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

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.


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 Danger of Video Evidence (Perceptions, Perspectives and Beliefs)

The Danger of Video Evidence (Perceptions, Perspectives and Beliefs)

Caveat: This post is mine and mine alone. I the author of this blog 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 post. (Everything I think and write is true, within the limits of my knowledge and understanding.)

First, I am not an expert photo/video analyst. Second, I am not a legal professional. Third, I am not a conflict/violence professional either. When you view a video there are a few things to remember.

One, you are seeing only one dimension of a multi-dimensional situation. If I were to stand behind a tree trunk and you stood a distance away facing the exact opposite of that tree trunk you would not see me. You are missing a lot of dimensions of the situation.

Two, video’s can be edited and are editable. This means the complete context of the event is not accurate, complete or the whole truth. To assume you know what is occurring when you view a video is to promote a false sense of perception, perspective and understanding. There is always more to the story and the context will change your perceptions. 

Three, this one is about our perceptions when we view video’s, we are human and we tend to perceive things according to our beliefs, our culture and our knowledge. If we don’t have the knowledge and understanding of the video’s content, especially when it comes to conflict and violence, we will make assumptions, often false, about what we see. We can have three persons of different cultures and belief systems all influenced by their family and societal influences who will come to complete different understandings of a video when viewed. 

Four, we are going to be influenced by external information provided long before we view a video. If we prime the pump by the title of the video or by the sound effects of that video then we will be influenced as to our perceptions of what the video is and tells us. It is like the article I read on a research of the polygraph where it was proven that the tester is influenced by what they are told, either negative or positive, prior to the test about the individual being tested. It was found to make the test unreliable. External influences all matter regardless when viewing a video. Titles will influence how you view a video and will result in skewed analysis and perceptions, etc.

In the martial arts communities we are all influenced by such things as advertisements, televised sport events and what is written and presented in what we believe are unbiased news reports (sill laughing about news being unbiased). We martial artists are influenced by the form of teaching our sensei uses and we know already his perceptions, perspectives and beliefs are already influenced and possibly influenced by factors that occurred long before you entered that dojo. 

It is most difficult for us, especially when we are faced with what we believe are “professionals and experts” on the subject matter, to determine truth from fallacy from down right falsehoods. We all have access to teaching video’s and the same issues arise when we view, interpret and then practice such training techniques, etc. The same applies to other modes of teaching such as books, magazines and articles or posts. It makes things difficult but there is hope if one can allow for a mind-state and mind-set that allows questioning, probing and discovery of what works and does not work for each of us. This applies to all aspects of media be it video’s, movies, television, news, magazines, books and other stuff.

When you discover something new or are standing in front of others articulating things like self-defense, knowing this and more will allow you the ability to present such data that you will remain within the self-defense square or in learning, practicing and applying self-defense martial arts you can adequately question, analyze and come to conclusions that will work - for you!

Primary Bibliography of Self-Defense:
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.

Secondary Bibliography of Self-Defense:
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.
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.
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.

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

General Bibliography:

Advincula, A. J. The Naming of Isshin-ryu: In the beginning there was the one. Isshnikai:The Official Website of Sensei Arcenio J. Advincula. http://www.isshinkai.net/history03-birthofisshinryu.html. 2009
Advincula, A.J. Isshinkai Yahoo Group. http://sports.groups.yahoo.com/group/isshinkaiKarate/. 2010
Advincula, A. J. MSgt USMC (Ret.), Isshinryu Sensei. "His writings and postings of Isshinryu and Kenpo Gokui on Isshinkai. California 2009.
Advincula, A.J. "Chinkuchi". Isshinkai Group Thread: February, 2007
Advincula, Arcenio J. Isshinkai Yahoo Group; isshinkaiKarate@yahoogroups.com: April, 2007
Advincula, Arcenio J. Isshinkai Yahoo Group; isshinkaiKarate@yahoogroups.com: May, 2007
Advincula, A.J. "Chinkuchi". Isshinkai Group Thread: February, 2007
Advincuala, A. J. http://www.isshinkai.net/ 
Advincula, A.J. "Isshinryu no Gokui." Online Posts. 13 April 2001 to present date. IsshinKai Yahoo Group. 
Ayoob, Massad. “Deadly Force: Understanding Your Right to Self-Defense”Gun Digest Books. Krouse Publications. Wisconsin. 2014.

