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
The Benefits of Makiwara Training - The Art of Makiwara - V
First Statement: "The makiwara is not a good tool to train with because it will damage the structures of the hand over time?"
Comment: This is an urban legend as well. Yes, you can damage your hands using makiwara. No, the makiwara will not damage the hand. How? Well, it is like the gun issue. Gun's don't hurt, people using them incorrectly and irresponsibly do the actual damage. Therefore, the makiwara doesn't hurt people, people using the makiwara incorrectly and irresponsibly do the actual damage to the hand, feet, or any other body part applied in the practice.
Second Statement: "Training with a makiwara at this age, 18 or younger, can damage the growth plates and stunt growth of the arm?"
Comment: I would agree as to the definition I found that damage is possible but as to the makiwara it is best to be cautious when young adults are involved. I do believe that young adults can receive growth plate fractures which remind of of the stress fractures I endured from running as a Marine. This by itself warrants restriction to makiwara to adults only. As to the age where that changes we cannot fall into an assumption that means 18 years which relates, I believe, to some legal age of adulthood which remains subjective and to the degree of maturity at any age. The only definitive answer to age is the statement, "All children who are still growing are at risk for a growth plate injury. These injuries are reported to peak in adolescents. ... Growth plate fractures occur twice as often in boys as in girls. ... Any child who experiences an injury that results in visible deformity, persistent or severe pain, or an inability to move or put pressure on a limb should be examined by a doctor." The question I ask myself, "Do you want to gamble with a young adults body, mind and life?"
See more info here: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00040
Third Statement: "It develops targeting, and focus, which is the ability to penetrate the target (i.e., opponent) to varying degrees of force?"
Comment: Develops targeting? Nope, since the makiwara, tachi-makiwara as the most commonly used device, is stationary and restricts the movement of the practitioner and becomes the de-facto threat in this view is too limiting and dysfunctional regarding self-protection against violence. The mind set here is still important and translating learned materials away for the makiwara as a development and training tool to actual chaotic application in combat is a distinctive process with great importance. This is worth studying.
Focus is not training to penetrate. Focus is a mind training thing. Some can use focus to mean that energy focused into a target point but that is limiting and not the result of makiwara training. It is a limited experience, teaching and application as to makiwara vs. combative intent.
The varying degrees of force are not governed by focus, penetration or targeting. Force is governed by the fundamental principles of martial systems and is taught, learned and applied in all aspects of karate, not just as a product of makiwara. The degree of force depends on angles, alignments, threat target, the techniques, the bunkai or end result of the applied technique, the body mass and its movement at the applying of the technique and so many, many more "things." It would better suit the martial artist to not limit their abilities by limiting the explanations and definitions.
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.