Recommended reading for the martial arts. This is my personal library list. I practice Okinawan Te or "Ryukyu Ti." My system is derived from two others, one being the main influence of Shorin-ryu and the second Goju-ryu. The branch under Shorin-ryu is Isshin-ryu as developed by Shimabuku Tatsuo Sensei.

I wanted to create a library reference blog where I can provide a listing of the books I have in my library, present and past (past in that some have been lost in transit over the years). I will provide a graphic, if available, a short description, if available, and the bibliography. When possible a link to Amazon will be provided.

"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


Reader's of this Blog

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Is Isshinryu a Self-Defense Martial Art?

Caveat: This article is mine and mine alone. I the author of this article assure you, the reader, that any of the opinions expressed here are my own and are a result of the way in which my meandering mind interprets a particular situation and/or concept. The views expressed here are solely those of the author in his private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of other martial arts and/or conflict/violence professionals or authors of source materials. It should be quite obvious that the sources I used herein have not approved, endorsed, embraced, friended, liked, tweeted or authorized this article. (Everything I think and write is true, within the limits of my knowledge and understanding.)

Actually, except in some very rare cases, no it is not a self-defense system as it has and is taught today. At least from where I sit and I am sure there are going to be hundreds, maybe even thousands, that will adamantly refute this view of the Isshinryu system. To be a self-defense system Isshinryu must have and teach the following things:

Seven things you must cover in a self-defense class (Rory Miller article):

Legal and ethical aspects
Violence Dynamics
Avoidance, Escape and Evasion, and De-escalation (not fighting)
Counter-assault (operant conditioning goes here, definitely)
Breaking the freeze
The fight itself
Aftermath -- retaliation, medical, legal and psychological

Teaching Self Defense in Isshinryu?

I have been a proponent of the Isshinryu system for nigh on thirty-nine years. I believed in a traditional form of learning, practicing and teaching. I also believed that it was primo for self-defense. I was wrong on so many levels. 

During my tenure in the Isshinryu system I have come to know the many variants studied in this singular martial community. Some through direct observation and experience while others through secondary sources, etc. This is my analysis through my filters of perception and assumption. 

When I first came across the seven things that must be covered in self-defense training, i.e., the type that encompasses any and all forms of martial arts or martial art type models I realized that a lot of peoples assumptions, especially those in the Isshinryu system, were inaccurate or just plain incorrect. 

First, item one of the seven, none of the Isshinryu’s programs I have witnessed, experienced or came to know be it any of the three main branches in the United States even comes close to teaching the legal and ethical aspects of self-defense. Most tend to teach the standard, “uke does this, you do this in response,” drills or kumite’s. 

Second, item two of the seven, none of the Isshinryu’s programs I have witnessed, experienced or came to know be it any of the three main branches in the United States even comes close to teaching violence dynamics as I have come to understand through my references and studies. 

Third, item three of the seven, none of the Isshinryu’s programs I have witnessed, experienced or came to know be it any of the three main branches in the United States even comes close to teaching “Avoidance, escape and evasion, and de-escalation.” Most of what I learned, experienced, etc., were actually strategies and tactics that would speed the process of judgement and sentencing toward jail time, etc. They teach fighting, fighting predominantly sport oriented. 

Fourth, item four of the seven, none of the Isshinryu’s programs I have witnessed, experienced or came to know be it any of the three main branches in the United States even comes close to teaching counter-assault. 

Fifth, item five of the seven, none of the Isshinryu’s programs I have witnessed, experienced or came to know be it any of the three main branches in the United States even comes close to teaching concerning the freeze or the OODA loop or the OO bounce, etc.

Sixth, item six of the seven, none of the Isshinryu’s programs I have witnessed, experienced or came to know be it any of the three main branches in the United States even comes close to teaching  about the fight itself as it relates to those defining aspects of violence dynamics, i.e., social vs. asocial, etc. There is a huge assumption that what is trained is actually fighting and/or self-defense when in reality it is a sport oriented competitive mutually safe endeavor. 

Seventh, item seven of the seven and probably the most important thing, none of the Isshinryu’s programs I have witnessed, experienced or came to know be it any of the three main branches in the United States even comes close to teaching about the before, during and especially the after of a fight/self-defense encounter. They don’t discuss let alone present, study or train to the possible retaliation, medical, legal and psychological ramifications to conflict that has physical violence attached. 

You see, the experts feel strongly due to their knowledge, experience and ability toward conflict and violence, that these seven things must be a part of self-defense to teach self-defense.

Now, I have added number eight, i.e., RBT or Reality Based Training with all that entails like handling the effects of the adrenal flood, etc. 

Eight, the eighth of the additional things you must cover and teach for it to be self defense, none of the Isshinryu’s programs I have witnessed, experienced or came to know be it any of the three main branches in the United States even comes close to teaching reality based training, drills or other reality based things necessary to handle and live through a violent situation/encounter. 

Many will adamantly dispute this point of view and will vehemently spout out how they are practicing a system that is combative and relevant toward combat forms of fighting but fail to realize they also seldom teach and practice those distinctions, i.e., distinctions between combat, sport and civil self-defense let alone differences between citizen and police distinctions, etc. 

Yes, Isshinryu just like almost all martial arts systems have a great deal to contribute toward self-defense or even combatives and sport competitions but they fail to make the distinctions and they fail to teach to those distinctions. 

Even all the above in place if they are not addressing the distinctions in the self-defense model they are not teaching self-defense. 

Yes, Isshinryu is practiced, trained and taught as a “Way” or “Traditional System” or “Classical System,” but those are not self-defense systems if they don’t have the seven (eight, my extra) things you need to know, understand and use to have self-defense and self-defense training. 

Those aspects taught by these non-defensives systems all have benefits and even benefits toward defenses such as structure, posture, centeredness, etc. but to be self-defense they need a lot more.

If you want your Isshinryu or any martial system to be a self-defense system then there are changes that must be accepted, incorporated and trained to work. 

Read Also: “Isshinryu and Self-Defense” http://mymartialselfdefensephilosophy.blogspot.com/2014/11/isshinryu-and-self-defense.html

Primary Bibliography of Self-Defense (Some titles have RBT drills included):
MacYoung, Marc. "In the Name of Self-Defense: What It Costs. When It’s Worth It." Marc MacYoung. 2014.
Miller, Rory Sgt. "Meditations of Violence: A Comparison of Martial Arts Training & Real World Violence" YMAA Publishing. 2008.

Secondary Bibliography of Self-Defense (Some titles have RBT drills included):
Ayoob, Massad. “Deadly Force: Understanding Your Right to Self-Defense”Gun Digest Books. Krouse Publications. Wisconsin. 2014.
Goleman, Daniel. "Emotional Intelligence: 10th Anniversary Edition [Kindle Edition]." Bantam. January 11, 2012.
Miller, Rory. "ConCom: Conflict Communications A New Paradigm in Conscious Communication." Amazon Digital Services, Inc. 2014. 
Miller, Rory and Kane, Lawrence A. "Scaling Force: Dynamic Decision-making under Threat of Violence." YMAA Publisher. New Hampshire. 2012
Miller, Rory. "Force Decisions: A Citizen's Guide." YMAA Publications. NH. 2012.
Miller, Rory Sgt. "Facing Violence: Preparing for the Unexpected." YMAA Publishing. 2011.
Elgin, Suzette Haden, Ph.D. "More on the Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense." Prentice Hall. New Jersey. 1983.
Elgin, Suzette. "The Last Word on the Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense" Barnes & Noble. 1995
Morris, Desmond. “Manwatching: A Field Guide to Human Behavior.” Harry N. Abrams. April 1979.
MacYoung, Marc. “Writing Violence #1: Getting Shot.” NNSD. Amazon Digital. 2014.
MacYoung, Marc. “Writing Violence #2: Getting Stabbed.”  NNSD. Amazon Digital. 2015.
Elgin, Suzette. "The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense" Barnes & Noble. 1993.
Elgin, Suzette. "The Gentle Art of Written Self-Defense" MJF Books. 1997.
Maffetone, Philip Dr. “The Maffetone Method: The Holistic, Low-stress, No-Pain Way to Exceptional Fitness.” McGraw Hill, New York. 2000
Strong, Sanford. “Strong on Defense_ Survival Rules to Protect you and your Family from Crime.” Pocket Books. New York. 1996.
and more … see blog bibliography.
Jahn, C. R. “FTW Self Defense.” iUniverse. Amazon Digital Services. 2012
Jahn, C. R. “Hardcore Self Defense.” iUniverse. Amazon Digital Services. 2002.

Bibliography of RBT Drills (Some titles have RBT drills included):
MacYoung, Marc. "In the Name of Self-Defense: What It Costs. When It’s Worth It." Marc MacYoung. 2014.
MacYoung, Marc (Animal). “Taking It to the Street: Making Your Martial Art Street Effective.” Paladin Press. Boulder, Colorado. 1999.
MacYoung, Marc. "A Professional's Guide to Ending Violence Quickly: How Bouncers, Bodyguards, and Other Security Professionals Handle Ugly Situations." Paladin Press. Boulder, Colorado. 1996.
Miller, Rory. “Drills: Training for the Sudden Violence.” Amazon Digital Services, inc. Smashwords. 2011.
Quinn, Peyton. “Real Fighting: Adrenaline Stress Conditioning Through Scenario-Based Training.” Paladin Press. Amazon Digital Services, inc. 1996

My Blog Bibliography
Cornered Cat (Scratching Post): http://www.corneredcat.com/scratching-post/
Kodokan Boston: http://kodokanboston.org
Mario McKenna (Kowakan): http://www.kowakan.com
Wim Demeere’s Blog: http://www.wimsblog.com

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Fair Use

Caveat: This article is mine and mine alone. I the author of this article assure you, the reader, that any of the opinions expressed here are my own and are a result of the way in which my meandering mind interprets a particular situation and/or concept. The views expressed here are solely those of the author in his private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of other martial arts and/or conflict/violence professionals or authors of source materials. It should be quite obvious that the sources I used herein have not approved, endorsed, embraced, friended, liked, tweeted or authorized this article. (Everything I think and write is true, within the limits of my knowledge and understanding.)

Wow, like self-defense I never realized what I thought I knew along with that, “I don’t know what I don’t know” thing I am discovering fast just how much I don’t know in martial arts, self-defense and writing. This post is on writing. Writers already have a good idea on the subject simply because of the title, “Fair Use.”

I made assumptions about how I use materials from the sources I am studying. As I got closer to completing my effort to write a book on martial arts I started to research writing and publishing. Since I do use quotes, etc., from my sources books I realized that at a “minimum” I needed to give them credit but just found out that “may not” be enough. 

Like the self-defense world, the world of writing is chock full of stuff that effects how you write especially when you publish. Note that publishing includes blogging and even FaceBool Wall posts. I will use one quote here for what I perceive is nonprofit educational purposes, i.e., mine and the readers who may want to write themselves. The quote is, “Fair Use is an “affirmative defense — the defendant copier has the burden of proof to show that Fair Use applies. Essentially he says, ‘Yes, I copied the work—but I am allowed to because my copying is Fair Use.’” - Excerpted/quoted from “What Every Writer Ought to Know about Fair Use and Copyright by JOEL FRIEDLANDER on FEBRUARY 8, 2010”

When I read the quote, it reminded me of all the quotes in all the books on self-defense where it is painfully and comprehensively explained that self-defense is an “affirmative defense.” Then upon considering all the ways one can find themselves outside the “Self-defense Square” I then realized that this is the same in the “Fair Use” arena. Granted, there is more and I have not researched it enough yet but it does make for a cautious approach to my writing especially if my book is going to be published for money.  

What I am saying is that my book is going to take a great deal more time in the editing stage. I have used my references to learn and to pass along that learning in an attempt to educate other like minded folks but I NEED to make sure that I am well within the “Fair Use Square (to borrow a bit from Marc MacYoung’s version of SD Square).

My ultimate goal in writing the book may have been altruistic in nature but the fact that it might infringe on my reference/source authors does not sit well with me. I respect and admire their work and do not want to even hint at some infringement even if they don’t really care because all my efforts are toward “getting it right.” It is a slow learning process but that is what I intend. 

The last thing I want to do is break copyright of these most excellent authors but that would include the fair use aspects in writing. I need to study about copyright and fair use then develop a check list to guide me toward creating a book that will, hopefully, provide some guidance to those martial artists out there who, like me, went so long training, practicing and teaching under a cloud of ignorance and misinformation with a strong emphasis toward the self-defense domain. 

Stupid is as stupid does says Forrest Gump and like him, I need to not be stupid and not do stupid. In closing I would like to express the following, “If I have written anything that misuse your materials let me know the post/article with your concerns. I will do one of two things, first I will correct the mistake or, second I will remove the post/article completely. 

Lessons learned: If you have a desire to write regardless of the venue, i.e., magazine articles, blogging, FB entries, books, etc., you really need to learn about writing completely, fully and as comprehensively as possible, i.e., start with copyright law along with fair use law and requirements so you don’t misuse and misrepresent what you write and what your sources “worked so damn hard and diligently to produce.” My mistake here comes under that misquote I use, “You need to learn what it is you don’t know you don’t know and DON’T MAKE ASSumptions!”

Thanks and have a great day!


Note: I immediately went to the Google images page to find a cool looking graphic to associate with this post then I stopped and asked, "Am I using this under a fair use thing? Is it copyright infringement? Do I need to ask permission? Does the use pass the four rules of fair use? Questions, questions, and more questions. I will use avoidance this instance until I acquire more knowledge on this fluid subject. 

Friday, March 6, 2015

Writing Violence

Bibliography:
MacYoung, Marc. “Writing Violence #1: Getting Shot.” NNSD. Amazon Digital. 2014.
MacYoung, Marc. “Writing Violence #2: Getting Stabbed.”  NNSD. Amazon Digital. 2015.

Review: I have found the writings of Marc MacYoung to be informative, inspirational and just plain humorously good. These are meant to help authors in bringing realism, reality based that is, to their actions scenes. These two are only the first two of a planned series he is gong to write and publish. I am very interested in writing, both fiction and non-fiction (the Non is for my martial arts stuff). When he first put out that he was going to write these I could hardly wait. 

Now, I have read the first two listed above and will tell you that I believe these books are just as relevant to those of us who want to fully and completely understand the world of self-defense and martial arts, i.e., the self-defense martial arts world. As I read these I could not help but connect what he presents as very, very relevant toward learning, teaching and practicing SDMA. It just made sense to me that although his intentions are to help writers that he either on purpose or indirectly addressed a lot of information that anyone who is in the self-defense community will benefit (in addition, wouldn’t it be cool that our fictions would also serve a dual purpose to entertain and to inform). In the book on getting stabbed it added a whole new realm of understanding that knives are, “DANGEROUS!” Dangerous is not enough to fully convey that in the SD world you just want to fully and completely avoid knives. 

Anyway, I look forward to the next edition on punching/striking because as a karate-ka who, as anyone in the community knows, the use of the hands/fists become personal. I will add those editions as they come out in the bibliography. 

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Drills by Rory Miller

Bibliography:
Miller, Rory. “Drills: Training for Sudden Violence.” Amazon Digital Services. 2011

Review: We all are hearing the view that it is necessary to self-defense that our training has to take a shift and that shift is about reality based training that will do the job when sudden violence hits. Rory Miller, in this book, takes you there and it is a necessary trip if you want to learn, teach, train and practice for self-defense. 

Needless to say, Rory Miller has once again hit the ball out of the part - another home run! Yeaaaaa! Don’t let your SD training suffer and don’t allow your students to find out the hard way that what they think they know actually doesn’t work. Mr. Miller takes you on your way with this book and his books all provide you with sources for hands-on reality based no bullshit courses (coined by some famous author who I can’t remember - Eisler I think).


Add this to your library, you won’t regret it. :-)

Thursday, February 19, 2015

FTW Self Defense - Hardcore Self Defense - Warrior Wisdom

Bibliography:
Jahn, C. R. “FTW Self Defense.” iUniverse. Amazon Digital Services. 2012
Jahn, C. R. “Hardcore Self Defense.” iUniverse. Amazon Digital Services. 2002.
Jahn, C. R. “Warrior Wisdom.” iUniverse. Amazon Digital Services. 2012.


Review: Unorthodox in his writing but interesting, even spell binding in its presentation. It is a definite addition to anyone’s self-defense library but my warning would be to take the presentation in all its color with a grain of salt, i.e., not as to content and meaning but the method of articulation as in “hard and rough and no holds barred language.” This guys writes a lot like the other authors of self-defense, no bullshit tell it like it is models.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Strong on Defense

Bibliography:
Strong, Sanford. “Strong on Defense: Survival Rules to Protect you and your Family from Crime.” Pocket Books. New York. 1996.

Review: I can’t remember how I came across this book. I suspect it was one recommended in another book I was reading at the time. It may have been Rory Miller’s Meditations of Violence or it might have been in Marc MacYoung’s book, “In the Name of Self-Defense.” I tend to study, through out my day, several books or other materials at the same, sequentially speaking, time. 

This one speaks a bit to mind-set training, which I appreciated. It also provides a lot of stories about crime and violence to give one some idea’s about that subject while feeding the training suggestions for creating a mind-set or mind-state that, hopefully, will allow the user/reader to act in those few seconds when a sudden, surprise, pain filled, fear inducing, hard and close blitz attack happens. 

The thing is, Sanford Strong is a retired police officer and his goal is to provide civilians, like me, who are not in the professional status to benefit from the training and experiences of some who spend their time dealing with crime and violence and conflict. 


Recommendation: Highly recommended for your SD library!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Bibliography:
Ayoob, Massad. “Deadly Force: Understanding Your Right to Self-Defense”Gun Digest Books. Krouse Publications. Wisconsin. 2014.

Review: This book deals with firearms, etc. but is a solid teacher of general self-defense. Many of the topics or chapters explain things that will help a self-defense practitioner to expose themselves to those things that explain varying ways to justify actions taken in application of self-defense. 

