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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Blog Article/Post Caveat (Read First Please: Click the Link)

Martial systems tend to teach a lot of technique and another person I know of said, “Technique is the easiest part. Knowing when and how to apply the technique is the second easiest. Making yourself do it may be the hardest and that is the part I am not sure can really be taught.” - Rory Miller, Facing Violence

Now, the context that Mr. Miller wrote the quote is not where I am going with this, instead I am addressing a way that martial arts are taught that creates a chasm between it and self-defense. There is a term/word Mr. Miller uses that stresses what we all have to see in ourselves if we want to actually learn self-defense. I just can’t remember that word, sigh (ahhh it came to me “glitches.”).

Anyway, I can remember my first martial art self-defense lesson. In general, the sensei said when you are attacked like this (describes the actual attacking technique here) you will counter-attack like this (describes the actual counterattacking technique here). I thought, at the time, this is so cool. I am actually learning how to defend myself against (describes the actual attacking technique here). Today, I tend to think about how I would apply something where I stress the principles used to create force and power dependent on the situation and circumstance. It is more about the goal like, “Stop the threat,” than any one particular technique against the pre-ordained attack (usually made up by the sensei who in all likelihood got it from his sensei who had little or no experience in self-defense, etc.). 

It seems to me reflecting back that we ignored the harder aspects of the martial discipline both with and without the self-defense training. We gravitated for what ever reasons toward the easiest part to teach, the technique(s). I even looked at the MA triad of kihon (basics), kata and kumite. All of them pre-set arrangements and combinations meant to work against other pre-set arrangements and combinations. As I accumulate more knowledge and understanding toward conflict, violence and self-defense (thank you to folks like Rory Miller, Marc MacYoung, Peyton Quinn and many others).

Another reason I have come to understand as to why techniques are taught is because in a system that uses heavily grades and testing you have to have something to critique and grade before awarding rank, etc. You have to have something to grade and critique for competitions and other such things that detract from the essence of self-defense and more civil oriented self-defense applications of martial systems. It creates, to me, a larger distance a martial artists in self-defense has to jump to do what is required to “Stop the threat.” 

I found in my studies and understanding of that material martial arts self-defense is not self-defense but a program that allows us to grade, critique and self-soothe ourselves into believing we have the security, protection and ability to defend meaning defend and remain in the self-defense square (see In the Name of Self-defense by Marc MacYoung for more on the square :-) ). 

Technique lessons have their place and make it easier to physically feel and learn about such principles as structure, alignment and centering, etc., but when used to teach self-defense, i.e., technique-to-technique or attack-to-counterattack, they don’t work alone. Yes, learning how to apply a technique with principles is important but not a stand-alone self-defense system. There is just so much more to all of it and if you read Mr. Miller’s book, Facing Violence, you can get a bigger picture of what is truly involved. 

It would be nice to be able to learn and apply self-defense “Techniques” that worked but often it doesn’t and if it does it can be luck. Do you want to rely on luck alone? Remember, the depth and breadth of conflict, violence and self-defense far exceeds the comfort of self-defense techniques. 

Bibliography (Click the link)

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