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Valuable Gestures in Martial Arts:
What are these valuable "gestures of value" you may be asking? These so called gestures, these beautiful phrases spoken by the actions of the hand can be used for a wide array of things. My teacher in Seattle used to say to me: "It's all just teacups when you get down to it". He refers to the Kung Fu exercise known as the Teacup exercise. Yes, many of you know this, it is ancient and valuable. If you didn't know it I'd be surprised, so good job. If ye are not familiar with teacups then look on Youtube for more info on it! Continuing on, the gestures are articulations of wrist, elbow and shoulder. Finger flicks, dabs of the digits also make up some of the arsenal. These are not large motions, rather smallish and vague in most cases. The mechanics of the hands are complimented by the motions of the body. These gestures are done for health purposes many times. To stimulate meridians, increase air flow & to stretch tendon, joint and ligaments much like yoga does. Yet, there are also combat applications for the same gestures. These are the anchor points for the effortless power I so often speak of. Have you noticed I have not called these gestures "techniques?" The gestures themselves are nothing special, the knowledge of how to use'em is! And using them in their most optimum form is of what I speak. Not some simplistic bunkai bullshit. Coarse movement, gross motor skills, anger & fear based stuff is not our goal here. For the simple solution ones such is always their goal. Similar to critters in their tastes for life. Deniers of the way most of the time, sadly caught in maya, stuck in a painful paradigm they call "true". Yep, true for them, but their truth is not my truth. Nor should it be yours! It certainly has value, it is most certainly a PART of the puzzle, but far from the whole spirit of it. Seek beyond the sales pitches, the false promises and the allure of violence mastered. See beyond this level and the realization of your goals and dreams becomes attainable. Set your gaze high if you seek to attain the heights! Intellect, essence and action over time make an unbeatable trio.
The Art of Nobility: Advanced Fighting Methods #1 & #2.
Today the martial minded have been hypnotized by slick ad's, quick promises and brutal basics. No greater martial fallacy has ever been perpetrated upon the mass consciousness of so many than this nasty fighting falsehood that is now branded as a tactical "truth". No matter how many times that a falsehood is labeled as truth it will never - ever make it so. By this I mean that men and mankind are "noble". The grand architect of life designed us to be above all else of his wondrous creations. We must act accordingly. We must acknowledge this "higher self within". If not we can all too easily slip into the dark side, the beast man level of life that is spoken of in the great teachings. It is a state of being which we must avoid in order to find or to experience true personal ascendance. If not, we can become trapped by our base instincts. Emotional parasites will be the sign of the dark path. If you have them about you take heed and change your course while there is still time. An art of noble bearing can only find it's optimum in those men who tread the noble and righteous path - the built in fail safe of such a system is that it simply cannot be employed or even understood by those who have not crossed the threshold of awakened existence. The noble art of which I speak see's every being as special and sacred, coming from the creators heart into being here on this plane of existence. Thus respect must be present in all dealings we enter into. Karuna (compassion) must be present w/ all of our interactions with other beings. The noble path correctly walked contains no regretful words or actions. The lower path is one of regret & despair.
To possess the higher art - the vessel (you) which receives it, holds it gently in the Zen way must also be worthy of the grand task. The change will happen from the inside out. In this new period of life many of us are awakening to we must set our intent to capture the good energies it brings us. Look for the mini-miracles, the odd synchronicity and sublime messages that walking this new path brings to us. If you see them, they are confirmations that you are on the right track. Bravo! The one's who embrace fear, who fuel fear and anger and channel such dark energy will continue to do so. Their own actions and thoughts will create a self igniting firestorm resulting in their own detriment or demise. There is little that can be done for these type of beings except to pray for them. In your thoughts, in your deeds manifest the qualities of the master's path / guidance comes from within so slow down and listen to the message. Perhaps some day we shall speak of this further. For now, the heart shift is occuring, flow w/ this river of energy and come to rest on the shores of our new world. Embrace it's strangeness and explore what it means to be here.These discoveries then lead to the inner realizations of the new you!
Chinook 4 - Spyderco's best yet!
My new Spyderco Chinook is simply wonderful! I've had one now for about a week! Thanx so much to nephew Eric and Uncle Sal! It took us awhile. But I am really proud of this'un and it wears my signature nicely! Thank you Spyderco, Peter, Mike, Joyce, Kelly et all! In my opinion this is the best Chinook ever! Given no unexpected realizations on this unit occur, I really do have hi-hopes for it. The size, weight, feel and carry are all better than past Chinook versions. And lo, as such it should be w/ any new cutlery product - always improving! I had it at the big Three seminar. If I had some in-stock they would have sold in a snap! But alas, only one for me. Que lastima! Again, in saying that I like the Chinook 4 I know some troll fucker will attempt to "assassinate" the Chinook (as they always do). Pointing out the myriad non-existent flaws in the knife that their troll mind somehow feverishly perceives on some fecal ridden forum chock full of "known" cutlery genius's. But hell, that's OK! Because I, me, Mr. JAK - yep that's me - I like it! And that count's for something in my lil part of the world anyway.
