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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Shinyu Gushi Sensei on Real Karate

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

The current edition of “Classical Fighting Arts” has a wonderful article about Gushi Sensei, who I believe has recently passed away. I found many of his statements toward real karate very enlightening and present those quotes here (remember, quotes extracted tend to take them out of context of the whole so please get your copy of CFA and read the full article).

“Yes? If you only studied sanchin kata that would be enough for any karate man. It has everything.”

“Although you must study basics and exercise your body as well, sanchin is important because it allows you to build a shield of muscle that you can use at will that will both protect your body, and give you a lot of power to attack with.”

A statement on the topic of commercialization: “We made small contributions toward expenses in the dojo although we didn’t have a dojo as such. As we became more skillful we would help teach the juniors, and take classes when the sensei was busy (as in teach class for sensei), and that was the contributions rather than money.” 

“Real martial arts is not a business, it’s usually practiced in small groups. I would train for several hours at school. I trained about four hours each day, six days a week.”

“In 1958 we had our first dan grad examinations in Okinawa. I had to view this as the beginning of the change in karate. Until this point we practiced in the dojo individually under the supervision of our senior, there wer no organized classes as such, or grades. We practiced techniques that this first grading in 1958 showed all to clearly were far too dangerous to use in competition. From this point on “Modern” karate started to develop along sporting lines while the old dentou karate stayed in the background, and backyards, of Okinawan teachers where it had always been.”

On fighting in the dojo (we term it kumite but it was different): “We were always taught in the dojo just to attack the enemy and beat him. We didn’t assume a stance and then circle warily. We went straight at each other, and using sanchin, tried to avoid injury while beating up the opponent. Only direct strikes to the face were forbidden, everything else was allowed, so we attacked with everything we had and a lot of students were injured.” 

On rules for sparring: “We were allowed to hit full power to any target with any technique except to the face. We would attack the opponents face, but not make contact.” 

His opinions on Sport Karate: “It’s good for small children and because it’s much less demanding than budo karate, you can train from childhood to your later years. But many people who practice sport karate don’t understand about budo karate, and that’s a pity. You should do both. As soon as you make rules, it’s not budo karate anymore because real fights can’t have rules as they are about survival and not point scoring.”

His comments on Women in Karate: “The female body needs completely different types of training than the male body does.”

On training large groups in karate: “When you are marching up and down the dojo it’s easy to be anonymous - there is a certain feeling of belonging to a group that is reassuring. But when you fight, you fight alone, so we train alone, student with instructor. In this way you can’t hide anything as you can with group training. That is not to say that what other people are doing is no good - just that what we do is different.”  

Being hard on students: “Sport karate was invented as an alternative to the sort of brutality hard training required; it satisfies the needs of modern students in the modern times in which we live now.” 

On makiwara training: Yes, of course we used the makiwara. We used to try and break them to see how strong were were. In our system we don’t use the normal (seiken) fist, we preferred soken, hira ken, boshi ken, shuko ken, nukite and shuto.” 

On tameshiwara or breaking: “Breaking is basically to make sure that what you are doing is correct. How much power you are developing. A test to see if you really have power or not - a very personal test.” 

Sanchin: “If you have to protect yourself the first thing you would do would be to tense your body. When you tense your body, it protects you from attacks to your never points, etc.”

Karate now, karate then: “Time changes things you know, so does transmission from one instructor to another. Everyone has their own interpretation of things that varies by a tiny amount from everyone else, and as these are passed on things change. We are all human and this is natural.” 

Fighting: “When you are fighting (drops in sanchin dachi) you pull your shoulders down and tense your muscles, including those around your throat to make a shield. With your body round and compact and your muscles tense you are relatively safe and protected.”

Practicing and Applying techniques: “Techniques are performed in front of the body, we don’t block above the level of the head for example because that would weaken our defenses.” 

Charging for Lessons: “When demand for tuition became very strong during the sixties and seventies, students were given permission to teach before they were ready. Not knowing the bunkai, that is, the purpose of the movements they were teaching, they ended up just teaching the movements.” 

“In authentic Uechi Ryu there is order and method, and this must be passed on to students perfectly, not just the physical appearance of techniques as has been the case so often in the past.” 

Teaching in the U.S.: “When I came to the United States, students asked me many questions about technique which is not the way we do things at Okinawa. I was accustomed to waiting patiently until one of my seniors in the dojo would decide that it was time for me to learn something new.”

“This period of self-examination made me aware of the real secrets of karate so you could say that it was not until I became 8th Dan that I really know what I was doing.”

Learning Karate: “Learning karate properly is hard work, you will often feel pain and exhaustion, frustration, and from time to time you will suffer injury. Karate still involves strengthening and conditioning the body, learning the techniques so you can do them without thinking, and building a strong spirit. When you can bring these elements together perfectly, you are really doing karate and your ability will become much grater than the sum of these three constituent parts.”

View on Sparring: “When extensive protection is used students lose all fear, much of their control, and a good deal of their mobility. Sparring became a wild brawl with punches being swung indiscriminately and the fighter with the longest arms and legs usually comes out on top.” 

Overall the article was illuminating, to hear from one who lived during the times and who speaks the same language of karate but from a point of view that often does not match current beliefs, etc., of karate and martial arts from Okinawa. Many of his views or beliefs fit snugly along side those I personally believe and what ever “Small Changes” his words inspire will be easy to assume and assimilate. Granted, like all things of this nature, this personal interview whether in person or through CFA is not indicative and validation toward truth but merely a personal perspective through a personal perception even if he lived during the era, etc. It goes a long way toward a better understanding but it is not the only one. You have to take personal perceptive verbal communications and transmissions with a lot of salt, i.e., how age, time, practice and influences from environments, others, cultures, etc., will affect how you see, hear, feel and apply such things - purely subjective and not written in stone. 

Bibliography (Click the link)

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