A render

One of my wife’s renders. She’s getting more skill.

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Hungarian Military Sabre Calisthenics

This is very lightly altered from what I was taught by Hidan Csaba. Though the exercises seem rather fuddy-duddy and unfashionable, if one pays careful attention to them mechanically, one sees that they’re actually very intelligently designed for helping to liberate and protect the joints. If a person who is a total physical wreck were to do these twice a week, and then gradually shift to doing them daily, they will do wonders to liberate the body.

  1. Standing in (roughly a) horse stance, twist body to swing the arms behind you. As taught to me, palms are down in mid-air, and go back and forth as though zipping along the top of a table – no twisting the arms or flapping them upwards or downwards.
  2. Raise knee into air as high as comfortably manageable. With sole of foot pointing to ground (“foot flat”), rotate foot in circle clockwise 20x, counter-clockwise 20x. Repeat with other knee.
  3. Holding the arms out to the sides and held straight, circle the shoulders in clockwise, then counter-clockwise circles. This is sometimes done ten times, sometimes twenty.
  4. This is my addition, because unlike students, most older adults are cubicle-farmers and are predictably over-tight in the chest (many times, what people cite as back pain, is back pain — happening because the problem is in the chest).  Variations of it are all over the martial arts world.  Raise the hands up your center-line, and then fan them out like wings as far behind the plane of your body as you can go.  Feel free to round the back during the arm raise, and round open and lift up the chest during the “wing spread.”  Ladies, the chest raise corresponds exactly to “sticking your tits out,” and do not be afraid to do so.  This exercise will loosen the chest in general and eventually help to loosen the ribs around the sternum, which is frequently tight on strong men and on women with large chests, due to the simple amount of weight hanging on the front of the torso.
  5. Keeping your elbow to your side by having your opposite hand hold your bicep, make a circle in front of you with your body.  If you pay close attention to your shoulder, you will feel it moving in the socket, which we want.  Most of us who work on keyboards have our palms turned down during much of the day, tightening the tendons connecting the front of our shoulders and our chests (this is not quite anatomically accurate, but is easily felt by having a partner hold soft hands on the front of your shoulder while doing the exercise).
  6. In the same position, make circles with the wrists.  I tend to do this one sparingly, since it can tire the fore-arm and can be a real problem for those with tennis elbow, but the lion’s share of your focus should not be on strengthening your wrist, but rather on loosening it, so that it will be supple enough to perform false-edge techniques later.
  7. Supplemental to this, would be taking your hands palm up, and extending them as far to the side as your shoulder rotates without shrugging, while the elbows remain pinned to your side, and then extending the hands outward, the elbows moving as if on a track.  Hold the hands as it stretching out from the fingers, which should otherwise be straight but not stiff.  This is a variation on a well-known ballet exercise and has parallels in the internal martial arts. The first part of it is a stretch strongly recommended by my colleague Jim Fesler, who is a highly-skilled body-worker; the latter is my own variation.  it is not part of the traditional exercises as I learned them.
  8. From a rough horse-stance, rock the pelvis forward and back several times, as if hula-hooping, and then in circles in either direction, as if hula-hooping badly.  Teenage males may insert their own commentary.
  9. Either rotate the head in circles, or else shift it side to side.  The shoulders and spine should not move in an exaggerated way, but should be allowed to rearrange itself so that the motion happens inside the entire body rather than being focused on any one vertebra. I tend to do this as a side-to-side exercise.  Hidan Csaba did it both ways, sometimes in the same practice, sometimes apparently as a variation.
  10. Holding the hands together, palms and forearms together and fingertips forward, flap the wrists so that the hands go from side to side.

How The Internet Says “Do Not Touch”

Trigger Warning:  May horrify philosophy freshmen who still think Plato’s Divided Line is the coolest thing ever.

I have noticed,  in my many short years on this mudball, that there is a certain kind of argument which indicates THIS:

Warning!  This person has issues and entering into a discussion/argument with this person will only make you frustrated and them unhappy. Warning: do not engage.

