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 (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 have seen these diploma's before so wanted to add to Vesia Sensei's article with some analysis of the silk certificate. First, notice it says in the title karate-do diploma. If we can assume that Tatsuo-san actually wrote out this diploma he may have been telling the recipients that this grade award was for the "way" they followed his teachings and not necessarily as a testimony of their prowess in combat.
Second, you will notice that the part about recognizing the recipient as a sixth dan was "due" to his "success" in "karate matches." Again, if we can assume that Tatsuo-san wrote this with any communication accuracy he is actually promoting the person according to his ability in a "sport" and not as to "jutsu or combative" ability. He states very clearly the rank is for "matches in which he participated." Look closely, "matches," as in tournament style contests.
I have also read many articles and posts, etc. where both the word "matches and contests" are used. Since they were tournament style gatherings with demonstrations, etc. it may have meant that Tatsuo-san was actually recognizing their sport ability much like a coach does for the football players after a great game.
Does this mean they cannot use what they know in a fight, not really because many of these pioneers were already trained to fight by the military, in Isshinryu's case Marines, so that was not a big issue. Their combat training would just draw from the sport techniques taught in karate so in this instance I feel the military guys would benefit but those without that foundation becomes another story all together.
I am not trying to say that these diploma's are NOT in recognition as to competency in fighting but it may have been assumed by Tatsuo-san that the DO or matches/contests would benefit the already expert Marines, Soldiers, Sailors and Airman to supplement their military expertise. What I am saying is the more sport oriented teachings, if that is what they truly are, would not be combative beneficially when taught to civilians in the West who didn't have the military foundation to build on.
Does this mean I am saying that those folks in recept of such silk certificates didn't actually warrant those ranks, no not at all. Tatsuo-san awarded it to them and those that waited per his instructions and who diligently pursued their studies of karate AND the ken-po goku-i did deserve and earn those diploma's but then again those who failed to fulfill the request from Tatsuo-san .... now that is a different story once again.