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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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Principles of Martial Effectiveness

I often wonder, recently, why we don't focus on the fundamental principles of martial systems as the core to any martial arts training. When I first found the book of martial power by Stephen J. Pearlman I thought it to possibly be just what the title alluded to, development of martial power but then found that all the martial power I thought of was actually the master of the underlying principles. This was one huge paradigm shift for my practice and for me personally.

Don't get me wrong, I had a good somewhat instinctive knowledge of some of the principles. I also had studied enough other aspects of the principles not directly related to the physical or physiokinetic and technique principles - as a category, etc. I just never had them explained to me and never had a name to put on them for easy practice, training and more important teaching of martial arts. 

A good example outside of this discussion on principles is the hard-soft maxim where I had been exposed to it in training by my sensei but never heard the phrase nor had someone explain why I did it that way, i.e. where one uses a fist to the softer targets and an open hand to the hard targets, etc. When I had first read about this maxim I thought it was about certain physiokinetic principles, i.e. relaxation, wave energy, body-mind and in particular the sequential locking and sequential relaxation. In particular the relaxed fist that hardens at contact to a target into penetration of the body then the sudden relaxation, etc. that produces speed and power (a simplistic and some what incomplete relational explanation to principles, etc.). 

These principles do speak to power in martial arts but also to the effectiveness of martial arts. Since I discovered that this provided explanations to how this all works it also spoke to me about what is truly important when first learning martial arts. There is a distinction in how things are taught by the terms, phrases and explanations that help a practitioner fully and completely understand why they do things a certain way in training and practice. It also supports and validates why certain things must be done, practiced and trained diligently, repetitively and must be mastered, somewhat, before going on to other things that feel, seem and sometimes are more exciting. It makes the exciting things more valuable and exciting. 

Principles are the foundation to many disciplines both physical and cerebral in nature. This is especially true as the principles address this yin-yang aspect of mind and body, i.e. the physical and spiritual. 

Often you read in my posts references to the fundamental principles of martial systems. In a nutshell they are:

Universality, Control, Efficiency, Lengthen Our Line, Percentage Principle, Std of Infinite Measure, Power Paradox, Ratio, Simplicity, Natural Action, Michelangelo Principle, Reciprocity, Opponents as Illusions, Reflexive Action, Training Truth, Imperception and Deception.

Breathing, Posture, Triangle Guard, Centerline, Primary Gate, Spinal Alignment, Axis, Minor Axis, Structure, Heaviness, Relaxation, Wave Energy, Convergence, Centeredness, Triangulation Point, The Dynamic Sphere, Body-Mind, Void, Centripetal Force, Centrifugal Force, Sequential Locking & Sequential Relaxation, Peripheral Vision, Tactile Sensitivity, Rooting.

Techniques vs. Technique, Equal Rights, Compliment, Kobo Ichi, Economical Motion, Active Movement, Positioning, Angling, Leading Control, Complex Forces, Indirect Pressure, Live Energy & Dead Energy, Torsion & Pinning, Speed, Timing, Rhythm, Balance, Reactive Control, Natural & Unnatural Motion, Weak Link, Non-Telegraphing, Extension and Penetration.

Mind, Mushin, Kime, Non-intention, Yin-Yang, Oneness, Zanshin & Being, Non-action, Character, The Empty Cup.

These principles bring about a philosophy that transcends those created within any specific system or style. This philosophy was derived from the work of Stephen J. Pearlman, i.e. his bai liu ha yi or one hundred styles flow into one. The philosophy applied to Okinawan and all martial systems is "Hitotsu ni oku no nagare." This philosophy means, "The flow of many into one." It is redacted from Pearlman Sensei's philosophy into one that relates to the philosophy taught through Tatsuo-san of Isshinryu's ken-po goku-i. His was formulated from his studies of the Ancient Chinese Classics such as the I-Ching and the Tao-te-ching, etc. 

Pearlman, Steven J. "The Book of Martial Power." Overlook Press. N.Y. 2006.

Speculation - Buyer Beware!

Speculation is a part of the martial philosophy as a sort of principle when the discussions arise as to lineage. Okinawan martial arts, karate, has to rely heavily on speculation with a good dose of the time, the culture and ethnic groups, the power relationships, the perceiving person, the sensory input modes, the perceptions of perceptions as to truth and accurate facts, and both the internal and external environments and now we add perception of movement; perception of body language which includes facial expressions, etc.

This means that people are influenced and constrained by their own knowledge, experience, imagination, and attitudes. It is a matter of their internal model of perceived reality inflected by current culture and beliefs, i.e. local circumstances and needs. We have to remember that ever person thinks on a different cultural channel and more so when the cultures are separated by such vastness as East vs. West. 

When we rely heavily on hear-say and circumstantial evidence, i.e. those personal perceptions, etc. then we are then unable to verify and validate for authentic. For a fact, especially a historical fact, to be substantiated it must have more than mere hear-say, etc. It takes more than merely sitting around discussing a subject as if what is said is historical fact. This is why speculation is important in martial arts discussions of lineage. 

Okinawan martial arts have no documented facts that support such hear-say as depicted in many conversations. It is a matter of how the culture and beliefs of Okinawans are and in most cases these types of discussions are just discussions or the people would have provided documentation of historical facts - which they are unable to do. This leaves them with only hear-say and circumstantial evidence of word of mouth to base their martial history unlike the Japanese who are obsessive in their documentation of historical lineage, facts and knowledge with one exception. The Japanese tend toward adjusting such things to suit the moment so they too suffer from questionable historical facts. Regardless, their methods are more acceptable and sustainable under scrutiny.

As long as martial history and lineage are subject to only recollections and remembrances also subject to human frailties, etc. and as long as we have only speculation, hypothesis, and personal conjecture we will never have acceptable and sustainable historical facts to lead us in our studies, etc. 

Then remember there are cognitive biases that affect how history is not only written but interpreted as time flows forward. As humans we are all individually susceptible to such biases that hear-say becomes even more questionable supporting that it is all circumstantial in nature and always open to fallibility. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Combat Sport

I read this combination of terms in a recent article about martial arts sparring and took pause. I wondered, as a Marine, how one can combine combat with sport without either diminishing the meaning of combat or causing sport to achieve some level that is not in accord with combat. The two seem to be at direct opposites of one another like combat being extreme yang and sport being extreme yin.

I also wonder what perceptions are derived from the two words for someone who may not have knowledge of either especially when it comes to the labeling of "martial arts." Then I think, does it make any difference?

The difference to me is about perceptions. When I say combat I often and immediately think of our military serving in harms way, a place where many are trying the very best to kill you. I think of combat as fighting between armed forces, i.e. our Marines, Army, Navy and Air Forces against their versions of the same. 

When I think of sport I think of amicable individuals and teams who are trying to test themselves against some discipline in an effort to best one another in seeking the title of "number one or the best, etc." No one intentionally goes into a sport event trying to kill the other guy. 

Combat is a purposeful violent conflict meant to weaken, establish dominance over, or kill the opposition. While sport may want to weaken an opponent or to establish a dominant position over an opponent they are not trying to kill them. Maybe it is because I was military, a Marine. 

Maybe the term combat is added to sport to provide some special oomph to the practice, to draw in the uninitiated by some advertisement gimmick or to provide some false sense of ability feeding on the fear of being hurt, attacked, etc. as in self-defense. It seems our media efforts on this aspect are to promote their some what distorted version of reality where reality is more a promotion to sell a product on television, etc. 

Do I get some special ability by taking a combat sport type training? Does it mean that if I take this combat sport that I will have the additional ability to defend and protect myself and mine in a conflict or violent encounter? 

Then again, does it really matter?

Monday, October 28, 2013

Cognitive Biases

Marc MacYoung on his FB Wall provided this link, well worth the time to read.

When I wonder why someone says or writes something I can refer back to this and get an idea of what drives it including what drives my perceptions and interpretations as well. Just goes to add another layer of complexities to the art of communications and that is, of course, a subject about conflict and defense. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Interactive Feedback Loop

"Every language interaction is an interactive feedback loop." - Dr. Suzette H. Elgin, PhD. The Gently Art of Verbal Self-Defense. One of the five meta-principles of the GAVSD system created in the seventies by Dr. Elgin. I first came across this book while reading the bibliography of one of Rory Miller's books on violence. 

You might ask me how this relates to self-defense, conflicts and violence. It is all about attitude and how we communicate in a group, i.e. two or more persons with a persona emphasis on two. In another article written at the no nonsense self defense site by Marc MacYoung as well as a blog post recently by Rory Miller at the Chiron blog they mention that a lot of conflict/violence is attributed to attitude, i.e. being either an asshole or an idiot (I left out professional since this post is directed toward a general populace regarding self-defense training, etc.). 

One of the ways we project attitude is through body and verbal language. I use both because both make up the whole that is communications. It is apparent that if you enter into an encounter with an attitude that leaves a sense that you are either an asshole or an idiot that body language and the verbal exchange will let the opposition know exactly where you are and are coming from. 

What happens in many situations is one person will say some thing that is interpreted by the other persons ego, i.e. their monkey brain, and that opens the endless loop allowing their monkey brain and ego to respond with a like some thing said, i.e. becoming an interactive exchange of words and body language that feeds the interactive feedback loop and whalla, you have a conflict that as the loop continues leads to that moment when words are not enough and the monkey decides to take it to the next physical and violent level. 

I believe that the first order of business is to understand these communications skills and that is why I recommend getting Dr. Elgin's books. They are out of print but available from other sources and well worth the cost and effort. I believe that the second order of business is to understand that you have an ego and a monkey brain that defies logic and common sense. Taking command of that starts with your understanding of GAVSD and applying that in your training and practice. 

You have to know when it happens, i.e. recognize a verbal attack, and then kind of ignore it for your benefit. Then you have to remove yourself from that encounter and environment without reservations. Walking away is a good thing regardless of what the monkey whispers in your ear. If you respond, knowing the type of mode of communication the other person is using allows you to recognize a mode that is proper in responding if a response is necessary to avoid and/or deescalate. Is the person using blaming mode, distracting mode or all five, i.e. blaming, placating, computing, distracting, and leveling. 

Now, don't you feel a bit of curiosity with this topic? Get her books and implement this into your self-defense training. In the end you will be glad you did and since you are the better person you simply are enhancing your good qualities to suit your self-defense training and practice. 

