Archive for October, 2010

Halloween History

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on October 31, 2010 by ctkwingchun

Halloween is a holiday celebrated on the night of October 31. Traditional activities include trick-or-treating, bonfires, costume parties, visiting “haunted houses” and carving jack-o-lanterns. Irish and Scottish immigrants carried versions of the tradition to North America in the nineteenth century.

The festival of Samhain is a celebration of the end of the harvest season in Gaelic culture. Samhain was a time used by the ancient pagans to take stock of supplies and prepare for winter. The ancient Gaels believed that on October 31, the boundaries between the worlds of the living and the dead overlapped and the deceased would come back to life and cause havoc such as sickness or damaged crops.

The festival would frequently involve bonfires. It is believed that the fires attracted insects to the area which attracted bats to the area. These are additional attributes of the history of Halloween.

Masks and consumes were worn in an attempt to mimic the evil spirits or appease them.

Trick-or-treating, is an activity for children on or around Halloween in which they proceed from house to house in costumes, asking for treats such as confectionery with the question, “Trick or treat?” The “trick” part of “trick or treat” is a threat to play a trick on the homeowner or his property if no treat is given.

Part of the history of Halloween  is Halloween costumes. The practice of dressing up in costumes and begging door to door for treats on holidays goes back to the Middle Ages, and includes Christmas wassailing. Trick-or-treating resembles the late medieval practice of “souling,” when poor folk would go door to door on Hallowmas (November 1), receiving food in return for prayers for the dead on All Souls Day (November 2). It originated in Ireland and Britain, although similar practices for the souls of the dead were found as far south as Italy. Shakespeare mentions the practice in his comedy The Two Gentlemen of Verona (1593), when Speed accuses his master of “puling [whimpering, whining], like a beggar at Hallowmas.”

From http://halloweenhistory.org

Peace, CTK

In For The Kill

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on October 31, 2010 by His Dark Side

Macbeth

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on October 31, 2010 by His Dark Side

William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

from Macbeth

A dark Cave. In the middle, a Caldron boiling. Thunder.

Enter the three Witches.

1 WITCH. Thrice the brinded cat hath mew’d.
2 WITCH. Thrice and once, the hedge-pig whin’d.
3 WITCH. Harpier cries:—’tis time! ’tis time!
1 WITCH. Round about the caldron go;
In the poison’d entrails throw.—
Toad, that under cold stone,
Days and nights has thirty-one;
Swelter’d venom sleeping got,
Boil thou first i’ the charmed pot!
ALL. Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and caldron bubble.
2 WITCH. Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the caldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg, and owlet’s wing,—
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.
ALL. Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and caldron bubble.
3 WITCH. Scale of dragon; tooth of wolf;
Witches’ mummy; maw and gulf
Of the ravin’d salt-sea shark;
Root of hemlock digg’d i the dark;
Liver of blaspheming Jew;
Gall of goat, and slips of yew
Sliver’d in the moon’s eclipse;
Nose of Turk, and Tartar’s lips;
Finger of birth-strangled babe
Ditch-deliver’d by a drab,—
Make the gruel thick and slab:
Add thereto a tiger’s chaudron,
For the ingrediants of our caldron.
ALL. Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and caldron bubble.
2 WITCH. Cool it with a baboon’s blood,
Then the charm is firm and good.

Goals, Achievers and Vengeance

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on October 30, 2010 by His Dark Side

“People who have achieved their goals tend to believe in personal accountability and responsibility. They tend to be more compassionate, supportive, at peace with themselves and others, and optimistic. They also tend to be more forgiving, hardworking and industrious.

Those who have NOT achieved their goals often have a victim mentality. They can be quick to place blame on others and may be bitter, angry, negative, pessimistic, and vengeful. Usually, they are less industrious and more critical and cynical than achievers.” Jo-Ellan Dimitrius, Ph.D., and Mark Mazzarella (Reading People)

So, which one are you?

Dark Matter

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on October 30, 2010 by His Dark Side

I’m looking out from the Starbucks window, watching ripples in the Universe. 90% of the universe is said to comprise of matter that cannot be described using any principles of Physics. As a result, the scientific community has taken to labelling this ‘stuff’; Dark Matter.

There are doors within doors, within doors.

Having undergone a paradigm shift last year that Kuhn himself would be proud of, I no longer need to see the world fitting a particular pattern. On the contrary I want my world to be dynamic, fluid, changing. And I no longer feel isolated, instead I am blended, merged and fused into the fabric of the world. Bruce Lee wanted the quintessential martial artist to have the same qualities of fluidity possessed by water.

Aldous Huxley says in his book the Doors of Perception that when you learn a language you are an inheritor of the collective wisdom of the people who have gone before you. But, you are also a VICTIM in this sense; of that infinite set of experiences that you could have had, certain ones are given names, labelled with words and are thereby emphasised and attract your attention. Equally valid, possibly EVEN MORE DRAMATIC and USEFUL experiences at the sensory level which are unlabelled typically don’t intrude into your consciousness. You therefore become a victim of following a particular path and thereby excluding other paths.

Thoughts on topics such as this are the reason why I departed from being bound and gagged by any particular martial system. These thoughts may also have precipitated my desire to believe in Magic.

So, as I sit here in Starbucks, looking out of the window I am not seeing through the eyes of science. Instead, I am limitless, timeless and can see ripples in the Universe.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYKfX60bPrI&feature=related

Ross Enamait Compilation

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on October 29, 2010 by ctkwingchun

Ross is back with another compilation of his training.

Enjoy, CTK

X-Factor/MMA vs. TMA

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on October 29, 2010 by ctkwingchun

I enjoyed this read on Wim’s Blog: http://www.wimsblog.com/2010/10/guest-post-mark-mireles-on-mma-and-self-defense

Perhaps you might, too.

Peace, CTK

Häxan (Part 2)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on October 29, 2010 by His Dark Side

Hard Work Rears Its Ugly Head (Again)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on October 28, 2010 by ctkwingchun

I was recently hanging out at Al Peasland’s Blog listening to a Round Table discussion between some high-level martial artists: http://al-peasland.blogspot.com/2010/10/crossing-pond-podcast-111.html

It was recorded during the Crossing The Pond X-Po that happened recently.

A topic came up questioning (the perhaps lack of) respect, discipline and hard work in the martial arts.  I, again, was reminded that the only way to excel at anything in life is putting in hard work – and pushing past a ‘pain point’ in order to achieve some result.

Give it a listen!  Three out of the 11 parts have been posted and there’s some good ideas as to how things have changed (or not) over the years.

Peace, CTK

Pursuit Of Happiness

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on October 28, 2010 by ctkwingchun

A few weeks ago, I needled my leg (as I often do) and elicited an amazing sensation down my entire leg.  The stuff dreams are made of – as far as it goes for an acupunk!  Immediately after that sensation, I was able to get the location and angling just right on my patients and give them the same result.

And it got me thinking – as an acupunk, as a Wing Chun man and as a human being one of the greatest things I can do is be self-exploratory.

There is a Chinese medicine saying, “He who treats himself has a fool for a patient.”  And while it can be very wise not to treat one’s own ailment if it is serious, how else am I to excel in this field of medicine?  In the field of martial arts?  Isn’t self-exploration what it’s all about?  Isn’t that what the pursuit all about?

Perhaps my friend Christian is right when he said, “So many warnings are bogus warnings with ego driven or political agendas.”

I’m on the pursuit of happiness.  I’ll be fine once I get it.  I’ll be good.

Peace, CTK.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on October 28, 2010 by His Dark Side

What strikes me is the fact that in our society, art has become something which is only related to objects, and not to individuals, or to life.
Michel Foucault

If you take the responsibility for your life you can start changing it. Slow will be the change, only in the course of time will you start; moving into the world of light and crystallization, but once you are crystallized you will know what real revolution is.
Osho

Without struggle, no progress and no result. Every breaking of habit produces a change in the machine.
George Gurdjieff

Who overcomes by force, hath overcome but half his foe.
John Milton

If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.
Mother Teresa

Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time.
Malcolm X

Fear? If I have gained anything by damning myself, it is that I no longer have anything to fear.
Jean-Paul Sartre

It’s difficult to believe in yourself because the idea of self is an artificial construction. You are, in fact, part of the glorious oneness of the universe. Everything beautiful in the world is within you. No-one really feels self-confident deep down because it’s an artificial idea. Really, people aren’t that worried about what you’re doing or what you’re saying, so you can drift around the world relatively anonymously: you must not feel persecuted and examined. Liberate yourself from that idea that people are watching you
Russell Brand

If you always put limit on everything you do, physical or anything else. It will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.
Bruce Lee

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXsmyLtpxlA

Nostalgia

Posted in Uncategorized on October 27, 2010 by His Dark Side

I’ve had a few quiet moments in my life recently, allowing me time to reminisce. I find myself becoming nostalgic about the roads I stomped growing up and the friends I knew. Nostalgia seems to have a beauty that is relegated to reflecting memories in an incomplete fashion; not with the wholesome clarity of a complete mirror of the past, but more rather a broken shard of that mirror. And, while memories have the ability to provide a liquid gloss over the actual events, I would not choose to remember them any other way because I am forced to fill in the gaps, allowing me some control over them. Shakespeare wrote that; “There is nothing good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” Once again reinforcing my belief that I am the controller, rather than the innocuous perceiver of reality.

There are people from my past that I miss with a pain that I keep buried in my chest. The heaviness weighs me down from time to time. Loved ones, family, friends. People who knew me intimately well. Despite my gentle stroll into magic, even the strongest enchantment cannot give me what I want; an opportunity to be whisked back. Just for a moment, I want to stroll past someone familiar on a rainy London street to give them a nod and tell them that I am alright. That life is good and to thank them for the role they played in helping me get to where I am. Perhaps this is why I am nostalgic, because when the lights are dimmed and the sound switched off, unplugging me from the humdrum of the world the only thing I am left with, is an imprint in my memory.

Exercise is a moving meditation, of sorts. When I pound the running track or sweat from using the punching bag I allow myself to switch the outside world off. The movement, the thrusting heartbeat, the glory of taking my body deep within, creating a wholeness and unity between my limbs and my spiritual essence. It allows me to glimpse a higher state of consciousness and grants me access to my desires, my dreams. And above all, it allows me freedom to remember.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F1P1a2BXdUQ

Nothing Good to Say

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on October 26, 2010 by ctkwingchun

I’ve nothing good to say.  So I’ll just say nothing at all.

Peace, CTK.

Player

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on October 25, 2010 by His Dark Side

Shakespeare wrote that ” All the World’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players…” His words remind us of the impermanence of it all and that ours is but a fleeting appearance on the earth, akin to an actor whose adventures are limited to an hour and a half of celluloid.

If I were an actor, I would not choose the arbitrary approach of improvising and blundering my way through a scene. Instead, I would become a method actor, rehearsing vigilantly to ensure that the performance I give is the best that I am capable of. The same parallels are applied to anything I do, be it Martial Arts, magic or meditation. I recognise from the outset that my involvement in the activity requires immense discipline, practise and rehearsal, so that my performance is one that gives me some sense of gratification.

P’rhaps Shakespeare intended to convey a meaning such as this; that we are not observers of our interaction within the world and towards other people, but we have the chance to add our own artistic flair, breathing life into those interactions. That whilst most people are content to be complacent ‘extras’ standing helplessly on the periphery of a film set, the ones that make a real impact, the ones who have any importance attached to them are those who give themselves a great deal of self-worth, work hard both persistently and tirelessly.

