Friday, July 25, 2014

Dokkōdō-The Way to Go Forth Alone

Dokkōdō – The Way to Go Forth Alone

  This was a set of precepts written by Miyamoto Musashi the week before he died.  It was a guideline for having a stringent, honest, and simple life. I have studied  Musashi on and off for a while, and have only just come across this. It is always good to be to be surprised in research.

  Every martial artist should read this. You can pick and choose what you like about them. I don’t agree with all of them, but there is wisdom in there.

1. Accept everything the way it is.
2. Do not seek pleasure for its own sake.
3. Do not, under any circumstances, depend on a partial feeling.
4. Think lightly of yourself, and deep of the world
5. Be detached from desire your whole life long.
6. Do not regret what you have done.
7. Never be jealous.
8. Never let yourself be saddened by a separation.
9. Resentment and complaint are appropriate neither for oneself nor others
10. Do not let yourself be guided by the feeling of lust or lore.
11. In all things have no preference.
12. Be indifferent to where you live.
13. Do not pursue the taste of food.
14. Do not hold onto possessions you no longer need.
15. Do not act following customary belief.
16. Do not collect weapons or practice weapons beyond what is useful.\
17. Do not fear death.
18. Do not seek to possess either good or fiefs for your old age.
19. Respect Buddha and the Gods without counting on their help.
20. You may abandon your own body, but you must preserve your honor.
21. Never stray from the way.

- Miyamoto Musashi

Friday, July 18, 2014

Martial Arts and the Idea of Self

  I recently quit my job, and moved to Nashville, TN with no job prospect.  Don't get me wrong, I'm sure I'll find one now that I'm here.  This is something my family wanted to do for three years, so we finally just did it.  On the last day of my work I felt really upset in a sad way.  I know I'll keep in contact with co-workers that I'm friends with, so that wasn't the cause of my upsetness.  It took me a while of inward looking to figure it out.  Because I had worked at that school for 11 years, it was part of my self image.  I was leaving my dojo that I'd been at for more than 13 years.  I was loosing that part of my self image.  I was loosing parts of myself that I had been working hard to establish who I am.
Replace "Soccer Team" with Martial Arts
  This can be a good thing.  I now have the opportunity to re-invent my self.  I have many options open to me and my martial art.  I can study a new system of aikido or jujutsu like I had been studying, or I can study something completely new.  I've been interested in some of the Chinese arts like Taiji or Bagua recently.  Or I could even establish my own dojo in Chendokan Aikido.  I've been teaching long enough that I know I can do that part of it.  And that's the job of martial arts in a general sense: to tear down your self image, and rebuild it as you see fit.  So I guess I'm just doing what martial arts has taught me to do in the first place.  I'll have to work on rebuilding my self image.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Episode XIV: A Fish Called Podcast Shownotes

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Download the Podcast HERE

Recorded: Friday June 13th, 2014


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

Tony's Birthday today
Plinio's Birthday (Last Tuesday)

Discussion Topic: Character Development through the Martial Arts

Indian director plans movie on Buddhist Patriarch Bodhidharma

  Anti-smog Kung Fu

Male faces 'buttressed against punches' by evolution

Martial arts black belt Miss Nevada is new Miss USA

Interlude Music: Fish On by Primus

Interview with Bill Herndon of Piranha Gear
Bob White
Ed Parker
Kenpo Aikido
Bob Simmons
Roy Suenaka
Tai Chi
Koga Aikido
Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA)
Shotokan (Karate)
Olympic Fencing
Two Handed Sword
One Handed Sword
Lord of the Rings
Game of Thrones
Three Musketeers
(Ginchin) Funakoshi
Aztec Sword (Macuahuitl)
Duncan MacLeod 
Bartitsu/Sherlock Holmes
Piranha Gear
Everyday Zen
Gift of Fear
  Gavin DeBecker
Loren Christensen
Seven Samurai
Enter the Dragon
(The) Last Samurai
The Matrix

This Week in Martial Arts: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon Premiered July 6th, 7th, and 13th
  Chow Yun-Fat
  Michelle Yeoh
  Ziyi Zhang
  Pei-Pei Cheng/Jade Fox
    Come Drink with Me (Trailer)
  Ang Lee

  Crane-Iron Pentology by Wang Dulu

Contact Information
Twitter Account: @martialthoughts
Email: martialthoughts@gmail
Atemicast Youtube Channel

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

Friday, July 11, 2014

Martial Thoughts Episode XIII-Podcast the 13th Shownotes

Download the Podcast HERE
Recorded: 6/6/2014

Link to Purchase Site

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

  Hosts for Today: Jaredd, Rick, and Plinio  
  Clementine Orange
Discussion Topic: Martial Arts Bucket List
  The Bucket List (Trailer)
  Morgan Freeman
  Jack Nicholson
  Yabusame (Video)
  Green Arrow
    Boxing Glove Arrow
  BCC BC (Broward College)
  Shaolin Temple
  36th Chamber
  Master Killer
  Aiki Shrine (in Iwama)
  Hombu Dojo
  Musashi's Cave
  Sekigahara Battlefield
  Tokyo National Museum
  Japanese Sword Museum
  The Smithsonian Chanel
  The Graves of the 47 Ronin
  Sensei (Larry) Reynosa
  (Steven) Seagal
  Chuck Norris
  (Jackie) Chan
  (Jet) Lee
  Donnie Yen
  Sammo Hung
  Jim Kelly
  300 (Trailer)
  Oakeshott Sword Institute
  Shaw Brother Studios
  Come Drink with Me (Trailer)
  (Mitsunari) Kanai Sensei
  (Grand) Celestial Do
  Machete Fighting Sport
  Game of Death
  Kareem (Abdul-Jabar)
  Don "The Dragon" Wilson
  The Royal Armory at Leeds
  Emperor Meiji
  Henry VIII
  Dr. (Moses) Powell
  Fushu Daiko
  Benny "The Jet"
  Opie and Anthony
  Jim Norton
  Howard Davis Jr.
  Sugar Ray Leonard
  Inflatable Sumo Suit
  Budo: The Art of Killing
  Deadliest Warrior (Video)
  Roman Gladius
  47 Ronin
  Western Martial Arts HEMA
  Seven Samurai
  Rob Roy (Final Fight Scene)
    Liam Nieson
  Vanilla Ice
  DIY Vanilla Ice
  Vanilla Ice Goes Amish

MMA Fighter Suffers Traumatic Brain Injury in Detroit Lakes Bout
Bruce Lee Biopic "Birth of a Dragon"
  George Nolfi
    The Adjustment Bureau
    Ocean's Twelve
    The Bourne Ultimatum
  Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story (Trailer)
    Jason Scott Lee
  Christopher Wilkinson
  Steven Rivele

Interlude Music: Acid Rain by Dream Theater

Interview: Sifu Javier Fernandez
  Shotokan (Karate)
  Kyokushinkai (karate)
  Celso Davila
  Jeet Kun Do/Jun Fan
  Dan Inosanto
  Eddie Pagan
  Gary Lam
  Carlos Lopez
  Semai do Karate
  Phil Chenique of Atemi Ryu
  Professor Arturo (Morera)
  Master (Sam Hing Fai) Chan
  Wan Kam Leung
    Seminar Information
  Ng Mui
  Ip Man
  Sanuces ryu Jujutsu
  Chendokan Aikido
  Ip Man (Movie)
  Ip Man 2
  The Grandmaster
  Moses Powell Memorial Seminar
Interlude Music: Gimme Shelter by the Rolling Stones

This Week in Martial Arts: Sho Kosugi born June 17th, 1948
  Shindo jinen ryu
  Enter the Ninja
  Revenge of the Ninja
  Ninja III: The Domination
  Ninja Assassin
  Blind Fury
    Rutger Hauer
  The Godfather II
  The Scorpion King
Contact Information
Twitter Account: @martialthoughts
Atemicast Youtube Channel

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

Friday, June 13, 2014

Review of Journey to the West

  Okay, let me start off saying that I have a soft spot for bad movies that don't take themselves seriously.  That's probably the 80's influence on me.  Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons pretty much falls into that genre.  It is the latest movie from Stephen Chow who brought us such interpretive classics as Kung Fu Hustle and Shaolin Soccer.
  The opening scene of a water demon terrorizing a village sets the mood for the rest of the movie.  It is both slapstick and horrendous.  A family gets picked off individually throughout the scene, including their 5 year old daughter, but the transitions to the comedy aspects keep the dark aspects in check.  The opening scene is a very strong homage to Jaws.  There's a direct rip off of the scene, where the fishermen catch a shark, and Richard Dreyfuss tells them this isn't the shark they're looking for.
  I described this to friend as a combination of Kung Fu Hustle and Big Trouble in Little China.  How can you go wrong with that?  In the same way you don't take Jack Burton seriously (come on, the Pork Chop Express?) the main character of Zhang Wen, played by Xuan Zang is more of a caricature than a character, but at the same time, the movie plays with the idea that these are gross caricatures.
  In the movie Xuan Zhang is a Buddhist Demon Hunter who uses a beat up copy of children's nursery rhymes to try to convince demons to become good again.  Hint: It doesn't work.  This is balanced by the beautiful, competent demon hunter Miss Duan, played by Shu Qi (The Transporter).
  The first overall impression of this movie for me is the special effects.  Perhaps because I've come to expect low-budgets from Kung Fu movies in general, but this movie would be a rival for most Hollywood made films.  Watching, even my wife said "Wow, looks like Stephen Chow got a bigger budget for this one."  Even though the scenes and story are ridiculous, the acting is superb, and you end up feeling for the characters.
  Overall I'll have to give it 4 out of 5 Ninja Stars.  I liked the movie, and laughed throughout the whole thing.  The story was good, though it does seem a bit repetitive from Stephen Chow's other movies.  The story was a bit heavy in Buddist teachings, but the method of showing it was at least interesting.  As I said the special effects were surprisingly good, and done in interesting ways.  Wait for the restaurant scene to see what I mean.  The acting was great.  The main characters were all expertly played with both seriousness and comedy.  The secondary character, even though they were mostly absurd, were all played as if they were real people. The martial arts in the movie is more supernatural, flying people and superhuman type stuff, but when you're dealing with demons and demon hunters with 20 foot long legs, I guess that kind of comes into the territory.

P.S. Watch out for Giant Space Buddha

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Skeptical Martial Artist: An Introduction to Logical Fallicies

    The Japanese suffix of "-jutsu", as in kenjutsu, or jujutsu, as it is usually applied to martial arts has a couple of interesting translations.  In some books I've seen it translated as "art", in others; "techniques", and a couple I've seen it translated as "sciences".  Science could be the best way to translate it because martial arts should basically work like the scientific method.  A technique should be tried, evaluated and reviewed, and then re-tried.  As such, the martial arts should be filled with logic.  However, many times cultural biases, ignorance of application,  and ego get in the way of logical progression.  There are arguments presented that are not logical or even really reasonable in their nature.  What follows is a couple of logical fallacies that are frequently present in martial arts.  For logicians out there, these are really what are called informal fallacies as the argument may or may not be true... but not because of the reason presented.  The logical fallacies I'm going to talk about today are a group that are called Irrelevant Appeals.  There are other appeals, but I'm going to talk about those most applicable to martial arts and artists.

