing the techniques that are the chaff so the good ones, the wheat, remain. 

Anyway, the need for the three is about passing forward the information to defend against an attack, self-defense. I am sure that those “Three’s” back in the day were also the minimum but also I feel they didn’t have to contend with prosecutors, etc., chipping away at their actions for the sake of numbers, convictions and job security. 

Primary Bibliography of Self-Defense:
MacYoung, Marc. "In the Name of Self-Defense: What It Costs. When It’s Worth It." Marc MacYoung. 2014.
Miller, Rory Sgt. "Meditations of Violence: A Comparison of Martial Arts Training & Real World Violence" YMAA Publishing. 2008.

Secondary Bibliography of Self-Defense:
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. "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.

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

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