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

When associating with others, especially those outside your sphere of influence - new strangers, sometimes you have to perform the proverbial “count to ten before speaking” rule. While you are doing that you should use the old sages advice to consider what you are about to say as, “Is it true?, Is it kind?, and Is it necessary?”

That seems pretty easy but it isn’t, not at all. In human communications there are a huge amount of variables involved. First is discerning if the other party is either a part of your tribe or not. If within your tribe then the rules are pretty much defined and obvious, you stay within the tribes rules and requirements and things will go well - mostly. 

If the other party(ies) are outside that tribe dynamic then there are a plethora of other things that must be at least understood to keep the communications productive and outside the arena of conflict and violence, etc. The list is extensive but as an example, “Is the communications occurring in your environment, their environment or another environment?” It tells you about some of the rules you need to follow. For instance, if you are in the other parties tribal environment then how you communicate matters as to the rules of that environment, i.e., then you need to understand that parties cultural belief systems at least minimally to not step on your - appendage :-) 

Another example, is knowing and having a working understanding as to the other party(ies) culture being different from yours, i.e., you are a Caucasian and he, she or they are Hispanic or Asian or African American, etc. There are rules! Not knowing of those rules tends to put you into jeopardy and maybe harms way.

Now, if you have a pretty good understanding of the other party(ies) rules, requirements and tribal needs, etc., then you can start to “Empathize” with them in your interactions and communications. Now, when I say empathize I am not saying you are going to use the common definition of that term, it is more about making a certain kind of connection with the other so you will understand and feel their side, so to speak. This is a unique aspect of human existence and the brain workings, i.e., it is said we make a kind of connection with others around us and why we have groups or tribes, etc. like family and tribal connections. 

It is not about some psychic type connection, those really don’t exist. That so called psychic ability is actually the brains ability to translate others tells, those tells displayed from their emotions as transmitted or displayed in their facial expressions, body language, tone of voice and mannerisms and so on - a simplistic explanation but you know, like the attack indicators you are learning about in self-defense. When our brains make that so-called psychic connection it is actually an unconscious instinctive like ability to read the other parties display of emotional intentions, etc., as the communications are applied between the parties. 

If you don’t have that awareness, knowledge, understanding and hopefully experience that often comes naturally within one’s own tribe then you are going to have to rely on your own perceptions, distinctions and beliefs solely based on your tribe and if they differ from the other party(ies) then things tend to go a bit - wrong. 

If you do have those things necessary to have an empathetic connection with the other party(ies) then the true-kind-necessary model works. You have to consider what you say in those steps, i.e., “Is this true for this person?, Is this a kind communication for this person?, Is this a necessary communication for this person?” 

Now, lets add a bit of complexity once again to this formula, i.e., all three must be answered and dependent on the situation and the goals you have to give weight to all three then you have to - wait for it … - “Integrate the three” into one whole answer, before you speak. You might say, “But, I may not have time to go through all this process!” Especially in a conflict situation that can go violent on me. You cannot afford not to go through the process and there is a way to speed it up - practice, practice, practice. 

You practice this in every day life when communicating with others regardless of whether they are family, tribal members or other social and working connections with other humans. If you use this as a part of every day living then when the heat rises, the adrenal dump begins and things are dicey then use the model to deescalate, deescalate, deescalate leading to avoidance and if things till go a bit hinkey you can still make a space to escape and evade any other type of conflict, etc.

Let me stress again, determining the kindness, the truth and the necessity to communications is not an all or nothing thing, i.e., if any one part says don’t say it you don’t say it but rather all three are evaluated and say given a 1 to 10 score with 10 being a big NO and 1 being a big maybe or go ahead and say it. Then you integrate the three and give weight to the one with the highest score to help decide to say it or to not say it. 

Then you add in one more thing, the empathic feel to the situation along with a bit of self-assessment toward your own security and safety. Those are added because in most situations your use of the model will end up you saying those things but in some circumstances where violence that can lead to grave bodily harm or death may push you toward the “Keep it to myself” decision. 

Therein lies the rub dude, this kind of thing takes a lot more effort and due diligence to communicate with others. Add  in the modern closeness of multiple cultural beliefs systems as well as other nature and natural differences the friction you encounter in communications and association with others increases by a whole hell of a lot making this even more necessary and difficult. Long ago when we were pretty much in our tribal groups where encountering others was more sporadic and less likely we survived well enough but today that line is blurred and connections happen daily between a lot of diverse human cultural belief systems making friction hotter and frequent. 

This type of thing should be taught in families along with the various social educational systems to better develop those “Coping Skills,” but are not then you need to realize that in karate and martial arts for self-defense this is critical, critical to the fuller spectrum of self-defense but also to the self-defense-defense where articulating things not just to the other party(ies) but to first responders when it goes violent even more so. 

Consider this, study it, contemplate it and then incorporate it into your self-defense training in karate and martial arts or just in self-defense. You will be glad you did and it is still not too late even if you didn’t get much in your family or in your tribe or in your human associations. 

On Empathy: As I said, empathy goes a lot further along then what most assume, i.e., having empathy toward family and close friends so you understand the stresses they are going through. Empathy is about understanding and feeling the person regardless of whether for stresses or the non-stresses of joy, happiness and love. Empathy is that tool of the brain that creates social connectivity for support, understanding and in the end a tribal like dynamic that promotes health, well-being and survival. 

Empathy is also graduated depending on whether your are close as in father and mother, close but not as close as in brothers and sisters. As humans move father away from the family uint that empathy lessens unless you make a choice to have more for others. For instance:
  • Closest Empathic Connections: Father and Mother.
  • Next Closest: Brothers and Sisters.
  • Next Closest: Aunts, Uncles, Nieces and Nephews. (the tribe that consists of immediate to other family members)
  • Next Closest: Tribal associations not of family or tribal connections.
  • Next Closest: Neighbor connections.
  • Not so much empathic Connectivity: Work Associations. 
  • No empathic Connectivity: Others.
You get the idea, so when you encounter other party(ies) that don’t have a connection of an empathic nature then you have to make the effort to empathically connect. Here is another rub, when you encounter others your empathy will be very, very low or non-existent. This is a problem in conflict and violence. When you encounter others who trigger your monkey emotions toward both anger and/or fear then it becomes most difficult to have or create an empathic connection to deescalate, etc. Look at it as another of those effects of the adrenal stress-conditioned effects where the anger or fear block your empathic abilities leaving you exposed to saying and doing things that often escalate conflict up to a violent one. 

I am sure you, as the expert and proficient karate-ka, martial artist and self-defense proponent, know this all sounds a bit familiar but the importance here is to understand the true nature and extent of human empathy because it does come into play in every day communications and even more so when conflict is higher and could turn into violence. 

Empathy does not mean you give in to the monkey antics of others but it does help you recognize and feel where they are coming from and that gives you the advantage because it provides you information toward an appropriate kinder and/or true and/or necessary articulation of things that will deescalate, etc.

A good reference, that still needs further validation, is the following: The section I find most interesting as to the empathy we need to learn and understand is the section on, “Intercultural.” It discusses behavioral, emotional,relational and cognitive empathy. 

Bibliography (Click the link)

Also, this next reference has some good examples on how one makes use of empathy, i.e., Elements of Empathy at

Remember, these are general to general social interactions. When it comes to the types of skill necessary for more convoluted, complex and potentially dangerous encounters you MUST get training and practice from PROFESSIONALS much like the reality based training for self-defense I often write about for karate and martial arts self-defense. 

My recommendation: Mr. Rory Miller and Mr. Marc MacYoung, “Conflict Communications Training.” They both also have books on the subject but to truly get a feel you should attend their training programs. Both have extensive experience apply empathic skills in deescalating potentially dangerous situations. The books are listed in the bibliography linked above. You will need to contact either author for training programs. 

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