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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Isshinryu Statements of Fact - NOT [or maybe]

"All stories have a beginning; over time it becomes difficult to remember which version is the truth." - "Origins of Shaolin Kung Fu: History of the Various Forms []

In Isshinryu, as with other martial labeled systems, sometimes oversteps its intent simply because one cannot "prove" the validity of such statements that I am providing in the following post. In my efforts to provide a more accurate, to me and my view that is, picture of the system I would say about the following:

"Isshinryu stresses proficiency with both hand and foot techniques, making it he most versatile form of Karate because you have no weak points."

[In some factions/circles they also profess that the system has an equal number of both hand and foot technique in kata which is not accurate. Do your own count if you practice the system or just call up a kata on Youtube and do a count. In all likelihood you will find a lot more hand stuff then kicks, etc. unless you wish to hide this fact under the guise that the other foot waza are secret/hidden bunkai ;-).  I would also ask how anyone can say that Isshinryu is the most "versatile form of karate" with out some sort of research done by an authoritative and scientifically driven organization. Don't folks tend to scream when banks, retailers, and so forth fail to provide the truth in their advertisements but when karate dojo put it out we assume its accuracy and don't question its validity?]

"Isshinryu is the most realistic style of Karate, stressing close-in techniques necessary for "street fighting" where you haven't time for elaborate time consuming wind-ups of other styles."

[The "most realistic style of karate?" Really, who says so and who says they are the ultimate authority. I might have said that I believe it to be the most realistic to my practice but then again I am not trying to irk out a living by the volume of members, etc. Who says Isshinryu is for street-fighting? I can say that it has that potential depending on intent of instruction as long as the person instructing has adequate credentials and experience in violence, etc. I can say most of Isshinryu is for sport, not street.]

"Isshinryu is the most sensible form of Karate, ... "

[Sensible to whom? In my view all systems are good, they all serve a purpose. If you practice Isshinryu most likely you chose it because it or the Sensei fit some perceived need or notion that fit your comfort zone, body style, personality, etc. I can say that I believe most folks regardless of the system of practice can say that theirs is the most sensible, for them.]

"Isshinryu is more adaptable to the American physique and temperament than other more rigid styles because the Okinawa, masters designed it to follow natural body movements."

[Yet, all systems of karate and/or other martial systems are practiced by Americans. Is this saying they had a more difficult time learning their systems than those who learned Isshinryu because their systems are NOT adaptable to American physiques and temperaments? Poppykosh, all systems are good and they all serve a purpose. If it does not follow natural body movements then they require a contortionist to do them. There are adjustments in all physical activities regardless so once again in my opinion, poppykosh!]

"Isshinryu will put you into better physical shape because it " provides you with an aggressive exercise program that will, improve your muscle tone, flexibility, speed, and wind."

[Ok, I can buy this a bit simply because most every dojo, Isshinryu or otherwise, do lots and lots of strenuous activity as warm up and basics. All physical activities that require us to get up off the couch and move are beneficial and will contribute to health and fitness. In my humble opinion it is NOT an aggressive exercise program, it is a budo or fighting or combative system originally but I guess now that it is a sport system it is different.]

In closing, I feel personally it is important to do our best to remain true to the spirit of karate-do, to Tatsuo Sensei's intent for Isshinryu, and to the culture and customs the Okinawan's developed through out their long history. Truth in how we "see," "speak," "act," and "instruct" or system is an important consideration. I try to look at what I broadcast so I can try to pass along accurate stuff. I often ask that if errors or omissions are discovered to provide corrective and constructive feedback/comments and I will make a change.

Some of these quotes are meant to be conveyed as the unique traits of the Isshinryu system and since I have found those traits to be less than accurate I can only say the only "original defining characteristics unique to Isshinryu" at its naming are the vertical fist, the thumb on top of the vertical fist, and the muscle forearm block. I would add that this is important that these particular features/traits, etc. were applicable in the late fifties but today are not exclusive to Isshinryu anymore because many have adopted this stuff.

Think of it this way, just because you say it; just because no one can disprove it; just because no one can connect it to some rule, law, or government requirement does not mean you should use it, say it, write it, or advertise it. It may attract the uninitiated; it may sound cool; it may look cool with graphics YET should you use it?

Ok, someone said, "It isn't going to hurt anyone and it is only a small little white lie anyway." NOT, if you say you are the ultimate course in self defense; you learn my system and can defend anyone against anything. Then your former student gets into a physical altercation, gets hurt, hurts their attacker, etc. gets arrested, gets sued, and so on don't you think a good attorney/lawyer is going to use this to help defend their clients actions and when done in criminal court the others family is going to sue you in civil court? Yes? No? Maybe?


Michael Gronski said...

Hi there,

My name is Michael Gronski, I was doing a search on my domain ( and picked up a link of your blog. Just wanted to say I took the time to read through a few of your post and hope you continue to blog about the martial arts. It's great seeing all of your posts. Many of my posts were research projects that I wrote in college. I often see others looking for the information but there's so little out there. Take care!

Charles James said...

Mr. Gronski: Thanks for your comments and I plan on continuing as I love to write and love to write about my most favorite topic, :-)