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

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

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About Kata

In a recent question posed at the Ryukyu Martial Arts FB Wall about kata I posed or suggested that the question was limited in nature and did not provide a true picture of what folks should be looking to in the practice of kata. These are my thoughts and are also very limited simply because the art of kata, like the art of self-defense provided in Marc MacYoung’s book “In the Name of Self-Defense,” is not that simple to explain in the written word. Even so, there are books upon books on this subject worth studying to gain a true understanding of what kata is and why it is an intricate part of the martial disciplines. 

Bibliography:
DeMente, Boye Lafayette. "Kata: The Key to Understanding & Dealing with the Japanese." Tuttle. Vermont. 2003.
Tokitsu, Kenji. "The Katas Meaning behind the Movements." Shambhala. Boston & London.
Kane, Lawrence A. and Wilder, Chris. "The Way of Kata: A Comprehensive Guide for Deciphering Martial Applications." YMAA. New York. 2005.
Wilder, Kris. "The Way of Sanchin Kata: The Application of Power." YMAA Publication. New York. 2007.

Here is my comment on this persons questions:

Hi, Liam Renish: Nice question. It is not that easy to answer by written word. It is not a matter of “going as hard as possible,” or to “Leave it all on the mat to the point of exhaustion.” These are way limited and don’t really give a full picture of the kata.

First, kata are simply a string of techniques that were supposedly created by the ancients to convey fighting ability to students that may not have experienced fighting or combat. They were talented enough to create the kata in a form that flowed with cadence, rhythm and purpose - at least as they were passed down they were slowly changed to reflect what is studied today.

Second, most of the kata westerners learned were not the originals but rather the watered down versions created in the very early 1900’s for the educational systems, i.e. for children or young adults. 

Third, although today’s martial artists are steadily studying and converting today’s modern kata back to what they use to be when Okinawan karate was called either “Ti” or “Toudi” where each kata also conveyed specifics that promoted principles as one practiced. This means that the kata and its string of techniques contain certain applications BUT that is not all inclusive as those bunkai change according to the particular training context as practice and training continue over time.

It is about certain principles as applied holistically as one practices kata solely then in paired practice, i.e., Uke and Tori models. Underlying each applied application according to the training situation requires certain things such as void or a certain cadence that would apply a certain type of power application also governed by the training situation. 

Take a look at the following principles that underly every aspect of martial disciplines and then consider that when practicing kata, any kata, or combinations, etc., that each and every single principle is applied to maximize that particular application of technique and/or combinations according to any given training situation, that is always fluid in nature, to “get-er-done.” 

PRINCIPLE ONE: PRINCIPLES OF THEORY (Universality, Control, Efficiency, Lengthen Our Line, Percentage Principle, Std of Infinite Measure, Power Paradox, Ratio, Simplicity, Natural Action, Michelangelo Principle, Reciprocity, Opponents as Illusions, Reflexive Action, Training Truth, Imperception and Deception.)

PRINCIPLE TWO: PHYSIOKINETIC PRINCIPLES (Breathing, posture, triangle guard, centerline, primary gate, spinal alignment, axis, minor axis, structure, heaviness, relaxation, wave energy, convergence, centeredness, triangulation point, the dynamic sphere, body-mind, void, centripetal force, centrifugal force, sequential locking and sequential relaxation, peripheral vision, tactile sensitivity, rooting, attack hubs, attack posture, ???)

PRINCIPLE THREE: PRINCIPLES OF TECHNIQUE (techniques vs. technique, equal rights, compliment, economical motion, active movement, positioning, angling, leading control, complex force, indirect pressure, live energy and dead energy, torsion and pinning, speed, timing, rhythm, balance, reactive control, natural and unnatural motion, weak link, non-telegraphing, extension and penetration, Uke.)

PRINCIPLE FOUR: PRINCIPLES OF PHILOSOPHY (Mind, mushin, kime, non-intention, yin-hang, oneness, zanshin and being, non-action, character, the empty cup.)

Principle’s One through Four: 
Pearlman, Steven J. "The Book of Martial Power." Overlook Press. N.Y. 2006.

PRINCIPLE FIVE: PRINCIPLES OF SELF-DEFENSE (“Conflict communications; Emotional Intelligence; Lines/square/circle of SD, Three brains (human, monkey, lizard), JAM/AOJ and five stages, Adrenal stress (stress induced reality based), Violence (Social and Asocial), Pre-Attack indicators, Weapons, Predator process and predator resource, Force levels, Repercussions (medical, legal, civil, personal), Go-NoGo, Win-Loss Ratio, etc. (still working on the core sub-principles for this one)”Attitude, Socio-emotional, Diplomacy, Speed [get-er done fast], Redirected aggression,  )

Principle Five: 
MacYoung, Marc. "In the Name of Self-Defense: What It Costs. When It’s Worth It." Marc MacYoung. 2014.
Goleman, Daniel. "Emotional Intelligence: 10th Anniversary Edition [Kindle Edition]." Bantam. January 11, 2012.
Miller, Rory. "ConCom: Conflict Communications A New Paradigm in Conscious Communication." Amazon Digital Services, Inc. 2014. 
Miller, Rory and Kane, Lawrence A. "Scaling Force: Dynamic Decision-making under Threat of Violence." YMAA Publisher. New Hampshire. 2012
Miller, Rory. "Force Decisions: A Citizen's Guide." YMAA Publications. NH. 2012.
Miller, Rory Sgt. "Meditations of Violence: A Comparison of Martial Arts Training & Real World Violence" YMAA Publishing. 2008.
Miller, Rory Sgt. "Facing Violence: Preparing for the Unexpected." YMAA Publishing. 2011.
Elgin, Suzette. "The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense" Barnes & Noble. 1993.
Morris, Desmond. “Manwatching: A Field Guide to Human Behavior.” Harry N. Abrams. April 1979.


So, in closing, kata is not about going as hard as possible (although as an exercise that may be just “one way” to use your kata) or to the point of exhaustion (actually, it is counter productive to go that far at least on a regular basis but once in a while may be ok as another “way” to do kata but that is not the all of kata) as that is not the true purpose of kata. Look at kata as a blueprint of what you need to do and an intricate part of basics in martial disciplines for there is much, much more to it than that.

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