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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10,000 hour Rule

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

First, here is the rub, like the 21 foot rule called Tueller’s Drill that rule and this one are merely guides. These rules are not truly “Rules” that one must adhere too and they are not concrete as to what it takes to become proficient in any one discipline. What happens tho is someone will use the rule on its own and declare that if one practices diligently for 10,000 hours they will master the discipline. They don’t take into consideration all the factors involved in become proficient in any discipline.

Second, practice alone is not enough. The factors I mentioned involve a lot more than simply going out there and practicing something, i.e., like in karate simply punching the air looking to such things as your form and a feeling one gets used to denote power is not enough, it needs more - much much more. 

Third, then there is the complexity factor. If the discipline is of a very, very “Stable Structure” then one can achieve proficiency, even mastery, with repetitive practice but then agin even in such a stable discipline there are other factors toward practice, even repetitive practice.

Fourth, practice must be deliberate to achieve success in a discipline. When the structure of a discipline is fluid, lacks any real or stable structure as self-defense, karate and martial arts tend toward, then this rule goes out the window because then proficiency leans heavily toward individual capability, individual dedication, individual due diligence and other such “Factors.” You really have to push your skill sets as much as possible and as often as possible to create efficient master over those types of skill sets.

Fifth, the incremental rule also, “Rules.” Practice must involve smaller incremental improvements to achieve mastery or efficiency in application of the discipline. Going through the motions of say, that punch I mentioned, being performed over and over again up to that 10K rule means you can perform that move 10,000 times. Remember, other factors are involved.

Sixth, here is a quote about complexity in practice that affects such hard coded rules: 

"There is no doubt that deliberate practice is important, from both a statistical and a theoretical perspective. It is just less important than has been argued," the study's lead author, Brooke Macnamara, said in a statement. "For scientists, the important question now is, what else matters?"

Exactly, what else matters for it truly does matter and no more so in such disciplines that involve conflict and violence, i.e., karate and martial arts in self-defense applications. As modern experienced teachers and mentors have indicated in the last decade involving self-defense there are other “Factors” involved in making self-defense work.  
Seventh, another quote to convey the proper concept of a rule that is not a rule:

“There are no quick black belt experts, the one or two year wonders or the youthful wonder black belt in karate and marital arts especially in their use for self-defense, fighting and combatives —certainly no instant masters or grandmasters. There appears not to be on record any case where a person reached master level with less than about two or more decade’s intense preoccupation with the discipline. We would estimate, very roughly, that a master has spent perhaps 10,000 to 50,000 hours with intense effort, discipline, diligence and preoccupation…”

Intensity and preoccupation are key here along with dedicated continuous diligent practice with incremental improvements with effort, intent, discipline, and due diligence.

Eighth, then there is “Talent.” To gain a high level regardless of the hours or years in practice and training one must have a certain talent to reach high levels of mastery especially in a fluid like discipline of self-defense with karate or martial arts. You really have to prepare properly, find a solid teacher and mentor and then apply yourself but when adding your innate talent to the fourmula of factors to make you a master or proficient practitioner you then have a formula not just for success but to reach the lofty height of master in the chosen discipline. 

Ninth, in self-defense of conflict and violence and especially adding on a complete discipline of karate and martial arts one must use operant conditioning in a reality adrenal stress-conditioned environment to achieve proficiency in self-defense. As one expert says, “There are no naturals.” The degree to which we practice and the amount of practice necessary for exceptional ability and proficiency is very extensive and subjective, i.e., governed by an individuals abilities, etc. 

Tenth, the rules in question for this article then must be viewed as minimal recommendations but in my mind, in my view and in truth - one who wishes to achieve proficient mastery especially for self-defense must ignore such minimal rules and requirements. They must accept the fact that all things worth anything take “Time, effort, intent, diligence and most of all patience,” to achieve mastery or even proficiency.

Lastly, there is one rule that is immovable and set in stone, the necessity to continually practice and train appropriately to the discipline involved for it takes far less time to lose those proficient skill sets if you don’t maintain them. Once you take up that sword, metaphorically speaking, you must maintain your abilities or they will be lost.   

As a mentor and teacher the use of the 10K “Recommendation” is one that tests the practitioner and makes sure they understand the dedication and life long dedication that is required to achieve goals of karate and martial arts for self-defense. Teaching them that this is just the very start of a life long discipline, a way of life, is very telling to a novice. 

Bibliography (Click the link)

1 comment:

Brandon Holgersen said...

"How many years do I have to practice zazen?"
"Until you die."

-Taisen Deshimaru

Of course, I guess you could still be bad at it.