Recommended reading for the martial arts. This is my personal library list. I practice Okinawan Te or "Ryukyu Ti." My system is derived from two others, one being the main influence of Shorin-ryu and the second Goju-ryu. The branch under Shorin-ryu is Isshin-ryu as developed by Shimabuku Tatsuo Sensei.

I wanted to create a library reference blog where I can provide a listing of the books I have in my library, present and past (past in that some have been lost in transit over the years). I will provide a graphic, if available, a short description, if available, and the bibliography. When possible a link to Amazon will be provided.

"Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider..." - Francis Bacon


Reader's of this Blog

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The True Believer

Bibliography:
Hoffer, Eric. “The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements.” Harper Collins e-books, May 2011.

Review: When I began reading this book I was just trying to understand the how and why of human nature but when I got to the chapter on dying and killing many of the quotations that follow just stimulated my mind and feelings. It seemed just in these short quotations that a lot about conflict and violence and human natural behaviors are what they are. It gave thoughts toward many aspects of conflict, violence and self-defense that simply supported all of what I have come to understand about these long, difficult and complex disciplines. 

Dying and killing seem easy when they are part of a ritual, ceremonial, dramatic performance or game.

There is a need for some kind of make believe in order to face death unflinchingly. 

To our real, naked selves there is not a thing on earth or in heaven worth dying for.

It is only when we see ourselves as actors in a staged (and therefore unreal) performance that death loses its frightfulness and finality and becomes an act of make-believe and a theatrical gesture.

It is one of the main tasks of a real leader to mask the grim reality of dying and killing by evoking in his followers the illusion that they are participating in a grandiose spectical, a solemn or light-hearted dramatic performance.

The indispensability of play-acting in the grim business of dying and killing is particularly evident int he case of militaries. Their uniforms, flags, emblems, parades, music, and elaborate etiquette and ritual are designed to separate the soldier from his flesh-and-blood self and mask the overwhelming reality of life and death. 

In battle orders the military leaders invariable remind their soldiers that the eyes of the world are on them, that their ancestors are watching them and that posterity shall hear of them. The great general knows ow to conjure an audience out of the sands of the desert and the waves of the ocean. 

Glory is largely a theatrical concept. There is no striving for glory without a vivid awareness of an audience - the knowledge that our mighty deeds will come to the ears of our contemporaries of “of those who are to be.” We are ready to sacrifice our true, transitory self for the imaginary eternal self we are building up, by our heroic deeds, in the opinion and imagination of others. 

There is no doubt that in staging its processions, parades, rituals and ceremonials, a mass movement touches a responsive cord in every heart. Even the sober-minded are carried away by the sight of an impressive mass spectacle. There is an exhilaration and getting out of one’s skin in both participants and spectators. The desire to escape or camouflage their unsatisfactory selves develops in the frustrated a facility for pretending - for making a show - and also a readiness to identify themselves wholly with an imposing mass spectacle.

- Eric Hoffer, The True Believer

Being a (Inactive) Marine I never really understood many of the things we were required to learn, train and apply as Marines. Even later when I read the books “On Killing” and “On Combat” it didn’t really sink in. I guess this is why accumulative learning, understanding and experiences are so darn critical when it comes to conflict and violence. 

It also confirms that humans, generally, avoid instinctively those things that would result in grave bodily harm and death. This falls under survival instincts and how we fit in nature’s animal kingdom. Very interesting!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Hard-Won Wisdom from the School of Hard Knocks

Bibliography:
Burrese, Alain., “Hard-Won Wisdom from the School of Hard Knocks.” TGW Books. October 2013. 

Review: Found this book through a share on Marc MacYoung’s Facebook wall and very glad I did cause it is “Good.” I can say this from reading just the first part, the Introduction. I can get a good feel for a book from the introduction and to date have not found any book to fall down or apart after reading the intro. This book falls into that good category with a solid expectation of reaching the “Must Have” level very soon. I look forward to a follow up review of this fine publication once I finish it - soon. 

As I get caught up in this one the first thought that occurs to me is one I would use for a best seller, "A reap page turner!" Oh, wait a minute, this is a best seller or rather a best in library. If it were not for dry eyes and fatigue after long days it would be finished already but it is nice to know that I have a great book to study when I rest and wake for a new day. This is one of those books.

I would go so far as to add it to my self-defense prerequisite books list or bibliography, it is that well done. Give me a few more days and I will continue to write about my views, review if you will, of this most excellent addition to my martial library. Hell, a fine addition to my overall library!

Addendum: Mr. Burrese doesn't fool around, he hits the main and critical points or principles then moves on quickly. Every chapter is full, complete and comprehensive without resorting to wordy explanations that confuse. He sticks hard to those aspects that make a difference for your self-defense. It is the fundamentals of knowledge that supports and connects to other mainline professional authors who also teach about self-defense.

I wrote an article for my blog expressing how important it is to get perspectives and perceptions of such professionals from a diverse professions view and perceptions, i.e., a street thug, a corrections officer with lots of hard core violence experience and a military professional facing violence from both spectrums, i.e., the military and civil social violence source. Mr. Burrese fits in there with the top professionals from a background that is indisputable, professional and experienced.

Hey, look at Mr. Burrese's book as a plan on how to create a good, solid and applicable self-defense lesson plan. No one goes into anything worth while without a plan so use his and other books I mention to create a solid self-defense lesson plan. If you only taught what he suggests in your self-defense course you would be giving your students the most excellent teachings of self-defense that exceeds most anything you can get through many martial arts self-defense programs.

This is an outstanding book everyone who trains for self-defense MUST HAVE in their SD libraries, get yours today and you will be very pleased. Thanks Mr. Burrese, much appreciated!

One particular chapter of his book that really stands out to other such efforts is the chapter on health, fitness and its importance in applying self-defense. He discusses the importance of strength, speed, agility, durability, dynamic balance and other aspects toward surviving in an attack. You hear about other programs that recommend but Mr. Burrese goes further to recommend methods that are important to the practice of martial arts especially toward self-defense, fighting and combatives. 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Unfair

Bibliography:
Benforado, Adam. “Unfair: The New Science of Criminal Injustice.” Crown Publishing. Random House. June 2015.

Review: A very unique perspective of human nature with emphasis on how that affects our judicial system. A must read to the self-defense martial arts teacher and practitioner as a supplement in dealing with the aftermath, especially legal, when forced to use physical force in self-defense. I would add this book to the book by Marc MacYoung, In the Name of Self-Defense, as a gift to your attorney because this stuff is just like Mr. MacYoung’s stuff, something seldom known of and understood by attorneys. I have already formed a new view on video and photo evidence as it may be used and how it would effect those who make judgements in legal proceedings.

I just finished the book and have to say I got a ton of information out of it. I am not a professional nor a lawyer who has experience and knowledge of the world of self-defense, both reality and legal, and I would still want to vet this stuff with other professionals yet the base or essence of the material all apply in martial arts self-defense. I found a lot of what is provided validates other source material concerning the legal ramifications when you apply self-defense.

Another point of importance is knowing the in's-n-out's along with all the biases and human fallible traits that permeate the entire legal system helps to understand what you face when you apply self-defense. Since most legal professionals are in the system and often do not see those obstacles it helps you steer your attorney toward a better view when defending your self-defense. This is another excellent source of legal material that should be a part of your self-defense martial art library with one caveat, i.e., always and I mean always seek professional qualified legal advice before you have too.

Note: I always look to the bibliography to see what sources were used to write the book as a sort of validation as well as a means to verify and validate through other views, etc. and this book as seventy-four pages of bibliography. A lot of material to reference and use to verify and validate. The sources as to expert type research and so on lend a bit more validity to the studies, at least I find it beneficial.

Note II: The section where the author discusses human memory as it might apply is awesome, learned a lot about memory and the mind there but the one aspect that didn't appear is how that memory and mind work in the adrenal stress conditions of violence. I find it alludes to the minds foibles but not directly toward how the adrenal dump adds to those obstacles making them tougher to deal with especially when you have to defend your self-defense. Knowledge is power and this book gives you a bit more power as a teacher, practitioner and in the application of self-defense martial arts. 

Friday, May 22, 2015

On Writing Violence Series

MacYoung, Marc. “Writing Violence #1: Getting Shot.” NNSD. Amazon Digital. 2014.
MacYoung, Marc. “Writing Violence #2: Getting Stabbed.”  NNSD. Amazon Digital. 2015.
MacYoung, Marc. “Writing Violence #3: Getting Hit and Hitting.” Amazon Digital Services, inc. NNSD. April 20. 2015.

I have these find eBooks and from the perspective of martial arts (discipline) I can tell you that these books are a lot more than merely writing good verse or story with realism, they are also the best, to my view, primers to learning martial arts, systems or styles. 

