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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Multiple Strikes

Blog Article/Post Caveat (Read First Please: Click the Link) “Do not take this personally, it is not personal!”

Read an article today on the upper basic of Isshinryu that involves striking, punching or thrust punching, depends on who you talk too, five times to centerline or centermass. I was not in synch with the author on this one so decided to take a stab at what I truly believe those upper basics are for and how they are defined, i.e., the bunkai if you will.

First, many believe that the upper and lower basics, or basics techniques found often in many karate systems, are about self-defense. In my view they are not about self-defense yet they are the very tools a Sensei must have to teach some critically important principles and concepts to novice practitioners, i.e., karate-ka if you are of that mind-state.

In my most limited and fundamental view karate and its content are not well suited for true self-defense. Yes, the systems and styles are most excellent for the sport industry but not so much for the reality of self-defense. I have expressed this in more than one article on my blogs so I won’t repeat that now. I readily admit that there are many wonderful things that karate can and does teach us for the reality of self-defense but the actual practice of karate basics, drills, kata and kumite - not so much.

These four main categories of karate, i.e., basics, drills, kata and kumite, are meant to teach us those other less obvious - methodologies and principles - things that are critical to self-defense. These four categories are more suited in their current state and form in teaching us how to ‘compete in sport’ rather than a predatory adrenal stress-conditioned fear inducing, chemical dumping, sudden surprise attack - I am not talking about the socially driven monkey dance for that, to my mind, is just another form of competitive endeavor with reasons not attached to trophies and such. 

What karate’s categories teach us are those fundamental principles that are required, critical and present in every single form or discipline of the physical manifestation of martial prowess for ‘fense’, combatives and even sports. I have extensively talked about those principles so I wont’ repeat it here and they are meant to be the very foundation of self-defense in applying the multiple methodologies with appropriate levels/types of force to stop an attack and the attacker. 

I will quote again the methods and force levels/types I have copied from other professionals teachings:

“Multiple Defense Methodologies [actual tactics and attack methodologies of impacts, drives (pushes), pulls, twists, takedowns/throws and compression are best for stopping a threat (types of force applied such as spiraling, scissoring, carving, vibrating, and/or sheering forces.)] … Types of force applied such as spiraling, scissoring, carving, vibrating, and/or shearing forces.”

Regarding the original idea of this article topic, the five strikes of the upper basics of a particular system or style, i.e., in my school you step forward into a seisan stance and then strike five times with a target of the solar plexus - centerline of the opponent (I use this term specifically to express a sport oriented perspective).

The upper and lower basics are naturally connected and tied to a progressive increasing difficulty form of training novices, i.e., novices being such they don’t even have the physiokinetics from participation in sports. The upper basic of the five strikes are about learning, understanding and apply certain physiokinetics sub-principles to a very basic move and technique in karate. Taught right, done right and practiced right it teaches structure, alignment, sequential locking and unlocking, dynamic tensioning and many other sub-principles. It, the five strikes, can also be applied using a heavy bag and makiwara for several purposes, i.e., learning the dynamics of a strike when it meets resistance; testing proper structure, alignment, etc., so that one can maximize applied force and power - not strength or muscling it - to a resistant target; learning about how our bodies will both achieve power and force while at the same time bleed off power and force when not applying principles properly; and many other benefits too extensive to repeat here and must be taught in and on the dojo floor. 

Once a person achieves the true goals of upper basics like the five strikes then you literally, unless you plan on teaching later, need to forget the actual five strikes physical presentation without losing the underlying application or principles so in kata and later kumite you learn how to apply those into more complex patterns, etc. All novice level teaching tools. 

Once you achieve a certain proficiency in the traditional and classic form and functions of karate, i.e., basics to drills to kata to kumite, you also leave those behind, if your sole goals are self-defense and if not then maintain these teachings for those other goals, and then focus on apply what was learned in principles toward learning and applying multiple methodologies with appropriate levels/types of force and of course types of force as presented in the quote. 

The reason I write this view, this theory and this synthesized applicable teaching model is because many of the bunkai given in the source article simply didn’t wash with me regarding a self-defense model. The original quote that started this article is as follows:

“A basic overload theory, you strike many techniques to get through to end an attack. The basic version involved five strikes to the same spot. If the adversary has conditioned themselves to take a strike, use of strike after strike on one spot looks for the time the conditioned body breaks down allowing the strike to work its magic.”

My points of contention are:

  1. training the mind to keep going when something does not work
  2. you do not want your brain to register when a technique is failing and then just keep on trying to ‘make it work’; to break through calling it layered striking
  3. not a valid self-defense technique, at least striking at the same target ‘hoping’ they will break through
  4. I call this muscling it and that does not work either; muscling it is inefficient and drains/bleeds off energy necessary for force and power
  5. Multiple strikes are not self-defense but self-delusion to think they will work; maybe ok in a social monkey dance fight; remember fighting is not self-defense, its illegal

Bibliography (Click the link)

“In order for any life to matter, we all have to matter.” - Marcus Luttrell, Navy Seal (ret)

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