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, Empty Hand [空手 · 唐手]

Caveat: this post is my interpretation of readings and studies therefore errors and omissions are mine and mine alone. It is highly recommended one fact check the data for clarity. My effort here is self-clarity toward a fuller understanding of the subject matter.  

At first, when karate was first used, they used the characters/ideograms [唐手] that meant, “T’ang; China.” Later, per Gichin Funakoshi sensei, the characters/ideograms [空手] that meant, “Empty; sky;void; vacant; vacuum.” The character/ideogram for hand [] was used for both. 

It appears that the two older characters were used in deference to the sources that resulted in the system/art of Ti (Tee) as pronounced in the Okinawan dialect, i.e., Hogen/Uchinaguchi, that also meant “Hand.” 

The reasons the indigenous art of Okinawan Ti used hand was not necessarily because one had to use their bare hands for defense and protection but rather the empty hand was the method to not only protect with the empty hand but the empty hand also was a prerequisite toward the training, practice and use of weaponry be it the “Stick (Bo),” “Iron Foot (Sai),” or “Spear (a blade that inserted into a stick relating it to the Bo).” 

The empty hand training therefore not only taught the practitioner to protect themselves with bare fists and feet, etc., but also provided the foundation that enhanced and promoted the training and practice of weaponry as explained in the last paragraph, i.e., the bo, etc.

Then there  is the use of “Empty.” Yes, it was a fundamental trait of the martial arts that one must use hands with no weaponry like the bo or sai but it held other meaning as well. Skills with “Empty,” i.e., weaponless hands, are a foundation for the employment of “Forms,” i.e., forms in those days were meant to relate to weapons training and practice. Then the meaning of empty hand is to be rooted in all martial arts where the forms are emptiness, another translation and meaning behind the character/ideogram []; emptiness being form. The emptiness is where all martial arts begin while they assume variances in form such as weaponless form along with form that extends the hands through the arts of weaponry or what is referred to today as, “Kobudo [古武道 - 琉球古武術] or Kobudo-jutsu.”

In closing, the “Empty Hand” is the root, the foundation of all martial arts because without the empty hand weapons are empty or useless, of all martial systems/style/arts. If one takes in hand a weapon instead of the fist, it becomes the art of the type of weapon taken up by that hand. If one takes up in their empty hand the bo, then the art becomes the art of the bo, bo-jutsu. Therefore karate, empty hand, does not contain exclusively weaponless components but rather is the seed that expressed the roots, trunk, branches, leaves, etc., that is martial arts or systems, i.e. bo-jutsu, sai-jutsu, yai-jutsu, and so on. 

Empty hand is not just an empty hand but the source, the soil, that provides extensions and variations of all martial prowess from the hands, feet, body of the practitioner to those enhancements or extensions we call kobudo, weapons. Like many terms, characters and ideograms used in Asian martial arts, they don’t just have one distinct meaning but allude to many variations on meaning for the application, training and learning of martial arts. 

Note: If this is true and accurate then the lumping of all martial arts both empty handed and weapons based are truly and correctly lumped under the title of, “Karate [空手].”

Note: It was understood also that Funakoshi Sensei also focused on the empty hand in reverse, i.e., the need to carry weapons in modern times is no longer acceptable especially after WWII. Modern society does not condone the use of enhancements or weapons outside of the professions that use them for enforcement of societies rules and laws therefore, as Funakoshi Sensei meant in the early 1900’s, practitioners should focus more a kind of self-defense/protection that allows them to defend attacks, etc., without weaponry. Thus, why weapons like the bo, in early days, was taught, trained and practiced after learning empty handed methods. 

Wittwer, Henning. “Scouting Out the Historical Course of Karate: Collected Essays.” Impressum. Germany. 2014 (

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