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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Isshinryu History and Lineage

It has become apparent that the history and lineage of the Isshinryu system, for those interested in how the past affects the current moment and thus the future, is open to discussion due to the lack of written historical documentation. Many have taken it upon themselves to research and gather as much information as possible trying to glue together those facts, if indeed they can be classified as facts, into a picture of the system and its founder Shimabuku Tatsuo Sensei.

It begins with a fact, the Okinawans do not take seriously the same things westerners take seriously so many, many things are just not documented. Then we have to consider that the information on Isshinryu is anecdotal, which means it could well be distorted by time and by generations of retelling. There is probably no way to know the objective truth of any of it. 

One historian of note had made the written comment that his encounters with Okinawans over a three or more year period of time living on the Island speaks to this lack of concern for such things. So it is a matter of subjectively piecing together data as best as one can to piece together the story. Considering this lack of interest on the Okinawans part this puts the history in the system to questions.

Then there are those historians who spend a great deal of time and effort trying to piece it all together through discussions with those who lived during those times, who practiced martial arts and who trained with Tatsuo-san and his teachers, i.e. "The chronological order of Tatsuo's formal teachers as being: Motobu Choyu (1st; 1924/1925), Kyan Chotoku (2nd; c. 1927-c. 1938/1939), Motobu Choki (3rd; 1941-1942), Chojun Miyagi (4th; 1946-1947)."

The quote about time and generational affects distorting the information becomes heavy, a burden that in and of itself as affected by the persons perceptions and the context of the discussions as affected by human memory, context of the discussion and one very important aspect of Asian culture, the need to keep a sense of balance and harmony. This sometimes forces them to say things that they might not to keep a harmonious atmosphere especially when pushed by western standards of the need to know and to understand beyond intuitive learning, etc. 

Lastly, the arts were influenced greatly by the introduction into the school systems along with the hardships and barriers created by the war. The war from both the Japanese influences as the governing body of Okinawa as well as the American influences as the victors of the war would naturally result in a holding back in teaching the cultural art of karate, etc. It may simply be a matter of holding dear what is there heritage and allowing only that which keeps harmony out when discussing it with westerners.

Now that Okinawan and American relations has grown closer and the Okinawans are finding their cultural karate has potential to be a economic boon for their peoples the effort to gain back the history and lineage means that more and more information will be forthcoming with one big "BUT." It is still about that information still being anecdotal and distorted by time and generational retellings as well as digging into the frailties of human memories. We as humans all suffer from those frailties and memories do change each and every moment.

My advice is that we should all come together to compare notes - regardless of sources, etc. Then we should do our best to come up with one history and lineage that all can accept and be done with it. The continuous egoistic pride driven mental state of "I am right and you are wrong" should be set aside for the continuity of the system, both technical and academic (being the history and lineage, etc.).

Then again I may be spitting against the wind. 

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