Friday, November 30, 2012

The New Dojo Rat Site is Up!

Good news!
The new, improved, better smelling and better tasting Dojo Rat Blog is up and running-

Go to:

http://www.covertbookreport.com/

Thanks for hanging in there, see you at the new site!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Stay Tuned For The All New Dojo Rat !

It will be new!
It will feed your Zombie-infected brain!
It will smell as fresh as laundry off a Los Angeles clothesline!
It will have spellcheck!

Dojo Rat first hit the toiletbowl November 14 2006, and as of today it has received 785,670 hits.
Whew, not a bad run so far.

As readers may know, I have had it with Blogger and the new posting format. It just plain sucks.
So after 6 years of ranting on Blogger, I have decided to work with a tech guy and completely re-design the website.

Nothing has been completed yet, but the new site will probably be up and running in a couple of weeks.

I'll notify fellow bloggers and put up a post with a link to the new website soon.

Thanks for hanging in there,
Back with the new site soon!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Boycotting Blogger Until they Fix It



I am sorry to say I have to boycott Blogger until they fix their posting format.
I've got posts lined up, but we lost the spell check function as well as a simple way to post videos.
The new posting format doesn't work and it SUCKS.

Looking for help on the net, I see that many, many people are having this problem. There were instructions one one site to help restore the old posting format but it appears Blogger disabled that option in an effort to train people to the new format.

Get your shit together Blogger.

Anybody else having the same issues?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Cute Hippie Chick of the Month: Lonely Girl Edition

Well, well! Good news for all the lonely Dojo Rats out there; thousands of single Chinese girls might like to meet you! Apparantly the cut-off line for nubile hot chicks in China is 27. What a shame, at that age the pressures to marry are huge. Here's part of an article from "http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/07/19/chinas-unwanted-single-women-feel-the-pressure/": " Xu, a pretty woman in her 30s, warily walked into a Beijing singles club in a bid to shed her status as one of China’s “Unwanted”. “I hope to find a husband,” she said, as she sat in front of a Mahjong table and awaited her date for the evening, who had been hand-picked for her by the club based on their profiles. (snip) Xu, who did not want to be identified, is one of China’s so-called “Sheng Nu”. The term, which translates to the “Unwanted”, is derived from a phenomenon in Chinese society which affects hundreds of thousands of women, particularly the urban, educated and financially independent. The term, which is unique to China and which only applies to women, appears in China’s official dictionary and refers to “all single woman above the age of 27″. (snip) “On one hand young people today work very hard and have few places to meet outside of their work, which wasn’t the case earlier,” Wu Di, a sociologist who has just published a book on the subject, told AFP. “On the other hand, traditionally the Chinese say one should ‘make do’ when marrying. Marriage has never been synonymous with happiness. “The new generation of women don’t want to ‘make do’. Many live quite well alone and don’t see the point in lowering their standard or life in order to marry.” Still, the pressure on women is huge. Part of this is due to China’s one-child population control policy, which adds to the desperation of parents for their only offspring to marry and produce a grandson or granddaughter. “The real reason for coming to this club is that I don’t want to disappoint my parents. I want to make them happy,” admitted Xu. (snip) Shelly, 34, a highly educated public relations consultant who had just returned from living in the United States, was among the new members. Since her return to China, she had avoided her relatives and even some of her close friends because of their insistence in trying to arrange dates for her. “I’m under pressure from all sides. I feel my mother is disappointed and sad when she sees the grandchildren of her friends,” she said. But with no potential partner on the horizon, Shelly is preparing to return to the United States to do a second Masters degree — a decision partly motivated by her desire to escape her colleagues, parents and friends. “I think I will return to China when I am 40. I want right now to be so old, so broken that they will leave me in peace,” she said." ------------------------------- Ok all you lonely Dojo Rats, get busy!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Guest Post; Kostas at The Dog Brothers Euro Gathering

Kostas and friends


This week I'm pleased to present a guest post from Kostas Tountas in Greece.
Kostas and I have become fellow Dojo Rats and exchanged much information over the years. As you will see, his specialty is training and fighting at events hosted by the famous "Dog Brothers" fighting club.
While the training is intense, the fighting is brutal and as real as it gets. Traditional weapons of all sorts are used, and the painful results can be seen in the photos below.
I've got to give Kostas some major cred here; he's my age (53) and still fights in the most brutal martial-sport I can imagine. As he describes, the friendships acquired during these sessions are as long lasting as the valuable fighting lessons learned.
This is simply great stuff, here's Kostas:




"Those of you who have been following this blog for a while may recall a post entitled "Kostas Fights at Dog Brothers Euro Gathering".

In the three years since, I have returned to Bern faithfully each summer – to be with my “brothers of the stick” with whom I share the same "madness". We greet each other warmly, catching up on news, and discussing whether there will be any unusual weapons, in this year’s fights.

Indeed, a Dog Brothers Gathering is not just about stick fighting. It’s also about three-section staffs, spears, halberds (edges and points blunted), etc. Furthermore it’s not just about stand-up - many fights end up on the ground - and yours truly has been there on several occasions.

A fight at a Gathering is also about learning to deal with pressure - as soon as we tap sticks, I can feel that one wrong move and my opponent will not simply "come at me", he will try to go RIGHT THROUGH me.




Several fighters come prepared with specific strategies and techniques that they want to test under realistic conditions. The fact that there are no winners or losers encourages people to experiment but at the same time, they know they can't afford to get let their guard down.

For example, one member of the Dog Brothers tribe is an expert with the three-section staff – travelling regularly to China to train with his master. The Gathering provides him with the opportunities he requires in order to further his skills.




But at the same time, one not-so-obvious benefit is that by helping prepare this fighter, Guro Marc “Crafty Dog” Denny gained new insights into a less-well-known weapon, and in so doing expanded his own area of expertise – and that of the tribe as well. So the Gathering serves as sort of “fight laboratory” for both coaches and fighters alike, in which various strategies and techniques are pressure-tested, and fine-tuned till they are practical and effective.

As for myself, in four Gatherings, I have had fourteen fights. I am now a candidate Dog Brother. Though this is not so remarkable, it hasn’t been easy. At 53 years of age, training injuries are more frequent and take longer to heal.

There have been and there may yet be times when I think to myself that this will be my last Gathering. In this, I am not alone. One fighter was so known for this, that he was given the name “Sinatra Dog”, in memory of the famous singer who, near the end of his career, became known for his numerous “last” performances.

But the fact is that when preparing for a Gathering, I feel motivated. The realization that I MUST be on the ball or I am going to get my ass handed to me, has re-invigorated my training. I still have much to learn and some things I need to RE-LEARN - but that’s the beauty of it - that after many years of martial arts, I still feel excited about getting in there and being a part of it!

I hope to be there next year, to see my brothers, to fight well, and then to return home with colorful bruises and a big BIG smile on my face".




-----------------

Thanks Kostas!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Does Time Slow Down For Elite Athletes?



I think many of us have been in "the zone" where a perfect technique is in play at the exact right "time".
The following article from Discovery.com attempts to put it in scientific terms, but something is lacking.
What is lacking is a realization of separate realities, which may occur during times of stress, mystical experiences, or in athletics.

There is something a deceased friend who appeared in a dream told me: "All time happens at the same time".
It will give me something to ponder for the rest of my life, and possibly beyond.

From Discovery.com:

Does Time Slow Down For Elite Athletes?
Analysis by Sheila Eldred
Sat Sep 8, 2012

How does Venus Williams return smashing serves? How does Josh Hamilton hit home runs off 90 mile-per-hour pitches?

It's not just talent: preparing to leap over a hurdle or dunk a basketball makes the brain process information differently. The athlete perceives it as a slowing down of time, say researchers at University College London after a new study.

"John McEnroe has reported that he feels time slows down as he is about to hit the ball, and F1 drivers report something very similar when overtaking," Dr. Nobuhiro Hagura from University College London's Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience told BBC News. "Our guess is that during the motor preparation, visual information processing in the brain is enhanced. So, maybe, the amount of information coming in is increased. That makes time be perceived longer and slower."

The researchers tested the theory by asking subjects to react to flashing discs on a screen in two different ways: either to tap the screen, or just watch. The group that tapped the screen reported that there seemed to be more time between the flashes. And, the more prepared the participants were, the longer the time seemed to stretch.

That last finding leads the researchers to postulate that elite athletes may have a greater capacity to experience the perception than the general population.

Future experiments may include professional athletes, as well as an experiment to find the physiological mechanism that makes the phenomenon happen.

"We now want to do these behavior experiments again while measuring the participants' brain activity with electroencephalography," Hagura told BBC News. "We can then look at what is happening in the visual cortex during the action preparation period."

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Don't Tag Me Bro!



It looks like this Kung Fu school gets some respect in this neighborhood!
If you click on the picture we see it's a school in Boston, with a phone number for class information.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Guest Post: Improvisation in Martial Arts Forms



Variation within the Song:
How Improvisation Unlocks True Understanding in Martial Arts Forms
By Corey Wiscomb


When I teach beginners ‘The Form’, the version I share is square, fluid, structured, and nearly the same every time. Physically it is a nice calisthenic that opens the joints of the body, especially invigorates the muscles of the lower body, improves balance, and relaxes the overall state of being. These health benefits alone make the practice of Tai Chi a worthwhile asset in many people’s lives, and hence why the art is practiced across the entire planet in today’s day and age. Yet, running the form in this way, the same every time, day in and out, while it shows great perseverance, will never yield any true understanding of the art within. Variation is the key that will unlock this gate.

I have been fortunate to study multiple styles of martial arts in depth in my continuing lifetime study of the fighting arts. I will not bore you with the list of black belts I have achieved over the past 26 years of practice. Instead I wish to make a comment on forms, since they are the major method of passing most martial styles on to future generations.

The First Level:
Forms, in most hard styles are straight-forward (or at least appear to be). A punch is a punch, a block a block. Physically the set is practiced nearly the same every time and the only variation you commonly see is a change in pacing of the movements and the dynamics of the speed and tension held during the motion. But the motion is the same. Go to any weekend martial arts tournament anywhere across the nation and you will see what I mean. This type of practice is good for physical strength and provides the foundation in stances and techniques for which the practitioner of that style will place on top all of their other martial skills.

The Second Step:
Not every school practices interpretation of form, often called bunkai. Those that choose not to leave their students with a complete disconnect for the purpose of the movements as to how they should be used in self-defense. And those that provide one interpretation to a form movement handicap their students by limiting the potential of a strong and capable movement to a single scenario that may never happen. Let me pose a question…
Have you ever watched someone practice a form before sparring only to see that the two seem like two separate arts? Their body moves in an entirely different way and the stylistic clarity of the form simply went right out the window. This is what happens when students have no interpretations to their forms. The moves are empty and the students think of them as a separate practice, so when the sparring begins a whole new set of skills emerges. Disconnect.
And on the other side of things are those who have single interpretations to their movements. They try desperately to be patient for the exact scenario for when to use that one movement only to have it pass in the blink of an eye. I can’t even begin to tell you the thousands of set techniques and applications that I have learned over the past two and half decades. And as a practitioner who is fond of sparring I can tell you that the perfect scenario happens next to never, or at absolute best one out of ten times… but let’s be honest, these are martial arts and we’re talking about fighting as preparation for self-defense, and having techniques that work only 10% of the time or less is not acceptable. As a competitor who won many national and international titles I learned one thing right away – I would have to adapt, I would have to improvise.

A little History to build understanding on the way to our Final step (for today):
My first awakening was in the study of the ‘9 Moving Forces’ as applied to Kata in the art of Shorei Goju Ryu. The practice, without going into detail, asks the practitioner to provide interpretation of striking, locking, choking, and lethal application all within one movement or form. Striking applications are usually obvious, but turning a down-block into a joint lock or lethal application was a very new and mind altering approach. And it’s true what they say, “A mind, once stretched, will never return to its former dimensions”. For more specific information on the ‘9 Moving Forces’ consult “The Pinnacle of Karate Do” as written by Robert Trias.

Once my mind began to see these movements in abstract ways a new understanding began to arise in my mind, perhaps it was possible to spar like the forms. My search led me to the (he’d like it that I call him this) infamous George Dillman, and for the first time I watched someone move the same in form as they would in fighting. George is best known for his understanding and application of Pressure Point Control Tactics, but it was his deep connection to form that drew me in as a student. I was completely enamored with the technical understanding and multitude of applications that he possessed for any movement given to him out of any kata, any style. I am still impressed to this day. Yet, the technical necessity of each movement brought me back to the dilemma I had hoped to resolve – too much information causes too much thinking, aka, the “paralysis of analysis” and in combat there is not even a split second for that.
I was passed around amongst many great teachers and after several years found myself in London, England training Small Circle Jujitsu with now Grand Master Leon Jay, son of Professor Wally Jay. While he didn’t really run forms per say, I was forever changed by the (painful) introduction to the art of ‘lock flow’: using your opponent’s energy against them no matter where they choose to move. This required a willingness and ability to adapt at a moments notice to the will of the opponent, and a technical proficiency in how to move in a balanced posture that was capable of mobility and stability at all times. It is all about flow, and it is never the same twice. Agh, variation, we are back to our theme.

Now, those that know me know that Tai Chi Chuan is my martial base and I’m quite certain it will be for the remainder of my lifetime. It is the bottomless vessel that I poured all my other knowledge into when I emptied my cup. Sparring in Tai Chi Chuan is quite different than other martial arts. It begins with the practice of Push-Hands in which partners work to upset each other’s balance using the techniques of the form. When done appropriately it is fluid and contains same balance and postures as seen within the form, but rarely in the same order. It forces us to vary the movements in a way that often reveals to us the application of the movement itself only after we have done it. There is no thought. The body is in a constant state of adjustment to the present pressures and intents of your partner/opponent, there is no set pattern from which the mind can simply go to cruise control. It is a feeling and an experience that is absolutely necessary in order to understand the formwork, the very well from which to draw the water of substantial variation so as to practice the actual art of Tai Chi Chuan. Without it the dance is one of insubstantial motions that are quite often meaningless as to any application and serve no purpose in furthering the art other than a calisthenic exercising for the body. I have said that the vessel of Tai Chi Chuan is bottomless, and that is why it can hold all the elements of other arts within it. They simply become fuel for interpretation when added as extensions to the very abstract, yet completely functional, movements of Tai Chi Chuan.

In those times when I am not leading a group of beginning students the form becomes an improvisation of all that I have studied and experienced, I do not change the form, but I never run it the same twice. It is in these practices that my breath goes the deepest, my presence is brought to its absolute peak, my body opens to an immense rush of circulation, health, and my mind enters a deeper meditation than any other. This is the variation that brings form to life. It has taken me nearly three decades of practice to discover this and I can’t wait to experience it for the rest of my life.




Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Last Ninja


Jinichi Kawakami

Raw Story reports:

"A 63-year-old former engineer may not fit the typical image of a dark-clad assassin with deadly weapons who can disappear into a cloud of smoke. But Jinichi Kawakami is reputedly Japan’s last ninja.
As the 21st head of the Ban clan, a line of ninjas that can trace its history back some 500 years, Kawakami is considered by some to be the last living guardian of Japan’s secret spies.
“I think I’m called (the last ninja) as there is probably no other person who learned all the skills that were directly” handed down from ninja masters over the last five centuries, he said."

(snip)

"Kawakami first encountered the secretive world of ninjas at the age of just six, but has only vague memories of first meeting his master, Masazo Ishida, a man who dressed as a Buddhist monk.
“I kept practising without knowing what I was actually doing. It was much later that I realised I was practising ninjutsu.”
Kawakami said training ranged from physical and mental skills to studies of chemicals, weather and psychology.
“I call ninjutsu comprehensive survival techniques,” though it originated in war skills such as espionage and guerrilla attacks, he said.
“For concentration, I looked at the wick of a candle until I got the feeling that I was actually inside it. I also practised hearing the sound of a needle dropping on the floor,” he said.
He climbed walls, jumped from heights and learned how to mix chemicals to cause explosions and smoke.
“I was also required to endure heat and cold as well as pain and hunger. The training was all tough and painful. It wasn’t fun but I didn’t think much why I was doing it. Training was made to be part of my life.”

(snip)

Kawakami says much of the ninja’s art lies in catching people unawares, rather than in brute force.
“Humans can’t be on the alert all the time. There is always a moment when they are off guard and you catch it,” he said.
It is all about exploiting weaknesses that allows the ninja to outfox much bigger or more numerous opponents; distracting attention to allow a quick getaway.
It is possible to hide — in a manner of speaking — behind the smallest of things, Kawakami said.
“If you throw a toothpick, people will look that way, giving you the chance to flee.
“We also have a saying that it is possible to escape death by perching on your enemy’s eyelashes; it means you are so close that he cannot see you.”
---------------------------------------------

This last part about deception reminds me of another Ninja story I read years ago; An old Japanese lady told her family about her father, a ninja.
Could he disappear, they asked?
She replied:
"Once when we were being attacked, he hid us in a manure pile".









Thursday, August 16, 2012

Korean Karate, The Moonies and the CIA


Former Moonie and "Father of American Tae Kwon Do" Jhoon Rhee

In May of 2011 we took a look at Alex Gillis's excellent history of Korean Karate, "A Killing Art".
Gillis has done an intense study of the politics of Tae Kwon Do and it's close relationship to the Unification Church of Reverend Moon and the Korean and American CIA.

For the purpose of this article, we will explore the origins of the intense nationalism and anti-communism that led to this unholy alliance.

The Korean peninsula has always been under attack or occupation by it's neighbors China and Japan. By extension, the influence of far right-wing Japanese nationalists played a tremendous role in shaping post-war Korea. Here is a description of the "Japanese Patriotic Societies":

The Rise of the Militarists

"Ultranationalism was characteristic of right-wing politicians and conservative military men since the inception of the Meiji Restoration, contributing greatly to the prowar politics of the 1870s. Disenchanted former samurai had established patriotic societies and intelligence-gathering organizations, such as the Gen'yosha (Black Ocean Society, founded in 1881) and its later offshoot, the Kokuryukai (Black Dragon Society, or Amur River Society, founded in 1901). These groups became active in domestic and foreign politics, helped foment prowar sentiments, and supported ultranationalist causes through the end of World War II. After Japan's victories over China and Russia, the ultranationalists concentrated on domestic issues and perceived domestic threats, such as socialism and communism." (link)

After World War Two and into the Korean War era Korea, Japan and the United States had one common agenda; anti-communism.
While not playing down the atrocities committed by the Communists, we cannot overlook those committed by these allies in the name of anti-communism. It's a broad subject, but it may help to focus on Korea.
According to researcher Dave Emory and detailed in Robert Boettcher's book "Gifts of Deceit" after W.W. 2 the American forces reinstalled the very Japanese fascists they had defeated to run post-war Korea. While the Japanese were detested by Koreans, they successfully industrialized the country and assimilated elements of Korean culture with Japanese schooling and industry. The United States later insured that Korea remained stable under a series of right-wing dictatorships.
In return, South Korea contributed to U.S. war efforts in Vietnam and elsewhere, sending troops and hand-to-hand combat instructors.

The Korean CIA became an extension of the American CIA, and as expected it's tentacles reached into various social and religious programs. This of course, included the Unification Church of Reverend Sun Myung Moon. Moon is a strong anti-communist who views himself as Christ reborn. Many of us remember the sales of flowers to fund the church, and that Moon owns the right-wing Washington Times newspaper.

Moon's right-hand man is named Bo Hi Pak, A Korean agent and president of the Korean Cultural and Freedom Foundation, an organization that channeled funds to the intelligence services. Later, the organization became involved in a scandal to bribe U.S. Congressmen.
Bo Hi Pak's cousin is none other than the father of American Tae Kwon Do, Jhoon Rhee.
Rhee had helped set up the Korean cultural and Freedom foundation but denied any knowledge of the illegal activity and intelligence connections.
Right.
Rhee allegedly split with Moon and the Unification Church in 1965. The church run by the Moonies went on to corrupt the U.S. government and dabble in industries such as building M-16 rifle factories and taking over fishing fleets.

Along with Gillis's book "A Killing Art" the book "Gifts of Deceit" by Robert Boettcher contains explosive information on the corrupting influence of Moon and the intelligence services. Boettcher was staff director of the Congressional investigation into the Korea-gate scandal of Korean bribes and influence peddling. Here's a brief review of Boettcher's book:

Gifts of Deceit

by Robert Boettcher
Legislative assistant to Representative Donald Fraser,
Democrat Minnesota

review by Allen Tate Wood
In Gifts of Deceit the late Robert Boettcher insightfully and thoroughly documents the activities and findings of the Fraser Committee. This congressional subcommittee( through it's 1978 report) on International Organizations opened a window on a world in Washington which many would prefer to see closed forever.
The report of this committee informally called the “Fraser Report” exhaustively documents and details Sun Myung Moon's role in working to shape American foreign policy. It further names a whole host of characters including American politicians, military leaders, Korean diplomats, former Japanese prime ministers, not to mention President Dwight D. Eisenhower who wittingly or unwittingly wound up acting as agents or surrogates for Sun Myung Moon and his "Unification Church".
In addition to reading like a first rate who dunn’it Boettcher's book gives the reader a behind the scenes look at official Washington which to this day has done nothing about the principal findings of the Frazer Committee: namely that the Unification Church has engaged in systematic violations of U.S law. Banking and currency laws, securities and exchange commission laws, Immigration and naturalization laws and charities fraud laws.
Boettcher's book is the first book that reveals the global geo-political ambitions of the Moon organization. It is a must for students of foreign relations, students of destructive cults, and for students of the U. S. Constitution particularly those who take an interest in the first and the thirteenth amendments.

