Archive for the ‘Traditional Martial Arts’ category

The Cost of an Individual Conscience

February 27, 2015

(A comment I left, which produced a lot of interesting links from my archives)

The Sword of the Stranger movie as well as Akira’s biography http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akira_Kurosawa taught me several things.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/After_the_Rain_(film) and Sword of the Stranger were interesting modern Japanese lookbacks at the warrior culture of their nation.

After the Rain, for the sword that gives life, at the highest level of excellence.

Miyamoto Musashi’s life during the decisive battle of the civil West vs East war gave me interesting questions. How Ronins appeared differently than samurai to businessmen and aristocratic zaibatsu clans in modern Japan was another piece of the puzzle.

A knight errant would be much closer to a ronin, a mercenary, or one of Akira’s Seven Samurai. It depends on if a person obeys Authority for the sake of loyalty and obedience, or whether that person obeys his own integral code and beliefs.

I did not truly understand the core message in Sword of the Stranger until later, when I learned lethal force level outputs. The moral message I didn’t even comprehend much of, until I read and reflected on the novel On Killing. The payment exacted on a person’s conscience for Obeying Authority merely because of fear of Authority.

“Cause pain before you injure. Injure before you maim. Maim before you kill. And if you must kill, make it a clean kill. Squeeze every drop of life from the opponent. Because life is so precious, it cannot be wasted, even in death.”

“Let him cut your skin, and you cut his flesh. Let him cut your flesh, and you cut his bones. Let him cut your bones, and you cut off his life.”

Exerting enough will and self discipline to take a mutual cut or death scenario, was an obvious first goal but not the last. Modern civilians complain of being hungry for 30 minutes. Interesting contrast, is it not.

Recently, the youth of Japan are receiving a slightly different message.

“Achieve your mission with all your might.
Despair not until your last breath.
Make your death count!” – Motto of

“To be honest I do not think whether they live or die is the matter at hand. Life is not always better than death. It is not that simple. Living and being made to live are very different things. What matters is what the person chooses of their own free will: whether or not it can be achieved nor how difficult it is.

I want you to consider this: imagine if what matters most to you was taken away against your will. If that is indeed worth less than your life”-

I cannot help but wonder if Japan knows that rearming is the only secure way into the future, given current strategic global affairs.

What you of the CHOAM directorate seem unable to understand is that you seldom find real loyalties in commerce. When did you last hear of a clerk giving his life for the company? Perhaps your deficiency rests in the false assumption that you can order men to think and cooperate. This has been a failure of everything from religions to general staffs throughout history. General staffs have a long record of destroying their own nations. As to religions, I recommend a rereading of Thomas Aquinas. As to you of CHOAM, what nonsense you believe! Men must want to do things out of their own innermost drives. People, not commercial organizations or chains of command, are what make great civilizations work. Every civilization depends upon the quality of the individuals it produces. If you over-organize humans, over-legalize them, suppress their urge to greatness — they cannot work and their civilization collapses.
-A letter to CHOAM, Attributed to The Preacher

I would rather die having spoken in my manner, than speak in your manner and live. For neither in war nor yet in law ought any man use every way of escaping death. For often in battle there is no doubt that if a man will throw away his arms, and fall on his knees before his pursuers, he may escape death, if a man is willing to say or do anything. The difficulty, my friends, is not in avoiding death, but in avoiding unrighteousness; for that runs deeper than death.-Socrates before the Athenian death panel

Authorities, that is what they do when they have the power, but what gives them the right except for people’s willingness to kneel down and obey? For they fear Death above all else.

” Y’all got on this boat for different reasons, but y’all come to the same place. So now I’m asking more of you than I have before. Maybe all. Sure as I know anything, I know this – they will try again. Maybe on another world, maybe on this very ground swept clean. A year from now, ten? They’ll swing back to the belief that they can make people… better. And I do not hold to that. So no more runnin’. I aim to misbehave.

