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 Three Exercises

First, reminder that the number three seems to have a great deal of significance in the more spiritual aspects to the arts so it is with reverence to those ancient classics that I provide another "three" from the quote that follows attributed to Nobuharu Yagyu, headmaster, Yagyu School of Kendo:

"The secret to achieving skill in kendo is in the spirit that derives from repetition of san ma no i (sahn mah no ee), or "the three exercises." The three are: one, right teaching; two, dedicating oneself to the teaching; and three, applying one's own ingenuity to what is learned from the teachings." - Nobuharu Yagyu Sensei

Invariably I will hear back that the three exercises are kihon, kata and kumite but that in and of itself is limiting and not enough to achieve a high proficiency or skill in karate. Most of the three's one hears from the Isshinryu communities are not the end but rather one member of the group that is a part of "right teaching."

Right teaching, 正: 正しい解釈(ただしいかいしゃく) / the right interpretation and 教: 教えてください(おしえてください) / Please tell me ~, Please teach me ~, Please show me ~, [note: my interpretation or kanji/kana interpretations]. Right teaching (also: 右の指導; Migi no shidō) can be thought of in many different ways but I feel the significance regardless of how it is interpreted by Sensei is the connections that are insinuated by his statement, i.e. dedicated to the teaching and most important applying self ingenuity to the teachings. All things like this for success be it martial skills or some other spiritual-physical endeavor requires they be connected and mutually supportive.

When I read this I immediately thought what a wonderful quote that brings together in a terse way what it takes to teach an art form be it karate, kendo or some other discipline. If the teaching/instruction is not "right" and if the one being taught/instructed does not connect the dots through dedication and ingenuity then they may not be achieving the level and results intended. Often, in my way of thinking, this is the missing part that comes from research and deep study of the history, culture and beliefs of those who came before and allowed us to learn from their experience.

Thought Provoking!

Postscript: Now, the question is - What is "right teaching?" :-) The second question, "Who is the authority on what is right teaching?" Finally, in threes you know, "Who is to say the authority is valid that says what is right teaching?"


Zacky Chan said...

Three states as said by Nishijima Roshi while discussing Buddhism and zazen: State of thinking, state of feeling, and state of dropping body and mind.

Check out the 3 part video series of a documentary on the man at this intriquing blog on zen:

This particular discussion is found in part 2 at about 4 min

Zacky Chan said...

I just tried to comment and not sure if it goes through, but I found an interesting discussion on another "three". Nishijima Roshi says there are three states: State of thinking, state of feeling, and the state of dropping body and mind. Check out this website for the 3 part video series on the guy. This discussion is around 4 min into part 2.

Charles James said...

Hey ZC: Thanks for the links, will check them out .... ;-)