Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year 2009

May 2009 bring to each of you happiness, success and be filled with peace and hope for your family and friends. May all your resolutions come true.

Happy New Year!

100th Post!

Don't know what to post that may be special to commemorate my 100th post LOL

Here's a pedestrian post then, despite it being my 100th.

I'm trying to find/write content to add value to your training in the coming year. I hope to have more than 100 posts in 2009. I am not a writer, I am not a historian, I am not a researcher, but I'm doing what I can to be that and more. My journey is still a long one. They say the journey is just as important, if not more, than the arrival at the destination. I will find out and let you all know. Maybe 2009 will see me closer to being a writer, historian, and/or resarcher. Maybe not. But part of it all will hopefully help me learn and improve on my journey.

2008 Christmas Day spent at Great Wolf Lodge 2 day getaway

Belated entry on how Mr. and Mrs. Stickgrappler took the little stickgrapplers to the Great Wolf Lodge in the Poconos (Pennsylvania) on Christmas Day for a 2 day getaway. Advertised as a 2 hour drive from Manhattan, we made it there in about 2 and a half hours.

Maybe it's because we stopped at Scenic Overdrive for a few minutes for a brief respite and I snapped this picture. There was still snow/ice on the ground.

For those that don't know the Great Wolf Lodge, it is a gianormous indoor waterpark.

Fort Mackenzie is a four-story interactive treehouse water fort offering 12 levels of super-soaking fun for the family. Younger kids can climb with their parents to reach the slides at the top. The older ones will love making their way over suspension bridges and cargo nets to spray stations and soaker buckets. (Watch out below!) The grand daddy of soaker buckets is the 1,000-gallon tipper that sits atop Fort Mackenzie. Every few minutes, the warning bell clangs, and the bucket begins to tip its contents over the roof and onto the giggling group below.

I am a bit scared of heights... the climb to the water slide with the huge bucket of water was a bit intimidating. The slide itself was like me doing the luge, it was that fast and I was forced to slide along the walls from the g-force. It was 4 stories tall and wicked turns had my heart in my throat most of the way down! I tried that twice and both times was lucky to be standing in the spot that the huge bucket of water pours out on! That was fun!!

WARNING: Check-in time is usually 4pm. They may not have your room ready. It is advisable you pack your swimsuits in a separate bag, so you can go have fun at the waterpark first. Leave the rest of the luggage in your car.

We got there about 11:30am and played there until about 6:30pm. In between, we had some snacks. Showered afterwards and had dinner. 9pm there was a storytelling event in the lobby. I had to work the next day and didn't stay. Sadly I left Mrs. Stickgrappler with the little stickgrapplers there along with her friends and their families. Drive back alone was uneventful. Scared of black ice, so I made it back in 3 hrs. I will say that "dayum, great to have a GPS". Makes driving so much easier, especially going solo with no navigator.

Next day, my family went to Camelback to ski, which is nearby. They skiied a few hours and then went outlet shopping, IIRC, Premium Crossings outlet is also right there. Loads of fun for adults and kids, except for Daddy Stickgrappler having to work the next day.

NOTE: Great Wolf Lodge photo borrowed from -- I didn't remember to take a pic of it when I was there.

52 HAND BLOCKS: Check out Big K move

I will be buying the Break the Glass dvd, documentary on 52 Hand Blocks shortly. Cannot wait to check it out. Check out my friend's, Daniel Marks, site for more info on this dvd as well as others:

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Some of Rory Miller's articles

You can sometimes get a feel for an author's book by reading his articles. Here are 3 of Rory Miller's articles on Budoseek. The first one is in the book, it may or may not be verbatim, but the gist of the message is there. Read it as if it's a preview.

Check out Rory Miller's site, Chiron Training for some more of his writings.


Another review on Rory Miller's MEDITATIONS OF VIOLENCE

Check out Mokuren Dojo's review of Rory Miller's MEDITATIONS OF VIOLENCE. Below is an excerpt:

A few weeks ago I had the distinct privilege and pleasure of being asked to review Rory Miller's new book, Meditations on Violence. I was really looking forward to this book. It got fabulous hype from every reviewer; one even went so far as to call it "life changing." Let me tell you, there is probably nothing that stands a greater chance of making me skeptical than being told that a martial arts book is life changing. Ok, so maybe if the author's title is something like, "10th dan shihan-dai soke jedi master" - maybe then I'd be more skeptical, but telling me that a martial arts book is "life changing?" Come on...

This book is nothing short of remarkable, truly informed, and inspiring. This is easily the best martial arts book I've ever read. Period. You simply must read this book and think about these ideas that Rory presents if you want to claim to be a martial artist.


BOOKS: Started to read Rory Miller's MEDITATIONS ON VIOLENCE

Image borrowed from Bobbe Edmonds' Thick As Thieves blog, click to view a larger cover:


I first heard of this book via my training partner J. He loaned me his copy recently. I never heard of Rory Miller. You know in the beginning of some books, there are reco's by various luminaries? I saw some of that the blurbs reco'ing the book by the likes of Iain Abernethy, Loren Christiansen and Marc 'Animal' MacYoung and a few others who I didn't recognize, so I had to check it out on top of my training partner's reco.

I am loving this book, got up to chapter 4 when I was sidetracked by a coworker's reco of Malcolm Gladwell's OUTLIERS. Sorry Mr. Miller. My coworker was THAT persuasive that I had to put down your book.

In a nutshell, MEDITATIONS ON VIOLENCE compares the realities of martial arts in the dojo to violence in the real world. Mr. Miller is a corrections officer and had to deal with inmates and violence daily. I always find it good to read a BTDT (Been There, Done That) perspective on martial arts & self-defense.

When I finish reading this book, I will post my review. But in the meantime, check out the aforementioned Bobbe Edmonds' review. An excerpt below:

Meditations on Violence was really the right title for this book, it's abundantly clear on every page that Miller has put time, effort and thought behind his words. If you want to know why this is so important, and the rarity of such a book covering this subject so well, go read a few of the other streetwise, self-defense style publications on the market today. Rory never comes across as a self defense blowhard who can’t see past his own ego, his book sets a standard that the typical "martial arts for the street" category seldom attains. Meditations on Violence demands to be READ, not just scanned. It’s an honest, unrefined dose of the real world coupled with insightful training guides and advice. I could go on for pages touting the depth of knowledge in this book. Even the preface is an attention-grabber.

If you are a martial arts teacher, law enforcement officer, or just a concerned civilian interested in physical violence and the steps necessary to avoid it, this book is a crucial must-have.

For anyone serious about self-preservation/self-defense and their martial arts training, be sure to buy this book and read it! It may save your life!!

My thanks as always to my training partner J.!!

Monday, December 29, 2008

LINKS: Check out my friend Jimmy Fatwing's site

Check out my friend's, Jimmy Fatwing, site. He and a few others are at the forefront of researching Western Martial Arts as well as Combatives, Savate, Stickwork/Cane, you name it! If you are into any of the above, Jimmy should be no stranger to you, either his forum posts or yahoogroups posts.


NOTE: Logo borrowed from Jimmy Fatwing.

EBOOKS: The Return of the Son of 'And yet more ebooks' entry - FMA Digest

Check out the Filipino Martial Arts Digest aka FMA Digest.

If you want info on the FMA, this is one resource to have to check out, that is if you haven't already. There are approximately 5 years of regular issues, then there are special issues as well as mini-issues... adds up to a few gigs (don't hold me to that as I've not actually checked out how much was there). And yes, they are free pdf downloads.

Mabuhay ang eskrima!

p.s. and yes, I know, technically they are magazines (or ezines) and not a book.

