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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Teaching vs. Training - Too Early

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

Today, Joelle White at her blog wrote about the relationships of Sensei to Practitioners but that is not the subject of this article but she said something that did inspire this effort, i.e., “Sensei relies heavily on us senior students to teach new beginners.  We’re willing, but that means we sacrifice a good bit of our own training.”

The early years of learning, practice and training are absolutely, “Critical.” To truly set a solid foundation for a life of K&MA one must focus solely on the learning. All to often dojo allow and promote the lower levels, i.e., all kyu and the first three levels of the dan-sha, to assist in teaching with a false reasoning of, “Teaching is a good way to learn aspects of K&MA.” I don’t believe this for one minute and the next paragraph describes my reasoning.

As a Marine with about seven years experience as well as a novice toward the system I was taking while stationed on Okinawa in 1979 I was encouraged to teach classes from time to time. When teaching I spent a good deal of time not training myself. I had one benefit that I had experienced K&MA sporadically over previous years but truthfully, the teaching distracted me from learning. I didn’t realize till many years later that a good teacher, Sensei and mentor must, stressing the MUST, have a solid foundation of study, knowledge and especially, “Understanding,” to properly teach and mentor students/novice practitioners. 

It took me years of exasperation and frustration, almost to the quitting stage, before I began to understand what it takes to be a Sensei. There are, like all things in life, no shortcuts and to achieve a true mentor teacher ability you cannot take those shortcuts or deviate from first learning the root essence of knowledge and understanding of K&MA, especially if for combatives and self-defense - as a Marine the focus was combatives and self-defense. Of course my efforts after leaving active duty were still combatives and self-defense with my winter years focusing solely on self-defense. 

It became my mantra that a Sensei first must learn the full and comprehensive knowledge of the system that would be the foundation for all efforts in K&MA self-defense. It also meant I needed to shift from the original technique-based teaching model of self-defense toward a principled-based multiple-methodology model of K&MA. 

To allow any student practitioner to deviate from learning the entire comprehensive knowledge and understanding of K&MA is to stunt their growth and potential as a true Sensei and mentor. It has resulted, over a span of the fifties through the eighties and even nineties, a loss of a complete system to a more stunted less relevant and applicable system for most applicable goals except in very narrow ways. Lucky for K&MA, there are those whose experiences and professions have redirected a lot of effort toward K&MA as a more diverse yet applicable training, practice and application toward things like, “Sport (legal fighting), combatives (military based mind-set training and use), the self-defense (the socially legal and legal system oriented applications) and the philosophical spirit self-improvement models, i.e., the Way or Doh of K&MA.” 

A student should focus on the shu of shu-ha-ri and only at that level up to the “ha” level, under supervision, before taking on a  teaching role. I also advocate self-analysis and self-discovery to determine if one should even take on a teaching role because that, in and of itself, is another entire system and profession. Not everyone should be a Sensei, many who do turn out to be less than effective all to the detriment of both student and the style or system. 

Spend the formative “shu” hears learning, only assume an associate teaching position with a good sensei when in the “ha” and then as one gains more of the “ha” of shu-ha-ri do they, with their sensei/teachers blessing, move on to a solo role as their own Sensei of their own dojo. It is the best way, it is the true way and it is the ONLY way.  

Bibliography (Click the link)

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