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

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



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Birth or Naming, that is the question?

The back and forth as to whether to refer to the date as a naming, or christening if you will, or a birth of Isshinryu is an ongoing discussion that sometimes becomes heated, i.e. I am right you are wrong, etc. As I contemplate or consider this particular discussion it comes to mind that it is a bit of a ego pride driven conflict, i.e. splitting hairs, and I understand why it may be significant regarding traditions but to let it split Isshinryu into factions or branches within the branch seems stifling.

I have tried to gather as much information as possible with a fair amount of posturing and such to support both sides. I can also see that none of the information I found to date actually validates and verifies which it is except one document which in itself is subject to debate since it is in English and who knows if the interpretation of Shimabuku Tatsuo Sensei's desires were adequately conveyed. Then think of the difference in cultures to both Okinawans vs. Westerners.

Regardless, the only document I could find says, " ... for the 4rd anniversary of the birth of the ISSHINRYU Modes Karate, on the .... " whereby the quote is attributed directly to Shimabuku Tatsuo Sensei says, "birth." Of course as you read the document it comes to mind as to his meaning when he says things like "modes karate." Do we truly know and have substantial documentation to understand what he meant by "modes?" Isshinryu Modes Karate?

I believe he did name it Isshinryu on said date but I also believe that the date is also a "birth date" for the system. I use the analogy of we humans are born or conceived at one time and we are then born into the world at another specified time. That period of time before actual birth vs. conception that depends a lot on a belief system for the culture in question is the same as saying that Shimabuku-san spent his entire career in karate considering, developing and fine-tuning his practice to achieve Isshinryu, the one heart way. Isn't that the same as we humans conceiving another human so that this human can grow, develop and then become a living, breathing human.

Isshinryu was conceived many years before the date of January 15th, 1956. It was tested, it was named again and again, it was changed in a fluid nature which like a human being changed as it grew up and it was both named and born on the date indicated - my perspective. There is no conceivable reason other than ego and the prideful need to remain dogmatic to some particular belief system to argue the point of birth vs. named. Look at it from this posted perspective, the system/branch was conceived many years in advance and finally born to be named Isshinryu January 15, 1956. Seems right for me!

Hypothesis: Twenty plus years prior to January 15th, 1956 Shimabuku-san "conceived" of the idea that would be a new system named Isshinryu. The gestation period lasted a long time until the fully formed system was ready to be born. With a few birthing pains, i.e. those masters on Okinawa that resisted his attempts at a new system, on January 15th, 1956 the system, branch of Shorin-ryu, was born. Much like any young human being there would be many changes, adjustments and growth to the newborn Isshinryu, i.e. kata changed, added, removed, etc. As with any adult it continues to grow, adjust and change according to the many cultures, beliefs and persons who practice this art called Isshinryu. 

2 comments:

Rick said...

What did Shimabuku Sensei call what he was teaching before he began referring to it as Isshinryu?

Charles James said...

The Story According to AJA Sensei via his posts in Isshinkai Yahoo Group:

Tatsuo at first called what he was teaching Chan Migwa (after Chotoku Kyan's nickname) te/karate (Chan Migwa means small-eyed Kyan in Okinawa hogen; Kyan wore glasses)since Kyan never named his system (according to Joen Nakazato). Maekawa said when he started in 1951, Tatsuo was calling it Shorin-ryu and Sun nu su karate.

In 1951 he called his karate style Sun nu su karate (Sun Nu Su karate was a temporary name until Tatsuo decided to use Isshin-ryu) after the nickname he received from the mayor of Chan. In Tatsuo's family there was a dance called Sun nu su, which means 'son of old man'. Later Shimabuku shortened Sun nu su to Sunsu, also the name of the kata he created: Sunsu kata.

At a special gathering, with his students, on January 15, 1956 he declared that his style of karate should be called “Isshinryu karate”. Isshinryu means “one-heart or one-mind method”.

Eiko Kaneshi, Tatsuo's right hand man asked, "Why Isshinryu, why such a funny name?" and Shimabuku replied, "Because all things begin with one".