A brief glimpse at the Daoist side of life. Some compiled links. I linked those sites that seemed entertaining and educational. Tao = always a source of mystery and magic, power and personage. Fun awaits!
We are currently facing an enemy much like a cyclops or giant. A fearful opponent, so big! How can we defeat something so big and powerful? There was and is a way, this is a story of that way. And of never giving up. Notice the man's name "CLOUD" - coincidence? Are you cloud? Am I? We are all "Cloud" my friends.
Let's take a look at some blue sky cloud phenomenon!
Look at this video. The guy has caught something .. but what?
“I’ll give you the answer to the question “What is most important to the heart of a warrior?” The answer is, “To desire with one’s very soul every second of every day to accomplish one’s aim.”
I myself am a savage, owing to allegiance but to the king of the cannibals; and ready at any moment to rebel against him” Mobey Dick / His "MARK" / sit back and listen. Enjoy -
At first glance, you would not think that a square of thin cotton
cloth would be all that useful.
However, the humble bandana is one of the most useful tools you can have in a survival situation. Its simplicity makes it more versatile than just about anything you can bring with you. The deadly saga of India's Thugee cult brings home the point that even a piece of cloth is a weapon in trained hands. A roving band of elite, silent killers who pledged allegiance to no-one but their fellow members – after whom the word “thug” is derived – and the Hindu goddess, Kali. At its root, the word “Thuggee” means “deceivers,” and this name hints at the methods employed by the cult. Bands of Thugs traveled across the country posing as pilgrims, merchants, soldiers, or even royalty, in groups numbering anywhere from a few men to several hundred. Offering protection or company, they would befriend fellow travelers and slowly build their confidence along the road. Often the impostors would journey for days and hundreds of miles with their intended victims, patiently waiting for an opportunity to strike. When the time was right, typically while their targets were encamped and at their most relaxed, a signal would be given—reportedly “Bring the tobacco”—and the Thugs would spring into action - slaying silently, bloodlessly.
AI raised - smart as wee dogs and vast numbers beyond comprehension! China's big bug gambit - Speculation: Magical Battle Roaches for world dominance?
Is shit like this being used on the American People?
Is this "protecting us"? Is this a joke from some nut?
My, my such odd times. The "Jianghu" effect reigns supreme!
Flexible Weapons: Whip work +
July / 2 Days / July 14th & 15th
541-938-3415 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Not anyone can handle a whip tactically.
It is this level of ability we hope
to impart in this training seminar.
The Chinese word Jing means a number of things depending on where, when, and how it is used. Jing can be used as a verb, an adjective, or a noun. When it is used as a verb, it means “to refine.” For example, to refine or purify a liquid to a high quality is called “Jing Lian”-When it is used as an adjective, it is used to describe or signify something which is “refined,” “polished”
and “pure without mixture.”
For example, when a piece of art work is well done, people say
“Jing Xi”(which means “delicate and painstaking” (literally, “pure and fine”), or “Jing Liang”which means “excellent quality” (literally “pure and good”). When Jing is used to apply to personal wisdom or personality, it means “keen” and “sharp.” For example, when someone is smart or wise, they are called “Jing Ming’ -which means “keen and clever.” When Jing is applied to a thought, it means “profound” or “astute,” and indicates that the idea or plan was well and carefully considered. When used as a noun for an object, Jing means “the essence” or “the essentials.” When it is used for the energy side of a being, it means “spirit” or “ghost.”
This is meant to add to my "Toastmaster" piece below. Scroll down a bit. This is a good article and really gives insight. Learn to get rid of the "BUT" and and the "Umm's" - real speaking w/out the bullshit! This ability to speak clearly is the beginning of what is called "Command Presence".
I have taught Command Presence for many years. Really believe in it. Command presence is a term that was developed in the military to describe someone who had the quality of a leader, especially those who would be leading soldiers into battle. The term has since been generalized to business and other settings. Command presence is an elusive quality, but you know it when you see it. Here are a few good links below that help you grasp what Command presence is about and what it can do for you. And where it fits into your overall matrix of real world tactical skills
~ May ye Live long O' Tactical Toastmasters All ~
1. How To Improve Your Executive Presence & Command
(Thanx for the inspiration Nick!)
A Magical Art: Tai Chi Chuan
In days gone by Tai chi was often directly associated with the occult. Even today some Christians believe Tai chi to be a doorway to evil things. Is it really "evil" or just a misunderstood power given to us by the great creator? The claims made by this ancient art often borderline the improbable. In recent months there have been public "duels" between Tai Chi people and the MMA people. Tai Chi people lost. But this is really nothing new, such displays of superiority have been going on for centuries! In real fighting the results are painfully obvious. Theory either lives or dies once actual conflict takes place.
Once hailed as a fighting art Tai Chi now resides in the meta-physical health and wellness community. But at one time Tai Chi was a top method for real fighting. What happened to it then? In the last few hundred years Tai Chi has lost it's bite. It seems incapable of getting beyond it's
"yoga-plya-metric" level which this present culture finds so intriguing. Good old Tai Chi Chuan, (sigh) ... never has there been a more mystical and hence misunderstood martial art in the world!
