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

I am not a leading authority on any one discipline that I write about and teach, it is my hope and wish that with all the subjects I have studied it provides me an advantage point that I offer in as clear and cohesive writings as possible in introducing the matters in my materials. I hope to serve as one who inspires direction in the practitioner so they can go on to discover greater teachers and professionals that will build on this fundamental foundation. Find the authorities and synthesize a wholehearted and holistic concept, perception and belief that will not drive your practices but rather inspire them to evolve, grow and prosper. My efforts are born of those who are more experienced and knowledgable than I. I hope you find that path! See the bibliography I provide for an initial list of experts, professionals and masters of the subjects.

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Notable "Zen Koan Like" Quotes

“Martial arts training is largely about trying to preserve and pass on skills without the side-effects of using the skills. You want to learn to punch without the arthritis from old fractures in the delicate bones of your hand. To learn how to survive an attack without the accumulated concussions and micro-concussions that are a natural result of knowing what ‘surviving an attack’ even means.” - Rory Miller, Chiron, Constant Forward Pressure

“There are things about fighting that are very difficult to learn without fighting. There are things about an assault that are difficult, maybe impossible, to learn without being on both ends of an assault.” - Rory Miller, Chiron, Constant Forward Pressure

“In hierarchical systems, if information is lost to one generation of instructors, the system tends to resist the information when it is rediscovered.” - Rory Miller, Chiron, Constant Forward Pressure

“In order to hit well you need power, targeting, timing, and empty space to move through. Power is usually based on structure and a connection with the ground OR whip action and speed.” - Rory Miller, Chiron, Constant Forward Pressure

“Targets must be in range and available. If you can't reach it you can't hurt it.” - Rory Miller, Chiron, Constant Forward Pressure

“Attacks change your perception of time and thus alter your timing.” - Rory Miller, Chiron, Constant Forward Pressure

“The essence of defense is to disrupt the other person's offense -- by denying targets or disrupting, power, targeting, timing or range.” - Rory Miller, Chiron, Constant Forward Pressure

“Fast hard attacks disrupt your OODA loop and tend to overwhelm people into a passive, child-like mode.” - Rory Miller, Chiron, Constant Forward Pressure

“ … but the real thing can't be replicated safely.” - Rory Miller, Chiron, Constant Forward Pressure

“Every attack disrupts. Each contact does damage; disrupts the threat's targeting, timing and distancing; and sets up the next shot.” - Rory Miller, Chiron, Constant Forward Pressure

“Constant forward pressure lets your offense handle your defense. It sounds like an armchair strategy, but it is an obvious natural truth when you are hitting and getting hit hard.” - Rory Miller, Chiron, Constant Forward Pressure

“Power isn't an end-state. There are no weak or strong people, just people at different places on a given continuum. And power is not linear. I am stronger than K, but she is smarter and more artistic than I am. R has more money, but J has more skills. Q can access a deep level of viciousness, but W can access an equally deep level of empathy. Power is not a scale but a net of ever-interconnecting methods of affecting the world. And in each strand of the net, you have attributes and skills that both affect the strength. AND … Power is about growth or stagnation. Comfort with power is required to use it.” - Rory Miller, Chiron Blog, “On Power.” 

“ … no animal naturally weakens itself. Tigers never starve themselves to look better to other tigers and snakes don't slither over coals to show their bravery.”  - Rory Miller, Chiron Blog, “On Power.” and I would add this quote from the Alien movie, from Ripley, the main character who said, Ripley: You know, Burke, I don't know which species is worse. You don't see them fucking each other over for a goddamn percentage.” Alien Movie Quote

Personal Note: I like this one especially as it kind of symbolizes just how much we will do, say and endure for such things as ego, pride, status, honor and face even if it means "fucking each other over for a goddamn belt, trophy, recognition or accolades, etc." I like it that tigers and snakes actually act with those traits humans often express as the epitome of the "Way." 

“Human nature was produced by natural selection working at two levels simultaneously. Individuals compete with individuals within every group, and we are the descendants of primates who excelled at that competition.” - Jonathan Haidt, The Righteous Mind

“Enlightenment ( or wisdom, if you prefer) requires us all to take the logs (moralism, idealism, righteousness, etc.) out of our eyes and then escape from our ceaseless, petty, and divisive moralism. The perfect Way is only difficult for those who pick and choose; do not like, do not dislike; all will then be clear. Make a hairbreadth difference, and Heaven and Earth are set apart; If you want the truth to stand clear before you, never be for or against. The struggle between ‘for’ and ‘against’ is the mind’s worst disease.” - Jonathan Haidt, The Righteous Mind

“Reaction time to touch is faster than peripheral vision reaction time and much faster than focused vision.” - Rory Miller, Drills

“Most people shift their center of gravity slightly to chamber or set up or prep a strike or kick.  …   Between the reaction speed of touch and that you act on precursor movements, you will find yourself defending actions before they happen, sometimes before the threat has consciously decided to move.”  - Rory Miller, Drills

“ If you can't extract information from any source, and see how it effects you, you need to learn how to. Drop your own biases, and just take the info for what it is.” - Terry Trahan, WeaselCraft Blog

“Most techniques in martial arts are not practiced against attacks. They are practiced against feeds. A feed may have a similar motion to a punch or stab, but it is designed and delivered specifically to be defeated. A little slow, on a known line, maybe slightly over-extended or held out for just a second. No matter how much it looks like a punch, almost every element is different in a fight … and so people who have practiced against feeds are terrifyingly often completely blown away by the intensity, speed, ferocity and pain of a ‘simple attack.’” - Rory Miller, Drills: Training for Sudden Violence.

