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Messages - Guide Dog

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Martial Arts Topics / Re: Daily Expression of Gratitude
« on: June 28, 2008, 06:51:51 PM »
Today, I am grateful for the pace of yesterday and today.  I was able to attend a great training session yesterday, a baseball game in the evening for my sister-in-law's birthday, and today I had a very productive day in grad. school.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Daily Expression of Gratitude
« on: June 27, 2008, 08:40:48 AM »
Today, I am grateful for a unique training opportunity!

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Daily Expression of Gratitude
« on: June 23, 2008, 01:14:54 AM »
Today, I am grateful for the chance to spend the summer with my son, who is about to turn 14 months old on Tuesday.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: A Father's Question
« on: June 23, 2008, 01:13:39 AM »
Thank you Karsk, maija, and Guro Crafty for your followup posts.

I had the opportunity to discuss the same issues with a close friend recently and we had a nice, lengthy conversation about character, people, and values.  Karsk, there have been some REALLY good moments in the past five years.  I really love helping people acquire knowledge.  I started as a high school teacher and moved to junior high when I finished my masters because a position opened up that was in the area of my graduate work.  I had a former student from the high school visit my school site recently.  I knew him as a freshman, and there he was a senior, ready to graduate.  He told me that he had really enjoyed my class and that he was happy that I had stayed in the district.  That was nice.

It's just been a hell of a year.  My school site has new leadership.  We had a student that was stabbed (he lived, the knife missed his heart by a quarter of an inch).  Many key members of the staff quit, retired, or are changing schools and districts because the climate of our site has been so poor.  I am working on a doctorate in educational leadership as a teacher in an environment where the leadership seems to be moving the school in a bad direction.  It's very discouraging.  Many of the members of my staff (myself included) have commented that their stomachs are in knots everyday driving to work.  Being a teacher really fits into the needs of my life (family, training, graduate school), but I would like to do it somewhere else.  I have been on interviews, but I have not been able to find another home outside of my current position.  I am still working on it, and there is a lot of summer left!

So, I know that this is a thread about fatherhood.  Maija, that's very good advice: as my boy grows, he will be doing a lot of traveling.  I am always amazed at how friendly folks from around the world seem.  Again, I have meet many of them through DBMA and martial arts training, but even in my own non-martial arts related travels, it's good to get what my wife calls "new air" on a regular basis.

Also, not to whine, this has been a year when I have ended what I have considered to be my closest friendship for 15 years.  I am about to turn 30 in a few weeks so that is a very significant amount of time for me.  This was someone that I met on my first day of high school.  To make a long story short, that friend's girlfriend got into it with my wife when my wife was pregnant.  This resulted in a feud that went on for over a year and a half.  As a matter of fact, the last contact that my former friend had with me was an accusatory text message that he sent on the morning of the second day of the three day Gathering in April.  What I have come to realize is that I have paid my debt as far as the friendship goes.  I am sad it happened.  I know that I am partially at fault for what happened.  What I have also come to realize is that this person and his now fiance are living very different lives than my wife and I.  The main realization that I have come to is that I have a responsibility to my son and my wife to free myself from any guilt or sadness associated with the end of this friendship.  This person and I simply do not have matching definitions of "obligation" or "work ethic".  Neither of us has to be the bad person.  We are simply on different paths.  I realize that "people drift in and out of your life", and that I have been told this since I was very young.  However, like all younger people, I believed that I would be the exception.   :-)  I have decided that this person and his significant other are not good people to have in contact with my child.  It doesn't have to be a bitter thing, (like we ALL were making it) it just has to be called what it is (over)and it has been.

