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Gabriel Suarez
03-06-2018, 08:46 AM
It will be boring for those on the outside, but very interesting to tribal karateka

"As a means of spreading, and thus protecting, the old Martial Arts modern versions came into existence, the Jutsu was soon replaced by Dō, and a number of warrior practices were no longer taught as purely a form of combat, but a spiritual journey of self discipline and discovery. Extolled along with the adoption of the Warrior code."

“These practices also signal a distinct shift from the karate practiced on Okinawa as described earlier (Friman 1996, Krug 2001, Mottern 2001) and mark the beginning of what is thought of as 'karate' today. Through the adoption of the sport and militaristic elements, as well as the spiritual philosophies of Japanese martial culture, karate was able to find a place in the culture of mainland Japan. Often supported by and disseminated through the government, these adaptations of the practice found their way back to Okinawa and were largely embraced both by masters and students. To this day, in Okinawa as well as Japan, students wear the gi and colored belts, line up in order of rank and drill in precise lines.”

Gabe's comment...and none of the above really have anything to do with REAL KARATE

https://www.iainabernethy.co.uk/article/who-put-bu-karate-do-ben-eayrs

Brent Yamamoto
03-06-2018, 10:00 AM
Good article for the karate history buffs. I like anything that clarifies misconceptions and puts the history straight.

I started in a Japanese Karate style (Kei Shin Kan for those interested). It was definitely a HARD art, all about hitting. Even though I learned from an American, he had definitely soaked up the martial Japanese culture and he always stayed true to what he was taught.

There was a HUGE emphasis on fundamentals, and a strong adherence to good form (this can be good or bad depending on how it's done). It was good for me because it made me a stickler for correct body mechanics from an early age. It was lacking in that the UNDERSTANDING of those fundamentals was not deep (and this is a major distinction for me between Japanese vs Okinawan Karate). There was also a strong emphasis on Kata, but this was more about performing perfect form; applications were almost non-existent. We also fought, a lot. We'd fight hard, but it was still so colored by competition methods that it was not what I would consider fighting today. We didn't know any better at the time (ok that's not totally true...I knew it was an incomplete picture but I didn't have the experience at that time).

Fast forward years later. I'd done a lot of different stuff by then, and had already been changing my Karate based on what I'd seen. Boxing, Judo, Aikido, Jujutsu, Kempo, whatever. I'd also been making my stuff A LOT less formal. Less militaristic. None of this Bullshido stuff. So I was already primed when I found real Okinawa Karate.

From the 30,000 foot level, it's mostly the same. But the details go deep, and it's the fundamentals that make it work. And this is a big generalization and doesn't ALWAYS apply, but IMO Japanese Karate has strayed so far from its roots that it's essentially a different system. And it's STRONGLY influenced by competition methods (by and large in a bad way). Some arts, like Kyokushin system that Gabe practices, are hard-hitting systems that still have the right idea. Most of what I see today is what I call "Kindergarten Karate"...karate for kids that's actually worse than day care (it's dangerous and gives you false notions of what real violence is).

Okinawa Karate is much more informal. Much less of the Japanese "tradition" (let alone the American traditions that have mistakenly been blended in). One thing I like is that Okinawa Karate recognizes that Karate is meant to be a civilian art, not meant for competition but about avoiding and surviving violence. It's not so much about fighting to win a bout (essentially a duel) but about fighting to a GOAL...avoiding violence, getting away, etc. You don't FIGHT multiple opponents to beat them, you fight them to flee. Of course, when we hit it's still meant to be a serious hit...we want a knock out because that's the kind of power we strive for...but the knock out isn't the GOAL, getting away safely is the goal.

Japanese Karate tends to focus on sparring distance. Okinawa Karate includes that but is much more oriented towards in-fighting. Rory Miller has told me several times that he thinks Karate teaches the best in-fighting body mechanics of any system he's seen (this from a Jujutsu guy!), but most Karate people don't use it that way because so few understand it.

I tend to look at Karate in a somewhat reactive way...it's not about starting fights (though we can certainly be proactive if necessary!). But it is most certainly about ENDING fights; the techniques are meant to be vicious fight stoppers.

