Please take a moment to read this post first, i.e. "A Different Perspective," before diving into this blog. Your comments, suggestions and participation are greatly appreciated.

Please take a look at Notable Quotes, enjoy.

Please take a look at the bibliography if you do not see a proper reference to a post.

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.

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.

“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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Hey, NOTHING here is PERSONAL, get over it - Teach Me and I will Learn!

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Monday, September 26, 2016

Facts on Humans

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

Learning is a critically important survival tool of our species and to express the limitations on the process the following quotes are provided. If nothing else, it should get us thinking about how we study, learn and, as Sensei, teach our disciplines - how we mentor those who follow our lead. In my past articles you may remember my inferences toward the natural evolutionary process where in takes lifetimes, even hundreds to thousands of years for influences to make changes in our DNA, our very genes, as to evolution. The following quotes also speak to this perception with some variances toward the years vs. decades vs. Millennia  necessary for our species to adapt. 

My thoughts are that along with a plethora of other factors these must be takin into consideration when teaching especially if you want to encode and make use of that teaching. 

“Natural selection sculpts human thought across generations and at geologic time scales. Fitness is its tool, and human nature, our shared endowment as members of a species, is among its key effects. Although the thought life of each person is unique, one can discern patterns of thought that transcend racial, cultural and occupational differences; similarly, although the face of each person is unique, one can discern patterns of physiognomy — two eyes above a nose above a mouth — that transcend individual differences.”

“Natural selection acts over generations; Over time, as the Internet rewards certain cognitive skills and ignores or discourages others, it could profoundly alter even the basic patterns of thought that we share as a species. The catch, however, is ‘over time’.”

“Learning sculpts human thought across the lifetime of an individual. Experience is its tool, and unique patterns of cognition, emotion and physiology are its key effects.” 

“There are, of course, endogenous limits to what can be learned, and these limits are largely a consequence of mutation and natural selection.”

“Within the endogenous limits of learning set by one's genetic inheritance, exposure to the Internet can alter how one thinks no less than can exposure to language, literature or mathematics. But the endogenous limits are critical. Multi-tasking, for instance, might be a useful skill for exploiting in parallel the varied resources of the Internet, but genuine multi-tasking, at present, probably exceeds the limitations of the attentional system of Homo sapiens.”

“Epigenetic’s sculpt’s human thought within a lifetime and across a few generations. Experience and environment are its guides and shifts in gene expression that trigger shifts in cognition, emotion and physiology are its relevant effects. … a mother's anxiety can change the expression of the NR3C1 gene in her child, leading to the child's increased reactivity to stress. Childhood abuse can similarly lead to persistent feelings of anxiety and acute stress in a child, fundamentally altering its thought life.”

Bibliography (Click the link)
Hoffman, Donald D. “The Sculpting of Human Thought.” In How has the internet changed the way you think?  (John Brockman, Ed) New York: Harper Perennial, 2011, 90–92.

“In order for any life to matter, we all have to matter.” - Marcus Luttrell, Navy Seal (ret)

Friday, September 23, 2016

Sometimes, Perception is not what you think …

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

Sometimes, my unconscious mind runs ahead of my conscious mind (why, because our logical brain has to think while our lizard like brain just acts; it is similar to peripheral vision, it is just faster than direct vision; peripheral vision is run by the lizard and the direct vision is run by our thinking logic oriented brain). I try hard to heed  those unconscious processes that give me answers (I allow my instincts and primal conditioned response to lead, just in case). I think back over my life and see other times when I said things or did things that were not really justified by my conscious analysis (driving along a road with lots of side streets controlled by stop signs; my spidey sense said to stop; I stopped; I hear a roar and then witnessed a truck speeding that ran the stop sign, came off the ground and fly by in front of my about ten feet. If I had not stopped, it would have crashed into me and dead is what I would be). I call my unconscious mind when it takes the lead, my ‘Spidey Sense’! - unknown/cejames (part unknown, part me)

This is all about education, understanding and an ability to apply both to life. You are exposed to social environmental stimuli that your brain takes in, interprets and then encodes labeling them as, “Life Coping Skills.” A lot of the how, why and when of those skills come with triggers that are, more often than not, set unconsciously including both instinctual triggers that set off things like “Freeze, Flight or Fight” responses or “Primal Conditioned Response” that are trained into responses that are triggered for those skill sets. 

The glitch here, especially in self-defense, is we fail to adopt and utilize the OODA processes, i.e., analysis and synthesis of said stimuli from others, experiences, academic efforts, and self to remain open-minded and allow the flow of change even when your mind resists because of culture and cultural belief systems influence that monkey dancing around the logical side of you. 