How We Get Trapped in the Past:
It is all too easy these to have a bad or negative thing occur in our daily lives. It really does not matter from which direction it comes. Of course the closer to you that it is, the more effect it can have upon you. A bad experience, a personal nightmare - these things can & do leave a mark upon us. Sometimes the mark which is left is physically based IE: a wound or injury. At other times it can be emotionally and in some cases even spiritually damaging. Sometimes all three. A deadly cocktail of times & trauma's that were. The effect of the bad experience is so dramatic and deep that it is nearly impossible to put it all behind you. It dominates your thinking, it wakes you up at night and can lead to serious addictions while attempting to cope with it. The "fallout" from the bad experience seems to never end, one thing after another keeps slapping at you. It is hard to fully understand until something in your world traps you personally. But the end result is that even years after the negative event you are still locked firmly into it's grip. Thinking of it, feeling effects from it. Think too hard about it and it can snap you back into an instant world of pain and depression. Then hopelessness and doubt of the self kick in hard. It is a vast circular pattern of self abuse, anger, guilt and blame. I am telling you now - this must stop or it WILL stop you. The stress of such constant thought is beyond belief, it can destroy from inside. Most people who dwell in the past tense are caught, trapped and do not even realize it! They are not in command of their mind, their thoughts are way out of control and lo, for many this has become the new normal! More people are seriously trapped in their thinking in the long dead, long gone past than anywhere else on the psychic grid gameboard we are all forced to play upon. This means thoughts of tomorrow are rarely glimpsed, thoughts of the moment are passing so swiftly they cannot be recalled even seconds and minutes later. This leaves the past, that anchor point of what was and the baggage that came with it. Too valuable to discard, too horrible to face or fix - a whirlpool of despair takes over and life's bright light diminish's degree by degree. If control over the thoughts does not happen soon then darkness will take over and deathly thoughts come forth as your only grim companions. Yes, it's a choice - but the TRAP is rock solid and it is not easy to escape it. You are a double victim of sorts, one originally via the bad event, and again secondly by your own inability to let go of the bad experience. It takes a mind of steel and a will of iron to make this happen. Real self control and awareness is mandatory! If you think quitting cigarettes is hard (and it is) - then wait till you try healing yourself from the past-trap syndrome! It takes every moment of every day for weeks to just get a handle on it. Then months of aware living to keep the new path you have created going in the right direction. Oh, what is the right direction? - I thought you knew that! Well I shall state it again that the right direction is to be mindfully present. To live, think, plan, enjoy the moment, each and every day. Push hard to make the change. Be here now, plan for future good things, be based in the now. GUIDE your thoughts into a better place by being here now. Even if this present reality is less than the past reality that has trapped and controlled you for so long, it's better to be here and now than in some dismal non-existent past! (that time is gone, that version of you will never be again - move on mate!) Just try and monitor yourself some, watch and see how many times your mind snaps back into the past. Irregardless of it being a good memory or a bad one, it is past and it's time to release the past. Call the true YOU back from this pointless path of past pain and into this very minute, this day. Hug the dog, kiss the spouse, wave at a neighbor. Don't matter if they respond or not - this is all about YOU. Do things of the present, you'll be happier & better! This is a warrior task, a purification - make no doubt about that! It's all about you and the choices you ultimately make!
The Symbology of the Lamp: 1.
The lamp is the light which guides the way. The old "candle in the window" which beckons the weary, lost traveler of life's roads. Knowledge and wisdom must guide the body. This happens thru the mind and the spirit. The lamp represents such life wisdom has been realized. All great religions employ light via candles, mirrors, bonfires, lamps and illuminated architecture. The lamp is an icon of which we somehow deem to represent the higher paths of the sages and ascended masters. The Torch: Represents the ability for each of us to serve as a guiding light for others and for the ability of education to serve as a beacon of light, eradicating ignorance. May our scholars always remember that lighting the way for others, brightens the path for themselves. Indeed the fable of the lamp and the djinn is another such attempt to explain the pursuit of higher knowledge & superior powers. Another old text "The Transmission of the Lamp" is also an insightful source of deeper wisdom for the devout. Let us not forget Diogenes either eh? Again the reference to a lamp is seen. The "burning of the midnight oil" is another phrase often heard regarding the college student up all nite studying for final tests. An oil lamp for the student, an illumination based reference to gaining knowledge again. In martial arts the three flames of Kenpo are lights, illumination sources. The Tibetan salt candles are nice examples of the soothing, calming studious aspects of illumination properly applied. The LAMPS (sources of light) of which we refer to are never electric. Have you ever noticed this? A modern electric lamp is not associated with the higher paths of the self what so ever. The modern light bulb in it's constant state of of un-flickering incandescence does not work in the same way. The flickering, seductive flame of true fire is the key. You see it is actually a type of ancient fire magic that is at the root of this. A candle, an oil lamp, Aladdins lamp, a campfire or hurricane lamp - it really does not matter. Any and all will work for our purposes. The natural flame is "alive", it is the source of which we speak of in this classical reference. It is why the lamp is used in relativity to universities, alchemy and magic. True fire constantly changes, it attracts and it repels. It is the hidden umbra of self reflective contemplation. The quiet time when knowledge slowly seeps into the cells and marrow. It goes deep. It is the gateway where one departs from the land of mere knowledge and takes you to the land of zen-like "knowing". Your knowledge, wisdom and intuition form to together to make the magical cosmic triad of power that all men who walk this path seek to achieve. It is easier said than done, many fall to the wayside as the steepness of the quest over comes them. Remember, follow the light, it's why it is there! (Lose the light and you can become lost). See deeply into the word riddles I cast before you. Use the lamp!
GENUS LOCI: The True Owners of The Sacred Places
The "spirit" has abandoned the places it once graced - the genus loci of temporal terrain has moved on to more pleasant digs. You can feel the emptiness in your guts when you visit places you once knew. The lone, faraway spots which should be empty seem filled with unseen, yet spirit-felt action and energies. Sometimes these manifest into our corpreal reality and can be seen in outwardly obvious co-incidences (which aren't). To the trained eye & mind these apparent appearances and manifestations tell us all that we need to know. (Which is often more than THEY wish us to know). The "spirit of the place" can be a good thing or at some times & places a bad thing. Some bad or protective spirits can truly put a spin on one's inner mind affecting our immediate reality in turn. Just as a good spirit, a positive vibe can be a healing, renewing association. One must remember, you are in their zone. Not vice versa. We must learn about these things as did the ancients. All cultures knew-taught of these spirits of places most emphatically. In our superior way of science and intellect, we have became dumber than rocks about the mystical, spiritual world that makes our planet sacred. All wells and springs should be graced as "sacred". The magic of such places can be felt. The dwellers therein can be sensed and eventually reached. Trust me, there are methods. They work. The true secret of the Feathers is beyond most men's scope of understanding. Feathers are the magnifying, transmitting wands of energetic exchange between the two worlds. Once understood the power of the feather is never forgotten. Once learned, the same path can be employed through minor experimentation w/ other items, substances and mediums. To actually meet with and have a relationship w/ the genus loci is an honor beyond all honors for a human being. Wonders await those who's hearts are open and inner senses keen. Worlds within worlds - this is the shaman's vision, himself a witness, a watcher, a chronicler of such wonders. Caretakers with awareness and a delicate tread upon the Earth are needed. Far more so than warriors are needed. We have plenty of that for now. Honesty and respect in accord with the sacred places and the beings who dwell therein.
Priest Method Part Two:
A Followup on the Curious Priest's Style of Kung Fu
The first installment drew some curious comments so I shall put forth a bit more on this subject. Some details, some critical correlations and universally recognized applications. The style itself is a rather clever way to understand / catalog the myriad movements the human body can accomplish. This in turn helps us learn the fighting arts and to excel in other area's of life outside the martial path. The non-destructive arts have always interested me. The Priest's style of kung fu embraces that element. This Priest method looks quite benign. Innocent even. But there is that hidden core that is very serious. A fierce spiritual / intellectual shield of hidden strength is sometimes spoken of in relation to this particular method. I had been training in Silat w/ Guro Jim Ingram, also learning Kali, Silat and JKD from Cliff Lenderman at the same time. Plus attending numerous seminars and events. It was quite a fast track on some specific arts. Mr. Harris and whichever guest teacher might be present always asked what I had learned at these other classes. (particularly Silat) And so I'd show'em what I had picked up. Often done poorly as the material was still new to me. They'd look things over, make some comments - make cross references and begin showing me similar things from other arts. It was during one of these amazing sessions where the Priest method first came up. It was Fook Young who mentioned it to Harris and then he to the class. So Dave did some cool demo's of the system, evidently Fook had taught him the method years back. So anyway, that is where and how I kinda started to "see the light" of the universal way these men thought. A true gift. Ok, back to our Priest style - some technical stuff - The number one basic position - "start up" is simply the standing prayer position. Feet together, back straight, palms pressed together near center chest. You see statues and paintings of deities in this pose. This is to "enter the fight like an arrow". You ask: Is this unique to this method alone? No, it is also found in some types of Silat. They call it "dive" and it too is a primary entry tool or method of employing the same "prayer hands". Off of "dive" (or prayer) lie circles of many kinds. This must be thoroughly understood and examined. As must the various "clasps" (mudras?) that occur throughout the style. Once I became more familiar w/ the Priest Style I too saw connections between it and Silats methods as the trio of teachers first pointed out. (silat more so than other arts or systems). Curious yes, but so it is! Assume the Standing Prayer position. With right arm make outward circle and return to palm-prayer position. Repeat w/ left arm (hand). Next right arm makes inward circle and back to prayer position. Repeat on left side - balanced motions. For Kali people think of the "snake" disarms in the inside & outside lines. Boom, there it be, another correlation. Ok, yer doing Goood! So can ya do the "snakes" again for me, but leave the hands clasped. Move'em on the circular path again as one unit. I know, I know but just do it eh? Yes you can. Figure it out dammit. Repeat that same material again, but on one leg this time. Switch legs as you switch above. And do remember, hidden in the moves, clasps, salutes (bows) and prayer positions are the combative elements. Look for that connection if you happen to stumble upon the thought someday. You must: "Intuit to accrue it"! Haw Haw.. / Anyway since I practiced Okinawan Goju for many years I also see elements of Priest style in Seisan and Sanseiru kata's. Not the whole forms, but pieces. Coincidence? Probably, but ya never know about how things worked in the olden days. This stuff got around, had a life of it's own. Religion is popular, Priests knew this art, they got around. It's the way of religious men throughout history. Jesuits, Saints, Buddha's, prophets and sages all "got around" (travel'in men) throughout history. Much more so than the common man of the same time. Lastly, it was shown to me one cold fall evening at the infamous Green Lake school where Red Boat Wing Chun (opera style) kung fu blended w/ the Priest style. The trio of teachers has blended the two methods into one. I watched the demo Mr. Harris did of the blend and I must say, it was damn cool. But such things did not happen too often, only when something sparked inside them did such information come forth. Andy Dale, a master teacher of Kung Fu himself still teaches there at the Greenlake School. It was told me early on in my training, w/ no buts or exceptions that it was ANDY DALE who'd take over the system if something "happened". No one else. That is still honored by me and true today. Andy is the boss of that clan and of the system now. I don't interfere. No matter who says what, it is that simple. He's the boss and the rest of the group needs to say Yes Sir, and shut the fuck up. Hell, Andy may know even more about the Priest system. I never asked him. But I am honored to have been able to know such men. I lay no claim on a dead man's fame (Mr. Harris) as have others from the group. I stand alone like I always have, upon my own merit. Not the merit of my teachers or the merit of others I merely knew while upon the path.
It Never Was About The Master: It Was About You All Along!
