This was the topic for a Silat class.
This goes to the principle of "utilization" (pergunaan in Bahasa) which states "whatever an opponent gives you is exactly what you want him to do".
This is a "mindset" thing of course, in that is develops flexibility in both thinking and action.
As a matter of fact, it is the mindset that allows (in part) a player to enter into "flow" during a match.
Some of my students have had a little trouble getting their minds around this concept, I get questions like "Gee Guru, so if someone puts you in an arm bar, that's what you wanted him to do?"
To which I usually reply, "Don't think of technique!"
The truth is that very often the person who win a match or a fight is the one who recovers from "failure" and surprise first. It is very rare for everything to go your way, and when you technique fails there is that instant of having to "reset". If that moment takes longer than the time your opponent needs to capitalize on that instant of having to figure out what to do next, then you lose.
One way to counteract this is to train yourself to "utilization".
In order to do this you have to put away the idea of "technique" because that is what succeeds or fails.
Instead you have to view a match in terms of outcome. The outcome you are looking for is to deliver enough energy to you opponent that they cannot integrate it into their structure. This can be through strikes, locks, throws or whatever, and you keep moving and changing until the energy is delivered.
It all becomes a matter of "energy", not in the "woo woo" sense but in the feel of the thing.
If you throw a punch and it is blocked your technique has failed and you are a beat behind. If you "extend energy" through a punch and that energy is redirected you just flow around/under/over/through the redirection. It is a little mind game that can save you several fractions of a second in recovery time.
You train your self or your students in this through various flow games, which I will write about later if there is an interest.
Thursday, August 31, 2006
This was the topic for a Silat class.
Posted by Mushtaq Ali at 10:12 PM
And Speaks As An American Should
Mostly I find Olbermann amusing, but today I found him profound. As we see the Right bring America closer and closer to a fascist dictatorship, as we see those of us who have differing opinions marginalized, called traitors, and attacked at every turn, it is refreshing to see someone in the media stand up for what made this country great.
I found this clip at Crooks and liars, go take a listen, think about what he is saying with a little objectivity. If you have to, pretend that he is saying this about someone you don't support so that you can discover if there is any truth in what he says.
I will leave you with two quotes from the last real Republican President to think about.
"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."and
"Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official, save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country. In either event, it is unpatriotic not to tell the truth, whether about the president or anyone else."categories
Posted by Mushtaq Ali at 10:42 AM
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
And how horrified everyone was that precious treasures of human history were being destroyed because of religious bigotry?
Well, it's still going on.
Only this time it's Christians who are wiping out competing symbols.
Yes, the headlines tell us "Christian zealots destroy ancient Arctic petroglyphs". This shouldn't surprise us. Religion can be modeled as a Meme complex. That is to say a group of ideas that have some of the qualities of a living organism such as a virus.
All Religions (as I have defined them in the previous posts) attempt to limit one's access to information, this is also true of political groups, which after all just another form of "religion".
Any group who's primary purpose is control cannot afford to have the individuals under control be able to access information freely. If that were to happen it is just possible that the members of the controlled group might just develop the unfortunate disease of Thinking for Themselves.
Once you get people thinking their own thoughts rather than just regurgitating the memetic material of the group, and then the next thing you know the group starts losing power and control.
This is why religious and political groups have such heavy penalties for "heresy".
Of course when the Meme Complex that controls your thinking tells you that a particular bit of information is "bad" it seems reasonable, while the negative reaction a competing meme complex has about the information that you offer seems unreasonable.
Without self knowledge, without understanding the working and functions of his machine, man cannot be free, he cannot govern himself and he will always remain a slave.
George Ivanovitch Gurdjieff
The whole commerce between master and slave is a perpetual exercise of the most boisterous passions, the most unremitting despotism on the one part, and degrading submissions on the other. Our children see this, and learn to imitate it.
We are sheep kept to provide wool for our masters who feed us and keep us as slaves of illusion. But we have a chance of escape and our masters are anxious to help us, but we like being sheep. It is comfortable.
George Ivanovitch Gurdjieff
"Should the human race not be extinguished by a nuclear war it will degenerate into a flock of stupid, dumb creatures under the tyranny of dictators who rule them with the help of machines and electronic computers. This is no prophecy, just a nightmare." -- Max Born (Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, November 1965)
"There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life." -- Frank Zappa
Posted by Mushtaq Ali at 10:05 AM
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Monday, August 28, 2006
are dropping in.
And I have to admit that I am courious as to who you all are. So I have added a guestbook to the blog (You will find it over in the right column)
Please feel free to leave a note and tell me who you are and what you like (or hate) about the blog.
Posted by Mushtaq Ali at 7:54 PM
Sunday, August 27, 2006
This happened and I didn't even know about it until now!!!
