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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Complicated Bunkai

Bunkai in the beginning, Isshinryu beginning in America, mostly had no bunkai to go with the black belt. Few, very few, even knew at the time about the word "bunkai." You learned the upper and lower basic techniques, you learned the kata form(less)s and you learned specific kumite drills. You then took a very few techniques which even then consisted of boxing type hand techniques and one or two kicking techniques. You participated in "contests" and either won or lost.

It took most the entire 9 to 13 month tour to get in just that part with little else. Some received promotions due to the ability in contests and some dependent on the kata and kumite drills.

There was little or most likely no grappling. There was little or most likely no tuite, pressure points, etc. in that training during that short period. A few who came back or remained for a longer period may or may not have gotten more but who knows for sure.

In 1979 bunkai was not used nor spoken of and any fighting skills came from Sensei's personal interpretation to kata techniques which for me, lucky for me, were very, very basic, i.e. a block in the kata was taught in kumite to block punches or kicks - very rudimentarily basic stuff.

Bunkai was introduced by someone, at some time and in most all likelihood at a demonstration or seminar and because it was something that seemed natural and an expansion of what was currently known, it was something to take the boredom out of merely doing forms it spread like wildflowers.

Mostly it was up to those individuals who helped spread this new "idea or teaching device" to come up with the proper and applicable bunkai. Sometimes a few actually through personal experience created bunkai that worked, for him or her. Often it was simply made up by folks with no experience in fighting or combative stuff and "assumed" would work as it would in pre-defined and pre-staged drills. If it looked good, seemed realistic (to the perceptions of those whose only experience was in tournament point fighting) and worked in a predefined/preordained/pre-practice/pre-staged form it was assumed that it "worked."

Since most never, ever, had to test it out in reality based assaults either social or anti-social (predatory type) situations it was a sure bet it would never be questioned, mostly.

Today, there are those both experienced and not experienced through experienced teachers who are re-discovering true relevant applicable bunkai. I applaud those luminaries of the martial arts and see good things to come from the rediscovery to those who will, may or will not have to apply it real life. All bottles are good and all students of the era will, if they seek it out and do it regardless, will benefit, grow and prosper from this effort.

All this to answer a simple question, "complicated bunkai, is this reality? is this good? do they work? ..... ok, questions. Complicated bunkai are cool and fun to work out. They can be beneficial with proper mind-set and intent - a teaching tool. A teaching tool about the body and breaking things down for analysis and the building up to see if it works, it has reality to it and other such non-combative things. You can even gleam out real bunkai from the effort as long as you make it work in reality, what ever that is.

I observed a black belt test once where the person was required to demonstrate bunkai. It turned out that since they knew no bunkai to the kata and that the training hall taught no bunkai or merely glossed over something once or twice the person and their uke "made up" bunkai. As I observed them demonstrating it I could not help be see that it was assumed that if bunkai were not complicated then it would not pass muster for testing. None of it was applicable to my perceptions and none of it was simple, its complexities showed and indicated that they barely made it work slow-time and without the slightest "intent" of either uke or tori.

Complicated bunkai seldom works in real combat. I would prefer to bet my hand on the simplest bunkai well trained/encoded and tested as best can be tested in training. Complicated bunkai in my view don't work!

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