Example: I have practiced a striking discipline for almost forty years. I assumed I knew a lot about striking yet when I read, three times to just get it, the third installment of writing violence, getting hit and hitting I found out just how much, “I didn’t KNOW!” It explained far better than I ever could or did about hitting and being hit, striking or punching, etc. It took some of my beliefs and turned them completely upside down to my benefit.

There is so much to learn and these particular terse lessons will get you there be it for martial arts, other combative type systems and especially in apply the physical part of self-defense - primers. I would recommend to anyone and everyone these books (and future editions that come out pretty fast and regular) if they desire to learn a fighting skill, well worth the money, time and study!

Firefly Quotes:

Mal: It's nothin'.
Simon: I expect there's someone's face feels differently.
Mal: Well, they tell ya, never hit a man with a closed fist, but it is on occasion hilarious.

If Mal says it is so, then it is so. Just adds validity to Marc MacYoung’s Writing Violence III: Getting Hit and Hitting, right? :-)

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Law of Self Defense

Bibliography:
Branca, Andrew F. “The Law of Self Defense: The Indispensable Guide to the Armed Citizen.” Law of Self Defense LLC. 2013.

Review: This one was quickly added to my self-defense reference list. Although geared toward self-defense as an armed citizen the advice and information is relevant to self-defense in general be it open-handed or weaponized. There is a lot of well written and solid information along with state specific references and data that will assist you in seeking advice from legal professionals not to forget to mention what you can add for value in your self-defense course of instruction. 


I have already added many aspects, etc., to my book on martial arts self defense instruction manual. Not to take thunder from this book but to direct my readers, students and instructors to a more robust way to teach martial arts and self-defense. I highly recommend adding this to your library. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Writing Violence #3: Getting Hit and Hitting

Bibliography:
MacYoung, Marc. “Writing Violence #3: Getting Hit and Hitting.” Amason Digital Services, inc. NNSD. April 20. 2015. 

Review: Strikers, punchers all, get ready to rock your world because this book provides you a lot of information that will change the way you look at your striking arts system, like karate. 

Over the years I began to understand that what I perceived as power in karate or martial arts was not actually all that powerful. Then I read the short book by Marc MacYoung, Writing Violence: Getting Hit and Hitting where the following quote slapped me in the face and provided me a way to explain why what I was seeing and even practicing actually did NOT mean I was powerful. Mr. MacYoung’s quote,

“Just because it has the external form doesn’t mean it has the internal mechanics that make it work. To the untrained eye, every blow looks brutal, horrible, and damaging. In reality, the level of force is hardly more than pushing or slapping someone - if that.” - Mark MacYoung, Writing Violence: Getting Hit and Hitting

I am barely through one-third of his book and I not only understand my striking system a lot better I can also articulate things better as well. Sometimes coming up with the proper words to describe things that are right as well as the all important things that are wrong is critical in teaching and learning. This book may be a way to write fiction fighting with more realism but it also, in my view, adds truth and realty to how one practices, trains and applies their striking art in reality. 


Get this one karate-ka, get this one you self-defense people and get this one you fledgling fiction action hero authors - it is worth all 2.99 pennies you spend for the kindle version :-)

Firefly Quotes:

Mal: It's nothin'.
Simon: I expect there's someone's face feels differently.
Mal: Well, they tell ya, never hit a man with a closed fist, but it is on occasion hilarious.


If Mal says it is so, then it is so. Just adds validity to Marc MacYoung’s Writing Violence III: Getting Hit and Hitting, right? :-)

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Musashi’s: Book of Five Rings

Bibliography:
Quinn, Peyton. “Musashi’s: Book of Five Rings” Quinn Communications. Amazon Digital Services, inc. 2011.

Review: I have several interpretations of the book by Miyamoto Musashi, the sword saint. All of them are about translation of the original text, if the text is truly original to Musashi but in this instance it is a perspective, perception and contest toward modern fighting and self-defense. In his colorful way he provides the modern martial arts community, the modern self-defense community, with his rendition toward Musashi’s tenants on war, combat, and fighting in general. He does well in pulling those ancient anecdotes to a modern perspective that assists in creating a mind-set/mind-state of the modern SD warrior.

I can say, emphatically, that the prose as well as the substance of this book is amazing. The following quotes, redacted to fit a modern form called karate, will help tell this story of most excellent substantial prose that speaks to both a historical understanding of a great warriors writings as well as applicable substance of combat in modern times.