EBOOKS: The Son of the 'And yet more ebooks' entry - James Marwood's

Check out James Marwood's for gigs of free ebooks!! Here's what you will find here on this great site:

The Use Of The Broadsword - T. Page - 1746

Self Defence The Art Of Boxing - Ned Donnelly - 1881
Physical Culture and Self Defense - Robert Fitzsimmons - 1901
Sabre And Bayonet - AC Cunningham - 1906
The Cane As A Weapon - AC Cunningham - 1912
Ju-Jitsu Self Defence - W Bruce Sutherland - 1913
Practical Self Defence - Jacomb - 1918
Tricks of Self-Defence - WH Collingridge - 1920
Jiu Jitsu Wrsetling Defence Against A Violent Attack - The Stillman Association - 1922
How To Become Handy With Your Fists - Percy Longhurst - 1922
Master At Arms Badge For Boy Scouts - Anon - 1925
Scout Wall Chart - “The Scout” - 1925?

Combat Sans Armes - Anon - 1941
Disarming and Hand to Hand Combat - Training Bulletin GT-10 - 1942
Shooting To Live - WE Fairnairn and EA Sykes - 1942
Unarmed Action - Micky Wood - 1942
Self Defense or Jiu Jitsu - Dewey Mitchell - 1942
Self Defence For Women - WE Fairbairn - 1942
Get Tough - WE Fairbairn - 1942
Stick Play - Yerkow - 1942
Combat Without Weapons - E Hartley Leather - 1942
Martell’s Simplified Ju Jutsu Offense and Defense - Jules Martell - 1942
Commando Jiu Jitsu - Irvin Cahn - 1943
Combat Conditioning Manual Jiu Jitsu - RE Hanley - 1943
American Art of Self Protection - Samuel B Cummings - 1943
Kill Or Get Killed - Rex Applegate - 1943
Combato - Bill Underwood - 1943
Do Or Die - AJD Biddle - 1944
How To Use Jiu Jitsu - IC King - 1944
American Combat Judo - Bernard J Cosneck - 1944
Judo 41 Lessons In The New Science of Jiu-Jitsu - T Shozo Kuwashima and Ashbel R Welch - 1944
Protect Yourself, The Secrets Of Unarmed Defense - Brooks Mendell - 1944
Abwehr Englischer Gangster-Methoden - Anon - 1945?

Your Hards…Secret Weapons! - Brooks Mendell - 1946
Ju-Jitsu And Other Methods Of Defence Simplified - Tommy Turner - 1948
How to Use The Yawara Stick - Prof. Matsuyama - 1948
Championship Fighting - Jack Dempsey - 1950
Marine Bowie - John Styers - 1950s?
Cold Steel - John Styers - 1952
Lightning Ju-Jitsu - Harry Lord - 1950s?
Modern Self Defense - RH Sigward - 1958
Canon Of Judo - K Mifune - 1958
Special Judo Self-Defense Course - Joe Weider - 1959
Handbook Of Self Defense In Pictures and Text - John Martone - 1962
Police Ju Jitsu - James M Moynahan - 1962
Pencak Silat - Alexander, Chambers & Draeger - 1972

Close Combat - US Marine Corps - 1999
Discussion on Fairbairn, Applegate and Knife Design - William Cassidy - 1999

Le Catch As Catch Can - Bontemps, Miquet and Arnaud - Unknown
The Fine Art Of JuJutsu - Unknown - Unknown


p.s. hmmm... the title of this entry may sound weird to some, but for readers longer in the tooth or fan of the 1950's era science fiction movies, should recognize the format of:

the xyz
the return of xyz
the son of xyz
the return of the son of xyz

lol @ me.

EBOOKS: And yet more at Kirk Lawson's Lulu storefront

Speaking of ebooks, here's another link to yet more ebooks -- deepest gratitude to Kirk Lawson for working so hard on making some of these out-of-print books available. If you like the dead tree version, the link will allow you to buy the print version and if you just want to check out the book, Kirk Lawson has graciously provided a free pdf.

Kirk Lawson's Lulu storefront


EBOOKS: Some more at Jason Couch's site

Speaking about Jason Couch's site, he has some free ebooks here:


LINKS: check out my friend Jason Couch's site, Martial History Magazine

Check out my friend Jason Couch's site: Martial History Magazine. Met him in person some years ago when he drove 4 hours in the rain to attend a Phil Dunlap Kachin Bando seminar. Good guy! He was one of the moderators on the now-extinct History forum of the Underground. By profession he is a lawyer, but he is a good Martial Arts Historian/Researcher as well as an experienced martial artist. I've lost contact with him... all my fault, what with life, career, and family.

Check out his site for his articles. Here's two I found very interesting:

Chinese-American Boxers Before 1900

Myth: Canes Required Carry Permits

He also had an article on the "Chopper", which he posted about in the Underground's History forum. I cannot find the link now, but it was about the backfist, or as it is known in pugilism as a chopper.

While you are at it, Jason wrote a great article on Purring (English shin-kicking sport!), found at the EJMAS site:

Purring (original essay) by Jason Couch


Sunday, December 28, 2008

UFC 92 - The Ultimate 2008 belated predictions

Was busy with the family during this holiday period, forgot all about posting my predictions for UFC 92 :-( Since it's over already, but I didn't watch it, gonna go ahead and post my predictions. This fight card is one of the best in a long while!


Date Time: Dec-27-2008 7pm PT / 10pm ET
Event Type: PPV Live
Location: MGM Grand Garden Arena, Nevada


It’s the ultimate event of the year with the original Ultimate Fighter®, Forrest Griffin defending his title against “Sugar” Rashad Evans. Then the Ultimate Fighter® coaches face off as Interim World Heavyweight Champion, Antonio “Minotauro” Nogueira takes on former heavyweight champion, Frank Mir. Plus, two of the hardest hitting light heavyweights go toe-to-toe when Wanderlei “The Axe Murderer” Silva battles former light heavyweight champion, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.


Forrest Griffin Vs. Rashad "Sugar" Evans

Name: Forrest Griffin
Height: 6' 3" (191 cm)
Weight: 205 (93 kg)
Record: 16-4-0

Name: Rashad Evans
Height: 5' 11" (180 cm)
Weight: 205 (93 kg)
Record: 17-0-1

I haven't really followed either fighters much yet, I do know that Griffin beat Rampage and Rashad beat Liddell. Gonna go with Griffin by sub. Since I don't know either fighter well, I know I will be wrong on this.

Antonio Rodrigo "Minotauro" Nogueira Vs. Frank Mir

Name: Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira
Height: 6' 3" (191 cm)
Weight: 240 (109 kg)
Record: 31-4-1

Name: Frank Mir
Height: 6' 3" (191 cm)
Weight: 240 (109 kg)
Record: 11-3-0

Again, I don't know both fighters well, but gonna go with Minotauro because of his experience.

CB "The Doberman" Dollaway Vs. Mike Massenzio

Name: CB Dollaway
Height: 6' 2" (188 cm)
Weight: 185 (84 kg)
Record: 8-2-0

Name: Mike "The Master of Disaster" Massenzio
Height: 6' 2" (188 cm)
Weight: 185 (84 kg)
Record: 11-2-0

No offense to the fighters, but I haven't really followed MMA closely in ages. Last time I was really into MMA was like UFC 15 or so. After that, the legislators banned UFC and I lost some interest. No prediction.

Wanderlei Silva Vs. Quinton Jackson

Name: Wanderlei "The Axe Murderer"Silva
Height: 5' 11" (180 cm)
Weight: 205 (93 kg)
Record: 32-8-1

Name: Quinton "Rampage"Jackson
Height: 6' 1" (185 cm)
Weight: 205 (93 kg)
Record: 28-7-0

Silva is an awesome fighter, so is Rampage, but Silva won their previous 2 matches both by knees for a TKO and KO respectively. Sometimes one fighter will have the other fighter's number all the time, but I'm thinking Rampage will be very determined to win by KO to avenge his losses.

Cheick Kongo Vs. Mostapha Al Turk

Name: Cheick Kongo
Height: 6' 4" (193 cm)
Weight: 240 (109 kg)
Record: 22-4-1

Name: Mostapha Al Turk
Height: 6' 2" (188 cm)
Weight: 242 (110 kg)
Record: 6-3-0

Don't know either fighter, have heard that Kongo beat Crocop IIRC. Gonna go with Kongo for his experience over Al Turk.

