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
Terms or Characters, Oh My!
In my studies I have found that what I thought meant one thing turned out different when I realized a bit more about who the person was, the time in which he practiced and taught as well as the customs and courtesies along with societal influences that governed the way the think, act and believe. This seems critical to create an environment to understand the history and meaning behind our martial arts.
Now, if all you want to do is kick someone's ass and feel the elation of a crowd cheering you when presented the trophy then by all means have fun. If you wish to truly understand and learn your "art" be it karate, kung fu, aikido then it means you have to learn about those who went before us, the Sensei who are Okinawan with that culture and beliefs.
Terms when defined can open a door that opens the mind to perceive a different perspective of how our art form came into being and what it did and can do for its practitioners both past and present. It was once said that those who ignore the past tend to relive it. I would prefer to know of the past, learn from the past and then create a new future - not just keep repeating the same routine time and time again; over and over again.
The next time you encounter a term. Take the time and effort to find its meaning. Don't assume the presenter is accurate. See if there is a difference and find the best definition and you may be surprised what it tells you. Semantics is an American term and view of words. The characters speak symbolically of the culture, customs and beliefs of another peoples. It is worth the effort.
The question that often comes up in discussions of this type is, "Do you use Japanese karate language in the dojo?" Other than a few terms such as dojo, Sensei, Sempai, Kohai, etc. I don't use terms. I don't use them for techniques, stances, etc. I do use the terms for the kata simply because that is the name of the kata and is easier then saying this is the "13 steps" kata although that would not be bad. In general don't use them because being Americans we tend to butcher the pronunciation making it unintelligible. I sometimes listen to the Japanese in a place I frequent and when I hear a familiar term or phrase I can tell from the sound and body language that what I would have said is just plane wrong.
Terms, phrases and references from Japanese/Chinese characters as related to English/Japanese words help to understand the many meanings that can relate to us in understanding context and intent - hopefully.