Captain Mal Reynolds (Nathan Fillion) Serenity”

Making the body into a machine of gears

December 23, 2014

http://practicalmethod.com/2014/12/gears-and-connection/#more-40614

Internal power seminar info

October 2, 2014

http://swordandcircle.blogspot.com/

October 1st: Wednesday 7 pm – 10 pm Hsing-I Chuan – Five Elements $65
& Two Man Five Element Drill
October 2nd: Thursday 7 pm – 10 pm Hsing-I Chuan – 5 Tigers Form $65
Double Hand Methods of the 5 Elements
October 3rd: Friday 7 pm – 10 pm Hsing-I Chuan – 8 Powers $ 65
Whole Body Power Method
October 4th – 5th: Saturday 12 noon – 7:30 pm San Shou Sticky Hands
Sunday 10:30 am – 6:00 pm Weekend Seminar $235
October 6th: Monday 7 pm – 10 pm Tai Chi Push Hands $65
4 Main Energies
Double Roll Back & Double Press
Eight Skills to aid in finding Fa Jing Point
October 7th: Tuesday 7:30 pm – 10:30 pm Hsing-I Chuan $65
12 Phoenix Fist

I came across this from an indirect reference.

But if you want to see for yourself what internal power (gravity acceleration) is about, this might be a good opportunity. Especially if you like direct training, rather than do it yourself kits. (If you live in that area of California, although I discovered there’s no address for it, so going to find it now.)

Updated. http://rumsoakedfist.org/viewtopic.php?t=593

That was for August, but it might still be good. If not and the registrations are already closed, there’s always China.

http://practicalmethod.com/category/full-time-courses/

Be back either either after Ebola US is over or just as quarantine is over.

Western relationship with Japan in WWI

September 25, 2014

A connection between Britain and Japan, which probably influenced Japan’s colonial policies later. But before the bad news, there is a lot of good news concerning Britain’s focus on Eastern martial arts, especially when women got involved.

I knew of some American connection to the export of Japanese jujutsu around WWI, but this video gives a better and fuller picture of Western relations.

Internal Power list

August 1, 2014

[A person asked me to list some of what I knew, in the most basic format that is easy to understand for a Westerner, here is what I sent them]

Yes I practice Chinese style boxing and internal arts like Taiji Chuan. Although I am still discovering things as I go along.

The recent post (Taiji Chuan Force Vectors) is my recent work, so it is based on my current level. Previous early work blog posts from years ago, keeps things simpler.

For the simple list of internal power principles

1. Gravity 100% conversion. Falling directly in line with the acceleration of gravity 9.8 m/s/s such as dropping a knee on a fallen target, directly down and below your center of gravity.

2. Gravity partial conversion. Example, falling on/across someone and breaking their arm/leg, like in football injuries.

3. Force reflection is where energy projected into the target does not affect the target, instead it chooses the path of least resistance which is going back into the attacker’s body. Examples are when you push or punch a wall. You get a lot more energy back than if you punched water. The proof of which substance takes most energy, can also be seen in the displacement value of how much distance the target object has moved. Thus if a fat kid runs into a small kid, and the small kid gets ejected across the hallway while the fat kid is just standing there, then we can say the energy mostly went into the small kid. If the fat kid ran into a wall and got bounced off, then the energy went back into the fat kid. If the fat kid ran into a judo ka and got hip thrown, then this is a combination of various energies. The judoka uses the incoming energy, makes it go into a circle, and then feeds it back into the target, using gravity as an assist.

The judoka uses the incoming energy, makes it go into a circle, and then feeds it back into the target, using gravity to assist. This is an example of a technique that fuses together multiple principles into one technique.

4. Muscle acceleration: Just like in bench press where your triceps do a lot of the work, punches use the muscles to accelerate the arm and thus acceleration times mass equals force. The higher the mass, the lower the acceleration for the same effort, but the more force the mass hits with. Number 1 above is merely using one’s entire body mass, with gravity accelerating it. Muscle acceleration is limited by the limitations of the skeleton and tendon structure.

5. Intent. Desire, emotion, state of mind, all is included. This is either the strongest or the weakest force, as it is behind the use of all other forces. Intent controls the human body, so a weak intent produces weak results. In order to apply maximum power, one must look right at a target and then go through the target. Thus people who tend to look away when slamming a bat unto a target, can’t apply 100%. In H2H fighting, people flinch a lot, protecting their eyes or face. When attacking, it’s important to see the target. When moving, it’s important to use peripheral vision.

If there is no Will, there is no Way. So long as there is a Will, there is a Way to solve a problem.

Vector Energy in Taiji Chuan

June 30, 2014

Subject Summary_02

It’s been quite some time, but now I have a visual aid for what I’ve been working on. From my visualization centers to the net. I worked this up via a program and uploaded it. It’s not like the Chinese translations of Taiji instruction manuals or silk reeling, but it’s the Western engineering for the same topic or result.

This is two dimensional, to keep it simple. Movements are in 3 dimensions, and fighting is in 4 dimensions, time is the 4th.

Since it’s been some time since I’ve done vector math, let’s all refresh ourselves on the knowledge. Read this first unless you know this topic like the back of your hand (Cloud hand in Taiji). Try to absorb as much as you can, until you get to the trig calculations, that’s not necessary.

http://www.physicsclassroom.com/Class/vectors/U3L1b.cfm

Any sufficiently advanced technology will seem indistinguishable from magick, as one person was quoted saying or writing. So if this looks like sorcery symbols and pentagrams, it is because we are getting to some very advanced logick, which seems like magick. Or magick is advanced logick. Either way, let’s continue.

First we have the human stick figure, a perfectly vertical line with a bubble head at the top. Then the arms and limbs are the X superimposed. The center in which everything meets is the dantien or center of gravity or central hip joint. Doesn’t matter what people call it, it’s the center where all the vectors converge on the human body.

What has stumped people on this matter is that real physics forces aren’t in perfectly straight lines. Yet a Taiji movement must mold it so that the body makes things into a straight line, that is the “root” where the vertical pressure of your weight on the ground, gravity pulling you into the ground, and the muscular push of your legs creates a stability. 5N Down plus 5N Up equals 0 or “no movement”. Nothing moves, yet the forces are active and working. Gravity cannot be seen, but it can be felt. So physically, a person converts this horizontal force bar and uses it for vertical movements such as punches and etc. The dantien links the incoming force from the hands to the feet, via the joints and fascia and proper structure of spine and bones. Since the human body has a number of complicated forces working in and around it, the diagram is a mathematical or magickal representation of simplified concepts.

It shows how pushing on the left leg of the diagram, can cause force opposing the right hand. If you’ve ever pushed on a wall before, you may know that you are using your back leg, not the front leg. If you geometrically charted the human body in the push, it wouldn’t look like those two sticks. Because the force vectors are being transformed, added, and subtracted from each other INSIDE the human body, where it cannot be seen, only felt. And there’s a vector (at least one) for every joint segmentation of the skeleton, which I won’t draw for obvious reasons.

The second picture, drawn in red, is what happens when you receive a vector on your hands and using the axial alignment axis of the vertical on moving door hinge, you transform the vector down, into the ground. This is vector addition. You then take the bounce or excess energy of that vertical line, via your legs, and reflect it back into your hands. This then adds or doubles the power of the incoming vector, back into the source. It’s like you pushed a wall, and all that happened was that you pushed yourself. That’s reflection. Then imagine if the wall could move, and it pushed you just as your energy reflected back into you. The end result vector would be your energy plus the wall’s energy, plus a number of vector angles. Since we’re using the dantien for conversion, not merely adding or subtracting, and because we’re harnessing the vertical vector of gravity and using it to perform horizontal work, this counts as mechanical leverage. It multiplies the force humans can normally exert via muscles. That is thus internal power.

The axial line doesn’t have to be your spine. In the example given, it would be a line from your hand down to your knee. Or from your shoulder down to your hip joint. So long as that line doesn’t move, is rooted, you can use it as a door hinge, for mechanical leverage. That’s why in Taiji movements, if your hand moves beyond the circle of your knee… it has lost power. The vector energies disconnect, they are too far away, and can no longer be added because physically nothing connects them. Vertical lines become vertical. Horizontal lines become horizontal, you can no longer use the human body to convert one energy to another.

The funny Leonardo Da Vinci human X on a circle diagram, is my symbol for rotation. It’s difficult to imagine how the human body can rotate or why that is better for generating force or power (work). So instead of trying to do the impossible, making ourselves into a spinning ball of death like some manga, I chose to interpret it as the tangent. The hypotenuse of a 90 degree triangle. The conversion of gravity vector with a horizontal vector of a different angle, creates a hypotenuse. This can then be seen as the tangent of a circle. Thus you can make a circle by continually shooting out these rays of energy at a tangent to an imaginary circle. Thus you can cause rotation in other objects, even if you can’t cause rotation in yourself because your joints won’t go past their angle limits or else they break.

While I find this interpretation of mine to be useful, other people’s mileage will vary. However, using the geometric circles and triangles as diagrams to help a person think of energy, should be generally useful for those studying internal martial arts like Taiji Chuan, where a lot of “stuff” is really invisible like EM (electro magickal) fields.

