Friday, May 27, 2011

Notes in the Raw #28

Deeper theory explains the previous theory
- You can use connection to explain separation, but not the other way around.

Go for depth.

The Whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Notice what connects - I have a tendency to put too much energy in a specific issue, and not notice what's related. Notice The Patterns.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Optimal Force - Motion Analysis of Tai Chi

In lieu of my regular "Notes in the Raw" format, I would really like to share a video clip I found on a friend's blog. His blog "Cook Ding's Kitchen" regularly collects some very interesting martial arts and cultural data from around the world. This particular selection is from an article of his entitled "Motion Research on Martial Arts".

Go Here and click the Video called "Student Project: Tai Chi"

What you're going to see is a kinematic analysis of Tai Chi master Chen Xiang demonstrating some very powerful strikes, along with some student hypotheses about what makes these strikes so effective. One cool thing is how the students are thinking about the underlying factors and making some guesses. Another cool thing is how much precision they discover in Chen Xiang's movement. And there are more cool things! So go check it out, and see what YOU like and what inspires you.

Notes in the Raw #27

What are you choosing? Do you really want to choose that?

Choose - Forms an intention
->distractions may come up.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Notes in the Raw #26

Notice mistakes, admit - learn and do something about it.

Notice the partly right and encourage it and notice the partly wrong and watch out for it.

Yin/yang, either/or won't get wujifa
-> find a "neutral" position to grow from

Notes in the Raw #25

Fascial Stretches are the method to link things up
-> once things are connected, it feels like nothing
-> then, fascial stretches are all about intention

Standing your ground is part of what stance is about

I'm curious about how to relax my lower back to find that really cool fascial stretch with a relaxed belly and butt.

What does a pear taste like to me?
-> what does rice taste like? After you chew it for 5 minutes?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Notes in the Raw #24

Truth for me right now, next step - Our right now truth of the next step

"I know" is like a brace...
"I don't know" - open curiosity - internal strength
->being in the moment

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Notes in the Raw #23

Connection - Wujifa is about connection
-Being connected and having an intention

Reconceptualize stance - Wujifa, not Yin/Yang
Understand the basic feeling of internal movement. Moving this way will "feel" different.

Doing stance, just go there, to the level, and refine the feeling.

Keywords - acceptance and connection
Growing the connection

Trust - you can't prepare for everything.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Wujifa Class Notes 4/17/11

Couple of notes from an awesome class this Sunday...

1. Bringing my right side along - my right side feels "different" from my left side, so through some guidance, I let my left side MEET my right side where it was, and then let my right side lead and my left side follow, which allowed me to find a really cool balance I was not noticing before. Instead of trying to get the right side of my body to "catch up" I went back to meet it, and let both sides relax and expand together.

2. There is no path outside of the goal, the goal is the path. "working at" relax is not the way to practice relax. "Relax" is the way to practice relax. This is a difference, for me, in the flavor of my intention. I can still have a solid relaxation intention without so much "working at". Thanks for the reminder on that one!

"balance"... "relax"... get both, and structure shows up more too for me.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Notes in the Raw #22

The Party Metaphor!

The whole body is a party - encourage and bring everyone (all of our body) together.

(Additions and explanation)
Look at the whole body like a party. Maybe you have some folks on the dance floor. Others standing against the wall, sulking.... Maybe a few who are passed out drunk. Everyone is together, it's all a party, but not everyone is following the same intention.

Now, what about a party where everyone is happily joining in to a big conga line! Maybe if most people are conga-ing, and the wall flowers see how much fun is being had, and are given the right kind of invitation, they will join in too!

I tend to get serious with stance... very important work you know, coming into alignment. Sometimes it might be helpful for me to let my seriousness just hop into that conga line and "lighten up" a little bit.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Notes in the Raw #21

Perceive, Process, Participate - Active

Activity/flow - life
anywhere that's not activity/flow - will notice more stuckness/ dead post or resistance to participate

NO can be the start of a process... yes to your no's... activity.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Notes in the Raw #20

If your intention is all over the place, there may be a different intention you are not noticing.

