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 Nine: while the mind must grasp all the tactual data not seen on all sides and not heard in any direction.


Often a sense overlooked in all aspects of communication and this includes its importance to life as well as the practice of martial systems in conjunction to the goku-i.

The reason I added this to the goku-i is its personal importance to me as a touch dominant sense person. Being a touch dominant person I have the unique view most "seeing and hearing" sense persons, the majority of American Speaking People, do not have and have been socially taught that touch is "bad."

Touch until the last couple of centuries in America have been known as a dominant form of communications and tactile along with kinetic touch is a critical component to life's system of human contact.

The ninth line of the goku-i addresses this missing link.


Another aspect to consider for our awareness training is we train to "feel" things. We feel how a stance, when in its proper pose, feels as to our feet connecting to the Earth. We feel the positioning of the lower leg over the feet, the knees aligning and connecting to the thigh. If anything is amiss we should feel it when we are doing it. This is not just assuming a stance, rooting, and then remaining in it to feel it but to learn to feel it as we move into it and then out of it.

We feel our feet as they move and reach into the next stance with proper positioning, alignment, posture, etc. Our awareness means our minds are trained to focus on this in training so our minds will instinctively "feel it" if something is not right.

Lets say your fighting. You move into a specific stance so a particular technique can be executed; to not get hit and stop the fight. Your body moves, you feel it move, you sense it going further than you wanted due to external circumstances so it will tell your mind to do one of two things, either not execute that technique and start moving into a new one with all its parts or try to adjust so you can get that technique executed, NOT the second part for sure. If you don't have all the ducks lined up for a particular technique you don't use it, it loses its effectiveness.

This is why awareness goes beyond the obvious and into the realm of feeling and sensing what your body is doing and where it is going at all times. It is one component that is critical to making all the components of power and force work, as you would intend.

Range and how you get to it; weight transfer into momentum for power, etc.; no wasted movement to include any patching or adjusting to make it work; timing and placement so it all comes together as one in the right direction and the right time; and finally adding in those acceleration techniques to boost power and force.

This is all geared to your awareness of all those concepts and components through awareness of body movement, and all that entails, so you can "sense" or "see" with the minds eye and "feel" where your body is, was, is going, etc.

Let me extend this post to the ken-po goku-i, parts that reference the ability to '''see" and "hear" in all directions is more than just north, south, east, west, etc. but in all metaphysical/metaphorical/spiritual/conceptual directions and more. Its references to hard and soft, feel it and apply it appropriately, body changing directions is not only turning but changing the way your body moves and assumes poses/postures where awareness tells you to see and feel and sense these actions of the body.

The time to strike is not just applying a punch or kick but timing awareness so that all components of your system come into that "one" instant that applies what your goals, tactics, and strategies use to not get hit and stop the attack.

Another lesson is NOT assuming that what I see is all I can see for seeing goes beyond the obvious as well as hearing is more active than just having sound reach and ring the ear drum, it is an awareness of what is being heard beyond initial impressions and allowing our ability to see, hear, sense, go beyond the first layer.


"The mind must grasp all the warm and fuzzy data not seen or heard in all directions and on all sides."

"The mind must grasp all the tactual data not seen in any direction and heard on any side."

This involves communications because although we are predominantly influenced by the accepted normalcy in society of first, sight sense and secondary hearing sense we have removed the sense of touch almost completely. I have been informed that this is a recent phenomenon. We included all three as major sense modes long before the last century - most of history has all three.

If this is true then we might hypothesize that at least a few fights might have been avoidable if we could be aware when a person drops down into a primary sense mode of touch. Since the majority are classified in sight and hearing when a touch person gets agitated/stressed then when they fall into a strict touch sense mode, while all the rest remain in sight sense mode, the reality gap is strong and wide. This gap then can only be spanned if one or the other is able to determine the touch sense mode and then assume it for all avoidance/de-escalation processes.

If this is true how do you know when you are facing a sense mode, especially a touch sense mode? Good question. Since touch has become a taboo topic today you will have to first become aware that a lot of folks are touch sense dominant even if we function in a normal sight/hearing sense world. Once you are aware they exist then learn about it. "Try to Feel It My Way" by Dr. Suzette Haden Elgin, Ph.D.

This also applies to Sensei for mentoring practitioners. Discover their primary sense mode and try to gear your instruction and guidance toward that mode of communications. Recently a blogger posted on that very subject where no matter what they did the Senpai could not adequately convey to that person what it was they were trying to teach. The person got very frustrated while the senpai just kept in that sense loop that was not the person's primary sense mode. A reality gap existed where the person walked away with out that new knowledge.

If the senpai has been aware of and sensitive to sense mode of the person they might have devised a means to convey the knowledge where that person would learn and not become frustrated, etc.

As for the taste and smell, these tend to be non-existent regarding a communications primary sense mode.


In the world of tactual encounters we once again connect to such things as hard, soft, seeing, hearing, the cycles of ebb and flow within and without the body along with the cycles of breathing in and out.

