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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Dojo Hierarchal Makeup

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.)

The dojo hierarchal make up with Sensei at the top and the various senpai and kohai throughout is actually, to my perspective, a social monkey dynamic where status, etc., are dominant. If this assessment is true it goes a long way to explain why there is so much monkey antics in the martial arts communities. 

When you read some of the materials I recommend in my bibliography about the differences between the social and asocial conflict and violence you will find references to the monkey brain and a lot of the status seeking type monkey crap you find is often about a hierarchal model where folks are trying to impress the higher ups along with competing to gain status in the group. 

It seems that when entering a dojo with a hierarchal model typically thought of as traditional martial practices you will see a variety monkey-ish behaviors that relate to the descriptions of the monkey dances, group dynamics and status driven controls. 

In the best of worlds where one seeks out self-defense it might also best serve that model of martial arts by seeking out training facilities that don’t cater to a typical traditional hierarchal model with sensei, senpai and kohai along with the belt structure. It seems, on the surface, that having a social conflict and violence model present and influencing such a training program kind of contradicts itself by having a status driven group hierarchal model so when teaching about self-defense, before the physical disciplines most focus on, you don’t consciously or unconsciously teach a contradictory way. Am I making any sense here. 

It seems to me that once you join a self-defense program that does not cater to a social C/V (conflict/violence) model it will be apparent that those already in the class already have more experience, in the class, then you so it should be apparent that you listen first until you have time and experience with the other members, i.e., a self imposed respect model for those who came before you. Just think about it, one of the self-defense requirements I think of regards what some of the authors below call, “Conflict Communications,” and that means once you have established yourself with the others (yes, I do realize this is a form of group dynamics but that is how survival is achieved with humans and survival in the training program still requires that instinct because we are humans) then you can gradually insert yourself more in the group without miscommunicating something that is not allowed by that group.

Yes, now that you are reading it you are saying, “But, your advocating the social model that is often composed of the monkey dance, etc., right?” No, I am not because I am talking about allowing the human brain to control self in a group like this rathe that competing with the group for status and so forth. It is more about taking personal responsibilities by learning about such things then using those tools to insinuating yourself into the group gradually and with the minimal amount of friction, i.e., by assuming a role with active listening, respect and just being a nice person you earn the acceptance and through your actions you earn their notice so when you finally speak up they will listen rather than putting the new guy in his place (can anyone say a beat-down that can be verbal/psychological or an actual beat-down).

Maybe I am not articulating this right. It is about removing the outward manifestations of a rigid group dynamic of a hierarchal model that many assume is a traditional martial art dojo for a less conflict prone model that is controlled by the individual over the group itself. How one enters into such a model makes a huge difference, don’t you think?

Remove the belt system, remove the titles such a sensei, senpai and kohai, etc., and remove the competitive aspects found in sport models, i.e., with winners and losers. Everyone in the class is equal and the newbies are respectful of that until they have taken the time to listen, learn and adjust accordingly. Then, with a type of communications that foster knowledge and learning by all concerned, i.e., example, in lieu of statements use questions about everything to foster listening and positive communications that stimulate thinking, theorizing and seeking truth of fact rather than just a belief. 

In a nutshell, from my perspective, creating a dojo hierarchal model with all its trappings tends to create a group dynamic that can and often does foster monkey brain social conflict and violence type activities (not in all cases, but in a lot of them). 

Many of the discontents I have witnessed over the years now seems to be from our use of such trappings and in the end that stagnates the type of growth potential often philosophized in the dojo through quotes and sound-bites be seldom carried out in actions, examples and deeds of those who practice, training and believe. Isn’t that simply succumbing to the monkey? Isn’t it possible that in this way we can actually train, practice and apply MA using our human brains instead? Does one actually teach us to live the monkey rather than the human in all of us?

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.
Jahn, C. R. “FTW Self Defense.” iUniverse. Amazon Digital Services. 2012
Jahn, C. R. “Hardcore Self Defense.” iUniverse. Amazon Digital Services. 2002.
Jahn, C. R. “Warrior Wisdom.” iUniverse. Amazon Digital Services. 2012.

My Blog Bibliography
Cornered Cat (Scratching Post):
Kodokan Boston:
Mario McKenna (Kowakan):
Wim Demeere’s Blog:

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