Friday, March 28, 2014

Episode VIII Shownotes-Interview with Kim Moser

Episode VIII Shownotes-In space, no one can hear your Podcast

We talk about martial arts injuries, what ours are, and what we've done to others.  We have a news story of Unified Weapons Master's Battle Suit and finish the show with a great and interesting martial artist; Kim Moser who is a classical fencer.  Enjoy!

Click HERE for the episode (if you don't like iTunes)

Recorded on 3/21/2014

Colors indicate: Link   Video   email

Intro:  Theme from "Enter the Dragon" by Lalo Schifri

Discussion Topic: Martial Arts Injuries
  Kokyo ho
  Aiki Otoshi
  Tai Otoshi
  Philadelphia Collar
  Honbu Dojo
  Most Extreme Challenge (MXC)
  Kusari Gama
  Sho Kosugi
  First Aid/CPR Training

  Unified Weapons Master's Battle-Suit (UMW Youtube Video)
    GI Joe (Trailer)
    The Hobbit (Trailer)
    The Silmarillion
    (Teenage Mutant) Ninja Turtles
    Legend of Zelda
    Kingdom Hearts
    Robot Jox (Trailer)
    Alien Nation (TV Intro)
    Dog Brothers
    Western Martial Arts
    Renaissance Fair
    Captain America (Trailer)
    Fight Science (FS Ninja)
    Tameshigiri (James William Video)
    Stay Puff Marshmellow Man
    Bobby Hill
    Abu Dabhi
    Sleeper Hold
Interlude Music: Flash of the Blade by Iron Maiden

Interview: Kim Moser from Palm Beach Classical Fencing
  Kim Moser 
  Classical Fencing
  Historical Fencing
  Maestro Martinez
  Classical Fencing Ranks
  Historical Fencing Era: Pre 1700
    Long Sword
    Broad Sword
    Sword and Buckler
  Classical Fencing Era:1700 to 1800's
    Small Sword
  Olympic Fencing (Modern Fencing)
  Colt .45
  Benjamin Arms
  Martinez Academy in New York
  Classical Fencing Tournament of Palm Beach
  Martinez Academy Youtube Chanel
  Kim Moser's Email

Contact Information
  Martial Thoughts on iTunes
  Atemicast Network on Youtube

Outro Music: Voodoo Chile-Jimi Hendrix / Gayageum ver. by Luna

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Advantage student = Disadvantage teacher

    I started learning martial arts while in college.  I had never done anything similar to it before.  I had done sports in middle and high school.  I played football (American style for our worldly friends) and did several track and field events.  However, the first time I stepped into the Yamagata ryu bujutsu dojo, I was asked to do a forward roll.  So I did.  It wasn't perfect, but it was good.  Much better than it should have been.  For whatever reason, I could do rolls instantly.  I never needed instruction in it.  Maybe, because I'm short, I had less of a fall to worry about, I don't know.  Backlund Sensei asked where I had learned rolls, and I didn't have an answer for him.  He nodded and went on teaching.  I'm not saying this to brag.  In fact, I'm saying this was a disadvantage in the long run.
    As a student, it was good for me to have this, or any, basic skill down.  I could move past that and keep learning new material.  It was something I didn't have to spend time learning.  I could spend time learning more "martial arts stuff."  You know, punching, kicking, swinging a katana, and throwing people to the ground.  The things people join the martial arts for.  As a student, it is good to learn basics quickly, just not too quickly.
    As a now older instructor, I wish I had to learn rolling.  Why?  Because it was natural to me, and I have no way to instruct it.  I can obviously see this is a skill that many people have problems with.  It is my job as instructor to help them acquire this skill.  Because I never "learned" it, I can't teach it.  I'm having to watch other instructors show people how to teach rolls.  In a way, I'm learning to teach by vicariously learning with new students.  I watch the instructions, and see what helps and doesn't help.
    So I guess what I'm saying, is enjoy the frustration of learning a skill.  Especially if it is a difficult one, where you have to practice it a lot before you feel comfortable with it.  The learning process is important, and it could end up helping you out a lot more than the "natural" athlete who gets it very quickly.  I don't know how many times, the physically ungifted one will be the one who sticks it out to learn the most, and even becomes the best instructors.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Okay, I'm trying to join the e-age.

I've been told that in order to spread the word about the blog and podcast I should get a twitter account.  I guess I'll give it a shot.  Anyone who's interested, can follow me @martialthoughts

Do a lot of martial artists use twitter?  In my head more of us are Luddites than Technomancers.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Episode VII-Interview with Graham Butcher Shownotes

Episode VII-Disney Hasn't Given Us the Name Yet

Recorded: 3/14/2014

Download the show by clicking HERE

Introduction:  Theme from "Enter the Dragon" by Lalo Schifri
  Atemicast Network on Youtube
  Ozzy Osbourne
  The Alamo
Discussion Topic: Martial Arts Myths
  Richard Gere
  Dim Mak
  George Dillman
  Pressure Point
  Pencak Silat
  Hyoid Bone
  Fight Science
  The Longest Yard
  Fight Quest
  No Touch Knockout (Video on Youtube)
  Iron Shirt
  Mr. Lifto
  Jim Rose Freak Show Circus
  Inside Kung Fu
  Rational Traditionalist 
  Atemicast Networks
  Black Belt Magazine
  John Pellegrini
  Shiho nage (Youtube video, Nishio Sense performing)
  Steven Seagal
  Machida (Youtube video of Seagal training Machida)
  Dennis Rodman
  Chun from Remo Williams
  Neo from The Matrix
  Oliver Stone
  Lee Harvey Oswald
  Busch Gardens
  March 2014 Black Belt Magazine
  Sigfried and Roy
  Village People
  Nekode Shuko
  (Dr.) Moses Powell
  Samurai Archives Podcast
  Koga & Iga Ninja Clans
  Tokugawa Ieyasu
  Ninja Stars/Shuriken
  Ninja Museum
  Swamp Skunk Ape Museum
  Deadliest Warrior
    Apache Spartan vs. Ninja
    Samurai vs. Viking
    (Shaolin Monk vs) Maori

Part II

  Shaolin Meditation Temple in Australian Schools
  El Rey Cable Channel Starts Black Belt Theater
    Robert Rodriguez
    World Tae Kwon Do Federation
    Olympic Wrestling
    Kurt Angle
    Synchronized Swimming
    Solo Synchronized Swimming
  Isreal Prepares to Give Jews Lining in Ukraine Capiltal of Kiev Martial Arts Training
    Krav Maga
  Detroit Institute of Arts
    "Samurai: Beyond the Sword"
    The Wire
  Malaysian Flight MH370
    Amelia Earhart
    Jun Kun
    The Expendables
    True Legend
    Ancient Alien
    (James) Bond
    Cheryl Tiegs
    Cheryl Ladd
    Winter Soldier
  Chuck Norris vs. Communism
    Ilanica Calugareanu
    Bosnia & Herzagovina Bruce Lee Statue

Interlude Music: Immigrant Song by Led Zeppelin

Interview with Graham Butcher
  Graham Butcher's Stav Page  
  Kyokishin Karate
  Feng Sao
  Wu Shu
  Ivar Hafskjold
  Tai Chi
  Pakua (Bagua)
  Youger Futhark Runes
      16 Stances (Video of Graham Butcher Performing them)
  5 Principles of Stav (Video of Graham Butcher Performing them)
  HEMA (Historical European Martial Arts)
  Fight Camp
  Kyu-Dan Ranking
  Graham Butcher Email

Contact Information
  Jaredd Wilson
  Rick Bell
  Martial Thoughts on iTunes
  Atemicast Network on Youtube

Outro Music: Voodoo Chile-Jimi Hendrix / Gayageum ver. by Luna

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Review of Campfire Tales from Hell, Edited by Rory Miller

Review of Campfire Tales from Hell

Musings on Martial Arts, Survival, Bouncing, and Other Thug Stuff

Edited by Rory Miller

    As I mentioned last post, I've been reading a bunch by authors that know, and can describe the difference between martial arts and self-defense: Rory Miller, Lawrence Kane, Marc MacYoung, et. al.  This book is a collection of essays (seem like I've read a lot of books like that) by these authors and others.  The overall idea of the book seems to try an break many of the myths that exist in martial arts about what happens, or at least how it happens in an actual conflict.  Now, that is not to say this book is telling the reader "you don't know what real fighting is...I know what real fighting is."  But the authors are all people who have seen things enough to establish a pattern of behavior and wise response, or have had martial arts, or survival situation that they wish to talk about.
    The book is 34 essays with a concluding essay written by the editor himself.  The essays are broken down into 6 sections: Technical, Training, Fiction, War Stories, Places you don't Want to Go, Advise, and Philosophy.  Each part has its own knowledge and wisdom that is given freely.  A lot of it is common sense that most people need to be I guess its not that common.  Some of it has to do with the biochemical cocktail explosion that occurs in stressful situations, and the effects that these hormones entail.  Some is advice to young cops from an experienced officer.  Some are violence de-escalation techniques that have worked for the specific author, or what to watch out for when someone is trying to con you into complacency.  Each section, and essay within contains wisdom worthy of being read, and taken to heart.
    There were two essays that I really enjoyed.  The first essay was called "Talking to Cops" by Marc MacYoung.  It talked about how a police officer's idea of what should happen after an altercation, and your idea, even if it is self-defense, can be very different.  His essay gives some tips on what to say, and what not to say.  The essay I found the most interesting however, was "Death, the Teacher" by E. Rushton Gilbert.  His story is that he was a cop who ended up catching Hep C from some criminal somewhere, sometime.  He was stubborn and ignored the symptoms until they were painfully obvious.  It could have killed him.  It made him analyze what he was doing, and why he was doing it.  Part of the intrigue for me was that he is diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome.  I found his pathway of thought fascinating.  Mainly for the analyzing he was able to do.
    Overall, I'm going to give the book 4.5 Ninja Stars, because it is an interesting read, it is stuffed full of valuable information, and you get a very wide variety of perspective on a wide variety of situations and ideas.  The only reason I don't give it the full 5 stars, is that some of the ideas are presented by the same authors in other books in more detail.  Still, If you are interested in the difference between martial arts in the dojo and how martial arts/self-defense works in the real world, then this is a great book.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

"Be nice. Until it's time not to be nice."

     I've been reading a lot by Rory Miller, Marc "Animal" MacYoung, Lawrence Kane et. al. who are defense experts in a way martial artists are not (book review on the way).  I had an incident this morning where I was able to put some of their awareness ideas into practice, and I want to describe the situation so everyone else can see what happened, and how it worked.
    I teach high school, and daylight saving time just ended, so when I was leaving this morning, it was midnight black out.  My neighborhood is a nice neighborhood, which butts up against a not-so-nice area.  It's not horrible, but not nice either.  Both neighborhoods meet up as they exit onto the main road.  So I'm at a stoplight that takes forever to change, on the edge of a not-so-good area, and its very dark.  Because it was finally cool out (I live in Florida) I had the window partly open.
    I've seen many people be completely oblivious while they are driving, let alone while the car is sitting at a light.  There was a good one-liner online that said "Its a good thing not everyone has smartphones, otherwise there would be no one to honk when the light turns green."  I don't do that.  In fact, I've been trying to increase my awareness through practice.
    There was a guy who started walking up to my car.  He came from the intersection, two cars up on the driver's side of the car.  For some reason, he "pinged my radar."  I don't know why, so I started doing four things all at the same time, really paying attention to him, planning an escape route (the lane next to me was open), rolling up the window, and worrying that I seem like a paranoid racist.  Wait, what?  That last one surprised even me.  The man moving towards my car was black.  I'm not.  The instruction to be civil is so ingrained in our society that even when it is appropriate to be rude, it is hard to be.
    As I said, I started paying attention.  The man had his right hand in his pocket as he got close to my car.  His clothes were too nice to be a homeless man, and he knocked on my window asking for a cigarette, keeping that hand in his pocket.  I know that when people are trying to be smaller, defensive, they put their hands in their pockets.  Its a body language way to seem less of a risk.  However, I know that other people know that as well, and are willing to take advantage of the subconscious body language that we human animals all speak.
    I shooed him away with my hand, but he kept knocking and trying to talk.  I kept saying "No."  There was no chance in hell that I would roll down the window with this guy standing there, especially when I couldn't see his other hand.  I know that asking for something, like "a cigarette" is the start of a lot of con/robbery tactics.  Luckily, the light changed, and I drove away with him still knocking, and trying to talk to me.  I could hear the racist epitaphs fading into the distance.  I have no idea that he would have tried anything, but I was not willing to put myself into a situation to find that out.  I know many people are reading this going, yes this is exactly what I would do, but there have to be enough people that fall for it, otherwise they would quit trying.  Now, I wouldn't say I'm rude in general, in fact, I try to be nice almost all the time.  It's just, I have no problem being rude if there is cause.

Awareness-1; Rudness-0

By the way, if you didn't know, the quote from the title is from Roadhouse, a movie about a bouncer played by Patrick Swayze.  It is at the same time, a great movie, and a horrible 80's movie.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

An Interview and a Tournament!

