Thursday, August 30, 2018

The manner of stepping is either hard or soft.

Permit me to play with the words a bit, allow me the license to do so for a moment.

Something I have not thought about for a long time is the use of Replacement Stepping.

In the past I defined it thusly.

Replacement Stepping is used to step away from a line of attack.

          The stepping leg moves first alongside the other leg, then perhaps because of the attacker moving forward too fast, the other leg steps back to conclude the crescent step. An alternate version has the 2nd leg kick out to form the stance on a different angle, across the line of attack. This can be accomplished by a slide shift if straight stepping is used.

The replacement stepping also moves your centerline from where the opponent desires to strike. This creates a new line to counter-attack. This also works as a force multiplier.

Of course this is just a lot of words. Let’s look at them more closely.


The normal method of moving forward in Isshinryu is the Crescent Step.


That is where the back leg moves in along side the lead leg then moves forward stepping to the outside, the entire stepping motion can be seen as a “C” shape on the floor.


When the crescent step is used it can be thought of using the stepping foot to compress one’s energy into the supporting leg to then explode the gathered energy into the remainder of the step. Thus it can be a force multiplier to increase the energy delivered with a strike at the same time. Or the motion can be used to attack the attackers moving leg in a wide range of options.


But there are other possibilities.


Say the attack is moving faster than you expected, when the foot moves alongside the supporting foot, it can also return from where it came. Thus not stepping as a defense. Allowing you to respond from the original position. There might be tactical reasons for this.


However you are now in a different stance than you originally intended. Now you are in a crescent stance of the opposite shape from your original intention. Likely requiring another response to make that effective.


But another option can be the employment of Replacement Stepping. The attack moving on you is faster than you anticipated, or perhaps you wish to move your center to another location. Either tactical choice can be accomplished with Replacement Stepping.


Thus when your moving leg moves alongside the supporting foot, instead your moving leg now becomes your supporting leg, and the former supporting leg steps back completing the crescent step.


You have gained an immense tactical advantage. For their attack was focused on where they expected you to be. They have moved their center forward anticipating striking you. However, you are not there. Instead you are further back than they expected and the limb they chose to attack with and their body center are forward, perhaps more available for your response.


On the other hand you are in the exact position you wished to be in. and you have moved back in the process. There are a vast number of tactical possibilities that have opened.


The interesting thing is you can practice your kata with Replacement Stepping and not change a movement. Essentially you stay in place for the practice. Also worthy when space to practice is at a premium.


Of course practice of the concept is necessary too. You can do so with any of your kata, without exception. The choice is yours.


I would suggest that only one practice kata is necessary.


I with I had filmed this, but this is one of thousands of things I never got around to filming.


It if of course up to you to work out whether you can do this.


But it adds an entirely different dimention to your possibilities.



January 1979 - My Day

January 1979

I remember driving from Scranton, Pa to Charles Murray’s home in Deleware. I knew the day following I would be taking my Black Belt examination. That evening he toom me out to see a movie to take my mind off of what would be happening. The movie was Superman, and all I could think of was how poorly Superman held his own fist, but I suppose if you were super it really didn’t matter.


For the past year or so I had been training under the instruction of Charles Murray.


We studied Kusanku, Sunsu, Sanchin together. Our studies also went to kobudo of the Isshinryu system. Tokomeni No Kon, Urashie No Bo, Kusanku Sai and Chantan Yara No Sai.  He also had me teach myself from the 1966 movie the tonfa form ‘Chia Fa’. 


Instruction consisted of vigorous kata workout and vigorous kumite. I would note his kumite skill level was way above where I was.


Then the day arrived when he told me I was to be tested for my Black Belt by the Isshinryu Karate Association of Lewis Sensei. Perhaps it was a cold, sunny day, but I wasn’t paying attention to the weather.


The day of my examination Howard Mitchum was also there with is friend Lewis Sensei.


Mr. Mitchum was holding two clinics earlier in the day, one for kyu students and one for Dan students.


It was a very interesting time, but I admit I was not as focused on his clinics.


Between the Kyu clinic and the Dan clinic Charles was in Lewis Sensei’s office discussing things with him.


The entire IKA was there for the clinics, especially all the Black Belts.


Reese Rigby, one of my Seniors from Dover, came up to me and asked me to spar with his senior kyu. Of course I agreed. I remember Reese starting us, and I remember tearing into him, probably the best I ever felt fighting. The fight went on for a while. Then Charles came tearing out of Sensei’s office, shouting at me. He told me, “Victor, what do you think you are doing. Save yourself for later.” Then that was that.


Mr. Mitchum gave his Dan clinic. A lot of it was his reminiscing about his time on Okinawa. He expressed when he was there, tonfa was not one of the studies. Charles volunteered that I had learnt the form Chia Fa, and he volunteered that I could demonstrate it. So I did.


Afterwards all of the Black Belts went out to dinner with Mr. Mitchum.


My exam was to be held later in the night.


Throughout the meal, everyone kept looking at me, some remarked that I really should not be eating. It was a very unusual time.


Then I was taken to Lewis Sensei’s home to change for the examination. I was blindfolded and taken out to his car to be driven around.


Eventually I was guided out of his car and taken someplace. I was still blindfolded.  Once there I was set down and left alone.


Eventually Charles came for me, removed my blindford, I noted that I was in the club locker room, and he told me it was time.


I was then led out into the dojo with a spotlight shining in my eyes, not permitting me to clearly see who was there.


It turned out it was Lewis Sensei, Mr. Mitchum and all of the Black Belts of the IKA who were there to test me.  All of them tested me.



The test progressed, the details are private within the IKA. Everyone there entered into my testing at many levels.


When I was finished I was led back to the locker room to wait what seemed a very long time.


