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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Uniqueness of Isshinryu

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

In a recent posting of an article written a few years back the statement, “To explain how the techniques of Isshinryu karate differ from other styles of karate (both Okinawan and Japanese), and how it is similar.” A quote from the article, “Isshin Ryu Karate: The Technical Perspective.” by Keith W. Strandberg as printed in the, “Kick Illustrated,” magazine dated February 1983.

My issue with this statement, not necessarily the article itself, is the statement refers to what makes each and every style “Seem” different by simply either an interpretation of a technique or the presentation and demonstration of techniques and kata, etc. by slight variations as to their performance, etc. 

The article goes on to prove its point by discussing the more physical manifestations of its presentations, i.e., the vertical fist, the formation of said fist, the types of blocks in this “Unique” system, low kicks, stepping and stances and movement and the way the kata are taught, practiced and trained. 

I have written an article about just these proverbial unique aspects of Isshinryu that are supposed to make it unique in comparison to other Okinawan and Japanese systems or styles. 

Now that you have read that article, I would first say that regarding the styles or system differences in truth there are none. I say this because we all have a body with arms and legs and torso and head and etc., etc., etc. There are many ways that we may move our bodies be they punching, kicking, moving, etc. but there is one very important factor that applies to the human body, i.e., the body can only move according to certain physics oriented principles.

Let me step back a bit, first, techniques are not all that important overall to the use of the human body in conflicts and/or violent conflicts. The focus on techniques of Isshinryu just meet someone’s agenda toward a human frailty that our group, group dynamics toward human survival as old as human existence in time itself, must be different from other groups to flourish and survive. This is truly balderdash! In order to attack more students then other dojo, a dojo needs to create some symbolic representation that gives that system or style a higher “Perceived” status than others and this is just what happened with this style. 

When you are looking closely to how any system or style applies their methods, perceived as unique to that style of system like the features of Isshinryu vs. the very hard presentation of a system or style called, “Gojuryu.” What you will actually perceive instinctively is how that person, that system or that style does techniques as it would derive from mastery of and application of principles like structure, alignment, centeredness and so on. No matter the system or style of individual if they don’t properly apply principles to what ever presentation demonstrated or used for defense it will not work, it will not have power and force and it will just look pretty, i.e., it will not have the substance that makes it work in the fight!

In order for a system or style to reach a higher status to attack more students they have to dramatize in a way that makes their way appear better than the others. 

Lets use the main corner stone trait of Isshinryu as an example to make a point. It is stated somewhat that the vertical fist is the superior fist for striking in defense. In a very small way the vertical fist and how it is formed is a solid way to make a fist BUT the fist alone is not what makes for a powerful strike, a strike that applies greater force and power to a target. The factors that actually make the vertical fist “Powerful,” for the sake of this exercise, is all the other principles that create the energy, enhance that energy when converted to power and force and finally that support, avoids energy bleed off, the energy to force and power equation when striking. Think of structure and alignment along with movement of mass as well as certain other types of movement and support that maximize force and power to the target. 

First, rooting to the ground and I don’t mean assuming some static stationary stance but having the feet and legs connect adequately to support power and force generation. Second, the structure and alignment of the legs to the hip girdle, i.e., the waist and band surrounding the hara or belly area, the spinal alignment, the shoulder girdle alignment and structure with proper position, then the arms-elbow-wrist structure and alignment and finally the use of the fist (better than the fist is the open hand). As an addendum to this explanation I add that the open hand is superior and one reason why is say this is the fist formation with all those fingers, joints and so on from the wrist to the fist itself all flex and move resulting in a lot of energy bleed off. The other aspects I mention in this paragraph are also about how they also bleed off energy - less energy and you get less power and force, naturally. 

It is relatively easy to reach a unique perception of any discipline toward a goal or agenda often self-promoting and self-soothing. It is easier to look to a subject oriented way of teaching because it is easy. It is more difficult to teach to the student and teach to the fundamental (underlying) principles so most tend to avoid that as if being exposed to the plague. 

The so-called twelve traits of the proverbial differences of system or styles as perceived and seen through the lens of, “Different techniques,” are falsehoods that self-sooth ego’s, pride and group dynamics toward things like status and position but in reality none of them are actually different except in whether they teach, practice and utilize principles rather that taking the easy road through a technique based subject matter oriented way. 

Now I have “Really Pissed Off” some people! There is nothing truly unique about any system or style, it is about personalities and how one fits the other to create a learning environment that meets and satisfies within a better learning environment. Yeahhhhh!!!

Bibliography (Click the link)

p.s. The article referenced and the work of the author are excellent and applicable to certain models, needs and beliefs of martial arts so it should not be taken personally in my expressed views. This view is merely one seat in a great hall or auditorium while there are many other seats filled, to fill and vacant. 

p.s.s. I am a long time practitioner of the Isshinryu system and I love it. It has led me to this point and the way I use it to express principles meets my personality and beliefs. It is an awesome system!

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