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


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

Search This Blog

Chambering the Fist

Click for Large View!
In my system, as I suspect in other martial systems, we are taught to chamber our fists. When we do basics, upper and lower (te-no-bu and ashi-no-bu) we are all taught to return to a chamber position with one, the other or both fists.

Why do we do this? Simple, we do this as a basic, to learn the fundamentals of punching. We chamber then execute and finally hit the target. We learn about form and function. We learn about following the path of the fist with the elbow, etc. We learn to stay relaxed until contact then tighten the fist, etc. Hopefully we learn about structure, alignment, posture, momentum, speed, timing, distance, etc. when punching. In other words this is the fundamentally basic "start point" to learn.


What has happened in many dojo, Isshinryu since that is my most experience, is they never progress. They all assume this is the written in stone way of doing it in basics techniques, kata and kumite. Most never learn there is more, something beyond the basics, if fighting is a part of the agenda when instructing.

Once you learn how to effectively punch and/or strike then leave chambering behind. Cover your open zones. Marc MacYoung refers to those areas as quadrants. We have only two hands, forearms, elbows, etc. to cover our entire front. He divides this into four quadrants where our arms, etc. can cover only two of them at a time. You need to use positioning to cover the two not covered by the arms. Keeping the open quadrants out of range while covering the other two with arms and hands, etc. is a good thing.

You cannot do this fundamental protection if you chamber. Also remember that if you chamber or re-chamber you are broadcasting your intent and the distance you have to travel from chamber to target with a punch means a good fighter has time to move and not get hit. Marc makes a lot of sense with this and many Isshinryu factions do not teach us this strategic truism.

Chambering, good for learning; chambering, not good in fighting strategies and tactics. Move beyond chambering, yes! Remember if your hands and arms are in a protective position covering two of your quadrants; if you position your body to keep the other two out of punch/striking distance then those two arms and hands should be such that when you move quickly into range they strike like really, really powerfully, yes?

MacYoung, Marc. "A Professional's Guide to Ending Violence Quickly: How Bouncers, Bodyguards, and Other Security Professionals Handle Ugly Situations." Paladin Press. Boulder, Colorado. 1996.

MacYoung, Marc. "Violence, Blunders, and Fractured Jaws: Advanced Awareness Techniques and Street Etiquette." Paladin Press. Boulder, Colorado. 1992.

No comments: