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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The Fence of Defense

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

How many times have you heard this one, fence of defense or fence of self-defense? I have read it many times in materials about self-defense especially the book by Marc MacYoung, In the Name of Self-Defense. This article is about conveying the resulting research of the mind, mind-set and mind-state. 

I quote, “When strong primary feelings emerge or a particular categorical emotion arises, we may respond with an ingrained, learned reaction that is rooted in our pasts.” We learn most of what and who we are along with supposed coping skills that create our human defenses for survival. What you were initially exposed to as a child in the family unit later to be stretched and enhanced as a young adult in social situations like school. 

In all cases of emotional stressors we are going to trigger the old “Fight, flight or freeze” response - all emotional reactions to our own emotional responses to the external stimuli that triggers a stress response, both good and bad. 

In our early years up to at age twenty-five “we have and develop patterns of adaptation that help us cope with overwhelming situations and with our reactions to them.” At least we hope that the patterns are not only created and adapted but are appropriate coping skills especially involving violent conflicts or the potential for violent conflicts.  

The following is how the psychologists explain our defense fence, i.e., “We experience an emotional response to some stimuli -> our internal world creates a reaction of fear/anxiety -> this triggers a defense. This defense reaction shuts down the emotion, or at least the awareness of it, which then lowers the anxiety/frear and allows us to continue to function.” This is our goal in karate/martial arts self-defense, i.e., to understand how things work, to create training and practices that will help develop the ability to trigger the appropriate defense and finally to create a greater ability to continue to function so that we may defend. 

This is why defenses we develop, adapt and adopt be it from influences of our growth to that of the family and society are not just useful but essential. 

Defenses come in many forms:
  • We rationalize the situation intellectually.
  • We minimize our emotional feelings toward a more logical mind-set/mind-state.
  • Selective Neglect: We attempt to ignore the situation.
  • Selective Neglect/Projective Identification: We skew our perception of the reality to a more acceptable positive perception.
  • Projective Identification: We project onto others and then hate them for it. 
The goal of our minds, our brains, here is to “build a fence around our awareness so that we don’t feel the anxiety or fear associated with feeling our feelings.” This is a good thing in most cases and a bad thing in the cases that often result in grave bodily harm and death. These automatic strategies, patterns of reactivity are adopted without conscious intention or even recognition, and certainly without free will or choice. Yet, it is imperative for the self-defense model to know of these, recognize them, use them for appropriate situations and then train and practice to encode more appropriate tactics and strategies effective for self-defense. 

The fence of self-defense is much larger then the coping skills you learned in normal, or abnormal, growth from childhood to early adulthood. It sometimes comes down to the degree of exposure to those things that can lead to conflict and violence. Many of the modern social conditions are held captive by a fence built from within while blocking out other stimuli that lead to conflict and violence in other socially conditioned and separate environments. What happens when the two clash, you need the knowledge, understanding and skills to deal with them effectively. 

To learn more, read the following:

Bibliography (Click the link)
Siegel, Daniel J. M.D. “Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation.” Bantam Books. New York. 2010. 

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