Please take a look at Articles on self-defense/conflict/violence for introductions to the references found in the bibliography page.

Please take a look at my bibliography if you do not see a proper reference to a post.

Please take a look at my Notable Quotes

Hey, Attention on Deck!

Hey, NOTHING here is PERSONAL, get over it - Teach Me and I will Learn!


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

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. 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.


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.



“What you are reading right now is a blog. It’s written and posted by me, because I want to. I get no financial remuneration for writing it. I don’t have to meet anyone’s criteria in order to post it. Not only I don’t have an employer or publisher, but I’m not even constrained by having to please an audience. If people won’t like it, they won’t read it, but I won’t lose anything by it. Provided I don’t break any laws (libel, incitement to violence, etc.), I can post whatever I want. This means that I can write openly and honestly, however controversial my opinions may be. It also means that I could write total bullshit; there is no quality control. I could be biased. I could be insane. I could be trolling. … not all sources are equivalent, and all sources have their pros and cons. These needs to be taken into account when evaluating information, and all information should be evaluated. - God’s Bastard, Sourcing Sources (this applies to this and other blogs by me as well; if you follow the idea's, advice or information you are on your own, don't come crying to me, it is all on you do do the work to make sure it works for you!)



“You should prepare yourself to dedicate at least five or six years to your training and practice to understand the philosophy and physiokinetics of martial arts and karate so that you can understand the true spirit of everything and dedicate your mind, body and spirit to the discipline of the art.” - cejames (note: you are on your own, make sure you get expert hands-on guidance in all things martial and self-defense)



“All I say is by way of discourse, and nothing by way of advice. I should not speak so boldly if it were my due to be believed.” - Montaigne


I am not a leading authority on any one discipline that I write about and teach, it is my hope and wish that with all the subjects I have studied it provides me an advantage point that I offer in as clear and cohesive writings as possible in introducing the matters in my materials. I hope to serve as one who inspires direction in the practitioner so they can go on to discover greater teachers and professionals that will build on this fundamental foundation. Find the authorities and synthesize a wholehearted and holistic concept, perception and belief that will not drive your practices but rather inspire them to evolve, grow and prosper. My efforts are born of those who are more experienced and knowledgable than I. I hope you find that path! See the bibliography I provide for an initial list of experts, professionals and masters of the subjects.

On Styles of Karate

We have “Isshin; we have Goju; we have Shorin; we have Uichi; and on and on, but, why?” Do the different styles, systems, actually serve a purpose? A purpose as in regard to their essence - a means of violence to stop violence?


Yo see, the military has been divided into four systems being, “Army; Navy; Marines; Air Force!” Their essence is military might to accomplish certain social governance necessities to achieve survival of our way of life.


The Army Mission, our purpose remains constant: To deploy, fight, and win our Nation's wars by providing ready, prompt, and sustained land dominance by Army forces across the full spectrum of conflict as part of the Joint Force.


The mission of the Navy is to maintain, train and equip combat-ready naval forces capable of winning wars, deterring aggression and maintaining freedom of the seas.


The Marine Corps functions as a unique force, combining ground, aviation and amphibious assets to defend our country and its interests


The mission of the United States Air Force is to fly, fight and win - airpower anytime, anywhere


It is clear as to the difference and mission that when combined results in the worlds greatest fighting force for Democracy in our way of life.


Karate’s mission is to make use of the human body, mind, and spirit to stop grave harm or death to the tribe, family and self. 


The human body is limited in its functions: one body; two arms, hands, legs, and feet, etc., with the same limitations in regard to the bodies functional fundamental principles like structure, balance, and power generation and so on.


It becomes apparent that the styles or systems while appearing different on the surface are in reality dependent entirely on the application of strategies (mind), tactics and techniques (body and spirit) as limited by physics of fundamental principles: 


“PRINCIPLE TWO: PHYSIOKINETIC PRINCIPLES (Breathing, posture, triangle guard, centerline, primary gate, spinal alignment, axis, minor axis, structure, heaviness, relaxation, wave energy, convergence, centeredness, triangulation point, the dynamic sphere, body-mind, void, centripetal force, centrifugal force, sequential locking and sequential relaxation, peripheral vision, tactile sensitivity, rooting, attack hubs, attack posture, possibly the chemical cocktail, Multiple Methodologies [actual tactics and attack methodologies of impacts, drives (pushes), pulls, twists, takedowns/throws and compression, etc. are best for stopping a threat].”


