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.

The Critical Stage of Karate

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

“The period immediately following a karate practitioner’s promotion into the ranks of the yudansha, or ‘black-belt holders,’ is a critical one.” - Dave Lowry, The Black Belt Initiation

The reason I call attention to the rank of sho-dan is because every one promoted to that rank fall prey to misconceptions as to the meaning of such an important achievement. First, it is a significant transition from the kyu, lower ranks, to the dan-i, higher ranks. If proper conditions and teachings are not accomplished from the first moment on the dojo floor and throughout that most precious period of development those who don the black belt for the first time may suffer from cockiness, arrogance and a feeling of superiority. 

It also has a convoluted psychological effect other than what has been mentioned so far. They may mistakenly look upon that cotton 1.5” wide piece of cloth as symbolic of mastery and it can become a talisman that the wearer thinks gives them some special power or mystic like powers along with the perceived vast knowledge and experience often not true or ever relevant to the sho-dan rank. It becomes symbolic to certain perceptions more often than not propagated by instructors who suffer from the same maladies along with how they were influenced by television, movies and books, etc. 

It can also lead to the feelings of inadequacy especially when they first encounter certain experiences out in the martial arts and karate communities due to the variances that span galaxies of empty space between what one assumes it means to others who have separate, different and distinct beliefs as to its measure. 

It must be instilled in bits and pieces along with other requirements such as understanding fundamental principles and so on. It is not advised to let such teachings, trainings and practices to be provided after sho-dan, it is too late because like bad habits, bad perceptions and bad distinctions permeate the mind-set, mind-state and both emotional and psychological maturity of the practitioner. It is well known that once a habit is formed, lived and conditioned into the mind it takes great effort and discipline to kill it or change it. 

Last, not least, is to take some form of initiation after sho-dan where the new black belts in a private gathering of all black belts of all ranks and of all levels of experience, knowledge and understanding where they provide reminder that achieving sho-dan, that first black belt, is not a signal of mastery but rather of proper attitude and personal intestinal fortitude to accept it as a sign of leaving a world of novice like ignorance and becoming a fledgling student with a long, hard and exciting path toward more. It is likened to, “Receiving your wings as a bird; welcome to the sky while being gently, sometimes more aggressively, pushed out of the next of novice-hood.” 

Bibliography (Click the link)

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