Week 51, Year of the Naked Bear

Let’s try something a little different. I’ve been trying to take one day a week off from blog writing, but I always feel a smidge bad about not writing on that day. I’m going to try doing an overview of the previous week. Should be an aid to those of you who only read sporadically as well. And it will help me with a large project I plan to kick off in the new year. Friday Night Fights Saturday morning after attending the Academie Duello weekly open Fight Night.  Just random thoughts. I choose the photo because it was a nice showcase of geometry. That’s me in the red, facing Aaron. This was a pre-engagement action, testing each other’s guard with movement. I’m using a false edge extension here to see if he wants to snipe with his left hand, which would allow me to counter with the true edge…

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Chankonabe for the soul

When I finally got to watch the first UFC, I was pretty surprised. I really didn’t expect any kind of grappling art to have any kind of success. I knew how fast and strong I was, and what kind of damage my limbs could do to other people. I had hard-earned confidence that I could out-speed and out-hit anybody, and there was no way some guy who trained in a sport was even going to be able to touch me. So when I saw good fighters getting taken down easily, I got curious. I wanted to see what was going on for myself. I had a friend and co-worker who had competed at the university level as a wrestler, and he was keen to learn martial arts. so I told him to come over one fine afternoon, and we’d horse around a little. I told him I wanted to see…

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Guard, Line, Measure…

When I first took up rapier, it was a nightmare. It took me a solid year to overcome all my martial arts instincts. Twenty years of training had taught me to get close to my opponent, shut down all their tools, and finish them off. Anything else was madness. My previous training in weapon arts only re-inforced this point. The weapon had to be an extension of the hand, and you had to use it as if it was an extension of the hand to be successful. Alas, it was all bullshit. Or so it seemed. I was getting constantly destroyed when it came to sparring with real swords. I’ve never felt so humbled in my life…coming in being at the top of the martial arts heap, and being slapped right down to the bottom. Often by newbies. My own training, my biggest strength, was tripping me up. What I…

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Snow Day

When I was younger, I read a sci-fi novel that took place in the south seas islands. The characters ran across a group of locals who were participating in a cargo cult. They believed that if they built replicas, out of bamboo or whatnot, of airports…complete with fake planes and runways and buildings…that the gods would descend with real planes full of precious goods for them. To get your fix of coca-cola, built a fake coca-coal machine…the gods might notice and give you real coca-cola! I just loved that when I read it. Stupid primitives. Of course, such thinking is pretty common these days. People say “Think successful to be successful!” or “Act rich to be rich!” and people suck it up by the boatload. Back working downtown, I see this constantly. People ape the fashions of brand-name personalities, hoping some of the magic powder will trickle down on them.…

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No snow abounds

Of all the things I could be doing with my morning, I’m sitting in front of my computer. The sunlight is coming from around the corner, but I can’t quite see it. I hear it’s snowed in the rest of the city, but it’s business as usual here. Fresh espresso, fresh smell of cat puke. Stupid beast seems to love to wolf down his food and throw it all up, and then go back to casual eating from the other cat’s bowl. I suppose there is some sort of lesson there, but damned if I care what it is. Change the music. Sip the coffee. Off we go. Shy just enough students last night that I could let the evil out, a little. Being a good teacher means managing the pace of the class, making sure everyone gets a full dose of learning and doing in every class. With a…

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