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.

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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, April 30, 2014

Chemical Dump Training

Verify before Accepting, click for larger view. 
It seems so obvious and simple to understand that a person learning self-defense requires some form of training that will induce the proverbial chemical dump so they can experience and train to manage it.  I think the self-defense community tends to miss such important details but I can sense how not training and practicing the chemical dump can create huge obstacles in applying self-defense. 

I have theorized that one way to experience the stresses and affects was through military training but realistically most cannot experience such training even when self-defense training models in civilian life claim their system is based on military training and practices. There are components that are removed and missing when a system is converted to fit civilian models. 

This is true even of the karate training, both the old and new, i.e. circa early 1900’s to present day. After all, the karate we practice today is derived from the model that was converted in 1905 for the educational system in Okinawa as well as in Japan, etc. The persons responsible for implementing karate into the educational systems were to understand that the old Ryukyu Ti systems required toning down to be acceptable for training the youth. This is why is became more a physical, mental and spiritual model over a more combative one. 

Yes, you can induce a certain amount of stress in the dojo but then other factors become missing in the action of training, practice and possible application. Sport oriented competition also induce stresses but it is also missing other components or factors that you have to deal with in a violent conflict. 

It has been preached as well that the world of MMA competition, etc. is adequate to induce the many chemical stress responses you will find in a violent conflict and that may be true (I can’t say it is true because I can’t say I have experienced this both in the ring and in a conflict) but it too is missing certain factors and components.

Lets take a peek at this, in violence there are many aspects that you will not find in any realistic training and practice. The mind-state that you are confronting a possible life and death situation does not exist in the ring. Yes, the training and application models discussed above will provide a lot of valuable practice and training to handle high stress situations. After all, the stress and affects of many emotional stimuli when it releases the chemicals into the body are the same, i.e. the body actually does not know the differences. But, the mind does. 

This is the crux of this type of issue the military, etc. have dealt with for centuries. How to cross that line when the time comes so a Soldier, Sailor, Airman or Marine can get past the different mind-state and achieve proficiency from that experience. This also goes to how they can continue to achieve success with successive encounters of conflict of the life and death conflict. 

This may actually be the reason, or one of them, why many self-defense models fail to address them or don’t know about them or deliberately disregard them completely. They are very difficult to learn and train for so they can be taught adequately. 

One mind-state you can only get around by experience the reality of violence is “doubt.” Even when you are trained, like military are, to the highest levels, assuming there is no actual combat experience possible at the time, you still have to cross that line of doubt the first encounter you experience. 

I believe you can go a long way to reach that state and often proper realistic training can get you close enough to develop the type of confidence that will allow you to cross that line when it first arrives. You may have a split second of hesitation but proper training and practice can most often push you across that divide. 

Rory Miller tells us about giving ourselves “permission” to act. He, I believe, advocates that you must give yourself permission and then practice and train that permission along with everything else so that when the time comes you have a real chance to overcome and “freezes” and act as appropriate in a conflict. 

I often wonder how many actually discuss this stuff let alone address it in training and practice. I am out of this mostly today but I do know that there are some who address it and teach it like Rory Miller, Marc MacYoung, Wim Demeere, and many others. I question today why the other self-defense folks fail to recognize such expertise and why they fail to absorb and use such training for their systems. 

I do realize and believe that those who need it the most tend to ignore it the most. There are many reasons why this is so and I won’t even try to address those issues here. The blog and post are just not long enough and honestly I don’t feel qualified to speak in that kind of depth. If I still ran a dojo I would spend a lot of time having my participants experience the training and practice of these guys. It would be a cost well spent when a dojo professes its model includes self-defense. I didn’t always realize or understand this concept of self-defense but you just have to continue to seek out knowledge and learn, learn and learn some more. 

Are you training and practicing to the chemical stress responses for violent conflicts? If not, should you?