Appeal to Antiquity/Tradition

This is when something is done in a martial art because it was they way it was done in the old days, or because it is tradition.  This doesn't mean that there is anything inherently better about that way of doing it.  In fact, many modern applications may be better, because of the increased knowledge of anatomy and psychology that we have today.  The idea of these arguments are that these older ways are better simply because they are older.  They traditional way may very well be better, but not due to the simple fact that they are the older way of doing it.  There could also be a cultural reason why we do things in the arts, just not a martial reason why we do them.  And if part of your experience in martial arts is the cultural exchange, then by all means continue.  Not to pick on the Chinese arts, but the Confucianism that was ever present says that the way of the ancestors is better, and you should do it that way.  This may lead to some of the appeals to antiquity.

Bruce Lee: Evidence based Martial Artist?
Appeal to Novelty

    This is the opposite of the Appeal to Antiquity.  The argument is that because it is new it is, by definition, better.  As martial artists we see this in people trying to convince you that a martial art is better because it isn't bogged down by tradition.  This may be an appeal to some people, but it is not an argument that it is a better, or more effective martial art. Sometimes it manifests as the martial art that combines all the other arts into some new form.

Appeal to Authority

    This is one of the most common appeals.  Well...Funikoshi said this, so it must be true.  In many cases there is a reason these authorities on their subjects are the authority.  And it can be a true argument.  However, simply because an authority figure said it, does not make it true.  Although great masters of martial arts, they were (and are) human and therefore fallible. 

Appeal to Popularity

    The appeal to popularity goes something like this..."The most popular martial art in the world is Taekwondo, so it has to be the best right.  Otherwise, why would all those people do it."  Just picking on Taekwondo, no offense meant.  Simply having a large number of people do something does not make it sound evidence.  Many Southern Americans believed in economics of Slavery.  That doesn't make slavery the best economic system.


    First ask questions about why you're doing some of the things you're doing.  Questions are always good, if their asked in the right format.  Don't just blurt out challenging questions to your instructor while he's in the middle of a technique.  But when you do ask your question, be wary of answers that have logical fallacies in them.  You could be doing some things for completely different reasons that what you initially thought.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Episode XII-White Men Can't Podcast Shownotes

Martial Thoughts Episode XI-White Men Can't Podcast

Download the Podcast HERE

Recorded: 5/30/2014

Link to Purchase Site

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

  Interview with Danielle Bolelli

Discussion Topic: Martial Arts vs. Self-Defense
  ESP (extra sensory perception)
  The Force
  Peripheral Vision
  Kendo Mask (Bogu)
  Darth Vader
  Fight Science
  Verbal Judo
  Rory Miller's 
    Meditations on Violence
  Monkey Dance
  George Thorogood I Drink Alone
  Saturday Night Live (Video)
    Jim Carey
  Danny Rollings
    University of Florida
  Florida State University
    (Ted) Bundy
  Manson Murders
  Phantom Dennis
  Shomen uchi
  Adrenaline and its Effects
  Johnnie Walker Red
  Woman's Self Defense Courses
  Old Yeller
  The Joker
  Stand Your Ground laws
  Jim Kelly
  Kevin Smith

Silver: No 'groundswell' for mixed martial arts
    Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver
    Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee
    Ronda Rousey
    Muhammad Ali
    Dana White
    American Top Team Coconut Creek
'High elf'  attacks woman's car with sword while battling 'the evil Morgoth'
    High Elf
    J.R.R. Tolkien
Actor makes a living getting killed by Samurai
    Seizo Fukumoto
    The Last Samurai (Trailer)
    Uzumasa Limelight

Interlude Music: Torn Apart by Valiant Thorr

Interview: Daniele Bolelli
  On the Warrior's Path
  Master Yoda
  Jedi Knight
  Tai Chi
  San Soo
  The Drunken Taoist
    50 Things You're Not Supposed to Know: Religion
  Joe Rogan
    The Joe Rogan Experience
  Adam Carolla
    The Adam Carolla Show

Interlude Music: I (bonus Track) by Tyr  

This Week in Martial Arts: 
  Danielle Bolelli's Website

May 28th, 1973
  The WTF (World Taekwondo Federation) was formed 
  Taekowndo as Olympic Sport

Contact Information
Twitter Account: @martialthoughts
Atemicast Youtube Channel

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