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 - VII
Comment: Not true from my view. I am proficient in applying my techniques. I don't have large knuckles or extensive calluses on my hands. I remember a returning karate-ka who trained at the honbu dojo for Goju. Sensei required a ton of makiwara. She returned from her year and expressed in a blog entry how she was feeling self conscious with the "deforming of the hands" from her time on the makiwara and was concerned about stopping. Once it was explained how you can continue makiwara with out this extensive formation on the hands and still reap the benefits for karate - this person had the "uh-oh, doah" moment and changed her makiwara practice. Cool!
Statement Two: "Traditional makiwara contain a rolled straw punching pad?"
Comment: Let me be particularly literal for this answer, who the heck knows what is a traditional specification for a makiwara? Who the heck knows if the classical practice of karate, pre-1900, actually used a straw pad vs. something else. Tatsuo Sensei used specially created "tatami mat material" to place on makiwara. That was in the forties and fifties so more of a traditional view, i.e. post-1900 karate practice.
Statement Three: "A common misconception is that the makiwara board should be stiff?"
Comment: Hmm, a very subject question warranting a subjective answer. It depends. I used a stiffer makiwara while others the more narrow and flexible version. I also know of some who actually used the hanging, free hanging, type that was a larger, heavier and more like human weight to hit and maneuver around while it swung freely. It depends on what you want and that depends on your level of expertise and ability for the art of the makiwara. As to beginners, have an expert supervise and use the more "traditional" tachi-makiwara to gain ground toward expertise.
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.