The Burns Sisters Band have a new album out!!!
It's called Wild Bouquet, and while I don't own it yet (having just found out about it mere minutes ago) I have listened to several track samples and I can tell you it is very kewl indeed.
So go check out what it has to offer and get yourself a copy.
In grim times sometimes good music can make all the difference. (God knows that there have been a couple of times where I didn't go off on someone because I was all mellow and happy from listening to the Burns Sisters sing)
The Burns Sisters
Posted by Mushtaq Ali at 3:49 PM
According to the way I heard it, this happened during World War One.
One day Mr. Ouspensky was walking down a street in St. Petersburg when he saw a truck driving by on its way to the front. The truck was filled with artificial legs. These legs were not for solders who had already had their limbs blown off, but were for those that would inevitability have legs blown off in the coming battles.
At that moment Ouspensky realized that all the people fighting were "asleep", in a sort of waking trance, and that they would mechanically follow the orders of their officers and charge out against the enemy and be blown up.
He further realized that if all the solders woke up from their trance, that everyone would lay down their arms and go home to their families.
At that moment he was enlightened.
Divide in yourself the mechanical from the conscious, see how little there is of the conscious, how seldom it works, and how strong is the mechanical - mechanical attitudes, mechanical intentions, mechanical thoughts, mechanical desires. PD Ouspensky
Posted by Mushtaq Ali at 11:15 AM
"God and I get along quite fine, but I can't stand His fan clubs"
While the foundation of modern day religion is "Daddy likes me best", the behavior of religion is much like a British soccer fan club (with guns).
Rather than devoting their time to drawing near the Divine Reality (which in my experience does not involve any "us and them" activity like burning people, stoning them or even shooting them) today's religions spend their time trying to convince themselves and everyone else that just because the Big Guy visited their clubhouse a few millennia back, that they have exclusive rights to sell the memorabilia, pictures, sing-along albums and such like.
And when all these different fan clubs get together for a big game (which is called life), Hoo Ha! Watch the riots start.
Everyone is supposed to be there to cheer on the same team, the same team Capitan, but rather than paying attention to the game, fights break out over who has the right to sport the team colors, or who has the proper cheers, or if the team flag should be waved in the right hand or left.
Sometimes the only way to win is not to play the game.
Posted by Mushtaq Ali at 10:29 AM
Saturday, August 26, 2006
The first thing to understand is that religion has nothing to do with "spirituality" or one's relationship with the Divine.
At least not by my definition.
All religion devolves to this one simple concept.
If humanity were a family, and God were the father, then that family would be seen by any sane person as totally dysfunctional.
I suspect the choice boils down to this,
You can have Religion, or you can have God, but the two are mutually exclusive.
Posted by Mushtaq Ali at 12:42 PM
Such as it is.
Usually when I get this sort of post to the comments section of the blog I jus ignore them, as talking to such deluded people is mostly useless.
In this case though I decided that it might be possible to use the rantings of a fantasy addict to make an important point.
So if you have any interest in such things I have extracted the conversation from the comments section of the post it was put and appended it here.
A Right Wing Conservative here,
I always find it unfortunate when I run across someone who has so lost their humanity that they no longer identify themselves as a person but as an amorphous, abstract concept. Especially when they do not in fact espouse any part of the philosophy they claim to "be".
Goldwater "was a Conservative", Buckley "is a Conservative" Judging from your message it is more likely that the philosophy you truly espouse has nothing to do with conservatism and is closer to fascism or some other totalitarian political philosophy. It almost certainly has nothing to do with the democracy created by our Founding Fathers
Excuse if I note some irony forgive me some hypocrisy as well. Your whole life is about training to hurt other people, yet you speak almost as a pacifist. Martial arts are a beautiful thing. They are a true art, the moves, the feelings of power when breaking a board and so on. But bottom line is that you make your living training folks to hurt your fellow man. You can candy coat it all you want, rationalize it by saying that you're developing a students inner strength, self confidence or whatever, by teaching him or her to break someone else's kneecap. Lord.
Feel free to be as hypocritical as you like, it is part and parcel for people who claim to be "conservatives" these days. I would like to suggest that you are hallucinating. Please point out any place in my writing where I have claimed to be a "pacifist".
But then you can't, can you?
You aren't talking to me (or even about me) you are speaking to an internally constructed image that you are using to produce a set programmedmed responses that you have become addicted to.
Thanks to modern science we now have the evidence to demonstrate that people who claim to be "Right Wing Conservatives" conveniently delete any information that contradicts their preconceived notions of how things are, then reward themselves for doing so with a little internally generated heroin analog.