Elgin, Suzette. "The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense" Barnes & Noble. 1993.
Elgin, Suzette Haden, Ph.D. "More on the Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense." Prentice Hall. New Jersey. 1983.
Elgin, Suzette. "The Gentle Art of Self-Defense at Work." New York. Prentice Hall Press. 2000.
Elgin, Suzette. "The Gentle Art of Written Self-Defense" MJF Books. 1997
Elgin, Suzette. "The Last Word on the Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense" Barnes & Noble. 1995
Elgin, Suzette. "Staying Well with the Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense." MJF Books. 1990.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Sayin it, don't make it so.

Just because you label what you do in self-defense does not make it self-defense. I was reading a response the other day to some questions regarding a knife defense drill video and the author spoke vehemently that because he teaches it as self-defense it is self-defense. 

Many years ago I also thought that something I was practicing and teaching was self-defense. I have sense realized that most, if not all, of what I determined as self-defense actually would have gotten me locked up with some very dangerous people. It would have cost me and my family our family fortune as it was and it would have cost us much more spiritually not to forget the freedom lost because I misunderstood what self-defense was, is and would be if I had used those so called defense tactics. 

The lines drawn for self-defense seem to be blurred so learning about it and all it entails seems to me, important.

Defense Readiness

Defense readiness, similar to combat readiness, means a practitioner or self-defense practitioner, regardless of whether it is a martial art or other means, is a person who has the full spectrum of knowledge, understanding and training/experiences that provide socially acceptable self-defense. 

Defense readiness, or better yet self-defense readiness, is about a certain state of being with the purpose of managing resources and training in preparation for self-defense in a conflict be it either social or asocial in nature. 

When you look at defense readiness you have various levels. The highest levels are held by professionals. The mid-level is one where the individual requires the resources to maintain self-protection while living in an environment that exposes them to higher levels of conflict and violence. The low level is one that in most cases the person will live and work in an environment that exposes them to very little conflict and often no violence to speak of except in rare cases, i.e. most often a social type. 

What does defense readiness consist of? A complex and in-depth subject that would take up many, many postings. A good source of what it takes to become defense ready is provided at the "no nonsense self defense" web site by Marc MacYoung.

Consider the site as a primer and the bookshelf he provides is an excellent source of further study. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Notable Quotes

“Martial arts training is largely about trying to preserve and pass on skills without the side-effects of using the skills. You want to learn to punch without the arthritis from old fractures in the delicate bones of your hand. To learn how to survive an attack without the accumulated concussions and micro-concussions that are a natural result of knowing what ‘surviving an attack’ even means.” - Rory Miller, Chiron, Constant Forward Pressure

“There are things about fighting that are very difficult to learn without fighting. There are things about an assault that are difficult, maybe impossible, to learn without being on both ends of an assault.” - Rory Miller, Chiron, Constant Forward Pressure

“In hierarchical systems, if information is lost to one generation of instructors, the system tends to resist the information when it is rediscovered.” - Rory Miller, Chiron, Constant Forward Pressure

“In order to hit well you need power, targeting, timing, and empty space to move through. Power is usually based on structure and a connection with the ground OR whip action and speed.” - Rory Miller, Chiron, Constant Forward Pressure

“Targets must be in range and available. If you can't reach it you can't hurt it.” - Rory Miller, Chiron, Constant Forward Pressure

“Attacks change your perception of time and thus alter your timing.” - Rory Miller, Chiron, Constant Forward Pressure

“The essence of defense is to disrupt the other person's offense -- by denying targets or disrupting, power, targeting, timing or range.” - Rory Miller, Chiron, Constant Forward Pressure

“Fast hard attacks disrupt your OODA loop and tend to overwhelm people into a passive, child-like mode.” - Rory Miller, Chiron, Constant Forward Pressure

“ … but the real thing can't be replicated safely.” - Rory Miller, Chiron, Constant Forward Pressure

“Every attack disrupts. Each contact does damage; disrupts the threat's targeting, timing and distancing; and sets up the next shot.” - Rory Miller, Chiron, Constant Forward Pressure

“Constant forward pressure lets your offense handle your defense. It sounds like an armchair strategy, but it is an obvious natural truth when you are hitting and getting hit hard.” - Rory Miller, Chiron, Constant Forward Pressure

“ ,,, the “scared bunny” defense: scurrying like a frightened little rodent in the opposite direction away from danger. It’s a great way to keep you hale and hearty, but it’s also one of those things that is easy to explain yet difficult to practice. … the age-old tactical maxim that sometimes a controlled “rearward re-deployment” is the smartest thing you can do for everyone. … I merely point out that if you were carefully monitoring your surroundings and embrace the idea of avoiding and extricating from high-risk situations, there might not be a need to test your stress-shooting and hand-to-hand skills in the first place. … the “avoidance paradigm” begins well before the trouble itself starts. … Standing in the way of avoidance is a varying combination of our sense of duty, the normal human aversion to changing plans, and a strong delusion that “it won’t happen to me, here, today.” Honestly, it probably won’t, but you don’t get to pick the moment when calamity does occur. On the other hand, if you aren’t present, bad karma will have to look for another victim. … you could drive off the lot and sit across the street, cell phone in hand, to provide responding police with a play-by-play of the action before they arrive. … “ - Brent T. Wheat, S.W.A.T. Magazine dtd October 2015

“Avoidance is essentially a tactical art just like shooting, moving, and communicating. It is not something to be disdained or looked upon as cowardice. This idea is exceptionally valuable but rarely promoted during training.” - Brent T. Wheat, S.W.A.T. Magazine dtd October 2015

“It ain’t the size of the dog in the fight, or the size of the fight in the dog: it’s the fact that the dog is rabid.” - God’s Bastard

“It is not about the accumulation of knowledge but rather the achievement of understanding.” - cejames

“On the one hand, we are told that our safety is paramount and we are responsible for it. On the other hand, we’re socially punished for taking steps to maintain it.” God’s Bastard

1998 work, Ōtsuka Tadahiko described his findings on the origin of Kata names. The following is what he came up with for the kata Seiyunchin of Gōjū-ryū.”

Funakoshi Gichin. In his writings he continually emphasized Karate-do as embracing the Japanese spirit of the samurai (Yamato-damashi) and referring to Karate-do masters of the past as warriors or samurai.” Kowakan Blog

“Okinawan Karate-do teachers promoted their martial art under the rubric of Japanese martial traditions descended from the warrior class and embracing bushido. … Funakoshi, in his attempts to popularize Karate-do on the Japanese mainland, failed to explain in his books the difference between how the same terms were used on Okinawa  versus Japan. This mistake was compounded when his books were translated into English. As a result the ‘myth of samurai’ in Okinawa Karate-do was born.” Kowakan Blog

“Someone's word choice in a public forum or place are dictated by the environmental standards, not yours. … people try to make demands that are way above and beyond the general standards of the environment. … it is about chasing away things that make them 'uncomfortable. … The cultural norm is to be polite, non-aggressive and cooperative (within limits) with strangers inside your society. … you can install protection against this malware attack by simply asking yourself ‘Do I have a relationship/economy with this person?’ … a simple, ‘We don't know each other well enough for you to try to control my speech’ is usually enough. … If the person flips out, everyone in the room knows who the problem child is -- and it ain't you. … Remember, healthy economies are two way streets.“ - Marc MacYoung, We Don’t Know Each Other …

“ … you need to know your principles inside out. Then come up with ways to demonstrate them. Not techniques to remember, but sensations to feel.” - Rory Miller, Chiron Training, The Process of Principles Based Training

“A lot of martial artists have been damaged by their previous instruction. These are the one who are always asking if they did it 'right' or which finger to use or how to grip. They are so used to being corrected that they are more concerned with the instructors criticism than success or failure they can feel. You have to deflect this by asking the only question that matters: ‘Did it work?’” - Rory Miller, Chiron Training, The Process of Principles Based Training

“Animals learn through play and the first exposure to randori should be fun and slightly overwhelming but shouldn't make them feel terrified and helpless.” - Rory Miller, Chiron Training, The Process of Principles Based Training

Technique-based training is concrete. "He throws a straight punch and you outside block, side step and throw an inside knife-hand strike. Go do a thousand reps." It's easy to teach. He does X, you do Y. Reps. But I can think of zero actual fighters who find this valuable (except as a business model). To deal with chaos you need to train with chaos. And train is the wrong word. You need to play. Partially because play is the way animals naturally learn, partially because, in a complex system working rote drills hampers more than helps. Principles-based training involves understanding the principles and applying them in chaos. It's much harder to teach, because knowledge isn't enough, the instructor must have understanding. It's less measurable, less "objective" but infinitely more useful under stress.” - Rory Miller, Chiron Training, Concretes and Abstracts

Technique repetition may lead to knowledge. Actual experience leads to understanding.” - Rory Miller, Chiron Training, Concretes and Abstracts

Memorizing techniques is easy. Nice and concrete. Teaching power generation, targeting and conformation is a good size to chunk the information. It gives beginners efficient tools and increases flexibility in hours instead of months.” - Rory Miller, Chiron Training, Concretes and Abstracts

“I was hitting the heavy bag, doing as I had been taught, throwing fast, loose karate punches and tensing them at the moment of impact when Mac said, ‘You realize that's unnecessary, right?’ I was flustered. It was the way I was taught. I hit hard. I started to argue and explain. Mac continued, ‘All you need to do is get these bones (he indicated my metacarpals) in line with these bones (the radius and ulna).’  Then he completely shifted my understanding of martial arts ‘Tensing and clenching are what people do when they don't understand structure.’” - Rory Miller, Chiron Training, Concretes and Abstracts

No one is stronger when they're tense. No one is faster. No one is more flexible or agile. We all know this. All of us. And even the instructors would pay lip service to it... but there was an awful damn lot of practicing tension while talking about relaxation.” - Rory Miller, Chiron Training, Concretes and Abstracts

“Straight up, you don't need to be a well balanced fighter. Does it help to have skills to cover a wide variety of circumstances? Of course. But focus more on what you're likely to run into.” - Marc MacYoung

“I guarantee you the LAST place you want to be in a self-defense or street situation is on the ground.” - Marc MacYoung

“What you can learn from either MMA. BJJ, traditional throwing arts or gymnastics? How to fall without getting injured. … Whether during physical conflict or just slipping on ice. So do you need to know how to fall? You betcha.” - Marc MacYoung

“The well rounded fighter myth comes directly from the sports world where ONLY two contestants step into a limited ring and can do a limited number of options.” - Marc MacYoung

“I've seen way too many people -- who have lots and lots of techniques -- get their asses handed to them by someone who relies on only one strategy and does it with complete commitment. A big part of the reason this works is the well rounded fighter spent so much time and effort learning all these techniques to become a balanced fighter they failed to learn a very important lesson. Get the hell out of the way of an on coming train.” - Marc MacYoung

“See to teach the technique, the moves had been broken apart. Then the parts were taught. Thing is, the techniques were never put back together. Or if they were, they were assembled with parts missing. These parts or non-operational versions were then taught as the whole thing. Mix this in with group movement and to keep the timing you get everyone pausing at the end of the move so you can 'take a picture.’ That mental image of standing there at the end of the move morphed into what people think is the block.” - Marc MacYoung

“Classic systems still train you to function from both sides of your body. Why because you'll find yourself in either lead, multiple times. (Or you won't know what lead you'll be in when things start)” - Marc MacYoung

“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

“Attacks are designed to hurt and damage and overwhelm. Offensive moves in sparring, as often as not, are designed to deceive, disconcert or score … which are very different things. .. When it is an assault, you add the element of surprise and it becomes a flurry of damage with no thought of defense.” - Rory Miller, Facing Violence

“When both your instincts and your martial training are keyed for dominance, it can be very ease to forget that your primary goal is to escape or to stop the threat. There is a difference between training to win a dominance contest and training to survive. All sparring matches - weapons, duals, MMA, or point fighting, are dominance contests, not survival contests.” - Rory Miller, Facing Violence

“Fights are multi-layered. The four elements: you, the threat(s), the environment and luck; physical and mental forces; legal and social customs; what the fight is about and what both parties think it is about.” - Rory Miller, Facing Violence

“Keep trying to communicate during the fight. The least it will do is clue in the witnesses. This is most important legally when you are winning.” - Rory Miller, Facing Violence

“Monsters are rare but real. One side needs to acknowledge the rarity, the other the reality. Both need to acknowledge that the methods for dealing with a situation depend ENTIRELY on what’s assailing a person.” - Eric on God’s Bastard Blog - Monsters are Rare but Real

“Historical texts are rarely confined to just one interpretation, and figuring out the proper historical meaning of a source is inherently subjective and conjectural. … Textual originalism does not dictate a clear answer; it just provides a cover of legitimacy to an inherently biased task. In situations like this, a researcher is free to attach the meaning that supports his or her preferred outcome and ‘find’ the history that backs up that meaning, all the while feeling certain that it is the text that is doing all the work. … Research is trying to become informed. It’s the nature of the information that is found that in many cases, the ‘facts’ they discover are flawed and misleading. … Humans (researchers are human) tend to make gut decisions and then look for supporting data, discarding and dismissing conflicting evidence along the way. … The underlying drive is to bolster an data, not discover the truth. … Gut reactions lead toward a narrow, targeted search. … Humans tend to assume (researchers too) that the more data they have at their fingertips, the more accurate they will be. But, in fact, having more information may make it easier to find the necessary support for an erroneous proposition. … More information on hand supports the facts therefore making it easier to reach the wrong (but favored) conclusions. … Being a more skilled and experienced practitioner of a system might not bring the benefits we might expect. .. When it comes to controversy there are almost always authorities to buttress any position one might want to take. … Research may be driven more by motivated reasoning than by an open-minded quest for information. .. Humans (researchers too) all fall into routines, sticking to what they already know, prefer, and trust. … We all wear blinders fashioned from our limited lives. … Those limited lives mean you are going to conduct your research accordingly, clicking on certain websites and not others, recalling particular research studies, reading beyond the abstract of this author’s paper but not his colleague’s. You may also surround yourself with humans wo do the same.” - Adam Benforado, Unfair

“Using search engines for your research means using their filter bubbles created by the organization of results from you, based on your particular interests and proclivities, as revealed by the other websites you visited, your Facebook profile, or other personal details. In essence, without your awareness, you are being steered toward the sources that you are likely to find the most persuasive and that are most likely to support your views - and away from those that might cause you to rethink your positions.” - Adam Benforado, Unfair

“For a society that abhors conflict, we seem to be awfully determined to deprive ourselves of the means of avoiding much of it.” - God’s Bastard, Rise of the Cyborgs

“Living in a world of social media, where passion is considered on a par with information and where surrounding oneself with a coterie of sycophants passes for critical thinking and cherry picking sources is as close as most people get to being ‘well informed’.” - Rory Miller, Chiron Blog ‘Dripping Integrity

“In order to try to eradicate violence, society is doing several things:

  • They’ve made the use of physical force to resolve disagreements illegal; for instance, we no longer consider ‘fighting words’ to be a valid excuse for physical retaliation, or approve of dueling or trial by combat.
  • They’re making the use of violence for self-defence increasingly fraught with legal perils.
  • Some Western countries are progressively outlawing all ‘weapons’ and the concept of what makes something a weapon is getting progressively broader.
  • They’re discouraging people from engaging in their own conflict resolution, and encouraging or forcing them to delegate such matters to ‘experts’.”
- God’s Bastard Blog

If* conflict is natural for people, then it is natural for people to feel the need for conflict management skills. Lacking those skills could cause a person to feel that they are missing something critical. Every time a conflict approaches on the horizon, this lack of resources could cause them to become excessively adrenalized, even when the conflict is low-level or low-risk. Adrenalization could further lower their abilities to deal with the situation. This can shape both how people handle conflicts – what strategies they select and according to what principles – and how they judge the results.” - God’s Bastard Blog

“We’re trying to force people into acting peaceful by not giving them any alternatives. We are depriving people of the opportunity to learn and practice conflict management skills. We’re churning out individuals who are insecure, adrenalized at the least sign of hassle, and plagued by an inner voice that calls them cowards. And then we call it “shocking” when they overreact or snap, and petty conflicts escalate unnecessarily.” - God’s Bastard Blog

“My colleague Fernando Camara and I have speculated in an article for the Journal of Asian a Martial Arts that this is what Miyagi meant when he named his system “Goju-ryu” Go – Higaonna; Ju – Miyagi).” - Mario McKenna Sensei Blog ‘The Enigma of Miyagi Chojun

“Miyagi … was culturally conditioned to state that his karate came from Higaonna Kanryo without apparent contradiction.  …  Miyagi (and Kyoda for that matter) could do this and maintain a very real belief that he had preserved and passed on the true core of his teacher’s karate.” - Mario McKenna Sensei Blog ‘The Enigma of Miyagi Chojun

“The effort to add polish and the unnecessary, in order to make their school seem special.” - Peyton Quinn, Book of Five Rings: Explained in Plain English

“Without reality-based experience you can only speculate on what is important to learn for the real thing (referring to violence, violent attacks).” - Peyton Quinn, Book of Five Rings: Explained in Plain English

“The proper mind-set/state for entering on and killing an adversary preempts such self-aware thinking such as how one is applying a technique either strongly with commitment and permission or otherwise. In the fight for self-defense there is no place for such superficial self-aware thinking and therefore if one’s training and practice over emphasize such thinking then it will not server them in actual combat. Master the adrenal stress reaction to allow one to see immediately what is needed to stop the threat.” - Peyton Quinn, Book of Five Rings: Explained in Plain English (redacted to fit modern martial arts like karate)

“It is necessary to have such commitment and determination (improvise, adapt and overcome) as to pull a fence post out of the ground and use it to beat your enemies/adversary’s.” - Peyton Quinn, Book of Five Rings: Explained in Plain English

“If you don't know attacks, you can't teach SD (Self-defense). … If someone shows me what they do and it's clearly based on sparring timing, distance and orientation, then they're just fantasizing.” - Rory Miller, Convergence on Chiron Blog

“The attacks have to be attacks. You have to be able to project the physical and emotional intensity of grabbing a person by the throat and slamming them into the wall. Those are the physics they must learn to deal with. That is a taste of the emotional environment in which they will have to deal with those physics. You have a responsibility to be a good bad guy for your partner. … You must give your partners good attacks. I know that you're good people and it's hard for you. But if you attack them weak, or slow, or gently, you are literally endangering their lives. Do you want your partner to get hurt because you were so self-conscious you couldn't help her prepare? … The reps of acting ferocious combined with the idea that you are being ferocious for the benefit of someone else will likely also make it easier to slip the leash if you need to for real.” - Rory Miller, Convergence on Chiron Blog

“Amateurs try to make things perfect, professionals just try to make things better.” - Rory Miller, Facing Violence

“Martial Arts and self-defense, on one level, is the manufacture of cripples and corpses. If you need better words you have not come to terms with what you may need to do.” Rory Miller, Drills, Training for Sudden Violence

“Martial Artists who focus attention to form and appearance rather than effective application miss proper combat mind-set/mind-state (they have failed to perceive what is important.). When karate-ka are observed moving across the floor with an exaggerated attention to form and precise position of their hands, feet, shoulders and body they have failed to perceive what is important. To think of foot positions as correct or incorrect is a central error in consciousness in your training. It is in real combat these things are of no real importance.”  - Peyton Quinn, Musashi Book of Five Rings: Explained in Plain English (slightly modified for application of karate)

“Do not get caught up in form or stances, because real combat is for too fast and dynamic for that approach to work.”  - Peyton Quinn, Musashi Book of Five Rings: Explained in Plain English

“Being precise in executing your formal exercises and practice in the training hall may not translate to effective techniques in an actual conflict, unless you have this sincere and exclusive attitude of defeating the adversary. In absence of this attitude you will be defeated.”   - Peyton Quinn, Musashi Book of Five Rings: Explained in Plain English

“Martial Arts taught today fail to be true defense because of the disconnect between the sport and its applications to self-defense.”  - Peyton Quinn, Musashi Book of Five Rings: Explained in Plain English

“To consciously strike a blow to the adversary is called, “Utsu [打つ and 撃つ and 伐つ].” But to strike as the opportunity presents itself instantly is, “Ataru [当たる] …” To ataru is to be able to utsu directly afterwards.” - Musashi Miyamoto

“The spontaneous strike is called ataru, it occurs as the visual and tactical cues are perceived and the response is instant to the opening the adversary has created before conscious thought to be followed up by a threat ending technique(s) which is often utsu which is seen by the conscious and self-aware mind to be available.” - Peyton Quinn, Musashi Book of Five Rings: Explained in Plain English

