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
The Benefits of Makiwara Training - The Art of Makiwara - III
First Statement: "A very important device used to develop striking, blocking and kicking mechanics, power, focus and spirit?"
Comment: Once again a true statement and a bit messy as to how it may be interpreted. It is another sound bite that will instill enthusiasm in a novice practitioner of the martial art of karate. As to its overall importance that will depend on the relevancy of a person's practice. I can achieve knowledge, understanding and application of the fundamental principles of the martial systems to achieve speed, power and damage when applying MA techniques - any or all of them to a degree. My view is the art of the makiwara is a "classical or traditional" method that connects us to the history, the past, those masters who brought this to our consciousness. This works for me.
Second Statement: "The visible signs of makiwara training are callused knuckles and hands though the main idea is to strengthen the wrist, elbow and shoulder joints to improve focus and power in striking techniques?"
Comment: I have discussed those visible symbols or signs of makiwara training. As to the "main idea" being to strengthen the wrist, elbow and shoulders with emphasis on the joints I have many doubts. As to this being a key to power I have greater doubts. This seems to fly in the face of properly understanding and applying the universal martial principles for power. Yes, a byproduct may be stronger joints. I don't agree as the more important principles of body alignments and economic motions along with the conservation of energy and effortlessness seem to garner power more than the limited voice saying it comes from these stated traits.
Third Statement: "The karateka can learn proper punching technique, stance, weight transfer, and hip rotation?"
Comment: Yes ... No ... Maybe ... but! The karate-ka must have a solid foundation as to proper application of any techniques as well as the nature of stances, weight transfer and hip rotation. This statement seems to promote the idea that if you can do these things while applying a punch, etc. that it will garner these traits. There is more to it than simply this stuff and more to the art of makiwara in benefits and purpose. This simply appears to bolster the urban legand of the makiwara and overlooks the actual purpose and benefit of utilizing the art of makiwara as a tool to teach, train and supplement other basic and fundamental aspects.
In this particular post we covered three distinct areas of concern when researching whether a person would utilize the karate tool, the makiwara. The answers here and in following posts will help karate-ka determine their needs in pursuing the art of the makiwara.