Yushin "Thunder" Okami Vs. Dean "The Boogeyman" Lister

Name: Yushin Okami
Height: 6' 2" (188 cm)
Weight: 185 (84 kg)
Record: 23-4-0

Name: Dean Lister
Height: 6' 1" (185 cm)
Weight: 185 (84 kg)
Record: 11-5-0

No prediction. Don't know either fighter.

Antoni Hardonk Vs. Mike "The Juggernaut" Wessel

Name: Antoni Hardonk
Height: 6' 4" (193 cm)
Weight: 245 (111 kg)
Record: 7-4-0

Name: Mike Wessel
Height: 6' 0" (183 cm)
Weight: 260 (118 kg)
Record: 8-1-0

No prediction.

Matt "The Hammer" Hamill Vs. Reese "Riptide" Andy

Name: Matt Hamill
Height: 6' 1" (185 cm)
Weight: 205 (93 kg)
Record: 6-2-0

Name: Reese Andy
Height: 5' 10" (178 cm)
Weight: 205 (93 kg)
Record: 7-2-0

No prediction.

Ryo "Piranha" Chonan Vs. Brad "Bad" Blackburn

Name: Ryo Chonan
Height: 5' 9" (175 cm)
Weight: 170 (77 kg)
Record: 15-8-0

Name: Brad Blackburn
Height: 5' 10" (178 cm)
Weight: 170 (77 kg)
Record: 13-9-1

No prediction.

Dan "The Viking" Evensen Vs. Pat "HD" Barry

Name: Dan Evensen
Height: 6' 3" (191 cm)
Weight: 250 (113 kg)
Record: 10-3-0

Name: Pat Barry
Height: 5' 11" (180 cm)
Weight: 235 (107 kg)
Record: 3-0-0

No prediction.

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Dash poem -- found the author!

The miracle of the internet and google!


From The Dash Poem author's official site

Linda Ellis is an author, poet, columnist and inspirational speaker, as well as the creator of the world-famous, "The Dash" poem.

Check out this short movie,


Another of life's mysteries solved! Now I can sleep better at night LOL

Thursday, December 25, 2008

How do you live your DASH?

As this is the holiday season, I forgot where I read or heard this but there is some statistic that says that the most suicides are committed around this time of year. I could be wrong on this and hope I am. But I can see that it could be true. It is supposed to be a time of happiness and of getting together with family and friends. Perhaps those driven to suicide are lonely and their only friend is the bottle or worst drugs? As the New Year comes upon them, perhaps they look back and see that the previous year was unfruitful and get morose about it.

As the New Year approaches, I reflect upon my life and I thought of this post by my friend Dave "Yoda" Green. I hope this inspires you as it does me.


Posted by YODA on 11-17-2002 04:55 PM to Martial Arts Planet

EDIT: May 12, 2014

Took down the poem Dave Green posted to Martial Arts Planet back in 2002 which I've reposted here at the request of the Author's attorney. If you are interested in the poem, it's called "The Dash", written by Linda Ellis. You can purchase copies of her book with that and other poems and prose by her here:

Please check out her site and purchase a copy of the book, The Dash is a good and inspiring poem.

Thank you.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

EBOOKS: JudoInfo

If you haven't already, and are into judo, grappling, or World War II-era self-defense books, check out All pdf's and free downloads.

Check out what's available:

NOTE: JudoInfo logo borrowed from their site.

Judo Books
Available for Download


* Modern Judo Volume 1 by Charles Yerkow (1942)
* Modern Judo Volume 2 by Charles Yerkow (1942)
* Higher Judo Groundwork by Moshe Feldenkrais (1952)
* Standing Judo by Mikonosuke Kawaishi
* Lethal Blows and Kuatsu from Kano Jiu Jitsu by Hancock (1905)
* Contest at the Dojo by Sumitomo Arima from Judo: Japanese Physical Culture (1908)
* Judo: A Modern Style of Japanese Jujutsu by Sasaki Kichisaburo (Hungarian)

Judo Used in Military, Combat, and Self Defense Training

* My Method of Self Defense by Mikonosuke Kawaishi
* American Combat Judo by Bernard J. Cosneck (1944)
* Combatives: US Army Field Manual (2002)
* Combatives: US Army Field Manual (1992)
* US Marine Corps Close Combat
* US Marine Martial Arts
* Kill or Get Killed by Lt. Col. Rex Applegate (1976)
* Vital Points for Medium Range Combatives
* Deal the First Deadly Blow
* Dirty Fighting by Lt. David Morrah Jr.
* Self Defense by Wesley Brown (1951)
* Get Tough by W.E. Fairbairn
* Cold Steel by Styers
* Secret Jujitsu by Capt. Allen Smith
* Shanghai Municipal Police Manual of Self-Defence by W.E. Fairbairn (1915)
* American Jiu Jitsu by Len Lanius (1922)
* Scientific Unarmed Combat by R.A. Vairamuttu
* Unarmed Combat by James Hipkiss (1941)
* Combato -- The Art of Self Defense by Bill Underwood


Season's Greetings/Happy Holidays/Merry Christmas/Happy Chanukah/Happy Kwanza 2008

Image borrowed from:

Gesëende Kersfees
Een Plesierige Kerfees
Gezur Krislinjden
Idah Saidan Wa Sanah Jadidah
Shenoraavor Nor Dari yev Pari Gaghand
Tezze Iliniz Yahsi Olsun
Selamat Hari Natal
Zorionak eta Urte Berri On!
Shuvo Naba Barsha
Vesele Vanoce
Boas Festas e Feliz Ano Novo
Nedeleg laouen na bloavezh mat
Tchestita Koleda; Tchestito Rojdestvo Hristovo
Bon Nadal i un Bon Any Nou!
Feliz Navidad
Gun Tso Sun Tan'Gung Haw Sun
Kung His Hsin Nien bing Chu Shen Tan
Yukpa, Nitak Hollo Chito
Feliz Navidad y Próspero Año Nuevo
Nadelik looan na looan blethen noweth
Pace e salute
Rot Yikji Dol La Roo
Mitho Makosi Kesikansi
Sretan Bozic
Prejeme Vam Vesele Vanoce a stastny Novy Rok
Glædelig Jul
Christmas-e- Shoma Mobarak
Vrolijk Kerstfeest en een Gelukkig Nieuwjaar! or Zalig Kerstfeast
Merry Christmas
Jutdlime pivdluarit ukiortame pivdluaritlo!
Gajan Kristnaskon
Ruumsaid juulup|hi
Gledhilig jol og eydnurikt nyggjar!
Cristmas-e-shoma mobarak bashad
Hyvaa joulua
Zalig Kerstfeest en Gelukkig nieuw jaar
Joyeux Noel
Noflike Krystdagen en in protte Lok en Seine yn it Nije Jier!
Bo Nada
Nollaig chridheil agus Bliadhna mhath ùr!
Froehliche Weihnachten
Kala Christouyenna!
Barka da Kirsimatikuma Barka da Sabuwar Shekara!
Mele Kalikimaka
Mo'adim Lesimkha. Chena tova
Shub Naya Baras
Barka da Kirsimatikuma Barka da Sabuwar Shekara!
Mele Kalikimaka ame Hauoli Makahiki Hou!
Kellemes Karacsonyi unnepeket
Gledileg Jol
Selamat Hari Natal
Idah Saidan Wa Sanah Jadidah
Nollaig Shona Dhuit or Nodlaig mhaith chugnat
Ojenyunyat Sungwiyadeson honungradon nagwutut. Ojenyunyat osrasay.
Buone Feste Natalizie
Shinnen omedeto. Kurisumasu Omedeto
Mithag Crithagsigathmithags
Sung Tan Chuk Ha
Natale hilare et Annum Faustum!
Prieci'gus Ziemsve'tkus un Laimi'gu Jauno Gadu!
Wjesole hody a strowe nowe leto
Priecigus Ziemassvetkus
Linksmu Kaledu
Heughliche Winachten un 'n moi Nijaar
Sreken Bozhik
IL-Milied It-tajjeb
Nollick ghennal as blein vie noa
Meri Kirihimete
Shub Naya Varsh
Merry Keshmish
God Jul or Gledelig Jul
Pulit nadal e bona annado
Bon Pasco
Bikpela hamamas blong dispela Krismas na Nupela yia i go long yu
En frehlicher Grischtdaag un en hallich Nei Yaahr!
Feliz Navidad y un Venturoso Año Nuevo
Maligayan Pasko!
Wesolych Swiat Bozego Narodzenia or Boze Narodzenie
Feliz Natal
Christmas Aao Ne-way Kaal Mo Mobarak Sha
Mata-Ki-Te-Rangi. Te-Pito-O-Te-Henua
Bellas festas da nadal e bun onn
Legreivlas fiastas da Nadal e bien niev onn!
Sarbatori vesele
Pozdrevlyayu s prazdnikom Rozhdestva is Novim Godom
Buorrit Juovllat
La Maunia Le Kilisimasi Ma Le Tausaga Fou
Bonu nadale e prosperu annu nou
Hristos se rodi
Sretan Bozic or Vesele vianoce
Buorrit Juovllat
Nollaig chridheil huibh
Sretam Bozic. Vesela Nova Godina
Hristos se rodi.
Subha nath thalak Vewa. Subha Aluth Awrudhak Vewa
Vesele Vianoce. A stastlivy Novy Rok
Vesele Bozicne. Screcno Novo Leto
God Jul and (Och) Ett Gott Nytt År
Maligayamg Pasko. Masaganang Bagong Taon
Nathar Puthu Varuda Valthukkal
Neekiriisimas annim oo iyer seefe feyiyeech!
Sawadee Pee Mai
Noeliniz Ve Yeni Yiliniz Kutlu Olsun
Srozhdestvom Kristovym
Naya Saal Mubarak Ho
Chung Mung Giang Sinh
Nadolig Llawen
Cestitamo Bozic
E ku odun, e ku iye'dun!