“Empty hand fighting is not the same as weapon fighting - it requires different body mechanics, different ranges, different timing and, “Most Importantly,” en emphasis on movement that is not found in most kicking and punching arts.” - Marc MacYoung, Talking Knives

“Most empty handed fighters lack the understanding of how to generate force from a moving state, instead seeking to generate force from a stationary/rooted stance and twisting the hips.” - Marc MacYoung, Talking Knives

“There ain’t no such thing as a professional knife fighter, he isn’t getting paid for knife fighting, he would not survive multiple knife fights without getting carved up pretty bad and long before he stacks up enough murders to be qualified as a ‘Master Knife Fighter’ he would have found himself on death row.”  - Derived but modified from a quote by Marc MacYoung, Talking Knives (Not exact quote, made small changes; paraphrased)

“Drills teach principles, they teach ideas but they are only the map, not the territory (unrealistic tendency, drills do not teach proper ranging.). Drills do not address the required commitment and force levels that a real assault will bring to the fight. Training drills are simply missing several critical components.” - Marc MacYoung, Talking Knives (Not exact quote, made small changes; paraphrased)

“I don't know why we're so keen in this society to cling to the idiotic notion that there are no monsters, that there is no inherent evil, that everyone would be nice if only they were given the chance to be. I mean, even if that were true (which I personally doubt), how in the name of all that is holy does it help us when the shit hits the fan?” - God’s Bastard,

“I think the problem rests with our society's unwillingness to contemplate the darker side of the human soul and the type of conflict it generates. We act as if pretending that it's not there, despite plenty of proof to the contrary, can somehow make it go away. We refuse to admit that the issue exists, as if that made us safer; instead, that makes us unable to switch gears to handle it if the need arises.” - God’s Bastard,

“Knowing an art (martial art, style, system or discipline: my words) does not give you that kind of commitment, ruthlessness (rewritten for brevity by me) or the kind of grim endurance or that willingness to descend into savagery to stay alive. Just knowing the art (martial art, style, system or discipline: my words) does not make you a fighter (knife fighter in original quote). That willingness to wade through hell and come out the other side.” - Marc MacYoung, Talking Knives

“You have three brains:

• Lizard brain (survival)
• Monkey brain (emotion / social status)
• Human brain (reason)

Each “brain” has a different priority and evolved to deal with different kinds of conflict. They work using different scripts and have a very clear seniority system.” - Rory Miller, Chiron Blog

“Hand-to-hand combat is a last ditch effort when other, more effective, preventive measures have failed.” - Marc MacYoung, No Nonsense Self-Defense and In the Name of Self-Defense

“One of the biggest disconnects in martial arts training is that it is so easy to forget what you are training to do. An elegant throw is slamming a man’s head into the ground with sufficient force to shatter his shoulder or his neck. A powerful, focused punch is concussing the brain and breaking or dislocating the jaw. This is not mindfulness. To practice and to either forget or ignore what you are practicing is something close to unforgivable.” - Rory Miller, Drills: Training for Sudden Violence

“Todays martial arts schools have an almost complete disconnect between the training and the reality of actual hand-to-hand fighting as it occurs today.” - Peyton Quinn, Musashi’s Book of Five Rings: Explained in Plain English

“In large−scale strategy, at the start of battle we shout as loudly as possible. During the fight, the voice is low−pitched, shouting out as we attack. After the contest, we shout in the wake of our victory. These are the three shouts. … In single combat, we make as if to cut and shout ‘Ei!’ at the same time to disturb the enemy, then in the wake of our shout we cut with the long sword. We shout after we have cut down the enemy this is to announce victory. This is called ‘sen go no koe’ (before and after voice). We do not shout simultaneously with flourishing the long sword. We shout during the fight to get into rhythm. Research this deeply.” - Miyamoto Musashi, Go Rin no Sho [五輪書, 1643]

“Violence is also something that our society increasingly abhors – and we forget how rare this attitude is, geographically and historically.” - God’s Bastard

“In truth, the concept of rank has never been a good indication of progress; it diverts the mind away from the purpose of training, it introduces a false sense of achievement, and it provides currency to those who would us it for their own unscrupulous reasons.” - Michael Clarke, Shinseidokan Dojo

—— Start Quote

McCarthy’s Ten Point Observations on Kata

Kata: Geometrical configurations of defensive composites. Despite their obvious anaerobic & holistic value, I do not believe that kata (by themselves) teach self-defence, but rather culminate the lessons one should have already learned. Understanding this, I would like to share ten important points we consider mandatory study for learners of Koryu Uchinadi.

1. Our position is that the physical culmination of animosity (manifested acts of violence) historically served as the catalyst from which early & innovative people first struggled with to develop plebeian defensive practices.

2. Identifying the varying acts of physical violence that plagued this early period most probably allowed innovative pioneers the opportunity to divide them into separate categories for the purpose of empirical observation.

3. By recreating each act of violence in a safe learning environment, innovators were better able to study their habitual nature & understand them.

4. By developing two-person drills innovators were provided with an opportunity to come into direct contact with each act of physical violence in order to develop functional responses while also discovering how to react to human error [Murphy's Law].

5. Physical emulation and, the inner-drive to better ourselves, has certainly formed the foundation on which more important discoveries could continually be extrapolated & interpolated over successive generations.

6. By removing the attacker [HAPV-side] from the two-person exercises a solo composite [i.e. a re-enactment of the application principles] remained, which ultimately became ritualized into a mnemonic tool: i.e. something used to aid the memory. 

7. Kata (Hsing/Xing in Mandarin Chinese) unfolded from (Chinese) innovators linking together mnemonic tool. By linking together solo composites into signature configurations those pioneers developed abstract forms of human movement with wonderfully holistic overtones. Not only culminating the defensive lessons already imparted the abstract forms could be embraced at various levels of intensity, depending upon the learner's individual prowess, as unique methods of nurturing physical fitness and mental well being ... a from of moving Zen.

8. Understanding this evolution should help make it more evident that kata, by itself, does not teach self-defense, but rather, culminate the lessons one should have already learned.

9. I believe that this art, as understood and embraced by the Uchinanchu (Okinawan people), was never a cohesive or coherent practice during Okinawa's old Ryukyu Kingdom. At the turn of the 20th century innovative pioneer, Itosu Ankoh, brought various embryonic practices out from behind the closed doors of secrecy, synthesized and simplified them into a single practice and introduced it to the school system: see note below. With kata being the principal vehicle through which to drill large groups of school students, emphasis was placed upon physical fitness and social conformity, rather than on understanding what acts of physical violence its defensive applications addressed. Supported by Government-serving [DNBK] propaganda ["Budo (of which karate became a part) was the way that common men built uncommon bravery"] an entire nation was lured to such practices. In an effort to forge "bodies of steel" and compliancy, in support of Japan's war machine during that radical period of military escalation, Itosu (by mistake or design) reshaped the original practice & purpose of kata to form over function and established a modern cultural phenomenon.

10. Ponder this question, whether by mistake or design, what happens to functional application rituals if and when their original outcomes are lost or changed? Outcomes always dictate the training methods used to accomplish such goals. Change the outcomes and you'll need to change the training methods! Studying kata for many years, I was lost in what Bruce Lee described as the "Classical Mess." I wonder what Sir Winston Churchill knew about kata with his comments about mother Russia ("A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma").

Note: Based on older practices [i.e. Kusanku, Passai, Useishi, Chintou, Jion, Naihanchi, Chinte, Jitte, Jiin, & Seisan, etc.] Itosu Ankoh, in April of 1905, while in his mid-seventies, "Officially" introduced five reconfigured sets of mnemonics [Pinan kata] at both Okinawa's First-Junior Prefectural High School as well as the Shihan Gakko [Teacher's College] as a simplified form of human movement.

—— End Quote

“Having an instructor is not the same as being accepted by a sensei, learning a syllabus is different from absorbing principles, and pursuing an idea (budo), is unlike anything you will ever encounter in a 'karate club.'” - Michael Clarke Shinseidokan Dojo

“Gasshuku are not camps, they're not seminars either; nor are they an excuse to behave like bunch of adolescent children on a school excursion. For karateka, gasshuku are an opportunity to immerse yourself in your training; to train more often than your normal routine will allow, and to discover if you have what it takes … “ - Michael Clarke Sensei, Shinseidokan Dojo

The belt has no power, gives no insight, and bestows no skill. A belt without the character to endorse it, is a bit like a car without an engine...useless!”  - Michael Clarke Sensei, Shinseidokan Dojo

“We are not teaching people how to cope with conflict, protect themselves or even stand up for themselves. As a result they are traumatized by violence. Then this trauma is pointed to as proof as how horrible and bad violence is.” - Marc MacYoung paraphrasing a quote from George Silver.

“Training is the main activity, socializing is an important element, but it is never allowed to equal or surpass the time spent on the dojo floor discovering karate, as the late Shoshin Nagamine sensei once said…’Through the ecstasy of sweat’.” - Michael Clarke, Shinseidokan Dojo

“Karate based on an ability to 'score a point' is a world away from conditioning the mind and body to deliver and to some extent, take, a determined blow.” - Michael Clarke, Shinseidokan Dojo

“It's vital that karateka focus their attention on the principles at play, rather than the techniques being used.” - Michael Clarke, Shinseidokan Dojo

“The ideal is that the more power you put in your technique the more solidly you feel forced directly into the ground. No bending, not twisting, no swaying.” - Rory Miller, Drills: Training for Sudden Violence.

