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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Sitting Seiza in Karate

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

In a recent blog article by Victor Smith Sensei he talks about something called, “Suwari [Suwari Waza is the generic name for techniques performed in the seated stance in traditional Japanese (Koryū) martial arts.] and Tachi-waza [Suwari waza contrasts with hanmi handachi waza (a person sitting in seiza defending against a standing attacker) over the tachi waza (standing techniques, which comprise the stance in which the majority of standing techniques and training are performed in aikido, and where the attacker and the defender standing).],” and in that conversation he speaks to how most no longer kneel in seiza in everyday life. I wrote in comment the following:

“That is too bad because "traditions,” and "ceremonies" and other such things are all under the heading of "Heritage" and heritage is what all cultures of significance are built from and upon. Seiza, the actual process has its own shi-kata or form from Japanese, Okinawan and Chinese cultural influences. It is what connects and binds us to the heritage of karate and martial arts from that part of the country - too bad. 

I remember how difficult it was to sit seiza and perform mokuso at the start and end of dojo practice and training. I never truly got comfortable with it and I rightly assume it was because I didn’t grow up sitting seiza and didn’t sit seiza outside the dojo. Regardless, for many years that was what I did before and after dojo practice because, as I state, it was a way to connect in a direct physical way to the past, the heritage of karate from Okinawa. Yes, Okinawan’s sat seiza and I suspect they started it because of the strong connections they had with China and later, after the 1600’s, they also assumed and kept that piece of cultural etiquette when the Japanese took control. 

Many of the cultural heritage connections such as sitting seiza have been slowly removed from modern karate practice here in the West and I can only assume and speculate that it is because those who removed those heritage connections just didn’t understand, or even care, about the past. We in the West tend to have forgotten about our own past and heritage, as short as that is when compared to such cultures as the Chinese who have thousands and thousands of years in their heritage. Anyway, I digress toward distraction so back on the subject I go.

Sitting seiza is not indicative or inherent solely in the dojo for it is how the entire culture sat or sits even today (well, maybe not so much but some still sit seiza). I do understand that for many it is only about the physical challenges and attitudes and contests of karate and martial arts. I do understand that for many it is only about or in addition too the preceding, self-defense and I understand that for many it is only about the competitive aspects BUT …

Sitting seiza and for mokuso before and after have certain traits and concepts that support and build on all the above reasons why one takes to the dojo. It may not be readily apparent but with some effort and research one can find that connection and find benefit. I can only say that I recently got back into a art form that has competitions in it and due to the connections I made to the historic cultural philosophical principles of karate and martial arts I have progressed rapidly up and back almost into expert status and believe/feel that mastery is not as far away as it normally would be if I had not studied such things as sitting seiza.

You see, there is a kata, shi-kata, to approaching, standing, kneeling, assuming the seiza position, setting down on the heels and placement of hands, etc., just like there are kata that teach principles, fundamental methodologies, force levels, and so on to utilize in self-fense, etc. It is one of the myriad of things that connect us to our past and allow us the ability to analyze and synthesize our practice, training and applications for modern times, the present if you will, while maintaining the core principles developed and taught by the past and allowing for growth, progress and the natural evolution of the systems and arts for now and for the future. Think of it as a three-stage stack where we learn the past and practice it diligently then we synthesize appropriate aspects for the modern times of today and then finally we learn to synthesize new aspects, traits and ways to apply proper principled methodologies toward appropriateness of future systems, dojo and practitioners. I personally see it as how we take the past, learn from it and then take it into the future - creating a three-stage stack. 

Sitting seiza in karate or any martial arts may seem to be not beneficial or realistic for modern times but then again …

COMMENT: On the arts of suwari and tachi waza, although they may appear or seem or be perceived as something we would not encounter in reality, violent attacks, etc., they still hold lessons that will benefit the practitioner in a combative situation be it some socially driven monkey dance or other predatory type of resource/process attack. Skipping such training simply weakens one’s abilities in the end, don’t skip. 

Bibliography (Click the link)

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

Note: the following graphics may or may not depict correct seiza, etc., do some research to validate or find
the correct shi-kata to sitting seiza ...

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