"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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How do I know if I am practicing a Martial Art?

First, you have to understand what a martial art is and that is not so clear. Second, martial arts actually includes all systems of combatives/fighting and this includes our systems here in the America's as those in Europe, etc. A martial art is a system with traditions and associated cultures and beliefs of combat practices. 

Third, you have to differentiate between what is considered classical/traditional martial arts and then those that are more modern. In my perceptions very few of what we term as martial arts is truly a martial art. But then again the "art" part does differentiate those that are born of the jutsu. Jutsu referring to the technique, method and skill used to fight, combatives. 

Does this include self-defense? Yes and no, because self-defense is always a part of combatives and combatives are about offense and defense with a stronger emphasis on offense, i.e. where in combat you are trying very hard to make the enemy die for his beliefs while you live to promote yours by combat. Self-defense is further muddled by the restrictions, i.e. the laws, etc., imposed by society that is increasingly disconnected from what is violence and what is perceived violence along with what is necessary to survive violence. 

I guess the reality is that martial arts of old now encompasses those activities that are more toward a symbolic venue geared to satisfy the need to be proficient in combatives while not actually causing damage and death. I guess it is now a matter of degrees. Yet, I feel strongly that martial arts are either bu-jutsu oriented or sport oriented with symbolism toward bu-jutsu or sport oriented with emphasis on competition and winning trophies, accolades and egoistic pride building. 

If I were to follow my perceptions and beliefs as to martial arts then most of what I have seen and experienced in modern marital arts in not truly martial arts. It is a bit like the label "karate." Karate is often used to label many systems that are not karate. Where does all this misconception come from, from media events such as television and movies where reality is often sacrificed for drama. Even those industries are misled by today's view within the martial arts world. We are so blinded by what is perceived as to looks we tend to think things that look good and impress observers is what works in combatives. Here again lies the crux of this issue, what is violence and how does violence manifest itself in all its forms - and there are many forms to know about.

So, how do you know if you are practicing a martial art? Well I guess in the end it is how you perceive things, what you believe in and what makes you feel comfortable (note: if you are comfortable with your martial art you have to ask why you feel the comfort because violence and classical martial arts involves a lot of discomfort - an enjoyable, sorta, discomfort.). 

This is one of those questions you will have to consider, analyze and change as you grow in depth and breadth of practice and training. It is one of those things that is personal and causes a lot of discourse as to personal views and beliefs. If you cannot look at yourself, your practice and your system with an open mind, if you find you resist vehemently then maybe your stuck in a false belief - usually a sign when you resist in the face of truth, facts and reality. 

Then again if you are comfortable, having fun and have a solid social connection with your dojo mates then it matters not - except if you encounter violence and it fails to work for you. When one thinks martial art they assume it is a means of self-defense when it may not be exactly what you assume or expect. Even those who truly practice a martial art may find things not working as intended. 

Convoluted and Complex Topic!

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