"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 does karate and martial arts means to me?

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

My Response: Yeah, it is going to be a long one because this particular question tends to change from moment to moment or in the case of a karate and martial art lifestyle it means from month-to-month/year-to-year. 

In the beginning, mid sixties, I needed to learn how to defend myself from bullies. Literally, although this type of story seems to abound in the karate and martial art communities, I was a 125 pound skinny target for bullies. I remember the one time a group of football players in junior high school saw me, ran over, picked me up and literally flung me up on top of the overhang of a walkway at school - I need to do something. A friend, at the time, was a buffed up strong ex-con who said, “If you want to hang with me you need to toughen up.” That was how I came across karate and martial arts, via my first exposure through the “B” Kung Fu chop suey movies with titles like, “Fists of Fury,” etc. 

I also boxed a bit but later as a Marine I wanted to not only kick ass but have the skills to survive combat. I joined toward the last segment of U.S. involvement in Viet Nam thinking I would need something and I started in karate, martial arts and a bit of Judo. 

Now, here is where things begin to change for me and my practices. I had a temper, still do but a bit more controlled, and being a Marine meant I had a lot of testerone filled tough guy Sergeant Rock mentality that needed more - control. I was tough and it showed during my tenure as an active duty Marine, at least in the first seven or so years. 

I found that the discipline of karate and martial arts had value more than an ability to fight. I started to inquire and many of my contemporaries told me of things like, “Bushido and Tao Te Ching and I Ching, etc.,” and as I got into that study along with others who practiced and trained with me I began to see things a bit different. I got philosophy in my training and practice.

Now, here is another change that occurred. I began to see and learn about things like the, “Ken-po Goku-i,” and other stuff like principles that also changed the way I looked at K&MA, like the fact after I went to inactive Marine status I had to deal with civilians and self-defense. It took me a while to discover a fuller and comprehensive aspect to those two and it told me that if I had not changed and created a philosophical oriented way of training and practice that the old way of tough Marine combative both physical and psychological, etc. would have led me down a different path toward a more convict style of living. I found the more traditional way I had learned, practiced and applied my K&MA would have been seen in a civilian side as aggressive dangerous violent and now, just stupid, way of self-defense. 

In other words, fundamentally and overall, karate and martial arts meant to me a way to “Change,” and change is a corner stone to such endeavors because without that willingness to change you don’t grow, you don’t become humble and with serenity and you don’t become a mentor, teacher, Sensei, etc. therefore you don’t apply your skills in a manner best suited to a more socially acceptable belief and cultural system that we live in today. 

Karate means to me something like a tool, a means of discover of my self before others. A way to look within using a physical meditative study and practice that allowed me to change and implement those things necessary to become something more useful. Granted, any other mental, physical and spiritual (not religious in nature) type of endevor and discipline has the same ability to influence a life but karate and martial arts just fit my personality. I  know of folks who get the same things from disciplines like football in High School and Collage like my nephew who found Rugby and now plays semi-professional in Washington State. The best part of karate and martial arts is that particular discipline is one that does not need a youthful fit body but tends to change with you as you age as long as you have that ability to see within yourself, change accordingly (a hallmark of self-defense) and continue all the way through the winter years (where I am at now). 

Karate and martial arts tends to open the mind to all the possibilities, not because it is karate and martial arts for those are merely the tools I chose but how well we allow our minds and spirits to see beyond the comfortable, the patterns and the obstacles our minds can put up in the name of safety, security and comfort. 

Anyway, the question although simple does not allow me to provide a simple answer, it is complex yet simple because it is that tool I use to be myself, to become a self that is more amicable to life and a whole lot less damaging. 

In short, “It depends on the moment, the day, the week, the month and the age in which I now, stress now and moment, live and breathe and love.

Bibliography (Click the link)