“If good body mechanics (fundamental principles, i.e., physiokinetic) are used (power generation) and you exploit your weight and/or the threat’s motion (power stealing) there is an enormous amount of force in a decent strike. The only reason most hits are not extremely devastating is because so much power is lost to inefficient structure.”  - Rory Miller, Drills: Training for Sudden Violence

“In most real-world conflicts, the key to victory lies not on a battlefield, or in any one special strategy or tactic, but inside your opponent’s head.” - Bill Reader

“ … a person who has been touched by an enlightenment, a piece of knowledge so great it no longer matters that they have a non-existent knowledge of history, that they avoid considering any subject long enough to have a deeper grasp than “an important person says”, that their day-to-day dealings are superficial, instantaneous and overwhelmingly emotional.” - Bill Reader

“Modern dojo are too far removed from the reality and simplicity of defeating an adversary and ten to make it ore complex that it really is. Sensei do this to maintain students and their fees. There are not that many ways to fight a person. You don’t need the many techniques such as martial arts schools might teach when you are in a real violent situation. Develop a since spirit, a willingness to engage and enter on the adversary and end the fight.” - Redacted from a quote by Peyton Quinn, Musashi’s Book of Five Rings

“Styles are just styles, styles of practice created by people who often have no real or limited experience in actual fights or self-defense situations. Practitioners who look good in the dojo but who would be defeated by a true fighter if that practitioner’s training had been NOT directed toward adherence to a style, but only on the pragmatic ways to fight and defeat an adversary. The practitioner must perfect the few techniques/tactics actually needed in a fight as the fight dictates, those that are not fancy or complex.”  - Redacted from a quote by Peyton Quinn, Musashi’s Book of Five Rings

“One develops skill in martial arts by awareness, observation and above all the correct practice.”  - Redacted from a quote by Peyton Quinn, Musashi’s Book of Five Rings

“Power isn't an end-state. There are no weak or strong people, just people at different places on a given continuum. And power is not linear. I am stronger than K, but she is smarter and more artistic than I am. R has more money, but J has more skills. Q can access a deep level of viciousness, but W can access an equally deep level of empathy. Power is not a scale but a net of ever-interconnecting methods of affecting the world. And in each strand of the net, you have attributes and skills that both affect the strength. AND … Power is about growth or stagnation. Comfort with power is required to use it.” - Rory Miller, Chiron Blog, “On Power.”

“ … no animal naturally weakens itself. Tigers never starve themselves to look better to other tigers and snakes don't slither over coals to show their bravery.”  - Rory Miller, Chiron Blog, “On Power.” and I would add this quote from the Alien movie, from Ripley, the main character who said, Ripley: You know, Burke, I don't know which species is worse. You don't see them fucking each other over for a goddamn percentage.” Alien Movie Quote

Personal Note: I like this one especially as it kind of symbolizes just how much we will do, say and endure for such things as ego, pride, status, honor and face even if it means "fucking each other over for a goddamn belt, trophy, recognition or accolades, etc." I like it that tigers and snakes actually act with those traits humans often express as the epitome of the "Way."

“Human nature was produced by natural selection working at two levels simultaneously. Individuals compete with individuals within every group, and we are the descendants of primates who excelled at that competition.” - Jonathan Haidt, The Righteous Mind

“Enlightenment ( or wisdom, if you prefer) requires us all to take the logs (moralism, idealism, righteousness, etc.) out of our eyes and then escape from our ceaseless, petty, and divisive moralism. The perfect Way is only difficult for those who pick and choose; do not like, do not dislike; all will then be clear. Make a hairbreadth difference, and Heaven and Earth are set apart; If you want the truth to stand clear before you, never be for or against. The struggle between ‘for’ and ‘against’ is the mind’s worst disease.” - Jonathan Haidt, The Righteous Mind

“Reaction time to touch is faster than peripheral vision reaction time and much faster than focused vision.” - Rory Miller, Drills

“Most people shift their center of gravity slightly to chamber or set up or prep a strike or kick.  …   Between the reaction speed of touch and that you act on precursor movements, you will find yourself defending actions before they happen, sometimes before the threat has consciously decided to move.”  - Rory Miller, Drills

“ If you can't extract information from any source, and see how it effects you, you need to learn how to. Drop your own biases, and just take the info for what it is.” - Terry Trahan, WeaselCraft Blog

“Most techniques in martial arts are not practiced against attacks. They are practiced against feeds. A feed may have a similar motion to a punch or stab, but it is designed and delivered specifically to be defeated. A little slow, on a known line, maybe slightly over-extended or held out for just a second. No matter how much it looks like a punch, almost every element is different in a fight … and so people who have practiced against feeds are terrifyingly often completely blown away by the intensity, speed, ferocity and pain of a ‘simple attack.’” - Rory Miller, Drills: Training for Sudden Violence.

“Your predator may be a scared kid feeling like he is losing control on his first crime and does not know how to regain control without resorting to extreme violence. It may be a hardened felon who will use extreme force without any thought of you, just a quick assessment of the odds of getting caught. It may be someone who enjoys the feeling of domination as he makes someone bleed and beg. It is very, very unlikely you have hit any of these personalities in normal training. Most instructors would not let an uncontrolled predator anywhere near their dojo.” - Rory Miller, Scaling Force

“Peripheral vision is vision from the side of the eye. It is not as focused as a direct gaze - you can’t read with it and colors are less certain. It does, detect motion quicker and allow for faster response time then focused vision. A good fighter does not watch your hands, he put his gaze where any movement form you hands or feet will register in his peripheral vision. The ‘thousand yard stare’ puts almost everything in peripheral vision and is a critical skill in combat to detect ambushes.” - Rory Miller, Facing Violence

“A physical compilation of fundamental principles of martial systems practiced singularly or paired to simulate possible applications of principles in self-defense with and without reciprocal force and power in a reality-based adrenal flood physical and mental state.” - Charles E. James

“On Ground Fights; in real life, the winner in a ground fight is not the strongest, the meanest, or the most skillful. The winner will be decided by whose friends get there first.” - Rory Miller and Lawrence A. Kane, Scaling Force

“Once you identify the ‘other’ as, not only ‘different from us,’ but as some sort of alien species both beyond our comprehension and below contempt, they suddenly become surprisingly easy (even desirable) to kill. … identifying your adversary as something ‘subhuman’, it is possible to achieve a killer mind-set in short order. … how you view your adversary will greatly influence your reaction to his provocations.”  - C. R. Jahn, Hardcore Self-Defense

“An argument at the ethics level is not perceived as an attack on identity. An attack on the belief level is very much an attack on identity. … If you can explain yourself from a deeper level you are more likely to get the other person to comprehend your point of view. … at the belief level it is much more difficult to make change. … “ - Rory Miller, Facing Violence

“A belief told to others by someone they trust is, for most people, a subjective truth and no more based on fact than the belief that the world is held up by four elephants standing on the back of an enormous turtle.” - Rory Miller, Facing Violence

“I feel strongly the truth of one’s belief that the answers one gives to life’s crucial questions are never truly spontaneous; they are the embodiment of years of contextual experience, of the building of patterns in each of our lives that eventually grow to dominate our behavior.” - Kreizler

The next three quotes go together and should be followed up by reading the actual post, excellent!

“Tracking back to the original questions, 'just' cooking is way more complicated, deep and involved. Yet with training and experience we easily navigate through massively complex processes in order to produce.” - Marc MacYoung, “Mac and Cheese Idealism,” MacYoung’s Musings Blog

“We tend to minimize the complexity of what we do actually know. At the same time we become vulnerable to anyone trying to 'sell us' that complex issues are simple and all about 'one thing.'  The latter especially in the form of soundbites, advertising and narrative.” - Marc MacYoung, “Mac and Cheese Idealism,” MacYoung’s Musings Blog

“Simplistic answers and an abundance of confidence really appeals to the part of our brains that want to reduce the complexities of life to simplistic narratives and never mind reality (much less all those messy complications).” - Marc MacYoung, “Mac and Cheese Idealism,” MacYoung’s Musings Blog

"Asian martial arts do not even address or acknowledge the need or existence of any of these critical survival self-defense skills at all. Instead Asian Martial Arts follows a syllabus almost wholly devoted to the practice of physical technique alone. The majority of that physical technique is wholly impractical for most people to employ effectively in an actual self-defense situation too." ~ Christopher Caile

“The goal of self-defense is not to win the fight, but rather to avoid combat in the first place. … Nevertheless, sometimes despite your best intentions, you may find yourself in a situation where there really is no alternative but to fight. When it comes to such circumstances, particularly in an asocial violence scenario, you cannot stop until it’s over.” - Rory Miller and Lawrence A. Kane, Scaling Force (pg. 49)

“Situational awareness - knowing what is going on around you. Specifically, it is the ability to identify, process, and comprehend factors that can be important for your safety and welfare, such as the existence of potential threats, escape routes, and weapons.” - Rory Miller and Lawrence A. Kane, Scaling Force

“It is relatively easy to de-escalate impending social violence so that things won’t get physical, especially if you are willing to lose face. It is only possible to de-escalate predatory violence by appearing to be too dangerous to attack. If you are alert, aware, prepared, in decent physical condition, and capable of setting a verbal boundary, those are all major warning signs to the predator.” - Rory Miller and Lawrence A. Kane, Scaling Force

“If and, I hope not when, you get into an altercation with another individual, then every aspect of your life will be on trial. Every statement or post on your social networking site. Every martial arts/self-defense class you have ever taken. Everything you have ever done will be scrutinized and examined by the District/Prosecuting attorney. It can and will be used against you in ways that you never thought possible. If by some chance, you are found not-guilty, then be prepared for the lawyers in the civil case that is coming to play even dirtier than the D.A. Your character, reputation, family history, everything about you and yours, will be on display for the jury and world to see. Thing it is a joke? Talk to someone that has been through it and you will find out just how bad it can be.” - Clint Overland, Forward to “Scaling Force” by Rory Miller and Lawrence A. Kane

“Karate is a blend of physically challenging training supported by mindful introspection.” - Michael Clarke, Shinseidokan Dojo blog

The essence of self-defense is that things are going bad. You are behind the curve. The threat is bigger and stronger and/or armed and/or crazy and/or multiple. You are surprised and almost certainly off balance with minimal room to run or maneuver, no time to evaluate and plan, with compromised structure and likely injured before you knew it was on.“ - Rory Miller, Justified, Justifiable, Prudent and Smart dtd. Tuesday, January 13, 2015, Chiron Blog

“Justified and justifiable are not always the same thing. In 1992, the Oregonian surveyed Portland Police officers. One of the details: In the four years before the survey, 86% said they could have fired with full legal justification but chose not to. There are some implications of that -- for every 28 shootings, officers bet their lives they could find another way about 900 times. And were largely successful except, of course, dead officers don't get to fill out surveys.” - Rory Miller, Justified, Justifiable, Prudent and Smart dtd. Tuesday, January 13, 2015, Chiron Blog

“ … because something is justifiable doesn't mean you couldn't find another way. My personal definition, Justifiable means I could convince a jury, Justified means I can convince myself there was no other way out. Prudent means it would be stupid to go in at a lower level.” - Rory Miller, Justified, Justifiable, Prudent and Smart dtd. Tuesday, January 13, 2015, Chiron Blog

