Insights and Reflections

How Bad is your Bullshitsu Infection?

JackNicholson

“The essence of the independent mind lies not in what it thinks, but in how it thinks.” ― Christopher Hitchens   I am currently in the process of editing, researching, writing and re-writing a multi-volume book entitled “Bullshitsu and the Fight to Make Martial Arts Work”. It is a project that I started around 2005 as an examination of the legacy of the R.B.S.D. (Reality-Based Self-Defence) movement, but has since evolved into a critical overview of martial arts subculture in […]

Continue Reading

The Martial “Art” Returns

dangerous-art

“Really weird to see someone talk about not discriminating then basically discriminate against an entire group of skilled, hard working ppl.” – Megan Olivi On 8 January 2017 Meryl Streep deservedly received the Golden Globes Lifetime Achievement Award. The occasion caused quite a stir that is still being discussed now, as the actress used her speech to launch a political attack on the president-elect, Donald Trump. Her argument with Trump and his subsequent backlash on social media is of no […]

Continue Reading

Survivor Knowledge

i esceped my killer

One of the saddest realities of criminal history is that notorious killers often claim the identities of their victims. These unfortunate human beings became immortalized only as part of the supporting cast for their killer’s infamous biography. Lisa Noland (nee McVey) is an exception to this rule. She was the last victim of the serial killer, Bobbie Joe Long. A woman of remarkable, courage, intelligence and tenacity, Nolan had endured a life of abuse long before she was abducted. In […]

Continue Reading

Evil, Beasts and Monsters

lon chaney

Following up from yesterday’s post regarding the revelation of a steep increase of reports on child abuse in the year ending April 2014, I would like to further elaborate on the problems with the “Stranger, Danger” gimmick. What seems evident since Operation Yew Tew and the exposure of various paedophile rings is that a conspiracy of silence has stopped victims coming forward.  Let’s put a lot of this in perspective. This isn’t a conspiracy theory where a careful shadow operation […]

Continue Reading

Thoughts on the recent NSPCC press release

nspcc

When Operation Yew Tree confirmed the crimes of Jimmy Saville, it should have put a nail in the coffin of the stranger, danger myth. Sadly like many self-protection myths, it persists to this day. The fact Saville was used to promote a book on stranger, danger and wrote the foreword can not be a more sickening example of the cognitive dissonance at work. I have long been working on a piece that will form part of a future book on […]

Continue Reading

Playing the Combat Game

Playing the Combat Game

I remember the feeling well. It was 2nd September 1995 and I was watching my little television mounted on a wall bracket in my room. Frank Bruno, the loveable sports hero of our country, had finally achieved his dream and claimed a version of the heavyweight championship of the world in Wembley, England.  I remember jumping from my bed in uncontrollable joy, cheering for a man I didn’t know and for a fight that no Boxing coach would ever look […]

Continue Reading

The Boxing Kangaroo and The Law of Instrument – Martial Arts Scepticism Series

every-problem-as-a-nail-620x900_0

“I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail”. Abraham Maslow, The Psychology of Science, 1966 Social media appears to be a great way to collectively analyse martial arts subculture. During my time training and teaching, I have come to the conclusion that many problems presented in martial arts stem from the way they operate as a subsection of society. Like most tribes, a common flaw […]

Continue Reading

Jessup Thinking & Pious Fraud in Martial Arts (Martial Arts Scepticism Series)

a-few-good-men

“Do not suspend necessary scepticism [US sp.] because of the righteousness of the cause.” – Steven Novella “The Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe” As I continue researching and writing my upcoming book on critical thinking in martial arts several reoccurring themes crop up. The Pious Fraud logical fallacy is a new one on me, but it seems to be quite popular in martial arts subculture. I found it when I kept coming across martial artists persisting with the propagation of […]

Continue Reading

Mordred Resurrected

Mordred Resurrected

  “Mordred’s Victory and Other Martial Mutterings” is my first martial arts ebook. Prior to this my written work took the form of the historical printed book, “The Legend of Salt and Sauce: The Amazing Story of Britain’s Most Famous Elephants”. Despite writing on several disparate subjects over the years, non-commissioned writers tend to write about what they experience in some form and there has been a steady stream of martial arts material since I wrote the article, “Respecting the […]

Continue Reading

Training ’95

Notepad (software)

Notepad (software) (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Recently I was sorting through old storage boxes and found a few pages from an A4 notepad. The pages weren’t dated, but their contents gave me some very good clues. It was interesting to see the fledgling ideas that were going my head at the time. The front pages were a synopsis to a fictional story I had in mind, based on the then recent events in my parents’ company. Other pages revealed two first […]

Continue Reading

The Commonwealth Games and Cross Training

The Commonwealth Games just whets my appetite in the same way a bookshop or library does. I see a wide range of physical pursuits that are worthy exploratory branches off my individualistic training path. Just as books provide you with the opportunity to acquire greater knowledge, greater depth of knowledge, correct or confirm or intellectually test previous information, and to provide exciting new portals into new ideas, different physical activities put your body new experiences. Even if the specific area […]

Continue Reading

McDojo to Go? (Martial Arts Scepticism Series)

Enhanced by Zemanta

The teaching of martial arts is a widespread service offered to the general public in most countries. Like any service, it is expected that the client pays the provider. However, when I first started training in the martial arts my generation were observant of a growing criticism of martial arts profiteering. Scepticism of the efficiency of certain martial arts methods were being traced back to charlatanism and a general lowering of standards. Then I heard the word McDojo and I […]

Continue Reading

The New Martial Arts Mystique (Martial Arts Scepticism Series)

The New Martial Arts Mystique (Martial Arts Scepticism Series)

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”  Albert Einstein   A Martial Arts Blind Spot?   Violence is a serious business. Whether you face it in a full contact combat sport or in the form of an assault, the margins for error are often slim. Since the periodic demystification of the martial arts in the western world[i] whole subcultures supporting modern […]

Continue Reading

The Martial “Art”

art2

“All art is useless” – Oscar Wilde If you are involved long enough in martial arts you will inevitably arrive at the game of semantics known as “Define a martial art”. This can become a heated philosophical discussion or a rapid nerdy descent into pedantry. The dictionary definition for martial arts, which usually labels them as systems of fighting from the Far East, is not helpful in deciding this one either. The prolific martial arts writer and historian, Robert W. […]

Continue Reading

Trick or Treat? – Self-Protection Education

Trick or Treat? - Self-Protection Education

Halloween is not the easiest of events to connect to self-protection or the martial arts. This is despite some wonderful efforts by colleagues of mine who have put forward advice dealing with the "Zombie Apocolypse". Neverthless I did write something regarding fear for my non-martial arts blog, where I wrote a section regarding self-protection, "Paint it a Blacker Shade of Dark". This year I would like to briefly touch on the customaray practice of "trick-or-treating" and how it flags up […]

Continue Reading

Respect: How Can it Benefit Self-Protection?

Enhanced by Zemanta

“Respect your efforts, respect yourself. Self-respect leads to self-discipline. When you have both firmly under your belt, that's real power.” –          Clint Eastwood On a good day I will be able to ask my junior martial arts class what our club’s first tenet is and a sea of eager hands will shoot up.  Some – those who haven’t quite got to grips with our fourth tenet of discipline – will blurt out the answer: “Respect!” And so it is.  But […]

Continue Reading