Bibliography (Click the link)

“In order for any life to matter, we all have to matter.” - Marcus Luttrell, Navy Seal (ret)

Blades of Grass

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

You will all remember about the hammer that pounds down the nail and its meaning but I have a new one I found that is kind of cool. It is, “Snick off the heads of any blades of grass that rise higher than the rest of the lawn.” - unknown

I am not sure that this saying, meme or quote, is actually a good one or beneficial in learning, accumulating knowledge, analyzing and synthesizing as well as doing things because it means one must remain a part of the group and not rock the boat. In reality,  there are times you don’t want your head higher than that of others especially in your own tribe but then again there are times when you want to learn, understand and be enlightened. 

Here is the way I see, perceive, it, you raise your head up higher through the support of those around you, make it their effort that puts your blade of grass higher that the lawn, the people who are supporting you. Part of it is how that type of action benefits you, them and the tribe and if it creates a tribal blade of grass that would stand taller than other tribes - well - you know what that means now, right?

Here once again we have survival, all kinds, including the mundane, the minimalistic and the great. There is a balance her and using such compliance principles are but one way to achieve this goal.

When the lawn mower is heard powering up and the blade spinning around whistling the air in preparation to cut the lawn is when you hold back, reconsider and then analyze and synthesize a more apropos way of mutual beneficial tribal connected ways of rising higher on their support to reside on their shoulders. This is how leadership is found, implemented and respected in the tribe. 

Maybe the hammer and nail along with the blade, the lawn and the mower there is more than the snippet of meme-like rendering that would put this increased meaning and understanding into proper perspective. Hmmmm … a metaphor?

Too avoid being cut off at the neck one must apply their skills in a way that the other blades of grass don’t consider the actions detrimental to them or the tribe, the lawn. 

Bibliography (Click the link)

“In order for any life to matter, we all have to matter.” - Marcus Luttrell, Navy Seal (ret)

Fear of being Wrong

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

Systemic to many things but from my personal perspective and perception it is really up there in the karate and martial arts disciplines. Once a person don’s a black belt and/or takes on the title of “Sensei” they seem to feel strongly, believe wholeheartedly and apply vigorously the concept and trait that they are not wrong, never wrong and will not change even when proven wrong - is there something wrong with this?

If you feel like you can’t allow yourself to be wrong, especially in front of the dojo and the practitioners who are following your lead then I suggest that you are suffering from the principle of human’s fear of being wrong. We seem to think and feel that to admit we are wrong or that we don’t know something as bad and I suggest that deep down in our lizard brain that it smacks of perception of death or grave harm therefore triggering our monkey brains into believing, avoiding and acting as if we could not possibly be wrong, i.e., “We are black belts, we are Sensei, We are the experts!”

We seem to have forgotten that humans, our entire species, are not infallible, we make mistakes and often what we know or think we know is not exactly accurate or it is just plain incorrect. Yet, we persist under the assumption that to admit to fallibility we lessen ourselves, lose status in the tribe and subject ourselves to possibly being wrong about other stuff resulting in our being forced to face our self-image and belief system and then - CHANGE, Change IT and CHANGE our SELF-IMAGE, OH My!

In the forty some odd years in karate/martial arts I have learned one thing, there is so much I don’t know, so much I don’t know I don’t know and so much crap that must be “taken out to the trash” regarding not just karate or martial disciplines but also about life itself. What the f%$#, rover, can we all just get over it all?

The great thing about humans is that we are human and fallible and able to do amazing things but change seems a bit harder than most things. There is so much that should, needs and warrants changing especially in the disciplines of karate and martial arts because of the potential dangers involved not just in practice but especially when it is used for self-defense (a misnomer term if there ever was one). 

If you can’t, don’t or won’t take anything else away from this article, take this with you, “Fear is a key nature-oriented lizard brain like instinct that protects us from the dangers of life, it is about survival and it means we will fear those things that trigger that tape, click-n-whirr, where fear takes us to the monkey dance!”

Note: the same as the fear of losing, grave harm and dying!

Bibliography (Click the link)

“In order for any life to matter, we all have to matter.” - Marcus Luttrell, Navy Seal (ret)

It's a Matter of Life or Death

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

It truly is a matter in all aspects of human existence, at least as far as our instincts are concerned, our lizard brain. The reason I see for humans to react with such strong emotional aggression even for seemingly non-death or grave harm situations is because the lizard does not have or finds such distinctions of value to the survival of the human species.

What goes on here is this, from my perceptions and understandings, that evolution is a slow steady consistent process and no manner of effort can expedite that process, it is nature’s way and it won’t allow us to change it. Since our environment and societies have progressed much faster than the evolutionary process our lizard brains are still making decisions based on the dangers inherent to the “Hunter’s and Gatherer’s” who lived, hunted and gathered on the Serengeti Plains thousands of years in the past. 

