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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The Striking Arts

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

“Striking and punching is a multipoint process. A good or perfect strike is as rare as hen’s  teeth.” - Marc MacYoung, Getting Hit and Hitting

Karate is a striking system that comes from a more educational form that did not encompass other aspects of fighting such as, “Spiraling, twisting, unbalancing, etc. (impacts, drives [pushes], pulls, twists, takedowns/throws and compression)”. The karate that I began to study in the 1970’s taught and depended on striking, kicking, etc., to stop  a threat but in now seems that the form of karate taught to me then is more about the social fighting most humans deal with, i.e., the kind used for group communications. Group communications deal with survival, the survival of the group by its hierarchal make up where every member has a position, status and duties that are about group, therefore individual, survival.

Beatings, i.e., the striking and punching of karate, are used to enforce the groups rules, rules about survival. Strikes can injure and sometimes it is about injuring, sometimes about dominating, sometimes about punishment, sometimes about one’s status and testing for greater status and position within the group, etc.

Striking alone is ineffective and therefore karate as a striking system is ineffective except for the socially acceptable means of communications simply because one does not want to injure gravely or kill a group member. A gravely injured or dead member reduces the groups capability to survive thus endangering everyone so using a striking system that is ineffectual in self-defense, fighting others or combatives, etc., is useful for group survival enforcement and communications.

Read the quote again, the process of a perfect strike/punch is truly rare. How many fights, not attacks of a predatory nature, but fights in the school yard, the socially driven fights in bars and clubs and the fights seen in groups have you seen or participated in where the two combatants end the fight exhausted, in pain, some minor injuries and with ego’s intact actually suffer grave bodily harm (except by accident) or death?

Marc MacYoung’s eBook on writing violence: getting hit and hitting explains not just how to write fiction about hitting and getting hit but his reality based goals in the book explain the reality of hitting and getting hit that we encounter in the fight and self-defense.

Back to the topic, karate seems to me as it was taught in my early years as more a socially acceptable form of communications that come from social encounters where humans have reasons, i.e., I want something, and display patters or warning signs of why one is about to strike another and so on.

When you witness such encounters you will see two humans “Squaring off” while using threats, i.e., “Yelling, shouting, facial expressions and body language displays, etc.,” to get what they want be it dominance, ego boosting, status validation, etc. They will use things like, “Threat displays, pre-attack indicators, they will set up an attack,” just to communicate to the other guy that if they don’t give what the other wants there can be violence, the strike or punch, etc. Give them what they want and it will not escalate to violence.

The violence, in these socially driven monkey dancing incidents, is not the kind that results in deliberate grave bodily harm or possibly death but simply a means to communicate their seriousness toward getting what they want. Since strikes and punches, the essence of karate, tend to be the most ineffective form of violence in that to  achieve a correctly applied powerful and forceful strike and/or punch means bringing together many factors that more often than not will lose power and force due to bad structure, alignment, etc. than actually apply such force that will cause grave bodily harm or even death.

Granted, karate as a striking system, can be that system of self-defense we need to accomplish the goal of stopping a threat but it needs other aspects to supplement striking and punching. Striking and punching are effective when used with other principles of fighting and self-defense, i.e., “Spiraling, twisting, unbalancing, etc. (impacts, drives [pushes], pulls, twists, takedowns/throws and compression)” Striking and punching work best in this form and in accomplishing a goal of stopping a threat.

Karate today is changing, changing because of the effort to get out information, knowledge, understanding and experience in conflict, violence and violent conflict so that it now encompasses such things as joint locks, etc., through adding back in principles such as “Spiraling, twisting, unbalancing, etc. (impacts, drives [pushes], pulls, twists, takedowns/throws and compression)” to enhance and support striking and punching to self-defense martial disciplines.

“When all the components, variables, factors, mechanics, and time are correctly combined tend to generate and deliver increased power. It is all this that also contribute to loss of power as well.” - Marc MacYoung, Getting Hit and Hitting

In closing, karate as it was once taught was about striking and it was, is and still referred to as a “Striking system.” In truth, it may be a striking system but it may also be a social communications tool as explained. Only when it encompasses other principles of defense against violence does it take on a more combative form. Alone, not so much.

Karate may not be the end all striking self-defense art everyone thinks it is and yet thinking about it, it may be arguable and articulable to say the use of karate in self-defense as to force levels and use may actually explain a perceived application as less level of force than originally thought, i.e., the age old adage and lie that “one strike kills” or “one’s karate hands are deadly” or “karate hands must be registered as deadly weapons.”

Another thought, the explanations that Getting Hit and Hitting convey is proof that karate hands are not deadly. Something to think about and most will scoff at this idea but ….

Bibliography (Click the link)

p.s. Ok, let me tell you that I didn’t write this to belittle karate. I practice karate, I love karate and I find karate like martial arts in general have a huge benefit to the practitioner but I do not want to attribute false things to its study and practice. I feel that such analysis by each of us helps to realize our “glitches” both in our selves and our practices. Think about this seriously!

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