Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Joker

This is an introduction of the series of posts that I have entitled 'The Joker'. Here I'll share some of my ideas and thoughts that I'd come across and I hope you will get some interesting insights. As far as development of mind, body and spirit goes, this will serve to improve the mind. A philosophical theme if you will...

Who is the Joker? Well... Let's try to answer that question...
In order to fully understand this concept of the Joker it is VERY IMPORTANT TO LISTEN TO THIS AUDIO CLIP! It's a lecture of the one of the greatest philosophers in 20th century in my humble opinion, Alan Watts.
It is just a part of the lecture. You can find the whole lecture on youtube as well as many other clips of Alan Watts, and I strongly recommend you do so. If you've already taken the time to read my post, listening to this one for about 15 minutes won't be trouble for you. Click play...

After listening this I think you are getting the picture of what the Joker really is...
The Joker sees the corruption in the world and uses humor and eccentric behavior to show it to the masses. The Joker is an enlightened person, but to the rest he appears to be a fool. But in fact the ruling class is making the masses stupid so that they can use them. The joker sees the hypocrisy that's all around him. The Joker sees this world as a big joke. The Joker is the enemy of the system.

All the sages, philosophers, saints, artist etc. were considered as jokers by their contemporaries. Check the biographies of Lao Tzu, Buddha, Jesus, Socrates, Osho, Confucius...
You can find jokers in all walks of life. Especially in martial arts. The true martial artist has to be the Joker. In this era ,whether he or she would like it, martial artist will be looked upon as a fool.
Just read the posts on sifu Lee's videos for an example. You can find something like:'You're a joke. Stop embarrassing  yourself. You're acting like a fool...' all over them. Who says that? Well the masses of course... People blinded by the propaganda that's making them sheeps, and in that way they are easy to be controlled.

We have all had heard of Batman right? And yes, I wanted to be Batman when I was a kid too... But pay attention to this...
Batman is actually a ceo of a multinational corporation. The Joker is a sadistic murderer that likes torturing people and creating havoc for his own amusement. Batman fights crime and rushes to save the world from that evil Joker. Ever heard of spinning the facts? Well this is just one of many, created by this popular culture in order to distort the facts and keep the millions of people in the dark.
In real life, multinational companies are the true mass murderers. Have you noticed that none of the so called superheroes opposes the ruling system? They are stopping the bank robbers, but in fact it is the banks that are robbing us. The Joker sees this world as a joke and he' just having fun. Of course I don't agree with his methods, killing and blowing things up... But it would be like just if they would make a movie where Dana White, the head of the UFC, is the hero and where sifu Lee is a criminal. They change facts on purpose so that the truth could never be revealed.
Throughout history the people who tried to influence others and change the world into a better one, were either marginalized, ridiculed or even killed.

They want you to think that this is the Joker

But in fact here's one

The Jokers are everywhere, in music, art, religion, philosophy, movies, literature, science and, believe it or not, one even stranded into mma. But more of that in the next post. Stay tuned for more and if someone tells that you are a joke, take it as a compliment....

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Inspiration, Motivation, Healing, Development

I was trying to embed these links as comments in response to Alex's last post, but it wasn't working. Here's another quick story worth looking at. Having witnessed a similar miracle occur with my wife Adrienne, and how her severely debilitating RH condition was turned around by karate practice, I'm definitely an advocate of martial arts for healing. When I look at stories like this, and consider FMK, what I find is incredible motivation. The guy in this story, Arthur, is obviously an extreme example of physical disability and illness. But really, we're all positioned somewhere on a scale of able-movement and health, and all of us can improve far beyond the place where we currently find ourselves. The key, of course, is training. And it doesn't matter if we're awkward or goofy at the moment, or can't perform something as gracefully as the next guy. Look at this Arthur, falling on his face and walking with assistance one day, balancing beautifully on his head and running the next. I'm not saying that significant development happens overnight. But without training, it won't happen at all. Moreover, without training, our health will decrease. Any one of us could easily find ourselves in Arthur's position, if we were to sit still. And this is the ultimate lesson... Do not sit still. Move.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Nick Vujicic

Well... How should I start with this one?
 Let me say at first that this blog, and this whole kwoon we got here, I look as if it is like my very own dojo. A place where I receive guidance, knowledge and motivation necessary for my martial arts development. I believe it is much more important than physical aspect of training.