How about this header? Take 2

I'm a simple man, in fact, some may call me a simpleton LOL So for my 2nd header, I went back to my roots of being a simple man. Kept it plain and simple. All these blogs with their fancy headers, that wasn't me. I got razzled dazzled by them lol. Didn't try Martin's suggestions yet on my 1st header. Just went ahead and made a 2nd header. I went with a width of 660 x 500.


For the record, no copyright infringement intended. I scanned these images from Gene LeBell's book - The Grappling Club Master.

Monday, December 22, 2008

VIDCLIP: World’s First Saber Video; France, c. 1880

My friend emailed me this link. Pretty cool "footage". Circa 1880. It is a 12 seconds clip. Enjoy!

From J. Christoph Amberger's blog:

Probably the earliest videographic source for French saber fencing…

This clip was filmed off an original French flip-book (Fr.: folioscope or feuilletoscope) by videographer Andy Robinson. It constitutes one of the first short animated documentary sources on the sequence of movements actually used in 19th-century fencing.

Note the frequency of cuts to the leg and ankle, as well as the moulinet feints preceding actual cuts. This, as well as other images on this site, prove that modern target restrictions are a recent invention, not part of hallowed tradition. (Of course, I already beat that point to death ten years ago in The Secret History of the Sword.)

Of particular interest to me is the right-hand fencer’s cut to the inside belly, followed with a deliberate draw cut across the full front of his opponent.

The weapons used look too long, too light, and too straight to be proper period fencing sabers. (Especially the guard looks awkward.) My guess is that, for the sake of taking the 120 photographs that make up the sequence, the photographer was forced to chose oversized, light-painted wooden weapons to make their motion better visible against the dark background.

The speed of the sequence is an educated guess. Running through the flip-book itself inevitably provides a jerky and overly fast impression. Videographer Andy Robinson did some reconstructive math on the number of images per second. Right now, the speed is at about 10 images per second… and I think it looks about right.

This video is a first rough draft. We may actually be able to produce a less jerky sequence. Pay-per-view, here we come!

J. Christoph Amberger is the author of The Secret History of the Sword. I have yet to read it, from what I heard, this book is a must-have if you are into fencing, swords, and the Western sword methods.

Finally added an header for this blog - Take 1

This is take 1. I will be working on a few more until I decide on one I like to keep as permanent ... or maybe like clothes, I will change the header periodically. I have to find out what the parameters of blogspot's header images are. I used 800 x 450, which may be a bit bigger than the parameters. Probably have to go to 600 x whatever.

Don't know if I like this header or not, but I wanted to mess with some images for the blog header. There is also the legality issues surrounding the use of images. And of course, finding the right stickgrappling/stick locks/stick chokes images to use can be a challenge also because of my 'fetish' for stickgrappling. For the record, no copyright infringement intended. Images are of John Styers from his book, Cold Steel.

Stayed up way past my bedtime coming up with this one. Mostly it was picking the right fonts for 'the look'.

Yea? Nay? What say ye? Suggestions? Thank you in advance.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

NEWS: Search and find magazines on Google Book Search

Search and find magazines on Google Book Search
12/09/2008 09:47:00 AM



Today, we're announcing an initiative to help bring more magazine archives and current magazines online, partnering with publishers to begin digitizing millions of articles from titles as diverse as New York Magazine, Popular Mechanics, and Ebony. Are you a baseball history fanatic? Try a search for [hank aaron pursuing babe ruth's record] on Google Book Search. You'll find a link to a 1973 Ebony article about Hank Aaron, written as he closed in on Babe Ruth's original record for career home runs. You can read the article in full color and in its original context, just as you would in the printed magazine. Scroll back a few pages, for example, and you'll find a two-page spread on 1973's fall fashions. If you'd like to read further, you can click on "Browse all issues" to view issues from across the decades.


Now here is the cool part of this news item.... check out the Black Belt magazine archives on google books here:

I haven't had time yet to go through all of the Black Belt issues, but there are a lot up... there may be a few holes in the collection. I don't know yet, but I will be poring over the archives in the next few days.

NOTE: props to Spladdle member RPP for giving me a heads-up on this!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Steve Perry's Silat blog entries I

Steve Perry, Silat and The Man Who Never Missed

I couldn't think of a "S" tie-in to go for my fave alliteration gimmick :-(

Steve Perry... I first heard of him because I was deeply into reading science fiction and fantasy books circa high school and early college days. He wrote the Matador series, and no, he is not the former lead singer of Journey. Same name, and no relation IIRC. Digression: the new lead singer of Journey sounds like Steve Perry and had a hard life before he joined Journey to replace Perry. Great human interest story for another post someday.

    The Man Who Never Missed

catchy title, IIRC, the paperback copy I bought had the protagonist leaning against the wall, with one foot on the wall... one hand in the air with what may or may not be a weapon. It looked cool. The caption under the title read:

"Soldier, Traitor, Terrorist - The Legend Begins."

Oh, frag me, I will post the picture of the cover :-)

The Reader's Digest version of that book is that the protagonist, Emile Antoon Khadaji (cool name! why didn't my parents name me that), was trying to bring down the evil Confederation and he waged a one-man war starting on one planet. He grew his legend by seemingly never missing. He had a weapon which shot paralyzing serum and IIRC, Khadaji didn't want to kill his enemies... choosing to paralyze them and have their forces depleting by caring for their fallen comrades... kind of like the philosophy of the Russian style, Sambo, in that the leglocks were used to break legs and that the fallen soldier was a liability to the rest of the forces when crippled than if he was dead. That got me hooked and I read the others in the series...

I need to reread that series again... my memory is fading.

For more info on Steve Perry, check out:

Wiki entry
His website

and more importantly,

his blog

Anyway, there was a type of martial art/dance some of the characters learned. There were 97 steps to it... some of the steps were hard to get to given the placement of the previous step. At the time I read the books, I was into some JKDC, WCK, and Tai Chi. Didn't quite explore FMA yet. Never heard or knew what Silat was until a bit later when I really started to check into JKDC.

