Please take a look at Articles on self-defense/conflict/violence for introductions to the references found in the bibliography page.

Please take a look at my bibliography if you do not see a proper reference to a post.

Please take a look at my Notable Quotes

Hey, Attention on Deck!

Hey, NOTHING here is PERSONAL, get over it - Teach Me and I will Learn!

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


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

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Continuous Training, Time in Grade and Other Stuff ....

The condition was that the grades were for continuous training in Isshin-ryu karate-do. - AJA Sensei on Isshinkai as to Tatsuo Sensei's view on rank or belts. The contention here is what folks use to define "continuous training."

Continuous training: Does this mean two hours three times a week? Does this mean daily training of any duration? Does this mean a certain amount of dojo training? Where and who decides what is considered continuous training.

If I were to take the comments literally I have over thirty-two years continuous training and practice as an Isshinryu black belt. In that light and under an assumption Tatsuo Sensei meant us to be honest with our selves, i.e. self governed, then I would assume my grade would be Judan.

His (Tatsuo Sensei) supposed time in grade requirement was:

Shodan 9-16 months Black Belt
Nidan 3 years continuous practice Black Belt
Sandan 4-6 years continuous practice Black Belt
Yondan 7-9 years continuous practice Renshi title Black Belt
Godan 10-12 years continuous practice Renshi title Black Belt
Rokudan 13-15 years continuous practice Renshi title Black Belt
Nanadan 16-20 years continuous practice Kyoshi title Red and White Belt
Hachidan 20-25 years continuous practice Kyoshi title Red and White Belt
Kudan 25-30 years continuous practice Hanshi title Red Belt
Judan 30 years and up continuous active participation Hanchi title Red Belt

and then the statement attributed to Tatsuo Sensei:

"This is the Isshin-ryu grading system that Shimabuku Tatsuo Sensei gave to us on Okinawa. We were suppose to follow it when wearing grades he passed out to us on Okinawa. The condition was that the grades were for continuous training in Isshin-ryu karate-do."

So, what do we do about this? What should we consider authoritative as to grades vs. time in grade vs. continuous training (as it may be loosely defined as an unbroken whole, without interruption)?

This seems to open the door to many high grade practitioners but does it really?

What I take into consideration as to grade: A person's honesty, integrity, and sincerity toward his or her practice and training. If we don't have, at a minimum, these three traits as karate-ka then no matter the rank, grade or level it has little meaning. It involves a self-governed moral uprightness coupled with a strong sense of morality. A lack of corruption or being corruptible. I would look to a consistency of a persons actions and deeds, the values they hold, the methods by which they live life, the self measures they put on themselves, the guiding principles by which they practice and live, and the expectations they impose on themselves as to the outcome of any endeavor. I would add to this the quality a person has as to an intuitive sense of honesty and truthfulness in regard to their motivations for one's actions. This is what I would perceive as promotion criteria along with time-in-rank.

Continuous defined: Forming an unbroken whole; without interruption; of a function or curve; extending without break or irregularity; endlessly: with unflagging resolve; Without break, cessation, or interruption; without intervening time; Without intervening space; continued; protracted; extended; Not deviating or varying from uniformity; not interrupted; not joined or articulated, etc.

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