“Your predator may be a scared kid feeling like he is losing control on his first crime and does not know how to regain control without resorting to extreme violence. It may be a hardened felon who will use extreme force without any thought of you, just a quick assessment of the odds of getting caught. It may be someone who enjoys the feeling of domination as he makes someone bleed and beg. It is very, very unlikely you have hit any of these personalities in normal training. Most instructors would not let an uncontrolled predator anywhere near their dojo.” - Rory Miller, Scaling Force

“Peripheral vision is vision from the side of the eye. It is not as focused as a direct gaze - you can’t read with it and colors are less certain. It does, detect motion quicker and allow for faster response time then focused vision. A good fighter does not watch your hands, he put his gaze where any movement form you hands or feet will register in his peripheral vision. The ‘thousand yard stare’ puts almost everything in peripheral vision and is a critical skill in combat to detect ambushes.” - Rory Miller, Facing Violence

“A physical compilation of fundamental principles of martial systems practiced singularly or paired to simulate possible applications of principles in self-defense with and without reciprocal force and power in a reality-based adrenal flood physical and mental state.” - Charles E. James

“On Ground Fights; in real life, the winner in a ground fight is not the strongest, the meanest, or the most skillful. The winner will be decided by whose friends get there first.” - Rory Miller and Lawrence A. Kane, Scaling Force

“Once you identify the ‘other’ as, not only ‘different from us,’ but as some sort of alien species both beyond our comprehension and below contempt, they suddenly become surprisingly easy (even desirable) to kill. … identifying your adversary as something ‘subhuman’, it is possible to achieve a killer mind-set in short order. … how you view your adversary will greatly influence your reaction to his provocations.”  - C. R. Jahn, Hardcore Self-Defense

“An argument at the ethics level is not perceived as an attack on identity. An attack on the belief level is very much an attack on identity. … If you can explain yourself from a deeper level you are more likely to get the other person to comprehend your point of view. … at the belief level it is much more difficult to make change. … “ - Rory Miller, Facing Violence

“A belief told to others by someone they trust is, for most people, a subjective truth and no more based on fact than the belief that the world is held up by four elephants standing on the back of an enormous turtle.” - Rory Miller, Facing Violence

“I feel strongly the truth of one’s belief that the answers one gives to life’s crucial questions are never truly spontaneous; they are the embodiment of years of contextual experience, of the building of patterns in each of our lives that eventually grow to dominate our behavior.” - Kreizler

The next three quotes go together and should be followed up by reading the actual post, excellent!

“Tracking back to the original questions, 'just' cooking is way more complicated, deep and involved. Yet with training and experience we easily navigate through massively complex processes in order to produce.” - Marc MacYoung, “Mac and Cheese Idealism,” MacYoung’s Musings Blog

“We tend to minimize the complexity of what we do actually know. At the same time we become vulnerable to anyone trying to 'sell us' that complex issues are simple and all about 'one thing.'  The latter especially in the form of soundbites, advertising and narrative.” - Marc MacYoung, “Mac and Cheese Idealism,” MacYoung’s Musings Blog

“Simplistic answers and an abundance of confidence really appeals to the part of our brains that want to reduce the complexities of life to simplistic narratives and never mind reality (much less all those messy complications).” - Marc MacYoung, “Mac and Cheese Idealism,” MacYoung’s Musings Blog

"Asian martial arts do not even address or acknowledge the need or existence of any of these critical survival self-defense skills at all. Instead Asian Martial Arts follows a syllabus almost wholly devoted to the practice of physical technique alone. The majority of that physical technique is wholly impractical for most people to employ effectively in an actual self-defense situation too." ~ Christopher Caile

“The goal of self-defense is not to win the fight, but rather to avoid combat in the first place. … Nevertheless, sometimes despite your best intentions, you may find yourself in a situation where there really is no alternative but to fight. When it comes to such circumstances, particularly in an asocial violence scenario, you cannot stop until it’s over.” - Rory Miller and Lawrence A. Kane, Scaling Force (pg. 49)

“Situational awareness - knowing what is going on around you. Specifically, it is the ability to identify, process, and comprehend factors that can be important for your safety and welfare, such as the existence of potential threats, escape routes, and weapons.” - Rory Miller and Lawrence A. Kane, Scaling Force

“It is relatively easy to de-escalate impending social violence so that things won’t get physical, especially if you are willing to lose face. It is only possible to de-escalate predatory violence by appearing to be too dangerous to attack. If you are alert, aware, prepared, in decent physical condition, and capable of setting a verbal boundary, those are all major warning signs to the predator.” - Rory Miller and Lawrence A. Kane, Scaling Force

“If and, I hope not when, you get into an altercation with another individual, then every aspect of your life will be on trial. Every statement or post on your social networking site. Every martial arts/self-defense class you have ever taken. Everything you have ever done will be scrutinized and examined by the District/Prosecuting attorney. It can and will be used against you in ways that you never thought possible. If by some chance, you are found not-guilty, then be prepared for the lawyers in the civil case that is coming to play even dirtier than the D.A. Your character, reputation, family history, everything about you and yours, will be on display for the jury and world to see. Thing it is a joke? Talk to someone that has been through it and you will find out just how bad it can be.” - Clint Overland, Forward to “Scaling Force” by Rory Miller and Lawrence A. Kane

