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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Basic Belief Systems

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

How does our basic belief system become who we are, it has been suggested that our brains through exposure and experience from the moment we are born through childhood to the teen years is set and encoded from our parents, our siblings (unless we are the first born), and other family members as derived from their lives and experiences, i.e., through their perceptions, beliefs and experiences toward their collective belief systems. Soon, we as children then venture out and experience other children from other neighborhood families and these experiences tend to tweak our brains making neuron connections that become memories and that build our personalities, characters and belief systems.

Next is how we venture forth into society and for almost all of us in these times that means through the local education systems. Then couple that with the types of social conditioning the society we live in imposes on us as a type of group control system. As can be seen by this list, not all inclusive either, our brains and memories formulate a set of memories that will create through those influences our belief system. 

It is interesting to understand that when we are born our brains, except those encoded zombie like sub-routines that control the uncontrollable, the brains are kind of blank slates where through these influence neurons are removed, adjusted and connected and reconnected until we reach a certain point in life where our personalities and characters are set, to a point for we can achieve changes and adjustments throughout our lives but the core personalities and character of ourselves and our belief systems are encoded. 

“Consider this, as adults, our past in not a faithful record. Instead it’s a reconstruction, and sometimes it can border on mythology. When we review our life memories, we should do so with the awareness that not all the details are accurate. Some came from stories that people told us about ourselves; others were filled in with what we thought must have happened. So if your answer to who you are is based simply on your memories, that makes your identity something of a strange, ongoing, mutable narrative.” - David Eagleman, The Brain: The Story of You

We assume the accuracy of our memories and those memories, we believe, tell us who we are and our personalities and character are derived from that belief system yet we can be fooled into actually believing in something through leading questions and suggestions that we can come to believe as absolutely true thereby changing the belief system and shifting our personalities and character accordingly. 

“Basic beliefs can be conceptualized as value systems that are learned in childhood and adolescence. They encompass religious or political beliefs and values as well as basic definitions of oneself and one’s personal goals in life.” 

Yes, as I mentioned already our belief system, our character and our personalities are learned and encoded in childhood and adolescence and yet from the end of out teens to about age twenty-five years there are other adjustments going on before our identities as personality and character along with collected, collated and constantly changing memories are then set, to a point. Set to a foundation that still is in constant flux but to drastically change personalities and character, etc., would need some sort of catastrophic change in our brains. 

“They are needed to guide coherent behavior over the life cycle of an individual, and even over generations for groups and whole nations. This makes them resistant to change, even when confronted with opposing evidence.”

Ok, you were wondering when I would get to the core of this blog, karate and martial arts training, practice and application - well, I am here because as the last quote or meme states our beliefs are our guide but when they become so deeply entrenched and permeate our immediate group then they become religious dogmatic beliefs where we and our group members will resist any changes, even when confronted with irrefutable opposing evidence

This is how we end up with different dojo, styles, systems and organizations because dependent on beliefs, character traits and personality traits we either collect together into groups or we move on till we find that group. It is because of those individual characteristics of the indifivdual that styles and systems come into existence, to create a group dynamic that fits the person’s personality and character traits.

We can add to this explanation because this tendency and effort to gravitate toward separate and distinct groups, dojo, is driven by our natural instincts toward survival. Even if our societies are such that an apparent and obvious need toward survival, i.e., as in when we ran from Lions while hunting and gathering in the Sarangety Plains, will still trigger that lizard brain oriented death fearing instinct, one that we are quickly losing knowledge and understanding about thus creating a stress-condition that further stresses humans because of not knowing the what, when, where and especially who of our natural nature. 

This brings up another issue worth exploring, why humans - especially men - gravitate toward sports and now, in the last sixty plus years, karate and martial arts. Well, in my mind, it deals with those very natural instincts when it comes to actual and perceived dangers that involve harm, both grave bodily and grave psychological, conflicts and violence. When things get a bit dicy and our spidey senses start to tingle most who are just ignorant to our very nature or who refuse to believe we still have and need those instincts don’t want to accept and deal with them - big mistake.

When the dangers fall into a stasis state hidden away due to better times we still instinctually have the need to find, build a group and participate in those things that speak to conflict and violence both physical and psychological. Life is full of conflicts and violence, they may be about some aggressive verbal act or they may be some physical attack for a process or the resource needs of the attacker but they all are reminiscent of those early hunter gatherer times of human existence. 

So, just like the Romans and the Greeks, when war was not going on they gravitated toward activities that would keep their skills sharp and ready. Our modern society through fear has conditioned us out of our conscious understanding of that very nature but our deeply imbedded instincts still make our lizard push our human and monkey toward those very activities that stimulate and sate our instincts toward conflict and violence thus keeping them sharp and ready - even tho our minds may not understand that need. 

This leads us to the club like atmosphere where our training, practice and applications of karate and martial arts for combative reasons fill those instinctual needs and becomes, through a lack of true understanding and acceptance, a form that is more socially driven then survival even if under the social the survival drive still drives the social. We then gather into those groups and through a more social influence meet our natural needs resulting in our dismissal or make believe that what we are doing is actually combative even when the essence and principles of combatives is not fully realized. 

All this and a whole lot more comes from our basic belief systems that drive our identities developed through our created personalities and character toward who we are today. We, as a whole are easily led and that allowed social conditioning and other factors to lead us all to this current state of life. I hope that realizing our state and what it would need to realize reality would allow us to see, hear and understand the changes we need to take. 

“In fact, the more disconnected from reality our beliefs are, the more likely it is for us to experience events that will shake them.” - God’s Bastard Blogger

God’s Bastard hits the nail on the head here, this disconnect from the reality of our very nature, a nature that has not evolved far enough and is stressed by the speed of our automated lives today, has resulted in this disconnect and our belief system that makes acceptance, understanding and change almost impossible. I see it more and more in the news how this disconnect is causing more conflict, violence and “Othering” making it worse than if we accepted and allowed for our nature using answers that would embrace and provide coping skills relevant to our modern times so we can do better and avoid all this angst, anger and aggressive behavior out of pure exasperation and frustration that also lead toward all types of violence.

In karate and martial arts for self-defense we accept such things and create avenues to cope with the frustrations society and technology put on us so that we recognize our true nature making it easier to allow our human brains to achieve things like avoidance, deescalation and escape and evasion over the damage and danger of physical confrontation and violence. Isn’t it all truly about a more acceptable relationship with all humans rather than falling into separate and disparate group existence where conflict and violence become more than just a communications tool but a tool to end the existence of others who do not accept our belief system? 

Our socially driven karate and martial arts existence is still viable, necessary and beneficial but it must not be the totality of our reasoning for entering into such groups, it must support and promote a much larger goal that actually brings all the styles and systems together for like minded realistic mutually necessary goals while allowing the identities, character and personality of the individual and the individual styles and systems to prosper and grow. 

My thanks to God’s Bastard whose article today inspired all this mindless meanderings I do, you can read that article of hers here:

Bibliography (Click the link)

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