Thursday, September 25, 2014

Misogi Training & Aikido As A Martial Art

Fasting is something I've covered here from time to time as a part of training, and recently I've begun misogi training.  As the term suggests it involves water, and as I am not called to Shintoism, I do not approach it religiously.

I do the breathing exercises naturally enough, and a wee bit of shaking the torso before I dive in, and Speedo even has their version of the ritual fundoshi.  After a couple of laps between buoys, employing side stroke, back stroke and I then do some cycles on the diving board, using the ozzie crawl.

In my version, I have been swimming in Lake Washington every morning, which since I began in July, is not much in the way of training.  But now that the weather has dipped to 55 degrees F it is getting interesting.  The water is no colder than it was in July of course, that will take time to lower, so it is just a matter of being warm on the 3 blocks to the water and warm back, especially when it rains.

In the morning chill air walk to the beach my pores open, no doubt backing up my breathing trying to heat up my body against the cold.  I speak clinically about this because if I thought "o no, cold" I would turn back home.  And when I dive in, certainly the pores open up.

What I notice is like fasting almost all is psychological conditioning.  A kid waiting for his ride to school 2 weeks ago was agog I was heading for the dock.  The kid was swimming in the same water three days ago.  Back to school, the lake is not an option any more.  The people running their dogs in the adjacent park, dressed for the arctic, are astonished at someone swimming when it is not sunny.  Walking back the occasional pedestrian sees from my towel, etc that I've been swimming and wonders at it.  I simply say the water temperature is the same.

Swimming warms you up in the water, and surely when I do the diving routine I am warm when I get out and do not feel the cold until I dive back in.  After getting out of the water, the 55 degrees is fine.  Indeed, I towel off and let the air dry me a bit as I walk off the dock, before putting on my sweatshirt.  Walking home my back heats up.  I find at home I like to air dry so I work naked for a half hour or so, perfectly warm, and oddly, only begin to feel chilled after I dress.  So physiologically something is going on which is defensive.  Probably a good workout.

The Indians around here before the pale face showed up generally wore only a loose hide smock, and were other wise naked nearly year round.  It's what you are used too.  I am not saying we can go naked in the arctic, but we err way too much on overprotection.  If you are working outside, you know you can do with less.

Another thing I find, I was for the first half of the year eating two simple meals a day and rarely anything else, but now I need a third.  A daughter visited from Paris and exclaimed that I was so skinny.  Maybe, but I don't think I've ever been healthier.

In aikido as a martial art you are going to get hurt, and it is important not to worry about it.  Pain is information, not imperative.  Note it, assess it, and then proceed accordingly with what you still have.

Update: Next day, 55 degrees fahrenheit, 60% AH, cloudy.  Lake calm.  Walking toward the lake, looking forward to diving into the warmer water

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Training With Adrenalin

When the fear hits you and your reflexes explode and your pores open to suck in as much oxygen to burn as possible in support of your lungs doing the same, and the hi-performance adrenalin come pouring into your system, you see the untrained flailing about, swinging wildly, tripping, doing as much injury to self as others.

A part of training is to work at that level.  Get to the point where the adrenalin is flowing and you can maintain your moves and balance.  Let the adrenalin be a matter of joy, not fear, where you are doing your best work because of the threat, not out of control because of the threat.

I listened to Chrissie Hynd talk about playing to the guy doing the goofy dance on the balcony or the other musicians watching them play closely, that is the shared joy of it all.  All violent encounters need to be met with all that power and joy brought to the idea of "game on!"

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Monday, September 15, 2014

Theocon Murders Mount

Here is a pro-war movie from WWII that opens with the Japanese bombing a wedding...  what could be so low?

Catholic Warvangelical Theocons George Weigel and Michael Novak have worked very hard to distort Catholic teaching on just cause and just war to include lie-based pre-emptive strikes as acts of charity.  They both have the temerity to claim to be backed by various popes, but cannot support their claims.  They have done extremely well financially for this service to the war profiteers.

One central claim of the Theocons is surgical strikes make war more acceptable.  Since they have made that claim, like the Japanese bad guys in the movies, USA has murdered hundreds in drone attacks on weddings alone. They continue to this day.

Stop it.

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Sunday, September 7, 2014


This is far less technical than attitude…  he makes lots off mistakes, shoulders high, leaning too far back, but his attitude wins.

He not only has the opponents worried, he has the 500 people in the room defeated.  At 1:55 he let the let guy come to him…  should have gotten away form the crowd by going to the last guy…

Aikido as a martial art…

I hear you… so where are my videos…?

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