The postings on this blog are my interpretation of readings, studies and experiences therefore errors and omissions are mine and mine alone. The content surrounding the extracts of books, see bibliography on this blog site, are also mine and mine alone therefore errors and omissions are also mine and mine alone and therefore why I highly recommended one read, study, research and fact find the material for clarity. My effort here is self-clarity toward a fuller understanding of the subject matter. See the bibliography for information on the books. Please make note that this article/post is my personal analysis of the subject and the information used was chosen or picked by me. It is not an analysis piece because it lacks complete and comprehensive research, it was not adequately and completely investigated and it is not balanced, i.e., it is my personal view without the views of others including subject experts, etc. Look at this as “Infotainment rather then expert research.” This is an opinion/editorial article/post meant to persuade the reader to think, decide and accept or reject my premise. It is an attempt to cause change or reinforce attitudes, beliefs and values as they apply to martial arts and/or self-defense. It is merely a commentary on the subject in the particular article presented.

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

“What you are reading right now is a blog. It’s written and posted by me, because I want to. I get no financial remuneration for writing it. I don’t have to meet anyone’s criteria in order to post it. Not only I don’t have an employer or publisher, but I’m not even constrained by having to please an audience. If people won’t like it, they won’t read it, but I won’t lose anything by it. Provided I don’t break any laws (libel, incitement to violence, etc.), I can post whatever I want. This means that I can write openly and honestly, however controversial my opinions may be. It also means that I could write total bullshit; there is no quality control. I could be biased. I could be insane. I could be trolling. … not all sources are equivalent, and all sources have their pros and cons. These needs to be taken into account when evaluating information, and all information should be evaluated. - God’s Bastard, Sourcing Sources

“All I say is by way of discourse, and nothing by way of advice. I should not speak so boldly if it were my due to be believed.” - Montaigne

What are Fundamental Principles?

The fundamental principles of martial disciplines or karate disciplines or fighting disciplines are those principles underlying all physical activities be they fighting, sport competitions, combatives or self-defense. Principles are those things that make them work regardless of styles or systems. The blog will be about those principles as they apply to my studies, practices and experiences as a karate-ka.

My list of principles as discussed in this blog originate from the fine publication written by Steven J. Pearlman, “The Book of Martial Power.” I have added two new categories, principles, to this list and I have modified his original principles and sub-principles to better suit my perceptions, perspectives and distinctions regarding karate and self-defense. Nothing I have created or changed, none of my perceptions, etc., herein are from Mr. Pearlman, his work was the inspiration toward this end.

I firmly believe principles are the substance that makes karate and martial arts work. In reality, they span all forms of physical activity regardless. My focus with this blog will be karate and self-defense. Take these posts as an academic form of writing and take note of the associated caveat and bibliography that will be present in each post.

Enjoy and don’t hesitate to join the followers and don’t hesitate to make comments, suggestions or present your views in any subject.

PRINCIPLE ONE: PRINCIPLES OF THEORY (Universality, Control, Efficiency, Lengthen Our Line, Percentage Principle, Std of Infinite Measure, Power Paradox, Ratio, Simplicity, Natural Action, Michelangelo Principle, Reciprocity, Opponents as Illusions, Reflexive Action, Training Truth, Imperception and Deception.)

PRINCIPLE TWO: PHYSIOKINETIC PRINCIPLES (Breathing, posture, triangle guard, centerline, primary gate, spinal alignment, axis, minor axis, structure, heaviness, relaxation, wave energy, convergence, centeredness, triangulation point, the dynamic sphere, body-mind, void, centripetal force, centrifugal force, sequential locking and sequential relaxation, peripheral vision, tactile sensitivity, rooting, attack hubs, attack posture, possibly the chemical cocktail, Multiple Methodologies [actual tactics and attack methodologies of impacts, drives (pushes), pulls, twists, takedowns/throws and compression, etc. are best for stopping a threat]???see below)

PRINCIPLE THREE: PRINCIPLES OF TECHNIQUE (techniques vs. technique, equal rights, compliment, economical motion, active movement, positioning, angling, leading control, complex force, indirect pressure, live energy and dead energy, torsion and pinning, speed, timing, rhythm, balance, reactive control, natural and unnatural motion, weak link, non-telegraphing, extension and penetration, Uke. Multiple Methodologies [actual tactics and attack methodologies of impacts, drives (pushes), pulls, twists, takedowns/throws and compression, etc. are best for stopping a threat])

PRINCIPLE FOUR: PRINCIPLES OF PHILOSOPHY (Mind [mind-set, mind-state, etc.], mushin, kime, non-intention, yin-yang, oneness, zanshin and being, non-action, character, the empty cup.)

Principle’s One through Four:

Pearlman, Steven J. "The Book of Martial Power." Overlook Press. N.Y. 2006.

PRINCIPLE FIVE: PRINCIPLES OF SELF-DEFENSE (“Conflict communications; Emotional Intelligence; Lines/square/circle of SD, Three brains (human, monkey, lizard), JAM/AOJ and five stages, Adrenal stress (stress induced reality based), Violence (Social and Asocial), Pre-Attack indicators, Weapons, Predator process and predator resource, Force levels, Repercussions (medical, legal, civil, personal), Go-NoGo, Win-Loss Ratio, etc. (still working on the core sub-principles for this one)”Attitude, Socio-emotional, Diplomacy, Speed [get-er done fast], Redirected aggression, Dual Time Clocks, Awareness, Initiative, Permission, multiple attack/defense methodologies (i.e., actual tactics and attack methodologies of impacts, drives (pushes), pulls, twists, takedowns/throws and compression, etc. are best for stopping a threat)

Principle Five:

MacYoung, Marc. "In the Name of Self-Defense: What It Costs. When It’s Worth It." Marc MacYoung. 2014.