“In general, higher levels force are quicker, easier and more effective than lower levels.” - Rory Miller, Justified, Justifiable, Prudent and Smart dtd. Tuesday, January 13, 2015, Chiron Blog

“Higher levels of force -- quicker, easier, more certain. But the higher level of force, the more it takes to justify it.” - Rory Miller, Justified, Justifiable, Prudent and Smart dtd. Tuesday, January 13, 2015, Chiron Blog

“ … sometimes the higher level of force can be completely justified, completely prudent, but not the smart thing to do. Like fighting out of a crowd.” - Rory Miller, Justified, Justifiable, Prudent and Smart dtd. Tuesday, January 13, 2015, Chiron Blog

“’High levels of force are faster, safer and more effective than lower levels’ is a good rule of thumb. But like all of them, it has a failure point. A situation where something else becomes true. Or truer.” - Rory Miller, Justified, Justifiable, Prudent and Smart dtd. Tuesday, January 13, 2015, Chiron Blog

“Sometimes it's so important to finish things quickly that it's worth taking damage to do so. (And, less academic, you're probably going to take some damage anyway, so suck it up, Buttercup. But that said taking damage unnecessarily is, by definition, unnecessary. Smart people don't do it.) Sometimes, fighting out of a shitty position is more important than ending the threat. Better to do both, but if you're with a bad guy in a burning, collapsing building and damage to him will cost you even a second, improve your position.” - Rory Miller, Justified, Justifiable, Prudent and Smart dtd. Tuesday, January 13, 2015, Chiron Blog

“Maybe justified and justifiable can be subsumed under smart. Do the smart thing. If it's not justifiable and you either can't live with yourself or you go to prison... hmmm, maybe it wasn't all that smart? Justifying -- articulation -- then becomes the skill. Do the smartest thing you're capable of, but practice explaining why it was the best available option.” - Rory Miller, Justified, Justifiable, Prudent and Smart dtd. Tuesday, January 13, 2015, Chiron Blog

Note: all the above highlited quotes are presented “out of context” because I liked them as I read his blog post. You can read that post here: “Justified, Justifiable, Prudent and Smart

“Our nation has become a ‘sound-bite’ society. A public and therefore a jury pool that is increasingly vulnerable to misinformed simple answers to complicated questions.“ - Massad Ayoob at Texas Bar Association Firearms Law Symposium, September 2012.

Yasuhiro Konishi Sensei once said, "Karate aims to build character, improve human behavior, and cultivate modesty; it does not, however, guarantee it."

“Understand that your knowledge only gives you an edge, and that’s all.” - Karate Instructor (Loren Christensen - Some Lessons Hurt)

“The martial arts is like life: you get ahead a couple of steps, and you get knocked back three. What’s important is you keep getting up and moving forward. That’s what being a martial artist is all about.” - Karate Instructor (Loren Christensen - Some Lessons Hurt)

“Self-defense is not having your lifestyle changed for you. It’s better to avoid than to run; better to run than to deescalate; better to deescalate than to fight; better to fight than to die. The very essence of self-defense is a thin list of things that might get you out alive when you are already screwed.” - Rory Miller, Meditations on Violence (Note: Know that this quote is not the final say in SD but rather a tease to get you to learn more - start with his book)

“No matter how hard you have trained, how much you have studied, or how closely you have matched your training environment to the realities that you face, your body and primitive mind know that you have only been faking. Training and planning are blueprints, nothing more. They are plans; they are stories that you tell yourself. You may truly believe that your new skill (new system, new plan) is the best way out of your situation - but your body knows one thing, too: What you are already doing hasn’t gotten you killed yet.” … Now, a caveat to this quote is, “In the moment, like breaking the freeze, you must force yourself to act. Once a few steps are taken on the new path and you haven’t died, the primitive brain will ease up a bit.” - Rory Miller, Meditations on Violence

“He stresses the point of uselessness to learn a lot of forms without mastering them.” - Gichin Funakoshi when asked by Asato Sensei to increase the number of kata taught.

“In truth, formal grading tests have little meaning if the outcome is predetermined or divorced from the skill displayed by the candidate…” - Michael Clarke Sensei, Shinseidokan Dojo

“Self-defense is largely about dealing with surprise and fear and pain … It is recovery from stupidity or bad luck, from finding yourself in a position you would have given almost anything to prevent. It is about overcoming shock and surprise so that you can act, to ‘beat the freeze.’ The ideal is to prevent the situation. The optimal mindset is often a conditioned responses that requires no thought (for the first half-second of the attack) or a focused rage.“  - Rory Miller, Meditations of Violence: A Comparison of Martial Arts Training; Real World Violence

“It’s important to understand that not all karate is the same, nor are the people, or groups, who teach it. Depending on what you're expectations of karate are, it would be prudent to ponder 'why' karate is being taught, and not just 'how' and 'who' is teaching it. … Anyone who teaches karate has, I believe, an obligation to provide as complete an education as possible. So, not just the physical stuff, but the moral and ethical parameters within which karate operates - Michael Clarke Sensei, Shinseidokan Karate

“The emergence of karate associations, and their business plan encouraging dependency rather than independence, has been the catalyst for karate's moral and spiritual decline. The dojo, once the hub of karate learning has been relegated to 'club' status, and karateka have become mere members. Instructors seek celebrity, and new students arrive with a list of expectations. So, who do you think is responsible for all this?” - Michael Clarke Sensei, Shinseidokan Dojo blog post, “The Okinawan Experience …

“ … wisdom comes from your mind, and your heart … “ - Shoshin Nagamine Sensei

“Sometimes I think the urge to believe in our own worldview is our most powerful intellectual imperative, the mind’s equivalent of feeding, fighting, and fornicating, People will eagerly twist facts into wholly unrecognizable shapes to fit them into existing suppositions. They will ignore the obvious, select the irrelevant, and spin it all into a tapestry of self-deception, solely to justify an idea, no matter how impoverished or self-destructive.” - John Rain, Extremis

“Principles will explain everything that happens in the martial arts, they also will explain how to accomplish everything we want to happen. Studying a finite number of principles explains an infinite number of techniques.” - Stephen Pearlman

“The complexities of life are simply derived from our innate need for individuality yet governed by our need for group identity and protection.” - Charles E. James

“It is all about how you are taught a martial art and how you train. Most MA’s are taught as religions, They are all about faith, not facts. People need to believe something, even if they have to invent it. You need something that works. You need something that is practical and simple. You need a lot of scenario based conditioning. A lot of contact. It needs to be there for you when weapons are not available. You can develop the necessary attitude only in combat (the experience as a professional, etc.).” - Delilah 

“According to Ken Murray in 'Training at the Speed of Life', the Air Force set ‘ace’ at five dogfights because there best research showed that no one—no one—remembered their training for their first three to five dogfights.  Personally, I would set the threshold for unarmed encounters closer to twenty. Grasp that.  With the best training in the world, you still got through your first 3-5 on instinct and luck.” - Rory Miller, Teaching, Training, Conditioning and Play. Chiron Blog dtd May 9, 2014

“The Mysticism surrounding any good martial art is not so much religion as mindset.” - Unknown

"There are some studies that suggest that the peak of human violence is at age two. We are most violent of all at that age. Families survive the terrible two's because toddlers are not strong enough to kill with their hands and are not capable of using lethal weapons." - NPR Program on Violence

“Commanded by an authoritarian figure, and wishing to conform, we could bulldoze homes, burn books, separate parents from children or even slaughter them, and our much-prized conscience would not as much as flicker.” - Richard Ingham, Article, “Evil not so banal, says disturbing new probe.

In the Name of Self-Defense, “Self-defense isn’t only about the physical. When I say this, many people assume I’m talking about the mindset you need during the physical act. That’s still focusing on the physical. I’m talking about expanding your understanding to the connection between what happens before, during, and after an incident. This overview is critical for your survival and success. Because not all the dangers of self-defense are physical.” ~ Marc MacYoung, author.

“There is a time for empty-hand techniques, there’s a time for weapons. There is a time for bone-breaking combatives, and there’s a time for grappling, submission, and control. There’s a time for fighting, and there’s a time you have to kill someone quickly and effectively (Not only before he or she kills you, but so he or she can’t take you with them). Some violence can be resolved through words, some by use of force, and other types by running like hell.” ~ Marc MacYoung, In the Name of Self-Defense.

“An internalized code of ethics doesn’t just stop at the role a martial art played in World War II atrocities. When a teacher is obviously abusive, chauvinistic, sadistic, greedy or unethical, do you make excuses for him/her, and delude yourself into thinking, “Well, it’s really all about the training, nothing else”? No, it’s never ONLY about the training. A teacher’s unethical or abusive behavior will rub off on you, sooner rather than later. As the saying goes, when you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas.” ~ Classic Budo Blogger, dtd, August 8, 2014

“Your arms need to be like two snakes. You know that I’m talking about if you have ever handled any kind of constricting snake. Boas can go from a soft touch on your hand to a bone-crushing force in a split second. But once the reason for being tense is past, they go soft again. By being soft, they are motherin’ fast when they strike. By suddenly clamping down when they get there, they get back all the power they set aside for speed.” ~ Marc MacYoung, Taking It to the Street: Making Your Martial Art Street Effective.

“Karate is awash with instructors these days, but bereft of sensei.” ~ Michael Clarke, Shinseidokan Dojo

“Hindsight, it gives you perfect vision when it is too late to be of any use.” - Unknown

“Focus too closely on the goal you haven’t accomplished, and you’ll fail to notice the victories you achieve along the way.” - Vico

“Many of our martial arts systems predate the concept of self-defense law.” ~ Rory Miller, forward - Dirty Ground: The Tricky Space between Sport and Combat by Kris Wilder, Lawrence Kane, Marc MacYoung and Rory Miller

“Othering is mentally classifying “others” of some group to be fundamentally different from yourself. Othering denies the basic humanity of the “Othered”. Othering combines prejudice, bias, objectivism, and more into a toxic mental process and supersedes rational thinking and balanced judgment.” ~ Unknown

“The Okinawan are a peaceful people, but, like all people of primitive lifestyle who are also prone to drink, they were able to commit inhumane cruelty when they were caught in heat. Through centuries of practice the Okinawans had extraordinarily developed the peculiar art of self defense and attack, which we call Tekobushi. It consists, similar to Jujutsu or even boxing, of delivering blow with incredible skill and impact with the bare fist.” ~ Andreas Quast, Karate 1.0 

"To master the martial arts, master its principles." - Charles E. James [ martial principles: Budō no gensoku: 武道の原則 ]

" ... sooner or later you're going to realize, just as I did, that there's a difference between knowing the path and walking the path." - Morpheus

"Its not the system directly that is important in karate, but the person using the system that makes it (in)effective." - Mario McKenna Sensei

Harry Frankfurt wrote, "Becoming wholehearted, a state not unlike stoic resoluteness," is to eliminate conflicts in which one physical process interferes with others and undermines equilibrium in which health consists." - The Stoic Warrior author.

