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WHAT IS KARATE? Deadly Art of Survival Magazine

Words by Shidoshi Nathan Ingram & Shihan Glen Beck

The definition of the (Japanese) word, Karate, in its simplest form means “empty” (Kara), and “hand” (Te): empty hand. However, watching any of the thousands of movies available we know that weapons are also a large part of the use of karate. When it comes to its exact origins the world will debate endlessly that it was created in many different countries and centuries. As much as I’m up for the great debate about this, the truth is that I, like most of you, would be guessing because none of us were born yet and weren’t standing there at its inception. I feel that even scholars, on this, or any subject would argue their views to exhaustion. So, let’s get away from its point of origin(s), and talk about what we think karate is to us; keeping in mind that our thoughts on the matter extend to all of the arts by any name that can be practiced.

The discussions that I’ve had, read about or overheard with my teachers, contemporaries, or others were all far-ranging. In the decades of my life being integrated into the arts, and from every aspect in my younger years while I was a student, instructor, mentor, or warrior, differs some from the wisdom I gained when I got older and began walking a path of enlightenment. That’s just to say that I strive to be a better person each day than I was the day before. When I look in the mirror, I just want to know that I’m a good example for my students.

Some of the first things that come to mind concerning karate are words like discipline, confidence, fitness, and self-defense; all of which I believe to be true. However, as a Karateka what else comes to mind? In my opinion, thinking as altruistically as possible, being an honorable, caring, honest, person with high moral standards that our students can look up to are paramount when obtaining the title of teacher, and doing so without arrogance, or ego…. (Continued in the 5th Edition Magazine.) Use discount code DEADLYART10 to get 10 percent off when you checkout.

Nathan Ingram

Teacher, and always a student


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Grandmaster Odette Russell | The Sidagoo Experience

Shidoshi: I’ve done some research and through this research I believe that along with being labeled “The Mother of SWAM,” you should also be referred to as “One of the Deadliest Women on this Planet.” How do you feel about that?

Russell: Wow, one of the deadliest women, damn, I would prefer to be known as a healer, mentor, leader, and if you’re within my inner circle, a hell of a good friend. Basically not someone that ignites violence and viciousness but peace and harmony. I do believe that it is my job as a martial arts instructor for over 35 years and a student for over 40 years that I should build others’ confidence so that they develop the sheepdog mentality. A sheepdog is just like a sheep when relating to a category of people who are a positive contribution to society, the difference is a sheepdog addresses violence with violence.

Now addressing violence with violence is due to the inability to avoid being attacked. Nonetheless, if the self-defense is legitimate, than maybe you need to take one or two souvenirs (eyeballs or testicles), only kidding. My primary focus and responsibility is to assist in building my students’ mindsets for preparation to prevent panic against extreme situations that will require legitimate defense. My students will learn the basics of kicking, punching, locks, pressure points, elbows and knee strikes, however, their primary defensive skills will be from open hand fighting: ripping, tearing, and puncturing.

Psychological tools are also enhanced to control fear while awakening their warrior spirit. This also conditions them to reduce intimidation so they don’t become overwhelmed by someone’s size, body odor or bad breath (preparation for close quarter attacks). Elevating self-confidence pulls my students off the predators’ radars as their victimized demeanors are diminished. Most attackers are not interested in attacking someone that will give them a good fight where the attacker can get hurt.

As a result, my teaching heavily focuses on attack defense, developing muscle memory to instantly execute shocks and debilitating strikes. From my teaching methods, I understand how others can categorize me as deadly, however, this method of teaching is to prevent violence. I actually see myself as a peaceful warrior…

Full article in our Deadly Art of Survival 1st Edition, click here to get your copy.

GM Odette Russell

Traditional Arts vs Non- Traditional Arts | Kevin Pereira

Written by Kevin Pereira Renshi

In the traditional martial arts world, we learn many life lessons not just how to hurt someone or score a point. But rather how to set goals both short and long term. We learn how to set a plan into action and live the warrior spirit of resilience in our journey through the rankings.

As we get frustrated and struggle with new material, new terminology, languages and dojo culture.

We learn that respect is the backbone of our art and humility is its mother. Without humility, we can’t empty our cups to receive new knowledge and information.

The traditional arts give us a base in mental, physical, emotional, and moral strength. We learn various options for defense, our weapons are truly unlimited.

We learn that nothing comes overnight and the moment you think you have conquered or mastered a concept a new one arises. Things like techniques, kata, terminology, and hidden applications come to light over time giving the practitioner a constant proverbial carrot to chase.

The modern-day combat sport focuses too much on the concept of competition and does not foster the idea of brotherhood and family that traditional dojos do. They promote the idea that wrapping one’s hands and wearing gloves means you can knock someone out without having to condition your bones and skin. It is a bit ridiculous to someone who spent decades training their bones for such impact and the reality of street combat.

There is more of a fast-food aspect to their training. Give me six months and you’re already out there competing as opposed to spending time fine-tuning one’s technique before testing it. They go out with limited tools and fine-tune afterward.

Don’t get me wrong I respect the guts it takes to get in there and do what they do but most of these young guys take two months of boxing, four months of grappling, and they think they have all the answers. Things like the UFC do not prepare one to be pulled by the hair, raked in the eyes or grabbed by the wrist. They never learn how to assess those situations in a truly combative manner…

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Mildred Tse Gonzalez Shihan | D.A.S Karate Federation Champion

The year was 1978 and the dojo doors were always open at the Hamilton Madison House. Our dojo floor was always crowded with students 50 to 60 at a time. Students would come and go regularly because the training was so brutal and unforgiving. On this one particular day, a woman walked in with her little 12- year-old daughter. She walked over to me and said, “I would like to sign up my children in your class.” They were Michael, Melvin, and a little girl name Mildred. There was something different about Mildred. Her intensity caught my attention. When I asked her mother if she realized how hard we trained.

Immediately, Mildred responded for her mother and said, “I sure do.” My eyes opened wide and my response was, “OK see you tomorrow.” She came in the very next day, just to sit and watch everyone train. So I asked her if she would like to work out with me. Her answer was “sure.” From that day forward, we maintained a relentless training schedule, focusing on enduring pain and never giving up in a match. She was able to do it all- fight, forms, you name it. Everyone inside and outside our dojo could see the same thing I saw. She was special and demanded respect from the entire community, When I began to take her to compete, she did not like it at all. She didn’t like all the attention and she would say to me, “Sensei, why cant we just train?”…..

Read the full article in the Deadly Art of Survival Magazine 1st Edition

The Importance of Martial Conditioning | Malik Shabazz

Written by: Malik Shabazz GM

Let’s address The Importance of the Tsuki (Punch):

Most, if not all Karateka’s started off doing Knuckle Push-ups in their training.

In the beginning, it was challenging and at times difficult because our Knuckles / Hands became sore until we strengthened not only our hands, but also our wrists and shoulders alike.

In Time, our knuckles became rounded off calloused and discolored.

A handful of us began to up-grade by striking walls, etc.….

Then there was those of us who began to “take it up a notch” by striking The Makiwara (A padded striking post used as a Training/Conditioning Tool by various styles of Traditional Karate).

It was there that we would begin to understand and develop the importance of the Body’s Alignment, Hip Rotation, and Breath.

This was just another level of Karate’s growth and development. Yes, this is but a small part of a much larger factor of karate Training – “Agreed”

Factually, there was a reason for doing Knuckle Push-ups in the beginning of Karate Training, other than it being a matter of punishment or discipline. Sadly, this type of conditioning has/is becoming extinct for many different reasons. Many say this type of conditioning causes arthritis. The truth is, any kind of unsupervised or incorrect training of any kind will cause setbacks!

Due to the World in which we live, having or developing “Stopping Power” is a necessity!!

“If you can imagine the impact of a bullet hitting a vest, that’s “Stopping Power”.

It’s called “Ikken Hissatsu”, a Term used in Traditional Karate, meaning “To Annihilate with one blow”

Note: (DIT DA JOW) Mandatory



“World Peace Through Training”

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Kata, why it is the backbone of your martial art! | Kevin Pereira

By Kevin Pereira, 6th Dan, Renshi


Kata what is it? Is it a dance? Is it for a show? Is it for children? Kata is practiced by millions around the world and some don’t even realize it!

Let’s take a deeper look into this huge part of the martial arts firstly as an Okinawan bujutsu practitioner I will try and shed some insight into the word and it’s true meaning.

To translate it simply as a form is insanely incorrect for example here is the kanji for Kata 型 this Kanji is comprised of 3 separate Kanji.

These are the three pieces of this puzzle  

刀 + 土 + 形

The first Kanji 刀 is Ka which means sword or scalpel.The middle character 土 is Chi which means the ground. The base or third Kanji 形 is pronounced as kata which by itself means form or shape but this isn’t the Kanji used to mean Kata.

Sound and words can have multiple kanji associated with them which makes translation hard for those who aren’t native speakers or have teachers who speak and write the language fluently.

So the combination of all 3 characters which makes the actual Kanji used for kata 型 essentially means to cut a pattern into the ground.

Why would we cut a pattern into the ground? Simple!, to forge a concept into our bodies to etch a strategy for combat! Some Okinawans would say kata was the essence of your style. Your Ugoki (method of movement) was all set in your kata which defined your style.

Back then people didn’t learn basics like let’s do Keri and uke waza (kicking and receiving techniques) then learn kata. They learned kata first then with bunkai 分解 the disassembly, dismantling, and analysis of the kata they refined their movements.

So by today’s standards, they worked backward. The better question is where did some of these kata they were learning come from?

In Naha for example many of the young men served in the Chinese military. This was due to their Chinese lineage as most were descendants of the 36 families so many had obligation to serve.

One of the most widely practiced kata was born from drills taught at the Beijing military academy. Sadly most are unaware of its origins but practice and teach some version of kata Seuichin

刺引戦 Which means Pull into Battle. aka Seiyonchin Mandarin: 随運勁 Fujian: 青鷹戦 was developed by Sakiyama Kitoku after serving 10 years in the Beijing military academy he pieced together some of his favorite morning drills practiced at the academy to pass on these battle strategies to others.

Another example of where the Okinawan people got material from is the sapposhi they were government representatives of the Emperor of China, and they would travel with their bodyguards and military representatives of the Chinese empire. These military attaches and bodyguards were the individuals responsible for teaching kata and empty hand tactics to the Okinawan Pechin class.

The Pechin were a privileged class in the Okinawan infrastructure, but NOT SAMURAI. They had nothing to do with SAMURAI at all a completely different thing and culture under the Ryukyu Kingdom.

There are even documented records as far back as 1762 in regards to a boat traveling from the Ryukyu’s to the Satsuma shipwrecked and drifted near Oshima Island This event was recorded by the scribe Tobe Yoshihiro and became known as the Oshima Hikki.

During this event, a demonstration was witnessed where a man named Kusanku (as stated in the Oshima Hikki), it is unclear if he practiced a form of Chinese wrestling or Quanfa (Kenpo) was witnessed performing a demonstration where his students tried overpower him. His demonstration left such a mark that people asked to learn Kata from him. They were all in owe of his incredible power and skill.

Now how do 1762 and a demonstration relate to 2021? Some of the examples I mentioned dispel the fairy tales of, out of shape monks using kata like a form of jazzercise or Taebo.

Kata has been recorded and documented as a method of passing on a combative strategy to groups of people. In training camps lines of soldiers would work kata in a synchronized fashion to build not just combative skill but cultivate the spirit of brotherhood sweat together, bleed together and die together…

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