So, a bad teaching year, the end of s significant friendship, and working on a degree in leadership in an environment devoid of authentic, character-based leadership made me a bit sad, and pessimistic for a few weeks there.  Also, I fractured my foot a few weeks ago (at work of all things, a cherry on the cake of the 07-08 academic year) and working out has been hard.  I have been doing a lot of teaching and not much training.  Tonight, I just got out to my garage for the first time in a few weeks for some circuit training, kettlebells, and a nice walk.  The orthopedic doctor told me to get off of my crutches.  However, it is going to take a few weeks to rebuild my body.  My psyche also needs some rebuilding this summer.  So my previous posts on this thread are me being a bit melancholy.  I appreciate all of the folks out there offering kind words and positive energy! 

My son is working on walking and talking and I am so happy to be home with him this summer.  I need to focus on that, and trust in the feeling I get in my heart, my head, and my soul every time I look at him.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Daily Expression of Gratitude
« on: June 22, 2008, 01:49:55 PM »
Today, I am honestly grateful for some time to work on some graduate papers.  Today, Guro Crafty was supposed to have a seminar at Surf Dog's, but it is going to be rescheduled.  So, I am grateful for not having missed out on that, while having the chance to plow through some work at home.   :-)

Martial Arts Topics / Re: A Father's Question
« on: June 21, 2008, 11:03:17 PM »

I was thinking of pulling my posts from this thread.  I was worried they might sound too whiny.  I have a lot to be thankful for, and sometimes I lose sight of that. 

You have written on these boards before about knights and knighthood and your insight always seems to fit in to the topic at hand, as you have done again here.  I suppose I am struggling with how much hope to maintain that sometimes people can be good and the world can be a good place. 

I too had my father tell me in my youth that most people in the world as a$$holes and that I need to be careful.  I like people and I don't really want to live my life expecting people to be at their worst.  I again wrestle with what to tell my 14 month old son when he grows older.  How much reality do you arm your children with?  How soon?  Do I keep the chain going and tell my boy that most people are not to be trusted?  I realize that these are questions that are very old, but I intend to keep asking them, for myself and for my boy, and for all the folks out there who believe in character and authenticity.

Thank you for your insight, and for the passage, which I did NOT find too heavy.  It was just right actually.   :-)

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Daily Expression of Gratitude
« on: June 21, 2008, 10:35:21 AM »
As I typed another post, my wife walked in with my 14 month old son in a laundry basket and said, "Hi daddy, here's your laundry."  My boy was grinning from ear to ear.  I appreciate the little moments.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: A Father's Question
« on: June 21, 2008, 10:32:29 AM »
Woof Crafty and Tom,

"I know a lot of mean men who treated women like dirt and seemed to keep sleeping with a bevy of beautiful ladies."

But YOU are married and have begun having a family.  Why does this matter to you?

That's fair.  Within that, I see people hurting one another, back and forth.  Good folks looking for love, and some just looking for the lovin'  :-D.  Crafty, you are correct.  Many of the things I am bit&^ing about because I am sticking my snout in where it doesn't belong.  I am happily married.  I just wish some of the folks out there would stop hurting one another, or find what they are looking for.  I guess I just wish people happiness.  I realize how naive that must sound.

Welcome to the human condition
Again, I suppose that I just wish it weren't so.  I realize how naive that must sound.

I think you may have heard me talk about my personal rules of engagement in the street (i.e. interaction with the anonymous) :  If he says his dick is bigger than mine, I say congratulations.  If he says he used it to fcuk my mother last night, I wish that he had a good time, for WHAT YOU THINK OF ME IS NONE OF MY BUSINESS.  As Guro Inosanto more pithily puts it "BE THE TEMPERATURE, NOT THE THERMOMETER."
This reminds me of Gandhi's "You must become the change which you wish to see in the world."  The first time I read that quote, I too came back with a "well, duh" moment.  As for learning about people and how it is often best to turn a deaf ear, blind eye, etc, I am still trying to develop myself in that area.  I realize how naive that must sound.

Surely you knew when you went into teaching, the the financial returns would be less than you could make elsewhere-- and other returns greater.  So what is going on here?
  That too is fair, Guro C.  My problem is that the other rewards have not turned out like I expected them.  So, perhaps you are right.  It may be time to look elsewhere.  I never expected universal respect or gratitude, and certainly not ease or perfection, but the experience has been very different.  I realize how naive that must sound.

"Dog" Tom, thank you for the quote.

So thank you both for your wisdom and thoughts, and excuse my naivete, which is paramount.    :|  Thank you for letting me whine and pant, and thank you both for your insight. 

Martial Arts Topics / Re: A Father's Question
« on: June 20, 2008, 10:35:41 PM »
This is hard to write:

Lately, I seem to see that the evil folks in the world are moving forward.  That is to say, I know a lot of people whose sole purpose at work is to keep their jobs.  They all seem to be making upwards of 100 grand a year.  I seem to keep seeing that as a whole, people evaluate success based on what kind of a car you drive and how big your house is.  I am a school teacher.  I drive a Chevy (it's dirty) and I live in a condo with a pretty view (but it's old, and not very big).  I know a lot of mean men who treated women like dirt and seemed to keep sleeping with a bevy of beautiful ladies.  I seem to keep running into the fact that EVERYONE is judging, and no one, family, friends, or coworkers really have your back.  They are too busy pointing out that they live in bigger houses and that my car is dirty.  Naturally, they do this behind your back, and life never seems to be free from judgement.  I can count quite a few folks on my fingers who turned out NOT to be authentic people.  Lost of them are people that I once shared a beer with and commented that we'd be "friends forever".

I don't mean to be negative, but in terms of character and authenticity, the last few years have not put a great amount of faith in my heart as far as the folks that have drifted in and out of my life.  I write this based on many people that have the label "friends" and "ex-friends" and not about the folks that I have met through DBMA.

I write that because I have a 14 month old son who is my whole world, and I know that someday soon, he is going to look at me and ask about the world outside the walls of the condo he lives in with my wife and I.  I am still formulating an answer.

Sorry to be a little negative.  I'm going to turn 30 in a few weeks.  If you are over 30 and shaking your head at me, please excuse me.  Hopefully, this is just my 1/3 life crisis.  Happy belated Father's Day to those out there with pups of your own.   :-)

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Daily Expression of Gratitude
« on: June 20, 2008, 10:17:43 PM »
Today, I am grateful for a new computer, which is set up and running very well as I type this!

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Daily Expression of Gratitude
« on: June 19, 2008, 03:21:23 PM »
Today, I am grateful for some downtime with which to organize my home.  That may read as minor to some, but it mens a lot to me.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Daily Expression of Gratitude
« on: June 18, 2008, 03:17:01 PM »
I am grateful for the weekend that I just spent with my family (wife, son, sister in law) in Las Vegas.  We stayed at Circus Circus and it was a nice, family oriented time.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Daily Expression of Gratitude
« on: June 13, 2008, 02:58:26 PM »
I try not to live my life by planning for happiness, "I'll be happy when I ...".  You can plan your whole life away.  That being said, I have been saying for a while now, "I'll be happy when this school year ends."  Today, I am happy and grateful because the 07-08 school year (I teach 7-8th grade) has ended.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Daily Expression of Gratitude
« on: June 12, 2008, 09:21:45 AM »
Today, I am grateful that it is the last day that my students will be on campus.  Let the summer begin!   :-D

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Daily Expression of Gratitude
« on: June 11, 2008, 08:14:40 AM »
Today, I am grateful that my son will never have to go to the school at which I teach.  I am also grateful for the fact that academic years come to an end.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: DB Gathering of the Pack August 10th, 2008
« on: June 09, 2008, 11:20:08 PM »
Has the R1 completely been played out, worn out it's welcome, ect?  Just as a suggestion if the HOC doesn't end up working out, or am I just typing to type?

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Daily Expression of Gratitude
« on: June 09, 2008, 11:12:54 PM »
A few weeks ago, I fractured my right foot.  I have been off of the forum for a few weeks, because I have been bummed out.  The first doctor told me that I would be on crutches for 6 - 8 weeks.  No pressure on the broken foot.  The orthopedic doctor told me that the first doctor was crazy, and that he wanted me to start weening myself off of the crutches.  So, last week I attended all 40 hours of the Legends Camp at the Inosanto Academy, just with no kicking of any kind.  This week, I need to get my training group back together and start getting back in shape.  I am grateful that a summer of training that I have not been planning has not been blown by a broken foot.  I am also grateful for this forum, and I intend to get back on and remain active.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Karambit Vs. straight blades
« on: May 22, 2008, 08:51:15 AM »
I have a question for Guro Crafty, relevant to this thread:

Guro, in your tenure as the ringmaster (and as a fighter), have you ever seen a straight blade trainer vs. karambit trainer fight at any of the Gatherings where:

1. The karambit was used in a manner that was unique to the shape/attributes of a karambit?
2. The karambiteer (tell me that's not a real term in FMA, because I wrote it just to be silly) immediately dropped down to the ground and you had a bladed standing fighter vs. bladed Silat type ground fighter situation?

Guro, if you have ever seen 1 or 2 in the context of a Gathering, what was the outcome?  Thank you.  GD

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Daily Expression of Gratitude
« on: May 22, 2008, 08:07:42 AM »
Today, I am grateful to have finished a paper for grad. school that I (how lame of me) left for the last moment.  The paper actually ended up coming out quite nice, and I submitted it electronically with ten minutes to spare!  That paper will be used for a seminar later this month in which I will try to get closer to fleshing out a topic for my dissertation.  I actually am quite proud of my product, despite having left it for the end!

Also, I posted this last night on the members' board, but my sad little dying computer at home crashed before I could post this here, and it was pretty late, so I gave up.  This is a bit embarrassing but here goes:

To be honest, tonight I was trying to demo a piece of material that I thought I had a better handle on.  I screwed up and ended up falling on my neck and head.  This was on a mat, but I was still lucky.  I am grateful that I did not break my neck or seriously injure myself.

My head and neck are a bit stiff today, but I'm okay, and still grateful.  :-P

If that is the general feeling, that seems reasonable to me.  The hunt is still on!


As suggested on the members forum, is Acu Canyon Park out of the question for a public Gathering?

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Native American Fighting Systems
« on: May 20, 2008, 08:38:22 AM »

I'm going to interject here, before Karsk can get back to you.

IMHO, your friend should fight with the same training axe/tomahawk (what are we calling it at this stage?), but before each fight, it should be decided if the tool is meant to represent a blade, or a (very) blunt impact weapon.  So, if it a bladed simulator, as agreed on before the fight, if your friend lands a good shot, just like in the knife fights at the Gatherings, it's over.  If it is decided upon that it is a blunt impact weapon,

1. it should offer a good wallop to put your friends on an even keel with his opponent.
2. your friend and his opponent need to look at seriously evaluating that "damage" that was simulated, if the tomahawk was meant to simulate an axe tip that had to be put into combat before it could be sharpened.

This would fit right into the spirit of DBMA research, as long as the weapon was evaluated in an honest way.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Daily Expression of Gratitude
« on: May 20, 2008, 08:19:52 AM »
Today, as a school teacher, I am glad that it is almost June.   :lol:

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Bando
« on: May 16, 2008, 02:07:00 PM »
Thanks, Maxx.  I just plain old couldn't find it, or I was looking right at it and didn't see what I was looking for.   :wink:

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Bando
« on: May 16, 2008, 12:00:16 PM »
Guro Crafty,

Having spent a long time looking for local (SoCal) Bando references, I was happy to see this post.  I have spent several hours on the Web looking for Mike Mai (I believe there is a professional golfer with the same name) and World Martial Arts (is every school in North America called "World Martial Arts"?) and I have not been able to find ANY more info. on the man or his school.  I realize you do not professionally refer people to martial arts schools  :-) and I would not ask if I could find anything on the Web to lead me in a positive direction, but do you have any more info. on Mr. Mai or his school, beyond the names of both?

