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1  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / More on the Moon on: February 13, 2006, 01:41:17 AM
Early in my handreading career, I was cross trained in what is termed "mundane" astrology for a few years while I was still in New York.  My instructor, Zoltan Mason, had us doing progressive and/or natal charts to the point that I had a pretty good idea where the planets were before putting pencil to paper to ephemeris.  This was in the late 70's and we did not have PC's to do the calculations.  Zoltan was big on understanding the phases of the moon in terms of a chart and in terms of conducting one's life in general.  Consequently, if I want to start something eg. training for a specific event, starting a business, project or relationship, I "shoot for the new moon" if at all feasible.  Sometimes this is not practical and  you have to tweak events and intentions to transplant the genesis to a more favorable aspect.
And sometimes no matter what you do, it doesn't work at all.  At this point I usually take a step back and look for why it was not meant to happen.  More often  it was the 'purpose' that was out of sync.  Like bjj is to stickfighting, it is a method that, when combined with other skills, forms an alloy that is stronger that either ingredient.

The heavy stick is not something you just pick up and start swinging cold  especially as you get older.  If your elbow  is hurting, then it sounds like it ("it" being your elbow) is too far away from your body on a forehand swing - either flat horizontal or diagonal.  This would tend to lead to extra stress on the joint when hitting a tire or another stick.  Leo Gaje really hammered at Tom Bisio and me to have as a deep a chamber as possible while training as this would translate to good mechanics and posture while fighting.  I think as a result of that, neither one of us developed "arnis elbow".  It should not be a factor on your power backhand unless some basic mechanic is off.

2  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Gloves on: February 13, 2006, 12:41:53 AM
I've used motorcross gloves and found them pretty good.  Wrist articulation was great and my knuckles did not get cut up in case I hit the mask (fencing mask btw - not a kendo mask).  Important safety tip - they will not protect you from a straight on hit ....  and they shouldn't have to.

3  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Sparring for newcomers on: February 12, 2006, 03:28:41 AM
My feeling has been that if you intend to teach someone how to stickfight, get them used to having something coming at them from day one.  I usually don't get to drills until I've had a chance to see how they do with some simple knife fighting.  Put on the fencing mask, light gloves and light wooden dowels (for beginners) or the newer aluminum knifes that have a bit of an edge and a point (not for beginners) and see how they handle themselves as "empty cups".  I am more interested in how they behave while on the verge of an epiphany than if their swing or technique is perfect on day one.  It really helps you get a sense of their essence.  
Knife fighting/sparring is nice and simple compared to stickfighting - and a lot less damaging too.  With first timers, I will always don on a heavier than normal glove because it takes a few moments - sometimes a few sessions - for the person to feel comfortable hitting me.    Consequently, I have to let them hit me uncontested for a period of time.  With more advanced players, it usually only takes an exchange or two and they're hooked.  
When it comes to drills for a Roof block, Umbrella etc, I will have the fighters pick any rattan stick they want and I use a flexible padded stick.  We both wear light head gear and gloves are optional.  I get to swing at them as hard as I want and they get to block and close and maybe get in a thrust or takedown.  The object is to get in as clean as possible. The lessons that most get is
1) I swing pretty hard
2) It's a lot harder to close unscathed than most thought.
3) It's much easier to close behind a roof block if you've actually put it to the test a few times.
The flip side to this is when I let the fighters be the hitter.  They then get an appreciation of just how much power it takes to keep a determined opponent off them.  My advice to them is if your opponent isn't ready to flinch or get out of the way when you start your power shot, you're not hitting hard enough.

4  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Hand reading book on: February 10, 2006, 06:02:42 PM
Start with William Benham's "The Laws of Scientific Hand Analysis".  It has recently been published under a different title  "Palmistry".  Originally published in 1902 but it's a classic.

5  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / What was your preference on gripping the tire .... on: February 08, 2006, 11:59:35 PM
I switch  around but the stick is usually in the back hand.

6  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Training Patterns on: February 08, 2006, 10:50:56 PM
My training was mostly solo.  Not much weight training but I have a very solid steel "stick" that has the same dimensions of a fighting stick only it weighs about 9 lbs.  I go through all the basics with it but spend most of my energy on power strikes (both sides).  All the heavy lifting, though, is usually done 2 weeks prior to a Gathering and then I start training with a stick I know I'm going to fight with.   Another thing that I really like is climbing "Dune Hill" in Hermosa Beach - it's a killer (ask Marc) but your legs and endurance benefit tremendously.  215 was just before I started to lift regularly - I peaked at 245 but that was way too heavy and made me feel thick.  Great if you're going to body build but not good for a stick fighter.  It seemed that the moment I stopped lifting, I dropped to 225.  True, some strength was lost but the quickness was back.  I was at 225 when Tom and I fought.

7  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Tire Throwing cont. on: February 08, 2006, 10:31:13 PM
Depends on the tire.  The generic one I used (your basic Buick Skylark junker tire) was light enough to be tossed roughly 20 ft at the beginning of the "run" and about 12 feet  towards the end.  Someone - he was interested in my 'weird' traing method - gave me a very heavy tire that came off a jeep.  At first I could barely clear 8 ft a throw but then worked up to a max of about 13 feet.  It was so heavy that it would leave dents in the ground is it did not land flat.  I did this for about 4 weeks and then went back to the - now - lighter tire and it felt like a frisbee.  My guess is that I was able to throw it about 25 to 30 feet from start to finish.  It's hard to describe what it does to you other than you feel quick and impervious.  

8  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Handreading Resource on: February 08, 2006, 10:13:50 PM
The experiences were all good.  Sometimes, though, you end up seeing more of a person's life than you really want to and for that reason I have to give it a rest from time to time.  While shooting "Real Contact" we did a few sessions of how to interpret the hand of your opponent but it ended up on the editor's floor.  Marc may still have it somewhere.  If you ever see it, I'm the tall guy with the Friar Tuck hairdo and no grey in the beard.

9  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Can someone post some tire throwing workouts?? on: February 07, 2006, 01:34:28 AM
As you said, the tire throwing idea came from Gene LaBelle.  He used to own a junk yard with lots of tires and he would throw them from one side to the other (he told me this).  Since I did not have a junk yard, I would toss the same tire for a certain length of time trying to cover more distance each time.  At the peak, I was doing it for ten minutes each side with a pretty heavy tire.  The nice thing about them is 1) they're cheap (often free), 2) they  come in all sorts of sizes so you can "customize" your workout  based on the tire's dimensions.  At one point I tried throwing two at a time but had to stop because it was scaring the early morning joggers and their dogs.

10  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Knife vs. Baseball Bat on: February 07, 2006, 01:19:40 AM
Knife for me too.  The typical bat is a bit unwieldly for most but the knife had better close quickly!  If the bat gets off a second or third shot things could get pretty grim ....

11  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Training in League City, TX on: February 07, 2006, 12:50:54 AM
I'll be moving to League City this March by Brittany Lakes and would like to take you up on training.  I'm also looking for something in the way of BJJ there, too.  Email me via Crafty

12  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Full Moon vs New Moon on: February 06, 2006, 11:37:32 PM
If I said that I start on a full moon then I mispoke.  It's actualy a new moon because that is the beginning of the cycle.  A full moon is right in the middle of a cycle and winding its way down - the event you are working towards is weakened when you need it to gain strength.  Good idea not to fight on a full moon too (although it is hard to resist), you'll bleed more.

13  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Pain Tolerance on: February 06, 2006, 11:27:05 PM
My wife laughed out loud when she saw the remark about "high pain tolerance".  Anytime I display pain, I'm accused of being a drama queen and that I should not have any such issues given what we go through at a Gathering.  It's hard to explain that during a fight, I certainly feel pain but have chosen not to acknowledge it.  Aside from a serious, bone crushing injury, I was able to maintain this state throughout the entire Gathering.  Also, there is nothing quite like talking about a particularly hard shot you took that day over a Kirin Beer and some sushi.

14  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Hand Reading on: February 06, 2006, 10:33:10 PM
Marc picked up on hand reading very quickly.  At first I cringed when I saw how he was using it but then I reminded myself what HIS hand was like and thought "Ofcourse!"  When it came to stickfighting, I would try to read the hands of my next opponent to get a sense of his mind set, why he was there, what kind of fighter he was, how he probably trained, strengths, weaknesses etc.  That way I had a much better feel for what I was in for.  It sounds almost too subtle, even trivial, but if you know the above you spend little if any energy being surprised.

Regarding the Handreading Magazine, I wrote two or three articles for Richard Unger (editor).  As a curious sidebar, my development as a hand reader coincided with my development as a stickfighter.

If you are interested, I can recommend some very good books on the subject.

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