The lizard drives our survival instincts and in the process makes use of our emotions where “Fear” is the mainstay, i.e., triggering the flight-fight response. The emotions running a very close second with lots of crossover is, “Anger.” I see anger and fear as emotions meant to provide survival in regard to external dangers, i.e., those dangers outside the tribe. I see the other emotions such as sadness, happiness, etc., as those emotions that ensure the survival in regard to the internal dangers of tribal hierarchal connectedness, etc. 

I don’t see us evolving beyond our current survival instinctual-state of being because the very “Nature of Nature” is based on survival in a world that is governed by both conflict and violence, i.e., the birthing process requires conflict along with the process that is violent in nature. We don’t just pop out but we do have to force our way out, we have to struggle to take the first breath and then we have to survive by the care and security provided by parents, family and tribe. Then as humans we exist in a tribe like social construct where each develops a distinct personality and character with both general fundamental cultural beliefs along with self-aware individual personal beliefs so when we encounter others there will be a natural difference causing a type of conflict where without the tribe, group dynamics, hierarchal status type of system for control, governing, security and safety would not survive. 

Since all of our survival depends on our minds and in particular the cohesive cooperative operation of our logical human brain, our emotional monkey brain and the all controlling instinctual survival driven lizard brain we have to understand the three brains, we have to allow them to do what they do best and in order to survive through an evolutionary change process of social dynamics along with progress and change of our environments we study, we analyze, we hypothesize, we understand, we communicate with others in the tribe and sometimes outside it and finally we synthesize those primal-oriented trained conditioned responses so they work with and not against our instincts toward survival - our lizard on steroids brains. 

So, I advocate that we humans accept the fact that our lives are about and governed by all levels and degrees of conflict and violence as it permeates every aspect of human life so we can allow and train and practice and gain experience, survival conditioning, that would support and create a more social cohesive bonding both in the tribe as well as between tribes. 

Failure to accept and go with it, just take a look around you today in our aggressive emotional immature society and ask, “How is it working for you?”

Bibliography (Click the link)

“In order for any life to matter, we all have to matter.” - Marcus Luttrell, Navy Seal (ret)

Secret Bone Breaking - Oh My!

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

Sigh! Sometimes I wonder just how gullible humans are and don’t for a second assume I don’t include myself in that inquiry because although rare, I do fall for such things from time to time because of our human nature to compliance triggers (see/read the psych of influence book for this one). Before I get into the concept of bone breaking techniques lets do some inquiries on bone-breaking in general.

“The amount of force required to break a human bone varies depending on which bone and its density. On average, the human femur requires 1,700 pounds per square inch to be cleanly broken, while a weaker bone, such as the clavicle, takes considerably less force to break. … Many factors influence how easily a bone is broken. The density of the bone and the force being put on it must both be calculated. If the force is concentrated to a single point, it is easier to break a bone. A bone with higher density requires a higher amount of PSI to break.”

“For a strong bone, such as a femur, it could take as much as 160 pounds of pressure to cause a fracture. This number can vary depending on different factors. Some of the factors include a person's age, how healthy he or she is, how strong a person's bones are, and how physically active he or she is.

According to some medical sources fractures occur due to high force impacts or stress. The question of causing bone fractures in the dynamics of violence, combat and fighting are iffy at best and often tested by groups and organizations who benefit from such findings so agenda’s are involved skewing those research results accordingly.

Some information regarding most bone fractures, i.e., they are most often caused by falls and accidents. The less obvious type of fracture one can endure are stress fractures that result from repetitive movements such as running improperly. Where this article may lead us is that a ‘crack (not only a break)’ in bones are also known as fractures, the breaks I consider a part of this article are what the medical profession call ‘clean breaks’ that don’t damage surrounding tissue or tear through the skin often referred to as simple fractures. 

“Most human bones are surprisingly strong and can generally stand up to fairly strong impacts or forces. However, if that force is too powerful, or there is something wrong with the bone, it can fracture.”

“Stress fractures, which result from repeated stresses and strains, commonly found among professional sports people, are also common causes of fractures.”

