"The Author, it must be remembered, writes from his own standpoint!"
My personal "Interpretive" Lens!

"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

"Providing a first step on a path to self-reflection." - C. E. James

"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

"What is true today may be reevaluated as false not long after. Judgements are frequently based upon a set of "temporary" circumstances surrounding them. Conflicting ideologies can exist simultaneously. Antagonistic dualities are complementary aspects of a unified whole: are seen as mutually dependent mirror images of each other." - Nahum Stiskin

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.

Kenpo Gokui

The lines of the ken-po goku-i are set from an atomistic aspect simply because it is the manner in which the brain learns. Its nature is completely holistic and like the I Ching must be in a form that promotes learning and understanding so a person can see, hear and grasp the nature of a holistic system. The gokui is a method to teach us how to be holistic. Its terseness is the best that can be done to convey its holistic meaning.

A person's heart is the same as Heaven and Earth while the blood circulating is similar to the Sun and Moon yet the manner of drinking and spitting is either soft or hard while a person's unbalance is the same as a weight and the body should be able to change direction at any time as the time to strike is when the opportunity presents itself and both the eyes must see all sides as the ears must listen in all directions while the mind must grasp all the tactual data not seen on all sides and not heard in any direction.

A person’s heart is the same as Heaven and Earth while circulatory system is similar to the cycles of the moon and sun yet the breathing methods are either hard or soft while one’s posture should allow one to advance, retreat, engage, and disengage as the body should be able to act in accordance with time and change so that one must enter a state of emptiness (mushin/zanshin) allowing the eyes must see all sides and the ears should listen in all directions while the mind must grasp all the tactual data not seen on all sides and not heard in any direction. - My rendition per translation from Andy Sloane Sensei.

Master Zeng said, "Am I preaching what I have not practiced myself?"

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All Bottles are Truly Good

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Finding Balance in Martial Practices

Caveat: Please make note that this article/post is my personal analysis of the subject and the information used was chosen or picked by me. It is not an analysis piece because it lacks complete and comprehensive research, it was not adequately and completely investigated and it is not balanced, i.e., it is my personal view without the views of others including subject experts, etc. Look at this as “Infotainment rather then expert research.” This is an opinion/editorial article/post meant to persuade the reader to think, decide and accept or reject my premise. It is an attempt to cause change or reinforce attitudes, beliefs and values as they apply to martial arts and/or self-defense. It is merely a commentary on the subject in the particular article presented.

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. Oh, and just because I wrote it and just because it sounds reasonable and just because it makes sense, does not mean it is true.

I practice both “Chi Gong,” and “Tai Chi Chuan.” Both have contributed heavily toward my martial practice. It comes down to “How you practice kata.” There is no one way to use kata. Like the softer practice of shorin kata vs. the harder sanchin like practice of goju kata. It all depends.

You mention kata as a balance exercise, that too depends on what you mean by balance. In a literal sense not but two short years ago I was struck down with a “Vertigo” attack. Man, that vertigo was really bad and it took me another two years to get my balance back (very close to back to the way it was but not totally back). I can tell you that my kata, my tai chi and my chi gong exercise/practice are the only reason I got 99.9% of my balance back.

You see, when such things happen it changes your brain so I had to reboot and reprogram my brain and body to reacquire my physical balance. 

Now, if you are talking about a balance of mind, body and spirit then that discussion needs about a book or two to just get out the fundamentals. When I think of balance I think of how I balance out many different things especially in martial disciplines such as balance out my attitude with the encountering of conflict, violence and violent conflict. You see, in those areas if my balance is heavy toward the pure physical I might prevail while failing, i.e., win the fight but end up in jail and all that entails. 

If you do a little more research you will find that the traditional masters tended to use kata along with the tools of hojo-undo, etc. to build heath, strength and well-being (all balanced). So the answer is “Yes and No” because they all used other disciplines to maintain strong and capable bodies, mind, and spirits. 

Another balance I can think of is the implementation and execution of martial techniques through a balanced, as in proper proportions as dictated by each unique situation in self-defense, application of physiokinetics. Take that a bit further in the striking arts of karate where we tend to train ourselves out of balance for defense with the focus on the strikes, i.e., the use of the fist to hit or be hit. We tend to lean heavily on our fists because that is what we are and were taught. After all, karate is about the empty hand. The balance is skewed even with the empty-handed reference where we forget that the open-hand strikes are actually superior to the closed fist and so on. 

Balance is one of those things where overall if we don’t achieve balance in martial theory, physiokinetic, techniques and philosophy then we skew our application of it in defense and thus in life. In the last forty years or so I have come to believe that the true nature of our existence is to find “Balance.” You know, a bit like “Yin-n-Yang or better Yin-Yang.” 

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