Quickest way to go to dead stance:
-Go blank
-Resist Future, Hold on strong to past.
-Searching for data is past/present/future
-Isn't that interesting? (more alive)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Notes in the Raw #19

It's not wrong, it's the way you're discovering it.
- must keep principles and understand the idea of medicine

Method is not the truth. Once you get the feeling, get rid of the method.

Want the person to get the principle first.
- understand the principle of the medicine

Monday, February 14, 2011

Notes in the Raw #18

When people start w/ outside or inside path - it sets up polarity, but middle path jumps out of polarity and goes into connection with unity.

***I'm going to depart from my "RAW" format for a minute to talk about resolution of paradox, and what this post means, including some other Wujifa philosophy for clarity.

When we talk about "middle" we don't mean middle in terms halfway between this and that. As far as you zoom in towards that middle, you're always going to have half be "this" and half be "that".

We're talking about the resolution of the paradox. The third thing.

Einstein said that no problem could be resolved from the state of mind that created it. In essence, this means that the paradox can't be resolved by finding the right "blend" on the slider.

Yin/Yang, Wuji. Wuji is not a point between Yin and Yang, but something outside of yin and yang. It's not a 50/50 blend. It's something completely different. To put it in physical terms, it's not "tilt the pelvis back" or "tilt the pelvis forward"... you could get stuck on that forever. It's not a tilting it just right and then holding it in that position. The solution is "Drop". You can (I can [and have]) get stuck on fiddling around with a slider, when in fact, the solution is the third thing - jumping outside of the slider in a way that accomplishes what you've been looking for all along.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Notes in the Raw #17

It's okay, that it's not okay, that it's not okay.
-----3 levels down, the okay is there.

Ask myself "is it okay?"
Telling myself it's okay doesn't work.
Joy in noticing myself a little more deeply.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Notes in the Raw #16

Freedom is the reality. All there is to do is realize it. You can choose, I can choose.

Good and Bad - judgments based on positionality.


Feeling changes - getting stuck on a feeling limits practice - gets stuck in the past instead of noticing what is developing.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Notes in the Raw #15

The only reality is what you can do. Don't worry about what you can't, because that's not real.

Where you are is the only starting point.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Notes in the Raw #14

You're okay just the way you are.

I love you.

Notes in the Raw #13

Temptation in practice:

Being human in itself leads to attachment
Striving Leads to more attachment
we can notice when we get "hooked" and even how, and by doing that we can lessen the pull of these hooks.
Striving to do and doing are different.
Live turns into a zen/buddhist practice.
Happiness "can't" be maintained for an indefinite period of time.
Move into Wuji instead of getting caught in the 10,000 things.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

A story about intention, part 2

The exciting conclusion of the story about intention! View the first part here!

The reality that I'm never going to find this key starts to sink in. I can't even reliably find the two spots I sat down. Yeah, I panic a little bit at this point, but breathe it off, and start looking for solutions. My mind is open, combing the sands for something that will afford me the necessary stiffness. A little piece of bamboo catches my eye, and a pen. Maybe I can put them around the wire somehow, and keep it from bending. I pick them up and take them with me.

I find another item on the ground. It's some kind of black tube, slightly flexible, and about two feet in length. At this time, I believe this is going to be Key Item #2. I immediately put it around my coat hanger, which now has a bit of bamboo on the end with a pen sticking out of it, and head back, picking up a couple more thin sticks to put in the tube next to the coat hanger, for additional reinforcement. I also find a spoon, which I put in my pocket. Just a regular old spoon. Unbeknownst to me, this was to be Key Item #3.

I'm back at my car, just fiddling with this stick/tube/pen/coat hanger contraption I made. It just about reaches the button, and does with a little bit of extra wiggling. I notice it depresses slightly. A glimmer of hope. I keep going at this for quite some time, but it's just not quite doing it, the bamboo keeps sliding off the button, and my hand keeps getting caught under the sun roof protector. At this point, I think if I can modify the bamboo somehow, It will become a better pusher. I remove the whole thing from this 5/8" gap I've left open in the sunroof, and take a look at it. I push it against the ground to test its strength, and it snaps. This is a low point. This plan is just not going to work.

I fix up the stick with the pen, but it's not as stable as it was before. Once I get it in the car, it's not the right length or angle, and it's just not happening. Frequent breathing breaks are becoming necessary. Just take a breath, and calm down.

