"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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Are my hands "deadly weapons" when I reach black belt?

Nope, not, no way, ain't happening even if you do makiwara, etc. Now, if you have a willing participant who will stand still and allow you to apply some technique that has a potential to inflict great damage it may or may not actually cause death. It is not that easy to "kill" someone with your hands and feet.

I would tend to believe that if death occurred it was not the technique that does it but rather some other external action or incident that causese the death, i.e. like I hit you in the face and you fall, i.e. gravity is the killing energy here, and hit your head on a rock. The likelihood of death is greater here but this is not fool proof either.

Now, can your karate technique cause damage to another person? You betcha it can but then again the damage may or may not end the incident. There is just too much going on and the probability that your technique will actually kill someone is very, very low. But remember, the damage you do and the circumstances under which you apply said damage can lead to incidents of wrongful death which can be classified and unlawful killing, i.e. murder.

In order to answer this question you will need to touch base with professionals and the associated research to determine just how many killings or death are a result of a martial art technique. Bet you will find none or may one or two and then you will find that the killing/death was a result of something occurring after the application of said technique.

Deadly weapons can be a baseball bat, a carving knife from your family silver set, or a fall from tripping over a newspaper you forgot to remove from the front walk to your front door. Is the probability of this high or low?

Now that I answered the question here is another question that relates, "Are my hands deadly weapons?" The answer is not clear cut but as I find from a recent article you can kill with your hands and feet. Read the article, "Punched to Death." There are FBI details there that do speak to many things regarding hand-to-hand encounters, etc.


  1. But didn't you know!? My non-martial arts friends tell me that when you get to black belt you become "Walking Death"! Honestly, they have said this to me, verbatim. Having a black belt makes you walking death.

    Sarcasm aside, my favorite story that Sensei Nick likes to tell is that one guy, and I know you hate it when I don't have sources so I apologize in advance, but I can't remember the gentleman's name. I believe he was one of the Okinawan practitioners, around the time of Motobu or Funakoshi. This man was jumped by a robber on the way home on a day when it was rainy and very muddy. The karateka performed either Yama Arashi or something very similar to it. When the authorities found the robber later he was buried head down up to his neck in mud. They couldn't be sure which killed him first, the broken neck or asphyxiation from the mud.

    1. Actually SG, I have read this story before as well. It is a good one. Thanks!

    2. Another non-MA story that many thought true in Viet Nam, Marines have to kill there mothers and consume a baby to finish boot camp. Urban Legend ;-)