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

Search This Blog

Applications, applications, applications .... Oh, my!

I don't often speak of Isshinryu luminaries except in general terms, mostly. Today I read a post by someone who indicates he/she is in Harrill sensei's linage. He spoke of one of his traits, the understanding that Harrill sensei created from 800 to 1300 applications for the eight Isshinryu kata. This got me to thinking, "when did it become important to create or know such large numbers of applications or techniques?" Another question, "Why do American Isshinryu practitioners believe that to know so many applications means you are a master of Isshinryu or any system for that matter?"

First, it is not for self-defense in my book regardless of how those are packaged. As an instructor I can see having a full tool box of techniques to teach or draw on but what would the relevance be to that model? Is it possible in our drive to find some validation in what we do in Isshinryu that we are missing the ocean for the boat? 

I find that the systems is more a venue to draw personalities to something that provides a connection to others much like joining a tribe for survival. You join a tribe of "like minded people" with common beliefs and culture for survival so this may be the answer to systems, i.e. isshinryu, gojuryu, shorinryu, etc. I also feel that as schools became more connected to earning a living and  making a name for oneself the true practice shifted away from things like a principles model to a model for rank, trophies, competition, accolades and titles, etc. 

Don't misinterpret my post as sport aspects along with those esoteric models are good things when they provide a means for someone to improve themselves and their contributions or services to others but when it comes down to traditional combative values one is apples while the other is oranges with a definitive division between. 

Should I be impressed when someone stands in front of novices and speaks to the volume of what they know, to the volume of belts they have earned, or to the stack of trophies and awards and titles they can present? I also ask myself why I ended up taking a slightly different path than this one toward accolades and infamy as a master of Isshinryu. 

I feel Isshinryu is a venue that allows me to feel comfortable practicing but with an effort toward learning the finite principles of martial systems vs. one, two or a thousand techniques or applications. Trying to get a handle on possible scenarios in self-defense is impossible so finding relevant applications or technique specificities to cover the infinite seems - impossible or impossibly irrelevant. 

Then I ask, do the five hundred to thirteen hundred applications have some validation as to effectiveness outside of the dojo and in a real violent encounter? I have my doubts as those professionals that I have come to understand don't necessarily advocate this model to learn defense. If you want to tout about the volume of knowledge you have then it should be relevant to the situation. In defense knowing more about violence and all it entails, the defense in real life and how it all works before, during and after seem more importantly relevant. 

I am not picking on Harrill sensei, just using a quote on his vast knowledge of applications to ask questions and present theories for discussion. I don't readily accept any one person's idea of mastery without questioning. I have learned that what works for one may not work for another regardless of the professionalism and knowledge regardless of the quantity. Quality is far better, from my view. than quantity. 

No comments: