"The Author, it must be remembered, writes from his own standpoint!"
My personal "Interpretive" Lens!

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If you have a question not covered in this blog feel free to send it to me at my email address, i.e. "snow" dot here "covered" dot here "bamboo" AT symbol here "gmail" dot here "com"

"One thing has always been true: That book ... or ... that person who can give me an idea or a new slant on an old idea is my friend." - Louis L'Amour


"Ideally, your self-defense will never get physical. Avoiding the situation and running or talking you way out - either of these is a higher order of strategy than winning a physical battle." - Wise Words of Rory Miller, Facing Violence: Chapter 7: after, subparagraph 7.1:medical

"Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider..." - Francis Bacon

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.

Reader's of this Blog

Are Martial Arts Self-Defense Drills Realistic?

Caveat: 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.

This article is mine and mine alone. I the author of this article 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 article. (Everything I think and write is true, within the limits of my knowledge and understanding. Oh, and just because I wrote it and just because it sounds reasonable and just because it makes sense, does not mean it is true.) 

I have participated in a few training sessions where the teachings were about self-defense techniques. In my earlier/younger days I actually taught some similar models but today I question that a lot. The more I see demonstrated, the more I see via Youtube and the more I read on martial arts self-defense drills the more I find myself asking the question, “Are martial arts self-defense training realistic?”

My questions arise from my studies over the last decade or so. Since I retired for active, on the dojo floor, teaching I have had time to reflect, train, analyze, train and practice what I thought was self-defense and now find through those efforts, not so much self-defense. In reality as to my perceptions, perspective, studies and beliefs most of what is taught as self-defense is not. 

It is not realistic. As I am starting to understand that unrealistic teachings from martial arts will not suffice to protect you in a real self-defense situation. There are way to many missing components and aspects to self-defense to be realistic martial arts self-defense. 

Coming to this conclusion meant that I had to admit, to myself, that what I was doing was not sufficient or ever relevant in most cases toward self-defense or even fighting in general. 

First, the complexities to self-defense to those who actually open their eyes to what it is, is mind boggling. Self-defense, just the academic parts necessary for true self-defense in the physical, starts long before the very first fist or foot is applied on the dojo floor. The complexities will become apparent to anyone who delves into the literature on the subject (see bibliography for a good start). What is often left out is in my mind criminal if not taught in the dojo.

Second, the actual knowledge and understanding to just the narrow topics of conflict, violence and violent conflicts are astounding and I conclude from my perceptions, observations and limited experience are missing in practically all martial arts self-defense curricula. Even the bare bones list provided by a source of what is required for realistic self-defense training are not found in most. 

Third, and I say with a lot of confidence, the most critical component necessary for realistic self-defense training is missing in just about all martial arts self-defense, i.e., the adrenal stress condition in self-defense aspect is just not there. We think it is because we do experience an adrenal stress response in competition but sport tournament type stuff is just not exact enough for self-defense and even if it is all the other aspects mentioned toward a full understanding, notice I didn’t say complete, of what we face if we have to experience self-defense is also a necessary part of the whole.

Understand, I am not saying what you train in will NOT work but I am saying is that most likely that training will be a crap shoot if you are faced with violence, i.e., what kind is it and was it avoidable and so many other questions whose answers are seldom discussed except in the most cursory way must be addressed for self-defense. 

Finally, I have spent just in the academic study over ten years or so on the subject of self-defense as a primary meaning behind the study of martial arts that I have not yet studied all there is just because the guys who are producing that material/references are still writing about the subject while not even glimpsing the end of that tunnel. 

The only redeeming factor is that my conclusions on martial arts self-defense is that the roll of the dice, those chances of any one of those students actually ending up using their training is so remote it ain’t funny. I make the assumption that the reason we don’t see more about martial artists failing or being prosecuted are such that only one of about a thousand will have to face that kind of violence. Those whose chances are much higher tend to live in environments where violence and conflict are still a part of living, or more prominent anyway with higher rates of severity, while most others live in relative safety and security. 