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Multi-Dimensional Interconnectedness

The yin-yang symbol often leads the practitioner to view its symbolism toward a more one dimensional understanding. In that the one whole symbol is composed of two entities that are opposites. Those opposites complement while remaining mostly separate yet blending because of the opposite seeds contained within each side, i.e. the seed for yin within the yang that blossoms as it moves through time and space into the one whole that will become its complementary opposite, yang. 

This morphing continues consistently and constantly through out the Universe, nature. I suggest that there is a greater dimension to this concept. It is that within the seeds is another dimension of yin-yang or yang-yin - as appropriate. This is the entrance to the next level or dimension of the singularity of one that is the birth of the two, yin-yang. 

This continues within each dimension extending out or in to infinity or the void that gave birth to the duality that led to the four (Trigrams) and then the eight until you get the full 64 hexagrams. If this holds true then I believe we can accept the multi-dimensional nature of the Universe with possibly sixty-four separate and distinct levels or dimensions. 

Take this back to the study, training and practice/application of martial system we come to understand, a bit more, the multi-dimensional interconnectedness of the discipline where any one level or dimension that is neglected means an imbalance of the whole leaving out the possibility of a one wholehearted holistic completeness of the model that is martial arts. 

Click the image to see a larger view. 

Sanbou or Sanpou [三宝]

The characters/ideograms mean, “three treasures of Buddhism; Buddha, sutras and priesthood; Jing, Qi and Shin in Chinese.” 

The Three Treasures - Jing, Qi and Shen - are references to the energies or essences of life we are all born with and have the ability to cultivate through the moving meditative practices of martial arts with specificity toward the Chinese practice of Qigong and Tai Chi Chuan. The English translations, very inexact, are “Essence, Vitality and Spirit.” 

The practice of Qigong, etc. provide a physical, mental and spiritual method to transform Jing into Qi and into Shen. It also allows us to transform Shen into Qi into Jing as a means of life generation. See below for additional information:

When a martial artists grasps and practices the fundamental principles of martial systems they learn to use the three treasures through the many forms of transmutation such as “shu-ha-ri” and “shin-gi-tai,” etc. To fully develop and make full use of the spiritual part of those principles practice is about transformation of mind, body and spirit where sanbou helps us achieve all three with emphasis on spirit as philosophy and theory that also drive the other two principles of physiokinetics and technique. This works in reverse as well, i.e. physiokinetics and technique to achieve a philosophy and theory of a wholehearted practice of the disciplines of martial systems. 

The perceptions of linear paths in study must be transformed or transmutated into a more holistic interconnected way of life, training and practice. This is a bases for the belief, study and practice of yin, yang and void. Even in the wholehearted singularity of application of any martial system you find the one, that comes from the two (yin-yang) that cannot exist and form the myriad of things that is nature, the Universe, without that which binds the two into one, the void. 

The three treasures interconnect with the three levels of the body that are also symbolized in the Trigrams of the Chinese classic of the I Ching, i.e. Jing to the lower torso, Qi to the middle or hara of the body and Shen to the upper or heart of the body. These interconnect with the jodan, chudan and gedan in martial arts where used to describe area’s of the body along with the application of techniques. In addition this also connects with the spiritual side as studied through the ken-po goku-i, i.e. the hara, the heart and the mind, etc.

When you train and practice you also see, hear and feel by the applications of shu-ha-ri, i.e. shu as the lower, ha as the middle and ri as the upper or higher/highest levels of training and practice. Then there is the lower, middle and upper concepts within shin-gi-tai. 

In’yo-wagou [陰陽和合]

The characters/ideograms mean, “the harmony of yin and yang energies.” The first character means, “shade; yin; negative; sex organs; secret; shadow,” the second character means, “sunshine; yang principle; positive; male; heaven; daytime,” the third character means, “harmony; Japanese style; peace; soften; Japan,” the fourth character means, “fit; suit; join.” 

A term to express an overall fundamental meaning behind the study of the Ken-po Goku-i. A terse karate koan that is presented at the very start of practice and training, i.e. when you first start you adventure into the world of martial arts - Okinawan Karate. This study like the martial arts is an ongoing contemplation of the goku-i that will change and remain fluid for the practitioner. 

