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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Mizu-gami [水神] vs. Me-gami [女神]

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

It is funny the translations you get when you try to interpret the characters/ideograms for mizu-gami, i.e., the first translation of the characters/ideograms often used comes out with, “Suijin” instead of “mizu-gami.” Now, megami characters/ideograms translated actually use the English word, “Megami.” Meaning simply, “Goddess.” 

It helps when you break down the two characters/ideograms used to represent the terms or words in the native Japanese language (yes, native to Japan since Okinawa speaks, writes and uses Japanese over its true native language, “Uchinaguchi.” 

The first character used for mizu-gami means, “Water (esp. cool, fresh water, e.g., drinking water); fluid (esp. in an animal tissue); liquid; flood; floodwaters; water offered to wrestlers just prior to a bout; break granted to wrestlers engaged in a prolonged bout.” 

The first character used for megami means, “Woman; girl; daughter; Chinese ‘Girl’ constellation (One of the 28 mansions); female.”

The second character used for mizu-gami and megami both have the same meaning, “God; deity; divinity; spirit; kami.”

So, using just one translation source I get for mizu-gami, “Water God” and for megami, “Woman God.” The translation source used for this article provides for mizu-gami, “A Water God,” while for megami, “Goddess.” In short, if you properly, a guess here too, add Isshinryu to both terms could mean:

Isshinryu no Mizu-gami and Isshinryu no Me-gami: [一心流の水神] and [一心流の女神] respectively. I propose an alternate meaning behind the disparity fought over these last decades between differing tribal like factions of Isshinryu. Both are right and the following is to explain why I feel that way.

First, when the artwork was discovered and thoughts began to manifest themselves as to its possible use to symbolize the new system Tatsuo-san wanted to create and name the artwork was actually representative of the “Water Goddess.” 

Now, Tatsuo-san was believed to be a great innovator and that means he was not resistant to change and the synthesis of the old to make way for the new while remaining true to the old’s heritage and ways. So, since he demonstrated changes even when performing kata several times where he would have slight differences in its presentation, all to often espoused by the first gen students as his way, I suggest that as the idea was being bantered about in his mind a certain amount of change occurred so he gave the newly evolved artwork the term “Me-gami” as Goddess because to give Isshinryu the title of Mizu-gami was incorrect because as Mizu-gami it was already associated and symbolic of the water goddess with all its meanings, etc. requiring a change because Isshinryu was something unique and new, the one wholehearted symbolic representation of his new karate as created from analysis of goju, shorin and kobudo into the one heart karate. 

To do this properly the Water aspect no longer symbolized Isshinryu and that lead to all the definitions of the me-gami who resides in water but has so much more to symbolize Tatsuo-san’s beliefs and desires for his system or style now and for the future. 

Isshinryu is more than merely a system to be represented by just water so megami being defined as a God or deity or spirit (another meaning of shin too), using megami made sense when coupled with Isshinryu for, “Isshinryu no Me-gami.” The Goddess or God of Isshinryu with all the various symbolism’s represented in the artwork above and beyond being a water goddess. 

In short, when discovered it was called mizu-gami and as time passed and things were created and associated, synthesized from analysis and hypothesis, the artwork changed, the patch was created (by the way that one as to its origins also would and has changed over time to better symbolize Isshinryu) and the two evolved naturally into its proper name, naming, of Isshinryu-no-megami [一心流の女神]!

This is the thinking that led me to believe that dependent on when one, as first gen students, trained and practiced with Tatsuo-san those practitioners of the earlier years heard the original artworks name of mizu-gami and leaving before the changes and renaming simply assumed the Isshinryu goddess was named mizu-gami. They were not exposed to changes and the growth of Isshinryu to include the symbol. This is seen throughout the Isshinryu communities. I can readily see it when I see those practitioners and their students do kata.

Long Sensei who professes, professed, adamantly that the symbol is and was named mizu-gami is not wrong and is also not right or correct either. He was originally exposed to it and therefore was right and since he was not exposed to the changes as Isshinryu evolved and progressed after his leaving the island he was also wrong. 

Add in other variables such as those who came after in the early years and those of those who came after and who were exposed to a great deal more of Tatsuo-san’s inevitable changes were right when me-gami came into being when renamed properly to represent Isshinryu as a Goddess of Isshinryu but those who came after are also wrong to say adamantly that mizu-gami was wrong. Look at Mizu-gami’s use as a novice level teaching and then look at me-gami as the teachings over time due to shifts and changes becomes the final naming of the Isshinryu Goddess. 

It makes sense to me because the original artwork may have been perceived in the shop or place it was found as a Water Goddess while in Tatsuo-san’s mind and the mind of his students it was perceived as a possible more than merely a Water Goddess. 

I would recommend reading the following site about the Megami and also recommended reading it with a modicum of understanding that the author is adamant about the term vs. mizu-gami that you will discern upon reading. The important aspect is to read the following excerpted from the site because it was the creative genius of this symbology that inspired the change from mizu-gami to me-gami.
  • The gold border stands for the vertical fist which is the primary trait of Isshinryu.
  • The megami is half woman and half dragon. Her left hand is open, the universal symbol of peace or soft. Her right hand is closed in a Isshinryu fist, symbol of hard and is ready to be used in times of need to defend.
  • The dragon ascends from the water into the sky or heaven, and stands for heaven. Tatsu means 'dragon' and our founders name Tatsuo, means 'dragon man'. For the dragon to many followers of Isshinryu is Master Shimabuku, who is the spirit of Isshinryu.
  • The tiger in the headdress of the Megami stands for earth. Both dragon and tiger stands for heaven and earth.
  • The dark background with the three stars shows it is night. Night symbolizes darkness which is the unknown.
  • The three stars stands for all of Shimabuku's teachers who lighten the night bringing knowledge.
  • The three stars are in one line (-), the Chinese and Japanese character for one. Sensei Shimabuku told his students on the introduction of Isshinryu that all things starts with one. The one stands for one in Isshinryu, for Isshinryu means 'One heart way'.
  • The three stars can also mean: mind, body and spirit or any three things. Tatsuo said that Isshinryu was composed of three elements: Shorinryu, Gojuryu and Kobudo.
  • The upper body / woman depicts that karate can be gentle as a woman. Symbolic of soft.
  • The lower body / dragon shows that karate can be fierce as a dragon if needed. Symbolic of hard.
  • The calm face of the goddess in a storm or in times of crises one must be calm, especially in times of danger.
  • The turbulent water and storm or typhoon symbolizes danger which is always present.

by Arcenio J. Advincula, Isshinryu Sensei and a creative influence to the Isshinryu no Megami patch, etc.

In conclusion, both terms are right and both are wrong - in a way. The final proper name to use, in my book, is “Isshinryu no Megami” or “One Heart Way Goddess.” 

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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