Maybe I am full of shit, then again maybe not. For me, I would not want to gamble my life, liberty or pursuit of happiness to be obstructed by ignorance of such a view of reality. In the end, I don’t wish to rely on luck as to the realistic applicability of my martial arts self-defense, in defense. This is such a complex issue that my mind is just running with the bulls as ideas, thoughts and concerns just keep popping into my consciousness just thinking of this question. 

Primary Bibliography of Self-Defense (Some titles have RBC drills included):
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.

Bibliography Articles on Self-Defense/Conflict/Violence

The main page leading to the articles I have chosen as a starting point to attain knowledge of conflict, violence and self-defense is: http://ymaa.com/articles/society-and-self-defense where you can navigate to the below or you can simply find a title below and click for direct access to the articles. Most of these are actually introductions to the references written by the authors themselves. It is advisable to start here then move on to the more in-depth stuff in their publications. This section will get you a beginning understanding necessary in phase one of learning self-defense. 

I.M.O.P. Principle—Intent, Means, Opportunity and Preclusion http://ymaa.com/articles/2014/10/imop-principle-intent-means-opportunity-and-preclusion
Introduction to Violence: Scale of Force Options http://ymaa.com/articles/introduction-to-violence-scale-of-force-options
Facing Violence: The Unconscious Stuff-Finding Your Glitches http://ymaa.com/articles/facing-violence-the-unconscious-stuff
Violence: What Everyone Needs to Know About Fighting http://ymaa.com/articles/violence-what-everyone-needs-to-know-about-fighting

Secondary Bibliography of Self-Defense (Some titles have RBC drills included):
Ayoob, Massad. “Deadly Force: Understanding Your Right to Self-Defense”Gun Digest Books. Krouse Publications. Wisconsin. 2014.
Branca, Andrew F. “The Law of Self Defense: The Indispensable Guide to the Armed Citizen.” Law of Self Defense LLC. 2013.
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.
Miller, Rory. “The Practical Problem of Teaching Self-Defense.” YMAA. January 19, 2015. http://ymaa.com/articles/2015/1/the-practical-problem-of-teaching-self-defense
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.
MacYoung, Marc. “Writing Violence #1: Getting Shot.” NNSD. Amazon Digital. 2014.
MacYoung, Marc. “Writing Violence #2: Getting Stabbed.”  NNSD. Amazon Digital. 2015.
MacYoung, Marc. “Writing Violence #3: Getting Hit and Hitting.” Amazon Digital Services, inc. NNSD. April 20. 2015. 
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.
Jahn, C. R. “FTW Self Defense.” iUniverse. Amazon Digital Services. 2012
Jahn, C. R. “Hardcore Self Defense.” iUniverse. Amazon Digital Services. 2002.

Bibliography of RBC Drills (Some titles have RBC drills included):
MacYoung, Marc. "In the Name of Self-Defense: What It Costs. When It’s Worth It." Marc MacYoung. 2014.
MacYoung, Marc (Animal). “Taking It to the Street: Making Your Martial Art Street Effective.” Paladin Press. Boulder, Colorado. 1999.
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.
Miller, Rory. “Drills: Training for the Sudden Violence.” Amazon Digital Services, inc. Smashwords. 2011.
Quinn, Peyton. “Real Fighting: Adrenaline Stress Conditioning Through Scenario-Based Training.” Paladin Press. Amazon Digital Services, inc. 1996

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

Is Chinkuchi as critical as they would have us believe?

Caveat: 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.

This article is mine and mine alone. I the author of this article 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 article. (Everything I think and write is true, within the limits of my knowledge and understanding. Oh, and just because I wrote it and just because it sounds reasonable and just because it makes sense, does not mean it is true.) 

Lets start with the fact that our ancient, not so ancient I think, forefathers of karate didn’t really know how to articulate and transmit the chinkuchi principle. In that we modern practitioners struggle with its meaning and purpose, i.e., we don’t truly, fully and completely know what it is (I feel I have a pretty good handle on it now) and we don’t know how it works (also, I feel I have a pretty good handle on it now)?

