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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Kiai, It Could Save Your Ass - I mean Life

Caveat: This post is mine and mine alone. I the author of this blog assure you, the reader, that any of the opinions expressed here are my own and are a result of the way in which my meandering mind interprets a particular situation and or concept. The views expressed here are solely those of the author in his private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of other martial arts and/or conflict/violence professionals or authors of source materials. It should be quite obvious that the sources I used herein have not approved, endorsed, embraced, friended, liked, tweeted or authorized this post. (Everything I think and write is true, within the limits of my knowledge and understanding.)

First, what is the kiai? You would think most martial artists would already know what the kiai is but often you will find that they understand it to mean that, “shout you give at certain points within the kata” at a kata competition. Others will simply say it is a shout used to stun your opponent or adversary. Granted, these may be true but the kiai has a bit more to it.

Literally, when you research the characters/ideograms used for the term you find, “気合 means fighting spirit; yell; clamor; shout; cry; scream; bellow or roar, i.e. noun. means air, atmosphere, spirit, mind, heart, will, intention, feelings, a mood, nature, a disposition, attention, care, a sign, and an indication. means match, fit, suit, join, combine, unite, coincide, and agree.”

In martial arts, in general, it is believed that the kiai is a means to focus our energy into one single movement. If you stop for a moment and read the following post you can begin to get a sense of what I am trying to set up for the foundation of this post.

KIAI - Revisited, posted long ago far far away …
The Kiai in Self-defense

This post is more of a addition to those postings/articles and is directed toward a more applicable use in a type of assault/violence where it can achieve things such as becoming a “trigger” for you to act, to get-r-done when under a surprise assault that hits you fast, hard and very close. Here is how I see it:

First, the kiai is tied closely to breathing, breathing is tied closely to that diaphragmatic abdominal breathing, the breathing is closely tied to the sub-principle of centeredness, i.e., a focus on our center two inches below the belly button and about half way toward the spine, etc., centeredness helps us to focus and to maintain that focus is the described breathing. The breathing can be forced into the form most martial artist understand from the practice and study of sanchin. Deep diaphragmatic breathing is a method to counter and control the release of the adrenal flood. The kiai, the shout, is a primal shout that requires one to take a deep, deep diaphragmatic breath and then control its exit from the body done by using a strong, loud kiai primal yell. 

That yell, in lieu of the recommended one distinct voul sound many teach, should be controlled by the exhale while creating a very loud deep down diaphragmatic sound that will continue throughout the exhale. In addition, the kiai yell, much like a scream, will attract attention and possibly cause your attacker, your adversary, to drop back into the OO part of their OODA loop, i.e., in other words back toward the observe and orient part where they are saying, “What the %$#@!” The idea is to get your body breathing in a combat mode, to create a primal yell that will control that breathing, to trip your “go” trigger, and to distract and attract, i.e., distract your attacker while attract others to bear witness and create problems for your attacker that could actually end the attack and send the adversary looking for an easier target. 

If you use this as one of your base, foundational, strategies/tactic/technique to accomplish not just one, but three or more goals, to “get-r-done” then it becomes more than just a martial arts yell. In addition, that yell also creates a trigger that focuses your mind on the present moment and allows you to, with adequate training, etc., act by implementing that set of core tactics/techniques that will discourage and dissuade your attacker from continuing and still leave you the methods to stop the attack, etc.

If you train your kiai yell, you practice it along with setting a mind-set/mind-state to get things done, to act and then you create it as a trigger point when any conflict/violence/attack starts then that yell, that kiai, will create the opening you need. 

Doesn’t this make sense. In the old days when stories abound about the martial artists who literally ended the fight before it began by freezing their opponent into immobility so they could either get distance away for avoidance or close distance to act while in the freeze and the OO bounce, wouldn’t that be a good, positive and valid strategy?

Does it also mean that kiai goes beyond merely shouting at a critical moment of application of a technique as witnessed throughout kata, to become a technique/tactic that does not require to apply a technique but proceed either an escape strategy or apply a defensive strategy, i.e., apply your martial arts self-defense?

When I walk around in my environment and when I see things that remind me of circumstances I will visualize and then practice a deep diaphragmatic breath and long controlled kiai yell (silent most times but out loud on occasion - so they won’t call the guys in the white coats).

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:
Ayoob, Massad. “Deadly Force: Understanding Your Right to Self-Defense”Gun Digest Books. Krouse Publications. Wisconsin. 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. "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
Strong, Sanford. “Strong on Defense_ Survival Rules to Protect you and your Family from Crime.” Pocket Books. New York. 1996.
and more … see blog bibliography.

My Blog Bibliography

Cornered Cat (Scratching Post):
Kodokan Boston:
Mario McKenna (Kowakan):

Wim Demeere’s Blog:

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