History may not help us be better fighters directly, but knowing context and where things come from certainly helps organize our training and recognize when particular tactics are best.

Gabriel Suarez
03-06-2018, 10:21 AM
Still...kyokushin unfortunately has also been usurped by the competition focus.

Brent Yamamoto
03-06-2018, 10:32 AM
Still...kyokushin unfortunately has also been usurped by the competition focus.

Yes. Still, I always respected the Kyokushin guys. I've trained with a few Kyokushin folks, and most of them were still comfortable with contact. That's much more than I can say for a lot of other karate branches.

Frankly I'm disgusted with much of the Karate I see and I can't recommend it in good conscious to people unless I know the instructor. (Though I can also say the same about most systems)

Gabriel Suarez
03-06-2018, 10:34 AM
And the inevitable question - how much of what we have just said about Karate applies to American Pistol Shooting?

Gabriel Suarez
03-06-2018, 10:43 AM
Mine


And this is a big generalization and doesn't ALWAYS apply, but IMO Japanese Karate has strayed so far from its roots that it's essentially a different system. And it's STRONGLY influenced by competition methods (by and large in a bad way).

Essentially a "kick-punch" mutually agreed upon duel.

One thing I like is that Okinawa Karate recognizes that Karate is meant to be a civilian art, not meant for competition but about avoiding and surviving violence. It's not so much about fighting to win a bout (essentially a duel) but about fighting to a GOAL...avoiding violence, getting away, etc. You don't FIGHT multiple opponents to beat them, you fight them to flee. Of course, when we hit it's still meant to be a serious hit...we want a knock out because that's the kind of power we strive for...but the knock out isn't the GOAL, getting away safely is the goal.

Interesting perspective and I agree...although I might say the goal is to out maneuver the adversary. Having done so escape is easy, although many of the old masters tended to "escape unconscious or dead" adversaries.

Japanese Karate tends to focus on sparring distance. Okinawa Karate includes that but is much more oriented towards in-fighting. Rory Miller has told me several times that he thinks Karate teaches the best in-fighting body mechanics of any system he's seen (this from a Jujutsu guy!), but most Karate people don't use it that way because so few understand it.

Yes...and that is the competition focus...much like the obsession in american pistol shooting with speed and reloads and such. The technique's perfect execution becomes the goal rather than winning the fight being the goal. But then the competitive guys complain and protest and throw tantrums

I tend to look at Karate in a somewhat reactive way...it's not about starting fights (though we can certainly be proactive if necessary!). But it is most certainly about ENDING fights; the techniques are meant to be vicious fight stoppers.

I read recently, and agree, that every movement should be able to begin and end the fight right then and there. Great perspective.

History may not help us be better fighters directly, but knowing context and where things come from certainly helps organize our training and recognize when particular tactics are best.

That is true. It helps to see where a proven and deadly fighting system became a sporting art...and why. And knowing that one can focus on those parts that help us accomplish our goals without chasing the wrong dog. The old masters were bad asses, and just like we can learn from Askins and Jordan and others, we can learn from Motobu and Oyama and others.

Brent Yamamoto
03-06-2018, 10:51 AM
It’s the same disease. Competition inevitably leads away from fighting/killing principles. The focus becomes the GAME, and the game becomes the competitor’s idea of reality.

In the gun world we have Fuddism, Deweyism, and the need for a talisman. In the martial arts world we have Bullshido and the search for The One True Art. In both there exists insular thinking and complete misunderstanding of context. I think these are related phenomena.

Papa
03-06-2018, 10:58 AM
And the inevitable question - how much of what we have just said about Karate applies to American Pistol Shooting?

All of it.

As to the duelling aspect of martial arts and pistol shooting, when Uncle John Selman shot John Wesley Hardin in the back of the head in the Acme Saloon in El Paso, it wasn't a duel.

It was gunfighting.

I'm guessing any fighter jock on this forum would agree.

Brent Yamamoto
03-06-2018, 12:00 PM
Interesting perspective and I agree...although I might say the goal is to out maneuver the adversary. Having done so escape is easy, although many of the old masters tended to "escape unconscious or dead" adversaries.

