Adventures of Darth Daddy

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Jujitsu, Judo, Kung Fu, and ME

Im so glad that I decided to get a backup computer (laptop) from Ebay. It’s not fast, it’s not
impressive, but it beats going upstairs to the arctic to access the web. Whoever built this
house must have taken all the money that they intended for insulation, and bought hookers
and booze with it. We have such a bad draft from the kitchen that we had to nail up a thick
blanket over the doorway to block the cold. Just can’t seem to locate the leak(s). Of course,
the cats take turns driving me nuts over it. I’ll make sure that they blanket it blocking all the
cold, which is their cue to go into and out of the kitchen...for what, I have no idea ..just
enough to create a draft where the blanket remaines open at the floor. When I get up to close
it, another one MUST go in. Driving me nutz.

I take it that my jujitsu partner Adam googled my name, and found my blog. Welcome to
the party! I’m glad that we got to talk on the phone. There’s so much going on at
McKarate, and never been any time to talk to you after class about anything. Non profit my
ass. But I do have to admit that they offer more (collectively) than any other dojo in our
area. Provided that they can actually keep it together. I still fear that they Kung Fu sifu will
decide he’d do better on his own (once he gets it all organized like he’s workign on), and
with limited student of jujitsu, it’s entirely possible that Sensei start to view this a waste of
time, and move on to better things. That leaves us stuck with a shitty Tae Kwon Do
program where the next youngest student is about 12 yrs old, and a questionable ground
fighting teacher.

About the Tae Kwon Do: Provided that you have a decent instructor, and we don’t, TKD
class can be very good for cardio, and learning basic defense components. Kick, kick, and
more kicks. Did I forget to mention kicks? But at least in kicking so much, you will build
up stamina. You also learn basic blocks and punches. I say basic, based on what I’ve
learned in other styles. TKD can be a good foundation - not much of a building to store
things in, but a solid ground work for taking your training tio the next level.

About the Jujitsu: When I first started learning karate, I started to gradually feel more
comfortable when someone was in “proper range”. Close enough to strike, but no so close
that it would jam up my attacks. Think of it like a whip - you want the target to be at the
end of the whip - that’s where all the power is concentrated. But if the person is too close,
the strike is ineffective. Where my karate was lacking, jujitsu added the neccesary piece.
“What do I do when they are in too close?”. That is what jujitsu addresses. If they are close
enough to touch Me, I am close enough to touch THEM. It will remove, as you progress in
ability, the fear of having an attacker “too close” . In JJ, there is NO too close. I was now
comfortable it someone was slightly beyond arms length, as well as if they were standing
next to me (like on an elevator). Our class seems to proceed at a very fast pace, but I think
JJ is a neccesary art for any martial artist. You need to work your way thru “what is art”
and “what is combat”, but it neve rhurts to do both. A painting can look beautiful for no
other reason that to please the eye.....the frame needen’t always be used to knock someone
out .

About the some other arts: Judo was a neat art to dabble in, because there seemed to be a
gap in my defenses. I now was able to deal with someone at arms length..and at close range,
but not all of my JJ addressed what my body wanted to do. Judo was another piece in my art
that allowed me to not only punch, kick, and armbar my opponent, I now had the ability to
hip and shoulder throw more effectively than under JJ alone. I wish that we had a straight
forward Judo class at the current dojo. ( As well as a decent mat, which Im sure is on back

Oh, that’s another thing that I forgot to mention - each of the teachers has mentioned that
they have requested certain training devices - weapons, mats, striking bags, etc , from the
office - and they get the same song and dance about “I put in the order, but they are
backordered”. I worked for a company before that I got that bullshit from once too often,
and as a result, I broke away and started my own company. 12 years in January(2005), and
still doing pretty well.

About the Kung Fu: Now, here’s where things really got interesting. I had always blown off
KF as being to flashy, too soft, too circular. I know that jujitsu and aikido both use circles,
but kung fu seemed to take it WAY over the line. When I signed up at the dojo, I figured
I’class or two, and be able to say “Ok - i tried it - and I still don’t liek it”. Much to my
suprise, I fell in love. Now, I’m not sure if Id have appreciated it as much had I not come
from a non-kung fu background. Some of this stuiff still seems weird, and a bit excentric.
But Kung Fu was able to show me that what I had learned before was only a few chapters in
a much larger book. Each of the other arts I studied seemed to try and claim dominance.
“MY art is the best - and the ONLY art”. Too many martial artisits are like this. Shaolin
KF was humble, and patient. At the same time, it is demanding and non-forgiving. I learned
that it wasn’t at all like the chop suyee movies you watch. It took the 3 punches I learned in
karate, and showed me 10 deliveries for each one. I now went from knowing 3 punches to
knowing 30. The same was true of other aspects as well. Sifu was able to take a technique
that I had learned (and performed) for years, and show me ways to mix it up, and transform
it. I started to become angry at some of my earlier styles - they were guilty of neglect. They
showed me how to do a spear hand strike, but never took the time to examine it. Where to
strike, where not to, - not just in general, but in detail.
Another wonderful aspect of Kung Fu is that it has various animals that you can learn
techniqes from. As a karateka, if there was something in my art that seemed lacking, I had
to go outside MY art to find another that patched what I was looking for. In Shaolin KF, if
you learn Snake style, and find that you are lacking in something (blocking, striking,
movement), you need only look to another animal style for a fix. No conflicting values, no
attitude over which one is better. If my Snake is lacking, my Lepoard can pick up the slack.
This was such a wondeful concept. In just a few month, the door to enlightenment as a
martial artist went from being cracked open, to being blown away. No more door - no more
frame - only me and where I want to go.

In Conclusion: I know that it really seems that I’m bad mouthing my founding arts a bit,
and I think of it more as a criticism. I still have a lot of contempt for TKD, as it’s the new
kid on the block with the biggest chip on it’s shoulder. Cross training is definitely the
Bushido. The way. It does me no good being able to prefectly block and counter anyone in
my style, if my opponent is not USING my style. You need to learn how ANY opponent
might attack, and be able to counter and defend. By training in various styles, I hope this is
something that I’m able to pass on to my kids. I have a responsibility to my “students” to
pass on knowledge as complete as I can get it - to prepare them for that one time when karate
alone isn’t enough, or TKD isn’t enough (and so on).

I hope that anyone reading this can take away some enlightenment from it, and it hasn’t just
been a waste of an hour typing it. I profess to have no more skill than a beginning student -
my knowledge is but a page on a never ending book. So if you disagree with what I say -
it’s ok - I am but a child - I encourage you to explore outside your own backyard.

OK - Enough karate talk - now for some other stuff:

I read that Miracle baby was brought home on Christmas day (YEAY).
Logan has some kinda cold, and has had moments of being intolerable. I try my best to keep
him happy. Luckily, he’s been drinking alot. They always say to force the liquids. No
trouble there. Poor Lanec is also coming down with a bit of a cold, and getting slightly
congested. Hope his doesn’t progress - he screams enough as it is! Poor Logan is walking
around with clear snot running out his nose every few minutes. I’m considering buying
stock in Kleanex (tissue company).

The snow is still on the ground, but reposts call for tomorrow to be almost 20 dregrees hotter
than the last week. Snow should all melt away in a few days. The truck has performed
great! IT’s was so neat to get stuck in the snow, and , at the push of a button on the dash,
transform into 4X4 man!!

Well - I just saw that Im at 3 pages! Time to cut an paste. If you made it this far - thanks
for hanging in there!


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