This should be enough about breaking bones to go on with the articles topic, “Secret Bone Breaking” in karate or martial disciplines. I recently read an article about how a karate-ka was teaching the secret bone breaking ability found in kata bunkai. Here is my take on it:

  • The use of the phrase ‘secret bone breaking’ is merely a sales tactic, a compliance strategy to trigger certain influence principles to get people to sign up for the program that teaches this secret for self-defense. 
  • In truth, even if the kata bunkai technique is actually and originally meant to break bones it is not the actual fracture but more a stress fracture that may, stressing the term ‘may’, lead to validation of this phrase in karate.
  • Bones alone are extremely tough and resilient then adding in health, fitness, musculature, structure, alignments the combination of tendons, cartilage, and bone combinations; then add in the movement involved in the dynamics of fighting or defense/offensive chaotic situations; then the dynamics of adrenal stress-induced conditions that add to the ability of the body to endure stresses that might lead to breaks or fractures you have a ever changing situation where the likelihood of all those factors being in alignment that would allow for a bone break are, in my humble opinion, virtually impossible. 
  • If a bone is broken it will likely come from the result of a technique that causes the person to fall and cause a fracture, not because of some manipulation of the body. 
  • Even tho many will profess that some MMA like compliance/manipulation techniques when applied will result in broken bones even those are questionable in a non-sport controlled situation such as an attack and even in the social monkey dance more often encountered in sport bars, etc.
  • In most attacks, there is not time to find the optimal situation that will allow one to implement their secret bone breaking technique. The skills and experience levels necessary to achieve such goals especially under the influence of surprise, the flurry of the attack, the loss of balance often involved and then overcoming the effects of the chemical dump, the adrenal flood, leaves little room even for the most practiced and experienced dojo training possible to break bones expect in controlled situations and fighting along with defense is not controlled but chaos. 

Yes, there may actually be bone breaking techniques and if they are being taught then they are NOT secret, just not as yet taught and that does not make them secret. Having, knowing and using bone breaking abilities require a lot of luck and more experience of reality than one often can achieve even with ongoing, continuous and dedicated training and practice.

Even those professionals who work and live in conflict and violent professions will admit that even little or more experience still has to make the leap across the chasm created by the adrenal effects of violence, etc. 

In closing, just knowing that say 25 lbs of pressure will break a bone does NOT mean that you can break a bone with any technique and in those cases where it does happen, is that when some predatory attack occurs and you are able to swiftly turn on your MMA compliance and control skills to overextend some body part to break a bone? Or, are you actually tearing ligaments, etc.? 

It is easy to get caught up in things where reality vs. drama-driven things mislead into believing there is some secret bone breaking bunkai that is often un-provable unless experienced in a true attack. I believe even professionals who may have broken bones will say that it may be possible one time and even if the next time all factors are the same and equal it may not work.

Last and important, if you extend beyond a control technique to break a bone, even if lucky to make it work, will that breaking be perceived by authorities as appropriate levels of force in self-defense? I mean, if I am amble to apply a technique that controls my adversary would going to the next level of breaking bones be justified? 

Here is my defense against such secret bunkai, movement. Movement, continuous movement often prevents an adversary from ‘setting up’ the secret bone breaking technique. Using the sensory system of tactile sensitivity any contact with an adversary should trigger some movement for the bodies armor, natural nature given armor, involves movement. Not the move-stop-set-move type you see in kata and are taught in self-defense but more the continuos movement taught is systems like ju-jitsu, etc.

Some things to think about!

Bibliography (Click the link)

“In order for any life to matter, we all have to matter.” - Marcus Luttrell, Navy Seal (ret)

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Profiling - It’s a Tool!

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

In a recent news story on a local radio station a comment was made on the profiling used by humans, it was directed connected to the identification of situations and people by the term, “Minorities,” with emphasis toward the African-American minority. I have issues with this because it smacks of an agenda driven emotionally charged focus on just one person/group. 

First, lets look at the definition: “(noun), the recording and analysis of a person's psychological and behavioral characteristics, so as to assess or predict their capabilities in a certain sphere or to assist in identifying a particular subgroup of people.” 

They use the word, ‘person and people,’ and I don’t see anything there that directs someone to either a minority nor the African-Americans. It does refer to a particular psychological and behavior characteristic. In my mind if someone is inclined toward conflict, violence and law-breaking activities and presents a particular look or set of actions then those are the psych and behavioral symbols that if they span a larger group and become indicative of, say, criminal activity then they should be used to find and defend against less than honorable folks regardless of  race, religion or gender, etc.

Note: Profiling works on both the criminal and non-criminal world, it works on ALL HUMANS. To make the act of profiling illegal simply because when said and done it points to a particular subgroup of people is ludicrous. It takes what is a very important human survival tool and makes it a tool of the legal system to prosecute something and someone merely because it may, might or could be racially/minority motivated. In this, I believe we are all making the assumption of the connection due to the outcry of those who have some agenda and cannot explain or find the facts of truth that say this is not minority motivated. 

Profiling is a great tool for humans to assess and predict especially regarding self-defense. I am not saying that simply because one has a certain pigment to their skin that it means danger but rather to profile someone who stands out in a certain way and then presents several characteristics through words, actions and “tells of criminal intent” means to turn and run to avoid, to use tools toward control and deescalation or if not other methods are available then act accordingly. 

