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

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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

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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.



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A Kata Formality: Symbolistic Respect Displays in Martial Systems

In a recent posting at the "Talk Isshinryu Forum" the question was posed, what is the purpose and/or meaning of a the diagonal step with the left foot out and back as a prelude to kata-rei and kata performance. I would describe is as follows:

"Step out diagonally forty-five degrees with left foot, return, bow/rei then begin kata."

There are a variety of methods to begin and end kata as to etiquette - in general. One might be to stand in musubi-dachi, rei, step out to the right with the right foot and then begin the kata with some defensive move, etc. Actually I think this is the "norm" one might find dominating most karate kata.

Even with that generic etiquette prelude to kata performance, practice and training does it actually have any meaning or symbolism in Asian Okinawan Martial Systems, i.e. Isshinryu, Gojuryu, Uechiryu, Shorinryu and others? Are we humans actually taking a more holistic meaning and trying to move it without merit to the more atomistic view?

I asked a few sources for some feedback on this particular practice and got two answers. One is that it was introduced by Kichero Sensei, Tatsuo Sensei's first born son, and practiced by the IWKA members. The second answer I got was Uezu Angi Sensei created it as a symbol or sign of respect for Tatsuo Sensei and is practiced by his organization and Dojo.

In my final analysis it really doesn't matter and it is not significant outside either circle of influence be it the Uezu or Kichero Sensei source and/or requirement. I can understand this perspective because I also changed this process of start and end kata by the new positioning of my hands. I take on a posture similar, regarding the hands, as the Isshinryu-no-megami. I do this to indicate I have respect for Tatsuo Sensei and what he accomplished in his one heart system of Okinawan karate-jutsu-do.

I will express emphatically that I do not require anyone who trains with me to perform their opening sequence to kata this way, it is my way and my display of respect as I suspect it was for Uezu Sensei. He just made it a part of his organization, his dojo and his students.

p.s. as one single source stated, anyone can derive some purpose out of anything and everything we do be it karate or flower arrangement. It is a matter of belief and perspective. 

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