Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Yokomen Variation Choke Out

Here is a very nice move...

You see by nage grabbing the collar before doubling back and rolling him down the ukes weight chokes the uke out.  Nice single hand variation on the marine choke.

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More Winter Swimming

Here in a river in Northern China:

I was swimming in 47 degree F water today.  I noticed that when I am swimming in the still lake, my strokes making noise and disturbing the surface, the eagles emerge form their nest to observe.  Eagles are actually just a buzzard, they eat dead things first.    They must think a feed is imminent.

Also, I am sticking with a 90 second swim, then out in the air, back in for 90 seconds, repeat... as I experiment at these temperatures.  Even though the water and air temperature is the same, water has an energy dimension denser than air...  and in the air (out of the water) the film of wet on me as I emerge is heated up by my body and becomes a warm blanket, relatively speaking.  I believe this allows me to warm up my skin, "catch-up" so to speak, before the next dip.  Not unlike the orchardists who fog their groves when a spring snap freeze threatens their trees.

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Monday, January 26, 2015

Jesse Glover's Advice

Jesse Glover was a first student of Bruce Lee in Seattle, and something of a renaissance man on the topic of martial arts.  He still teaches to this day in Chinatown.  Occasionally he would visit and observe the aikido classes at 306 S Main, with some of his students.  He was of course always welcomed, and some of his students joined us.

Jesse's brother Mike Lee taught in Seattle for a while, drew blood from students in demonstrations (good humor all around, just very tough people) and had the gentlest handshake I have ever encountered.

Jesse put out a book circa 1978, a self-published thing, and I saw a copy in a bodega run by a student of his.  I bought it and it was a fun read of a time and place, plus informative.

It is not safe to depend on the success of any one blow unless your punches and kicks are truly exceptional. When fighting a superior opponent, you should attack the instant that you figure that there is no way out of the situation. In Judo there is a technique that often works against superior opponents with moderate success, it is called surprise and it can work.
It grieves me that of the eight aikido basics once taught, two have been dropped for difficulty.  Too bad, since on the other side of the difficulty there is much enlightenment.

As to adapting, I can tell you the lineage of a student by how he performs the first basic, shomen uchi kokyu nage.  There is the way Yamada does it, or Kobayashi, or Saotome, or Imaizumi, or Maruyama... and they all trained under Tohei sensei.  Everyone develops their own style, and it grieves me if an advanced person has not adapted the style to their own weight, condition, shape etc.

Yes, absolutely teach the basics, but encourage people to develop their own style of the basic.  Yamada sensei probably does this best, with 1000 flowers blooming in his dojos as far as styles of the basics.

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Sunday, January 25, 2015

Archery Training

This is a video on archery, and how study and training makes you excel....

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Celebrating Snipers

From a Vietnam era sniper:
If you kill more than dozen people as a sniper and you aren’t guilty of murdering innocent civilians, I would be very surprised.  If you are insane enough to convince yourself, let’s say you are in Afghanistan or Iraq, countries where it is legal for any civilian to carry a weapon and no sane person would go outside without one, that shooting “armed Muslims” makes you a hero, you are both a liar and a fool.  You are probably also a psychopath.
I will not watch American Sniper, because I think snuff films are wrong.  The beheading snuff films I will not watch, but they are not anything special, USA forces have long beheaded to terrorize. The scene offered in the trailer, which cannot be avoided, has the spotter cautioning Kyle that if his target is not a legitimate kill, he'll go to Leavenworth, that is a federal prison for war criminals.  So the opening line of the movie is nonsense, name a single sniper ever convicted of an illegal kill.

Heck, not even the one who shot Martin Luther King was ever convicted.

The website I am quoting is a tad bit anti-Israel, as if Israel is the problem and not USA, but the comments sections had many other interesting comments, ringing true.  As a Catholic myself, it grieves me to see how the USMilitary is so permeated with Catholics, and I wonder to what effect? So this caught my eye:
Keith Farris ·  · Sacred Heart High SchoolI see a lot of people here calling us vets, murderers. When your 17-20 years old and in the military you don't think that way. You are conditioned to ask how high once your in the air. Yes I still thought for myself, but I took an oath to obey the orders given me by my nco's and officers. Also, as for fighting on the wrong side in Vietnam? Hogwash. Yes there was corruption and deceit in the south, but what about the cleansing when the north took power. If you were educated, you were either killed, or sent to reeducation camps. I'm not saying America is perfect, were not. But I'll take the U.S over any other country in the world. If some of you people think communism is so great, please, do me a favor and go there.
I presume he teaches at Sacred Heart High school.  Ungh.
Hey Keith,
When I was 17-20 I thought for myself and decided there was no legit war USA ever fought, and so Uncle Sam called me 1-O, when my lottery number was 23.  That the Gulf of Tonkin was a false flag gig and the goal was the oil under the spratly & paracels, that particular war was clearly very wrong.  Happily we had a draft, so pro-peace info was widespread.  Now we only have the poverty draft.
South Vietnam was not the wrong side in Vietnam, USA was the wrong side.  The war the USA escalated led to the cleansing of moderates in the North and the inevitable victory over the South and subsequent cleansing, like Iraq today.
The proof of USAUSAUSA hypocrisy is under those same communists USA is doing plenty of peaceful business.  They did not change, but then they did not have to, they won the war.  Why do I have to move?  Why shouldn't Cheney and Bush and Obama be required to move?
John Spiers 
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Friday, January 23, 2015

Joe Thambu Shihan

Looks like the best working aikidoka out there…

I've never met Thambu, but we started within the same year, and back then we practiced with yoshinkan style aikidoists in Seattle, and the techniques were exactly the same.  The Yoshinkan had a bit more formality and worked on the precision of their moves, where Tohei Sensei, the chief instructor for O Sensei, was more jazzy about execution and empahsized principles.

I'll tell you why Thambu Shihan is the best working aikidoist out there, he actually practices.  Show me a shihan than spends this much time hands on and being thrown himself.  People who have been teaching for 20 years stopped practicing 20 years ago.  Thambu clearly has kept practicing.

Nothing wrong in retiring from practice and concentrate on coaching and running a dojo, I am glad people do it.  But Thambu shows what you get when you keep practicing.

Warms my heart, great stuff.  You see in some videos very good aikido but very much choreographed.  It is clear to me here ukes are feeling the pain and so compelled to move naturally.

Someone asked how come aikido people fold as soon as the technique is applied.  We fold so we can fall and get up and practice again.  If we resisted (countered) nage will counter-counter and the race is on for someone to throw someone.  This is legit, but people do get hurt as the energy and innovation escalates.

And aikido has no rules that limit harm like wrestling, MMA, judo, karate and boxing have.  We have principles, and thou shalt not kill, but far more options.  That aikido roll itself, unique to aikido, is a powerful weapon (and underutilized in aikido for it).

So when is Thambu Shihan coming to USA?

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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Orthodox Misogi

Check out the link to the photo-series, I guess this cold water thing is just not so special...

Thousands of Russian Orthodox Church followers will plunge into icy rivers and ponds across the country to mark Epiphany, cleansing themselves with water deemed holy for the day.

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Monday, January 19, 2015

Greatest Purveyor of Violence in the World

Terrorists like to use anniversaries for actions, to help make their point.  On April 4, 1967, Martin Luther King gave a speech at Riverside Church in New York City.

The speech was about the USA government in general and the American War in Vietnam specifically.  to with:
Their questions hit home, and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today -- my own government.
On April 4, 1968, a sniper murdered Dr. King, exactly one year to the day of his famous speech.

Since the Hegemon controls the press in USA, the story is a lone nut murdered Dr. King.  Never mind in an open court of law it was found that a conspiracy murdered Dr. King, police working with elements of the United States Army.  (Simply search "army" to get to the relevant passages.)

Nonviolence has a specific application, when doing civil disobedience.  And within Christianity, civil disobedience is taking your licks opposing an unjust government, but a government scripture says you must obey:
God told Daniel he put the basest people in power to make clear God was in charge, no one else.  Jesus said render unto Caesar, obey the Pharisees, but do not be like them.  When confronted with taxes, Jesus performed a miracle. Paul reiterated all this in Romans 13.
So... to oppose the Hegemon is to sign up for a beating, prison or death.  The Hegemon thrives on violence, so armed insurrection is welcomed by it, in fact they work hard to provoke it, sending in agentes provocateur.  Jesus, Paul, Peter ad nauseum all died opposing the Hegemons they told us to obey.  Their response to violence was nonviolence.  This is the role of nonviolence: opposing the Hegemon.

We are made for salvation, when and where we die, and die we will, is up to God.  No one can elect to be a martyr, that is not allowed, but martyrdom awaits those who oppose the Hegemon, if they are effective.  The Christian promise is a banquet on the other side.

Now, there is the garden variety thug who is to be opposed, and with them, when faced with their aggression, it is game on.  Aikido is a martial art, and one designed to de-escalate and neutralize a threat.  Pain, but no harm.

Sometimes, conscientious objection is civil disobedience, but not right here and now.

The bible says God destroyed the world in the flood for its violence.  The United States is
the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today -- my own government.
Who knows how this will work out, but under no circumstances can the Hegemon be opposed violently, it only strengthens it.  It might kill you, but that just ends it faster if you do not resist.  Nonviolence is an existential threat to the Hegemon.  You can hope for a miracle, but count on a banquet.

Nonviolence to the Hegemon, and aikido for the thugs.

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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Old Man Misogi

Whenever I think I am "out there" in my views or practices, turns out it is not big deal...  I am swimming in 48 degree F water, these guys in 29 degree F water.  It's all psychological....  I made it from 68 to 48 degree water no problem, why not 48 to 28, like these guys?

Elderly swimmers see health benefits in freezing water

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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Paris Murders


In the Jewish history of the crusades, the Jewish chroniclers point out that on the way to Palestine, the Christians settled scores with the Jews in their path for lampooning the Christ.  It's what religious people do.  It is not a good idea to piss off people about their religion for fun and money.