I think that maybe if I get the sunroof visor thing off, life will be easier. The only thing is, it's got a phillips head screw on it, and palm tree pieces don't make very good screwdrivers. There are also finger tighteners on the underside, but I can't get a grip on them because of the small space. I try using the spoon. A spoon is a crappy approximation of a phillips head screwdriver. This takes enormous patience and concentration. This is something I should have been mentioning. Everything is taking enormous patience and concentration. I have to use extreme care not to drop my tools into the car, where they would be inaccessible, and the smallest movement on the end of my coat hanger really makes a big difference at the business end. After some serious spoon work, the visor is removed. Yes.

It is way easier to get the coat hanger contraption in through the gap. Which is something I'm extremely happy about. However, pushing is just not going to work. There is no way to put enough force on this curved thing to get the door to open. Bummer.

Then it hits me. My keys are in the glove box. If I can just get it open by pulling the little lever, I can fish out my keys, and be in the good. So I take out my contraption, use the spoon to put a little bend in the end, and shimmy it back in. The bend isn't quite right. Fish out... adjust, fish in... still not right, more adjustments. Then... Sweet success! The angle is just right, and it pops open, exposing the keys! My wallet is to the right of them, and my iPod cord is behind them, sticking up slightly.

My wallet, which is precariously half and half in and out of the glove box, topples out easily when I push it. Good, more room to get around the keys. Hooking the iPod cord, I jiggle it slightly, which moves the keys into grabbing range. Right on the edge.

It's moment of truth time... so close. I remove my tool. I need to be sure that the hook, once on the keys, will not let them go. I put a good bend in it, and sink it back into the car. It's like brain surgery. With a little skillful manipulation, they're hooked, and slowly, I draw them out up to the sunroof, and yank them free with my hands.

Oh, I let out such a victory yell, that lady on the balcony must have dropped her poodles. I was in! I stood there for for a couple minutes with this huge grin on my face, just locking and unlocking the door. Three and a half hours, numerous setbacks, and some decent sunburn later, and I was in.

This is it... This weird looking this was the product of a strong intention, a refusal to get stuck, a flexible mindset, and what we call "Going to McDonalds". I had arrived, and the burgers were sweet.

Going to McDonalds... I mentioned that there were numerous "setbacks" along my way. These all happened when it became apparent that a plan I had just wasn't going to work. Setback may be the wrong word though, because I was always going forwards. Learning. These setbacks were all guiding me to "the right plan" The one that eventually accomplished my intention. Like we say in Wujifa, the roadblocks just show you which way to go.

A story about intention, part 1

In Wujifa, we talk a lot about cultivating intention. I had an interesting day today, and after the situation I was in passed, I felt that my practice in Wujifa was something that probably contributed greatly to the way things all went down.

It all started this morning when I went for a walk down at the beach. I left my house at about 9:30, trying to get out and see if I could find some cool crab shells and whatnot. When I got down to my favorite spot, I took my wallet and keys out from my pockets, and put them in the glove compartment. I had left my phone at home - I wasn't expecting any calls. I grabbed my spare key (Which is a $2.50 deal I got made up at the "Dock Shop" so that I wouldn't risk losing my real keys at the beach) put it in my pocket, and head out.

It was a great morning, I found some cool crab shells, a big mussel shell, and part of what I believe to be a skull. I went and put them in my car to free up my hands, locked the door up, and head back to the beach. At that point it was about 11 probably.

This time I was just walking and soaking in the sights, and I had made it a mile or so down the beach when I decided to turn around. I found a couple spots and laid down in the sand to watch the waves, because at the point I was doing this, it was probably about noon and I had been out for a couple hours already.

Now, about half way back to my car, I check my pocket. No key. Hmmm... I check my other side pocket... no key. Check all the pockets, and the news doesn't get any better. I'm officially locked out.

Crap... at this point, I'm reasonably calm. Back in Albuquerque I had locked my keys in my car when I was stressing about phone situation, hence the spare key for security's sake. At that point, I had to call up a locksmith, and it was about $60 for him to put this little pressure cuff thing in the door, inflate it, and then fish around for the unlock button with this pole until he got it to open. I was not going to blow another $60, especially since that money was earmarked for food, and even though I have a job now, it will be a week until I get paid. I could not afford another locksmith.

So what I did was I went along, gathering up: A- a wedge like item to try and get some space in the door, and B- a stick like item to push at the lock button. When I got back to my car I had 2 sticks, half a frisbee, a comb, a plastic monkey, a bit of rope, and an abandoned child's tank top shirt. My plan was to wedge the comb in the door, get the frisbee in there, stuff the shirt in to open the gap, and then hit the button with the stick. I don't know why I picked up the monkey... I just liked him.

Here's what I learned.... wedging open a door, though it looks easy when done with a pressure cuff, is not. Not at all. I'm happy to learn my car is so hard to break into, since there was no way I was going to force the door open even a sliver with the tools I could muster. Damn.

Well, I still had the long stick, and out of good fortune, my sunroof was open a bit under three quarters of an inch. First off, let me mention that there is a big old plastic overhang to prevent stuff from going in the sun roof, and to make it more aerodynamic. Now, the "stuff" that this thing was preventing from going in was my hands (in any comfortable way). I can just barely fit them under this thing, and even then, because of the small gap, only my fingers can fit in, up to my hand. It was not working with this stick either. There was no way to get it to touch the unlock button without the ability to warp space. Not going to happen.

This surfer dude sees me and says "Locked yourself out, huh? You oughta get a coat hanger and get that in there, so you could manipulate it a little more, maybe ask that lady on the balcony up there... she might have one"

Good advice from the surfer dude, but the lady on the balcony is deep in a phone conversation, and I feel uncomfortable going up to a beach house and knocking on the door. My assumption is that rich people live there, and probably don't want to be bothered. I guess if I lived in a beach house, I would look for a hanger for some dude who needed it though. Anyway, I end up going up to this plumber who has his truck open on the side of the road. He's got this awesome pipe wrench, which is about a head taller than the young kid who's standing next to him.

"Hey" I said, "You wouldn't happen to have a coat hanger, would you?"

"Well, actually I do... locked yourself out of your car, huh?"

I am amazed this guy has a coat hanger. This is a craftman's truck, and I'm asking him for closet supplies. I thank him, and head back to my car. This coat hanger turns out to be Key Item #1.

Now I'm armed and dangerous. I can bend this thing to the point where it will reach the button, but barely. I got the end of this thing in the tips of my fingers, not wanting to drop it in, because then I figured I would really be sunk. After a half hour or so of Jimmying this thing around, I get it where I need it, and set it on the button, and move it over to push it, and it just bends like crazy... not nearly enough force gets to the button to effect a change in the lockedness of the door. Poop. Also, this sunroof guard thing is really getting in my way, and adding another element of challenge to the whole ordeal.

I got this hanger, but it's no good. The bendiness allows me to reach the button, but that same bendiness is what does not allow me to push said button. I even try wrapping some roots around it for stability... nope, not happening. After another half hour, I head back out to the beach... maybe I can find the two spots I laid down, and dig around until I locate the key. I take my coat hanger with... because at this point, it's basically "the precious" and without it, I feel I would be totally lost...

Stay posted for Part Deux!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Notes in the Raw #12

Whenever I get really confused, just look back to nature.

The method is not the truth, once you get the feeling, get rid of the method.

Sleep - get connections before going to bed, see what happens to them by morning.

Pay attention to fascial connections

What is reasonable to expect from other people?

Noticing is the fuel to change.

Loosen up a bit before stance.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Zen and the art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Taking a break from my "Notes in the Raw" to give a Really Cool Quote from a book I'm reading...

"Of the value traps, the most widespread an pernicious is value rigidity. This is an ability to revalue what one sees because of commitment to previous values. In motorcycle maintenance, you must rediscover what you do as you go. Right values makes that impossible.

What you have to do, if you get caught in this gumption trap of value rigidity, is slow down – you’re going to have to slow down anyway whether you want to or not – but slow down deliberately and go over ground that you have been over before to see if the things you thought were important were really important and to... well... just stare at the machine. There’s nothing wrong with that. Just live with it for a while. Watch it the way you watch a line when fishing and before long, as sure as you live, you’ll get a little nibble, a little fact asking in a timid, humble way if you’re interested in it. That’s the way the world keeps on happening. Be interested in it."

