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
1 + 1 + 1 = "1"
Normally when we are asked to add one item with another and a third we say we have "three" items. I am posting here to say that in some instances when you add things up they simply equal one thing.
Fundamentals + Kata + Kumite = a martial system with specificity toward karate. I say this only because some marital systems may not actually utilize one of these three. This is where these three, for karate, equal one - karate, one system.
In the fundamental principles of martial systems Stephen J. Pearlman Sensei provides an entire book of principles that when added up equal "one." This is where we break things up to achieve knowledge and understanding. The break down in the process comes from a misunderstanding that when you achieve that knowledge of the many it is assumed one has reached the end, not the beginning.
We have ten "kyu" levels in karate-jutsu-do. Those ten when trained individually are added up or accumulated over training/practice time into "one." That one for a lot of us is "Sho-dan." Sho-dan indicates that a person has achieved knowledge and understanding of the many fundamentals of the system and by achieving this level of "one" now embarks on a journey of a higher level of the many to once again achieve a higher level of "one."
Much like the movie with Billy Crystal when speaking to the character of the Curly about the meaning of life. Curly says to Mitch, Billy Crystals character,
Curly: Do you know what the secret of life is?
[holds up one finger]
Mitch: Your finger?
Curly: One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that and the rest don't mean shit.
Mitch: But, what is the "one thing?"
Curly: [smiles] That's what you have to find out.
When you begin that new journey as a fledgling black belt it is up to you to figure out what that one thing is as you progress through the ten levels of yu-dan-sha. Her lies the rub. Many don a higher level belt. Some times of paneled colors red and black or red and white. The donning of said belts is not indicative of whether that person truly and fully understands what that "one things, just one thing" is.
Sensei: Do you know what the secret of a black belt is?
[holds up one finger]
Deshi: Your finger?
Sensei: One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that and the rest don't mean shit.
Deshi: But, what is the "one thing?"
Sensei: [smiles] That's what you have to find out.