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

Search This Blog

Styles from the Concept of Hard and Soft

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

Isshinryu, similar to other styles, although derived from the efforts of an individual tend to follow other luminaries who created a dualistic style using the concepts from yin-yang, i.e., hard and soft. Goju-ryu, for instance, may have used strength and pliability as a basis for its hard-soft development and implementation - Goju [剛柔].

There are others like Mabuni sensei who used other terminology to describe his efforts in creating a unique style, i.e., “half hard and pliability.” You can see that the martial disciplines of those times were of like mind and one can assume their training and practice over many years along with influences and experiences of Japan and China may have led them toward a yin-yang concept that most understand as “hard-soft.” 

Much like his contemporaries Tatsuo-san tried a variety of names for his creation where he finally settled on, “Isshinryu.” Even Funakoshi Sensei tried to describe his new system by mentioning the two kata, one hard and one soft, from Shorei and Shorin. They would represent strength and pliability as well and we find that same thought process in the creation of Isshinryu. 

These major principles of Toudi or Ti, as described by some Okinawan sources, all seemed to have evolved to this stage where knowledge, understanding and experiences exposed the relation of hard and soft and allowed it to be named accordingly. This led to ways of teaching, describing and in our modern times better ways to articulate how this is learned. 

Isshinryu’s explanation is the adoption and reconfiguration of two kata, one hard and one soft, that form by their embusen lines a + sign. The two together are then considered the father (sanchin) and mother (naihanchi) where the child born is Isshinryu. The two kata referenced are sanchin and naihanchi, they intersect. 

Shorin-ryu’s kata named, “Naihanchi” is considered the mother, i.e.,  (---) Yin. Goju-ryu’s kata named, “Sanchin” is considered the father, i.e., ( | ) Yang. The child from the intersection or coupling of the two to create, “Isshin-ryu” the offspring, i.e., denoting the (+) Equilibrium-n-Balance the two bring to the study, practice and application of this, the newest of Okinawan martial discipline. 

It had been believed in some of the Isshinryu factions that this concept that resulted in the creation, or birth, of the Isshinryu system was unique and what contributed to the thought that Tatsuo-san was an innovator and ahead of his times when in reality he and his martial contemporaries were all considering the same concept from different perspectives all along. 

This is a similar belief that is found in the twelve “Isshinryu” features where there are only "three" features that can be attributed to Isshinryu in the fifties/sixties that were more or less exclusive to this new system, at the time, and they are the "Vertical Fist," "Muscle/bone blocks," and "Thumb on top of vertical fist."

Don’t get me wrong, I love the style and I appreciate that Tatsuo-san took the time and effort along with his other unique personalities to create such an eclectic system of Okinawan karate. If not for conditions outside his control Isshinryu, I have no doubt, would be a prominent style on Okinawa up there with Goju-ryu, Shorin-ryu and Uechi-ryu. Due to those circumstances and conditions instead it takes a second seat as a sub-style of the Shorin-ryu system. 

The good news is there are a few on Okinawa who are working diligently to get Isshinryu the recognition and place among the martial communities it deserves. It is a hope that its favor, popularity and growth throughout the rest of the world will push this effort in a positive direction.

Bibliography (Click the link)
McKenna, Mario. “Principles of Okinawa Karate.” June 10, 2015

No comments: