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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Hidden Bunkai

I have a hard time with this one. I firmly believe noting is actually hidden or secret in karate. Most of karate in the seventies and eighties had no real bunkai at all. I can speak more specifically toward Isshinryu because most of the Marines who attended the honbu dojo in the sixties, seventies and even eighties only remained on the island for a tour of duty, about 9 to 13 months in most cases. Therefore they focused on learning the moves of the kata and if they discussed bunkai it was cursory.

The requirements for earning a black belt were to learn the kata of empty hand and a few other things and then participate in contests. I am paraphrasing for brevity and know that there are and were some who spent far more time and effort to learn more but I am speaking of most.

Those who stayed and learned to dance the dance of Isshinryu to gain a black belt came back to the states and opened dojo. It was others who either created their own bunkai or learned from other systems what bunkai were that began the bunkai story here in the west. It is wonderful that this humble beginnings led others to seek out "more" where bunkai became "more."

But, it is not about any hidden bunkai. No one actually hid anything. They either passed along bunkai to practitioners or they did not. Often in that culture you had to spend a good deal of time in the dojo before you were accepted and then provided bunkai for the system. In that culture you practice things for long periods of time to gain acceptance and entrance to more personal mentoring, instruction or teachings. They didn't waste their time unless you were proven or so I am to understand from my studies of the culture of those area's, i.e. Japan, Okinawa and China.

Anyway, I guess that it sounds "coo" and gives the perceptions of "acceptance and validation" to believe that you have earned the right to learn the "hidden" or "secret" techniques of a system. Sigh ... nothing is hidden as if it were necessary to protect some secret but it is either taught or not taught, no hidden/secret.

Then again, it is my view, my perception and my theory ......


Rick said...

I don't think there are secrets. But just because something isn't secret doesn't mean it's obvious either.

It comes down to developing the insight into what you're doing to be able to see.

Charles James said...

Ahhh, insight ... a good word but still not "hidden!"

Charles James said...

Oh, and lets not forget that insight is couples symbiotically with experience, reality based. ;-)