If what they say is true, that chinkuchi is a critical component of karate and it is a vital part of training then are most who practice karate actually practicing karate? I think, when I contemplate the true (according to my perspective) nature of karate (as a modern martial art only about 100 or so years old if you believe the Matsuyama theory) that we are practicing it, be it sport, combative and/or self-defense oriented. 

Then, I am guilty here as well, why is it so many seemed so focused on this principle and concept? Is it the same misguided focus some systems have toward a particular aspect of their practice such as the natural stances, the vertical fist and the muscular double bone blocking methods?

I begin with my many articles on this subject with the hint that chinkuchi is merely a terse explanation of a complex subject that those folks, in that time for that time, were unable to articulate adequately to get the principle across to students. Then we add in that most students, in those early so called first generation days, were not exposed to chinkuchi or fundamental principles in those days. I also feel it may have been also the teaching methods adopted by Okinawans from Japanese Budo influences and the modern implementation of it into the educational systems as a watered down version of karate that these concepts never reached us and were left incomplete or excluded from the educational version implemented in the early 1900’s.

I do believe what is “CRITICAL” to the teachings, the practices and the applications of karate or actually all martial effort is two things, first is the fundamental principles of martial systems and second, the practice of scenario-based adrenal stress conditioning reality based training necessary to make the leap from a “Way,” “Sport,” and/or “Combative” to actual fighting and/or self-defense applied against an adversary/attacker. 

I believe chinkuchi in its bare essential form is a part of this, a smaller but intricate part, application and study of martial discipline that without we end up with a hallow form without substance, depth and breadth. 

The gaol identified makes the actual term and its perceived importance, connection and incomplete meaning moot. It then becomes a meme, i.e., something that in the end is about ego, control and monetary gain in all its forms including larger memberships, etc.

Primary Bibliography of Self-Defense (Some titles have RBC drills included):
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.

Bibliography Articles on Self-Defense/Conflict/Violence

The main page leading to the articles I have chosen as a starting point to attain knowledge of conflict, violence and self-defense is: http://ymaa.com/articles/society-and-self-defense where you can navigate to the below or you can simply find a title below and click for direct access to the articles. Most of these are actually introductions to the references written by the authors themselves. It is advisable to start here then move on to the more in-depth stuff in their publications. This section will get you a beginning understanding necessary in phase one of learning self-defense. 

I.M.O.P. Principle—Intent, Means, Opportunity and Preclusion http://ymaa.com/articles/2014/10/imop-principle-intent-means-opportunity-and-preclusion
Introduction to Violence: Scale of Force Options http://ymaa.com/articles/introduction-to-violence-scale-of-force-options
Facing Violence: The Unconscious Stuff-Finding Your Glitches http://ymaa.com/articles/facing-violence-the-unconscious-stuff
Violence: What Everyone Needs to Know About Fighting http://ymaa.com/articles/violence-what-everyone-needs-to-know-about-fighting

Secondary Bibliography of Self-Defense (Some titles have RBC drills included):
Ayoob, Massad. “Deadly Force: Understanding Your Right to Self-Defense”Gun Digest Books. Krouse Publications. Wisconsin. 2014.
Branca, Andrew F. “The Law of Self Defense: The Indispensable Guide to the Armed Citizen.” Law of Self Defense LLC. 2013.
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.
Miller, Rory. “The Practical Problem of Teaching Self-Defense.” YMAA. January 19, 2015. http://ymaa.com/articles/2015/1/the-practical-problem-of-teaching-self-defense
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.
MacYoung, Marc. “Writing Violence #1: Getting Shot.” NNSD. Amazon Digital. 2014.
MacYoung, Marc. “Writing Violence #2: Getting Stabbed.”  NNSD. Amazon Digital. 2015.
MacYoung, Marc. “Writing Violence #3: Getting Hit and Hitting.” Amazon Digital Services, inc. NNSD. April 20. 2015. 
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.
Jahn, C. R. “FTW Self Defense.” iUniverse. Amazon Digital Services. 2012
Jahn, C. R. “Hardcore Self Defense.” iUniverse. Amazon Digital Services. 2002.

