Friday, July 24, 2009

Martial Art Blogs I recommend

My Journey in Martial Arts - Ronsan60 writes about his "stories as I remember them during my journey in the Martial Arts." I particularly liked this post: A little LaVallee's History thanks to Rob V. It's the story (I wonder if it's accurate) of how Kyoshi bought his first dojo in 1974. Ronsan60 has trained since 83, he trained in the "old days."

American/Traditional - The author is a traditional who discusses the question this week of whether the churning out of black belts by belt-mills diminishes the value of more hard-earned belts. It's a thoughtful insightful discussion. On one hand, "no one else’s belt...can diminish the meaning or value of ...yours. The meaning of the belt lies in a combination of what it took to earn it, and what the wearer continues to do to live up to it." On the other hand, he points out the difficulty of holding to a standard which takes seven years to earn a belt when his students have friends earning their black belts in three down the street." Great blog and article: Does an 8-year-old’s black belt reflect on mine?

On My Own Two Feet - A starting Martial Artess blogging about her and her son's trip into the martial arts. Her particular focus is about women in the martial arts.

There are some others that should make this list but, since time is limited and this post has been sitting around unfinished for awhile, I'll do this as a series, stay tuned for the next batch.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Three steps forward, one step back

I've been back training intensively for three weeks. Loving it. I'm getting more limber, my bugo is beginning to flow, and my run times are coming down.
I time myself regularly on a 2.5 mile run (actually 2.6) from my house and I had steadily worked my times down from 22 minutes to 20:08. So Sunday morning, I was sure that I was going to break through the magic 20:00 minute mark. The twenty minute time is the magic line of an eight minute pace which for me, marks the difference between being in or out of shape. So I did my extras first (100 pushups, abs, kicks) and then took off.

Disaster, half-way through I wondered if there was something wrong with my leg but I finished anyway. I ran as hard as I could. I made 20:06 which was a disappointment but it was quickly overshadowed by a leg problem. It's the ACLU, right down the back from butt to heal, very sore. Sunday afternoon, couldn't walk. Saw the chiro Monday am and he took a look at my hips and said: "Oh yea, they're in the wrong place." It's slowly feeling better but so far, I'm still too sore to do anything. Grrrr.
Here are two videos from last Wednesday's bugo. Both short. In one with Mr Vince, I'm fresh and my timing is on. In the other, Norm's timing is on, I'm tired, and I'm shelling up not very effectively. Both of my partners (Vince and Norm) manage to work in a kick to the head. What me? Drop my hands? never....

And the art work is courtesy of Asa, one of our contractors.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Famous Comic Book Martial Artist

Charles Atlas
ninety nine pound weaklingI remember comics strips as my generations new media experience, like our video games or our internet.

The comic books in the 60s often had a few pages of small advertisements at the back. The classic advertisement that I remember was the Charles Atlas advertisement on how to stop being a ninety-nine pound weakling who got sand kicked in his face by the big bully.

Another famous advertisement from the comics was about learning self-defense, learning the mysterious and exotic art of karate. Count Dante was the leader in this area. I just ran across a 3 minute documentary-style video about Count Dante. (Sometimes, the video doesn't run here and you have to click through to see it on  a site called Babelgum
:  The Deadliest Man Alive - Count Dante -

In the early 60s, he was a respected fighter and teacher and karate promoter. Then he got weird.The video is by Floyd Webb who has a website on John Keehan (Counte Dante). It's worth a visit. I was just reading his post on A Timeline of Martial Arts in America.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Running Fun - My new new iphone

running app for iphone I got the latest and greatest Iphone 3G yesterday. One of the reasons was that I had heard it had sophisticated GPS integration with other functions, like stop watches. I was absurdly excited.

I had run my standard 2.5 miles on Friday and Saturday (NoTime & 20.33 respectively) but had used a regular stop watch to keep time. This morning, with great excitement, I downloaded an Iphone app called by Jay Wright for $.99.
The idea is that this app will not only keep time but it'll also keep track of my distance through GPS and then record it all on a website that I can access thru my iphone or computer, maybe even put a widget up on my own blog with my recent times. I'm sure that this app will do everything that I want in terms of tracking calories and weight (it did ask for my weight at set-up). I do expect that at some point I'll be paying a lot more than $.99 but that's OK, I've long wanted a convenient integrated solution for running.
Imagine my disappointment at the end of the run when I find that the app is only a stop watch, calculator (it asked me how far I had run!), and record-keeper. Which, don't me get me wrong, is great. It counts calories, keep records, and other stuff but it doesn't use GPS to automatically figure out distance which is what I'm really looking for.
I'm now in the Apple app store trying to find the perfect solution. Any ideas for me? So far, I've found:
iMapMyRide uses the built-in GPS in iPhone 3G to track and record every mile you ride
Anybody know whether the application that I want exists yet? Anybody want to develop it (I'll help finance)?
And there's a bunch of Nike apps that look like you require the right shoes to hook them up.
Oh, and this post is inspired by a great blog that I love to read about online homeschooling!

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Blending physical treatments and martial arts

Bruce Lee pioneered the blending of martial arts. His leadership in selecting the best techniques from different martial arts systems led to today's mixed martial arts.  As I visit chiropractors, I'm struck that a similar blending is going on within the world of therapy.

Back in the day, physical therapy, massage, acupuncture, and chiropractic treatment were distinct disciplines.

Chiropractors made adjustments, most practitioners are "mixers" who attempt to combine the materialistic reductionism of science with the metaphysics of their predecessors and with the holistic paradigm of wellness;[24] a 2008 commentary proposed that chiropractic actively divorce itself from the straight philosophy as part of a campaign to eliminate untestable dogma and engage in critical thinking and evidence-based research.[8]

Orthopedia physical therapists provide (per Wikipedia) these treatments:  Joint and spine mobilization/manipulation, dry needling, therapeutic exercise, neuromuscular reeducation, hot/cold packs, and electrical muscle stimulation (e.g., cryotherapyiontophoresiselectrotherapy).

Straight chiropractors adhere to the philosophical principles set forth by D.D. and B.J. Palmer, and retain metaphysical definitions and vitalistic qualities. Straight chiropractors believe that vertebral subluxation leads to interference with an "innate intelligence" exerted via the human nervous system and is a primary underlying risk factor for many diseases. Straights view the medical diagnosis of patient complaints (which they consider to be the "secondary effects" of subluxations) to be unnecessary for chiropractic treatment. Thus, straight chiropractors are concerned primarily with the detection and correction of vertebral subluxation via adjustment and do not "mix" other types of therapies into their practice style.[28]
Their philosophy and explanations are metaphysical in nature and they prefer to use traditional chiropractic lexicon terminology (i.e. perform spinal analysis, detect subluxation, correct with adjustment, etc.). They prefer to remain separate and distinct from mainstream health care. Although considered the minority group, "they have been able to transform their status as purists and heirs of the lineage into influence dramatically out of proportion to their numbers."[22]
Mixer chiropractors "mix" diagnostic and treatment approaches from osteopathic, medical, and chiropractic viewpoints. Unlike straight chiropractors, mixers believe subluxation is one of many causes of disease, and they incorporate mainstream medical diagnostics and employ many treatments including conventional techniques of physical therapy such as exercise, massageice packs, and moist heat, along with nutritional supplements,acupuncturehomeopathyherbal remedies, and biofeedback. Mixers tend to be open to mainstream medicine and are the majority group.[22]
Although mixers are the majority group, many of them retain some belief in vertebral subluxation as shown in a 2003 survey of 1100 North American chiropractors, which found that 88% wanted to retain the term "vertebral subluxation complex", and that when asked to estimate the percent of disorders of internal organs (such as the heart, the lungs, or the stomach) that subluxation significantly contributes to, the mean response was 62%.[29] Despite this finding, a 2008 survey of 6000 American chiropractors demonstrated that most chiropractors seem to believe that a subluxation-based clinical approach may be of limited utility for addressing visceral disorders, and greatly favored non-subluxation-based clinical approaches for such conditions.[30][9]

-- No single profession "owns" spinal manipulation and there is little consensus as to which profession should administer SM, raising concerns by chiropractors that other medical physicians could "steal" SM procedures from chiropractors. A focus on evidence-based SM research has also raised concerns that the resulting practice guidelines could limit the scope of chiropractic practice to treating backs and necks.[19] Two U.S. states (Washington and Arkansas) prohibit physical therapists from performing SM,[201] some states allow them to do it only if they have completed advanced training in SM, and some states allow only chiropractors to perform SM, or only chiropractors and physicians. Bills to further prohibit non-chiropractors from performing SM are regularly introduced into state legislatures and are opposed by physical therapist organizations

Starting up again - Spread a little too thin this week

I came back from my three weeks off with an absolute commitment to getting back on track with my training. I got home last Saturday and run 2.5 miles on Sunday and felt good. I made it to class on Monday and felt good. Then.....

Tuesday I was up at 4 to get a kid off to the airport for camp by 5 and had to pick another kid up in the evening which conflicted with class. Wednesday, many responsibilities in the office, I worked late missing the 5pm class and I got home late for dinner, I was very tired, I ate dinner and didn't make it out to class. Thursday, it's my last evening with one daughter before she disappears for five weeks and I was exhausted. Friday I ran again but the dojo is class Friday and Saturday (4th of July) so for me, it's a total bust of a training week. I'm so annoyed at myself.

So, I'll work out the week and next week is another week. ASaaaaaa