Archive for December 2008

Funny Videos

December 30, 2008

Not safe for work.

Funny Hunter encounters

How to take down zombies in Doom 3.

Resident Evil Jill Valentine

One way people entertain themselves when not playing L4D.

Heavy weapons guy and the medic.

The scout’s reaction to Left 4 Bed.

Reply to Left for Bed.

The creative genius of people with idle hands. Louis helps Zoey out.

Garry’s Mod shenanigans.

Still alive.

Target Focus Training: Throws

December 24, 2008

TFT has up a new DVD series on throwing.

Please check out the audio interview first, through the flash link and mp3 download, and then watch the demonstration video.

I have no real comments to make, other than the Chris Buhr makes a very clear case. I could make something like his, but why listen to me when you have him. I can certainly answer questions, if I know the answers, but Chris Buhr has been figuring out the permutations of this “art”, if you want to call it that, for awhile now.

Anne Coulter the Apostate?

December 21, 2008

I believe this was quite awhile ago, the 2004-6 elections I believe, but it is very apt nonetheless.

Atlas Shrugs on Anne Coulter’s calling John Edwards a “faggot”.

At the very end, last 30 seconds or so, I can only say “damn fing straight”.

Great Monologues

December 19, 2008

In light of these days of multiculturalism and abnormally elevated self-esteem, let’s hear John Galt’s monologue once more. [John Galt, primary character in Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand]

Don’t forget Howard Roark [Architect in the Fountainhead]

Number 5 in the OP.

Now, here is a flickr picture in honor of couples: in our day and age of hookups.

Here is another picture of a pretty coastline. Well, more like jaggy rocks, but still.

Darker and Edgier Moments in Entertainment

December 19, 2008

Entertainment show vocabulary

This is a rather amusing page about the various incidents that can happen on entertainment shows.

A process that seeks to make a work of fiction “more adult”. All too often, this really means it’ll be less mature about its production.

Beware any press release that promises a new character or show which will be Darker And Edgier than the competition. In theory, it means that a show will shift towards cynicism on the Sliding Scale Of Idealism Versus Cynicism. But in practice, it far overshoots the mark, ending up spiced up with gratuitous gore, cursing, and sex, none of which makes the story any better and which wouldn’t impress anybody but Beavis And Butthead. The show will also demonstrate that it’s a harder universe now by having lots of unpleasant things happen to the characters or giving the characters a particular issue they can spend all their time angsting about; as with the sex and violence, this will usually be done in a ham-handed and immature manner and will come off as being annoying, if not actually laughable.

….

“They’re eating her. And then they’re going to eat me. OH MY GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD.”
— Arnold, Troll 2

“RUN!!! GO!!! GET TO THE CHOPAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!”
— Arnold Schwarzenegger, Predator

A Narm is a moment that is supposed to be serious, but due to either over-sappiness, poor execution, excessive Melodrama, or the sheer absurdity of the situation, the drama is lost. The moment is often found funny by fans. It can be extremely subjective.

Book of Five Rings and Modern Day Violence

December 16, 2008
  1. For more background reading, see this. Link

    Whenever I talk about ongoing training, I like to bring up the idea of such work as being a lifelong process. Now, I often say this with a dreamy, faraway look in my eyes, as it’s one of the top three best things about doing this work — the idea that I can continue to learn, refine, and build the skill for as long as I draw breath.

    Not everyone hears it this way. Some people think I mean that it actually takes a lifetime to master — and I’m the first to admit that’s not such a hot idea. Who’s got the time, right? (Well, by definition, you do — you got the rest of your life coming to you… but I digress.) You are right to be suspicious of anything that takes a lifetime — outside of growing a family & accumulating wisdom.

    The use of violence is the very definition of a NOW tool. It’s silly to have something that you could very well need for survival in the next half-hour require a lifetime to be of any use to you. Good luck surviving long enough to master that!

    ….

    Back in the days of my martial arts training, I was resigned to having to spend the rest of my life studying as many arts as I could cram into my lifetime — not to mention having to manufacture my own coupling devices to get them to work together. What I really wanted to know is what you all have at your disposal, but it didn’t exist in a format like this. So, as I neared my Tae Kwon Do black belt test, I was getting my head screwed on at the right angle to put on a white belt again and study Aikido… Judo… Jiu-Jitsu… Kung Fu… Chin Na… Muy Thai… and on and on and on. Because, quite frankly, I wanted to know it all. And it was obviously going to take me the rest of my life to get there.

