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.

Martial Tradition [武道伝統] Budō no dentō [武道の伝統]

 Fundamental principles of martial traditions and methodologies are comprised of:

  • academics
  • philosophies
  • strategies
  • tactics
  • and skills

There are these principles and only these principles that are foundational to the fundamental principles of karate, of a civil self-defense nature, far removed from military methods.


Examples to these five are as follows and must not be misconstrued to mean the comprehensive entirety of the martial civil self-defense world 🌎.


ACADEMICS:


Everyone who practices systems of methods used for “fense (defense/offense) must lay an academic base from social mandates to laws to actions necessary, as a whole, that result in a comprehensive understanding, plus experiences, necessary to training and practice of SD.


Ask yourself?

  • do you know the culture and beliefs of others?
  • do you know how criminals, etc work?
  • do you know how the legal system works?
  • do you know how law enforcement works?
  • do you understand self-defense law in your environment?
  • do you know yourself?
  • are you willing to recognize and accept responsibility for those actions you take for “fense?”
  • do you know about force levels, etc., you may encounter and use for SD?
  • do you know, understand and accept all the requirements and consequences and repercussions faced when in fense?
  • do you understand the rules, cultures and beliefs of the environments you visit?
  • is your pride involved?
  • is your objective and thinking going to achieve goals both sides will benefit from, i.e., is what you are doing necessary? based on facts and not beliefs or emotions? and are things true to reality?
  • these are the things your studies will answer BEFORE you are too deep in the hole of SD…
  • and so on…

PHILOSOPHIES:


Everyone who practices systems of methods used for “fense (defense/offense) must create a personal and social philosophy necessary to achieve the objectives necessary for SD.


This is where concepts like the “goku-i” and the “kun” come into play with training and practice in the martial methods.


It is comprised of many things, like your upbringing and experiences; you beliefs; your culture; your environments; your personality; your emotional maturity/state of mind; the accumulated knowledge, understanding and experiences each day building on your mind-state and mind-set, etc., so on continued throughout your life.


STRATEGIES:


Everyone who practices systems of methods used for “fense (defense/offense) must create strategies necessary to achieve avoidance, ability to observe, orient and decide on appropriate and acceptable actions as well as to make mature decisions in any actions taken to include physical as well as actions after SD.


Think 🤔, “before, during and after,” because the first is critical to the art of avoidance in SD; because the transition into during opens Pandora’s box 📦 and that simply escalates and compounds the pitfalls of allowing things to go awry.


In martial methods, such as karate for SD, all too often the before and after get very little attention, IF any at all… because, the tiny part of during that involves the fight is promoted unconsciously as the “fun stuff,” and it takes precedent to all other training and practices alluded to herein. I would say, the fun stuff is about 15% of the entire self-defense model. 


TACTICS:


Everyone who practices systems of methods used for “fense (defense/offense) must create those tactics appropriate to any given, fluid, situation; such as verbal to avoidance to deescalation to levels of force to skills, etc., that will take SD to a mutual social, legal and safety oriented conclusion.


Just consider this, tactics are not just physical techniques such as punching, kicking and takedowns, etc., but the use of you knowledge and understanding to see, truly see the road signs leading to violence, BEFORE you arrive to utilize the decision making process, i.e., using the OODA to trigger the art of avoidance, etc.


Things like your awareness of things that tickle the hairs on the back of your neck saying, “Danger, Danger Will Robinson!”


Another strategy is to listen to your spidey sense and be mature enough to tell yourself “it isn’t worth it, get out of dodge NOW!”


Side note: don’t get me wrong 😑, there are still a lot of good solid facts to support learning the “fun stuff” BECAUSE we are human and humans are instinctively violent. And like Marines, we train and practice with a goal of preparedness just in case a situation happens… out of bounds of that most excellent control of, the art of avoidance!


SKILLS:


Everyone who practices systems of methods used for “fense (defense/offense) must create mature, emotional, creative, appropriate, socially mature, legal and mutually beneficial outcome ensuring safety and security first to self and closely followed by socially necessary safety and security of family, clan or tribe to a socially driven collective such as community of city, state and country…


Skills such as effective communications, decision making, emotional maturity and control, and those actions of variable levels of force with potential results of physicality that result in harm, grave harm and even the possibility of death.


Avoidance is that first skill that puts time and distance between our orientation on an issue and being in “the fight.” Time to decide and distance to trigger that appropriate action even if it’s “run Forrest RUN!”


Another great skill is the ability to recognize environments where it’s possible for violence and using maturity and common sense, drawing from one’s knowledge and understanding, to decide to have our fun elsewhere no matter how inviting and tempting things seem.


In Closing:


There is so much to learn out there and in the end it is all about you and that bank of knowledge and “understanding” you develop because “pride goeth before the fall and even the best of intentions can still open the flood gates of harm.” Be smart, stay smart and do the right thing!