Although a definition of the goku-i uses the English word “secret” there are no secrets within the terse tome but rather a key to open the mind to all the possibilities that are within the practice and training of martial arts. The karate koan, goku-i, in its terse form leaves a chasm of opportunity to form the interconnection of principles toward a fuller and holistic understanding of the arts that drive the application. Without this the martial arts are merely a set of physical activities sometimes used in a violent way. 

Even tho, on first appearances, the goku-i seems to use a modest and plain form to first introduce the fundamentals of yin-yang or In’Yo (in Japanese) when applied in practice and training tend to unlock what is already within each of us, the ability to formulate a philosophical theory about what we seek in the arts. It unlocks and points us directly to the fundamental principles of martial systems. Those principles that drive the arts regardless of style or systemizations often seen on the surface of all forms of practice and training. 

In’yo-wagou is about balance for balancing yin-yang is the creation of harmony of those intrinsic energies the are the very foundation of life or life energies. The Chinese call this life energy, “Jing [] (prenatal, postnatal and kidney, etc.; one of the three treasures of traditional Chinese Medicine along with Qi and Shen).” In Japanese the term is “sei [] meaning spirit; sprite; nymph; energy; vigor; strength; fine details and semen.”

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Belief in a System; Belief in Self; Belief in Change

For some, their belief of the Isshinryu System has become a matter of identity. They identify themselves strongly with what they understand about this system that it resulted in the creation of a dogma, a tribal system and a driving belief that in lieu of supporting a life it drives that life. 

It has become a tribal survival thing where any perceived attack on that group triggers a violent response to protect the tribe so it may survive. It doesn't matter whether the attack, the attack being some submission of proof of facts, etc., is actually true, relevant and the driving force toward necessary change, it is perceived only as an attack and that triggers the monkey brain to protect and the monkey brain knows that what currently exists worked in the past and the monkey survived then so it should survive again. 

Some have built such a strong connection with their belief system that any perceived change or attempt to contradict that belief results in conflict. The protection of that belief is so strong that often it clouds the mind where the monkey brain pushes its past successful agenda to the front and the instinct to leave that previously successful model alone is even stronger. Change for the Lizard brain and the Monkey brain is almost set it stone where the conscious, human brain, effort must be strong and capable to smooth over the stone to allow new change to take place. 

It was once stated by Nakazone Sensei, "... differences in opinion are a good thing. However, it is not good either to hold on too tightly to your opinion. When this happens you will fall astray. Someone who seriously trains in karate must study widely and train deeply. They must always bear in mind to train their bodies otherwise they will lose their way and become vain, shallow and filled with nothing but ambition."

It was also said by an unknown, "It’s like a village that has no birds. When someone points to a bat and calls it a bird, they believe him."

Pictures are worth a thousand words but often pictures can be deceiving and subject to the memories and perceptions of persons often subject to human nature where memories are often changed as they are encoded to reflect a previous belief along with being subjected to perceptions and influences of their own culture, beliefs and the environments they are exposed to over time. Even then as time ages us our memories of even pictures, that don't change, become muddled and confused where the mind then sets a belief to the moment according to what makes the individual feel comfortable, secure and still a member of the tribe, the group and the social structure to which their identity is tied, strongly. 

Should this person or persons be held in contempt because they strongly stay with something that may be wrong or is wrong? Do they deserve to lose the respect of others simply because they cannot make the change? Do they lose the respect and admiration of their tribe if they do make that change? 

When you feel the monkey jumping up to strongly and resentfully refute some new stimulus, stop, put the monkey back in its cage and actively listen. Then use "Millers Law," "In order to understand what another person is saying, you must assume that it is true and try to imagine what it could be true of." - Dr. George Miller, Psychologist. (Note: It is not an easy thing!)

