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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Introduction of Karate to the Okinawan School System

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

The notion of "promotional" kata represented a major change in the approach to teaching Karate, a change which was begun a generation earlier by Itosu Anko.  At the beginning of the century, Itosu formulated the five Pinan kata for introduction to the Okinawan school system.  Prior to that time, Karate was generally taught privately and often in secret.  Kata were not to be spread or shared--they were closely guarded secrets!

Itosu changed all that and the government readily agreed because of the realization that military recruits and conscripts who had Karate training were physically superior to and more disciplined that their untrained counterparts.  Three of Itosu's students in particular -- Kentsu Yabu, Hanashiro Chomo and Kenyu Kudeken -- greatly impressed their physicians and distinguished themselves during military service.  In his Ten Lessons of To-te, written in October 1908, Itosu states:

The primary purpose of karate training is to strengthen the muscles, making the physique strong like iron and stone so that one can use the hands and feet to approximate such weapons as a spear or halberd. In doing so, karate training cultivates bravery and valor in children and it should be encouraged in our elementary schools. Don't forget what the Duke of Wellington said after defeating Emperor Napoleon: "Today's victory was first achieved from the discipline attained on the playgrounds of our elementary schools.

* * *

With these teachings in mind, it is my conviction that if the students at the Shihan Chugakko (old name of Okinawa's Teachers College) practice karate they could, after graduation, introduce the discipline at the local levels; namely to elementary schools. In this way karate could be disseminated throughout the entire nation and not only benefit people in general but also serve as an enormous asset to our military forces.

Itosu did in fact teach at the Teachers College, thus spreading the art to a new, and very prolific, generation of instructors.

In making the transition from very small, private or semi-private classes, to large classes of school children, Itosu decided that an easier form of kata was required.  Drawing from such sources as the Kusanku kata, Itosu formulated the five Pinan ("Peace") kata.

If you have ever practiced or taught the Pinan kata, you will recognize that they are not basic at all, but rather of an intermediate level.      

In a nutshell, the Pinan are too difficult for beginners, particularly for young children.  Nagamine Sensei wrote that the Kusanku kata (from which the Pinan were drawn, among other kata) is the most advanced kata in the Matsubayashi-Ryu system, requiring more than a decade to master.  It is usually the most advanced kata of other systems as well.  Essentially splitting the kata into five parts did not make the task much easier.

Prior to the development of the Pinan kata, three basic kata were generally taught in Okinawa.  For students of Shuri-Te or Tomari-Te (which generally became known as "Shorin-Ryu"), the introductory kata were either the three Naihanchi kata or the Seisan kata.  For students of Naha-Te (which generally became known as "Goju-Ryu"), the introductory kata was generally Sanchin.  The introductory kata were usually practiced for at least three years before more advanced kata were learned.  Okinawan school students might or might not have previously learned these kata.  It is to be expected that most had not (since the early masters generally taught very few students at any given time).

Itosu passed away in 1915 at the age of 85.  During his life, he literally opened the doors to karate in Okinawa.

Bibliography (Click the link)

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