When you begin to feel like you are a tough guy, a warrior, a master of the martial arts or that you have lived a tough life, just take a moment and get some perspective with the following:
I've stopped knives that were coming to disembowel me
I've clawed for my gun while bullets ripped past me
I've dodged as someone tried to put an ax in my skull
I've fought screaming steel and left rubber on the road to avoid death
I've clawed broken glass out of my body after their opening attack failed
I've spit blood and body parts and broke strangle holds before gouging eyes
I've charged into fires, fought through blizzards and run from tornados
I've survived being hunted by gangs, killers and contract killers
The streets were my home, I hunted in the night and was hunted in turn
Please don't brag to me that you're a survivor because someone hit you. And don't tell me how 'tough' you are because of your training. As much as I've been through I know people who have survived much, much worse. - Marc MacYoung
Chinkuchi Push Up Bars
Today, Romney on a Yahoo group I watch provided us a link to Advincula's FaceBook site for Isshinryu. In that site I was first introduced to the chinkuchi push up bars. I have since tried to determine for myself whether this is actually a good measurement of chinkuchi or just a gimmick as doing push up's with this type of device is difficult.
One who can make use of the bars must have strong hands, wrist and forearms. They must work hard to keep alignment and stability from the hands up to and into the shoulders. Now, my contention or theory is that this may not necessarily mean one has or uses chinkuchi but it does indicate a lot of other physical characteristics.
Example, there is a type of body push up that we used in my younger days. You would see strong man demonstrations on the boardwalk in Daytona Beach Florida in the fifties and sixties. The push up wa done with the body in the normal position but in lieu of the hands by the shoulders you extended your hands and arms straight out directly above your head. You then place your five finger tips on the deck with elbows almost locked and then you raised your entire body up off the floor. A very difficult feat.
Now, does this mean I have chinkuchi? Not necessarily. Another consideration is that once you spend some time working out with these types of feats and devices you and your body learn and adjust to performing the feats. This means a stronger body, for sure, and it means you developed an ability to do difficult push ups but it may or may not indicate having chinkuchi.
Now, chinkuchi does rely on the fundamental principles of martial systems such as control, natural actions, training truth, breathing, posture, centerline, spinal alignment, both axis, structure, relaxation, wave energy, convergence, triangulations, body-mind, both centripetal and centrifugal forces, sequential locking and sequential relaxation, tactile sensitivity, rooting and a plethora of other principles to have chinkuchi.
I don't feel that any one thing or event or feat such as strong man type stunts actually indicate chinkuchi. I also don't believe feats such as tameshiwara, etc. along with feats that dazzle are actually good indicators of karate-do or karate-jutsu, just a means to demonstrate strength and an ability to train the body and mind - all good things but not actually karate but rather tools to develop your karate.
Again, I am not trying to refute whomever said this device and practice is chinkuchi or that it demonstrates good chinkuchi, I am just asking questions for clarification and to determine if something is a feat vs. a means of demonstrating a model or concept.
Anyone can chime in at any time to talk it out for educational sake. If you don't want to comment here then send me an email at the blog email account.
Last comment, a respected sensei recently wrote to me that you cannot tell someone what chinkuchi is and the only way to actually teach it is tactually on the dojo floor from someone who has chinkuchi. Doing pushups in my view and with this understanding is not a demonstration of anything other than doing push-ups. Manifesting chinkuchi is not done in feats of strength or demonstrations such as push ups but in the application of karate in a some what hostile, adrenaline induced, and chaotic moment of energy and power transference in combat - the fight.
But then again, I am opinionated ;-)