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

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Stance Usage or Important Fundamental

This is another post on a subject similar to the bouncy-bouncy post. I have observed the vast difference of practitioners performing kata vs. sparring in regards to stance application.

Watch a sparring match, dojo or tournament, and you may notice that if a person is not stuck in the bouncy-bouncy thing they assume, set stoically, a specific stance. Every time for all occasions as if it were this one unique multi-purpose never miss anything goes well stance. I knew visiting practitioners that would take a naihanchi type deep stance with either the left or right side facing you for sparring. Every time, no change and no other stance utilized.

This, in my humble opinion, rooted that person into only one type of sparring. Back and forth in a straight line and usually the very fast but point-oriented back fist to the head or chest, etc. Apparently a sport oriented get the point  so the judge can see it thing.

I quote, "Stances give us base, structure, and mobility. They provide choices and options. They allow us to control range, cover distance, safely put our body weight into a move, keep us balanced, allow for effective offense and defense, and keep our retreats organized and secured, instead of becoming routs. All this comes from knowing how to move from stance to stance in reaction to what is happening at the moment." - Marc MacYoung, Tristan Sutrisno, and Dianna Gordon: see bibliography below.

Stances are a critical fundamental to any fighting system. Yet, do practitioners today spend the time to learn them in and out; forward and backward?

Example or Comment: Did you know that there is a stance assumed to be ready to fight and all the other stances are for when your in the fight? Think a natural stance for every day activity, i.e. hands are usually down by your side. Now, consider a possible fight is brewing (hope you practice avoidance and don't get to this point) simply raise your hands up in front of your body now your ready. If the fight begins then transition into the stance and techniques, multiple, to deal with and end the fight. Just my example or comment on what I see as the differences, make sense? If you are in a natural stance then move to a ready stance you have projected, body language, a non-aggressive posture yet your ready to instantly move, in any direction, and take a fight kamae and strike, punch, etc., any one appropriate to the moment, and be done with it. Or, am I full of it? ;-)

Sutrisno, Tristan, MacYoung, Marc and Gordon, Dianna. "Becoming a Complete Martial Artist: Error Detection in Self Defense and the Martial Arts." Lyons Press. Connecticut. 2005.


JoRoman said...

I remember Musashi's position on stances and movement, basically the way to move and stand in battle should not be much different than how we move and stand in daily life. Granted, some stances and body movements are better suited to perform certain techniques or allow better mobility, grounding, or transition; however, in civilian defense these should be trained so as to complement natural movement and be nothing more than transitions in effecting techniques.

Charles James said...

Hi, JoRoman: Thank you for your input/comment.

Why it is so important to make sure one understands the basics/fundamentals.

Each technique applied has the optimal stance that goes with it and all of it as a result of stimuli for a given moment.

Too many gloss over the basics/fundamentals for the glory of the glitzy flashy thingy.