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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Baby Steps: About Training

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

Training begins for everyone in pretty much the same place and that place must receive the appropriate type of intent and content so one can make, “Baby steps” up the ladder to achieve expertise and some day mastery. The first thing to understand is this concept with a modicum of acceptance then to understand that each rung of that ladder increases the data input appropriately to the individual and toward human capabilities. 

Next, accept the fact that nothing of value comes without a price, paying the price determines value and value often determines its ability to function in the environment and circumstances as high as violent conflicts requiring self-fense - in this instance of example. You cannot take shortcuts and assuming teachings are absolute and sacrosanct is the doorway to disaster, sooner or later. 

This is a lead up to what one author calls, “Four Fundamental Requirements of Martial Arts,” where I would add in parens, “karate, sport, fighting, combatives and philosophical ways.” Here are what the author feels is four fundamentals:

  1. Good Posture
  2. Good Structural Alignment
  3. Good Body Mechanics
  4. Good Practical Functionality

Are these actually appropriate and relevant and exact fundamental martial art and karate requirements? If not, what would requirements be for martial arts and karate?

In truth, if and when you read the article that inspired this one you will find a lot of what I propose to be addresses under his four headings and it may be, in my perceptions and distinctions, more about appropriate headings to better convey the concepts to which the author writes. There seems, to my view and mind and perception of reading, to be a mixed use of principles and technique-based traits and concepts used to demonstrate the four principles used in the article, shown above in the bullets. I also believe that many of the less than consistent concepts, traits, ideas, values and other uses to be inconsistent leaving possible confusion and misconception in its wake but truthfully in a good dojo with good sensei and inspired practitioners/students that convolution can be resolved over time and often is overcome. 

But, alas, I still have this article not to disparage the authors work but to provide a shift in perceptions toward another analysis and synthesis of the individual toward a possible understanding where change is not expected but possible. 

Let me begin by expressing thoughts on the four requirements:

  • Good Posture
    • I don’t see posture as a requirement because each human body according to genes, environment, physical differences and social conditions and conditioning make that a challenge, i.e., to have good posture before taking up the training and practice. I may be missing the boat but it is more than that.
    • Posture is something you have already that may or may not be correct and in training and practice adjusting that posture is achieved in training and practice, isn’t it?
  • Good Structural Alignment
    • I would simply repeat with minor adjustments the same two bullet points in the first requirement. 
  • Good Body Mechanics
    • First and foremost, even if the distinction is made apparent, body mechanics in incorrect and inappropriate unless someone goes into great detail to convey a consistent, viable and accepted set of principles that would be accepted, incorrectly, as body mechanics. It just does not exist except in the minds of those who use that term or phrase often assuming the student/practitioner understands what sensei means by using it.
  • Good Practical Functionality
    • I can’t begin to fathom how one can come into the martial arts and karate with good practical functionality unless they are graduates of other martial arts and karate dojo. Remember, the terms and phrases are classified as, “Requirements.” 
    • Requirements, if being used correctly, means, “Is a thing that is needed or wanted, a thing that is compulsory; a necessary condition,” upon which one may be assessed toward entry into a dojo. This makes the terms and phrases compulsory to which I would assume is not the path the author meant in using them.

In that light I might make requirements as follows:

  1. Attitude and maturity:
  2. Physical fitness and health:
  3. Desire and Milestones:
  4. Ability:

Now, this is just an exercise so don’t assume or take or consider these as correct, relevant or even necessary. In truth, I find these requirements a necessity to, hopefully, determine if and why one can or would benefit from entering the dojo. Lets discuss them to see how they may pan out.

Attitude and maturity: If a person is lacking in an attitude that conveyed a desire to enter into and stick with a program regardless of its ability to provide a certain level of gratifications means one is going to at very minimum try hard before making decisions as to why or whether they will continue that effort. 

Maturity for martial arts and karate are often dangerous endevor and people get hurt. I don’t train and teach children because their development is still ongoing and their brains developing, growing and changing all the way up past those teen years and that matters to me in teaching the self-fense in karate and martial arts. Maturity is one of those traits hard to assess and determine so it may require a bit of non-contact time to assess because many humans, both young and older, hide that trait will but time always tells. 

Physical fitness and health: I would advocate that anyone taking up any type of contact discipline get a physician’s bill of good health and ability to enter into such rigorous training and practice. To bypass, ignore or simply gloss over this requirement is irresponsible and open to socially moral and legal ramifications. 

Martial arts and karate, by their very nature, require one be fit and healthy but not just physically. This means psychologically too and that comes back around to both attitude and maturity. 

Desire and Milestones: Martial arts and karate are not club like activities where you can just get a social fix and have fun. Fun and social connections are important to learning a martial art and karate but should not be the main focus. This is a requirement where sensei should assess a students viability by seeking out reasons why the want to enter into the dojo life and what they hope to achieve. Because my friends are doing it and so I can get a black belt may trigger some concerns and this is why this may be a good requirement. 