I don't have a camera right now, so I won't be posting any training videos soon. But in the meantime, I will try to enrich this blog with knowledge and information that I hope will benefit everyone here. I plan to do it in    a specific way, and some ideas I have you may hear for the first time. It will also help me as a motivation for the physical part of my training. I'll be on it very soon.

With that said, I see that depression, bad luck and bad health has taken over most of us. At first I wanted to post some encouraging words, like: never give up, you can do it, blah blah blah.... They're just words. They are empty. If you really want to have an effect on someone, you should lead with an example.
I am not the best example right now, but I know who is...

Nick Vujicic is a Serb, another of my countrymen, born in Australia with no arms and no legs. He's a well known motivational speaker and activist. He had recently visited my university and his lecture left a deep impact on me. His example really helped me in this depressing period...

Anyway, just listen and watch what he has to say... Wherever you are, in whatever dark place you are now, I'm sure after this clip you will know just what to do... Enjoy

Sunday, November 25, 2012

My Close Encounter with Death

My Close Encounter with Death

I feel weaker than I have ever felt in over a decade.  I am far from being an athlete at this moment and for the last week.  I have stepped into the shoes of those who are in poor health, I am dependent on over the counter drugs to try to help alleviate this pain, but the pain persists.  I find it hard to breathe.  I had a fever so high that I came close to hospitalization.  During this time, thoughts were rushing through my head. 

If I am to pass away now, am I ready?  Yes and no.  Yes I am ready because I feel I have totally lived life, I have no regrets, I have lived life the way it is meant to be lived, in the moment.  No I am not ready because I still want to see my kids grow, I still want to see the kwoon grow, there is still a big chunk of my Art that has gone unexpressed.  The combative aspect of FMK is still in the working in being passed onto the right individuals.  It needs to be a direct transmission or a transmission based on strong trust within the private videos I share with Todai’s, that is the only way to do it responsibly. 

I still wish to work hard towards the sharing of this Art.  But health will always be a concern; we never know what will happen.  Our bodies are so fragile, absolutely strong one day, completely weak the next.  Without great health, it is very difficult to stay focused.  It’s not about being old or young; it’s about whether or not you feel healthy.  If you do not feel healthy, young age means nothing.  Right now I do not feel healthy, I feel the pain and suffering that many are feeling laying on the hospital bed.  Health is of the greatest value, not money. 

Money cannot buy health.  Health comes with a certain way of living, but in the same token, health can be taken away very quickly if you are not aware.  Cigarettes and alcohol is a slow suicide.  A self-inflicted gunshot is a quick suicide.  Engaging in competition fighting is a slow suicide.   Speaking against combat sport is likened to speaking against cigarette and alcohol abuse. 

When you feel much pain, you want the pain to stop.  Traditional Chinese Medicine is known to have many natural remedies.  Western Medicine is known to direct patients towards prescription drugs.  We take drugs to try to take away pain.  We have physical pain and we have emotional pain.  An excess of pain can lead to death.  Death of another or death of yourself, pain can lead you towards hurting others or hurting yourself.  Those who are compassionate wish to hurt no one, but if forced to hurt someone, they would rather hurt themselves than to hurt others. 

Those full of hatred find pleasure in hurting others.  A monk would commit suicide before becoming a murderer.  But of course, no death is what we wish for, but there is no such thing as no death.  If we are fighting for survival, if there is only enough food for one to eat but there is two, the compassionate individual will allow the other to eat while allowing his own life to pass. 

