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
Kata Fundamental Knowledge
If a karate-ka, or any other system that utilizes kata/patterns to train and practice, utilizes their kata training to its fullest they will come to understand some fundamental knowledge going in that will be constantly referred to in maintaining focus on that just one kata model. There is some fundamental information in regards to kata training that everyone can benefit from as the venture into the world of karate-jutsu-do. I will try to convey some of that fundamental/basic understanding of kata here so the reader can challenge themselves to research this ancient and classical form of training and practice.
My goal is to stimulate thoughts on just how much you gain from remaining aware of and focused on kata as a strong tool to learn karate.
It might seem obvious that kata are learned in a systematic way with a definite sequence along a specified floor line called embusen. This is true. It must be understood that although this is a correct method of introduction to kata it is not the defining way of kata. Look at it as a floor plan that will rise up into a fully stocked home of karate.
Kata are the foundation that if properly practiced to the fullest provide the means to add such things as electrical, plumbing, framing, walls and their coverings, joists, flooring, insulation, lighting, windows, doors, roofing, etc. that complete the kata and its system of practice. As can be seen the foundation or the pattern and movement are just that, the depth and breadth of the house of karate are in the little things within the kata practice we call principles and bunkai.
Stances, those transitory positions taken only in the moment of technique application. The directions taken during transition of kata sections or combinations are not rigid and do not actually mean what some feel are obvious moves to multiple positions of opponents. The stances provide a means to find angles to the threat so you can apply differing bunkai in a non-sequential manner. The sequence is not necessarily those combinations that are connected to any one specific technique application. The sequence is a learning tool that must be transcended in time.
Perceived guard positions for the hands are not guard positions much like stances and movement are not readily apparent in true application for fighting but merely training guides to achieve what is needed in an encounter. Hands must complement one another in technique application much like taught by Iain Abernethy Sensei where one is a means to feel/control while the other to strike, etc. They flow and provide a means to feel how the threat moves so your moves can respond appropriately as hands are applied to deflect/strike/deflect or what ever is necessary to accomplish not being injured and so on.
Iain Abernethy Sensei's comments on angles far exceeds my mediocre explanation so I recommend reading his articles on kata to expand on the little guidance I provide here. Know that nothing in kata are set in stone. Angles are not where you go to to threats position. Angles are what you visualize that the threat ends at in applying movement toward angles off the center line of attack, etc. This need great contemplation to understand. Once you do, you got it. I quote Iain Sensei, "The angles in kata therefore tell us the angle we should be at in relationship to the enemy." read here: http://www.iainabernethy.co.uk/content/what-angles-mean-and-why-things-are-threes-video
Abernethy, Iain. "The Basics of Bunkai Series" 12 April 2010. Iain Abernethy: The Practical Application of Karate. 4 August 2011. http://www.iainabernethy.co.uk/articles/The%20Basics%20of%20Bunkai%20%28Kata%20Application%29 and http://www.iainabernethy.co.uk/articles/More%20Articles%20by%20Iain%20Abernethy (Basics of Bunkai Part 1 to 8)