Thank You,


Martial Arts Topics / Re: Daily Expression of Gratitude
« on: May 16, 2008, 07:59:36 AM »
Today, I am grateful for days like yesterday.  It was Thursday and I spent most of the day wishing it was Friday.  Work was, and then it was over.  Even training just sort of was...

BUT, no one in my family was sick.  There were no maintenance issues in my home.  My car was running just fine.  It was REALLY hot, but that led to a feeling of anticipation for summer and summer vacation.  We need to appreciate those days that feel mundane, but in reality are good days, because everything is as it should be.


The fighter I want to get you in there with will be doing his first stickfight with me.  After that, I want to get him in there with some good folks who I know get the DB spirit who will give him good, honest energy.  Also, I think you two are pretty evenly matched in weight (he's shorter than you, but he's in very good shape) and my guy enjoys grappling.  He also knows who you are (DB promo piece and these boards) and I really think you could be good for him later in the day.  I know that you have specific things that you work on in your fights, and I don't want to book your day, especially because your involvement involves a plane ride, but I would be happy if it works out.


Martial Arts Topics / Re: Kali Fitness on DVD ?
« on: May 15, 2008, 08:43:40 AM »
Just to return to the subject,

Maxx, remember that feeling of being worn out the first time we worked together, and you were already in good shape?  It's a different kind of energy than

I have it and I'd have to say its more than just sweating and burning.

I agree, medicmatt.  While I have not seen Guro Lonely's DVD, I think everyone can appreciate having workout options that are specific to FMA.  Also, (again) Guro Lonely is arguably one of the DB's best fighters, so why not "borrow" from him?  :-D

I was really looking forward to being a spectator for the 2 on 2 siniwali fight!   :-D  In all seriousness, I can understand, Crafty's concerns.  You would have to have the right mix of folks, and even then it would be hard to avoid an accidental...something.  However, I admire everyone's willingness to jump in and commit to something like that!

I realized that I was not being clear above: I have two folks from my training group who will be fighting for the first time.  One of them would be a good fight for "Dog" Ryan, not to call you out Ryan.  I am supposed to fight this fellow as well, for his first stickfight, which I find a little difficult.  I am taking steps to see that he is prepared for his first Gathering.  I have been showing him some of my favorite things to work on for a Gathering.  However, because I am going to fight him, I am not showing him everything.  :wink:

P.S. Scurvy, I too really enjoyed your gunplay at the R 2 the R.  Also, since you are so close, I need to get in touch with you and maybe you can come work with my group in the next few weeks, so they don't have to listen to me all of the time.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Daily Expression of Gratitude
« on: May 15, 2008, 08:07:11 AM »
Today, I am grateful for the sense that the world can sometimes feel small, in the sense that it's nice to run into good people that remember you and that you in turn remember.  I'm grateful for the feeling that sometimes I make a favorable impression and that people like seeing me.  It's nice to meet good folks that you keep running into here and there.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Daily Expression of Gratitude
« on: May 14, 2008, 08:10:25 AM »
Today, I am grateful my parents raised me in such a way that I can think about others.  I am grateful that they raised me to have manners and to treat people fairly.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Daily Expression of Gratitude
« on: May 13, 2008, 09:47:04 AM »
Today I am grateful for the sum total of my 29 years on this Earth.  I am grateful for the people that have passed in and out of my life.  I am grateful for the places that I have been, and the places that I have not yet had a chance to visit that are calling me.  I am grateful for all of the things that have happened to me, great and terrible, because without them, I would not be who I am, and I am actually starting to like myself a bit after all these years (I don't mean that in an arrogant way).  I am grateful for the things that I have had the chance to do.

I know that nothing is guaranteed, but if live expectancy keeps going up, hopefully I will two more whole sets of the years that have gone by.  That's a long time!  I know that it flies and it crawls, simultaneously it seems, but I  am grateful for the promise of time.  If it turns out that it is my time sooner than that, than I am grateful for the time I had.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: sean sherk vs. bj penn
« on: May 13, 2008, 09:41:51 AM »
I think that BJJ could beat wrestling, unless the wrestling guy has Shooto, but the CSW guy has all of the calculations done for him so he might beat a Sambo guy, who could easily beat a Greco guy unless the Greco guy is a Conepts guy and doesn't fight with his strong side forward because that's the way that...


Martial Arts Topics / Re: Empty hand questions.
« on: May 13, 2008, 09:21:32 AM »
I like your question, cfr.  I will answer your question to the best of my ability.

The DBMA power strikes are a great block of material to teach for anyone of any level.  When I teach them, I always put an axe handle into play, because it forces the practitioner to complete the swings with their body, and not their arm.  What you will find over time, is that you start to do all of your stick strikes with your body behind them. 

Indeed, all of your martial art should be coming from your body.  As you mentioned in your first post, the boxer will improve their strength and power over time.  That is because their form will improve and they will begin to throw their punches with their body.  You really need to do this in all martial art, but some arts just get you there faster.  A nice Thai pad workout will gas you pretty good if it lasts long enough, regardless of your level.  After your strength and speed have diminished due to lack of energy, the only way that you will generate power is through good form.  Good form demands that your body be behind your strikes, whether there is a stick in your hand or not, and even when you are kicking or grappling.

So you could say that learning to generate power with a stick will help your empty hand and vice versa, if you can begin to focus on generating power from your body, regardless of what kind of martial art you are practicing.   :-D

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Kali Fitness on DVD ?
« on: May 13, 2008, 08:38:57 AM »
I second Porn Star Dog's thought: If you are going to model your movement after someone, Guro Lonely is a GREAT CHOICE to try and emulate.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: sean sherk vs. bj penn
« on: May 13, 2008, 08:29:34 AM »
"Dog" Tom,

I almost hate to write this, but the little smart a$$ who lives in my brain and writes all of my one liners won't let it go:

At the August Gathering, will you be prowling the fighters' area, calling out all of the BJJ practitioners by telling them that they have a "Gracie superiority complex", and that they have wasted thousands of dollars learning BJJ when only a few submissions are necessary, and that most of them would not make the local high school wrestling team?

Because that would be hardcore.  You'd be the Clubber Lang of the summer Gathering.   :evil:

I will be there, hopefully with two folks who have been participating in my training group.  I am looking forward to seeing everyone!

herrero, once the location is named, we'll get some suggestions out there for you on where to stay!

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Daily Expression of Gratitude
« on: May 12, 2008, 11:46:00 AM »
Today, I am grateful for the world right outside of the room in which I work.  I know it is waiting for me when I finish my workday.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Daily Expression of Gratitude
« on: May 11, 2008, 10:51:05 PM »
Today, I am grateful for my mother.  Without her, I would not be.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Daily Expression of Gratitude
« on: May 09, 2008, 11:31:13 PM »
Today I am grateful for the promise of a new opportunity that has come my way.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: sean sherk vs. bj penn
« on: May 07, 2008, 03:24:58 PM »
I am a little biased towards Sherk, only because his coach, Greg Nelson, is one of the nicest, most inspirational, most gifted martial artists I have ever met.  Aside from that, my only prediction is a good fight between both men.  I have no interest in getting involved in a BJJ vs. wrestling debate.  Both have their merits.  :-)

Martial Arts Topics / Prayer and Daily Expression of Gratitude
« on: May 07, 2008, 09:02:14 AM »
I don't know if this is too warm and fuzzy for DBMA.  I know that constantly dwelling in nothing but hard, cold reality can often lead to fatalism, so I'll try this:  

Recently, I was reminded many cultures in the world teach that a daily expression of gratitude can serve to "build up a storehouse for when adversity comes, because you know it is going to come", as a peer stated so powerfully last weekend.  

