Please take a look at Articles on self-defense/conflict/violence for introductions to the references found in the bibliography page.

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

Please take a look at my Notable Quotes

When you begin to feel like you are a tough guy, a warrior, a master of the martial arts or that you have lived a tough life, just take a moment and get some perspective with the following:


I've stopped knives that were coming to disembowel me

I've clawed for my gun while bullets ripped past me

I've dodged as someone tried to put an ax in my skull

I've fought screaming steel and left rubber on the road to avoid death

I've clawed broken glass out of my body after their opening attack failed

I've spit blood and body parts and broke strangle holds before gouging eyes

I've charged into fires, fought through blizzards and run from tornados

I've survived being hunted by gangs, killers and contract killers

The streets were my home, I hunted in the night and was hunted in turn


Please don't brag to me that you're a survivor because someone hit you. And don't tell me how 'tough' you are because of your training. As much as I've been through I know people who have survived much, much worse. - Marc MacYoung

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. Please make note that this article/post is my personal analysis of the subject and the information used was chosen or picked by me. It is not an analysis piece because it lacks complete and comprehensive research, it was not adequately and completely investigated and it is not balanced, i.e., it is my personal view without the views of others including subject experts, etc. Look at this as “Infotainment rather then expert research.” This is an opinion/editorial article/post meant to persuade the reader to think, decide and accept or reject my premise. It is an attempt to cause change or reinforce attitudes, beliefs and values as they apply to martial arts and/or self-defense. It is merely a commentary on the subject in the particular article presented.


Note: I will endevor to provide a bibliography and italicize any direct quotes from the materials I use for this blog. If there are mistakes, errors, and/or omissions, I take full responsibility for them as they are mine and mine alone. If you find any mistakes, errors, and/or omissions please comment and let me know along with the correct information and/or sources.

The Modern MA IM

I create new stuff daily and I have about five more years of stuff to rummage through that I want to add but I should be able to edit, etc. soon. I am just happy that most of what I want to put in this effort has already been written and stored on backup and in my blogs. I am a bit apprehensive about the editing part.


Anyone reading this and/or following this effort can be an editor if they want, just email me and I will pass it along in docx format unless otherwise requested (or comment on this post if you prefer) when ready.

Click for larger view, graphic is my own creation :-)

Commercialism: The Bane of the Traditional MA World

Caveat: This article is mine and mine alone. I the author of this article assure you, the reader, that any of the opinions expressed here are my own and are a result of the way in which my meandering mind interprets a particular situation and/or concept. The views expressed here are solely those of the author in his private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of other martial arts and/or conflict/violence professionals or authors of source materials. It should be quite obvious that the sources I used herein have not approved, endorsed, embraced, friended, liked, tweeted or authorized this article. (Everything I think and write is true, within the limits of my knowledge and understanding. Oh, and just because I wrote it and just because it sounds reasonable and just because it makes sense, does not mean it is true.) 

Please make note that this article/post is my personal analysis of the subject and the information used was chosen or picked by me. It is not an analysis piece because it lacks complete and comprehensive research, it was not adequately and completely investigated and it is not balanced, i.e., it is my personal view without the views of others including subject experts, etc. Look at this as “Infotainment rather then expert research.” This is an opinion/editorial article/post meant to persuade the reader to think, decide and accept or reject my premise. It is an attempt to cause change or reinforce attitudes, beliefs and values as they apply to martial arts and/or self-defense. It is merely a commentary on the subject in the particular article presented

I was reading an old Black Belt article that was scanned and shared on a Facebook wall. It reminded me that commercialism has been and may always be a bane to the traditional practice of martial arts but I am going to step on the line because I now believe that for many reasons that excuse is just not valid. 

The article simply begins by saing that going commercial to make a living from teaching martial arts was wrong because it left out many of the aspects that made a martial art a martial art such as, “black-marketing budo,” and that commercial dojo failed to teach, “the philosophy and moral principles of the oriental arts.” 

Let me address these two quotes first before I continue my viewpoint, black-marketing budo is impossible since that term or expression actually says that it must be sold to customers to circumvent the law that states budo is illegal, such hogwash. This is merely a sound bite to inflame and trigger an emotional reaction toward some loss we might encounter when budo as a concept and philosophical teaching is not something you can put in a wheel barrow. Get over it, your reacting to your emotionally driven monkey brain and that is illogical to say the least.

The second quote says that a commercial dojo is not conveying and teaching the Oriental Arts philosophy and moral principles. Again, that is an emotionally charged sound bite that also triggers our monkey brains emotional brain thereby blocking any type of logical human brain thinking just to sell a point of view. A point of view that I personally feel is ludicrous, stupid and defeatist. In this and the other instance it comes more from those professing such dribble as a lack of self-esteem both personally and martially that if they don’t do the same, go commercial, that they may somehow lose that connection to the traditions of the art or system or discipline, poppy-cock.

Here is the first rub that refutes such ludicrous claims, no one or at least hardly any one in the martial arts communities know, let alone practice, either an Asian Philosophy or know how to apply, teach and practice toward fundamental principles of oriental arts. Most traditionalists of that time and even today teach a sport and give lip service to philosophies and principles over competitions, etc., with trophies and accolades to provide instant gratifications over the more esoteric teachings that some believe are traditional. In other words, those traditionalists who scream such things are not traditional as traditional philosophies and principles would not even give a moments thought to the commercialism issue let alone comment. 

I will say that there has been a concerted effort in the last decade or so to acquire a more Asian related philosophical view and practice of martial arts. There is also a more concerted effort to bring back a more reality based teaching so that today’s martial arts would be more appropriately taught for self-defense, combatives, etc., while holding on to the sport aspects as well.

Except for the “Koryu Based” efforts most martial arts of today are more about a Western/American (in my view and perspective) philosophy and principles that suit modern times in lieu of ancient teachings for prosperity and historical reasons and beliefs, i.e., a traditional/classic perspective.

