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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Karate is a Sport; Karate is an Educational Sport

Over the years I have spouted off about the denigration of karate through the sport aspects but I find that I am wrong with that assumption. I have changed my mind because I have found that there is a strong possibility that karate as we know it today and as we learned it in the fifties and later is actually derived from the adjusted karate as implemented into the educational system of Okinawa. 

Even the creator of Isshinryu may have been influenced heavily through the karate he was exposed to when he attended schools in his youth. Not sure I can validate this but I have heard stories about his youth and that he did attend school albeit it the lower grades. As to any higher grades I just don’t know. But, if he did attend and since it is apparent through sources of history that he was exposed to the educational form of karate then it just goes to show that karate as we know it may have been purely a sport oriented system taught in the educational systems. 

Karate was adjusted accordingly so it was more palatable to the education of the youth of Okinawa. It may have been the source of the karate taught to American servicemen in the fifties and after because it may have been the easiest to teach us since we, by our own volition forced a one year constraint on achieving a black belt due to the term of service of most when stationed on Okinawa. 

I would like to believe that the more combative or defensive aspects to karate were available but that would require a longer training cycle than the mere one year tour of duty for most military. Just learning the basics and fundamentals takes more time than actually learning all the more combative aspects of a martial art, at least in my mind. 

Think of it, if they made changes to suit the two training sessions a week for students in the school system so they could benefit from that training for health, fitness and development of a martial spirit then why would they not use that same system to teach Americans especially considering they would train and practice for only one year or so. 

I am not saying I have it right but from where I sit it fits. Even Tatsuo-san promoted competitions and contests to attract more students much like we do today in our more commercialized endeavors in martial arts. If the stories are true then a lot of early pioneers were provided grades commensurate to what they achieved in said competitions. Could it be that Tatsuo-san used what he was exposed to in his early years within the educational system of Okinawa. 

After all, he would have attended during the early nineteen hundreds, i.e. the education version of karate was fully implemented between 1905 and 1906 as evident in the historical submission of Andreas Quast through his book, “Karate 1.0.”

Since all of Okinawa, due to the push by Japan, pushed martial arts along with other health and fitness disciplines described as military gymnastics, etc., into the educational systems starting in the late 1800’s to full implementation in 1905/06. Mr. Quast provides some pretty good historical information to support this type of endeavor. 

If I am correct then karate was more sport than combative systems and that what we have come to in todays version of sport or supotsu karate is actually a modern version of what they taught and learned back in the day. 

It must be remembered and understood that one of the chief precepts of the educational karate system taught in the schools was it would be “kata based” practice and training. All of today’s belief in karate practice on a traditional or classical level is that kata is the main training model for Okinawan karate. This is not to denigrate the use of kata as a teaching tool but it does speak to what was taught and practiced before the effort to mold karate into a sport educational system. It may have been the impetus to create more kata which is evident in today’s karate. 

We can extrapolate kata growth due to the effort to implement karate into the educational system since it was to be a “kata based practice” system. As it progressed it spawned a need to create more kata. Kata, at one time it may have been believed and true, were fewer in number when taught to the older karate practitioners, i.e. pre-late mid to late 1800’s. You often hear tales of how one would learn and practice one or two kata for decades or may just years so it seems appropriate when the training was converted to a strictly kata based training regimen they developed more kata to fill the gaps. 

Even today, in the west, we tend to believe grading is done by the quantity of what we learn, i.e.,. more kata, more black belts, more of everything means greater knowledge thus greater ability to judge when one is to receive a higher grade, etc. and on and on and on. 

When you begin to see how this may have come to pass you can then understand why the direction of today’s karate is pointed more toward the educational versions of earlier years. 

There is this transition period of old masters where the more known masters of our times may have been more a product of the educational system of karate than the more ancient classical or traditional combative karate.

Take it one more step and when you learn that it is possible that the empty hand martial art was actually a prerequisite to learning martial arts with weapons then it takes a level of importance lower than we might want to believe. When you actually study what modern conflict requires of a person for defense or even combatives then the mere physical teachings of karate are but a small part of that whole called conflict. 

It makes me think and accept the possibility that when we say that today’s karate or martial arts are hurting the traditional martial arts that we may be expressing a human need to put what we believe on a higher pedestal that actually warranted or actually realistically true to what came before. 

Naturally, we all want what we believe and do to be right, correct and of importance. This is not saying that we are practicing something of great importance and benefit but we don’t want to put more emphasis on falsehood to achieve that goal when reality is still pretty impressive. 

If what I am theorizing is to be true I can accept that and then move forward to implement a practice, training and teaching that will encompass all aspects of conflict of which violence is a part to achieve a karate that meets my expectations even if only for me and my practice and training. Seeing and accepting truth is important and puts us into a more “realistic” practice then fooling ourselves that what we currently do is adequate for defense and/or combatives vs. simply sport oriented health and fitness discipline.

Both aspects are of great value to us and we should embrace this regardless of whether sport, as we were taught in the early days, or combative/defensive as we thought. Both are of value and both can be achieved. Maybe this is the new future of martial arts, embracing all of its essence regardless into a new form of martial arts and jutsu. 

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