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

WARNING, CAVEAT AND NOTE

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



“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



“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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FOCUS - AWARENESS: A Perspective

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

I have been studying a bit of research provided in a book by the researcher on how our brains work and it came to me reading some of the recent quotes in a chapter on reality and time, etc., that the information might help us in training our focus toward an awareness that would better suit avoidance, deescalation and escape and evasion in self-defense. 

In the book, I quote, “We seem to automatically know things as we travel along life’s road, we tend to know what things are without having to work out the details. Our brains make assumptions about what we are seeing based on our internal models, built up from years of experience. Every experience we have had contributes to the internal model in our brain. Instead of using our senses to constantly rebuild our reality from scratch every moment, we compare sensory information with a model that the brain has already constructed: updating it, refining it, correcting it. Our brains are so expert at this task that we are normally unaware of it.”

My wife is always getting on my case for making what she feels are assumptions and yet that very act is critical to how we get through life, we make assumptions and they are from a certain internal world we have built, over time, through our personal experiences, perceptions, beliefs and other socially driven conditionings that make us who we  are. When we, our brains, start that comparison and making assumptions there may be information left out due to our internal world model so training to focus more seems relevant to having adequate awareness to detect things before they go hinkey.

We need to train in a realistic way to make sure that we are updating our brains, our procedural zombie sub-routines, correcting our procedural memories and most important correcting that same procedural zombie sub-routines so when our internal mind-worlds start comparing the dominant side, our internal worlds, will provide the right sub-routine for the reality of a given situation where self-defense is involved.

Consider this, “Our eyes jump around about four times a second, in jerky movement called saccades. The reason we don’t actually see the jumpiness through our visual senses is our internal model operates under the assumption that the world outside is stable. Our eyes are not like camera lenses that we see through; they are gathering bits of data to feed to the world inside our brains/skulls.”

Through a greater focus in training and practice we can gather better intel to feed our internal worlds and therefore create an awareness that will better compare and make better assumptions toward our goals in self-defense. With this type of focus and awareness we can better perceive and our internal world minds can better choose what is necessary. If we train to focus better, create a better awareness of the external world through the proper programming of our internal world then we can avoid, deescalate and escape and evade before being caught up in the physical tsunami of physical self-defense.

Another reason our focus becomes more critical in training and practice toward an appropriate application of action is because of the disparity of the external world vs. our internal world model, it has deficiencies because our brains tend to lean heavily toward obtaining a “Quick sense” of our environment in navigating the external world but we don’t always understand that in the process our brains internal world comparison and related assumptions are missing some of the finer details because in this quick sense the brain tends to leave out a lot of detail. It depends on our internal world filling in the blanks and spaces from, “Our experiences, etc.” The brain actually gives us an illusion that we are taking the world around us in greater detail but actually that illusion is based on what our internal world assumes is out there. 

We are given the impression that everything is seen and this is where our focus and awareness in our training and practice comes into play. There is a reason why professionals have after action reports, to sieve through the information and pay particular attention on what is perceived vs. what is reality through a lens that is more focused and this occurs in AAR’s by the method of analysis and comparison between operators. When details are pointed out the we can incorporate them into a new, updated internal world that creates superior procedural zombie sub-routines to get-r-done. 

To understand that this is necessary and that our brains are not actually failing to get their job done by doing what it does best, NOT trying to produce a perfect simulation of the external world but to draw somewhat hastily an approximation, but with greater focus such as through training and practices like the AAR the brain learns to go to look for the finer points encoded into our internal world where the details are added on a need-to-know basis, i.e., when a situation dictates and accesses the zombie sub-routine activated in our procedural memory. 

Regarding focus, most of us assume that means fixing our visual systems on the environment, etc. but in truth our fixating our sight on something is no guarantee of seeing it as we have somewhat explained in the previous paragraphs. Remember, think of the magician and how they can fool our minds into not seeing what it is actually seeing. This becomes critical in choosing the appropriate procedural zombie sub-routine to each unique situation but also about how we miss things when we have to articulate them to others. 

Example, there is a prevalence of traffic accidents in which drivers hit a pedestrian in plain view or they collide with cars directly in front of them. Our eyes can be pointing in the right direction, but the brain is not always seeing what is really out there. This is why focus and awareness must be trained and practiced to program our internal worlds especially to counter the effects of the adrenal chemical dump. Focus tends to take on new meaninig, it becomes the reasoning why we need to focus more on coming back to situations, analyze and evaluate as a team and then discover those blank spaces that our internal world filled in for us to provide the illusion we saw everything and replace that with facts validated in things like the AAR so that we update, refine and correct our internal worlds. 

I am providing the following as bits of information to support this theory on greater need for focus and awareness outside the norm taught by karate and martial arts self-defense programs. See the bibliography at the end for the source to all of this, you may find it beneficial in understanding why things are necessary when on the surface, our internal ignorant world, they seem unnecessary. 

