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

I am not a leading authority on any one discipline that I write about and teach, it is my hope and wish that with all the subjects I have studied it provides me an advantage point that I offer in as clear and cohesive writings as possible in introducing the matters in my materials. I hope to serve as one who inspires direction in the practitioner so they can go on to discover greater teachers and professionals that will build on this fundamental foundation. Find the authorities and synthesize a wholehearted and holistic concept, perception and belief that will not drive your practices but rather inspire them to evolve, grow and prosper. My efforts are born of those who are more experienced and knowledgable than I. I hope you find that path! See the bibliography I provide for an initial list of experts, professionals and masters of the subjects.

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The Dan-i System: Why is it Important?

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

When you read this article I bet you are going to say, “I know all this crap,” but, truthfully, it isn’t always that obvious until you get it out in the open and you also won’t believe just how many out there today have no clue. 

Why it is such an important system in martial arts? There is going to be a longer answer here as readers will already expect and yet I will give you the short answer first, "Status!"

Status is necessary for group dynamics, group dynamics are necessary for tribal, clan and societies survival. 

Survival is about the survival of our selves, our families, our tribe, and our social collective. Survival is in our DNA and is driven by nature, our nature as a species and our species survival needs and requirements.

In a dojo we are a group and we gather together to learn, understand and experience our true nature's as a species. The nature of a dojo and its system/style of teachings is what attracts us and binds us as a group.

Our dojo training and practices trigger our natural instinctual nature as animalistic violence driven animals - of a perceived higher order and that is also driven by our natural connection to, "Status."

Considering our nature and our drives there is no way to remove the Dan-i systems from martial arts. Even when some arts remove most of the belts you will still find some other symbolic system to set status in that group.

How many people in and out of the martial arts community provide a ‘resume’ and isn’t that also a symbolic way to provide others information as to your expertise, knowledge, understanding and experiences? When I think of group dynamics I think control and hierarchal controls, i.e., ranks, statuses, expertise and contributions all work along with other stuff to determine who, why and what for type answers to place that person, if of value to the group, into an appropriate position of said group with emphasis on contributions and actions that will let that said group - survive. 

One martial art discipline that actually speaks out about how ranks are not productive to their practice yet at some level there is a black belt awarded and a change in the uniform worn both signifying status, value, contributions and progress in that system or art. Whether a ranking system has one belt, two or twenty; those belts serve a natural need of individuals and groups - status and value to the group. 

The Dan-i system may have been created as a means of readily perceiving a person or students level but to my mind that is a direct result of the effort to put marital disciplines into the educational systems where those practitioners lose the sensei to deshi ratio, i.e., maximum of one sensei to three,maybe four, practitioners/students. The larger groups diminish the group dynamics that trigger our connection to nature and our nature as a species. In order to control and teach you have to implement such systems or control is lost and lost control means non-survivability of the group. 

You may have read some historical materials on Okinawan karate dojo, sensei and practitioners where until introduced sometime in the early 1900’s the belt system didn’t exist and most Okinawan dojo had a hand full of students with senpai at various levels used to keep the teacher-to-student rations manageable and beneficial overall. 

Add in that martial disciplines have become a means of survival regarding income, etc., along with that need to have larger and larger student bodies and sources you have a group dynamic in need of methods and symbols that will control the masses and you have to deal with a diminishing of teaching content to meet the needs of the students gratifications regarding expense-to-benefit ratios. This in and of itself also triggers our nature toward survival, i.e., the need for income to exchange for the needs of the sensei toward survival by food, security, homes, families and so on. 

The inter-connectedness of such things speaks to the human nature of our species and that is survival and our innate nature toward conflict and violence. Since we also want to survive conflict and especially violence our efforts need and want a more realty-based training and practice that mimics actual combative violence even in our modern times. 

Think of it as a complex group of multi-dimensional threads all connecting to the very center of nature, the survival instincts. All other things are just window dressings except in that one fundamental principal of human species - survival. 

Ok, mindless meanderings over now, all said and done and hope it makes sense for I do tend to go on tirades from time to time. Even I still have issues with letting go of ranking systems and other instinctual survival based status egoistic needs but I am working on it!

Bibliography (Click the link)

“In order for any life to matter, we all have to matter.” - Marcus Luttrell, Navy Seal (ret)

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