"Self defense is about awareness, avoidance and preparation just as much as using weapons." - Wim Demeere

"Fighting, especially survival fighting, is a mental and emotional skill far more than a physical skill." - Rory Miller, Chiron Blog, "Blood, Sweat and Tears."

" ... forget the 'porn equivalent' fantasies about how violence happens. It's not just going to jump out at you. In order for violence to happen it's more of a process. Things are interactive, slower to develop and there are all kinds of things you can do to prevent it from occurring. (It's a lot like sex in that regard). For situations to escalate to physical violence, the behaviors are almost always consciously participatory and antagonistic." Marc MacYoung and Dianna Gordon MacYoung, No Nonsense Self-Defense web site, "The Biggest Pre-Attack Indicator of Them All."

"More than telling me your current rank, show me. Show me your rank both in and outside the dojo in your kindness, humility, humor, generosity, spirit, and knowledge. Are you kind to your kohai? Do you respect your sempai? More than a connection to my rank, I have a connection to my training, knowledge and relationships that are part of my Karate-do and Kobu-do experience." - Mario McKenna Sensei on Karate and Kobudo Blog

"It is not the student's responsibility to understand you.  It is your responsibility to make yourself understood. It is rare in martial arts or self-defense that junior instructors are given any training in how to teach.  You earn your black belt (sometimes not even that) and you step into a teaching role." Rory Miller, Chiron Blog, "Articulation III"

" ... when you jump to a conclusion, you stop taking in information and start organizing what you have to fit your biases and preconceptions. This literally blinds you to any other information except that which supports your judgmental decree about what is happening." Marc MacYoung

" ... If I commit to making the journey all the way, with or without the teacher, I will get there.  I will get there very fast with a good teacher and slow with a shitty teacher, but I will get there. ... " - Rory Miller, Chiron Blog: Learning Responsibility and Power

"Endlessly repeating yourself doesn't make you a "pro," it makes you a "chronic." If you don't learn from experiences, you should avoid *having* any." - unknown

"The accumulation of martial arts techniques. Many often play at the game of cataloguing as many techniques as possible. They often foolishly, and often erroneously, pride themselves on knowing more techniques than other martial artists, and enjoy showing students how one entry could lead to countless different striking combinations, joint locks, throws, finishing holds, etc." - Steven J. Pearlman, Chapter Forty-Three, Book of Martial Power

"We cannot predict what an attacker will do, but we know what  principles will be involved. Principles make no distinctions between types of attack. Principles make not distinctions between types of adversaries. Principles make no distinction between circumstances. Principles never vary." - Stephen J. Pearlman, Book of Martial Power, chapter forty-four. 

"Perfection is a road, not a destination" - Chun, Destroyer Series

"The reality is that violence is complicated. It is multi-layered. It is multi-dimensional. There are multiple factors that surround every incident of violence. There are many levels of violence. There is low level violence, mid-level and high level violence. There is violence that easily predicted and understood. There is logical violence. There is violence that runs darker and deeper than most people can perceive or imagine." - Paradigms of Self Defense Blog by "NOT ME"

"One of the characteristics of traditional martial systems, in particular the koryu of Japan, is the emphasis on traditions. That would be almost without saying. After all, “koryu” means “old style,” so quite naturally the older martial systems retain not only martial techniques from the past, but surrounding traditions, concepts and mental concepts from the past." - The Classic Budoka, 105: Traditions in a Traditional Art.

"The practice of Sanchin, the foundation kata of Okikukai, develops the student in five ways that reach beyond the basic needs of exercise or self-defense. Properly understood, sanchin is a philosophical statement. The five benefits of sanchin are as follows: 1. Sanchin integrates all parts of the stance 2. Sanchin corrects the breathing 3. San Chin develops penetrating eyes 4. Sanchin cultivates spiritual concentration 5. Sanchin strengthens the body.
The key word understanding Sanchin is “integration”. Proper stance anchors the student to the floor; while proper concentration and breathing integrates all body movements. Proper eye contact demonstrates uninterrupted awareness, focusing the mind on every area of attack of the opponent. To develop a strong and integrated Sanchin kata is to forge a well honed and ordered self.” - From Okinawa Karatedō Gaisetsu (沖縄空手道概説),1996, pg. 158 via Kowakan Blog by Bechurin

"Karate is a path of strenuous and unremitting commitment." - Charles James

The next four quotes come from one post at the Classic Budoka blog:

“Even if you know only one kata, then you can teach that one kata. It’s not the number of kata you know. It’s the quality of your instruction that counts.” - unnamed sensei from classic budoka blog

"I’m not by choice a naturally gregarious person. As my wife observed, unlike her, I could be pretty satisfied just working around the house, watching movies and reading, and I seem to get enough socialization just with her and a very small group of friends (2)." - classic budoka blog

“You can’t improve much on your own. You need to have people around you. And if you teach, even if you think you don’t know much, you will be forced to think about the kata more deeply in order to truly grasp the waza, and so by teaching, you are furthering your own learning.” - classic budoka blog

"A good teacher, therefore, especially in mid-career, is not just teaching students to be students. He/she is teaching students to become their own teachers, their own fountain of knowledge." - classic budoka blog

"I have now come to realize that some people just want escapism, to train in a group, switch off their everyday troubles and have a sweat. Two hours later they can get changed and re-enter regular life as they know it. Karate can be put back in its box, ready to be taken out again the following week." Richard Barrett, Shinsokai Dojo 

"The Essence of Okinawan Karate-Do", he recites an Okinawan poem from 1663; "No matter how you may excel in the art of Te, and your scholastic endeavors, nothing is more important than your behavior and your humanity as observed in daily life." - Shoshin Nagamine, The Essence of Okinawan Karate-Do

From Wim Demeere's Blog, click link at end of quote:

"What are you afraid of that you absolutely have to:

Carry three knives and a firearm wherever you go, even in your own house.
Ingrain killing and maiming techniques as your standard reaction to any attack, regardless of the context.
Prefer to pass out when somebody slaps a good choke on you in training rather than tap. Or end up injured in an arm bar instead of tapping.
You fill in the blank.

Unless you live in a war zone or ghetto, unless you live a criminal lifestyle, unless you get high/drunk all the time, unless you routinely go to the wrong bars and parts of town, chances of you needing any of that are slim to none. For most people, that’s precisely the case: they don’t have a realistic need for any of that." - Wim Demeere, What Sensei Know ......

"When asked about it, Harvey called it his Occam's razor theory of combat: The simplest way of kicking someone's ass was usually the correct one." - Harvey, character in "The Ghost Brigades."

"An overactive mind is a dagger in one's own heart." - Korean Saying

"If you can read when you are out of range, you don't need to defend and won't fall for feints." - Rory Miller, Chiron Blog

“Karate takes physical effort and hard work; you must push yourselves to obtain benefits, be it good techniques, speed and power. You will get nowhere in Karate by just coasting along.” - Roger Vickerman Sensei via Shinken Dojo Blog

“The dojo is the place where courage is fostered and superior human spirit is bred through the ecstasy of sweating in hard work. It is the sacred place where the human spirit is polished.” - Shoshin Nagamine Sensei.

"Learning in a class is more valuable than winning." - Rory Miller

"Don’t teach bullshit; the truth is already hard enough as it is." - An Instructor (taken from Wim Demeere's blog)

"I've always believed karate is about keeping your eyes (and mind) open, of taking control by taking responsibility for your life, as well as your training." - Michael Clarke, Shinseidokan Dojo Blog

"Example moves the world more than doctrine."....Henry Miller

"The power of the mind is infinite, while brawn is limited." - Koichi Tohei

"When you think you are brilliant, that is the beginning of stupidity, for you shut out all those senses that tell you  of your weaknesses. He who does not know his weaknesses cannot progress." ~ Warren Murphy, The Destroyer Series

"The void holds a form of energy moving at an inconceivably high rate of vibration, and that void is filled with a form of power/energy which adapts itself to the nature of the thoughts we hold in our minds; and influences us, in natural ways, to transmute our thoughts into their physical equivalent." ~ Napoleon Hill

“Goals dictate strategy. Strategy dictates tactics. Tactics dictate techniques." - Ryan Parker FB Wall Post

"Where your karate came from, is far less important than what you do with it!" ~ Michael Clarke, Shinseidokan Dojo

"The perfect man employs his mind as a mirror; it grasps nothing; it refuses nothing; it receives, but does not keep." ~ Chung-Tzu

"When a person cannot do one thing well, he seeks to do many to compensate." ~ Chuin, Destroyer Series

"Okinawan meaning of Bushi, an individual who is respected not only for physical prowess, but also 'for being a civilized, principled gentleman.'" - Charles Goodwin paraphrasing Katsuhiko Shinzato.