Remember, when you encounter such strong resistance don't assume the person is making things personal or emotional. Often it is something that controls them and I believe when the monkey returns to its cage for that person and the spend some time thinking things through that is some cases they will actually realize the reality of things and accept some changes. Not all, but some and that is progress. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Carrying A Weapon

In a recent posting by Marc MacYoung about "Talisman's," i.e. brandishing a weapon in self-defense, I got to thinking about teaching self-defense with weapons. 

What first occurs to me is to ask the student, "Why do you feel the need for a weapon?" There are many reasons why carrying a weapon is necessary. I am not a professional but I suspect it regards, mostly, about working as a professional. I can't think of too many reasons why a civilian would have a need to carry a weapon. I will bow to comments made by professionals.

As a self-defense instructor I would also have to ask, "What type of weapon does one NEED for self-defense?" This too must refer to the professional disciplines because I still can't fathom what weapons are needed by civilians for self-defense.

So, before I continue on that path, I have to ask, "What do people perceive of a person who carries a weapon no matter what the reason especially when that person is NOT a professional, i.e. Police, etc.?" What is the perception when you see or hear of a person who defended themselves with a weapon be it a gun, club or knife, etc.? Do people think that because you carry a weapon you are "looking for trouble?" 

In the self-defense world there are many steps you must pass through to expose yourself and encounter violence or conflict where some physical means of self-defense are necessary so why carry a weapon at all? If you are knowledgable about conflict and all that entails, i.e. the before violence, the during violence and the after violence, etc. then why carry a weapon. 

One of the major points Mr. MacYoung wanted to make is this, "If you carry a weapon are you absolutely prepared to use it without hesitation?" I am not saying, "brandish it in the hopes that the other person will back off" but if the necessity of the weapon is unavoidable are you prepared wholeheartedly to use that weapon within the confines of legal self-defense all the way up to and including deadly force? Marc MacYoung suggests that it is "stupid" to think that the "threat of violence" will work. He says, it doesn't and he should know as he has lived that life. 

Then there is the question, "Is the weapon you carry legal?" There are large lists of weapons deemed illegal in California and I, personally, viewed the list with surprise when I would read a weapon I thought would be legal as illegal. 

Let's say you like to carry a pocket knife as a self-defense weapon and you feel it is necessary also as a work tool. Many laborers carry such a knife at work because of the convenience. The devices that are added to a pocket knife are mostly there to make it convenient and easy to operate with one hand. An electrician working to splice wires may find it convenient to reach back, remove the knife (it has a clip to fasten it to the belt), and with one hand flick it into the open position so they can cut while the other hand holds the wires. This seems, on the surface, a good thing for the electrician. They often carry it that way all the time under the belief they might need it for things in general at any time and that convenience is also good. 

Lets say that this same electrician decided, unknowingly, to purchase a pocket knife that has the "assist" function, i.e. a function of a spring like device that will power open a knife so that you don't have to flip or flick it with the thumb assist (that thumb assist in most cases is still there on these knives). What would a laymen perceive of that knife if self-defense were involved and the other participant was stabbed and cut seriously and may even be dead? Not so clear cut because I might think, "why did this guy want the assist when the normal thumb device works just fine?" What was the reason for carrying it outside of the work environment? Can he justify that carry? 

I can see that there may be many questions and assumptions that could sway a group of every day normal persons into thinking that maybe this electrician had ulterior motives and we haven't discussed the rest of that story, i.e. why did he use it and why did he kill the other person, etc. and so on and yadda yadda yadda. 

I guess what I am getting to is this, "Think hard and long as to why you THINK you need to carry a weapon for self-defense." I say THINK because that is something that must come from the human brain. I didn't say "FEEL" because that comes from "emotions" and emotions tend to come from the monkey brain. 

Self-defense as you are aware of is something that must be fully comprehended through study, training and practice before you make any decisions as to use and whether carrying a weapon is necessary or even smart. When you decide, think about any emotional content that drives your decision. Think, is this my human brain saying this or is this my monkey brain driving this train? It is hard but in the end, worth the effort.

