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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Uke [受け · 請け · 承け]

The character/ideogram means, “Receiver of technique (e.g. in martial arts).” The character without its modifier means, “Accept; undergo; take; get; catch; receive.” These same characters/ideograms also mean, “Popularity; favor; reception; defense; reputation; agreement; submissive partner of a relationship.” 

Go forward and receive actively. Karate, traditional, uke is to advance forward while receiving. A difficult concept that is often assumed to be only about receiving from Tori, i.e. the exchange of techniques as pair drills. This is one concept of training and practice yet is not the full meaning and understanding of the art of “Uke.”

When you improve and master receiving the attack or counter attacks will improve as well. Uke is also considered the strength to attack/counter attack, and that is why Uke and Attacking/Counter Attacking are inseparable, i.e., Uke/Yin-Yang/Attack, etc.

It is also about the parable or karate koan that to be focused on “Winning” is different from training to “NOT LOSE” and not losing is about receiving, Uke. Uke is a skill in traditional karate and like many aspects it is an important foundation that traditional karate is built upon. 

“When one is only thinking of winning - that is why one has no style of their own.” Receiving requires one maintain calmness while receiving an adversaries attack. Learning the true nature of “Uke” is one of the hard obstacles all karate-ka have to overcome and that is often equated toward one’s ultimate adversary/opponent - the self. 

Learning to receive is what makes for traditional karate. To practice uke is to pair up and utilize each’s ability and technique. Each has to read the others forms of attack and then properly receive them. An indication that one is utilizing uke properly is upon attack the receiver should never have to back down or away from that attack. This indicates the proponent is properly receiving the adversaries attack.

Improper receiving often explains why karate-ka upon exercising their skills tend to resort to techniques that are not of the system of karate, they tend to fail at an adversary because they still think they have to “Win.” When winning is there one tends to forget uke and proper receiving with proper counters with the desire to get in and hit, strike or kick the body of the adversary. One should focus on receiving the adversaries attacks and the counters, attacks, etc., will come naturally.

How uke works and how one masters it is the question, the question is answered by following this more traditional path of Okinawan karate-do. A heart that does not fear receives actively and has the strength to take it on.  

When one thinks of style, the tendency is to think of the system itself such as “Uechi Ryu or Goju Ryu” when actually the style is the application of the karate, the creation of a person own movements, etc., as a result of receiving. This loss of style opens the doors so that the adversary is able to “Not Lose.” 

In order to train adequately in receiving there are other concepts one must learn to perform, learn and become proficient in uke. It is learning how to tell actions from observing an adversaries “Body hubs.” The hubs to observe when being attacked are the shoulders and the hips. By observing the hubs you see the attack be it hand or foot, regardless of the technique, coming way before it gets to you. 

If you master seeing the attacks before they attack using body hubs then you can fine tune your ability to receive an adversaries attack. This gives you an edge to see those actions before they reach across the distance between you and your attacker thus achieving a higher level of receiving or Uke. There are more but you need to discover them for yourself. 

MacYoung, Marc (Animal). “Taking It to the Street: Making Your Martial Art Street Effective.” Paladin Press. Boulder, Colorado. 1999.

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