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 (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
Fundamental Principles and Kata
I firmly believe that if a person learns "one" kata thoroughly and completely until they "master" it then it does not matter whether they learn more or not but if they do venture into more kata the time to learn additional kata is almost non-existent. Why? Well, as we have discovered there are fundamentals to all martial systems that cross all styles, etc. In learning this one kata if they learn and apply all the fundamental principles of martial systems then it matters not the style because implementing those principles will be instinctive and natural.
So, what I am saying is this. If you have taken the time and effort to truly learn, I mean really learn, one kata you can learn them all in short order and simply apply the principles. Now, as to other systems/styles, the only caveat is that those unique systems still incorporate the fundamental principles yet they do "move" differently and they apply techniques differently but still; know that one kata, truly know that one kata.
Americans get caught up in the quantity of kata and styles and systems with out this fundamental principles as well as the unique system/style movement and applications and if they actually focused on their system and really know and understand it all in that one kata then all the others would become more accessible; I mean really accessible and not just window dressing to spruce up a resume.
As to SueC, as long as she knows and understands the fundamental principles behind martial systems then she can truly judge and evaluate a person of higher grade for kata, basics, self-defense, and kumite, etc. because she would look for the fundamental principles which, of course, is what every judge/evaluator should be seeing.
I wish to thank Steven J. Pearlman for the book "Book of Martial Power" that explains the fundamental principles for putting a name and explanation for those that were or are unconsciously known brings them up in the light where proper considerations can be applied and implemented into teaching martial systems. He, Rory Miller, Marc MacYoung and a few others have succinctly worded aspects of training and practice that provide fundamental material for novices and experts alike. The benefits of the Internet, Books, and other media!
Make sense? Yes? No? Maybe? Comments?
p.s. I would prefer someone of Sue's level provide evals of my karate because she/they have a fresh look and tend to NOT get caught up in personal preferences which should be a reminder to those of us who have been doing this a while that nothing is set in stone and we must remain open to any and all possibilities. Reminding us of what is important so we don't accidentally get lost in our own is important to instruct/teach/mentor karate-ka; martial artists!
Oh, Oh, another good question, when competing in kata at tournaments do the judges determine scores on "pretty and dramatic" or on "fundamental principles, proficiency, and competence?"