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

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.


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.

Martial Art-esque Techniques

Caveat: This post is mine and mine alone. I the author of this blog assure you, the reader, that any of the opinions expressed here are my own and are a result of the way in which my meandering mind interprets a particular situation and or concept. The views expressed here are solely those of the author in his private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of other martial arts and/or conflict/violence professionals or authors of source materials. It should be quite obvious that the sources I used herein have not approved, endorsed, embraced, friended, liked, tweeted or authorized this post. (Everything I think and write is true, within the limits of my knowledge and understanding.)

I was surfing around some FB walls when one photo stuck out. It was a photo of an kata bunkai and since it was staged for instruction it had the karate-esque look to it and that made me ask myself, “In a real conflict with physical violence, is it even possible to assume such a stance and apply such a technique or group of techniques?”

The quick and dirty answer is, “No.” Even in most tournament and/or kumite contests the participants rarely and barely assume any kind of stance or kamae that is karate-esque/karate-like. 

I used to think in the early days that if what I applied didn’t look, feel or appear to match or at least closely match what we were learning and practicing in basics, kata and rarely kumite then it wasn’t karate, it wasn’t martial arts. That created a consideration on my part as to why we bother with all of that drills, practices and other karate-esque stuff if we are not going to use it in self-defense.

Wellll, it is like this, we aren’t actually supposed to “make it work” exactly or even closely like our kata, the karate techniques/applications, etc. The karate we see in kata and so on are not meant to be applied “like” it is practiced and if we try hard to “make it work” just like it appears in the kata, drills and such then we may be missing the boat. 

Remember, I often speak of kata as a method of transferring knowledge from teacher to student to teaching to students and so on so it will be passed down. I also state clearly that until those practitioners actually make it work in conflicts and violence they don’t know nor should the implement changes until that experience is achieved. One reason why remaining in contact with and having seniors, with appropriate real life experience, continually assess and modify training and teaching is so important. Until you experience violence and until you accumulate enough of it to make such decisions you have to assume you just don’t know. 

Martial Arts as a whole are simply a collection of experiences from those who came before that provide tools that we use to learn and encode things like physiokinetics along with their supporting theories, philosophies and techniques to achieve a level of body, mind and spirit ability to make our actions work especially in violent situations. We learn things like structure, like posture and like creating and applying power that often will not and never will look martial-esque or karate-like. 

When we are in a violent encounter we don’t assume seisan stances, we don’t chamber our hands to the waist and we don’t do the sport oriented fakes and dodges and the testing of an adversary’s abilities, we end up applying explosive, fast, hard and close actions that will meet our overall goals in self-defense - what ever they may be to each of us. 

What we should be getting out of our karate or martial arts is not how to make it look just like karate but how to make the underlying principles work when we are stressed, adrenal flooded, in pain, experiencing fear and apply an act of will tantamount to overcoming the brain lock, the freeze and trigger our “go button” so we don’t succumb. 

This includes seeking out those reality based no bullshit type of training environments that will expose your skills to the adrenal induced stresses and manifestations - mental and physical - that tend to make strict karate kamae not work. Things in the world of conflict and violence don’t adhere to such things, it is chaotic, messy and very, very dangerous. 

Remember that everything karate-esque is not necessarily the way it will “get-r-done” but will contribute a whole lot toward our ability to “get-r-done!” It is not a matter of right or wrong, good or bad, or even karate-like or not karate-like, it is about survival in conflicts and especially violence. 


If that kind of stuff actually exists it only exists in the movies and on television and in seminars and demonstrations. Really ….

As far as my experience, no one actually fights like this.

“Self-Defense Awareness (SDA).”

Caveat: This post is mine and mine alone. I the author of this blog assure you, the reader, that any of the opinions expressed here are my own and are a result of the way in which my meandering mind interprets a particular situation and or concept. The views expressed here are solely those of the author in his private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of other martial arts and/or conflict/violence professionals or authors of source materials. It should be quite obvious that the sources I used herein have not approved, endorsed, embraced, friended, liked, tweeted or authorized this post. (Everything I think and write is true, within the limits of my knowledge and understanding.)

SDA is about becoming knowledgable in the subject of self-defense as it applies to conflicts, violence and the legal, moral and psychological aspects of using self-defense when justifying the use of force - assuming other methods such as avoidance and deescalation to avoid the physical. 

Because this area or discipline is complex it is considered, by this author, as another form of awareness that a person needs in order to study, learn and apply all other forms of awareness, i.e., self-awareness, situational awareness, environmental awareness, physical awareness, dynamic awareness, idealogical awareness, criminal awareness, danger awareness, comparative awareness, and so on (all subject to such other types of knowledge such as environmental knowledge, rule knowledge, and domain knowledge, etc.

Since martial arts are often associated with self-defense and since most MA training fail to cover the full spectrum of conflict, violence and self-defense (the before, during and after; another triad that is clarified in this book). The complexities that require many books, articles and seminars let along reality based stress induced training and practice is difficult to present in one book, such as this, with enough depth and breadth to convey its importance and its necessity. 

I would begin any teachings of SD, from my perceptions lacking a fuller experience level, with the subject of self-defense. The bibliography is provided also for reference and start points for those who wish to take up self-defense, self-defense martial arts. 

This type of awareness provides the practitioner with the base knowledge necessary to continue the study of conflict, violence and self-defense especially in seeking out the types of programs that will fill all the needs, the phases of self-defense for instance, of the practitioner to build a solid foundation in self-defense and in martial arts. Too many take up the study of both only to find out after that it lacked certain, important/critical, aspects that could literally mean the difference between life, death and debilitating damage.

Primary Bibliography of Self-Defense:
MacYoung, Marc. "In the Name of Self-Defense: What It Costs. When It’s Worth It." Marc MacYoung. 2014.
Miller, Rory Sgt. "Meditations of Violence: A Comparison of Martial Arts Training & Real World Violence" YMAA Publishing. 2008.