Bolton, Robert, Ph.D. "People Skills: How to Assert Yourself, Listen to Others, and Resolve Conflicts." Simon & Schuster. New York. 1979. 1986.
Boyd, Charles. Kenpo Gokui. Isshinkai Yahoo Group Post 2009.
Breed, George. "Embodying Heaven and Earth: A Radiant Model of Transformation." Publication: International Journal of Humanities and Peace Publication 2003

Chu, W. K. and Sherrill, W. A. The Astrology of I Ching. New York. Penguin Books. 1976
Chu, W. K. and Sherrill, W. A. An Anthology of I Ching. London. Routledge and Kegan Paul. 1977.
Clarke, Michael. "Shin Gi Tai: Karate Training for Body, Mind, and Spirit." YMAA Publishing. New Hampshire. 2011.

Davies, Roger J. and Ikeno, Osamu. "The Japanese Mind: Understanding Contemporary Japanese Culture." Tuttle Publishing. Tokyo, Japan. 2002.
DeMente, Boye Lafayette. "Japan's Cultural Code Words: 233 Key Terms That Explain the Attitudes and Behavior of the Japanese." Tuttle. Vermont, Tokyo and Singapore. 2004. 
DeMente, Boye Lafayette. "Kata: The Key to Understanding & Dealing with the Japanese." Tuttle Publishing. Tokyo, Vermont and Singapore. 2003
Bibliography:
DeMente, Boye LaFayette. "Samurai Strategies: 42 Martial Secrets from Musashi's Book of Five Rings." Tuttle Publishing. Vermont. 2008.
DeMente, Boye LaFayette. "The Origins of Human Violence: Male Dominance, Ignorance, Religions and Willful Stupidity!" Phoenix Books. Kentucky. 2010.
DeMente, Boye LaFayette. "The Japanese Samurai Code: Classic strategies for Success." Tuttle Publishing. Vermont. 2004.
DeMente, Boye LaFayette. "The Chinese Mind: Understanding Traditional Chinese Beliefs and Their Influence on Contemporary Culture." Tuttle Publishing. Rutland, Vermont. 2009.
DeMente, Boye LaFayette. "The Chinese Have a Word for It: The Complete Guide to Chinese Thought and Culture." McGraw Hill Publishing. New York. 1996.

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

Gladwell, Malcolm. "Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking." Bay Back Books. France. 2007.
Goleman, Daniel. “Emotional Intelligence: 10th Anniversary Edition [Kindle Edition].” Bantam. January 11, 2012.
Gunaratana, Bhante. Mindfulness in Plain English. Wisdom Publications; 2nd edition. September 2002. 

Hall, Edward T. "The Dance of Life: The Other Dimension of Time." Anchor Books. New York. 1983, 1984, 1989.
Hall, Edward T. "The Hidden Dimension." Anchor Books. New York. 1969, 1990.
Hall, Edward T. and Hall, Mildred Reed. "Hidden Differences: Doing Business with the Japanese." Anchor Books. New York. 1987, 1990.
Hanson, Rick and Mendius, Richard. The Practical Neuroscience of Buddha's Brain: Happiness, Love & Wisdom. Oakland: New Harbinger Publications, Inc. 2009.
Heath, Robin. Sun, Moon, & Earth. Wooden Books, Ltd. Ontario Canada. 1999 
Hayes, William R. Major USMC (ret.) Shorin-ryu Karate-do. "My Journey with the Grandmaster: Reflections of an American Martial Artist on Okinawa." Morris Publishing, Kearney, NE, 1997/2009 ISBN: 978-1-575-02-554-4
Huang, Alfred. "The Complete I Ching." Inner Traditions Rochester, Vermont. 1998 
[NEXT]
Isshinkai Yahoo Group, "Re: [Isshin Kai Karate] finding Personal hexagram Okinawa History & traditions" dtd Tue, Jul 20, 2010 at 1:13 AM isshinkaiKarate@yahoogroups.com
Iyengar, B.K.S. Light on Pranayama: The Yogic Art of Breathing. Crossroad Publishing New York. 2010. 

Jahn, C. R. “FTW Self Defense.” iUniverse. Amazon Digital Services. 2012
Jahn, C. R. “Hardcore Self Defense.” iUniverse. Amazon Digital Services. 2002.
Jahn, C. R. “Warrior Wisdom.” iUniverse. Amazon Digital Services. 2012.

Kaiguo, Chen, Shundhao, Zheng, Cleary, Thomas. "Opening the Dragon's Gate: The Making of a Modern Taoist Wizard. Tuttle Publishing. Vermont. 1996.

Lowry, Dave. "The Essence of Budo: A Practitioner's Guide to Understanding the Japanese Martial Ways." Boston & London, Shambhala Publications. 2010.
Lundy, Miranda. Sacred Geometry. New York. Walker Publishing Company. 2007

MacYoung, Marc. "Violence, Blunders, and Fractured Jaws: Advanced Awareness Techniques and Street Etiquette." Paladin Press. Boulder, Colorado. 1992. 
MacYoung, Marc. “In the Name of Self-Defense: What It Costs. When It’s Worth It.” Marc MacYoung. 2014.
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.
MacYoung, Marc (Animal). “Taking It to the Street: Making Your Martial Art Street Effective.” Paladin Press. Boulder, Colorado. 1999.
Maffetone, Philip Dr. “The Maffetone Method: The Holistic, Low-stress, No-Pain Way to Exceptional Fitness.” McGraw Hill, New York. 2000.
Matsumoto, Michihiro. "The Unspoken Way, Haragei: Silence in Japanese Business and Society." Kodansha. New York. 1988.
Meadows, Donella H. “Thinking in Systems.” Chelsea Green Publishing. Vermont. 2008.
Miller, Kamila. "Campfire Tales from Hell: Musing on Martial Arts, Survival, Bounding, and General Thug Stuff." CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. 2012.
Miller, Rory. "ConCom: Conflict Communications A New Paradigm in Conscious Communication." Amazon Digital Services, Inc. 2014.
Miller, Rory. "Violence: A Writer's Guide." Pacific Northwest. Wyrd Goat Press. 2012.
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. "Meditations of Violence: A Comparison of Martial Arts Training & Real World Violence" YMAA Publishing. 2008.
Miller, Rory Sgt. "Facing Violence: Preparing for the Unexpected." YMAA Publishing. 2011.
Morris, Desmond. “Manwatching: A Field Guide to Human Behavior.” Harry N. Abrams. April 1979. 

Newberg, Andrew MD and Waldman, Mark Robert. "Why We Believe What We Believe: Uncovering Our Biological Need for Meaning, Spirituality, and Truth." Free Press. New York. 2006
Nylan, Michael. "The Elemental Changes: The Ancient Chinese Companion to the I Ching." Albany NY, State of NY Press. 1994

Okakura, Kakuzo. Dover Publications. New York. 1964.

Pease, Marshall. The Aquarian I Ching. Brotherhood of Life, inc. Albuquerque, NM. 1993.
Perlman, Steven J. "The Book of Martial Power: The Universal Guide to the Combative Arts." New York. The Overlook Press. 2006. 
Powers, William. "Hamlet's Blackberry: A Practical Philosophy for Building a Good Life in the Digital Age." New York. HarperCollins Publishing. 2010

Sato, Hiroaki. "Legends of the Samurai." Overlook Press. New York. 1995. 
Schmeisser, Elmar T., Ph.D. "Advanced Karate-Do: Concepts, Techniques, and Training Methods." St. Louis: Tamashii Press, 2007.
Schneider, Michael. Constructing the Universe. http://www.constructingtheuniverse.com/. 2010.
Smalley, Susan L. PhD. Winston, Diana. "Fully Present: The Science, Art, and Practice of Mindfulness." Da Capo Press. Philadelphia. 2010.
Stiskin, Nahum. "The Looking Glass God: Shinto, Yin Yang, and a Cosmology for Today." Weatherhill. New York. 1972. 
Sutrisno, Tristan, MacYoung, Marc and Gordon, Dianna. "Becoming a Complete Martial Artist: Error Detection in Self Defense and the Martial Arts." Lyons Press. Connecticut. 2005.

