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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Training, Testing and Refining … Technique

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

Once upon a time I was quoted that in order to succeed at karate, or any martial art for that matter, one had to conquer technique. At the time I accepted that as fact because it was easy to see in dojo training and practice the intensity of focus on technique was mind-boggling. In my early days I devoted a good many hours of study, training and practice to conquer basics, kata and kumite along with other aspects of karate. 

I took on the mantra that I would study, train, practice, test and refine my techniques through so much practice that it would become second nature to me, a reflexive conditioned response, and I would someday be known as a master of karate. Alas, as my studies and research discovered such focus on technique was misplaced, at least as to the complete process of master, or expertise, because there were these things called principles, methodologies, force applications and levels, etc. We don’t even want to start in on the whole concept of conflict and violence that is the very nature of human existence. 

Several things now come to mind for those of us who are pursuing martial arts and karate for more than a philosophical objective or even just the sport competition aspects, i.e., that of a more combative and self-fense path. This brings about another aspect not present in a lot of dojo and in self-defense models, the adrenal stress-conditioned reality based training and practice. 

Before this article continues, I have not had the privilege of actually learning my craft and discipline of karate and martial arts under such a model of training and practice. I thought I had and adding in the modicum of hands-on experiences gained such knowledge and understanding only to find out in recent years it was not the full monty of that model and very, very few outside of certain professions who can lay claim to having that kind of teaching ability. Lucky me, my life has reached a point that except under the most rare of conditions I will not have to face such a predatory conflict or violent encounter. 

As I am currently understanding, a focus on technique based training is great for the novice but in order to have it functional in the chaos and reality of life there needs to be more such as a focus on principles over technique; a focus on methodologies over technique; and a focus on force levels appropriate to situations over technique based you do this and I do that type of defensive stuff. 
  • Training, it requires a lot more than merely repetitive practice of technique, kata and kumite.
  • Testing, it requires a certain amount of reality more than merely repetitive practice of technique, kata and kumite.
  • Refining, it requires the refinement of the mind while the body through conditioned reflexive responses, etc. than merely the repetitive practice of technique, kata and kumite.
  • In short, technique gets the door unlocked but a more holistic wholehearted creative application of conditioned reflex oriented mutiple principled methodologies in applying appropriate levels of force as justified to keeping within the circle of self-defense law and legal systems seems more - productive, effective and efficient. 
It may be beneficial to train, practice, test and refine technique but to what end, what is the intent of doing this? Perfection of self; perfection of the body; perfection of the mind; and perfection of the spirit? Yea, very solid good goals and when we say perfection what exactly do we mean for one can train and practice martial arts and karate to perfection for both good and for bad. Hmmm, I suspect most aim for the good but to assume so would be a bit lacking. 

If you train, practice, test and REFINE technique for the use in self-defense, etc., isn’t that a bit lacking unless they are including everything else as well. I prefer to think that when one practices a technique they are working hard to refine not that technique but the underlying principles that make it effective because merely doing a block doesn’t cut it but having the principles locked means whatever method you apply in what ever way or means will be effective and get the job done regardless. 

You can see even in that last paragraph the technique alone is not enough and that there must be something else but with many articles, video’s, and actual dojo floor stuff that level of explanation and understanding becomes critical. Yet, many still don’t have that included. 

Techniques are the party, the fun part and the physical sweat and blood part that excites us all so in our effort to have fun and receive the gratifications that this part of practice provides we give lip service to all the more boring stuff and move rapidly to the fun stuff - kind of dangerous if you think you are getting self-defense out of it don’t you think. 

Bibliography (Click the link)

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