Addendum, for the red line, the down arrow signifies the force of gravity. After you convert this line to an up line, you can then shoot it from your legs to your dantien (even though that’s a 45 degree line, we’re simplifying it to a vertical). The dantien then compresses the force, closes the doors, so that the only way the energy can shoot out is back where the initial force came in on, your arm or your legs. Since your legs are closed off by the ground, it shoots out your hand. Force obeys the path of least resistance. This is why Zhongua says “poping” is not good. If you “pop” as in your height increases, then the energy vector went into making you taller. It didn’t go into the target at your hands. If your hips popped out or your spine misaligned, that’s where the energy goes, path of least resistance. Thus internal arts requires the body to become like a funnel, to shoot out explosions inside. If the internal chamber, such as of a gun, is weak, then it explodes and harms the user. If the internal chamber is strong and can take the charge, then the explosion sends the bullet down the right path.

What I’ve done is combine 2 or more fields together, using my own Will and imagination. It’s not something generally taught in public education or universities, where the focus is on over specialization, like ants. Believe it or not, almost all the great individual scientists that nobody believed in, did something similar when pioneering fields. Scientific breakthroughs, as opposed to scientific and engineering applications, were not made by committees or huge government funding. It also helps if you can think in two languages, like for example Zhonghua’s ability to think in Western English physics but also think in Chinese Taiji ying/yang concepts. English as the language, Chinese as the language. Two concepts as one, the differences of either, demonstrating the reality of the universe. Grind them together, spin the wheel of yin and yang, use torsion and twist, to see what comes out.

Finally, the last image of two equilateral triangles superimposed over each other, one inverted, represents the arms and center of gravity. The other one represents the base of the two legs and the brain spine. Generally, to develop power via using energy for work, one must keep one of those triangles still and move the other one. Moving both, is what Zhonghua calls “movement” that looks right. It looks right because it’s not doing anything useful. When the energy moves your body, it doesn’t move the target. So when the arms are moving, the legs are not. When the legs are moving, the arms cannot move. Or to put it another way, the vectors of the upper triangle must maintain stability and structure, if the bottom triangle is changing the force vectors around by addition. Chen Zhonghua also talks about triangles and 2 lines at 45 degree angles. I get a sense that the application or concept is very similar to this one.

Yea, math, what is it good for. Nothing much beyond counting change, the way most people teach and use it.

Learning Taiji/Taichi Chuan via videos

June 29, 2014

http://practicalmethod.com/2013/10/general-theory-of-practical-method-online-video-trailer/

From the 1980s onwards, most people couldn’t learn much martial arts from videos or VHS because most of it was merely the forms or kata. Rigid, prescribed and patterned movements designed for the experienced practitioner to stretch, build up athletic abilities, and to remember techniques and movements required for applications. The beginner or ignorant user, had no idea of the power mechanics behind the moves or even what techniques the kata, from say karate or the forms of Chinese kung fu, were supposed to be used with.

Now in the 21st century, something else is going on with video format. People are beginning to explain the principles involved. Which is just as effective a learning process as being at a lecture hall or solving mathematical equations online. Math doesn’t change whether the equation is written down in front of you or on a computer screen. Same for the physics involved in physical force generation and fighting.

Here’s the review I left at the trailer link.

Really good training setup for people that can already pool yin and yang in the dantien, center hip joint from both legs, and releasing it. The 5 point pin helps me pinpoint where the energy is going, as well as using the knowledge of where force vectors go in my own body, to set things up in advance for the enemy’s body, since those bodies function on the same principles. I was vaguely aware this was possible, but had yet to develop workable applications or theory for it.

The middle section reminds me of Sun Tzu’s the Art of War. Know yourself and know your enemy. Thinking ahead, planning traps.

The shearing force demo reminds me of the no inch punch. A shock type impulse hit using gravity vectors, no matter what is being touched. Chen Zhonghua’s English and probably Chinese explanations have improved dramatically over the 2 or 4 years I’ve seen of the seminar vids. My original instructors over at Target Focus Training, prioritized a lot of this vector force mechanics using gravity, with no great emphasis on specific techniques except as examples. Studying Newton’s Laws, vectors, impulse force, has helped me visualize a lot of this energy, that would otherwise be called magick, mystical forces, chi, or EM (electro magickal) fields.


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