“Karate is a blend of physically challenging training supported by mindful introspection.” - Michael Clarke, Shinseidokan Dojo blog

The essence of self-defense is that things are going bad. You are behind the curve. The threat is bigger and stronger and/or armed and/or crazy and/or multiple. You are surprised and almost certainly off balance with minimal room to run or maneuver, no time to evaluate and plan, with compromised structure and likely injured before you knew it was on.“ - Rory Miller, Justified, Justifiable, Prudent and Smart dtd. Tuesday, January 13, 2015, Chiron Blog

“Justified and justifiable are not always the same thing. In 1992, the Oregonian surveyed Portland Police officers. One of the details: In the four years before the survey, 86% said they could have fired with full legal justification but chose not to. There are some implications of that -- for every 28 shootings, officers bet their lives they could find another way about 900 times. And were largely successful except, of course, dead officers don't get to fill out surveys.” - Rory Miller, Justified, Justifiable, Prudent and Smart dtd. Tuesday, January 13, 2015, Chiron Blog

“ … because something is justifiable doesn't mean you couldn't find another way. My personal definition, Justifiable means I could convince a jury, Justified means I can convince myself there was no other way out. Prudent means it would be stupid to go in at a lower level.” - Rory Miller, Justified, Justifiable, Prudent and Smart dtd. Tuesday, January 13, 2015, Chiron Blog

“In general, higher levels force are quicker, easier and more effective than lower levels.” - Rory Miller, Justified, Justifiable, Prudent and Smart dtd. Tuesday, January 13, 2015, Chiron Blog

“Higher levels of force -- quicker, easier, more certain. But the higher level of force, the more it takes to justify it.” - Rory Miller, Justified, Justifiable, Prudent and Smart dtd. Tuesday, January 13, 2015, Chiron Blog

“ … sometimes the higher level of force can be completely justified, completely prudent, but not the smart thing to do. Like fighting out of a crowd.” - Rory Miller, Justified, Justifiable, Prudent and Smart dtd. Tuesday, January 13, 2015, Chiron Blog

“’High levels of force are faster, safer and more effective than lower levels’ is a good rule of thumb. But like all of them, it has a failure point. A situation where something else becomes true. Or truer.” - Rory Miller, Justified, Justifiable, Prudent and Smart dtd. Tuesday, January 13, 2015, Chiron Blog

“Sometimes it's so important to finish things quickly that it's worth taking damage to do so. (And, less academic, you're probably going to take some damage anyway, so suck it up, Buttercup. But that said taking damage unnecessarily is, by definition, unnecessary. Smart people don't do it.) Sometimes, fighting out of a shitty position is more important than ending the threat. Better to do both, but if you're with a bad guy in a burning, collapsing building and damage to him will cost you even a second, improve your position.” - Rory Miller, Justified, Justifiable, Prudent and Smart dtd. Tuesday, January 13, 2015, Chiron Blog

“Maybe justified and justifiable can be subsumed under smart. Do the smart thing. If it's not justifiable and you either can't live with yourself or you go to prison... hmmm, maybe it wasn't all that smart? Justifying -- articulation -- then becomes the skill. Do the smartest thing you're capable of, but practice explaining why it was the best available option.” - Rory Miller, Justified, Justifiable, Prudent and Smart dtd. Tuesday, January 13, 2015, Chiron Blog

Note: all the above highlited quotes are presented “out of context” because I liked them as I read his blog post. You can read that post here: “Justified, Justifiable, Prudent and Smart

“Our nation has become a ‘sound-bite’ society. A public and therefore a jury pool that is increasingly vulnerable to misinformed simple answers to complicated questions.“ - Massad Ayoob at Texas Bar Association Firearms Law Symposium, September 2012.

Yasuhiro Konishi Sensei once said, "Karate aims to build character, improve human behavior, and cultivate modesty; it does not, however, guarantee it."

“Understand that your knowledge only gives you an edge, and that’s all.” - Karate Instructor (Loren Christensen - Some Lessons Hurt)

“The martial arts is like life: you get ahead a couple of steps, and you get knocked back three. What’s important is you keep getting up and moving forward. That’s what being a martial artist is all about.” - Karate Instructor (Loren Christensen - Some Lessons Hurt)

“Self-defense is not having your lifestyle changed for you. It’s better to avoid than to run; better to run than to deescalate; better to deescalate than to fight; better to fight than to die. The very essence of self-defense is a thin list of things that might get you out alive when you are already screwed.” - Rory Miller, Meditations on Violence (Note: Know that this quote is not the final say in SD but rather a tease to get you to learn more - start with his book)

“No matter how hard you have trained, how much you have studied, or how closely you have matched your training environment to the realities that you face, your body and primitive mind know that you have only been faking. Training and planning are blueprints, nothing more. They are plans; they are stories that you tell yourself. You may truly believe that your new skill (new system, new plan) is the best way out of your situation - but your body knows one thing, too: What you are already doing hasn’t gotten you killed yet.” … Now, a caveat to this quote is, “In the moment, like breaking the freeze, you must force yourself to act. Once a few steps are taken on the new path and you haven’t died, the primitive brain will ease up a bit.” - Rory Miller, Meditations on Violence

“He stresses the point of uselessness to learn a lot of forms without mastering them.” - Gichin Funakoshi when asked by Asato Sensei to increase the number of kata taught.