Secondary Bibliography of Self-Defense:
Ayoob, Massad. “Deadly Force: Understanding Your Right to Self-Defense”Gun Digest Books. Krouse Publications. Wisconsin. 2014.
Goleman, Daniel. "Emotional Intelligence: 10th Anniversary Edition [Kindle Edition]." Bantam. January 11, 2012.
Miller, Rory. "ConCom: Conflict Communications A New Paradigm in Conscious Communication." Amazon Digital Services, Inc. 2014. 
Miller, Rory and Kane, Lawrence A. "Scaling Force: Dynamic Decision-making under Threat of Violence." YMAA Publisher. New Hampshire. 2012
Miller, Rory. "Force Decisions: A Citizen's Guide." YMAA Publications. NH. 2012.
Miller, Rory Sgt. "Facing Violence: Preparing for the Unexpected." YMAA Publishing. 2011.
Elgin, Suzette Haden, Ph.D. "More on the Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense." Prentice Hall. New Jersey. 1983.
Elgin, Suzette. "The Last Word on the Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense" Barnes & Noble. 1995
Morris, Desmond. “Manwatching: A Field Guide to Human Behavior.” Harry N. Abrams. April 1979.
Elgin, Suzette. "The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense" Barnes & Noble. 1993.
Elgin, Suzette. "The Gentle Art of Written Self-Defense" MJF Books. 1997.
Maffetone, Philip Dr. “The Maffetone Method: The Holistic, Low-stress, No-Pain Way to Exceptional Fitness.” McGraw Hill, New York. 2000
Strong, Sanford. “Strong on Defense_ Survival Rules to Protect you and your Family from Crime.” Pocket Books. New York. 1996.
and more … see blog bibliography.

My Blog Bibliography

Cornered Cat (Scratching Post): http://www.corneredcat.com/scratching-post/
Kodokan Boston: http://kodokanboston.org
Mario McKenna (Kowakan): http://www.kowakan.com
Wim Demeere’s Blog: http://www.wimsblog.com

General Bibliography:

Advincula, A. J. The Naming of Isshin-ryu: In the beginning there was the one. Isshnikai:The Official Website of Sensei Arcenio J. Advincula. http://www.isshinkai.net/history03-birthofisshinryu.html. 2009
Advincula, A.J. Isshinkai Yahoo Group. http://sports.groups.yahoo.com/group/isshinkaiKarate/. 2010
Advincula, A. J. MSgt USMC (Ret.), Isshinryu Sensei. "His writings and postings of Isshinryu and Kenpo Gokui on Isshinkai. California 2009.
Advincula, A.J. "Chinkuchi". Isshinkai Group Thread: February, 2007
Advincula, Arcenio J. Isshinkai Yahoo Group; isshinkaiKarate@yahoogroups.com: April, 2007
Advincula, Arcenio J. Isshinkai Yahoo Group; isshinkaiKarate@yahoogroups.com: May, 2007
Advincula, A.J. "Chinkuchi". Isshinkai Group Thread: February, 2007
Advincuala, A. J. http://www.isshinkai.net/ 
Advincula, A.J. "Isshinryu no Gokui." Online Posts. 13 April 2001 to present date. IsshinKai Yahoo Group. 
Ayoob, Massad. “Deadly Force: Understanding Your Right to Self-Defense”Gun Digest Books. Krouse Publications. Wisconsin. 2014.

Bolton, Robert, Ph.D. "People Skills: How to Assert Yourself, Listen to Others, and Resolve Conflicts." Simon & Schuster. New York. 1979. 1986.
Boyd, Charles. Kenpo Gokui. Isshinkai Yahoo Group Post 2009.
Breed, George. "Embodying Heaven and Earth: A Radiant Model of Transformation." Publication: International Journal of Humanities and Peace Publication 2003

Chu, W. K. and Sherrill, W. A. The Astrology of I Ching. New York. Penguin Books. 1976
Chu, W. K. and Sherrill, W. A. An Anthology of I Ching. London. Routledge and Kegan Paul. 1977.
Clarke, Michael. "Shin Gi Tai: Karate Training for Body, Mind, and Spirit." YMAA Publishing. New Hampshire. 2011.

Davies, Roger J. and Ikeno, Osamu. "The Japanese Mind: Understanding Contemporary Japanese Culture." Tuttle Publishing. Tokyo, Japan. 2002.
DeMente, Boye Lafayette. "Japan's Cultural Code Words: 233 Key Terms That Explain the Attitudes and Behavior of the Japanese." Tuttle. Vermont, Tokyo and Singapore. 2004. 
DeMente, Boye Lafayette. "Kata: The Key to Understanding & Dealing with the Japanese." Tuttle Publishing. Tokyo, Vermont and Singapore. 2003
Bibliography:
DeMente, Boye LaFayette. "Samurai Strategies: 42 Martial Secrets from Musashi's Book of Five Rings." Tuttle Publishing. Vermont. 2008.
DeMente, Boye LaFayette. "The Origins of Human Violence: Male Dominance, Ignorance, Religions and Willful Stupidity!" Phoenix Books. Kentucky. 2010.
DeMente, Boye LaFayette. "The Japanese Samurai Code: Classic strategies for Success." Tuttle Publishing. Vermont. 2004.
DeMente, Boye LaFayette. "The Chinese Mind: Understanding Traditional Chinese Beliefs and Their Influence on Contemporary Culture." Tuttle Publishing. Rutland, Vermont. 2009.
DeMente, Boye LaFayette. "The Chinese Have a Word for It: The Complete Guide to Chinese Thought and Culture." McGraw Hill Publishing. New York. 1996.

Elgin, Suzette Haden, Ph.D. "More on the Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense." Prentice Hall. New Jersey. 1983.
Elgin, Suzette. "The Gentle Art of Self-Defense at Work." New York. Prentice Hall Press. 2000.
Elgin, Suzette. "The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense" Barnes & Noble. 1993.
Elgin, Suzette. "The Gentle Art of Written Self-Defense" MJF Books. 1997
Elgin, Suzette. "The Last Word on the Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense" Barnes & Noble. 1995
Elgin, Suzette. "Staying Well with the Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense." MJF Books. 1990.

