Sunday, January 28, 2007


Downloaded this bad boy today.

You can see from the link it is a pretty revolutionary. It reminds me of the early version of Sega VirtuaFighter. Basically employs the same technology of motion capture on Uke and Shite and goes through 100 or so of the most common attackswith some search functionality as well.

Have been playing with this and although it is Aikikai and not Yoshinkan, it is still a very interesting product with temendous potential. I would like to see this applied to a lot of other products as well, especially ground work (like the Mark Hatmaker series on submission wrestling or boxing) and of course it would be good for things like dance lessons and the like.
Lots of ways I can think to use this as a training tool.

A lot of subtle parts of the macro movements, balance, and the like that you can pick up from this product.



Friday, January 19, 2007


Just finished reading Schindler's List by Thomas Keneally.

For those of you who have not read the book or seen the compelling movie it is the story of Oskar Schindler, a Sudeten German who ended up risking his life being the savior of more than 1,000 Jewish people in Poland and Czecheslovakia during World War 2. It is an emotional story about emotional times, which also shows that even in the darkest hours, human spirit endures. If one did not know it were true, it would be unbelievable.

We Honeymans are originally Russian jews from Tirov, near Minsk in Russia. Grandpa Jack came to New York via Ellis Island just after the Bolshevik revolution, but the branch of the family that remained in Russia all died during the war. There was no Oskar Schindler to save them.

Although genocides are not uncommon in human history (some having been done by British and Americans themselves), the films taken at Auschwitz and other concentration camps were the first time such events were captured on film and photo and widely publicized. It is shocking to me that despite this, human beings have learned so little. Since Hitler and the genocide against jews in Europe, there have been a number of similar atrocities. Among them Stalin's genocide of his own people in Russia, Pol Pot's massacre of his own people in Cambodia, Pinochet's torture and murder in Chile, ethnic cleansing in Bosnia, tribal conflict in Africa, Russian mass murder of Afganis during their campaign there (not to mention the oppressive Taliban regime), Saddam Hussein's recent murder of rival factions in Iraq, and the list goes on and on. When will people EVER learn?

Yet another astounding thing about this story is that the perpetrators of the Jewish genocide were mainly Protestant Christians (Lutherans). Of course, religious persecution is one of the oldest justifications for genocide, but all Christians must be aware of the very simple ten commandments given by God. "Thou Shalt Not Kill". This does not include any exemptions or exclusions. It is a pretty simple four-word order that should leave no room for interpretation in the minds of any reader and believer. Still it seems not to be enough.

It got me thinking about lists, since that list literally meant the difference between life and death. There are good and bad lists all around us, and keepers of lists as well. What lists do you control? And who is affected by them? Are you righteous and just? Are the people on the list "people" to you? Or have they been dehumanized into names? or even worse, numbers?

All around me I see lists. Lists for who gets promoted, lists for who gets into private school, lists for who gets vital information, etcetera. email lists, action item lists, song playlists, honor rolls, detention lists, wish lists...

There is a terrifying reality that our lives are determined, sometimes forever, by the lists we are on. There is a real practical value in learning the skill of getting on and off of lists.

I pray that I would have the courage to help other people when faced with "the impossibility of reason"...Yoshinkan training is supposed to bring everyone closer and closer, until there is only One list with EVERYONE'S name on it...May God bless us all.

"he who saves a single life, saves the world entire"

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


Wow! Takeno-sensei!

He truly has it all...everything that Yoshinkan should be.
Dynamic, precise, graceful, harmonic -> POWERFUL

All the masters I have seen have elements that fascinate. Still, every time I watch him it takes my breath away. We all manifest aikido in accord with our own nature, and it is very hard to describe the end goal in words. His aikido is the closest example I can give to what I am looking for. To everyone who thinks aikido doesn't work: go ahead and grab this guy!! (you can give me your opinion of what happened when you regain conciousness)

One thing that should be evident to even a casual observer is how his WHOLE BODY is involved in every technique. Takeno-sensei is not a giant, but his aikido is like a mountain. I think this is one of the keys.



Tuesday, January 09, 2007

New Year's Resolutions's a new year. That has some good news and some bad news.
The good news is that not only did I not forget my techniques over the three week break I had, it basically feels like I never stopped. This must mean that even if my concious mind forgets, my body remembers. That's good.

The bad is that I was not able to test for 1-kyu in December as planned, and I find myself feeling increasingly depressed by that. Of course, in the grand scheme of things it doesn't really matter, but somehow it has been hard for me to let go. I am good enough to have passed, but somehow in the midst of everything going on in Dec, it just wasn't meant to be. I guess it will be easier in March when I take the test, but I wish I had already done it, that's all.

I will have to learn to let go of this attachment or it will poison my current traning. I must focus on just being and giving 100% every time I am on the mat, and the rest will happen in the natural order of things.

See you tomorrow.