So, this thread is quite simple: try to post one thing a day for which you are grateful.  It can be big or small.

Today, I am grateful for my health and the ability to walk, run, and challenge myself on a physical basis.

Guro and Frankfurter,

Father's Day 2008 is June 15th according to two separate calendars and an Internet search.   :-D


Will the seminar be the same format as the previous one (hours, cost, pre reg discount, etc)?

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Guide Dog's Class.
« on: April 29, 2008, 09:20:43 AM »
Maxx keeps posting nice comments that make it sound like I'm paying him off.   :wink:  We have a nice group of folks that are starting to get together in Chino Hills on a semi-regular basis to train in full contact stick.  If you are interested in training, please contact me.  We have two folks who SHOULD (Show up! Show up!  Show up!) be fighting in the Gathering in August.  We have two Krav Maga instructors who just want a new approach to weapons.  Last week we had a new student, a young lady with some years in Doce Pares.  Her classical background was a real asset to her and she seemed to have a great time with some of the material we were working.

Now it's going to read like I am kissing Guro Crafty's a$$, but having DBMA in the mix of systems in which I train/teach has been a real gift.  If possible, you SHOULD get youself out to the Inosanto Academy for the Saturday afternoon DBMA class (starts at 1pm), or even better, arrange some private training with Guro Marc.  The DBMA class is usually so small (something about the upstairs, it also happens for Saturday Shooto class) that you may feel like you are getting a semiprivate.  I have picked up many concepts and ideas from class that have opened up my perspective in all areas of martial art.

Also, if you have ever toyed with participating in a Gathering, you should.  The recent closed door, three day Gathering was AMAZING!  If you told the high school version of myself that I would be doing this in my late twenties, I would have laughed at you.  DBMA is there for everyone who wants it.  If you absolutely cannot get out to train with Guro Crafty, my group is in Chino Hills.  My schedule is a bit volatile (one year old son, a wife that actually likes to see me, teaching 7-8th grade professionally, working on an advanced degree, training and teaching at two academies, etc.) so we don't have a regular day and time but we do the best we can to accommodate everyone.  I continue to meet amazing, unique people through DBMA both at the Gatherings and through my little training group.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: 4/20 Guro Crafty at Surf Dog's in Hemet, CA
« on: April 21, 2008, 08:55:45 AM »

To the best of my abilities, here is what Surf Dog Showed me:
1. Sitting or standing, let your arms dangle palm down, in front of you, but keep your hands a few inches from one another.
2. Put your thumb and forefinger together and extend your other fingers.  Your hands will look like you are displaying a piece of paper.
3. Slowly raise your arms up in front of you, bending at the wrist (fingertips towards the ground), maintaining your hand positioning from the previous step.
4.  When your arms reach chest level, stop raising them.
5. Maintain your finger position, but begin to rotate your palms inward and upward.
6. When your palms feel like they are facing the sky, open your fingers, rotate your wrists outward, so that your palms are facing away from you, and extend your wrists so that your fingertips are pointing towards the ceiling.  You will be extending your wrists so that your palms face outward.
7.  Lower your arms, maintaining the wrist bend from step 6.
8. Relax your hands and wrists when your arms reach full, relaxed extension.

Now, repeat steps 1-8, with you thumb and middle fingers touching for the whole sequence.
Then, repeat steps 1-8, with you thumb and ring fingers touching for the whole sequence.
Then, repeat steps 1-8, with you thumb and pinkie fingers touching for the whole sequence.
Then, repeat steps 1-8, with you thumb and all of your other fingertips (whole hand)  touching for the whole sequence.
You could go on to repeat the whole thing as many times as you wanted to.