Tankosich, Mark J. "Karate Ni Sente Nashi: What the Masters had to Say. [revised version of a paper that originally appeared in Vol. 27, No. 1 of the Hiroshima University of Economics Journal of Humanities, Social and Natural Sciences.] 2004 pdf format article from Charles Goodin Library Web Site. 
Trosper, Barry R. I Ching: The Illustrated Primer. KGI Publications, San Jose. 1986.

Volk, Steve. "Fringe-ology: How I Tried to Explain the Unexplainable - And Couldn't." HarperOne Publishing. New York. 2011.
[NEXT]
Watson, Burton. "Basic Writings of Mo Tzu, Hsun Tzu, and Han Fei Tzu." New York, Columbia University Press. 1967.
Wei, Wu. The I Ching Workbook. Malibu California: power-press. 2005
Wilhelm, Hellmut and Wilhelm, Richard. Understanding the I Ching: The Wilhelm Lectures on the Book of Changes. New Jersey. Princeton Bollingen Press. 1995.
Wilhelm, Hellmut and Wilhelm, Richard. Understanding the I Ching: The Wilhelm Lectures on the Book of Changes. bollinger series. New Jersey. Princeton Publishing. 1995.
Wilhelm, Hellmut. "Change: Eight Lectures on the I Ching." Routledge & Kegan Paul publishers, London. 1961 and 1970.
Wilhelm, Richard. The Secret of the Golden Flower: A Chinese Book of Life. New York. Harcourt Brace and Company. 1962.
Wilhelm/Baynes. The I Ching or Book of Changes. New York. Princeton Press. 1997.
Wilhelm, Richard and Baynes, Cary F. "The I Ching or Book of Changes." New Jersey: Princeton University Press; 3rd edition. October 1, 1967. ISBN-10: 069109750X
Wilhelm/Byrnes, "The I Ching". Princeton University Press. 1967
Wilhelm, Hellmut. "Heaven, Earth, and Man in the Book of Changes." University of Washington Press, Seattle and London. 1997 
Wittwer, Henning. “Scouting Out the Historical Course of Karate: Collected Essays.” Impressum. Germany. 2014 (www.lulu.com)

Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Ego (spirituality). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ego_(spirituality). 18 January 2009.

Young, Mark. An Interpretation of the Philosophy of the Matrix Trilogy. 2003 - 2011. The Matrix 101. Date of Access: 2 Aug 2011 http://www.thematrix101.com/contrib/myoung_aitptm.php

http://www.168fengshui.com/Articles/8_trigrams.htm
http://www.goldenelixir.com/taoism/table_bagua.html
http://kenpo-gokui.blogspot.com/

https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/csi-publications/books-and-monographs/psychology-of-intelligence-analysis/art1.html

Blitz Attack - Some Hints

Caveat: This post is mine and mine alone. I the author of this blog 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 post. (Everything I think and write is true, within the limits of my knowledge and understanding.)

If you have been targeted for a blitz attack you will find yourself in the “losing column.” It is a full fledged head on assault with aggression, surprise, pain, fear, and it will be sudden, i.e., hard fast and close. It will NOT be like sparring no matter how hard or intense you spar and no matter how intense and hard any competitive match may seem. In all likelihood it will be way out of your comprehension. The following are taken from the book Scaling Force by Rory Miller just to give you an idea of what you are up against in the study of self-defense martial arts (emphasis added by me).