    I wasn’t happy about it — it didn’t feel like opportunity, just a whole hell of a lot of work, much of it spent slogging through hierarchies and physical fitness challenges. And making Aikido work with Karate is tougher than you think — especially when the instructors find out you’re not just attending another school, but (gasp!) another system!

    What I really needed were the base principles that underlie all violence — the common elements between striking, joint breaking and throwing; multiman and knife, stick, and gun; and a way to tie all those elements together between the pendulum swing of structure and motion.

    That block was for the martial arts enthusiasts here ; )

    And from Go Rin No Sho: The Book of Five Rings:

    THE NAME ICHI RYU NI TO (ONE SCHOOL-TWO SWORDS)
    Warriors, both commanders and troopers, carry two swords at their belt. In olden times these were called the long sword and the sword; nowadays there are known as the sword and the companion sword. Let it suffice to say that in our land, whatever the reason, a warrior carries two swords at his belt. It is the Way of the warrior.

    “Nito Ichi Ryu” shows the advantage of using both swords.

    The spear and the halberd are weapons which are carried out of doors.

    Students of the Ichi school Way of strategy should train from the start with the sword and long sword in either hand. This is a truth: when you sacrifice your life, you must make fullest use of your weaponry. It is false not to do so, and to die with a weapon yet undrawn.

    If you hold a sword with both hands, it is difficult to wield it freely to left and right, so my method is to carry the sword in one hand. This does not apply to large weapons such as the spear or halberd, but swords and companion swords can be carried in one hand. It is encumbering to hold a sword in both hands when you are on horseback, when running on uneven roads, on swampy ground, muddy rice fields, stony ground, or in a crowd of people. To hold the long sword in both hands is not the true Way, for if you carry a bow or a spear or other arms in your left hand you have only one hand free for the long sword. However, when it is difficult to cut an enemy down with one hand, you must use both hands. It is not difficult to wield a sword in one hand; the Way to learn this is to train with two long swords, one in each hand. It will seem difficult at first, but everything is difficult at first. Bows are difficult to draw, halberds are difficult to wield; as you become accustomed to the bow so your pull will become stronger. When you become used to wielding the long sword, you will gain the power of the Way and wield the sword well.

    As I will explain in the second book, the Water Book, there is no fast way of wielding the long sword. The long sword should be wielded broadly, and the companion sword closely. This is the first thing to realize.

    According to this Ichi school, you can win with a long weapon, and yet you can also win with a short weapon. In short, the Way of the Ichi school is the spirit of winning, whatever the weapon and whatever its size.

    It is better to use two swords rather than on when you are fighting a crowd, and especially if you want to take a prisoner.

    These things cannot be explained in detail. From one thing, know ten thousand things. When you attain the Way of strategy there will not be one thing you cannot see. You must study hard.

    The Benefit of the Two Characters reading “Strategy”
    There is a time and a place for use of weapons.

    The best use of the companion sword is in a confined space, or when you are engaged closely with an opponent. The long sword can be used effectively in all situations.

    The halberd is inferior to the spear on the battlefield. With the spear you can take the initiative; the halberd is defensive. In the hands of one of two men of equal ability, the spear gives a little extra strength. Spear and halberd both have their uses, but neither is very beneficial in confined spaces. They cannot be used for taking a prisoner. They are essentially weapons for the field.

    Anyway, if you learn “indoor” techniques, you will think narrowly and forget the true Way. Thus you will have difficulty in actual encounters.

    The bow is tactically strong at the commencement of battle, especially battles on a moor, as it is possible to shoot quickly from among the spearmen. However, it is unsatisfactory in sieges, or when the enemy is more than forty yards away. For this reason there are nowadays few traditional schools of archery. There is little use for this kind of skill.

    From inside fortifications, the gun has no equal among weapons. It is the supreme weapon on the field before the ranks clash, but once swords are crossed the gun becomes useless.

    One of the virtues of the bow is that you can see the arrows in flight and correct your aim accordingly, whereas gunshot cannot be seen. You must appreciate the importance of this.

    Just as a horse must have endurance and no defects, so it is with weapons. Horses should walk strongly, and swords and companion swords should cut strongly. Spears and halberds must stand up to heavy use: bows and guns must be sturdy. Weapons should be hardy rather than decorative.

    You should not have a favorite weapon. To become over-familiar with one weapon is as much a fault as not knowing it sufficiently well. You should not copy others, but use weapons which you can handily properly. It is bad for commanders and troopers to have likes and dislikes. These are things you must learn thoroughly.

    TIMING IN STRATEGY
    There is timing in everything. Timing in strategy cannot be mastered without a great deal of practice.

    Timing is important in dancing and pipe or string music, for they are in rhythm only if timing is good. Timing and rhythm are also involved in the military arts, shooting bows and guns, and riding horses. In all skills and abilities there is timing.

    There is no timing in the Void.

    There is timing in the whole life of the warrior, in his thriving and declining, in his harmony and discord. Similarly, there is timing in the Way of the merchant, in the rise and fall of capital. All things entail rising and falling timing. You must be able to discern this. In strategy there are various timing considerations. From the outset you must know the applicable timing and the inapplicable timing, and from among the large and small things and the fast and slow timings find the relevant timing, first seeing the distance timing and the background timing. This is the main thing in strategy. It is especially important to know the background timing, otherwise your strategy will become uncertain.

    You win battles with the timing in the Void born of the timing of cunning by knowing the enemies’ timing, and thus using a timing which the enemy does not expect.

    All the five books are chiefly concerned with timing. You must train sufficiently to appreciate this.

    If you practice day and night in the above Ichi school strategy, your spirit will naturally broaden. This is large scale strategy and the strategy of hand to hand combat propagated in the world. This is recorded for the first time in the five books of Ground, Water, Fire, Wind, and the Void. This is the Way for men who want to learn my strategy:

    1.Do not think dishonestly.
    2.The Way is in training.
    3.Become acquainted with every art.
    4.Know the Ways of professions.
    5.Distinguish between gain and loss in worldly matters.
    6.Develop intuitive judgement and understanding for everything.
    7.Perceive those things which cannot be seen.
    8.Pay attention even to trifles.
    9.Do nothing which is of no use.

    It is important to start by setting these broad principles in your heart, and train in the Way of strategy. If you do not look at things on a large scale it will be difficult for you to master strategy. If you learn and attain this strategy you will never lose even to twenty of thirty enemies. More than anything to start with you must set your heart on strategy and earnestly stick to the Way. You will come to be able to actually beat men in fights, and to be able to win with your eye. Also by training you will be able to freely control your won body, conquer men with your body, and with sufficient training you will be able to beat ten men with your spirit. When you have reached this point, will it not mean that you are invincible?

    Moreover, in large scale strategy the superior man will manage many subordinates dexterously, bear himself correctly, govern the country and foster the people, thus preserving the ruler’s discipline. If there is a Way involving the spirit of not being defeated, to help oneself and gain honor, it is the Way of strategy.

    The second year of Shoho (1645), the fifth month, the twelfth day.

    Teruo Magonojo
    SHINMEN MUSASHI

    THE WATER BOOK
    The spirit of the Ni Ten Ichi school of strategy is based on water, and this Water Book explains methods of victory as the long-sword form of the Ichi school. Language does not extend to explaining the Way in detail, but it can be grasped intuitively. Study this book; read a word then ponder on it. If you interpret the meaning loosely you will mistake the Way.

    The principles of strategy are written down here in terms of single combat, but you must think broadly so that you attain an understanding for ten-thousand-a-side battles.

    Strategy is different from other things in that if you mistake the Way even a little you will become bewildered and fall into bad ways.

    If you merely read this book you will not reach the Way of strategy. Absorb the things written in this book. Do not just read, memorize or imitate, but so that you realize the principle from within your own heart study hard to absorb these things into your body.

