My body has traveled a long way and some of the roads weren't paved

Friday, October 31, 2008

Stingy Jack = Jack o' Lantern

So do you really know where Jack o' Lanterns come from?

Can't trust everything on Wikipedia (especially during the election season) but this is folk lore so there is no correctness.

Stingy Jack
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Folk-Lore History
As the story goes, several centuries ago amongst the myriad of towns and villages in Ireland there lived a drunkard known as "Jack the Smith". Jack was known throughout the land as a deceiver, manipulator, and otherwise dreg of society. On a fateful night the Devil overheard the tale of Jack's evil deeds and silver-tongue. Unconvinced (and envious) of the rumors, the Devil went to find out for himself whether or not Jack lived up to his vile reputation.
Typical of Jack, he was drunk and wandering through the countryside at night when he came upon a body on his cobblestone path; the body with an eerie grimace on its face turned out to be the Devil. Jack in a somber mood realized this was his end, the Devil had finally come to collect his malevolent soul. Jack made a last request: he asked the Devil to let him drink ale before he departed to hell. The Devil finding no reason not to acquiesce the request took Jack to the local pub and supplied him with many drinks of alcoholic beverages. Upon quenching his thirst Jack asked the Devil to pay the tab on the ale, this to the Devils surprise. Jack convinced the Devil to metamorphose into a silver coin with which to pay the bartender (impressed upon by Jack's unyielding nefarious tactics). Shrewdly, Jack stuck the now transmogrified devil (coin) into his pocket, which also contained a crucifix. The Devil, unable to escape his form (bound by the crucifix) agreed to a demand of Jack that his soul be spared for ten years (in exchange for the Devil's freedom).
Exactly ten years senior to the date upon which Jack originally struck his deal, he found himself once again in the presence of the Devil. Same as the setting before, Jack happened upon the Devil and seemingly accepted it was his time to go to Hell for good. As the Devil prepared to take him to the underworld, Jack asked if he could have one apple, with which to feed his starving belly. Foolishly the Devil once again agreed to this last request. As the Devil climbed up the branches of a nearby apple tree, Jack surrounded its base with crucifixes. The Devil, frustrated at the fact that he been entrapped again, demanded his release. As Jack did before, he demanded that his soul never be taken by the Devil into Hell, the Devil agreed and was set free.
Eventually the drinking and unstable lifestyle took its toll on Jack, he died the way he had lived. As Jack's soul prepared to enter Heaven through the gates of St. Peter, he was stopped. He was told that due to the lifestyle he had lead, the life full of deceit, drinking, and sinful behavior, he was not permitted entrance into Heaven. Jack in a dreary state now went and stood before the Gates of Hades and begged for commission into underworld. The Devil, fulfilling his obligation to Jack, could not take his soul; however, out of pity he gave Jack an ember. From that day on till eternity's end, Jack is doomed to roam the world between the planes of good and evil, with only an ember inside a hollowed Turnip (Jack's second favorite food, after rutabagas) to light his way.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A good weekend

Rained most of the weekend but it was still fruitful. Good training.

What do you have to show for yours?

And yes, Cole was involved in a way.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Taking a Stand - Update

Guess I wasn't so far off with my intuition.
Not even 24hrs and someone rode over it with their bike.
It was salvageable and I moved it into the rocks with a pole attached.


Saw this in today's letters to the editor of the local paper:

Earlier this week I conducted a presidential election poll of my own right here in Holland. I counted political signs along my usual jogging route — three miles of residential streets through a very solidly middle class section of the city of Holland. The results? Twenty-six for Obama, seven for McCain — and 18 homes for sale.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Taking a stand

Driving in to my neighborhood is a bit Holloweenish if you're not a Republican. Multitudes of McCain signs prominently displayed. Not a whole lot of Obama signs in the whole town for that matter.