In the attack everything feels all wrong.
The adversary/attacker made sure to set things up so you would be at a disadvantage - big time or he would not have attacked.
He will be close and fast.
Pain and damage are coming in fast and furious.
Your brain will be locked/frozen in the OO bounce as the adversary hits you four times before your brain registers, decides and, hopefully, acts.
If attacked by someone with a weapon, the speed remains fast and furious but the damage just increased - a lot.
Your mobility will be hampered, the attack close.
All your self-defense strikes must be effective at that close range.
You just got blitz attack, in most cases, from the flank or rear. 
Your targets and power must be adaptable to different ranges and positions, you need to know how to damage someone behind you.
Expect your body to be controlled.
Expect it to happen in an enclosed space with bad footing and limited visibility.
This level of force is considered a desperate situation and the damage ugly.
You may have been shoved against a wall or vehicle, unbalanced, awkwardly twisted, or falling.
You may be reeling from a punch or kick.
You may be stabbed or shot.

In the end, your self-defense must be able to fight effectively in all the above conditions along with injuries, etc. This is what your self-defense training must address and consider this a short, terse, not comprehensive list of how an attack happens. Assume as well that all the above will also be compounded by your adrenal flooding with those physical effects to deal with as well. 

This is just one of the many reasons discussed in all the references provided herein, as a basic start, in order to train, practice and apply self-defense. Also consider that you have to use, during all this, the appropriate levels of force along with all the legal and civil ramifications that could follow. We are  not even considering the medical repercussions “if” you survive. While the attacker lives with no rules you have to live with societal restrictions, perceptions and perspectives of others who are in all likelihood not knowledgable and/or experienced in self-defense. The same folks who are going to do there very best to make your life after the attack as miserable, complicated and dangerous as the attack itself. 

How many self-defense guru’s tell you this and how many teach to this? Do you train and practice to live with this kind of situation? How much experience do you have with this kind of stuff? That is why I list all the below references with all of my self-defense posts because these authors lived, breathed and survived this type of thing - frequently and for their jobs.

Primary Bibliography of Self-Defense:
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.

Secondary Bibliography of Self-Defense:
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.
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.
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.

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 Reality of “Ki!”

Caveat: This post is mine and mine alone. I the author of this blog 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 post. (Everything I think and write is true, within the limits of my knowledge and understanding.)

Ki is real, absolutly and truthfully it is as real as breathing, seeing and hearing. It is NOT some mystical fantasyland mumbo jumbo you hear about on the Internet but a real thing, it is literally “energy.”

Energy is just present in the universe unless it is “generated.” Some physics oriented process needs to be present and occur to generate energy. If energy is ki and we do have and generate energy/ki in our bodies and minds then how does this work.

First, the generator power source is the mind (spirit, attitude, motivation, esteem, etc. all fuels for the mind). Our instinctual brain, lizard brain, controls a lot of the bodies mechanisms such as breathing naturally, seeing, hearing, heart beats and so on. How our mind works is important as well, positive and negative thought processes effect our ability to generate energy/ki. How we think and how the mind build that base according to such things as family influences growing up, societal influences as well as we go through life and of course our deliberate training and practice toward the development of the mind, body and spirit. 

When we are exhausted, muscles fatigued, and we are under the influences of the adrenal flood our minds make the determination as to whether we go on or simply quit. The mind is the most powerful tool we have in life, it literally generates all that we do both internally and externally, Therefore I have come to believe that our mind is how we run the generator of our energy/ki.

So, now you might be wondering, what is the generator of energy/ki? The body, it is the manipulations of our body in actions as we walk, run and act in our daily lives. Martial arts are about learning to control and use our bodies efficiently and that means efficient use of the energy generated by our bodies as controlled by our minds. 

The body/mind needs fuel and that is where our activities in fuel consumption come in. We need various types of fuels. First, we need air, air is the bellows of the furnace that generates energy/ki. How and what we consume as to food stuff matters in how we are able to generate energy/ki. The digestive processes are affected by the fuel consumed and that means those processes matter as to what fuel and what kind of fuel gets into the body. Look at it as either “high-test” or “regular” or “unleaded.” 

Pause: sounds a lot like high school biology doesn’t it?