When all is said and done, when violence rears it’s ugly head; all of us will fall back on the exact same human conditions and abilities to get-r-done. This is why almost all karate-ka in a fight, real or competitive, tend to drop into what nature and a modicum of training allow, boxing with some kicks. All that bunkai with all those neat, fun and often complicated stuff tends to disappear like steam hitting cool air.


That is why some of those masterful Okinawan karate Sensei tend to believe there “can be only one - Ti!



Karate Isn’t…

Karate, the label, tends to be a catch all label for all uninitiated folks who try to understand it… in the beginning. This was the thinking in those early days and contributed greatly to many making the assumption that karate is merely a game one plays or a hobby one does.


Karate today still gets misunderstood because now they label it a martial art and I am here to say, “Karate IS NOT martial!”


Yes, karate is an art, if that is the concept of you mind as to the why of your practice. It is also a means of personal defense, not a combative or military means of doing battle. Until recently the military gave a hand wave and minimal attention to hand-to-hand training.


Karate, then and now, has never been included in Japanese martial disciplines and only came to social attention when it was introduced to Japan late 1800’s to early 1900’s.


In Okinawa it was used by royalty guards as a defensive, last resort, system in “bodyguarding,.”


It was, this is a big IF, used as a prerequisite to training in weaponry. Even early 1900’s, it was insinuated into the school systems to prepare youth for the military as a heath and FITNESS program. So much so, they REMOVED all the dangerous stuff and taught NO bunkai or defenses, just kata.


Heck, bunkai was not truly taught in karate here in the states until a few decades ago and we are all thankful that began and even if bunkai was taught it was a hand wave ðŸ‘‹ effort till now.


Even the creator of my system who studied the Chinese philosophical classic, who was a village fortune teller and seeming believed in this concept didn’t actually teach it but simply gave a gokui written on silk to a handful of Americans upon black belt and leaving the island assumed never to return.


Read more of my opinion on this subject here: 


https://isshindo.blogspot.com/2018/07/martial-art.html?m=1


Ok, now that it is all said and done the glitch to this theory is this… if enough people believe and if enough people use the phrase martial art to label something like karate then the phrase changes. After all, terms and phrases also evolve… don’t they?



Mae Geri [前蹴り]

Isshinryu, distinct features include tate-ken, the vertical fist, but what is not listed and of equal importance is the distinct use of mae-geri, the front kick with the ball of the foot. 


Even a properly executed side kick is done with the ball of the foot (Yoko-geri [横蹴り]).


Tate Ken [縦拳] for use above the waist.

Mae Geri [前蹴り] for use below the waist.


Note: kick terms in Japanese do not actually say or tell you it’s executed using the ball of the foot as those details are determined as to the needs of defense in volatile situations. Yoko Geri can be executed with the blade of the foot as well (shoba vs. yoko?).


Add in shorter natural stances and speed in mobility you find the features Tatsuo-San made use of for Isshinryu. 


I came to realize that in the mae geri as with the tate ken, is also a unique mainstay of Isshinryu, the self-defend Okinawan system of empty  ðŸ¤š!


[Note: in the version of Isshinryu I practice, the mae Geri was the lower body version of tate ken (conceptually speaking) and we give it the importance of the vertical fist in mae Geri’s application.]


Read more here: 


Another Isshinryu luminary created a list of twelve unique symbolic concepts that make Isshinryu, Isshinryu. They titled them, “The Twelve Isshinryu Features” that go as follows:


  1. Elimination of “fancy” techniques; 
  2. Combination of Shorin and Goju to form a realistic basic system of self-defense;
  3. Kicks applied below waist for balance and power;
  4. Short natural stances for mobility; 
  5. Balanced applicable techniques of hand and feet in kata;
  6. Close-in tactics more applicable to street defense;
  7. Use of snap punches (tate-Ken) and kicks (mae-geri) without over extending joints;
  8. Hard and soft blocking (tactics and techniques);
  9. Arm blocks using muscular part of arm supported by both bones of forearm;
  10. FIST WITH THUMB ON TOP AS OPPOSED TO THUMB OVER TWO FINGERS TO LOCK THE WRISTS AND TIGHTEN THE FIST!
  11. A VERTICAL FIST INCREASING SPEED AND POWER;
  12. Multi-purpose techniques allowing a block to be a blow to be a block.


See also: The Twelve Features of Isshinryu


About Time

Is the experience of moments of existence as recorded in the mind as data we call memories. Recorded data labeled as past while the current moment is presence of present and future is the minds guess of memories recorded in an effort toward survival. We feel it accordingly but only in that moment. Fast is a lot of motion in the moment in comparison to one’s normal motion in a normal moment as determined by the individual as related to nature’s physics laws.


