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

I am not a leading authority on any one discipline that I write about and teach, it is my hope and wish that with all the subjects I have studied it provides me an advantage point that I offer in as clear and cohesive writings as possible in introducing the matters in my materials. I hope to serve as one who inspires direction in the practitioner so they can go on to discover greater teachers and professionals that will build on this fundamental foundation. Find the authorities and synthesize a wholehearted and holistic concept, perception and belief that will not drive your practices but rather inspire them to evolve, grow and prosper. My efforts are born of those who are more experienced and knowledgable than I. I hope you find that path! See the bibliography I provide for an initial list of experts, professionals and masters of the subjects.

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What criteria classifies karate as traditional?

First, its origins must be established as from Okinawa. [Okinawan is the birthplace or cradle of karate therefore the system and/or branch much have direct lineage to an indigenous system of karate.

Second, it must be a system/branch of long-established standing. [This means the system/branch must be a time-honored one with a traditional history that speaks to the culture and beliefs of Okinawan's and specifically regarding its history of its indigenous original system called either "Ti or Toudi."]

Third, it must have been developed and created in accordance with traditional Okinawan methods. [As far as can be determined most of the current systems were created from Ti by adepts who reached the level of "HA, i.e. shuhari system," and are on the verge of reaching the "RI" levels.]

Fourth, it must be derived from an inherited pattern of thought or action. [I can see this as the spiritual connections through the Okinawan belief systems, i.e. Confucianism, Shintoism, Buddhism, Zenism, etc. as derived from ancient Chinese classics to include their classics on martial arts.]

Fifth, it must be a custom: a specific practice of long standing. [what is considered a long standing practice? I would classify this as being a minimum of fifty years of practice as to the customs of the Okinawan's]

Sixth, it must be a system or branch of a system that is a part of the Okinawan culture which is passed from person to person or generation to generation, possibly differing in detail, as is customary per the system of shuhari, from family to family, such as the way the Okinawans celebrate what westerners refer to as holidays.]

Seventh, it must be a living transmission of the message of the founder/originator of the system or branch of a system of martial arts. [not a dogmatic adherence but a reverence and transmission of the systems/branches master to all the decedents that are practitioners of said system/branch of system. This must also honor the system of shuhari with "adherence to SHU to all new practitioners through out time."]

Eighth, it must transmit and practice the set of norms, values and beliefs contained in the culture of the Okinawans and passed down from generation to generation.


The Strongest Karate said...

Kyokushin being founded in mainland Japan in the middle of the 20th century and by a Korean Japanese man pretty effectively rules me out as "traditional". And to my ignorant mind, Kyokushin Karate seems much more Japanese, in its precepts, than Okinawan.

Still, I don't put too much importance in these kind of categories. Sure they're important to know for their historical significance, but I am reminded of that interesting thing that Lee said about styles and I think it may apply here as well.

Charles James said...

Hi, SK: Yes, I would agree. My point is the term is used a lot in many periodicals and dojo to promote and get applicants, students, etc.

If it were me and I saw "traditional" on the door I would want to know if they actually were traditional.

Like many things, the terms and their usage are usually subjective and ran according to the needs and desires of the user.

In this instance since two so called authorities on karate used the term to express something tangible and important it made me once again think, what is their definition to what makes a system traditional?

Again, your point is valid and has meaning.