Gladwell, Malcolm. "Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking." Bay Back Books. France. 2007.
Goleman, Daniel. “Emotional Intelligence: 10th Anniversary Edition [Kindle Edition].” Bantam. January 11, 2012.
Gunaratana, Bhante. Mindfulness in Plain English. Wisdom Publications; 2nd edition. September 2002. 

Hall, Edward T. "The Dance of Life: The Other Dimension of Time." Anchor Books. New York. 1983, 1984, 1989.
Hall, Edward T. "The Hidden Dimension." Anchor Books. New York. 1969, 1990.
Hall, Edward T. and Hall, Mildred Reed. "Hidden Differences: Doing Business with the Japanese." Anchor Books. New York. 1987, 1990.
Hanson, Rick and Mendius, Richard. The Practical Neuroscience of Buddha's Brain: Happiness, Love & Wisdom. Oakland: New Harbinger Publications, Inc. 2009.
Heath, Robin. Sun, Moon, & Earth. Wooden Books, Ltd. Ontario Canada. 1999 
Hayes, William R. Major USMC (ret.) Shorin-ryu Karate-do. "My Journey with the Grandmaster: Reflections of an American Martial Artist on Okinawa." Morris Publishing, Kearney, NE, 1997/2009 ISBN: 978-1-575-02-554-4
Huang, Alfred. "The Complete I Ching." Inner Traditions Rochester, Vermont. 1998 
[NEXT]
Isshinkai Yahoo Group, "Re: [Isshin Kai Karate] finding Personal hexagram Okinawa History & traditions" dtd Tue, Jul 20, 2010 at 1:13 AM isshinkaiKarate@yahoogroups.com
Iyengar, B.K.S. Light on Pranayama: The Yogic Art of Breathing. Crossroad Publishing New York. 2010. 

Kaiguo, Chen, Shundhao, Zheng, Cleary, Thomas. "Opening the Dragon's Gate: The Making of a Modern Taoist Wizard. Tuttle Publishing. Vermont. 1996.

Lowry, Dave. "The Essence of Budo: A Practitioner's Guide to Understanding the Japanese Martial Ways." Boston & London, Shambhala Publications. 2010.
Lundy, Miranda. Sacred Geometry. New York. Walker Publishing Company. 2007

MacYoung, Marc. "Violence, Blunders, and Fractured Jaws: Advanced Awareness Techniques and Street Etiquette." Paladin Press. Boulder, Colorado. 1992. 
MacYoung, Marc. “In the Name of Self-Defense: What It Costs. When It’s Worth It.” Marc MacYoung. 2014.
MacYoung, Marc. "A Professional's Guide to Ending Violence Quickly: How Bouncers, Bodyguards, and Other Security Professionals Handle Ugly Situations." Paladin Press. Boulder, Colorado. 1996.
MacYoung, Marc (Animal). “Taking It to the Street: Making Your Martial Art Street Effective.” Paladin Press. Boulder, Colorado. 1999.
Maffetone, Philip Dr. “The Maffetone Method: The Holistic, Low-stress, No-Pain Way to Exceptional Fitness.” McGraw Hill, New York. 2000.
Matsumoto, Michihiro. "The Unspoken Way, Haragei: Silence in Japanese Business and Society." Kodansha. New York. 1988.
Meadows, Donella H. “Thinking in Systems.” Chelsea Green Publishing. Vermont. 2008.
Miller, Kamila. "Campfire Tales from Hell: Musing on Martial Arts, Survival, Bounding, and General Thug Stuff." CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. 2012.
Miller, Rory. "ConCom: Conflict Communications A New Paradigm in Conscious Communication." Amazon Digital Services, Inc. 2014.
Miller, Rory. "Violence: A Writer's Guide." Pacific Northwest. Wyrd Goat Press. 2012.
Miller, Rory and Kane, Lawrence A. "Scaling Force: Dynamic Decision-making under Threat of Violence." YMAA Publisher. New Hampshire. 2012
Miller, Rory. "Force Decisions: A Citizen's Guide." YMAA Publications. NH. 2012.
Miller, Rory Sgt. "Meditations of Violence: A Comparison of Martial Arts Training & Real World Violence" YMAA Publishing. 2008.
Miller, Rory Sgt. "Facing Violence: Preparing for the Unexpected." YMAA Publishing. 2011.
Morris, Desmond. “Manwatching: A Field Guide to Human Behavior.” Harry N. Abrams. April 1979. 

Newberg, Andrew MD and Waldman, Mark Robert. "Why We Believe What We Believe: Uncovering Our Biological Need for Meaning, Spirituality, and Truth." Free Press. New York. 2006
Nylan, Michael. "The Elemental Changes: The Ancient Chinese Companion to the I Ching." Albany NY, State of NY Press. 1994

Okakura, Kakuzo. Dover Publications. New York. 1964.

Pease, Marshall. The Aquarian I Ching. Brotherhood of Life, inc. Albuquerque, NM. 1993.
Perlman, Steven J. "The Book of Martial Power: The Universal Guide to the Combative Arts." New York. The Overlook Press. 2006. 
Powers, William. "Hamlet's Blackberry: A Practical Philosophy for Building a Good Life in the Digital Age." New York. HarperCollins Publishing. 2010

Sato, Hiroaki. "Legends of the Samurai." Overlook Press. New York. 1995. 
Schmeisser, Elmar T., Ph.D. "Advanced Karate-Do: Concepts, Techniques, and Training Methods." St. Louis: Tamashii Press, 2007.
Schneider, Michael. Constructing the Universe. http://www.constructingtheuniverse.com/. 2010.
Smalley, Susan L. PhD. Winston, Diana. "Fully Present: The Science, Art, and Practice of Mindfulness." Da Capo Press. Philadelphia. 2010.
Stiskin, Nahum. "The Looking Glass God: Shinto, Yin Yang, and a Cosmology for Today." Weatherhill. New York. 1972. 
Sutrisno, Tristan, MacYoung, Marc and Gordon, Dianna. "Becoming a Complete Martial Artist: Error Detection in Self Defense and the Martial Arts." Lyons Press. Connecticut. 2005.

Tankosich, Mark J. "Karate Ni Sente Nashi: What the Masters had to Say. [revised version of a paper that originally appeared in Vol. 27, No. 1 of the Hiroshima University of Economics Journal of Humanities, Social and Natural Sciences.] 2004 pdf format article from Charles Goodin Library Web Site. 
Trosper, Barry R. I Ching: The Illustrated Primer. KGI Publications, San Jose. 1986.

Volk, Steve. "Fringe-ology: How I Tried to Explain the Unexplainable - And Couldn't." HarperOne Publishing. New York. 2011.
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Watson, Burton. "Basic Writings of Mo Tzu, Hsun Tzu, and Han Fei Tzu." New York, Columbia University Press. 1967.
Wei, Wu. The I Ching Workbook. Malibu California: power-press. 2005
Wilhelm, Hellmut and Wilhelm, Richard. Understanding the I Ching: The Wilhelm Lectures on the Book of Changes. New Jersey. Princeton Bollingen Press. 1995.
Wilhelm, Hellmut and Wilhelm, Richard. Understanding the I Ching: The Wilhelm Lectures on the Book of Changes. bollinger series. New Jersey. Princeton Publishing. 1995.
Wilhelm, Hellmut. "Change: Eight Lectures on the I Ching." Routledge & Kegan Paul publishers, London. 1961 and 1970.
Wilhelm, Richard. The Secret of the Golden Flower: A Chinese Book of Life. New York. Harcourt Brace and Company. 1962.
Wilhelm/Baynes. The I Ching or Book of Changes. New York. Princeton Press. 1997.
Wilhelm, Richard and Baynes, Cary F. "The I Ching or Book of Changes." New Jersey: Princeton University Press; 3rd edition. October 1, 1967. ISBN-10: 069109750X
Wilhelm/Byrnes, "The I Ching". Princeton University Press. 1967
Wilhelm, Hellmut. "Heaven, Earth, and Man in the Book of Changes." University of Washington Press, Seattle and London. 1997 
Wittwer, Henning. “Scouting Out the Historical Course of Karate: Collected Essays.” Impressum. Germany. 2014 (www.lulu.com)

Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Ego (spirituality). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ego_(spirituality). 18 January 2009.

Young, Mark. An Interpretation of the Philosophy of the Matrix Trilogy. 2003 - 2011. The Matrix 101. Date of Access: 2 Aug 2011 http://www.thematrix101.com/contrib/myoung_aitptm.php

http://www.168fengshui.com/Articles/8_trigrams.htm
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Bunkai [分解]

Caveat: This post is mine and mine alone. I the author of this blog assure you, the reader, that any of the opinions expressed here are my own and are a result of the way in which my meandering mind interprets a particular situation and or concept. The views expressed here are solely those of the author in his private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of other martial arts and/or conflict/violence professionals or authors of source materials. It should be quite obvious that the sources I used herein have not approved, endorsed, embraced, friended, liked, tweeted or authorized this post. (Everything I think and write is true, within the limits of my knowledge and understanding.)

Bet you the first thought that comes to mind it an explanation of a technique in regard to its possible applications in a fight or for self-defense, right? I am going to go a bit further in today’s post to answer the question, “What is bunkai?”

First, you have to have the characters/ideograms to adequately define this martial term. This is the one I use:

Bunkai [分解]: The characters/ideograms mean, “disassembly; dismantling; disaggregating; analysis; disintegrating; decomposing; degrading." The first character means, "part; minute of time; segment; share; degree; one's lot; duty; understand; know; rate; chances," the second character means, "unravel; notes; key; explanation; understanding; untie; undo; solve; answer; cancel; absolve; explain; minute." Bunkai means to analyze or disassemble, a term used to describe a process of breaking apart a form to explain the application toward fighting or in more modern times self-defense. It describes the meaning of a movement within the kata and basic techniques.

Second, this is the bare bones translation from one of many kanji translations found through Internet sources. Martial artists often assume, rightly so, that bunkai is pretty much about analyzing and dissembling kata, etc., to explain or demonstrate what one can do in relation to what one does to combatants. 

When I think of bunkai, I tend to think about a bit more than analysis of technique. Granted, this is a cornerstone of bunkai and martial arts but it is not the whole of bunkai. When I study things like concepts in martial arts for self-defense, when I study things like fundamental principles in martial arts for self-defense, and when I study the theories and philosophies then use that knowledge to disaggregate my study of martial arts especially toward self-defense I think, bunkai. 

When I study the history of the systems and then use those to analyze and segment and understand my martial arts practice and training I am using the bunkai of the system. Look at bunkai as another way to categorize concepts, principles and philosophies and so on under the heading of Martial Bunkai. It is NOT just explaining the techniques applications, it is explaining the applications that span the entire system of study, the discipline.

I have spent the last decade and more to discover the underlying meaning of my study of martial arts, specifically self-defense martial arts/karate. In order to find that underlying meaning, the systems bunkai, I have to research, disassemble, analyze, recompile, understand, solve, explain and teach and practice and train myself and others the system that is my martial arts (for self-defense).

Bunkai is not just an explanation of the techniques applications in the fight, it is about obtaining the martial bunkai that is the meaning of the system itself. It is the research, disassemble, analyze, recompile, understand, solve, explain and teach and practice and training of the theory, physiokinetics, techniques, and philosophy of the entire wholehearted system and it includes all the aspects of self-defense if that is included in your martial arts. 

Bunkai, not JUST about techniques anymore!

Primary Bibliography of Self-Defense:
MacYoung, Marc. "In the Name of Self-Defense: What It Costs. When It’s Worth It." Marc MacYoung. 2014.
Miller, Rory Sgt. "Meditations of Violence: A Comparison of Martial Arts Training & Real World Violence" YMAA Publishing. 2008.

Secondary Bibliography of Self-Defense:
Ayoob, Massad. “Deadly Force: Understanding Your Right to Self-Defense”Gun Digest Books. Krouse Publications. Wisconsin. 2014.
Goleman, Daniel. "Emotional Intelligence: 10th Anniversary Edition [Kindle Edition]." Bantam. January 11, 2012.
Miller, Rory. "ConCom: Conflict Communications A New Paradigm in Conscious Communication." Amazon Digital Services, Inc. 2014. 
Miller, Rory and Kane, Lawrence A. "Scaling Force: Dynamic Decision-making under Threat of Violence." YMAA Publisher. New Hampshire. 2012
Miller, Rory. "Force Decisions: A Citizen's Guide." YMAA Publications. NH. 2012.
Miller, Rory Sgt. "Facing Violence: Preparing for the Unexpected." YMAA Publishing. 2011.
Elgin, Suzette Haden, Ph.D. "More on the Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense." Prentice Hall. New Jersey. 1983.
Elgin, Suzette. "The Last Word on the Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense" Barnes & Noble. 1995
Morris, Desmond. “Manwatching: A Field Guide to Human Behavior.” Harry N. Abrams. April 1979.
Elgin, Suzette. "The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense" Barnes & Noble. 1993.
Elgin, Suzette. "The Gentle Art of Written Self-Defense" MJF Books. 1997.
Maffetone, Philip Dr. “The Maffetone Method: The Holistic, Low-stress, No-Pain Way to Exceptional Fitness.” McGraw Hill, New York. 2000
Strong, Sanford. “Strong on Defense_ Survival Rules to Protect you and your Family from Crime.” Pocket Books. New York. 1996.
and more … see blog bibliography.

My Blog Bibliography

Cornered Cat (Scratching Post): http://www.corneredcat.com/scratching-post/
Kodokan Boston: http://kodokanboston.org
Mario McKenna (Kowakan): http://www.kowakan.com
Wim Demeere’s Blog: http://www.wimsblog.com

Old Books to New Book

In the past years I have mentioned the iBooks I have been working on. One of my issues is the need for constant changes then I add in the results of my test, i.e., provided a group of martial artists copies of the pdf versions for review and comment, but the results present some issues that after consideration resulted in the blending of the two into the one - apropos don’t you think.

Mark Cook, author of the Oldman’s Bubishi, gave me the idea. I decided to blend in my ken-po goku-i effort with the philosophical terminology books. The new effort is to be tentatively titled, “The Modern Martial Arts Instruction Manual.” I think you can see how it kind-of pays homage to the original bible of karate called the bubishi. Here is the tentative book cover I plan to use for the e-pub effort. 

Yea, yea, I know, I was supposed to edit my two books and get them out there but alas my ass, like my excuses, are still hanging out there and you have no reason to believe that this one will get any further than the other two. I still have the other two and I will still give them away in pdf format to anyone who asks but this one will be up to date and will be provided via smashwords and possible Amazon when it is ready.

Anyway, I am more excited about this one and the one concept I will adhere to in this effort is when I get the first draft done it will be edited with no changes (that one got me on the other two, as I wrote postings, etc., I kept seeing a need to make changes and this will not occur with this one - promise myself :-).


In addition, I have one or two folks maximum this time to read and edit - they already indicated they would do “just that.” ;-)


Click for larger view 

Gainen [概念]

The characters/ideograms mean, “concept; notion; general idea.” The first character means, “outline; condition; approximation; generally,” the second character means, “wish; sense; idea; thought; feeling; desire; attention.”

In self-defense martial arts one tends to focus heavily on the physical and even heavier on the particular techniques involved. This model if fine for the very basic teachings of the martial arts, i.e., more of a primer or prerequisite toward greater understanding of how to apply the discipline in a chaotic violent conflict toward self-defense. 

Gainen, or concepts, take us away from reliance on this particular technique used against this particular attack as appropriate for this self-defense situation where in reality no one situation in a violent conflict will ever match this particular. If the SDMA (self-defense martial artist) realized that violence and conflict are fluid, they change in thousands of ways never truly adhering to one particular form then concepts takes on new meaning in the study and practice of SDMA. 

Example: Concepts are not about specific techniques but rather conveyed experiences that promote better ability to apply any relevant action that will get you through violent conflicts. It has and always will be about learning second hand those concepts, principles, strategies and tactics that will get you through all three phases of self-defense, i.e., the before, the during and the after.

Look at specifics found in kata and bunkai as forms that actually refer us physically and mentally to underlying principles of martial systems, i.e., structure, centeredness, sequential locking and unlocking, etc. then let those basics and fundamentals apply toward the concepts of self-defense, i.e., like the before, during and after and so on. Look at specifics found in kata and bunkai as forms that actually refer us physically and mentally to underlying principles of martial systems, i.e., structure, centeredness, sequential locking and unlocking, etc. then let those basics and fundamentals apply toward the concepts of self-defense, i.e., like the before, during and after and so on. 


Truly, martial arts in self-defense are about concepts and principles as applied in specific and unique situations and circumstances that vary as much as fingerprints to each human person, that are as unique as fingerprints - often except in conceptual form never repeated. 

About that Step/Fall Strike/Punch!

Caveat: This post is mine and mine alone. I the author of this blog assure you, the reader, that any of the opinions expressed here are my own and are a result of the way in which my meandering mind interprets a particular situation and or concept. The views expressed here are solely those of the author in his private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of other martial arts and/or conflict/violence professionals or authors of source materials. It should be quite obvious that the sources I used herein have not approved, endorsed, embraced, friended, liked, tweeted or authorized this post. (Everything I think and write is true, within the limits of my knowledge and understanding.)

One of the sub-principles of physiokinetics involves what boxers call “the step-punch.” Since humans rely heavily on just two legs our stability and therefore our application of power involve the creation of a triangle or we rely on stability created by our legs leaving the yin-yang concept, another sub-principle of fundamental principles. Lets use the strike to give example.

We humans must use our weak points to generate power. In striking we move our mass forward by taking a step, a controlled fall where another sub-principle, heaviness, gets involved. When we fall forward while applying a strike that forward movement along with the controlled fall uses our entire mass in a forward momentum to achieve power.