Now, as to commercialism directly. What most cry loudest about is already mentioned above but I will add in things like, “If it were possible for those crying the tune of commercialism bad, traditional good may be from their fear of failure and loss of followers (notice I say followers vs. students or practitioners) that would hit that emotional monkey who fears change, etc. 

Don’t get me wrong, there are those charlatans who will skew and use a commercial aspect for money but they usually fail after they fleece the unexpected and move on to the next thing. These unscrupulous folks are in every discipline and like spammers of todays electronic age will be there in the years to follow as long as they can sucker someone into falling for their crap. That does not mean that a traditional oriented martial discipline cannot earn a living with their teachings. 

The proof is in the pudding because there are far more commercial oriented dojo, etc., than traditional non-commercial venues to teach and learn martial arts. In fact, if not for commercialism karate, in all probability, or martial arts would have gone the way of the do-do bird long ago yet it has survived and survived in many unique ways and forms. 

I also believe to adhere dogmatically to a non-commercial traditional/classical form without change and growth for the times in which we live is actually going against those same Asian philosophical and principled teachings. There has been and always will be a blending as the discipline is passed down from generation to generation.

I can say that what I have learned and understand today for martial arts, disciplines and practices comes from all forms of teachings to include a commercialized perspective. 

Fear is a mind killer and in this case also contributes to the death of any discipline for to ignore and resist change is to kill that which has value because stagnation always results in death and loss. This fear of commercialism, thankfully, died (mostly, although it does rear its ugly head every once in a while) and we still have karate and other MA today, yeah!


Note: The scrupulous practitioners and teachers have the skills necessary to remain true to their system, dojo, style and origins so commercialism is not a bane but an opportunity, an opportunity to achieve a goal, success and still remain true to their art, style and discipline. Only those less capable will resort to the tactics and strategies that would subvert and degrade the system, style or discipline. Isn’t that the true way, the philosophy and principles that drive a traditional/classical teaching?

There are and always will be McDojo, get over it. 

Martial Responsibility

Caveat: This article is mine and mine alone. I the author of this article assure you, the reader, that any of the opinions expressed here are my own and are a result of the way in which my meandering mind interprets a particular situation and/or concept. The views expressed here are solely those of the author in his private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of other martial arts and/or conflict/violence professionals or authors of source materials. It should be quite obvious that the sources I used herein have not approved, endorsed, embraced, friended, liked, tweeted or authorized this article. (Everything I think and write is true, within the limits of my knowledge and understanding. Oh, and just because I wrote it and just because it sounds reasonable and just because it makes sense, does not mean it is true.) 

Please make note that this article/post is my personal analysis of the subject and the information used was chosen or picked by me. It is not an analysis piece because it lacks complete and comprehensive research, it was not adequately and completely investigated and it is not balanced, i.e., it is my personal view without the views of others including subject experts, etc. Look at this as “Infotainment rather then expert research.” This is an opinion/editorial article/post meant to persuade the reader to think, decide and accept or reject my premise. It is an attempt to cause change or reinforce attitudes, beliefs and values as they apply to martial arts and/or self-defense. It is merely a commentary on the subject in the particular article presented.

Folks who take up a martial art, especially for combat, fighting and/or self-defense, are assuming a huge responsibility. Since most SD Martial Arts involve violence and conflict there is always the possibility of great bodily harm or even death. I equate this to be similar to assuming the responsibility of a professional in the field of, “Military, Police, Corrections Officers, Firemen, EMT’s, etc.” Those brave folks are assuming the need and requirement of entering harms way on a daily basis, that is courage. 

These professionals are exposed to and know the dangers they assume along with the great amount of responsibility that goes with that territory. That is why I use the word, “Hero’s!”

In martial arts, when properly taught, trained, practiced and applied, also assume a huge responsibility yet not the same or at the same level as those professionals who are “Required to Act.” In martial arts that is meant to be used for self-defense must assume those responsibilities and those responsibilities are vast, difficult and deep, deep as the ocean. Seldom to martial artists realize or understand that level of responsibility.

There is one more level of martial responsibility that is even greater, that of a martial arts teacher, Sensei. You have assumed a personal responsibility as a practitioner but when you assume the role of teacher, instructor or sensei then you assume a responsibility for every single human being who follows your lead in martial arts. 

If you are teaching, instructing and mentoring your students according to moral, social, civil and legal requirements, procedures and practices then your responsibility comes to a much higher level. Think of it like the legal requirements for appropriate levels of force in violent conflicts.

If you teach a sport and that distinction is well understood then your responsibility level is low. If you are teaching the martial arts as a way of life for self-improvement and enlightenment, etc., then the responsibility level is medium to medium low. If you are teaching a combative form then the responsibility level is medium-high to high because of the ramifications resulting from when, how and where it is used. 

If you are teaching a system of self-defense and all that entails then your responsibility level is high to very high. The when, where, how, and why spreads over a much lager spectrum than sport or combatives (combatives meaning those disciplines used by military in war and only war.). Since self-defense can reach and effect an entire societal group and you are not a part of any group that has a requirement to act and so on your responsibilities are very high indeed. 

Too many assume to many things when it comes to martial arts - in general. When you add a layer of martial art prowess and application to the self-defense world you assume all those responsibilities within the SD realm and then add on all the complex layers that are martial arts toward adhering to requirements and laws of society itself. It may not sound so big but when you study it, you find that chasm widening by the minute and you have to leap across it to get to self-defense martial arts. (Just take a look at this short, terse and incomplete list of SD study in the following bibliography)

Primary Bibliography of Self-Defense (Some titles have RBC drills included):
MacYoung, Marc. "In the Name of Self-Defense: What It Costs. When It’s Worth It." Marc MacYoung. 2014.
Miller, Rory Sgt. "Meditations of Violence: A Comparison of Martial Arts Training & Real World Violence" YMAA Publishing. 2008.

