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

Search This Blog

Kata, Bunkai and Fense (self-offense/self-defense)

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

Kata is one of those most unusual training tools that is often misunderstood and given more unrealistic meaning as to use and applications. Be aware from this point forward that my caveat above is in effect and if you are easily offended or some such remember you can stop reading right here and now to save yourself from an emotional upheaval. Read on only at your own volition. 

Kata are given many beliefs such as I will comment about in the following quotations drawn from searches on the web, i.e., “Google is my friend.” Some are so far out there that it is a wonder others don’t see the forrest for the trees. 

“Graceful and powerful flow!”

Comment: this quote or meme was expressed after a youtube video of kata performance was viewed so I had to think to myself, “What criteria is used to determine graceful or powerful or graceful and powerful and what about flow? These are all so subjective and terse and specifically vague where the statement is just meaningless, what is up with that? 

“Love the sai throw. I was told that in days of old, pinning the samurai's front foot to the ground was a distinct dueling advantage.”

Comment: are you kidding, since when would anyone dual a sword wielding samurai veteran especially with a inferior weapon no matter how skilled the wielder of sai is in the dojo and in combat. If I were a sai wielding karate-ka facing a sword no matter how skilled or unskilled, just like facing an attacker with a knife and just my empty hands today, the disparity of force, ability and weapons are just to vast warranting I turn and run over facing off and defending/fighting a sword. 

“Feel the kata, do the kata, you are the kata. In this way you are free to be the kata. In other words, Just do it.”

Comment: … so subjective and terse and specifically vague where the statement is just meaningless, what is up with that?

“It is ok do it (kata) slow sometimes so people see the techniques, but they also need to see the speed at which this would be done in actual defense.”

Comment: there is no way that kata and its movements or techniques are done in that manner in self-defense and why would you care, expect for kata competitions for trophies, that others can see the techniques in the movement? Speed is relative to self-defense and only in sport or a social monkey dance are such things even possible; except of course in the movies. 

“When you practice karate, you must pound your fists and forge them into weapons if you are practicing for selfdefense.”

Comment: Really, so subjective and terse and specifically vague where the statement is just meaningless, what is up with that? Add in that such focus on fists and karate knuckles leads to way to much dependency on a tool that standing alone has low chance of success and high chance when it fails the practitioner is going to continue trying to make it work like an infinite loop rather than change methodologies to achieve a goal of stopping an adversary, etc. 

“The "Double fist punch block" from the "Shimabuku Tatsuo no Kumite" answers a common Black Belt question thoroughly on why the technique is not immediately followed by a counter-attack within the Chinto Kata when most other "Blocks" usually are. No counter attack would be needed.”

Comment: I have a whole complete post or article on the double fisted shin block. To assume that once you apply such a technique, provided you are lucky enough to have success on the first try or attempt at its use also assuming an attacker is going to face off with you and allow you any opportunity to apply said block is ludicrous and not self-defense. To train and practice and encode such a mind set for a self-defense leads folks to assume one size fits all in this technique alone so why not just use exclusively a double fist block move to stop your attacker - Oh, the attacker surprised you with a hit behind the ear resulting in your brain being scrambles, your loss of balance and structure and the total overwhelming blitz flurry of head and neck blows, let alone all the kicks while down on the ground trying to figure out what the flock is happening, that set you farther and farther back into the freeze then into the curl up like a newborn and praying you live to see the next day? A common black belt question, not in my forty years has a question like it come to me, come from students or come from other sensei, practitioners or dojo’s, not ever - never!

“What happened to just get the flock out of the way of kicks, i.e., kicks coming from legs and being able to generate a lot of power should be avoided. It seems counter-productive to self-fense to try and meet and defeat and block a kick, a leg, with a fist, a set of knuckles, where a disparity of force, power and armor of the body exists.” - cejames

Comment: this is just a bit of common sense I through in between these quotes. I would add that what happened to awareness so one can avoid having to use the karate-knuckles in self-fense? What happened to disparity in force, disparity in levels of force and disparity in the types of weapons, tools and methodologies necessary for self-fense? 

“ ... to think Karate was intended to face other perfectly conditioned martial artists ... hmmmm. I never got a sense of that. I like this technique. Would really hurt I think.”

Comment: not sure what is meant by this one but karate was not intended to face other perfectly conditioned martial artists, not according to what little, if any, historical facts that can be found regarding the use of karate. A lot of legends abound on this subject and not many can be verified in historical facts and information from sources on Okinawa. Karate is not about weapons bans or common folk defending against samurai suppressing Okinawans with swords and not about fighting in combat with hand-to-hand. Like many military from all over the world, such hand-to-hand stuff was always a last resort and seldom used in combat. Everything else is subject to the wishes, whims and perceptional driven belief agenda’s of those who created and lead in the karate world. References of karate don’t even begin to appear in information and documentation until the very late eighteen hundreds and into the early nineteen hundreds simply because the term karate, both as China Hand and Empty Hand, have no real definitive reference until recent studies of ancient historical information researched by just a few karate historians. No real definitive facts, dates, places, names, experiences documented, etc. that lead to such things as truth … mine either!

“My personal opinion - and just mine.... If your teacher says this is to use both hands to block a kick - may be time to find another teacher.... :-) Words and semantics will get you in trouble.” - September 29th, 2016 at 12:54 hours (pm)

Comment: this is just so true and I wonder why a flood and flurry of flaming comments didn’t follow …

“The ground always dictates how we react or apply defense or offensive techniques.”

Comment: really, because right now I am standing on the ground and it isn’t saying anything to me about what and if I am in danger or whether my next action should be defensive or offensive and why that would even concern me at this moment … distinctions, intent and other factors are nor present to give this meme or quote any substance or relevancy to self-defense especially since a lot of self-fense is applied without any real grounding involved, i.e., read that description of a surprise attack in previous comments above, and understand to take root actually will deprive you of power and force generation and remember to ground oneself for power and force is something that happens in a split second of grounding that relies on many factors such as the timing and so on. The ground or grounding does not dictate anything, it is just one of many factors that would contribute to power and force and movement in a fight or self-defense or combat. If you wait for a certain feeling or type of communications to come from how you ground yourself, it is too damn late - for real guys? 

The Self-Defense Technique: “Breaking a wrist hold or grasp from the front.” How many self-defense or combative situations are there where someone approaches you from the front, gets close enough to you to grab your wrist and then apply a wrist take down or restraint? 

Comment: Yes, this wrist defense technique taught most often in martial arts self-defense classes to the best of my knowledge and understanding is not reality based at all. It is as if someone who needed to bolster their self-defense training programs for the unsuspecting customers created out of thin air this self-defense technique. 

“It is important not to mimic but perform the kata and follow his principles (referring to the founder/creator of a style or system of karate) of being natural.”

Comment: this sounds pretty cool, as if the person saying it is wise and full of knowledge and experience but what does it really mean and how does it translate to fundamental principles applied to multiple methodologies of self-fense with appropriate levels of force and so on? What is, “being natural,” and whose criteria determines a natural state of being? Often I find that when reference is made to follow his principles that those principles are vague, undefined, and not actually relevant to self-defense. Was-up with that? 

“Sensei said that karate is for health and fitness. He told me that Sanchin kata taught correct breathing techniques which help with one's health.”

Comment: Yes, karate contributes to health, fitness and physical ability; yes, sanchin helps you learn breathing techniques and contributes to health as well as the others but it, sanchin and/or karate, teaches nothing especially correct breathing. A qualified and experienced sensei or teacher or mentor or expert teaches you such things while kata, sanchin in this reference, are tools to learn, practice, experience and encode such teachings.  Tools are tools and if used appropriately lead to knowledge, understanding, experience and application of those principles, breathing, etc., karate-ka are so fond of quoting in this manner but really …

“ … catching the kicking leg, I counter with a groin kick.”

Comment: yea, go ahead and catch that leg, that is going to happen and it will be easy because you have practiced it so much in the dojo that when the adrenal stress-conditions of reality based predatory attacks is going to really allow you to catch a leg with your hand and overcome your adversary so you can apply a groin kick. I am sure when you kick them in the groin the fight ends there because I can attest to being kicked in training a few times when I forgot to wear a cup didn’t affect me at all in the kumite so with adrenaline flowing I doubt your attacker is going to even notice that groin kick until you are already in the ER and he is at home putting ice on his gonads, really!

Come on guys, lets get real, and lets get some realism and reality into our training, practice and application of karate and martial disciplines. I realize we all have to deal with legends and tales and explanations that on the surface seem realistic but just take some time and analyze the self-defense stuff, use some logic and even if from sources questionable observe real attacks and such then tell yourself, is this realistic? 

No wonder some professionals say that karate is just not self-defense, it can be but until reality sets in and this type of stuff is gone karate will always be a sport and way, not self-defense. 

Bibliography (Click the link)

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

No comments: