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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Hijacking the Brain: How it Works

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

In the following I provide information on how our brains work when we are struck with the adrenal stress-conditioned chemical dump and some hints on how to train to handle it, to get back some semblance of sanity before it is too late. Some very critical points are provided that help us understand why some seemingly innocent (explained as to why we feel and react the way we do; not so innocent to the brain) events tend to send us off on a monkey run dangerous reactions. 

The amygdala captures the prefrontal area, driving it in terms of the imperatives of dealing with the perceived threat/danger at hand. When the alarm triggers, we get the classic fight-flight-freeze response, which from a brain point of view means that the amygdala has set off the, “HPA axis (the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis) and the body gets a flood of stress hormones, mainly cortisol and adrenaline. There is a problem here, the amygdala often, more often than we like in these modern times, makes mistakes. 

The amygdala gets data from sight and sound senses in a single neuron from the eye and ear - that is super-fast in brain time - it only receives a small fraction of the signals those senses receive (appropriate training can achieve success in how those signals are interpreted). All the rest of those signals go to other parts of the brain that take longer to analyze these inputs - and get a more accurate reading. 

The amygdala, in contrast, gets a sloppy picture and has to react instantly. It makes mistakes, particularly in modern life, where the “dangers” are symbolic, not physical threats so we overreact in ways we tend to regret (note: the brain when confronted with symbolic dangers does not know the difference so reacts as if life or death) [Top modern triggers of the amygdala: condescension and lack of respect; unfair treatment; being unappreciated; feeling you are not listened to or heard; being held to unrealistic expectations

In such circumstances humans tend to operate day-to-day in what amounts to a chronic, low-grade, amygdala hijack. Like being in a hyper-vigilant state of mind. (training is often about creating a mind-set and mind-state) Combating this state of mind is about two things: One, is self-awareness through knowledge, understanding and ongoing experiences; second, is through the act of paying attention, i.e., pay attention by noticing that you are in the midst of a hijack and to understand as long as you remain unaware you have not chance of getting back to emotional equilibrium and left prefrontal dominance until the hijack runs its course. 

Steps include: Monitor what going on in your mind and brain, i.e., “I am really overreacting,” or “I’m really upset now,” or “I’m starting to get upset.” Notice familiar feelings that a hijack is on its way - like butterflies in your stomach, or whatever signals that might reveal you are about to have an episode. It is easier to short circuit the hijack in the earlier stages so it is best to recognize it and head it off at the bare beginning. 

Additional Data:

First, realize you are in the amygdala’s clutches and all that entails. Second, realize if you don’t head it off that it can last for seconds to minutes to hours or even days and weeks. Remember, for some it is consider a normal state and can be seen as, “Always angry or always fearful.” There are more clinical effects of being in this hyper-vigilant state such as anxiety disorders, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder, etc. 

Other ways to get out of the hijacked state of hyper-vigilance: Have intention to cool down when detecting the state; a cognitive approach of talking yourself out of the state; reason with yourself and challenge what you are telling yourself in the hijack; apply empathy, imagine yourself in that persons position; use meditation or relaxation to calm down; breathe a deep slow diaphragmatic way; practice the ways continuously and diligently because without regular practice they will not be available when the hijack hits. 

Bibliography (Click the link)

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