Bibliography Articles on Self-Defense/Conflict/Violence

The main page leading to the articles I have chosen as a starting point to attain knowledge of conflict, violence and self-defense is: http://ymaa.com/articles/society-and-self-defense where you can navigate to the below or you can simply find a title below and click for direct access to the articles. Most of these are actually introductions to the references written by the authors themselves. It is advisable to start here then move on to the more in-depth stuff in their publications. This section will get you a beginning understanding necessary in phase one of learning self-defense. 

I.M.O.P. Principle—Intent, Means, Opportunity and Preclusion http://ymaa.com/articles/2014/10/imop-principle-intent-means-opportunity-and-preclusion
Introduction to Violence: Scale of Force Options http://ymaa.com/articles/introduction-to-violence-scale-of-force-options
Facing Violence: The Unconscious Stuff-Finding Your Glitches http://ymaa.com/articles/facing-violence-the-unconscious-stuff
Violence: What Everyone Needs to Know About Fighting http://ymaa.com/articles/violence-what-everyone-needs-to-know-about-fighting

Secondary Bibliography of Self-Defense (Some titles have RBC drills included):
Ayoob, Massad. “Deadly Force: Understanding Your Right to Self-Defense”Gun Digest Books. Krouse Publications. Wisconsin. 2014.
Goleman, Daniel. "Emotional Intelligence: 10th Anniversary Edition [Kindle Edition]." Bantam. January 11, 2012.
Miller, Rory. "ConCom: Conflict Communications A New Paradigm in Conscious Communication." Amazon Digital Services, Inc. 2014. 
Miller, Rory and Kane, Lawrence A. "Scaling Force: Dynamic Decision-making under Threat of Violence." YMAA Publisher. New Hampshire. 2012
Miller, Rory. "Force Decisions: A Citizen's Guide." YMAA Publications. NH. 2012.
Miller, Rory Sgt. "Facing Violence: Preparing for the Unexpected." YMAA Publishing. 2011.
Miller, Rory. “The Practical Problem of Teaching Self-Defense.” YMAA. January 19, 2015. http://ymaa.com/articles/2015/1/the-practical-problem-of-teaching-self-defense
Elgin, Suzette Haden, Ph.D. "More on the Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense." Prentice Hall. New Jersey. 1983.
Elgin, Suzette. "The Last Word on the Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense" Barnes & Noble. 1995
Morris, Desmond. “Manwatching: A Field Guide to Human Behavior.” Harry N. Abrams. April 1979.
MacYoung, Marc. “Writing Violence #1: Getting Shot.” NNSD. Amazon Digital. 2014.
MacYoung, Marc. “Writing Violence #2: Getting Stabbed.”  NNSD. Amazon Digital. 2015.
Elgin, Suzette. "The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense" Barnes & Noble. 1993.
Elgin, Suzette. "The Gentle Art of Written Self-Defense" MJF Books. 1997.
Maffetone, Philip Dr. “The Maffetone Method: The Holistic, Low-stress, No-Pain Way to Exceptional Fitness.” McGraw Hill, New York. 2000
Strong, Sanford. “Strong on Defense_ Survival Rules to Protect you and your Family from Crime.” Pocket Books. New York. 1996.
and more … see blog bibliography.
Jahn, C. R. “FTW Self Defense.” iUniverse. Amazon Digital Services. 2012
Jahn, C. R. “Hardcore Self Defense.” iUniverse. Amazon Digital Services. 2002.

Bibliography of RBC Drills (Some titles have RBC drills included):
MacYoung, Marc. "In the Name of Self-Defense: What It Costs. When It’s Worth It." Marc MacYoung. 2014.
MacYoung, Marc (Animal). “Taking It to the Street: Making Your Martial Art Street Effective.” Paladin Press. Boulder, Colorado. 1999.
MacYoung, Marc. "A Professional's Guide to Ending Violence Quickly: How Bouncers, Bodyguards, and Other Security Professionals Handle Ugly Situations." Paladin Press. Boulder, Colorado. 1996.
Miller, Rory. “Drills: Training for the Sudden Violence.” Amazon Digital Services, inc. Smashwords. 2011.
Quinn, Peyton. “Real Fighting: Adrenaline Stress Conditioning Through Scenario-Based Training.” Paladin Press. Amazon Digital Services, inc. 1996

My Blog Bibliography
Cornered Cat (Scratching Post): http://www.corneredcat.com/scratching-post/
Kodokan Boston: http://kodokanboston.org
Mario McKenna (Kowakan): http://www.kowakan.com
Wim Demeere’s Blog: http://www.wimsblog.com

The Fallacy of Martial Arts in Self-Defense

Caveat: This article is mine and mine alone. I the author of this article assure you, the reader, that any of the opinions expressed here are my own and are a result of the way in which my meandering mind interprets a particular situation and/or concept. The views expressed here are solely those of the author in his private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of other martial arts and/or conflict/violence professionals or authors of source materials. It should be quite obvious that the sources I used herein have not approved, endorsed, embraced, friended, liked, tweeted or authorized this article. (Everything I think and write is true, within the limits of my knowledge and understanding. Oh, and just because I wrote it and just because it sounds reasonable and just because it makes sense, does not mean it is true.) 

Please make note that this article/post is my personal analysis of the subject and the information used was chosen or picked by me. It is not an analysis piece because it lacks complete and comprehensive research, it was not adequately and completely investigated and it is not balanced, i.e., it is my personal view without the views of others including subject experts, etc. Look at this as “Infotainment rather then expert research.” This is an opinion/editorial article/post meant to persuade the reader to think, decide and accept or reject my premise. It is an attempt to cause change or reinforce attitudes, beliefs and values as they apply to martial arts and/or self-defense. It is merely a commentary on the subject in the particular article presented.

The fallacy is the mistaken belief based on unsound reasoning that because someone feels something without a foundation of experience to draw from tend to assume that modern martial arts provides us security and safety in self-defense. 

