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

WARNING, CAVEAT AND NOTE

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



“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



“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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What is so Special about Okinawan Karate Sensei …

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

The Shinseidokan Dojo blog brought up a good question, “What is it about the Okinawan Karate connection that makes us assume their superiority as a source of teachings?” I can tell you that one dojo I attended for about a year held its Okinawan master with a certain reverence that literally put him on a pedestal. The funny part is that particular master gained control of the karate style by an Asian cultural default as the first born son when the father passed away. This happened even tho the father’s wishes were to pass his style onto another not his first born. 

Here is something even more funny about this, a large organization that represented the style here in the United States once told me that they didn’t actually respect the master and that when they brought him over for seminars they advocated ignoring his teachings once he left to return to Okinawa. In this moment of truthful enlightenment I asked why and the guy told me it was to get his signature and chop on a official Okinawan rank certificate because most of the students thought it held some special significance coming from the birth place of karate. Yet, once they got the certificate they put it on their “Attaboy walls,” then went back to doing things they way they wanted rather than follow the master - interesting ain’t it? 

Even in my early days I got to believe that having learned karate from a “First Generation Student” of my style was thought to hold a significant meaning of which to this day I cannot for the life of me figure out what makes it so special and so significant. It seems to be some belief system that they embrace as if it is written in stone and guess what, many fledgling newbie students are convinced that it is special and worth the cost (ops, could that be it, money?). Is it a focus that is for a tribal status membership special as related to “Others” that are NOT of that belief, etc.? It does smack of that nature driven survival instinct but there are two major factors involved, first is money and second is control that keeps members special and in attendance that means more money flowing into the dojo coffers. We are a money product commercially driven society are we not?

I am not saying that many karate-ka of Okinawa are not damn good karate-ka but you have to ask with today’s modern view of the “Visit the land of karate’s birth to learn from the very masters of Okinawan karate,” tourist driven product money oriented model, right? Isn’t there a concerted effort to make it more palatable to visitors to keep the industry viable and brining in the foreign bucks to prop up and support the Okinawan economy? Isn’t the very culture and belief system of Okinawa based on its industry that is based on shipping and moving (trade industry) products throughout the world much like their trade industry with China, Japan and other Asian countries in its history? 

I can see wanting to travel and visit distant lands because I lived on the island in 1979 as an active duty Marine and it is where I started my practice of an Okinawan style but I never once thought that there was something special and/or unique about Okinawan karate practitioners. They did things differently but that seemed natural while the training I took even with a surface view of karate with the uniforms and belts still held a distinct and dominant American military cultural feel to it. It may be the reason why I finally, after my initial years, let go of such things as being connected to first generation students of the assumed special nature of the styles master from Okinawa. It just didn’t matter as I felt I learned karate and applied it well enough then taught it as an American, not an Okinawan. All my ranks and students ranks were dojo oriented and not connected to organizations either American or Okinawan. I feel that my few students felt they learned karate and not just some certificate with kanji and chops and signatures from guys they never met or whom never, ever, trained and practiced with them. The best kudos I ever got was one student who actually had to defend themselves and said what he was taught came through for him (even if it may or may not have been successful due to luck vs. skill, you never really know in most defense cases).

Personally, I am not impressed with most karate-ka including the Okinawan karate-ka. I am not truly impressed with my practice of it either but hope to improve one day. I don’t see the need, the specialness or the benefit of having an Okinawan Karate Sensei telling me what I already know that my karate is pretty good, that comes with higher status and meaning from within me, not others. I feel good about my karate and I feel successful regardless of all the hoopla and accolades sought out from others by others. 

I actually have higher respect and admiration for a few American martial artists than anyone or any style from either or Japan and/or Okinawa. Then there are a few professionals who have actually made their martial arts work in a very dangerous work environment over time, decades, that have my utmost respect yet I have not put them on a pedestal and my belief in what they provide as to teachings is not written in stone because changes come as progress is achieved and there is more to learn. I have gained insight and knowledge and especially understanding from those professionals as much as I have from the students who actively listen, learn and ask relevant and insightful questions in the journey to learn and grow and become proficient in such disciplines. 

Ain’t life great, ain’t life grand and ain’t it all really cool? 

Bibliography (Click the link)




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