Wow, Happycrow! Is it because they’re a conservative?

No.

A liberal?

Stop that.

Libertardians?

Now you’re just trolling.

You wrote this!

Yes, sometimes I even troll myself. It’s what happens when you dedicate yourself to the study of dangerous assumptions.

You’re stuck up.

Yes. I’m opining via a blog, at the world. You’re just now figuring this out?

They’re getting bored.

Oh. Yeah.

So here’s the Yardstick.

If a person takes Event or Factoid A and says “This is illustrative of Societally-Overarching Issue 1-1A,” this is an unhappy person who is seeking validation that He or She is One of The Good People.

You cannot engage with this person. The fundamental reason the argument has been made is not an Intellectual Inquiry into the Legitimacy or the Causes of Phenomenon 1-1A.  The argument has been made because the person in question is seeking an answer to the fundamental question “why am I unhappy?”  People who do this have chosen not to look at the world around them and learn from what happy people do —  instead, they have chosen to pin their unhappiness on abstract phenomena tied to the vices and failures of Other People.  As soon as you pile in against the “specific occurence proves Abstract Phenomenon,” all you’re doing is refusing to validate them. At best, you will wind up with an endless series of No True Scotsmen arguments, as said person desperately tries to justify their worldview in order to support themselves emotionally.

At worst, you just lost your friend or acquaintance by labelling yourself as “that asshole who doesn’t get it and is so mean.”

The Stupid, It Burns

And it’s your fault.  YOU chose to raise an issue without paying attention to the context in which it was happening.  You made a dangerous assumption, and now you’re upset because, well…it burns. And nothing you say will help you with this person now, because this person just decided “you’ve upset me by pulling off the One Band-Aid allowing me to salvage my sense of self-worth, so you are Bad People.”

You know the sort — the holier-than-thou do this regularly.  Doesn’t matter whether it’s Holier-Than-Thou, religious flavor(tm), or Holier-Than-Thou, Atheist Flavor(tm). Holier Than Though, Total Bae Social Justice Warrior Flavor(tm), or Holier Than Thou, The Un-biblical Suck And I Must Therefore Sue The Gays, Yes All of Them Flavor(tm).

The behavior is, at its core, a defense mechanism, no matter what Socio-Political Sauce you pour on it.

You can tell this because the person you’re looking at is pissed off at abstract people.  Like the Klan Bigot who can’t stand black people — unless it’s Bob.  Bob’s okay.  For a black guy.  In fact, he helped with my AC last week. Why can’t All Those Black People be just like Bob?

As soon as you hear “all those” or any flavor of similar abstraction – men, women, christians, muslims, atheists, all those category-words, you know what you’re dealing with.

In fact, you should pretty much beware of plurals in general.

He *did* warn you.

Abstract People don’t do anything. They can’t, because Abstract People don’t exist. Abstract People don’t sin. They don’t grab your butt. They don’t hurt other Abstract People.  Abstract Phenomena don’t exist.  If you were hurt by an Abstract Person or an Abstract Phenomenon, you were hurt by a ghost.  (In the example above, Bob wasn’t hurt by “racism.”  Bob was hurt by Fred, who’s being a bigot).

A person who is angry with Abstract People is a person who is haunted by ghosts.  And a person only devotes the energy to allow a haunting because they’re tormented with their own failures and frustrations.

“I’m not touching you!”

There are only two things you can do for people like this.

  1. Be sympathetic.  Some people suffer because they choose to. Others have honest-to-goodness Shitty Things happening to them.
  2. Do something to help them have a nicer day.

If, for any reason, distance, time, or social context won’t allow you to do one of those things, leave them alone! 

When you see a suffering person, your goal shouldn’t be to argue with them.  You can’t help them. They’re not in a head-space where they are in a position to care about, let alone learn from, an intellectual argument.  Your goal should be to either help them out, or stand aside.

Incoming Eyeball, or The Power of Awesome?

Not even Squirrel Reiki will help.

They, and only they, will decide when they’re ready for emotional antibiotics and weight-lifting.

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