Students and Sensei practice in the modern dojo to perfect movements, these peopled are obsessed with minor details (atomistic vs. holistic, etc.) of technique which have no relevance to actual fighting. Dojo today do not show the reality of combat. They make technique seem much more complicated than it is, especially application (in the application of fighting and/or self-defense) wise. One’s techniques can “Look Good” and “Effective” in the dojo but when it is real and one is facing an adversary and actually facing grave bodily harm and even death, their skill at these techniques might not help them at all. This is because their practice in the dojo is not realistic or faithful to how actual attacks occur. When one is facing a real adversary trying to kill them they may freeze, choke or hesitate from the adrenal flood which is “Absent in the Dojo.” 

Modern dojo and sensei will argue what appears and feels to be correct but lacks any connection to reality, reality based conditioning training and/or reality based experience. It stems from a belief system based on teachings that lack such experience based understandings toward conflict and violence that is often incorrect, illogical and misleading. 

Such things are tied directly to a person’s self-esteem making it a part of their belief system whereby changes are instinctively most difficult to recognize, see and allow for change. Such logical fallacies are like illusions of thought, and they are very often sneakily used to perpetuate ongoing training materials that tend to get passed down to each successive generation of martial artists. 

The goal of fundamental principles of martial systems, in particular the philosophical principles, is to present those without the reality based experience and/or training to see the mistakes so corrections become a part of the belief system making such corrections possible in lieu of impossible. A solid philosophy allows the other principle of “Theory” to realize fallacies true face to be detectable thus changing it to a reality based on proper training, practice and experience. 

Theory and Philosophy, a more esoteric set of principles, allows the individual to see, observe and test things that normally are nor present in their lives as would be for professionals like police, military and corrections officers and so on. They allow the mind and body to see past the gossamer veils that cover truth and create fallacies that block clarity. 

It does not take much, once this level of perception and awareness are created, developed and/or increased, to achieve a reality based conditioning program that trains and teaches us to actually take the dojo practices into the realm of combat, fighting and self-defense as it relates to adrenal stress simulations and conditioning where adrenal effects have a chance to train our minds and bodies to handle and use such chemical dumps in lieu of them using us, especially to use us toward passing the boundaries that make a self-defense square. 

It should be stressed, “Styles for practicing are created by people often with no real experience or limited experience in actual combat, fighting and self-defense.” Most, if not all, styles have drifted away from the reality of combat, fighting and self-defense and its ultimate simplicity, its ultimate end, which is to defeat the adversary. 

You do not have to practice a lot of different techniques. You don’t need many techniques such as styles might teach when you are in a real combat, fighting or self-defense situation. You must have a sincere spirit, a willingness to engage an adversary and end the situation as fast as possible. 

The true dojo must walk away from a dogmatic/strict adherence to a style and look to the more pragmatic realistic way to combat, fight and defend against a predatory attacker. Practice those few techniques actually necessary in an attack scenario, i.e., combative, fighting or self-defense, that will work without regard to either fancy or complexities or quantity. Make it about quality, realistic adrenal conditioning will work quality necessary to end the combat, end the fight and end the self-defense situation. 


Small Baby Steps

Caveat: This article is mine and mine alone. I the author of this article assure you, the reader, that any of the opinions expressed here are my own and are a result of the way in which my meandering mind interprets a particular situation and/or concept. The views expressed here are solely those of the author in his private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of other martial arts and/or conflict/violence professionals or authors of source materials. It should be quite obvious that the sources I used herein have not approved, endorsed, embraced, friended, liked, tweeted or authorized this article. (Everything I think and write is true, within the limits of my knowledge and understanding. Oh, and just because I wrote it and just because it sounds reasonable and just because it makes sense, does not mean it is true.) 

Please make note that this article/post is my personal analysis of the subject and the information used was chosen or picked by me. It is not an analysis piece because it lacks complete and comprehensive research, it was not adequately and completely investigated and it is not balanced, i.e., it is my personal view without the views of others including subject experts, etc. Look at this as “Infotainment rather then expert research.” This is an opinion/editorial article/post meant to persuade the reader to think, decide and accept or reject my premise. It is an attempt to cause change or reinforce attitudes, beliefs and values as they apply to martial arts and/or self-defense. It is merely a commentary on the subject in the particular article presented.

Want to learn, then make sure you take very small baby steps. Take the study of self-defense, it comes in a basic form in the book, “In the Name of Self-Defense,” by Marc MacYoung where his teachings are so large, so filled with lots of things that it takes many readings and many reviews to slowly pick up the information. The information that you can and should use when you take on the training and practice necessary to defend and protect.

I am a long time practitioner of martial arts, a martial art in a narrow spectrum of a striking art or system. Part of that system is about self-defense. In that light I have always sought out more about SD. I have found that even that endeavor was stunted by assumptions and even prejudices. I made assumptions that those who were teaching me also held the credentials that validated all they taught in SD. That assumption was a major flaw and mistake.

What I was taught had and has its benefits for martial arts and self-defense but with one big issue, it was incomplete. It is and was missing so many very important and critical and necessary parts that it is pure luck that I am not in prison or not dead. So many of us are lucky in this but all it takes is one time to be unlucky.

Yes, you can learn some physical principles for self-defense and make it work. Alone, that is both good and bad. Good that you can learn something like that in short order but unlucky because the bad is not learning all those missing parts.

The physical is the easy part, applying it against another human being while under adrenal stress conditions and effects is another totally different thing. In order to understand this you have to learn it, the very big subject with all the material even without the actual experiences, thoroughly because you will need that knowledge to avoid and/or apply self-defense. 

As I study I don’t just stop and assume I know and understand it so I go back and study it some more and that means, in this example, I take a lot longer to read, study and assimilate stuff over time. I practice, practice and practice some more by reading smaller parts, taking time to absorb and contemplate what I have read and studied then I do it over again. The only step after that is the appropriate mental and physical training and practice that will provide me the tools to make “The Leap” in self-defense. 


We as humans often feel the need for instant gratification and in the SD world we want to be capable instantly and that just is not possible. There is a reason the military, police and other professional violence and conflict people try to learn as much as possible in the training arena. Your brain has to have something to draw from to even understand and learn from superiors who have the experiences necessary to mentor the rookie. The rub in SD is you won’t have sensei or senpai to mentor you when you are under attack. You can only hope they do that enough in training that you can make the leap and get-r-done. 

