Please take a moment to read this post first, i.e. "A Different Perspective," before diving into this blog. Your comments, suggestions and participation are greatly appreciated.

Please take a look at Notable Quotes, enjoy.

Please take a look at the bibliography if you do not see a proper reference to a post.

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.


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.


“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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Hey, NOTHING here is PERSONAL, get over it - Teach Me and I will Learn!


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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Challenging the Status Quo

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

Yeah, that would be what I feel I am doing for myself and if that causes others to do the same through my articles, posts and comments than all the better especially if that happens in a forward progressive way. 

We, as a species, are very comfortable with status quo as it provides security in a psychological way that says comfort while providing fodder for our beleif systems all tied to the survival instinct as well as the one the drives our procreation. Now doesn’t that sound grand?

Regardless, if we get too comfortable and rely to heavily on that comfortable patterned way then we open ourselves to being vulnerable and susceptible to grave harm and death. Remember, there are gradients to that last of harm and death, we are subjected to all sorts of levels that cause us harm and harm comes from both the physical as well as psychological. 

The only way to learn, to grow, to progress and to create is to open the mind and way to things that will make you uncomfortable. The only way to learn, to grow, to progress and to create is to exchange, communicate and group-analyze all sorts of data and experiences because, wait for it, that is the only way our species evolves and that evolutionary process is the only way our species survives. 

Now, I hear the mind churning out there reading this and want to express this, “If you think this more aggressive view is not also exactly what happens in every day life and every day stimuli, etc., then you need to step back and open the mind.” When our species ventures out of the bubble that surrounds each of us to allow others to encounter us then friction gets involved and with friction comes the obstacles that often lead to the very things we assume are now “safe.” 

In particular, in the martial arts communities with emphasis on Okinawan Karate (I started out with Oki-Isshinryu in 79 after a decade dabbling), I tend to challenge things if I perceive something out of kilter. Not to disparage or refute the practices and beliefs of any sources that I question but to create a communications channel between all parties to fact check, analyze, discuss, practice and test, apply in as realistic way according to the intent of said practice then synthesize it into something appropriate for the times, cultures and environment in which it is utilized. 

I don’t advocate changing the core or essence or cornerstone of your beginnings, i.e., style or system since you chose it to fit your needs, desires and personalities. But, as I wrote about in another venue, you can create a more appropriate model using your original as the foundation. If you don’t then you remain stagnant in something that was appropriate at one time but may not be for you now. 

It is about learning those things that are easily passed on so that we evolve, evolve as a species and as martial artists and as karate-ka.

Try it, you’ll like it and remember that if anyone, especially Sensei, balks at your questioning the status quo, it is likely that he is actually fearful and assumes you are challenging him or her rather than the system. We all as practitioners tend to dedicate a lot of effort both psychologically and physically in what we do to sometimes the point that any change seems like being challenged as to self rather than the model involved. 

I believe wholeheartedly in Isshinryu! I practiced the way Sensei taught me as his Sensei taught him and almost fell into that dogmatic adherence to the way resisting any challenge or change until one day, I experienced an “Oh Shit Moment.” Since that day, I challenge the status quo, I question things and I challenge concepts and applications and philosophies - It Ain’t about YOU - so that I may understand, progress, grow and apply my understanding in all that I do - The point here is that we as a species and as a society have one inalienable right, to make decisions and to change. 

“Make it So!”

Bibliography (Click the link)


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Okinawan Isshinryu - It’s in the Brand Name

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

Branding is a concept we are all familiar with here in the America’s and elsewhere as well, it is what we use to symbolize things that are important to us as individual, as groups or clans or tribes as as a culture and society as a whole. 

In recent conversations in the karate, and especially the Isshinryu, communities there has been various thoughts thrown around about Tatsuo-san’s Isshinryu as a name brand for his karate. Some say that if you change anything, as if the old adage applied “if it is good, don’t change it” holds special significance especially in the karate and Isshinryu communities. There is the belief, held near and dear to many, that any change in what we all feel Tatsuo-san taught as Isshinryu karate warrants a complete change in the name out of respect for him and his work.

Then, while mourning the loss of a family member today, the creative side of me in an effort to deflect certain feelings that one like me, a Intra-stoic (introvert-stoic) person, led me to think of Isshinryu as a brand name symbolic to the very creation of Tatsuo-san - I feel that is good.

