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
karateka (空手家). Google translated it as "Karate Practitioner."
Let me add to the confusion by defining, according to google translate, the three characters for karate practitioner. First is a character that by itself means, "sky." [ 空] The second character means, "hand." [手 ] The third character means, "home." [ 家] Yet, oddly enough when combined and translated mean, "karate practitioner or empty hand practitoner." [空手家 ]
In reverse the words karate practitioner provide for the same characters. Now, more confusion, I will take the two words and see what they provide seperately. Karate means or translates to, "空手," which matches. The word practitioner means or translates to, "開業医,' which translated in reverse translates to, "Practitioner."
Wow, one is "空手家" while the other is "空手 and 開業医." Now, more confusion so lets translate back, "空手開業医," to see what it means in English, "Karate Practitioner."
Yet, it has two different sets of character in Japanese kanji, interesting. Why go to this extent on a topic that is about a question as to what is a karate-ka? To find an answer we need to understand that intent and its relation to the person or persons regarding beliefs, customs, language, and such things as the Japanese mind regarding ambiguity, benevolence, silence in communications, perseverance, social obligation, unspoken communications, modesty, seniority, simplicity and elegance, and so on. History and the ancient practices/classics and any connections to other cultures is also necessary.
Ergo, this initial and fundamental translation of the Japanese characters and how they are applied is to assist us in understanding the literal and ambiguous meaning of the word.
Simply stated, a karate-ka is a practitioner of karate. It seems very simple and for me is very simple. A karate-ka denotes one who practices the Okinawan system of empty hand. In today's view that means either karate-do, karate-supo-tsu, or karate-jutsu (empty hand way, empty hand sport or empty hand technique).
A very wide and open meaning of the word karate-ka with far reaching meaning and repercussions as to how any one person decides to attach a meaning. That meaning will depend on perceptions as to what karate is thus what a karate-ka means.
Complicated? Yep, but for a reason. All things of life are simple yet complicated. Sometimes it bears fruit to keep it simple and sometimes to accept its complexities. Take language as one of them. A simple yet complex form of communications that can be good and not too good to really bad.
If you keep it simple karate-ka simply means a person who practices karate or empty hand. If you want to know what that person is actually practicing under the heading of karate then it gets a bit complicated. Is it spiritual? Is it competitive/sport? Is it fighting/combative? Oh, and it can get even more complicated so understanding and awareness of all that it could "possibly" be is of value. Especially as an Instructor/Sensei/Teacher/Mentor/Sempai, etc.