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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Shu (performing kata), Ha (practicing kata), and Ri (living kata)

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

Most karate-ka and martial artists are at least familiar with the phrase and concept of, “Shu-ha-ri.” If you are not then I recommend reading the book, “Shu Ha Ri: The Aikido Journey, by Cath Davies.” “Shu-ha-ri is a learning and development paradigm, a three-stage dual cyclical process with the third stage of ‘ri’ describing a state that may or may not be attained as a result of study carried out at shu and ha stages.”

Shu-ha-ri literally means embracing (performing it to exact specifications of the system, style and dojo) the kata, diverging (practicing) from the kata and discarding (living/forgetting/discarding/breaking the kata) the kata. Shu is about keeping the form, ha is breaking the form and ri is transcending the form. It appears in Japan that shu takes about 10-15 years and a grade of san-dan; ha takes about 15-25 years and a grade of go-dan then ri takes about 25 years+ and a grade of roku-dan - all minimal time.

Few reach such a lofty hight of living the kata, it is a optimal mastery performance standard that takes guts, integrity, humility, etc. to reach. It is that goal that a true karate-ka and martial artists strives to achieve, one that tasks and challenges us to our extreme. A form o  shugyo that lasts a lifetime and tests us constantly, continuously and diligently. 

Like life, it is about learning, understanding then letting go so the more creative mind can utilize the lessons in a way that means and achieves a lot. The creative mind that uses the flow zone to make it work without interference from our mind chatter. 

Shu-ha-ri does not just apply to kata practice and training but to all facets and aspects of karate and martial arts training. Karate for instance, is often if properly done first performed to the strict edicts of the master or creator then as one achieves certain proficiency and master must move on to the ha levels to practice, practice and practice, etc., so that one day they can, hopefully, live karate thus breaking it apart from performance and practice into something living, breathing and of a creative nature so that it can be applied toward sport or combatives or a philosophical way or self-defense. 

Then we get into the concept of, “Shin-gi-tai.” :-)

Bibliography (Click the link)
Davies, Cath. “Shu Ha Ri: The Aikido Journey: The Metamorphosis of Form.” Shoshin Press. Amazon Digital Services. 6 April 2014. 

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