  I just got done with an interview for the Martial Thoughts Podcast with one Mr. Kim Moser, a classical fencing instructor.  He was nice enough to wait around after his class and conduct a face-to-face interview with me.  I arrived early and was able to watch a little of his class.  It turns out he's got a tournament coming up on March 22nd in Palm Beach County, FL before our interview will be available.  I wanted to make I got the word out if anybody was interested.  During his class, I got to see a little behind the scenes of how judging is conducted.  I was duly impressed by the art, and the skill. So I know I'll be there watching.  Hope to see you guys there.

P.S. Mr. Moser gave me a pdf for any spectators that wish to go.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Techniques don't matter in aikido

Techniques don't matter in aikido
    When I started out in aikido, there seemed to be an endless number of techniques to learn.  Different locks, different throws, and then different directions to perform each of these.  Add in different attacks that initiate the technique, and the number multiplies.  To add even more to it, different systems/schools have slight variations on techniques, and call them each a new name.  Maybe that's why I like kenjutsu.  There's only so many ways to effectively attack or defend.  Learning them is easy, mastering them is nigh impossible.
    Now that I've been studying aikido for a while, I've whittled the number of "techniques" down to two.  Irimi (entering motion) and tenkan (turning motion).  The rest is just controlled waving your arms around.  O-Sensei had said that aikido only has one technique.  Many people have interpreted it as being ikkyu.  I believe that aiki by itselft is the one technique, but that's my interpretation.  My point in all of this is that the technique means less and less to me the longer I practice.  What has become more important to me, is the principles behind the techniques, that guide the technique, that are demonstrated in the technique.

    The purpose of technique

    I honestly believe that it will be almost impossible for me to pull off a technique in a real situation.  My personal training right now, is to add more realism to the attacks.  As in less cooperation on uke's part.  The more I practice with realism, the less technique I do.  That isn't to say, I'm getting hit in the face, or punched in the gut... too much.  In fact, I'm often able to not be hit , and either eliminate the attack, or redirect the attack away from me.  If I have the available time and correct distance, I can also control the attacker in some way.  It is very rarely a "technique."  In fact it doesn't end up "looking" a lot like aikido.  It could be that I haven't gotten to the level of training and mental conditioning where it will look like aikido.
    The way I've come to see it, techniques are available opportunities.  I can never go into a situation thinking "Hah! I can do nikkyu."  But, if the opportunity presents itself, with his wrist in front of me, I'm going to apply the wrist lock.  The principles of movement and range that nikkyu teaches is what is important.  The same could be said of any of the techniques I know.

Sweatin' the Little Stuff

    Of course, maybe I am simplifying it too much.  This could be because I've trained enough to where I don't need to spend all my brain activity on the smaller thing, like proper foot placement, how to step, where to step, what is my arm supposed to be doing, that kind of thing.  Because I've hiked  those neurological pathways enough, I've got a pretty good handle on those details.  My brain can spend time on the larger, more over-encompassing issues.  So the end result is, through years of training and mental conditioning, I've learned enough to look past the individual technique, to what the patterns of movement and thought are, and what they have in common with other techniques.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Episode VI-The Return of the Podcast

Martial Thoughts Podcast Episode VI

The Return of the Podcast

Recorded: February 21, 2014

Download the show by clicking HERE

Introduction:  Theme from "Enter the Dragon" by Lalo Schifri

Discussion Topic: What to look for when starting a martial art
  Hiyaa Podcast
  Dave Jones 
  Hiyaa Podcast Episode 49-Interview with Jaredd Wilson
  Best of the Best
  Bushido Challenge
  Gym Kata
  Earth Wind and Fire
  The Last Airbender
Rick's Highlander Sword
  Kobra Kai
  Sho Nuff
  Chuck Norris
  PKA-Professional Kickboxing Association
  Benny "The Jet" Urquidez
  Bill "Superfoot" Wallace

  Token Kai
  Toyama Ryu
  Tai Kai
  How many Eight Five year old does it take?
  Wu Tang Clan
  Mike Tyson
  Mike Tyson On Tour
  Don King
  The Hangover
  Conn. MMA Story
  Jake Sharpstone 15th Dan in Ninjutsu
  Stephen K. Hayes
  Carl Sagan
  Iga Ninja Museum
  Quest System of Ninjutsu
  Genbukan Ninjutsu
  Tanamura Shoto
  Oda Nobunaga
  Steven Seagal
  Pat Hendrickson
  Stephanie Yap
  Yamada Yoshimitsu
  Kanai Mitsunari
  Sanuces Ryu

Contact Information
  Jaredd Wilson
  Rick Bell
  Martial Thoughts on iTunes
  Atemicast Network on Youtube

Outro Music: Voodoo Chile-Jimi Hendrix / Gayageum ver. by Luna