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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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. 

aims to build

Yasuhiro Konishi Sensei once said, "Karate aims to build character, improve human behavior, and cultivate modesty; it does not, however, guarantee it."

Comments: Nothing in any discipline or life itself is guaranteed. 

a ‘sound-bite’ society

“Our nation has become a ‘sound-bite’ society. A public and therefore a jury pool that is increasingly vulnerable to misinformed simple answers to complicated questions.“ - Massad Ayoob at Texas Bar Association Firearms Law Symposium, September 2012.

Comments: You will face this and it can be more damaging than the actual self-defense encounter you experienced. You have to have your facts down and you have to have a lawyer that knows about self-defense law and you have to have the ability to articulate why you did what you did so that they can understand and so that you can counter their predisposed belief derived from watching way to many movies and reading way too much fiction. Changing their minds may even be the most difficult defense strategy you can do other than convincing your attorney you actually did act in self-defense. The entire legal business is going to disbelieve you right from the get go. 

toward one option

“Karate tends toward one option, the fist. The fist not being the best tool even for karate, empty hands.“ - unknown

Comments: Fist-ta-cuffs are a socially driven conflict resolving ego driven status oriented type of communications in a social group with survival as its base or cornerstone. 

Karate is not a martial art

“Karate is not a martial art, as we have discussed before. It was not practiced by a martial class. It was not created to kill instantly, to devastate. It had different goals and a different approach. When it was introduced to mainland Japan, it’s early pioneers there worked tirelessly to make it respectable and accepted, and that meant making it ‘Japanese.’ That is how we got ideas like ikken hisatsu, or ‘killing with a single strike,’ which were not a traditional part of Okinawan karate.” - Dave Lowry, “A Perfect Strike in the Japanese Arts (Black Belt Magazine)” 

Comments: Ergo, karate is separate from martial arts except when Japanese karate is discussed since its creation was modeled after the ancient martial arts of Japan. Many of the modern beliefs of Okinawan karate are from the influences of the Japanese forms of karate and martial arts. It is my belief when discussing exclusively Okinawan karate you cannot associate it as a martial art and vice versa. 

Why "Technique based"

Why "Technique based" training is not sufficient to staying in the SD Square. “Don’t assume that we are talking about one culture being better than another. Don’t believe that this mentality, of completely destroying an opponent, means that Japanese martial arts are the ‘real thing’ any more so than any other martial or combat art. Different arts address the differences in cultures and countries, circumstances and histories. There is no point in making comparisons.”  - Dave Lowry, “A Perfect Strike in the Japanese Arts (Black Belt Magazine)”

Comments: Key here is styles being a cultural creation toward manifestation of a egoistic representation of a singular application of fundamental principles toward a technique driven defense system trumps the fact, hides it behind circumstances and cultural histories both spoken and written, that all styles and systems are driven by said principles and governed by multiple defense methodologies rather than techniques. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

FaceBook Disabled

Blog Article/Post Caveat (Read First Please: Click the Link)

I just disabled my FB account and feel sad and sorry the step doesn’t actually remove all the data especially the data’s connectivity and residence in other forms of data-collections, etc. It is too bad our Internet systems are collection grounds for both data-brokerage as well as cyber-criminal use and abuse. It is a shame that activities of the average individual cannot be protected as well as that of cyber-criminals, cyber-terrorists and terrorism, criminal activities and so on. 

Those who followed me on FaceBook (friended and followed) will have to remember to seek out my articles on the blogs. I don’t for one instance assume that blogs are any safer but taking the action to NOT allow CONNECTIONS to other media sources like FB and Twitter as examples means I can continue with caution writing my articles. Like my recommendations in this blog, it may not remove the danger but it might just reduce the probability making my victimization less definite. 

I know that what I put out there via social media is not actually all that personal, I have managed to keep the more personal sides at a very minimum, i.e., in all probability anything out there actually of a personal nature was accidental but who really knows. Regardless, in the last day or so I came to experience something I felt was less likely, my Apple iMac actually froze up, locked completely as if a Windows machine and that made me anxious. I gravitate toward a feeling that if I had not participated in such social media the probability might not have existed let along exposed me to such events. 

In a nutshell, I don’t do twitter or other socially driven media and I did FaceBook only as a means to express theories, ideas, and information on my favorite life subject of karate and martial arts and self-defense but still, it was publishing a comment on that media that led to the freeze and hard boot of an Apple system, something I thought might not happen for a longer span of time. It is and was inevitable but still ….

So, no more Facebook and a more restricted participation in such things until someone somewhere is able to create a safety net like they use, called Tor, in the dark underworld residing below our Internet. 

Bibliography (Click the link)

Goodman, Marc. “Future Crimes: Everything is Connected, Everyone is Vulnerable and What We Can Do About It.” Doubleday. New York. 24 February 2015.