Here is one for you and we all of a certain age can relate to it, Isshinryu is a brand and so is the automobile, “Ford.” Now, everyone knows and recognizes Ford and all of us of a certain age have fond memories of all the Ford’s we chose as our car. The great thing is this, when Ford, the man, first created and built the very first Ford it set in motion something that would span decades and lead into a variety of avenues such as racing cars and so on. 

Now, if Ford and his followers had taken the mind-set that any change to the Ford required, in honor of Mr. Ford, one change the name then would we still have Fords? What to do, what to do, and the answer came through the creative processes of Ford and his staff, models - create models that hold to the very basic fundamental traits that make Ford, “A Ford.” We will call them models such as, “Ford Fairlane or … wait for it … Ford Mustang!” 

Regardless of any changes that come on purpose or naturally by those who practice Isshinryu in truth and essence the very foundation, the core or corner stone of the dojo that Tatsuo-san built, is Isshinryu. Even when changes are instituted it doesn’t really change the very core of Isshinryu, it means the person or people have taken, “Isshinryu,” and created a model of that brand and system. 

This seems to me to be honorable way to honor Tatsuo-san who himself continued to make ongoing changes in his perception and belief of Isshinryu all the way up to his final days. Yet, even he didn’t change the brand, the name, the title of “Isshinryu.” He simply changed the cosmetics of Isshinryu to suit is continued creative analysis and synthesis of his way of karate. We all accept that as truth, fundamentally, and yet some of us refuse to follow his way, as he professed he wanted all of his students to do, by owning Isshinryu and making it an American way while paying tribute to him, his beliefs and his culture - both personal and societal. 

Remember, as I do, that all the luminaries, i.e., “Mitchum, Nagle, Long, Armstrong and Advincula” all have provided different versions of Isshinryu while all claiming to have stayed true to the original taught to them all by Tatsuo-san yet, “Why are there differences?” In truth, because all of them as we are all human and as a species unique in many ways where perceptions, intentions and applications in life and the dojo affect the very Isshinryu they practiced and that, in truth and reality, was paying homage and honor to Tatsuo-san.

In the end, as long as the essence of Isshinryu is there, there is no need to change the name but it might serve all of the Isshinryu community both historically traditional and the modern by using in the Dojo name something unique to the dojo while keeping Isshinryu as the inspiration and foundation that makes that dojo, unique.

One of the reasons I branded my dojo, a long time ago, “Isshin-do.” It was Isshinryu and it was my interpretation even tho, at that time, I worked hard to remain steadfast in the way it was passed to me by my Sensei.

Don’t make the mistake of making the Isshinryu brand anything other then a symbol of Tatsuo-san’s creative energetic creation but do adjust the model you teach to both give due to Tatsuo-san’s Isshinryu and to your own efforts as I tried to do so long ago.

Bibliography (Click the link)


Saturday, October 28, 2017

Tradition - Traditional Martial Disciplines

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

Traditional is bandied about a lot in the martial disciplines but seldom do we get a solid accepted definition of what you think is traditional in martial arts, martial disciplines and karate. So, I came across a writing newsletter that talked about tradition and another term but we are going to stick with tradition. 

She wrote, “Tradition comes from traditionem, referring to an act of delivery or handing over; the adjectival and adverbial forms are traditional and traditionally. (Trad occasionally appears as a slang abbreviation of traditional.) Adherence to tradition is called traditionalism, and one who advocates that philosophy is a traditionalist.”

In all my research trying to put a handle on the title of traditional no where does it specify anything other than what you read in the last paragraph. 

Another definition of tradition goes like this, the transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation, or the fact of being passed on in this way.” Now, this takes us closer to what we think of as, “Traditional Karate/Martial Art, etc.” 

After a lot of mindless meandering contemplation and consideration going back to my previous definitions and explanations I have come to the conclusion that all of the forms of martial practices are all “Traditional.” 

There is the more ancient teachings of martial disciplines called, from the Japanese perspective as we understand it, “Koryu.” Koryu teachings work very hard to stay true to the old teachings as best as humans can do and since the passing of said teachings are an act that delivers and hands down those teachings it is a traditional form of Koryu. One point tho, unless you were born Japanese, live in the culture and have trained and studied a Koryu it may not be the ancient koryu you think it is but a different set of “Traditional Teachings” that you received and now pass or hand down to your students.

Let me provide a view of Okinawan Karate, there are a lot of traditional forms of that discipline. You have one traditional form that was practiced before WWII’s influences; you have one practiced after WWII; you have the sport version; and you have the educational version and so on. All of those, except the pre-WWII version that seems to have disappeared completely, are traditional forms of karate from Okinawa. Every one, a tradition that is delivered and handed over to students both Okinawan and American, i.e., during the fifties and onward. 