“Modern dojo are too far removed from the reality and simplicity of defeating an adversary and ten to make it ore complex that 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 since 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

“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

“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

"A pleasant surprise and a wonderful addition to a martial art library. Upon choosing this as my next read I was somewhat hesitant but only after a few minutes found it to be one of the more important additions to my martial art library and martial philosophy." - Me 

Just finished the book of five rings as presented from the point of expertise Peyton Quinn, the author. I am starting from the beginning again to work through the entire thing and that says a lot. Normally, I wait a while then re-read to get a fresher perspective that sees from another angle but this one is just plain good and just plain relevant to modern martial systems be they sport, the Way or combative.

I really appreciate how Mr. Quinn related and inter-connected the historical aspects so that the modern martial practitioner can see and feel how closely history has repeated itself in the training, practice and teaching of modern martial systems. There were many, many "Oh Shit" moments through out the read.

Stay tuned, more to come ….

Real Fighting

Bibliography:
Quinn, Peyton. “Real Fighting: Adrenaline Stress Conditioning through Scenario-Based Training.” Paladin Press. Colorado. 1996.

Review: Mr. Quinn came to my attention through other books by such as Marc MacYoung, Rory Miller and Lawrence A. Kane. My interest was because I felt a huge gap between martial arts as a means of self-defense and reality based training with the goal of introducing to the martial arts community those concepts and perspectives necessary to bring any MA into the SD square (self-defense square coined by Mr. MacYoung).

Like the other authors, Mr. Quinn’s prose in this subject is colorful but solid as to conveying the content in a manner that makes it impressionable to those who feel, think and believe they are practicing reality based self-defense. Chock full of anecdotes and real-life stories he conveys the truth of fighting where a martial arts instructor can readily seeing the now glaring gaps in the study of things like karate. 

Stay tuned, more to come …..

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Is Isshinryu a Self-Defense Martial Art?

Caveat: This article is mine and mine alone. I the author of this article 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.)

Actually, except in some very rare cases, no it is not a self-defense system as it has and is taught today. At least from where I sit and I am sure there are going to be hundreds, maybe even thousands, that will adamantly refute this view of the Isshinryu system. To be a self-defense system Isshinryu must have and teach the following things:

Seven things you must cover in a self-defense class (Rory Miller article):

Legal and ethical aspects
Violence Dynamics
Avoidance, Escape and Evasion, and De-escalation (not fighting)
Counter-assault (operant conditioning goes here, definitely)
Breaking the freeze
The fight itself
Aftermath -- retaliation, medical, legal and psychological

Teaching Self Defense in Isshinryu?

I have been a proponent of the Isshinryu system for nigh on thirty-nine years. I believed in a traditional form of learning, practicing and teaching. I also believed that it was primo for self-defense. I was wrong on so many levels. 

During my tenure in the Isshinryu system I have come to know the many variants studied in this singular martial community. Some through direct observation and experience while others through secondary sources, etc. This is my analysis through my filters of perception and assumption. 

When I first came across the seven things that must be covered in self-defense training, i.e., the type that encompasses any and all forms of martial arts or martial art type models I realized that a lot of peoples assumptions, especially those in the Isshinryu system, were inaccurate or just plain incorrect. 

First, item one of the seven, none of the Isshinryu’s programs I have witnessed, experienced or came to know be it any of the three main branches in the United States even comes close to teaching the legal and ethical aspects of self-defense. Most tend to teach the standard, “uke does this, you do this in response,” drills or kumite’s. 

Second, item two of the seven, none of the Isshinryu’s programs I have witnessed, experienced or came to know be it any of the three main branches in the United States even comes close to teaching violence dynamics as I have come to understand through my references and studies. 

Third, item three of the seven, none of the Isshinryu’s programs I have witnessed, experienced or came to know be it any of the three main branches in the United States even comes close to teaching “Avoidance, escape and evasion, and de-escalation.” Most of what I learned, experienced, etc., were actually strategies and tactics that would speed the process of judgement and sentencing toward jail time, etc. They teach fighting, fighting predominantly sport oriented. 

Fourth, item four of the seven, none of the Isshinryu’s programs I have witnessed, experienced or came to know be it any of the three main branches in the United States even comes close to teaching counter-assault. 

Fifth, item five of the seven, none of the Isshinryu’s programs I have witnessed, experienced or came to know be it any of the three main branches in the United States even comes close to teaching concerning the freeze or the OODA loop or the OO bounce, etc.

Sixth, item six of the seven, none of the Isshinryu’s programs I have witnessed, experienced or came to know be it any of the three main branches in the United States even comes close to teaching  about the fight itself as it relates to those defining aspects of violence dynamics, i.e., social vs. asocial, etc. There is a huge assumption that what is trained is actually fighting and/or self-defense when in reality it is a sport oriented competitive mutually safe endeavor. 