Rory Miller once spoke of, or wrote about, tactile in self-defense. He alluded to the "feel" of the opponents body where the tactile or tactual information one feels from another can send signals to the mind a response or action that would best nullify or deflect or allow a movement to better your position, etc. That speaks of two things regarding this new ninth goku-i line.

One, is an understanding of the tactile symbols; duration-location-action-intensity-frequency-sensation. As an example the "sensation" a threat might feel triggers the tendency for the mind to lock on to that location and feeling where the mind, if not trained in this, tries to discover what is occurring and gain a tactical response and advantage. This is where the interruption of a person OODA loop occurs where continuing to change the sensation, location, intensity and duration keeps triggering the mind to lock on to the now new sensation reducing the minds ability to achieve a response.

By allowing my new line validity in the ken-po goku-i it might bring to the forefront of our minds the conscious attention and awareness of touch to achieve a greater understanding of the martial arts and our applications of its principles and techniques.

Two, an awareness of the tactual sense elements and how they function adding to the application of techniques to achieve additional advantage. These elements include, pressure; pain; pleasure; temperature; muscle movement of the skin; rubbing; pinching, etc. In a grappling art pressure, pain, rubbing, pinching and the movement of muscle under the skin apply. Just give it a moment and consider it for your training, practice and teaching of martial systems.

Tactual data retrieval to train and practice can be seen and grasped literally as a function of the arts - martial arts. I can now conceptualize that not taking touch to this level of thought may have contributed to a lack of full understanding on principles, intent and applications. Worth taking down and out of the attic and placing it in front of us so we can examine it with our eyes, analyze it with our ears to hear how it impacts practitioners, and touching on the value of its implications in teaching and learning.

TATCHI-GOKU-I (contact or touch)

Touch law of the fist can be further explained in the new ken-po goku-i where the tendency of the mind to "go to" the area of the body under assault. This means when you feel pressure, pain, rubbing, pinching, grabbing, and with intensity that screams "danger will Robinson" then your mind will lock on to that location to the detriment of all else.

This is a fundamental principle of the OODA loop explained by Rory Miller and Marc MacYoung on their blogs and web sites, i.e. no nonsense self defense and conflict communications, etc.

A couple of idea's in this is to train so that when you feel some intensely applied pressure, etc. you either ignore it with some action that is not associated with that area or you act on that area with some counter move. This is not the forum to explain exactly what that would be and would be better served when explained and taught in a person-with-person on the floor training/practice session.

Another aspect for application is to apply the pressures, pain, etc. to a threat and keep moving that around so the mind keeps moving with your movements-pain applications thus locking the mind in an infinite loop with no ability to act or react. This may be the principle to the Chinese principle of a lot of strikes to overcome the threat vs. karate's so-called one strike - one kill principle.

Once again, as a reminder, the ken-po goku-i is meant as a teaching tool that transcends any one technique or philosophy. It encompasses all aspects of training and practice.


They teach the teachers to use all three senses to make sure "the material reaches the student rather than why isn't the student grasping the material?"

They trained them to determine if a student is a visual, audio or kinesthetic learner - sight, sound, touch. Once they determined a student was touch dominant they went a step further by finding out if they were "tactile or tactual" which refers to the handling and touching vs. Kinesthetic, which refers to position and balance of the body.

Take a look at Kinesthetic, the balance and position of the body. This touches on the goku-i's lines on the body changing direction at any time, a person' balance same as a weight. Both are in reference to the body and balance, which falls into a touch dominant sense mode.

The nine references within the entire goku-i provide the full spectrum of using the "three" major senses fully and completely in practicing and teaching the martial arts. These three provide a fullness to the goku-i interpretation that aligns with the I Ching where the three is heaven, man, and earth where in the trigrams and hexagrams it is further divided to these three components that make us whole or "one."

The manner of drinking or inhaling vs. spitting or exhaling is also using a touch sense mode inference for they both infer a type of balance within the body much like the heart and heaven and earth along with blood similar to moon and sun.

This warrants further study and contemplation as it will open more doors to a large audience that may be missing out on a martial art path simply because they lack an awareness that it also provides for the much aligned touch dominant sense.


This quote comes directly from the book by Dr. Suzette Haden Elgin, Ph.D. It involves a bit of trivia for the brain, an important piece of trivia. Our brains, as she states from research, cannot not distinguish sense perceptions that are real world perceptions from those we might visualize or use imagery to "see it in our minds."

If the imagery is "vivid" enough, i.e. the details of the imagery is really descriptive, then it is as if you really experienced the event. The brain cannot tell the difference between a real one and the imagined one. It will send out the same signals and chemicals in both cases, i.e. reality vs. imagined. There is one caveat to consider, what is used in your imagery must be reality based or it will not work.

She has a term she coins for this type of visualization/imagery, "Creative Visualization." A very important point to place forward here is this title is "sight-biased." Touch dominant persons tend to lose out with this since they often cannot relate to this sight mode title and those mostly sight mode sense instructions. I often express that it was hard to learn and this is why.