In Marc MacYoungs’ and Rory Miller’s books on conflict and violence they mention culture and beliefs but don’t assign them a label that would take a particular person or group - minority or not - and give the impression that all their work is about minorities, it is about conflict and violence and how to handle it all. 

Profiling is a human tool because it is exactly what we use to identify stimuli, trigger the appropriate and legal responses and then do what is necessary to get-r-done. 

Now, to the actual reference to minorities. It is regrettable but often true that when profiling you find certain groups to live and work in such activities that often are about predatory actions toward resource acquisition or process gratification. If the profile fits the person then their color, religion or culture/cultural belief system doesn’t matter and to use that to misdirect and get someone out of the ramifications is simply that, misdirection in the hopes of getting away with it. 

Even if I use profiling and the first indicator or tell is their minority status then it is my responsibility to determine using other indicators to validate that assessment to make sure my prediction is accurate. One of the ways our society ensures that I made the right choice is when the legal system and the authorities see readily that I remained within the confines of the law, the legal system and the morally justifications of our society. 

I am walking in the woods enjoying nature; out of the corner of my eye I see a shape that is slender, long and shaped like an “S”; My mind profiles the stimuli and my mind and body will trigger the survival system of “Freeze, Flight and Fight,” i.e., My eyes will go wide, I will take in a deep breath, I will more often than not jump back and then assess, predict and act accordingly to the profiling data. My mind took the stimuli and associated it with - “Snake!” - but once I take stock of additional tells and data and information I realize it was just, - “A Stick!” But, hey, the way this all works would mean that I was prejudicial to the stick and the snake, they are minorities of the world we call nature so I must have profiled them as snakes and through actions that could have become grave to the snake took prejudicial actions thinking that I was protecting myself. 

So, do I believe profiling is about minorities? No, profiling, especially as a tool of our professionals be they police, corrections officers, military or security, is absolutely necessary not just for them but for all of us in our need to survive. 

The argument will be made that survival is not on the table in modern society as we are safer than at any other time in history but that is not true of our minds. Our minds when triggering certain sub-routines, call it instinctual survival tapes, the mind says, “Danger, death is on the table,” and that is how it works regardless of whether it involves actual violence or just a heated argument or some aggression at work between you and the boss. The lizard has not evolved enough to take the death trigger off the table.

The last part of the definition on profiling is, “Identifying a particular subgroup of people.” It does not say that it is about identifying a particular minority subgroup of people or a particular religious faction subgroup of people BUT IT DOES means to identify a particular subgroup of people that are a danger to our society, tribe, clan or families and if they happen to be of a minority group there is more reasons then merely the color of their skin that says it is so. 

In order for certain groups to satisfy and gratify their emotional immature reactions toward a person who being of the same heritage, culture and/or group will take the very first singular atomistic piece of information the supports and validates, not necessarily true or factual, their feelings and they will use that as a tool, a club, to beat, argue, spit, bug out the eyes, swears, used psychological/verbal violence, waves their arms, screams in your face to get us to believe that things or tools like ‘profiling’ are bad and are about them rather than what they are about, reality - the reality of crime, violence and conflict!

Profiling is a good thing, it is a tool and because of its usefulness of species/human survival it is absolutely necessary and valid. Like compliance professionals who use the principles of influence to get you to keep them in high status economic viability, the BMW and Mansion thing, these principles/profiling can be used by nefarious predator adversarial people in ways that make for bad things happening. 

Yes, profiling can be used toward a specific subgroup of people if used incorrectly and yet it works more often when used to simply identify and stop criminal activities that would put societies people in harms way. 

Now, for the final reality check - police, military and other such professions and professionals use profiling all the time. What they had to do to overcome this stupidity of the emotionally immature is create through analysis and synthesis another way to express, articulate and document their profiling data into a form termed in a more accepted way that data. 

“Observing the person it was noted that they performed the following movements, actions and indicators that when collected and assessed as a whole told us the person or persons were preparing for and readying to enter into a criminal activity that would endanger the public as well as the police first responders. After careful consideration it was determined necessary to take appropriate authorized actions to address the individuals to further gather data, analysize that data with the trigger information observed and the synthesize both the intent of the observed and the actions authorities, in this case the police first responders, to prevent any further potential criminal activity.” Note: I are not a professional police officer so this statement is just the example that came to my mind how to articulate and document any actions before (normally called profiling but now referred to as data-mining), during and after a professional(s) become involved. As far as I can determine, with my level of experience, knowledge and understanding, there is nothing in there that says directly or peripherally it is profiling. 

