"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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What can I do in order to overcome a person who is stronger, faster, bigger and more lean than me?

Blog Article/Post Caveat (Read First Please: Click the Link)

The following quote and question tripped my curiosity toward my answer in an article. Yeah, an article subject matter I don’t think I have done in all the years of blogging and writing. A solid, real and very good question that deserves a whole lotta answers so here is mine. First tho, the question - quote:

“If your assailant is bigger, stronger, faster, leaner, how can possibly defeat him?” - Joseph Walker question on Ryukyu MA Facebook Wall

Second, thanks a bunch Mr. Walker for taking the time to put that question out there, much appreciated. I noticed first off one thing not addressed as a trait that would further validate the overwhelming obstacle that bigger, stronger, faster and leaner implies - daunting obstacles for sure.

What is missing, “Smarts, Knowledge and Understanding.” The first word was smarts, being smarter than the adversary who is larger, stronger, faster and leaner is the real trick to this problem. Lets say this proverbial adversary is preparing to attack but his attack methodologies are pretty much based on his perception of power by being bigger than you, stronger than you, faster than you and with a leanness that really has nothing what so ever to do with fighting, combatives and self-defense. After all, all of these traits often mean, I said often, the person is going to rely on the intimidation he thinks will win the day even if he has to attack. 

Since you are a whole lot smarter, and I would add in sneakier, you truly do have the advantage. Lets start with avoidance, if that body type person is attacking you or threatening you, you already in most cases missed being smart cause the road to the junction is almost always filled with warning signs and turn-offs - avoidance. If it is, often seldom encountered by most, a predatory resource or process attack then your being smarter means you exude an aura that often would defer his goals to another more easy target. 

Lets say that you are being attacked by this large, strong, and fast (like I said, being lean is simply an outward presentation meant to be intimidating so forget the lean part) and he is ready to attack assuming you had awareness, etc. but it was that one off-chance happening that exposed you to his fury, it happens but not all that often unless you are a professional who works with conflict and violence. 

Now, smarts means you trained properly in an adrenal stress-conditioned reality like environment and you have a full and complete tool box of, wait for it …. Fundamental principles that will provide you the advantage Mr. Macho I am bigger and stronger and faster than you guy. He relies on image and intimidation along with his size and strength to meet the day but he ain’t got a clue as to how you can achieve superior status in this fight.

Hey, I am a witness to this because I have seen a few of smaller stature along with less strength in relation to size, etc. who literally cleaned up because they learned how to depend on principles and not get caught up and tied down by perceptions as to size and strength, etc., means they will be the one doing all the damage. 

Don’t get me wrong, if this guy just happens to be a bad guy and also proficient in using that bigger, stronger, faster and more lean body with principles along with all that strength and since I forgot, mind-set and mind-state, consider yourself toast BUT (I mean a big BUT) if he isn’t well versed in principles and applying them and your are definitely smart then your principles based proficiency along with a mind-set and mind-state will dominate reaching your goals of survival regardless. 

I don’t know the guy but I know of a guy and his reputation who actually meets the standard of high proficient ability in principles based tactics as well as being a very, very big person who happens to be very, very strong; very, very fast; very, very smart and has tons of hands-on experience dealing with very, very violent people. As to my impressions from other professionals who have written about this guy, even they are wary and cautious around him. So, there are guys out their like that but the chances of your encountering them is pretty darn small - if you are smart, if not then you are in for a world of hurt. 

Bibliography (Click the link)

Kata - Could its Origins be Exclusively Japanese?

Blog Article/Post Caveat (Read First Please: Click the Link)

It came to my mind recently while studying about kata that it is possible that kata is an exclusively Japanese model adopted by the Okinawans. There is a term used to describe a cultural norm of the Japanese called, “Shi-kata.”

As can be explained by defining and translating the term it appears that the Japanese created a non-verbal method of doing - Everything - by the formation of specific kata patterns that ended up making the Japanese masters of creation of products be they philosophical or physical such as their detailed expert work in the creation of the, “Katana sword.” 

There was a concerted effort by the Okinawan martial arts professionals, i.e., Okinawans like Funakoshi Sensei, etc., who went to the lengths necessary in gaining Japanese approval and acceptance. 

Once I began to study what is available of the social belief system as shi-kata along with the historical information of Okinawa as to martial arts I began to consider that it is possible that the kata Okinawan karate uses today is merely the adopted forms of Japanese shi-kata. I also considered the strong need and effort to institutionalize martial arts such as Okinawa’s karate in the educational systems. These systems created for the young through education in the schools needed a, “Standardized Way,” to achieve goals for all toward a more budo way especially since WWII was just over the horizon - so to speak.

It could be the start of how Okinawan Ti or Te became the kata driven practice it became in the early 1900’s. After all, the influences of the kata driven social system of Japan would have its influences on the Okinawans, much like that of the Chinese influences through the trade industry, view and practice of their unique martial art of karate. I also attribute this educational effort for karate because of its demonstrations in Japan thus impressing many of the leading Japanese martial artists of that period of time. 

As far as I know, to date, references to kata as an intricate part of the practice of karate is not mentioned. Even karate itself until the late 1800’s and early 1900’s was not prominently mentioned from a historical documented way. 

It means, so far to my perception, that it is possible that kata practice was not a dominate feature of Okinawa Ti or Te in the very early years and may of consisted of various technique based practices according to the expertise and experiences of the teachers. Even some of the earlier historically based stories it is told that some of the kata are actually creations of the more modern Sensei who learned from their teachers those techniques and thereby created kata based on those various techniques to fit the more modern standardized model of an almost strict kata-based model of learning karate especially since kumite as we know of it today didn’t actually begin until maybe the 1940’s or 50’s - speculatively speaking. 

If by some far off chance my theory were to be true then that would put a whole new and different spin on the arguments many flame about electronically as to the validity and importance of kata practice. 

Regardless of its origins, either modern or ancient or even shikata, the kata if taught, learned, practiced and understood as to its actual role in teaching martial arts still holds a valid position and role in martial arts training, practice and applications. Most misunderstanding tend to come from ignorance of what kata are and how they are used to teach, etc. Many have the misinterpretation that they are groups of dynamic bunkai or techniques when in reality they are merely a tool to teach physiokinetics (in short fundamental principles like structure, alignments, breathing, balance and so forth …). They are a tool to teach students rather than the modern thought of subject oriented teaching, etc.

Bibliography (Click the link)

Oh, as to shi-kata, here ya go:

Shikata [仕方]

The characters/ideograms mean "way; method; means; resource; course." The first character means, "attend; doing; official; serve," the second character means, "direction; person; alternative." 

The character, romanization word, was found through the original book of reference, the Shin Gi Tai, by Mike Clarke where a reference was made as to karate kata being of greater importance over the system of Te vs. the current belief that kata is a part of Te. Clarke Sensei's reference material led me to the book on Kata or "Shikata." 

In that study material we find references to "kanji." I will try to bring a bit of interest to this by some data that led me to believe that kata drives Japan, and I believe now Okinawan, Karate - shikata.

Shikata is often referred to simply as "kata" for brevity so I will do the same in this and any followup postings. But I want to begin with references to "kanji" to continue this particular post because kanji seems from my studies so far to be the reason for kata. 

Some historical influences to kata begin with Shintoism, the way of the Gods. Then of importance is Buddhism, Confucianism, the ideographic writing system, and other cultural influences from China. All this led to a "highly controlled behavior" model that would express subservience and respect toward superior beings. There are then presented various other factors that led to kata in Japan that should be fully understood so "read the book."

This post tho wants to speak to what the author presented as the "mother of kata." Kanji, what was called by the Japanese as "Chinese Letters."  Korean scribes transcribed Japanese language into Kanji. The writing of kanji involved other principles but in a nutshell it resulted in a particular form of training to lean how to read and write the complicated characters where the strokes to create kanji became kata-ized, i.e. the conjoining strokes were taught is very specific order and there were no deviations allowed. It was referred to as "way of writing" or "Kaki-kata."