    SPIRITUAL BEARING IN STRATEGY
    In strategy your spiritual bearing must not be any different from normal. Both in fighting and in everyday life you should be determined though calm. Meet the situation without tenseness yet not recklessly, your spirit settled yet unbiased. Even when your spirit is calm do not let your body relax, and when your body is relaxed do not let your spirit slacken. Do not let your spirit be influenced by your body, or your body be influenced by your spirit. Be neither insufficiently spirited nor over spirited. An elevated spirit is weak and a low spirit is weak. Do not let the enemy see your spirit.

    Small people must be completely familiar with the spirit of large people, and large people must be familiar with the spirit of small people. Whatever your size, do not be misled by the reactions of your own body. With your spirit open and unconstricted, look at things from a high point of view. You must cultivate your wisdom and spirit. Polish your wisdom: learn public justice, distinguish between good and evil, study the Ways of different arts one by one. When you cannot be deceived by men you will have realized the wisdom of strategy.

    The wisdom of strategy is different from other things. On the battlefield, even when you are hard-pressed, you should ceaselessly research the principles of strategy so that you can develop a steady spirit.

    According to this Ichi school, you can win with a long weapon, and yet you can also win with a short weapon. In short, the Way of the Ichi school is the spirit of winning, whatever the weapon and whatever its size.

    What did you think of when you read this? Did you think of H2H vs firearms? Do you know that the Japanese long sword, the katana, is a feet or more longer than the companion sword, the wakizashi? It is only a difference of range, not a difference of fundamental potential.

    This is a truth: when you sacrifice your life, you must make fullest use of your weaponry. It is false not to do so, and to die with a weapon yet undrawn.

    If you thought of Flight 93 when you read that line, then congratulations, you have an uncommon insight.

    If you thought of Total War, then congratulations, you have the markings of a strategist.

    However, if you only believe “weaponry” consists of knives, clubs, and firearms, you have already fallen into a pit. The first and foremost weapons humans were given is encased in our skull: the human brain. All other things are external attachments and tools, including your hands and feet.


  2. Small people must be completely familiar with the spirit of large people, and large people must be familiar with the spirit of small people. Whatever your size, do not be misled by the reactions of your own body. With your spirit open and unconstricted, look at things from a high point of view. You must cultivate your wisdom and spirit. Polish your wisdom: learn public justice, distinguish between good and evil, study the Ways of different arts one by one. When you cannot be deceived by men you will have realized the wisdom of strategy.

    Old words but still true today. All you have to do is to remember back to the last election; it shouldn’t be that hard.

    The Left, the Democrats, and people like Helen see military affairs as bullies using unfair strength against the weak and winning because it is “easy” for the technologically strong to beat on the poor or weak. Warfare has never been easy; it has always required intelligence, cunning, subtleness, determination, will, and resources. Helen [let’s say prototypical pacifist and Obama supporter] would say that it isn’t important who pays for the food, so long as the starving are fed. Warriors would say that it isn’t important who pays for the munitions and the weapons, so long as the enemy dies and is defeated. But while warriors have a department called “logistics” to figure out how to get such munitions and weapons, the Helens of the world have no better solution than to appoint an Obama Government to take care of such things for her.

    A warrior and student in the way of strategy would ask: “Why do you trust others to do something which you yourself have no clue how to do?” It is one thing for a military commander to say, “I am no good at logistics so let us appoint the bean counter so he can do advanced calculus and clean up our books while I devote my time to what I am best at” and an entirely different thing for that same commander to say, “I have no idea what good or bad logistics are, so I will depend upon this foreign individual, who I have no idea concerning his origins or character, to tell me what is good or bad logistics, and I will of course give him plenipotentiary power to decide what to do concerning logistics”. The former is wisdom while the latter is gross ignorance and stupidity.

    “When you cannot be deceived by men you will have realized the wisdom of strategy”…. what makes conservatives different from fake liberals when it comes to being fooled and deceived? Is it because we are immune to con men and lies? Obviously not, for many good people have been conned or drawn into places like Jonestown because of mistakes. We are human and thus we are fallible. So what is the difference, what allows conservatives more than fake liberals to see deception and to say out loud what it is?

    Because conservatives, relative to all others, are most likely to study war and history and to actually practice such anachronistic and violent past times as hunting, self-sufficiency camp outs, and marksmanship training. They are students of the Way, not to be confused with the Pacifist Way.

