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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Tatsuo-san’s Kumite for Isshinryu

Caveat: This post is mine and mine alone. I the author of this blog assure you, the reader, that any of the opinions expressed here are my own and are a result of the way in which my meandering mind interprets a particular situation and or concept. The views expressed here are solely those of the author in his private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of other martial arts and/or conflict/violence professionals or authors of source materials. It should be quite obvious that the sources I used herein have not approved, endorsed, embraced, friended, liked, tweeted or authorized this post.

Andy Sloane Sensei has written an excellent description of these “kumite” from Tatsuo Shimabuku Sensei. As an example, most of us believe we know that kumite means, “sparring.” He presents the meaning as, “grappling hands.” He, apparently, meant it to mean a specific set of two-person training of combinations/techniques used by Uke and Tori to learn applications for specified types of attacks (my interpretations, not Sloane Sensei’s). Here are some examples:


Where I come in is that these “kumite” are meant to be self-defense scenario’s. I expect some might simply say that these are common, in Tatsuo-san’s time, fighting situations a karate-ka needs to learn for self-protection. I must note that these theories are simply that, theories, that are unsubstantiated by any known historical facts other than as transmitted as kata and/or “kumite (as defined by Tatsuo-san).”

When you view these or if you are a practitioner of Isshinryu who learned and practice Tatsuo-san’s kumite you may have accepted them as solid self-defense kumite or you may have simply learned, practiced and taught them to maintain the historical origins of Isshinryu.

Here is where if stray from that seemingly necessary connection for historical preservation. I don’t believe we must remain steadfast and dogmatically glued to these kumite because most, if not all, are not really realistic to modern self-defense or even fighting, i.e., as protection against violence. 

If we are to study violence and self-defense then we have to believe that almost all non-socially monkey dancing school yard fights are actually composed of “surprise-fear-pain” triad of violence. Except for the monkey dance a good deal of violent attacks are from complete and utter surprise with a large doze of both fear and pain. It happens quickly, ergo the surprise and it involves the attacker situating the attack to avoid or at least limit their own damage as well as to accomplish their goals.  

Take for instance, no violent attack be it for reasons of robbery or simply to hurt a person seldom does the attacker attack by application of such things as the “full nelson” or the “wrist grab” and so on. This may, may, occur in the school yard scuffle or the monkey dance at the local bar on football night when you friend gets pissed because you are giving him hell over his team losing, etc.

Granted, these kumite still serve a purpose as long as the mind-set/mind-state is such that the practitioners understand the disconnect between them and reality. If you are using them to teach self-defense then they are lacking. If you teach them from combatives, then they are lacking. Lacking a reality toward what combat is and what violence is as applied both in combat and in self-defense. 

Add in a certain level of complexity that goes against any professionals view of what works vs. what does not. It is about using them for what they can achieve, i.e., some of the physiokinetic principles, vs. what they will not. 


Tatsuo-san’s kumite, historically and for preservation of his legacy, are great. Tatsuo-san’s kumite, for fighting, combat and/or self-defense, simply will not get you fully and completely there. This is not to disparage his teachings but to convey that as time passes and society progresses things change including violence and how to defend against it. If you fail to change to meet those changing challenges of the current times then you allow yourself to fail when you need it most. 

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