Seventh, item seven of the seven and probably the most important thing, none of the Isshinryu’s programs I have witnessed, experienced or came to know be it any of the three main branches in the United States even comes close to teaching about the before, during and especially the after of a fight/self-defense encounter. They don’t discuss let alone present, study or train to the possible retaliation, medical, legal and psychological ramifications to conflict that has physical violence attached. 

You see, the experts feel strongly due to their knowledge, experience and ability toward conflict and violence, that these seven things must be a part of self-defense to teach self-defense.

Now, I have added number eight, i.e., RBT or Reality Based Training with all that entails like handling the effects of the adrenal flood, etc. 

Eight, the eighth of the additional things you must cover and teach for it to be self defense, none of the Isshinryu’s programs I have witnessed, experienced or came to know be it any of the three main branches in the United States even comes close to teaching reality based training, drills or other reality based things necessary to handle and live through a violent situation/encounter. 

Many will adamantly dispute this point of view and will vehemently spout out how they are practicing a system that is combative and relevant toward combat forms of fighting but fail to realize they also seldom teach and practice those distinctions, i.e., distinctions between combat, sport and civil self-defense let alone differences between citizen and police distinctions, etc. 

Yes, Isshinryu just like almost all martial arts systems have a great deal to contribute toward self-defense or even combatives and sport competitions but they fail to make the distinctions and they fail to teach to those distinctions. 

Even all the above in place if they are not addressing the distinctions in the self-defense model they are not teaching self-defense. 

Yes, Isshinryu is practiced, trained and taught as a “Way” or “Traditional System” or “Classical System,” but those are not self-defense systems if they don’t have the seven (eight, my extra) things you need to know, understand and use to have self-defense and self-defense training. 

Those aspects taught by these non-defensives systems all have benefits and even benefits toward defenses such as structure, posture, centeredness, etc. but to be self-defense they need a lot more.

If you want your Isshinryu or any martial system to be a self-defense system then there are changes that must be accepted, incorporated and trained to work. 

Read Also: “Isshinryu and Self-Defense” http://mymartialselfdefensephilosophy.blogspot.com/2014/11/isshinryu-and-self-defense.html

Primary Bibliography of Self-Defense (Some titles have RBT drills included):
MacYoung, Marc. "In the Name of Self-Defense: What It Costs. When It’s Worth It." Marc MacYoung. 2014.
Miller, Rory Sgt. "Meditations of Violence: A Comparison of Martial Arts Training & Real World Violence" YMAA Publishing. 2008.

Secondary Bibliography of Self-Defense (Some titles have RBT drills included):
Ayoob, Massad. “Deadly Force: Understanding Your Right to Self-Defense”Gun Digest Books. Krouse Publications. Wisconsin. 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. "Facing Violence: Preparing for the Unexpected." YMAA Publishing. 2011.
Elgin, Suzette Haden, Ph.D. "More on the Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense." Prentice Hall. New Jersey. 1983.
Elgin, Suzette. "The Last Word on the Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense" Barnes & Noble. 1995
Morris, Desmond. “Manwatching: A Field Guide to Human Behavior.” Harry N. Abrams. April 1979.
MacYoung, Marc. “Writing Violence #1: Getting Shot.” NNSD. Amazon Digital. 2014.
MacYoung, Marc. “Writing Violence #2: Getting Stabbed.”  NNSD. Amazon Digital. 2015.
Elgin, Suzette. "The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense" Barnes & Noble. 1993.
Elgin, Suzette. "The Gentle Art of Written Self-Defense" MJF Books. 1997.
Maffetone, Philip Dr. “The Maffetone Method: The Holistic, Low-stress, No-Pain Way to Exceptional Fitness.” McGraw Hill, New York. 2000
Strong, Sanford. “Strong on Defense_ Survival Rules to Protect you and your Family from Crime.” Pocket Books. New York. 1996.
and more … see blog bibliography.
Jahn, C. R. “FTW Self Defense.” iUniverse. Amazon Digital Services. 2012
Jahn, C. R. “Hardcore Self Defense.” iUniverse. Amazon Digital Services. 2002.

