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 Obi at the Hips - continued discussion
Once there in the basics of the system I then removed the reminder to keep my mindfulness on using my body to do what is needed to make it and my system of martial practice focused on attaining and using all those martial principles to achieve my end goals.
Recently I read where someone said as a black belt you wear the obi down on the hips to support the back, to feel the hara what ever that means, to feel that your tensing the abdominal muscles [this one warrants thought cause I cannot understand needed to feel the muscles tensing which seems less effecient unless they were discussing at the moment of impact or something like it], and then they stated it was to remind you of where gedan started and chudan started [acutally what happened to jodan, i.e. gedan, chudan, jodan, i.e. lower, middle, upper area of body] etc.
It, the quote, reminded me that we tend to rely heavily on such things where we then become dependent on them when in reality we should have achieved self awareness and mindfulness of these things with out a belt or uniform or some other device to "remind us" or to give us an "indication" of where things are. This is a tool that must be used only as a novice much like teaching the basic fundamental motions as a novice with the understanding and expectation that it MUST be removed so no dependencies remain. Tools like this are like the lines we used in grade school to learn how to form letters in writing. No one today would think of using those lines when writing a letter, etc.
As a black belt if you are not aware of or in need of were gedan/chudan start/stop or begin/end then maybe you need to re-evaluate that level of grade. If you need it to support your back go back to the fundamentals/principles of body dynamics/mechanics, etc. because that need of extra support indicates the person may not be properly aligned, etc..
Actually, if I am right, the point just two or so inches below the naval where we find the center cannot actually be positioned behind or against the knot, try it for real and you will find that if you fasten it properly it rises up a bit above the true center of the body. We all know that the "hara" is that midsection band of muscles that provide support and strength of the entire center but the center itself is within that hara area so the knot actually is being used to try and remind the novice of their center in approximation.
Yes? No? Maybe? Discussions?
p.s. a little humor now: now someone is going to tell me his Sensei said that the longer ends of the obi provide the black belt additional balance when moving or transitioning from kamae to kamae!