Fast forward, what, 15-20 yrs later, and with the advent of the Internet, I read Steve Perry's blog on and off and he's a Silat player! 97 Steps indeed.

I highly reco The Matador series... I have yet to read the other books he has written, but he is a good writer and I liked the Matador series well enough to check out his other books soon.

NEWS: Thieves Winning Online War, Maybe in Your PC

this really sux excrement!


Thieves Winning Online War, Maybe in Your PC

Published: December 5, 2008 The New York Times

SAN FRANCISCO — Internet security is broken, and nobody seems to know quite how to fix it.

Despite the efforts of the computer security industry and a half-decade struggle by Microsoft to protect its Windows operating system, malicious software is spreading faster than ever. The so-called malware surreptitiously takes over a PC and then uses that computer to spread more malware to other machines exponentially. Computer scientists and security researchers acknowledge they cannot get ahead of the onslaught.

As more business and social life has moved onto the Web, criminals thriving on an underground economy of credit card thefts, bank fraud and other scams rob computer users of an estimated $100 billion a year, according to a conservative estimate by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. A Russian company that sells fake antivirus software that actually takes over a computer pays its illicit distributors as much as $5 million a year.

With vast resources from stolen credit card and other financial information, the cyberattackers are handily winning a technology arms race.

“Right now the bad guys are improving more quickly than the good guys,” said Patrick Lincoln, director of the computer science laboratory at SRI International, a science and technology research group.

A well-financed computer underground has built an advantage by working in countries that have global Internet connections but authorities with little appetite for prosecuting offenders who are bringing in significant amounts of foreign currency. That was driven home in late October when RSA FraudAction Research Lab, a security consulting group based in Bedford, Mass., discovered a cache of half a million credit card numbers and bank account log-ins that had been stolen by a network of so-called zombie computers remotely controlled by an online gang.

In October, researchers at the Georgia Tech Information Security Center reported that the percentage of online computers worldwide infected by botnets — networks of programs connected via the Internet that send spam or disrupt Internet-based services — is likely to increase to 15 percent by the end of this year, from 10 percent in 2007. That suggests a staggering number of infected computers, as many as 10 million, being used to distribute spam and malware over the Internet each day, according to research compiled by PandaLabs.

Security researchers concede that their efforts are largely an exercise in a game of whack-a-mole because botnets that distribute malware like worms, the programs that can move from computer to computer, are still relatively invisible to commercial antivirus software. A research report last month by Stuart Staniford, chief scientist of FireEye, a Silicon Valley computer security firm, indicated that in tests of 36 commercial antivirus products, fewer than half of the newest malicious software programs were identified.

There have been some recent successes, but they are short-lived. On Nov. 11, the volume of spam, which transports the malware, dropped by half around the globe after an Internet service provider disconnected the Mycolo Corporation, an American firm with Russian ties, from the Internet. But the respite is not expected to last long as cybercriminals regain control of their spam-generating computers.

“Modern worms are stealthier and they are professionally written,” said Bruce Schneier, chief security technology officer for British Telecom. “The criminals have gone upmarket, and they’re organized and international because there is real money to be made.”

The gangs keep improving their malware, and now programs can be written to hunt for a specific type of information stored on a personal computer. For example, some malware uses the operating system to look for recent documents created by a user, on the assumption they will be more valuable. Some routinely watch for and then steal log-in and password information, specifically consumer financial information.

The sophistication of the programs has in the last two years begun to give them almost lifelike capabilities. For example, malware programs now infect computers and then routinely use their own antivirus capabilities to not only disable antivirus software but also remove competing malware programs. Recently, Microsoft antimalware researchers disassembled an infecting program and were stunned to discover that it was programmed to turn on the Windows Update feature after it took over the user’s computer. The infection was ensuring that it was protected from other criminal attackers.

And there is more of it. Microsoft has monitored a 43 percent jump in malware removed from Windows computers just in the last half year.

The biggest problem may be that people cannot tell if their computers are infected because the malware often masks its presence from antivirus software. For now, Apple’s Macintosh computers are more or less exempt from the attacks, but researchers expect Apple machines to become a larger target as their market share grows.

The severity of the situation was driven home not long ago for Ed Amaroso, AT&T’s chief security official. “I was at home with my mother’s computer recently and I showed her it was attacking China,” he said. “ ‘Can you just make it run a little faster?’ she asked, and I told her ‘Ma, we have to reimage your hard disk.’ ”

Beyond the billions of dollars lost in theft of money and data is another, deeper impact. Many Internet executives fear that basic trust in what has become the foundation of 21st century commerce is rapidly eroding. “There’s an increasing trend to depend on the Internet for a wide range of applications, many of them having to deal with financial institutions,” said Vinton G. Cerf, one of the original designers of the Internet, who is now Google’s “chief Internet evangelist.”

“The more we depend on these types of systems, the more vulnerable we become,” he said.

The United States government has begun to recognize the extent of the problem. In January, President Bush signed National Security Presidential Directive 54, establishing a national cybersecurity initiative. The plan, which may cost more than $30 billion over seven years, is directed at securing the federal government’s own computers as well as the systems that run the nation’s critical infrastructure, like oil and gas networks and electric power and water systems.

That will do little, however, to help protect businesses and consumers who use the hundreds of millions of Internet-connected personal computers and cellphones, the criminals’ newest target.

Despite new technologies that are holding some attackers at bay, several computer security experts said they were worried that the economic downturn will make computer security the first casualty of corporate spending cuts. Security gets hit because it is hard to measure its effectiveness, said Eugene Spafford, a computer scientist at Purdue University.

He is pessimistic. “In many respects, we are probably worse off than we were 20 years ago,” he said, “because all of the money has been devoted to patching the current problem rather than investing in the redesign of our infrastructure.”

The cyber-criminals appear to be at least as technically advanced as the most sophisticated software companies. And they are faster and more flexible. As software companies have tightened the security of the basic operating systems like Windows and Macintosh, attackers have moved on to Web browsers and Internet-connected programs like Adobe Flash and Apple QuickTime.

This has led to an era of so-called “drive-by infections,” where users are induced to click on Web links that are contained in e-mail messages. Cyber-criminals have raised the ability to fool unsuspecting computer users into clicking on intriguing messages to a high art.

Researchers note that the global cycle of distributing security patches inevitably plays to the advantage of the attacker, who can continually hunt for and exploit new backdoors and weaknesses in systems. This year, computer security firms have begun shifting from traditional anti-virus program designs, which are regularly updated on subscribers’ personal computers, to Web-based services, which can be updated even faster.

Security researchers at SRI International are now collecting over 10,000 unique samples of malware daily from around the global. “To me it feels like job security,” said Phillip Porras, an SRI program director and the computer security expert who led the design of the company’s Bothunter program, available free at

“This is always an arm race, as long as it gets into your machine faster than the update to detect it, the bad guys win,” said Mr. Schneier.

Monday, December 08, 2008

MUSIC: My all-time favorite jazz songs

A few of my all-time favorite jazz songs...

My #1 all-time fave is Johnny Hartman & John Coltrane's My One and Only Love... i can listen to this forever... i cannot put into words why i like it the way i do... i just do. this imo is when both were at the height of their careers and the teamup is awesome. although Hartman is underrated by many, he had an awesome voice.

Chet Baker was once described by a critic as being an average trumpet player and an average singer, but he was a great trumpet player AND singer, that is one that can do both. my all-time fave Baker song, Let's Get Lost.

The others are classics. 'Nuf said.

I am also testing out some widget that can be added to blogspot called iLike... hmmm seems like I will only be able to get 25 plays out of this playlist.

Too bad iLike doesn't have any anime soundtracks... some of the tracks off of the Cowboy Bebop soundtracks are awesome bebop tracks like Tank, Rush and Clutch!.