When media uses such language to convey a meaning by misdirection of compliance methods/principles to steer the general public toward believing the most dramatic ratings generating news story possible that smacks of irresponsible, dangerous and destructive behavior - it isn’t the objective news, it is reality media entertainment. 

I would not, due to social conditions, use the term profiling in my self-defense lessons but you can pretty much bet that it is there even if not on a conscious level simply because it is natures tool humans are encoded with like the flight-or-fight response to danger. It is like saying, don’t bother breathing brother, you don’t need it and it is a bad thing because it means you are using it to single out the minorities. 

STOP making and using excuses for the behavior, take responsibility for said behavior!

Bibliography (Click the link)

“In order for any life to matter, we all have to matter.” - Marcus Luttrell, Navy Seal (ret)

p.s. I am so disappointed in news and social media, I feel it all needs to be regulated so that such irresponsible inflammatory agenda driven efforts must be taken to task when it ends up spreading misinformation, once called propaganda, so that still penalties, high - very high - monetary repercussions are levied when such things are published. They may say, but it was the news, yet when reported is often slanted and agenda driven where the facts are supplemented with compliance principles to get folks riled up, pay the price when that happens and maybe we would return to the historical days of real news. 
p.s.s. Oh, by the way, did you know there are several types of profiling? Profiling in information sciences, DNA profiling, Forensic profiling, Offender profiling, computer programming profiling, Racial profiling, Sexual Orientation profiling and Geographic profiling. All these are labeled that way due to the use of profiling to direct efforts toward a specific predetermined orientation of topic such as DNA being the profiling through the use of DNA testing, etc. In this sense then responsible reporting would not use “profiling” as a stand alone reference but rather, “Racial profiling,” in the case of minorities that needs to be justified, valid and factual before using. I would add “Criminal Profiling” rather than offender because it, in my mind, looks to the criminal elements, not the individual, that tells us that possible criminal activity may be taking place, etc. 

p.s.s.s. Offender profiling, also known as criminal profiling, is an investigative tool used by law enforcement agencies to identify likely suspects (descriptive offender profiling) and analyze patterns that may predict future offenses and/or victims (predictive offender profiling). Offender profiling dates back to 1888 and the spree of Jack the Ripper, and the profiling theory describes how profiling will ideally work. Current applications include predictive profiling, sexual assault offender profiling, and case linkage (using profiling to identify common factors in offenses and to help with suspect identification). Goals of criminal profiling include providing law enforcement with a social and psychological assessment of the offender; providing a "psychological evaluation of belongings found in the possession of the offender"; and offering suggestions and strategies for the interviewing process. - [NOTE: It is just not a simple subject and as you can see it involves a great deal yet media and news media tend to use generic all encompassing terms and methods toward reporting that leave a lot out thus misinforming the public and creating misconceptions that once set cannot be changed by simply printing retractions even if they are put front page in the news. 

Click for larger, readable, view. Note: I suspect there are
other such graphics out there to help understand
self-defense profiling type things?

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

It’s NOT Personal

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

I write, a lot, and I am honored to have people view, read and comment on what I write. I find topics in a variety of ways such as other blog articles where some part triggers something in my mind and I write about it. Sometimes, folks will perceive this as being critical of the source material but I want to ensure everyone who reads this blog, “It is NOT Personal!”

As a fledgling author I write and I love to write. My goals in writing is to learn, build knowledge and create ever greater understanding of those things to which I write about. In Boyd’s OODA it is understood, by me, that a process of analysis and synthesis is an ongoing process that helps to meet goals such as mine. I try to do that a lot but being human, I sometimes mistakenly write in a way that seems and may be perceived as “Personal” to the reader. 

One thing I have tried to add at the end of each article is to express, at a minimum, a form of acknowledgement to the person, blog and/or article that inspired the one I write, wrote and posted. It may seem that because I ‘tip my hat or ritsu-rei’ to that person, etc., that the article must be a critique of the other source and author - sometimes it is true, but mostly it “IS NOT PERSONAL!”

I am saying this here and now because, similar to Colonel Boyd when addressing seniors at his lectures, I want to ensure that the person on the receiving end understands that it is not personal and that everything I write is about “ME” and my learning process along with allowing others to be exposed because one of the most critical aspects of learning, studying and coming to an understanding is through the exchange of communications with others who have something positive to contribute. This occurs, if done properly, on the dojo floor, in the classroom, at seminars and thorugh exchanges in blogs, video’s, books and other media (through comments and reviews, etc.). You cannot achieve understanding in just your own mind because it just doesn’t work. 