Ability: One can have a great attitude along with appropriate levels of maturity; one can be fit and healthy; and one can have a desire with solid milestones but ability is that something inherent in mind, body and spirit - at a fundamental level - that says to the experienced martial art/karate sensei that this persons has the ability go get-r-done. Yes, subjective and not absolute but a means of removing the chaff from the wheat. Not foolproof but with any requirement it is about balance and economy and other such things subjective to the sensei, the students and potentiality of future students and the ability to teach, learn and apply the discipline. 

You see, there are not cut and dry answers in such complexities and disciplines. It is an art to decide who shall be allowed entry into one’s dojo. The dojo culture and beliefs along with their milestones and intent also contribute and determine requirements and acceptance, etc. It even takes into consideration the unspoken requirements not just on perspective students and practitioners but on those set by sensei such as commercial concerns like income, etc. 

I think we can take away from this effort that although all things are good, they all serve a purpose that requirements are those flexible chaotic ever-changing things we must deal with day-to-day, individual-to-individual and dojo-to-dojo as necessary. 

Now, since the article used the principles of posture, structure, mechanics and ability as requirements I want to refer to principles that should, would and are the very foundation of all martial arts and karate and such disciplines regardless of labels, styles or perceptions that actually encompass these four, not stand-along, principles.

The fundamental principles of multiple methodologies, etc., are as follows and are what I advocate and teach.

Principles w/sub-principles: 

PRINCIPLE ONE: PRINCIPLES OF THEORY (Universality, Control, Efficiency, Lengthen Our Line, Percentage Principle, Std of Infinite Measure, Power Paradox, Ratio, Simplicity, Natural Action, Michelangelo Principle, Reciprocity, Opponents as Illusions, Reflexive Action, Training Truth, Imperception and Deception.)

PRINCIPLE TWO: PHYSIOKINETIC PRINCIPLES (Breathing, posture, triangle guard, centerline, primary gate, spinal alignment, axis, minor axis, structure, heaviness, relaxation, wave energy, convergence, centeredness, triangulation point, the dynamic sphere, body-mind, void, centripetal force, centrifugal force, sequential locking and sequential relaxation, peripheral vision, tactile sensitivity, rooting, attack hubs, attack posture, possibly the chemical cocktail, Multiple Methodologies [actual tactics and attack methodologies of impacts, drives (pushes), pulls, twists, takedowns/throws and compression, etc. are best for stopping a threat]???see below)

PRINCIPLE THREE: PRINCIPLES OF TECHNIQUE (techniques vs. technique, equal rights, compliment, economical motion, active movement, positioning, angling, leading control, complex force, indirect pressure, live energy and dead energy, torsion and pinning, speed, timing, rhythm, balance, reactive control, natural and unnatural motion, weak link, non-telegraphing, extension and penetration, Uke. Multiple Methodologies [actual tactics and attack methodologies of impacts, drives (pushes), pulls, twists, takedowns/throws and compression, are best for stopping a threat] AND (Pre-Violence) initiative, move first, free will, permission, action over reaction, avoidance and deescalation, etc.)

PRINCIPLE FOUR: PRINCIPLES OF PHILOSOPHY (Mind [mind-set, mind-state, etc.], mushin, kime, non-intention, yin-yang, oneness, zanshin and being, non-action, character, the empty cup, inner peace.)

Additional Principles w/sub-principles for self-fense:

PRINCIPLE FIVE: PRINCIPLES OF SELF-DEFENSE (“Conflict communications; Emotional Intelligence; Lines/square/circle of SD, Three brains (human, monkey, lizard), JAM/AOJ and five stages, Adrenal stress (stress induced reality based), Violence (Social and Asocial), Pre-Attack indicators, Weapons, Predator process and predator resource, Force levels, Repercussions (medical, legal, civil, personal), Go-NoGo, Win-Loss Ratio, etc. (still working on the core sub-principles for this one)”Attitude, Socio-emotional, Diplomacy, Speed [get-er done fast], Redirected aggression, Dual Time Clocks, Awareness, Initiative, Permission, multiple attack/defense methodologies (i.e., Multiple Methodologies [actual tactics and attack methodologies of impacts, drives (pushes), pulls, twists, takedowns/throws and compression, are best for stopping a threat] AND (Pre-Violence) initiative, move first, free will, permission, action over reaction, avoidance and deescalation, etc.)

PRINCIPLE SIX: CHEMICAL COCKTAIL: (Attacked Mind, Train It, Breath It Away, Visualize It Away, Sparring vs. Fighting, Degradation of Technique/skills, Peripheral Vision Loss, Tunnel Vision, Depth Perception Loss/Altered, Auditory Exclusion, Weakened legs/arms, Loss of Extremity Feeling, Loss of Fine Motor Skills, Distorted Memory/perceptions, Tachypsychia (time slows), Freeze, Perception of Slow Motion, Irrelevant Thought Intrusion, Behavioral Looping, Pain Blocked, Male vs. Female Adrenaline Curve, Victim vs. Predator, The Professional, Levels of Hormonal Stimulation, ???)

Both of these are requirements to teach, not necessarily about requirements for martial art and karate entry, etc., if one is in the discipline for conflict, violence and self-fense reasons. Discovery of why one enters the dojo, no pun intended, is one of those things you want to assess as they apply, i.e., part of the requirements I suggested above. 

Bibliography (Click the link)

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