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.

Beliefs...what are they good for...

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

In a nutshell, as a refresher since you probably already know this, a belief is: "an acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists; trust, faith, or confidence in someone or something."

Therefore, a martial belief is the acceptance that what we learn, practice and apply is true, it exists and we do so with the trust, faith and confidence in those who come before us with something they wish to pass down to us. Our responsibility is to believe in the someone's and the somethings to only the degree necessary to create our beliefs, perceptions and to create appropriate concepts that build on said belief. 

When one has a belief, for instance a man who has conviction is a hard man to change. When you tell that man facts that don’t agree with their convictions they will disagree and fight tooth and nail to refute your position, facts and concepts. If you show him those facts with figures he will question your sources and your appeals to his logic will fail, he will not see your point…he or she will literally REFUSE to acknowledge and accept that point of view, opinion, belief and/or fact.  

In the martial arts we all probably already know, as we all imagine, experienced the futility of our efforts to try and change a man’s strong convictions, especially if they are convinced due to a strong investment in that belief. More often that one may like many in the martial arts end up creating a belief system from the efforts of teaching in the dojo. That person, through dissonance and biases, will create a variety of ingenious defenses to protect their convictions, managing to keep those convictions unscathed through the most devastating of perceived attacks. Many of us can imagine and have experienced martial artists and karate-ka who vehemently deny and refute any and all information, opinions, teachings and historical/current facts to support their belief in their sensei…dissonance and biases are working. 

All of us as a species have resourcefulness that go beyond simply protecting our belief systems. If you believe something wholeheartedly; suppose further that one has a commitment to that belief, that they have taken irrevocable actions because of it; finally, assume that the person is presented with evidence, unequivocal and undeniable evidence, that the belief is wrong: what will happen? The person will often rise up, not only unshaken, but even more convinced of the truth of his beliefs than ever before. More often they also will show a greater fervor about convincing and converting others to their point of view than previously resulting in proselytizing the beliefs. As you probably already know this involves words again, why words are important because proselytizing is not teaching, teaching must not become proselytizing. 

Mentioning dissonance, dissonance and consonances as related to cognition as to opinions, beliefs, knowledge of our environment, and knowledge of one’s own actions and feelings drive us and become involved in every facet of our lives, its a species survival thing; it is how we create concepts that influence experiences that create concepts that become our beliefs. So mentioning dissonance when two opinions, or beliefs, or items of knowledge are dissonant with one another because they do NOT fit together; that is, they are inconsistent where one does not follow from the other such as the cigarette smoker who believes smoking is bad must have a dissonant opinion simply because he or she continues to smoke in the face of irrefutable facts, etc. 

The purpose, one of them, of dissonance is  a feeling of discomfort and will in a corresponding way bring pressures to bear for us to reduce or eliminate the dissonance. When we try to reduce dissonance it represents an observable manifestation of the fact dissonance exists. It is at this moment when training in such concepts of awareness of self that we have a moment, just that one moment, to recognize the situation of dissonance and possible biases so we may step back, in training and practice, to create new concepts that allow us to relieve dissonance in a more constructive and beneficial way. Such attempts may take any or all of three forms.

One, we try to change one or more of the beliefs, opinions, or behaviors involved in the dissonance; Two, to acquire new information or beliefs that will increase the existing consonance and cause the total dissonance to be reduced; or Three, to forget or reduce the importance of those cognitions that are in dissonant relationship. If any one or all of these attempts are to be successful they must meet with support from either the physical or the social environment. In absence of support even the most determined efforts to reduce dissonance will meet with failure. 

It must be noted therefore that in the type of belief involved, that central belief and its accompanying ideology are usually CRUCIALLY IMPORTANT to the believers life, making the dissonance strong and painful to tolerate; ergo the efforts they go to to keep the beliefs even in the face of facts. 

In that light the person will be determined to eliminate the dissonance by discarding that the belief has been disconfirmed, cease the behavior which had been initiated in preparation for the fulfillment of the beliefs, and return to a more usual existence. Often the behavioral commitment to the belief is so strong that almost any other course of action is preferable. It may be less troublesome and painful to tolerate the dissonance than to discard the beliefs and admit one is wrong. 

If the person has:
  • Conviction;
  • Commitment to the conviction;
  • A conviction amenable to unequivocal disconfirmation;
  • Such unequivocal disconfirmation that must occur;
  • Social support is available subsequent to the disconfirmation. 
Then their dissonance will cause the knee-jerk reaction to alleviate the pain and suffering and discomfort brought on by the conflict of beliefs or interests resulting in the hoop jumps they will create and present to support the original beliefs as previously discussed in this posting. 

It is therefore of great importance teachers, instructors and sensei recognize dissonance, biases and their effects on our beliefs as derived from the intense, personal and sometimes painful lessons learned on the dojo floor so that our growth and evolution in martial disciplines doesn’t stagnate sitting still because no one will accept and allow for change simply because, “My Sensei said; My Sensei taught me…” 

Note: The dojo environment and its group dynamics are fertile ground for the type of belief systems that promote such dissonance and biases because they encompass the following conditions that feed such efforts:
  1. All beliefs of the impressionable tend to reach convictions that run deep resulting in what one believes and how they behave;
  2. The dojo members hold the beliefs to a state of full and complete commitment to it where that belief of philosophy and actions are so important they become difficult to undo;
  3. The specificity of the teachings are such that they effect the real world of the practitioner so that any event that would refute the belief will be met with dissonance in favor of remaining steadfast to the original beliefs;
  4. The members who hold the belief when facing undeniable disconfirmatory evidences are recognized as such by the holders of the beliefs; 
  5. Finally, every believer is a dojo member that is a dojo social reality and support system because a single believer cannot withstand disconfirming evidence but as a member of the group of convinced and committed members will support one another thus maintaining the belief of the believers who then lean toward proselytization and persuasion of compliance to new members and nonmembers that their belief is correct. 
When these conditions specify the situation, circumstances and concepts through increased proselytizing one can expect others to follow the others without question regardless of actual verifiable facts and this is the danger in the dojo. It translates to how and what we say and do out there in the real world. If you are a true believer and cannot evolve and change accordingly to environmental and social conditions then you are open to bad things like in self-defense that is not legal and socially accepted self-defense. 

Festinger, Leon. “When Prophecy Fails.” Wilder Publications, April 3, 2018. 

Bibliography (Click the link)

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