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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Estimating our Martial Knowledge

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

Humans commonly overestimate knowledge rather than underestimate it. There are exceptions because I am always doing research that occasionally leaves me feeling I am way behind the curve in regard to martial arts, karate and especially self-defense.

In short I don't feel like I suffer from over estimating and over stating my knowledge of Self-Defense Karate.

I often wonder how humans survive and progress especially if the research is valid, I.e., we consistently overestimate knowledge. I am sure there is some natural way nature uses this to ensure survival - a simple complexity.

Maybe that is why I do what I do, question everything. It was said, “I think of myself as a translator whose job is to interpret and synthesize what I have read and learned - to put it in terms others can understand.” - Rolf Dobelli

It might better serve the martial arts/karate world to say instead, “I think of myself as a translator whose job is to interpret and synthesize what I have studied (read; observed; viewed as video’s, etc.; wrote, etc.), learned (academic + trng/practiced + experienced [hands-on], etc.), understood, and experienced - to put it in terms others can understand.”

In my personal case in my early years of practice and training I spent most of my time on the dojo floor because that is the way we did such things in those years. Not to say that still does not happen but as I grew older in karate and martial arts, as is natural, things changed, evolved and became different. I spent about half my time on the dojo floor and the other half studying, interpreting and honing of both physical and mental skills. In the last decade I spend about 20% of my time in personal training and practice and the other 70% in studies where I developed more of the philosophical and academic understanding as built on all my accumulated experiences both in the dojo and in life. 

Now, I spend a lot of time researching, studying, analyzing, hypothesizing and then synthesizing things based on it all, although I don’t spend much time at all with other martial artists and karate-ka honing skills as a group through cooperation and communications, etc. I found in the last decade that my focus on JUST the DOJO FLOOR physical parts was NOT ENOUGH to fully understand and understand the full spectrum of such disciplines. It became a time I stopped giving lip service to things like the code of bushido, the philosophical as in relating the various influences of martial arts and karate through the ancient classics, etc. 

Now, there are a lot of readers who will get to the end of that last paragraph and say, “What a conceited egoistic blow hard, he thinks he is better than us and has reached enlightenment!” Well, if you said that or something similar then, first, you are wrong in your assumptions. It isn’t about ego, superiority or enlightenment but rather a recognition that what I was doing was not enough - at least for me and my efforts to understand myself, my karate, self-defense and my beliefs and philosophies spanning all of it, i.e., home/family, work, social connections and martial arts/karate, etc. 

I come back to what I first read from an article by Marc MacYoung when he said something like, “Knowing what you know, knowing you don’t know some times and knowing that there are things you don’t know you don’t know” (something like that anyway). I know there are things I don’t know and don’t know I don’t know (yet) so that is the focus here, to search out the many myriad things of life and the universe and come to recognize them, hopefully accept them and then try really, really hard to live right by all of it. At a stage I call my winter years I am just beginning to realize such things and am grateful I did so before my time ends. Now, what I do with that is something else altogether. That mountain is getting bigger and bigger and I barely got on the path up. 

Now, the the crux of this effort, “When we say we are knowledgable and experienced martial artists, where does that knowledge and experience originate?” In our minds, of course, but, still, were we just born with this innate knowledge, understanding and skills? As I said, as we are born we have certain instinctual genetic switches that allow is to achieve certain things. There is no martial art or karate gene or genetic trigger. We are not born with such knowledge imbedded in a gene somewhere just waiting for some trigger to let it out. 

In truth, everything we know, understand and experience comes from someone else or somewhere else or from some source to which we are exposed in our environment as to sensory input of sight, sound, touch, taste and smell. Someone else somewhere had to have this knowledge to pass on to you. Many tell of how much they know while others try to dissuade, deflect or simply say what you know and understand is not you or yours but someone else’s as if that weren’t true of everyone. Today’s masters all had to stand on the dojo floor with a white belt until enough stimuli is processed to build on and add to our memories, etc. I was not born a black belt. 

Truly, to estimate the sources of your martial prowess and skills you have to first look to others who came before you (sound familiar). Even your master was a student who absorbed data from others so in truth no matter how long you train and practice your accumulated understanding and experiences are not yours but a process of data you acquired from someone else, from others materials and from other social influences of cooperative endevor. 

I consider myself a very knowledgable karate-ka and martial artist and I readily admit that all of it regardless of its form, form in that it seems mine but not mine, is from other sources outside myself. Everything that I am and will be is from outside me and becomes mine by the input of stimuli and the ability of my brain and mind to synthesize into my belief system regarding karate and martial arts. 

I was once told that nothing I put out on the blogs, etc., was my own and that I should attribute my writings to the sources to which I took it. I do that when it is a direct quote, mostly for I miss sometimes, because all the writings are my synthesis of all the others input be it personal or via other media like books, etc. 

No knowledge is encoded into our gene’s and we don’t just suddenly become proficient and skilled in any discipline but through cooperation and social environmental influences we learn, process and change things to suit us as individuals according to cultural belief systems of family and society. 

So, every single bit of my knowledge and understanding comes from diligent study of external sources and stimuli that my brain processes in its own way to construct the reality of my world be it at work, at home or on the dojo floor - even on the electronic screen in front of you where you and other read my stuff. 

Can we truly estimate our personal martial knowledge? Yes, but it isn’t what you might think. About 10% of anyone’s skills come from the other 90% of processes and data found and fed to us from external sources. So the reality is that what we assume is ours isn’t and what we have is sourced from other than ourselves. It’s complex …

Bibliography (Click the link)

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