Saturday, October 18, 2014

Bruce Lee's 1 Inch Punch

Bruce Lee did important work on punching while living in Seattle teaching and studying Gung Fu.  Over the last forty plus years it was fairly easy to practice or work with his first students, James Demile, Skip Ellsworth, Taki Kimura, Jesse Glover (who wrote a book on those years).  James Demile in particular took Lee's punch style in a fascinating direction you can still learn from Demile.

From left to right are Jesse Glover -- Bruce Lee -- Skip Ellsworth -- Tak Miyabe -- 
Jim DeMile -- LeRoy Garcia -- and Taky Kimura.
(Of the seven people in that picture, I've met four: Glover, Ellsworth, DeMile and Kimura.  DeMile I have trained with, and I studied log cabin building with Ellsworth.  Kimura ran a grocery store he lived above, and Glover is still teaching in Chinatown.)

While sparring Lee would not form his fist until the instant before he would strike.  Sparring with golden gloves champ Ellsworth who took the classic form with closed fists in the ready, Lee left his hands relaxed and open.  How odd. Then the match began, with each bobbing and weaving and throwing punches. The open relaxed hand gave Lee the optimum speed that can be achieved when relaxed (in aikido "relax completely")  It is a concrete expression, albeit in a fighting art, of the "relax completely" imperative.  He tagged the naturally gifted boxing champ Ellsworth before Ellsworth could react. And then of course, with undoubtedly the gift of ADD, he reversed the lesson and developed the one inch punch, wherein he just collapsed all process of a solid punch into the last one second of time and space.
Drawing upon both physical and neuro power, Lee’s devastating one-inch punch involved substantially more than arm strength. It was achieved through the fluid teamwork of every body part. It was his feet. It was hips and arms. It was even his brain. In several milliseconds, a spark of kinetic energy ignited in Lee’s feet and surged through his core to his limbs before its eventual release.
Acting as uke in demonstration for aikido hombu chief instructor ju-dan Tohei Sensei, you would find this kind of power responding to your attack.  Aikido can be lethal if the uke does not know how to fall, and part of practice is the nage controls the uke's fall to keep uke from being injured.

But it takes practice, relentless practice, over and over, fall down, get up.

And also spending time with excellent instructors.

L-R Wally Jay, James Demile, Bernie Lau Schooling Yours Truly, circa 1980.
Wally Jay taught Bruce Lee judo/jiu jitsu, James Demile is a Bruce Lee original student still teaching, Bernie Lau received his first two degrees directly from the aikido founder, and subsequent degrees from his son.  (Note Lau Sensei has trapped my foot.)

Few people know this, Bernie Lau is full blood French native, and speaks French well enough in a pinch.

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Friday, October 17, 2014

Just One More Misogi Observation

Or three...

1. As it gets colder, the water gets much clearer, I can now see the bottom of the lake, about 12 feet down from where I dive in.  They drop the level of Lake Washington in the winter a foot or two but it is clearing faster than it is dropping.

2. After the laps, while I am practicing diving, I get the same acid in my mouth that I get on say day five of a week long fast.  The acid also comes with a particularly grueling workout, which is often tough to achieve while practicing in most dojos.  A doctor told me that the body burns junk first and then gets to work on good stuff (so you can go too far.)  In any event, that acid taste is a sort of ashes of burnt junk.  Interesting I can get there in less than ten minutes by swimming in 65 degree water (I almost said "cold" but that would mean nothing.)

3. I do breathing exercises as I approach the lake, in through the nose, out through the mouth, aikido style (another thing you rarely see practiced in dojos).  Swimming the breathing tactic is exactly opposite: in through the mouth, out through the nose.  Aikido breathing will get you drowned in swimming.  Not sure what to make of the difference, but it only dawned on me today.  Perhaps someone can find significance in that.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

More Misogi

There was a fellow a few years back who swam in Lake Washington every day for 365 days.  Even when he was sick.  Worried his friends.  But in any event, he did it.

I can't because I travel too often, but I can every day I am here.  I was in SoCal Friday through Monday so I was not able to swim in lake Washington, but I did swim in the Pacific Ocean, Friday at Zuma in Malibu,  Sunday at Santa Barbara and Monday at El Segundo.  In both cases the water was warm, the air was about 80, but in El Segundo the waves were crushing and kicking up sand... so it was like getting beat up and sand blasted.  No fun.

Today back in Seattle, the air temp was 52 and humidity 58, and water temperature is 65, so it is abut 12 degrees warmer than the water.  For this reason, after my swim, I do a round of dives, and the water is most welcome warmth compared to the air through which I pass between dives off the board.

But the laps were difficult with on 6mph winds because the even small waves throw my stride off.  Harder work so less laps.  Also, I played hard in California, practicing aikido at a couple of excellent dojos in SB and LA.

