Martial Arts

August 26, 2013

On Monday August 19, 2013 I unexpectedly started the ball rolling by calling my friend Mike to ask him for advice on Martial Arts training. I had the impression than I could end up in one of two situations. The first would be that I would end up injured by getting hooked up with some overly macho young crowd. The other was that I would waste a bunch of time learning about Korean philosophers and eastern cultures. A number of people had suggested Krav Maga as a practical no-nonsense, quick approach towards getting some actual fighting skills.

To my surprise, Mike gave me far more than advice and invited me to meet with him and his small group. Mike has been doing this in a serious way for over 30 years so he is both accomplished and mature, and I trust him.

Now Mike has made his exit, moving to another state, but did me the great favor of introducing me to his friends: Clint, George, and Steve.

Basic Karate videos

They are starting me with the Heian Shodan kata, and are emphasizing posture, balance, and body position as a foundation.

Shoshin Nagamine said:

"Karate may be considered as the conflict within oneself or as a life-long marathon which can be won only through self-discipline, hard training and one's own creative efforts."
Gichin Funakoshi (the Okinawan who brought karate to Japan in 1922, and who is accepted as the father of modern karate) said:
"You never attack first in karate."

Karate can be pursued for any number of reasons:


This ranges across a wide spectrum. At the far end of "crass commercialism" we have what are referred to as "McDojos" or "Black Belt Mills". The issue can be dubious levels of skill and or ethics.

Karate has not been without its controversies -- the largest being whether or not to make Karate some kind of competetive sport. Interestingly the same "urge" seems to arise in the acquisition of skill with firearms. We have IPSC and IDPA pistol competitions, which seemed to both begin to promote practical skill in the use of firearms. IPSC has long ago transformed into some kind of sport with entire abandonment of practical skills. IDPA is in denial, while busily transforming itself into what IPSC has already become. A wise man said that all truth runs in parallel - the same issues reappearing in new arenas.

Have any comments? Questions? Drop me a line!

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