You might want to check out these documents for the latest information on the subject. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11009379/
Furthermore, it has been demonstrated that people who identify themselves as "right wing" tend to need an authoritarian leader to tell them what to do. The leader they choose is the one that reinforces their addiction the most effectively. (Which explains Hitler, Pol Pot and Bush).
You make fighting knives and I assume sell them, yet leftists, like yourself would disarm the average citizen and give them no means to protect themselves. Let's face it, someone tries to mug you or a loved one while your there, the mugger is going to end up paste. Yet folks from your side seem to want to deny basic right to self defense. (Note Home invasion rules in many blue states, the victim is required to flee their own home if possible before shooting the SOB breaking in).
Here is a perfect example of what I am talking about. Do you notice the warm feeling that comes over you as you read your words? That feeling of righteousness? How nice it is to "show that left winger"?
If you had any contact with reality you would have noticed two things. First, that I am a strong supporter of the second Amendment and always have been. Second you would have noticed that there are more types of people in the world than the simplistic "us and them" you have divided the world into.
Even the name of your blog, you go through some mental judo quoting Sun Tzu, like it relates to non-violence, instead of forcing your will onto someone else who is objecting with as little effort/risk as possible. You really need to look in a mirror and find your hart and conscience because you are truly lost man.
Jesus said "before you criticize your brother for the mote in his eye, remove the beam from your own eye". You can't win an argument with me because you are not arguing with me, you are arguing with an internal construct that you are using to get a fix.
The good news is that your addiction is curable (though you have to want to be free of it) I suggest you spend some time studying critical thinking, and perhaps some General Semantics. You can find some helpful links here
The thing that you have really failed to notice though, the most important thing, is that there is fundamentally (pun intended) no difference between the politics of Bin Ladin and Bush .
It is the same game, just different teams. What we have today is a war of the Right against the Right. We have it because the Right found a way to disempower "liberals" and the world is only relatively safe for the rest of us when the so called "conservatives" and the so called "liberals" have a balance of power between them so that they cancel each other out.
Think about it, if you were a Muslim you would be an Al Qaeda supporter.
If you want to continue this conversation you can post with your name, I have no use for anonymous right wing trolls.
We all have a choice, we can remain robots that live at the level of fantasy and addiction, nothing more than stimulus/response meat machines that distroy each other over competing dreams, or we can find a way to become what God intended, truly human.
Posted by Mushtaq Ali at 10:07 AM
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
There have been a few times in the history of our world when truth can show its unveiled face.
This is obviously not one of them.
When, as now, the majority of domesticated primates have lost themselves in the internally generated hallucinations we call politics and religion (the main reasons used by old primates to encourage the younger primates to attack other packs) truth gets lost in the shuffle unless it is very clever.
So at times like these, truth often disguises itself as a joke.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I have arranged for Radio Ansari to start airing the Adventures of Jack Flanders, starting with the brilliant bit of radio comedy, Moon over Morocco.
Chapter one will be airing for the next few days, and in between airings of the chapter will be some pretty groovy music.
So take a little time and take a listen, tell a friend, better yet tell an enemy, you never know what change might happen. It is just entertainment after all.
After, or perhaps at the same time, we will be exploring the adventures of Ruby, the galactic gum shoe.
Moon over Morocco
Posted by Mushtaq Ali at 6:21 PM
Saturday, August 19, 2006
Thursday, August 10, 2006
Or perhaps Italy.
I just found out (from Raw Story) that Mary Carey, the porn actress that attended a Bush fund raiser not so long ago is planning to run against Arnold Schwarzenegger for governor.
She has her own political website (different than the one where she sells her videos, only go there if you are not offended by naked people and commercial sexuality).
Having given it some serious thought, I hope she wins. Our country has been run for quite along time by people who fear their sexuality and embrace violence as a compensation. (You don't think so? This is a country that is so repressed that it will freak out over a bare breast on TV but not bat an eye over people being blow up, chopped up, beaten, maimed, murdered and mangled on the same channel).
If more Right Wingers had happy sex lives the world would be a much better place.
Posted by Mushtaq Ali at 2:08 PM
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
A few weeks ago a friend sent me a link to this video clip
I have to say, I was impressed.
I have spent time in India and have had a chance to explore just a bit of their martial tradidion, and this is quite good and a bit different than what one usually sees.
I am happy to say that he has put up more videos since I first saw this one. Check out all his offerings, you'll be happy you did.
We can only hope that we will see more.
Indian Martial Arts
Posted by Mushtaq Ali at 3:28 PM
Friday, August 04, 2006
And other strange stories.
Many years ago I found myself driving late one night from my home in the Santa Cruz mountains to Burbank in southern California.
