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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Nagle’s Kata; Armstrong’s Kata; Mitchum’s Kata; Advincula’s Kata

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

A great question came up on a Facebook Page Post about the kata practiced under the lineage, if you will allow some latitude herein, of Don Nagle Sensei, Isshinryu Karate. Nagle Sensei is one of those labeled “First Generation Students” of the systems founder, “Shimabuku Tatsuo Sensei.” It is a set of questions about kicks in the Naihanchi kata. 

Caveat: such trivial curiosities have their place, especially those interested in discovery of and practice of the kata from a “original way” that Tatsuo-san taught and practiced. It is about carrying on a specific tradition under the heading of Tatsuo Shimabuku Sensei’s origins, cultural and beleif where remaining exact and true to his system is critically paramount to ancestral foundational origins (a real mouthful I know and it still won’t be adequate to describe why one must remain true to such things). This level of exactness is not exactly conducive to training toward fighting ability (not sport), combative ability and/or self-defense ability with karate let alone Isshinryu specifically (let the anger and flame wars begin).

Lets get to the quick of this article, the differences in kata as practiced even though they are all from this one, fairly new, system or style of karate from Okinawa, Isshinryu. To achieve this we have to recognize and understand that the system or style was taught to a variety of American servicemen of which many were, “Marines.” 

Second, we should understand as well that during the time, i.e., circa late 1950’s and early 1960’s, changes abounded and even Tatsuo-san was known to make changes in how kata were performed, practiced and applied in the karate system. After all, he spent a lot of years in the creative process before naming the system officially. Even after the naming he made changes as appropriate, he was the creator after all. 

Third, Tatsuo-san as I perceive his efforts from the limited research I have done made changes and created his system or style from his studies and practices of other systems and styles. His efforts, to me, were filled with change and that change seemed to continue on until his retirement and following death. 

So, back to the questions regarding the differences of kata practice where the questioner mentioned the Nagle Sensei lineage. I am of that same lineage and found over the years that even those who fall under Nagle Sensei influences tended to practice kata with variances to those depicted even in the video’s of Nagle Sensei. I want to express my views that variances in kata are not about right or wrong, correct or incorrect and traditional over modern but rather differences in individuals. 

Take a look at human memory, memory is very, very subjective and influenced by many factors. Most of what I understand about memories can be presented in a few quotes as follows.

“The trouble with relying on memory is not just that we fail to encode certain things or that we forget over time, but also that our memories record what we encounter through the lens of our motivations, expectations, and experiences. As a result, two people will not have exactly the same memory of the same event. Our memories are subject to revision, alteration, and reconfiguration. Memory is a constructive process best likened to creating a collage: we piece together various fragments and then fill in the inevitable white patches with our background knowledge, desires, and beliefs until we have something that is complete and usable.”  - Adam Benforado, Unfair

“When we go to retrieve a memory, we are not simply rummaging through an old filing cabinet for a snapshot; as we search, we may in fact be arranging the image.”  - Adam Benforado, Unfair

“Presented with new information about an event, we may readily incorporate it into what we remember. We can even remember things that we never experienced or saw.”  - Adam Benforado, Unfair

“False memories are often highly specific, which makes them all the more believable both to the people who carry them and to third parties (including police officers, jurors, and judges). In most cases, our false memories are not made out of whole cloth but are instead logical extensions of what we would expect or want to have happened. Conjuring memories provides us with a narrative that makes sense and affirms what we want to believe. People’s recollections of events are abut 80% accurate. Roughly every fifth detail is false. A quarter of inaccurate memories were given with total confidence. Research shows that a witness’s eyesight and age, the viewing duration and distance, and the lighting all play a role in whether a memory is encoded accurately. Simply by altering the conditions in which a person viewed another person, researchers were able to boost identification accuracy to 86% or drop it to 14%.”  - Adam Benforado, Unfair

“At any given moment, our race, gender, age, profession, politics, religion, and countless other identifying-defining characteristics and affiliations color what we see, hear, feel and perceive at any given moment.” - Adam Benforado, Unfair

“At any given moment, our race, gender, age, profession, politics, religion, the time in which a person lives, the culture and social culture in which a person is raised and lives, the power relations or power dynamics of social connections, i.e., family, friends, associates (tribal connections, etc.), the person’s sensory input modes such as sight dominance or tactile dominance, etc. their internal environment, the social external environments and then their perceptions as to movement (theirs and others), how they therefore read body language especially facial along with tone of voice and word intonations, etc. effects perceptions and perspectives in a unique way.” - Compilation of Mr. Benforado’s quote and mine.

“Humans tend to use a process of maintaining their own viewpoints by discrediting others who disagree is pretty much automatic. Disagreements don’t arise from the character flaws of those who see things differently, they reflect the realities of cultural cognition: shared backgrounds and experiences shape how we perceive what we perceive as objective facts.”  - Adam Benforado, Unfair

“Humans tend to look to dismiss others views by finding a character flaw that explains their contrary position.”  - Adam Benforado, Unfair

When you add all the above together then you may find that any one interpretation will be different dependent on said factors and more. I also added in the length of time on the island with the same length of time under the direct instruction and influence of Tatsuo-san. 

Example: the kata I was taught included those taught today without the dynamic tension process because my Sensei either didn’t know that or decided to practice and teach it differently in his dojo vs. the Nagle way. One of the parts involved in the practice of Seisan kata were the first three moves that I didn’t discover as different until I actually viewed the video’s of Advincula Sensei’s. I then began to see slight to great variances in how the kata were done.

In the end I then discovered that unless you believe in the way that is exacting to the way of Tatsuo-san those difference made no differences because the true underlying essence of all kata and all martial arts were the proper knowledge, understanding and application of fundamental principles that transcend the individual particular perspective and perception of practice that led to the creation and separation we now call, “Styles.” 

These new systems or styles then became “Belief Systems” and such systems are inherent in all human survival tribal social ways. They connects us to what provides us safety and security and meaning to our lives and to living. 

It has led to my belief that the exactness often required toward kata practice stems from such belief systems along with demonstration and competitive models similar to testing and quantifying competitive performances similar to those used in say, “gymnastic floor exercise competitions” that demonstrate a certain control of the body and mind while the original true essence was to teach fighting, i.e., combatives and self-defense. 

Initial adherence to the form is actually a lead in toward teaching principles such as structure and alignment, etc. Not performance and appearance that is often the teaching goals of modern competitive martial arts. It has its purpose but distinctions become important, critical in self-defense, toward learning how to apply that in reality.

In the question of kicks in Naihanchi, truly it is about two things dependent on the distinctions - One is performance or historical importance while, Two is about stopping grave bodily harm or death in self-defence. If the distinctions are set and adhered to in training and practice you CAN achieve both but more often than not those distinctions don’t exist, become lost or are ignored for say, economic reasons, etc.

In the end to answer the question the question needs those distinctions presented or the answers might not be appropriate when applied in practice and in applications. 

One professional I am aware of always prefaces his answers in self-defense with, “It depends …” Because in martial art regardless of distinctions and applications - it depends!

Bibliography (Click the link)

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