Goleman, Daniel. "Emotional Intelligence: 10th Anniversary Edition [Kindle Edition]." Bantam. January 11, 2012.

Miller, Rory. "ConCom: Conflict Communications A New Paradigm in Conscious Communication." Amazon Digital Services, Inc. 2014.

Miller, Rory and Kane, Lawrence A. "Scaling Force: Dynamic Decision-making under Threat of Violence." YMAA Publisher. New Hampshire. 2012

Miller, Rory. "Force Decisions: A Citizen's Guide." YMAA Publications. NH. 2012.

Miller, Rory Sgt. "Meditations of Violence: A Comparison of Martial Arts Training & Real World Violence" YMAA Publishing. 2008.

Miller, Rory Sgt. "Facing Violence: Preparing for the Unexpected." YMAA Publishing. 2011.

Elgin, Suzette. "The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense" Barnes & Noble. 1993.

Morris, Desmond. “Manwatching: A Field Guide to Human Behavior.” Harry N. Abrams. April 1979.

PRINCIPLE SIX: CHEMICAL COCKTAIL: (Attacked Mind, Train It, Breath It Away, Visualize It Away, Sparring vs. Fighting, Degradation of Technique/skills, Peripheral Vision Loss, Tunnel Vision, Depth Perception Loss/Altered, Auditory Exclusion, Weakened legs/arms, Loss of Extremity Feeling, Loss of Fine Motor Skills, Distorted Memory/perceptions, Tachypsychia (time slows), Freeze, Perception of Slow Motion, Irrelevant Thought Intrusion, Behavioral Looping, Pain Blocked, Male vs. Female Adrenaline Curve, Victim vs. Predator, The Professional, Levels of Hormonal Stimulation, ???)

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Thursday, March 31, 2016


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

Lets start with your personal attitude; your attitude goes a long way toward staying within the self-defense square. Your attitude goes a long way toward avoidance or de-escalation or escalation. You really want to avoid escalation because that often leads to a physical altercation.

Another aspect of attitude is the one you assume during the after of self-defense, i.e., when a third party gets involved such as the police. Your attitude can make the difference of going home safe and sound or going straight to jail. 

You can allow your attitude to be driven by the human brain with its knowledge and logical ability to maintain the self-defense square or you can allow your monkey brain to drive with a result of fighting, arrest and telling your story to the court and the jury with the prosecutor using that monkey party bilge you let loose at the site convict you and send you off to a vacation in your state's prison. 

A positive cooperative attitude goes a long way toward helping the police make the right decision and allowing you continued freedom that is a solid goal.

Your attitude toward the entire spectrum of self-defense also matters and you can influence that attitude by the knowledge and experience in self-defense, conflict and violence. 

Bibliography (Click the link)


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

It is not about winning or losing or any type of ratio in self-defense. You have a goal and you must attain that goal. In my goals for self-defense, “To first avoid, to second deescalate, third is to escape and evade but if I have to go hands-on then I will do so quickly, silently and with deadly intent, i.e., “deadly intent meaning to achieve the goal of applying only those methodologies with the appropriate level of force to stop the threat.”

It is not about winning a match, it is not about losing one either. It is about survival and it is about achieving survival in all facets where the attacker fails in his goals, the first responders evaluate the situation and decide I am justified, that I was able to properly articulate events in the situation, and that I am not damaged in any way with final word that there is no prosecution or civil suit now or in the near or far future. 

In the best of worlds my goal is total and complete avoidance and my training and practice go for that goal and training also includes all the after when avoidance is not possible. 

Bibliography (Click the link)


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

When to hold them, when to fold them, when to walk away and when to run - lyrics from an old gamble song by Kenny Rogers do hold true to self-defense. You have to know when to go physical and when you have to stop. Going physical when you could have done something less physical or going beyond when your attacker is no longer of danger means you are falling out of the square and now you are fighting and no longer complying with the legal defense of self-defense. You are going to jail. 

Go means you have no choice and the AOJ/JAM along with all five stages are done and apparent and you had better do something quick or you are going to get hurt or killed. Once this occurs you have to be of mind to detect and determine if the attacker is still AOJ/JAM five stages strong and continuing or you have to put on the skids and fast. Guess what, in the heat of it and under the strong pull of adrenal chemical effects you may even miss that signal and whalla, off to jail you go and then to court with a final destination of prison and all that entails. 

Bibliography (Click the link)


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

To truly understand what you face when enacting your self-defense, defense, you have to understand all the repercussions involved when you actually apply that self-defense. One reason why these sub-principles of the principle of self-defense are important to know and understand, they mean the difference from being seen as justified and free to go, to, go to jail, do not pass go and do not collect or rather do not go free. 

Then there are the repercussions to your financial status and level; there are repercussions to you medically if it goes physical to include death; then there are repercussions to your family and friends; then there are the financial responsibilities of court costs and even if you are lucky enough they don’t prosecute the family of the person you defended yourself from can and often will bring civil suit against you for harming their good, kind and well-thought of son using your dangerous, aggressive and deadly karate and/or martial arts skills. 

Bibliography (Click the link)


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

FD (force decisions) are those decisions you as a self-defense karate-ka and martial artist are going to have to apply in the proverbial "heat of battle." To exceed the level of force necessary to achieve legal self-defense is to leap into criminal behavior that warrants and will get prosecution. 

Martial Artists and karate-ka who teach and learn self-defense along with all self-defense programs fail to recognize force laws and that is why many who apply self-defense find themselves actually breaking the law and facing arrest, prosecution and prison. It is very easy when in the middle of a chaotic pressure adrenal flooded state of mind and body to allow our monkey brains to take us out of the self-defense circle right into legal trouble. This is important!

