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Conditioning! [20 Apr 2005|10:30am]
http://www.rossboxing.com/

This guy seems to havea pretty intense approach to conditioning. I am thinking of getting his bodyweight exercise book. So, Ry and Stypi, either of you have any favorite bodyweight exercises?
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So Unfair [18 Apr 2005|11:32am]
Why don't we have cool shows like this in the US?!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcthree/tv/mind_body/index.shtml

Has anyone heard of this or something similar?
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Easy Money! Wohoo! [12 Apr 2005|03:45pm]
http://www.canoe.ca/NewsStand/EdmontonSun/News/2005/04/12/992718-sun.html
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Interesting Forum [06 Apr 2005|11:41am]
Here is an interesting forum that explores a myriad of aspects of chinese history.

www.chinahistoryforum.com
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Wow - a step in the right direction [05 Apr 2005|09:33am]
Ok gamers, time to stop being sissies!

http://www.smh.com.au/news/World/Coming-soon-a-PC-combat-game-that-shoots-back/2005/04/02/1112302293552.html?oneclick=true
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another cool research link... [01 Apr 2005|03:47pm]
http://www.atarn.org/

Wow. The crazy things I find in my quest for knowlege...
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Life, the universe and everything... [01 Apr 2005|01:30pm]
So. I just got off of the phone with a city planner that I have been talking to for the past six months about an on-going case I have been working on. This project will NEVER end. I feel pretty bad for him. He has been dealing with this mess for over two years. I suppose the wheels of litigation turn slowly... OH SO SLOWLY. Oh well. On the up side, I get to bill my time hourly, so I can spend as much time on it as I want... muahahahaha. If only I was actually paid a higher percentage of what the company bills clients for my time (they bill my time at $125/hour).

In other news, the research for my book has been going along very well. I almost have enough information to start writing the first part of the book - which takes place along the Silk Road between Constantinople and Chang'an. I have already written the mythos I will be using, some character sketches and a few 'scenes' that I wanted to include. The most difficult aspect of the project has been accumulating enough historical fact to be accurate and determining at what point to STOP accumulating historical fact. More research will be required, but so far so good.

Training has been going pretty well. The santi standing practice has really been beneficial and I will be increasing the repetitions of the brick exercises next week - so my arms will be pretty sore starting on monday. Woohoo! I love that feeling.

I started actively studying Korean again using The Rosetta Stone program. It works really well and reminds me of how I learned spanish.
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This is for Ryan [31 Mar 2005|01:57pm]
http://www.sevenstarstrading.com/articles/articles.php?page=articles&subpage=koreansword&secondCrumb=Korean%20Sabers

Cool, huh?
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Another Chinese Sword Article [31 Mar 2005|01:48pm]
[ mood | excited ]

I found this article to be particularly interesting and enlightening. This will provide some valuable information for my novel. Of course, I find this fascinating in general. :)

http://www.sevenstarstrading.com/articles/articles.php?page=articles&subpage=myths&secondCrumb=Myths%20about%20Chinese%20Swordsmanship

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New bandwagon [30 Mar 2005|11:43am]
Well, it seems to me that there have been several stories of this ilk in the news lately:

http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20050330/od_uk_nm/oukoe_life_china_sabre

I wonder what the next sensational topic will be?
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Way too much time on their hands... [29 Mar 2005|10:24am]
Though, it is pretty amusing.

http://www.worstkind.com/Swe3_large.mov
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You can run. You can hide. But I WILL track you down and bitch slap you for running from me. [28 Mar 2005|02:17pm]
So, after years of searching. I have discovered the hiding place of the infamous UltraCorp.

http://www.sjgames.com/ultracorps/
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Hands... Registered lethal weapons!! [28 Mar 2005|09:44am]
So, training over the weekend was awesome. No. It was better than that. The two instructors I went to Boise to visit (Lonny & Rachel) were some of the coolest people I have ever met. They were warm and welcoming (they were sad I couldn't stay the night to train more). Their technique was fantastic and they were very good teachers. Dang I have missed training with the Tang Shou Tao (or Tang Shou Dao for the pinyin-minded). There was no mystical mumbo-jumbo crap that you seem to find in most internal martial arts. There was no McDojoism (or, I suppose McKwoonism in this case). NATSTA believes in combat conditioning and application. No wasted movements. It was awesome. Lonny & Rachel have also studied some of the more interesting aspects of the traditional chinese medicine that NATSTA teaches: specifically tui.na and bone-setting. Needless to say I am pretty excited about learning both of these things.

At my request, we spent a great deal of time going over some of the basic drills that teach the foundational principles of movement in xingyi. Then we moved on to going over some of the detail of the five element fists (pi, zuan, beng, pao, heng). To finish off they started teaching me a xingyi cane form. Hehehe. That was pretty awesome. They are also familiar with some of the more esoteric chinese weapons (deer antler knives and rooster daggers) and we will be spending time with those too. There is so much to learn, and four hours was simply not long enough. So, next time I will be planning on an entire day of happy training! Woohoo!

For those who enjoy Settlers of Catan, last night I played the Knights & Cities expansion. Wow. That expansion makes the game even cooler (and more addictive...). I highly recommend it!
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Questions for Comic Book People [25 Mar 2005|03:28pm]
Can anyone recommend some Batman comics that are pretty good? I am looking for something more recent/modern than the circa 1970s - 1980s type of artwork... Thanks in advance for the suggestions!
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Xingyi tomorrow!!!!! [25 Mar 2005|01:40pm]
Woohoo! I am so excited. Tonight I am driving up to stay the night with Patti's parents in Pocatello and then am driving to Boise early tomorrow morning for a day filled with xingyi training with the society I used to belong to (www.natsta.org). This is such a wonderful opportunity to pick up where I left off. They teach entire systems (not just a few random forms...) including one fo the widest varieties of conditioning and qigong drills I have ever found in a system (the warmups usually last upwards of three hours if you do normal repetitions of everything). I am really excited to continue my xingyi training.

I have always had a warm spot in my heart for xingyi. It is a system devoid of flashy movements and wasted movement. It stresses economy of motion. Also, instead of just teaching a large number of techniques and forms, it rather stresses learning principles of movement. A general xingyi system is comprised of the five mother fists that correlate to one of the five elements (piquan - splitting - metal, bengquan - crushing - wood, zuanquan - drilling - water, paoquan - pounding - fire, hengquan - crossing - earth). Each of these teaches a principle of movement. The system is then fleshed out with 12 animal styles. Each animal consists of two or three movements linked together in a line drill. Practice is done in line drills - which allows you to develop abilities on both sides (right-left). There are a few other drills and such, but that is it. It is possible to learn all of the movements in a few months time, but, like baduk/go/weiqi, it takes a lifetime to master. :) Xingyi is a very direct style that is perfectly suited for combat - unarmed or armed (interestingly enough, the basic unarmed principles can be applied directly to various weapons). In fact, the chinese government trains its troops in xingyi (as have numerous emperors/generals).

One thing about this society that really excites me is the focus they have on conditioning for and application of the art. As mentioned previously, they have a seriously involved warm-up: 15 different types of push ups; four directional sit ups (trains all abdominal musculature); yoga postures for flexibility and abdominal development; 7 star blocking drills; stretching; kicking drills; snake bodies (these hurt a lot); white crane exercises (fa-jing practice - aka strength discharging drills); stnading practice (in santi, horse, high horse/standing post position); 'kiai' exercises (in the case of chinese arts, it is taking progressively harder hits to the lower abdomen while exhaling forcefully); body slapping (striking the body progressively harder along the meridian lines to stimulate them as well as to condition the body to take hits); five element qigong (a series of breathing/movement exercises to increase stamina and stimulate/balance the meridians); Tian Kan (the 24 'heavenly stems' - these are exercises that also reinforce the necessary principles of movement while stimulating the meridians); brick exercises (a series of exercises done while holding bricks);

As you can see, it is pretty extensive. There are numerous drills that I am forgetting... In addition to xingyi (hebei and shanxi styles of xingyi), they also teach two flavors of bagua (Liang ZhenPu/Li ZiMing and Gao). I certainly prefer the Gao bagua in that it has a series of sixty-four linear forms (8 linear forms with 8 movements each) that are awesome - I only know the first fourty eight (the first six linear forms). They also teach traditional chinese medicine (herbs, acupuncture, acupressure, bone-setting). All senior students are required to take the TCM classes towards certification.

At any rate, I will be making monthly trips up to Boise for training and that has me filled with "Big Excitement!" It is also interesting to see that out of all of the teachers/classes/schools I have looked into up here, I still have to drive out of state for reputable xingyi/bagua/tcm instruction. You Phoenix people are so freaking lucky... :)
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Fascinating discussion of chinese swords [23 Mar 2005|11:47am]
I found this to be fascinating.

http://www.shadowofleaves.com/Chinese_Sword_History.htm

I am interested in what JiSang and Stypica think of this... :)
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A query to those with extensive martial arts experience [22 Mar 2005|05:20pm]
Have any of you EVER heard of putting milk on your knuckles (or crushed up calcium pills...) to harden them? Some maroon over at cyberkwoon apparently believes that this is some super-secret effective way to thicken the skin of the hands (he puts drops of milk on his knuckles before and after knuckle push ups). Try as I might, I cannot possibly see this as having any effect at all (except smelly milk-knuckles that attract flies), so I decided to ask those whose experience differs from mine. Anybody? JiSang, maybe you could ask David the next time you see him. hehehe. Milk?!
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Announcement and other stuff... [21 Mar 2005|09:02am]
For friends of Win: He is BACK!!!!!!! He survived his military ordeal intact (though he will be getting a purple heart and several other medals/ribbons). His cell phone has not yet been reactivated, but that should be rectified soon. Woohoo!

In other news, here is an amusing conspiracy-theory freak (amuletic healing for cell towers?!).

http://www.metatech.org/danger_of_cell_phone_tower.html

This is funny too:

http://www.conspiracyarchive.com/
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Bow before me peasant! [16 Mar 2005|09:01am]
The Lord
You scored 13% Cardinal, 51% Monk, 47% Lady, and 59% Knight!

You are of the intellectual breed and yet you are also very interested
in war. You are of the aristocracy and head the cavalry a safe distance
from the carnage of the front lines. You believe in defeating your
enemy with not only might, but also wit.


You scored high as both the Monk and the Knight. You can try again to
get a more precise description of either the Monk or the Knight, or you
can be happy that you're an individual.




My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
You scored higher than 3% on Cardinal
You scored higher than 73% on Monk
You scored higher than 70% on Lady
You scored higher than 76% on Knight
Link: The Who Would You Be in 1400 AD Test written by KnightlyKnave on Ok Cupid
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Hell in a Hand Basket [11 Mar 2005|09:34am]
Wow.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2005/03/10/uscythe.xml&sSheet=/portal/2005/03/10/ixportaltop.html

Scary.
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