I don't doubt a word of either "The Essence..." or "Tales...". I mean the "Tales" part of the title tells you what those are. They both parallel pretty much what I've learned from various sensei and personal research over the last 25+ years of Shorin Ryu training.
Tegumi/wrestling is mentioned in Funakoshi's "Karate-Do: My Way of Life". That book was written in the first third of the 20th Century. Reading is fundamental. There is a short chapter dedicated to the salience of being a good grappler (in order to be a better toudi practitioner) which was a given before the 2nd WW. He states that wrestling in Okinawan Sumo matches as a youngster helped his (and I surmise) other's karate training. From this I gathered that there woud be no need for a tegumi interpretation in kata training. If you were already adept at grappling why would the karate lessons deviate from their true intent as a self-preservation art? Tegumi is a combat sport not a true MA.
There are many so-called experts of note on these sites and in print. Many have become rich because of their business acumen and not so much for their karate I.Q.. Take their words with a grain of salt. I have a feeling that Mr. McCarthy is not of that ilk. He is obviously trying his best to get his interpretation of karate right. He is seeking after having a solid foundation. For example you can see the influence of his stint in Shooto in his partner drills. The majority of the others out there don't have an original clue and in fact use sites like this to get money making ideas.
My last shinshii (Ron Lindsey) is by far the best and most able to truly apply his karate in a real-time, real world way (at least from my experience). He seeks no glory or riches. He tries to slowly spread what he has realized in different ways. The quality of his BBs vary, because the individual and their experience, body and mind account for a lot in any pursuit. I would say that his kata and training are adapted to the student. When I began training in the Philippines over 2 decades ago we were taught many wicked throws, breakfalls, standing locks, chokes on the ground, escapes and sprawls. Prolonged groundfighting was seen as a no-no.
I took a 13 years hiatus until I found Sensei Lindsey, which was out in the booneys like 2 hours away. Everything before that was sub-par even the Okinawan karate dojo (Matsubayashi under S.Nagamine then Ota- sorry Med!) in my area. When I switched from Matsubayashi to Matsumura Seito we learned more chokes, kyusho, locks and pins. We learned how to fight in seiza, kneeling and some ground counters. Again strict, drawn out rolling is seen as stupid and dangerous for the street. I agree. Proof of this is the fact that Gracie-Torrance has recently announced that they will not be participating in tourneys. If you have the money or connection to the family you are encouraged to sign up for privates vs. group training. Certain people are taught Gracie S.D which is the aspect of GJJ that G.M. Helio always wanted perpetuated. There is some rolling but a lot includes strikes, kicks, disarms and quick submissions. This is the original intent of GJJ, but very few ever learned it or thought that it was worth knowing. Stupid, arrogant and short-sighted IMHO...
So what I'm saying is that good karate teaches one all ranges with standing on your own two as the favorable position, as we'll as history, kobudo/kobujutsu critical thinking and respect for those who give it and especially to any potential adversary.
I don't know if people really read what I write, but there are some Okinawan Shinshii, Kobayashi's Matsuda comes to mind, who do teach groundfighting. He was a Judo champ and even has grappling kata as part of the curriculum. In jiyu kumite the fights often start standing and end up on the ground where one winds up trying to submit the other. He has been teaching like this even before 1991.
I trained for a few years with Lindsey Shinshii and was graded to nidan. That usually means squat, but I do feel that the Okinawan karate I've learned has served me well in many physical and mental endeavors. Those many sell-outs who received their foundation in karate then claimed it was useless are just stupid ingrates, learned under a hack or three, were substandard or just plain can't and never will be able to fight when it really counts. I won't mention names. You superficial, ignorant, punk-arse dolts know who you are.
I've always felt that what I gleaned from my awesome experience in Ryukyuan Sui-di can definitely hurt someone. Like many more before me I was a Sport Billy type whose background included the combat sports of Boxing and kickboxing. I started in Judo and have done some BJJ. Many decent karate guys had foundations in similar sports and arts. We are not ignorant fools who live in this Mr. Miyagi fantasy about what good karate is.
So my opinion is if you know how to judge what is good or not, you can think of good karate training as a very valuable life tool. Like most things the proof is in the pudding, and most of the pudding available to the masses is mud. That's not stylistic superiority that is the way of our world.
Most karate is good for a distraction, mediocre physical fitness and for period piece lovers; like Revolutionary War reenactors going through some pale semblance of the motions of war, but there ain't no real bullets or self-preservation aspect to it at all.
BTW Mr. McCarthy- was Richard Kim really an Okinawan Shorinji Ryu practitioner or did he do his own brand of Japanese Karate? Did you ever try and learn under strong Shorin Ryu guys like Yuichi Kuda or Fusei Kise (in his prime)? Did you ever train in the Kyan related systems, Kobayashi, Okinawan Kenpo, Uechi Ryu or seek out living masters like Hohan Soken? If not why? Thanks for your input. Oh yeah, Ed is just a mudansha. Forgive him for his brashness and "inquisitive" nature. When you get no true answers for your questions from your dojo or training then you might be prone to question everything you don't know. Especially if you don't like to (re)search for yourself!
Bryan Cyr, Nidan, Kokusai Shuri Te Karate/Kobujutsu Rengo Kai