Rory Miller, author of the book, "Scaling Force," provides for six levels. First is presence, second is voice, third is touch, fourth is empty hand restraint, fifth is less-lethal force and sixth is lethal force. Knowing these six terms is not enough, he wrote an entire book to cover the concept of force decisions to choosing the correct level to use. Also, understand that those levels will often shift around and sometimes crossover depending on each moment to each circumstance in self-defense. 

Bibliography (Click the link)

SELF-DEFENSE; SUB-PRINCIPLE: Predator Process and Predator Resource

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

This is discussed elsewhere and can be further researched in the book, “In the Name of Self-Defense (see bibliography).” In essence a process predator is going to go after you for some process like, “Just hurting you.” Look at a rapist as a process predator. Look at a robber as a resource predator with a goal of taking your valuables and getting away. Knowing and understanding resource and process predation along with its role in social and asocial violence goes a long way to train and practice properly while staying in the self-defense square. 

Bibliography (Click the link)


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

Lets begin with a simple concept, the initiative one takes to simply learn about conflict and violence, the rest of the story. Many self-defense martial practitioners tend to focus directly on the physical, because it is cool and gets them closer to modeling the Bruce Lee syndrome. This is about taking the reins of reality toward creating a knowledge and experience base that will allow us to achieve our goals in self-defense. We need to take the initiative in our lives, in our education and in our application of that which is complex and difficult, self-defense martial practice. 

Bibliography (Click the link)


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

“Awareness: if the person doesn't pay attention or doesn't recognize a problem, no skill in the world will help. They need to learn how to be watchful and what they are watching for, which will cover a lot of crime/violence patterns.” - Marc MacYoung

There are a variety of models used to describe “awareness.” This post is an attempt, by me, to provide as many models of awareness with short descriptions as I can for the martial artists and/or the self-defense student. It is very easy to learn one or two aspects of awareness and then decide that is the whole of the large topic of awareness.

In martial arts awareness is often describe in very narrow ways and it is important to know and understand that the totality of awareness, if it is to be used in combative, fighting or defensive situations, one should at least be aware of all the models.

In the martial arts they teach a limited term toward explanation of awareness, they call it, “Zanshin,” meaning the state when the mind is fully vigilant and aware of its surroundings; when the mind remains still without being attached to anything and is totally present during every moment and action in the here and now. 

As you can determine from this short descriptive terminology the martial artist that does not seek out additional knowledge on the subject may limit their ability to defend in a conflict and/or violent situation. The next grouping of terms with definitions provide a somewhat comprehensive listing of awareness subjects that should inspire further research and study toward another larger and complex concept the self-defense community uses in study, training and practices of self-defense.

Awareness of our own body: Understanding those sub-principles of physiokinetics along with anatomical weapons and weaknesses - anatomy, physiology, and kinesthetics - your own posture, structure, movement patterns, rhythms and tendencies. (Physical Awareness?)

Awareness of the adversary’s body: All the same things apply. Both trained through touch and sight senses to know what the body, both yours and his, is doing now but what it can and will do. Sensing actions an adversary is about to make, i.e., sensing the tells with touch/tactile and sight, such as by slight contact/tactile, by sensing shifts in balance and rotation around the spine. (Physical Awareness?)

Awareness of the situation: To perceive and use our environment to your advantage. (Situational Awareness?)

Awareness of the dynamics: The recognition of the pre-assault indicators so you can prevent/counter the situation. Dealing with the situation dependent on social or asocial situations, i.e., the monkey dance vs. predation attacks. Development of a ruthless dedication dealing with the situation in the moment as it is and not responding to imagined fears or wishful thinking. Lean about the predictability of violence. Lean how you contribute to or create the potential for violence. Know when physical skills are necessary and when they are not. (Dynamic Awareness?)

Awareness of duty, beliefs, and your place in life: Develop your “go” buttons. Gaining an internal, deep, understanding as to what it is you are going to fight for, die for, or kill for along with what you can or cannot do. To consider your capability vs. your capacity in conflict and violence let alone in ever day life - distinguishing the differences, etc. Know the difference between learning a thing vs. actually applying a thing especially in regard to violence. You need to be aware of your capacity to do things before you have to do them. Know what must be done, give yourself permission to do what must be done and the do it. No hesitation, no wind-up/tells, no telegraphing, just act when it is time to act with being aware of what needs to be done. Decide up front, ahead of any situation, what you feel is worth fighting for, dying for, or killing for then act decisively when the line is crossed - your go button. Commit to never making half-assed decisions. In defensive situations be aware, know what needs to be done - Do IT! Train to switch from friendly/social to fighting - IN AN INSTANT. (Ideological Awareness?)

Criminal Awareness: Lean how the criminal element thinks and acts especially when it comes to how they attack. Lean the differences between criminal use of both social and asocial types of violence. Understand the criminal has more experience dealing with you, more than you have dealing with criminals. Lean to set aside your social friendly side and allow your fighting/survival/animal side rise up to deal with the criminal decisively be it through verbal or physical means as appropriate to each situation. 

Danger Awareness: Performing a personal threat assessment for yourself, your family, your home, your work place, your neighborhood and those places you go to or travel through in daily life. Lean to see when things change and what the circumstances are that cause the changes. Lean how criminals fill their different needs. Lean how criminals choose their targets and how they attack in different ways. Lean that their goal drives every aspect of the attack. Lean to analyze danger signals by telling what is social vs. asocial vs. predator resource processes. Lean to recognize the signs of adrenal flooding, i.e., such as how to tell experienced the adversary is when adrenalized. 