Foundation for Defense

Caveat: Please make note that this article/post is my personal analysis of the subject and the information used was chosen or picked by me. It is not an analysis piece because it lacks complete and comprehensive research, it was not adequately and completely investigated and it is not balanced, i.e., it is my personal view without the views of others including subject experts, etc. Look at this as “Infotainment rather then expert research.” This is an opinion/editorial article/post meant to persuade the reader to think, decide and accept or reject my premise. It is an attempt to cause change or reinforce attitudes, beliefs and values as they apply to martial arts and/or self-defense. It is merely a commentary on the subject in the particular article presented.

This article is mine and mine alone. I the author of this article assure you, the reader, that any of the opinions expressed here are my own and are a result of the way in which my meandering mind interprets a particular situation and/or concept. The views expressed here are solely those of the author in his private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of other martial arts and/or conflict/violence professionals or authors of source materials. It should be quite obvious that the sources I used herein have not approved, endorsed, embraced, friended, liked, tweeted or authorized this article. (Everything I think and write is true, within the limits of my knowledge and understanding. Oh, and just because I wrote it and just because it sounds reasonable and just because it makes sense, does not mean it is true.)

“Fast, it must work, simple, without modification, easy to train, you must be able to follow up, train to reflex.” - Rory Miller, Facing Violence: Preparing for the Unexpected (Miller, Rory Sgt. "Facing Violence: Preparing for the Unexpected." YMAA Publishing. 2011.) http://www.amazon.com/Facing-Violence-Unexpected-Rory-Miller/dp/1594392137/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1429294033&sr=8-1&keywords=facing+violence+rory+miller

These are elements of ability to handle the type of attack that comes as a surprise, filled with pain, is sudden, fast, hard and close, etc. Upon reading this in Mr. Miller’s book it suddenly dawned on me that the truth of martial arts for self-defense or just martial arts perceived as a combative or self-defense system is just plain ludicrous. 

When I read how he explains the above list of requirements for your defense to work it opens my eyes to what I have seen and often see as self-defense training in the martial arts dojo. It is even worse in those commercial driven mall type defense courses as well as many militarily oriented self-defense systems - most, not necessarily all. 

When I think of how it is taught even today with all that is available to reorient self-defense training toward a more realistic form it simply defies my logic and I wonder how in the world most graduates even survive let alone stay out of jail. 

In a nutshell, those attributes of most self-defense and/or martial arts disciplines would lose all the requirements used to charge fees for things like rank, testing, contracts, longevity of student attendance and more if they adhered to the above set of defense requirements - the type that have a chance of working. 

Look at the boring aspect in a world that seeks, desires and is obsessive toward instant gratification because to achieve those requirements will mean a lot of time spent doing the same old thing over and over and over again. Then there is the necessity to “Maintain” that level of proficiency. I can’t see that being accomplished in the commercial world of self-defense for the every-day participant and practitioner. I can see it for those who are professionals who deal with conflict and violence as a part of that profession but not the normal every day Joe who needs self-defense or thinks they need self-defense training.

Granted, there are people who live in environments that would need that ability but in those environments if one cannot leave it or change it maintaining a level of competence is doable. But those who feel they need it, think they need it or fool themselves into thinking it makes them some type of warrior is simply, to me, fictional tom foolery.

Before you ask, does this make me one of those types? Yes, if I were to fool myself into thinking that what I train and practice is good self-defense. As it stands this is more of an academic endeavor based on my martial arts experiences and study of self-defense from professionals (academic oriented as I am just to fragile to do the physical hard stuff now ;-) ).

Anyway, my article stands, as an endeavor to express my “Oh shit moments” during my studies. It will also go a long way when I write fiction with violence as content, etc. (why I recommend purchasing Marc MacYoung’s books especially those on writing violence).

If your intent to study any discipline, especially martial arts or martial systems, for self-defense then take heed and build that defensive through adherence to the above requirement to make it work. One aspect I would add, from my perspective, is add in an adrenal stress conditioning program. Just saying ….

Primary Bibliography of Self-Defense (Some titles have RBC drills included):
MacYoung, Marc. "In the Name of Self-Defense: What It Costs. When It’s Worth It." Marc MacYoung. 2014.
Miller, Rory Sgt. "Meditations of Violence: A Comparison of Martial Arts Training & Real World Violence" YMAA Publishing. 2008.

Bibliography Articles on Self-Defense/Conflict/Violence

The main page leading to the articles I have chosen as a starting point to attain knowledge of conflict, violence and self-defense is: http://ymaa.com/articles/society-and-self-defense where you can navigate to the below or you can simply find a title below and click for direct access to the articles. Most of these are actually introductions to the references written by the authors themselves. It is advisable to start here then move on to the more in-depth stuff in their publications. This section will get you a beginning understanding necessary in phase one of learning self-defense. 

I.M.O.P. Principle—Intent, Means, Opportunity and Preclusion http://ymaa.com/articles/2014/10/imop-principle-intent-means-opportunity-and-preclusion
Introduction to Violence: Scale of Force Options http://ymaa.com/articles/introduction-to-violence-scale-of-force-options
Facing Violence: The Unconscious Stuff-Finding Your Glitches http://ymaa.com/articles/facing-violence-the-unconscious-stuff
Violence: What Everyone Needs to Know About Fighting http://ymaa.com/articles/violence-what-everyone-needs-to-know-about-fighting

