(c) Terry Johnson, 2015
Karate is a self-defense, where the attacker’s own power is used against him or her. Karate is for- both men and women, as well as, for children.
Why is this so? Because Karate is a philosophical journey, as well as, a journey of learning how to defect your opponent’s power against them.
What does this mean? Karate is both a self-defense, and a cultural proponent of a way of life, which benefits all.
Those who win over those who would defeat them, or challenge them, utilize methods, of self-creativity, psychology, anthropology, sociology, and more.
The person, looks to the why behind the moves he/she makes, practices moves, and beliefs, through creative visualization, talk to the inner self, through their dreams, and picture what they want, before creating the physical moves to go along with their picturing, within their minds. Picturing was given a big boost, when Einstein, said this was the way he discovered his famous works.
Bruce Tegner, within his teaching of karate, says, along with learning defensive moves, the karate person, must see the value in high self-esteem, self-worth, assertive training, education and so on. ( Self-Defense: A Basic Course; Bruce Tegner; Thor Publishing- page 18 )
Another question arises, how far do you go, when in an actual fight, again we look to Bruce Tegner, for the answer: Defense actions should be appropriate to the situation. ( Self-Defense: A Basic Course; Bruce Tegner; Thor Publishing; page-11 ) He, says if you can run away, from physical violence, do so ( page-21 )
Tegner says self-defense isn’t a game, but a way to defend yourself, in emergency situations, when you need it. ( page-22 )
In practicing karate techniques, and moves, act in mindful awareness, don’t mess around, but practice first at 25%, till you can do it without thinking about it, then move up to stronger reaction. This is the same, for Kenpo Karate, Ed Parker style, who teaches students not to be in a hurry to go full blast, but learn to have self-control, and practice at a percentage, till you feel ready to increase the strength and speed.
Tegner shows the value of Tapping, and almost all karate dojos, practice this, if you want your partner or you’re doing stretches, etc., tap your leg, and the person helping you instantly stops, and let go of your leg, or etc., so you’re not hurt. ( page-24 )
Bruce Lee felt that all practitioners of karate practice it, for one purpose, to defend themselves. Nothing is taken for granted, and when you practice, you must, act as if you are attacking an opponent, which means, you carry through your attack, with bags, etc., so you feel the reality of the power of your moves. ( Bruce Lees Fighting Method; Bruce Lee and M.Uyehara; Chara Publications; page-Introduction )
In Bruce Lee’s karate method, jeet kune do, their attack is hardly ever, direct, but comes after a feint or in the actions of a counterattack. He feels a perfect attack has to have these goals behind it: strategy, speed, timing, deception, and keen judgement. An attack, should be done by your volition, on your opponents action, or upon his/her inaction. ( 20 )
He says- you must vary your attacks and defenses. Study your opponent, exploit his/her weakness, and avoid their strengths. ( same, page-20 )
Your attacks should be simple, not overly complex; the more complex, the less likely your attaining the technique. However, if your opponent is equal in skill and action, then you must use compound techniques, and take use of distance, so it works in your favor. ( same, page-21 )
In fighting your opponent, you must be boldly fierce, like a wild animal, to psych out your opponent. ( same, page-21 )
In many karate systems, to achieve what Bruce Lee has shared with us, they use the word KAI- and yell it, to accomplish the mission of throwing your opponent off, and making your attack successful.
Tegner says its better to know a few techniques, which you know completely, than a few hundred, which you don’t. ( The Complete Book of Karate; Bruce Tegner; 1966-7; page-17 )
Tegner explains what makes a Champion, by telling us Champions are not ” frozen ” into a right way, for what’s right for one practitioner, is wrong to another. Unpredictability is great in any interactive fighting. In karate, many champions have developed their own style, usually in an unconventional methodology. ( The Completer Book of Karate; Bruce Tegner; 1966-7; page-17 )
Karate will work for you, but you must believe it will, and act on your belief, by showing your belief in your everyday life. A part of that belief is to remain calm, whether in sport fighting, or street fighting, etc.. Develop the style of outward confidence, in any situation. ( The Completer Book of Karate; Bruce Tegner; 1066-7; page-19 )
If you can’t avoid a fight, no matter what you do; then to go on the offensive, this may end the fight with one blow. In fighting a gang, the only way to win, is to go on the offensive, and take them out, one by one. ( The Complete Book of Karate; Bruce Tegner; 1066-7; same, page-19 )
Distraction is another tool, in street fighting, one second of distraction can give you the edge in winning over your opponent. Along with this, I would add Misdirection, taken from Magic, so the magician can amaze, and entertain his/her audience; and will give an instant, where your opponent will not see what your attack or defense really is. ( The Complete Book of Karate; Bruce Tegner; 1966-7/ my own studies to develop a reality karate system )
In training to be a Ninja, you must remember the only True Master, is the inner self; along with creating an ongoing mystery about him/her, which keeps his adversaries off-balance. ( Ninja: Secrets of Invisibility; Ashida Kim; 1983; page- viii )
You must master the art of war, to be as Machiavelli, author of ” the Prince “, who preached that the Prince, who is feared, will keep subjects in line, where a Prince, who practiced justice, and love of his people, would be manipulated by them. It’s always- a Prince, or Ninja, who made his people fear him, or to be feared of the Ninja, who were, and are, ruthless, and a deadly enemy, who wouldn’t just kill their target, but the whole of his line of ancestry, to make their prowess, and mystery, legendary, for being cruel, and creating fear in all. ( Ninja: Secrets of invisibility; Ahsida Kim; 1983; page-x )
Ninja defined power as performing an act, because it is your will to do so. The practice of stealth, leads, to the invisibility of the Ninjas, and the keeping of distraction, so the Ninja, wins any interactive battle. Strategy is to win over one’s enemies by discovering their weakness, and exploiting it, to win the interaction. ( Ninja: Secrets of Invisibility; Ashida Kim; 1983; same, page-1 )
Others feel karate is not just for fighting, but is a road to self-discovery, and by walking the path alone, you get better flexibility, and creative ways of protecting yourself. ( The Way Alone; Loren W. Christensen; 1987; page-xii )
Loren feels the way to victory, in any situation, is through the mind. He teaches an eclectic path, made up of many fighting styles. ( The Way Alone; Loren W. Christensen; 1987; page-xv )
Loren feels the use of visualization, or utilization of the mind, to practice karate moves, helps in the way and strength of the person’s attacks and counters. Each of us have a picture of who we see ourselves, based on our history, and if it’s negative, we see ourselves in a negative light. If your picture is negative, you must visualize yourself as a winner; and invest in this, as your core belief about yourself. This is called imprinting a positive picture of yourself, upon your brain, and your inner sight of yourself. ( The Way Alone; Loren W. Christensen; 1987; page-2-3 )
To create this new self-positive identity; practice meditation, and self-positive language, short statements of what you want to see yourself as, imprinting it upon your belief and identity systems. ( same, page-7 )
Chinese martial arts, has many different styles, but the inner core of Kung Fu is the symbol of yin and yang ( force meets force; using the attackers power and energy against them ), ( A History and Style Guide of Kung Fu; Robert Rousseau; about Sports ). Kung Fu has a long history, meaning it is always transforming, as new techniques, etc., come up.
Mao, tried to root it out, so the people would accept his form of ” communism ” ( same ). He had ancient things destroyed, as being done today, where victors, tear down Buddhist temples, and try to erase that history. Yet Kung Fu survived, and expanded across the globe.
Americans learned about the beauty of Kung Fu, through the TV series, which lasted three years, starring David Carradine. The episodes, linked the Shaolin Temple, a monastery, where Kung Fu was taught, but it was also a spiritual journey, and they used Meditation, Awareness, Teaching, Experiencing, and Practicing the whole philosophy of Kung Fu. David’s name was Kane, but in the sequences in China, interacting with his Mentor, his Mentor called him grasshopper.
Tai Chi is a Chinese movement and self-defense, which has within its core, Taoism. Lao Tzu, wrote the book on this philosophy, and it’s what Tai Chi, utilizes in its movements, techniques, kata, etc.. To watch Tai Chi, it looks like a slow dance, but each of the movements is also a self-defense move; thus the slow movement, is also with tension, and origination of feeling the moves, and working within Taoism, I Ching and Yin and Yang.
Tai Kuan Do, is a Korean martial arts school, whose most famous black belt, who’s a master of Tai Kwon Do, is Chuck Norris. I had the honor of having him run a couple of my matches, in a karate tournament, I was in. He has black belts in Tang Su Do, and fielded his own karate style Chun Kuk Do.( internet website- USA.DOJO,COM; MARTIAL ARTS BIOGRAPHY- CHUCK NORRIS )
Tae Kwon Do is a Korean martial arts ( Tae means foot; Kwon means fist; Do means way of, ergo The way of foot and fist. It’s South Korea’s, national sport. It’s known, for its striking and athletic kicks. This style of karate is very popular all over the world; in fact, it’s the most popular karate style worldwide. The emphasis on the leg and foot, is seen as the strongest point of the body. Kicks also give the practitioner further reach against an opponent. They teach blocks, fists, open hands, etc. along with kicks. ( internet-about sports; History and Style Guide of Tae Kwon Do; Robert Rousseau )
Shtokan Karate is Okanowin, it was founded by Gichin Funakosi; its history is that of Okanowi, kings forbid weapons, so secret sects practiced karate, to learn how to live right, to know how to defend oneself and to build character.
Funakosi taught these principles: Seek perfection of character, Be Faithful, Endeavor, Respect others, Refrain from violent behavior.( internet; American Shotokan Karate; askf.org, home page ).
Shotokan was and is influenced, by the Japanese fighting, from the 14th century, in utilizing Chinese boxing. ( same as above )
There are twenty precepts to live your life by and be successful at karate:
- Karate begins and ends with courtesy.
- There is no first attack in karate.
- Karate is an assistance to justice.
- Know yourself first. Then you can know others.
- Spirit before technique.
- You must release your mind
- Misfortune comes out of laziness.
- Karate is not just in the dojo.
- Karate is lifelong training.
- Put Karate into everything you do.
- Karate, like hot water, will grow cool without constant heat.
- Do not think about winning. Think about not losing.
- Victory depends on your ability to tell vulnerable points from invulnerable ones.
- Move according to your opponent.
- Consider your opponent’s hands and legs as you would sharp swords.
- When you leave home, think that millions of opponents are waiting for you.
- Ready position is for beginners and natural position is for advanced students.
- Kata is one thing. Engaging in a real fight is another.
- Do not forget strength and weakness of power, expansion and contraction of the body, slowness and speed of techniques.
- Be thinking of a strategy at all time. ( internet; American Shotokan Karate Federation; Dojo Philosophy
There are, also, five rules, that can be seen on the American Shotokan Karate Federation, internet site.
There are many other fighting styles, but the last one we’re going to look at- is Kenpo Karate, created by Ed Parker, my instructor was Joe Dimmick, on Imperial Highway, near Lakewood, CA. I was working on my black belt, when things happened, which made me and others, withdraw, from the school.
Kenpo Karate, is foremost, a modern-day fighting style; the techniques, katas, sparring, has all been studied and chosen by Parker, with physics of action, and workability. The karate is modern, scientific and tested.
Kenpo has a creed called ” Open Hands “; as in other styles, movements, were taken from animals, and birds, fitting them into a modern-day connection of movements. Kenpo is a Chinese karate system, but is modern, rather than historical.
It is now called the American Kenpo Karate Association.
It utilizes kicks, blocks, techniques, katas, point strikes, fitness, and stretching.
SAS ( Special Air Service- England; John ” Lofty ” Wiseman; Lyons Press; 1997 ), starts by saying you have to learn how to assess dangerous situations, thus you may be able to stop the action, before it starts, and you won’t be a victim. ( same; p7)
To start, you need a positive mental attitude; violence is avoided 90% of the time; with aggressor attacks, where we need fighting skills, the other 10%. Along with a strong sense of moral right, is a powerful weapon. When starting self-defense, avoiding violence, is to learn discipline, how to move, etc.. To avoid mugging, be aware of not taking things that would draw them, ergo protecting yourself. Build a self-positive attitude, be aware of your environment, see problems before they happen, watch the body language of those you see in any of the three levels of awareness of danger, etc.. To help in doing this, foster great self-belief, strengthen your mental defenses, and create a persona of capability.
Train your mind to over come fear ( in the Book Dune, by Frank Herbert, the Bene Gesserit a female religious/political group, who looked for pure human, they had a litany against fear:
The Litany was as follows:
- “I must not fear.
- Fear is the mind-killer.
- Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
- I will face my fear.
- I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
- And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
- Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”
- ( internet; Wikia; Dune )
- Self-defense is based on three things: will to live, knowledge and techniques. ( The SAS self-defense Handbook; John ” Lofty ” Wiseman; Lyons;p31 ) If someone is trying to hurt you, you must have a strong mental attitude and control your emotions: Confidence, self-belief and high self-esteem. ( same, p31 ) If you have to fight, you must have a strong will to live, be aware of the terrain, build your adrenaline and conscious will to be aggressive, will to win. ( same, p33 )
- Eyes give away a lot, including how we’re feeling, how we look at the world, and etc.. Facial coloring can tell you a lot as well; red in the face is blustering, back away making soothing noise, so he can leave, and has saved face. The one whose blood has drained from his face, is the one to look out for. You also have non-violent actions, such as grooming, touching their hair, straightening their clothes, and so on, indicati. ( same, p36-37 ) Be assertive, if an opponent is pointing a finger at you, he or she may be testing you, ” Don’t do that; stay away; etc.. ( same, p37 ) Along with this be aware of the language, and you must know the boundary between assertiveness and aggressive behavior, so watch how you talk to people, and an opponent.