Body energy/ki generation truly begins its work through the processes the body takes in motion for motion is the process that generates energy/ki. It is how the blood flows through our bodies carrying the fuels to the cells that make our muscles, tendons, cartilage, etc. work and it is the motions we use along with external effects such as resistance to movement that create stronger bodies and greater energies/ki.

Some may think now that if this is so why can’t we generate that energy/ki and project it outside our bodies at other things? It is about nature, the Universe, the laws of physics and many other things, in other words “it ain’t possible in this universe!”

Ki, lets use that to represent energy/ki for brevity, is not some mystical energy that makes us super human but simply a process of interconnecting and applying principles of the mind, body and spirit toward maximizing our physical and mental potential. It is a bit like saying we humans only use a very small portion of our brain capacity so it is true to the capacity of our mind and bodies contributing to the depth and breadth of our spirit. It is a matter of learning how our bodies achieve ki development and than exploiting that knowledge to enhance, build and apply it in all we do.

Our ki is transferred in martial arts by our abilities to blend into a cohesive one the fundamental principles of martial arts like structure. It is known by some professionals that the ultimate strike comes not from muscles, tendons and cartilage’s but from the alignment of our structure along with energy generation as discussed along with the movement of the body of mass, speed and force. Maintaining alignment of the skeletal system actually produces more power and force of a strike than the strike that is tensed at and into/through impact at the target, the snap punch for instance. It is the most difficult aspect of martial arts to master and the most difficult to actually apply in real life conflict and violence. 

Ki is the efficient maximization of the mind, body and spirit. If we are able to make all of it align in the chaos of life we find that we can do anything within the laws of physics and the laws of the Universe. 

In addition, this comes to martial artists as the begin this journey in the form of the ken-po goku-i, especially the first two lines about the circulation of our ki along with inferences to heaven and earth, sun and moon, etc. 

Ki is real, it is manifested in all living things, it is the energy that makes us run and it is controllable indirectly by our practices, training, education and experiences. Take a trip to a fully qualified and experienced Chinese acupuncturist and/or medial professional and you can begin to understand how the terms ki, Japanese, and chi, Chinese, came into use for health, fitness and long life (long life often came from prowess as a military professional or warrior).

Supplemental Reading for Ki/Energy:
Enburyoku

Primary Bibliography of Self-Defense:
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.

Secondary Bibliography of Self-Defense:
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.
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.
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.

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

Targeting

Caveat: This post is mine and mine alone. I the author of this blog 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 post. (Everything I think and write is true, within the limits of my knowledge and understanding.)

 It is not always about hitting the bullseye.
When many martial arts teach self-defense it is often assumed that the target chosen in any given scenario is acceptable when in reality targeting can be viewed and judged as inappropriate taking us out of the self-defense circle into the illegal realm of “fighting.” Go to jail, do not pass go, do not collect two hundred dollars and so on.

I quote Rory Miller from his book, Scaling Force, “In certain instances, you may be judged by the target (e.g., leg vs. head) when the prosecutor decides which charges to bring, but you probably shouldn’t count on that.” 

Do you discuss in your self-defense training what targets will be perceived as dangerous, greater force than necessary or just plain aggressive monkey driven damage? In the instances of training I have experienced it is often about what target will do the most damage, cause the most pain and stop the fight then often goes beyond the go and no-go threshold. You do have to consider these factors before, in training and practice, you have to apply them in the real world. Take fingers to the eyes, there is a human instinct to feel disgust and contempt for someone who targets the eyes regardless so if your self-defense class advocates it and you use it, what are the repercussions?

Target choices are not just about stopping the violence but also about perceptions and judgements. It is all about remaining within the circle, a moving target really, that is self-defense. 

Primary Bibliography of Self-Defense:
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.

Secondary Bibliography of Self-Defense:
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.
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.
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.

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

Dojo Hierarchal Makeup

Caveat: This post is mine and mine alone. I the author of this blog 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 post. (Everything I think and write is true, within the limits of my knowledge and understanding.)

