“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.”
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“ … 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.
“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
“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
“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
"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 ......
“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