Humans have survived and become the animal at the top of the food chain, so to speak, because over the centuries a few have used such strategies and tactics in learning thus building our societies and species into what it is today. If not for this we all would still be hunting with rocks and sticks, running from predators and gathering food on the Serengeti plains of a thousand years ago or so. 

If I got something wrong, if you feel it needs correction or if you just think I am full of shit, comment constructively because it is how I learn, change and grow - change is critical but only change that involves many, not a few and especially not just the ‘one’. 


Bibliography (Click the link)

“In order for any life to matter, we all have to matter.” - Marcus Luttrell, Navy Seal (ret)

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Simplicity isn't easy

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

Clarke Sensei wrote about simplicity today and it reminded me of the complexities that humans tend toward in all things they do. It makes me wonder why we lean so hard toward a more complex world in lieu of keeping it simplicity. Maybe he has it down, simplicity is not easy as is most thing in life for life is hard yet simple. We live to survive and propagate, the reasons are simple in a complex way leading toward discussions, theories, hypothesis and the ever changing argument of, “Why are we here?” The following collection of quotes, or meme’s if you prefer, tell us about Clarke Sensei’s perception of karate simplicity.

“Simple is best, more direct, elegant even. Simple is small, quiet, unassuming. Simple is without trappings, without noise, without the extras that stand you out from the crowd. … Simple is an attitude. … Simplicity is discovering the principle behind the movement, the mechanism by which many physical options become available.” - Michael Clarke, Shinseidokan Dojo

First, I liked the article and especially these excerpts, they speak to me. Sometimes I am reminded that when I write it seems the content and intent is complex and yet I feel it is about explaining something so simple that it seems complex. A bit like trying to write about the Tao as many have tried over the hundreds of years the book of the Tao has existed, i.e., writing about something that cannot be written about yet we humans pick up writing devices, break out paper and put pen and ink into words, sentences and paragraphs all in the attempt to explain simplicity leaving behind complexity. 

There is reasons why they say things like, “Keep it Simple,” or “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication,” “Simplicity makes for happiness,” and “Simplicity is the glory of expression.” 

Once, long ago, a fellow karate-ka told me I talked too much about a subject. He said I should simply demonstrate the concept and then allow them to go off and practice. At that time, I felt maybe he was right because how much of what I explain actually sticks. Then, in the last decade or so I came to disagree because:
  1. Not providing background and additional information leaves too much to chance and improper assumptions.
  2. Allowing such chance and assumption allows incorrect teachings to take hold which are doubly hard to change to correct.
  3. Information is knowledge ergo why I explained things in depth as well as provide study materials to refer to over time.
  4. To adequately teach you have to use more than simple mimicking, i.e., demonstrate and then have them do it. 
  5. Karate is more than simply physical copycat mimicking of movement therefore needs deeper understanding.
  6. A combination of visual, auditory, tactile, etc., forms of teaching are necessary to teach and learn the depth and breadth of any subject but more so karate that is a mental and physical manifestation of human survival tools. 
  7. The steady decline over two or more decades of karate and martial disciplines is a result of ignorance and a failure to research, analyze, hypothesize and then synthesize the applicability of the discipline toward life and survival - especially when it involves self-fense. 
  8. We in the West assume that doing is learning, it is - partly, but we also failed to learn and understand the culture and belief systems of such disciplines origins used such models along with their cultural systems to teach silently and over long periods of time. The West works in just the exact opposite of that due to our cultural belief systems. 
  9. Once Asian Master told his American student upon awarded a teaching certificate highly recommended, “When you return home, remember, teach them as you would Americans!” Meaning, the Asian way is not the Western way and although the system was taught the Asian way it consists of principles and how they are taught and manifested without ties to either the Asian way or the Western way - makes the core of martial disciplines span all cultures and belief systems across many borders. 
As you can see even from this partial list there is much that must be passed on in order to learn such disciplines, a seemingly complex model that is actually quite simple. So, I returned to explain but with one caveat, “I would explain in terse details with periodic updates and addendum’s over time to help students take little steps without losing attentiveness and becoming bored.” After all, it is about balance and that is simple simplicity don’t you think.

I learned, as Clarke Sensei presents in today’s article, simplicity isn’t easy and to rein in my desire, excitement and honor to pass along what little I know and understand because I had to curb that enthusiasm to better server the students and to better serve the discipline of karate. 

Hat tip (Ritsu-rei) to <Shinseidokan Dojo Blog by Michael Clarke Sensei> as the inspiration for this post.

Bibliography (Click the link)

“In order for any life to matter, we all have to matter.” - Marcus Luttrell, Navy Seal (ret)

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Symbol Triggers

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

In karate as well as other martial disciplines the West has adopted what I would think of as symbols of the disciplines but those symbols trigger a deeper drive in us and in humans that may give greater meaning and understanding of why those symbols have become such important trappings of the martial arts community. 

