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

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Anthony De Longis Bullwhip article in Black Belt magazine

The December 2008 issue of Black Belt magazine, with Cung Le on the cover, has an article by De Longis on the Bullwhip Part 1.

here's a short video by him on Black Belt's site. He goes through the various offensive aspects of the bullwhip:

The issue also has the 2008 Black Belt Hall of Fame inductees... De Longis is inducted as Weapons Instructor of the Year. Congratulations to Mr. De Longis on this accomplishment!


Here's the Black Belt profile (

Anthony De Longis has studied traditional armed combat for 35 years, and his fighting style has been shaped by decades of training with fencing maestro Ralph Faulkner and jeet kune do/weapons expert Dan Inosanto. De Longis is primarily known—and sought out—for his skill with the sword and whip, and he continues to study fencing, the Japanese sword arts and a variety of other systems.

Counting students as disparate as Cold Steel CEO Lynn Thompson and actress Michelle Pfeiffer (whose turn as Catwoman in Batman Returns debuted the unique De Longis bullwhip style), De Longis has taught fighters and martial artists as well as movie stars and stuntmen. When Harrison Ford agreed to bring Indiana Jones back to the silver screen, he received six weeks of intensive bullwhip training from De Longis.

In recent years, he’s appeared at training camps like Radford, Virginia’s Karate College, in instructional videos and on the pages Black Belt, but the majority of his students still learn from him one-on-one, sometimes traveling thousands of miles to reach his mountaintop home. To De Longis, that personal interaction is the heart of the teacher-student relationship.

For more information about the weapons training De Longis offers in Southern California, visit

Sunday, November 02, 2008

My sojourn of septillon steps got 2 steps longer...

...and I realize that 'sojourn' doesn't mean 'journey' but I wanted something to sound like 'journey of a thousand steps' and have an alliteration with "S" because of 'stickgrappler' so I came up with Stickgrappler's Sojourn of Septillon Steps... LOL @ me.

So my journey of a thousand steps/sojourn of septillon steps got 2 steps longer, yes, not shorter, but longer! About a month or 2 months ago, 2 separate discussions just clued me in on how clueless I really am in the life-long journey of the martial arts.

The first discussion was with my friend, T. A brief background on my friend T. He's into FMA and Silat. He is an instructor...way more experienced than I am, seen way more stuff than I have, trained with many instructors, both "famous" and "non-famous". We both watched an instructor's weapons dvd in which I had an interest in the weapon taught. I couldn't get past a production value to get to the essence of the material. I didn't view the dvd as a student who has an interest in the material and some knowledge of it, but just as a consumer and looking to get his money's worth and how 1 production value soured me on the dvd. My friend T. gave me his take on the dvd. He was disappointed in the dvd not because of the production value that I harped on, but he pointed out a flaw in the material taught. Maybe subconsciously I saw the flaw or maybe not. He pointed out that some of the drills shown did not take into consideration the unique properties of the weapon being taught. The drills were better suited for a blade and the weapon taught was not a blade. I may have come to the same conclusion, just would've taken me way longer to arrive there.

When my friend mentioned it, it floored me. No, not the flaw of the material, but just how much more I have to travel on my journey in the martial arts. The mirror was reflecting back the truth. The truth hurts sometimes but there is no escaping it. I thought I was slightly past a beginner... I felt that I should've 'seen' that flaw, I used the excuse of the 'production value' blinding me to the material... but in the end when I did some introspection, I cannot deny that I am not even a beginner in the martial arts. For someone who thought he knew a little about the martial arts, this discussion just showed me the truth sucks, the truth hurts, but at least I'm not that blind to the truth once it hits me nor am I in denial of the truth.

The second discussion was with one of my training partners, J. A bit on J: he has his first degree black belt in Shotokan Karate or maybe it's a second degree. The dojo where he trains, starts teaching the Chinese Internal Arts after black belt level. He's learning Tai Chi/Taiji and Pa Kua/Bagua. We went to the same college where we met. We somehow ended up discussing martial arts given that we probably met during a chess game. Through discussions with me, he went on to explore Jeet Kune Do Concepts and Wing Tsun Kuen. He also trained in some judo by way of Vee-Arnis. He sees parallels in Silat with Taiji/Bagua. Since college, we have been life-long friends, even brothers from another mother if you will.

I was checking out some martial arts books on a weapon which was mostly Japanese-influenced. I had seen some videos on the same weapon which was Filipino-based. I kept thinking and thinking and couldn't put my finger on it on why they were different. I just couldn't put into words what I was thinking to explain the differences. I started discussing this with J. given his shotokan background. The first sentence he said to me was something probably any proverbial white belt in the martial arts would've described about the Japanese styles. Again, I had the wind knocked out of my sails, I was knocked down and I saw the ref counting to 10. I couldn't get up. This discussion was shortly after my discussion with T. As if I didn't already feel down about myself, this further drove the stake into my heart like Van Helsing to Dracula.

The truth can be like the unseen knockout punch or falling for a sucker punch. I wanted to break that mirror badly that reflected the truth. I didn't like what I saw. What can I do about it? Train harder. Think clearer. Develop analytical skills which cut to the core, to the essence of any material. Think through the material... find its strengths, find its weaknesses. What else can I do? Introspect and post about it to my blog LOL

This post is dedicated to T. and J. Without both of them, it probably would've taken me longer to realize how much I still have to learn, to develop, to grow, to travel on my journey of a thousand steps. Without them, I probably would've continued to believe that I was halfway decent and just a few notches above whitebelt level.

Hmmm... so I guess I should change the name of my blog to 'Stickgrappler's Sojourn of Septillon and Two Steps'? LOL

p.s. please forgive the stream-of-consciousness writing on this post. Something I needed to get off my chest.


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Stickgrappler's Sojourn of Septillion Steps