A sage understands that there no such thing as death.  When there is no ego, there is no such thing as death.  Once you pass, you enter back into the ultimate reality.  Osho would say that he was never born and he never died.  That is the truth, we are never born and we never die, pay attention to the nature of reality.  Pay attention to the animals, plants, and the universe.  It is all an endless cycle. 

Ice Doesn't Hit Back

Well, if you've been checking out my video uploads to the YouTube channel, it's probably obvious that my ear/ head has been feeling much better this week, and I'm back to my daily workouts. I won't copy all the segments here, because it's kind of redundant. Some of the highlights were breaking my prior best on decline push-ups, pull-ups, and horse-stance hold, not to mention my ice-breaking session of yesterday morning. In regards to the latter, I know that demonstrations of breaking things is not generally supported within FMK. However, in this particular circumstance, I'm actually merging my practice with an attempt to assist Wilson, the redhead duck. Plus, I'm serious about enjoying my winter, since this season comprises more than half the year where I live. The way I look at it, breaking ice isn't wasteful or destructive. It's like the winter version of rice-bag training, and can add diversity to the training regime. I certainly had a lot of fun playing in the water. Here are a few of my videos from this week, to show the breadth of practice...

On other notes, it was nice to hear from my fellow online Todai - Kang, Alex, and Ling - on this blog. I'm committing myself to posting an update here at least once a week, and if you guys could do similarly, I think it'll help the four of us keep motivated and active with our training. For myself, I'm enjoying the routine of conducting some practice every morning in the park. I know there are people who live around the park, or who routinely walk their dogs there, who are getting used to seeing me practice there. I'm hoping, at some point, one of these people will be curious and inspired enough to approach me, and that in this manner I might find a training partner eventually, for sparring and such

Being out in the open air with the birds every morning is really helpful, my meditation. Afterward, I'm ready to address whatever circumstances the day holds for me. The vision I have for my own artistic development is becoming more clear through this process. One aspect that has been presenting itself repeatedly lately is the importance of gaining skills in the immediate aid of injury, as well as in longer-term healing. I don't think it's a coincidence that injured animals keep coming to me, as they have been for the past few years. Just today, I received a mountain cottontail with a compound leg fracture from a local women's shelter. I have a friend who is a retired veterinarian, and we're probably going to have to perform an amputation. Each such experience teaches me something that prepares me help in future circumstances. So too, I think we should be developing medical/ physical therapeutic skills by working with our own bodies, paying close attention to injuries and imbalances as we train, and working to fix them. The more we learn about our own bodies, the more we should be able to observe and diagnose in others, and help those who train with us

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thanks FMK

Hey guys, it's been a while since my last post...

For the last couple of months I've been struggling with depression. As some of you know I used to be a mma fighter and after I realized how stupid combat sports really are, I decided to quit. 

As all of you may know, it is virtually impossible to find a real martial artist... They are basically extinct. I started training alone, but it is much harder than I thought. There is no one to guide me, no opponents, no competition that I have been accustomed to. Also I am on a kind of a crossroad right now... I am about to graduate from college and I should choose my future profession. Should I be some corporate lawyer and chase after money or should I do something more altruistic but with less money... You know... The eternal dilemma... I lost any motivation for training, got fat, found it difficult to study, got depressed with but without any apparent reason. I've lost my way. I even deleted my profile from youtube and this blog. Couldn't see any point in anything...

Then couple days ago, I started watching sifu Lee's videos and reading the blog. I had a lot of catching up to do. It ignited a long lost spark in me. Although we're thousands of miles away, I really felt like I was a part of something. Made me think on what is really important. So I have a need to contribute more on this blog and with this concept that sifu Lee is trying to put out there. I might be physically training alone, but in way, I am not alone. Guess the modern technology has it's positive sides.

This my thanks for the inspiration that sifu and the rest of you have provided for me. Especially Ryan, I must say that your dedication is truly inspiring. For the guy your age...Just kidding :-)

One question for sifu... Is it ok for me to put some other youtube videos when I post something on this blog? I mean like songs, quotes and clips that can further explain what I have to say. I'm not sure what the rules are...
Anyway, thanks guys, I mean it...


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Introduction of FMK Dragon
The video below is my introduction to the FMK family. I have been training under him for two years now.
So far, I really enjoyed the training. I moved from Maryland to Queens, New York so if anyone is interested in joining FMK from New York, contact me so we can train together sometimes. In case you are wondering about the title of the blog, I was born in 1988 which is the year of the Dragon. I just turned 24 today! Maybe Bruce Lee is not the only Dragon who is also a martial artist! Now, I am starting to think that it's possible for me to go beyond him. Soon I will make a video about the meaning of the word Dragon.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Wilson And The Headache

It’s been kind of a rough week for me, training-wise. In one of my earlier posts (Meanwhile In Canada…) I mentioned that painful experience of having my ear blasted by wind and frozen while holding a horse stance. Turns out the problem was that one of the tubes that drains my inner ear became somehow blocked. I don’t know what it had to do with the horse stance or the freeze, if anything. I suspect it was mainly the wind’s fault. But in any case, my head has been aching around my right ear ever since. I’ve seen two different doctors about it, and both have told me it’s just a matter of unclogging that tube, and that it should go back to normal any day now, I just have to wait it out. Meanwhile, my training has been… not exactly on hold, but tempered a little bit by the pain. It’s no fun trying to workout with a headache. All the same, I have managed to get in some practice every morning

One of the things I’ve been doing that’s different is breaking up ice at the pond, so that our injured and wintering redhead duck (pictured above) can continue to access open water. I’ve named this duck Wilson, by the way, after the ball who co-survived with Tom Hanks in that Castaway movie. I assumed, since the pond had only just frozen over, that I’d be able to break it up with my knife-hands or palms. Not so. If you’ve seen either of my ice-breaking videos…

…I show how thick it already is, about three inches. So I’ve been using a heavy splitting axe, mostly, which gives me some cardio work. And I try to break it up in a pattern that leaves me with some isolated platforms of ice that I actually can succeed at breaking with my palm. I’d like to find a nice heavy sledge, so that this ice-breaking will be more of a workout. Also, I’m thinking I’ll start hauling the larger chunks that I break off out of the water afterward, and take them home in a wheel-barrel to practice strikes against

Aside from ice-breaking this week, I’ve continued to practice CLF techniques, though not with any perceivable progress, owing that most of my attention has been consumed by the relentless headache. I’ve also pushed through a few good cardio workouts (eight minutes of jump rope with some double-unders, as well as a two mile run), and I’m continuing to test myself daily on feats of strength. My real short-comings this week have been in strength and flexibility training, which I’ve almost completely ignored. Hopefully this ear will drain soon, like the doctors tell me, and I’ll be back to normal

There have been some other developments this week that are very worth mentioning. I’m honored to have begun assisting Shi zu in preparing the Kwoon to begin accepting new online Todai, should we receive any serious inquiries. This has included crafting a more systematic application and screening process, as well as tuition payment system. The work will also involve some reorganization of the YouTube channel (which has already begun), to make videos more easily searchable and accessible. Please give me any suggestions for playlists that you’d like to see in the future, or any other ideas on how to improve the overall system for online Todai

On a final note, a belated Happy Birthday to Shi zu. I really enjoyed watching the videos from Chicago this week, especially FMK burpies (lol Wei), and the multiple attacker scenarios. Wei, I don’t know if you see it, but you’re starting to develop a serious martial artist’s physique. As for the sparring with multiple attackers, I think this is a very important practice, because you really can be taken out very quickly when there’s more than one assailant involved. I was attacked unexpectedly once by multiple guys in Louisiana, while in the Army. The barrage of fists from all sides was so quick, I was down on my knees in seconds. They could have really hurt me at that point but, lucky for me, they ran away. Really though, the multiple attacker scenario is very realistic, something anyone might actually encounter, and extremely dangerous even for the well-trained, as we witnessed with Shi zu. Keep up the good work down there

Monday, November 12, 2012

In Case You Wondered About The Duck...

