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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Practice (Training) -n- Experience

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

I have come to one conclusion with absolutely no doubts at all in my mind, i.e., “There is no substitute for Experience!” Add in that “There is no substitute for Hard Work!” Finally, I would add, “The Right Experience is Critical.” 

Experience, there are a variety of ways to accumulate experience but it has and should be noted that the type of experience matters and in the game of conflict and violence it is critical to success, critical to, “Getting-r-done.” 
  • Experience of Practice: Practice comes in many forms, i.e., one being second-hand practice in that one learns from others in a controlled environment to gain fundamentals as a foundation for any discipline. Practice can also be beneficial if it can be as close proximity to reality as possible where certain effects are triggered that would be close to reality such as reality based adrenal stress-inducing models causing effects encountered in situations such as one’s possibly resulting in grave harm or death. 
  • Experience of Training: Based on sources, conditions, environment and those who mentor or teach the discipline or subject. It is often a group, tribal like environment, dynamic beneficial to all participants/members where exchanges occur allowing for individual and group analysis and synthesis that is tested and validated in actual experience in the reality of, for example, self-fense against a predatory process/resource attack. 
  • Experience of Reality (specific to the discipline and goals because that matters too): Someone able to recount an event they witnessed or took part in has "first hand experience". First hand experience of the "you had to be there" variety can seem especially valuable and privileged, but it often remains potentially subject to errors in sense-perception and in personal interpretation. Second-hand experience can offer richer resources: recorded and/or summarized from first-hand observers or experiencers or from instruments, and potentially expressing multiple points of view.  

  • Physical Experience: Physical experience occurs whenever an object or environment changes. [3] In other words, physical experiences relate to observables. They need not involve modal properties nor mental experiences.
  • Mental Experience: Mental experience involves the aspect of intellect and consciousness experienced as combinations of thought, perception, memory, emotion, will[citation needed] and imagination, including all unconscious cognitive processes. 
  • Emotional Experience: Emotional Intelligence, i.e., “the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one's emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.” 
  • Social Experience: Social experience provides individuals with the skills and habits necessary for participating within their own societies, as a society itself is formed[citation needed] through a plurality of shared experiences forming norms, customs, values, traditions, social roles, symbols and languages.
  • Subjective Experience: Subjective experience can involve a state of individual subjectivity, perception on which one builds one's own state of reality; a reality based on one’s interaction with one's environment. The subjective experience depends on one’s individual ability to process data, to store and internalize it. 
Experience is without a doubt a critical component to gaining proper abilities to cope with a certain issue, situation and environment, i.e., like conflict and violence. It is even true, as many professionals have expressed in their publications and work, that even in specific matters experiences not directly related to that type of experience can be limited and an obstacle to success such as self-fense. 

To clear the air to my expression and communications of the differences between practice/training-experienced to experience in reality I would us a particular art, the dart arts. 

In darts, like any discipline be it sport or combative, etc., you have to practice, practice, practice and then you have to train, train, and train some more BUT even with a huge experience in both training and practice it still comes down to reality performance and application. I practice and actually express my proficiency and expertise when I practice the dart arts. Even so, it almost always falls down to novice and proficiency is drastically reduced when I enter into a competitive environment, i.e., face off against adversaries in the dart arts. 

You would think with enough practice and training I would have created a tape in the deep mind that would take over and keep my proficiency up to the level I gained in that practice but don’t make that assumption. I can play against an opponent and play horribly, a frustrating thing on its own, then immediately after when warming up for the next round my practice hits targets that would make a master professional dart artist sweat. 

That switch from one form to the actual reality is a huge one and warrants understanding that no matter how good you get in the dojo against your friends and dojo mates, no matter how well you throw darts in practice and in warming up for competition, when you are exposed to the dangers and trials and tribulations of an attack on the street and when you step up to the competitive line, to ocky line in dart arts, to compete against an unknown competitor you just don’t know what will happen. 

Reality-based adrenal effects triggering training and practice are necessary and even with that you have to gain actual hands-on experience, actual hands-on experience being attacked by a predatory or playing darts against an unknown experienced darter your training and practice and those experiences may not keep you to the levels your training and practiced have achieved in those environments. 

Lets refer to that gap, the chasm you must leap across to gain reality experience, cognitive dissonance. CD is that something that happens when you are confronted with the reality of a situation outside the dojo, the practice arena, and conflicts with what your mind has created regarding that discipline. You have to come to grips with this but your mind tends to do its own thing so it triggers a rationalization to compensate for the discrepancy you encountered. This is how our brains work. You have to spot it so that you can shift gears and hope that the mind allows you to redirect toward reality. Then the realization comes that even with a ton of practice, training and practice/training-experiences often rationalized as effective methodologies for perceived, yet never experienced reality, reality to cause CD to make you feel good, to self-sooth and to place a non-realistic belief to remain comfortable and to provide excuses to avoid realistic experiences. 

The goal is to spot this CD and then take the first step by gaining realistic experience. In the dart arts, as I provide an example above, it is easy to decide to compete in a live competitive chaotic fluid environment because the repercussions are simply to lose the game. In self-fense, one that exposes you to conflict and sometimes extreme violence with grave harm or death as a result, it is extremely difficult to gain that type of experience unless you work in a profession that lives, breathes and deals with conflict and violent people in a violent environment such as military, police, and other such disciplines. 

It just goes to show that all the years of repetitive practices in a controlled environment often without realistic training regimens that expose you to the reality of conflict and violence WILL ALWAYS fail you in violent predatory situations, always. It has become clearer to me in my studies that those professionals with far more experiences and understanding of these things are truly knowledgable, experienced and professional people who provide us necessary and critical knowledge that is often missing from the Self-Defense Martial Arts/Karate Industry. 

In my mind, it will always come down to the type and appropriateness of training, practice and experience and it will take only that type of reality-experience to truly master the more violent aspects of the arts. Until that moment when you have to act, to finish the OODA process in a truly violent situation, your efforts may or may not be there for you. 

I once taught, if you want to use your skills for Self-Fense you are going to have to hit someone and that someone is going to have to hit you AND not just in and on the dojo floor. I am not talking about social violence where two guys do the monkey dance but the asocial predatory process/resource kind of reality that the guy attacking you has the advantage, took that advantage and is committed to doing extreme violent harm to you, totally committed and already half way to his goal. 

Anything less is just playing, having fun and just pretending. Don’t fool yourself unless you are aware of and accept the conditions of your discipline and reasoning toward participation. It is just too dangerous to allow yourself to accept reality for what it is, not what you think or feel it is or should be. 

Look at it this way, using a meme from a famous sport gear manufacturer, “Just do it!” You have to do the thing to achieve proficiency in that thing and I don’t mean doing the dance done in the dojo!

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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