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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Koshi [腰] and Gamaku [hara: 腹] and Chinkuchi [チンクチ]

The character for koshi means, "back; lower back; waist; hips; lumbar region." Gamaku is an Okinawan term, Uchinaguchi or hogan dialect, that refers to the musculature the surrounds the waist and connects the torso to the pelvis. Koshi is as can be determined by the meaning, Japanese term, the lower back as it connects to the waist, hips and the lumbar region. The koshi is a smaller part of the entire region so you can surmise that the koshi is the main controller of how power is generated in karate techniques. 

Even referring to gamaku as the sides vs. koshi as the lower back is a more limited explanation of gamaku. Actually, gamaku is a method in utilizing the hara in martial arts. Every action taken is believed to originate at the hara and that generates a certain amount of power, i.e. it contributes one aspect of the principle that generates power in martial arts. 

When you visualize gamaku or that midsection grouping or band of muscles connecting the entire body you will also envision how that is a part of the fundamental principles of martial system specifically those found in the principle category titled "physiokinetic." 

To fully utilize the system of gamaku you need to master proper breathing, posture, spinal alignment, structure, relaxation, wave energy, centeredness, body-mind, centripetal and centrifugal force; sequential locking and relaxation, and rooting. This does not mean that the other principles in physiokinetics is not utilized but these are kind of primary. This also requires in a lesser degree all the other principles, i.e. theory, technique and philosophy that feed the mind-state, etc. 

All this while under the stress of the attack, the physical stresses from the chemical dump and the fluidity of the current moment, etc. Like the term "chinkuchi" it is another historical model and theory that helps describe, from a time when such descriptions lacked modern science and medicine, how things work in martial systems. Like chinkuchi and other terms it actually describes for us how we can incorporate fundamental principles of martial systems properly and completely in our practice, training and application in self-defense, defense and combatives - as appropriate to the situation. 

You might hypothesize that gamaku is an Okinawan term to mean "hara." Hara being the abdomen, belly, stomach along with one's mind, intentions or true motives. When you speak of the hara it should include the band of muscles that connect the belly, the hips and sides, the back and lower back, etc. 

When you make it work it should result in a pelvic tile slightly forward resulting in the alignment of the spine (can best be observed in the Tai Chi Chuan forms). It forces a student to rotate hips with side muscles as when striking with either fist. Differences will occur depending on the technique and whether it is an arm and hand technique vs. a leg technique. 

You might explain it as follows, i.e. "There is a very slight pelvic tile forward which helps minimize the lumbar and thoracic curves and also facilitates efficient transfer of energy through the gamaku area. This shifts the weight and center of gravity (tanden) slightly forward increasing the power of the blow."

"As far as koshi and gamaku in karate you move with your hara. Movement with hara requires development of gamaku through movement of the koshi. Once the gamaku is developed sufficiently movement is accomplished using gamaku and any movement of the koshi is a byproduct of using gamaku."

As with principles we can look at gamaku as one of three sub-principles that work the koshi, gamaku and hara into one wholehearted model used to connect how all the principles are aligned for maximizing application of martial arts. 

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