For more info, check out:

Mental workouts

i work with an equities trader who loves sudokus... i once asked him why he liked it so much... he had 2 answers, one of which may be the secret to trading and the other to long life... will let you guess which of the below is which.

he said he always wants to challenge his mind, he believes that if the mind is not used, as one gets older, alzheimer's and the like will set in easily. if you have mental workouts when younger, as you get older, you will still have your wits about you. i've not done any research into this, but intuitively this makes sense. if you don't physically workout, your body will deteoriate.

he also said, that sometimes, as he does sudokus (or crosswords) it occupies his time and he is less inclined to trade... in today's volatile markets, you may think a stock is cheap being down 5% in a day, and you buy it only to have it go down another 3%... so by occupying his attention and time, he is less inclined to trade... or get into bad trades... don't get me wrong, every few seconds, he checks the screens, the quotes, and sees how things are playing out. his attention is not fully on the sudoku/crossword.

chess for me is a great mental workout. recently i started playing a game with a friend via a forum. the start and stop of the play is a little disconcerting. nothing like having a live responsive opponent in front of you. but despite that, he is very challenging. i am rusty, very very rusty. last time i played seriously was on a net forum, i played 2 games vs an expert-class player, he outclassed me by about 3 levels... meaning he was expected to win.. he did. i also had the position wrong in one of the games... i guess that is to be expected of a game that is played via a forum post.

back during my college days, i played a lot. every friday night, the manhattan chess club had a tournament. my friends and i would play, of course i had almost zero chance of winning.. many experts and masters were there... they may have even been a grandmaster or 2. imagine getting to play experts, masters and grandmasters every friday night? and consistently getting whupped. no matter how much i played and thought i improved, it was an humbling experience.

like boxing or MMA, there is something about chess for me that is this awesome contest of wills. both players are trying to impose their game on their opponents. moves are calculated with your plans of attack in mind... you think a few moves ahead... calculating what you think is the best response on his part to your move... he of course is doing the same... it becomes a contest of wills to see who can impose their attack over their opponent first... who has to 'flinch' and react to their opponent's attack and postpone your own to go on the defensive.

win or lose, my friend is putting me through my paces, and i am enjoying this stimulating mental workout. after this game, i think i will start playing chessmaster again. got it for my kids for their nintendo ds... never really had time to play, but it will help me avoid alzheimer's and the like when i get old hopefully lol

Added a section to my blog

for most of the time, i live in a vacuum and just post to my blog when i have time. what is great about the blog format is that after each blog entry, in essence it's its own "forum thread". my site didn't have anything like this... after all, it was just a free tripod site where i archived what i found to be useful martial arts related info. i've received many emails regarding some of the content of my site since i began it.

so when i maxed out the free allotment of space on it, i tried a blog as a continuation.. there are some nice features of a blog vs a traditional site that i find useful (labels comes to mind and the blog entry replies).

so i live in a vacuum, i haven't added a page/hit counter to see how many visitors surf by like i did to my site... i get very little comments which may be a factor more of my lack of blogging frequency or just the content so far. this i kind of imagine my surprise when i got what, 4 replies?

so i don't live in a vacuum. the internet is huge and to think i'm but a little guppy in it that some people have noticed is at once a little intimidating for me and also a source of encouragement. lol.

so i added a section to my blog of people's blogs who have me linked to theirs.

my thanks to the past readers who replied and to any future readers. hope i am able to post something that is worth a reply out of your valuable time.

*bows deeply*

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving 2008

From wiki:

Thanksgiving Day is a harvest festival. Traditionally, it is a time to give thanks for the harvest and express gratitude in general. It is primarily a North American holiday which has generally become a national secular holiday with religious origins.

The date and location of the first Thanksgiving celebration is a topic of modest contention. Though the earliest attested Thanksgiving celebration was on September 8, 1565 in what is now Saint Augustine, Florida, the traditional "first Thanksgiving" is venerated as having occurred at the site of Plymouth Plantation, in 1621.

Today, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday of October in Canada and on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States. Thanksgiving dinner is held on this day, usually as a gathering of family members.

from wikianswers:

Q: How did Thanksgiving become a national holiday?

A: It is on a Thursday in November in a year a long time ago

This question has alot of history behind it - allow me to tersely recapitulate such: On 11/23/39, FDR carved the the turkey at the annual Thanksgiving dinner in Georgia. However, up until this date, most Americans had celebrated Thanksgiving on 11/30.

During FDR's administration, Thanksgiving was not a fixed Holiday - it was up to the present President to declare what date Thanksgiving would be held that year in November.

When Lincoln had been President, he observed Thanksgiving on the last Thursday in November and declared it a national holiday in 1863.

However, during the Great depression, FDR found it difficult to observe Thanksgiving on the last Thursday of November.

During the great depression, FDR was approached to make Thanksgiving held on the 4th Thursday of November to allow more time for people to shop for X-mas. In 1939, FDR moved the Holiday one week up.

To my family, to my friends, to the readers of this blog, to the denizens of cyberspace, to all who can hear me within the sound of my voice:


May we be thankful for what we have and not complain about what we don't!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Wesley Snipes - 52 Hand Blocks

I've not seen this movie, but in the new issue of Black Belt (January 2009), a columnist reviewed this movie which is out on dvd and mentioned some points of interest:

In Betrayal, Shaw has retired from the spy game and is mourning the death of his martial arts master, a cross-dresser named Mother whose fighting system is never mentioned but resembles a type of silat.


...Shaw uses the exact same moves against an assassin that his instructor used 30 years earlier against a challenger - punch for punch and block for block. Shaw even kisses his fingertips before touching his downed opponent on the head, just like Mother did.
There is some talk that Snipes knows some 52 IIRC. So maybe he incorporated that into the movie? Or the director or screenwriter just googled and found the Details article by Doug Century which mentioned Mother Dear and the kissing of fists? I don't know. What I do know is that I will check on this via Daniel Marks and his site

1 TiddlyWiki (TW) project I have in mind

Here is one project I had in mind in addition to the Martial Arts Magazines Index -- MMA events, fighters, records...

Not sure if TW can tally up some numbers to come up with a record, but I run into this all the time... which UFC did Matt Hughes get a standing back mount and RNC'd Frank Trigg? Where did UFC 1 take place? When did it take place? Who did Randy Couture fight?

Sure I can probably find the answers over the internet via Kirik Jennings' site or even... but the beauty of the TW is that it doesn't need to be online, i pop open the TW in any browser and search for it and voila, I have the info at my fingertips.

Or how about searching for a specific technique? Which UFC fight(s) had a good example of the proper way to jab? Which event was a TKO set up by kick? Which fighter used a spinning backfist to set up victory? Hip throw? Full-nelson suplex?

See what I mean? The possibilities are endless.

Turned-on, Titillated and Tingly over TiddlyWiki

There goes my cheesy alliteration again :-)

So I have a few hare-brained ideas for projects I want to work on. Some of them are started, some of them never come to fruition. Most of the time, I feel like George Lucas. He didn't make the Star Wars movies fast because he felt the technology of the time would not match his vision. I am like that somewhat. I felt that a website/html would be too much work to cross-reference the stuff on my archive. Then along came blogging and 'labels' aka 'tags'. Now we were getting somewhere.

So I started a blog, then revisited some projects I had in the back of my mind. Didn't really start working on them yet. Spladdle forum member, RPP, reads my site and blog and pm'd me recommending "TiddlyWiki" for my project (martial arts magazine index)... I explore and start messing with it. He even sent me a sample which was better than what I started to do... will add on to his sample as I add data to it.

At work, we have CNBC tv on all day. There's a commercial that plays periodically from Northern Trust. An older golfer is watching a younger golfer address the ball and ready to tee off. The older golfer says to the younger one (don't have exact quote... words to the effect of...), "You know all those golf tips? Keep your head low, knees bent, eyes on the ball? Well, forget all that... just swing!" While I was checking on the various features of TiddlyWiki, I didn't really start it yet, I was so into the mechanics of it. RPP 'just swung' and started one LOL Granted he had experience with TiddlyWiki already, but the point is, I should've just started to test drive it and not check the color of the car, the tire size, the hubcaps, the leather interior seats, etc.

