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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First Generation Student - Military Connection

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Questions come to mind when I hear someone speak of, "My Sensei is a student of the first generation student of the systems founder, Tatsuo Shimabuku!"

What is a first generation student?
What qualifies one to be a first generation student?
How did this term become so important to Isshinryu or the Karate world for that matter?
What actually constitutes/defines what is a first generation student?
What makes it so important?
What gives it such importance as to some perceived validation/qualification in the quality of teaching Isshinryu?

Some questions I have concerning this seemingly all important validating as some special status title or honor bestowed upon a few persons to designate some mystical qualification in teaching Tatsuo Sensei's system of empty hand combative stuff ... ?

Petty Officer 2nd Class Andy Sloane called me today all the way from Okinawa to talk Isshinryu. He is doing a huge amount of research on Isshinryu and one of those specific topics regards what Isshinryu circles call the "first generation" students of Tatsuo Shimabuku Sensei, founder of Isshinryu. I don't wish to trespass on his stuff so please note that this post is all mine but was influenced by the discussions we had today. Thanks Andy!

What is a first generation student? My view is this, a student/practitioner who received "hands on" training/instruction "directly" from Tatsuo Sensei. There are no rules as to how long that instruction is or was but I will put on a quantity requirement, me and not Andy or anyone else but me. I would say to qualify as a first generation student of Tatsuo Sensei a person must have received hands-on instruction from Tatsuo Sensei on a regular basis and for a period of time. Regular basis means to me at least once a week for approximately two hours. The two hours does not necessarily mean all two hours hands-on but a combination of hands-on and close observations by Sensei. The period of time is for a minimum of one month.

I say this because you can visit the dojo, take one class where Tatsuo Sensei may have provided some personal instruction and then go off and say your a first generation student of Tatsuo Sensei, the systems founder, which seems to have some significant meaning which I have yet to determine as if some standard is met and promoted.

Now, clarification, a first generation student to me is one who actually meets the above criteria, generally, but it has to be with the systems founder/creator. To be a first generation student of say, ... me ..., is not really relevant to anyone except maybe me and that student. To me the first question above is the criteria I suggest and it being under the direct tutelage of the systems master/founder/creator, all of these designations.

How did this term become so important? I have no clue. I guess Americans need validation and in gaining it they "one-up" one another to achieve a higher level of perceived/accepted validation as to some very special and somewhat mystical belief or source or authoritative designation. Like getting a rank certificate directly from him vs. me where a group perceives/believes that it has some special additional all powerful meaning and validation.

I had someone state in a dojo that I was a person who actually trained under the master on Okinawa. It puzzled me since I was there in 79 and Tatsuo Sensei died earlier that decade until I realized that they thought I trained under his son, Kichero Sensei. I quickly corrected them that I actually did not receive hands-on training but merely attended his dojo a few times until an incident occurred that caused me to stop coming. I remember three trips from Camp Hansen to the dojo till the incident; then Henry, my Sensei, and I quit coming down.

So, actually if you go with no qualifications other than taking a class then I can say I trained directly under Kichero Sensei on Okinawa. If I don't elaborate properly you can see how folks my misinterpret the actual quantity and quality of that training and may give me some special status due to it yet it warrants absolutely no real credence what so ever, nadda.

I am puzzled at the mystical value folks give to such an elusive honor/title, etc. as "first generation student of the master," with absolutely no proof, validation or definitions. At one time I also fell into this pedestal syndrome and tried to find any evidence that my Sensei, Henry, was a "first gen student of Tatsuo Sensei" but finally came to the conclusion he was not one and that provided me the understanding that it made no difference one way or the other. The true test and validation is the "quality" of the Sensei experience, knowledge, and ability to instruct a martial system, to make it work, that is the true test. In other words could he make it work in the training facility and more importantly on the street.

First generation student, the person who spent the most time with him, etc., what is the actual value and meaning of all this? A personal question I would gather and one that must be scrutinized as self-analysis of self worth one must make of themselves.

Yes? No? Maybe? Comments?

Note: Andy Sloane is, in my opinion, the "one" true source of the history of Isshinryu and the Military to train in it. He has taken the time and effort to not just find the stories but to validate them with facts, hard and indisputable facts. He has pissed off a few Isshinryu'ist and their tribes/factions but then again the truth when it refutes a belief tends to make the believers a bit testy. His efforts to take the stories of those early pioneers and add in the facts with fact checks and validations makes him an authority on the history of Isshinryu  and the military connection. I wait patiently for the day he publishes his material for it will be most illuminating. 

The House that Tatsuo Built!

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