Surf Dog showed me this sequence all done in a very relaxed, Tai Chi sort of pace.  The only tension that I felt at any point in my arms was the energy that I was using to maintain my hand positioning from step two.  In the morning on Sunday of the 3 day Gathering, this sequence did not "magically heal" my swollen hands, but it made them relax, open up, and I really felt like the blood was flowing through them after Surf Dog showed me this.  I hope I described that sequence well enough, and if not, forgive me.

Guro Crafty, I'm pleased to hear that you will be at Surf Dog's school again in a few months and I will plan to attend the next seminar!

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Euro MAI Interview with Guro Lonely Dog
« on: April 21, 2008, 08:19:13 AM »
It's often rare, but I like when martial artists/fighters have the ability to speak articulately and insightfully about what they do.  Guro Lonely has clearly done that in this interview!

Martial Arts Topics / Re: 4/20 Guro Crafty at Surf Dog's in Hemet, CA
« on: April 20, 2008, 08:32:47 PM »
I was sorry to have to miss the seminar today.  I had made a commitment to meet with an old friend and I made those plans before the seminar was announced.  Surf Dog has been really supportive, attending the last few Gatherings and really making an effort to talk with the fighters.  He showed me a technique from Dr. Gyi's material that really helped my swollen hands during the three day Gathering.  I hope that another seminar will be planned soon so that I can show up, bring some folks, and support Surf Dog and Guro Crafty.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: June 27? 28-29 DBMA Camp with Guro Crafty
« on: April 18, 2008, 02:14:19 PM »
I have a grad school commitment that weekend from 8-5, both days.  If the event turns out to be three days, I would really like to come to the camp for the 27th, if I might be allowed to attend for only one day.  If the third day does not come about, or that is not an option and participants need to come for all three days, I will hope to see everyone at the next DBMA camp.  :cry:

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Law Enforcement issues
« on: April 17, 2008, 08:29:41 AM »
I work at an intermediate school (7th-8th) in southern California.  We have a lot more than some schools only a few miles away and a lot less than others also not that far away.  We have had some terrible incidents this academic year.  School violence of any kind or at any level makes the school environment unbearable.  I have never felt a climate as negative or as fearful than at the present in the educational system of California, and I have lived here my entire life.  I get to meet educators from all over the state and all over the country for that matter.  There is a real sense of the system collapsing in on itself. 

Educators are not perfect.  However, many armchair critics like to bash teachers and education in general.  From my experience, for every teacher who sits at their desk all day and reads the paper, there are three who are doing everything they can to be effective in the classroom.  It's challenging because no teacher, no matter how hard they work can change students' perceptions about the relative value of the education they are receiving.  If the parents pass on the message that it doesn't matter or that "the old man always got in trouble and look how successful he is now", that is what students will bring with them.

I have such respect for all of the law enforcement folks I have met during my martial arts adventure.  I really feel like I am the line right before these brave people, just in the sense that if my students fail to meet me halfway and develop themselves, the folks in law enforcement are waiting for them.  I know that is something a bit cliched or that only a teacher would say, but I have seen it over and over again.  I am aware of a male high school student from a local district located a few miles east of my district.  The school district he was a part of had an amazing academic record and amazing resources.  In a few weeks of starting high school, this student found himself with friends that were all wrong for him.  Within a few weeks he found his way into juvenile hall.  His first day in the facility, he said something stupid to somebody stupid, had a broomstick broken over his head, and was raped.

Sorry to be dramatic.  I have a million stories from only five years of public school teaching that you wouldn't believe.  The educational system in our country is failing our kids, or maybe they are failing it.  I don't know anymore.  What I do know is that (here it comes, another teacher cliche) it is going to take buy-in from everyone to improve it.

My heart goes out to everyone involved in the incident, and everyone involved in that school.

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