If your style is taught to you and that sensei passed along what they understand is the system, even if he or she changed things, then it is a traditional form of karate being handed down to successive generations. Even if not exacting to the original sensei teachings it is still a tradition, traditional, being passed and handed down to those who follow, successive generations.

MMA, is a traditional mixed martial art that is practiced and applied today while being taught to students who are passing it along to their students so, “MMA is a Traditional Mixed Martial Art.” Get it, every single form of karate, martial art, or other as a fighting system; a competitive sport system; as a means of self-improvement, i.e., the way; as a system of self-defense; as a system of combative’s and so on are, “ALL TRADITIONAL!”

Now, using the style of karate I first learned while stationed on Okinawa as an example, Isshinryu, I can say emphatically and with great confidence that it is a traditional form of karate. Now, even in that system or style there are a variety of forms that are also traditional. There is the original Tatsuo-san traditions; there are Mitchum Sensei traditions; there are Long Sensei traditions; there are Nagle Sensei traditions; there are Uezu Sensei traditions; there are Armstrong Sensei traditions and there are Advincula Sensei traditions. Every one is a traditional form of karate from Okinawa simply because the entire community and structure of them all began, were born from, Tatsuo-san’s efforts and creation. 

Where the argument begins due to a lack of understanding is this, everyone argues theres is the traditional form and the tendency to refute all others is a personal egoistic born of ignorance status type of argument while in truth every single one is correct in their belief that what they practice and teach is a traditional form. 

If we could let go, good luck with that with humans, of our need to have a unique we are traditional and you are not attitudes we can then accept that every single solitary form and model of ancient and modern martial disciplines are traditional forms and models then we have accomplished something great. 

Good luck with that, right?


Bibliography (Click the link)

Thursday, October 12, 2017

It’s Not About the Teacher

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

It’s not about the teacher, instructor or sensei, it is about the individual. Yes, teachers, etc., have an influence with the students but in the end the students proficiency, knowledge, understanding and expertise comes from within the student themselves, not from their teachers, etc.

Even the best of the best teachers cannot force, coerce or inspire a student if the student does not take the initiative and proactive effort for it always, always, comes down to the ability, attitude and EFFORT of the student. 

Connections with others be they a teacher or a fellow student is just one aspect of the learning process for to have a group exchange provides a student with varying perspectives, perceptions and beliefs so they can personally analyze and synthesize their own way. 

I know of some very good martial artists who excel beyond others who have famous names they can drop as to teachers, mentors and friends. This does not make either one better or worse; greater or not; expert or not; proficient and efficient or not. It is the student and it is the student alone.

Why then, does the connection to a famous martial luminary hold so much weight? Well, simply put it comes down to nature’s social survival drive … ‘STATUS’ within the tribe, clan, family or group. We humans use such things to establish status and a pecking order within a group dynamic such as a dojo, an association or in Isshinryu’s case, like many other systems or styles, the style itself where the ‘status’ of being either a ‘first generation student of Tatsuo-san’ or a direct student ‘of a first gen student’ places the individual in a perceived higher status as if that association allowed them to gleam some special understanding and abilities others just cannot have, obtain or understand. 

I learned a long time ago, in the dojo, that those types often were not as proficient as they thought of themselves. Understand, many were still most excellent martial artists but from my perspective and perceptions they didn’t hold any greater or lessor ability and understanding then those who say were my students over a first gen’s. 

When you strip away all the non-wheel barrow items and leave behind those items that actually physically fit in a wheel barrow you find either a good martial artists or a not so good martial artists. In the end, regardless, it depends. 

Example: My sensei is a first generation student of Tatsuo-san. He said he trained in the honbu dojo and often saw Tatsuo-san sitting on the side lines observing. Now, depending on how you define training under Tatsuo-san the mere fact he was in the presence of Tatsuo-san and may have received personal instruction at one time or another could mean his status as first-gen is authentic. Then one day I came to realize that simply being in the dojo when Tatsuo-san was without extensive hands-on training with Tatsuo-san may mean that only those with this experience can or could say, “First-gen student of the Master.” 

Example continued: So, if true, then my sensei is not a first-gen student. Simply association in a physical sense without hands-on personal training under close guidance of the master means he and a lot of others are NOT first-gen students. I also understand that my sensei was a student of Nagle Sensei then like the above example I came to realize that, yes, he trained under the Nagle Dojo but like Tatsuo-san never had hands-on personal training under close guidance of Nagle Sensei. His brother tho, did and his brother taught him Isshinryu. 

