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Archive for March 2009

Giving advice in class

I was doing some dummy work at my Wing Chun class the other day, and noticed a guy working next to me. As part of the green belt test at my school we have to perform the wooden dummy form in a minute or less. This is actually quite challenging as it’s more about the efficiency of motion and proper structure then it is about speed. If you focus on the speed aspect of it, you get stuck using too much power to be fast, you have to force yourself to use relaxed energy.

This of course is just setup for my actual post. So… I was watching this guy doing his form, working on getting it under a minute, which I had just tested for 2 months ago, so it was still fresh in my head. I suggested that he relax, breath, and most of all not lean into the dummy. Leaning into the dummy is a common mistake, one that I still struggle with myself.

I gently said, “you should occasionally stop during your form, and make sure your posture is correct, it looks like you might be leaning forward.”, trying not to say “your form is wrong”. He stopped leaning forward and turned out his form was faster.

He later told me that he started out not really listening to me, to quote him “I was thinking, oh no another sifu wanna be”. This made me realize two things.

One is the importance of listening, I’ve learned things from people that had been at my school for a week, you should take in everything, filter out what doesn’t fit for you. Not just block everything out that doesn’t come from a source that you think is the only one you should listen to (heck, that person might be wrong).

The second is the importance of teaching “softly” when you are not the instructor. When you aren’t an instructor, you are a peer with everyone else in the class and everyone else in the class should be treated as such. When you give advice or direction, you need to do it from a place of respectful consideration, not “my belt is darker, so you need to listen to me”. The more respect you give others the more they will give to you.


Written by Dan

March 30, 2009 at 8:56 am

Firearms in the Martial Arts

I did a study on guns for my black belt test in SYD (it seems like many moons ago now). I pulled out the curriculum for the little shindig over in Iowa and remembered that I had actually written a little statement about guns and the martial arts. But, before you read on, know this, I’m a finger on the trigger nazi. If you forgot everything you ever learn about firearms just keep this one thing in your brain. KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER…until you’ve aquired a target.

Keep your fniger off the trigger

Even when injured severely, his finger is "off" the trigger.

Firearms in the Martial Arts

The role of the firearm is becoming increasingly more substantial in our society. As martial artists, the modern firearm, like any other combat tool, cannot be left out of our arsenal. Firearm is a broad category that covers many different weapons. Specifically, I will be covering hand guns and how they can be safely trained with, and incorporated into ones martial practices.

I feel it is important for any martial artist to be aware of firearms and safe firearms handling since firearms are a common tool used today by many people; both good and bad. Firearms are just as common as knives, sticks and other weapons and should not be neglected in our training. The curriculum that I’ve defined will, over the progression of five levels, cover a variety of gun handling topics starting with safe gun handling. The training will progress onward to cover various stances, shooting from a draw, tactical reloading, and night time shooting. At its culmination, it will cover using a firearms in a close quarters encounter.

Mental & Physical Awareness

Due to the extreme range of a firearm working with one requires some extra special mental preparedness, as well as even more highly attuned body awareness. A knife, for example, can be just as deadly as a firearm. However, accidentally cutting yourself with a knife will rarely lead to lethal injury. The chances of obtaining a lethal wound from an accidental discharge of your firearm are much greater. You should never allow the muzzle of your firearm to cross over any part of your body.

Similarly, you should always be aware of where your muzzle is pointing. With a knife, merely pointing it at someone will carry a slim possibility of wounding said person. Pointing a firearm at someone, however, can prove very deadly with a simple pull of the finger whether that trigger pull be purposeful or accidental. Be aware of what or who your muzzle is crossing when you move it.

When using a weapon you are often instructed to not forget that you also have many other weapons. Just because your holding a stick, doesn’t mean you should forget that you have another hand and two feet. While this is an excellent mindset, I will propose a slightly different twist when working with a firearm: Always be aware that you are holding a firearm.

If you forget for just one instant, it could change your life forever.

Written by Sterling

March 24, 2009 at 9:56 pm

Posted in Martial Arts

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My New Flip Camera

I got a new Flip video camcorder, it’s not very fancy, but it’s a lot of fun. Even my wife can use it 🙂

So, technically it’s a Pure Digital Flip Ultra Series F260 Camcorder. I got it from woot for $90 (woot’s the bomb!). The “Flip” in it’s name is due to the flip-up USB connector which makes it very easy to connect to your computer. This connection also allows you install the software directly from the camera itself, so you don’t have to worry about being at Uncle Bob’s and not being able to get to your videos, although it’s nice to never need to worry about my batteries dieing and not having a charger.

It can record 60 minutes at 640×480, and uses a DivX compression format. Not exactly sure what the bit rate is, but it looks good, even in the YouTube video the rocks show up nice and clear, with little artifacting. The functionality is painfully simple, the giant red button in the back records. That’s about it, you can also playback and delete videos if can’t get back to a computer before you fill it. The zoom is so lame it might as well not be there, but it might as well not be there anyway. That kind of functionally is not what this camera is intended for, I don’t see me ever using it. Another interesting feature is that it takes 2 AA batteries, I’m hoping it won’t burn through them too fast.

I’ve got a Canon PowerShot SD500, which I love, and it takes great video. There’s just something about this flip camera that makes you want to use it. Plus, with the flip I don’t need to find an SD card to USB converter.

I’ve also included a link to the original video, for those of you that have the DivX codecs, and care.
Flip Video Test

Written by Dan

March 23, 2009 at 9:45 am

Posted in videos

Tagged with , ,

Weird weapons?

I really like working with unusual weapons. One of my favorites, is the category of soft/flexible weapons, things that are rarely thought of as weapons, like scarves.

I found this video and thought I’d share it, as I found it to be a great example of the use of a scarf. I also noticed that the movement does not look too dissimilar to the empty hand movement.

I believe that not needing to retrain your body to move differently for every weapon you practice is critical. Weather it be stick, knife, or a scarf. I’m a technique oriented guy, I believe when in a dangerous moment your brain has a fraction of a second to react. And it’s better if your brain doesn’t have to take into consideration what weapon you’re holding before it figures out how to respond to that threat.

Written by Dan

March 19, 2009 at 9:56 am

Posted in Martial Arts

Tagged with , ,

IMA Spring Gathering 2009

So, the Innovative Martial Arts (IMA) spring gathering is just around the corner again, Bobbe Edmonds has a nice writeup here.  He says it much better then I do, but it’s a fantastic weekend with great people, and great martial artists.  Leave your ego at the door, or you’re not welcome.

A while back, in 2007, Sterling and I did some interviews with several members of the Gathering, which you can find here.

For more information you’ll wanna contact one of these guys

Chuck Pippin:
Jay Carstensen:

– Enjoy

Written by Dan

March 18, 2009 at 2:45 pm

Welcome to the new Blog

Here at roXor Media we’re going through a house cleaning.  Cleaning up the site, and most of all the blog.  We’ll migrate all of the podcast back episodes eventually, but most of all this is the place to find the new blog.

Sterling and I have a goal of 3-4 posts a month, so put us in your feed reader and anticipate awesomeness!

Written by Dan

March 18, 2009 at 1:06 pm

Posted in announcements

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