Yes, as usual you say it much more succinctly.

Another thing I'd add since we're talking history...the Karate of old was Mixed Martial Arts long before we had the term. For the most part, Japanese Karate has devolved into a punch/kick competition system. But originally it included throws, grappling (standing and ground) and joint manipulations.

The Okinawans also had a kind of sumo-style wrestling...it was for safe competition and there was no illusion that it was real fighting. But it definitely taught people about clinching, structure, using momentum, throwing, etc. It had a large influence on Karate, though you don't see it much today.

There are a lot of parallels when you compare Karate with Jujutsu. Both were intended to be pretty complete systems - striking, throwing, grappling, joint destructions, etc. Jujutsu had a military origin (with more emphasis on joint destruction & throwing due to the assumption that the enemy wore armor) while Karate had a civilian origin (and thus a heavier emphasis on striking since the assumption was no armor). To varying degrees they were "complete" systems and in many ways were very similar.

The competition focus eliminated the "wide fighting skill set" in both arts. The same degradation happened...Okinawa Karate to Japanese Karate and Japanese Jujutsu to Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu. (Degradation meaning that wide skill sets were traded for deeper, more specialized skill sets. And I will add that I have a lot more respect for most Brazillian stuff because it's pressure tested in ways that most Japanese Karate is not...but it's still a competition focus and not real fighting.)

Mixed Martial Arts has been a very healthy development in my opinion because it's reintroduced the idea that one must have a diverse skill set. There are still context issues (what's works great for one on one competition can get you killed in multiple opponent/weapon scenarios), but the concept of mixed training is excellent.

Gabriel Suarez
03-06-2018, 01:10 PM
It’s the same disease. Competition inevitably leads away from fighting/killing principles. The focus becomes the GAME, and the game becomes the competitor’s idea of reality..

The progression is this - the quest for a competition where fighters can test themselves against each other, ostensibly to train for a "real fight". Then rules are instituted to make it fair and equitable, certain limits are imposed (training flaws) for furtherance of the objective...developing a way to train more realistically. But then the goal - training for the street - is forgotten and the game becomes the focus. When that transition is made, that "sport" is no longer a martially viable practice.

Look at BJJ. Its a great system of ground work, but bring a knife into the mix and suddenly everyone gets very conservative. Bring three adversaries into the mix and nobody wants to be on the ground. Those are flaws that are ignored because of the thrill of competition. Same with Kyokushin. It is the only legitimate full contact bare knuckle stuff and dates back to the sixties. (I have my share of hand injuries to show for it). But the flaw is that they do not allow strikes above the neck in competition. This of course to make it safer, but that is a sacrifice made for the sport. And it is a "mission creep" of sorts because the focus on head strikes is gradually reduced as the focus on the game is increased.

Brent Yamamoto
03-06-2018, 01:27 PM
Same with Kyokushin. It is the only legitimate full contact bare knuckle stuff and dates back to the sixties. (I have my share of hand injuries to show for it). But the flaw is that they do not allow strikes above the neck in competition. This of course to make it safer, but that is a sacrifice made for the sport. And it is a "mission creep" of sorts because the focus on head strikes is gradually reduced as the focus on the game is increased.

I always got in trouble when I'd spar with Kyokushin guys...I simply could not refrain from aiming at the head. And I was even trying not to, but conditioning is a real thing (a good thing in that instance).

In Kei Shin Kan we used to fight with Koshiki equipment. It's a compromise, the mask makes it hard to breath and see, and the body armor inhibits movement. But it did allow full power strikes while minimizing injury.

I know there were some Kyokushin off-shoots that only used the helmets, while allowing full power contact everywhere else. That always seemed like a reasonable compromise to me.

55121

psalms23dad
03-06-2018, 02:01 PM
Interesting conversation.

I take a "combatives" class taught buy a guy who left karate because of the issues that's been stated. A week ago Saturday my sensei set up a time for me to spar with one of his former karate students. This gentleman is a 2nd degree black belt who wins basicly every tournament he competes in. His kicking ability, timing, and ability to cover distance is far better than mine. However, once I got in past his kicks, his only defense was to cover and try to punch from a fully chambered position, which resulted in me just over running him with a flurry of strikes, strikes that would not be allowed in a points match, which he left openings for. I assumed he was letting me hit him. My sensei and I have spoken a lot about it since then. He, my sensei assured me this how that school fights, because that's how he used to fight..... no I would beat this guy in a points match and some of the kicks I received didn't have the power behind them they could have. I'm not saying for a second I, as a blue belt, could beat this guy in a full out fight but, it showed me what's being discussed here, and that's the holes that competition creates.

Gabriel Suarez
03-06-2018, 02:06 PM
I always got in trouble when I'd spar with Kyokushin guys...

Me too...you can take the boy out of the street....

Mark Hatfield
03-06-2018, 02:24 PM
I have read that there is a letter from the 1880s written by Okinawas top karateka (the name escapes me at the moment) complaining that it was becoming a sport rather than combat. Then watered down more with every generation.

A few years ago the elderly former top instructor for Shotokan stated that Shotokan was now suited for fighting only if the attacker was also using Shotokan, however real fighting techniques were still in the kata but nobody cared to learn them.

Gabriel Suarez
03-06-2018, 02:30 PM
.....but nobody cared to learn them.

Just like today with gunfighting.

Brent Yamamoto
03-06-2018, 02:37 PM
Interesting conversation...

Competition karate people forget there are things like elbows, headbutts, hammer fists, palm slaps...

All that stuff you see in kata works GREAT at bad breath distance. Most of it works for shit at tournament sparring distance, which is why you don't see it.


Karate people SHOULD be able to punch a ton, but most don't because it's taught poorly. Many of them punch ok at full extension but get inside that range and it's weak. Which is ridiculous, because that is usually the first thing that is taught! (Who hasn't seen the kid in a low horse stance, punching from a full chamber position at his belt?) That punch is designed to hit hard at any point along it's path from start to finish.

And Karate also teaches different ways to punch, but I've never seen anyone do it in competition.

Brent Yamamoto
03-06-2018, 02:49 PM
real fighting techniques were still in the kata but nobody cared to learn them.

There's also the problem that so few of the instructors knew them to begin with.

I noticed the movement in the mid 90's to resurrect kata applications. From my perspective, that was driven by people outside of Japan. I learned some great things from all of my Japanese instructors, but application wasn't even on the radar. I got vague answers when I asked about it.

It's still a big problem in the Karate world, but I see many working to bring Karate back to its roots. Iain Abernethy is a great example.

CaneCorso
03-06-2018, 03:32 PM
...and the search for The One True Art. .....

Of which there is none, of course. Just many different tools for the tool box.

kabar
03-06-2018, 04:13 PM
Here's a video showing some practical application of kata and includes examples of MMA and tournament fighters using the techniques.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDs7RPboEO8

Edit: the video embed doesn't work for me
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDs7RPboEO8

Gabriel Suarez
03-06-2018, 05:13 PM
And then is the matter that Karate (and all martial studies) are born in violence and are applied in violence. That means that those who teach it should be well versed in violence, or as our tribal stalwart Nichols would say, "Think in violence". That doesn't happen as much as some would think. All the old masters fought people - for reals - all the time. Some were thugs as a matter of fact. The saintly Mr. Miyagi of the media is a far cry from the real old time karateka. It was far more Cobra-Kai than even modern instructors would admit. No spiritual navel-gazers need apply. I think the American Hippy Culture has also infiltrated many martial systems 9more Aikido than karate but still)...whether that has happened to a given school or not is determined by whther they shun violence and take a philosophical approach to what they do. (I have seen hippy Aiki and hippy Krav and hippy BJJ.)

Very few instructors that teach openly have actually used karate in anger and thus theory never meets reality (and by that I mean in the real world for keeps to intentionally injure or kill another man).

Brent...you know Ian. If we can facilitate his visit it would be a fantastic opportunity for all tribal members with a vetted karate background.

Brent Yamamoto
03-06-2018, 06:14 PM
I think the American Hippy Culture has also infiltrated many martial systems 9more Aikido than karate but still)...

I have trained with lots of people, good and bad. None inspire my desire to crack skulls like the smug aikido hippie. They are the Prius drivers of the martial arts world.
55127

Very few instructors that teach openly have actually used karate in anger and thus theory never meets reality (and by that I mean in the real world for keeps to intentionally injure or kill another man).

my karate instructor was a true thug in his day. He was a good guy but he had a chip on his shoulder. He had a special place in his heart for beating up Yakuza. The Tokyo police AND the local mob boss actually asked his mother to get him to knock it off. His mother told him that she couldn’t stop him, but she would kill herself in shame if he kept it up. Probably that was the only thing that made him stop.

Brent...you know Ian. If we can facilitate his visit it would be a fantastic opportunity for all tribal members with a vetted karate background.

Iain Is having some visa issues right now. Apparently he has been to the US too many times and now needs an “O Visa Classification”, whatever that means. If anyone in the tribe has insider pull, please let me know.

noonesshowmonkey
03-14-2018, 11:35 AM
As a point of historical perspective, the Jutsu->Do shift occurred generally during the Meiji restoration, during which Japan secularized and westernized, and with those social movements, the Samurai--who in the wake of the late Shogunate era of general stability and peace had largely become administrators--lost their final trappings of being a warrior caste.

The martial arts of yore, meaning those from pre-Meiji era, or what is referred to as koryu--classical--predate this shift in politics and culture. All had their roots either directly from the medieval era, or in the DNA of their various progenitor arts, each of which had roots in the medieval era. Either way, there was no mistake to be made: they were the professional skill sets of a warrior caste, and had nothing whatever to do with 'self defense' as understood in the modern American context. There was no 'Mister Miyagi' about it, they were hard men, who lived lives dedicated to war, and had the scars to prove it.

As a result of the conditions in which the martial systems were built, they centered around things that are considered 'impractical' for a ton of reasons. Nobody needs to study the disposition of troops in a battle line, or the methods of communication used to coordinate them by sounding whistles, firing noise arrows, the use of flags or banners, horns etc. We have radios. Nobody needs to study the art of tying up a prisoner with a fast-rope in order that he may be ransomed and/or interrogated. We have flex cuffs. Nobody needs to know how to build a sodegarami, or 'sleeve catcher', a tool designed to be used to safely and less-than-lethally detain an inebriated or enraged swordsman.

But, certain skills are forever applicable. The human body only moves in so many ways, and it's joints and bones and nerve plexuses are the same, regardless of the century in which the body was born into. Men still carry their tools on their beltline. Men still arm themselves with Primary and Secondary weapons. Warriors still need to carry weapons into an NPE, and train to deploy them rapidly, suddenly, and without warning. Men still need to train their minds and spirits to the harsh rigors of violence.

They were thugs. They were dangerous men, who had done dangerous things. They had, like all warriors, little patience for chicanery and bullshit and overblown ego. They sought The Truth, usually finding it in blood and steel. They were profound because they had done difficult and terrible things. Some may have sought spiritual enlightenment, but such was an accidental by-product of their austere and dangerous lives, which is a complete reversal of the Do-style of a practice dedicated from the onset towards enlightenment.

When I was studying koryu, my teacher had used his skills against multiple armed attackers. His teacher had caused life-changing injury to many men, often in public arenas, one such instance in which he was challenged by a kendo-ka who inferred that Kendo was the true inheritor of the Japanese sword arts. He, having been raised in a dojo by men covered in scars from swinging actual swords at actual people, and he himself bearing such scars on his face and neck, took up a shinai and essentially said, "Oh yeah? Show me." And in an instant, the moment they met, he let out a great kiai, delivered a powerful attack, and broke his shinai over the kendo-ka's head and shoulder, knocking him unconscious to the floor. His teacher was a man who was missing an eye from a sword duel, and had spilled the blood of men with edged weapons in the service of his profession. The men who taught this man were consummate warriors, who had plied their trades on the battlefield and lived to tell the tale.

The point is, as is so often stated here on this forum, there is a true warrior spirit that can be found in martial study, but it is found in places where grown-ass men sweat and grunt and heave and struggle, and where injury and bloodshed are bedfellows of that struggle.

Personally, I do not believe that one finds spiritual enlightenment through trying to walk the path of others towards that end. I have only ever found it by being out in the world, being tried and tested by difficult and austere things, and being forced to look deep inside myself to overcome my own limitations and to digest the hardship around me. A warrior's path often brings him into close contact with these things--death, suffering, injury, privation, exhaustion, etc.--and would that he survive, much less flourish, he is forced to become something deeper than he was beforehand.

I enjoyed the article, and as usual, enjoy reading these threads.

Benjamin Liu
03-14-2018, 11:58 AM
Here is an article debunking the popular hippie martial arts beliefs regarding Kyudo which also infected almost all Asian systems to some degree:

http://www.thezensite.com/ZenEssays/CriticalZen/The_Myth_of_Zen_in_the_Art_of_Archery.pdf

Gabriel Suarez
03-14-2018, 12:00 PM
EXCELLENT!!!


As a point of historical perspective, the Jutsu->Do shift occurred generally during the Meiji restoration, during which Japan secularized and westernized, and with those social movements, the Samurai--who in the wake of the late Shogunate era of general stability and peace had largely become administrators--lost their final trappings of being a warrior caste.

The martial arts of yore, meaning those from pre-Meiji era, or what is referred to as koryu--classical--predate this shift in politics and culture. All had their roots either directly from the medieval era, or in the DNA of their various progenitor arts, each of which had roots in the medieval era. Either way, there was no mistake to be made: they were the professional skill sets of a warrior caste, and had nothing whatever to do with 'self defense' as understood in the modern American context. There was no 'Mister Miyagi' about it, they were hard men, who lived lives dedicated to war, and had the scars to prove it.

As a result of the conditions in which the martial systems were built, they centered around things that are considered 'impractical' for a ton of reasons. Nobody needs to study the disposition of troops in a battle line, or the methods of communication used to coordinate them by sounding whistles, firing noise arrows, the use of flags or banners, horns etc. We have radios. Nobody needs to study the art of tying up a prisoner with a fast-rope in order that he may be ransomed and/or interrogated. We have flex cuffs. Nobody needs to know how to build a sodegarami, or 'sleeve catcher', a tool designed to be used to safely and less-than-lethally detain an inebriated or enraged swordsman.

But, certain skills are forever applicable. The human body only moves in so many ways, and it's joints and bones and nerve plexuses are the same, regardless of the century in which the body was born into. Men still carry their tools on their beltline. Men still arm themselves with Primary and Secondary weapons. Warriors still need to carry weapons into an NPE, and train to deploy them rapidly, suddenly, and without warning. Men still need to train their minds and spirits to the harsh rigors of violence.

They were thugs. They were dangerous men, who had done dangerous things. They had, like all warriors, little patience for chicanery and bullshit and overblown ego. They sought The Truth, usually finding it in blood and steel. They were profound because they had done difficult and terrible things. Some may have sought spiritual enlightenment, but such was an accidental by-product of their austere and dangerous lives, which is a complete reversal of the Do-style of a practice dedicated from the onset towards enlightenment.

When I was studying koryu, my teacher had used his skills against multiple armed attackers. His teacher had caused life-changing injury to many men, often in public arenas, one such instance in which he was challenged by a kendo-ka who inferred that Kendo was the true inheritor of the Japanese sword arts. He, having been raised in a dojo by men covered in scars from swinging actual swords at actual people, and he himself bearing such scars on his face and neck, took up a shinai and essentially said, "Oh yeah? Show me." And in an instant, the moment they met, he let out a great kiai, delivered a powerful attack, and broke his shinai over the kendo-ka's head and shoulder, knocking him unconscious to the floor. His teacher was a man who was missing an eye from a sword duel, and had spilled the blood of men with edged weapons in the service of his profession. The men who taught this man were consummate warriors, who had plied their trades on the battlefield and lived to tell the tale.

The point is, as is so often stated here on this forum, there is a true warrior spirit that can be found in martial study, but it is found in places where grown-ass men sweat and grunt and heave and struggle, and where injury and bloodshed are bedfellows of that struggle.

Personally, I do not believe that one finds spiritual enlightenment through trying to walk the path of others towards that end. I have only ever found it by being out in the world, being tried and tested by difficult and austere things, and being forced to look deep inside myself to overcome my own limitations and to digest the hardship around me. A warrior's path often brings him into close contact with these things--death, suffering, injury, privation, exhaustion, etc.--and would that he survive, much less flourish, he is forced to become something deeper than he was beforehand.

I enjoyed the article, and as usual, enjoy reading these threads.

Ted Demosthenes
03-14-2018, 02:48 PM
Iain Is having some visa issues right now. Apparently he has been to the US too many times and now needs an “O Visa Classification”, whatever that means. If anyone in the tribe has insider pull, please let me know.

Maybe Rob Crowley has some (warrior/lawyer) contacts he'd share. I'll ping him.

Here's a link to one law group's explanation:

http://curranberger.com/achievement-based/o-1-temporary-visa/general-o-1-criteria-requirements/ (http://curranberger.com/achievement-based/o-1-temporary-visa/general-o-1-criteria-requirements/)

Might be able to wedge Iain in somewhere though he may have already punched on this...

Ted Demosthenes
03-14-2018, 02:49 PM
Iain Is having some visa issues right now. Apparently he has been to the US too many times and now needs an “O Visa Classification”, whatever that means. If anyone in the tribe has insider pull, please let me know.

Maybe Rob Crowley has some (warrior/lawyer) contacts he'd share. I'll ping him.

Here's a link to one law group's explanation:

http://curranberger.com/achievement-based/o-1-temporary-visa/general-o-1-criteria-requirements/ (http://curranberger.com/achievement-based/o-1-temporary-visa/general-o-1-criteria-requirements/)

Might be able to wedge Iain in somewhere though he may have already punched on this...

wheel
11-10-2018, 08:15 AM
When I completed my first Grading, having received my certificate and first red stripe I was called aside be Shihan Kellman the visiting instructor that oversaw the Grading. He then shared with me that because he had very poor eyesight he could relate to me a little bit having had to overcome his own physical challenge-He then went further and told me that I would think about quitting and when those thoughts crossed my mind I should not give up and simply continue training.

I can barely remember how he looked and cannot remember anything he taught me when he visited my Dojo but every time I think about giving up I remember his words clearly.

Shihan Chris made the biggest impression on me. He was the first instructor I had that when I saw him move for the first time I knew he could fight. That his experience extended past the competition floor and theory and onto the street.

The first thing he did when he saw me was to grab a Kicking Shield and told me to punch as hard as I can. He then looked at me and simply said: "No Good." He then went on to explain that because I could not use my hips and legs I will never be able to punch hard enough to knock me attacker down/out.

Next he pulled up the sleeve of his Gi and told me to grab & squeeze his arm as hard as I can. I can still remember how his face lit up and the huge smile that appeared after I grabbed him. "A-ha" he said. This is what we will work on. You will grab, rib and squeeze any part of the attacker you can get hold of while pulling him closer. The rest of the Casaku he or one of the other students would attack me suddenly (training my reflexes to react instantaneously) I would then try and grab on to any piece of the attacker`s body and try and hurt them. They would then tap me on the arm to signify that they felt pain-Shihan made sure that I did not relent in my attacks until I felt the tap.

Gabriel Suarez
11-10-2018, 08:30 AM
MARTIAL = FOR FIGHTING. I reject the hippie martial fuckery of today and I suspect the old masters would agree. To quote Brent's instructor as related to me - "There is strong karate, and there is weak karate".


He Came To Bring A Sword! (http://blog.suarezinternational.com/2016/09/he-came-to-bring-a-sword.html)

Monday, September 05, 2016 (http://blog.suarezinternational.com/2016/09/he-came-to-bring-a-sword.html)


http://warriortalknews.typepad.com/.a/6a0133ec985af6970b01b7c88e6ee5970b-500wi (http://warriortalknews.typepad.com/.a/6a0133ec985af6970b01b7c88e6ee5970b-pi)

It was Halloween Night...1972 or 73. I chose to go to Karate than to go trick or treating. I was twelve...I think.

