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"Ideally, your self-defense will never get physical. Avoiding the situation and running or talking you way out - either of these is a higher order of strategy than winning a physical battle." - Wise Words of Rory Miller, Facing Violence: Chapter 7: after, subparagraph 7.1:medical

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Warning, Caveat and Note: 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.

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.

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What is Mastery?

The recent post by "Kowakan" blog about mastery got me to thinking, again, on the slippery topic. What constitutes mastery of anything, one is the idea of having a comprehensive knowledge and skill in a topic. The actions one takes to achieve that level of "mastery" also plays an important role in achieving mastery - especially in marital systems.

Sometimes "martial masters" mistake their mastery of their respective martial system as control over or superiority to someone else of to something. It is also mistaken for domination, mastery, to dominate or defeat or subordinating a person or persons.

To my thinking mastery is the knowledge and skill that makes you stand out as a source for the topic. The knowledge and skill that denotes mastery over the system, mastery over the principles and mastery over those methods you use in teaching, leading and displaying proper actions.

Recently one was honored with a high level of achievement through the bestowing of 9th level of Dan-sha but that award didn't come from true mastery. It was awarded for some specific accomplishment that did not transcend the particulars and cover the entirety of the practice. It involved tournaments, trophies and other accolades. No where did it become apparent that this honor was in recognition to what I describe above and Kowakan blog describes denotes "master of a topic or activity or both."

Let me provide the example by addressing just one term in the defining of mastery, domination. First, to dominate anyone or anything is not mastery but rather master over. The one word added, over, is significant for a true master of an art like the martial systems does not dominate over anyone or anything, ever - they don't need to, their mastery is apparent in the actions and deeds.

Mastery also does not mean that just because you know the fundamentals, the kata, kumite and all perceivable aspects of your system, your style or your techniques that you have mastered your system, i.e. dominated it by knowing it, but rather something sometimes unexplainable yet detectable is apparent denoting a mastery of something.

Master also has an unwritten but understood meaning that a person is selfless and pure of heart. The person holds perfection in every way even if not perfect - perfection in imperfection. It is something see, heard and felt all the time and in every perceivable form. It is real, complete, pure, unqualified, unconditional, self-existent and conceivable in relation to normal things. Principles are well established and confirmed in all actions and deeds.

In a nutshell, true mastery is one who knows the path and one who "walks the path." I wish to thank Kowakan blog for this inspiration in my defining a master of a martial system.

Mastery, to get on the path and stay on it. - George Leonard, "Mastery"

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