A curious phenomenon on my walk back form the lake is my body heats up wonderfully, probably still trying to save me from exposure in the lake.  Another thing, a doctor told me long ago hot showers are detrimental, especially since the water in Seattle is so poisoned by the water authorities with chlorines and fluorides.  He said cold water is better, and to be in waterfalls and lakes and oceans give you (I cannot remember, is it positive or negative) ions which promote well-being.  Well, I am taking probably 20% of the showers I was taking before this swim regime began in early July.  (Funny to think I didn't start swimming until it "warmed up enough" in July!!!)  And my well being is better, as far as I can tell.

Misogi training is based on cold water.  is 65 cold enough to count?  Who knows, but I every night I look forward to that morning cup of coffee and a swim in the lake.

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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Immigration & War

We've been here before...
Austin offered Parker the opportunity to move to Nashville, Tennessee, where music was becoming big business, but for reasons unknown Parker turned him down.[9] Instead he decided to stay in Temple Terrace, Florida with his family, perhaps to avoid having to fill in paperwork that could expose his illegal status.[9] Within a year, however, he had the opportunity to become a legal citizen within the United States by way of the 1940 Alien Registration Act;[10] a bill passed by the United States Government to allow illegal aliens the chance to become US citizens in return for their promise to fight for the country during World War II, if required.[10] Parker decided against registering, possibly to prevent his previous Army record from becoming public.
A great place to find good fighters, immigrants.

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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Wink on Jesus and Nonviolence And Aikido

There is always someone bigger, stronger and faster than you.  You can try to punch it out with your superior, and hope to win, but it is unlikely.

On the other hand, you can go right at your opponent who is superior and invite a strike by crossing through the strike zone before there is a connection (or draw back beyond the strike zone, and then move in).  Either way, where your opponent had a 100% concentration of power and skill directed to your injury, you are now shoulder to shoulder with your opponent.

At this point you opponent is now down to about 50% of his capability, and you are up some given advantage since you are so close.  Who knows what is next, but the job of a martial artist is to engage immediately.  But at this point, you are shoulder to shoulder facing the same way, your opponent no longer has the initiative, and you have demonstrated you are not afraid.  The world is completely different for your opponent from just three seconds ago.  You are no longer targeted victim, you are a survivor of an attack, and you have the authority to make a creative response.

In another post I said:

It's that turn the other cheek thing, with what I suspect was it's original form, a sense of "game on."

There seems to be a natural affinity between the teachings of Jesus and aikido as a martial art, at least as exegeticized by Walter Wink.  Indeed, at one point in his book Jesus and Nonviolence, A Third Way he makes passing reference to dealing with force as in aikido.

Wink gets to three examples Jesus gives on dealing with unjust force.

1. Turn the other cheek.  Apparently the example is so specific (if struck on the right cheek) to be clearly an example of a slap a master may give a slave or other inferior in which responding may very well get you killed.  To offer other cheek, is to invite the superior to slap you as they would fight an equal (and be profoundly punished if they so disturbed the peace by hitting an equal.)  In response to being slapped, you merely present yourself as equal.  As Wink notes, you may get flogged for that, but the point is made.  It may also get you no longer slapped as in the true meaning of meek, power under control can be unnerving for masters.  The alternative, to cower under a masters slap, changes nothing, indeed reinforces the evil.  To turn the other cheek destabilizes the evil, and who knows what is next?

2. Go the extra mile.  Roman soldiers were allowed to impress passers by into service to carry their loads, but as this was a rather unpopular event, they were strictly forbidden to make anyone carry a load more than a mile.  It was humiliating aside from being unpleasant, and rather reinforced servitude of all Rome had conquered.  So extend the trip voluntarily?  Yes!  How destabilizing.  Walk the first mile quiet as an involuntary servant, and then when that is over, offer to carry the load as a friend.  The soldier at once would be astonished, then fearful that you were setting him up for punishment, the tables are reversed, he is at a disadvantage.  He very well may want your offered help, but must be careful not be seen breaking the rules.  In any event, the evil is destabilized, and who knows what is next?

3. Give up your cloak when being sued.  This had to do with the injustice of taking pledges on loans, and having to pledge your clothes (talk about down and out!) and being shown no mercy by your benefactor.  A loan is a charitable event in monotheistic ethics, but even the just rules can be abused.  So when your benefactor is squeezing you for your coat, you give up your clothes too.  What happens is the "benefactor" is exposed for his hardness, and you are making the rather sober decision to admit being at rock bottom which is a good place from which to rebuild.  In any event, the evil is destabilized, and who knows what is next?

The only effective power in the world is moral authority.  There are plenty of other kinds of power, but none of it effective.  There is Roman power.  There is authority, as in author, in which the situation you have created allows you to write what is next.  Aikido as a martial art is like that, you position yourself as an equal, not subject to their power, and you are then able to write what happens next, like an author, and authority.  You earned it.