Example continued II: Yet, if I wanted to, I could say that I am a student of a first-gen Isshinryu’ist and that he was also a first-gen student of Nagle Sensei but in truth that would not be accurate. 

You cannot attain any special understanding and ability simply by association but you can gain special understanding and ability through hard work, EFFORT, study and EFFORT and gain exceptional martial arts understanding if you put forth EFFORT. 

Now, if you accomplish all this and you just happen to have such connections then you can, if you feel this is necessary for your expertise and abilities, gain a higher STATUS within your dojo or your group or your style. In the end, that is all up once again “TO YOU!”

Bibliography (Click the link)


Monday, October 9, 2017

Measuring a Black Belt

Note: All of this post comes from my perception and understanding of what I read of Mr. Miller’s book (see bibliography at the end) and it is highly recommended the reader, read the book in its entirety for clarity, knowledge and understanding of the subject matter. Know that this post is merely the tip of the sword on his material, all a critical body of knowledge any self-defense instructor must know and understand in order to teach the individual self-defense. At least in my eyes!

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

Not the length/size but the qualifications so that it may be packaged, presented, sold, tested and awarded in machine built on societies product packaging machine. We as a species especially in the America’s make the assumption that what can be measured can be improved. The problem with black belts it has noting to do with one’s applied ability but how one studies and memorizes for the testing processes. 

The complexities of modern martial defense applications are very easy to test and grade the practitioner but to measure success in applying those very same complex applications is hard at best and totally inappropriate and inapplicable to reality at worst. 

This is why what is used, taught and tested in dojo around the world are fundamentally irrelevant and arbitrary in nature with nothing what so ever to do with getting the job done in an aggressive, adrenal and violent world that is the basis for both martial arts and self-defense. 

What is, then, measurable of a black belt? It is the doing of things, it is survivability into situations where you either survive or not. This cannot be measured and tested or even laid out in a curriculum/syllabus for study and testing. 

To try and test one for the ability to do the very things that would result in survival is something no dojo can do if for no other reason that ethics and danger to the practitioner and their training partners. 

In martial arts teachers and students not in a profession, military and police, etc., have yet to realize that when under the pressure of the adrenal stress conditions of aggression and violent reality simple works and the complex fails. Again, the unspoken and unrecognized reasons why the industry rewards complexities through the secret or advanced techniques taught to the higher grades as a natural progression of the simplistic ‘beginner’ techniques taught to novices. In life, this is the exact opposite of real life. 

That is why the great question presented in Rory Miller’s new book on principled teaching of self-defense goes to ask the question about how one would measure the black belt requirement of “doing.” 

Rory Miller wrote, “In martial arts (except for sport arts) things tend to be judged by how they looked, not what they did. The karate sensei judges the alignment of the forearm and the stance and whether it looks right - and looks have little to do with how much kinetic energy is delivered. When a kinesthetic things is judged visually, that judging will always be arbitrary.” 

Just think about that a minute then look at how one visually and arbitrary assumes a technique is powerful from how they muscle it and tense in performing techniques then think about how power, energy and force is applied in a real attack. The trouble even with this question is that most of them, if not all, don’t have any experienced reference to base an assumption or perception or manifestation of that kind of power.

Miller, Rory. “Principles-Based Instruction for Self-Defense (and maybe life)” Amazon Digital Services LLC August 2017.

Bibliography (Click the link)

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Breathing for Everything

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

Seems an obvious statement but for many, especially in adrenal stress-conditions of conflict and violence, becomes a critical part of what they do, practice, train and apply to overcome those same effects so they may function adequately. 

It is being stated that, Breathing is not just for oxygen; it’s now linked to brain function and behavior.”  Breathing is everything is a blanket statement that drives all the various breathing disciplines such as found in Yoga, Zen and other practices so that the practitioner can advance and achieve a mastery of themselves through breathing. 

It was further stated that, the rhythm of breathing creates electrical activity in the human brain that enhances emotional judgments and memory recall.” 

In martial disciplines to include karate rhythm, cadence and patterning all tend to balance our minds and bodies to the very world around us. In a recent article by one of the leading, and greatest, scientists it was said that the Universe itself is distributed uniformly throughout space. They, the galaxies, gather and cluster together that are formed because the galaxies attract each other into groups. 

