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
Mystique, Mysticism, or Bullshit
Mysticism: Belief characterized by self-delusion or dreamy confusion of thought, esp. when based on the assumption of occult qualities or mysterious agencies; having an import not apparent to the senses nor obvious to the intelligence, etc.
Bullshit: a word for unacceptable behavior; talk through one's hat: speak insincerely or without regard for facts or truths; False or exaggerated statements made to impress the listener rather than deceive, etc.
I am not trying to imply that readers don't know the meaning of the words. I use these to connect a particular definition or definitions to the actual words I write explaining how that set of words relate to this system of martial art called Isshinryu.
What makes martial arts, at least in regards to when I began in mid-seventies, so alluring to its practitioners was the mystique by which they came about in this country. When you present someone some unique and mysterious activity related to the then mysticism of Asian origins of martial arts, i.e. Chinese due to Bruce Lee and Tae Kwon Do due to Chuck Norris as well as others of less notoriety we foster a following that is based on mystique, mystery/mysticism or just plain old bullshit.
I can say from my experiences with Isshinryu that a good portion of what is believed, taught, and practiced comes from stories that are not based on verifiable facts. Even the most acceptable source that uses personal conversations from second and third party sources - not the original person - leaves the facts and truth questionable.
The crux of many belief systems in martial arts arises from this. The reason, I believe, that even the most acceptable sources are not fully accepted by all practitioners is because we all can gleam perceived truth for our own second and third hand sources.
This will always be the case and will never reach a level of factual believe simply because there are no written historical facts either on Okinawa or within the family archives of the founder of our system. His second son was a solid source as to his perception of his father with a bit of forgiveness to accuracy simply because of language, belief, and custom barriers. We cannot possibly and fully understand his meaning simply because we can not relate with a solid background and history involving customs and beliefs.
I had hoped to experience one day a solidarity that transcended personal gain, ego, and pride that would unite and spread a more accurate teaching of the Isshinryu system. Alas, that will never come to pass. I can only guess that maybe Shimabuku Tatsuo Sensei wanted it that way or maybe his teachings were based on the Okinawan school system version of teaching karate because it filled a need. A need for the Military and his family need for income and economical stability in very difficult times. Tatsuo Sensei may have been the precursor to the American commercialized Isshinryu system taught today.
Then again, I could be totally wrong. In other words: "more bullshit!"
p.s I used a supposition to placate, can you tell me where it is and what it actually means? Just an exercise in GAVSD ;-)