Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Not a Master of GO



I played checkers and chess when I was a kid, but only in a casual way. I did understand what the games were about. Later I read about chess masters, and looked a bit into what they did. Can’t claim I got a lot from it.


Years later I became interested a bit in Japanese literature, and recall reading about a Go Master. Then I began looking into the game of GO. I found it fascinating and even bought a cheap set for my use. I learned how the game was played (a very small bit) and worked at it over the years a bit.


I found it described that if Chess was a battle between two sides, GO was a war between two sides. And in Japan there was master level play both in Chess (Japanese and world wide) as well as GO.


In GO you use either white stones or black stones and attempt to build structures which have a least two consecutive spaces that cannot be surrounded by the opponents stones. You are jockying for the most free spaces. And play proceeds one stone at a time. There is more that that but I believe that suffices for a brief description


I never went beyond light attempts to play.


Then now living, working and teaching karate in Derry, NH. A new opportunity presented itself.


I had a teenage Korean student, Young Lee, and spent a lot of time with him, helping him acclimate to American culture, for his parents had moved here from South Korea. One day our conversation turned to GO and he told me his cousins played it with him when he was a boy.


That gave me the opportunity I wanted, someone to play GO with. I didn’t understand how different he was taught to play it. It was speed GO, my best description. And in 5 minutes I had my head handed to me. Whatever I had learnt wasn’t enough to give him a challenge. My head was handed to me on a platter.

I would never become a Master of GO.

Just because I can



I go to an Okinawan Newspaper web site and translate articles about karate using Bing translate just because I can.   Karate is a very closed society, even one that spans the globe, very few outside of karate even know what it is about, or not about.


I look at what Okinawan’s are seeing about karate, just to have an idea what is being openly discussed there. It is interesting to see what is being shares, as well as what is not being shared there. Giving some perspective about what is being shared or not with the rest of us.


What I see is pride in what Okinawan’s are doing, promotion of karate for international cash flow perhaps, and more than a bit of illusion (watch what the hand is doing, so you don’t see what the other hand is doing.


I have knowledge of one site talking about their art, Motobu-ryu, and try and translate their thoughts, again not to study that art, but to see what they are interested in. It is most amazing that they share so frequently compared to what others share.


Then I have one Chinese site I regularly follow, one with dozens of new articles daily. I select one and attempt translation, just for a hit about what some Chinese are seeing.  Not very scientific, but again to just touch on what they are saying.


And as little as I touch, I am surprised how I find no others doing the same.


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Eagle Claw Snake Strike

Within many systems there are specialized techniques safely tucked
away in their arsenal that you often do not notice because of their rare use.
They often require decades of conditioning to use them properly.
That would make many believe they are not useful.
But to those who pay the price
and train in them diligently they can be rare treasures.
I want to select one of the rarest techniques I have seen.
The Eagle Claw Snake Strike.
I am not a master of the movement. But I was shown the technique.
It took me over a week of practice before I could even regularly form the movement.
The only reason I know about it was one day I was watching a video of his instructor using the movement in a demo in NYC. I questioned him about the movement, and he explained how the fingers were formed for the move We did not go into other details.
On my own it took me about a week to get my fingers used to create the positions involved.
It was not part of then Eagle Claw I studied. And I never saw it elsewhere.
Then today I was viewing some Lily Lau videos. A different Eagle
Claw lineage and I recognized what she was showing. Of course it is
just one use for the movement, what I had seen years ago was another.
I thought this would be interesting.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

A Reminder of Where Skill Came From


I realize this photograph is likely from a Japanese movie,
but I like it for it shows in my mind where I believe Okinawan karate came from. No special uniform, No belts. Just someone in their street clothes doing their art.

It also makes another point, all of the really highly skilled individuals I have trained with, came up from the bottom, where they were continually on the receiving end by their instructor.
They could do it because they had it done to them over and over. Then when instructing a student, they know from remembered feel when the hold used is in the correct place, or where it needs to be adjusted.
Just being able to show a technique is not the same as really knowing the technique.
The last photo makes that point.
Even Bruce Lee was able to take the fall to instruct.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Bushi No Te Isshinryu Kobudo

I just realized that I really didn't photograph myself with weapons, or doing the weapons kata.
It was always done for the students.
So I am going to place our kobudo kata here.
Mike Cassidy - Tokomeni No Kon
Mike Cassidy - Urashie No Bo
Charles Murray Shihan - Shi Shi No Kon No Dai
** We never filmed Kusanku Sai **
Young Lee & Mike Cassidy - Chantan Yara No Sai
Victor Smith - school tonfa study 'wansu No tonfa'
Mike Cassidy - Bando Staff form - the Horseman's form
Young Lee - Bando Short Stick - the Hidden Stick 1/2
Mike Cassidy & Young Lee  - the Paired Hidden Stick
Young Lee - Bando Short Stick - the Complete Hidden Stick
There are also instructor Tanto studies not shown here.

Friday, April 6, 2018

The continuing challenge

Jim Keenan having kind words for my modified Yang Tai Chi
When I first learned Sanchin kata, about 1977 or so, it was just referred to as Sanchin kata. No description, just the physical performance. Of course over, and over and over. There was on internet and little reference. Didn’t feel I needed it. Just the kata.


I figured out it was just another way to take any  attacker apart, just like my other kata were done for. Where I lived I was not really around others in Isshinryu to hear their opinions, and had no reason to seek them out anyway./


Then in time I met others from other systems. They maintained that Sanchin was for other purposes, such as health and so forth. Not for fighting.


I never paid their opinions any attention, besides their  system did not have Sanchin in any case.


So I continued to work on Sanchin and in time began my own study how to take anyone attacking me apart with Sanchin.


Around the late 1980s I began study of a wide number of things. Among them the idea of what a minimalist system might be (the smallest number of techniques to take anyone out), along with that the idea what the weakest least powerful technique to take anyone out might be (as opposed to the way to develop the greatest amount of power possible). There were many other studies too.


I had no specific mission in mind, just wanted to push my martial understanding as far as possible.


But life takes many twists and turns along it’s course.


Age happens, so do illnesses, misadventure and happenstance.


Even with long training, everything does not equal out in the long run.

In the course of which I discovered I was a recipient of various disabilities.


But that never, ever gave me reason to stop training. I just had to learn to  make huge adjustments to what my art would remain.


Everything was affected. My Tai Chi studies, my karate studies and more.
Those earlier investigations became my reality. The drive to remain martially viable remained my priority.


Much of my practice revolved around my Tai Chi and my Sanchin.


How I modified my Tai Chi to continue.

How I modified my Sanchin to continue.

Everything I ever studied remains on the table. I of course am unable to work out for hours, perhaps several forms is the most I can do. I vary the workout by the day. My ongoing studies include a variety of appropriate weapons studies too.


I do not seek others understanding or approval. I could care less about that.


I work to retain what martial effectiveness that I can.


And the concept of what is the least amount of power to defeat You remains a constant study.



Thursday, April 5, 2018

Just a brief reminder that what we do is not as difficult as the math for particle physics

Quarks and Leptons:

An Indrodoctory Course In Modern Particle Physics

 Francis Halzen and Alan D. Martin


 Green's  Functions


Propagator theory is based on the Green's  function  method of solving inhomoge­ neous differential equations. We explain the method in terms of a simple example. Suppose  we wish to solve Poisson's equation



146        Electrodynamics of Spin-} Particles


Fig. 6.14   G is the potential at x due to a unit


superposition to obtain the cumulative potential at x,  (6.121), arising from  all  possible elemental charges pd 3x'.


for a known charge  distribution p(x), subject  to some boundary  condition. It is easier to first solve the "unit source" problem



where G(x, x') is the potential  at x due  to a unit source at x'. [For  the boundary condition   that   G --. 0  at   large  distances,   it  is  easy  to  show   that   G = 1/ (4'1TIX-  x'l)]. We then move this source over the charge distribution and  accu­ mulate  the total potential  at x from all possible volume elements d 3x':

q,(x) = j G(x,x') p(x')  d 3x',                                (6.121)


see Fig. 6.14. We can check directly  that  q, is the desired  solution  of (6.119) by operating  with V 2  on (6.121).