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

Search This Blog

Mind of No Mind: A Perspective

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

If anything, this (emptying of the mind) is the first 'real' fight you face when you start to learn karate. (‘Take out the garbage, as he poked his students forehead with his forefinger!’ - Socrates [my addition]) The notion of 'mushin' however, speaks less to having an 'empty mind' than it does to having a capacity for 'clear thought'; the subtle difference between the two revealing itself only through lengthy, mindful, practice.” - Michael Clarke Sensei, Shinseidokan Dojo Blog

The above quote came from an article written by Clarke Sensei that I felt strongly toward upon reading. It helped me, once again thanks to Clarke Sensei’s thoughts, to consider another way of thinking about and training the mind of no mind. 

In truth, we humans cannot truly empty the mind even if we seem to go blank for there are thoughts and triggers and signals moving around the complex system we call the brain twenty-four hours a day from birth to death. 

A precept and concept of martial arts and karate philosophy belief is a need to remove our ego’s from the equation in training and practice. Its goal is to achieve a mind-state and mind-set prepared for the rigors and dangers of combat, i.e., be it military or civil defense, etc. I don’t mean it is about becoming combat ready but rather a means to train the mind toward a goal of fighting, combat and/or self-fense. Yet, that thought is also kind of limited. 

If we must engage an adversary regardless of the reasons and justifications we must first create a mind-state that promotes achieving the goals along with implementation of strategies and tactics geared toward those goals. Any true professional and veteran of conflicts of violent nature will say, if your mind is not conditioned and prepared for those very events and repercussions your success is at best questionable and at worst totally inept. 

You have to first recognize those mental obstacles you will encounter and that means you have to study and understand all facets of the discipline and the conflicts of violence, etc. involved. Things like types of violence, how violence is used in communications and how our conditioning effects our minds toward such things. Then there are the mechanics and other aspects of such things. Once you learn as much as available then you have to come to understand all of it long before taking up the sword, metaphorically speaking, and trying to apply things. 

Once you have the knowledge and have attained some semblance of understanding you then have to analyze everything and synthesize how you will use that to facilitate your actual hands on training, practice and, later, applications - especially since applications sit on the other side of the grand canyon of separation from training to the reality of conflict and violence. 

No matter how hard and realistic you take training and practice it is not and never will be the experiences you will encounter and absorb when you are in the thick of it. You have to make the leap across that canyon and the processes and attitudes you develop in training and practice programs are about training the  mind to move spurring the body to move and do what needs doing. It seems so simple yet it is in all probability the most difficult thing any professional encounters and it all depends on the mind, i.e., mind-state and mind-set. 

So, with all that said, the concept of mind of no mind is not about blanking out all thoughts but rather accepting the challenge of emptying the mind of its garbage so the reality of it can creep in. You have to change pre-conceived notions, subjugate social conditioning and overcome your fears and misconceptions. It is a matter of clearing out the garbage so that you have room for those thoughts and such that allow you to act in accordance with principles as well as demands of social order of our society. 

Most of us don’t even realize and often will not accept the two states of mind, i.e., a capacity for clear thought not muddled by inconsequential mind chatter and misconceptions and a emptying of the mind so room for more realistic logical survival thinking of the deep mind can flourish. It makes room for mindful practice and training and applications. It is a major process that leads to true mushin and zanshin, to mind of no mind and to emptying the mind of garbage. 

Hat tip (Ritsu-rei) to <Shinseidokan Dojo Blog by Michael Clarke Sensei> as the inspiration for this post.

Bibliography (Click the link)

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

No comments: