"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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Is karate a good self-defense system to learn?

Depends, depends on the mind-set and expertise of the sensei. What I mean is that most martial arts taught in the west, and more so in the east now as well, are sport oriented or philosophy oriented systems. They are good for what they are meant for but as to self-defense they often don't provide more than "a false sense of security."

With all the physical stuff in today's karate along with the sides-show physics oriented practices such as breaking boards and bricks it can give one the sense that what they are doing is effective, dangerous and applicable to defense. This is simply not true but for a few dojo.

Even those who attempt to practice a more fighting, defensive or combative system still have to live under rules, rules mean hindrances against realism, realistic violent conflicts. When you place rules in the picture the picture becomes a caricature of the real thing.

Now, some sobering information. You will in all likelihood experience more violence and injuries in a marital art system than in real life defensive situations. It is just a fact. A month did not go by in my first five years of training, practice and teaching that I didn't get hurt, i.e. a broken tooth, a cracked rib and the times I broke toes just is not worth counting/tracking. Then there were the bruises, shin scrapes, bruised bones, etc. and that was with some form of protective gear.

Karate is a medium that promotes healthier bodies and minds. If taught as intended it is truly a way of things, a "Do" if you will. It can provide some ability to defend yourself provided it is coupled with all the knowledge and understanding of self-defense law and all those other things associated with self-defense situations - in a limited way, i.e. a social monkey dance encounter. But beware, remain aware, the law is fluid as to self-defense and there is so much more here than is taught in most training facilities.

If your need is for self-defense keep in mind all this and that the statistics state that most folks will never, ever encounter true violence in their entire lives - do you really need it or is it you need "a sense of security" that comes with taking marital arts and/or self-defense instructions.

You got to ask yourself all these questions; you got to asses and analysis your needs for this stuff; you got to know what it is you have and don't have - it is more important than signing up for classes that may or may not give you what you need, not necessarily what you think you want.

Try this, if you feel your martial art is adequate for self defense then truly test this out. How? Find a seminar for either, or, or both Rory Miller and Marc MacYoung and discover the answer for yourself.

Note: not an endorsement for either Mr. Miller or Mr. MacYoung but they are the primary folks I find for my perceptions as a litmus test for reality in self-defense. Try them out and see for yourself.


  1. For me, the best thing for effective self defense is a calm, clear mind.

    A martial art or style, any of them, are training methods.

    At least that's where my thinking is at.

    1. Yet, even a calm mind without encoding the actions necessary are ineffective. To be effective the calm mind has to have somewhere to go to draw from the lizard brain, etc.