Environmental Awareness: Lean, know and avoid places where bad stuff happens - know the qualities, the difference between social and asocial, both are predictable. Lean about social, group and alcohol monkey stuff vs. asocial resource predator goals. For asocial predators how they use isolation to achieve goals, i.e., learn about staying in area’s where isolation is preventable and escape avenues are available and accessible. Lean to quickly and easily see the differences between safe environments and unsafe environments. Lean to read terrain. Recognize the social scripts vs. the absence of normal social cues. Lean about proxemics, orientation between humans and foot placement, i.e., normal social interactions vs. attack stances, etc. 

Mindful Awareness: Awareness is being mindful. Mindful is an inclination to be aware or having awareness. It is a certain vigilance in observing what one experiences. To have "Mindful Awareness" one is to be aware of awareness. This implies that one is aware of self and has a capacity to reflect. This experience is not limited to conflict of fighting yet it must be taught and practiced by individuals so they remain aware of all the present moment experiences that may or may not include any form of conflict. Remain aware of the self to control our actions and reactions as we experience life and what it offers us at each and every unique moment, not past or future but the now of the moment as fleeting as it is or may be. 

Self Awareness: Becoming conscious of one’s own character, personality, feelings, motives, and desires. Creating a capacity for self-perception thus becoming self-conscious. It is becoming a person with the ability and capacity for introspection. To recognize oneself but most important to achieve a level of emotional intelligence so as to recognize one’s feelings and emotions with emphasis on emotions.

The result is a knowledge and intelligence toward over very feelings. Feelings that govern our thoughts and reactions. To know if our thoughts and emotions are ruling a decision rather than the human mind, i.e. the monkey is driving the bus. It is about seeing deep within so that one can see the consequences of allowing the monkey to dance so that alternative human mind choices can be made and then apply them to create decisions about handling such things as conflict, anger and violence, etc. 

Self-awareness is about recognizing and acknowledging both strengths and weaknesses; seeing within yourself a self that is positive and realistic so as to avoid the more common pitfalls that come from the effects of allowing the monkey free reign in conflicts. 

Managing the monkey means managing your emotions and to do that you have to have that emotional intelligence so as to identify, name and address such emotional effects. You need to realize what is behind such emotions such as when some perceived hurt triggers anger when that hurt is more emotional than actual or real.

SA is about taking responsibility for the self, i.e. the human, the monkey and the lizard, so all your decisions and actions are right, correct and acceptable to society as a whole. 

It is about the ability to see reality so that you can distinguish between what someone says or does so that your own judgment and reaction is appropriate to the situation at any given moment. It is about being assertive over being angry or fearful. It is about creating the ability to provide conflict resolutions to yourself and thereby to others as conflicts arise. 

Look at it as Aristotle did so long ago, it is about developing a higher level of emotional intelligence or as he said, “Emotional Skillfulness.”

Situational Awareness: Having the ability to read the environment and the process of accurately assessing particular situations within an environment. Primarily to monitor when things are normal for that environment and therefore safe.

"Awareness without knowledge is paranoia." ~ Marc MacYoung

If you don't know what normal is for a situation, there is no way you can tell when something is abnormal, much less dangerous. Situational awareness is more than just receiving information (looking around and being 'aware'). It's having a working knowledge to process that incoming data, shift through, file and pick out anomalies -- especially ones commonly associated with trouble, unacceptable behavior and danger.

Situational awareness, but one of it's foundations, environmental knowledge. What is environmental knowledge (EK)? Well, it's kind of like a blend between cultural anthropology, psychology, data collection and reading. But most of all it's knowing that you can know this stuff and apply it.

Anywhere you go, there are certain elements that must be addressed when humans live together. Knowing that is the first step in understanding EK.

Among the many issues that must be worked out among the locals is acceptable distances between different people, personal space and tone of voice appropriate to the situation. These change according to the relationship and the task. There are also scripted behaviors and patterns on how you 'handle' different situations.

When you deal with the person there are differences in attitudes, values and beliefs. What are they? That is environmental knowledge. You cannot assume every one of the same skin color thinks and behaves the same way.

What are the cultural norms? What are the socio-economic differences between places? What behavior is acceptable among the locals and for that situation?

Why? How can you tell when something is abnormal, if you can't identify what is normal? Without the baseline of environmental knowledge, your situational awareness is meaningless.

The people, the places, what they do and the time they do them, that's environmental knowledge. Fictional or not, that's a good starting point.

“You're smart, so if you don't understand something, it's not because you're incapable. It's because you're missing information. You need to start asking questions to fill in that missing information instead of making assumptions about what fills in the gap.” ~ Marc MacYoung

Kind of hard to have situational awareness without having a clue about what the components are. What the process is. How you apply it. What are you looking for and why? Most of all, what's involved in developing it?

“ … start working at replacing your assumptions with verifiable knowledge of the environment.” ~ Marc MacYoung

SSgt Grizzly Bear has a saying, "Ignorance is not a sustainable paradigm in violence professions."

Self Defense - It is a legal standard your behavior must meet given the circumstances and the level of danger.

Someone asks me to teach them situational awareness I can immediately rattle off three questions

1) For what kind of environment?
2) For what kind of circumstances?
3) How deep do you want to go?

The answers to those three questions will determine the details and the depth of situational awareness. Three, the triad toward SA, is environmental knowledge, rule knowledge, and domain knowledge as explained:

1. Environmental Knowledge (EK) is understanding the general makeup of a location/area/place/environment. For example, what the people do, when they do it, who they do it with, why they do it, where they do it, and how they do it. Having EK means you see the environment as it truly exists, not as how you believe it to be. EK requires understanding basic human nature as well as social norms and cultural motivations. And how these desires and attitudes effect the inhabitant’s rules and behaviors. (See Marc MacYoung for the original deeper description of this concept) 

2. Rule Knowledge (RK) is understanding “how things work” in the specified Environment. The Environment creates the Rules. All human societies, groups, organizations, tribes, families, etc have some form of Rules of Behavior. These rules are specific to the Environment, but underlying them are universal principles and concepts (that are not so hard to understand). It is not enough to know the environment, you also need to know how the rules guide behaviors, allow people to function/work, and to reward and punish behaviors. You need to know who implements/enforces the rules, what are the rules, how the rules are communicated, how the rules are enforced, how compliance/respect for the rules is shown. Understanding the “rules” of criminal behavior is essential to RK. 

3. Domain Knowledge (DK) is having the knowledge and skills to deal with/operate in the specific Environment and to be capable of protecting yourself and others (within reason). It is here that understanding criminal behavior is critical. A major portion of DK is having both EK and RK. It takes EK to derive RK. It takes RK to develop the competency of DK. DK is what most people think of as “how to do self-defense”. What they don’t “see” is the underlying knowledge of when to do something, what to do, why to do it, where to do it, and against whom, or not against whom, and when it works, when it doesn’t, and what to do next.

Situation awareness is the perception of environmental elements with respect to time and/or space, the comprehension of their meaning, and the projection of their status after some variable has changed, such as time, or some other variable, such as a predetermined event.

Situation awareness (SA) involves being aware of what is happening in the vicinity, in order to understand how information, events, and one's own actions will impact goals and objectives, both immediately and in the near future. One with an adept sense of situation awareness generally has a high degree of knowledge with respect to inputs and outputs of a system, i.e. an innate "feel" for situations, people, and events that play out due to variables the subject can control.


The ability to see problems looming on the horizon. It is about “being aware,” but the important part of this formula is, “aware of what?” If you are not savvy and know what to be aware of then your situational awareness is just another sound bite and you are going to pay the price for that one. 

What you need to know for a fundamentally sound ability of “situational awareness” can be found, at least as a start, in the book titled, “In The Name of Self-Defense,” by Marc MacYoung. Marc states in the book concerning SA, “Awareness without knowledge is paranoia.” 

An important statement he goes on to provide is, “In our modern world, personal safety is as much about quality of life as it is about self-defense. How do you synch being safe with the rest of your life - without becoming a paranoid survivalist nutcase?” One final note regarding that knowledge, it must be “accurate knowledge.” 

SI is about scaling it up or down according to your location and situation. Think of it as a muscle. Like any muscle you need to exercise it by tightening and relaxing it, called a work out. The purpose here is not about the exercise. It is so you can do other things with those stronger muscles. You build endurance so you can last longer. You use SI so you know when it is safe to relax or when to buy yourself “time” when you need to shift mental gears. Mr. MacYoung provides an exercise or practice that will strengthen your SI muscle, i.e. it is about using both the negative and positive. When you are relaxing that muscle, i.e. exercising it but without the negative drain, you become aware of something beautiful, cool, interesting, or something similar. This positive use of SI counter balances the negative you need when you “need it.” Learn to apply SA to all situations and circumstances. Not focusing on the negative or the bad is the counter to burning out trying to be tactically aware of danger all the time. 

As can be seen here this information is not considered complete nor comprehensive but does present some of the complexities that can lead to misunderstanding when training martial arts especially for self-defense (even combatives and fighting). 

One last form of awareness is as follows (although this explanation may belong under other categories of awareness I split it apart because of, my perception, its level of importance.):

Comparative Awareness: A full awareness of the distinctions between such categories of conflict and violence such as between the sport oriented, combative oriented, fighting oriented applications of the psychological and physical methodologies. The ability to distinguish between the different disciplines so that confusion, misunderstandings and misconceptions don’t hinder the application of any or all of said disciplines. There shall be an emphasis toward self-defense because the majority of martial arts in today’s modern society must deal with the social impediments governing the use of conflict and violence to resolve conflict and violence. 

In the end, any martial artist who studies, trains and practices this discipline must embrace the full spectrum of the system studied because not have a totality of awareness of such principles leaves holes an adversary can drive a fist or foot though.

Bibliography (Click the link)

SELF-DEFENSE; SUB-PRINCIPLE: Redirected Aggression

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

About emotional understanding of others especially when out of nowhere and for no apparent reason another human being goes off on you, i.e., redirected aggression is when a person who has experienced some type of event or person that spurs anger or fear is unable to direct their aggressive response toward the source so ends up taking that anger, fear and/or frustration out on you when stimulated in some way such as bumping into them and spilling their drink. 

This is one of those examples that spells out the dangers inherent in the social aggressive conflict where men seeking status, ego stroking and other testerone monkey business tend to get into situations that can lead to violence - in other words, fighting. 

Taking notice when redirected aggression comes your way and taking appropriate steps to avoid it or deescalate it is self-defense. If you can rein in your own monkey who is going to be triggered into some smart ass retort, simply say, “Sorry,” and then leave goes a long way to avoid this type of thing. This is worth pursuing in self-defense training. 

Bibliography (Click the link)


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

Go back to read TECHNIQUE; SUB-PRINCIPLE: Speed.    

Speed in self-defense covers a wide range of strategies and tactics such as the speed you discern danger in any given situation and in any given environment. Speed is also about how fast you recognize when in the interview or under verbal attack. Speed is about how fast you recognize when your monkey brain is taking control and how fast you catch the monkey and how fast you stop your mouth from overloading your ass in a verbal or aggressive situation. 

Speed is not just how fast you can hit someone or how fast you can get the physical going but rather how fast you can avoid the physical and how fast you can escape and evade an attack. There are many facets to speed where the speed in which you act in especially a physical way is not the one and only way but just one of many ways.

Speed can also be about how fast you recognize danger and how fast you can turn around and leave. Leaving is the best self-defense mode you can achieve. Leaving is avoidance at its very best. There are a whole plethora of things one can learn, practice, train and apply that means you never have to face physical violence and its damage and legal, moral and personal repercussions - repercussions that are often not good.     

Bibliography (Click the link)


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Diplomacy is about our interactions with others. It is about managing relations between humans. It is about the development of the art of dealing with people, humans, in a sensitive and effective way. I often recommend to practitioners the series, “The Art of Verbal Self-Defense.” This series addresses the myriad types of verbal communications used for both aggressive verbal attacks and what types of verbal defensive ways one can combat those attacks. 

It also means the practitioner must know, understand then utilize information about what types of violence they encounter and why because to achieve a good defense means you have to know how, why, and when one might find themselves under scrutiny and then attack. 

Diplomacy is just a term that many already understand as a means to communicate and mediate things between humans as individuals or as groups so it is easy to understand in karate and martial arts self-defense we must train, practice then apply these skills so that we can avoid, deescalate, escape and evade conflict and/or violence before it gets physical. 

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This is defined as a psychological theory that we humans develop personality through repeating series of crises and resolution. I look at it as the development or increase maturity of our social emotional development. In order to achieve that goal we have to move away from what some call, “Our comfort zones.” 

Humans tend to gravitate toward those things and values and life styles that bring comfort along with positive gratifications but that does not address the human conditions of survival as they are achieved through conflict and violence. It is also how humans tend to lean heavily toward the emotional drive of our monkey brains and that means gaining personal and social comfort zones that satisfy the monkeys needs. Although that can be a necessarily good thing it comes to create issues in modern society when the monkey dominates our lives and that is why we need to create a solid and balanced social emotional maturity. 

It comes down to a social maturity of emotions so when we encounter conflicts of a nature that could and would lead to violence of an inappropriate level we need to have a level of maturity that allows us to rein in our emotional monkey brain so our human logical brain and our lizard brain can evaluate and select proper actions accordingly from our procedural zombie programmed memory. 

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Easy, simple and to the point, i.e., one must give themselves permission to disregard socially driven obstacles like the application of violence to stop violence. It you are attacked your socially driven mode may be to say, “This is not happening to me, I can’t hurt another human being!” To survive and defend you have to give yourself permission to do the things necessary to stop the damage and get to safety. 

You also have to give yourself permission to actually “go.” Go meaning to apply self-defense levels of force in a physically violent situation. We all hope that we will have the ability to avoid such violent conflicts but in the rare event one raises up its ugly head looking to apply violence directly on your head you must have already given yourself permission to act accordingly with the appropriate levels of force to remain within the self-defense square. 

To get here you are going to have to admit and accept that conflict and violence are an integral part of the human condition and allow that ignorance, ignoring or not learning about this complex and huge topic will be detrimental to your survival. You have to give yourself permission to accept things as reality then proceed to learn, practice and apply those things necessary for survival defense (self-defense). 

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FaceBook Disabled

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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. 


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First and foremost, kobudo weaponry from Okinawa are not adequate for self-defense or even fighting. They are excellent in teaching physiokinetic aspects of martial arts such as structure and posture along with providing aspects of movement that involves the connection between two hands but it is not self-defense. Kobudo weapons can teach us how to recognize environmentally available weapons if needed and that is beneficial. 

Weapons in self-defense are those things, often chosen from an environment for self-defense, you find in the environment that can be used to defend such as a table that can be used as an obstacle providing more time, distance and a barrier that the adversary has to overcome; unless he uses a type of weapon like a firearm, etc.

Weapons are also some enhancing devices that provide your body the extra ability to stop the attack quickly and decisively. Like all things self-defense many factors are required as to levels of force and threat assessment. It is best to train and remember that even those enhancing devices can be viewed in a way that may result in prosecution and that is relevant toward many other aspects of self-defense, defense. 

Remember that in a street self-defense situation you will not be barefoot. The shod foot is a weapon and requires you practice with the shoes you wear most of the time along with your street clothing. You won't be attacked wearing your martial art uniform nor barefoot unless you are at the beach practicing your art and so on.

Clothing itself makes it easier to grab an adversary simply because you will be that close if he attacks on the street, the street is like that. 

Weapons in the mind of martial arts include the empty hands. The use of hands is discussed elsewhere in this book. 

Remember, with everything in self-defense it comes down to effectiveness while being judged by perceptions as to level of force and aggressiveness, etc. It is about stopping the attack but also about preventing the aftermath from legal sources. 

Your absolute best weapons, of course, are those strategies and tactics that allow avoidance, deescalation and escape and evasion. Don’t allow your monkey brain to get you so far you have to resort to weaponry that results in self-defense, defense. 

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Modern self-defense is all about the technique used to combat the technique used. In reality, humans broadcast certain indicators that tell other humans they are on the prowl and the other humans, if properly enlightened, shall be most cautious. The indicators communicate the needs and wants of the person displaying said indicators to others and to achieve the ability to be aware of said indicators and then act in accordance with the indicators becomes important to remaining in the self-defense square.

In some social situations a person posturing is an indicator that they want something and if directed at you they want that something from you. If you are listening you can more often than not avoid violence by giving them what they want. For instance, if one is shouting, waving thier arms around while angrily shouting at you to shut the f%$# up you can avoid violence by simply shutting the f%$# up. This means closing your mouth and controlling your body language so you become non-readable either way and whalla, the situation is deescalated and you avoided blows.