I posted a YouTube video featuring some attempts I made over the weekend to capture/ rescue a redhead duck. Figured I’d best say something about what’s going on here...

A pair of redheads nested at the pond where I feed birds and work out every morning. As winter came close, they had to depart. Redheads are shallow diving ducks who inhabit ponds and lakes, and feed off aquatic plants and associated invertebrates. Since all the ponds and lakes here freeze over for winter, the redheads can’t access their food, and this is what prompts them to migrate (not really the cold itself). Unfortunately, for this particular family, one of the ducklings was unable to fly. I’ve seen this kind of thing happen before, where a family feels they’re forced to depart, and must leave a child behind. I can’t imagine the anguish they must feel (and having witnessed such trauma at goose adoptions, I am absolutely sure they do sense such emotional pain). Usually, when a young bird is abandoned by his or her family for migration, it’s a developmental thing, and the duckling or gosling eventually matures enough to head out, joining another flock. But this particular redhead had been here on her own for six weeks now, and we’re entering the moon when everything freezes over and stays that way

So… as you may have seen from my other videos, we had a serious cold blast here at the end of last week, with an associated blizzard. The pond froze over, and there was the duckling, alone on the ice, unable to secure food, presumably in grave danger...

Now me, when I come across so much as an injured pigeon in the city, I take it home and either nurse it back to health, or do everything in my power to keep it living until it absolutely can’t last another breath. I’m not good at ignoring animal suffering, and so I kind of figured a day would come when I would have to attend to this redhead duck

The storm did eventually arrive, and I got to work. Almost all weekend, I pursued this bird, in temperatures no higher than twenty degrees below zero, and as cold as thirty below.  I was able to get a very good look at the problem, and it’s not developmental; this duckling is missing half a wing, and won’t be able to fly, ever. As you can see from my video, some of my work in attempt to capture her took place in the water, very dangerous at these temperatures. By late afternoon of the first day, both of us were exhausted. I went home to nap for a couple hours, she fell asleep on the ice. When I returned to the pond, it was after dark, and I found the redhead holed-up in a nearby culvert, a small drainage tunnel running under a neighboring boulevard for about thirty meters. This tunnel was too small for me to move through, I tried. But the good thing was, it was warmer than above ground, and the water in the middle of the tunnel never froze, so the duckling had access to some food. I returned at dawn the next morning, and she was still there, very alert and doing well. At that point, I decided to change my assistance strategy. As long as the water in the culvert stays open – which it should, if it didn’t freeze up at thirty below that night – then it seems possible the redhead could survive here all winter. My best bet for helping her might be to just bring her supplemental food, and to try to keep a pool of open water available at the pond. So that’s my plan at this point

I am very curious to find out what will develop from this. Will she survive the winter? If so, will she and I bond in this process? Is it possible she could have a semi-normal summer life at least? Find a seasonal mate, someone no doubt nearly as odd as her? Raise a family? Watch them leave, as she prepares to hunker down for a second winter? Or will the water in the culvert eventually freeze, forcing my hand, so that I have to catch the redhead, and bring her into the strange indoor world of contemporary humans? What will I learn from her about the art of survival? The near future will tell. For now, I’m looking forward to conducting my iron-hand strike training breaking ice on the pond

Friday, November 9, 2012

Meanwhile, In Canada...

I was kind of dreading the end of summer, and the thought of seven cold moons. But I've got to say, at this point, I'm embracing and enjoying the winter training. It has only just begun! This morning, we woke up to blizzard conditions, and I headed to the park to feed my birds and test myself against the elements...