In any event, why do we allow three murderers to define a religion?  Does not giving 3 out of 1.5 billion people the power to make a definition rather invite their efforts?

And what goes around comes around... if this is not a false flag event, it certainly is an example of western training and equipment... what goes around comes around.  Of course the murderers spoke perfect French, how else would they master Western killing techniques and equipment?

And with total information awareness, we are all getting searched every airplane ride, every single email, letter posted and phone call and step on the street recorded, these guys were never detected?  Or is this another pack of dogs that slipped the leash...?

No one deserves to be shot down like that, but when the West eliminated all of the moderates in their quest for hegemony, what's left is the hard guys.  

And recall, the jihadists insisted the beheaded "journalists" were spies, and their backgrounds are appropriately vague, and we just launched a major movie in which journalists are recruited by the CIA to blow the head off of world leader, and do so.  A comedy.  hahaha... 

If and when media is no longer controlled so as to only state-approved material percolates to the to publication, "journalists" will be state actors and perceived targets.  Do you think a magazine poking fun at religion was subscription and advertising based finance?

Rush Limbaugh quite innocently asserts no one ever tells him what to say. The reason his career advanced is no one ever has to... of all the people in radio, he says exactly what the hegemon wants heard, so his shows gets all the of Go Army ads and other public service, big biz, etc sponsors that 600 radio stations badly need to stay afloat.

To claim to prefer to die standing rather than live kneeling is rather precious when your work is subsidized by the state.  But keep in mind your heroics gets a wounded cop executed on the pavement.

And God help all those who love to view the snuff films the internet players post to corrupt us all...

The middle east wars are for the middle east to sort out.  USA soldiers need to come home and get to work.  Hegemony isolates us, we need to end USA Isolationism and promote world peace and economic justice starting in USA, and be a beacon to the world, instead of a scourge.

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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Aikido - The Original Modern MMA

When the founder of aikido was a fourth degree black belt in kendo, he decided to blend all his training in sumo, aikijutsu, judo into a mixed martial art, with a rather spiritual dimension.  Glad he did...  When Bernie Lau promoted me to fourth degree, it was so I could start my own style, like Bernie did, and his patron, O Sensei.  Glad I didn't.

But that kendo root is important.  In yesterdays post I talked about not leaning back...  well, to keep the right position in irimi and tenkan moves, kendo has specific instructions.  Hold the sword above your head, with your pelvis thrust forward, yet standing relatively straight...  as though you are in the shower and trying to fill your belly button with water.  (You cannot fill your belly button with water standing in the shower, but the attempt gives you an idea of where your pelvis should be.)

Moving through aikido moves with your body in kendo position improves performance remarkably.  And that is the point of mixing martial arts, to improve things.

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Monday, January 5, 2015

Being Thrown Hard

The hardest I've ever hit the mats was being thrown by a judo man.  Ippon, no reservation, very much hurt.  I survived.  Mainly because back in the day we trained both aikido roll and hard fall, judo style.  Aikido fall/roll the legs are crossed, judo fall the legs are spread.  You don't know until you are in the air whether this will need a hard fall or a roll, better be able to adjust midair.

Since the top aikido people were all originally judomen, I took about six months of judo two times to work on koshinage and other techniques.  In Mel Augustine's dojo I once saw a guy thrown so hard he went into convulsions.  We were taught how to stop nosebleeds and re-descend testicles in aikido, as well as Japan style resuscitation, but in judo, they used them.

Aikido practice can be more action than judo, and back in the day occasionally we'd be so tired and thrown so hard we might black out but find ourselves standing because we automatically rolled out of it.  I remember thinking this is not good, to be blacked out and standing.  Also, sometimes you can judo/hard fall in a way you can stand up without rolling forward...  hard fall with enough forward momentum to just let yourself stand up from it.  One looks like a bouncing rag doll.

When practicing aikido as a martial art, game on, your opponent hits the ground hard.  Both uke and nage work to accomplish this, with uke making sure the nage has not leaned back to accomodate the presence of uke.  Uke's feet, even though stationary, should feel the tension in the surface of the feet on the mats increasing as nage is moving into position for the throw.  The nage is taking up slack while never accomodating, by any lean back, the uke's presence.  Uke knows the fall will be hard from the friction on the feet at launch, the acceleration from the necessarily smaller circle, bam!

Too often uke and nage conspire to make it dance, not even attractive dance, by leaning off balance on the part of nage and failure to counter the error by uke.

You learn more faster if practicing aikido as a martial art.

Misogi update:  yes, I went swimming new years day, and since then.  Odd, I began to regret the days are getting longer now, so that means the temperature drop will reverse at some point, and I'll lose the cold water swimming benefit.  Sure the Sound won't get higher than 55, but it won't go to 48 either...  sheesh... just when you are having fun....  also, I did not get the wet-suit gloves I wanted to counter the pain of the cold in my fingers, and for fear of chilblains...  but guess what?  Simply keep your fingers together while swimming and they keep each other warm enough...  diving in the cold water is like being thrown hard.

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