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
“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
“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
The particulars of a kata are those that provide the brain/mind a means to reference it or its individual parts to construct on the fly an appropriate response be it verbal or physical. The brain does not file whole thoughts and idea's into a memory slot. Those entire memories are fragmented and stored where ever the brain stores them according to the process you use to learn it, i.e. like association which is a bunkai to a stance and technique, so you can begin to understand the repetitive practice need in karate-do.
Kata have stances that vary along with techniques unique to some particular strategy/tactic of combat yet it is not exclusive. If it were, as it is practiced today, then you would learn about every conceivable fighting/combative situation and never be hit BUT it is complex and there are zillions of variances to it so kata in that light would be totally inefficient but if you take the road to beyond the basics/fundamentals of the system, kata, etc. then you can see how the brain works with pieces so if a new event occurs the brain can pieces together a response. The brain is something miraculous.
Kata particulars are not written in stone. Although the fundamentals of the system should remain intact it does NOT mean that it remains intact as you progress but becomes a living thing coupled with realistic training and practice achieves great things; or not.
A good example that has seemingly taken over a kata in practice is the "timing" issue. My perception of timing is different from others. Others tend to look at it as the time it takes to perform the kata where a particular time is provided much like the start/stop point of embusen where a person has to stop at the allotted time for a particular kata. Time over or under is used to reduce scores. This seems sporting but not realistic to effective use of kata for combative purposes.
Timing to me is what is needed to apply effective technique at a particular target point using a particular stance and technique finding the vertical axis target point and meeting it effectively and optimally to not get hit and take out the ability of an attacker to continue doing damage. There is an effective timing, much like in music, and a rhythm that can be applied to ensure it is done according to the fundamentals, i.e. momentum, distance, pose, posture, effective body alignments, etc.
Something to consider, something to think about, something to contemplate; don't you think?
Another issue to me is "rushing." Watch a kata and sometimes you see it as if the person is working extra hard to get it over with. Listen up, the most wonderful part of kata practice and training is finding the rhythm and timing according to the many facets of bunkai interpretations leaving a limiting concept of overall time constraints out of the picture entirely. It is done when it is done. It has a purpose, fluid and changing, so let the life of kata come forth and create itself in real time. It may be why Tatsuo Sensei was known to do kata a bit differently each time, it was a living thing he was connecting to his body and mind.