"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.

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Why don't you compete in tournaments?

I participated in tourney's on Okinawa. I even joined the OKRA or Okinawa Karate Referee Association. I discovered quickly that many factors were involved in how they were run and who were awarded place, i.e. first, second, etc. I originally participated simply because that was what you did and what was expected of you - much more prevalent in today's martial communities.

I began to shift my paradigm. It was a slow process simply because at the time there were few who actually knew and understood true martial practice. They were there, just not as readily available as today with the Internet, Blogs, Youtube, Facebook, Yahoo Groups and so many more. There are books, books, and more books. There are video's galore. You just have to dig out the weeds and let the seeds of the flowers, plants and trees rise up toward the sun and bloom.

I began to realize that my perceptions of tournaments and competition were askew - for me. I began to see a more limited benefit of participation. I began to use them to build on my mental training. I never placed so I decided to let the activity become my Sensei, one of many. As a Sensei it has plenty to offer and I ignore all the rest.

Going in front of humans whether a few or a whole building full is powerfully stressful. I used it to train my mind to deal better with stress and all the physical affects it triggered. I used my opponent to train my mind to get in quick, close, and end the fight. Even if the referee's didn't see it or acknowledge it I knew when I connected - it would show on my opponents face. Sometimes I was quickly disqualified. This is the direction I decided to travel until ...

Until things got so convoluted and political that I felt there was no longer a need to participate other than to help my dojo participants, those who looked to me for leadership and I looked to for lessons and learning, participate to train the mind and get the body used to punishment. All the way up till the time I noticed a lack of discipline and control in participants - tournament participants. A good example is a youtube film not long ago showing a referee losing it and blindsiding a competitor.

Good solid morally guided competition is a very good thing. The social environment, if morally and spiritually (not religious) guided, is a very, very, very good thing. It can provide and teach us what it is we do naturally for survival in a mostly non-life threatening setting, that is very good too.

Now, I am fifty-seven, I don't participate because I no longer have that desire. I don't participate as I must allow my body a time to age gracefully. Competition is more a young persons endeavor and if one asks I would say go for it and keep in mind a perspective as to what it is and what you should seek in your participation.

A little competiton in the dojo is cool and a learning experience. This is karate-do. Now, as to karate-jutsu? That is a whole different matter as that involves violence, social and predatory, fighting and proper application of karate-jutsu for protection and survival - totally different.


  1. Thank you for a very informative post. I was looking for some free article and tips on martial arts when I found this page and was happy to have arrived here.

    Mr. Martial Arts

  2. Thanks Erica, these comments help me stay grounded and are much appreciated.