Time is unable to provide its concept as defined by nature. Time is momentary, and only last during the perceptions of that moment governed by the individuals perceptions dependent on that moments normal to slow to fast as affected by one’s motion in one’s environment.


Time as defined can be mastered in fense using the OODA process experience each moment in a state perceiving environmental and others motions as moments are experienced within one’s own moment. This equates to consciously perceiving what is observed and detected in the moment so one can make a decision in the next moment so action occurs in the next motion while others are still experiencing their moments where they yet need to spend any given moment in a decision state in that moment.


Time, in short, is this exact experienced moment - nothing more, nothing less. Everything else is how an individual creates their time so the mind can make sense of “Time.”


Time is like trying to comprehend the vastness of space and it’s existence. It would freeze the mind of man if mankind could not make it comprehensible!


Physical time/Psychological time?


Physical time is environmentally experienced time/psychological time is mind mentally experienced or perceived by each (relative to) individual.


Physical time is perceived by the movement of the sun, stars, and moon. All other time is the yang of this yin.


Time, both physically and psychologically, are actually an intricate result of human/nature’s matrix - the mind as a product of its learnings.


Time, also, only exists to each individual when alive for at death time no longer exists for that individual giving argument to times very existence; if not for a collective influence of the social structure and needs of mankind as mankind struggles to survive by the creation and definition of time.


Mental states of memories, perceptions, beliefs, and anticipations. The distinctions between past, present, and future is only a stubborn persistent illusion (think matrix). - Dyson


“Time and space are modes of thought, and not conditions in which we live.” - Einstein


Time is deterministic because the individual has designed time for comprehension as an ideal perfection toward explaining the incomprehensible things of the mind, for the mind.


The question now becomes, “What is the duration of a moment?”


Nowadays, we just use it to describe a very short period of time, but without any hard definition.


If a moment is as long as a thought, then it’s ~150 milliseconds; a thought is fluid as to its length as it can be fast or slow depending; In this case, we define a thought as the mental idea you get when you experience a certain stimuli. In truth, a moment is that space between stimulus and the instance thought 💭 is triggered. (The duration between a stimulus (process) and its perceived conscious thought.


A moment is an experience of thought or impression or intention from its trigger point to completion making the moment fluid, i.e., between 1 millisecond and 150 milliseconds (+/- 100 milliseconds, give or take depending on circumstances).


Moments may be a set of instances so we ask what is an instance: a case or occurrence of anything. Anything being a certain time, location and emotion. A memory, basically. A moment is at most 30 seconds long.


In the end, the universe does what it does. We perceive change, motion, and try to make sense of the teeming, blooming confusion. - Gleick


As to fense: If you’ve ever lived through a life threatening or dangerous experience, you’ll know the sensation of time seemingly grinding to a halt and moving in slow motion.


In times of emergency however, the brain memorizes almost every bit of information available. This then creates denser memories, and the events in these memories seem to last far longer than normal, mundane day to day life episodes.


Interestingly, time also seems to flow differently depending on how old you are, and the mechanism is very similar to the one mentioned above.


Bibliography:

Gleick, James. “Time Travel: A History”, Vintage Publishing, September 5, 2017

Empty Hands

two empty hands is all humans have along with:

  • two ears ðŸ‘‚ ðŸ‘‚ 
  • two eyes ðŸ‘€ 
  • two nostrils ðŸ‘ƒ 
  • two shoulders 
  • two elbows
  • two wrists 
  • two hands
  • two hips
  • two knees 
  • two legs ðŸ¦µðŸ¦µ 
  • two feet ðŸ‘£ 

These are the tools, the only tools ðŸ§° humans have with the ability to enhance and extend their functionality through weaponry.


There are only so many functions one can perform with these tools and we call that, in the dojo, karate ðŸ¥‹.


Every conceivable strategy, tactic and technique has to operate within the confines of these tools ⚒️. In that applicable arena there are only different combinations that, hopefully, result in success. 


Therefore karate styles are fundamentally the results of human creativity, creating perceived unique renderings of combinations using these tools to accomplish some objective be it hoeing one’s garden to putting an attacker down - NOW!


You see, humans survive only through social group collectives and they are driven toward that clan being different from “other” clans in a unique way that provides them a means of surviving, especially in regard to the use of violence. 


Humans need, nature’s requirement, things like status, rivalries, etc., within and without the group to follow natures requisite in the game of survival even in these safer modern times, ergo, we create tribes and label ðŸ· them, “Shorin, Isshin, Uechi, etc.”