“In truth, formal grading tests have little meaning if the outcome is predetermined or divorced from the skill displayed by the candidate…” - Michael Clarke Sensei, Shinseidokan Dojo

“Self-defense is largely about dealing with surprise and fear and pain … It is recovery from stupidity or bad luck, from finding yourself in a position you would have given almost anything to prevent. It is about overcoming shock and surprise so that you can act, to ‘beat the freeze.’ The ideal is to prevent the situation. The optimal mindset is often a conditioned responses that requires no thought (for the first half-second of the attack) or a focused rage.“  - Rory Miller, Meditations of Violence: A Comparison of Martial Arts Training; Real World Violence

“It’s important to understand that not all karate is the same, nor are the people, or groups, who teach it. Depending on what you're expectations of karate are, it would be prudent to ponder 'why' karate is being taught, and not just 'how' and 'who' is teaching it. … Anyone who teaches karate has, I believe, an obligation to provide as complete an education as possible. So, not just the physical stuff, but the moral and ethical parameters within which karate operates - Michael Clarke Sensei, Shinseidokan Karate

“The emergence of karate associations, and their business plan encouraging dependency rather than independence, has been the catalyst for karate's moral and spiritual decline. The dojo, once the hub of karate learning has been relegated to 'club' status, and karateka have become mere members. Instructors seek celebrity, and new students arrive with a list of expectations. So, who do you think is responsible for all this?” - Michael Clarke Sensei, Shinseidokan Dojo blog post, “The Okinawan Experience …

“ … wisdom comes from your mind, and your heart … “ - Shoshin Nagamine Sensei

“Sometimes I think the urge to believe in our own worldview is our most powerful intellectual imperative, the mind’s equivalent of feeding, fighting, and fornicating, People will eagerly twist facts into wholly unrecognizable shapes to fit them into existing suppositions. They will ignore the obvious, select the irrelevant, and spin it all into a tapestry of self-deception, solely to justify an idea, no matter how impoverished or self-destructive.” - John Rain, Extremis

“Principles will explain everything that happens in the martial arts, they also will explain how to accomplish everything we want to happen. Studying a finite number of principles explains an infinite number of techniques.” - Stephen Pearlman

“The complexities of life are simply derived from our innate need for individuality yet governed by our need for group identity and protection.” - Charles E. James

“It is all about how you are taught a martial art and how you train. Most MA’s are taught as religions, They are all about faith, not facts. People need to believe something, even if they have to invent it. You need something that works. You need something that is practical and simple. You need a lot of scenario based conditioning. A lot of contact. It needs to be there for you when weapons are not available. You can develop the necessary attitude only in combat (the experience as a professional, etc.).” - Delilah 

“According to Ken Murray in 'Training at the Speed of Life', the Air Force set ‘ace’ at five dogfights because there best research showed that no one—no one—remembered their training for their first three to five dogfights.  Personally, I would set the threshold for unarmed encounters closer to twenty. Grasp that.  With the best training in the world, you still got through your first 3-5 on instinct and luck.” - Rory Miller, Teaching, Training, Conditioning and Play. Chiron Blog dtd May 9, 2014

“The Mysticism surrounding any good martial art is not so much religion as mindset.” - Unknown

"There are some studies that suggest that the peak of human violence is at age two. We are most violent of all at that age. Families survive the terrible two's because toddlers are not strong enough to kill with their hands and are not capable of using lethal weapons." - NPR Program on Violence

“Commanded by an authoritarian figure, and wishing to conform, we could bulldoze homes, burn books, separate parents from children or even slaughter them, and our much-prized conscience would not as much as flicker.” - Richard Ingham, Article, “Evil not so banal, says disturbing new probe.

In the Name of Self-Defense, “Self-defense isn’t only about the physical. When I say this, many people assume I’m talking about the mindset you need during the physical act. That’s still focusing on the physical. I’m talking about expanding your understanding to the connection between what happens before, during, and after an incident. This overview is critical for your survival and success. Because not all the dangers of self-defense are physical.” ~ Marc MacYoung, author.

“There is a time for empty-hand techniques, there’s a time for weapons. There is a time for bone-breaking combatives, and there’s a time for grappling, submission, and control. There’s a time for fighting, and there’s a time you have to kill someone quickly and effectively (Not only before he or she kills you, but so he or she can’t take you with them). Some violence can be resolved through words, some by use of force, and other types by running like hell.” ~ Marc MacYoung, In the Name of Self-Defense.

“An internalized code of ethics doesn’t just stop at the role a martial art played in World War II atrocities. When a teacher is obviously abusive, chauvinistic, sadistic, greedy or unethical, do you make excuses for him/her, and delude yourself into thinking, “Well, it’s really all about the training, nothing else”? No, it’s never ONLY about the training. A teacher’s unethical or abusive behavior will rub off on you, sooner rather than later. As the saying goes, when you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas.” ~ Classic Budo Blogger, dtd, August 8, 2014

“Your arms need to be like two snakes. You know that I’m talking about if you have ever handled any kind of constricting snake. Boas can go from a soft touch on your hand to a bone-crushing force in a split second. But once the reason for being tense is past, they go soft again. By being soft, they are motherin’ fast when they strike. By suddenly clamping down when they get there, they get back all the power they set aside for speed.” ~ Marc MacYoung, Taking It to the Street: Making Your Martial Art Street Effective.