Later Charles came for me and took me to Lewis Sensei’s office, everyone had crowded in.


Sensei told me I passed my examination, then he gave my my certificate and my black belt.


Other things happened, eventually we ended up back as Sensei’s where I could change.


Then Charles took me back to his parent’s home to spend the night.


I remember I slept with my black belt under my pillow.


Monday, August 27, 2018


Among the more esoteric books in my collection,
is this book.
Some excerpts for your consideration.
THE    " HSI   YUAN    LU "  OR   "

Translated from  the  Chinese


By  HERBERT  A.  GILES,  LL.D.Aberd.,  D.Litt.Oxon.


(Professor  of   Chinese,  Cambridge  University.)




Chapter 1.-General remarks on inquests.

, ·  2.-  ,   ,  , wounds and the death limit.

8.-(1) Printed forin for wounds.

(2) Human  skeleton.

4.-(1) Examination of the corpse before burial.

(2) Examination of the corpse after burial.

5.-Preparing corpse for examination.

6.-(1) The first inquest.


"       (2) Further inquest.

7.-Decomposition of body at different seasons."

8.-Real and counterfeit wounds.

9.-Examination of female corpses.

10.-Dried up corpses.


, 11.-Examination of decomposed corpses.

12.-Human  bones.

, 18.-(1) Examination of bones.

(2) Whether injured before or after death.

14.-0n the bones and veins of the human body.

15.-The blood-dropping test  (for kindred).

, 16.-Examination of ground.




Murders  are rarely  the  result  of premeditation, but  can  be traced  in  the  majority of eases,  to  a  brawl.    The  statute which  treats of  wounding   in  a  brawl  attaches  great weight  to  the  death-limit, which  means  that the  wounded  man  be  handed  over  to  the accused   to be taken care  of and  provided  with  medical  aid, and  that a limit  of time  be fixed,  on  the  expiration of  which  punishment be awarded   according to  circumstances. Now the  relatives of a wounded  man, unless  their  ties  be of the  closest,  generally desire his death  that they  may  extort money  from  his  slayer; but  the  accused  wishes  him  to live  that  he   himself   may   escape   death,  and   therefore  leaves   no  means untried to restore  him  to health.   This  institution of  the  death-limit is  a  merciful   endeavour to save  the  lives  of both.




1.-Death from blows.

2.-Wounds inflicted by the  hand, foot, a.nd weapons generally.

3.-Wounds inflicted by wooden or metal weapons, stones, &c.


5.-(1) Knife-wounds.    (2) Whether  inflicted before or after death.·

6.-Suicide with weapons.

7.-Suicide by strangulation.

8.-Murder passed off as suicide by strangulation.

9.-(1) Drowning.    (2) Whether  before or after death.

10.-Drowning in wells.

11.-(1) Burning.    (2) Whether  before or after death.







Where death, has resulted from blows in a fight, the  mouth  and  eyes will be  open, the  hair and clothes disordered, and the two arms stretched  out.     [For  just previous to death  the mouth  will be in full play, and the eyes will be glaring fiercely;  the  hair and-clothes will get disordered in the  scufiie ; and  the  arms, employed  in  defeooe, will be-stretched out.]    Where  there  are  wounds the skin will separate   from  the  membranebelow and  will sound  if tapped  by  the  finger.    If hot  vinegar  is applied, the  cicatrix will appear.    Observe its  size and  measure  its  length   and  breadth.    Also note  how many  wounds  there are,  either of which would have caused death, but fix on some one in the  most vulnerable part as the  mortal one.   If death occurs either within or without the  limit, it  may be  that   medical  aid  has  been of no avail,  or  from  exposure to the air,  in which case the  face would be yellow and  flabby.



Part  II.-To Ascertain  tvhether  the  Wounds were inflicted   Before  or After   Death.


·wounds inflicted  on the  bone leave a red mark  and a slight  appearance of saturation, and  where  the  bone  is  broken  there   will  be  at either end a halo-like trace  of  blood. Take  a bone on which  there  are  marks  of a wound  and  hold it up to the  light  ; if these are  of  a  fresh-looking red, the  wound  was inflicted  before death and  penetrated to the bone ;  but  if there   is  no  trace   of  saturation from  blood,  although there  is  a  wound, it was inflicted  after  death.


All men  have  old scars  on their  bodies, either from falling  down in youth  or fighting, being  bambooed,  boils,  &e.   Although  the  place  heals  in  time,  the  scar  never  passes away; it  takes a darkish hue  and  remains visible  after  death.   For   where  the  blood has  once congealed, it will never  resume its former  appearance.   But  old wounds  have not   the  halo-like   appearance,  are  soft  to  the  touch,   are  on  a  level  with  the   parts surrounding, and  of a dull colour.    The flesh and  bone are  both  different from  those  of a  recent   wound.



Stoallowing Gold.


In cases  of  poisoning   from  swallowing   gold, the   flesh  of  the  partridge  should  be eaten ; for silver,  gentian and  liquorice-root.   Salt  used   to  wash  gold, and  the  fat  of -camels, donkeys  and  horses,  as also  Spondias amara, will all be  found  to  soften   gold ; sheep's  fat   will  act   similarly   upon   silver.     If gold  or  silver  has  been   swallowed, administer  the   above   remedies  according to  circumstances ;  the   metal   will  thus   be softened and  be  easily  passed.




In cases of asphyxiation a draught of cold water will bring about a recovery,

-or the juice of turnips poured into the nose and mouth. Move the patient into some

place where the wind can blow upon him; he may thus come round.




Where poison of some unknown kind has been taken with the food or drink,

administer some sweet-grass or Platycodon grandiflorum broth; a cure may thus be


I would note I do not recommend anyone
follow these procedures.
I am not a physician.
This is just a for historical reference.