When we step into a punch, we actually create a controlled fall into one of our own “triangulation points.” This, as already described creates heaviness that is combined with proper structure along with stability and power. This function relies on that balance of forces, yin-yang, while falling into that triangulation point, the arm with which we strike - that which creates the third leg of the triangulation requirements, which takes our weight, heaviness as we fall, that drops into our triangulation point, i.e., the back leg, the moving forward placed leg while still in motion and not yet set, therefore communicates the forces involved into our target. Note: don’t rely on the arm/fist for stability. Think about striking with all our weight a leg can bear thus allowing us to strike with great power. 

Dropping our weight, heaviness, must be small to begin with as novices then in millimeters when we achieve greater or higher proficiency. This describes how the power in driving a strike forward with the rear leg - recognizing the yin aspect of that motion - the falling action into the void/triangulation point, with the moving leg stepping forward, the arm/fist traveling toward its target while the forward motion, gravity through the heaviness of the forward motion and falling due to that gravity, creates the step-punch phenomena that is “power applied in the strike.” 

This is the step/fall/strike with power! Example: how the proverbial “one-inch” power punch is accomplished, application of these and the other fundamental principles of martial systems for power. 

Primary Bibliography of Self-Defense:
MacYoung, Marc. "In the Name of Self-Defense: What It Costs. When It’s Worth It." Marc MacYoung. 2014.
Miller, Rory Sgt. "Meditations of Violence: A Comparison of Martial Arts Training & Real World Violence" YMAA Publishing. 2008.

Secondary Bibliography of Self-Defense:
Ayoob, Massad. “Deadly Force: Understanding Your Right to Self-Defense”Gun Digest Books. Krouse Publications. Wisconsin. 2014.
Goleman, Daniel. "Emotional Intelligence: 10th Anniversary Edition [Kindle Edition]." Bantam. January 11, 2012.
Miller, Rory. "ConCom: Conflict Communications A New Paradigm in Conscious Communication." Amazon Digital Services, Inc. 2014. 
Miller, Rory and Kane, Lawrence A. "Scaling Force: Dynamic Decision-making under Threat of Violence." YMAA Publisher. New Hampshire. 2012
Miller, Rory. "Force Decisions: A Citizen's Guide." YMAA Publications. NH. 2012.
Miller, Rory Sgt. "Facing Violence: Preparing for the Unexpected." YMAA Publishing. 2011.
Elgin, Suzette Haden, Ph.D. "More on the Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense." Prentice Hall. New Jersey. 1983.
Elgin, Suzette. "The Last Word on the Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense" Barnes & Noble. 1995
Morris, Desmond. “Manwatching: A Field Guide to Human Behavior.” Harry N. Abrams. April 1979.
Elgin, Suzette. "The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense" Barnes & Noble. 1993.
Elgin, Suzette. "The Gentle Art of Written Self-Defense" MJF Books. 1997.
Maffetone, Philip Dr. “The Maffetone Method: The Holistic, Low-stress, No-Pain Way to Exceptional Fitness.” McGraw Hill, New York. 2000
Strong, Sanford. “Strong on Defense_ Survival Rules to Protect you and your Family from Crime.” Pocket Books. New York. 1996.
and more … see blog bibliography.

My Blog Bibliography

Cornered Cat (Scratching Post): http://www.corneredcat.com/scratching-post/
Kodokan Boston: http://kodokanboston.org
Mario McKenna (Kowakan): http://www.kowakan.com
Wim Demeere’s Blog: http://www.wimsblog.com

Kiai, It Could Save Your Ass - I mean Life

Caveat: This post is mine and mine alone. I the author of this blog assure you, the reader, that any of the opinions expressed here are my own and are a result of the way in which my meandering mind interprets a particular situation and or concept. The views expressed here are solely those of the author in his private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of other martial arts and/or conflict/violence professionals or authors of source materials. It should be quite obvious that the sources I used herein have not approved, endorsed, embraced, friended, liked, tweeted or authorized this post. (Everything I think and write is true, within the limits of my knowledge and understanding.)

First, what is the kiai? You would think most martial artists would already know what the kiai is but often you will find that they understand it to mean that, “shout you give at certain points within the kata” at a kata competition. Others will simply say it is a shout used to stun your opponent or adversary. Granted, these may be true but the kiai has a bit more to it.

Literally, when you research the characters/ideograms used for the term you find, “気合 means fighting spirit; yell; clamor; shout; cry; scream; bellow or roar, i.e. noun. means air, atmosphere, spirit, mind, heart, will, intention, feelings, a mood, nature, a disposition, attention, care, a sign, and an indication. means match, fit, suit, join, combine, unite, coincide, and agree.”

In martial arts, in general, it is believed that the kiai is a means to focus our energy into one single movement. If you stop for a moment and read the following post you can begin to get a sense of what I am trying to set up for the foundation of this post.

KIAI - Revisited, posted long ago far far away … http://isshindo.blogspot.com/2011/07/kiai-revisited-posted-long-ago-far-far.html
The Kiai in Self-defense http://isshindo.blogspot.com/2015/01/the-kiai-in-self-defense.html

This post is more of a addition to those postings/articles and is directed toward a more applicable use in a type of assault/violence where it can achieve things such as becoming a “trigger” for you to act, to get-r-done when under a surprise assault that hits you fast, hard and very close. Here is how I see it:

First, the kiai is tied closely to breathing, breathing is tied closely to that diaphragmatic abdominal breathing, the breathing is closely tied to the sub-principle of centeredness, i.e., a focus on our center two inches below the belly button and about half way toward the spine, etc., centeredness helps us to focus and to maintain that focus is the described breathing. The breathing can be forced into the form most martial artist understand from the practice and study of sanchin. Deep diaphragmatic breathing is a method to counter and control the release of the adrenal flood. The kiai, the shout, is a primal shout that requires one to take a deep, deep diaphragmatic breath and then control its exit from the body done by using a strong, loud kiai primal yell. 