“Karate is awash with instructors these days, but bereft of sensei.” ~ Michael Clarke, Shinseidokan Dojo

“Hindsight, it gives you perfect vision when it is too late to be of any use.” - Unknown

“Focus too closely on the goal you haven’t accomplished, and you’ll fail to notice the victories you achieve along the way.” - Vico

“Many of our martial arts systems predate the concept of self-defense law.” ~ Rory Miller, forward - Dirty Ground: The Tricky Space between Sport and Combat by Kris Wilder, Lawrence Kane, Marc MacYoung and Rory Miller

“Othering is mentally classifying “others” of some group to be fundamentally different from yourself. Othering denies the basic humanity of the “Othered”. Othering combines prejudice, bias, objectivism, and more into a toxic mental process and supersedes rational thinking and balanced judgment.” ~ Unknown

“The Okinawan are a peaceful people, but, like all people of primitive lifestyle who are also prone to drink, they were able to commit inhumane cruelty when they were caught in heat. Through centuries of practice the Okinawans had extraordinarily developed the peculiar art of self defense and attack, which we call Tekobushi. It consists, similar to Jujutsu or even boxing, of delivering blow with incredible skill and impact with the bare fist.” ~ Andreas Quast, Karate 1.0 

"To master the martial arts, master its principles." - Charles E. James [ martial principles: Budō no gensoku: 武道の原則 ]

" ... sooner or later you're going to realize, just as I did, that there's a difference between knowing the path and walking the path." - Morpheus

"Its not the system directly that is important in karate, but the person using the system that makes it (in)effective."- Mario McKenna Sensei

Harry Frankfurt wrote, "Becoming wholehearted, a state not unlike stoic resoluteness," is to eliminate conflicts in which one physical process interferes with others and undermines equilibrium in which health consists." - The Stoic Warrior author.

"Self defense is about awareness, avoidance and preparation just as much as using weapons." - Wim Demeere

"Fighting, especially survival fighting, is a mental and emotional skill far more than a physical skill." - Rory Miller, Chiron Blog, "Blood, Sweat and Tears."

" ... forget the 'porn equivalent' fantasies about how violence happens. It's not just going to jump out at you. In order for violence to happen it's more of a process. Things are interactive, slower to develop and there are all kinds of things you can do to prevent it from occurring. (It's a lot like sex in that regard). For situations to escalate to physical violence, the behaviors are almost always consciously participatory and antagonistic." Marc MacYoung and Dianna Gordon MacYoung, No Nonsense Self-Defense web site, "The Biggest Pre-Attack Indicator of Them All."

"More than telling me your current rank, show me. Show me your rank both in and outside the dojo in your kindness, humility, humor, generosity, spirit, and knowledge. Are you kind to your kohai? Do you respect your sempai? More than a connection to my rank, I have a connection to my training, knowledge and relationships that are part of my Karate-do and Kobu-do experience." - Mario McKenna Sensei on Karate and Kobudo Blog

"It is not the student's responsibility to understand you.  It is your responsibility to make yourself understood. It is rare in martial arts or self-defense that junior instructors are given any training in how to teach.  You earn your black belt (sometimes not even that) and you step into a teaching role." Rory Miller, Chiron Blog, "Articulation III"

" ... when you jump to a conclusion, you stop taking in information and start organizing what you have to fit your biases and preconceptions. This literally blinds you to any other information except that which supports your judgmental decree about what is happening." Marc MacYoung

" ... If I commit to making the journey all the way, with or without the teacher, I will get there.  I will get there very fast with a good teacher and slow with a shitty teacher, but I will get there. ... " - Rory Miller, Chiron Blog: Learning Responsibility and Power

"Endlessly repeating yourself doesn't make you a "pro," it makes you a "chronic." If you don't learn from experiences, you should avoid *having* any." - unknown

"The accumulation of martial arts techniques. Many often play at the game of cataloguing as many techniques as possible. They often foolishly, and often erroneously, pride themselves on knowing more techniques than other martial artists, and enjoy showing students how one entry could lead to countless different striking combinations, joint locks, throws, finishing holds, etc." - Steven J. Pearlman, Chapter Forty-Three, Book of Martial Power

"We cannot predict what an attacker will do, but we know what  principles will be involved. Principles make no distinctions between types of attack. Principles make not distinctions between types of adversaries. Principles make no distinction between circumstances. Principles never vary." - Stephen J. Pearlman, Book of Martial Power, chapter forty-four. 

"Perfection is a road, not a destination" - Chun, Destroyer Series

"The reality is that violence is complicated. It is multi-layered. It is multi-dimensional. There are multiple factors that surround every incident of violence. There are many levels of violence. There is low level violence, mid-level and high level violence. There is violence that easily predicted and understood. There is logical violence. There is violence that runs darker and deeper than most people can perceive or imagine." - Paradigms of Self Defense Blog by "NOT ME"

"One of the characteristics of traditional martial systems, in particular the koryu of Japan, is the emphasis on traditions. That would be almost without saying. After all, “koryu” means “old style,” so quite naturally the older martial systems retain not only martial techniques from the past, but surrounding traditions, concepts and mental concepts from the past." - The Classic Budoka, 105: Traditions in a Traditional Art.