Mr. Ayoob provides us a concise explanation of things like, "AOJ (Ability, Opportunity and Jeopardy), Castle Doctrine and Stand Your Ground, The Hierarch of Lethality, Knife-Impact weapon-Disparity of Force-Force of Numbers and so on that an SD defending themselves needs to justify and explain and be admissible type information. 

His Case Studies provide you, the SD practitioner, with knowledge that will get your evidence admitted because you used it as a reasonable and prudent means to justify and know the level of force you encountered and used that meets the standards of the law, etc. 

One of the most important concepts I got from this is "Exposure." If you are not well educated and/or versed on violence and all it entails then you cannot adequately protect yourself and most importantly you CANNOT apply SD properly to meet those legal and civil standards, etc. 

I would add this book to my library, ops-already added ;-) , especially to help create a complete, as possible, knowledge base for my SD.

Addendum: for clarity, Massad Ayoob quote, "Reasonable Fear is simply that apprehension of danger which any reasonable, prudent person would experience if they were in the same situation as you, knowing what you know at the time." My view: this means to me, that exposure to many facets of violence and SD provide you the knowledge necessary to make such critical decisions as well as make them admissible in a court battle, etc.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Scouting Out the Historical Course of Karate

Bibliography:
Wittwer, Henning. “Scouting Out the Historical Course of Karate: Collected Essays.” Impressum. Germany. 2014 (www.lulu.com)

Review: Another interesting and informative book on the historical beginnings of karate. This one is a good addition to the book by Andreas Quast, Karate 1.0. I have already found several tidbits of interesting information that helps to validate many beliefs I had taken for granted in the past simply because there were no references to support those. This book is one of three volumes of the author but this one is the only one translated, so far, into English.


The price is worth it for the information provided. It is recommended for your martial arts library. As I continue to study it I will come back and provide a more in depth review. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Maffetone Method

Bibliography:
Maffetone, Philip Dr. “The Maffetone Method: The Holistic, Low-stress, No-Pain Way to Exceptional Fitness.” McGraw Hill, New York. 2000.

Review: This new book, for me anyway, resonated with me a lot. It resonated because it seemed complemental to my views on “Balance.” Balance as in the Chinese Yin-Yang theory. I learned long ago, academically at least although physically, etc. seems to be taking a long time, that balance is the key to life. I also am learning along the way that this balance thing is actually the secret to life as to why we are here, why we need to find balance and how all that can lead to better life, better life choices and better understanding as to how we can maximize all those myriad things in our lives. 

This books is a great addition to that Emotional and Intellectual and Physiokinetic Intelligence we all strive for daily and even more so to those of us who believe it and practice the discipline of martial systems like “Karate.” The Emotional Intelligence speaks to the “Spirit” within a martial system. Intellectual Intelligence speaks to the “Mind” within a martial system. Finally, the Physiokinetic Intelligence speaks to the “Body” within a martial system. Therefore to achieve efficiency and expertise, etc. in a martial system one must achieve “Balance within that system.” This book is a primer toward achieving that gaol. It is a whole different perspective on knowing that, “Fitness and Health” are not always inter-connected, at least properly and in balance. Think symbiotic or simpatico. 

This book will give you the additional tools to get-er-done. Take for instance our understanding of adrenal stress chemicals tend to explain the flood that occurs when fear, anger or danger of many kinds is encountered. Did you know that the adrenal stress response is just a small part of a bigger whole where that same adrenal flood can benefit heath and fitness while giving the martial artists tools to further that understanding and control to make the flood work for them vs. against them? There are four types of Hormone’s that include “Epinephrine and Norepinephrine (also known as adrenaline). Type 1 is glucocorticoids, Type 2 is mineralcorticoids, Type 3 is sex hormones and Type 4 is Epinephrine and neorepinephrine. 


When you begin to learn about the entire adrenal system, as it may be called although not truly accurate, you also understand how that particular system can either lead to injuries or take you toward lessor or even no injuries. You will find this book of interest, in general for health and fitness, and of interest as a part of your training and practice of the martial disciplines. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

My Journey with the Grandmaster

Bibliography:

Review: Although this book is no longer in print and the offered used copies on Amazon are priced so high that it is laughable you can still put your name in for a copy when the book is reprinted by Sensei Hays some time in the future. It is worth the wait and costs. Well written and it conveys a good deal about Okinawan Karate. 

I ran across it a while back and managed to get a reasonably priced book for my collection and I have not been disappointed. He and the writings introduced me to some new concepts and fundamentals I had not known of before. That alone made it worth the price of printing, etc.


Honestly, I am not sure how I missed putting this into my Google Martial Art Library but I did. I am fixing that mistake now. Get a copy when the price is reasonable or when it is reprinted.