That yell, in lieu of the recommended one distinct voul sound many teach, should be controlled by the exhale while creating a very loud deep down diaphragmatic sound that will continue throughout the exhale. In addition, the kiai yell, much like a scream, will attract attention and possibly cause your attacker, your adversary, to drop back into the OO part of their OODA loop, i.e., in other words back toward the observe and orient part where they are saying, “What the %$#@!” The idea is to get your body breathing in a combat mode, to create a primal yell that will control that breathing, to trip your “go” trigger, and to distract and attract, i.e., distract your attacker while attract others to bear witness and create problems for your attacker that could actually end the attack and send the adversary looking for an easier target. 

If you use this as one of your base, foundational, strategies/tactic/technique to accomplish not just one, but three or more goals, to “get-r-done” then it becomes more than just a martial arts yell. In addition, that yell also creates a trigger that focuses your mind on the present moment and allows you to, with adequate training, etc., act by implementing that set of core tactics/techniques that will discourage and dissuade your attacker from continuing and still leave you the methods to stop the attack, etc.

If you train your kiai yell, you practice it along with setting a mind-set/mind-state to get things done, to act and then you create it as a trigger point when any conflict/violence/attack starts then that yell, that kiai, will create the opening you need. 

Doesn’t this make sense. In the old days when stories abound about the martial artists who literally ended the fight before it began by freezing their opponent into immobility so they could either get distance away for avoidance or close distance to act while in the freeze and the OO bounce, wouldn’t that be a good, positive and valid strategy?

Does it also mean that kiai goes beyond merely shouting at a critical moment of application of a technique as witnessed throughout kata, to become a technique/tactic that does not require to apply a technique but proceed either an escape strategy or apply a defensive strategy, i.e., apply your martial arts self-defense?

When I walk around in my environment and when I see things that remind me of circumstances I will visualize and then practice a deep diaphragmatic breath and long controlled kiai yell (silent most times but out loud on occasion - so they won’t call the guys in the white coats).

Primary Bibliography of Self-Defense:
MacYoung, Marc. "In the Name of Self-Defense: What It Costs. When It’s Worth It." Marc MacYoung. 2014.
Miller, Rory Sgt. "Meditations of Violence: A Comparison of Martial Arts Training & Real World Violence" YMAA Publishing. 2008.

Secondary Bibliography of Self-Defense:
Ayoob, Massad. “Deadly Force: Understanding Your Right to Self-Defense”Gun Digest Books. Krouse Publications. Wisconsin. 2014.
Goleman, Daniel. "Emotional Intelligence: 10th Anniversary Edition [Kindle Edition]." Bantam. January 11, 2012.
Miller, Rory. "ConCom: Conflict Communications A New Paradigm in Conscious Communication." Amazon Digital Services, Inc. 2014. 
Miller, Rory and Kane, Lawrence A. "Scaling Force: Dynamic Decision-making under Threat of Violence." YMAA Publisher. New Hampshire. 2012
Miller, Rory. "Force Decisions: A Citizen's Guide." YMAA Publications. NH. 2012.
Miller, Rory Sgt. "Facing Violence: Preparing for the Unexpected." YMAA Publishing. 2011.
Elgin, Suzette Haden, Ph.D. "More on the Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense." Prentice Hall. New Jersey. 1983.
Elgin, Suzette. "The Last Word on the Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense" Barnes & Noble. 1995
Morris, Desmond. “Manwatching: A Field Guide to Human Behavior.” Harry N. Abrams. April 1979.
Elgin, Suzette. "The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense" Barnes & Noble. 1993.
Elgin, Suzette. "The Gentle Art of Written Self-Defense" MJF Books. 1997.
Maffetone, Philip Dr. “The Maffetone Method: The Holistic, Low-stress, No-Pain Way to Exceptional Fitness.” McGraw Hill, New York. 2000
Strong, Sanford. “Strong on Defense_ Survival Rules to Protect you and your Family from Crime.” Pocket Books. New York. 1996.
and more … see blog bibliography.

My Blog Bibliography

Cornered Cat (Scratching Post): http://www.corneredcat.com/scratching-post/
Kodokan Boston: http://kodokanboston.org
Mario McKenna (Kowakan): http://www.kowakan.com

Wim Demeere’s Blog: http://www.wimsblog.com

My MA and the Six Phases of SD

Caveat: This post is mine and mine alone. I the author of this blog assure you, the reader, that any of the opinions expressed here are my own and are a result of the way in which my meandering mind interprets a particular situation and or concept. The views expressed here are solely those of the author in his private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of other martial arts and/or conflict/violence professionals or authors of source materials. It should be quite obvious that the sources I used herein have not approved, endorsed, embraced, friended, liked, tweeted or authorized this post. (Everything I think and write is true, within the limits of my knowledge and understanding.)

I have been practicing and studying martial arts for my entire life and seriously since 1976 while serving as a Marine, i.e., 2/72 - 12/81. During that time, as a Marine on active duty and later on inactive status I always thought that my Marine training along with my martial arts training provided me what I needed for self-defense. That went on for a very long time. I would venture to guess I was pretty much fooling myself until I was exposed to the materials in my bibliography (not just the SD ones below but more). 

I first began getting a hint that I was missing something when I came across the budo books written by Dave Lowry, and a few other authors, but truth be told I didn’t come to realize all that was missing including some things outside the more physical disciplines that would, could and luckily never had to happen in the self-defense arena. There are a lot of authors but those listed below had the most influence in a change in my mind-set/mind-state regarding my martial arts practice and self-defense, i.e., my self-defense martial arts. 

My intent, much like many others over the last four or five decades and more, was pretty much about learning how to handle the bullies in my life starting with my brother all the way up to interactions with Marines and others later in my adulthood. I was lucky that I didn’t step across the line and suffer the consequences that could have happened for my actions. I wanted to have the ability to “kick some ass!”

No one, not one sensei, teacher or instructor ever told me about the law, legal ramifications, the mental/psychological fallout to violence and the economic problems I could have encountered by acting the way I acted. Pretty much monkey shit most of the time. You could have guessed that one, right? Not one ever discussed any of the information I have come to understand in the last decade or so. 

