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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Using Your Fists for Self-Defense

Caveat: This post is mine and mine alone. I the author of this post 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.)

I just came across a statement that I had missed in the first reading of a book that really opened my eyes to an aspect of self-defense martial arts that may be important to those who practice MA for defense, it goes like this - “Any blow delivered powerfully and deliberately to a vital area of the body could be construed as deadly force so long as it can be shown that it was struck with the intention, or predictable likelihood, of killing or maiming the other guy. Expect to be prosecuted for it.” - Rory Miller, Scaling Force, Level 6 - Lethal Force, page 242, second paragraph. 

What I am getting at is how we in martial arts tend to teach self-defense. In a previous article I spoke to my feelings, my idea’s and my perceptions regarding high ranks in martial arts. How they may be used by the legal profession to “get a check in the win column” by using the high rank to put the martial artist in position with higher standards than normal folks as to its use, etc. In other words, deadly force levels. 

When I read this statement it just occurred to me that martial artists who teach a striking system for self-defense may not realize the possibility that what they teach and try to apply just might put them over the edge in self-defense when a person not considered a professional martial artists may be forgiven for breaking the law. 

Then it came to my mind that possibly a martial artist of black belt levels who utilized such Hojo Undo practices in a traditional manner could also be used to imply a higher level of force along with requiring a higher standard in a self-defense situation. Take into consideration the use and practice of makiwara, i.e., where one develops “fists of steel” that will “end the fight in one punch.” That mind set alone delivers a message to the uninitiated that the martial artists intent from the beginning is to be an aggressive fighter hell bent on doing an adversary “to death or at least apply great bodily harm.”  Now that seems to me a formula for failure in self-defense. 

I know for me, in my early days of martial arts, i.e., around early 70’s, that what I learned, practiced and taught would be construed today as a very aggressive and inappropriate way to defend oneself. If I had actually been caught applying martial arts skills in what I thought was self-defense I would have gone to jail wondering how that could happen because, “I was just defending myself.”

Here is another rub tho, in certain situations you have to apply those skills to get out and that means applying your martial arts self-defense skills, i.e., in this article your hands in applying powerful blows. Here is where you have to know about “Force Decisions (notice how I slid in Rory Miller’s book on force).”

Oh, another thought, Marc MacYoung is supposed to be writing another of his “Writing Violence” series that I believe is on using your fists. That should add some light on this subject. 

Side Comment: Even for non-martial artists, most of us assume using your fists are primary to self-defense. Not always true nor even safe to assume such a thing but you know what I mean. Guys in particular assume they have to use their fists in a fight or in self-defense. This is why having an article on fists, especially for strikers in MA, seems apropos.

Addendum did Wednesday, March 18, 2015 at 13:32 hours:

As martial artists we sometimes forget, "We have been learning some nasty stuff and may be in for a surprise when we find out just how nasty it can be."

In addition we as martial artists must remember, "One of the biggest disconnects in martial arts training is that it is so easy to forget what you are training to do." AND "A powerful, focused punch lands with enough force to concuss the brain or break or dislocate the adversary's jaw." AND "To practice and to either forget or ignore what you are practicing is something close to unforgivable." 

All quotes from Rory Miller's book, "Scaling Force." 

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.
MacYoung, Marc. “Writing Violence #1: Getting Shot.” NNSD. Amazon Digital. 2014.
MacYoung, Marc. “Writing Violence #2: Getting Stabbed.”  NNSD. Amazon Digital. 2015.
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.

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

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