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

WARNING, CAVEAT AND NOTE

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



“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



“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

Search This Blog

Muscle Memory - Is It Real or Is It Memorex

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

Most everyone in the martial arts & Karate/training industry has used the term 'muscle memory'.   Muscles don't have memory.   The brain has memory.  Specifically, the motor cortex of the brain is what has memory for functions of the body, including the head, trunk, and extremities.

The motor cortex is:  The region of the cerebral cortex most nearly immediately influencing movements of the face, neck and trunk, and upper and lower extremities; it corresponds approximately to Brodmann areas 4 and 6 of the precentral gyrus and anterior paracentral gyrus, and immediately adjacent portions of the superior and middle frontal gyri; its effects on the motor neurons innervating the skeletal musculature are mediated by corticospinal fibers (pyramidal tract) and corticonuclear fibers and are particularly essential for the human capacity to perform finely graded movements of the extremities, especially the upper.

The various areas of the motor cortex control voluntary movement, extremity sensation (the feel of the bo in your hands or the feel of your keys when you unlock a door), gross voluntary movement and fine voluntary movement (gross and fine motor skills).

Muscles don't have memory.  The brain does.  Parts of the brain shut down during fight or flight which is why fine motor skills are lost in life or death or serious injury situations.

In truth, for the ease of instruction and understanding the term ‘muscle memory’ should take on an additional definition just for the training and practice discipline. I would venture to say that muscle memory is:

“The manifestation of physical actions derived from a concerted effort in training and practice the fundamental principles, specifically physiokinetic sub-principles, that create a encoded memory in the brain, the cerebral cortex and associated brain functions, etc., that is a conditioned reflex able to overcome the adverse effects of the adrenal stress-conditions found in conflict and violence or through the participation in contests against other humans.” 

It should be noted that the critical part of my definition is the, “Conditioned reflex,” that takes the place of another misnomer used in the martial arts and karate disciplines, “instincts or instinctual.” Neither of these are realistic or factual as to the manifestation of physical actions in conflict and/or violence. 

Where I like to stress such terms or phrases is when I express my personal definitions as to what I want students or practitioners to use in training and practice so clarity of mind is created. It is often a lack of clarity and the natural human condition of not questioning authority or authority figures, as can readily been perceived in dojo with sensei and senpai, etc., when receiving instructions or demonstrations of martial arts and karate especially for self-defense. 

We, in martial arts and karate especially for self-fense, train our minds through our bodies and in conjunction with our spirit to condition such reflexive actions of what we term the lizard brain to react or act in any situation and under any circumstance so that an appropriate action or response is triggered. 

It is why I also ignore the culturally driven theme of teaching by Asian martial artists who rely heavily on shi-kata or observation of things set so questions are not required and harmony is maintained. I use as much explanation in verbal and tactile communications along with a huge dose of cooperation to achieve objectives of self-fense of martial arts and karate regardless of what one may or might expect of a more traditional venue or discipline. 

It helps achieve understanding; it requires participation of both mind and body; it supplements the tactile with the cerebral; and it makes the practitioner think in a training environment so they act or react reflexively in a hot situation. 


“Memory is the faculty of the mind by which information is encoded, stored, and retrieved (Atkinson & Shiffrin, 1968).” - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memory

Random Meandering Thoughts on Muscle Memory:

THOUGHT: Using muscle memory is like saying our computers have, “Monitor memory.” Everything we experience, do and create on computers happens on a monitor so if we go with the definition of muscle memory as if muscle actually have a memory, as defined in medical sciences, then our computers being the brains rely on the monitors memory to display all those icons, open those browsers and find all those interesting web sites, right?

THOUGHT: Like computers, our brains generate impulses of say electrical type that are sent by the brain to our muscles making them do one of two things, either flex or relax as needed; the computer itself generates an electrical type of signal, mostly a set of one’s and zero’s, that like our body travel to the monitor to create and display things. Although not scientifically exacting this type of analogy should help to understand that when we use a term like muscle memory we are in truth talking about encoding our brains, the cortex, etc., to send signals to our bodies so as to act or perform as training and practiced have conditioned our minds to do. 

THOUGHT: Sorry, muscles don't have what it takes to have memories. Memories are, "The faculty by which the mind stores and remembers information." Memory is exclusively a brain function or a chip function for RAM and ROM, in the computer industry (In truth, they call it memory but it isn't because it is unable to store and remember without external work by code).

THOUGHT: Muscles depend on certain characteristic traits such as fast twitch vs. slow twitch. It is more about how one conditions those muscles rather than some dysfunctional belief they have a memory. A reason why ‘intent’ in training and practice go a very long way toward properly conditioning muscles to act as a result thereof. Once the muscle is conditioned, say to twitch fast for speed, then it is incumbent on our brain, the cortex and its associated parts, to send the appropriate signals and messages to the muscles, skeletal system and the tendons, etc., so they perform as intended. These physical characteristics can and are influenced by what training is conducted but as to memory, it doesn’t exist regardless of how one uses bias to manipulate a definition to meet and confirm their current beliefs. 

THOUGHT: Lets view it this way, 
  • if you remove the brain completely from the body, what happens? 
    • Will the muscles rely on their memories to perform as in defending the body against the means surgeon and researcher removing one’s brain from his or her skull? 
    • Does the heart still pump fluids throughout the body? 
    • When you put a lit-match under one’s finger does it result in the body jerking its hand back away form the hot flame? 
    • Can your body now walk, run, climb and practice martial arts and karate?
  • The body simply ceases to remain animated because the signals that drive it come from the brain and without the brain it all comes to a sudden and complete halt - you die!
Bibliography (Click the link)



No comments: