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.)

Search This Blog

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

by awareness

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

Comment: There are many paths this leads to … what is correct practice, that is subjective to the goals of that practice. What kind of observation and is the individual open to that view or is he or she already biased because of history, perceptions and perspectives set by experience and/or exposure to various sources including media. Skill, in what and for what purpose and goal. To assume any specific meaning hinders understanding and progress. To remove assumptions and seek out a fuller spectrum will help but to overcome our natural biases can really cause issues.

a catch-22:

‘It doesn’t take a predator to trigger a stress response in modern humans. Some research shows that even feelings of social pain–like rejection and loneliness–zoom along the same neural pathways as fear.’ So we have created a catch-22: we’re punishing efforts at building and maintaining resilience in a way that requires a lot of resilience to overcome.” - God’s Bastard, Building Anti-Resilience

Comments: What we train in and for is important. Sticking our heads in the sand models while creating emotionally unrealistic answers for the sake of self-soothing instant gratification of ego and pride dominate when logic, morals, righteousness, legality, etc. should be used. 

emotional responses

“ … our society now revels in emotional responses for their own sake. It doesn’t matter if they are valid, or useful. It just matters that we have them and display them as hard as we can. With enough repetition, this anti-resilient behavior can become our go-to response in times of stress.” - God’s Bastard, Building Anti-Resilience

Comments: The creation of a self-defeating non-sensical society that creates distance and voids rather than social survival connections.

on the ‘news’

“As soon as an event breaks on the ‘news’, it’s now popular to launch into an emotional response about it. Do not wait to find out more information about it – what are the details? Where does the blame sit? Did it even actually happen? The popular response is to go right on ahead and emote wildly. Choose a side and feel as hard as you can!” - God’s Bastard, Building Anti-Resilience

Comments: The monkey dance is not just about how we use pre-attack indicators and verbal violence, etc., to get what we want. Drama is about the emotional based reactions to stimuli, those triggers within all of us that make us do stupid and irrational things.  It is what drives our drama oriented agenda based media events and now that we have instant recording capabilities with easily editing methods we can create, morph and frame it all into a dram monkey dancing oriented inflaming trigger that all humans react to then add in our pension to create smoke screens against the less dramatic and often logical boring factual news so that we can incite, inflame and create drama. The issue tho is often that end result causes more damage then the actual situation(s). We create such chaos and emotionally changed incoherent and inflammatory stories that folks actually end up jailed, economically ruined and physically and psychologically damaged. It is no longer about justice and it is no longer about facts but rather about ratings and self-soothing societal ego pride driven emotional gratification over right moral justice and so on ….

society that abhors

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

Comment: Simple fear, fear of that which causes damage, damage that is both physical and psychological. Our fears are making us lose site of nature and nature’s way. In reality losing that connection actually creates more fear creating more damage and creating more ignorance that simply restarts that infinite loop of simple fear. The only way to overcome fear is to face it, accept it and then learn how to control it for our sake of survival. Great wrong is committed in history simply because we fear something then therefore assume that fear will go away if we make that which we fear also go away when nature will not let it go away because it is in our very nature. Life is a pisser. 

Friday, June 19, 2015

practice created by

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

Comment: There are no styles per-say but systems and all systems are founded on principles. Principles underly all systems and styles therefore there is only one system, a system based on principles, goals, strategies and finally tactics. Tactics and strategies set to achieve goals rather that either winning or losing achieve their ends through proper application of principles. Everything else is ego driven beliefs that stroke ego’s, pride and self-soothing processes to make one feel good about themselves and so on. Alone, not a bad belief but when coupled into conflict ,violence and violent conflicts can be an obstacle that inhibits achieving a true goal of stopping a threat. 

far removed from

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

Comment: Commercialism, commercialized and agenda driven drama oriented self-soothing places of social clubbing over self-defense violent conflict resolution oriented, etc. Fighting, stopping a threat, is much less complex and convoluted in essence while most tend to create more self-soothing salable systems for profit and fun. Self-defense is not fun, it is dangerous and potentially life threatening. If the distinction is to socially gather for fun and recreation that is all good but the distinction should not be clouded by false information created to self-sooth while digging deep into your pockets. Modern martial disciplines have lost their way (pun intended) and it is a true practitioners effort to regain that ground that will bring the reality of the training and practice back on the proper path (pun intended)!

touched by an enlightenment

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

Comment: Think about the chains that bind us to the monkey brain. There is no such thing as ultimate knowledge or understanding except in the knowledge and understanding that all things change and all things progress making knowledge a chaotic, fertile and evolving entity/concept. An open mind ready, willing and able to accept and change fluidly to each moment is true enlightenment yet the hardest gaol to achieve. The monkey has held our minds for millennia, expect a battle daily. 

the key to

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

Comment: Your mind-set attacks his mind-set. Understanding the mind-set concept allows you to intimidate the adversary’s mind-set changing his mind-state allowing a psychological opening. Attack your adversary’s mind and the body and spirit will follow. More often than not, the battle is won or lost before the first blow provided you make use of your psychological mind-set tool. 

exploit your weight and

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

Comment: The quote speaks for itself. Personally, it opened my eyes to the fallacy that striking arts are so effective in self-defense, fighting and/or combatives when in truth it is a combination of things that stop a threat. 

power you put

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

Comment: Structure, posture, centerline, spinal alignment, axis, structure, HEAVINESS, relaxation, wave energy, convergence, centeredness, body-mind, centripetal and centrifugal force, sequential locking and relaxation, ROOTING and so on. All these and a few more required to reach this state. One reason why practice, especially under adrenal stress conditions, is critical to achieve success in this process and one reason a lack thereof results in striking as a poor focus toward a primary tool in resolving a conflict when violence is involved. 

principles at play

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

Comment: Principles; principles;  principles;  principles;  principles;  principles;  principles;  principles;  principles;  and more about principles.

to 'score a point'

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

Comment: Mind-set and mind-state are those beliefs, perceptions and perspectives that allow us to achieve goals that face and experience such violence, at the extreme end of the spectrum, that often kills the spirit and is followed by, at the least, great bodily harm vs. at the most, loss of life. It comes down to perspective and how one feeds that perspective then how one trains, teaches, practices and applies that end product toward self-defense. 

the main activity

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

Comment: Training and Socializing, the yin-yang elements of the study, practice, training and teaching of a martial discipline.  The yang that is training must take precedence over socializing is critical to remaining steadfast in the disciplines essence and true intent. Socializing, in this instance, must take a back seat to training. Socializing is meant to create a bond and a social understanding as to group survival leading to the individual survival. In that like it takes the back seat only because the ultimate goal in martial discipline is to develop the mind, body and spirit used for survival. It is apparent that in our modern society that such socializations are taking precedence over training, that is a mistake and deviates from the essence and intent of a martial discipline. 

not teaching people

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

Comment: Conflict, violence and violent conflict has been a part of human nature since we waled upright for the first time. Nature’s evolutionary process is extremely slow. Our diving head long into the industrial and eVolutionary process has outdistanced our humanity and our nature while our progress skyrockets past the outer limits of the home galaxy. By our very progress we have lost our connection with ourselves and nature. By our progress we have lost a great deal of understanding for the sake of instant gratification and personal ego pride driven accolades giving a false sense of who we are rather than what we are. This evolutionary loss due to our need and speed for greater satisfactions along with our drive to achieve a comfort far and away from our very nature left us ignorant to its purpose and its necessity toward human existence and survival. As with many dysfunctional effects this merely creates a loop to feed our misguided impressions of what conflict, violence and violent do for our survival causing a greater perception of how horrible it is and how bad it is thereby spurning on the never ending loop - round and round and round we go. The only course available is like breaking the freeze, break the loop be recognizing it, acknowledge its existence and then make ourselves do what is necessary to make it right then repeat as necessary until the goal is reached.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

has no power

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

Comment: Distractions and the art of misdirection. Not of someone else’s agenda but one we all propagate upon ourselves. There are reasons and good purpose to the use of symbols but only if that symbol is defined in a very definitive way and accepted universally as truth with meaning and positive benefits. Anything less is just a distraction from the true nature of the discipline, the true nature of what is important, relevant and reality-based. 

nor are they an excuse

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

Comment: Stretching yourself, i.e., your mind, your body and thus your spirit. No where else will you accomplish such feats except in actual combat - then you will see exactly what and who you are. 

being accepted

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

Comment: Clarke Sensei has a greater sense of the connectedness of karate to the world of conflict and violence hardened and forged through personal experience as a proponent of violence in his life. He hits the crux of practice and training in a very terse relevant statement given above for our study. The club is as different from reality of violence and conflict as is water from air. 

Observations on Kata

McCarthy’s Ten Point Observations on Kata

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

Comment: I agree, the kata are merely inter-connected techniques used to teach and practice fundamental principles. 

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

Comment: Then just say, “Manifested acts of violence.” In truth the empty hand systems did not historically serve as any type of catalyst in order to develop defensive practices but were used, at least historically for karate on Okinawa, to provide a pre-requisite to the teaching, practice and use of empty hand enhancers, i.e., weapons. In history except maybe in the cave dwellers time man or humans always gravitated toward weaponry. 

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

Comment: I cannot perceive any relevance from this statement to the study and practice of kata. What varying acts of violence? What early period? Nothing allowed innovative pioneers but combat and violence of humans have always provided a need to create ways of stopping the threat or just destroying a threat. Throughout history it has come to me as empty-hand is a last resort when all other means are exhausted in the fight and in combat. Empty handed systems were more about communications within a tribe or group to enforce its rules, procedures and hierarchy. Hierarchal driven rules, procedures, processes and laws all come about to ensure the survival of the tribe or group and by its size all the way up to any given society. 

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

Comment: This is impossible, one cannot study the true nature of conflict, violence and violent conflicts in the “Safety” of a learning environment. The mere fact it is called a “Safe learning environment” constitutes rule requirements and that in and of itself changes the dynamics of conflict, violence and violent conflict. Granted, to pass down what other experienced professionals have learned in the fight, in combat or in self-defense must be taught to those without those benefits and that is done in a training environment but in truth that environment must hold reality and adrenal stress conditions as close to reality as possible limiting injuries that would make the combatant non-productive. 

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

Comment: Two-person drills cannot put someone in direct contact with each act of physical violence. All they can do is assist the practitioners in achieving some semblance of proficiency in applying fundamental principles of martial disciplines, i.e., the fighting systems. To put someone or a set of someone’s in direct contact with acts of violence indicates they must actually go out and engage in violent acts and this is not the most productive way to teach, train and practice for the injury and death rate would be huge. 

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

Comment: Emulation of conflict, violence and violent conflicts in a training environment is practically impossible. You can only introduce a person to certain principles and effects that would be present in an actual conflict with violence, i.e., principles of achieving force and power along with the adrenal stress conditions one encounters in violent conflicts but not actual violent conflict. 

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

Comment: Basics are not fighting or combat. Kata are not fighting or combat. Kumite is not fighting or combat. They are not the type of patterns that associate the field of combat into a training environment. Therefore solo practice cannot and will not achieve a mnemonic tool to associate fighting, combat or defense with its many attributes as a patter, idea or association to assist remembering some combat environment, not even to associate that training to actual applications. No one ever knows if they can get it done in combat, the fight or in defense until they are in the fight, in a defense situation or in a combat zone. As stated, most training is a type of familiarity with actual experiences in combat, a fight or in defense along with the tools that help us learn and apply principles for force and power to stop a threat at all levels but until you step up to the plate and swing away - you just don’t know. Then and only then can you start to accumulate experiences that will NOT answer the questions of the next encounter but will help you alleviate obstacles that may or may not rise up in the next encounter. It is the nature of the beast.

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

Comment: The effort and results of linking solo techniques or combinations into a configuration indicates a set patter when in violent encounters the only pattern is the chaos of fighting or violent acts. Again, this is why such things create false ideas and theories in non-experienced students who become non-experienced teachers where false information and false practices propagate down the line only to be discarded when the rubber hits the road that usually means a lot of gravely injured and/or dead people indicate things are not right. Most of what is described is good in creating healthy and fit bodies along with stronger minds for self-confidence, etc. rather than direct connections to actual experiences in a fight, in combat or when defending with physical force. It is an attempt to cross the great divide from training to actual violent conflict with ideas and theories that usually have nothing to do with combat, fighting and defense. 

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

Comment: The concept and applicability of those learned lessons are in question here. Yes, it is true that kata do not teach self-defense. They teach the physical, i.e., physiokinetic principles, characteristics necessary to achieve a goal in self-defense such as proper structure and posture, etc. to generate force and power when fighting, defending or when applying empty handed combat, in combat. 

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

Comment: This statement tends to overshadow all the others and comes closer to the actual intent, as much intent as one can determine without actually discussing that intent with Itosu sensei, of modern karate as seems plausible in truth and practice. 

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

Comment: Here once again the author refutes many of the earlier comments to present some greater reality from ideas and theories that cannot be substantiated in any way yet it appears to come closer to truth. 

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

General/Overall Comment: See all then internal comments. It is apparent to me that many of the statements are hidden and disguised in words and phrases such that the novice and student make a presupposition that because of its make up and presentation it must be true, factual and relevant to practice and training. Much like trophies, patches, and other accolades used to misdirect the true intent of martial disciplines toward a more social club like emotionally driven ego and pride like interactions allowing self-soothing practices over the more dangerous and disquieting truth of conflict, violence and violent conflicts. 

world of social media

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

Comment: Being well-informed takes a lot more, as one can realize from reading this short quote, work and effort than most will endure. This falls into that category of over-coming the freeze. What I mean is where ever we see some terse definition or expression of being “well-informed” actually takes a lot of study and understanding through questions and applications for and by experiences in the subject matter. It depends heavily on how you tackle the issue, i.e., as with the freeze recognize that you are using limited information and that you are being influenced by group emotional effects and that what you are hearing is only part of the story. Acknowledge that you are falling for the sound-bite and “cherry picking” effect and make yourself immediately and without hesitation seek out more in regard to the “Rest of the story.” 

A bit like “Framing Cell Phone Video’s” to suit the particular agenda of the recording person or the person presenting the video with attached information presupposing some seemingly hidden agenda. Recognize that an agenda is attached, recognize that the material is framed to represent and presuppose that agenda and then without hesitation make yourself seek out the “Rest of the Story.”

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

concept of rank

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

Comment: Humans when confronting those things that make us uncomfortable or difficult tend to use other more palatable things to fool ourselves. Trophies, rank, belts, and a sense of security and safety even if based on false things tends to make us feel comfortable. Our comfort often removes us from reality to the point where we incur more danger, more conflict and more violence. We allow ourselves to create tribal type groups called the dojo, the style and the system so we can create obstacles of comfort and false security while socializing enough to present a sense of unity and unity of tribe means survival except when it is based on falseness. We assume achievements of such trappings as indicative of success in a false world of perceived combatives, false fighting ability and false defense against violent acts/attacks. We end up disconnecting the thread that puts martial discipline in tandem with violent, violent conflict and defense using violent tactics, strategies and goals. Something seems out of synch, don’t you think?

society increasingly abhors

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

Comment: Only in the highest of societies hierarchal make up do we find a disconnect from our societal need for violence. It is at this level that the attitude is that violence and conflict are bad and at this level when it is needed to get them what they want they are more than willing to allow it as long as someone else’s commits the violence.  We tend to using “Others” to do our bidding so we don’t soil our hands and our minds with conflict and violence. We create distance between us and that world yet we employ those who can commit violence to achieve our security. Violence makes our sense of self feel disgust yet we can easily and readily accept our decisions to have “Others” commit atrocities in the name of safeguarding our way of life. Something seems out of synch, don’t you think?

shout as loudly

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

Comment: When avoidance and deescalation and in some cases a more political means of avoidance fails we sometimes have to utilize skills that result in violence, bodily harm and death. As a violent species that has not as yet evolved and as far as I can see will never truly remove conflict and violence from human nature we have tried hard to disconnect ourselves from that nature. All of what nature provided has its purposes and to discard them as not useful merely opens the door to greater conflict, greater violence and greater violent conflict.  Take a look at our history, both distant and recent, and you will find that conflict and violence are not gone. It is to our detriment and existence that we go if we fail to accept our true nature. 

surmise that humans

“In conclusion, we can surmise that humans [genus Homo] were predators or scavengers, that were also likely prey of opportunity.  Using this relationship as an explanation of human social behavior, language, and brain size is quite a stretch.  Since predator/prey relationships have existed as long as there has been life on this planet and there are no other creatures that exhibit such human traits, then whatever the impetus was for us acquiring these abilities, it extended beyond a simplistic predator/prey explanation.” - Gerhard Adam, April 10th, 2013

Comment: We humans have disconnected ourselves from our true nature from ignorance and misinformation that has been ingrained through social conditioning. Look at fear, fear of being hurt, fear of damage and fear of loss of life all contribute to our natural instincts to flee that which causes us harm or to flee from that which we fail to understand especially about what makes us humans. To be human is to be in conflict, conflict with ourselves and conflict with interaction of other humans. We cannot avoid either one because our base instinct for survival as humans is to band together into groups. Humans tend to gravitate toward those of like mind, like customs and like beliefs. The closer we come in those traits the better we get along and the better our chances for survival. Even in modern times where a threat from natural wildlife, such as lions and tigers and bears, is pretty much gone we still have to survive conflict between nations, societies, tribes, groups and families. Yes, even in the family we have to contend with both conflict and violence. The sooner we accept our true nature the sooner we can re-learn how that works as a communications and deliberation skill. Conflict and violence comes in many flavors and many levels. Focusing on the one level because it scares us while assuming the other levels will, “Work themselves out,” is stupid, ludicrous and simplistically ignorant. If mother nature has not seen fit to remove the need for conflict and violence communications and deliberations then why would we force ourselves into a state of resentment and frustration in the name of fear, fear of pain, hurt and damage? 

simple truth is

“The simple truth is that humans became better predators because they were predators to begin with.  The fact that there were larger predators doesn't change that.  The fact that humans could also serve as prey doesn't change that. … Humans have long held the capacity to kill, just as most primates have and that they were not the peaceful, passive creatures that Sussman would have you believe.  In fact, what should come as no surprise, is that they were and continue to be just like every creature that has ever lived, being both predator or prey depending on the circumstances.” - Gerhard Adam, April 10th, 2013

Comment: Predator, prey or predator and prey; all dependent on the individual and their status within the hierarchy of the group dynamic. What our functions are in that group setting and all of it geared toward survival. Survival that has devolved into a contest rather than actual life and death. Seldom do we encounter such things except in rare situations but the social oriented ego pride driven status quo setting of the tribe still effects us all but resolutions tend to be the posturing we do to establish ourselves within the tribe or social group. Seldom does it end in asocial violence with death or great bodily harm on the table. 

almost complete disconnect

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

Comment: The modern martial arts stresses the art as something like a self-help program to balance out the individual so they may find peace, tranquility and harmony with natures chaotic and stressful existence. It is also about social club like gathering for the connection and enjoyment of a gathering, like a party. It is also about our competitive spirit as coupled toward our more violent side that exists interconnected with our nature to not truly harm one another - all part of the survival instinct of humans and so on.

culturally conditioned

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

Comment: This concept of remaining true to a master and the past as a core belief while allowing for a modicum of change as time passes and situations evolve and not feel the loss of that connection is what many Westerners fail to understand. Like the concept of “Harmony” at all costs that lead to approvals when pushed by the wester practitioners so end a disharmonious encounter so it would return to a harmonious event. I have come to believe that many of the accepted practices of karate in the West come from our pension to be persistent in gaining answers to our questions. The Asian systems tend to do what is necessary to stay in a harmonious position that rates higher in importance than even truth. It comes from the concept of shikata that comes from the concepts developed for harmony during the feudal era of Japan and has permeated every corner of the kingdom, including Okinawa. 

what Miyagi meant

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

Comment: Another great perspective of what it might be that inspired Miyagi Sensei to create this style. 

the biggest disconnects

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

Comment: Trophies, accolades, ego boosting self-soothing accouterments and baubles have become the defacto end game to the practice of martial arts. At its very essence all combative forms of discipline are about damage, damage to the attacker in the goal of stopping the threat; the threat to self, to family and to the tribe. It’s a tribal survival thing. 


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

Comment: It is too be understood even in the ancient times of karate that it was merely a precursor or prerequisite to kobudo, weapons. Historically speaking as to humans and combat it has always been the preferred way to achieve military and warrior goals with weapons. Even today, for self-defense, the choice of weapons over empty-hands is preferred in stopping the threat. The only reason to use empty-hands is if the attacks level of force dictates any use of weapons or enhancers is to be considered inappropriate. Levels of force becomes important in the use of self-defense. Even empty-hands can exceed those levels of force appropriateness in an attack. All things must be considered in these modern times. 

force people into acting peaceful

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

Comment: Like any negotiations to achieve positive results you always come to the table with a variety of options, options that will allow all parties to save, “Face,” and provide them decisions contributions to the entire process. The ability to recognize the group dynamics involved making for recognition to status, etc. allows everyone to talk. Ignoring or demanding that these factors don’t matter and are counter-productive simply shuts down the options available leading to frustrations and closing off any viable productive and positive paths to all concerned. 

conflict is natural

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

Comment: see the previous comments.

eradicate violence

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

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

Comment: The core here is this, by forcing upon our society these requirements we are actually increasing their frustrations and inabilities to handle conflicts. Conflicts often lead to a variety of violent responses, response from as low as verbal violence/attacks all the way up to the physical blows of common social violence. The frustration builds when any type of conflict resolutions are further hindered and blocked by progressively greater legal repercussions through vague laws that allow anyone in the system to persuade those same folks suffering from frustrations so that they make inappropriate decisions toward what is perceived as self-defense and if this confuses you then imagine how confused those judging your actions will be if forced into self-defense. Then add in that most would not resort to self-defense at the higher levels of force if they were simply taught and trained to handle conflict with appropriate conflict management skills. Not skills made up by those who have no clue, no true knowledge and no experience in conflict and violence but skills trained and taught by those who live and breathe this world. It is righteous to work to end conflict and violence yet when the existence of humans and animals all come from conflict and violence as a management skill set due to the natural friction we all feel when encountering others but also as a natural means to resolve at the lowest level because we have knowledge, training and ongoing experiences that allow us to vent and control our frustrations thereby reducing adrenal stress driven monkey dance responses makes for a better world. True physical violence most often comes from a lack of conflict management skills. 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

have a background

“You must have a background of information and experience to base your decisions on.”  - Rory Miller, Drills: Training for Sudden Violence

Comment: Knowledge + Experience = Understanding is about making such decisions. If you don’t accumulate knowledge and temper it with experience, i.e., actual hands-on and/or reality-based training scenario’s, you won’t understand it and in the end you will not be able to explain the why of your actions and deeds. Even with knowledge, experience and understanding articulation is anther muscle that must be exercised if you plan on using it. Especially if you plan on using it after a violent attack involving chemical flooding. You see, the world of self-defense is far more than merely going to the dojo three times a week to practice pre-arranged set self-defense techniques, it is a complicated system.

the mind, not the body

“Remember you are fighting the mind, not the body. You rarely destroy 100% of the threats’ capability to fight. Instead, you destroy his will.”  - Rory Miller, Facing Violence

Comment: Yes, the mind is paramount in self-defense. I have heard of folks with no training who have survived the threat and lived another day. I have also known a few highly efficient martial practitioners who in the fight, the attack, failed miserably but in truth were successful simply because they are alive, well and out of jail. I am not saying a type of mind-set/mind-state fostered from sound bites and media perceptions for those will get you hurt or killed. I am saying a mind-set/mind-state that has commitment and permission to break the social conditioning toward violence so that you act appropriately. This is a good beginning if you will. 

cocktail of fear

“If your Survival Stress Response, your cocktail of fear hormones, kicks up hight enough, this is the kind of fighting your body and hindbrain will be driving you to, no matter how hard or realistically you have trained. … Freezing: The hard-sired response is a survival mechanism based in the simple fact the predators notice movement. If you don’t move, you might not be seen and therefore you might live.”  - Rory Miller, Facing Violence

Comment: When the proverbial dung hits the fan in an attack you can expect to find your training in the dumpster. It is not about your martial prowess but the way you train your mind. All the skill in the world will not help unless along side those skills you have trained and developed a mind-set and mind-state that will break the freeze and allow you to stop the threat in any way possible. Deal with the other stuff after your are safe and the threat is gone. 

normal and natural

“Freezing is normal and natural, and bad guys rely on it, they expect it to last for the entire assault. Anyone who thinks they can not be surprised or won’t freeze for an instant when they are caught off-guard is wrong.”  - Rory Miller, Facing Violence

Comment: It comes down for me, are you alive? Are you able to go home? Are any injuries received not crippling? Are you allowed to leave by the responding authorities? Did you dodge the prosecutor’s wrath? Questions and this like are telling you that even if your froze as expected in a lot of cases that you did good dude, you made it and remained in the SD Square. 

the thing

“This is the thing, the difference between a fight and an assault, the victim is behind the curve, trying to play catch up, trying to figure out what the situation is and now to respond while the threat is already well into the steps of his plan. This is where you start in an assault: fifteen points behind, halfway into the fourth quarter, and you don’t know if you are playing basketball or football and you are not dressed for either game.” - Rory Miller, Facing Violence

Comment: This is why you need to know about attacks. You need to know about the differences in the type of violence you are facing. You need to gear your training and practice to include adrenal stress condition conditioning reality-based training scenarios. 

Each ‘brain’

“You have three brains:

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

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

Comment: A fundamental concept taught in self-defense within the confines of modern society. A base model to teach and train for self-defense. These are the human conditions for combating violence and conflict that help laymen or laypersons to understand very fundamental human conditions, reactions and instincts that play a significant role in defending.

that kind of commitment

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

Comment: Martial arts in modern times has become an educational, social and self-egoistic form of practice based on things not validated in reality. Combat takes a certain kind of person with a certain kind of mind-set and mind-state where commitment along with a ruthlessness becomes necessary to combat evil. Martial systems of modern times has a huge disconnect to reality as it pertains to conflict, violence and violent conflicts. 


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

Comment: Yin-yang, the ancient Chinese conept and teaching of the great tai chi, the duality of nature and the universe itself. It represents the duality of everything such as dark-light, hard-soft, good-bad and so on. If there is good in life then there is bad, bad is often associated closely with conflict, violence and violent conflict. We can try to condition ourselves to resist violent behavior but first we must understand it. To socially mandate conditions without proper knowledge, experience and understanding only makes it worse. Humans often naturally and instinctively react violently when they don’t have the proper tools to cope. 

we're so keen

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

Comment: Pull our collective heads out of the sand pit created by inappropriate social conditioning and accept the fact that humans are violent, humans are predators and when humans are prey appropriate responses must be from that point of reference to support self-defense against conflict, violence and violent conflict. You cannot combat something from a position of ignorance and stupidity. 

teach ideas but

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

Comment: Basics, Kata, Kumite and Drills are all about teaching principles. The actual techniques and bunkai can be used in teaching novices how to apply them in defense but to actually apply them in battle, not so much. The focus should be on the principles and how those achieve the goals in self-defense. The BKKD’s provide a means to practice, lean and check principle application for physical, mental and spiritual advancement while the model for self-defense, force, conflict communications, etc. are about avoidance, deescalation, escape and evasion and other such concepts. Reality-based adrenal conditions training should encompass the critical components that drills, basics, kata and kumite are missing or just ignore when it comes to conflict resolution, violence and violent conflict solutions.

ain’t no such thing

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

Comment: There is “ONE” very important rule when it comes to defense when a knife is involved, “Avoidance and/or Running Away!” There are no master knife fighters, no master knife fighting instructors, no master knife fighting defenses, etc., there is just the knife and your body where if you engage you suffer all the consequences. The training model to defend a knife attack needs careful consideration with all the consequences that come if one is used by you or used against you.

lack the understanding of

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

Comment: Martial disciplines tend toward a more stationary and rooted position when delivering techniques and combinations in a fight. In the dojo this is the novice level of practice, one that allows us to teach the mind and body things but to achieve true and a reality-based model of self-defense the practitioner must move on and up from that level. Generating force and power are complex and doing it while moving constantly and chaotically increases the complexities and ability to apply. A stationary rooted position removes the application of force and power from the martial artists and then relies heavily on the force and power of the adversary arriving at that exact moment you apply a technique such as a strike so that his momentum, mass and energy is used against him. If that fails, then what? Self-defense as either social or asocial in nature requires different tactics and strategies that go deeper than simple response taught in most MA-SD. Train to the moving state of both you and your adversary. Train to achieve efficiency, effectiveness, power and force as “One wholehearted application” that works in the situation at that moment - most difficult but doable. 

weapon fighting

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

Comment: Empty handed fighting is often ruled by the rules of social conditioning toward survival, survival of the individual and group both individually and cohesively toward group survival. One cannot truly survive without the other. To separate and understand leads to knowledge that leads back to understanding so that the two do not cancel one another out. If one applies the mechanics, etc., i.e., the principles, toward the wrong form of attack then the results will be bad. If you know what you know, you learn and know what you don’t know then you have a chance, take that chance and run with it. 

spontaneous strike

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

Comment: How to apply but not. How to achieve a mind-set and mind-state that gets the job done as related to a particular maxim of martial discipline. It is an initiative that can cover such things as the OODA loop inherent in all humans with other conditions that govern the way humans defend and participate in conflict and violence. 

the adversary

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

Comment: An atomistic take on the striking arts as it involves hitting another human or being hit by others where a more ancient form translates even into a more modern model. It is simplistic for teaching but to implement into the chaos of combat takes a bit more less atomistic and a more holistic view, perspective, and perception of things violent, things involving conflict and violent conflict in its many forms. 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Arts taught today

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

Comment: The chasm is wide and seemingly unsurmountable but the right mind-set/mind-state can and will traverse great distances to cross such a chasm.

may not translate

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

Comment: Precisions is only necessary as to goals. It must not become the dogmatic doctrine of martial disciplines as the results will be catastrophic to life and limb. Nothing in combat is ever precise, it is chaotic, unforgiving and results in the extremes of violence. It is that something that must be avoided yet able to defend and protect is some situations and circumstances. All controllable if one applies themselves. 

form or stances, because

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

Comment: Form and stances as with anything dealing in violence and its defense is more about the learning process of beginners, novices, and therefore must be forgotten once learned. This is another of those more esoteric forms of training, practice and the application of martial discipline. It is a pre-requisite to the true training, the true learning and the true application in real combat to defend against the fast and dynamic of violence. It is the root that the seed sets so that the tree may grow tall, strong and resilient. 

no such thing

“There’s really no such thing as a self-defense tool that works if you aren’t willing to do the work it takes to learn how to use it effectively.” - Cornered Cat Blog

Comment: In general then it can also be said, “There is no such thins as self-defense that works if you are not willing to do the work necessary to learn what it is, how to train for it and how to apply it so as to remain in the SD-square.” Martial disciplines tend to assume that the program they learned and now teach is the complete picture when in reality it is simply a one-dimensional black and white photo. Meaning, noting is black and white, there are a plethora of shades, colors and dimensions to the world of self-defense and violence.

form and appearance

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

Comment: Form and appearances have taken a front seat to functionality. This is a mistake! Form has its purposes but to focus heavily on that aspect is detrimental to good applications. Appearances are always about ego, pride and status for those drive the monkey and the monkey lives long in social violence and conflicts. Isn’t one of the maxim’s of martial discipline about letting to the ego, letting to pride and letting go of status?

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

on one level

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

Comment: Reality, the reality of our very essence as human beings, as both predator and as prey. Self-delusional beliefs in what we do are about our comfort, not about the discomfort of conflict, violence and violent conflict. We have forgotten deliberately the history and essence that is combatives for the sake of camaraderie that stems socially much like a social club for the camaraderie felt between professional combatants. That which ties us to our nature, the nature of the animal kingdom. We are animals, higher order animals but animals just the same. We as higher order animals have the ability to be either predator or prey, it is up to us as individuals. 

make things better

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

Comment: The only perfection is our efforts to make things better. In the martial art world that is all about esthetics with a good dose of self-soothing beliefs that don’t necessarily relate to reality. The true goal is survival in conflict, violence and violent conflict. Our very nature as humans seems our greatest obstacle. To know ourselves as humans gives us the tools to improvise, adapt and overcome obstacles in all aspects. 

physical and emotional intensity

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

Comment: Stop playing at this and begin to actually learn the reaiity of attacks, i.e., conflicts, violence and violent conflicts, etc. It is not television and John Wayne does not ride off into the sunset. John Claude does not get stomped and jump up to take the adversary down. We don’t fly across the room when shot. It is not play, it is not points, it is not about the way, it is not about how we look and it is not the perfection of a move, it is about chaos, damage, grave bodily harm and even death. Reality sucks but you gotta deal with it or it will deal with you. 

know attacks

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

Comment: Attacks are not sport. Attacks are not sparring or martial tournament competitions. Attacks are those aggressive pain inducing frightening encounters where they happen fast, furious, in total surprise, up close, directly and explosively, etc. with the advantage completely on the attackers side leaving you exposed, vulnerable and damaged. Learning about the dynamics of violence is critical and second only to adrenal stress condition training under reality-based scenario’s.

commitment and determination

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

Comment: There are no half steps in combat. There are no half steps in self-defense. There are only minds ready, willing and able to survive when violence strikes. You have to take your mind beyond your perceptions of the world and accomplish great things to avoid and defend when conflict, violence and violent attacks happen. Then you have to test it all under appropriate conditions even experience them first hand in the chaos of battle. If you fail to understand all the physics involved along with the psychological then you have to learn - before you encounter violence. 