I actually did the shirtless horse stance hold twice. The first time, I had to give up after just a minute and twenty seconds, not because my legs gave out, but because I didn't wear my toque, and I got a burst of wind in my ear that froze everything in there instantly. It felt like a spike had been driven through my head, and it came on so fast that I almost thought I was having an aneurism or something. All turned out well though. I warmed my head back up and tried it again, toque on, and went my minute forty (which has been the point where my legs have given out every day this week). I also tested my low squats to front kick - MASSIVE improvement in the couple months since my full fitness test. I did thirty during the test. I did fifty today, in snow, with heavy boots!

In the spirit of monitoring fitness improvements, I've been testing myself on at least something every day, and have started to keep a record of my bests in everything. In addition to the horse stance and squat kicks, this week I checked my handstand push-ups (same 14 as during my fitness test), 1 minute sit-ups (53 as compared to 41), 1 minute push-ups (70 as compared to 52), 1 arm push-ups (20 each arm as compared to 12), pull-ups (17 as compared to 16), and L-hold (28 sec as compared to 19). So almost everything is improving significantly. I was also going to attempt the 1 minute jump rope doubles, but that exercise is WAY more difficult than it appears to be, so I'm training just to be able to spin the rope fast enough in coordination with a high enough jump, on days when there's no snow...

In addition to the fitness, I'm continuing to work on the CLF form and on improving power with the heavy bag...

And one of the best things about the winter snow is that it brings clean, natural water right to my back yard, where I can harvest it for drinking.  Just in time too, because I just ran out of the last bottle I had of glacier melt water I'd collected in the mountains over the summer...

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Myth of Individual action

The myth of Individual action

Strength of the collective being

For decades now, Hollywood had been spreading, and is currently spreading the image of a lonely hero getting to defeat strong and powerful evil networks. A shadowy role of which we can only guess the educational role on the masses. Still and contrarily to what is commonly believed, any action at an individual scale is doomed to fail. Observing the individual in the societal prospect, this one is before anything else member of a family. Solidarity and mutual aid which are based, in spite of brief divergences, on blood ties and siblings. This first type of network and familial entrepreneurship culture were the cause of numerous successes, which even though of average scale, allowed the upward mobility of many families through inheritance and transmission. During the pre-industrial era mainly, several families who had kept strong ties for many centuries enlarged to become a clan: a family made of families with a common ancestor. At this level, responsibility in conflicts was collective and this praxis was responsible for much bloody revenge as it is magnificently represented in F. Coppola’s trilogy “the Godfather”.

Destruction of the collective being and loneliness of the individual.

By essence both collective and individual, the young citizen is quickly led to give up his traditional culture for the benefit of his individuality and more importantly, to promote it, mainstream culture having become dominant ideology through the medias efforts. His family weakened by centuries of fiscal and libertarian policy, the individual citizen, more and more alone in a shrinking environment does rarely sees himself in the idea of nation or people, of which values and ties are quickly destructed to the benefit of the dominant ideology. On the one hand freed from the yoke of family obligations and social reproduction, the individual is left alone and helpless, when his purchasing power vanishes. From the small family circle to the abstract national community, the citizen is in his right to wonder: How can I express myself? How can I be heard? How can I rebuild a community?

From passive individual to active network

Observing history through the economic and sociological point of view, we can easily realize that about 1% of the population has always commended the 99% others? A cynical reality to which is added the process of voluntarily keeping the masses in ignorance and constraint, allowing the dominant community to keep its overwhelming advantages. Discovering this reality, it can be both disagreeable and saving to witness the role of successive propagandas and communication campaigns on the masses. However, and in spite of the centuries of constraint, the natural and human process of leadership has remained the same: one or several leaders with subversive ideas will rally followers who share the same feelings and who has an active potential to struggle against the dominant ideology.