There is a good deal of self-analysis, social analysis and environmental, situational and legal analysis that must go on before, during and after the search and study of self-defense. As can be readily perceived when you go to the "No Nonsense Self-Defense" website by Marc MacYoung that self-defense and conflict and violence are complicated, convoluted and most difficult and that is without even taking one self-defense class.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Martial "Systems"

The issue with discussing systems with only words. Words and sentences must, by necessity, come only one at a time in a linear, logical order. Systems happen all at once. They are connected not just in one direction, but in many directions simultaneously. To discuss a system properly, it is necessary somehow to use a language that shares some of the same properties as the phenomena under discussion.

The physicality of martial arts goes a long way toward this goal of explaining a system, such as karate, in a multidimensional holistic way, i.e. by the sentence you speak, the actions you take and the sense modes used together to learn and teach, i.e. seeing, hearing and tactually (feeling the movements by your own body and by the touch of an adversary, etc.). This method lets a practitioner see all the parts of a picture at once. It is a tactile method that incorporates other means, i.e. seeing and hearing, to achieve understanding that will not come simply by the telling. 

Sensei must adapt the ability to first teach the fundamentals or basics by providing a definition of the system and by dissecting it down into its most atomistic forms, i.e. why we teach individual principles academically to start then begin to use the more holistic approach to actually learn them through the body, mind and spirit wholehearted holistic practice and training regimen. 

Where it achieves its greatest potential is when you begin to put all the atomistic parts back together to make one whole system. Most martial arts don't get to this level of practice and training. They become consumed in the atomistic because it is easier to do and to talk about and to write about, etc. This is what lead to the quantity vs. quality of practice and training debate. It is where martial artists remain stuck in the "shu levels" of the shu-ha-ri training model. 

To achieve a whole system practice give the following some thought and consideration, i.e. remember that to start with the atomistic and working into the holistic provides us the ability to understand parts, see the interconnections, and then create questions that ask things like "What if?" It allows us to see possible future actions and it promotes our ability to be creative and courageous about the system so we may adjust it according to the moment, time and place. 

As with any system, martial systems tend to rely on this more than any other since it involves violence and life and death situations. This model teaches us the simple lesson, "The behavior of a system cannot be known just by knowing the elements of which the system is made." In other words knowing the details does not mean you can apply them as a whole that is required to apply martial arts in a self-defense and combative manner. 

To achieve the ha level in this model means all through the kyu grades and up into the dan grades, i.e. sho-dan, ni-dan and san-dan, one must work diligently on the atomistic. The Ni-dan to San-dan grades are necessary to move from the atomistic into the more holistic system. It is taking all those interconnected atomistic things that make up the entire system and bringing them together into that "one" wholehearted system of martial practice. It is only at these levels can a practitioner achieve a level of expertise to make it work for self-defense and combatives. 

Look at martial systems this way. A martial system is an interconnected set of elements that are coherently organized in a way that it achieves a goal. It should consist of elements, i.e. the fundamental principles of martial systems, basics or fundamentals, kata and other aspects covered in the principles. It must have an interconnectedness, i.e. the principles all work because they are interconnected, etc. It also must serve a function, i.e. in martial arts they work as a means of self-improvement, health and security (self-defense and combatives). If not for this martial systems would simply be a hobby. 

A martial system must have multiple interrelations to be a system. They must be held together or they lose functionality. This is a systemic problem with modern martial systems as a means of self-defense because they lack that functionality. Even tho it still remains a part of a whole, the loss of functionality diminishes its holistic wholehearted value. 

To be a complete martial system it also requires that it exhibits an adaptive, dynamic, instinctual, self-preserving and evolutionary holistic application. It exudes a essence that says this is a system with integrity, both actual and spiritual, or wholeness about the system with an active set of mechanism that maintain the systems integrity. This is not a dogmatic view where one might feel the overwhelming need to keep the system intact and exact as first learned. All systems must change, adapt, respond to situations, achieve goals, and attend to survival. To keep a system stagnant is to reduce the systems effectiveness and applicability.  