Monday, June 1, 2015

an adversary preempts

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

Comment: Goals, how to achieve them especially when great bodily harm or death are involved. We have been removed far and away from our natural ways that we find ourselves unable to make the leap when confronted by violence, in all its forms. I life, death or grave bodily harm situations it becomes a necessity to achieve the proper commitment and permission to do what is required to stop the threat. It becomes time for man to give up childish things such as ego driven needs of the monkey to win at all costs for sometimes those costs far exceed acceptable means as socially mandated. We have covered our minds to the reality and reality is deadly. The chemical dump, adrenal stress conditions, of life are our worst enemy, our nightmare and yet we have to face the devil to maintain peace, harmony and achieve enlightened living. 

without reality

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

Comment: The age old problem to train the youth to handle the dynamics of conflict, violence and violent conflicts where the initial encounter before the ability to build experience can lead to grave bodily harm or death. This is especially critical in a military where greater loss of life occurs in the first few encounters until an experience threshold is passed allowing each individual a capacity to “Improvise, adapt and overcome!”

polish and the unnecessary

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

Comment: Variations come from an individuals perception of something and how their perspective affects it. In the speed and need to reach an individualized perspective that often leads to a newer offshoot of one or more older styles into a newer one. The uninitiated then discover something new and exciting that seems to be unique especially if that uniqueness triggers some feeling of connectedness in the individual. In reality it is a dressing up of the same toward a view as if it suddenly become something new and unique in a world of sameness. 

fully chamber

“Though a person may fully chamber a strike and hit the heavy bag or air-shield in training with good force under the stress of the fight scenario’s with the armored (bullet-man) assailants attacking, many people tend to go too fast. That is, they are throwing every technique they know as fast as they can but they carry no power or real impact. That is because they are moving too fast to chamber and deliver the blow properly.” - Peyton Quinn, Book of Five Rings: Explained in Plain English

Comment: I wondered about this and considered that such training that performs techniques with greater than economical motion, i.e., like fully chambering a fist to strike vertically from the waist, would help compensate for the adrenal rush when apply techniques in the fight. It has also been suggested as a effect of the rush that folks tend to speed up the application of strikes, etc., delivery resulting is a huge loss of power and force ergo if that happens from a trained position such as the waist that the speed up and shortened chambering might actually benefit. It is also suggested that performing strikes, etc. in a slow motion, like tai chi, model would also benefit. This warrants further study. The idea is to apply the principles of physiokinetics and technique(s) optimally for the greatest applied force and power. 

tricks and secret techniques

“Thinking in terms of tricks and secret techniques is not compatible at all with the true mind-set needed for combat.” - Peyton Quinn, Book of Five Rings: Explained in Plain English

Comment: So many assume the entire discipline is made up of particular skills that require highly developed motor skills and the mystically emotionally satisfying fictional belief in the ultimate secret techniques guaranteed to get the job done under combat/fighting/defensive circumstances. I will stand over here to watch and wait for those special tricks and secret techniques to kick in and stop the threat.

prepared, or not prepared

“How one is prepared, or not prepared to handle the adrenal stress effects of combat is often more important and decisive than one’s skill with one’s weapons.” - Peyton Quinn, Book of Five Rings: Explained in Plain English

Comment: Practice, practice and more practice is not enough. When time comes to apply skills in combat the mind-state will encounter the effects of the adrenal stress conditions, the chemical/adrenal dump. When they hit, especially for the first time, the effects will most times obliterate those skills leaving the lizard to pull up the ancient freeze, flight or fright response. In modern parlance that equates to the OO bounce where your mind is blasted by the chemical dump cutting off its connection to all that training and practice, practice and more practice so that it locks up in the loop trying to find some semblance of an actionable item to implement in the fight. Bummer.

Ingenious solutions

“Ingenious solutions to non-existent problems.” Mike Belzer … “If you have no first hand experience with an activity, it is difficult for people who are teaching or practicing for that activity to understand, or to separate what is important from what is not.” - Peyton Quinn, Book of Five Rings: Explained in Plain English

Comment: The first part connects to the second in that no experience or a solid training connection to experience tends to lead to the creation of things that seem logical and doable. It leads to a lack of knowledge that builds on false understanding from a lack of experience. The combinations when practiced and trained without and without the adrenal stress conditions reality-based scenario training simply provides a false sense of security and ability. When the crunch comes most will flounder and fall to the attack.