To have a wonderful, sharing teacher is a blessing. A true honor, a source of guidance and inspiration. We owe a great deal to those who have shared their knowledge w/ us. But in the end all of our martial art career (path) it always comes down to just YOU. The style, the teacher and all of the rest; at some point in your journey will fall to the wayside. What will be left is one thing. YOU! The teacher that you had all of those years is now gone for one reason or another. The art you have studied all of those years has long ago been assimilated into your life. Admit it or not, the art has changed as have you. Even those who attempt to freeze time, keep things unchanged will fail for such is the way time & age. So often in our loyalty to art, style and teacher we forget the obligations we owe to ourselves. When one forgets the self it is not a bad thing, but later that same self will have to be remembered or resurrected in order to complete the final cycle. To not complete the cycle is called failure, the entire point of the "exercise" has thus been missed. WTF? In our well meaning loyalty and dedication we can easily misplace the self. And we wake up one day missing the point, lacking the direction & connection that ye once sought, treasured and desired. An inner panic briefly ensues. In a case like this the re-finding of the self is due, a recapitulation of what comprises the martial YOU is one way to get free of the life "trap". It's a start anyway. Everyone has a different karmic path, the way is broad and often vague.The teacher can lead the horse (student) to water, but the teacher cannot make the horse drink (of the knowledge) unless it so wishes to. In weak arts it matters little about who does what, why or where. Weak arts attract the like people - weak. They'll hide behind tradition and anger to support their weak claims. But if you walk that higher path of self perfection then you know it comes down to the individual. The lost fucks who are honestly lost will always cry out like children when left to their own resources. Claims that the system or master let them down are common. Martial failures. But a true warrior, never lost, always see's the way before him clearly. Using his own resources in symphony (together) to form the map, the manual and method all in one. Flexible (flow) by nature & ready to adapt as the ever shifting energies guide us. Beyond any system or master, he has found the inner & true SELF as spoken of in legend and lore. The true reason you train is YOU. This is about YOU (not them or it). Ok, so realize, capitalize and energize off this realization - oh, you already knew all of this? Ok, sorry O' great one for repeating such simple minded rhetoric to one as wise yourself - but I ask then, why you still sitting there thinking these shit thoughts about what I have so kindly coached you on instead of manifesting them in a reality based manner? Shut off that fucking never ending mental dialogue of ego driven drivel that your mind has been putting forth and get going! Now Up! Feet on the path, eye's front and march towards your goals. Accomplish your "mission" - trust me, it will feel good to you to be YOU again. Friends will be happy to to see YOU as you. Your spirit becomes replenished & brighter. We cool now? - yep, I thought so! Good luck!
The War Quoit: Then and Now - Sharp Circles that Fly!
Chakram, a weapon sometimes called a war-quoit! The war quoit is the cousin to our popular toy called the "Frisbee". While the flying Frisbee might be fun and harmless the classical war quoit was the opposite, quite deadly! The general description of such a device might (I say "might") fall under the general heading as a "hurlbat" to some degree. A weapon that was - is meant to be thrown into a mass of people during a conflict. What ever and who ever it hit was just a random act of a random toss. Certainly there were times when a specific target was sought, but far greater skill was needed to make that happen. The war quoit was more accurate than other weapons of similar intent. But even then it's effectiveness in war or person to person combat has been seriously doubted by many historians. It takes a good arm to throw a heavy quoit any distance, sometimes a quoit was launched using a stick to throw it as it spun. Like anytime a lever is employed this made the quoit go further and faster. Spinning acted as rifling. The War quoit of yesterday was magnificent. I wish I could make the quoit of my dreams. Mine would be more stable, aero-friendly and more accurate than the old one's. It would have a much lower visual signature too. It'd be lighter and sharper. Taking shit one step further, I envision drones based upon the war quoit designs of old but motorized. Able to stay aloft, cameras too, Target ID capable and razor sharp for action. Mini-UFO's of death - silent too. Like steel hawks spinning out of the horizon, able to cut like a katana and keep flying. Perhaps even Kamikaze drone quoits. The new "Cherry blossom squadron" of another time and place! I even have a plan for a self charging engine. Based upon air pressure and descent rate the engine automatically recharges itself - the vehicle regains it's power and altitude. This means I need a five thousand foot rule for full functionality in the re-charge mode. (The charge should last around ten minutes) As it descends it's internal rotor fans go faster capturing the pressure, making the mini-turbines turn = Re-charge. Infinity machine methods are not impossible, just difficult. In terms of the Earth Grid, where the Bloch Wall of gravity wave field source exists, certain physically anomalous events can take place—such as spontaneous levitation. This is why it must be a light quoit. Titanium? Yes, I am sure Jules Verne would be most pleased with my ridiculous shit right? Heh Heh - Probably- But ya know there is some truth in what I am saying. Meanwhile keep playing Frisbee w/ the dog & kids. Remember the war quoit and know it's ways. Two links below.