Secondary Bibliography of Self-Defense (Some titles have RBC drills included):
Ayoob, Massad. “Deadly Force: Understanding Your Right to Self-Defense”Gun Digest Books. Krouse Publications. Wisconsin. 2014.
Goleman, Daniel. "Emotional Intelligence: 10th Anniversary Edition [Kindle Edition]." Bantam. January 11, 2012.
Miller, Rory. "ConCom: Conflict Communications A New Paradigm in Conscious Communication." Amazon Digital Services, Inc. 2014. 
Miller, Rory and Kane, Lawrence A. "Scaling Force: Dynamic Decision-making under Threat of Violence." YMAA Publisher. New Hampshire. 2012
Miller, Rory. "Force Decisions: A Citizen's Guide." YMAA Publications. NH. 2012.
Miller, Rory Sgt. "Facing Violence: Preparing for the Unexpected." YMAA Publishing. 2011.
Miller, Rory. “The Practical Problem of Teaching Self-Defense.” YMAA. January 19, 2015. http://ymaa.com/articles/2015/1/the-practical-problem-of-teaching-self-defense
Elgin, Suzette Haden, Ph.D. "More on the Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense." Prentice Hall. New Jersey. 1983.
Elgin, Suzette. "The Last Word on the Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense" Barnes & Noble. 1995
Morris, Desmond. “Manwatching: A Field Guide to Human Behavior.” Harry N. Abrams. April 1979.
MacYoung, Marc. “Writing Violence #1: Getting Shot.” NNSD. Amazon Digital. 2014.
MacYoung, Marc. “Writing Violence #2: Getting Stabbed.”  NNSD. Amazon Digital. 2015.
Elgin, Suzette. "The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense" Barnes & Noble. 1993.
Elgin, Suzette. "The Gentle Art of Written Self-Defense" MJF Books. 1997.
Maffetone, Philip Dr. “The Maffetone Method: The Holistic, Low-stress, No-Pain Way to Exceptional Fitness.” McGraw Hill, New York. 2000
Strong, Sanford. “Strong on Defense_ Survival Rules to Protect you and your Family from Crime.” Pocket Books. New York. 1996.
and more … see blog bibliography.
Jahn, C. R. “FTW Self Defense.” iUniverse. Amazon Digital Services. 2012
Jahn, C. R. “Hardcore Self Defense.” iUniverse. Amazon Digital Services. 2002.

Bibliography of RBC Drills (Some titles have RBC drills included):
MacYoung, Marc. "In the Name of Self-Defense: What It Costs. When It’s Worth It." Marc MacYoung. 2014.
MacYoung, Marc (Animal). “Taking It to the Street: Making Your Martial Art Street Effective.” Paladin Press. Boulder, Colorado. 1999.
MacYoung, Marc. "A Professional's Guide to Ending Violence Quickly: How Bouncers, Bodyguards, and Other Security Professionals Handle Ugly Situations." Paladin Press. Boulder, Colorado. 1996.
Miller, Rory. “Drills: Training for the Sudden Violence.” Amazon Digital Services, inc. Smashwords. 2011.
Quinn, Peyton. “Real Fighting: Adrenaline Stress Conditioning Through Scenario-Based Training.” Paladin Press. Amazon Digital Services, inc. 1996

My Blog Bibliography
Cornered Cat (Scratching Post): http://www.corneredcat.com/scratching-post/
Kodokan Boston: http://kodokanboston.org
Mario McKenna (Kowakan): http://www.kowakan.com

Wim Demeere’s Blog: http://www.wimsblog.com

Combat Sport?

Caveat: This article is mine and mine alone. I the author of this article assure you, the reader, that any of the opinions expressed here are my own and are a result of the way in which my meandering mind interprets a particular situation and/or concept. The views expressed here are solely those of the author in his private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of other martial arts and/or conflict/violence professionals or authors of source materials. It should be quite obvious that the sources I used herein have not approved, endorsed, embraced, friended, liked, tweeted or authorized this article. (Everything I think and write is true, within the limits of my knowledge and understanding. Oh, and just because I wrote it and just because it sounds reasonable and just because it makes sense, does not mean it is true.) 

Please make note that this article/post is my personal analysis of the subject and the information used was chosen or picked by me. It is not an analysis piece because it lacks complete and comprehensive research, it was not adequately and completely investigated and it is not balanced, i.e., it is my personal view without the views of others including subject experts, etc. Look at this as “Infotainment rather then expert research.” This is an opinion/editorial article/post meant to persuade the reader to think, decide and accept or reject my premise. It is an attempt to cause change or reinforce attitudes, beliefs and values as they apply to martial arts and/or self-defense. It is merely a commentary on the subject in the particular article presented.

In a recent posting I noticed a sign in the background of a video included in the article that said, “ Combat Sport.” I had to take a moment and stop to think, “How can combat be a sport; how can a sport be combat?”

Are they intuiting that their sport is based on something combative? I assume because of the sign and statement that they are trying to convey that their sport is a combat oriented system but I say, “How can you make a sport combative in the true sense of the word, combat?” Maybe I am being nit-picky but I also find communications, especially the written word since it is missing so many important communications venues such as facial expressions and body language, critical to teaching and understanding. 

When I see the phrase “Combat Sport” I sense a presupposition. I sense a type of subconscious influencing to provide a sport more power and perception than would be true in reality. When one uses a presupposition in a statement they are actually insinuating that their sport is actually about combat. They want you to focus on the idea that what you are encountering is a sport but by presupposition they are fooling you into thinking it is actually combat thereby triggering our instincts toward survival and the sense that you are entering a world of the warrior who can and will do combat (stretching the idea and meaning here to influence you toward my view - presupposition you might say - in other words selling a product by making it out to be more than it is).

Combat is defined as, “Fighting between armed forces; battle; war; warfare; death-match; to take action to reduce, destroy, or prevent something undesirable.); to fight; to do battle; to attack and more.”

Sport is defined as, “An activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment. 

Combat is no an activity for entertainment but of death and destruction. Sport has nothing to do with death and destruction or any type of political world agenda to force something of that nature on another or “Others.” 

Yes, to use that phrase as a selling tool one might falsely assume that the sport, safe, is going to teach them how to fight using combat style techniques, not safe, stimulating a deep seated desire to prove oneself in combat through a sport that will actually never be combat because in combat, when you prove yourself, you kill with the goal of not being killed to achieve the goal of your government, etc.

