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.

About the Karate Creed …

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

In my first years my Sensei introduced to us the following credo as written by Sensei Ed Parker, of Kenpo Karate. Today, I want to write an opinion piece on this statement, a statement believed and perceived as something critical to the philosophy behind the practice, training, teaching and application of karate for “fense (meaning a combination of offense and defense in stopping a threat). 

“I come to you with only karate, my empty hands. I have no weapons. Should I be force to defend myself, my principles or my honor. Should it be a matter of life or death or right or wrong. Then here are my weapons. Karate, my empty hands.” - written by Ed Parker of Kenpo Karate

Some excerpts from just one source as to the purpose and use of Parker Sensei’s creed:
  • Authored by Ed Parker in March of 1957, it denotes the Martial Artist’s way of life in today’s environment.
    • In today’s environment, being more modernized, has a lot of meaning toward a change in how karate is seen and utilized especially in the realm of self-defense. It can lead to misunderstanding when coupled with modern self-defense technique-based training progams that often assign verbiage that sets the mind to certain biased beliefs that could lead to ramifications far beyond the intent of Sensei, the dojo and its training. 
  • … the use of the words right or wrong leaves no margin for clemency, but to defend one’s self.
    • Right and wrong have noting to do with defending oneself simply because the law of self-defense does not care one whit about what a person may or may not properly and legally believe as right or wrong except as reflected by the laws themselves. 
    • Self-defense laws and requirements are not dictated by what a person considers right or wrong especially since that perception and distinction may or may not adhere to the laws.
    • It also depends on the mind-set, mind-state and reactions one might implement thinking under the effects of not just emotions but also the triggered adrenal stress-conditioned effects one experiences in such stress filled and dangerous situations. 
  • Honor motivates a Martial Artist to action because it gives him dignity.  
    • The inherent problem here is that one’s honor or perception of honor has nothing to do with the legal requirements of a person entering into a conflict that may end up using violence. Honor is a personal belief and often the impetus to the social monkey dance of feelings, status and other group driven conditions not necessarily accepted a legal reasons to be excused for using violence to attain one’s goals in what is often incorrectly thought of as self-defense. 
  • Empty hands (as well as other body weapons) are the substitutes that a Martial Artist uses in place of man made weapons to sustain his honor.  
    • This kind of insinuates the person applying their empty hand techniques is driven to do so on the honor of that person being violated in some form by another person. It is best remembered that honor is extremely personal even tho in some cultures and groups there is a certain form of group, tribe or clan honor involved.
    • Remember that honor is about respect of self and of others toward others; it is also about one’s self-esteem or the esteem of the group, tribe or clan and it often means one’s or the groups mutual regard with great respect to other members, etc. It is also about how one, self, and others within that clan or tribe fulfill any obligations or agreements that foster the group and individual’s sense of honor.
    • Where this all falls apart when insisting that one apply their skills because of some honor violation is that most often, outside of the social monkey dance for honor, status, and other interests of the group, tribe or clan are not viable, acceptable or legal if someone outside of that clan, tribe or group violates their honor. 
    • Most groups, tribes or clans understand that their honor outside that group dynamic requires a certain restraint simply because outsiders don’t know and can’t know of the honor of said group, etc. It is why social communications between selves and outsiders are considered but once the outsider has been told then the use of social violence, mostly not about grave damage, injury or death, is about communicating to the other who violates their honor or rules. It is not an acceptable reason to violate the laws governing society in self-defense pleas and often why those who assume it was self-defense end up getting convicted and thrown into jail.
  • Discipline developed through training without weapons implants justice and discretion when applying the Martial Arts.
    • Whose justice? Whose discretion? What governs that discretion toward the application of physical interceding in conflicts with or without violence?
    • Does the self-defense system of training in karate delve into and teach the legal aspects of self-defense? Does it also talk and teach about other socially driven repercussions? What does it teach toward the use of force and the types of escalations dependent on what types and levels of force are being faced by the karate-ka?
    • Most important of all, what teaching is provided on avoidance and deescalation before the use of physical force? Second most important of all, when to apply the force and to what appropriate legal levels and when to STOP application of the force?
    • Never make or allow assumptions to stand, complete and comprehensive meaning and intent are required. 
  • Creed acts as a regulatory guide in aiding the Martial Artists in developing a keen sense of justice.
    • Sense of justice is one of those things that is individually created for personal use. A sense of justice based on what becomes critical especially in regard to legal requirements let alone social perceptions and distinctions often involved in judging the legal acceptance of a self-defense claim. 
My goal here is not to disparage the creed because it has great value and was written with all the best of intentions. Yet, intentions if not properly distinguished with proper personal, social and legal background could lead to disaster to the practitioner should he or she try to use it against an attack outside the dojo, unsolicited and unwanted. 

As can be seem by the indented comments there is more to the creed, the karate meme, than is obvious. It is not wise to assume that such topics and teachings are discussed, trained, and understood in the dojo, especially since the meme or creed alone tends to lead to such assumptions according to personal bias, beliefs, cultural influences and understanding all unique to every single individual. 

In my view, a caveat should be provided or at least some comment provided for each meme or creed or sayings used in the teaching of martial arts and karate especially if the system is to be used as the creed would indicate, in the case of right or wrong, principles and honor or when a matter of life or death. 

Another consideration is this, how often and when do most people have to consider their actions as it may relate to life or death, etc.? In truth, the majority of practitioners will never have to face true asocial predatory attacks and as to the social monkey dance often faced with the intent and results of such encounters seldom, except in accidents such as falling due to the monkey antics, ends in grave bodily harm or death. You have to live in such environments where crime is a way of life or work in a profession such as the military, police or corrections, etc., then and only then is physical required out a all the other options available according to the moments circumstances and situations. 

In a nutshell, if you provide the training in such a way that the mind-set is on that training and practice then when confronted and attacked that person is going to assume that what they are applying is legal and acceptable self-defense without out regard to such criteria as legally appropriate force levels and application only during the span when the defender is exposed to equal or greater force levels commensurate with the legal meaning of self-defense. This makes it easier to teach but in application and when judged by authorities it can swiftly transition from self-defense into fighting where one must have trained and conditioned the mind and body to understand that all fighting is illegal regardless unless legal authority under self-defense law is adjudicated as reasonable  and acceptable to the courts and a jury of your peers. 

It is said and taught that, “The Kenpo Creed is a code of ethics authored by Senior Grandmaster Ed Parker.” This brings up the term “ethics” and what that means. My very first question is, “Whose ethics and are they legally justified as reasoning to use karate for legal self-defense?” 

Remember, in general, ethics are “Moral principles” used by individuals and groups, like cultural types of groups, used by the individual or group to govern their behaviors and when conducting an activity like karate in self-defense. It deals with the person or groups knowledge, understanding and belief of their moral principles and remember, principles are not law or legal justifications. It is more a philosophy, not justification to do or say things, and as a philosophy contributes, if correct and moral, to the study, practice and application of any discipline including martial arts and karate. Again, it is not legal justifications for self-defense claims. 

Honestly, and personally, I really like Mr. Parker’s karate creed but I appreciate its value more when coupled with appropriate teachings so that the mind-set, mind-state and actions/reactions of practitioners is appropriate, justified and socially acceptable to all parties concerned. 

Bibliography (Click the link)

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