The mental concentration and mechanical aspects of writing in kanji required memorization and that is done by repetitive practice over time. It involved thousands of kanji characters which were more of a translation of concepts communicated by sounds vs. simply utilization of what we use, i.e. A, B, C's which also became a very personalized experience with strong mental or psychological aspects. 

The mental concentration was governed by specificity in a kata like manner. The learning process for kanji resulted in a high degree of the sense of group harmony of form and style which imbued a deep sense of aesthetics. An art form or way of writing. It also, much like we profess to achieve in karate kata practice, provided a means to increase a person's patience and to persevere in all they do to an extreme.

The requirement to practice and learn kanji became the "way" to shape Japanese physically, intellectually and emotionally further binding them to the group mentality through this kata of the kanji writing. This became a core aspect along with others to create their group style culture. 

Every person in Japan were now required to follow this kanji-kata to create these characters in a manner that became an art form which is known today as "Sho-Do or Way of the Brush." We call it calligraphy. 

Writing kanji also denoted one as being of great character and worth. Thus was born shikata or kata. It is not much of a stretch even for non-Japanized persons practicing the Asian traditional martial arts to see that this led to the kata within the art from the kata-mization of the art itself. As you read the book on its many subjects which are all governed by their individual kata you begin to get a fundamental understanding beyond our limited view of what we perceived, until now, as karate kata.

I may have it right or maybe wrong but you can begin to see why understanding of the kanji that describe the sounds as some more conceptual meaning could lead to greater understanding of our practice and training.

Do Martial Arts Schools, Dojo and Training Hall Require Business Licenses?

Blog Article/Post Caveat (Read First Please: Click the Link)

First let me start by saying I did a search, through several search engines, to see if there were specific laws or ordnances that required martial arts schools to obtain a business license. Most searches provided results to links for martial arts school advisors, etc. while none went to laws or ordinances except for laws and regulations on licensing competitors of MMA/Kickboxing, etc. in regards to competing in tournaments, events, contests and so on.

Second in line now is some personal perceptions and perspectives regarding on a federal level. I am talking about submission of business forms for the self-employed for tax purposes. As to my personal experience if one earns over five hundred dollars in a tax year they are required to submit that amount for income taxes and if that persists for a second year, as in my case, they will require a separate business earnings statement to pay appropriate taxes under a business heading over simple income tax submission. No where in the process, since it caused an audit of a kind, did they require I submit a business license.

Third topic to present at this time in the article is about California’s requirements regarding businesses regardless of whether they are martial arts or simply selling a product to the public. The state does not call it a business license per say but a “Seller’s permit or Use Tax Account.” If you run a dojo that receives at least $100,00 in gross receipts from business operations in a calendar year, not required to hold a seller’s permit or certificate of registration for use tax, are not a holder of a use tax payment permit or are not otherwise registered with the BOE to report use tax then it appears (seek business legal advice before you move forward for sure; I am not a legal expert, professional, advisor, etc.) that you may not need a business, sellers or use tax license unless your school sells tangible property subject to sales tax if sold retail. 

Fourth resulted in my trying to get clarification from the California government site by sending an email to the appropriate parties asking if running a school for martial arts required a business license, etc. When that arrives I will add that information. Since it was not clear with the state sources I wanted to make sure that permits or licenses were or were not a requirement for those who would open their own dojo, training halls, or schools, etc.

Fifth is about local governing ordinances, etc. as they apply to a business be it a tangible property or intangible service, etc. The following helps clarify these questions, etc.:

In light of the confusion and convoluted laws, ordinances and requirements of the government I present the following:

California Seller’s Permit: If you are doing business in California and intend to sell or lease tangible personal property subject to sales tax sold at retail, you are required to have a seller’s permit and prominently display it at your place of business. Read our Seller’s Permit FAQ for more information.