I guess truth in advertisement is subjective according to gains and losses of a social and/or economic nature in modern society. If one who trained in a combat sport inadvertently participated in violence where one died, who tried to argue self-defense based on that combat sport, then would face the wrath of both society and the legal system regarding the truth of combat as perceived in a self-defense, defense. Combat gives the impression of an aggressive killing machine vs. proper use of force as related to applied force of the attack to achieve a goal in self-defense of stopping said attack while remaining in the self-defense square - a legal argument you broke the law with good reason. To be trained in a sport based, by the teacher, the school and the ads, on combat, to be perceived equal to teaching and training our military to kill with prejudice, means you were out there searching to destroy your adversary. See how it might, it may, it could be perceived as an unlawful act? 

When I see, read or hear such terminology used to sell products I feel that the only reason they are able to do so is because it has not yet led to some dangerous, grievous and violent outcome when used. Take a recent article about a Jujitsu professional whose combative mind-set using a combative sport broke the law using his training to beat someone vs. being attacked and using appropriate self-defense forces, etc.


Gotta wonder how many are being seduced and persuaded into thinking something is other than what it really is.

Martial Arts (Karate) Is It Becoming

Caveat: This article is mine and mine alone. I the author of this article assure you, the reader, that any of the opinions expressed here are my own and are a result of the way in which my meandering mind interprets a particular situation and/or concept. The views expressed here are solely those of the author in his private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of other martial arts and/or conflict/violence professionals or authors of source materials. It should be quite obvious that the sources I used herein have not approved, endorsed, embraced, friended, liked, tweeted or authorized this article. (Everything I think and write is true, within the limits of my knowledge and understanding. Oh, and just because I wrote it and just because it sounds reasonable and just because it makes sense, does not mean it is true.) 

Please make note that this article/post is my personal analysis of the subject and the information used was chosen or picked by me. It is not an analysis piece because it lacks complete and comprehensive research, it was not adequately and completely investigated and it is not balanced, i.e., it is my personal view without the views of others including subject experts, etc. Look at this as “Infotainment rather then expert research.” This is an opinion/editorial article/post meant to persuade the reader to think, decide and accept or reject my premise. It is an attempt to cause change or reinforce attitudes, beliefs and values as they apply to martial arts and/or self-defense. It is merely a commentary on the subject in the particular article presented.

The more I read, the more I see and the more I understand, it might be that MA is becoming …. a belief system similar to a religion or a sect or a something. Some speak with such fervor it sounds like a sermon at the pulpit. Some speak or write with such reverence I wonder is folks are taking to it so hard that they are replacing something with something to fill some void. 

Example, a person writes about “Karate’s Darkest Moment,” as if that moment is momentous enough to have affected a social construct, it that even possible? Yes, it is as anything is possible with enough people, enough belief and enough fervor, postulating and preaching. I see it sometimes in smaller groups such as some smaller groups within the Isshinryu communities. 

When a sensei or kohai or someone else is put upon a pedestal where dissent or discord comes from any deviance from the word as it comes down off that pedestal is that a system similar to a belief in say a particular group, i.e., be it religious or other nature. When we put something up high we don’t expect it to fall and any thing that would, could and may cause it to fall becomes “blasphemy.” Hmmm …

Blasphemy as in an act or perceive offense in speaking, writing to telling against some sacred thing such as a particular dogmatic belief in some person who, in this example, created a system that is or would be considered irreverent. 


When one takes something to the level of serious where any perceived lack of respect for that person or persons go against their beliefs is that not a becoming of some thing? What is that thing? Is it religious of sorts or just a strong belief that at the levels perceived result in conflict and violence? Even if adamantly argued it is not a religious belief or any other type of belief system. 

Facing the Group Monkey Dance

Caveat: This article is mine and mine alone. I the author of this article assure you, the reader, that any of the opinions expressed here are my own and are a result of the way in which my meandering mind interprets a particular situation and/or concept. The views expressed here are solely those of the author in his private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of other martial arts and/or conflict/violence professionals or authors of source materials. It should be quite obvious that the sources I used herein have not approved, endorsed, embraced, friended, liked, tweeted or authorized this article. (Everything I think and write is true, within the limits of my knowledge and understanding. Oh, and just because I wrote it and just because it sounds reasonable and just because it makes sense, does not mean it is true.) 

Please make note that this article/post is my personal analysis of the subject and the information used was chosen or picked by me. It is not an analysis piece because it lacks complete and comprehensive research, it was not adequately and completely investigated and it is not balanced, i.e., it is my personal view without the views of others including subject experts, etc. Look at this as “Infotainment rather then expert research.” This is an opinion/editorial article/post meant to persuade the reader to think, decide and accept or reject my premise. It is an attempt to cause change or reinforce attitudes, beliefs and values as they apply to martial arts and/or self-defense. It is merely a commentary on the subject in the particular article presented.

Note: The group monkey dance herein is more of a way to gain attention. What I am proposing here is pretty general and not directed at the GMD, etc. but about thinking and assuming one can actually defend and defeat a group on the attack. Don't get stuck on GMD, think more about avoidance (defending or winning a group attack is pretty stupid, don't go there and hope you don't ever have to deal with a group attack). 

You must attempt to maneuver so that the group must line up and get in each others way when they attack you. As someone said, “It is like stringing fish on a line.” To practice this one must do so realistically rather than formally so that one is not hindered by conventions, forms, rules and rigid dogma often found in dojo, commercial schools or other defense programs. 

Developing a spontaneous flow is what some would call this type of training and practice. Learning to move and act spontaneously as the situation and moment demand while not allowing the movement to be controlled by an idea or some official way of doing a self-defense technique. Allow the  group that are acting as adversary’s or “Uke,” to first move in some pattern then allow for spontaneity so you can use the same spontaneity to achieve the goal of “Stringing fish on a line.” Why? Because that is the “ONLY” way I can see that, “MIGHT” give you the chance and opportunity to “RUN LIKE HELL.”

