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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How Many Kata?

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

A question bantered about the internet about mastering kata, i.e., is it better to master six kata as to depth and breadth of knowledge, understanding and proficiency as to mastery or is it better to learn a slew, i.e., twenty or more kata, of kata superficially yet beautiful as to presentation. Then there is the often asked question relating kata to ability in self-defense. 

Focus is so heavy on kata as to quantity vs. presentation vs. application we fail to recognize that it is not a matter of how many kata we learn or how well we understand those kata. We fail to realize that we don’t have to actually learn one or even one hundred kata but what we actually need to learn are those principles found in all kata regardless of its origins, i.e., as to a personal kata by an individual to those of a system or style created also by an individual perception and perspective, etc. 

All basics, both upper and lower; all kata, regardless of style such as Isshinryu, Gojuryu, Shorinryu and so on and all drills contrived from kata and basics are all based on and rise up from principles such as, “Theory, Physiokinetic, Technique, Philosophy, Self-Defense and Chemical Cocktail.” This with a strong emphasis on the physiokinetic principles of, “Breathing, posture, triangle guard, centerline, primary gate, spinal alignment, axis, minor axis, structure, heaviness, relaxation, wave energy, convergence, centeredness, triangulation point, the dynamic sphere, body-mind, void, centripetal force, centrifugal force, sequential locking and sequential relaxation, peripheral vision, tactile sensitivity, rooting, attack hubs, attack posture, possibly the chemical cocktail, Multiple Methodologies [actual tactics and attack methodologies of impacts, drives (pushes), pulls, twists, takedowns/throws and compression, etc. are best for stopping a threat].”

There is an old story of a student who was required to practice certain basic fundamentals of an art form for years. The student was learning about the art of telling a story. He got a bit disappointed that he was not taught other stories so he finally got to a point where he just quit. He was traveling the roads when he stopped at an Inn to beg for food and drink. There was a round of story telling occurring at that Inn and he was asked if he knew a story to tell. If the story was good he would be fed and given drink. The young student told his story. During the telling the room got very, very quiet, i.e., as if a hush of emptiness enveloped everyone so that they could hear every word, syllable and nuance of the telling. When the story finished everyone within hearing simple sat with dumfounded looks of surprise and satisfaction. The Inn keeper immediately brought a plate of his very best along with the most expensive drink he stored at the Inn and simply placed them reverently in front of the student. The student thanked him profusely and asked what was the matter as the atmosphere had changed significantly after his story were told. The Inn keeper simply stated, “We have heard from a Master story teller.” Needless to say, the student was totally taken aback but then realized that his teacher’s methods were in and of themselves masterful and the student realized why he was required to practice the same story over and over again toward certain foundational principles rather than many, many stories. The master was providing the student with those principles that would provide a masterful story regardless of what story was told. The student finished his meal and drink, excused himself to all those at the Inn and especially the Inn keeper and sped off back to the Master where he requested he be allowed to continue his studies.

As can be seen it is not a matter of what kata or how many but how it is told. If the foundation is solid and the principles mastered then no matter what kata or basics or drills practiced all would show mastery regardless. Any kata, basic or drill learned would be learned rapidly and the underlying mastered principles would make that kata, masterful. 

Herein lies the secret to kata and to how many one should learn. Learn the principles and practice those principles and no matter the system, the style of the individual kata - all will be as if a master was demonstrating the discipline. 

Bibliography (Click the link)

1 comment:

Rick Matz said...

In Xingyiquan, the Five Elements forms, which are very short, are pretty much everything.

In many forms of Taijiquan, there is one form that could be studied for decades; fast and slow, round and square, etc.