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
Kata, It is more than we all think ...
Let me begin by saying, yes I practice the system of Okinawa Te. You might be saying that this would not really apply to Japanese "shikata." But, if you read about Japanese Kata you will find strong connections to Chinese boxing which of course also strongly influences Okinawa Te. When you see that this brings things to "full circle" you get the overall need to allow connections to China, Okinawa and Japan.
Before the Japanese entered Okinawa the Okinawans dealt with many Asian communities but none more so than China. Before Okinawa dealt with Japan the Japanese many centuries prior were influenced by the Chinese and Korean connections starting with Japan's first foray into writing where they took the Chinese characters and adjusted them to suit their own language.
So, you say but when you study a bit more about the "culture" involved in karate you will find that many of the things we have assimilated into our American traditional practice of karate have lots to do with it. Especially when the circle finally met by the Japanese entering into Okinawa and Okinawa introducing karate into Japan and then Japans influences to "kata-ize" Okinawan Karate.
Sounds a bit convoluted when I post it right? Well, it isn't and the introduction of "Shikata" of Japan where they devote a section to martial arts and karate you begin to see just how important culturally, traditionally and generally kata are to martial practice and training.
As a traditional practitioner one might want to see how this fits into explaining the cultures and beliefs of those who created Te because it is true that when you try to understand it you can then begin to truly understand Te - karate.
Clarke, Michael. "Shin Gi Tai: Karate Training for Body, Mind, and Spirit." YMAA Publishing. New Hampshire. 2011.
DeMente, Boye Lafayette. "Kata: The Key to Understanding & Dealing with the Japanese." Tuttle Publishing. Tokyo, Vermont and Singapore. 2003.