The dojo hierarchal make up with Sensei at the top and the various senpai and kohai throughout is actually, to my perspective, a social monkey dynamic where status, etc., are dominant. If this assessment is true it goes a long way to explain why there is so much monkey antics in the martial arts communities. 

When you read some of the materials I recommend in my bibliography about the differences between the social and asocial conflict and violence you will find references to the monkey brain and a lot of the status seeking type monkey crap you find is often about a hierarchal model where folks are trying to impress the higher ups along with competing to gain status in the group. 

It seems that when entering a dojo with a hierarchal model typically thought of as traditional martial practices you will see a variety monkey-ish behaviors that relate to the descriptions of the monkey dances, group dynamics and status driven controls. 

In the best of worlds where one seeks out self-defense it might also best serve that model of martial arts by seeking out training facilities that don’t cater to a typical traditional hierarchal model with sensei, senpai and kohai along with the belt structure. It seems, on the surface, that having a social conflict and violence model present and influencing such a training program kind of contradicts itself by having a status driven group hierarchal model so when teaching about self-defense, before the physical disciplines most focus on, you don’t consciously or unconsciously teach a contradictory way. Am I making any sense here. 

It seems to me that once you join a self-defense program that does not cater to a social C/V (conflict/violence) model it will be apparent that those already in the class already have more experience, in the class, then you so it should be apparent that you listen first until you have time and experience with the other members, i.e., a self imposed respect model for those who came before you. Just think about it, one of the self-defense requirements I think of regards what some of the authors below call, “Conflict Communications,” and that means once you have established yourself with the others (yes, I do realize this is a form of group dynamics but that is how survival is achieved with humans and survival in the training program still requires that instinct because we are humans) then you can gradually insert yourself more in the group without miscommunicating something that is not allowed by that group.

Yes, now that you are reading it you are saying, “But, your advocating the social model that is often composed of the monkey dance, etc., right?” No, I am not because I am talking about allowing the human brain to control self in a group like this rathe that competing with the group for status and so forth. It is more about taking personal responsibilities by learning about such things then using those tools to insinuating yourself into the group gradually and with the minimal amount of friction, i.e., by assuming a role with active listening, respect and just being a nice person you earn the acceptance and through your actions you earn their notice so when you finally speak up they will listen rather than putting the new guy in his place (can anyone say a beat-down that can be verbal/psychological or an actual beat-down).

Maybe I am not articulating this right. It is about removing the outward manifestations of a rigid group dynamic of a hierarchal model that many assume is a traditional martial art dojo for a less conflict prone model that is controlled by the individual over the group itself. How one enters into such a model makes a huge difference, don’t you think?

Remove the belt system, remove the titles such a sensei, senpai and kohai, etc., and remove the competitive aspects found in sport models, i.e., with winners and losers. Everyone in the class is equal and the newbies are respectful of that until they have taken the time to listen, learn and adjust accordingly. Then, with a type of communications that foster knowledge and learning by all concerned, i.e., example, in lieu of statements use questions about everything to foster listening and positive communications that stimulate thinking, theorizing and seeking truth of fact rather than just a belief. 

In a nutshell, from my perspective, creating a dojo hierarchal model with all its trappings tends to create a group dynamic that can and often does foster monkey brain social conflict and violence type activities (not in all cases, but in a lot of them). 

Many of the discontents I have witnessed over the years now seems to be from our use of such trappings and in the end that stagnates the type of growth potential often philosophized in the dojo through quotes and sound-bites be seldom carried out in actions, examples and deeds of those who practice, training and believe. Isn’t that simply succumbing to the monkey? Isn’t it possible that in this way we can actually train, practice and apply MA using our human brains instead? Does one actually teach us to live the monkey rather than the human in all of us?

Primary Bibliography of Self-Defense:
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.

Secondary Bibliography of Self-Defense:
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.
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.
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.
Jahn, C. R. “Warrior Wisdom.” iUniverse. Amazon Digital Services. 2012.

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

Backyard, Home, Garden Dojo, Oh my!

Caveat: This post is mine and mine alone. I the author of this blog 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 post. (Everything I think and write is true, within the limits of my knowledge and understanding.)