The Priest's Style:
Perhaps a "Missing Link" in the Martial Milieu:
The first time I had heard of this was in 1987. It was being spoken of by David Harris, Sid Woodcock and Fook Yeung. It came up during a conversation about some of Silat's unusual entries and techniques. They seemed to all agree that it was a branch of ancient method called the "priest's style". Somewhat like Tai Chi Chuan in that it was a creation point sort of fighting art. A sun-source, versus an art that is a "version" of other arts or original creations. So many of these original methods have been lost to time. Since I had not encountered any references to this method I listened with great interest. Later asking to be shown a bit of the Priest's style by Sifu Harris so that I may grasp it's essence. So I was given a substantial bit of knowledge about it. I continued to pursue this art, piece by piece over the entirety of my relationship w/ these three men. For me it was a spawning ground for new possibilities to come forth into real life. An ancient way, magically new once again. This is called "re-birth" in kung fu parlance. The Phoenix - a fire bird from ashes thus springs forth alighting the way for the faithful as of old. As you already guessed, The name itself says that there is a religious context involved. Such as it may be this also indicates a doctrine of life - not death (killing). Meaning the bulk of what I experienced was not injurious or deadly to an aggressor. Like Tai Chi the idea is to "neutralize" the opponent rather than harm them. Respect for life once again. A high precept requires a high art to support it. Being a creation point art, that aspect was thoroughly ingrained into the skills at an appropriate tactical level. I can attest to it. No fanatical one, it is not a lost super-art or secret of the Siddhi's. It is merely an art lost to time (or absorbed by another art(s) perhaps). It is highly stylized in a classical type of format. If you are an impatient guy this may not be the art for you, heh heh. Today so much of martial arts is fast n furious, hi-speed and low drag. A "get in there and get'um" logic rules the day. This Priest method is not so eager in it's manner of dealing with an enemy. Taking life is easy in a fight. Saving life is not as easy. This concept of saving life, non-destructive control over the adversary and maintaining a spiritual base appealed to me greatly. It still does - now echoes of the ghosts mix freely with the sounds of daily life. Fleeting images of ghost boxers in the night fog. Emissaries to the faithful. Golden pillars of light. Golden pillar boxers. The martial mardi-gras of masters past / still treasured as the masters they ARE in the afterlife doing their articulated techniques in the moonlights smoky haze. I know, you think I dream, right? That I have gone mad. No, since my old friend Tarim Kim swept me into the Jianghu, a true reality has intruded and false dreams are no longer permitted. I speak of an accurized version of reality - poor old JAK can't look back. There is no more "I", only "we" and how we relate to "it". I ask you: Which of us is the dreamer? Which of us is asleep? Which one is awake? Which path do we take? The Priest method is an esoteric journey of the self and of all which the self values. I have already said too much for this session I believe. Not wishing to make confusion. Perhaps I can write more in the future. (Some have asked how to help support my efforts. This is an easy thing. Simply keep me in your hearts, share the spirit of life that lies within the core arts we all practice.) Help others, have no negative thoughts in your being. Know that energy is eternal and cannot be destroyed. Good works continue past this mortal coil. You are here for a darn good reason.
He + art = Heart! - JAK
Names of Confused Clarity:
Terminal Terminology Talk in Martial Arts:
Names mean a lot. They can be descriptive or they can be deceptive. In the world of martial arts terminology has been the flashpoint for false claims, misunderstanding and the unnecessary mystification of simple human movement. When someone attempts to change this chaotic paradigm they are met with prejudice & anger. The ignorant masses will cry "foul" and "fake" - all for merely changing confusing terminology into an understandable form. The teacher should teach in the countries language that they are in. To make people learn a language or terms for simple human motion that makes no sense & has no relevance to them is false manner of teaching. In Greco-Roman Wrestling there is a move known as the "Helicopter". In Some styles of S. E. Asian fighting methods there is a movement called "The Garuda". In some of the Indo-Malay styles of silat there is a neat, but simple movement commonly known as "Simber". In all three instances the movements are quite similar in nature & effect. Once these three methods are learned and cross-referenced, then done at speed they can seen as being from "one family". But, they are not! But yes, yes THEY ARE! By now you are asking "what is this jibber-jabber Keating is spewing now"? OK, lemme splain some: The moves themselves all originate from different places and times. But, the movement base from our human motion foundation (given to us by the creator) tells us the moves are relativley all the same. Yes, variations happen, nuances sweeten the individual interpretations. But in essence, same is same. Those who fight this truth, who struggle and resist only show their limited abilities as true teachers. True teachers will do anything possible to help their pupils. A true teacher of today will not cling to a method that has proven difficult for all. Instead they do the right thing through an interpreter and employ terms that make sense to those within that country & culture. This is how a following is made and loyalty is given. Another example - The willow leaf hand, the cutting palm, the knife hand, buddha palm, chop choy and shuto - yep, you already guessed it! They all represent the open hand. Same thing. Palm, knife edge, fingers, et all. Just an open fucking hand. Yet, the names add mystery and depth to otherwise commonplace actions of the body. (When you stroke a cats back or a dogs head, are you using a cat-palm or a dog-palm? No, it is just your hand. Same so for the martial arts). How many ways can the open hand be employed? Many! Discover them thru self study. But you will NOT learn shit about them simply by giving things exotic & complicated names. Names say whut? Like "part wild horse's mane", the "braided laser", the deadly "snupty pooptee" or what ever you wish to call it, still just human motion expressed in various ways. Once you get past the the trap of terminology the world opens up to you. It's your call, it's your art, it's about your evolution.
What does this term mean when used in conjunction to combat?
"Structure" refers to the skeletal and limb arrangements of the human being. They are a clever set of principles (or hidden tricks) that allows one do damage to an opponent via the adversaries own body & movements. Structure is partially "lever work". But on another level I can honestly say that lever work is just a small part of the greater picture of understanding how good "structure" works for you combat settings. It takes a special awareness or sensitivity that is different from most other things you do in sports or martial arts. Through structure you can hit the opponent through their own skeletal system. Sounds kind of odd doesn't it? I know, me too. At first I struggled with the idea. But after seeing (experiencing first hand) how well it works how could I argue it's effectiveness? I wanted to learn how to do this, but it was not easy. It took me several years of training before I could pull off even the most minor structural stunts at full speed during practice. It took another number of years before I could make it happen in the chaos of real fighting or hard practice sessions. One thing that I have realized in attempting to share this ability with others is that there are many small contributing skills that all must come together in order to make the greater effects that we seek in a combat situation. I do indeed feel that the quest of such ability is valid. It offers an awesome edge to your overall defense profile once the skill is installed and up & running. I can teach you, but only you can do the time required to make it functional. To quit striking with my fists, to stop kicking with the legs in order to defend myself was the quest. And instead to strike, throw and control the enemy through a series precise touches and alignments to his own skeletal system was the point of it all. Then at a future time, re-introduce the striking, kicking and locking back into the mix for a full bore type assault ability.
The Stigma of One Sided Thinking:
Well, the problem most people have when learning the FMA is that learn in what is called "seminar mode". The time is limited, the concentration difficult, etc. So they end up playing just one side. It speeds up learning. But if left at that level things turn stale fast. Hubud, sumbrada, cover & slash - the list goes on. But why NOT practice your skills on the other side? I reckon they just forget or don't "get it". That is a BIG problem, because so, so fucking much of the true teachings of the FMA can ONLY be accessed through a complete knowledge & ability on BOTH sides. It is where shit links up man. Honestly, it is big time critical for you to master both sides. Task yourself to do this, work it out to where you are working with even ability on both left & right sides (amidextrous). It is not the beginning and it is not the end point either. The crucial stuff is the transitionary stuff (how did you do that - how did you get there?). The material between the starting point and the last move - there were skills in in-between. WHAT are those skills? You can only discover this knowledge by knowing both sides thoroughly. I can assist with this, but you must do the work to make things purr like a swiss clock. Learn this as I speak of and just watch your abilities soar past your peers and teachers. I am absolutely giving you a GIFT by encouraging you to pick up on this and master both sides. I think some of you must have missed the TOP TEN FAULTS. So check'em out and get even more insight to what I am trying to have you accomplish and why.
The Magic within Doorways, Portals, arches and alcoves:
A doorway is a particular thing. Many sensitive people have noticed and reported about a doorway or arch having an odd effect upon them. Most of us become immune to the effects of a doorway, but some can still pick up when the subtle shift takes place. I am one them. An archway is a very basic, yet powerful form of either naturally occurring or man made portal where energies gather and transmute. A doorway is a squared off archway. Here is a curious phenomenon about doorways to get you thinking: Doorways make ya forget shit! Give it a read! Recently I encountered a situation involving a doorway and of a ghost animal trapped in the twain (bloch wall of opposing energies). If a being is killed while in the arch or doorway the spirit of that being is easily trapped there forever. Until it is released by some method or person with the knowledge to do so. I have often encountered odd energies near doorways and portals. Later I found out that violent death had occurred there. Those energies become trapped due to the nature of any opening or portal. This stands true for cave openings as well. For one who is a "spirit keeper" this is valuable knowledge. In this recent case I attempted to release the trapped creature and allow it to go on to the afterlife. A long story lead up to this and that is for another time. But my dogs could absolutely see the ghost of this animal when they were in that place. They would attack it (the place the critter died), -- a ghost = thin air. Quite disturbing to watch. But it was given freedom from that spirit-bondage and is now hopefully happier. Odd cases such as this one can teach you a lot about the variables from physical to spirit world. Some deceased people and animals struggle - fear overrides instinct. They become lost or trapped. A shaman or priest can help if they are worth a damn as holy men. Through their efforts and knowledge they can get them to the "other side" as the creator planned. A good thing for all. It is not hard to do. It is "correct" to do IE: to help another being. As we all know, Karmic laws do not stop, they go beyond life. They continue into the afterlife and beyond.
Human Movement: A Study of Motion & Marvel:
Human Movement is all! Stop the insanity and focus upon human movement. Like a clock, see the hands move externally, but also understand the movement of things within the clock which you cannot see. Movement is movement. Catalog that, not styles or methods. All styles that men practice are based on human movement or else we could not do them. Imitating creatures is a sure way to lose yourself and your instinctual grasp of human movement (since you are a human - biped). Stick w/ what you know, be what you are. Be happy you are a human being and make the most of it! I rarely see critters imitating men, but too often I encounter men imitating a critter. Hmm, has the animal systems of kung fu sort of mis-lead us about the pathways to martial success? Or have they set aside a special branch of human movement in their attempts to capture the essence of life & death struggles within their art(s)? Martial understanding of human motion is a limited thing, study all motions that a human can possibly make for any reason what so ever. Get past the limitations of the martial and you may just find the mastery. Once mysterious, the motion of man, now deciphered by you. The elaborate arrangement of cables and pullys placed just right. Marvelous engineering. The placement and anchoring of the levers so precise as to be like a fine machine. Deus ex machina indeed! The armor wrapping about the vital parts, strong, flexible, a moving mantle of bone and cartilage. Such is the miraculous body of man, his gift of life, the duty of his human-hood, the ownership of a miracle machine such as the human body is often beyond the minds of many men. But for the few who know what to do, they understand that dynamic human movement is the great generator of mystical personal power for all things we humans deem valuable while on this Earth. So I encourage you to MOVE!
Listening to the Ants Scream - Of Solitude and Reality Shifts
In times of profound silence, solitary pilgrimage & shifts of reality we can experience truly amazing things. These things are often for our eye's and senses only. You need no witness, no friend, for YOU are the witness. Bask in the experience in that capacity - as a watcher - as a witness of time's sweep across the consciousness of all beings on Earth. Participate by being there in spiritual attunement - immersed in the moment. Get rid of the electronics, get rid of excess "friends", get rid of the trappings that come w/ daily life. Become the moment that you have created. This is solo thing like hermitage. When the white monk Bodiharma sat facing the wall he listened to the ants scream - it is a metaphor of the intensity he radiated in his deep spiritual calmness. He tapped into the root of reality. When a spirit actually speaks to you it is often a high pitched, hard to discern sound. Like a mosquito in your ear. I think the great-one was tapping into a spirit-connect with the akashic records and universal mind. The million-thread, billion fiber simul-connect with every thing on this Earth. Often the effect is overwhelming, the "Aleph" if you will. Even now many of you no longer know the world around you. Straight up, many are completely lost, the reference points of reality have changed. Some lost one's will seek guru's to act as advanced scouts. Hoping the wise one's will lead them back to the reality watering hole they once knew and lost. Too late O' wanders in the desert! Now you gotta keep marching, march or die. Say, is that the black tower in the distance? Or is it merely the shadow of Weavers Needle at high noon in the valley of death? The tip of the legendary spire pointing to the burial site of the hopes & dreams of dozens of dead men. They failed to hear the ants screaming. Listening should supercede talking, quiet = survival, noise is detection and extinction. Move silently, like a cat, such has always been the way of those who know. Real Listening occurs inside, outside and all around. Yes, there is a form "listening kung". A Sage leaf placed behind the ear can sometimes increase this power of 360* listening power too. Either you grab this new reality by it's nape & make it yours or it will surely grab you. Open the gate mate!