I had been dabbling in Karate as an after-school activity. This was at the Burbank YMCA mid-week, and Saturdays. It was fast becoming a passion...or an obsession if you listened to my grandmother.

I liked it.

The instructors were good...but they were what we would consider hobbyists. They had their regular lives and did this to stay in shape and to lose weight. Truth be told, none of those instructors would be considered physically impressive by our standards today. But they had knowledge we wanted, and it was only $30 per month...so we listened and overlooked the warts.

Then one night we had a visitor to the class.

As soon as the stranger walked in, the black belts recognized him and all came to attention.

They called the class to attention. The call was "SENSEI".

We all faced the door in a very military manner and bowed.

The man was "Sensei Bob". He walked over and waved us to join him in an informal circle. He had a last name but it has long been forgotten by me.

He was different...he was not an Arnold look-alike, but he was clearly not a hobbyist. He was fit and did not have a gut. The best word to describe him was "danger". He seemed primed for movement. And at a glance he looked like he was very comfortable with a level of violence I knew nothing about.

Barefoot and with his hair slicked back he bowed back.

"Good evening", he said in a loud, but not overbearing voice.

"Its good to be back".

I later learned that "Sensei Bob" had been in Vietnam. This was 1973 after all. I never found out what his assignment was nor did I ever have the courage to ask...but as I said...there was an aura of violence...under control...but barely. Like being in a cage with a tiger that was not hungry...at that point in time.

Then the tiger spoke.

"This is the YMCA. That is good. The Young Men's Christian Association. That is what its called. But I will tell you that Christ was not a sissy. He did not come to bring peace and love and all of that drug induced nonsense".

He had my 12 year old brain's undivided attention.

"He did not - no matter what the sandal-wearing hippies will tell you in school or in church. He came to bring a sword. Yes...and next week....when I take over the training, you will all learn to use that sword to its best effects."

He bowed. We returned the bow.

That night changed everything and started an odyssey for me in the study of violence that continues to this day.

Sensei Bob...wherever you are.

OSU!

wheel
11-10-2018, 09:10 AM
It did not feel good to be told after almost 4 years of training that I will never be able to defend myself using my Strikes. After I had time to think about it I realized that the reason he was so brutally honest with me was because he cared enough about me as a student and that he wanted me to get the most from my training so that I could realistically and effectively survive an attack.

Guiding me to work towards me strengths and away from my weaknesses. Telling me that I needed to work hard to catch up on the training that I have "lost"-studying the human body. Emphasising that I needed to find out for myself what hurt-weak/pressure points and the targets that I will be able to reach.
That I had to use every spare minute and work a Hand Gripper to improve my grip strength.

It was the first time that an instructor had made it clear to me what I needed to do to improve and had given me stuff to work on to survive an attack and not simply given me advice on how to improve my form to pass a Grading. When we shook hands at the end of the Casaku he looked at me sternly and said that he expected to notice a marked improvement the next time he saw me-Handing me the responsibility.

One day while reading one of Geezer`s posts things just suddenly clicked. When he said that if you had to work around something-illness/disability that you needed to focus on the use of weapons. That the only empty hand techniques that you should use is to attack the eyes and throat, biting those targets if you have to while drawing your weapon. It suddenly dawned on me that while I was trying to reinvent the wheel Geezer had already than the heavy lifting for me. Having pressure tested what worked. That my focus should shift on how to use a Blade effectively.

Although I never got to train with any of these gentleman on a weekly basis not even having met/spoken to Geezer I chose to listen to what they had to say and followed the training examples of the rest of the tribe. Developing a Combative Mindset and getting the training I need (Kali)-using Youtube and training by myself, not waiting for the training to come to me.

Making the decision to get the most from my training and that is a choice that any Martial Artist can make no matter what their circumstances are. Most chose to focus on the training they think they are missing out on/simply going through the motions. Not striving for excellence.

Cheers
Elfie

Kamrook
08-13-2019, 08:43 AM
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