A martial system shall remain resilient in this way and that means it must achieve a revolutionary adaptive growth as times and moments and situations change. This is how one system becomes many, i.e. the art of Okinawa "Ti" became several systems, i.e. shuri, tomari and naha-ti, i.e. later to be goju, shorin, isshinryu, etc. 

Knowing that what you practice is a system tells me what I have to do to become an expert in that system. First, can you identify all the parts of that system, i.e. fundamental principles (theory, physiokinetics, technique and philosophy), basics, kata, kumite, etc. Second, do these parts all affect one another? Third, do those parts when applied holistically, as one, produce an effect that is different from the effect of each of those parts as a stand-alone application? Finally, do the parts as a whole provide an effect that over time, persist in a variety of circumstances, situations and applications? You have a system.

Karate, as many martial arts, depend on its viability as a system for effectiveness. Often in modern marital art styles they are actually not a fully developed system. They may have the techniques and the physiokinetics but not the theory and philosophies necessary to make them whole. It also comes from the breakdown of the physiokinetic and technique principles where they are taught and learned but not morphed into one wholehearted holistic application of a "system." 

Remember that to be a system there must be some interconnectedness and if those underlying connections are missing or don't exist than when you believe is a system is actually only a style. A style created to fit the needs of some person, their ego and there personal beliefs. 

What most modern martial styles must try to accomplish is to stop breaking it all down atomistically and begin to look toward the interconnections necessary to make it a system then practice, train and apply it all as a "system."

Each part of the system alone has a function but that function changes as one part responds to another part and one part becomes aware of the other part so that they may function in a whole different way. Remember if the roots of your tree, a system, has dry roots the rest of the tree suffers and possibly dies. Keeping the system intact and fully functional at a productive and efficient way is optimal in a martial system. 

The hardest part of working a system is to remember that it is often easier to learn about the individual parts or elements that to learn about all the elements with their interconnectedness, their interconnections. Bridging those caps puts new meaning to the individual much like bridging the gap between one individual and the individuals in a tribe or group. It is about survival. 

I also must remind myself that there are more interconnections than what I have mentioned in previous comments. There are both physical and mental interconnections. In the physical it begins with health, fitness and ability. It also goes into the flow of energy in the body as the body learns how to function optimally, etc. The mental is the flow if information or data as it pertains to what is being accomplished. It is also the flow of the mind to direct the body so the body directs the mind. All these signals, physical and mental, go to those unconscious and instinctive decisions processes, i.e. like the speed to which a practitioner goes through the OODA loop. 

In martial arts, when the atomistic study of the parts in learned, it is important that one study the system's purpose to lean the more holistic perceptions and applications, the systems purpose is done by watching and performing as the system is applied in, hopefully, realistic applicable ways. Something that flows and remains fluid, not set unrealistic patterns, etc. 

"If a frog turns right and catches a fly, and then turns left and catches a fly, and then turns around backward and catches a fly, the purpose of the frog has to do not with turning left or right or backward but with catching flies. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Psychologically and politically

"Psychologically and politically we would much rather assume that the cause of a problem is 'out there,' rather than 'in here.' It is almost irresistible to blame something or someone else, to shift responsibility away from ourselves, and to look for the control knob, the product, the pill, the technical fix that will make a problem go away." ~ Donella Meadows, Thinking in Systems

There is very little external influence that can actually influence an individual without some level of acceptance and action of their own that will either result in a positive or a negative. What I mean, we are all responsible for every thing that occurs in our lives and external influences matter little because it is our action to accept or reject those influences - we have free will.

Where have we heard this one before, i.e. we have free will. It is true, I can attribute all the good and all the bad in my life to actions and decisions I made. It didn't matter if it was a conscious or unconscious decision because all that I am comes from what I perceive and believe in my life. I have always had the ability to decide on my actions from the moment of sentience. 