    The study of strategy is the study of humanity. The study of humanity is the study of what makes us different and what makes us the same. Identity politics uses such knowledge for evil by increasing the differences between humans in order to bring about power and wealth to an elect elite, like Obama or Helen. The more the differences between human beings become, the greater the chances for conflict, genocide, murder, and war.

    That, I will not abide.

  3. THE THREE METHODS TO FORESTALL THE ENEMY

    The first is to forestall him by attacking. This is called Ken No Sen (to set him up).

    Another method is to forestall him as he attacks. This is called Tai No Sen (to wait for the initiative).

    The other method is when you and the enemy attack together. This is called Tai Tai No Sen (to accompany him and forestall him).

    There are no methods of taking the lead other than these three. Because you can win quickly by taking the lead, it is one of the most important things in strategy. There are several things involved in taking the lead. You must make the best of the situation, see through the enemy’s spirit so that you grasp his strategy and defeat him. It is impossible to write about this in detail.

    THE FIRST—KEN NO SEN

    When you decide to attack, keep calm and dash in quickly, forestalling the enemy. Or you can advance seemingly strongly but with a reserved spirit, forestalling him with the reserve.

    Alternatively, advance with as strong a spirit as possible, and when you reach the enemy move with your feet a little quicker than normal, unsettling him and overwhelming him sharply.

    Or, with your spirit calm, attack with a feeling of constantly crushing the enemy, from first to last. The spirit is to win in the depths of the enemy.

    These are all Ken No Sen.

    THE SECOND—TAI NO SEN

    When the enemy attacks, remain undisturbed but feign weakness. As the enemy reaches you, suddenly move away indicating that you intend to jump aside, then dash in attacking strongly as soon as you see the enemy relax. This is one way.

    Or, as the enemy attacks, attack still more strongly, taking advantage of the resulting disorder in his timing to win.

    This is the Tai No Sen principle.

    THE THIRD—TAI TAI NO SEN

    When the enemy makes a quick attack, you must attack strongly and calmly, aim for his weak point as he draws near, and strongly defeat him.

    Or, if the enemy attacks calmly, you must observe his movements and, with your body rather floating, join in with his movements as he draws near. Move quickly and cut him strongly.

    This is Tai Tai No Sen.

    These things cannot be clearly explained in words. You must research what is written here. In these three ways of forestalling, you must judge the situation. This does not mean that you always attack first; but if the enemy attacks first you can lead him around. In strategy, you have effectively won when you forestall the enemy, so you must train well to attain this.

Most of Go Rin No Sho uses hard to understand words and juxtapositions. Without a background in certain military fields or basic human history, you will have a hard time to comprehending what is being communicated here. Even with such a background, you may still fail to comprehend due to some flaw in your perspective. For example, the OODA cycle invented by USAF Colonel John Boyd has proved that if you can get inside the enemy’s decision making process (his OODA cycle) you can get a jump on him. In combat, this is a decisive advantage that allows you to annihilate the enemy, even if he should have superior numbers or resources at his command. Now, with that idea in your mind, read the section of Go Rin No Sho above here again. Perhaps you will see a connection with your more perfect perspective: more than you had seen before.

As applied to Target Focus Training, the three precepts listed here becomes very simple when applied to practical examples. Ken No Sen is when some guy starts bothering you in a bar and while you two are facing off each other trying to intimidate each other, you pull out a gun and blow his brains away unto the bar top. That is Ken No Sen: to attack first and with overwhelming might while the other guy is still getting ready. It would also apply to a First Strike attack with nuclear missiles.

Tai No Sen would be a woman who pretends to be cowed and frightened, and when the attacker lets down his guard, the woman attacks with decisive strikes (decisive in that the target dies).

Tai Tai No Sen would apply to a knife wielding assailant who tries to cut you, and instead of blocking his strike or backing away out of his range, you close the gap and interrupt his attack with a strike towards the throat or body. The knife is only dangerous at the tip, while your body and arms are dangerous at any range where you can touch another with it. Tai No Shen would also be seen in Bruce Lee’s “Intercepting Fist” concept where instead of passively waiting and blocking the opponent’s strike, you attack him as he is attacking you, but you connect first, thus stopping his attack.

Rock, Paper, Scissors

December 16, 2008

This gave me a huge belly laugh.


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