Cultivating an inner you that is calmer than the outer you will help you deal with any Mandela effects or lonliness. Ok, Just listen!
Seeking Effortless Power & Effortless Speed
When you seek something as elusive as "effortless power" your search for answers can often take you well off of the beaten path that the masses follow blindly. Right now - can you think of some things in your world that represent or that can display the qualities of "effortless power"? Take an automobile jack for example, this device is meant to assist you in changing a flat tire out. But is a perfect example of which we speak. You can lift a three thousand pound car with no problem simply by using this two pound device! Effortless speed is often found through mastering dynamic timing. It can also be found through mechanical methods such as a slingshot or by understanding pre-loaded spring energy within the human body. There are many things in the modern world that offer us humans "effortless power", but in this case we must limit our quest to martial arts proper or the end will never be in sight. Applied physics is that broad of a spectrum in life. This is a pursuit of a precision based skill. Effortless power = good applied physics! Yes, there it is. There may even may be a bit of mysterious energy involved. But that is for another time. But generally speaking this is applied combat physics 101. Start there before taking that long, winding road towards a pure energy approach to self defense and well being. You need the applied physics first. Be the kung fu scientist, the alchemist of chaos and begin your study today. Experiment some and learn. The best effortless speed or power is never seen coming by the opponent. It is felt as an after effect of their misjudgement. Good kung fu as of which we speak and seek is sometimes mentioned as being "invisible". This is effortless power combined with stage magic - angle, distraction and timing - I can easily show you if we have ten minutes together. MMA is the "angry monkey" level of fighting. It leaves you in old age or tribulation high and dry. What I am talking about will last you well into your grey years with little loss of authority.
WHY LEVELS and LAYERING In LIFE?
Staging life on several levels - engineered to operate as individual items or as a team effort - levels of life layered for smoother operation. Things that are arranged on "levels" or stages of readiness always work better than single things called out upon the moment of need.
Think of this: If one layer collapses, another pops up to replace it automatically. If one or more layers fail in their duties, another layer swings out to help get it done before failure occurs! Yeah, layering like in your car. An automatic braking (stop) system, airbags & seatbelts /a combo (layering to keep you safe). Big industry gets layering to maximize it's effects, work force and money. The military layers like hell too, they don't care who gets crushed or killed, it's all about efficiency to them. The military eats our enemies as per their designation, it also eats it's own when the layers begin to fail. Such is the way of big outfits and big machines through out history. Layering is bodyguard thinking. Think ahead mate, layering life is an art, a by product of martial mind setting over many years. Not everyone can do it, takes practice. The LUCK one see's an OPERATOR blessed with is often not luck. It's sound tactical behavior this "layering life" and the setting of the warrior-magicians stage to his advantage (at all times). The more you practice, the better you become at it. Start with easy things, daily things and just see what you can do to make shit more efficient and controllable than prior. To some degree you make shit more predictable too. Predictability = better security. If something does not work out as planned then did your NEXT Layer pop up and replace the failed unit as you hoped that it would? That is the goal, that is the exercise. This is a mindset drill for the those of the higher warrior mind. The lazy one's, the victims and the prey animals of this world will never do this study. They just become faceless statistics on a chalkboard in some dirty back room in another dirty little town.
Sorcery: the systematic cultivation of enhanced consciousness or non-ordinary awareness & its deployment in the world of deeds & objects to bring about desired results. The incremental openings of perception gradually banish the false selves, our cacophonous ghosts--the "black magic" of envy & vendetta backfires because Desire cannot be forced. Where our knowledge of beauty harmonizes with the ludus naturae, sorcery begins. No, not spoon-bending or horoscopy, not the Golden Dawn or make-believe shamanism, astral projection or the Satanic Mass--if it's mumbo jumbo you want go for the real stuff, banking, politics, social science--not that weak blavatskian crap. Sorcery works at creating around itself a psychic/physical space or openings into a space of untrammeled expression-- the metamorphosis of quotidian place into angelic sphere. This involves the manipulation of symbols (which are also things) & of people (who are also symbolic)--the archetypes supply a vocabulary for this process & therefore are treated as if they were both real & unreal, like words. Imaginal Yoga. The sorcerer is a Simple Realist: the world is real--but then so must consciousness be real since its effects are so tangible. The dullard finds even wine tasteless but the sorcerer can be intoxicated by the mere sight of water. Quality of perception defines the world of intoxication--but to sustain it & expand it to include others demands activity of a certain kind--sorcery. Sorcery breaks no law of nature because there is no Natural Law, only the spontaneity of natura naturans, the tao. Sorcery violates laws which seek to chain this flow-- priests, kings, hierophants, mystics, scientists & shopkeepers all brand the sorcerer enemy for threatening the power of their charade, the tensile strength of their illusory web. A poem can act as a spell & vice versa--but sorcery refuses to be a metaphor for mere literature--it insists that symbols must cause events as well as private epiphanies. It is not a critique but a re-making. It rejects all eschatology & metaphysics of removal, all bleary nostalgia & strident futurismo, in favor of a paroxysm or seizure of presence. Incense & crystal, dagger & sword, wand, robes, rum, cigars, candles, herbs like dried dreams--the virgin boy staring into a bowl of ink--wine & ganja, meat, yantras & gestures-- rituals of pleasure, the garden of houris & sakis--the sorcerer climbs these snakes & ladders to a moment which is fully saturated with its own color, where mountains are mountains & trees are trees, where the body becomes all time, the beloved all space. The tactics of ontological anarchism are rooted in this secret Art--the goals of ontological anarchism appear in its flowering. Chaos hexes its enemies & rewards its devotees...this strange yellowing pamphlet, pseudonymous & dust-stained, reveals all...send away for one split second of eternity. /X\
It's really about Control on many levels
Turning the tables on an opponent during an altercation is a true art unto itself. It is in essence "pulling victory out of the jaws of defeat". When some bastard has gotten the drop on you just "turn the tables" on them. A true "table-turner" is in all fact a "counter fighter" of sorts. A highly developed form of counter fighting it is to be sure. Surprise is an element of this type of table turning. It may even be a plan, consider ABD or attack by drawing. You let them take the lead, but as they commit you snatch the lead away from them. Counter fighting is one level. There is also "counter for counter" fighting. Another level entirely. One up from just counter-fighting. There are not too many good counter for counter men anymore. They exist, but the real skill is rare to see in public. Think of it as being a means to "turn the tables" on he who "turns the tables". Heh heh, say whut? Well yeah me too, I know it's all kind of confusing. Contemplate it until clarity and stillness replace the indiscernable restlessness of your mind. A good table turner must have a calm confidence on their side. As I have often said, "skill banishes fear" and this is true. But the skill must be real and on tap, on command, on duty, on point, on your behalf! It's not about violence or bringing harm to others. It's about CONTROL / control of the situation, control of the opponent, control of your inner self, control of you words and thoughts! Sometimes harm comes from the violence of trying to control someone who will not be controlled. This is why real skill establishes real control with a minimum of violence, damage and liabilities. Setting out to fight or possibly harm another person is a far different road to travel than to set out to simply control a person (neutralize the aggression). Skill is why we train, to just smack the piss out of someone takes no training at all. So to pursue skill in areas and ways that others cannot grasp is part of what we do. That is skill, dealing with shit in a better way for all involved. Dousing the fire, adding no fuel to it.
Night training at my Temple is surely an unforgetable experience. We make the joke of calling it "Ghost Boxing Temple". But in all truth it is an accurate name. While training many phenomenon can be observed as those from the other side join us in our pursuit of martial mastery. Who is the one who is always in the transition corridor? He is called the guardian, he watches that without and that within. Who lives above the main hall? It is a rather secret room, (with those coffins I showed you earlier) sealed off for decades in the alcove above the temple ceiling. It has became a portal, a place between worlds. Many travelers between the two worlds can be heard (and seen) going to and fro from the ghost headquarters above. As we reside within one another's worlds, they respect us and vice a versa. (I no longer enter their areas of control after being punched in the face by a spirit so hard it knocked out a rear tooth. I got the message loud & clear).
There is no point in going into their lairs. Only the smell of dry things, feathers, dust and decay is there for those of us on this side of the veil. At night that dividing veil thins a little bit and spirit activities begin to be felt and noticed more. Our world effects them, their world can now effect us. Some can cross that bridge, that is why there is a watcher of both sides, to keep things balanced. Noises from empty rooms in the far recesses of the temple can be heard. No one is ever there. It can be a summer hot day, but when a master of the ghost lodge makes his entry it becomes cool as a fall day. Mind you I did not create this place, I sort of just inherited it thru some of odd twists of fate. In times past (late 1800's) the first masters of this lodge were all required to have a sword. Odd isn't it how time and fate swing things about? Time is not linear, time is not circular. Time is a spiral. (there it is really). An energy line that goes beyond the very physics which support it's existence.
Bruce Lee's BAKU Bamboo Whip
The thin, reedy whip that Bruce Lee used in Game of Death has been called a "Baku" by some sources. Honestly, there is not too much out there about it. Of Bamboo construction (coating?) - And here is a nice bit of footage from "Game of Death" not often seen in the movie version. See the Baku in action. The Baku is somewhat like a crop, buggy whip or Filipino buntot pagi (stingray tail). Whip-like devices such as the one in the movie are not uncommon in martial arts. But that particular version is not often seen. In America we call a weapon such as that a "switch". And a "switch" is nothing to laugh at. You might have heard of going after a bear with a switch, well it's no joke. Getting switched is a stinging, painful experience. No broken bones, but it can cut you and make you bleed & damn it HURTS! And talk about fast! Wicked welts are the main damage from this speedy spanker. (Yes, I've been switched by a school teacher years ago. I was being a bad boy). "Kubo rattan" is kind of whippy and light like a Baku's composition. A modern Sjambok (Cold Steel) (tm) is a similar weapon no doubt about it. Not quite as reactive and alive as the Baku, but still a deadly device. At home here I use thin natural whips for training. They grow nearby in the Walla Walla river area. I think these are the young shoots from a "Tree of Heaven". They grow really straight and have sections (joints) like bamboo. Since I shall not be engaging in any life & death struggles with these, they are more than strong enuff for my solo work and light partner training. Although darker in color these hold up well and can cut like a whip when properly played. I really like them. I thought about using the green colored Tool Dunk (tm) to get the green grippy effect I want, then a final spritz with clear laquer to get some shine on it like the original. It's an ongoing project, so time will tell.