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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Kata: To Visualize or not to Visualize with a bit more

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

Thanks to Andreas Alamen who posed these or similar questions on Ryukyu Martial Arts wall on October 14th, 2015. These are my comments and my beliefs on the questions and the subject. 

Q: While performing a kata, do you visualize applications?

Answer/Comment: This is not a yes or no question for me as it depends. I do visualize but it isn’t always the bunkai. I also don’t have set bunkai so I can visualize something different each instance of bunkai visualization. More importantly and more often than bunkai visualization I use visualization of principles. What I mean is when doing kata I also spend a lot of time focusing on the application of principles within the kata. 

Is my structure, balance and alignment optimal? Am I wasting energy or am I generating and transferring energy properly through my body toward power and force in the bunkai of the moment? Things like this are visualized, tested and applied during basics, kata practice and into drills - sparring is a whole nother topic with a lot of variables within that practice as well but I do work toward applying principles regardless of the technique/bunkai. 

The goal here is to apply models of attack/defense methodologies, i.e., “Actual tactics and attack methodologies of impacts, drives (pushes), pulls, twists, takedowns/throws and compression, etc.” 

Initially, teaching newbies, I tend to have them focus first on the various techniques, then on rhythm and cadence, then on possible bunkai once they have the pattern down well and add in as I go the principles of physiokinetics to make sure they are applying the kata from principles and not just ROTE learned patterns. I would rather they learn one good kata in this manner and build on that until proficiency allows them to assimilate other kata in a matter of days then try to build up a quantity of kata just so they can qualify for a grade, etc. 

In short, kata are tools to teach principles and those principles teach how to reach goals in conflict and violence without trying to memorize and encode technique based response. It is like the old saying I read the other day on a blog, “Teach your students, not just subject matter.” 

Q: Do you always visualize bunkai or is your kata used as a moving meditative application, etc.?

Answer/Comment: This is what is so wonderful about kata practice. They are forms of exercise, they are forms of moving meditation and they are tools that teach us principles of which include both self-defense principles and principles of the chemical cocktail. Add in theory, technique and philosophy and you have a “One wholehearted and Holistic” model and discipline. 

Because of this wide range of applicability in karate or any martial discipline it provides a means of heathy and fit goals that it allows a practitioner to practice way into the age of our winter years. This is one reason why martial artists tend to age well and practice into their eighties, ninties and even into the hundreds in some cases - Okinawans are known to have more people living past one hundred years in a health and productive way (not just from MA but a combination where movement and diet are key).

Q: Do you view formal kata as a meditative exercise, or a strictly practical one? 

Answer/Comment: As stated already, both and more. 

Q: Does your answer change for different kata?

Answer/Comment: No, the kata itself actually makes no difference. The different kata are just manifestations of other karate-ka’s personal perceptions and beliefs that are implemented and show that to others. It is still the same and identical principles that are found within all those so-called different kata and systems that are important. 

Remember, this is my seat in the auditorium and there are many other seats so take it all with a grain of curiosity and interest. 

Bibliography (Click the link)

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