Then two more additional pieces of the puzzle:

Who must obtain a seller's permit? 

You must obtain a seller's permit if you:

  • Are engaged in business in California and 
  • intend to sell or lease tangible personal property that would ordinarily be subject to sales tax if sold at retail.

The requirement to obtain a seller's permit applies to individuals as well as corporations, partnerships, and limited liability companies. Both wholesalers and retailers must apply for a permit.

If you do not hold a seller's permit and will make sales during temporary periods, such as Christmas tree sales and rummage sales, you must apply for a temporary seller's permit. Such permits are normally issued to selling operations lasting no longer than 90 days at one location.

What does engaged in business mean?

You are engaged in business in California if you:

  • Have an office, sales room, warehouse, or other place of business in this state (even if the location is only temporary).
  • Have a sales representative, agent, or canvasser operating in this state.
  • Receive rental payments from the lease of tangible personal property in this state.

There are other activities that may qualify a selling operation as being engaged in business in California. Due to the various rules that apply, you should contact the BOE's Information Center 800-400-7115 or contact your nearest BOE office to determine if you must obtain a permit.

Read more here: http://www.boe.ca.gov/sutax/faqseller.htm#1

Is my seller's permit the same as a business license?

No. You should contact your city and/or county business license department to obtain a separate business license. To locate the department, check the government pages of your telephone directory (for example, look for the terms license or business license under City Government Offices and County Government Offices).

Sixth as it pertains to local laws and ordinances I use my home town as an example where the city states, “all individuals, partnerships, corporations, and sole proprietors conducting business in the City of Alameda are required to have a business license. This includes persons dealing with residential and commercial real estate rentals or who operate home-based businesses within the City. In most cases, licenses are based on the gross receipts of your business. (Note: issuance of a business license should not be construed as authorization to conduct a business, unless the business has complied with all federal, state and local regulations.)”


It appears in my city that a fee is charged for a license according to gross receipts, i.e., “Every person conducting or carrying on the operation of an administrative headquarters shall pay a license fee of forty ($0.40) cents for each thousand ($1,000.00) dollars of gross payroll of all persons employed by the business at such administrative headquarters.”

Seventh is that although the provided information tends to leave us all scratching our heads in confusion I did find in the local city municipal codes lists of businesses that require a license and payment of taxes and none listed give me an impression a martial arts school requires a business license ergo why I await some guidance from the sources, i.e., state and city, etc.

Ok, it is getting clearer and clearer that this issue is so confusing, so mired in mud and so critical that one MUST seek advice from a legal professional with expertise in business requirements of the city, state and even as to the federal levels. 

Do you need a business license? Maybe not but it is absolutely clear that both federal and state will require you report the income from your school/dojo for income tax purposes. At least on the federal level you may have to submit a separate business form with your tax return on that income but as to a license my personal view is if you are going to conduct a business you need to contact the city and state and get clarification or at least contact your professional tax consultant for information to make sure the city and state don’t come down on you later. 

An aside is I know of at least one dojo who does not have a license, teaches karate, takes a fee monthly from the students and in all probability reports that as income for tax purposes. He/She has run this dojo for over ten years without any repercussions from city or state but I would add that this does not mean a license in not necessary, required or even a smart idea. 

Now that I have made an attempt to answer this question I would next try to address issues that could result from not doing appropriate business requirements to run a dojo such as liability insurances, etc., along with personal law suits say when your student defends themselves with your great self-defense instruction and ends up either dead or in jail and paying out compensation from civil suits, etc.

p.s. I published an inquiry on my blog about dojo business licenses, etc. I will post the results later. 
p.s.s. I received no feedback on the above.
p.s.s.s. I received no reply from either the state or federal sources on licensing.

In other words, no one will or can say whether a license is needed either way. I suspect, at a minimum in my state, a reseller’s license for the local city will be required and at a minimum the income you derive from teaching martial arts will require a form under business income will be required for your federal return. In the end, ask you tax person or seek advice from a business attorney. 

Bibliography (Click the link)