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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Sparring with New Students

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

When students get to the stage where they start to learn how to apply the knowledge they acquired in the dojo it is often asked if the tori, in a tori-uke training model, should be rough on the uke in order to help them gain confidence, etc.?

Q: When sparring with new students, show them they need more work by roughing them up a bit. Is this an appropriate teaching method?

Q: When sparring with new students do you let them gain confidence by letting them get the upper hand on you at first then raise the difficulty level?

In order to answer this set of questions you have to find the goals of the student in taking up the study of karate or martial arts. What they intend to lean and apply are critically important in determine the methods of teaching simply because each student is unique and there are no “one way” teaching models that benefit toward what ever model they aim for such as sport vs. self-defense and so on.

Lets say for the sake of the questions and this article that all things are equal and the student is learning about the more traditional role of karate and martial arts but adjusted for modern society, i.e., self-defense. Then ask if sparring in the traditional sense is beneficial to teach a new student.

Next, what are you teaching the student in that sparring model? If you are focused on a technique based self-defense model then you are going to have to teach them thousands upon thousands of situational scenarios that would cover every aspect of conflict and violence - a really gargantuan task and pretty much doomed to failure. 

Basics, kata, kata drills (some actually use kata drills as kumite or sparring) and sparring (in its form of one-step, three-step and up to free style sparring). Basics, kata and all the other stuff should be about fundamental principles or a principled based teaching and training model. Note that this form is both extremely difficult for beginners yet very simple and easy all at the same time. 

You learn about structure, alignment, centeredness, centrifugal and centripetal forces and so on while teaching about those multiple methodologies of defense, i.e., tactics and attack methodologies of impacts, drives (pushes), pulls, twists, takedowns/throws and compression, etc”

Learning about the physiokinetics and methodologies brings down the quantity of necessary actions to defend from thousands and thousands of technique response to preset attack techniques (more often unrealistic to reality then realistic attacks) against set patterned attack techniques back to this hand full of methodologies that are trained to act against the attack and attacker rather than a perception of attack techniques, etc.

So, now that all that has been stated and we all know that this is not even close to a comprehensive and complete answer to this set of questions let alone about the subject of conflict and violence especially toward self-defense we can get a start on the question of how to spar with new students.

Sparring with new students: first, make sure the student has absorbed the fundamental principles both academically and physically and with tactile. Second, make sure they know the basics body moves taught in karate and martial arts not just the moves and patterns. Third, start slow teaching them principled based methodologies that will manifest fluidly from applying principles then start to add in a bit of chaos (chaos where the force and power are at levels the student can handle and learn from, i.e., sneaking in moves they have yet to experience but most important in a manner that allows them to have fun and no stress such as roughing them up, etc.). Note I: I have more extensive articles on how to teach self-defense using the tori-uke sparring model, just do a search of sparring, sensei, teaching, etc. on my blogs.

Remember about operant conditioning where fun can be a huge way to ingrain principles and methodologies. Fun being a key word because if they fear you and if they assume a techniques based model, etc. they will be learning things that may not be there when they need them. 

When they achieve a certain level of ability and proficient application of principles and methodologies then you introduce a more reality-based adrenal stress-conditioned training program. 

Note II: It must be understood that for karate and martial arts self-defense for conflict and violence cannot be broken down into just one thing, one model or one set of techniques, it takes a plethora of things to achieve a modicum of success in self-defense, karate and/or martial arts - there are no short cuts and there are no single right or wrong ways to get the job done.

Bibliography (Click the link)

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