I am deeply indebted to RPP for turning me onto TiddlyWiki. Not only does it look like it will do what I want it to do, but I can do all kinds of things with it, maybe put my archives all onto it.

Oh wait, for those that don't know what TiddlyWiki (TW) is... in a few words... it's a reusable non-linear personal web notebook. Wha?! What did you say?

Did you ever cut and paste notes off the net into one long MS Word document? Then you do a Ctrl-F to look for each instance of your search term until you find the appropriate section with the content you needed? Or pasted various posts on a subject from the forums as one document and then manage differing documents in various folders with all the folders being a unique subject?

What TW is is a single self-contained html webpage... you don't need to be connected to the Net to use it or update it - this is called 'client-side' and if it was connected to the Net, that would be called 'server-side'. Jeremy Ruston created TW back in 2005 IIRC... what he did was add javascript and CSS coding to a single html file (all webpages are coded with html). When you add notes to it, it will overwrite itself... much like a MS Word document, after you click save. The notes, or in TW parlance, a 'tiddler', can be edited later, closed for later retrieval. Ruston calls the tiddler's 'micro-content'. Going back to the long document of notes... you find one note on page 13 and another one on 36 but you have to either scroll up and down to check out both notes or cut and paste both notes into a new document to view together. TW will let you open both tiddlers with the information you want on the same webpage. If you wanted to add something to the text, double-click anywhere in the text portion and edit, then hit close. If you wanted to add a different tag to whatever tags you have already, just add the tag in the tag field.

Pretty powerful... I can go further into TW, but it's best YOU play with it to see if it will fit your needs. If you are like me and like to collect information/tidbits on various subjects and want to organize it in some fashion and also be able to retrieve it easily, give TW a try. All this power and functionality and I've not gotten to the best parts yet. All you need is a browser, prefably Firefox. You don't need to be connected to the Net. If it's text-base info, you can take the TW with you. People put it on a Memory stick. Now for the best part of all... [Begin Infomercial voice] Now how much would you pay for a product like this? $100? What if I said you could have this product for cheaper than that? $50? I could do better right? What if I told you it was free! Would you give it a try then? If so, check out the following links for more info:

This entry dedicated to RPP... thank you again for turning me onto to TW!

VIDCLIP: Bruce Lee playing table tennis with nunchuku

This combines 2 of my favorites, Bruce Lee and table tennis LOL ... enjoy!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Ryan Couture's MMA debut fight


Ryan Couture, son of former UFC heavyweight champion Randy Couture, wins his MMA amateur debut. Couture was able to submit Ricky Perez (1-1) in the first round by triangle choke at the West Coast Fight Club event in Bellingham, Washington. Ryan Couture is in the black and red trunks in the video. If I have the date right, it was 11/7/08.

Congratulations Ryan Couture!

S.W.O.T. Analysis

Most of us know that Business has used the Military/Martial Arts Classics, Bing Faat (The Art of War) by Sun Tzu and Go Rin No Sho (The Book of Five Rings) by Miyamoto Musashi, to gain an edge on the competition. Well turnabout is fairplay... Martial Artists should be able to use something from Business!

I was discussing the pocket stick with my training partner J. In addition to his Shotokan black belt and various experiences in judo, boxing, JKDC, BJJ, Bagua, and Taiji, he has a MBA from a business school. While discussing using various everyday items as a pocket stick/yawara, he mentioned something to the effect of, "Let's S.W.O.T. the pen as a pocket stick."

My brain registered S.W.A.T. and one of the great police TV shows theme starts in my head. I did a "What did you say?" I asked J. if he said, "S.W.A.T." and he laughingly replied, "No, it's S.W.O.T." He went on to explain the SWOT analysis to me and how Business has used it. Follows is a brief description from wikipedia (

SWOT Analysis is a strategic planning method used to evaluate the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats involved in a project or in a business venture. It involves specifying the objective of the business venture or project and identifying the internal and external factors that are favourable and unfavourable to achieving that objective. The technique is credited to Albert Humphrey, who led a research project at Stanford University in the 1960s and 1970s using data from Fortune 500 companies.

Strategic Use: Orienting SWOTs to An Objective

If a SWOT analysis does not start with defining a desired end state or objective, it runs the risk of being useless. A SWOT analysis may be incorporated into the strategic planning model. An example of a strategic planning technique that incorporates an objective-driven SWOT analysis is SCAN analysis. Strategic Planning, including SWOT and SCAN analysis, has been the subject of much research.

  • Strengths: attributes of the organization that are helpful to achieving the objective.
  • Weaknesses: attributes of the organization that are harmful to achieving the objective.
  • Opportunities: external conditions that are helpful to achieving the objective.
  • Threats: external conditions which could do damage to the business's performance.

Identification of SWOTs is essential because subsequent steps in the process of planning for achievement of the selected objective may be derived from the SWOTs.

First, the decision makers have to determine whether the objective is attainable, given the SWOTs. If the objective is NOT attainable a different objective must be selected and the process repeated.

Creative Use of SWOTs: Generating Strategies

If, on the other hand, the objective seems attainable, the SWOTs are used as inputs to the creative generation of possible strategies, by asking and answering each of the following four questions, many times:

  • How can we Use each Strength?
  • How can we Improve each Weakness?
  • How can we Exploit each Opportunity?
  • How can we Mitigate each Threat?

Ideally a cross-functional team or a task force that represents a broad range of perspectives should carry out the SWOT analysis. For example, a SWOT team may include an accountant, a salesperson, an executive manager, an engineer, and an ombudsman.

See if the SWOT Analysis can help your martial arts.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

In Memory of Mun Yuen


November 5, 2006 -- A Con Edison employee was killed on the job yesterday when he was hit by a car in The Bronx, officials said.

A 62-year-old woman driving a Ford Focus traveling southbound on Boston Road in Crotona swerved to avoid a bicyclist at about 4:30 p.m., according to police.

As she made the evasive maneuver, she crashed into Con Ed worker Mun Yuen, smashing him against a restaurant, police said.

Yuen, 40, had been working on an underground feeder cable at East 169th Street, according to Con Ed spokeswoman Elizabeth Clark.

Yuen, of Rutgers Street in lower Manhattan, was taken to Lincoln Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, cops said.

"I heard a big boom, and when we looked, we saw the Con Ed guy, trapped," said Sarah Ferguson, 22, assistant manager at Back Home Restaurant on Boston Road.

"The guy was in front of the car laying down with blood gushing out of his mouth. He had his hand up for a while, and then slowly brought it down. I guess that's when he was slowly dying," she said.

The driver of the Ford remained at the scene and was not charged with any crime or infraction, police said.

Additional reporting by Perry Chiaramonte and Hasani Gittens



I met Mun in our college's student center... we became friends... he was sharp and had quick wits about him... we shared mutual interests in table tennis, chess and cards. We would play table tennis and he had a wicked serve which often I couldn't return.

After college, I sometimes ran into him on the streets. We would chat and catch up. At the time, he couldn't land a decent job. He was working as a bicycle messenger. Some years later, IIRC, his sister had a baby and was giving a baby shower at a local restaurant near where I lived. By coincidence, my family was having dinner there too that evening. We caught up and exchanged phone numbers and IM's. Since then, we IM'd on and off. He was usually hanging out at his friend's office who was a lawyer. He told me about the job at Con Ed. I know he was nervous about taking the Con Ed exam and he was elated when he found out he passed and was hired. I think he found a sense of direction in life after being hired by Con Ed.

I recall my last IM with him, we were going to set up dimsum with a mutual friend and his wife. Life plays cruel tricks on you. You get caught up in the rat race and postpone getting together with friends... always busy and stressed with work or the kids... never had time to hook up with him.

There were days I wondered why I didn't see him on IM. I could've picked up the phone and called him.... busy with work... stressed at the end of the day and head home to my wife and kids. How long would a phone call take?

I was having dimsum with my wife and kids one Saturday in the city. We were meeting her aunt and uncle for dimsum in a restaurant we usually don't go to. I ran into EC and his family... been years since I saw him. Another college buddy and he also knew Mun. We exchanged phone numbers, emails and IM's. Fast forward to about 1 year later, EC IM's me and asks if it's ok to call me. I said yes. He calls with the sad news of Mun's passing. He emails me the link to the New York Post article. I recall that day, I was visibly shaken up. I told the trader I work with what happened. Tears welled up in my eyes. My heart felt like a knife was plunged into it. I had an error that day, I was typing up an order to buy 500 shares at the market of some illiquid stock. I don't know if it was the tears or just the heavy heart... i typed up to buy 5000 shares at the market and it end up costing us. The trader I work with told me to just go home and take the rest of the day off.

I miss Mun. My sincerest condolences to his family. He would've been 43 today.

Part of this entry is in memory of Mun... part of this entry is to say: sometimes just pick up the phone, hit up the IM or email a friend who you've lost contact with. Catch up just for a few minutes. In this day and age of electronic communication, there really is no reason not to catch up. I try to live life with no regrets, however, I regret never making time to have dimsum with Mun.

About a month ago, a buddy from junior high school, contacted me to invite me to his wedding party. He used to live across the street from me. We hung out during college. Due to work, he moved to New Jersey and I lost contact with him. Been about 10 years. My wife and I go to the party and I meet up with 2 other college buddies who I've not seen for the same amount of time. They all lived in NJ and have kids. We had our digital cameras and showed pictures of the kids. One of the topics of conversation was about Mun. They weren't sure if I had heard.

Last week, I get a text on my cellphone that just said "what's up?". I didn't add that number to my contacts so it came in as an unknown caller. So I text back, who is this? The reply came back and it was a friend I didn't talk to in some time. In the past, we hung out on the same forum. He used to be in the industry trading government bonds IIRC. The next day I called him and we caught up... he said I've not seen you post in some time and just wanted to check up on you. He knows I'm trading and how volatile the markets have been. We will have to do lunch soon... sadly I think I may not be able to take time off the trading desk to go out for an hour or 90 minutes lunch.

Lately I'm going through the cycle of being busy with work and family again. Past few months, I've reached out to a few friends. A few reached out to me. It is almost like Matthew Broderick in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" said, something to the effect of sometimes life moves too fast, you have to take time off to take a look around.
I need to get in contact with more of my friends.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

UFC 91: Prediction - Randy Couture vs. Brock Lesnar

UFC 91 is this Saturday. The main event is Randy Couture vs. Brock Lesnar.

I'm a Couture fan, because he uses Panantukan (Filipino boxing) somewhat mixed in with his Greco-Roman/MMA game LOL

Randy's savvy/experience/skills IMO is too much for Brock's brute g&p... sure he was All-American, but that's straight up wrestling and not MMA. Couture by takedown repeatedly and G&P and Lesnar taps... or I think Randy knows basic subs like the armbar, RNC, and leglock/heelhook, and as he takes Lesnar down and starts his G&P, Brock gives Couture his back for the RNC to end it. But at the very least, Randy by decision, but I don't see it going the distance.

On the flip side, I think the only way Brock wins has to be early like a fluke hit that dazed Randy and Randy falls stunned... maybe Brock by decision but I find it hard to see him being able to decision Randy given their disparate MMA skill levels. If Lesnar doesn't knock Couture out, and it goes past the first round, I think Randy will win.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

MAMI = Martial Arts Magazine Index

Another crazy project in the back of my mind that I've been wanting to work on for a loooooong time. It is to be an index of martial arts magazines. There's a few ways I can do this and before starting a project of this magnitude, I want to think through the layout/design/indexing process to make it the most useful it can be... to be able to accomodate any conceivable search variations. Better to lay a solid foundation first than jump right in and end up juryrigging it to add in something that was not foreseen.

Suppose you wanted to find all published articles (or at least whatever has been indexed already) on a certain style... you click the style name and voila, all the articles appear. Suppose you wanted all articles by a specific author... a specific instructor... a specific weapon... a specific magazine only... a specific year only... you get the idea. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, therefore, a picture of the cover would be invaluable. Maybe a quick start is just to add the table of contents page of each issue. In time, expand that out to include author, style, instructor, etc. Still brainstorming this project in the back of my mind. Heck! I didn't even really start my other project yet which has been eating at me... the deconstruction of the Tao of Jeet Kune Do aka Project DJKD.

And to add to that, if i had any database programming skills, I could do this in Microsoft Access or some other database program and I would build it to be able to cross-reference/multi-query it such as find all articles by a specific author on a specific style in a specific year or in a specific magazine. That would be the ultimate application of this database... but sadly my database programming skills are not even whitebelt level. Although this project may spur me on to book up on Access.

Should I start a blog on this? If so, it will at least give you one search area by label... you would not be able to search at least 2 criteria or more. Maybe it's a start. Maybe in the future I or someone else will be able make that database. An easy but not as powerful way is to make an Excel spreadsheet.

I am reminded of a time ages ago via Eskrima Digest... I do not remember the member's name, but he had an OCR of the Inside Karate article written by Lilia Howe about Filipino boxing which I've archived on my site.
And IIRC, the ED member credited Mike Krivka as being the one who actually OCR'd the article. The ED member offered to email anyone who wanted to read the article. I will edit this blog entry when I find the member's name. I believe in giving credit where credit is due. I digress... anyway, this member was using a Macintosh at the time... and early on in the Mac's history, there was a fun, useful and versatile program called Hypercard. The metaphor was that it was like a stack of index cards or a rolodex if you will. It was fully programmable if you learned the syntax/language which was similar to BASIC or C++.
You could add a button and link any 'card' to any other card. He programmed it to be able to search for at least 1 criteria... don't recall if it was customized to do 2 or more.

Anyway, I'm sure I am not the first who has thought of this before. I'm not even sure if it has been done yet or not. I'm sure some websites out there in cyberspace at least has 1 magazine indexed to some degree. I'm looking to index them all or at least as much info as I can gather from my research.

Wish me luck!

Happy Veteran's Day

From Wiki:

Veterans Day is an annual American holiday honoring military veterans. Both a federal holiday and a state holiday in all states, it is usually observed on November 11. However, if it occurs on a Sunday then the following Monday is designated for holiday leave, and if it occurs Saturday then either Saturday or Friday may be so designated. It is also celebrated as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day in other parts of the world, falling on November 11, the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I. (Major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 with the German signing of the Armistice.) The holiday is commonly printed as Veteran's Day or Veterans' Day in calendars and advertisements. While these spellings are grammatically acceptable, the United States government has declared that the attributive (no apostrophe) rather than the possessive case is the official spelling.

U.S. President Woodrow Wilson first proclaimed an Armistice Day for November 12, 1919. The United States Congress passed a concurrent resolution seven years later on June 4, 1926, requesting the President issue another proclamation to observe November 11 with appropriate ceremonies. An Act (52 Stat. 351; 5 U. S. Code, Sec. 87a) approved May 13, 1938, made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday; "a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as 'Armistice Day'."

In 1953, an Emporia, Kansas, shoe store owner named Al King had the idea to expand Armistice Day to celebrate all veterans, not just those who served in World War I. King had been actively involved with the American War Dads during World War II. He began a campaign to turn Armistice Day into "All" Veterans Day. The Emporia Chamber of Commerce took up the cause after determining that 90% of Emporia merchants as well as the Board of Education supported closing their doors on November 11, 1953, to honor veterans. With the help of then-U.S. Rep. Ed Rees, also from Emporia, a bill for the holiday was pushed through Congress. President Dwight Eisenhower signed it into law on May 26, 1954.

Congress amended this act on November 8, 1954, replacing "Armistice" with Veterans, and it has been known as Veterans Day since.

In remembrance of my maternal grandfather who represented America in WWII, may he RIP. Through the GI Bill, he was able to buy a house and bring his family over. He passed away at the age of 93.

To the past, present, and future veterans... Happy Veteran's Day!

Thursday, November 06, 2008


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Stickgrappler's Sojourn of Septillion Steps