Caveat: 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.

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. Oh, and just because I wrote it and just because it sounds reasonable and just because it makes sense, does not mean it is true.)

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Line Eight: as the ears must listen in all directions


Hear in all directions: first, we must understand that what we hear is not actually what we hear. The directions we hear are not what they would seem although literally hearing in all directions is a part of the whole. Hearing what is in the heart of the threat can be as important as hearing the sounds made in a threat situation or any of life's instances.

Hearing words and sensing the other supporting messages also provide for the whole. Hearing "tone" is a critical aspect of synchronic hearing. Active listening to the underlying words, tones and context are true directions that hearing must be directed.

Keep in your awareness, subliminal form, that imagination, memory, and consciousness are not exactly reliably stable. There are always changes and fluctuations that occur naturally as sensory information is processed from moment to moment. What you see may not actually be what you see.

An additional consideration when contemplating senses our assumptions, conjectures, postulate, rationalizations; the complexity in abstractions; our behaviors; our orientations in the real world to the matrix like world of the mind. Remember our perceptions of the real world are determinant solely on our minds interpretations of the lines, shapes, contours and shadings taken in by the eyes and the translations with all the considerations that build a simulation of the real outer world in our minds.


"If you are unable to hear others tell the truth, you will be reluctant to tell the truth to others." - analects 5:17 Hexagram 34 of Confucius.

Remaining open, to allow for the possibilities, to achieve greater understanding and knowledge, to provide the most advantageous path for those who look up to you, all these and more are how we "hear or listen" in all directions.

A direction does not remain restricted to the obvious but take us into the more metaphysical realm of truth, knowledge and understanding. It is not literally the ability to hear noises but to hear the sounds that knowledge and truth bring to the spirit creating greater moral and spiritual value. Often it is more important for the individual to "listen" to their inner voices, their consciousness, that which is connected to the Tao or the great Tai Chi.

Actively listen; really hear the voices both internal and external. The truth is out there!


Hearing, perception as to actual vs. presupposed vs. distortion of auditory content. What you need to actually hear vs. what may be presupposed in actual verbal content and the auditory distortion you will encounter when the adrenaline dump hits - these are some of the things a martial practitioner must remain aware of in training and in applying martial systems.

The same value in overcoming distortions in hearing as to overcoming sight distortions apply. What you do for scanning with the eyes along with breathing also reduce and control the dysfunctional hearing, the distractions and distortions.

Another off shoot of the hearing is balance as to the balance in our bodies when applying the fundamental principles of martial systems. The inner ear balance of the fluids is a primary contributor to the bodies balance.

As we progress through the study of senses in martial systems the interconnectivity will become more apparent. An example is how sight and viewing objects contributes to balance by giving the ear, and the fluid in the ear, reference points contributing to balance and application. Orientation comes from the space relation of the inner ears fluids to the position of the head. This is how a person loses orientation in such cases where the body loses its connection to the Earth and the head is moving at some speed causing the ear to not adjust fast enough in relation to the eyes and the balance of the body. This is important and the practitioner must study this thoroughly.

How the ears and hearing promote better martial application comes from a thorough study of such sense application that provide the knowledge and experience, as can be attained in reality training as well as live experience, necessary to be aware of and understand the use of vision in martial training.

The connection of the other primary senses along with the training of the mind provides overall effectiveness in martial applications. The practitioner must remember that it is not the individual that counts but the cumulative as integrated into the "one" means of application.



Definition: "Attention is the cognitive process of selectively concentrating on one aspect of the environment while ignoring other things. Attention has also been referred to as the allocation of processing resources."

Selective Attention: " ... the focusing of one’s conscious awareness on a particular stimulus. The senses take in billions of bits of information every second, but only about 40 are processed by the brain."

In a nutshell this regards teaching once again. As a teacher or Sensei I feel it necessary to remain aware of this particular factor about humans while I attempt to compensate for over-explaining, or teaching properly, so that the practitioner can assimilate and retain the information.

If we plan for the processing of practitioners who will lose about 60% of what is taught then continue to reinforce that teaching over time we are closer to success in that teaching than if we blurt it all out and give them that zen like look and walk away with unacceptable expectation that they will remember.