The necessity of hidden actions :

It has been proven many times, through the assassination or detentions of the greatest leaders (J.F.K, Nelson Mandela or even Tupac Shakur) that any activism against the dominant class (being today the bankers ?) only results in death, whether literally or in the figurative sense. From economic death through dispossession or fiscal racket too more coercive means (blackmail, wiretap…) and even incarceration or homicide, the dominant class possesses nearly all means to defeat its enemies. Therefore, free thinkers networks must be able to act and express without being noticed: either by keeping a non-dangerous status for the established order (few means, reasonable claims) or by using a fake screen and acting in the dark. The declared goal being to possess enough resources to be heard by the people.

Please belive that my goal here, Is in no way to discuss political subject but to wonder on how we could work to reach more people. Since it contains very technical subject, I ask you to forgive my possible mistakes.
Finally, To this article I would like to add the following areas of reflection :

  • How to help individuals to get out of loneliness?
  • What can be the bases for a united network?
  • How to obtain economic independence legally?
  • What are the resources to be heard by the greatest number of people?

 Todai Ling

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Are Technologies Weakening Our Species?

I’m not anti-technology, or primitivist, or whatever other negative labels might be cast on someone who’s critical of certain trappings of modernity. I’ve got the iPhone, and the MacBook, and I rent a fairly large house in suburbia, and all that. But at the same time, I’m also kind of a long-term thinker and, despite my complicities, I’m concerned about the effects that our technologies are having on both local and global ecologies, and on our species physiologically. The latter notion always comes to mind for me when I’m going through a period where I have to wear glasses instead of contacts, as I have been for the past couple months, due to a keratitis condition. I’m reminded immediately of how awkward the apparatus are, and simultaneously of how impossible it would be for me to function in a world where corrective lenses were not available. In the past, someone with my eyes would probably not live long, nor reproduce. But now, there are many like myself, and every dog has his day. Usually, we can even hide our deficiency, wearing contacts or undergoing radial keratotomy. All the same, it’s there, and I think it’s becoming ever more common, because we have the technology to support it. How long will it be before all human beings are born with the need for technological or surgical visual correction?

The martial arts are another trigger toward these kinds of thoughts for me, or expressions of the potentialities of the human body in general. Movement… we’ve lost a lot, as a species. And I’m at the age when it starts becoming obvious (hence, in part, my enthusiasm for the rest-of-my-lifetime project at hand). Still, I wonder what our ancestors were like, in their physical abilities, before the technologies began weakening us. Some of those ‘superhuman’ characteristics we imagine in comic books and movies, did we once have similar abilities? Is that why we’re entertained by and attracted to those depictions?

I decided to sit down and make a quick video on the subject this evening. Nothing amazing, just a talking head and some thoughts…

On a more active but not unrelated note, my training has been fairly house-bound the past few days, as a result of freezing rain that has made even casual walking outside fairly dangerous. Nothing can keep me away from the birds at dawn though. And while I was out there, I managed to improve on my horse stance hold, increasing my time to 1min 42sec…

I also got in a bit of CLF form practice, despite the slippery conditions (even on the grass)…

However, most of my training moved down into the basement. I decided to go ahead and try seeing how many of each of the four basic kicks I could deliver in a minute, to set an initial mark for others to best in the Kwoon Records. These stand as follows:

Front Kick 74R 67L
Side Kick 64R 59L
Hook Kick 60R 59L
Reverse Hook 39R 43L

The reason the reverse hook count was so low was that they came at the end of my workout for that day, when my legs were already pretty wiped out, and I didn’t even complete the full minute. Earlier that day, I managed to increase my front kick hold to 32 seconds each leg (up from 20 seconds timed during my fitness test in September). I also increased my leg raises to 12 (from 9), and my max decline push-ups to 52 (from 50). My L-hold pull-ups are remaining steady at 10. Here’s the video demonstrating all the kicks per minute (note that I didn’t have a stopwatch, so had to count how many were delivered in the first minute of each sequence afterward)…