In days past Tai Chi Chuan was seen to be nothing less than a magical art. It was touted publicly as being such. More of a martial sorcery method than an outright physical combat method. This of course flies in the face of the modernists and scoffers. Much like when Mao and the gang of five ran things, the true truth has been hidden away once again. Yes, it's true. More on Falun Gong as mentioned in the link above can be found here.
Tai chi is high bio-alchemy and MMA is not. Tai Chi can make shifts to a persons well being and their sense of reality. Heightened awareness if you will. Tai Chi Chuan is energetically based. Energy works differently than physical strength. The rules are unique unto their separate realms. These realms are vibratory levels of being. So we ask again, if Tai Chi has such awesome levels of ability within it's matrix why does it so often fail in actual duels? Fair enough question! The reason may lie in that the art was gutted of what really made it tick. What was left is what we have now. The so called "guts" of the art is analogous to a cars engine. Remove the engine and the car becomes an inert object. To even begin to show this aspect of the art usually freaks people out big time. Instead of seeing a "miracle", they instead opt out for seeing a "devil". Their vibratory rate simply cannot sustain such a reality. Different levels of awareness exist you see.
There are alpha, beta, gamma, theta BRAIN waves! Each produces a different state of beingness. Like this Gamma with gusto! .
Tai Chi Chuan is a very precise art. Much of it's doctrine is still not understood - even by those who claim to "know" the art. They mean only the physical part, the postures. The true art entails much more. If this extra effort is not made then nothing in the Tai Chi method will work. Please read this statement from a great teacher of Tai chi:
"Calmness is considered by masters to be the key secret and must never be neglected. If you lose your cool for a moment, you will then end up in a state of panic, and injury will ensue. I once heard of a certain master who had a pure skill and tremendous power, and who during a fight just kept getting hurt. Suddenly someone called out: “Have you forgotten your boxing art?” His opponent then charged in again and defeated him grandly. This is all because his mind was in chaos, and hence his hands and feet were in disarray. Not knowing what calmness is, the result was huge failure".
China's Tai Chi is "different" from Taiwan's Tai chi. I think both have value. But Taiwan has kept closer to tradition and the masters of the spirit world acknowledges this. All Kung Fu is not created equal.
When true Tai Chi is demonstrated I can fully understand why some religious people would say the practitioner of the art was possessed by demons. Some claim Faustian pacts are made with Djinn to get secret powers & are at the root source of these powers. The speed and the behavior of a Tai Chi (spirit-raised) player are indeed demonic! The violence so implicit as to make the soul quiver in it's fleshy sheath of muscles and blood. The change is huge, dramatic and overwhelming on many levels. I know this shan't make much sense to most people or sway a non-believers mind. But I have experienced this myself.
At this level of the game madness can be a very real risk, loss of sanity. Handling this power makes you goofy at times, it can change you to where friends and family don't know you any longer. Yeah, MMA is pretty damn good. And it's fast to pick up. It serves the main idea of what we all do in some way fairly well. But, the Tai Chi we see today is shit most of the time. Trust me mates, there really is this so called "woo-woo" level of Tai Chi. Once ya see it or feel it, yes you'll go woo-woo! But it's rare man, rare. And if there are those who do have this skill I guarantee you they keep it quiet and few know of it. Thanx! / Rambling like Roach, a knife coach, easy to approach.
How about the diff between the attack arts and the defense arts? Few people address this split in the core principles of what a fighting art is really all about! Why? Too uncomfortable of a topic for today's PC world? And now many of the older "attack" arts have turned into "defensive" arts whether it is admitted or not. Social pressure and public image shapes what is done in some arts. Others cling to their heritage, not giving in to the prim & proper. Fighting is ugly, the rules of fighting are non-existent. Anything goes is the true way. Win, win at all costs, win by any means possible. The end justifies the means. Only one chance, winning is the ONLY way of ways! The majority of martial arts pride themselves in being the "good guys". They only respond in defense. They teach defense as the way to engage a killer. The stuff they tell you sounds good, "defend yourself". And the old standby "Once they attack, they expose themselves". Tired rhetoric of the defensive crowd to support their beliefs. They need such material ready at hand because they too secretly understand the power of attack, yet are uncomfortable to admit it. Defending immediately puts you one beat behind - right off the start! You'll need to shoot out a brisk double-tap to take the lead back! Other arts and individuals openly admit they practice "attack arts". They take the lead beat upon entry and keep it! These are highly successful methods of hand to hand survival. Most arts that attack will use weapons (it's a grown up world right?)
In uncertain, deadly times the discerning practitioner opts for attack arts. Attack arts breed a different, more hyper awareness level of personal being. One more suited to today's needs. You are NOT a bad guy for learning attack arts. The use of these arts must be governed by sound judgement of course. But never doubt it, attack arts are better when the chips are down. They will win in 80% of the situations you shall encounter. We are talking about life & death encounters here. Develop your attack sequences & win your life!