"Foundations are built slowly through hard work.  Once built, the resulting 'character' is stronger than that which came about the 'easy way.'" ~ Corcoran

"karate fostered 'the traits of courage, courtesy, integrity, humility, and self control in those who have found its essence." ~ Funakoshi

“…a sense that one’s skills are adequate to cope with the challenges at hand, in a goal-directed, rule-bound action system that provides clear clues as to how well one is performing.  Concentration is so intense that there is no attention left over to think about anything irrelevant, or to worry about problems.  Self-consciousness disappears, and the sense of time becomes distorted.” and “An activity that produces such experiences is so gratifying that people are willing to do it for its own sake, with little concern for what they will get out of it, even when it is difficult...” ~ Csikszentmihalyi

"Shuhari teaches us that, while we adhere to traditional wisdom as beginners, we must break with it when necessary, particularly when new knowledge gives us a better understanding of the essence of past success. What comes about should be transcendence to a traditionally-based, but new expression of the art, with the fundamental understanding that it, too, will change in time, and that this is the natural way of the world." ~ Bradley Kenneth Wells

"The complexity and variability of violence arises from the simple fact that humans are involved." ~ Marc MacYoung

"Skill is not muscle but timing, and timing is being in unity, making and keeping your perceptions in tune with reality." ~ Remo, the Destroyer Series

"Hara implies for the Japanese all that he considers essential to man's character and destiny. Hara is the centre of the human body -- but the body, because it is a human body, is more than a merely biological - physiological entity. It is at the same time the centre in a spiritual sense or, to be more accurate, a nature-given spiritual sense. All expressions and idioms containing the word Hara refer to the character in its totality, to the basic quality of a man's nature, his whole disposition, and hence to those special mental traits on which it depends and through which it is expressed." ~ Durckheim

"According to seishin thought, "incorrect" attitudes are often the source of personal difficulty...the issue is the person's general attitude toward things around him to which he must respond...The basis of a proper attitude...begins with acceptance of necessity and responsibility. Instead of fighting life's requirements...the most satisfactory attitude is to acknowledge and accept necessary difficulties. To regret or attempt to avoid them only leads to frustration, disappointment, and upset. Seishin education aims to help the individual to achieve contentment through the development of an ordered and stable psyche free from confusion and frustration. This is to be attained through the gradual conquest of waga or ga (one's primitive self, or id in Freudian terms). The phrase expressing this process, waga o korosu (literally "kill the self"), is a common expression related to the seishin approach." ~ Rohlen

"Do not jump from false opinions to empty conclusions without stopping to breathe. And sometimes to think." ~ Chuin, the Destroyer Series 

"Never practice doing things "not quite right." Not quite right is wrong, and if you do enough reps at doing things wrong, you will do things wrong in a fight. We all know this.  The best training in the world doesn't always come out, especially in your first fights-- but if your training does come out, you don't want it to be wrong."  ~ Rory Miller, Chiron Blog: Building a House

"From proper breathing comes the rhythms of life and power." ~ Unknown

"The precise standardized performance of kata was not so important as correctly transmitting the principles they held." ~ Bill Hayes Sensei

" ... kata are vessels which contain life protection concepts - not merely rote "physical education routines." ~ Shimabuku, Eizo Sensei

"Be careful expressing thoughts, because things said could never be brought back to safe silence." ~ unknown

" ... teaching is guiding growth through leadership." ~ Rory Miller

"There is nothing wrong with disagreeing with somebody. However, I believe there is something wrong if the discussion turns to name-calling and rhetorical tricks to 'win'." ~ Wim Demeere

"Learn from the past, but don't dwell on your mistakes. Lief is best lived forward with an eye toward the future." ~ Lawrence Kane and Kris Wilder

"To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often." ~ Winston Churchill

"People have the habit of preferring the new and ignoring or forgetting the old, but I emphasize that both the new and the old must be repeated over and over in karate." ~ Gichin Funakoshi

"It is no easy matter to manage a dojo, the need to generate income to cover expenses takes one's mind away from training." ~ Arakaki Sensei

"Fear, like breathing, is necessary. Fear is a good thing. It's what keeps people alive. Too much fear, unnecessary fear, is a bad thing." ~ Remo, The Destroyer Series

"Don't judge a technique by your inability to perform it." ~ Kelly Worden

"Fear gives speed and power to the muscles, not endurance." ~ unknown

"The true science of martial arts means practicing them in such a way that they will be useful at any time, and to teach them in such a way that they will be useful in all things." ~ Musashi, Miyamoto

"It is difficult to solve a problem that you are almost entirely ignorant about." ~ Rory Miller, Conflict Communications

"Personal safety is a constant process not a singular event. Your body is constantly fighting off infection and invasive threats from bacteria and viruses. It is an ongoing process. But there are certain times, such as visiting a hospital or upon receiving a cut, that you give this process extra attention and take additional precautionary measures." ~ About Me

"Tactics can be thought of as strategic techniques. Effective tactics utilize concepts and principles to accomplish their goal." ~ About Me

" ... In ancient times the martial arts were referred to as "Ti" and were practiced in great secrecy. Each system was passed down to one person only, the student who was considered by the teacher to be his most trusted and brilliant pupil. If no student was considered worthy to receive the complete teachings of a particular style, that art would end with the last teacher." ~ Chojun Miyagi, 1888 - 1953

"Sill at conflict and violence were survival traits until quite recently in human history. In some places, they still are. In any place, they still can be under the right circumstances, such as a home-invasion crime in a normally peaceful neighborhood. It is hard for me to categorize something as 'bad' that has kept my ancestors alive for millennia." ~ Rory Miller, Conflict Communications

"Violence is a broad category with a lot of definitions. People can have violent emotions or speak violently. Physical violence is only one small aspect of violence, and violence is just an expression of conflict. Conflict is the big basket that holds all of these concepts." ~ Rory Miller, Conflict Communications

"Fear that is felt in any conflict is believed to be a deep fear that it could turn physically violent. That is not true. The fear comes from elsewhere." ~ Rory Miller, Conflict Communications

"A complete system of self-defense, if such a thing could exist, certainly would have to include much more than ‘physical technique’, such as how to kick or punch etc. Once a situation gets to that physical point in the real world you have an uncontrolled situation where anything can happen and regardless of ones martial skills." ~ Christopher Caile's Fighting Arts.Com

"The true objective of self-defense is to survive and escape death or serious injury from an attack. That objective is very clearly first and best accomplished by conflict avoidance which is made much more possible by knowing the ways of the human predators. That is how they think, how they chose their victims and thus how not to appear as an unattractive and ideally unacceptable victim to them. Self-Defense training must also include de-escalation and conflict avoidance training and skills." ~ Christopher Caile's Fighting Arts.Com

"Asian martial arts do not even address or acknowledge the need or existence of any of these critical survival self-defense skills at all. Instead Asian Martial Arts follows a syllabus almost wholly devoted to the practice of physical technique alone. The majority of that physical technique is wholly impractical for most people to employ effectively in an actual self-defense situation too." ~ Christopher Caile's Fighting Arts.Com

"Few if any of the creators or founders of unarmed martial systems had ever been involved in any real fight at all in their entire lives. These arts were created in modern times and in societies more peaceful than ours are today. So about the only thing resembling an actual fight that most of these founders were ever involved with was an ‘athletic contest’ with another master in order to show the superiority of their style over that other master’s style. And in so doing they aspired to acquire new students for their own system. It is essential to understand that no ‘consensual athletic contest’ such as this is a self-defense situation in any significant way at all." ~ Christopher Caile's Fighting Arts.Com

"The study of traditional martial arts fails most people in being able to apply it to an actual attack successfully." ~ Christopher Caile's Fighting Arts.Com

"It is largely the proper mindset and personal physical qualities and attitudes of these individuals that allows them to make their martial arts training effective to an actual self-defense situation. And make no mistake here, the street thug is not untrained, he learned the best way possible and that is ‘ by doing it’. The street thug is very seldom in his ‘first real fight’ when he attacks someone." ~ Christopher Caile's Fighting Arts.Com

"THE REAL PROBLEM IN APPLYING MARTIAL ARTS EFFECTIVELY TO A REAL WOLRD SELF-DEFENSE SITUATION: I can say without any doubt whatever exactly what this problem is and martial arts traing very seldom prepares the student for it properly at all. That problem is the only thing one can absolutely count on occurring in any real self-defense situation too, and that is the problem with dealing with the powerful adrenal stress reaction." ~ Christopher Caile's Fighting Arts.Com

"Martial arts training almost always occur under non-adrenal circumstances. The training hall is correctly a place of respect and courtesy. The real world of violence and human predators certainly is not." ~ Christopher Caile's Fighting Arts.Com

"Once the conditions of an actual self-defense situation are authentically simulated by the instructor in a scenario, that is the body posture, verbal abuse and the body carriage and projection of true malevolent intent, etc, the ‘body does not know the difference’ and we see these adrenal affects display themselves every time." ~ Christopher Caile's Fighting Arts.Com

"The adrenal release is not a voluntary action. It is autonomic and automatic, ‘hard wired’ response to the cues of danger. Thus if you authentically present those cues of danger, then you will get the adrenal response." ~ Christopher Caile's Fighting Arts.Com

"Let’s just explore the possibility that maybe, just maybe, there’s more to being able to defend yourself than merely learning a few cool moves. Maybe, just maybe, belt color or the size or number of trophies, tell us little to nothing about how someone will fair in a real world self-defense situation against an enraged or demonic attacker bent on getting more from you than a plaque or trophy. Maybe." ~ Christopher Caile's Fighting Arts.Com

"If you’re going to win against an assailant who has nothing to lose and everything to gain, you’re going to have to make sure that you arm yourself with the same tools he’s carrying in his arsenal. And, I’m talking about guns, knives, or any other weapon of the sort. I’m talking about…
A commitment to winning – no matter what and…
Survival Instinct
Superior Attitude
A Complete Disregard for “doing it right,”
No Delusional Belief about so-called 'fair-play'" ~ Christopher Caile's Fighting Arts.Com

"…he that is fighting to win - to survive - will always win over those who are simply going through the motions." ~ Christopher Caile's Fighting Arts.Com

"The innocent and inexperienced often die because they are simply too shocked when violence sets into their lives. The possibility of violence is so foreign to the day-to-day reality of most people that even if they posses good reflexes there is no built-in protocol for how to react. So they hesitate, they stand and stare. And they die." ~ Unknown 

"With knowledge comes understanding and with that comes strategic thinking." ~ Ledger

“… Every specific complex motor skill is a little different, and so is every human body, we know that for most people learning most skills, it takes at least ten times as many repetitions to erase a previously-learned bad habit than it does to ingrain a good, new habit from the beginning.” - Cornered Cat Blog “Scratching Post.”

“Situational awareness is a cumulative alertness to threat and your environment. It enables you to notice pre-incident indicators, which are odd movements or anomalies govern the situation. Pre-incident indicators, cumulatively, create a visual unlikely circumstance consistent with either a contrived situation or predatorily behavior.” ~ Kelly McCann

“Every tool, technique, or tactic that you employ in a street fight must be efficient. Efficiency means that the techniques are direct and can be deployed rapidly, allowing you to reach your objective quickly and economically. Efficient techniques are also easy to learn and maintain, and they can be retained under the severe stress of combat. Remember, a technique does not have to be complex to be sophisticated.” ~ From: "1001 Street Fighting Secrets" by Sammy Franco