Bibliography of RBT Drills (Some titles have RBT drills included):
MacYoung, Marc. "In the Name of Self-Defense: What It Costs. When It’s Worth It." Marc MacYoung. 2014.
MacYoung, Marc (Animal). “Taking It to the Street: Making Your Martial Art Street Effective.” Paladin Press. Boulder, Colorado. 1999.
MacYoung, Marc. "A Professional's Guide to Ending Violence Quickly: How Bouncers, Bodyguards, and Other Security Professionals Handle Ugly Situations." Paladin Press. Boulder, Colorado. 1996.
Miller, Rory. “Drills: Training for the Sudden Violence.” Amazon Digital Services, inc. Smashwords. 2011.
Quinn, Peyton. “Real Fighting: Adrenaline Stress Conditioning Through Scenario-Based Training.” Paladin Press. Amazon Digital Services, inc. 1996

My Blog Bibliography
Cornered Cat (Scratching Post): http://www.corneredcat.com/scratching-post/
Kodokan Boston: http://kodokanboston.org
Mario McKenna (Kowakan): http://www.kowakan.com
Wim Demeere’s Blog: http://www.wimsblog.com

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Fair Use

Caveat: This article is mine and mine alone. I the author of this article 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.)

Wow, like self-defense I never realized what I thought I knew along with that, “I don’t know what I don’t know” thing I am discovering fast just how much I don’t know in martial arts, self-defense and writing. This post is on writing. Writers already have a good idea on the subject simply because of the title, “Fair Use.”

I made assumptions about how I use materials from the sources I am studying. As I got closer to completing my effort to write a book on martial arts I started to research writing and publishing. Since I do use quotes, etc., from my sources books I realized that at a “minimum” I needed to give them credit but just found out that “may not” be enough. 

Like the self-defense world, the world of writing is chock full of stuff that effects how you write especially when you publish. Note that publishing includes blogging and even FaceBool Wall posts. I will use one quote here for what I perceive is nonprofit educational purposes, i.e., mine and the readers who may want to write themselves. The quote is, “Fair Use is an “affirmative defense — the defendant copier has the burden of proof to show that Fair Use applies. Essentially he says, ‘Yes, I copied the work—but I am allowed to because my copying is Fair Use.’” - Excerpted/quoted from “What Every Writer Ought to Know about Fair Use and Copyright by JOEL FRIEDLANDER on FEBRUARY 8, 2010”

When I read the quote, it reminded me of all the quotes in all the books on self-defense where it is painfully and comprehensively explained that self-defense is an “affirmative defense.” Then upon considering all the ways one can find themselves outside the “Self-defense Square” I then realized that this is the same in the “Fair Use” arena. Granted, there is more and I have not researched it enough yet but it does make for a cautious approach to my writing especially if my book is going to be published for money.  

What I am saying is that my book is going to take a great deal more time in the editing stage. I have used my references to learn and to pass along that learning in an attempt to educate other like minded folks but I NEED to make sure that I am well within the “Fair Use Square (to borrow a bit from Marc MacYoung’s version of SD Square).

My ultimate goal in writing the book may have been altruistic in nature but the fact that it might infringe on my reference/source authors does not sit well with me. I respect and admire their work and do not want to even hint at some infringement even if they don’t really care because all my efforts are toward “getting it right.” It is a slow learning process but that is what I intend. 

The last thing I want to do is break copyright of these most excellent authors but that would include the fair use aspects in writing. I need to study about copyright and fair use then develop a check list to guide me toward creating a book that will, hopefully, provide some guidance to those martial artists out there who, like me, went so long training, practicing and teaching under a cloud of ignorance and misinformation with a strong emphasis toward the self-defense domain. 

Stupid is as stupid does says Forrest Gump and like him, I need to not be stupid and not do stupid. In closing I would like to express the following, “If I have written anything that misuse your materials let me know the post/article with your concerns. I will do one of two things, first I will correct the mistake or, second I will remove the post/article completely. 

Lessons learned: If you have a desire to write regardless of the venue, i.e., magazine articles, blogging, FB entries, books, etc., you really need to learn about writing completely, fully and as comprehensively as possible, i.e., start with copyright law along with fair use law and requirements so you don’t misuse and misrepresent what you write and what your sources “worked so damn hard and diligently to produce.” My mistake here comes under that misquote I use, “You need to learn what it is you don’t know you don’t know and DON’T MAKE ASSumptions!”

Thanks and have a great day!


Note: I immediately went to the Google images page to find a cool looking graphic to associate with this post then I stopped and asked, "Am I using this under a fair use thing? Is it copyright infringement? Do I need to ask permission? Does the use pass the four rules of fair use? Questions, questions, and more questions. I will use avoidance this instance until I acquire more knowledge on this fluid subject.