Ambassador of the Street

Posted in Uncategorized on October 21, 2010 by His Dark Side

“I told him if he paid me, he wouldn’t be ‘touched’…

I heard these words as I walked past the large, newer, american car. The guy driving stared at me and the figure who was talking to the driver from the curb also looked up from underneath his cap, momentarily. I tried not to engage them in any kind of posturing, deciding instead to look away. They were ambassadors of the street with their hustler savvy. Me; black suit, white shirt, black tie armed only with business acumen. Or was this just an illusion, perhaps I was the one with street smarts, not them.

I live in the homicide capital of Canada, a place, I feel far more comfortable living in, than Southall, West London, England, where I grew up. In Southall, I was filled with discomfort verging on paranoia. Street violence was rampant and the recent fashion had been towards random attacks. The terrain was urban, built up and concrete. Peppered heavily with the metal of cars that filled streets to brimming point. Add to that the equation of an embittered society and a dash of savage fuel mentality. Southall gave me the formula for street smart success. I had been mugged but never beaten in an attack. It is in West London that I began my voyage in Gung Fu, starting with a humble Wing Chun club in Hounslow in 1992. A few months later, I found what I had been looking for, when I met my sifu whom I stayed with for the next 11 years, Leung, Kwok-Keung. I trained hard, for many years to get where I am today.

So with the eloquence of a real fighter, I averted my eyes from the two at car level. I didn’t want them to miscalculate my intentions. To them I wanted to remain but a smartly dressed man returning from a day of toil. I didn’t want them to know that in reality, my fingers twitched, adrenalin rose, breathing became steady, eyes focused, jaw stiffened, head tilted down, hands free from distractions, forehead relaxed, fists drawn; all, just in case.

Be prepared but never attract trouble. Always mind your ‘p’s and q’s‘.

 

You Already Know

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on October 20, 2010 by ctkwingchun

Money / Family

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on October 20, 2010 by ctkwingchun

It’s amazing how much stress can zap my energy.  And then whatever energy I have left unfortunately doesn’t go to the things I love.  So I sat down and figured out where my stress was coming from and from the sound of things it’s quite commonplace.

I was stressed about money.  Lack of money, more specifically.  BUT!  I was also worried about having money.  Sounds wack, right?  But I feel I’ve grown up in a society that makes you feel bad if you don’t have any money and guilty when you have more money than others.

The good news is that it’s just a mental hurdle.  Something to get over – no different than doing another round on the heavy bag.

The amazing thing is, once I started to get my finances in order, the stress started to dissipate.  I now have my energy back!  I can now spend my energy on Chinese Boxing.  I can spend my energy at the place that makes money – my employ.  I can now spend my energy on the most important part of my life: my family.

Where’s my money?
CTK

Posted in Uncategorized on October 19, 2010 by His Dark Side

Mercilessly obsessions intense most your follow, rather.  Fashion the to according soul own your edit don’t; logical it make to try don’t; down it water don’t; bend don’t.

Kafka Franz

Random Thoughts

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on October 19, 2010 by His Dark Side

I’ve just copied the following out of my training notebook;

On Thoughts
The body is a quantum physical mechanism. memory is holographic and stored throughout the entire central nervous system. neurons transfer information electronically and chemically. neurons make up the nervous system. they are the densest part of the human body. nervous system does NOT reside just in the brain. neurotransmitters are throughout the entire body. neurotransmitters bathe every cell in the body i.e. the mind communicates with with every cell in the body. so when you are happy ALL the cells in your body are happy, every thought is connected to every cell of the body. the body will react to all thoughts as if they were real. therefore the correct frame of mind can make any dream, wish, desire, sensation, feeling immediately accessible.

SKILLS
Footwork
Punches – practised in sets of 3/5, 10 sets of punch outs, straight punches, big punch, falling-step punch, backfist, hook, shovel punch
Kicks – hook, shovel, straight
Elbows
Knees
Timed-bag workout
Shadow Boxing

CONDITIONING
Intense – skipping, sprints, (with weight vest)
Overload/Strength – squats, pull-ups, dips

PARTNER TRAINING
Chi Sao
Sparring
Dirty Boxing
Pad Drills

 

 

Love Lust

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on October 18, 2010 by His Dark Side

 

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