"The practice of Sanchin, the foundation kata of Okikukai, develops the student in five ways that reach beyond the basic needs of exercise or self-defense. Properly understood, sanchin is a philosophical statement. The five benefits of sanchin are as follows: 1. Sanchin integrates all parts of the stance 2. Sanchin corrects the breathing 3. San Chin develops penetrating eyes 4. Sanchin cultivates spiritual concentration 5. Sanchin strengthens the body.
The key word understanding Sanchin is “integration”. Proper stance anchors the student to the floor; while proper concentration and breathing integrates all body movements. Proper eye contact demonstrates uninterrupted awareness, focusing the mind on every area of attack of the opponent. To develop a strong and integrated Sanchin kata is to forge a well honed and ordered self.” - From Okinawa Karatedō Gaisetsu (沖縄空手道概説),1996, pg. 158 via Kowakan Blog by Bechurin

"Karate is a path of strenuous and unremitting commitment." - Charles James

The next four quotes come from one post at the Classic Budoka blog:

“Even if you know only one kata, then you can teach that one kata. It’s not the number of kata you know. It’s the quality of your instruction that counts.” - unnamed sensei from classic budoka blog

"I’m not by choice a naturally gregarious person. As my wife observed, unlike her, I could be pretty satisfied just working around the house, watching movies and reading, and I seem to get enough socialization just with her and a very small group of friends (2)." - classic budoka blog

“You can’t improve much on your own. You need to have people around you. And if you teach, even if you think you don’t know much, you will be forced to think about the kata more deeply in order to truly grasp the waza, and so by teaching, you are furthering your own learning.” - classic budoka blog

"A good teacher, therefore, especially in mid-career, is not just teaching students to be students. He/she is teaching students to become their own teachers, their own fountain of knowledge." - classic budoka blog

"I have now come to realize that some people just want escapism, to train in a group, switch off their everyday troubles and have a sweat. Two hours later they can get changed and re-enter regular life as they know it. Karate can be put back in its box, ready to be taken out again the following week." Richard Barrett, Shinsokai Dojo 

"The Essence of Okinawan Karate-Do", he recites an Okinawan poem from 1663; "No matter how you may excel in the art of Te, and your scholastic endeavors, nothing is more important than your behavior and your humanity as observed in daily life." - Shoshin Nagamine, The Essence of Okinawan Karate-Do

From Wim Demeere's Blog, click link at end of quote:

"What are you afraid of that you absolutely have to:

Carry three knives and a firearm wherever you go, even in your own house.
Ingrain killing and maiming techniques as your standard reaction to any attack, regardless of the context.
Prefer to pass out when somebody slaps a good choke on you in training rather than tap. Or end up injured in an arm bar instead of tapping.
You fill in the blank.

Unless you live in a war zone or ghetto, unless you live a criminal lifestyle, unless you get high/drunk all the time, unless you routinely go to the wrong bars and parts of town, chances of you needing any of that are slim to none. For most people, that’s precisely the case: they don’t have a realistic need for any of that." - Wim Demeere, What Sensei Know ......

"When asked about it, Harvey called it his Occam's razor theory of combat: The simplest way of kicking someone's ass was usually the correct one." - Harvey, character in "The Ghost Brigades."

"An overactive mind is a dagger in one's own heart." - Korean Saying

"If you can read when you are out of range, you don't need to defend and won't fall for feints." - Rory Miller, Chiron Blog

“Karate takes physical effort and hard work; you must push yourselves to obtain benefits, be it good techniques, speed and power. You will get nowhere in Karate by just coasting along.” - Roger Vickerman Sensei via Shinken Dojo Blog

“The dojo is the place where courage is fostered and superior human spirit is bred through the ecstasy of sweating in hard work. It is the sacred place where the human spirit is polished.” - Shoshin Nagamine Sensei.

"Learning in a class is more valuable than winning." - Rory Miller

"Don’t teach bullshit; the truth is already hard enough as it is." - An Instructor (taken from Wim Demeere's blog)

"I've always believed karate is about keeping your eyes (and mind) open, of taking control by taking responsibility for your life, as well as your training." - Michael Clarke, Shinseidokan Dojo Blog

"Example moves the world more than doctrine."....Henry Miller

"The power of the mind is infinite, while brawn is limited." - Koichi Tohei

"When you think you are brilliant, that is the beginning of stupidity, for you shut out all those senses that tell you  of your weaknesses. He who does not know his weaknesses cannot progress." ~ Warren Murphy, The Destroyer Series

"The void holds a form of energy moving at an inconceivably high rate of vibration, and that void is filled with a form of power/energy which adapts itself to the nature of the thoughts we hold in our minds; and influences us, in natural ways, to transmute our thoughts into their physical equivalent." ~ Napoleon Hill

“Goals dictate strategy. Strategy dictates tactics. Tactics dictate techniques." - Ryan Parker FB Wall Post

"Where your karate came from, is far less important than what you do with it!" ~ Michael Clarke, Shinseidokan Dojo

"The perfect man employs his mind as a mirror; it grasps nothing; it refuses nothing; it receives, but does not keep." ~ Chung-Tzu

"When a person cannot do one thing well, he seeks to do many to compensate." ~ Chuin, Destroyer Series

"Okinawan meaning of Bushi, an individual who is respected not only for physical prowess, but also 'for being a civilized, principled gentleman.'" - Charles Goodwin paraphrasing Katsuhiko Shinzato.

