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

WARNING, CAVEAT AND NOTE

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



“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



“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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Age Forty-Two

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

In a recent article written by a leading proponent of the traditional Koryu practices, Dave Lowry, speaks to the age where one transitions from one stage to another - a point of a certain type of maturity. Age forty-two or the forties is what I refer to as the fall-years of life slowly encroaching on those winter years, age sixty and beyond.

Since Mr. Lowry wrote from a position of expertise far beyond mine I won’t write extensively about it here and will provide you the reference at the end just under the link for my Bibliography.

Reaching forty-two is the maturation point, especially in budo, where one should have started the transition from the physical technique based level. Your techniques are polished to a bright sheen much like the tempered blade of the ancient katana. Your aim is more in line with perfection rather than other lessor aspects where physiokinetics along with theory and philosophy shift levels of connectivity as to importance. It is about those areas that relate to maturity and insight. 

It is also believed that one who begins and is authorized to teach a system is given license to do so because, normally, that age is one of, hopefully, achieved maturity along with philosophy and enlightened insight that will allow a more cerebral study of budo. 

“It is for this reason that many of the classical koryu, or martial arts of the feudal period, have rules that require a practitioner to have reached 42 before a license of full mastery—sometimes called menkyo kaiden—is granted. This may be shocking to all the 20- and 30-year-olds out there who consider themselves masters. Many young people who seriously believe they are advanced masters do not understand the complexities of real budo. A serious martial way is composed of far more than simple technique. One might learn all the methods and kata of a style and still be considered a beginner. It is not until the mental and spiritual elements of the particular art are added that we can consider true growth to have been initiated.” - Dave Lowry, The Milestone of Turning 42

In a nutshell, the mental development of our species doesn’t truly reach a crescendo until it has endured both time and experiences in the dojo, in life and in the contest of conflicts and violence, etc. Insights necessary to perfect and “Master” the way and jutsu of a system don’t begin until they reached, lived and experienced life at about forty years. 

It is also of note to understand that in our effort to teach, learn, study and apply the traditions of a martial art and karate is to reach back in time and do the same with its heritage and history. In short, “The age requirement for certain teaching licenses in the martial arts of old Japan was not a random decision on the part of the masters of the various schools.” It was derived through experiences compiled through several generations of those who lived long enough, like Musashi, to pass along that understanding and enlightenment. 

Here is where I diverge from thoughts of master to thoughts of qualifying to teach. In past articles I often express a need for one to achieve a level of san-dan in karate before teaching, especially alone. With this information I can add with confidence that regardless of grade or rank, as to belts, one must also reach a certain level of maturity, etc., as explained in this article. One must reach that age and maturity level through understanding and especially experience in order to understand the subtleties of the art, a person is not ready till at least the age of 40 to 42, because to be a teacher you have to live life to that stage, the fall years. Now, the real killer, the age of forty-two assumes, rightly so, that one began the path in budo at about the age of five. It also requires more than three sessions per week at two hours per session to reach this maturity in martial arts and karate. 

Mr. Lowry ends his article thus, “We ought to recognize, as they did, that certain components of our training simply can’t be rushed. We need the patience to wait and anticipate the stages of training that are sure to follow if we pursue the way correctly. We should never expect a shortcut and always strive for maturity as a real budoka.”

In truth, patience is not a forte in the West. Our technical revolution has created a instant gratification need in our youth and that does not foster patience and an effort to take the time and go the distance to achieve the kind of maturity that masters a martial discipline let alone life. 

To my mind, I am just coming into my own as a teacher at the age of sixty-three and I admit that my early years of teaching were way too soon and to those who may have missed out because of my impatience, I apologize wholeheartedly. 

I have practiced, trained and studied karate and martial arts for about forty years with more hours and more dedication than most, i.e., more than two hours a session, more than three times a week and a lot more outside dedicated effort in life itself although not to the levels our ancestors in martial practices dedicated. 

Not only shall one need to reach a level, minimum, of san-dan but a maturity level, minimum, of forty years of age as well assuming they are dedicated to continuous effort daily and so on to reach the levels where there efforts will benefit those who would follow in their footsteps. 

 Bibliography (Click the link)
Lowry, Dave. “The Best of Dave Lowry.” Black Belt Magazine ‘the karate way’ column 



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