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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Winning, it is all about WINNING!

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.

Westerners think of goals in terms of winning. We are sport oriented and sport is deeply ingrained in our culture. Our culture is one of the youngest this world has today while other nations and peoples tend to have cultures that span not only generations but centuries. It seems that winning is the driving force of our emotionally charged personalities that some refer to as the “monkey.” 

I am a western and southern born person who knows from personal experience that winning is paramount in all the things we westernized humans do and say. We are exposed to the winning attitude from the moment we are conscious of the Sunday or Friday night football season (I am not picking on football, just using it since it is a very common symbol of sport, competition and winning.).

When we are in conflict we think, breath and desire a goal of “Winning” above any other considerations. The monkey in all of us thinks, breathes and believes that there is nothing more important than winning, even dying is less important to the monkey than winning. So much of what is written on conflict and violence today, at least in my sources, is about that aspect of the monkey dance. After all, it can be said that the most conflict and violence one might encounter in modern times, barring military service or service in the professions dealing with it, is the socially driven monkey mind conflict and violence. 

As I begin to enter my “winter years” I contemplate the importance of winning. I am at least considering what I define as a win especially when it comes to conflict and violence regardless of the type and the probability of my encountering it. I know, personally, that conflict and violence is a part of human existence and I know that a lot of it is termed something else and therefore more acceptable even when it still means being violent. 

I also feel, personally, that we immerse all of our human kind into a world that has two, ultimate goals, of winning and not losing. We make movies and television shows that are often unrealistic, because that is how we get drama into the story, and goal-oriented to the winning and losing model. Our sports are competitive and winning is everything. Even the belief system when raising boys vs. girls still consists of hard playing sport oriented winning is all world vs. a more compliant personality expected of the female of the species. You know the old adage, “Boys are made of snips and snails and puppy dog tails while girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice.” It still applies although not so much as in the past, girls are getting more aggressive and are just as dangerous in the fight. 

I am less worried bout whether I win or lose in such a competitive community but still, the monkey still tries hard to get me there and in smaller ways I am still about winning even tho the win or loss is more psychological in nature than in competitive sport ways. My martial arts is more about handling conflict and violence where my idea of a win is how I can avoid violence and get a mutual beneficial result that leaves me safe, alive and a good distance away from answering hard questions from the authorities. 

I can say that originally my idea of martial arts was a more aggressive and physically oriented win, i.e., beating my adversary so bad and into such a deep state of submission, where the degree of force was to take them out hard, fast and completely - all of it taking me so far out of the self-defense circle that I would not have justifiable reasons to apply those winning techniques. 

Winning to me, today, is about knowing the depths and breadth of what conflict and violence is and all the complex but necessary things it takes to know it, recognize it and then avoid it except in some rare, very rare if you do it right, cases where I hope allows me to act in a manner that is will within the circle and acceptable reasonable and prudent concerns of society and the legal professions. 

I still wonder that with human nature, instinctual survival nature of humans, if it is even possible to live without that urge to win and to be a winner. Is it because of the mind-set conditioning of modern society? Is it because we truly cannot exist without the winning mind? Can society exists without conflict and violence: all levels, all kinds, etc.? 

I can still imagine the thrill we all get when we win. It doesn’t matter whether we actually participate in the sport, it can be felt when our home team wins the national title. We manifest a winner and loser mind-state when we other those outside our tribe and assign them a loser status without even a competition. Can humans exist without the distinctions?

In the end, winning and losing is here and here to stay - for the foreseeable future. So, as martial artists who teach self-defense we have a duty to teach about winning and losing but of the type that allows us to think of a win in a way that fosters less actual physical violence and more mutual beneficial results, i.e., like running over fighting and so on. 

This brings up the subject that goes hand in hand with the winner/loser model, a perception of the mocho man like model. Maybe redefining what a win is …..

Now, you have to be asking yourself the question, “What is wrong with winning?” Actually, nothing - BUT - when it comes to conflict and violence a distinction must be made. It is made so that you can redirect your monkey’s desire to only win to a goal of winning that involves avoidance, development of distance and most of all, if it comes to it, staying within the self-defense circle. Winning in sports is good. There are a lot of things one learns through sports, competition and winning. Where it fails in my perspective is when winning becomes everything in all things rather than a sport oriented goal. Winning can be achieved for everyone as well by focusing on those things that you did well and change those things you did not well - that is a win as well and who knows, it might mean winning overall the next competition. 

We just don’t take the model of winning beyond the, “I win, you lose.” In that model, in some instances it is not enough or it is absolutely the wrong attitude to not lose in conflicts, especially with violence. Take the concept of “winning” beyond the obvious and make winning a concept that helps everyone win in those appropriate circumstances then go all out to win in sport oriented competitions. 

Going back to the basics, “make sure you win in violence and the adversary loses.” Now, how you accomplish that win is another matter, see below.

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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