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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Kicks - Above and Below Our Center/Waist

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

The following is “Strictly” my thoughts, theories and feelings and are not meant to represent any other system, style or practitioner. This is about principles as applied to such kicks as well as kicks used toward self-defense, not sport or competitions. 

First, my style of practice when I began seriously the study of karate in the mid-seventies was Isshinryu. My Sensei was taught and taught me that to kick above our centeredness, i.e., the waist line where many are taught that our center resides about two inches below the navel, etc. I was taught two distinct principles of kicking. First, is effective kicks tend to be to targets that appear below our centers or waists. Second, kicks are not meant to be used toward self-defense as a part of applied techniques but are strictly “Finishing Techniques” in fighting. Notice I said, “Fighting,” and remember that fighting is illegal so why I didn’t say self-defense. 

Let me give you a bit more to remove some of the possible confusion in that last paragraph. Effective kicks below our center can be used in self-defense but you will find that to be more about the monkey dance socially driven type conflicts. This means it is very iffy if it will be viewed and determined as legally applied self-defense. In reality and as to what I understand to be an attack, not the social monkey stuff, means in all likelihood it will be so close that the use of kicks may often not be available. This brings about the so-called “Finishing techniques.” Many martial arts self-defense models teach such techniques that from my view would be determined by the authorities as a lead-in toward the use of deadly force. If someone who attacked you is put into a position where one can apply a finishing technique you have to consider that to remain within the self-defense square you may better serve your survival and security by leaving over finishing someone - a finishing techniques speaks to me of a socially driven emotional type, “I will make sure this asshole knows he messed with the wrong guy,” attitude and that attitude means it ain’t self-defense. 

When you accomplish your goals of stopping the attack and the damage you leave, you don’t finish it. Think about that one. Now, back on topic as to kicking above and below our waists. 

Originally I was taught that when using kicks one must adhere to the fundamental principles of martial disciplines because otherwise such kicks as above th waits place you into greater positions of vulnerability. When in the fight against an attacker one of the principles that is critical to achieving a goal of self-defense is, “Balance, Structure and Alignment, etc.” If you raise your leg over the waist you violate those principles along with some others such as, “Economical motion, Heaviness, rooting and so on.” 

Example, economical motion means you remove as much wasted motion as possible where the extra distances necessary to achieve higher kicks is pretty much wasted and provides too much time for an adversary to Observe IT, Orient toward IT, Decide to exploit that time and space, etc. and finally to Act by using attack methodologies to disrupt your heaviness and use it against you, your stability of structure and balance and others to achieve his goal. 

Below the waist kicks, if possible or available for appropriate use toward appropriate levels of force, are faster, more economical and harder to defend against and even detect. This is just off the top of my head too!

Isshinryu as originally named and created was taught to me regarding kicks was to keep them below the waist and make them techniques used when distance is available to keep the attacker at a distance or to cause the attacker to reconsider things like, “Don’t attack me, it will cost you too much so leave,” type thing. 

In Isshinryu teachings the higher kicks were adopted because they became popular and therefore were easier to see to award points as well as in competitive full-contact type matches are powerful toward knock outs (That my make it seem like that means they are good for defense but that, in most cases, simply is not a valid assumption and theory).

Another misconception about Isshinryu in particular is the old saying it is made up of equal hand and foot techniques in kata but this is not accurate. You will note a considerably higher level of hand techniques over the feet/legs and there is a reason why this is so. In karate, which is actually the Asian hand-to-hand form of defense, is more about using the hands to defend. Not just the striking aspects associated with karate but those attack methodologies best suited to self-defense, i.e., “Impacts, drives (pushes), pulls, twists, takedowns/throws and compression, etc.”

In closing I will say that kicks are effective but how they are used type distinctions must be made. In one thought many tend to lean heavily toward kicks for many reasons of which one is a human instinct to keep distance from an attacker. It is a natural use of our first hand or foot-to-attacker weapon that explains why in most conflicts with the type of violence levels such as combat it is preferred to use a greater distance where weapons are preferred. This was how karate was used on Okinawa in the earlier times where its practice and training were more a prerequisite toward training with weapons, i.e., swords, spears, canon, etc.

Bibliography (Click the link)

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