In your teachings you may want to be aware when a student states they cannot do visualization they are merely expressing that instructions are convoluted simply because they are transmitted in a sense mode that is not adequate for touch dominant persons ability to assimilate. There is a way for the touch person to create or convert instructions to a form that will be tuned to their learning mode and then can achieve greater results and benefits from "creative visualization."

As a touch dominant person I use imagery. I have been fortunate that I was able to work out how I could do it. It comes mostly from sensing through my body movement when presenting technique I can see the body movement of an imagined opponent moving in such a way that the technique averts the attack and presents an appropriate response.

Dr. Elgin presents, shows, and makes audible several examples of touch techniques to learn imagery or visualization techniques geared to overcome the sight dominance in visual/image training.

Now, this is really a cool thing to know that when we have vivid imaginations in such techniques it is as if the brain actually experienced it. The only thing we have to grab onto is how to experience the actual feel of it, i.e. pain, fear, anger, frustrations, etc.

I repeat, there is one caveat to consider, what is used in your imagery must be reality based or it will not work.


I am touch dominant. As I study the material provided in Dr. Elgin's book, "Try To Feel It My Way: New Help for Touch Dominant People and Those Who Care About Them," I am becoming aware of those road marks that indicate I am touch sense dominant.

As this self-discovery become glaringly more apparent to me I realize many of the difficulties I have experienced and become are related to this sense mode and the response, unconscious and unaware and unknowingly, received molded me into a person who tends to be "brash," "loud/forceful," and "a naysayer." It fits and makes me feel a bit sad.

It is a product of the time, which I was raised where such knowledge was not known and not studied. It was not taught in the schools simply because no one was aware at those times. As I am able to grasp the implications and effects of such a mode that is strongly a part of communications I can now see why I have felt specific emotional responses.

The most important lesson is it is no ones fault, not mine and not others. It is simply a lack of knowledge and understanding and self-realization. I now am growing in my awareness and I am now growing in my knowledge and I am now growing more aware of what it is I must do to build a bridge across the reality gap of touch vs. sight and hearing sense modes. My only regret is it would be improper for me to pass this along to those I communicate with - they have to come to this realization completely on their own. I can hope!

As to those who will and are reading my writing, I am expressing to you all that if something I write does not seem to fit, to connect, to have clarity please take a moment and consider that it may be in touch mode for sense communication - take a moment and re-word it where words that are sight or hearting sense related and it may make it clearer.

My goal is to translate my touch dominant writing mode to a more sight and hearing mode for better clarity for all with smatterings of touch mode to cover the whole spectrum hopefully to have clarity with all who read my stuff.

Thanks for reading, thanks for hearing what I am trying to say, and thanks for trying to grasp the idea of sense mode in communications. I can express to you that as I get "in touch" with my apparent touch sense side and language I am feeling a lot more comfortable. Pardon me if my writing goes more touch but that is my way of learning - touch :-)


The most likely sense that is most likely to be misunderstood in communications. Lets include this in martial systems as well. It would seem that we take this one for granted far more than sight and hearing. For good reasons - not so good reasons.

In martial systems we can divide touch into two distinct categories, one is tactile/tactual and the other is kinesthetic or body/balance. In MA systems we rely heavily on sight or seeing. Even hearing in the sport aspect takes a back seat to seeing the threat or in sport the opponent. This is also a detriment to training, practice and application.

Eyes, hearing and touch as to the kinesthetic aspects comes in much earlier than actual martial applications. We as MA's can use these three in our efforts to avoid. In the kinesthetic aspect we orient our bodies to what we see, hear and feel. Tactile feeling does come into play as to interpretations especially if the individual is a touch dominant person.

If we are approached from behind how we see, hear and feel our environment tells the brain/mind whether we are under a threat or just normal every day encounters. As to touch we rely on what we feel. The pressure of touch, the intensity of the touch, the sensation as interpreted by the brain along side experiences and training, and the pain receptors will tell us how it all feels as it relates to being a threat or not a threat.

Couple that with the two most unlikely senses taught for awareness in training of martial systems, i.e. smell and taste. In some instances senses trigger taste as it may relate to some past experience. As to smell you can tell the type of threat and its possible levels by the smell of someone who is touching you, i.e. so close you smell the breathe, the body odor, etc. Reading the book by Rory Miller, "Facing Violence," he will tell you that the smell of someone very close to you may have a meaning as to how this encounter may go. This is important and the practitioner must study this thoroughly.

The largest organ on the body and one that is considered more important to the body than sight or hearing is the skin. How the muscles move under the skin, both yours and a threats, can "tell" someone who is aware volumes as to intent and appropriate actions in response to that intent. Many art forms of a particular system may rely heavily on what you feel, how you manipulate the threats body to include rubbing, pinching, etc. of the skin and underlying pressure points, etc.

This is important and the practitioner must study this thoroughly.

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