There are many people who can tell you all about defending yourself. Too many really. But how many can accurately tell you how to attack? How does one simply walk up and launch a solid attack sequence? Yeah, no clue. I don't refer to bully boy bullshit, but rather to a trained fighters entry skill in all-out attack mode. Such skill is an awesome thing. It's "always there for you". Nice -
Time to get beyond sports, martial arts must come full circle back to their deadly roots. Let them take the guns. Let'em ban every thing they want. There will always be men such as you and I. Bans on certain items cannot stop us from our tactical duties.
The hoda korosu, or “naked kill" idea - being able to employ anything as a tool or weapon in your personal quest to bring peace to a violent world is viable. These are still secret things, yes even today. Ya gotta learn this stuff first hand from someone who knows. Behind every cool weapon, be it a gun, a knife or a sword is someone just like yourself. It's the man that makes the magic - the weapon weaves the way. But the all critical man guides it's path! Develop yourself for the coming times. Teach others. Do not depend on guns and technology. They absolutely will NOT save you. When the overlords are ready, they shall take such toys away from everyone and then many helpless, lost children will cry in the dark. Yes, I too shall "cry", but a war-cry, not a wail of despair. Stop, look & listen - learn now and prepare. Much can be learned from very simple things.
Simple is good enough / You are good enough / Attack arts anyone?
My own story of development has a great deal to do with the TOASTMASTERS. They really helped me out when I most needed it. Their advice and criticism was accurate. I took it well and acted upon it. Thus improving myself according to their guidelines. Many of these men were lawyers, judges and men of the cloth. (Several were of the loyal order as well) They would take a rough hewn specimen such as myself and refine them over time into a viable asset to the community and most of all, to themselves. I met men through that organization (Toastmasters) which ran businesses, banks and in many ways the entire community itself. I learned to speak and deport myself there like a real gent. They taught a fellow to "do it right"! Once I began "getting the idea" of what was required I took to it like a duck to water. The improvement was fairly rapid and quite noticeable in myself. To this very day I recommend the Toastmasters to any one wishing to improve their life. From the topic, presentation, voice modulation, clothing, posture, tonal inflection and so much more will become yours. And yes, having these skills DOES indeed make a difference out in the real world. After all, having powerful inter-personal communication skills is a magical gift! I refined myself through Toastmasters. And I shall forever be indebted to the Toastmasters of Walla Walla Wa. ! They would meet in the mornings at the Marcus Whitman Hotel. Nice breakfasts back then - :)
MIT Scientists Develop Device That
So now I ask you to share a story with me. It's about a fellow named Richard Rea. Late deceased. Resident of the Blue Mountains of Oregon. One of the developers of the space shuttle. Owner of several patents and inventions. Richard lived alone the latter part of his life. He was a guro and guide to many. A wizard of science and advanced thought. A student of life's great university was he. Eccentric? Yes, a little bit. But in a lovable, fascinating way. Living as far out as he did - being alone for long stretches of time would make anyone a bit different over time.
Tatanka and I used to visit him up there in his private mountain valley. Ensconced in his chateau-like home. Few things bothered him, (meaning no thieves or trespassers) due to the great abundance of mountain lions which also lived in his valley. He claimed nine family's of cats lived there. (that's a lot).
He felt the COUGAR was a smaller variety of cat. That the true Mountain LION was larger. Bigger head, rounder ears. More african in appearance. He said there was two distinct type of cats. Most people he said did not differentiate them. Just big or small. One day we had been talking extra heavy and the shadows soon grew long. Night was coming, comes fast in the canyons. Richard said: "you boys best get out of here now. If you don't you'll be spending the night here. Otherwise the cats will never let you out alive". We looked at one another and nodded.
But before we left we were shown his cool invention - a small device which powered his entire home. One room collected the power he made, it was full of batteries. Car batteries, maybe twenty or so. All phased together.
It (the device) appeared to be similar to a musicians metronome. Back and forth it went, pendulum like. Made no noise. Quite small. I asked what powered it? He said once it started it ran forever. He had several of these gadgets set up about the place. Since we were in a hurry, we did not linger on questioning how this device really worked. I regret that too. I wished to learn more. But looking back I believe that this device was the forerunner of this recent MIT discovery I linked above. Verrry similar -
Great vid shots - close up. Cougars are curious as hell. They might watch something all day. More
This is FAMILIAR SHAPES the VIDEO on Vimeo. And this is the ARTICLE about Familiar Shapes. The curious connect which this woman has made between Bot and Bogey is really interesting. I've been paying close attention to this work and it's workings Timely / Enjoy
Ok, think what you want - But herein lies power of the self and confidence in life. Long, but worth a listen. Never force a picture by visualizing; let the Divine Idea flash into your conscious mind; then the student is working according to the Divine Design. Power moves but is never moved. When man stands calm and serene, has a good appetite, feels contented and happy when appearances are against him, he has reached mastery. Then he has the power to "rebuke the winds and the waves," to control conditions. His word is his wand and he transmutes apparent failure into success.
Human movement is all ANY of it is. You may call it this or that, any style or name is good. After all most of us are a polyglot of crap from all over. Long gone are the days of anything "pure" or original. Replaced with the mad mix of many martial methods. At times these hybrid arts are really cool. But so often they turn out to be garbled train wrecks of confused, non-related pieces of combat. Lost in the swamp of too much martial. Gone are their primary values. Gone are guts of why and how. Dumbing down has happened everywhere .
