September 29, 2009

Stephen Fry on the “Divine Fire” and Human Imagination

Posted in art, atheism, church, culture, fiction, film, history, literature, mythology, religion, science fiction, scripture, theology at 1:34 pm by Jerry

I feel like I’ve been posting far too many youtubes on my blog, but I also feel that it would be wrong not to post them. Here, again, is another youtube, and it has made my copy of Shelley’s Frankenstein call out to me for another read. I can’t remember how many times I’ve read this favorite among favorites of mine because it’s been so long since I’ve touched it last. And I’m afraid it will be some time longer before I get to it again.

September 28, 2009

Birthday Wish

Posted in film, history, non-fiction, religion, science at 11:17 am by Jerry

It seems there is a special copy of a 150 year old book coming out on my birthday – November 19. The book is the one and only Origin of Species by Charles Darwin. I just took a quick glance through my library and couldn’t find a copy of this monumental classic. So I’ve made this special copy my birthday wish.

And here’s a youtube to introduce this special copy I’m talking about:

September 15, 2009

Favorite Jackie Chan Fight Scene

Posted in film, martial arts at 4:03 pm by Jerry

I don’t know how much value Drunken Style would have in a reality-based self-defense context, but I love how Jackie plays with the style in this scene.

Oh, and the part about alcohol giving a fighter more power is hilarious! It would take a fighter with an overly rigid body and no sense of momentum for alcohol to maybe have some martial benefit – although, I suppose dulling any pain inflicted by an opponent would be useful 😉

Circle Walking

Posted in film, martial arts at 5:59 am by Jerry

Here’s one of many examples you can find of Baguazhang practitioners performing the most common characteristic of Baguazhang training – Circle Walking.

Just recently I’ve started to move more and more from my Zhan Zhuang training into the classic circle walking found in the internal martial art of Baguazhang.

The circle walking has been evolving out of my “post standing” when I rotate, turning from one side to the other. Eventually, my outside foot needs to take a step around if I’m to keep turning, and so the circle walking begins. Obviously, the circle starts off pretty small for a beginner like me. So I make it bigger and try to keep training the principles I’ve been working through in my standing exercise. I suspect that eventually I’ll be trying to take the circle walk back into a rotating standing position, and then standing still once again.

September 8, 2009

Zhan Zhuang (post standing)

Posted in film, martial arts at 12:42 pm by Jerry

Lately, my physical training has involved a dualistic perception of my body. I’ve partitioned it throughout my limbs, torso, and head into what you could call a “yin-yang” partition. nei-gongThe ‘yin’ parts are the parts that welcomes the force of gravity, becomes friends with it, becomes relaxed while moving horizontally, with the gravitational pull. This horizontal force begins in the foot, spiraling up through the legs, supporting whatever stable base I had – much like the bulk of a spinning top supporting its standing needle.

The ‘yang’ parts throughout my body (the ‘standing needle’) are the parts that, really, should have been the only parts I’ve already been using to hold up my body. These are the parts that rebel against the force of gravity. They are the parts that spike through the core of my body directly upward. And when they are not trying to lift the ‘yin’ parts upward too, they are free to act in the light, mobile manner they were meant to.

When both yin and yang parts are combined (‘Taiji’), your whole body can work together to create diagonal power.

Among other things mentioned in the video above, inertia is an important principle to recognize. My goal is to have the ability, the self-control, to both destroy and create whole-body inertia at will – which isn’t as easy as one would think. For instance, applying the principle of friction to whatever object my feet, torso, arms and hands are touching is just one of the many ‘soft art’ aspects that require a tremendous amount of fine-tuning.