Bibliography of RBC Drills (Some titles have RBC drills included):
MacYoung, Marc. "In the Name of Self-Defense: What It Costs. When It’s Worth It." Marc MacYoung. 2014.
MacYoung, Marc (Animal). “Taking It to the Street: Making Your Martial Art Street Effective.” Paladin Press. Boulder, Colorado. 1999.
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.
Miller, Rory. “Drills: Training for the Sudden Violence.” Amazon Digital Services, inc. Smashwords. 2011.
Quinn, Peyton. “Real Fighting: Adrenaline Stress Conditioning Through Scenario-Based Training.” Paladin Press. Amazon Digital Services, inc. 1996

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

The Vertical Fist, Is it Superior?

Caveat: This article is mine and mine alone. I the author of this article 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 article. (Everything I think and write is true, within the limits of my knowledge and understanding. Oh, and just because I wrote it and just because it sounds reasonable and just because it makes sense, does not mean it is true.) 

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

Well, that depends on what it is used for, i.e., sport, combat, fighting, or self-defense. 

In sport it works just fine but not necessarily superior to other fists and how they are applied. 

In combat, depends on the goals for this one but if the goal is to kill - not so much (for explanations as to why, buy the book by Marc MacYoung on self-defense and writing for violence getting hit and hitting). 

In self-defense, depends again on how it is used because alone, not so much (for explanations as to why, buy the book by Marc MacYoung on self-defense and writing for violence getting hit and hitting).

In general, the use of the fist has definite uses but as I am coming to understand them, they are social in nature and therefore not meant to disable, cause injuries directly or end up causing great bodily harm or even death as directly applied (harm, injury or death usually come from the person hit falling and hitting head on cement, etc.).

There are some who focus a lot on the vertical fist. Why? Because of its status and importance in the system of practice. Yes, in some instances the vertical fist with the thumb placed strategically is superior in specific ways but overall it is not the end all of fists used for fighting/self-defense. Here again, read the references in the bibliography that follows. 

Karate, as other martial disciplines, tends to focus on status types of particulars such as the vertical fist, the use of the muscles and dual bone structure for blocks as well as natural stances vs. the deeper stances of others. We become so focused on particulars we tend to forget there is a whole forest out there being blocked by the leaves on the trees and so on. 

Karate, as other martial disciplines, tends to focus on a particular like basics as well. So much so that we have come to assume that we MUST practice our BASICS for life. Do we? Not truthfully yet we can practice them through other forms and other principle based training methods. Truthfully, the basics are about learning fundamental techniques that are about learning fundamental principles of martial systems, i.e., theory, physiokinetics, techniques and philosophies. Once you learn, encode and apply such basics they become “Infused” in all the things you do in training, practice and applications toward sport, fighting, combatives or self-defense or any combination thereof. 

Focus and focusing is a good thing unless that focus adds blinders to those things best discovered through our peripheral vision, both direct, literal and metaphorical, etc. With blinders we tend to remain static, steadfast and floundering in attempts to assign meaning to take us beyond the mere physical. 

Focus and focusing on what is beneficial even if you don’t understand it or see it at that moment because you have stunted your peripheral ability to see and perceive those additions that float around you by experience through contact with other practitioners and applications in training, practice and actual reality experiences, etc. 

Yet, the status of such atomistic beliefs has led to a close-minded and over-protective mentality typically associated with what some call tradition when in reality it is all about exclusivity, control and most times profit. It is misinterpreted and understood but tradition is more about keeping the flame of the spirit underlying a system alight and continuing to seek out knowledge and make the effort to keep the art alive and well in passing down its essence, culture and beliefs. 

Primary Bibliography of Self-Defense (Some titles have RBC drills included):
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.

Bibliography Articles on Self-Defense/Conflict/Violence

The main page leading to the articles I have chosen as a starting point to attain knowledge of conflict, violence and self-defense is: http://ymaa.com/articles/society-and-self-defense where you can navigate to the below or you can simply find a title below and click for direct access to the articles. Most of these are actually introductions to the references written by the authors themselves. It is advisable to start here then move on to the more in-depth stuff in their publications. This section will get you a beginning understanding necessary in phase one of learning self-defense. 

I.M.O.P. Principle—Intent, Means, Opportunity and Preclusion http://ymaa.com/articles/2014/10/imop-principle-intent-means-opportunity-and-preclusion
Introduction to Violence: Scale of Force Options http://ymaa.com/articles/introduction-to-violence-scale-of-force-options
Facing Violence: The Unconscious Stuff-Finding Your Glitches http://ymaa.com/articles/facing-violence-the-unconscious-stuff
Violence: What Everyone Needs to Know About Fighting http://ymaa.com/articles/violence-what-everyone-needs-to-know-about-fighting

Secondary Bibliography of Self-Defense (Some titles have RBC drills included):
Ayoob, Massad. “Deadly Force: Understanding Your Right to Self-Defense”Gun Digest Books. Krouse Publications. Wisconsin. 2014.
Branca, Andrew F. “The Law of Self Defense: The Indispensable Guide to the Armed Citizen.” Law of Self Defense LLC. 2013.
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.
Miller, Rory. “The Practical Problem of Teaching Self-Defense.” YMAA. January 19, 2015. http://ymaa.com/articles/2015/1/the-practical-problem-of-teaching-self-defense
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.
MacYoung, Marc. “Writing Violence #1: Getting Shot.” NNSD. Amazon Digital. 2014.
MacYoung, Marc. “Writing Violence #2: Getting Stabbed.”  NNSD. Amazon Digital. 2015.
MacYoung, Marc. “Writing Violence #3: Getting Hit and Hitting.” Amazon Digital Services, inc. NNSD. April 20. 2015. 
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.
Jahn, C. R. “FTW Self Defense.” iUniverse. Amazon Digital Services. 2012
Jahn, C. R. “Hardcore Self Defense.” iUniverse. Amazon Digital Services. 2002.

Bibliography of RBC Drills (Some titles have RBC drills included):
MacYoung, Marc. "In the Name of Self-Defense: What It Costs. When It’s Worth It." Marc MacYoung. 2014.
MacYoung, Marc (Animal). “Taking It to the Street: Making Your Martial Art Street Effective.” Paladin Press. Boulder, Colorado. 1999.
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.
Miller, Rory. “Drills: Training for the Sudden Violence.” Amazon Digital Services, inc. Smashwords. 2011.
Quinn, Peyton. “Real Fighting: Adrenaline Stress Conditioning Through Scenario-Based Training.” Paladin Press. Amazon Digital Services, inc. 1996

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

Does the Makiwara Develop Hitting Power?

Caveat: This article is mine and mine alone. I the author of this article 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 article. (Everything I think and write is true, within the limits of my knowledge and understanding. Oh, and just because I wrote it and just because it sounds reasonable and just because it makes sense, does not mean it is true.)

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.

No, not really but it does teach you how to achieve hitting power. How does it do that? Well, the makiwara teaches you things like fundamental principles of martial systems and by proxy, sorta, allows you to learn about structure, movement, alignment, stabilizing support and so on. 

Developing large callused knuckles will not provide you more power when hitting, The strength of your muscles by hitting a makiwara or heavy bag or the use of strength building hojo undo like equipment will not provide you more power when hitting except in the stabilization part where greater strength has little benefit (there goes that extra effort to build larger and stronger muscles concept). 

