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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REVISITED: Kote-kitae (Karada-kitae)

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

Kote-kitae is a mainstay of karate, at least in the one style/system that I am intimately familiar with but I often wonder as to its teachings and their benefits so I am going to try and theorize what that may entail.

Fist, why is kote-kitae a stand alone training tool? When I did some research years ago I found that the proper title for body conditioning is “Karada-kitae [体鍛],” i.e., “The characters/ideograms when combined in martial arts means ‘body forging; body discipline; body train.’ The first character means, ‘body; substance; object; reality,’ and the second character means, ‘forge; discipline; train.’”

“Karada-kitae (also known as "Kakie") is a common form of training used to strengthen and condition the body. It conditions the practitioner for close in fighting. The term consists of 'Karada' and 'Kitae' which means 'Body' and 'forge' which means to forge the body. It is intended to strengthen and toughen the body which includes the feet, stomach, leg and shin, and arms.”

Now, from this point on I once thought that karada-kitae, thus kote-kitae, means, “It teaches the student to maintain proper distance when engaging kumite. It also gets the student use to the idea of being unafraid of pain and being in close proximity to their opponent. Karada-kitae teaches you how to physically handle an attack and it also prepares you mentally.”

Recent studies, training and personal practice has got me to thinking that this interpretation and understanding may be flawed. In contests, competitions and sports proper distance exists but in self-defense, in a real fight of a more asocial nature, not so much. If you are targeted and attacked the chance you can take and maintain ‘distance’ as you practice in kumite and sparring is just seldom or not possible. In a more social monkey dance with adrenal stress-conditions involved seldom have I witnessed - personally and in viewing video’s of all sorts - either party assuming and maintaining distance. 

Now, as to the idea of pain and close proximity I can agree - mostly. That is why grappling and such seems more apropos to learning self-defense. When you are in the mix in a lot of cases, mostly, you will be so up close you can tell what they had for lunch. In a more predatory asocial attack you will in all probability not know what happened until you come too in the ER. Training for that seems to be one of the more important aspects of self-defense but what the hey, what do I know - I am being academic here although the three memories I have were about my actions after being attacked, etc.

Karada-kitae with its sub-practice of kote-kitae DOES NOT teach you how to physically handle an attack and it DOES NOT prepare you mentally for said attack, its processes and especially the after-effects and repercussions. Karate, Martial Arts and those Karate/MA self-defense programs are not reality based adrenal stress-conditioned training processes. Note: there are more and more adopting said reality based programs but not truly enough.

So, in a nutshell my previous concepts of karada-kitae and its four parts are not what I thought but then I asked myself, “What is this good for in karate regardless of sport or self-defense?” 

Shock Value: Most folks have never tussled in the back yard wrestling with friends or have participated in school-yard scuffles where blows are given and bruises, cuts and abrasions result. The first time someone is hit, truly hit, their brains lock up and they go into shock - the freeze. One of my maxims in karate for self-defense is this, “You have to hit someone and you have to be hit by someone.” Hitting speed bags is good, hitting heavy bags is good, hitting all types of makiwara is good but hitting another person is unique. We will, at first until you train for it, have a natural tendency to resist hitting another person. More so in today’s socially conditioned state, i.e., we are conditioned to scream, yell, spit and foam at the mouth but hit someone or, God forbid, be HIT - not so much. 

So, karada-kitae (with Ashi, Kashi, Fukubu and Kote Kitae) does have benefits such as teaching us what discomforts and pains we may encounter in a self-defense situation. The mind has to have an introduction and this is one tool to get you there. This does not condition you to deal with being hit, kicked, twisted, manipulated, scissoring, carving sheering with impacts, drives, pushes, pulls, throws and so on. Especially when the impacts hit those parts of your body not conditioned in karada-kitae.

Here is the crunch if karada-kitae, it actually focuses on and conditions the bodies natural armor AND it does NOT condition those parts of the body that are more vulnerable and sensitive to impacts, touches and other manipulations. You can’t condition those but if you use the body armor, conditioned in karada-kitae, along with movement and properly trained mind-state you have a pretty good chance provided you have other training tools involved - adrenal stress-conditioned reality-based hands-on training, etc.!

When “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.)]” are being applied properly using fundamental principles, emphasis on physiokinetics, don’t necessarily lessen in intensity and efficiency and effectiveness just because you conditioned your body with karada-kitae.

I also believe that the actual karada-kitae techniques of practice can teach incorrect application of principles simply because of how they are taught and perceived, as one of these practices that result in how to physically handle an attack and it also prepares you mentally.

Don’t mistake my intentions herein, karada-kitae has huge benefits as a tool to train the mind and body for the rigors of violence but it is only a novice preparatory prerequisite to more involved and intense types of training. In the end, you train with as many tools as possible to condition the mind and body toward as many eventualities as possible (you can’t train for everything regardless of what the SD teachers tell you).

The only real way to truly understand such things is to experience them directly and that is not advisable. It would be tantamount to telling the military to train in combat rather than train in training to prepare for combat. Training can take you far and deep into such things but there is still that one small step everyone has to take, especially in violence professions, the one that steps you across the road from being inexperienced to experienced. It has been described to me as the one, toughest, most difficult step ever taken by humans. 

Here are the four parts of karada-kitae:
  • Ashi-kitae: the conditioning of the foot. This exercise is done by one partner while they use their instep of the foot to help condition the legs and shins of their partner.
  • Kashi-kitae: the conditioning of the leg and shin. The partner uses the foot instep to strike the thigh and shin/calf area of the others legs. The switch sides to get equal conditioning.
  • Kote-kitae: the conditioning of the arm or forearm.
  • Fukubu-kitae: the conditioning of the stomach.
Something to consider and something to question in the next self-defense session. Oh, and ONE MORE IMPORTANT THING!!!
  1. All this means that you should embrace the knowledge, gain the training experience and then FOCUS on reality so that you consider the importance of avoidance/deescalation over physical conflict even if justified in self-defense, etc.
Here endith the lesson I think!

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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