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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Time in Grade Requirements in Karate

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

"Time in Grade" is an American military concept added to karate by those military students and is not and was not a part of Okinawan Martial Art until the Japanese Dan-i belt system arrived in Judo and adopted by Funakoshi Sensei. There is not definitive evidence that the dan-i system had any kind of time in grade requirements. The influences of the American military tho work heavily on the rank time in grade model along with some services requiring actual job defined tests, etc.

No where else have I experienced time in grade than as a Marine on active duty where one’s time in grade along with time in service would contribute hugely toward promotions in rank. The Marines were a dominant force of reckoning in Okinawa mid to late 1950’s. Stories have been told of how certain military students would impose certain ideas on Sensei and those Sensei readily adopted them if for no other reason than a means to keep military special services contracts on the table. One Sensei I am knowledgable of actually flourished under military contracts after WWII ended. 

It wasn’t all that late after the 1950’s that both “Time in Grade and Time in Service” became the defacto means to award rank in karate using the dan-i system as a model. Add in the requirements to learn the basics and kata, a certain amount of kata per rank level, and - Whalla! - you have a money making rank and test system for martial arts. 

TIG/TIS models actually detract and diminishs traditional karate practice. Even so, the Okinawan Sensei adopted the practice simply because it worked as to the commercial needs of the community. Now, in our modern karate world, folks travel at great cost and over long distances to get the “Authentic Okinawan Approval” for rank (often after a short seminar like visit rank and awards are handed out). 

Other aspects of the system as a detriment to the spirit and traditions of karate, if there is such a thing, we can perceive how tying criteria like TIG/TIS tends to give a student a perception and perspective that, “Doing the minimum” will mean black belt, etc.

As to time and service requirements, they are pretty much arbitrary as to dojo and governing org with money as the driving force, if you can get away with it and for higher fees it will be so.

Of course, all of this is predicated on the then fledgling yet rapidly growing sport industry.

TIG and TIS (service actually being time spent in the dojo, practicing and training, between each level or grade to qualify for the next level) are not actually meant to be a part of a classical and traditional way in the study. It should not be forgotten that before Judo and Funakoshi, with friends, adopted and introduced the dan-i system it was not a part of Okinawan Karate or Te/Ti. In the effort to gain the Japanese approval and to have their unique system of empty or open hand defense accepted as a martial art they had to adopt and make these distinctly Japanese models a part of their systems and styles.

In truth, Ti is a civil fighting system with contests much like the modern sports of today and it was also a civil form of defensive fighting in its times. As to martial history and connectivity Ti is not martial. One Koryu Sensei stated about karate:

“Don’t assume that we are talking about one culture being better than another. Don’t believe that this mentality, of completely destroying an opponent, means that Japanese martial arts are the ‘real thing’ any more so than any other martial or combat art. Different arts address the differences in cultures and countries, circumstances and histories. There is no point in making comparisons.”  - Dave Lowry, “A Perfect Strike in the Japanese Arts (Black Belt Magazine)”

Karate is not a martial art, as we have discussed before. It was not practiced by a martial class. It was not created to kill instantly, to devastate. It had different goals and a different approach. When it was introduced to mainland Japan, it’s early pioneers there worked tirelessly to make it respectable and accepted, and that meant making it ‘Japanese.’ That is how we got ideas like ikken hisatsu, or ‘killing with a single strike,’ which were not a traditional part of Okinawan karate.” - Dave Lowry, “A Perfect Strike in the Japanese Arts (Black Belt Magazine)” 

Bibliography (Click the link)

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