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.

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KSD: Human Rituals

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

In the martial disciplines, that include karate, it is easy to see, perceive and distinguish a ritualistic practice that literally controls the system/style. It has that connective construct that feeds the human natural tendency toward control, consistency and simplicity necessary to keep a psychological balance of the mind thus the body. 

As we all can detect from the following quotes on rituals it can be what brings about the way of things according to the perceptions, beliefs, cultural social conditions and conditioning, and distinctions of each individual. But, it often is about control for a dojo may require adherence to the ritualistic traditions of the practice as a influential manipulation hitting on our very instincts to adhere to the group under the survival construct often leading to a lack of creativity necessary to advance beyond the novice levels. 

Just take a look at the list that follows and you can spot those particulars that obviously apply to the dojo practices, culture, etiquette’s and beliefs:
  • Characteristics
    • Formalism: (as seen in the dojo formalities)
    • Traditionalism: (as determined by the familia type connections used in the dojo)
    • Invariance: (as perceived in the teaching of timeless repetitive practices)
    • Rule-governance: (as the dojo is governed by the vary ritual adherence to traditional ways)
    • Sacrifice
    • Performance: (performing basics, kata and drills in a repetitive way to organize, simplify the chaos of creativity toward conflict and violence and imposing a system to categorize meaning, etc.)
  • Genres
    • Rites of passage: (test for belt requirements, etc.)
    • Calendrical and commemorative rites: (the Asian marking of events such as new year cleansing, etc.)
    • Rites of exchange and communion: (to please, placate and sacrifice to achieve certain set goals, levels or grades)
    • Rites of affliction
    • Rites of feasting, fasting and festivals
    • Political rituals: (political as in power of control over members, etc.)
  • Anthropological theories
    • Functionalism: (a non-technical means of addressing anxiety about activities where dangerous elements were beyond technical control)
    • As social control: (a homeostatic mechanism to regulate and stabilize social institutions by adjusting social interactions, maintaining a group ethos, and restoring harmony after disputes.)
    • Rebellion: (maintenance of social dojo order)
    • Structuralism: (imposed on social dojo relations to organize them; to organize systems and styles; to organize control and testing requirements and so on)
    • Structure and anti-structure: (Rites of passage especially toward egoistic status of a group)
    • Anti-structure and communitas: (Rites of passage especially toward egoistic status of a group)
    • Social dramas
    • Symbolic approaches to ritual: (a "model of" reality (showing how to interpret the world as is) as well as a "model for" reality (clarifying its ideal state)
    • As a form of communication: (to release people from the binding structures of their lives into a liberating anti-structure or communitas)
    • As a disciplinary program: (a type of routine behavior, as required in kata forms, that symbolizes or expresses something, as is bunkai for fighting, etc.,. As a symbolic activity, representative of a traditional model and/or a way the leader or creator may or may not have intended but interpreted by the practitioner as so, it is no longer confined to religion, but is distinguished from technical action)
    • Ritualization: (universal characteristics of ritual … the processes of "ritualization" by which ritual is created as a cultural form in a society … way of acting that is designed and orchestrated to distinguish and privilege what is being done)
  • Religion
    • Ritual as a methodological measure of religiosity
As can be readily detected, A ritual "is a sequence of activities involving gestures (kata, basics & drills), words (terminologies and their meanings in Japanese), and objects (kobudo kata and drills), performed in a sequestered place (the dojo), and performed according to set sequence (mokuso to warmups to basics to kata to kumite to kobudo to drills to individual practice to group practice to end etiquettes, etc.). Rituals are a feature of all known human societies. They include not only the worship rites and sacraments of organized religions and cults, but also rites of passage (kyu to dan tests, contests, etc), atonement and purification rites (winter under water fall test of spirit, etc.), oaths of allegiance (dojo kun, kenpo gokui, etc), dedication ceremonies, coronations and presidential inaugurations (promotions after testing, etc), marriages and funerals, school "rush" traditions and graduations (black belt endurance over hours, etc.), club meetings (seminars, etc.), sporting events (tournaments, seminars, etc), Halloween parties, veterans parades, Christmas shopping and more.”

No wonder we have gravitated with gusto to the martial arts and all it brings and when you add in the training and competitive aspects, those in particular strike to the heart of combat and survival, you get a lot of the same benefits both personal and social, also about the nature of humans for survival and procreation, that is found in society through disciplines obvious as sports down to the not so obvious of work, etc.

“In psychology, the term ritual is sometimes used in a technical sense for a repetitive behavior systematically used by a person to neutralize or prevent anxiety; it is a symptom of obsessive–compulsive disorder.”

It was said, “The rites of past and present societies have typically involved special gestures and words, recitation of fixed texts, performance of special music, songs or dances, processions, manipulation of certain objects, use of special dresses, consumption of special food, drink, or drugs, and much more.”

“Ritual tends to support traditional forms of social hierarchy and authority, and maintains the assumptions on which the authority is based from challenge. Rituals appeal to tradition and are generally concerned to repeat historical precedents accurately. Traditionalism varies from formalism in that the ritual may not be formal yet still makes an appeal to historical.”

“The performance of ritual creates a theatrical-like frame around the activities, symbols and events that shape participant's experience and cognitive ordering of the world, simplifying the chaos of life and imposing a more or less coherent system of categories of meaning onto it.”

So, when you practice kata or other ritualized practices it is not just about martial arts and karate but about the nature of humans and social conditions the promote and support the very nature of mankind; to connect, to gather, to celebrate, to create strong bonding and to survive and procreate - all tribal survival natural human endeavors.

Enjoy the dojo, the rituals and the practices, ain’t it a blast?

Bibliography (Click the link)

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