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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Optimal Performance (another self-mastery article)

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

The Yerkes-Dodson Law: disengagement, flow and frazzle.

Disengagement and frazzle torpedo efforts at optimal performance. Flow is optimal performance. Good stress releases the optimal level of harmonies by the HPA axis resulting in our best performance. The hard part after understanding the concept is to find a training model that will provide access to the flow when needed. It comes down also to how we can pull ourselves away from a higher level of adrenal chemical effects back into the flow where a proper amount of stress-hormones help us achieve our optimal performance.


With traits of boredom, lack of inspiration and disinterest. Moving from disengaged toward optimal our brains increase levels of stress harmonies, we enter the range of good stress.  Good stress gets us engaged, enthused and motivated. It mobilizes just enough of the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline - with beneficial chemicals like dopamine - to do the job more effectively. Cortisol and adrenaline have BOTH protective and harmful impacts, and good stress mobilizes their benefits.

Find that which allows us to achieve good stress so that it will mobilize the benefits of cortisol and adrenaline while holding back the harmful effects and impact of too high of stress hormones. The most important training requirement to achieve some semblance of control in this area is the adrenal stress-conditioned reality-based training model. It is not a model that one can find in research and adopt into a self-defense training course as aspects of the reality-based training of adrenal stress-conditions can be dangerous - meaning, do the research to find professionally qualified teachers. Of course, this means a practitioner must, “Engage,” themselves outside the comfort of the modern self-defense training programs. 


When demands become to great, when overwhelmed, we enter the bad stress zone. This can occur when a sudden predatory type attack occurs where surprise with damage, loss of balance and structure along with a flurry that causes us to freeze. The adrenal dump is so high that our bodies and minds succumb to the worst of the chemical dump. It comes down to training to pull back or break the freeze and then bring our flood down to a flow making actions available over the OO bounce - the freeze. 

There is a tipping point where our brain secreted too many stress hormones, they start to interfere with our abilities, I.e., to get the job done well; to learn; to innovate; to listen; and to be effective. Notice that all of the limited list covers the types of abilities one needs for self-defense. 

In self-defense you have to assume a type of awareness and the important aspect of this is balance as trying to maintain a hyper-vigilant mode especailly at times when it is not necessary leads to what brain guys call, “The Allostatic Load.” Allostatic Load: Where the damaging effects of stress hormones predominate. In such a state of hyper-vigilance release the adrenal cortisol chemicals, etc., into our systems on a regular basis and that is they type of, “Bad Stress,” we are discussing. We can suffer from susceptibility to not think clearly and our body clock gets off kilter, we sleep poorly, etc. 

Note: A way to recognize and practice is in daily life when confronted by others who use disgust and criticism; both trigger the HPA axis releasing cortisol and adrenaline and that means stress and hormones releases when not really necessary for survival. This is the moment you recognize that hormones are being released and then you use your training to achieve a reduction so that you don’t experience bad stress and inappropriate homone cortisol-adrenaline release into the body. Another one is to recognize when someone, say at work on the job, focuses solely on what is done wrong as well. This also triggers the HPA axis, releasing cortisol and adrenaline, causing bad stress so again use your training, i.e., like the deep diaphragmatic breathing method and meditative mind-state, to bring it down and finally out reducing the time under such stresses. 

High bad stress levels, especially a chronic state of bad stress,  results in a state of being overwhelmed, which greatly impairs our cognitive abilities where performance can drop up to 50%. In the frazzled state you respond in a rigid and inflexible way. You can't adapt to new situations, you can't concentrate and you are easily distracted. The consideration here is  this, “Can you afford to lose these abilities when in a self-defense situation?” Take this into consideration as well as something missing in self-defense causing ramifications, etc., “Constant stress, the flood of cortisol actually disconnects existing neural networks; … ”


We want to be here, in the flow of those good stress conditions making the best of the cortisol-adrenaline positive beneficial effects, for optimal performance. It is a peak of self-regulation, the maximum harnessing of emotions for learning and performance. The channeling of positive emotions in an energized pursuit of the task at hand. Our focused is undistracted. Flow is where we can out do ourselves and achieve our personal best.

Characteristics of Flow: rapt unbeatable concentration; nimble flexibility in responding to changing challenges; executing at the top of our skill level. The very necessary traits one needs under a self-defense situation don’t you think? 

Having our optimal performance zone is a state of neural harmony where the disparate ares of the brain are in synch, working together. A state of maximum cognitive efficiency. Let's us use whatever talent we have at peak levels.

CONSIDERATIONS: Rory Miller has a book out that describes drills to practice to get started achieving more control over ourselves to achieve a goal of good stress conditions when necessary; both Marc MacYoung and Rory Miller’s books describe the what, when, where and now of violence and conflict that covers how all this effects our abilities in self-defense; much of karate and martial arts training and practices can achieve a better ability to control the chemical dump but often a critical component is missing in those training programs, the adrenal stress-conditioned reality-based training necessary to expose us to that very dump and those same effects; deep diaphragmatic slow breathing is a method to combat the higher stress hormone release to bring and counter them back to a flow state; daily life, if you are aware, can present you with instances of stress chemical dumps - learn to recognize them then use that training, like the breathing, to bring some semblance of control back because other than reality-based training this is the only way to achieve some results; Rory Miller’s drills, in his book about drills - see bibliography for his books - are solid beginner drills to add into your karate or martial arts self-defense training programs; 

Bibliography (Click the link)

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