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

I am not a leading authority on any one discipline that I write about and teach, it is my hope and wish that with all the subjects I have studied it provides me an advantage point that I offer in as clear and cohesive writings as possible in introducing the matters in my materials. I hope to serve as one who inspires direction in the practitioner so they can go on to discover greater teachers and professionals that will build on this fundamental foundation. Find the authorities and synthesize a wholehearted and holistic concept, perception and belief that will not drive your practices but rather inspire them to evolve, grow and prosper. My efforts are born of those who are more experienced and knowledgable than I. I hope you find that path! See the bibliography I provide for an initial list of experts, professionals and masters of the subjects.

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China Hand [唐手]

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

The name before the change to, “Empty Hand.” Both are pronounced the same but the two have the first character/ideogram that is different. The change came about only because of Okinawa’s drive to belong, to belong to Japan. It is understandable because in the sixteen hundreds the Japanese took possession of the island. The use of China Hand was to give due honor to the culture and country that helped the Okinawans develop their indigenous system or discipline of Te or Ti or Toudi. 

When ti, or simply the Okinawan language for hand, began to be morphed into a more diverse system they would call, “China Hand,” it might have been because the discipline is a synthesis of the Chinese discipline of boxing and that the use of the hand whether weaponized or empty is generic enough for a solid description. There may be other reasons and understandings of the what, when, where, how and why of the name but that is lost in history for there is little documentation prior to the eighteen hundreds on karate. 

When I first teach, as did my Sensei, a newbie to karate the first thing is, “How to make a fist.” Today, and more appropriately, giving honor to the discipline of China Hand I instead talk and teach about the hand.

The Hand: It is a wondrous device that allows humans to handle, manipulate and receive tactile information, etc. Open, closed or held in a variety of ways consisting of a bunch of bones, tendons, cartilage, nerves and covered by our largest organ - skin it is a very unique and wonderful tool. You can grasp, twist, spiral, shake and make it useful when the body mass is used. The hand is the very first thing thought of when hearing the term, “Karate.” For karate-ka of ever level the thoughts of karate fist and karate knuckles always comes to mind and is thought of as symbolic to the entire discipline. 

We can transmit and receive all sorts of stimuli through touch, tactile sense signals, but especially through the hands themselves. They are strong and yet susceptible to injury all dependent on muscles, tendons and their stabilizing ability along with conditioning ergo why karate also springs to mind the art of hojo-undo with specificity to the makiwara disciplines. 

I have spent considerable time and mental gymnastics to find a more appropriate term to symbolize the vasty-ness of karate-do and to date I have not found or discovered one adequate to the challenge. I admit that those who changed the name from China to Empty had a most difficult obstacle to overcome and feel I understand in part why they took the route they did. 

When teaching I always start with mechanics, such as holding out the hand and then demonstrating the various hand manipulations to form for various methodologies in applying power and force to a target - with just the hand. I always stress that the connection between the name karate and the use of the hands is not just the karate fist but a variety of ways the hand is used to apply methodologies with a goal of ending an attack. 

I also stress that using the hands involves principles, principles to be learned in stages through the kyu levels along side basics, drills, kata and much later kumite or fixed patterned drills. I tell them the hard-to-soft/soft-to-hard rules of using the hands and how the open hand is far more effective then the closed fist regardless of how it appears and feels otherwise to our sense and instincts. 

I explain how the fist is often a communications tool of the tribe where certain lessons and rules are enforced and punished and that the fist, especially the way it is constructed, was not meant to kill or maim but to communicate and enforce. When a tribe must defend against others outside the rules change and more often, almost exclusively, humans prefer to use weapons or what some might refer to as hand enhancers or extensions. I can refer to some of the violence professionals that through experience will tell you if a fight is on, whether they get involved is determined as to which tool is in use, the fist or the open hand. Fist, not so much but hand open - time to step in to stop grave harm or death.

We humans like things simple and nature programmed our brains, our minds, to work with simplicity for that is how we gain speed and trigger tapes fast enough to survive. If that fails, we die and our genes don’t get evolved and transferred to our children. It is quite simple in its complexities. 

See the graphics that follow for a view of the complexities and wondrous nature of the human hand then the next as it displays some of the karate hand techniques made in karate-do. 

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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