"The Author, it must be remembered, writes from his own standpoint!"
My personal "Interpretive" Lens!
Do You Have A Question?
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"
"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.
Are we truly practicing a martial art?
Here is the clincher, there are many out there who will tell you quickly that they practice the one, the true, the traditional system of <fill in the system here> in the world of martial arts. How do you tell for yourself?
First, do the research. Second, then try your best to validate, verify, and remove the fluff from the facts for "yourself." Third, don't assume anything from any source outside your own ability to study and test what you read, hear, or see in the world of MA.
Here is a good start point, read this web page from Marc MacYoung's "No Nonsense Self Defense" site: http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com/MAmessage.htm and get an idea of what Sensei Sam Walker, and Marc MacYoung believes, says defines "commercialize, traditional and classical" martial arts "may or might be."
I can now say and admit that my practice for the "longest time" was not classical. I was by these definitions actually practicing a "traditional" form of Isshinryu. I can now say and believe that although I practiced "traditional MA" I am not in the process of converting it to a "classical form" of MA practice. In the last five years I have made definite strides in that effort with a long way to go.
There have be some traits of both traditional and classical I have practiced, i.e. my dojo and the one I learnt in were all small, one-on-one versions BUT still mostly traditional in nature.
I once again can truthfully say/believe that what the Marines were taught on Okinawa in late 50's and early 60's was, in this viewpoint, traditional, i.e. what Tatsuo Sensei taught post WW-II which was greatly influenced by making karate a school subject that was watered down and also due to supply-n-demand of Marines wanting a black belt in short order. In the end Isshinryu and those American Marines who came how with it suffered because of it.
A good question in Marc MacYoung's postings is "do your bunkai have real applications and do they have all of the components to make if function in a real encounter? Do you use bunkai that are limited to one technique in response to one technique vs. its ability to express many ways to act? Do they all contain all the fundamental principles of a martial system and do you apply them uniformly, as it all well, and consistently in real scenarios and real life?
Ask yourself these questions, "Is what I am practicing geared toward sport? Does my system emphasize only a limited aspect of a martial system? Does it teach me the fundamentals of the system and the fundamental principles of all MA systems? Is there a hint of money/profit in the dojo makeup? Is there an apparent marketing of the system that seems commercial? Is the system focused on tournaments? Does the system have hints or practices that seem political, i.e. creation of organizations, etc. in the system?
If you can say yes to some or most then maybe you want to consider your belief in what you practice. It may not be a true martial system. Only you can make that distinction. If someone makes it for you, reconsider your position. Just my viewpoint and recommendation.
There are a good many good training facilities out there. There are a good many solid instructors out there. You just have to decide what you want and be clear on what you get into regarding MA, if it is truly an MA.
And here lies the "rub," now you will get a lot of responses saying just how wrong I am about all this ... maybe I am, you decide.
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