If you can hamper the attack, if you get that chance, and can create only a single path to you, so only one person at a time can reach you to attack, then you can defend one-on-one (a very difficult tactic and strategy because of the spontaneity and chaos of a group monkey dance). 

In addition, adding complexity and chaos to the situation that one should have avoided to begin with, you must remain aware situationally and environmentally because that group may break off so that one, two or three may find another opening to give you a group beating. Then add to this complexity the adrenal flood effects you will have to overcome or at least control because when a group is hell bent on doing you a beating that more often than not results in great bodily harm with a very good chance of death your mind and body will flood in a milli-second with the adrenal chemical cocktail and that is a real “Bitch.” 

Hmm, as I progress with this idea of a possible, a remote possibility, strategy to handle a group attack the cards keep stacking up giving more credence to the original thought I presented that there is no real effective way to defeat a group of people attacking you as in a group monkey dance, etc. It is taught as doable in the dojo and self-defense courses yet when you start to analyze and dissect such situations then you realize that the only real way to defeat a group attack is to, “Avoid it before it happens or if unable you RUN FORREST RUNNNN!”

Primary Bibliography of Self-Defense (Some titles have RBC drills included):
MacYoung, Marc. "In the Name of Self-Defense: What It Costs. When It’s Worth It." Marc MacYoung. 2014.
Miller, Rory Sgt. "Meditations of Violence: A Comparison of Martial Arts Training & Real World Violence" YMAA Publishing. 2008.

Bibliography Articles on Self-Defense/Conflict/Violence

The main page leading to the articles I have chosen as a starting point to attain knowledge of conflict, violence and self-defense is: http://ymaa.com/articles/society-and-self-defense where you can navigate to the below or you can simply find a title below and click for direct access to the articles. Most of these are actually introductions to the references written by the authors themselves. It is advisable to start here then move on to the more in-depth stuff in their publications. This section will get you a beginning understanding necessary in phase one of learning self-defense. 

I.M.O.P. Principle—Intent, Means, Opportunity and Preclusion http://ymaa.com/articles/2014/10/imop-principle-intent-means-opportunity-and-preclusion
Introduction to Violence: Scale of Force Options http://ymaa.com/articles/introduction-to-violence-scale-of-force-options
Facing Violence: The Unconscious Stuff-Finding Your Glitches http://ymaa.com/articles/facing-violence-the-unconscious-stuff
Violence: What Everyone Needs to Know About Fighting http://ymaa.com/articles/violence-what-everyone-needs-to-know-about-fighting

Secondary Bibliography of Self-Defense (Some titles have RBC drills included):
Ayoob, Massad. “Deadly Force: Understanding Your Right to Self-Defense”Gun Digest Books. Krouse Publications. Wisconsin. 2014.
Goleman, Daniel. "Emotional Intelligence: 10th Anniversary Edition [Kindle Edition]." Bantam. January 11, 2012.
Miller, Rory. "ConCom: Conflict Communications A New Paradigm in Conscious Communication." Amazon Digital Services, Inc. 2014. 
Miller, Rory and Kane, Lawrence A. "Scaling Force: Dynamic Decision-making under Threat of Violence." YMAA Publisher. New Hampshire. 2012
Miller, Rory. "Force Decisions: A Citizen's Guide." YMAA Publications. NH. 2012.
Miller, Rory Sgt. "Facing Violence: Preparing for the Unexpected." YMAA Publishing. 2011.
Miller, Rory. “The Practical Problem of Teaching Self-Defense.” YMAA. January 19, 2015. http://ymaa.com/articles/2015/1/the-practical-problem-of-teaching-self-defense
Elgin, Suzette Haden, Ph.D. "More on the Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense." Prentice Hall. New Jersey. 1983.
Elgin, Suzette. "The Last Word on the Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense" Barnes & Noble. 1995
Morris, Desmond. “Manwatching: A Field Guide to Human Behavior.” Harry N. Abrams. April 1979.
MacYoung, Marc. “Writing Violence #1: Getting Shot.” NNSD. Amazon Digital. 2014.
MacYoung, Marc. “Writing Violence #2: Getting Stabbed.”  NNSD. Amazon Digital. 2015.
Elgin, Suzette. "The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense" Barnes & Noble. 1993.
Elgin, Suzette. "The Gentle Art of Written Self-Defense" MJF Books. 1997.
Maffetone, Philip Dr. “The Maffetone Method: The Holistic, Low-stress, No-Pain Way to Exceptional Fitness.” McGraw Hill, New York. 2000
Strong, Sanford. “Strong on Defense_ Survival Rules to Protect you and your Family from Crime.” Pocket Books. New York. 1996.
and more … see blog bibliography.
Jahn, C. R. “FTW Self Defense.” iUniverse. Amazon Digital Services. 2012
Jahn, C. R. “Hardcore Self Defense.” iUniverse. Amazon Digital Services. 2002.

Bibliography of RBC Drills (Some titles have RBC drills included):
MacYoung, Marc. "In the Name of Self-Defense: What It Costs. When It’s Worth It." Marc MacYoung. 2014.
MacYoung, Marc (Animal). “Taking It to the Street: Making Your Martial Art Street Effective.” Paladin Press. Boulder, Colorado. 1999.
MacYoung, Marc. "A Professional's Guide to Ending Violence Quickly: How Bouncers, Bodyguards, and Other Security Professionals Handle Ugly Situations." Paladin Press. Boulder, Colorado. 1996.
Miller, Rory. “Drills: Training for the Sudden Violence.” Amazon Digital Services, inc. Smashwords. 2011.
Quinn, Peyton. “Real Fighting: Adrenaline Stress Conditioning Through Scenario-Based Training.” Paladin Press. Amazon Digital Services, inc. 1996

My Blog Bibliography
Cornered Cat (Scratching Post): http://www.corneredcat.com/scratching-post/
Kodokan Boston: http://kodokanboston.org
Mario McKenna (Kowakan): http://www.kowakan.com
Wim Demeere’s Blog: http://www.wimsblog.com