Felt strangely putting this out yesterday. Almost nervous for some backlash. Yeah, that's the feeling some of the Rep's give around here.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Chris Renfroe - The Okee

If you see this guy coming without a friendly smile, your best option is to surrender or run like you've never run before.

Chris is a level 3 instructor in Commando Krav Maga. This is not the pretty stuff Krav. Not what we sometimes refer to as "health club Krav", although he does in fact run one of his classes at one. This is Moni Aiziks Krav, a confirmed bad ass
If you make it through one of Chris' reality based classes you have right to feel tough.

I was waiting to post here about Chris till he started fleshing out his blog we set up. It seems Chris is just plain too busy training and teaching to bother with that though I'm sure it would be fun.
When Chris walks in the room you feel the Alpha Dog immediately. I'm sure his Blog would be just the same - no BS.

We met about a year ago, struck up a friendship and Chris was eager to learn more of the sticks and swords. He knew weapons, knives Guns clubs, ect. Let's not even get into the fact that he was guiding hunters as the wise age of 8 for razorbacks. But I was able to do things to him with the sword and knife that I guess made him realize he had a gap in his large palette of skills (Krav is not the only thing Chris had done well over the years including what his Cherokee Grandfather taught him).

Eventually I think he got caught by the FMA web too. Those of us can't really define it, it just draws us in and we gave up fighting it.

Fast forward, it's been a year now and about 6 months ago Chris expressed an interest in going to John Bednarski's Pacific Island tournament and having a go.

Now I wasn't teaching Chris how to "spar" with sticks. In fact I wasn't teaching him much of the sticks at all. We trained with them but it was primarily Navadisha sword curriculum. We'd often transfer concepts over to the knife as that was a good way for him to make the connection to Commando Krav Maga (CKM).

So, I had to put him on a real fast track of getting ready. We broke things down into specific striking drills that would train his attributes for the tournament and key Silat footwork that would work. (When I gave him some WEKAF sticks he broke a new one on the 2nd strike of a low key drill we did, there went $2.50).

A few months ago I turned Cole loose on him. Now if that wasn't a great learning cauldron. Cole doesn't fight like anyone - the style of no style we say. If you can learn and score on Cole, you're doing alright.

We were apprehensive that Chris might foul out due to excessive contact. His knife work is pretty overwhelming and you might get a point but he will woodpecker you into 6' bloody block of Swiss cheese.

Well apparently Chris took all of this to heart, stirred it up and worked his ass off.

At the tournament Chris went undefeated and I can't tell you how THRILLED Mushtaq and I are. Sure Chris is a born fighter but really he's a born skull smasher. Translating that into the ring too some real work. First place in adult heavyweight continuous sword and point knife.

Watching the sword division, you can see he pretty much parried everything and rarely got hit before the round ended early.

Take a look for yourself and you can see the outcome.

Monday, October 13, 2008

John Bednarski's Pacific Island Tournament and Seminar

Just a few pics to start off, more later.

Obligatory group photo of the majority of participants
Team Navadisha kicks ass and chews gum!
7 first place awards

Grand Tuhon Nene Tortal

Master Styles, originally from Mindanao. A gracious source of much knowledge. I hope to spend a lot more time with him

GM Alfredo Bandalan shows why he's the GM

Grand Tuhon Nene teaches John to fly

Friday, October 10, 2008

The biggest Rally in Alaska history - Anti Palin

Found this bit of news on the local Democratic party's site:

Confirmed here : Pics too.

Subject: The biggest Rally in AK history… anti-Palin

Read the description from the woman who cooked up the idea.
Psssst…pass it on!

