"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"

"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

Search This Blog

What is the karate creed and is it a good one for self-defense?

First, the karate creed was fist written or referenced by Sensei Ed Parker of Kenpo or Kempo fame. Ed Parker is the uncle of Ward H. Adams (now Parker since a name change some years ago) who served as a Marine in the late sixties through the seventies and early eighties. I can not say with any authority that this creed was the creation of Mr. Parker but I first heard it attributed to him over a decade or so ago. I simply give him credit for being a pioneer who used the phrase or presented the phrase first. Here is one interpretation or quote of this creed:

"I come to you with only Karate  - empty hands, I have no weapons; but should I be forced to defend myself, my principles, or my honor; should it be a matter of life or death, of right or wrong, then here are my weapons – 'Karate, my empty hands'." - Ed Parker, Grandmaster American Kenpo Karate.

Once, a while ago, I assumed incorrectly that this creed was an intricate part of the Okinawan karate heritage but found out that this was not and did not originate with Okinawans. I also was led to believe that it was indicative of specifically the Isshinryu system, which is also incorrect. It can be attributed to the Kenpo/Kempo systems headed by Mr. Ed Parker.

Analysis of the Creed:

"I come to you with only Karate  - empty hands, ..."

Hmm, for a karate practitioner this means we would assume karate is to be used for self-defense situations. This is not obvious but some assumption I would make if I used this in my self-defense karate practice, etc. It would indicate to me that I have this as a means of protection and that I would, an assumption, have this available if the need were to arise, i.e. the quote that continues. In reality today I would not want just karate as it has been view and perceived to be exclusively an  empty hand system for defense/protection but a part of a whole for defense which is far greater in scope than the mere empty handed applications one could learn in karate-goshin-do.

If one were actually learning and practicing a more traditional and historically supported system, style or branch that is karate then it would encompass far more than kicking and punching, etc.

"... I have no weapons; but should I be forced to defend myself, my principles, or my honor; ..."

The first part makes no sense to me in this, my personal interpretation, since having the use and expertise in karate means you have a weapon. It seems to me a bit convoluted to be referencing weapons as those things used to extend weaponry beyond the human body for it is this human body and all it encompasses as to weaponry that makes it karate, i.e. striking, kicking, grappling, vital points, joint manipulation, etc. 

As to being forced, I agree that to use any means of self-protection outside of avoidance and deescalation means you are going to utilize your weaponry but when it is used in such a narrow way according to defending principles or honor it speaks to me of ego, pride and the influences of the monkey which is not exactly directed by morality, legalities and economic influences, etc. which in and of themselves are inadequate as well. 

We can not apply a set of principles unless those principles are directed by legal, medical and moral understandings that are dictated by the individual and the society in which they live and operate including that institutes cultural and belief systems. It just isn't this simple. 

Honor is also driven by both internal and external influences and who is to say whether that honor system is adequate to require application of karate-goshin-do and in a simplistic way does that honor provide for the how and how far we take it to meet and remain within legal, ethical and medical, etc. constraints, guidance and processes.

"... should it be a matter of life or death, of right or wrong, ..."

Life or death also must be explained since it may or may not include the individual but possible others and those questions are dependent on many factors both legal and moral as well. If they are applicable then do we actually learn, know, understand and apply them correctly? Is it possible that without additional guidance that this creed actually provides for incorrect impressions as to applying karate in defense/protection of self, others or some principle, etc.?

As to right or wrong, whose interpretations and whose legal, moral and medical interpretations where each depending on the expertise, etc. will differ? Right or wrong is very subjective on its own without additional clarification and validation then we have to think "whose?" When it comes to the actual application of karate who will say whether it was adequate, not enough or too much?

"... then here are my weapons – 'Karate, my empty hands'."

Again, maybe I am being a bit over analyzing things but I often think now about the individual and how they may perceive things, i.e. their perceptions, their expectations, their personal influence authoritative training in life as well as other more direct disciplines to include karate. If this quote and creed were used in a self-defense/protective model then it should be coupled with a good deal of other prerequisites before being used as a "creed." 

"Creed" tends to promote a certain feeling  of authoritative direction to follow. Creed, the word itself, symbolizes to many a religious belief, faith. It is a word that says this content is a set of beliefs or aims to guide you in the application of karate, or actions taken with the use of karate where certain specifications drive it and may not cover all the possibilities that have far reaching and possible detrimental effects on you life and those other lives associated with the individual. 

Since it alludes symbolically of a religious connection some may interpret this as something driven and required by their own cultural religious beliefs if not qualified and modified to fit the model in which presented, i.e. karate as a self-defense system.

Something to consider and meditate/contemplate on ..... ?

No comments:

Post a Comment