Blog Disclaimer :-)

Zen Koans as they originate from Zen masters testing or challenging Zen students with parables, i.e., simple stories used to trigger a sudden realization in the student of a moral nature. Martial (Zen-like) Koan (or parable like quotes) studies are taking the practice of Zen Koan’s to trigger on-going realizations in the study of martial quotes that will lead toward martial enlightenment - toward a spiritual state of mind that allows for change. It is through such changes that both the discipline and the student can achieve higher levels of understanding through acquired knowledge and experience. Welcome to the “Martial (Zen-like) Koan Studies!”


Koans, or parables (a simple story used to illustrate a moral or spiritual lesson).”


Caveat: Please make note that this blog 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 blog 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 blog 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 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.)

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Monday, June 13, 2016

It’s Not Personal

Listen, it truly is not personal. I can’t tell you how many folks read my stuff, especially for the first time, and take immediate offense as if I attacked them and their belief systems in a personal way. In my mind, that is impossible especially if you have the confidence and understanding of what it is you do in martial arts, karate especially since that is my main squeeze martial art practice and study.

My sole goal on my blogs and wherever I find myself writing or talking about my personal understanding of my personal training, practice and applications of karate-martial arts. I often find other articles and extract things that trigger my mind into its meandering and wandering way of learning using Colonel Boyd’s “Analysis and Synthesis” model of study. I have exctracted from many authors and even if my writings and talks stray away from the original intent of that author doesn’t mean I am taking aim at the person themselves or even their intent in the original article. 

I often find things said and then deliberately take them out of the original article and the author’s intent in that article because when the quote or meme or other derived information is extracted like that it is NO LONGER a PART of the original. What I do tho is give credit to that author and their article not to make it personal but to make it known that the inspiration of the article I write comes from that extraction.

After all, analysis often, as you can find in Col. Boyd’s explanation, is taking individualized parts of a whole to study separately and then work toward rebuilding into something else that most often has nothing to do with the origins of the used extracted data. 

If you end up taking anything I write and way personally then that is ALL ON YOU, not me. If you find you become uncomfortable with anything then simply write me or a comment expressing your concerns and beliefs - you may be able to change my mind about what I wrote and guess what, many have done just that over the last decade or so - Whopee, I learnt somethin!

JUST REMEMBER DUDES AND DUDETTE’s, It ain’t personal, was not meant to be personal and ain’t about you, none of you. Your inspired me to write something that may or may not be relevant to what you wrote or said or it might be but IT IS MY PERSONAL idea’s, theories, and understanding of what the subject matter is about - loosley. 

You can’t learn shit by remaining steadfast with what you know because it is what you don’t know or what you don’t know you don’t know you don’t know about that will cause you to not know something. Yes, all that came from someone else who said something about knowing, not knowing something and not knowing what you don’t know you don’t know thingy. Yes, I kinda borrowed it because, I liked it and you can see that in my writing too like recent studies of Colonel Boyd and the OODA, its a learning process for me and … wait for it … It is NOT personal!


Tuesday, March 29, 2016

grading tests have little meaning

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


Comments: Formal grading processes are derived from our perceptions and assumptions from experiencing an educational system of social conditions that cause our internal worlds to gravitate to what we already know, believe it and assume is reality. In truth, students of modern karate and martial arts self-defense do not want to face reality and would rather get the ego stroked and the emotional fed through some sort of self-help physical activity that is more club like social needs rather than survival in self-defense. It is about development of things not physical like presented by Mr. MacYoung, i.e., developing people skills and communications, learning how conflict and violence work along with how crime is done and how criminals work, then taking on appropriate realistic physical skills, learning how to assess threats and becoming aware of them before things go hinkey and finally how the laws and legal system works. 

the point of uselessness

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

Comments: Uselessness, too much processing by our internal world of our minds means we get lost in the facing a tree when we are embroiled in a forrest of ineffective collections of mindless dance like connected movement. 


No matter how hard

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

Comments: There are certain aspects to how our brains, our minds, work. It is this aspect of our minds and brains that validate what Mr. Miller is saying above. It comes down to the quality of the training toward reality, it comes down to the quantity of those training sessions and it comes down to how that is encoded into our procedural memory, i.e., encoding zombie sub-routines that the brain can associate in our internal world to what we encounter through our senses in the real world. Making our internal world more knowledgable to the reality of self-defense in the real world will go a long was to correctly connect our internal world to what we sense so that we end up doing the right things. There has to be a connection that will trigger our internal world simply because the internal world of our brains trumps a lot of what reality presents because if we have to actually experienced it a lot of what it is will be simply ignored by our brains, our minds. Gives a whole new meaning to reality, gives a whole new meaning toward our mind-set and a whole new meaning toward our mind-state.  


having your lifestyle changed

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

Comments: Karate and martial arts self-defense focus on the accumulation of physical applications that rarely have anything to do with a live self-defense situation. Of the list in this quote/meme it becomes clear that there is a process and a road where one can take a detour at any point along the route to totally avoid damage, etc. Notice I didn’t say some loss of personal valuables but then again your life is so much more important than a watch, a wallet and the money you may or may not be carrying. Follow the scripts - live. 


like life: you get

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

Comments: Attitude, attitude, attitude, attitude, attitude, and a whole lot more appropriate positive attitude!


your knowledge only

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

Comments: You just have to hope that your training and practice is solid and reality based because if not your slim chance once attacked becomes smaller and your edge may disappear.