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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Hand to China Hand to Empty Hand

Blog Article/Post Caveat (Read First Please: Click the Link)

Just remember to keep thinking, “Pure Conjecture.” The Okinawan discipline of karate or empty hand began, so we are all told, as a system called, “Ti.” Then some called it, “Toudi.” Then at some time they called it, “China Hand.”

Funakoshi Ginchin Sensei then changed it to, “Empty Hand,” using the Japanese characters/ideograms so that it could become an accepted martial art of Japan. The transitions and evolution of the naming of this, “Traditional or Classical” discipline of Okinawan martial discipline cannot be explained, it is just accepted.

I don’t just accept things, I tend to question and come to conclusions from the data and facts I can dig out. Granted, there is not much if any data and/or facts about the naming done on karate. I have some idea’s tho and that is the purpose of this article.

First, if true, the Okinawan’s called their indigenous system of defense Ti, meaning, “Hand.” Whether open, empty or closed no one can say with any certainty. It is just accepted. Assumptions and conjecture can be made but that is all. 

I would venture to theorize that the final, “Empty Hand,” naming was derived from the more efficient application of the open hand vs. the closed fist. Using the fist is not exactly efficient in applying the type of force and power necessary to end a threat. Considering the dangerous environment of those early years, i.e., the fifteen hundreds to the late eighteen hundreds, the need to end violence quickly and efficiently was required. The use of the open hand techniques are considered in some circles as superior to punching and striking, especially with the close fist.

Neither empty hand or open hand are about the use of the fist in defense. There are way to many variables that have to align to apply enough force and power to the target to work efficiently in a fight. There are way to many power leaks such as the shoulder, elbow and wrist when not aligned, i.e., when physiokinetic principles are not applied at their very best. I also believe, theorize, that because of this deficiency of fist use for punches and strikes they developed the makiwara in the effort to overcome the other variables that are very difficult to apply sufficiently, efficiently and to their most stable structure, etc. 

I also hypothesize that when renaming it to empty hand this type of distinction didn’t occur and since the Okinawans were not really all that keen on documentation they didn’t care if it was called hand, China hand, Empty hand or even, “Open Hand.” It may have been about naming the system after the use of the hands where weapons were not available or lost. An empty hand denotes nothing held within therefore weapons lost or not available leaving on those, “Empty Hands,” available for defense, fighting and/or combatives. This is also supported in that Ti was used primarily to train and prepare military types for the rigors of weapons training. Like a pre-requisite to learning weapons like the sword, spear, halberd, etc. 

I also feel that since the chaos and nature of true fighting, combatives and/or self-defense were close, very close, and required a lot of hand and arm applications along with those ju-jitsu like grappling and pressure point type applications that it was that which resulted in the use of Ti, Toudi, China and Empty hand names. It could have just as easily gone toward, “Open Hand (Hirate [平手]).”

The parts of the body used to strike with that are the most efficient and powerful are the elbow’s, the knee’s and the “OPEN” hands. The system we practice as karate today could have been called, “Hira-te,” just as easily as “Kara-te.” I also think that it is possible that since the system of Ti was to be adopted with appropriate changes to the educational systems that when changed the name of “Empty hand” become more appropriate. 

Hand [] Te
China Hand [唐手] touti or toudi or karati/te
Empty Hand [空手] karate
Open Hand [平手] hirate

Bibliography (Click the link)

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