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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Introspection Illusion

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

In martial arts and karate practices and teachings it is assumed that one must perform a form of self-examination, self-reflection and introspection of self to achieve a state of enlightenment. Little do martial artist or karate-ka realize that unless they recognize, realize and understand with full acceptance the need to be their own worst critique that introspection and self-reflection, etc., is an illusion. 

In the book, “The Art of Thinking Clearly (a recommendation by Gods Bastard Blogger so thank you very much GB),” section sixty-seven speaks to the, “introspection Illusion.” Here are some notes and quotes from that chapter. 

Our own internal observations, we can look inward where we cannot see in to others, i.e., you can peek into your own soul, but not into someone else’s. This raises the question, “How pure and honest is internal reflection?” The answer will surprise you, “Introspection is NOT reliable. When we soul-search, we contrive the findings.” 

There is this belief that when we reflect internally that reflection leads to truths or denotes some sort of personal self-reflective accuracy but that is actually, “Introspection illusion.” We are so confident of our beliefs, we experience three reactions when someone fails to share our views:
  1. Assumption of Ignorance: the other party lacks information; if they knew what you knew then they would be of the same opinion.
  2. Assumption of Idiocy: they have the information but are simply morons.
  3. Assumption of Malice: they have the information; they even understand the debate but remains confrontational just the same. 
Nothing is more convincing that our own beliefs. We believe that introspection unearths genuine self-knowledge but unfortunately, introspection is, in large part, fabrication posing two dangers:
  • First, the introspection illusion creates inaccurate predictions of future mental states. 
  • Second, we believe that introspections are more reliable than those of others, which creates an illusion of superiority.
  • Remedy: be all the more critical with yourself. Regard internal observations with skepticism as if claims of someone else. Become your own worst critic. 
What this means is that to teach, train and practice toward an enlightened state of mind one must recognize and accept the facts of being human with all its psychological and cognitive and memory bias we will inevitably fail to achieve enlightenment and as is often found in martial arts, karate and other disciplines we will fail to recognize the truth and the facts that don’t fall within our personal belief systems hindering said enlightened state of martial karate discipline. 

For instance:

Naïve realism: The belief that we see reality as it really is – objectively and without bias; that the facts are plain for all to see; that rational people will agree with us; and that those who don't are either uninformed, lazy, irrational, or biased.

Confirmation bias: The tendency to search for, interpret, focus on and remember information in a way that confirms one's preconceptions.

Continued influence effect: The tendency to believe previously learned misinformation even after it has been corrected. Misinformation can still influence inferences one generates after a correction has occurred.

Experimenter's or expectation bias: The tendency for experimenters to believe, certify, and publish data that agree with their expectations for the outcome of an experiment, and to disbelieve, discard, or downgrade the corresponding weightings for data that appear to conflict with those expectations.

Framing effect: Drawing different conclusions from the same information, depending on how that information is presented.

Information bias: The tendency to seek information even when it cannot affect action.

Semmelweis reflex: The tendency to reject new evidence that contradicts a paradigm.

Subjective validation: Perception that something is true if a subject's belief demands it to be true. Also assigns perceived connections between coincidences.

This is just the tip of the iceberg but consider this in your next adrenal stress-conditioned reality based training and practice session: “If you fail to recognize, accept and understand this you will place yourself into situations of imminent danger to result in experiencing grave harm and damage as well as be exposed to death.

I liken this to what I phrase as the, “Matrix Syndrome.” The Matrix syndrome is that state of mind where the matrix has you and you are just following nature’s programming that unless you change the code will lead you around like having a ring in your nose and do you want to guess who is pulling that ring? The proverbial monkey brain!

Bibliography (Click the link)

1 comment:

Rick Matz said...

The point of every exercise in which a specific skill is practiced is not improved performance as such, but what happens to the performer. Improved performance remains, of course, the immediate goal -- but the point is the person achieving it, who purifies and transforms himself by seeking to perfect the exercise in the right way. What practice means in this case is not at all what it means when performance per se is the issue.

Practiced in the right spirit, as a means to the Way, exercise changes a person completely; his transformation then becomes not just necessary, but sufficient to perfect his performance. Skill always shows that a person has practiced, that Being has made over a person and itself expresses the change. This is why the East speaks of a Tao of technique, in which Tao and technique become one within the individual, so that technique expresses Tao.

The most striking account of the change wrought by prolonged practice of a skill is given by Eugen Herrigel in his book on Zen archery. He shows that archery, "to the extent that it is a contest of the archer with himself," is a life-and-death matter. Why? Because it is an exercise in which "fundamentally the marksman aims at himself and may even succeed in hitting himself."

Endless repetition is common to all exercises. Total concentration is needed at first, but as the actions slowly become automatic, the ego tension, which is rooted in purposive effort, gradually relaxes until ego and implement, the instrument, but also the skill itself as process, become one. Only when the purposive tension is no longer necessary can its vehicle -- the ego -- be neutralized. And only when the ego disappears can the spirit come into play and mastery burst unchecked and of its own accord from the adept's true nature. At this point, mastery is no longer the product of conscious effort, but the revelation of true nature in a particular exercise.

The stages in the process, as described by Herrigel, are as follows: relaxing completely and shedding all tension, concentrating utterly, penetrating the mystery of breathing, mastering the "form" (external technique) completely through endless repetition, allowing the "spirit" to open so that the arrow can be loosed without effort -- all of this shielded, sustained, and carried forward solely by constant, tireless exercise, endlessly repeated and ever more unquestioning. Persistent exercise is the barrier that brings many people to grief. Not all exercises are hard in themselves, but doing them properly is hard.

-- excerpted from Zen and Us, by Karlfried Graf Durkheim