Ramblings of the Roach
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Death Dancers: A Date with Destiny
Death is an advisor, death can be the only friend you have at certain times. Death has been maligned by this culture, this era. Death must be respectfully re-defined and brought into sharper focus. The ancients did not fear death as we do now. Their perspective on it was different from ours. This makes a big difference at the 11th hour. When you reach the gateway of death you can either jump willingly or be yanked. Either way it's into a temporary free fall before a semi-permanent touchdown. Like the experts teach us, don't panic.For now you and I will explore some death legend & lore. Are you Ready? Then let us JUMP! Our journey to the center of your worth begins here at this so called "life changing article". Don't laugh, this may be true for some of you. Your perception of life is powerful, respect it. So pause, take a second and be sure you wish to have this knowledge in your head. Once there, it cannot be removed. In some cases the old adage "Ignorance is bliss" is well suited. Shall we proceed? In adroit form we advance further into the lighted darkness to the use and employment of the death concept itself. It is seen throughout in philosophy,  literature and art. Ancient and hallowed le'morte serves us as warning, guide and savior all in one. It s a sacred gift from the great architect himself. There was one day, when I naturally just shifted over to meditating on my own death. I had known about this samurai way for a long time. And one day, I felt ready, and just started. I use swords and spears. And samurai attacking. There is something that feels the opposite of glorious about dying by a modern day gun or smart bomb. And with the history associated with what I am trying to do, the ancient samurai ways of dying, just fit better. This has helped me become fearless. "We all want to live. And in large part we make our logic according to what we like. But not having attained our aim and continuing to live is cowardice. This is a thin dangerous line. To die without gaining one's aim IS a dog's death and fanaticism. But there is no shame in this. This is the substance of the Way of the Samurai. If by setting one's heart right every morning and evening, one is able to live as though his body were already dead, he gains freedom in the Way. His whole life will be without blame, and he will succeed in his calling." Fairly or unfairly, death has always been linked to the samurai. It is in fact the samurai's presumed affinity for death that seems to set him aside from other warriors and captures the imagination. Of course, there can be little doubt that the manner in which he viewed his own death was considered most important. But was he as obsessed by it as we have been led to believe, ready to toss his life away at a moment's notice? One of the problems with the modern world is that the fear of death is exaggerated to an extreme level. Most everything we do is predicated on the fact that we could die. We make decisions every day based on the threat of death looming around the corner. The threat still exists, but it’s influencing a lot of stuff that it shouldn’t. The fact is that if you are living in America, your safety is much greater than in ancient times. Unfortunately our minds are still stuck in the past evolution wise. The oft quoted & mysterious Wm. Blake often wrote odd prose regarding death and it's accoutrements. We see it echoed in the Depp/ Jarmusch screen epic "Deadman". Blake, (Depp) and his Indian friend go in and out of the death dialogue throughout the film. (Always have tobacco on your person). Tobacco you see is a bridge of sorts between the spirit world and the world of the living as taught in some native cultures. For many American Indian cultures, the focus of religion, particularly the ceremonies, was on maintaining harmony with the world. The focus was on living in harmony today, not on death. For many Indians there was an awareness of death and a vague concept of something happening after death, but this was not dogmatic. They felt that they would find out when they die and in the meantime this is something they have no way of knowing anything about and therefore they should not waste time thinking about it. There are some who follow Casteneda's teachings. A Yaqui way of knowledge etc. / A warrior thinks of death when things become unclear. The idea of death is the only thing that tempers our spirit.”. The great Robert E. Howard (creator of Conan) himself had unique outlooks on death. They came though clearly in his writings. Like two of my own teachers, Howard eventually paid Charon and crossed over under his own will. IE: He "jumped" rather than waiting for the yank. Dwelling upon death too much can make one romantically suicidal. In Howard's case for sure. He commented upon the moodiness of the celtic spirit. Brilliance tempered with madness seems to play well in some instances. The song of Amergin captures these moods quite astutely. Read it here and look into an ancient mind myth. The depth of the Celtic path is stunning. The enlightened halls ring with the words of beauty and spells of magical nature. Herein we find examples of this lilting, flowing mind that exists between two worlds. Kung fu life done Irish style it appears. We must not fear death. It is a part of nature.Even if one does not feel inclined to daily contemplate death's ever present ambiente there are reminders everywhere. They remind us that no one gets out of of this game alive. Fate predestined, it has already been cast, play your role well O'hero. Power-up now so when you go out, that you may again return. The old Toltec sorcerer's were death defier's. They made it past the barriers which death places before us. They escaped the eagles emanations and it's sharp beak. They jumped into another place. Akin to making the jump into Phillip Jose Farmer's Riverworld of sci-fi fame. It is preferable not to travel with a dead man. (Henri Michaux) = Coincidence?  - everyone on our S.P. team had died in some manner and then had somehow came back. Including yours truly. None of us knew this fact until several years went past. By then we had become acquainted with one another and this odd synergy came forth. We knew then that the spirit had arranged this and we were humbled by the gift and were in awe of the magnificence of the great spirits plans. I have made a promise to a dear friend and mentor. And that promise is to stay around a while longer (if the Gods so allow). I have promised not to make the planned "jump", but instead to wait for the unexpected yank (if I can). So then shall it be ~ jak


The Mysterious Dark Watchers of California: 
~ An Ongoing Mystery that has Spanned the Ages ~

"I had this eerie feeling I was being watched. I looked up at the top of the mountain. It was a black figure. I waved, jokingly, not really thinking the object was a person. It waved back. Thinking I was maybe tripping, or that it was a tree waving in the wind, I took a puff of my cigarette, only to see the figure blow out a plume of smoke as well. I started seeing it flowing, and I say flowing, almost floating vertically." ...

The "Watcher" is thus described by all who encounter one. (now my own two cents / jak) ~ In some countries these same beings are also called "the dark walkers". Because they are seen walking at sunset along ridges, hilltops and very often near some body of water. The water connection is unique. River banks, lake shores, ponds and streams draw the walker to their proximity. They can appear or disappear at will. If you are out walking you may see one these "walkers" either behind you or in front of you. If you speed up to catch them, they match your speed. You never catch them. (Even if you run). A rather terrifying (but funny) aspect is when you try to run away from one of them, they'll match you again. You simply can't get away from them. The distance apart always remains constant. They seem to mimic and do what you do in many regards. This behavior speaks to me of inorganic beings (allies) more so than evil spirits. An inorganic being will mimic or play off of what is inside you. They can be tricky - but only if you don't know their tricks. An evil entity acts differently and also gives you a completely different feeling than do the Dark Watchers or the Walkers. Some even feel that seeing a watcher is a good sign. Like that you are in tune with the land at that magical moment. Children (the unenlightened ones) are frightened by all kinds of things that adults (the initiates, enlightened ones) are not afraid of.... just because we don't understand something or that it surprises us somehow does not automatically make it "evil". It's 2018, expect the unexpected ~




The truly amazing abilities we all have are empowering life elements. 
Giving someone confidence in themselves is another gift that lasts a lifetime.  But as we know hucksters and scammers abound. Can you believe their promises? You'd better not. But - What if you could prove to yourself that you have amazing "powers"? No intermediary guro's or cult leaders to bother with. No hocus pocus at all. Something very simple and absolutely do-able! That wee sentence describes what I am going to ask you to try. I absolutely expect that you can do this! It is about you and you alone. I'm talking about good old fashioned "cloud busting", that's right! Cloud busting is what you are going play around with. If you have not tried it you should. All kidding aside, this is one ability that will surprise you! First off it's way easier to do than you would initially imagine it to be. Second, it seems anyone is able to do this. Next, you should expect stunning results even after just a few tries! 

Consider this: Any cloud is pretty high up in the sky. And usually several miles away (at least). Let's say 20 miles away and 15 thousand feet. If you punch a hole through that cloud or dissolve it entirely just by sheer will power alone wouldn't you be impressed? And be able to do this over and over again to show (prove) that it is your ability and not random chance at work? That'd be pretty cool eh? A very "Jedi-like" trick it is. You can do this, many people have shared data on this incredible human ability. Sure naysayers exist, it's this way in all fields of endeavor. There are those that flow and go and then there are those who choke & croak. You must trust only yourself and your own results! You are the boss in this experiment remember?  I have given you some links to look over. The rest is simple, you begin some experimental practice runs. Remember where your brain is during this time. Remember any feelings that come over you as well. I teach this to people who doubt their own power. 

I teach this because it immediately extends the perimeters of belief, The subjects prove to themselves. It's Ling Kong Jing in a somewhat minor form is seen in action via this same skill of "cloud-busting". Cloud busting tells you clearly "that oh yes we do have amazing abilities". Once you become adept at this game you can shape clouds into numbers or faces. I know, it all sounds too weird. In this way I have given you a "start". Like a plant, you must now nourish the start. Take interest in it and it will begin to grow roots and live. The same with your powers. Begin practicing (do not over do it). Slowly discover your personal pathway to achieving this skill. Once you have mastered the clouds, then the real work can begin. Again I tell you, this is how I teach, this is how your learning can go past the physical and directly into the energetic realm. Have fun - 

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!

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.

A Full text of "The Root of Chinese Qigong"
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 
2. The Secret of Command Presence is taught - learn 
3. PDF: Command Presence -what is it, experiences-
(Thanx for the inspiration Nick!)​

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 - :)


Video: Cougar Stalks man. Well done.
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 


Your Word is your Magic Wand: Florence Shinn
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.

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”.)


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.

Me boss bug!
New !
New !
Ramblings of the Roach
Here are the plans for a PVC Mook Jong. Like the one in my studio. I'll get a pic of that and put up here soon. That way you can see the goal complete. Makes a pretty nice, durable dummy. No slam sets of such, just normal practice and this baby will last for years.
Ramblings of the ROACH
A study in Transcendental
in the Apocalyptic Environment of the New Roaring Twenties! 
The Best of "RANCH LIFE"
"Magical Snake Wiring"
That isn't another conduit. This poor guy crawled into my irrigation pump switchbox attracted by the heat. BZzzz! He Fried n Died! Nature always surprises ya when least expected. 


Seminar Update:
A few folks have asked about the upcoming Tai Chi Chuan seminar in August. You'll be learning and drawing upon the Yang Short Form 24 Count. Perhaps the most widely recognized style of Tai Chi in the world. Look at this link on the Tai Chi 24 set and get a general idea of the set itself and some wonderful philosophical guidelines for it as well. The form, a few breathing exercises and partner drills will comprise most of the time we have over the two day period.