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.

Three Types of Bunkai

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

In a recent posting the author mentioned that there were three types of bunkai, as follows:
  1. Omote [] (suitable for beginners), 
  2. Ura [] (intermediate) and 
  3. Honto [本当] (the real application). 
So, after reading it and the following article by the author I had to do my personal analysis of the three terms and their presented meaning. 

First, Omote [] (suitable for beginners). Using the character(s) involved, it translates into English as, “surface; face (i.e. the visible side of an object); front; outside; exterior; appearance; top; first half; cover; foreground.” Now, as to suitable for beginners as a definition we would have to assume the term when used with bunkai along with its intent in karate could mean that omote infers the face, exterior, surface or bookcover of bunkai. 

Second, Ura [] (intermediate). Using the character(s) involved, it translates into English as, “lining, inside; behind the scenes, hidden side, etc.” Now, as to being intermediate bunkai I am left wondering exactly what they mean because intermediate may be inferring something in the middle or a second stage/level of a three level artifact. I have a bit harder time validating the term as indicated. 

Third, Honto [本当] (the real application). Using the character(s), it translates into English as, “truth, reality; actuality; fact; proper; right; correct; official; genuine; authentic; natural; veritable.” If you stick to genuine and authentic it could mean real application but that left me considering “why.” Why real application and why begin with something that isn’t real. What reason is there to have a beginner and intermediate bunkai? 

Fourth, Bunkai [分解]. Using the character(s), it translates into English as, “disassembly; dismantling; analysis; disaggregating; disintegrating; decomposing, etc.” If bunkai actually does mean to analysize something then there can be no beginner, intermediate or real applications because bunkai does not mean application. Bunkai is a process whereby one creates, discovers or finds a real applicable method or methodology. Ouyou is a proper term, Ouyou [応用] translates into English to mean, “(practical) application; putting too practical use; applied.” 

As you can see, even if we switch out the less appropriate term of bunkai for the more appropriate term of ouyou it still does not warrant the breakdown of beginner, intermediate and real. Now, if you take a possible method, analyze it, then test it thoroughly to ensure it meets the standards of reality based adrenal stressors, etc., then we can say it has three stages of learning to achieve a real ouyou or practical application for self-protection in self-defense. 

So, to make the clearer and applicable to me I would rephrase it too: “

Theoritical (riron-teki [理論的]) Method (hoho [方法] [理論的方法])
Methodological analysis (bunseki-hoho [方法論分析])
Practical Method (Ouyou [応用]) (jissai-hoho  [実際方法])

To reach a practical methodology we may want to break it down into these three stages of learning, i.e., theoretical method, methodological analysis to practical method. Rironteki-hoho, bunseki-hoho to jissai-hoho. 

Or we can simplify it into two stages, i.e., bunkai or analysis of method/methodologies to ouyou or practical applications in self-protection for self-defense. In short, we do have this pension to complicate things into complex systems rather than the shorter simplified easy system. Even shorter, discover your bunkai then test and translate that into ouyou or practical applications/methodologies. 

Ok, Omote/Ura concept. Omote [] Ura []: It seems to me that the meaning of omote/ura is also not in line with the definition it is given at the start of this article because it is not truly about beginners, that is too narrow a category, and it is not about anything intermediate, that is also too narrow a category, because the concept is about what we see or think we see in relation to what we find or hope to find when we take the actual omote/ura concept and apply it to the other concepts I provided above to find the true nature of things be it methods, methodologies or practice applicable techniques. So…

Omote, the characters/ideogram means "surface; face (i.e. the visible side of an object); front; outside; exterior; appearance; public; cover; foreground." Ura, the characters/ideograms mean "bottom (or another side that is hidden from view); undersurface; opposite side; reverse side; rear; back; inside; out of sight; behind the scenes; opposite; inverse."

Omote and Ura are also significant cultural words, terms or ideogram/character's that help us understand the culture and beliefs that are the foundation of many aspects of the martial arts.

In the martial arts I refer to those obvious things as omote and those things often revealed in addition or underneath the obvious things as ura. It is the obvious, the practitioner, who looks within the reflective mirror to display the inverse or back; behind things to see what is underneath or undersurface of the obvious things.

For instance, omote are the techniques you derive from the various movements of kata while ura are the underlying principles and methodologies you would extract from the experience of those technique-based basics of kata. 

You can also symbolize omote-ura by the Tai Chi symbol, i.e. the yang-yin.

I quote, "In the martial arts, omote refers to the techniques that are officially recognized as being characteristic of a given system, style or branch school. In signifying the surface, the term omote always presupposes that which is underneath the appearances. To every omote there is a corresponding ura, "behind" or "the other side (as in the reflection of the mirror - a Shinto icon in Japan)."

I quote, "To learn, practice and apply martial arts requires it be transmitted by following both sides, omote and ura. The main substance, the fundamentals, of the system, style or branch is provided solely through the visible forms and formulas, so the transmission relies on what is not visible from the outside, the ura."

Omote-ura model is about what is obvious vs. what is considered underlying the obvious, especially since this model is a yin-yang of martial disciplines. It is often misunderstood to mean both what is obvious and what is hidden, i.e. where hidden infers or implies secrecy (secret). This is just not true.

The Ura is actually the follow-on inter-connectedness of the obvious application toward principled based multiple methodologies, etc. to fully implement the system toward its ultimate goal. Look at Omote-n-Ura as the need to see both sides of the coin, i.e., like seeing the yin and the yang of things. It is about seeing that which you don’t know so you can understand the things you do know and grow from there as a natural stepping stone toward proficiency and mastery.

For reference and sources and professionals go here: Bibliography (Click the link)

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