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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Situational Awareness

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

First, define situational, i.e., situational means, “manner of being situated; location or position with reference to environment; a place or locality; condition; case; plight; the state of affairs; combination of circumstances; Sociology. the aggregate of biological, psychological, and sociocultural factors acting on an individual or group to condition behavioral patterns.”

Second, define awareness, i.e., awareness means, “knowledge or perception of a situation or fact (consciousness, recognition, realization, etc.); concern about and well-informed interest in a particular situation or development (understanding, grasp, appreciation, knowledge, insight, familiarity and cognizance.); the ability to perceive, to feel, or to be conscious of events, objects, thoughts, emotions, or sensory patterns. In this level of consciousness, sense data can be confirmed by an observer without necessarily implying understanding. More broadly, it is the state or quality of being aware of something. In biological psychology, awareness is defined as a human's or an animal's perception and cognitive reaction to a condition or event.”

Third, lets see what comes up when we try to define situational awareness, i.e., “the ability to identify, process, and comprehend the critical elements of information about what is happening to the team with regard to the mission. More simply, it's knowing what is going on around you; the perception of environmental elements with respect to time or space, the comprehension of their meaning, and the projection of their status after some variable has changed, such as time, or some other variable, such as a predetermined event; being aware of what is happening in the vicinity, in order to understand how information, events, and one's own actions will impact goals and objectives, both immediately and in the near future. One with an adept sense of situation awareness generally has a high degree of knowledge with respect to inputs and outputs of a system, i.e. an innate "feel" for situations, people, and events that play out due to variables the subject can control.”

Talk about a mouth full, it helps to understand why this particular term used in self-defense teachings can stray far and away of what one would really need to be situationally aware when in situations that could lead to violence. When discussing situational awareness the student must also understand things like, “Situational understanding, assessment, mental models, and Sense-making.”

Situational Understanding: In the context of military command and control applications, situational understanding refers to the "product of applying analysis and judgment to the unit's situation awareness to determine the relationships of the factors present and form logical conclusions concerning threats to the force or mission accomplishment, opportunities for mission accomplishment, and gaps in information".

Situational Assessment: it is important to distinguish the term situation awareness, as a state of knowledge, from the processes used to achieve that state. These processes, which may vary widely among individuals and contexts, will be referred to as situational assessment or the process of achieving, acquiring, or maintaining SA." Thus, in brief, situation awareness is viewed as "a state of knowledge," and situational assessment as "the processes" used to achieve that knowledge. 

Mental Model: Accurate mental models are one of the prerequisites for achieving SA. A mental model can be described as a set of well-defined, highly organized yet dynamic knowledge structures developed over time from experience. Experienced decision makers assess and interpret the current situation and select an appropriate action based on conceptual patterns stored in their long-term memory as "mental models". Cues in the environment activate these mental models, which in turn guide their decision making process.

Sense-making: situation awareness is about the knowledge state that's achieved—either knowledge of current data elements, or inferences drawn from these data, or predictions that can be made using these inferences. In contrast, Sense-making is about the process of achieving these kinds of outcomes, the strategies, and the barriers encountered;  Sense-making is viewed more as "a motivated, continuous effort to understand connections (which can be among people, places, and events) in order to anticipate their trajectories and act effectively", rather than the state of knowledge underlying situation awareness; Sense-making is actually considering a subset of the processes used to maintain situation awareness; In the vast majority of the cases, SA is instantaneous and effortless, proceeding from pattern recognition of key factors in the environment; Sense-making is backward focused, forming reasons for past events, while situation awareness is typically forward looking, projecting what is likely to happen in order to inform effective decision processes.

Situational Awareness is a critical decision-making state of mind. It is not a constant state but one that is usually triggered by instincts developed through experience, training, practice and understanding so that a trigger event will turn on SA and that will allow the operator to achieve proper defensive states to achieve goals be it civil self-defense for a non-professional to proper tactical and strategic goals for the professional. 

What constitutes the atomistic of SA comes from implementation of the other related concepts, i.e., SU, SA, MM and SM as described above. Each environment, each social group dynamic, each social belief system and so on dictates in any given moment what happens and what should be done to achieve goals, i.e., restraint or defense, etc.

As can be seen just in this short terse article the concepts toward awareness in martial arts training for professionals or civil self-defense can be complex. It is imperative students of MA-SD be exposed to, trained in and application of awareness if for no other reason then to identify the road markers that broadcast danger is down the road and it involves violence. It also speaks to how a person should become aware of themselves and as to their thoughts and actions according to any given moment because a lot of violence can be avoided by that type of awareness, i.e., in any given situation having an awareness of our own monkey’s, the monkey’s response and making a conscious decision to ignore the ego emotional monkey crap and make good decisions, etc. 

In closing, there are a variety of awareness concepts that should be made part of self-defense martial arts training or self-defense training all used to set off your spidey sense so you can actually avoid violence, etc.

Bibliography (Click the link)

p.s. Hey, nobody said this shit was easy and if they did you need to walk away and find someone else to teach you. 

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