Groups much like how humans gather and survive and propagate so that in essence the very galaxies, solar systems and planets all move in a rhythmic rotating flat circular attracted way that binds them into groups and the groups, a separate and distinct galaxy of stars and so on are families that survive by their rhythmic patterned existence. 

This somewhat unscientific observation and study simply means to my philosophy and belief systems is that there are rhythms, cadences, patterns, etc. that exist in our many galaxies down to the planet Earth as well as to each living species. Even further down to the very atoms that make us up and deeper into those depths to pure energy, the energy called by the Chinese, “Jing and Chi” that make us alive. 

In recent theorists public speaking venue’s it was thought that deep down to the lowest ‘element if you will’ the very atoms of protons and such go even further down to the proverbial base element of life, ‘pure energy,’ that is believed to survive when our bodies end. Giving rise to what the Chinese refer to as Jing/Chi that is governed by the very Universe tied together through string theory. 

The goal of martial disciplines regardless of the factions or distinctions or ‘branches’ is to develop and connect with nature’s rhythms, cadences and other spiral like forces that balance the body, mind and spirit with the natural rhythms, etc., of the body, our environment, our Earth as it connects to the “Heavens” or nature and Universe. Making the connection provides us the connections we need to the very principled base methodologies and levels of force, energy, to ‘get-r-done’ be it sport, fighting or self-defense, etc.

Bibliography (Click the link)



Monday, July 3, 2017

Style vs. System

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

I have written on this before, it is often the style that is taught and that is good at one level but not so much at attempts to achieve higher levels in martial arts and karate disciplines. If you have studied well then refer back to things like shu-ha-ri and shin-gi-tai concepts to better understand and lead to further research. 

Styles are often set in stone in regard to, “Techniques or technique based models.” This is good because those basics, drills and paired kata drills are about teaching principles and once principles are ingrained properly then it is about reaching beyond technique-based models into a more creative application of principles to a multiple methodology model where your creative spirit can make use of principles toward appropriate methods to get the job done regardless of it being avoidance, deescalation or self-defense. This is a system not tied to any particular technique or combinations directly connected to a response of any other applied attack technique or combinations. Technique-based models teach you to act and react to specifics while a predatory, process or resource, attacks are chaotic, unpredictable and totally surprising in nature. If your technique-based model does not detect its counter-part you get … wait for it … the FREEZE!

Look at styles that teach technique-based models as the prerequisite to the system principled-methodology based creative models. To tie yourself and your self-defense capabilities to specific things does not leave you the ability to create appropriate responses in accordance with unique, chaotic, situations. 

Take a look at the following for additional information on this difference and remember, styles are more about identity, status and other such trappings with a bit of modern economic drivers that make them so important. They tend to feed the human nature to gravitate toward groups with similar identities, cultural beliefs and survival traits. The real shame is that one does not actually require the others but can exist or coexist in the dojo, the tribe, the style and in all systems. It is about acceptance, tolerance and understanding without borders, obstacles or hinderances toward the collective betterment of self, dojo and system (while styles can still exist but more relevant then restrictive). 



Bibliography (Click the link)

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Traditional Karate: Beliefs

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

This subject has and will always be a bone of contention especially when each person and group picks and chooses what they want to be traditional and what they don’t want to be traditional. We, all of us, cherry pick those things our dissonance and biases want to be traditional to confirm our biases toward our self-soothing personal and group belief systems. 

We humans suffer from a great many biases and dissonances all created by ourselves and influenced by others in the same fashion so it seems, to me, natural and expected. This is why I believe there are so many factions in the karate and martial arts communities and why I believe traditional aspects along with things like the dan’i system are always going to be in contention and arguable according to each system of belief. 

For instance, in what I perceive as tradition to martial arts, not necessarily karate of Okinawa, there are titles used indiscriminately in the Wast such as Shihan, Hanshi and Kyoshi, etc. that traditionally speaking are not used but in very narrow and certain circumstances. So, in a nit-pickin/cherry-pickin way those groups and individuals choose to use them traditionally incorrectly because those titles feed their belief systems regardless. 

They claim a traditional way but only follow those ways the suit them and their beliefs and call it, “Traditional.” Don’t get me wrong, at one time I did it too but in the last decade or so of study I have come to my conclusion that I do NOT practice a traditional karate or martial art simply because it isn’t. 

I do practice and train and study martial arts and karate that is based on and in a traditional way of those who came before me but different. 

