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!)

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“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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Isshinryu: traditional and innovative?

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

Created by Arcenio Advincula
Sensei, click to enlarge view.
A karate-ka asked what I perceive as a great question regarding the apparent diversities within the Isshinryu community. In a nutshell we have what I have termed in the past is “Isshinryu Factions.” These factions are divided into five distinct belief systems regarding the study, training and practice of the Okinawan Isshinryu system, i.e., Nagle Faction of New Jersey; Long and Wheeler Faction of Tennessee; Mitchum Faction of Georgia; Armstrong Faction of Washington State; Advincula Faction of Souther California. Everyone valid yet everyone different in very distinct ways. 

The question itself asked by Samuel Saddig Sensei: “There are a great, considerable amount of Isshin-Ryu practitioners, proponents and exponents believe that our Art is traditional, not innovative at all. What is your analytical Perception on this matter?” 

Since the question was asked of Advincula Sensei, of whom I have the greatest of respect and admiration for his work in Isshinryu communities, I would provide his comment, in part. 

AJA Sensei Comment:Arcenio Advincula First it is both traditional and innovative. Most who studied with Shimabuku Tatsuo Sensei only studied a very short time, the reason we have so many doing kihon, kata and kumite so many ways that do not teach the very fundamentals that Isshin-ryu karate is based on which is punching, striking and kicking with power based on chinkuchi. (Note: if you click the name link it will take you to where this question was asked and commented on.)

My perceptions of Isshinryu in answering this question: First, as my understanding to date of the history behind the creation of Isshinryu I find it to be innovative if for no other reason then Tatsuo-san’s effort being in direct contradiction to the current, at the time of its creation and naming, Okinawan karate community governing body of masters. It was also my feeling it was innovative because at that time and due to its distinct separation from influences outside of Okinawa the innovative aspects implemented into the Isshinryu system by Tatsuo-san were merely re-acquiring those principles or traits that made and would continue to make his system both a combative form as well as a self-defense form of karate to replace the recently created educational version implemented in the early 1900s toward a war effort by Japan. 

As to traditional that is a very interesting and often contested question and answer, what makes for a traditional system and who decides. I tend to consider it traditional if for no other reason is the Isshinryu system was created from the more accepted traditions of Okinawan karate over some recreated form from influences of the Japanese budo systems. It has direct connections to those systems that taught, trained and inspired Tatsuo-san, a master of Okinawan karate in his own right and recognized regardless of his innovative changes, etc., by the karate community of the times, the systems of kobudo, goju and shorin karate systems. 

Regardless of the wide range of interpretations of the practice of Isshinryu the system from where I sit, train, practice and apply karate tell me it is truly a tradition that is also due to the founder or creators innovative inspiring effort to create a wholehearted, holistic and “one whole” true sport, fighting, combative and self-defense system. 

I can or could go on expressing the whys of Isshinryu being a traditional and innovative system or style of karate but there is no need. The above information gives the reader information to seek out more and to make their own determinations as to the validity of this. Traditional Isshinryu was a very innovative endeavor for the times Tatsuo-san developed, created and named Isshinryu. There are so many things to learn from this type of innovative creative endeavor that Tatsuo-san exemplified as well as conveyed by his teachings and presentation of things like the ken-po goku-i. 

Like “All bottles are good, they all serve a purpose,” as stated one evening by Tatsuo-san, all the differences are good, they all serve a purpose and they all create a legend that is Tatsuo Shimabuku, master of Isshinryu as well as this legendary system named, “Isshinryu!”

Bibliography (Click the link)

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