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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Why One Kata is Enough or Why did the ancestors to Okinawan Ti teach only one or two kata?

The stories go something like this, “The masters of Ti taught one or two kata. These kata were a compilation of strategies, tactics, goals and techniques they found worked in combat (Note: actually, I felt that in those times it was more about what worked for civil defense, inter-village contests, and as a prerequisite toward training with weaponry) so they could pass them along to those who would follow (Note: this speaks to those who were students of the sensei but had no real experience applying the techniques of Ti in a fight or for defense).

Then I read the following quotes from the section in the book, Meditations on Violence, on the OODA loop by Rory Miller. Reading these quotes and that section made me think that possibly those ancestral karate-ka knew how the OODA loop worked and trained, practiced and later taught that in and through kata. 

Lets take a look and see if maybe this would be true. Here is the first quote, “Decide (the third step of the OODA) is the second time waster. Hick’s Law: States that the more options you have, the longer it takes to choose one. The Brown Belt Syndrome: What happens when you have too many cool ways to win and you get your ass kicked while you are weighing your options.”

Think about this, if the ancestors of Ti knew that the one or two kata provided enough options in a fight or combat, etc., then they would create the kata with those options. It would then seem natural when teaching to help students apply those options in the training of kata and kata application be it kata drills with two persons or applying kata in a free style contest. If this were true and if they adhere to the results of that training then their students could avoid or bypass that part of the loop per the next quote, “It is best to create a group of techniques that form the core of your strategy that are a grouping, not separate and distinct,” of techniques that seem like one. They may be done in a variety of ways yet they are still one distinct group of techniques that can ‘get-r-done.’”

It would be correct then to assume, until it can be proven in the right environment, that if one kata contained all the core options that the master used to create that kata then could be broken down into separate/distinct applications or combinations that would seem like one (the kata practice itself contributes to the effort to perform it as if all the techniques are like “One” application or option that can also be done a variety of ways (as it should be done once you have learned the one kata properly or better the principles underlying that kata as teaching tool) while still applying as one distinct group of techniques, etc. In other words, take the atomistic approach to learning the kata thoroughly then start to mix and match until you can do any combination in any variety or order without having to Decide what to use. 

It is then a matter of encoding these through operant conditioning so that you can literally skip steps in the OODA loop. 

Also, when you consider that sometime later, after the separate distinctions were started by the creation of systems or styles from the original system of Ti, the students started to change, modify or create new applications or options because of thier experiences in civil fights and/or combat with the human need to identify and receive egoistic pride driven credit they named them like, “Shuri-ti, Naha-ti and Tomari-ti. 

Then consider that those same practitioners wanted to preserve their sensei’s teachings to in lieu of just changing and keeping the core options in kata they added their new kata to the old. As time and students come and go this may have caused the increase in the kata requirements when those same, new masters, karate-ka named their systems/styles, i.e. like “Goju-ryu, Uechi-ryu, Shorin-ryu and Isshin-ryu, etc.”

Now, add in time and generations of students along with the changes that brought about more and more not having the chance or ability to experience their teachings in combat and/or civil fighting then the experience levels dropped significantly. Pretty soon the only experiences that were available were the contests that turned into tournaments that turned into sports. Human history is chock full of this type of training and practice until the time, that always in the past, rose up where those same practitioners had to go into battle for survival and/or religious/political reasons thus testing and gaining experience. 

In the early 1900’s, as the world entered into war, the martial systems became a know entity that would instill a combative spirit and fit-n-healthy body and mind that served the military thus the country and so on. This version of the martial systems became the watered down educational version that turned into a training tool that prepared the youth of Asia for the rigors of military training (similar to the empty hand being a prerequisite to weapons training) and finally combat. It was not a combative system but a preparatory physical, mental and spiritual development tool. 

This educational system became the defacto system trained in the dojo when our Military, as occupants of the country, began learning and migrating the systems/styles to the West. The educational systems were contest/sport versions that left out a lot of what makes a martial system adequate for defense in civil fighting or hand-to-hand in combat, etc.

Then we add into the mix also in the early 1900’s when Kano Sensei introduced the dan-i system to Judo. As that also migrated toward Okinawa where it was easily, readily and full accepted in Okinawan dojo due to the influences of the larger student bodies of the times our military caused a stronger relation to training, practice and teaching as it would be applied and tested for the dan-i systems. The military is build heavily on the rank/hierarchal system so that also seems natural with their strong influences, both military and economical, to build what has become the modern sport oriented or spiritual path (often both combined) that is the martial arts of Okinawan karate. 

This all now contributes heavily toward a system of martial arts that requires a student to accumulate a larger quantity of kata, etc., to qualify for rank/grade/level advancement. As this grew the systems/styles lost those necessary requirements that actually made the martial system a civil defense/combative system, i.e. operant conditioning, exposure to chemical cocktails and other reality based not bull shit type training. They lost that need to create a core set of options and condition them to the point where they allow a person to cut out the middle steps of the OODA loop, i.e., “Operant Conditioning is critical in self-defense because it is possible, in certain situations, including surprise attacks, to cut out the middle tow steps of the OODA and develop an automatic, reflex-level, response.”

In a nutshell, it is possible the ancestral practitioners of Okinawa Ti instinctively knew that was needed to train properly and to apply those options in the fight and/or combat hand-to-hand. It is also possible that this loss occurred because our modern world has evolved to a better place where conflict and violence is not as dominant as it once was, i.e., where laws, police and other protections simply did not exist and the way to survival was through conflicts and violence and tribal cohesiveness toward survival and so on. Of course we all would have to overcome our monkey brains because our pride, ego and monkey’s want the recognition, want the rank, and want the earnings that come from the power and prestige that has become our modern martial way. 

Addendum dtd December 15th, 2015 at 10:31 hrs: Additional supporting information provided as follows as to the quantity and quality of kata:

Sorts is a term used to describe Kata in the 1600’s, i.e., “Adding them all up, certainly there are dozens of sorts. However, one cannot learn them all. Likewise there is not need to learn so many. Selecting well 5 to 6 sorts out of them would be enough. […] It is foolish to have a multitude [of sorts] with superficial knowledge and it is an extraordinary moral offense to be proud of that.” 


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

In closing I would say that our ability to return martial arts or any such discipline to combat conflict and violence is doable because of the efforts of such professionals as provided in the following bibliography:

Bibliography (The above post are my thoughts and mine alone, the below are simply sources that influence my thoughts on this subject):
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 Haden, Ph.D. "More on the Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense." Prentice Hall. New Jersey. 1983.
Elgin, Suzette. "The Last Word on the Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense" Barnes & Noble. 1995
Morris, Desmond. “Manwatching: A Field Guide to Human Behavior.” Harry N. Abrams. April 1979.
Elgin, Suzette. "The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense" Barnes & Noble. 1993.
Elgin, Suzette. "The Gentle Art of Written Self-Defense" MJF Books. 1997.

Maffetone, Philip Dr. “The Maffetone Method: The Holistic, Low-stress, No-Pain Way to Exceptional Fitness.” McGraw Hill, New York. 2000 and more … see blog bibliography.

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