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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Returning Students and Responsibilities Involved

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

I understand this issue crops up a lot in modern karate and martial arts yet I feel that handling it with emphasis on ranking over a more effective approach to the black belt would have lead him to stay and re-assess/re-learn the necessary traits and principles.

Note I: Let me explain the situation that promoted this tirade of an article. A former student for what ever reasons left the dojo after achieving sho-dan. During his or her hiatus they practiced when they could alone in their garage. It appeared circumstances of life led them to stop the dojo and practice as they could in the manner they did. The practitioner returned to the dojo much later for the idea and goal of moving up to Ni-dan or second level of black belt. He had some misguided assumptions upon his return. It appeared in the story that some assumptions were also assumed by the dojo, the senpai and the sensei so that things escalated to a conflict that should not have been. It led to anger, resentment and disappointment for the returning sho-dan as well as the dojo members and leadership. It was this that lead me to the following feelings and comments. 

For instance, if he had been taught properly up to the award of sho-dan he would have returned later, as his life indicated his need for the time away, and restarted in some more appropriate way.

Second, because his journey to sho-dan was incomplete his return to the journey is expected so the response, while an attempt to be corrective, ended up aggravating and exacerbating an already poor situation that speaks more about the dojo and sensei then the student.

Remember, if a student fails, the sensei and senpai failed. They failed to instill in him or her the spirit that would have in all probability led to his remaining in the dojo over leaving for a time and just practicing in the garage.

To also criticize his attempts at maintaining his skills in the garage was inappropriate to my eyes. Criticism has its place and time while to resort to the criticism was a reflex action due to the missing teachings that should have been instilled in those early years leading up to sho-dan. It comes down to the dojo blaming the black belt for their mistakes and omissions. 

If they had done their job then the student would have returned, lined up regardless of the color of belt worn, and acted like a new student to reacquire those lost skills.

In my years I have had many who joined my dojo who were from other styles and many levels including the dan-sha and they all wore their belts without assuming said color provided them any type of status in the new dojo. I explained that to them upon entering.

The belt someone has regardless of their expertise and skills is a symbol of another sensei's confidence in that individual and therefore we as marital artists and karate-ka should hold respect for their previous achievements. 

Many who wear a black belt who have returned after a hiatus should wear it with pride while working diligently hard to reacquire those lost skills and we as sensei and senpai should not "ASSUME" anything about skills and expertise simply because we have no idea what it was when they achieve black belt nor what they may have lost during the hiatus from practice, training and study of their art or any others. 

The lesson here is patience and understanding, not criticism, disgust or some misguided way we assume is proper to Asian study of karate and Martial Arts.

The goal is to learn, study, "Understand," and practice to the benefit of all dojo members regardless of history even if it is another former member. 

If a former member returns and assumes then before criticizing take stock of why that part is missing, reevaluate the way the dojo teaches and leads and then fix the dojo first, then the teachings and finally the practitioner. 

The true arrogance was the dojo, not the student. The student followed the dojo not the other way around. 

The dojo should "Invest in the Loss," the loss of integrity and skill in teaching, leading and mentoring the student, the practitioner and the sempai to the kohai connection.

Bibliography (Click the link)

Note II: It should be expressed that I am not the consummate sensei, instructor or teacher but I have a great deal of experience, not just in the dojo, teaching, etc., to include a professional instructor for a military branch of service where I trained, taught, instructed and mentored other fledgling military into being proud military professionals. I have also about twenty years or so of experience as a sensei of karate where my flaws, omissions and mistakes have taught me the hard truth about my efforts and abilities. I have also spent a considerable time studying traits and efforts of teaching and mentoring in my work and play to include karate and martial arts so I do have some valid theories based on proper research and studies of others far more professional and valid then my mediocre experiences and education. 

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