"Foundations are built slowly through hard work.  Once built, the resulting 'character' is stronger than that which came about the 'easy way.'" ~ Corcoran

"karate fostered 'the traits of courage, courtesy, integrity, humility, and self control in those who have found its essence." ~ Funakoshi

“…a sense that one’s skills are adequate to cope with the challenges at hand, in a goal-directed, rule-bound action system that provides clear clues as to how well one is performing.  Concentration is so intense that there is no attention left over to think about anything irrelevant, or to worry about problems.  Self-consciousness disappears, and the sense of time becomes distorted.” and “An activity that produces such experiences is so gratifying that people are willing to do it for its own sake, with little concern for what they will get out of it, even when it is difficult...” ~ Csikszentmihalyi

"Shuhari teaches us that, while we adhere to traditional wisdom as beginners, we must break with it when necessary, particularly when new knowledge gives us a better understanding of the essence of past success. What comes about should be transcendence to a traditionally-based, but new expression of the art, with the fundamental understanding that it, too, will change in time, and that this is the natural way of the world." ~ Bradley Kenneth Wells

"The complexity and variability of violence arises from the simple fact that humans are involved." ~ Marc MacYoung

"Skill is not muscle but timing, and timing is being in unity, making and keeping your perceptions in tune with reality." ~ Remo, the Destroyer Series

"Hara implies for the Japanese all that he considers essential to man's character and destiny. Hara is the centre of the human body -- but the body, because it is a human body, is more than a merely biological - physiological entity. It is at the same time the centre in a spiritual sense or, to be more accurate, a nature-given spiritual sense. All expressions and idioms containing the word Hara refer to the character in its totality, to the basic quality of a man's nature, his whole disposition, and hence to those special mental traits on which it depends and through which it is expressed." ~ Durckheim

"According to seishin thought, "incorrect" attitudes are often the source of personal difficulty...the issue is the person's general attitude toward things around him to which he must respond...The basis of a proper attitude...begins with acceptance of necessity and responsibility. Instead of fighting life's requirements...the most satisfactory attitude is to acknowledge and accept necessary difficulties. To regret or attempt to avoid them only leads to frustration, disappointment, and upset. Seishin education aims to help the individual to achieve contentment through the development of an ordered and stable psyche free from confusion and frustration. This is to be attained through the gradual conquest of waga or ga (one's primitive self, or id in Freudian terms). The phrase expressing this process, waga o korosu (literally "kill the self"), is a common expression related to the seishin approach." ~ Rohlen

"Do not jump from false opinions to empty conclusions without stopping to breathe. And sometimes to think." ~ Chuin, the Destroyer Series 

"Never practice doing things "not quite right." Not quite right is wrong, and if you do enough reps at doing things wrong, you will do things wrong in a fight. We all know this.  The best training in the world doesn't always come out, especially in your first fights-- but if your training does come out, you don't want it to be wrong."  ~ Rory Miller, Chiron Blog: Building a House

"From proper breathing comes the rhythms of life and power." ~ Unknown

"The precise standardized performance of kata was not so important as correctly transmitting the principles they held." ~ Bill Hayes Sensei

" ... kata are vessels which contain life protection concepts - not merely rote "physical education routines." ~ Shimabuku, Eizo Sensei

"Be careful expressing thoughts, because things said could never be brought back to safe silence." ~ unknown

" ... teaching is guiding growth through leadership." ~ Rory Miller

"There is nothing wrong with disagreeing with somebody. However, I believe there is something wrong if the discussion turns to name-calling and rhetorical tricks to 'win'." ~ Wim Demeere

"Learn from the past, but don't dwell on your mistakes. Lief is best lived forward with an eye toward the future."~ Lawrence Kane and Kris Wilder

"To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often." ~ Winston Churchill

"People have the habit of preferring the new and ignoring or forgetting the old, but I emphasize that both the new and the old must be repeated over and over in karate." ~ Gichin Funakoshi

"It is no easy matter to manage a dojo, the need to generate income to cover expenses takes one's mind away from training." ~ Arakaki Sensei

"Fear, like breathing, is necessary. Fear is a good thing. It's what keeps people alive. Too much fear, unnecessary fear, is a bad thing." ~ Remo, The Destroyer Series

"Don't judge a technique by your inability to perform it." ~ Kelly Worden

"Fear gives speed and power to the muscles, not endurance." ~ unknown

"The true science of martial arts means practicing them in such a way that they will be useful at any time, and to teach them in such a way that they will be useful in all things." ~ Musashi, Miyamoto

"It is difficult to solve a problem that you are almost entirely ignorant about." ~ Rory Miller, Conflict Communications

"Personal safety is a constant process not a singular event. Your body is constantly fighting off infection and invasive threats from bacteria and viruses. It is an ongoing process. But there are certain times, such as visiting a hospital or upon receiving a cut, that you give this process extra attention and take additional precautionary measures." ~ About Me

"Tactics can be thought of as strategic techniques. Effective tactics utilize concepts and principles to accomplish their goal." ~ About Me

" ... In ancient times the martial arts were referred to as "Ti" and were practiced in great secrecy. Each system was passed down to one person only, the student who was considered by the teacher to be his most trusted and brilliant pupil. If no student was considered worthy to receive the complete teachings of a particular style, that art would end with the last teacher." ~ Chojun Miyagi, 1888 - 1953

"Sill at conflict and violence were survival traits until quite recently in human history. In some places, they still are. In any place, they still can be under the right circumstances, such as a home-invasion crime in a normally peaceful neighborhood. It is hard for me to categorize something as 'bad' that has kept my ancestors alive for millennia." ~ Rory Miller, Conflict Communications

"Violence is a broad category with a lot of definitions. People can have violent emotions or speak violently. Physical violence is only one small aspect of violence, and violence is just an expression of conflict. Conflict is the big basket that holds all of these concepts." ~ Rory Miller, Conflict Communications

"Fear that is felt in any conflict is believed to be a deep fear that it could turn physically violent. That is not true. The fear comes from elsewhere." ~ Rory Miller, Conflict Communications

