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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Yudansha and Kata

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

In a recent posting somewhere out there is iKarate land it was asked, “ … a style where you learn all the kata prior to or upon becoming a Yudansha?” Interesting, but that is a whole nother subject - Isshinryu seems to be one of those styles that at a minimum require one learn, superficially, the movement and patterns of all the “Open Hand Kata” to receive a black belt. There will be some argument over that one in the Isshinryu community. In this I don’t count the kobudo kata.

There in lies the rub to such a question because to gather appropriate data I would have to define the style as to all the kata within and that would include all the kobudo if for no other reason that kobudo is considered both a separate system as well as an intricate part of the empty hand systems.

Then I would have to differentiate between systems, i.e., karate vs. kobudo vs. iaido vs. judo vs. jujitsu, etc., then I would have to differentiate between systems and styles that may not even have kata. The list goes on ….

So, I would rephrase that question to, “In Okinawan karate does your system or style ask/require you learn all the kata prior to or upon becoming a Yudansha?” In Okinawan karate that would mean both open-hand and kobudo - a lot of kata. I also would assume and suspect that none of the Okinawan systems or styles require all of the kata to achieve black belt. Too many use various kata, both open and kobudo, to be required for the rankings from kyu to several levels of dan-sha. 

Then I would address the reasoning why any or all kata are a prerequisite to dan-sha in any system or style. Add in what it means to learn a kata vs. knowing a kata vs. understanding kata, i.e., where you relate that knowledge and understanding toward applications, not necessarily directly derived from but more about a holistic one where it is applied dynamically, etc.

All too often “Learning a kata” is defined more as learning the patterns. Most of the black belts I encountered in my early days only knew those patterns while things like principles along with a certain rhythm, cadence, etc., were pretty much unknown, not acknowledges and seldom taught along with the what, when, where and why of that learning. I have practiced and trained and taught for over twenty-five years and only in the last ten years of my thirty-nine years of study have I finally begun to understand kata and its purpose along with principles, etc.

In lieu of “Learning Kata” to achieve dan-sha status and recognition I would recommend using the prerequisite of knowing, understanding and applying the fundamental principles of martial disciplines as the thing to “Learn” to achieve dan-sha recognition.

Oh, then there is the whole definition and meaning of the dan-i (dan-sha) system and that one can be debated for decades and still not get to a consensus accepted by all the martial community - oh, shit, wait a minute as that debate has already gone on for about forty or more years already!

Yeah, take out the technique based model of teaching and put in a principle based model to teach martial arts, that would be a solid universal way to rate one as a black belt - all other things considered and all participants reaching a mutual consensus on those areas too. 

Ok, I know, the current model is so entrenched that the technique based teaching regimen will endure for decades to come so in lieu of trying to convert it would be beneficial and acceptable if principles based training were at least added into the current model as another part of teaching martial arts especially as it is applied to fighting, combatives and self-defense. I can dream ya-know!

Bibliography (Click the link)

p.s. then there is a teaching model for the more modern martial artists where focus on intangible requirements like philosophy and application in real life is used, i.e., understanding and application of the philosophical teachings through ken-po goku-i and other ancient type learning's. 

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