[The] Alaska Women Reject Palin rally was to be held outside on the lawn in front of the Loussac Library in midtown Anchorage . Home made signs were encouraged, and the idea was to make a statement that Sarah Palin does not speak for all Alaska women, or men. I had no idea what to expect.The rally was organized by a small group of women, talking over coffee. It made me wonder what other things have started with small groups of women talking over coffee. It’s probably an impressive list. These women hatched the plan, printed up flyers, posted them around town, and sent notices to local media outlets. One of those media outlets was KBYR radio, home of Eddie Burke, a long-time uber-conservative Anchorage talk show host. Turns out that Eddie Burke not only announced the rally, but called the people who planned to attend the rally “a bunch of socialist baby-killing maggots,” and read the home phone numbers of the organizers aloud over the air, urging listeners to call and tell them what they thought. The women, of course, received some nasty, harassing and threatening messages.I felt a bit apprehensive. I’d been disappointed before by the turnout at other rallies. Basically, in Anchorage , if you can get 25 people to show up at an event, it’s a success. So, I thought to myself, if we can actually get 100 people there that aren’t sent by Eddie Burke, we’ll be doing good. A real statement will have been made. I confess, I still had a mental image of 15 demonstrators surrounded by hundreds of menacing “socialist baby-killing maggot” haters.It’s a good thing I wasn’t tailgating when I saw the crowd in front of the library or I would have ended up in somebody’s trunk. When I got there, about 20 minutes early, the line of sign wavers stretched the full length of the library grounds, along the edge of the road, 6 or 7 people deep! I could hardly find a place to park. I nabbed one of the last spots in the library lot, and as I got out of the car and started walking, people seemed to join in from every direction, carrying signs.Never, have I seen anything like it in my 17 and a half years living in Anchorage. The organizers had someone walk the rally with a counter, and they clicked off well over 1400 people (not including the 90 counter-demonstrators). This was the biggest political rally ever, in the history of the state. I was absolutely stunned. The second most amazing thing is how many people honked and gave the thumbs up as they drove by. And even those that didn’t honk looked wide-eyed and awe-struck at the huge crowd that was growing by the minute. This just doesn’t happen here.Then, the infamous Eddie Burke showed up. He tried to talk to the media, and was instantly surrounded by a group of 20 people who started shouting O-BA-MA so loud he couldn’t be heard. Then passing cars started honking in a rhythmic pattern of 3, like the Obama chant, while the crowd cheered, hooted and waved their signs high.So, if you’ve been doing the math Yes. The Alaska Women Reject Palin rally was significantly bigger than Palin’s rally that got all the national media coverage! So take heart, sit back, and enjoy the photo gallery. Feel free to spread the pictures around to anyone who needs to know that Sarah Palin most definitely does not speak for all Alaskans. The citizens of Alaska , who know her best, have things to say.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

This is Kuntau

I promised Buzz a while back I'd post this.

Some of you know how GM lito Lanada has done some strange things over the years and "excomunicated" Buzz and Bill Anderson from his Kuntau organization (and I use the Kuntau spelling intentionally, I don't need the rabid Sheeple finding this on a google). And yet, if you go to their official site you'll still see them listed as some of the original 5th and 6th degree black belts. But now he doesn't recognize them. I saw it written recently by Maurice Gatdula "
i once heard that lito lanada does not "recognize" my kuntaw? oh yeah? well i dont recognize his either! but some shorin ryu people in okinawa might" Well said. Certain people have decided to take up the standard un-requested and take every opportunity to slander Buzz's Kuntaw. Whatever. Skill is skill, you can't recind earned ability.

So, why am I posting this? Back in '06 Bill and I were at John Bednarski's Pacific Island tourney. During the forms competition Bill whispers "My foot's getting jumpy, Steve. I'm gonna do a form". Proceeds to jump up cold, wonky knees and all and whips out an old Kuntau form he hadn't done in at least 10 yrs. It's not from Lanada, actually predates Bill's long past involvement with Lanada, when he was actually training in Taiwan. But I thought it was a nice trip back in time to what Kuntau was before Karate had it's influence.

Oh yeah, then he proceeded to again jump up cold, hand me his carry knives, grab my helmet and fight a much younger Dolph in the open heavyweight division of the padded stick. Gave Dolph a serious run for the money too.

I hope I can some day still walk the walk at that age (not that it's really that far off Bill).