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
Kata is the blueprint. It provides us guidance to explore and make work the many techniques within each one. It provides us a basic shape of what we will create as we progress in karate with its application. It is how we learned to print letters which is an apropos example since writing in Asia, i.e. kanji/kana, is one of the few arts that inspired the art of kata in all things Japanese. I liked Parker-san's examples of writing, coloring and staying within the lines analogy.
Kumite in reality is taking kata techniques or bunkai and as Parker-san says, deviating from the structure that is the kata. Kata structure is necessary to transfer knowledge in a form that is readily understood so it can be morphed into actual "fighting technique," or deviation from kata structure.
Kumite is an "engagement" form of hopefully "reality based physical interactions to avoid extreme damage and to protect and preserve life." In the beginning you know who is uke and tori but where it must go on the path of the empty hand is into a realm few actually go. The realm of where you never know who is uke or who is tori or which form the attack will take and what technique or techniques will be required to engage with out losing, mostly, karate form - loose form that remains within the adrenaline influenced fight.
If this sounds overly complex it is but this is what my personal perception of Parker-san's blog post on Kata and Randori. I just adjusted it a might to fit my belief as to karate training and application assuming my readers will remember all the things that involve real life fights, attacks and predatory blitzes.
My thanks to Patrick Parker of the Mokuren Dojo blog for his expert, concise and succinct explanation of a most difficult topic - kata and kumite (kata and randori for Judo and Aikido :-)
Patrick Parker of the Mokuren Dojo states, "The purpose of randori is for both partners to gain experience in giving and taking various techniques outside of the constraints of kata." In martial karate it can also be said, "The purpose of kumite is for both partners to gain experience in giving and taking various techniques outside of the constraints of kata." Once we take the competitiveness out of the equation it comes to surprise many just how much more they learn. What they learn is far more valuable than the ability to say, "I won that match!"
and Parkers-san writes, one of my instructors used to say, "Randori (Kumite) is not a matter of winning and losing. In randori (Kumite) there are those who win, and there are those who learn." Often, they are not the same person. Sometimes it is your turn to be the "winner" and sometimes it is your time to be the "learner."
Let my put it this way, "Yugoka (yuu-go-kah) or "fusion of ideas and techniques." Kata and kumite should be a fusing of practices that does not simply mix them but rather combines the two not changing their individual nature but rather fused them into something new, new to each individual who uses this method to fuse their practice into "one" complete martial system of karate-jutsu-do." [p.s. I took some liberties with the defining of yugoka :-), the yugoka principle is actually based on a "holistic" thinking process.]