Live by the sword…

There’s just something about a sword in the hand. I think Ridolfo Capo Ferro had it right when he said it was a perfect weapon for self defence. Shorter weapons lend themselves to nasty uses. Longer weapons are awkward, and best suited for war. He figured only the sword was really suited to “civil discourse.” He had a point that is still applicable today, if not practical. We tend to focus on knives and handguns for self defense, and they sure do work. Rifles have replaced pikes and spears, and they work for self defense as well…and are a bit too awkward for daily use. Knives and handguns also lend themselves well to nefarious uses. But Capo Ferro’s idea of self defense was a little different than ours, and maybe we’ve missed out a little. Working as a bouncer, you quickly develop a sense for trouble. You have to. Your…

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With reasonable fitness…

You should be able to: go for a two hour ramble with a friend at the drop of a hat, no water, no workout clothes, just a nice long walk. support your body weight on your fingertips, if only for a moment. sprint full out for at least five seconds without feeling like it’s really taxing. lie flat on your back and spring up to standing without pausing do a few cartwheels for the hell of it do a freestanding handstand for a few seconds play with a kid at playground until they get bored, without feeling likes it’s a hardship be on your feet all day without feeling like you need to sit down pick berries for a full afternoon hike for a full day carrying all the food and water you need hold a sixty second plank and wonder why people think it’s exercise skip eating for eight…

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And the winner is…

To be honest, I think my first tournament experience probably soured me on the entire experience. I think I was sixteen, and training in Shotokan Karate-do. The tournament was a local one, open to all the Karate schools in town. I was just old enough to compete in the adult beginner, and was paired off with a frail looking guy in his forties. I was confident, I had my friends all around me, and I did great. I easily beat my opponent and got my congratulations. I immediately started prepping for the next round, as the rest of the competitors looked pretty tough. The next rounded started and I watched the pairings, waiting for my name to be called. And waited. And waited. The last pairings were called, and my opponent from the first round was called up and fought. I waited, thinking maybe I had a bye, but there…

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Adding things up

Had a great bike ride on the weekend. Headed out past the airport. Stopped at the last bit of land before the Pacific, and enjoyed the cool ocean breeze. Snapped a few pictures with my phone. Courtney took a few pictures of me. We went home. I looked through the pictures yesterday, and they were all terrible cel phone pics. Nothing worth while. But I looked back at one picture of me, and I realized something. I can no longer legitimately call myself “fat.” What a weird feeling. Overweight, yeah, but not fat. The scale tells me nothing has changed. Almost nothing. Three pounds in six weeks, but that can probably be added back on with one salty meal. But something has changed. I feel different. Ditching the idea of weight loss, ditching the entire concept of diet, has been great.  As I wrote before, I can enjoy a cupcake guilt…

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Grabbing my swords, hopping on a boat…

In August I’ll be teaching at CNAT, the Cascadia North Accolade Tournament. I’m always leery of teaching at WMA events. My teaching style just doesn’t lend itself to the kinds of classes I feel people want to take. I don’t feel comfortable teaching “manual” classes. I think teaching scholarly material is for those with an aptitude for academics. That’s not me, at least not in the formal sense. Honestly I often feel completely out of the place in the WMA world. I don’t argue well, I don’t get debate culture and don’t understand the rules or conventions…so when I try to participate online, I usually wind up feeling somewhat bullied. I don’t do much better in person, either. I often feel at a complete loss with some of the “name” people because of that. When Jordan Both asked me back to teach last year, I reluctantly agreed. I have to…

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Boobs.

I, like most men, have only tiny boobs. You may not know this, but the word “man” is sometimes used derogatorily for a person without boobs. I am one of those people. Tragically, my ovaries have also succumbed to gravity and actually prolapsed right out of my body, and my clitoris is hugely malformed. There is also an unfortunate amount of facial hair. Despite this, I’m going to talk about boobs. Even though I don’t own a pair, I have experience facing them. In all kinds of environments. I am that hardcore. …anyway… I learned long ago to ignore boobs. Working with hospital emergency response teams, I learned a lot about being professional. The psych nurses had great stories. It’s one thing to do a careful takedown on a burly man, another to try the same move on a naked woman who is out of touch with reality and trying…

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