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.

Fear and Emotion and the Brain

During threatening situations, many interacting parallel pathways that involve neuronal, chemical, and hormonal activity are activated. The autonomic nervous system creates internal visceral movements, while the voluntary motor pathways orient us and begin activating for external movements to freeze, flee, or fight. This illustrates how emotion of fear and movement are involved in the "flight-or-fight response." 

When activated, whether by fear or an arousal, causes a flood of activity toward the motor cortex to initiate and guide a movement response. At the same time, messages from our aroused limbic system are transmitted to the cortex to evaluate that incoming sensory stimulus or data. Once a decisions is made, guidance is sent from the cortex back to our amygdala. 

For example, when our brain responds to some sound like a shutter banging in the wind we prepare to handle possible intruders, until the frontal cortex intercedes and takes into account the wind as opposed to the likelihood of an intruder. The amygdala cools down and then the brakes are applied to stop us from a tactical move over just letting the realization the wind is up get us taking inappropriate actions. 

The amygdala activates the anterior cingulate and the hypothalamus, which then switches on the autonomic nervous system, the motor system, and the endocrine system, which causes our bodies organs to adjust to the demands of a situation. This triggers an increase in heart rate due to stronger heart-muscle contractions, constriction of blood vessels (seen in the neck, etc., as waring signs or nonverbal tells) and increase blood pressure, an opening of the airways of the lungs, decreased movement of our digestive organs, and increased blood flow to the skeletal muscles. Meanwhile, chemical neurotransmitters are sending out message to the entire body and activates hormones that will significantly influence the nervous-system reactions and organ systems of the body.

Physiological reactions to the flight-or-fight response that the person feels as fear. A primitive, hard-wired emotional response that prepares us for the strenuous motor efforts required for running or fighting. This is clear evidence of the intimate link between our emotions and our movement. 

FEAR is a universal emotion that includes everything from the decision to flee or fight to the insidious increase and effect of stress. The freeze part is NOT an indication of indecision in the face of fear, it stems from our ancestral skill used to respond to predators. The fear stimulus primes our body with adrenaline and triggers the fastest physical reaction possible. 

When triggered the brain activates the autonomic system and stress hormones. The amygdala receives instant input from the thalamus and acts to start up the internal readiness and reaction system. This bypasses the cortex and any consideration of the context and such - it just acts/responds. This fear stimulus and programmed response are indelibly etched into the amygdala, and its job is to alert us to dangerous, novel, and interesting situations and to direct its response.

Because the physical and mental response to fear was critical to our survival as primitive humans the process remains a very powerful and long-lasting one. Unfortunately, this adaptive response is not always appropriate in today's world. 

The Cascade of Reactions: heart rate soars, blood pressures increases, and the senses become heightened as the body prepares to take action. 

In a training and practice, with hopefully experience(s), the objective is to bypass, initially, the direct link to trigger the freeze, flight or fight response of our ancient ancestors so that the frontal cortex can create enhanced responses to the amygdala so that pathway becomes a new one so that the initial triggered reaction can evolve to something more appropriate for these trying and interesting modern social times. The idea is to create a training and practice program that reprograms the amygdala and limbic system so that the upper brain, the logic circuits, don't interfere with the speed the lower lizard system needs to achieve success in survival, dealing with conflict and violence. This process removes the thinking part necessary for training and practice so you "JUST RESPOND/ACT."

You train your cortex to re-evaluate situations and the encode that in the amygdala so it inhibits the standard flight or fight response into a more robust appropriate and effective response. 

We cannot operate without movement and emotions, they are tied together but we can program and encode actions and resposed more appropriate to the emotions, such as fear and anger, so they don't rule us but we rule and utilize them as they are meant to be in triggering movement, actions necessary to get the job done. 

As a trining process we must become self-aware and must understand that which would trigger fear and/or anger so that we take actions, movement, appropriate to any given situation which will keep us in the square of self-defense for self-protection. 

Extracted from a source on the brain: Ratey, John J. “A User’s Guide to the Brain: Perception, Attention and the Four Theaters of the Brain.” Pantheon. January 1, 2001. 

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