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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Active Listening

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

Active listening requires that the listener fully concentrate, understand, respond and then remember what is being said. It is an art form in these modern times of social media where anyone can say or write anything with impunity, almost, and never once have to listen to others as to their views, theories and ideas. 

It is not just listening to words, it is about perception of words and the body that goes with those words. Not to forget voice inflection, tone and other such things that convey meaning to a listener. Even as an expert in the criteria presented so far there are needs as to clarifications because our perceptions, experiences and beliefs along with social cultural environmental influences can trigger certain thoughts that may not even connect to what a speaker is saying, we call these things bias such as cognizant dissonance and confirmation bias.

We want to listen and communicate to achieve objectives and in self-fense it becomes critical especially since repercussions involve grave bodily harm, legal and social and economical ramifications, and death. So, listen and communicate to obtain information and to convey information; listen and communicate to understand and be understood; and listen and communicate to learn for learning is adrenal high-stress conditions can be challenging to say the least and dangerous. 

Traits or Techniques of Listening Actively:
  • Pay Attention
    • Look at the speaker directly. Remain relaxed. 
    • Put aside distractions and distracting thoughts. Keep an open mind. 
    • Listen, you will start to respond at the first item the speaker provides so stop, don’t prepare to make a statement and continue listening.
    • Listen to their body language especially the facial communications.
  • Show you are listening.
    • Nod occasionally.
    • Smile or use appropriate facial expressions and remember often facial expressions will appear without your conscious detection. 
    • Note the others posture and make sure yours is appropriate to the situation such as being open and inviting, etc.
    • Encourage the speaker to continue using small prompts of affirmation, etc.
  • Provide feedback. 
    • Use reflection such as paraphrasing, i.e., What I am hearing is …, etc.
    • Ask questions of clarification.
    • Summarize the speakers comments, etc.
  • Defer judgment.
    • Allow the speaker to complete thoughts and points before speaking or asking questions, etc.
    • DO NOT INTERRUPT with counter arguments. (Don’t interrupt and don’t IMPOSE your “SOLUTIONS.”)
  • Respond appropriately.
    • Be candid, open, and honest.
    • Remember, in a conversation and communications there is a “Pause” when a speaker has finished a thought. Wait for the other person to pause before you ask for clarifications, etc. 
    • Ask questions of clarification only to ensure understanding. Try to feel what the other person is feeling (empathy). 
    • Assert opinions appropriately and respectfully,
    • Treat the speaker, the other person, in ways that you think he or she would want to be treated. 
The above outline is just a suggestion and is meant to trigger further research on your part because listening and communication is a complex system that few really take time to learn and use so take it as its meant to be presented, a tool to stimulate further research. One caveat in the self-fense arena, you MUST get practice and EXPERIENCE because the danger present in self-fense makes it more dangerous if you go in with only partially sharpened tools. 

Now that I have, hopefully, stimulated your curiosity lets give a few words to what I am going to call, “Media Listening and Communications.” We, who venture forth into the social media frenzy of say, Facebook, etc., will find that we click that mouse and hammer those keys on our keyboard often with no thought other than to get our point, or emotional immature outbursts, across to the other person. We have to remember a few things first, they are:
  1. The typed/written word even by the best of the writer’s world can be easily misunderstood. 
  2. It is best to use the old adage of, “Count to ten,” before you respond or in this case start typing out those words.
  3. Remembering that once you click the send button there is no returning, it is out there and out there, “Forever!” Even if you come back and delete your comments there is a record out there in the data-world and it can be extracted no matter what you do so, “Do no. 2 again!”
  4. If you want to respond to someones input on the Internet it might serve best to copy the content, paste it in a text file app and then re-read and make comments, responses and opinions in the text file. Fact check your input, correct any mistakes and take the time through re-reading the following self-imposed questions, i.e., 
    • Is it true (to the other person, the recipient);
    • Is it kind (to the other person, the recipient);
    • Is it NECESSARY? (to the other person, the recipient).
    • If it fails any one of these three take a moment to consider copying your responses, etc., back to the original posting and clicking that send button. 
  5. Remember, you cannot see the other persons facial expressions, you cannot see their body language, you cannot hear their voice inflections, cadence, tone or other rhythmics that convey meaning. What they write may not be what they intended or meant.
  6. Ask questions of clarification especially if what was written sparked emotional responses from you - read no. 5 again.
  7. Fact check the article, post or comment; fact check your responses, etc. if appropriate to the conversation. 
  8. If you are presenting a personal opinion, make it known. If your are just commenting from a personal perspective, make it known. If you are presenting facts, etc., make it known and present references and a bibliography to support your perspective and perceptions. 
  9. Make sure you have any caveats on what, when, where, how and why you write and are writing to help allay any confusions or misunderstandings that will come out in the written word. 
  10. Do spell checks; do grammar checks; make sure you pose questions in a short and concise way; Stick to the subject or let them know you are straying into different territory. 
This and many other aspects of social communications and a form of listening to the written word are needed to make sure that the ideas and stories and thoughts of others are conveyed as completely and as comprehensively and as accurately as possible for that will go a long, long way toward avoiding flame wars and deescalating miscommunicated messages.

Bibliography (Click the link)

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