On Reality: (Book Quotes)

“In the outside world, color doesn’t exist. We are experiencing electromagnetic radiation hitting objects where some of it bounces off and is captured by the eyes. We can distinguish between millions of combinations of wavelengths - but it is only inside our heads that any of this becomes color. Color is an interpretation of wavelengths, one that only exists internally. 

My Comments: Our internal world, the Matrix that runs our lives, makes traing the brain, the mind and the mind-set and our internal worlds even more important

We need more specialized biological receptors to puck up all the electromagnetic waves to other parts of the spectrum. The slice of reality that we can see is limited by our biology. Slices of our ecosystem that we can detect. 

No one is having an experience of the objective reality that really exists; each species, including humans, perceives only what it has evolved to perceive. We all assume that our slice of reality to be the entire objective world. 

My Comments: Part of that evolution is our ability to think and reason where we can reason that this is fact and we need to take steps toward updating, refining and changing that internal world to better suit the reality of outside the Matrix of the brain. 

Our actual world outside our heads looks like, “No color, no sound:the compression and expansion of airs is picked up by our ears and turned into electrical signals. Reality is also odorless: there is not such things as smell outside our brains. The real world is not full of rich sensory events; instead, or brains light up the world with their own sensuality. 

My Comments: I find this very interesting and that everything we perceive is related to who we are and how we developed over time where our control is critical to our ability to handle everything. It brings up that most humans in our modern times has come to rely on “Others” to protect and provide security yet it is really up to us and how well we program our internal world. Others are still critical to survival but only when we take responsibility of ourselves, for ourselves and by our own responsible selves. 

How we perceive the world is not one-size-fits-all. From person to person - and from brain to brain - our internal experience of reality can be somewhat different. 

When we misinterpret a quick glance of something we’ve seen, it’s hard to shake the feeling that we know the reality of what we saw. When we are recalling a memory that is, in fact, false, it’s difficult to accept claims that it didn’t really happen. The accumulation of such false realities color our beliefs and actions in ways of which we can never be cognizant. 

My Comments: Acceptance of the reality of how our brains work does not mean we question with doubt all our thoughts but to question those thoughts and perceptions when the level of importance and danger is higher than normal. We have to rely on our normal brain processes, it is how we survive and yet when certain situations require we, at least, must analyze and assess to update, refine and change when it doesn’t necessarily meet up with the external world reality even when we are absolutely sure of what we have seen. It comes down to overcoming our natural acceptance of our brains internal world but in circumstances that would otherwise be normal daily living. Consider that survival today is more complex than on the plains of the Serengeti when Lions chased us. Our brains and our internal worlds have to deal with so much more complexities, situations and differences far removed from those more ancient times. Maybe this is why people tend to say, “If only we lived in simpler times.” 

Reality is a narrative played out inside the sealed auditorium of the brain/cranium.” 

My Comments: Can anyone say, “The Matrix!” The gaol of focus and awareness in training and practice is to make the disparities of the internal reality closer to the external world because, “Our internal world dominates the decisions we make about the external world.” 

Time: (Book Quotes)

“In certain situations, our reality can seem to run more slowly or more quickly. Time distortions, often felt in adrenal stress-related conditions. Why we perceive time distortions, It would appear the answer lies in the way our memories are stored. When the amygdala it commandeers the resources of the rest of the brain. It forces everything to tend to the situation at hand. When the amygdala is in play, memories are laid down with far more detail and richness than under normal circumstances; a secondary memory system has been activated. The brain is not accustomed to that kind of density of memory so when the events are replayed in your memory, your interpretation is that the event must have taken a longer time. The impressions of the situation result from the way memories are read out. When we try to understand what just happened the detail of memory tells us that is must have been in slow motion, even tho it wasn’t. Our time distortion is something that happens in retrospect, a trick of the memory that writes the story of our reality.

My Comments: This one helps to understand how our brains function when we get hit by certain chemicals under stress-conditions. It all blends into the one reality of our internal worlds that helps us realize what is really going on when our brains lead us to believe otherwise. Good to know stuff. Think, adrenal stress-conditioned reality-based training and practice to program the procedural zombie sub-routines stored in our procedural memories for when we need them most. Yeah!

OUR REALITY  is ultimately built in the dark , in a foreign language of electrochemical signals. 

Every situation with multiple witnesses, different brains are having different private subjective experiences. With seven billion human brains wondering the planet there is no single version of reality. Each brain carries its own truth. “

My Comments: Isn’t this at least one explanation why witnesses are so reliably unreliable? I wonder if this is why certain professionals are often recommended to wait 48 - 72 hours before making it and making a statement. I wonder, if this is true, why they don’t allow civilians the same leeway and if they don’t is is because that makes their jobs easier to get arrests and convictions. I asked one time that when sitting in a witness box why we, as witnesses, are not allowed to reference notes while professional witnesses are allowed? Wouldn’t a reference of notes for all witnesses simply help ensure a more accurate witness overall? 

Bibliography (Click the link)
Eagleman, David. “The Brain: The Story of You.” Pantheon Books. New York. 2015

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