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
Budo vs. Sport
A feudal era Japanese samurai quote really explains the difference. "You must concentrate upon and consecrate yourself wholly to each day, as though a fire were raging in your hair." This is believed to contain the essence of what Taisen Deshimaru, a Zen master, means by saying, "To practice Zen, or the martial arts, you must live intensely, wholeheartedly, without reserve - as if you might die in the next instant. Lacking this sort of commitment, Zen becomes mere ritual and the martial arts devolve into mere sport."
Today is not then, it is now. What does this mean when you attempt to describe or classify a system of pugilistic endeavor as either budo or sport? You have to take into the current culture and belief system that you would apply the techniques and spirit of the system. I would take California as my source for it is where I live and is also a sub-culture of the entire Western region called the United States.
In California "fighting" is "illegal." No ifs, and's or but's it is illegal. If you get into a fight you are going to be prosecuted. There are rules and by definition, in my mind that is, once you impose rules your no longer in the realm of budo. I am not talking about self-imposed rules such as you will not take life or you are willing to take life but rather those rules imposed by the society, their culture and their beliefs.
Budo may not be an available definition to any martial system today unless you try to orient that toward the military and then only in combat but is that true budo would be the question as many other factors get involved. One sure fire way is to determine if it is viable and used in actual hand-to-hand combat in a combat zone.
Also, the question begs do you allow it the moniker of budo only after it has been tested in combat, not street fighting cause as said there are imposed rules, and do you apply it to the individual practitioner only after they apply or have applied it in combat?
We can go on and on with this discussion but lets get back to the spirit of budo. That means to my mind fighting be it civilly or militarily. If it is meant to provide adequate techniques and spirit to combat a determined opponent who means to do you grievous harm or even death then it is budo. All other things are mostly governed by "rules" whereby it is "sport."
Now the question, who can say it is actually budo. Again, my view is that it has been proven by someone with the experience that it works then it becomes a matter of when it works for you whereby you personally validate the effectiveness of the system - not once, not twice but at least five separate times it is used effectively in combat, either civilly or militarily.
One more thing, we know that the originally traditional Uchinadee or Okinawa Hand was effective in combative applications but the true question for today is are those then effective applications effective in today's world? You might say yes readily enough but take this one point first before answering, are those techniques viewed today as "legal" in application.
Example: In the military in combat you may shoot and hit the enemy as you advance and it maybe perfectly legal according to articles of war to do one more kill shot as you pass when the enemy is on the ground and apparent not a threat and still be legal. If you use this in a civil situation that extra shot even for a police person could be illegal and prosecuted.
Isn't is great that the best defense in any situation is avoidance closely followed be deescalation? Isn't it great that in the scheme of the yin-yang of life and practice that the effort we put into our practice and training has so many more great personal and societal benefits whereby applying them on the street is mostly not necessary or even required - mostly.