In nature humans have this basic need, survival. That survival drive influences every aspect of life even in our modern times and even tho the ability to avoid death exists. Survival means gathering into groups bringing together all those traits and abilities the group needs to survive, everyone is a contributor and the entire process creates a group hierarchy where status and authority of various levels and requirements must exist to - survive. 

In this natural/nature driven survival drive there exists various levels of status and authority. It is the status that allows authority to achieve the groups goals in survival and failing that results in the groups death or the removal of the person or persons not complying with the groups survival needs. Authority must appear authoritative to the group so the group through the status effort may have, “Titles and/or Clothes and/or Trappings” that symbolize the status and authority of those within the group. Take a look at the military to see the most obvious representation of authority symbols, etc.

This quote provides the gist of what I am trying to say in this article, i.e., “Due to social conditioning, humans have an extreme willingness to go to almost any lengths on the ‘command of an authority’. Whenever humans are faced with a potent motivator in human action, humans naturally expect that good reasons exist fo the motivation. We live under a multilayered and widely accepted system of authority that confers an immense advantage upon a society (remember, keep in mind societies and humans all collect together for the base need of survival). It allows the development of sophisticated structures for resource production (necessary for survival), trade (necessary for survival), defense (necessary for survival), expansion, and social control (necessary for survival) that would otherwise be impossible.”

When one dons such trappings such as titles, i.e., Sensei, Master, Grand Master, First Generation Student and others, this conveys both directly and indirectly that the wearer of such things, at least by association, is an authoritative figure in the discipline. As with other symbols such as the belt systems the color provides a hierarchal system with status set according to colors, etc., i.e., white belt being at the bottom and all the levels of black belt setting levels of knowledge, understanding, experience, etc., of Sensei/Yudansha, etc.

The very nature of such titles, clothes and trappings of the dojo smack seriously and trigger deep seated instinctive drives and mechanical automatic click-whirr responses that solidify connections, mostly unconsciously, to the symbols. 

In another quote one can perceive and believe how this works and why it has become so important to people, i.e., “We are trained form birth that obedience to proper authority is right and just and disobedience is wrong and unjust. The essential message is formed toward social conditioning from parental/family lessons, school house rhymes and school yard dynamics, stories, and songs of childhood that are carried forward to our societies legal, military, and political systems we encounter as adults. Notions of submission and loyalty to legitimate rule are given a great deal of value and the repercussions of failure to live to these are often very high.”

We are actually left little leeway in deciding how and why and when we come to accept and believe such things that automatically become a part of our belief systems because it is so deeply ingrained. I bring this up this way because it lends understanding to why we all, I mean all of us in the dojo, believe and are attracted to such trappings, it is our nature and it does double duty by pulling us in from being a mystical mysterious way of the Asian culture and beliefs bringing with it heritage, history and connections to something much greater and a contributor to our very past, present and possible future. 

Symbols that trigger Authority; Titles, clothes and trappings of authority:

Titles: the most difficult and the easiest to acquire; to adopt a title automatically provides automatic deference; actions are frequently more influenced by a title than by the nature of the person claiming it; authority status affects perceptions; humans see size and status as related; outward signs of power and authority frequently may be counterfeited with the flimsiest of materials; 
Clothes: In chameleon style, people adopt karate-gi, belt of black, uniform patches, or a collection of trophies and certificates of completion and association membership papers that the situation requires for maximum advantage. etc.  
Trappings: As with clothes, patches and such; owners of prestigious relations to luminaries both real and perceive receive a special kind of deference from people, etc. 

So, it becomes apparent that such trappings and the dan-i system, associations and seminars with perceived masters of martial disciplines will and always will attract and associate others for the purpose that seems to create a perception of authority, professionalism and expertise in martial arts. The lesson to learn here is that because of a total lack of control and the  ability to validate the more nefarious compliance oriented people will continue to use such symbols and trappings to trigger, click-n-whirr, automatic mechanical unconscious actions that will bring in customers and fleece, opes sorry, take in monies to run their dojo (Note: What makes this so difficult, so hard, is that legitimate sensei and dojo suffer repercussions from such nefarious folks and actions). 

No wonder the quote, “Buyer Beware,” holds so special and critical sway over all of us in dealing with professional economically driven compliance professionals (think ad-men and the like including resource/process predation). 

This is enough to still the ongoing conflict of the value of the belt system, etc. because “we can’t help ourselves!” Sigh, at least it gives reason to the conundrum of karate/martial trappings. 

Bibliography (Click the link)

“In order for any life to matter, we all have to matter.” - Marcus Luttrell, Navy Seal (ret)