Jesus and Nonviolence: A Third Way (Facets)

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Monday, October 6, 2014

Veteran's Benefits

One benefit of being a veteran is the leadership experience as an attractive resume point, nationwide jobs preference programs, massive training programs, all leading to better jobs prospects after time in the service.  Or not:
Reported unemployment rates of separating service members that are higher than national averages have brought attention to supporting issues such as expedited licensure and increased academic credit recognition to alleviate this problem. As of September 2012, 736,000 veterans were unemployed and the jobless rate for post-9/11 veterans was 9.9 percent, with young male veterans (ages 18 to 24) experiencing an unemployment rate of 18.1 percent.
How come?  There does not seem to be anything good in the poverty draft.

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Friday, October 3, 2014

Paul V Cheney

Genesis, from historian Rozeff, Motivation -
“God knows it did not cross our minds to attack the towers. But after the situation became unbearable and we witnessed the injustice and tyranny of the American-Israeli alliance against our people in Palestine and Lebanon, I thought about it. And the events that affected me directly were that of 1982 and the events that followed — when America allowed the Israelis to invade Lebanon, helped by the U.S. 6th Fleet.
“In those difficult moments, many emotions came over me that are hard to describe, but that produced an overwhelming feeling to reject injustice and a strong determination to punish the unjust.
“As I watched the destroyed towers in Lebanon, it occurred to me to punish the unjust the same way [and] to destroy towers in America so it could taste some of what we are tasting and stop killing our children and women.”

Then the first attack on the WTC, then the second, 9-11.

“We believe bin Laden when he takes credit for an attack on the West, & we believe him when he warns us of an impending attack. But we refuse to listen to his explanations of why he & his allies are at war with us.
“Bin Laden’s claims are straightforward The US defiles Islam with military bases on holy land in Saudi Arabia, its initiation of war against Iraq, and its dollars and weapons being used against the Palestinians as the Palestinian territory shrinks and Israel’s occupation expands. There will be no peace for the next 50 years or longer if we refuse to believe why those who are attacking are doing it.
“To dismiss terrorism as the result of Muslims hating us because we’re free is one of the greatest foreign-policy frauds ever perpetuated. Because the media and government have restated it so many times, the majority now accept it at face value. And the administration gets the political cover it needs to pursue a holy war for democracy against the infidels who hate us for our goodness.”

Dick Cheney:

In 2011, Cheney wrote
“The president and I were determined to do all we could to prevent another attack, and our resolution was made stronger by the awareness that a future attack could be even more devastating. The terrorists of 9/11 were armed with airplane tickets and box cutters. The next wave might bring chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons.
“When we looked around the world in those first months after 9/11, there was no place more likely to be a nexus between terrorism and WMD capability than Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. With the benefit of hindsight–even taking into account that some of the intelligence we received was wrong–that assessment still holds true. We could not ignore the threat or wish it away, hoping naively that the crumbling sanctions regime would contain Saddam. The security of our nation and of our friends and allies required that we act. And so we did.”

And in 2014 Iraq still is a nexus of terror and WMD, USA provisioned.  Or we could have pulled out, like the Reagan did, and have 20 years of peace instead of 20 years of war. How are our policies working out? Why not ask why we are being attacked? Do we not want to know it is a counter-attack? When you are doing something wrong, first, just stop.

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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Scottish Elections Stolen

This video tells us nothing.  A fellow in a truck is showing us pieces of paper and making a rather large claim.  If we don't have who, what, where, when and usually why, there is no story.

There are too many problems with the story:

1. They may be real, counted, and lost after counting.

2. They may be fake.

3. They may have been fraudulently uncounted, but those 200 ballots are the extent of it, and make no difference anyway.

Now what if they proved, forensically to be real? and stolen?  There should be the voters' fingerprints and the counters' fingerprints.  Election fraud people would wear gloves.  The counter whose fingerprints are on the ballots can be tracked and time accounted for.  Too easy one way or another to sort this out.

But what if it is proven they were stolen, and in fact the entire election stolen?  (Usually too big of a job to discern by proper investigative techniques).  The you know the election was stolen.  So what?

Have another election.  Or not.  Just know the bad guys steal elections.  OK, if so, then...  operate knowing full well that is part of the mix, the milieu in which you live.

Never look to violence to change things.  the regime by definition is propped up by violence, and to go violent yourself is like trying to put out a fire with gasoline.

Cool down, think, know you can always outsmart people whose existence depends on violence.  Not only do they have to sleep sometime, they also have to blink.  For people who depend on violence, a blink is far too long to have your eyes closed.

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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Charlie Rangel Calls for a Draft

Rep. Rangel knows we have a poverty draft in the USA, the poor and minorities will continue to bear the brunt of our whimsical, pretend conflicts.  He also knows there is no resisting the military-industrial complex.  But, a draft creates an anti-war movement, and that is better than nothing:
Reinstating the draft and imposing the war tax will ensure that our safety is sustainable, our financial engagements abroad are not borrowed, and that all Americans have a role in defending and protecting our nation.
So yes, this will cause Americans to think about the wars for which theya re responsible, once they actually have to pay for them.  We will in time, but the sooner the better.

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