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

Please take a look at my bibliography if you do not see a proper reference to a post.

Please take a look at my Notable Quotes

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


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

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The Virtues of the Samurai

kennen (kane-neen) spirit, fortitude, perseverance 根気 [valor, chivalry, heroism, fortitude, courage, bravery, valiancy, boldness, gallantry, intrepidity, daring]

shinnen (sheen-nane) conviction and faith 確信

shincho (sheen-choh) care, caution, discretion 心してやりなさい

seigi (say-ee-ghee) righteousness and justice 正義 [justice, righteousness, right, rightness, correct meaning]

sessei (say-ssay-ee) moderation and temperance 節制 [moderation, temperance, self-restraint]

jizen (jee-zane) benevolence and charity 仁義 [humanity and justice, duty, moral code]

kobo (kee-boah) hope 希望 [hope, wish, aspiration]

Interesting, when I go out to the "Internet" and search out these seven virtues I find disparity from this particular perception/perspective. One source on the wikipedia:

Seven virtues of Bushidō
    •    Rectitude (義 gi?): Morally correct behavior or thinking; righteousness
    •    Courage (勇 yū?): the ability to confront fear, pain, risk/danger, uncertainty, or intimidation.
    •    Benevolence (仁 jin?): an inclination to do kind or charitable acts.
    •    Respect (礼 rei?): A feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements.
    •    Honesty (誠 makoto?): Free of deceit and untruthfulness; sincere; Morally correct or virtuous; unpretentious, and unsophisticated.
    •    Honor (名誉 meiyo?): Adherence to what is right or to a conventional standard of conduct; High respect; esteem.
    •    Loyalty (忠義 chūgi?): quality of being loyal to someone or something; strong feeling of support or allegiance.

義, 勇, 仁, 礼, 誠, 名誉, and 忠義

When I seek out definitions to the characters presented in this particular source I find more disparity. The first character above is found to mean: google translate: definition, reed; Kanji Dictionary: justice, righteousness, morality, honor, sense, meaning, substitute. What I am saying here is that there are more than one single meaning for these virtues and which is the intent of the Samurai virtues or what some refer to as the Bushido Code.

As I scan the various uses of this character in conjunction with other characters the meaning is even more convoluted. It is best not to take a single character to find the more meaningful meaning. For instance, the first character above also means things like brother-in-law, communism, democracy, listen to lecture properly, duty and the principle of living to give but a few. Some apply for the intent as we understand it and some don't so characters and their associations matter.

Another disparity is the actual Japanese terms vs. those provided by Mr. DeMente's book of Samurai Strategies. For instance, rei is actually "bow," but in he wiki instance they indicate it means "respect." Yes, when one bows properly and in the right context they display respect in that form but is this what they mean as to samurai virtues?

A fictitious name, a dummy name is represented by 架空名義  which contains the first character above.  All of this causes me pause in that our understanding of the culture behind our practice of a martial art is not present so what is it are we actually doing? Tatsuo-san told first-gen Marines to lean about his culture and it is becoming clearer every day just how important that is so why do we resist?

Then the question arises, "do we have it right?" Are the virtues the same when we say "samurai vs. bushido?" Maybe the disparity is due to a difference there, I wonder.

In my final analysis, for this moment, I find Mr. DeMente's rendition to hold more sway since it all connects to his studies and findings of the Asian culture, customs and beliefs that drive it.


Zacky Chan said...

In studying Japanese over here in the country, I'm focusing a lot on kanji lately. I'm certainly no expert, but I know enough about the language and the culture to know that a lot is left up to interpretation, and usually that's based on the situation. I don't know how many times I've gone out on a limb to say or interpret something in Japanese I wasn't sure of and have it be correct, and also have so many experiences I've tried to do so and someone tells me "it's just not right." "Why?" "It's just isn't."

Charles James said...

Exactly ZC, thanks for the thoughts .... if you ever should read something I wrote on this to find inaccurate, incorrect or just plain stupid please do speak up, again thanks!