The makiwara helps you lean about concepts such as the boxers “drop step” power hit and well as promote, if done correctly, body mass movement, the rotational twist action of the hip girdle to increase speed and power to the mass movement and finally by stabilizing the structure and alignment of the shoulder, elbow, and wrist when hitting. Of course this is not all of it but you are getting the point. 

There is one thing the makiwara will not teach you. It will not teach you how to hit with power in the chaos of fighting and under the stress/duress of the adrenal stress conditions that come from violence, conflict and violent conflict. All those things you learn from the makiwara and other aspects of martial disciplines also result in power bleed off when they fail to achieve maximum or even mediocre efficiency in the fight (example is the flex points of the arm at the shoulder, elbow and wrist). 

In reality, the makiwara is like any other tool, it provides a means to achieve a goal but hitting with power is not one of them. In a very indirect way it helps but in the end it doesn’t and many karate practitioners tend to believe it does or at least give one the feeling and perception of powerful hitting. 

Note: see how much you learn about hitting or striking that makes articulation toward understanding more appropriate for learning. See the below writing violence #3 reference if you want to learn more. 

Primary Bibliography of Self-Defense (Some titles have RBC drills included):
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.

Bibliography Articles on Self-Defense/Conflict/Violence

The main page leading to the articles I have chosen as a starting point to attain knowledge of conflict, violence and self-defense is: http://ymaa.com/articles/society-and-self-defense where you can navigate to the below or you can simply find a title below and click for direct access to the articles. Most of these are actually introductions to the references written by the authors themselves. It is advisable to start here then move on to the more in-depth stuff in their publications. This section will get you a beginning understanding necessary in phase one of learning self-defense. 

I.M.O.P. Principle—Intent, Means, Opportunity and Preclusion http://ymaa.com/articles/2014/10/imop-principle-intent-means-opportunity-and-preclusion
Introduction to Violence: Scale of Force Options http://ymaa.com/articles/introduction-to-violence-scale-of-force-options
Facing Violence: The Unconscious Stuff-Finding Your Glitches http://ymaa.com/articles/facing-violence-the-unconscious-stuff
Violence: What Everyone Needs to Know About Fighting http://ymaa.com/articles/violence-what-everyone-needs-to-know-about-fighting

Secondary Bibliography of Self-Defense (Some titles have RBC drills included):
Ayoob, Massad. “Deadly Force: Understanding Your Right to Self-Defense”Gun Digest Books. Krouse Publications. Wisconsin. 2014.
Branca, Andrew F. “The Law of Self Defense: The Indispensable Guide to the Armed Citizen.” Law of Self Defense LLC. 2013.
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.
Miller, Rory. “The Practical Problem of Teaching Self-Defense.” YMAA. January 19, 2015. http://ymaa.com/articles/2015/1/the-practical-problem-of-teaching-self-defense
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.
MacYoung, Marc. “Writing Violence #1: Getting Shot.” NNSD. Amazon Digital. 2014.
MacYoung, Marc. “Writing Violence #2: Getting Stabbed.”  NNSD. Amazon Digital. 2015.
MacYoung, Marc. “Writing Violence #3: Getting Hit and Hitting.” Amazon Digital Services, inc. NNSD. April 20. 2015. 
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.
Jahn, C. R. “FTW Self Defense.” iUniverse. Amazon Digital Services. 2012
Jahn, C. R. “Hardcore Self Defense.” iUniverse. Amazon Digital Services. 2002.

Bibliography of RBC Drills (Some titles have RBC drills included):
MacYoung, Marc. "In the Name of Self-Defense: What It Costs. When It’s Worth It." Marc MacYoung. 2014.
MacYoung, Marc (Animal). “Taking It to the Street: Making Your Martial Art Street Effective.” Paladin Press. Boulder, Colorado. 1999.
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.
Miller, Rory. “Drills: Training for the Sudden Violence.” Amazon Digital Services, inc. Smashwords. 2011.
Quinn, Peyton. “Real Fighting: Adrenaline Stress Conditioning Through Scenario-Based Training.” Paladin Press. Amazon Digital Services, inc. 1996

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