- To help you in your self-defense actions, using weapons like a rolled up newspaper, walking stick, etc.. Here are strike areas: ears, eyes, bridge of nose, upper lip, forearms, wrist, hands, groin, knees, ankles, and feet. ( same, p88 )
- Krav Maga is based on principles, rather than specific techniques; it is about problem-solving, rather than a particular style of action. Here are principles, for you to understand and do: Don’t get hurt, train from a disadvantage, identify and eliminate immediate danger, utilize the body’s natural instincts, deal with secondary dangers, counter attack, as soon as possible, best if you can do this, as you’re getting into a self-defense position, attack vulnerable areas, analyze the environment and use it as much as possible, mindset: don’t quit, flee to safety goal is to go home safely, and never do more than’s necessary. ( Krav Maga for Beginners; Levine-Whitman and Hoover; Ulysses; 2009 )
- Krav Maga adds a few new areas to strike: solar plexus, elbow, kidney, shin, eyes, liver, and ears. ( same, p70 )
- A most important rule in military the principle of…don’t personalize the enemy. One of the best ways to do this is to focus on a spot below the collarbone. Ruthlessness is intention, speed and surprise is the elements of eliminating an enemy. Two strategies for the individual, as well as, armies, is speed and surprise.
- Attack should be done with each strike aiming toward ending the confrontation. ( The Elite Forces Handbook of Unarmed Combat; Ron Shillingford; Thomas Dunne; p15 ).
- There is nothing pretty about unarmed combat, like seen in the cinema; in the battlefield, anything goes to kill the enemy, using body elements, as well as, anything in the battlefield, you can use to take out the enemy. This can be extremely debilitating, and overpowering psychologically, so any unarmed combat military style, has to teach the student how to handle this, by being trained and shown how to accomplish this goal. ( same, p18 )
- First principle of unarmed combat is to keep you opponent arms distance away from you. If on the ground, they are taught to do everything to get back on their feet. Training hour after hour, gives the soldier many techniques to utilize in a fight with and enemy opponent, so they become instinctive and reflex action against the enemy. ( same, p19 )
- Fundamentals to military unarmed combat:
- 1. making full use of of any available weapon
- 2. attacking aggressively by using maximum strength against the enemy’s weakest point
- 3. maintaining balance while destroying the opponents
- 4. using the opponent’s momentum to advantage
- 5. learning each phase of all the movements precisely and accurately before attaining speed through constant practice ( same, p25 )
- The other idea is not to spend a lot of seconds in fighting an opponent, when one simple move would do. These are two guiding principles: brevity and simplicity. To have success with any unarmed technique you have two guiding principles: is to have a mixture of relaxation and tension. ( same, p69 )
- There are three reasons why we combat our enemy:
- * to deny him opportunities
- * to degrade his techniques and defenses
- * to disrupt his attacks
- we do this by following these six principles:
- 1. Avoiding force
- 2. Leading force
- 3. Turning force
- 4. Absorbing force
- 5. Force against force
- 6. Force harmonization
- Along with these dynamic factors:
- 1. Balance
- 2. Battle awareness
- 3. Cohesiveness
- 4. Concentration of power/ resources
- 5. Concentration of power/resources
- 6. Coordination
- 7. Deception
- 8. Distance
- 9. Effort
- 10. Initiative
- 11. Maneuver
- 12. Momentum
- 13. Position
- 14. Security
- 15. Self-Awarness
- 16. Situation
- 17. Situation
- 18. Tempo
- 19. Thinking/Acting through the objective
- 22. Weapon/force selection
- 21. Vector ( Survival on the Battlefield; Robert K. Spear; Unique; p6-11 )
- Here is more of the vital points to attack in a fight: throat, collarbone, heart, stomach, short ribs, back of the hands, bladder, insteps; side view of body- temple, side of neck, chin, armpit, side of the knee, side of ankles; rear view of body- top of vertebra, back of the neck, elbow, small of the back, nerve pressure point inside and under the elbow point, kidney, coccyx ( tailbone ), hamstrings, back of knees, calf muscles and Achilles tendons. ( same, 22-23 )
- This has been an overview of style, and unarmed combat, showing principles, philosophies, and guiding factors, for techniques, see the original books themselves. All have techniques of their style, and look through them, until you find the one that fits you. Happy Hunting!
Bruce Lee’s Fighting Method; Bruce Lee and M. Uyehara; Ohara; 1977
Bruce Tegner’s Complete Book of Karate; Bantam; 1967
Bruce Tegner Complete Book of Self-Defense; Bantam; 1965
The Elite Forces Handbook of Unarmed Combat; Ron Shillingford; Thomas Dunne; 2000
Fighting Arts Of The World; John F. Gilbey; Charles E. Gilbey; 1974
Krav Maga; Levine, Whitman, Hoover; Ulysses; 2009
Ninja Secrets of Invisibility; Ashida Kim; Paladin; 1983
The SAS Self-Defense Handbook; John ” Lofty ” Wiseman; Lyons; 1997
Self-Defense: a Basic Course; Bruce Tegner; Thor; 1979
Survival on the Battlefield; Robert K. Spears; Unique; 1987
The Way Alone; Loren W Christensen; Paladin; 1987