Here are some of those more obvious indicators provided you know, understand and recognize them along with other sub-principles like JAM/AOJ and the five stages sub-principle, i.e., “Person’s voice changes to shouting, yelling or screaming; they change their word choice to insults, slurs or belittling; their speech changes and its cadence also changes where it speeds up or slows down; they make facial changes like frowning, open-mouth snarls or they bark expressions; they lean forward or start rocking; their chin juts out like he is trying to poke you with it; the chin lift; puffing or inhaling and exhaling while trying to swell up bigger; see a change in breathing patterns to a faster pace that may indicate an adrenal rush; there is also the aborted lunge usually just the upper body and the feet don’t move; a big one is the arm drawing back or they raise the hand as if to strike; then there are the arm movements where they use a limb or the finger like someone stressing a point or waving it like a flag and many, many more.” 

Caveat: Don’t assume the list above is all encompassing and comprehensive, it is meant to stimulate a need for more research, study and practice. 

Learning how to detect and evaluate such things so as to appropriately respond is critical to remaining within the self-defense square. Learning them also through reality-based adrenal stress-conditions is also important. And ….

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The types of violence as presented in the expert professional writings of Rory Miller and Marc MacYoung are, “Social Violence and Asocial Violence.” There are a lot of differences and to study, practice, train and understand them in the self-defense realm requires more than can be explained here and in short, social violence is the monkey dance ego status seeking type of fights one might see in bar room brawls or at gate parties of sport events. In short, asocial violence is not about ego, pride or status, etc., but more about either, “Resource predation or Process predation.” A bit more follows with the sub-principle of resource and process predators. 

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Also referred to as the adrenal dump and the chemical dump and the adrenal stress-conditions of conflict and violence. The strange thing is this effect doesn’t just occur when fear of conflict and violence occur. Almost any type of stress releases these chemicals into our bodies and minds when any of the emotions, like fear and anger, are triggered. One reason why we say when this occurs we are in our monkey brains but we are also to suffer the ill-effects of the dump in our senses, body, mind and spirit. 

Common effects are but not limited to, “Depth perception and visual distortion; Tunnel vision; auditory exclusion; Speed and strength increase; change in blood flow and hear beat; Time distortion; Fine motor skill/movement decay; Trembling and fumbling; timing problems and movement drop; Change in respiratory rate; Unconscious muscle tension; Mono-emotional and emotional detachment; Rhythmic motion and rocking; Bladder or bowel release; etc.” Then there are after effects, or post adrenal effects such as, “Short or long term memory loss; Nausea; Post-incident soreness; Hypo-mania; Crash and Exhaustion; Dreamless sleep or nightmares; Post-incident resurgence.” 

All this brings up the importance of training for the adrenal stress effects both before violence, when they are often triggered, during the fight and after it is all over with. Training should be a adrenal stress-conditioned reality-based training scenario(s). It is important that this type of training be done by experts with proper certifications and experience. This type of training is dangerous when done improperly. 

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JAM is a  an acronym for, “Jeopardy, Ability and Means,” used to determine if one is being interviewed for a resource predation type attack (example, not just for this type of attack; used to determine if and when violence is going to occur). AOJ is an acronym for, “Ability, Opportunity and Jeopardy,” also used  to determine if and when violence is going to occur. In truth it is a matter of which the individual uses to stay within the self-defense square.

The five stages are the stages of violent crimes, i.e., what to look for along with JAM/AOJ in determining whether someone is going to go violent on you. Marc MacYoung states, “Short version, the person crosses a psychological boundary and moves closer to physical violence - and his body reflects it.” The five stages of violent crime are, “Intent, Interview, Positioning, Attack and Reaction.” 

To use this sub-principle a practitioner must study and understand not just JAM, both individually and as one whole, AOJ and the five stages but all of the sub-principles of self-defense to apply the craft universally and within that SD square. 

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Rory Miller (or Marc MacYoung or even someone else they quoted) came up with the three brains in an attempt to explain to laymen, like myself, those aspects of our brains that lead us toward conflict and violence. The three brains encompass many aspects and facets of how our brains are formed and how the brain controls how we think, feel and act. They are, “The human (logical brain fairly recent evolutionary creation of nature), the monkey (the emotionally driven egoistic survival-status seeking-emotional-self-centered, etc., oriented brain) and the lizard (the brain part that is more instinctual and connected to when we acted to survive on the plains of the Serengeti being chased by Lions; procedural memory access oriented).

This sub-principle is about learning how the three work, how to make one over another take control and how they affect our behavior, especially when in a conflict and when acting in a violent way. It is about learning to apply certain skills learned through such disciplines as karate and martial arts to wholeheartedly and holistically work all three brains toward a goal of, in this instance, staying within the self-defense square in the event avoidance, deescalation and escape-evasion fail us, requiring the application of force in a violent way. 

It is this training, practice and application of the three that will provide you the data necessary to take one of the more important aspects of the self-defense, defense, through articulation - to the first responder, etc.

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SELF-DEFENSE; SUB-PRINCIPLE: The Self-defense Square

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A term coined by Marc MacYoung in his book, “In the Name of Self-Defense,” where I first started to truly and fully understand the ramifications in using self-defense as a defense in a violent encounter. I look at the square as just large enough to put both my feet into it standing as if at a position of attention, a stance military assume in standing formations, where stability is questionable unless I move my feet. Moving my feet means stepping outside the square. Stepping outside the square means I have done something that makes the self-defense - defense indefensible in a court of law and the legal system (It should be noted that there is a huge difference between the law and the legal system). 

As I continue to study the principle of self-defense in detail a practitioner begins to understand and appreciate the need to fully embrace the entire spectrum that makes up the world of self-defense. Like physiokinetics, it only takes a small violation of one of the sub-principles to unbalance a person and get hurt so as in self-defense any misstep or violation of a sub-principle means legal ramifications as well as economic. 