Selective Attention does not necessarily mean that the person is "choosing" to either pay attention or "choosing" to hear only what they want to hear, etc. but that the brain/mind outside their consciousness is processing and either storing or discarding information as it deems necessary. Maybe that is why study and practice are such a "conscious" effort. Maybe that is why visualization, etc. works. It is conscious.

Maybe I should refer to it as "fluid hearing/attention" or "predictable hearing/attention" or something like that because selective tends to promote a conscious effort on the part of the individual.

This is why Advincula's three "R's" is so important, repetition (repeat), repetition (repeat), repetition (repeat)! To practice it, to review it; again and again, for new things will crop up that were diverted to that sixty percent. Each time you repeat or perform a repetition with conscious effort you will gradually "see" and "hear" something missed adding to your database of knowledge then all you need to do is "apply it!" 


Awareness is both conscious and unconscious/instinctual/subconscious/instinctive. The goal in karate and other martial practices is to stimulate awareness's to achieve a given goal - survival.

To open the unconscious awareness you must become consciously aware of what is given in the unconscious awareness. Listening to your survival instincts is a consciousness of an unconscious awareness provided by the Universe or Heaven or Mother Nature.

Academia, practice, and training all provide the key to full awareness; a synchronistic connection to both the conscious and unconscious. A disparity to that synchronistic connection results in a dangerous flaw open to threats - physical and mental.

Create total awareness. Create an open mind. Accept that which is provided at the DNA levels and listen when your hair stands on end, the tingle behind your neck, or that gut rumbling feeling says, "Hey, something is wrong."

Synchronistic Awareness, hmmm.


There are so many benefits when you study something with the mind aware of the possibilities. In the last terse tome of the ken-po goku-i it states, "The ears must listen in all directions."

When you connect this with the system's symbol, i.e. the Isshinryu no megami, you find that the Goddess represents being alert and listening attentively. There are no restrictions or set definitions as to what this means yet if you really do the research you find that listening attentively has many benefits.

Research has proven that talking, emotionally or innocuously, results in unhealthy effects while "actively listening" provides many healthy ones. One causes an increase in blood pressure while the other lowers it.

To actively listen provides healthful benefits that extend into martial arts where such active listening keeps you calm and breathing properly for a stable and alert mind allowing you to perceive what is needed to avoid-deescalate conflict.

Seems like a win-win situation ... make it your effort to actively listen and leave the talking to the bare minimum.


Listening is healthy. It is healthy when you actively listen to someone in a verbal situation that keeps things out of the monkey's hands. It allows us to deflect fighting. It allows us to remove the language that would cause us to get into a fight. It creates the ability, one part, to avoid conflict be it verbal or physical. Now, add to that the fact, from the same research, that listening lowers blood pressure, slows the pulse, and improves the chemical processes within the body at every level. The process of listening as many wonderful benefits.

The art of listening coupled with verbal self-defense can do both conflict avoidance-de-escalation and increase healthily benefits to the body and mind. It also enhances those attributes used to control fear, anxiety, stress of all kinds be it life experiences or more conflict oriented encounters.


The continuous heart monitor provided researchers a huge discovery. They discovered that act of talking - no matter what about - causes the same physiological effects, i.e. when people talk about something that cause distress, they get upset. The breathing rate goes up and becomes irregular, skin color changes; muscles stiffen, twitch or jerk. All this is evidence of stress, which result in changes such as higher blood pressure and a faster pulse.

Another discovery of note, "blood pressure rises when you talk and falls when you listen." The blood pressure rises even more when you are emotionally involved and it also rises during the most innocuous speech. They discovered that by teaching people to change behaviors they could moderate their high blood pressure.

The benefits of listening; lower blood pressure, slow pulse, and improves the chemical regulation of body processes at every level - only during real and active listening is the key here.

Listening is crucial to effective communications AND is a major component in personal stress management. It rates as high as meditation, biofeedback, massage, and many other trendy processes. Listening is beneficial to both physical and emotional health. it is actively and directly therapeutic. It preserves health and sanity.

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