"A complete system of self-defense, if such a thing could exist, certainly would have to include much more than ‘physical technique’, such as how to kick or punch etc. Once a situation gets to that physical point in the real world you have an uncontrolled situation where anything can happen and regardless of ones martial skills." ~ Christopher Caile's Fighting Arts.Com

"The true objective of self-defense is to survive and escape death or serious injury from an attack. That objective is very clearly first and best accomplished by conflict avoidance which is made much more possible by knowing the ways of the human predators. That is how they think, how they chose their victims and thus how not to appear as an unattractive and ideally unacceptable victim to them. Self-Defense training must also include de-escalation and conflict avoidance training and skills." ~ Christopher Caile's Fighting Arts.Com

"Asian martial arts do not even address or acknowledge the need or existence of any of these critical survival self-defense skills at all. Instead Asian Martial Arts follows a syllabus almost wholly devoted to the practice of physical technique alone. The majority of that physical technique is wholly impractical for most people to employ effectively in an actual self-defense situation too." ~ Christopher Caile's Fighting Arts.Com

"Few if any of the creators or founders of unarmed martial systems had ever been involved in any real fight at all in their entire lives. These arts were created in modern times and in societies more peaceful than ours are today. So about the only thing resembling an actual fight that most of these founders were ever involved with was an ‘athletic contest’ with another master in order to show the superiority of their style over that other master’s style. And in so doing they aspired to acquire new students for their own system. It is essential to understand that no ‘consensual athletic contest’ such as this is a self-defense situation in any significant way at all." ~ Christopher Caile's Fighting Arts.Com

"The study of traditional martial arts fails most people in being able to apply it to an actual attack successfully."~ Christopher Caile's Fighting Arts.Com

"It is largely the proper mindset and personal physical qualities and attitudes of these individuals that allows them to make their martial arts training effective to an actual self-defense situation. And make no mistake here, the street thug is not untrained, he learned the best way possible and that is ‘ by doing it’. The street thug is very seldom in his ‘first real fight’ when he attacks someone." ~ Christopher Caile's Fighting Arts.Com

"THE REAL PROBLEM IN APPLYING MARTIAL ARTS EFFECTIVELY TO A REAL WOLRD SELF-DEFENSE SITUATION: I can say without any doubt whatever exactly what this problem is and martial arts traing very seldom prepares the student for it properly at all. That problem is the only thing one can absolutely count on occurring in any real self-defense situation too, and that is the problem with dealing with the powerful adrenal stress reaction." ~ Christopher Caile's Fighting Arts.Com

"Martial arts training almost always occur under non-adrenal circumstances. The training hall is correctly a place of respect and courtesy. The real world of violence and human predators certainly is not." ~ Christopher Caile's Fighting Arts.Com

"Once the conditions of an actual self-defense situation are authentically simulated by the instructor in a scenario, that is the body posture, verbal abuse and the body carriage and projection of true malevolent intent, etc, the ‘body does not know the difference’ and we see these adrenal affects display themselves every time." ~ Christopher Caile's Fighting Arts.Com

"The adrenal release is not a voluntary action. It is autonomic and automatic, ‘hard wired’ response to the cues of danger. Thus if you authentically present those cues of danger, then you will get the adrenal response." ~ Christopher Caile's Fighting Arts.Com

"Let’s just explore the possibility that maybe, just maybe, there’s more to being able to defend yourself than merely learning a few cool moves. Maybe, just maybe, belt color or the size or number of trophies, tell us little to nothing about how someone will fair in a real world self-defense situation against an enraged or demonic attacker bent on getting more from you than a plaque or trophy. Maybe." ~ Christopher Caile's Fighting Arts.Com

"If you’re going to win against an assailant who has nothing to lose and everything to gain, you’re going to have to make sure that you arm yourself with the same tools he’s carrying in his arsenal. And, I’m talking about guns, knives, or any other weapon of the sort. I’m talking about…
A commitment to winning – no matter what and…
Survival Instinct
Superior Attitude
A Complete Disregard for “doing it right,”
No Delusional Belief about so-called 'fair-play'" ~ Christopher Caile's Fighting Arts.Com

"…he that is fighting to win - to survive - will always win over those who are simply going through the motions."~ Christopher Caile's Fighting Arts.Com

"The innocent and inexperienced often die because they are simply too shocked when violence sets into their lives. The possibility of violence is so foreign to the day-to-day reality of most people that even if they posses good reflexes there is no built-in protocol for how to react. So they hesitate, they stand and stare. And they die." ~ Unknown 

"With knowledge comes understanding and with that comes strategic thinking." ~ Ledger

“… Every specific complex motor skill is a little different, and so is every human body, we know that for most people learning most skills, it takes at least ten times as many repetitions to erase a previously-learned bad habit than it does to ingrain a good, new habit from the beginning.” - Cornered Cat Blog “Scratching Post.”

“Situational awareness is a cumulative alertness to threat and your environment. It enables you to notice pre-incident indicators, which are odd movements or anomalies govern the situation. Pre-incident indicators, cumulatively, create a visual unlikely circumstance consistent with either a contrived situation or predatorily behavior.” ~ Kelly McCann

“Every tool, technique, or tactic that you employ in a street fight must be efficient. Efficiency means that the techniques are direct and can be deployed rapidly, allowing you to reach your objective quickly and economically. Efficient techniques are also easy to learn and maintain, and they can be retained under the severe stress of combat. Remember, a technique does not have to be complex to be sophisticated.” ~ From: "1001 Street Fighting Secrets" by Sammy Franco

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