Zen and the art of Motorcycle Maintenance, p.399/400

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Notes in the Raw #11




Monday, January 24, 2011

Notes in the Raw #10

Honesty - Radical Honesty. Honest about what I'm attached to/ why (maybe includes armors, I'm attached to them)

Discipline - Building Discipline every day on simple stuff (breathing, eating, standing, sitting, whatever) will give me the tools I need in the future.

use of Pressure - Pressure can create growth, but too much pressure can kill. Like a tomato plant being watered only when it begins to wilt grows a solid root system which can tolerate drought (lack of water being the pressure). A tomato plant given tons of water will have a poorly developed root system, drought will kill it. A tomato plant with a good root system will survive the drought and be stronger for it. If your eyes are not ready to see the light, it will blind you, if your ears are not ready to hear the thunder, you will go deaf.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Notes in the Raw #9

Haha, how perfect. Just hit the page of my notes on breathing.

Long, Quiet, Slow, Slender, Deep
1 minute inhale, 1 minute exhale
80% lung capacity
Exhale is most important
Will not be comfortable
Easy, don't push
Don't let air in/out too quick

Heart is a metronome for breath (In 4, out 4. 6 or 8)
Static Rythmic breathing (In 4, hold 2, out 4, hold 2)

Let breaths ease out
Feeling at end of exhale, go into it a little bit, little bit.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Notes in the Raw #8

One part moves all parts move leads to "community" if you're not common, can't be part of the community. Practice Commonality.

Be ordinary / connected so that when you change, the world changes with you. One part moves, all parts move.

Facing boredom is one of the toughest problems to go through and a critical step in becoming great.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Notes in the Raw #7

Intention- HOW we do things is important

The method is not the truth, once you get the feeling, get rid of the method.

Feeling is the ultimate goal. Be organic, not mechanical in feeling. That is not to say that sometimes you won't want to go back to mechanical practice to "fix" things, but these practices are medicinal, and medicine should be taken no longer than necessary. Really Sense. Really Feel.


Feeling is like a wine, as it ages the flavor/ texture gets richer. Richness you get out is related to what you put in.

Be organically purposeful. Be doing what you're doing.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Notes in the Raw #6

QiGong - Study of Energy
If we don't understand what things are, we tend to mystify them.

Western Terms of why exercises are good:

Follow Physical Laws in Energy

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Notes in the Raw #5

It's not so important where things are from as what you do with them.

Look at purpose. But look at purpose of purpose. Go to the big picture. Look at primary purpose.

See your weakness as a big opportunity. A great chance to improve!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Notes in the Raw #4

There is no wrong, only partly right

Function always precedes purpose

Tension and Pressure are not the same, but they may feel the same to the beginner.

Figure out what's important... and apply yourself.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Notes in the Raw #3

I have so many pages of notes, I'm gonna keep this coming just about daily... Here's a fresh set...

Wuji - The mother:
In the beginning there was the nameless Dao, which cannot be talked about since the Dao that can be talked about is not the Dao. From there, everything became grey and unnamed. This was the mother, Wuji, of all things. From this was born yin and yang, black and white, male and female.

Before enlightenment, chop wood carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood carry water, but it is completely different.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Notes in the Raw #2

Here are some important quotes from Listen Little Man by Wilhelm Reich

"Recognize the smallness and narrowness of thoughts and actions" and how that endangers happiness p. 7

Lost all feeling for the best that is in you, stifled it...small and want to stay small p.23

p 18 "Knowing yet naive; trusting yet cautious; streaming with love and kindness, and yet able to hit hard; gentle and yet strong, just as the child of the future is"

p 22 "Does a flower live "as if" it were a flower, or a deer "as if" it were a deer? Does a flower or deer proclaim itself as a flower or deer? They are what they are. They live it. They function it."

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Journal philosophy #1

Hello! Inspired by some of my school brothers, I will share notes from my journals, starting at the beginning. They will be no-frills, and without commentary.

Levels of Combat
1. Killing Everyone
2. Fighting the Men
3. Hostages
4. Getting what you want without them ever knowing

Levels of Teaching
1. Form - Hands here, feet there. This/that relaxed
2. Technique - springs/visualization
3. Principle - Fascia all moving, body as one
4. Philosophy - One part moves, all parts move / isn't that interesting