If I get my head knocked off in a fight I can say truthfully that it was something I did, said or didn't say or do that led to that moment. I had the ability to avoid the conflict all the way up to the point where his hand met my head. All the incidents that occur following that hand against my head are also still my complete and total responsibility. 

So, what does that mean to the model of self-defense? It means that any conflict to which I subject myself is something I caused to effect. It means that no matter the actions of others I have that choice. It is up to me so I cannot blame anyone but myself for all that happens to me in life. Barring acts of god, it is me and will always be me. My happiness or sadness, anger or happiness or any other number of feelings, etc. will depend on the actions I took, the actions I take and the results will be the offspring. 

If I actually stop looking for someone else to take the blame or to blame, if I stop looking for the placebo to remove blame from my shoulders or if I stop looking for some gimmick to make me feel no responsibility then I can only surmise that all things that occur in my life are a direct result of something I said, did or applied toward my life. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Five Steps to Self-defense ....

I was reading an article about self-defense. Now, I am not a professional but I do have some knowledge of self-defense. I am a practicing martial artists as well and have been studying, practicing and teaching since 1976. I read the entire article but as to this post didn't go beyond the first section, three paragraphs, when I came across the following quotes that left me saying, "This isn't self defense as I understand it." 

First quote, "... define a precise course of action for each confrontation ..." and this bothers me because it left me with the impression that there are, apparently, defined courses of actions for both attacking and defending. I suspect this statement comes from a course of self-defense that promotes specified actions of an adversary with a set response, etc. This is not how conflicts go, there are not set patterns that will always be there for your patterned responses. Even this written response is lacking because self-defense of conflict and violence is staggeringly complex with no set answers for anything. I could go on-and-on-and-on about this but simply access Marc MacYoung's website, site and you will begin to get the "entire picture."

Second quote, " ... walk away from any confrontation." Well, here again I seem to feel that this promotes only a small part of self-defense. What about avoidance. If you are in a confrontation you already failed self-defense. Detecting social or asocial situations to avoid entering into conflict of any kind is where you begin your self-defense. In order to "sell a product" with a title of self-defense course you can't really sell a study program that helps detect conflict at its earliest stages to avoid it altogether, right? Again, see Marc MacYoung's site to get that sense of self-defense completeness. 

Third quote, "Certainly, we all realize that walking away is not always an option. This is especially the case when a person either grabs you or strikes you and is not going to stop until they are disabled." Well, here again I wonder what mistakes were made that exposed this person to actual hands on violence. This quote seems directed toward a more socially violent situation and if that were true then the signs were all there but just ignored or missed entirely that one finds anothers hands on your person situation. This sucks. If this were to speak to a more asocial situation then that is another matter. An asocial situation speaks to making yourself a victim. Your actions, etc. apparently resulted in a predator to feel safe enough to take you out and put you down for what ever reason. Walking or running away is still an option provided you can overcome the freeze, the chemical (adrenaline) dump and the fear not to mention that you are probably locked into the OO part of the OODA loop due to the intense pounding you are experiencing. Regardless of the type of conflict and violence involved if you are hands on by an adversary you may have the option to still run away provided you can handle the initial attack well enough. 

Again, I go into this tirade because I am more sensitive to what self-defense is and that it is best to teach someone how to avoid getting into such situations from the start. Waiting till the fight is on is just plain ludicrous - stupid, stupid, stupid. 

Note: The title is a redacted version to hide the original article so as to not disparage the article or author directly. I am sure they all believe wholeheartedly that what they do is good, but, is it?

I really wish there were some clear cut answers to handling conflict, I truly do. It would be so much easier to teach and apply. It isn't all that easy and the hurdles you have to endure are often way past being worth the efforts. The before, during and most of all after of conflict is often more devastating than the fight itself. This is worth thinking about, don't you think?

Note: I did read the article and I didn't find any additional information that supported the quotes in some other context that may actually be correct in that context but I didn't see it.