I have been studying and training and researching and practicing for over forty years and there isn’t a day that goes by I am not discovering new stuff. This is why the first principle is academic, because you have to focus on accumulating data that will positively influence what, how, why, when you apply ALL your strategies and skills.


Philosophies (your principles) are your moral compass to acting in socially and legal and responsible ways to preserve your way of life. Another reason why, “skills,” are the last fundamental principle of martial methodologies, like karate for self-defense, that MUST be taught, learned and understood… it matters!


Dojo Haiku

DOJO LIFE

a tribal thing

creates a family place;

fitting the way of nature ⌨️🖊🗡


DOJO LIFE

the way of the fist

making a path to follow;

we look for self-discipline ⌨️🖊🗡 


DOJO LIFE

to step through the door 

takes immense courage;  

dojo-mates are for life ⌨️🖊🗡 


DOJO LIFE

the shattering of kiai 

slapping bare feet on dojo floor;

crescendo of excitement ⌨️🖊🗡 


DOJO LIFE

all sitting seiza

quietly contemplating;

mokuso is the way ⌨️🖊🗡 


DOJO LIFE

ritzu-rei kamidana

ritzu-rei to Sensei; 

respect who came before ⌨️🖊 🗡


DOJO LIFE

adhere to basics

till principles learned; 

it's about self-protection ⌨️🖊 🗡


DOJO LIFE

kata at the center

balancing the spirit; 

making karate alive ⌨️🖊 🗡 


DOJO LIFE

mistakes be made

blueprints to success; 

make them off the street ⌨️🖊 🗡 


DOJO LIFE

the colored obi 

symbolic of status;

only in the dojo ⌨️🖊 🗡 


DOJO LIFE

coveted kuro-obi

black belt student's; 

it's about one's character ⌨️🖊 🗡 


Shiroobi [白帯] white belt


DOJO LIFE

shiriobi to kuroobi 

long winding path;

watch the road ahead ⌨️🖊 🗡 


DOJO LIFE

to compete or not

an important experience;

talking about adrenaline ⌨️🖊 🗡 


DOJO LIFE

doing defense drills

with dojo mates;

make it realistic ⌨️🖊 🗡 


DOJO LIFE

about self-defense 

about legal self-defense;

there be a difference ⌨️🖊 🗡 


DOJO LIFE

Sensei to deshi 

a special relationship; 

brotherhood of karate-ka ⌨️🖊 🗡


DOJO LIFE

fit as a fiddle

no bulk in the middle;

the game of fitness ⌨️🖊 🗡


DOJO LIFE

senpai and kohai

special training relations; 

pair up for practice ⌨️🖊 🗡 


DOJO LIFE

dojo kun to guide

the path of warriors; 

nothing written in stone ⌨️🖊 🗡


DOJO LIKE

code of karate

if forced to act;

here are my weapons ⌨️🖊 🗡


DOJO LIFE

before the violence

there are plenty of exits; 

choose actions carefully  ⌨️🖊 🗡


DOJO LIFE

ken-po goku-i

one's heart like heaven; 

root self to earth ⌨️🖊 🗡


DOJO LIFE 

ken-po goku-i

see sun and moon;

like blood circling ⌨️🖊 🗡


DOJO LIFE

ken-po goku-i

to drink or spit;

do it soft or hard ⌨️🖊 🗡


DOJO LIFE

ken-po goku-i

to be unbalanced; 

one who falls or not ⌨️🖊 🗡


DOJO LIFE

ken-po goku-i

mobility is critical;

always be moving ⌨️🖊 🗡


DOJO LIFE

ken-po goku-i

timing is opportunity; 

strike when iron hot ⌨️🖊 🗡 


DOJO LIFE 

ken-po goku-i

to see everything; 

more than just eyes ⌨️🖊 🗡


DOJO LIFE

ken-po goku-i

to hear all sounds;

more than hearing ⌨️🖊 🗡


DOJO LIFE

ken-po goku-i

be tactily aware; 

more than hearing seeing ⌨️🖊 🗡


DOJO LIFE

one true purpose

to thyself and family;

hallmark of master  ⌨️🖊 🗡


Hammer, The Way of

Gennou [玄能] hammer. 


Do we, in the karate self-defense community, teach practitioners the proper, optimal, use of the tool used such as the tate-Ken?


Every tool a carpenter uses has its appropriate use such as a hammer. You don’t use a hammer to screw in a screw and you don’t use a phillips-head screw driver to hammer in a nail. 


In the use of our bodies there are “optimal” uses for the techniques, methods and strategies in defense against violence. 


A good example by a known violence professional is the following question he asked as a participant of a defense class, “define the hard-to-soft/soft-to-hard concept!”


Go ahead, comment your understanding of this concept… I’ll wait… go on, write it and post it so we can come back to it later for discussion.