The goal of karate and martial arts for self-defense is to study, learn, understand and apply all the sub-principles to keep balanced while standing in that teensy, tiny and very restricted square.  

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SELF-DEFENSE; SUB-PRINCIPLE: Emotional Intelligence

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Emotions, when I start to consider self-defense I am reminded that our monkey brains, our emotional side of the brain, tends to lead the pack for how men can find themselves in violent situations. When we are in social situations where status and ego are involved it doesn’t take much to find a verbal attack triggering the old monkey brain’s response mechanism that is solely about some monkey antics egoistic testerone prone response rather than a more logical human brain response toward avoidance, deescalation, or escape and evasion. 

In a more asocial predatory situation that is about processes or resources the monkey once again becomes emotional, the monkey emotional actions and reactions are our ancient survival instincts going into save my ass mode. One reason why evolution created the logical human brain, as modern times became more civilized, or so we would like to think, the need to react to an attacking animal predator changed to a need to act and react to a human predator. Add in all the social conditioning that of course led to the social reactions in a legal system governing a new belief system we now have a need, a strong need, for proper human logical thinking to govern and moderate our monkey antics to achieve proper self-defense. In a recent example a couple being robbed at gun point ended in tragedy when the wife, after the husband was pistol whipped, looked at the robber and said something like, “What now, are you going to shoot us.” That monkey response got her shot and dead. 

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SELF-DEFENSE; SUB-PRINCIPLE: Conflict Communications

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Look at this sub-principle as a type of communications that can be used not just to avoid but also to deescalate from the dangers of violence. The vastness of what is required to know and understand about such communications is staggering (think about culture and their beliefs, about those customs, their lifestyles and group/tribal dynamics and rules, etc.). It is not just learning to spout out a variety of canned phrases but crosses the boundaries of social, religious, political and human differences. 

It is about not just talking but actively listening but not just to the words but also to the feelings and language expressed through body language. It is like many of the SD subject matters, it is complex. 

Nowhere else is it found that communications span far more than merely talking, it is about how we communicate and in self-defense such things can lead toward peace or toward war. We convey every aspect of ourselves through our communications. We can project attitudes and character by the tone, rhythm and expressions while communicating. We can convey much without even uttering a single word.

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Thursday, March 24, 2016

CHEMICAL COCKTAIL; SUB-PRINCIPLE: Levels of Hormonal Stimulation

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This refers to the adrenal stress-conditions as to levels where minor releases of a more controllable nature all the way up to the extreme releases that literally take your mind and send it off to that deep hole the rabbit falls in when fear and anger dominate in a not so nice way. What matters in this sub-principle is an understanding of the levels and training toward a controlling effort to bring the most dangerous of levels down to a manageable one so as to get the job done be it from a professional standing to that of a defensive stand. 

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Simple, those who live and work in an environment that involves conflict and violence of a serious level every day of their lives. Military especially in combat zones; police on patrol; corrections officers safeguarding violent criminals both sane and insane; security guards of a certain type; body guards; executive protection work; military contractors; bouncers and others of similar status. 

Remember, after you use your self-defense as a non-professional civilian you are going to face a professional, the first responder police officer. Remember, you have to articulate to him or her why you broke the law and claimed self-defense, an affirmative defense, and that articulation and his or her perception and evaluation may mean the difference between going to jail and being released on your own recognizance. 

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Victim is the predators target and victim is also the target of the socially driven monkey dance most encounter unless they live in dangerous environments as well as working professionals. Predator is that one individual that often is in all likelihood a resource or process or resource-process predator. Being such a complex and vast subject it is best to make sure that the subject is taught by a professional teacher using references that give a fuller and more comprehensive explanation of the victim and predator. 

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CHEMICAL COCKTAIL; SUB-PRINCIPLE: Male vs. Female Adrenaline Curve

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Men, they flood quickly and just as quickly can come down off the chemical but then they experience the after effects. Women, they are slow burners, it takes time for the adrenaline dump to reach its peak and just as long or longer to come down and return to normal. Men, can go from peaceful to full on battle mode in a manner of microseconds. Women take minutes to hours to even days to reach that peak and that explains why husbands and boy friends can come in days after an argument only to face an aggressive and angry wife or girlfriend and often say, “What the hell is wrong.” 

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This one is a benefit, you can get shot, stabbed or hit with a bludgeon and not feel a thing, That is the good part because once you learn that pain and many movie oriented ideas don’t really apply in reality and that you can continue even under some of the gravest things you continue and stop the threat and damage. 

One small problem with this, when you end the threat and you start to come down and feel the after effects of adrenal chemical effects those injuries will all of a sudden start to rip into the pain receptors and send some heavy pain signals to your brain - ouch, F%$#, F%$#, F%$#, F%$#!

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In the heat of self-defense when you try to use that most awesome self-defense method and it doesn’t work, your mind will try again and if it fails again your mind will try it again and again and again - you can fall into the infinite loop of trying one method that may not work. Train and practice appropriately to try a methodology once or maybe twice but then, like learning to break the freeze, break free from the infinite loop. Behavioral looping often gets a person hurt badly and sometime even killed.

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CHEMICAL COCKTAIL; SUB-PRINCIPLE: Irrelevant Thought Intrusion

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Experienced professionals will tell you that your brain, your mind, will indiscriminately insinuate irrelevant thoughts into you mind at the most odd moments in a stress filled violent encounter. Leaning this, experience it either by actual experience or by visualization or by reality based adrenal stress-conditioned training will give you the tools to just let that thought simply fly in and out of your mind so you can get-r-done properly. 

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