The Home Dojo: Today, Michael Clarke of the Shinseidokan Dojo, wrote about the home dojo or what some refer to as the “backyard dojo.” It is a great article so go ahead and read it first then come back. "At Home in the Dojo"

…. dee dee dum dee dum (think elevator music while I wait for you :-)

Ok, all done, great and welcome back or should I simply say, “thanks for returning.” First, my best times teaching, learning and practicing karate have been in and out of my home dojo. I taught a lot out of my garage after I left the Marines and before I went to work for the Navy as a civilian and I also taught folks by teaching in their garages or back yards. One of the best back yard dojo’s I have seen (via the internet, have not personally visited said dojo on site) is Advincula Sensei’s “Garden Dojo” in Southern California. 

I have to wonder as well why the home or backyard dojo is not more prevalent than it is here in the United States. Maybe it is but we just don’t know about it because those sensei tend to be more private about it and tend to remain out of the limelight that a lot of the more commercial oriented shopping mall karate studio’s. For all we know there may be thousands of backyard, home or garden type dojo out there teaching all kinds of martial arts but remain unknown because they adhere to a code of teaching that leaves the ego out and keeps the core of what karate means inside. Like Clarke Sensei says, “maybe because it is more about what you bring to your karate that actually provides you with what you get out of it” that truly matters. 

Michael Clarke, like many other karate-ka, teachers and authors says things that make sense and are of value to learning, studying and gaining experience, knowledge and expertise in this, to me, most unique of disciplines. Take a look at his back yard, kind of, dojo on his blog site, totally awesome. While Advincula Sensei’s is outside in a garden environment without walls Clarke Sensei’s is surrounded by a garden, walls and the dojo proper similar to those you might encounter in Okinawa. So cool. 

Clarke Sensei reminds me that when searching out a karate teacher it might be that we should add to the list or requirements whether they are a back yard dojo kind of sensei or a shopping mall karate studio model. In my mind it does make a difference but would it make one in finding a solid sensei? 

I have to admit, once again, my preference because I am most and have been most comfortable in my and others backyard dojo environment. 

In the defense of studio dojo I can understand that in most states such endeavors require licenses and a pretty large investment to get one going then you find yourself tied to economic pressures and if you are not business oriented the obstacles can be oppressive yet doable. Also, in our country almost all of us have certain perceptions about when, where, how, who and what is taught to us by providers such as karate sensei. We are influenced by societies perceptions of the martial arts, we are influenced by the media’s perceptions of the martial arts and we are all influenced a great deal by the fad driven media displayed sport oriented type television and movie driven perceptions of the martial arts. 

More often than not the advertisements will drive what folks perceive and accept over any valid qualifications a sense might possess and by the way that ain’t much in today’s view of martial arts since it is like the wild west; ungoverned, not controlled and not monitored for truth not only in advertisement but as to credentials, etc. to which all of us have expectations of. 

Personally, I tend to think that unless the area, i.e., city, county or state, has requirements under the law that there are many, many backyard, home of garden dojo’s out there but are keeping a very low profile. After all, what we are most exposed to are those entities that project an expected kind of model that attracts consumerism blocking the quieter low profile sensei from the public eye and attention. 


The moral of this post today is that the home dojo may be one of those hidden jewels that a true searcher of true martial art discipline will have to discover for themselves and make the effort to find that sensei let alone gain entrance to learn, study and practice. It may be like the old stories of the sensei who would require personal servitude effort as proof of character and personality deserving of the sensei’s attention.  Then again, maybe not. 


Tatsuo Shimabuku Sensei, created the Isshinryu Karate system and taught the Marines stationed in Okinawa starting in the fifties and continued up to his death in the seventies. This shows his yard dojo with makiwara and Sensei practicing a sai kata for the camera. His dojo was his yard, the wall seen here was built by Marines who studied under his tutelage later and after that it remained pretty much in this state until his death. Take a moment to google Okinawa home dojo from the fifties and sixties, etc. and many will be similar to the photo above.