Meanwhile, do you train your guys as to technique-to-target viability to “get-r-done/man-down-now” in self-protection of being attacked?


Do you teach them when and where and what effect hitting (fist) is vs. an open-handed strike to an appropriate, stop the attack now, situation?


Most karate students are taught to harden the body and you don’t have to worry about where and what you hit because your calloused hardened fist breaks wood and stone and you now have that one-punch kill ability.


Meanwhile, ever hear of force levels and how that effects your impending you killed a guy you hit legal troubles?


Meanwhile, do you teach your practitioners that in the heat of violence under the influence of the adrenal chemical effects a lot of your hardened tools tend to soften up - a lot - because a lot of the mechanics and physics just tend to disappear under the influence, do you?


Although I am not in total agreement, this article does speak loudly to this issue… it inspired this article:


https://tinyurl.com/ynmbbv8v 


Meanwhile, do you break down the necessities of self-defense to the simplest form possible with the absolute least quantity of principled-based tactics possible to help avoid, the freeze, because the mind has to much crap to pick from…


Having a ton of trophies; a bunch of BB’s in as many styles; hundreds to thousands of self-defense drills… all that have to be accessed, processed and then chosen by the brain while enduring a blitz-like surprise overwhelming attack from behind with no help around under an overwhelms flood of adrenal mental and physical effects… 


Need I go on? 



Birthplace of Karate

Easy answer, right? Gonna all say, Okinawa, right? But, is it?


If we look strictly at the renaming from China-hand to Empty-hand then karate was born, sorta, in Japan proper.


If we look to it’s origins and assume it’s “Ti” as “hand” as referenced somewhat historically speaking, also as to its naming the Okinawa is spot on. 


Let’s say this, theoretically speaking, if the changes within the system speak to its origins then today’s karate wasn’t born on Okinawa. 


If we are to assume that the birthplace is, say, it’s moment of conception then do we not have to follow its lineage all the way back to when humans first used the human body in protection from violence? Isn’t that traceable back to India’s Bodhidharma?


Can anyone, master to deshi, really define karate, either then or now, so as to trace it back, definitively, to its actual birth?


Even the Okinawan history gives “Ti” lip service in the documents, also questionable as factual, as to its origins and use on the island 🏝, yes?


I feel, “We all assume” as its birthplace to be Okinawa because that is what those who came before passed down to us and taught us as to its birth and birthplace.


It has been passed down that in its formative years it was simply referred to as “Ti” (hand in English). It is also understood it was renamed to the three primary village names where three known experts, masters if you will, labeled their concept and version for what ever reasons, i.e., Naha, Shuri and Tomari “Ti”. 


Isn’t it possible that the birthplace is Okinawa because it is the offspring of Okinawa’s indigenous system of “Ti” and its marriage to China’s Chuan-fa or boxing giving birth to its child first called, “China-hand,” being the first born so named in honor of its father Chuan-fa?


As things evolved it required a name change because it would be influenced when “China-hand” was adopted by Japanese martial ways resulting in a given name at birth, if you will, of “Empty Hand?”


I’m not convinced that karate is a offspring of Okinawa but I’m not convinced it isn’t either. 


In sort I would ask:

  1. What system of unarmed physical protection is considered the father of Ti?
  2. What system of unarmed physical protection is considered the mother of Ti?

I would then, if those parents were from the same origin(s), that would be the birthplace assuming they were combined to give birth to karate on the island of Okinawa.


What are your thoughts as to the information that would validate karate’s birthplace being Okinawa? China? India? And how far back could you go to see where its lineage goes?


Hard Hands

Koute [] hard hand


Hitting someone is called “hard hands” and is considered, legally, as a higher level of force.


I head this term, hard-hand, in the video series by Marc MacYoung on COP’s. He talked about LEO’s, first responder, using questions like, “did you hit him” because if you admit you did they escalate the interview to “building a case,” gathering of facts…


My very first thought, karate is all about the development of hard hands, i.e., using the makiwara to condition the fists for that proverbial one strike kill concept of traditional karate 🥋.


If your dojo teaches karate as self-defense, then it goes to karate being the application of hard hands where the level of force may be considered/ perceived as higher than needed to stop the attack/attacker.


It also speaks to what is being taught for defense as related to a legal appropriate acceptable “level of force.” The conundrum here is no one knows how it will be judged in the legal system because… “it depends.”


Doesn’t this make the teachings of karate as defense/protection system appear in a different light 💡? If force applications are not taught with the legal force level appropriate to stopping the violence then hard “empty” hands falls out of the legal self-defense square into evidence of fighting (fighting is illegal) while applying dangerously higher than necessary force. In short, you bad; you go to jail for being a bad boy!


Karate; empty hands; makiwara conditioning; tameshiwara breaking bricks and stone; calloused knuckles; etc., classifies at higher force level as perceived legally in our wonderful legal system!