Well, enough of the fluff to set the stage, this post is about what and what is not included in my self-defense martial arts studies using the six phases as presented by Rory Miller from his book, Meditations on Violence published June 6, 2008. Since most of the really good material, from my perspective, came out early 2000 or so it makes me wonder why so many MA SD folks didn’t’ already know and teach this stuff. I guess it comes down to a lack of knowing and a whole lot of money.

Phase one, you are going to have to get Mr. Miller’s book to know what the phases are exactly, I can say that although really late coming I now can say my study and practice of martial arts has this phase included. Currently I only teach, if you will allow me, through my postings, etc. I don’t have a dojo and don’t teach anyone directly and even if I did I would have already changed the training syllabus to include as much of the six phases as possible with requirements that stuff I could not teach would be sought out by the practitioners/students. I feel good about having at least an understanding of the stuff necessary for this phase.

Phase two, I am working on this one, sort of, by changing the way I practice. I am still missing a need to practice this part with others but then again my focus for self-defense seems to be more toward avoidance rather than applying the physical stuff. I am still working hard toward the understanding and study of things like avoidance, awareness and types of violence/levels of force issues, etc. I have a long way to go but still feel good about the foundation I am setting in this phase. 

Phase three, I am missing this one even tho I have had a form of this type of training all my life where the question would be, “Is it the type of stuff that will keep my in the SD circle?” I am not eager to get out there with the folks who can train/teach this part or to gather students where I can work it out for a variety of reasons. Not excusing it but this part may best be done by the younger, stronger and more motivated practitioners where I am currently content in gathering and studying and applying what I can - alone. 

Phase four, I believe I have adequately trained to break the freeze. I have done it a few times, not in the dojo, and I have continued to do so in a variety of ways that are not really dangerous. It is a bit like awareness, you can train and practice that in every day life while not being exposed to conflict and/or violence. Granted, every day life presents forms of conflict and violence and those moments also provide time to train this phase.

Phase five, this one I am happy to say worked for me in the few and minor events I experienced many years ago. I didn’t know what it was and what the other phases were then so consider myself very, very lucky to have passed those moments successfully. Since I am really about avoidance in my winter years and about being aware of the dangers out there I feel strong that my spidey sense will kick in and I will listen with enough time to avoid. As to those rare moments of predatory violence, well, I am aware and therefore smart enough to know when to make changes so exposure is limited as much as a human can achieve. I am prepared both mentally and physically to act if it ever happens but I suspect that my lifestyle and environment is one that will help me remain relatively safe and secure (even if my wife does not understand and sometimes thinks I go a bit overboard, i.e., like when I tell her to lock the car doors after she drops me off at the train station for work. I feel a good balance between a level of vigilance and awareness way below a paranoia hyper-vigilance some think is necessary. 

Phase six, since I have not had to experience a full blow all out attack and survival along with all the legal, moral and personal repercussions I am still good because I accept the fact that these exist and if I am in this situation that I understand they exist and accept the fact that I will deal with them if that time ever arrives and so on. I accept that this phases exist and that I must achieve some level of proficiency to remain within the self-defense circle and I feel confident that I can stay in the circle but my life style tells me that I am at least mentally prepared. 

There are so many more steps that are not directly referenced in Mr. Miller’s six phases but are inferences or alluded to if you go the distance and study, learn and apply his recommendations in the below references. As phase one and two indicate, this is where it all begins and all training should provide the full spectrum to, at minimum, prepare folks for the possibilities of conflict and violence, to create a mind-set/mind-state because this part, the mind, may be the trigger you need to “get-r-done.” 

I don’t normally give time to “regrets” except in this one case. I regret that these guys were not there in my youthful martial arts training days because it would have been a lot more proficient, productive and relevant to modern self-defense and martial arts. 

Primary Bibliography of Self-Defense:
MacYoung, Marc. "In the Name of Self-Defense: What It Costs. When It’s Worth It." Marc MacYoung. 2014.
Miller, Rory Sgt. "Meditations of Violence: A Comparison of Martial Arts Training & Real World Violence" YMAA Publishing. 2008.

Secondary Bibliography of Self-Defense:
Ayoob, Massad. “Deadly Force: Understanding Your Right to Self-Defense”Gun Digest Books. Krouse Publications. Wisconsin. 2014.
Goleman, Daniel. "Emotional Intelligence: 10th Anniversary Edition [Kindle Edition]." Bantam. January 11, 2012.
Miller, Rory. "ConCom: Conflict Communications A New Paradigm in Conscious Communication." Amazon Digital Services, Inc. 2014. 
Miller, Rory and Kane, Lawrence A. "Scaling Force: Dynamic Decision-making under Threat of Violence." YMAA Publisher. New Hampshire. 2012
Miller, Rory. "Force Decisions: A Citizen's Guide." YMAA Publications. NH. 2012.
Miller, Rory Sgt. "Facing Violence: Preparing for the Unexpected." YMAA Publishing. 2011.
Elgin, Suzette Haden, Ph.D. "More on the Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense." Prentice Hall. New Jersey. 1983.
Elgin, Suzette. "The Last Word on the Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense" Barnes & Noble. 1995
Morris, Desmond. “Manwatching: A Field Guide to Human Behavior.” Harry N. Abrams. April 1979.
Elgin, Suzette. "The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense" Barnes & Noble. 1993.
Elgin, Suzette. "The Gentle Art of Written Self-Defense" MJF Books. 1997.
Maffetone, Philip Dr. “The Maffetone Method: The Holistic, Low-stress, No-Pain Way to Exceptional Fitness.” McGraw Hill, New York. 2000
Strong, Sanford. “Strong on Defense_ Survival Rules to Protect you and your Family from Crime.” Pocket Books. New York. 1996.
and more … see blog bibliography.

My Blog Bibliography

Cornered Cat (Scratching Post): http://www.corneredcat.com/scratching-post/
Kodokan Boston: http://kodokanboston.org
Mario McKenna (Kowakan): http://www.kowakan.com
Wim Demeere’s Blog: http://www.wimsblog.com