I use a term that you seldom see, “Eclectic Martial Art and Karate Way.” Eclectic because what I study and train in is a compilation of experiences, knowledge and understanding influenced not just from a traditional way but one that is derived from ideas, styles, systems, and beliefs of a broad and diverse nature and range of sources. All of us at one time or another select and selected doctrines, beliefs and traditions from various sources from various cultures, beliefs and people (Sensei, Kohai, Senpai, etc). 

Setchū-tekina Karate-do [折衷的な - 空手道] Eclectic Way of Empty Hand!

Bibliography (Click the link)



Sunday, June 25, 2017

A Strong Foundation

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

What comes to your mind the moment you hear someone reference having a strong foundation in karate or martial arts?  In most cases it is reference to assuming a strong connection with the ground as demonstrated by the sanchin dachi when performing sanchin kata. It is thought of as taking an appropriate kamae and rooting oneself down again to the earth, the ground. So much so that many sensei have taught or passed on such teachings as, “Lifting the toe,” alluding to a source of power generation also touted through the term and system called, “Chinkuchi.” 

Lets say many meme’s or platitudes abound on the subject of foundations such as the old Chinese saying, “To build a strong house, you must have a strong foundation.” Again, when you hear this what comes to mind? It is also thought of as taking a kamae and rooting oneself. This has led to many assuming that to take such a stance and root is how you generate power and force to the target. Is there something wrong with this way?

Yes, it is very limited and filled chock full of misunderstandings and inappropriate and ineffective applications. Lets discuss one in particular, to generate energy to power and force in a technique you need to move, move you mass in appropriate ways using appropriate fundamental principles along with appropriate applied force to get the job done. That does not come from rooting except in very specific ways, i.e., best example is moving using a drop step coordinated and sequenced along with application of a method, say striking or punching, to the target where mass and energy equal, through movement and the step, to power and force transmitted, so to speak, into your target - what ever that target may be. 

Then we do into the true depth and breadth of having a strong foundation:
  • A strong foundation in fundamental principles with a bit more emphasis on physiokinetic’s.
  • A strong foundation on knowing, understanding and applying principles based multiple methodologies and appropriate force levels. 
  • A strong foundation of a system rather than a goal oriented technique based set of memorized applications. 
  • A strong foundation of a philosophy representative of a cultural belief system driven by the needs and conditions of the self, family and especially of a social entity. 
  • A strong foundation of understanding of concepts such as the OODA process including especially the, “Data-mining, analysis, hypothesis and synthesis toward your system.” 
  • A strong foundation of health, fitness, intestinal fortitude, honor, attitude and application of your system. 
  • A strong foundation of training, practices and applications of your system based on karate and martial arts, etc.
  • etc.
  • A strong foundation of understanding of self-defense, defenses.
  • A strong foundation of understanding of articulation of defenses in self-defense. 
As can be readily seen one can now perceive that foundation in the traditional sense needs some adjustment while opening the mind beyond the basic, initial and limited understanding of foundations in karate and martial arts to include the many facets of foundational solidity to also include spirit, character and personality conducive to apply the full spectrum of self-fense and combatives by professionals. 

Bibliography (Click the link)



Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Hard Black Belt Test, Trust Me …

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

A note was posted on Facebook about a young karate-ka being awarded the sho-dan level belt and the comment was that his tests was very hard and we should trust the author. Now, I do trust the individual as to their perspective and perception of the test and it being hard but where I diverge is the definition of what is hard and its purpose overall as to the distinction of that belt as to relevant standards according to the intent of the teaching and the students objectives in karate. 

For instance:
  • Is it for the sport intent?
  • Is if for the educational intent?
  • Is it for the philosophical intent?
  • Is it for the fighting intent?
  • Is it for the self-defense intent?
and so on because that intent is important and it governs the standards for the belt and the meaning be it traditional or non-traditional and so on … yadda yadda yadda. 

Here is why, “Black belts as a new thing not more than a skosh over one hundred years or less depending on perspective and teachings are not the level of perceived understanding they were when the first American service person earned that coveted black belt. It has, over the years, been subverted by the very business and economic needs, desires and requirements that have built the martial arts, karate and the belt system into its current state.” 

When one says hard, I find in my observations that hard is relevant to a more, mostly, physical manifestation outwardly symbolized by the amount of sweat profusely jettisoned during the test, the amount of pain perceived on the face of the person tested and the QUANTITY of material and physical requirements one must memorize to achieve a passing grade on the test.

Now, add in the duration of the test much like a marathon of physical strenuous required actions of the person tested then you have somewhat defined a perception of hard testing. I ask, “Is this actually the standard we want to test, impress upon and require to wear the coveted black belt?” 

Bibliography (Click the link)