The Shaman knows how to use the sun's secrets. While solar flares produce a surge of energy, sunspots involve a powering down of energy. This oscillation of the sun, the surging highs and sucking lows of this solar activity during the sun’s waning phase, also affects our brains and our moods.
Youtube: Mighty THAI SWITCH KICK improvements: Guy knows his shit. Power kicking in our classes right now is the thing! Learnt this first training w/ Master Chai in 88-89 - KERBANG! Deceptive and capable of stopping the fight for good. Power kicking is an art and if you train for it, you'll never regret it. A big surprise for anyone seeking to do you harm. I go for the thigh to ankle area in general. (It can affect the breathing and morale of an opponent). Kerbang!
In Kung Fu to issue forth a blast of energy (force) from any place on your body is known as "Fa-jing". It is what Bruce Lee employed in his now famous one inch punch demonstrations. It uses a quick-twitch muscle flex which in turn is based off of a "body-ripple" type action. The skeletal system delivers the force more so than the arm and hand. In this way the arm-hand merely act as struts, not pistons. Much like American football's lethal (and banned) "stiff arm". In another example Maestro Peter Urban (USAGOJU) named his version of Fa jing the "shock-shove punch" (and aptly titled it was)! If you have not felt fa jing type energy blows it is difficult to believe or understand. When you do experience such energy it is shocking and impressive.Theory swiftly becomes reality!
In Tai Chi there is a concept taught as "severing the root" - it is comprised of two opposite energies, push and pull. To sever the root is to shut down the opponents ability to respond-react. They sort of stall out mid-attack, it is then that you strike back. To pull this off you need the "listening energy" as is taught in some styles of kung fu. It receives, it does not oppose. You accept first, then you repulse. They enemy gets sprung violently between the opposing forces. The effect is done in perfect timing with their actions and reactions. If you cannot sense and read the energy of the person before you, you cannot pull off something such as severing the root. This is energy work at a high level, to practice under a good sifu who is willing to teach this level of combat awareness is a priceless find for they are few. Time, patience and determination will help you on this quest. Relax, let go of the rocks you are clinging to and let the current take you, go with the flow my friend -
Energy can go beyond the physical barriers. It can become a catalyst for certain intuitive feelings. This type of energy can be passed between people through the eye to eye contact. It can also be shot outward through the plexus chakra in a blast of psychic energy. In the Book of Five Rings Musashi calls this force "vigor". He advises to "instill the vigor" from your feet right up to the top of the head. In the art of Tai Chi Chuan one is taught to keep the head erect, like it is floating above the shoulders. This is for the purpose of achieving the higher energy flow throughout the body for healing or for personal defense. There are many names for this energetic effect.
Each culture recognizes this energy, each giving it a name that best describes it in that particular country or culture. Chi, Ki, Pneuma, Prana, Vigor, Inner Fortitude, the list is long and going through it is pointless. Whatever name this energy is labeled it remains the same. Most of the time this energy and the command over it are deeply connected to the breathing processes and will power over the inner self. So irregardless of whether we speak of the physical manifestation of it or the more aetheric psychic forms of energy one of the big tricks in dealing with energy is to possess the ability to control it. To have it at one's beck and call is the ultimate goal, but t'is easier said than done. Such skills or gifts must be earned through long years of study and self discipline.
Since most people assume such talk as we pursue here is naught but sham and scam. It is an overlooked and misunderstood element in the vast pantheon of modern fighting and defense methods. It helps a bunch if you actually know someone who has this ability. They can show you (in person) something relating to tactical energy. To experience it is faith building in itself. It becomes a more "real" goal to pursue in your training regimen once you experience it.
Those people who can sense the energies of the opponent correctly can actually "read" the intent of their adversary. They seem to have a mysterious fore knowledge of the aggressors actions. Through the awareness of "exchanged energies" one becomes a most difficult subject to victimize. Counter and riposte become natural after a few years of cultivating such abilities. Kali, Kung Fu, Aikido and other arts share this trait in common. Each recognizes the flowing energies of the fight and touch pressures therein. Other arts are in complete denial of them. People bound by those arts will call such sensitivity training as I am speaking of as false and worthless. Hence the eternal struggle of the "haves and the have nots" in it's most obvious form. Some arts and practitioners are so ignorant they don't even know that they are that ignorant. Darkness and cultism unfortunately comprise a great deal of many martial arts styles and their underlying philosophies. Often what they lack in ability and skill they adequately compensate for through anger and sheer toughness
For you and I "energy" (NRG) is a word which describes the effects of a force or pressure that is felt in the practice of certain martial arts. In kung fu it has been described as a feeling similar to a "spring under tension". It can also be used to define the lack of presence or "no energy" during an physical encounter. These forces or pressures are part of the close quarter combat experience. To be unfamiliar with them is to court disaster. To know of their ways, in other words to know the meanings of specific pressures is to have a big advantage over others. Awareness and sensitivity figure in heavily in the correct interpretation of these myriad pressures felt during a physical exchange. Anger and callousness run counter to this idea. Those sort of emotion based effects work to block one's sensitivity to physical situations.They are lower based skills and appeal to those caught in the common conundrum of "what should I do" syndrome that normally occurs when violence strikes.
Message: The last few weeks have been a whirlwind. I apologize for being so behind in the emails. Been swamped actually. As winter has come upon us here the many duties of ranch life have taken on a more challenging spirit. This aspect has kept me away from my normal duties online. Uncle Jim hauls ass and makes shit happen but there is only one of him! It is almost as if the higher powers were attempting to remove my eye's from seeing the internet so much and return them to seeing the real world around me in a new, more powerful (rewarding?) way. While at times difficult this new duty shift is also seductive, appealing to me in my gut (the place where guessing is replaced by knowing). The shift: Be it a "breakthrough" or just self-illusion? No illusion mate .. heh, I think I know how it happened, pretty damn sure. I've slowed up some and allowed the shift to occur. Soon I'll be back at it, in tune w/ the new shift, re-energized. Let us all decide to make that decision to live like a Boss, train hard & enjoy life! Strength and Honor!
Build the fire high
Flames unto the sky
A winters night
A warriors might
A soul sets forth to fly
Are people in big, modern societies more or less violent than our forebears? The answer is neither, according to a controversial new study: People who lived in small bands in the past had no more proclivity toward violence than we do today. The finding—based on estimates of war casualties throughout history—undercuts the popular argument that humans have become a more peaceful species over time, thanks to advances in technology and governance. But some critics aren’t convinced. Learn More .. ..
Most styles of knife fighting have some sort of footwork as part of their overall instructional format. For the most part knife men are ambitious, active and always on the move. It's the nature of the game. To some observers a knife man's footwork when seen in action can appear to be "nervous" or "flinchy". Well, duh... it IS a knife fight after all! So indeed one gets a little jumpy and reactionary in such a situation. The price for being too complacent could be serious injury or death! We hear such ancient axioms as "a moving target is harder to hit" and "attacks made while in motion are harder to detect by the opponent". Yes, all true. Most men fight this way because it comes naturally, it is all they know, instinct and fear are their mentors! It keeps them alive and that's what counts. The trained knife man uses advanced principles along w/ his natural instincts! This makes a truly impressive package of defense.
The footwork and body mechanics of the long range methods are different from the footwork and body mechanics of the close range fighter. Long range is mostly a side-fighting method like fencing (little physical pressure). Close range is head on, squared up to the opponent like a football player (American football) (heavy physical pressure). Learn to shift in and out of ranges. Adjust body mechanics and footwork accordingly. Be able to click in and out of the "killer instinct" mode that Vu used to speak about. He wrote a book too. Be able to adjust to that path of behavior as part of the range changes.
There is Li Yiyu’s “Five-Word Formula”, which expresses concepts in the boxing theory and is also of vital importance.
It is faithfully reproduced below:
1. The mind is CALM. If your mind is not calm, it will not be focused, and each movement of your hands, be it forward or back, left or right, will not be in any definite direction. [Therefore your mind should be calm.] At first your movement will not yet be able to come from yourself, and so you should clear your mind and let your body intuit, going along with the opponent’s movements. Bend and then extend, neither coming away nor crashing in, and do not expand and contract on your own. When the opponent has power, I also have power, but my power beats him to the punch. When he has no power, I also have power [have no power], for it is my intention that beats him to the decision. (These couple of sentences may have some faulty wording. The meaning ought to be: Regardless of whether the opponent has power or has no power, my intention is always ahead of him.) You should constantly pay attention. Wherever the opponent nears you, your mind should go there. You must neither come away nor crash in, and then you will be able to analyze what is going on. After doing this for about a year or so, it will become natural. This is entirely a matter of using intention and is not a matter of using strength. Over time, you will reach the point in which you can say “he is under my control and I am not under his”.
2. The body is LIVELY. When your body is sluggish, advancing and retreating cannot be done smoothly. Therefore your body should be lively. When moving your hands, there must be nothing resembling hesitation. When the opponent’s force hinders even the hairs on my skin, my intention instantly enters his bones and my hands are bracing him, all as one event. If he puts pressure on my left side, I empty my left side and my right side goes forth, or if he puts pressure on my right side, I empty my right side and my left side goes forth, the energy like a wheel. Your whole body should be coordinated. If there is a lack of coordination anywhere, your body will then be disorganized, and you will then have no power. Seek for the problem in your hips. First use your mind to command your body, and follow the opponent rather than yourself. Later your body will be able to follow your mind, yet this moving from yourself will still depend on following the opponent. If you act from yourself, you will be sluggish. If you follow the opponent, you will be lively. If you can follow the opponent, your hands on him will detect in finer detail, weighing the size of his power and being accurate to the smallest measure, assessing the length of his attack and not being off by the slightest bit, and you will advance and retreat always at the right moment. The more you work at it, the more perfected your skill will be.
3. The energy is COLLECTED. If your energy is scattered, then it will not be stored, and your body will easily fall into disorder. You must cause the energy to collect into your spine. Inhaling and exhaling penetrates and enlivens, influencing every part of your body. Inhaling is contracting and storing. Exhaling is expanding and releasing. (The form of innate breathing is to expand when inhaling and contract when exhaling, whereas learned functional breathing contracts when inhaling and expands when exhaling.) Since with inhaling there is a natural rising, take the opponent up. Since with exhaling there is a natural sinking, send the opponent away. This is the use of intention to move energy, not the use of exertion to force energy.
4. The power is COMPLETE. The power of your whole body is trained to become a single unit, distinguishing clearly between empty and full. To issue power, there should be a source of it. Power starts from your heel, it is directed at your waist, and expresses at your fingers, issuing from your spine. With it there should also be a rousing of all your spirit. When the opponent’s power is about to come out but has not yet issued, my power connects with and invades his instantly, neither late nor early, as if my skin is a burning fire or as if a spring is gushing forth. I advance and retreat without the slightest disorder, and seeking the straight within the curved, I store and then issue. Thus I am able to be effortlessly successful. This is called borrowing his force to hit him with, using four ounces to move a thousand pounds.
5. The spirit is GATHERED. With the four above prepared, finally spirit gathers. Once spirit is gathered, then energy is tempered, and this smelted energy then reinforces spirit. Energy is ready to move and spirit is concentrated. Expand and contract are decisive. Empty and full are distinct. When left is empty, right is full. When right is empty, left is full. (These words have to do with emptiness and fullness in your own body.) Empty does not mean you are in that area completely weak (“weak” as in without intent), but that energy should there be ready to move. Full does not mean you are in that area completely stuck, but that spirit should there be concentrated. [It is crucial that changes are within your chest and waist and are not external.] Force is borrowed from the opponent. Energy is issued from your spine. How can energy issue from your spine? It sinks downward, going from your shoulders, gathering in your spine, and concentrates in your waist. This energy going from above to below is called contracting. Then it goes from your waist to your spine, spreading to your arms to be applied at your fingers. This energy going from below to above is called expanding. Contracting is gathering. Expanding is releasing. When you can understand expanding and contracting, then you will understand passive and active. When you reach this state, then daily work will yield daily refinement, and gradually you will reach the point that you can do whatever you want and everything will happen as you imagine.
There is also “The Trick to Releasing” in four sentences:
1. Raise: I get the opponent’s body to rise up and I borrow his force. (This has to do with “lively”.)
2. Draw in: Once I have drawn him in front of me, my power begins to store. (This has to do with “collected”.)
3. Relax: I relax my power, but I do not allow it to collapse. (This has to do with “calm”.)
4. Release: When I release, it comes from my waist and legs. (This has to do with “complete”.)
Well here we go once again, into the chute of holiday horror and faux happiness. I've kept it simple this year. Simple as hell. Everyone that should get a gift will have gotten something. I had a plan, some foresight, etc. to save me some headaches during this "trying" holy-day time and by gosh it has worked! It's a lame, tame consumer game we are forced to play in many ways these holidaze. A cultural whistlestop of the human soul. A place to get off the damn train for a few brief moments, to stretch your legs and look around some. But not for too long my weary pilgrim! At some swiftly born post-bullshit date we are then purged from the holiday mind, squirted back out into regular daily activity mode and left for dead soon after by one & all. Sometime later we are reanimated by some deceased genius's insane invention - of techno-tiger blood intention and sent off to the not so merry salt mines of "make-a-living" town for "re-education" and re-habilitation all around. So it's back to work or better put - it's back to sleep me pretty's. Stack those ZZzzz's high and close thy tired eye until the slumber of the walking dead is one with your minds mirror. That reflection of the year that got ya here. The stark reality of high noon, the neon moon / the reflection is the true connection. There is NO protection, no objection. No shadow cast and no dream can last. Why want more - a masochistic core - the unlocked door. Grab your cape, make your escape. Awaken and fly you are a Superman guy! Unravel your life's Gordian knot. Your destiny can wait, but you cannot.
How many times have I seen some corny "pie in the sky"
dream kill off a truly healthy reality?
Too many times, that's how fucking many! Sure I believe that hope, dreams and plans all have their place in our individual worlds. We as a culture place a great amount of emotional content upon "dreams and "potential" which are both based upon "hope" and/or the concept of "being lucky". Protip- A dream should be do-able (able to become a part of reality). Otherwise it can quickly become a burden. A personal self created package of guilt, obsession and serial failures. Why? Because the bar was set too damn high. It defeated reality right out of the gate, it was a "reality of no reality" kind of thing. Dreams should not obscure reality, but instead they should work with it as a kind of co-partner. To establish lofty goals is an admirable trait and has lead many a man to success. But if the goal is too damn lofty, too out of touch with reality kind of lofty, then it isn't admirable. It is then called an"ill founded folly". So rather than adapt to what reality is trying to tell them many men will stubbornly stay the course of their so called "dream" and predictably fail miserably.
Let me tell you something, reality IS the dream we must master. I mean every one of us. True reality is always beyond any dream and any true dream is always beyond any false reality. Hence the two can coexist in the balanced state we strive to attain & MAINTAIN and may even prove beneficial in the long run to the achievement of those lofty personal goals. As in so many cases, balance once again comes to the fore. Balance is equilibrium, balance goes way beyond the popular image of someone simply "standing on one leg" kind of balance. To understand what I am saying, you must think big!
Expand upon the concept of what balance actually means within the holistic context of which we speak. If one knows how to stage (set up) your dreams they can become much more attainable in a realistic manner. In effect, have a plan A and also a plan B. Flow with the events that daily life throws at you and be flexible in all areas of life. Yet all the while keeping the goal in sight! Never take your psychic eye's off of the prize. Engineer your dream quest by entwining it about reality's roots. Grafting mind, energy, time, visualization and activation into a common beam of laser-like intensity. Victory awaits.
Let's consider close up stage magic as an example.
This is also called "sleight of hand". The trick behind most sleight of hand feats is always a simple one. A misdirect, a fast action, a visual cue and bang! The unwary "pilgrim" is thus deceived and "magic" is had! You can buy books and DVD's and learn these tricks. You will know the secrets behind the tricks. But just knowing the secrets isn't enough. Knowing and doing are two different things. Even though you "know", you still cannot successfully pull off the sleight of hand sequence and make it appear as if magic. That may take years of practice!
In many ways martial arts are similar to stage magic and music (or anything that requires practice and dedication over a period of years). Martial art knowledge is now abundantly plentiful. Like no other time in history has so much martial material been shared, sought, disseminated and mismanaged as in this time we are currently in right now! Many advantages and disadvantages also come with this new found freedom of fact and fancy. While more martial resource data is being shared globally it also seems that the core aspects of many arts has been severely corroded by the same sharing resource. First "knowledge", second "practice" ...and third is "experience". Nothing can truly replace experience. It's a "hands on" level of learning that knowledge and practice flow directly into and help create the reality you seek.
Many of the seekers on the path have jumped the rails by skipping any one of these three levels of "doing". Shortcuts are a myth, gain command over each of the three elements by simply "doing them". Tricks can be taught in a short time, skill takes a little longer. Tactically the tricks and the skills combine to make a deadly fighter in any theater of combat. To deceive an opponent is best. You must bedevil him with fakes and cause him fits of frustration. With point posing threat you then swiftly pass through his guard using your skill (practice-training) and dispatch him with an accurate and well timed action. This describes the bullfighter too. His art is similar to the knife man's. Their sanguinary goals are identical .... real life & death ~
The Dueling Oaks of New Orleans
were once located on the old Allard plantation. In times past the oaks were far from the city proper. As the area grew, the oaks and the plantation were eventually absorbed into the city limits. Now the area doesn't exist any more. Storm Katrina damaged too much. Wiping out history and hope in it's painful wake - The Dueling Oaks included. Nothing is forever ~
I was surprised to see how big these tree's were. Hung with Spanish moss and hoary with age these old trees have seen a lot of history in the making. One can almost envision how it must have been to stride upon the green sward of the dueling grounds at dawn. Standing beneath the limbs of these huge trees men of all denominations watched the sun rise upon the day. Each knowing that only one would walk away from this place of beauty and death. Many men died beneath the oaks, the blood of hero's nourishes the souls of these old trees. As many as twelve duels per day occurred during the heyday of the dueling craze. The reasons for much this ? Ha, the reasons are as many as the grains of sand on a beach. From small a slight to an outright affront it didn't take much in those days to rouse a man's ire and bang like that! You could find yourself smack-dab in the middle of a duel for your life, like it or not.
Dueling was an acceptable social convention that acted as a pressure release valve on a very strong willed culture. Like prostitution and other vices the act of dueling, as bad as it appears, was still preferred over outright conflicts (war), assassination or to taking legal means of that time. The Code Duello insists that death must be dealt out or met face on with a certain degree of honor lest the whole affair begins to slip into nothing more than a tawdry murder or street brawl. It was a time when academies of arms (Salle d'Armes) abounded throughout many of the major cities of the south (especially New Orleans) to teach them the many ways of the deadly weapons they preferred. Many a European master hung out his shingle to take full advantage of the dueling craze (good reading) with the unique services they offered. One could receive instruction in the use of shotgun, pistol, bowie knife, small sword, colichemarde, rapier, rapier & dagger and cane (to name a few) in any of the better academies. One of the more notorious Masters at Arms of the time was the invincible little Spaniard, known as "Pepe" Llulla ( Senor Don Jose Llulla ). Many tales of this rascal abound in both fact and fiction of old New Orleans. He was said to have kept his own, private grave yard for the purpose of properly burying his (many) adversaries/victims that fell by his hand in duels. He was never caught without his two pistols on him, slung shoulder rig style. Pepe could draw and fire with such accuracy and speed that few ever chose pistols to fight him with, it was certain death. This unique fact also makes Pepe Llulla one of the first (if not the very first) documented fast guns in American history. (Remember, this was way before the Civil War or the "gun fighting" days of the 1870's). It was said that Llulla was a genius with a Bowie knife. Here was a survivor of many encounters that ran a successful saloon, taught in his own training academy, participated in many duels to the death, was a political activist and was a legendary supporter of New Orleans itself, the city he loved so well. There are some rough areas, do not just go wandering around during the day or night. You can get in over your head very quickly in those back alley's. Ask around and stay alert, New Orleans is just as it was in the past and always has been, a real bad place to make mistakes.
Technique is merely an outward manifestation.
It's an action of the limbs or of the body.
At some point it approaches the level of "monkey see, monkey do" for some schools. Not satisfactory preparation for any real brawling. Being overly focused on technique too early on in ones career can act as a brake to their development and mastery of the skills. Lacking in such regimens of technique reliant training are the critical components of spontaneity, flow, timing and sensitivity. Defending oneself doesn't have to be something too "martial artsy". It just has to be effective & practical. Being able to "do the right thing" in a fight is an example of spontaneity and flow at their best. It's not just an ideal to live up, mind you it can be a reality unto itself. Remember, hurting someone in an anything goes street fight is a far different spirit and game than any "match" between experts. Put sports out of your mind when you read my stuff friend. It's all sand and little fluff.
It occurs from the relaxed mind of one confident in their abilities.
Confidence does not come from technique, confidence comes
from skill and the ability to fluidly back it up.
Spontaneity is thought & motion operating as one force.
It moves as intuition and multi-sensory instinct.
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The Frittering of Fighters: Talking of Teachers to Other Teachers
The situation has grown fierce! What situation is that you might be asking about now? OK, let me tell you about it. It's about martial arts "fan boys" and their less than courteous behavior when in the presence of others. I guess it has been a long time in coming, this article is long overdue. It is painful to even discuss in some ways.
As competition in the field of tactical training has gotten ever more intense the average person seeking such training has became confused. They have no clue as to who is who or what system or method is best for their needs. Each group or teacher claims to be the "one" who has the "real method". Sadly, most of the time the training is the same as the other guys. Brutal yes, effective yes, but is it the high-art they claim it to be? No, not even close. So the combat carousel of deception continues.
To help sort out some of this combat confusion people often ask me about other teachers. Some of whom I know and others I do not know. I usually offer little insight and try to steer the conversation elsewhere. It reminds me of one guy who just would not stop talking about this one particular instructor he had trained with. Oh my god, this guy would not shut the fuck up! Everything I said, taught him or mentioned he would counter it with a yarn about this other teacher and his wonderful ways. Finally I told him "I do not wish to speak about this guy any more. If you like his way so much why are you here? Why not return to his studio and learn more? Why come here and blabber nonstop about a competitor of mine as if I wanted to speak about such horseshit?" Yeah, well that went over like a fart in church and that stupid dude left all butt hurt. Indeed, cruel old uncle Jim strikes again! Heh Heh... And ya know what? There are people out there that I've never even met that use me to harass other teachers. Surprised? I ain't, I hear about it all the time.
Why not just call me up, talk some over the phone? Get to really know me in person? Oh hell no.. that'd be too fucking easy! So instead, these type will corner one of my friends, fellow teachers or such and begin grilling them about me relentlessly (as if they my friends wanted to do this). How rude, how fucking rude to keep speaking to teacher or master about some other teacher (me) and telling them how great or how shitty I am -- huh? They reverse the process when at my camps and run one of my friends or fellow masters right up my ass all weekend (like I really want to talk about that shit). This shit is intolerable! No one wants to talk in glowing terms of a competitor or even a friend while at their own camp(s) that is except "Fan Boys". I mean c'mon have a clue you! These type are called "butterfly" in Thailand, they flit from flower to flower. In this case its flitting from teacher to teacher, camp to camp and spreading shit. Similar to an internet troll in a forum setting but in this case its a live action exercise. And just like a true troll, it's all done in passive aggressive "helping" mode to keep things fucked up and uneasy for everyone.
Fucked up people do fucked up things.
When speaking with a respected Instructor keep the conversation relevant to the situation at hand. Do not start talking about one of his competitors. Resist ranking him to his face in relativity to the other great teachers you trained with. Avoid offering your fanboy advice or opinions about those other teachers and systems that you find so cool. Why? Because the teacher before you doesn't want to listen to that shit! If he is already a known teacher, years in the arts... he already has his path(s). He is not searching any longer. He is famous because he has found his "path". The Fan Boy however has not and drones on about his wonderful experiences at camps etc . Nothing more than dabbling and babbling.
Some Fan Boys actually carry an official Fan Boy scrapbook of famous people they have trained with. Its an ideal item for hands-on trolling and harassing of others in attendance at the event. They rub these meager accomplishments into the face of any and all that they can. Like waving a pair of stinking socks about the dorm during their frat boy days. Sad! The word "Humble" is not in their vocabulary. No sense of etiquette seems to plague these type. Their agenda is chaos, the goal is to make those around them as miserable as they are! Most often they succeed! Social skills within the fighting arts is a separate art within the art. Try to think twice before speaking, compress ten words into one, then speak. In this realm silence speaks more of a man's character than does the endless banter which some fellows put forth.