My ex-wife's father was dying. (Of course she was not "ex" at the time, though that would not have made any difference)
He had been diagnosed with cancer a couple months before, had endured surgery and chemo to no avail and was sent home with about a week or so to live according to the doctors.
As you might imagine, the family was freaking out just a bit. My mother-in-law has spent her life as a house wife and was having a very hard time dealing with taking care of someone who was terminally ill while trying to deal with her grief at the same time. My sister-in-law was being overwhelmed by the idea of losing her father, my ex was made of pretty tough material but the round the clock care her father needed was becoming too much for her.
At the time I had been working in various hospitals for a few years, having found it a good way to support my education habit. I was a psychiatric technician at the time, which is basically a LVN, but with a specialty working on the psych ward. This meant that I could give meds and injections under a Doctor's orders, and that I had all manner of little skills that are useful in this sort of situation (like knowing how to change an IV bag or irrigate a catheter).
So I got a call from my wife asking me to get time off work and come down and help before they all imploded.
This is how I found myself driving down highway 101 in a little yellow VW bug that had only an AM radio to keep me company.
I had take 101 because in those days it took the same amount of time as I5 (the speed limit was 55 mph back then) and was a much nicer drive.
At one in the morning I was just about at Buellton and was desperately trying to find something other than country music on the radio to help me stay awake.
I managed to pick up an LA station on "skip" that was some sort of a radio drama.
I came in on it in the middle and had no idea what I was listening to, but it sounded interesting, there was North African trance music being played in the background. Then one of the characters told a Nasruddin story to illustrate a point.
The story was about a fellow named Jack Flanders, who was looking for an entrance to the invisible world. It was produced by ZBS Foundation (I came to find out later)
It was a marathon playing of the show, so for the next four hours or so I listened to one of the more surreal stories I had ever heard. It left me in a rather interesting head space over the next week as I midwifed my father-in-law on the last leg of his journey here.
It was the most Sufi like story I had heard in the West at that time.
For whatever reason, the story stuck with me all these years, though I have never heard it re-aired.
To make a long story short, I am arranging for Radio Ansari to air the entire nine hours of the show. I suspect it will be one chapter a week for eight weeks so that no one has to miss anything.
When the program is ready to go I will let everyone know.
Moon Over Morocco
Posted by Mushtaq Ali at 9:07 AM
Thursday, August 03, 2006
I do love making "primitive" knives.
This is another example of a patch knife.
Like many of them, this one is made to be worn around the neck for easy access when reloading one's musket.
The sheath is white doe skin over hard leather with both bead edging and a peyote stitch rosette (a somewhat uncommon stitch these days)
The blade is forged from 1095 carbon steel and is sharp enough to shave the hair from your arm dry.
The handle is from American deer antler with a brass end cap (While I like Sambar stag antler, I prefer our own deer antler for early American knives).
Early American Knives
Posted by Mushtaq Ali at 4:52 PM
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
In its latest incarnation.
Truthfully, this is a knife I designed rather selfishly.
I came up with the design as a personal carry knife that would meet several criteria that I felt to be important, even essential.
The blade is forged from 3/16 inch 1095 high carbon steel, which when tempered correctly is one of the very best blade steels.
The blade is three inches long and 1.5 inches wide, which makes it legal to carry in most of the US, even concealed in many, if not most States.
The grip is full tang, full width and 4.5 inches long. The grip is covered in "poor man's micarta", Hemp cord soaked in a slow setting epoxy resin. This provides a truly non-slip surface that is almost indestructible under most conditions. I have found that hemp cord is superior to silk for this use because of its density and wearing properties. The slow setting epoxy (it takes three days to completely cure) soaks entirely through the cord. I turn Turk's head knots at the top and bottom of the grip for an even more solid purchase.
The blade has jimping along the spine (that's a kind of file work cut into the blade) fore better control when the thumb is placed along the back of the blade for better cutting control.
I have not filed out the hammer marks on the blade nor have I removed the oxidation that has formed from the tempering fire. The last helps protect the blade from rust. This is important because carbon steel will rust if not cared for properly.
The knife was designed to be a tool first, and so the blade shape is one that lends itself to all manner of cutting chores I need to do daily. It has become my main tool for cutting out sheaths for the knives I make and is better than any set of shears for the job. I use it for skiving leather as well. For myself, I have always preferred a fixed blade over a folding blade for anything I do, and this knife was designed to meet my needs on the broadest level possible.
At need it is also a good blade for self defense and lends itself to most methods of blade use, but with an eye towards the Indonesian and African methods I am most comfortable with.
I named it the Ugly Knife (tm) because it has nothing of the cosmetic work that most custom knives sport, but all of the functionality
of the best hand made blades.
Posted by Mushtaq Ali at 1:57 PM