A.T.Wood
December ,2000


It should be noted that author Boettcher was killed in a suspicious "accident". Here is his obituary in The New York Times:

Robert Boettcher, Staff Chief In House Inquiry, Dies in Fall
Published: May 30, 1984

Robert B. Boettcher, who was staff director of a Congressional investigation of South Korean influence-peddling in Washington in the 1970's, died Thursday in a fall from the roof of an apartment building on Central Park West, where he lived. He was 44 years old.
From 1971 until 1979, Mr. Boettcher directed the staff of the House Subcommittee on International Organizations. In that capacity he was in charge, under Representative Donald Fraser, of gathering evidence of a scandal in which Tongsun Park, a South Korean millionaire businessman, and others were accused of unlawfully seeking to influence American political figures in providing military and economic aid to Seoul.
Most recently Mr. Boettcher served as executive director of development and public relations for the Dance Theater of Harlem.
----------------------------------------------

It's a dangerous line where the CIA crosses paths with Karate and religious cults.
It goes without saying that many, many Korean Karate masters went to work training intelligence agents. This included my own instructor, Tae Hong Choi.
As Gillis describes in "A Killing Art", Korean martial artists were inseparable from both crime syndicates and the intelligence agencies.

*
Ex-Director
Informs On
KCIA Action
U.S. Probers Given
Secret and Detailed
Reports for 2 Years
By Scott irZt ciT1 g
and Charles R. Babcock
Washington Post Staff Writers
For the past two years, a former
director of the South Korean Intelligence
Agency has been secretly
giving federal investigators here
detailed information about the
KCIA's efforts to influence I.I.S.
officials with cash and gifts.
• According to informed sources, Kim .
Hyung Wook, who was KCIA director
In Seoul for seven years during the
1960s, has provided investigators with
a road map for their probe of the
South Korean influence-buying
scheme by revealing secret Swiss
bank accounts, identifying South Korean
businesses used as KCIA covers
and naming key KCIA agents, including
South Korean businessman Tongsun
Park.
In particular, Kim has told U.S.
investigators:
• South Korean President Park
Chung Hee systematically has diverted
to Swiss bank accounts roughly
5 per cent of all foreign investments
in his country.
•Park Chung Hee regularly funnelled
money into campaigns of congressional
and presidential candidates
here during the 1960s.
*U.S. congressmen visiting South
Korea were routinely given cash-filled
envelopes, elaborate entertainment,
female companionship, honorary degrees
and medals.
•A number of U.S. congressmen
now under federal investigation were
given cash in this country through
Tongsun Park and other KCIA. conduits
here, With some congressmen receiving
as much as $50,000 each.
• Park Chung Hee's son-in-law, Han
Byung Ki, then deputy ambassador in
the South Korean mission to the
United Nations, directed KCIA agents
who tried to suppress South Korean
dissidents in this country.
•Bo Hi Pak, a former military attaehe
at the South Korean Embassy

More at link



Friday, August 3, 2012

Military Vets Suing CIA Over Mind Control



It's been a while since we've dropped down the rabbit-hole over here at Dojo Rat, so hang on for the ride;

As described in this article in "Wired", Vietnam Veterans of America are suing the CIA over mind control experiments:

"For two decades or more during the Cold War, the CIA and the military allegedly plied the unwitting with acid, weed, and dozens of psychoactive drugs, in a series of zany (and sometimes dangerous) mind-control experiments. Now, the Vietnam Veterans of America are suing the agency and the Pentagon for perceived abuses suffered under the so-called "MK-ULTRA" and other projects.
Six veterans are suffering from all kinds of ailments tied to this
"diabolical and secret testing program," according to a statement from the vets’ lawyers, passed on to SpyTalk’s Jeff Stein."


Now, it's doubtful that this lawsuit will go anywhere, but what comes out in depositions and discovery may reveal more pieces to the mind control puzzle.

Essentially, the U.S. Intelligence agencies were developing programs to create assassins that could be programed to kill on command, and in some cases not remember what they had done.
Many, many researchers believe the accused killer of Robert Kennedy (including his attorneys) was one such programmed killer.

The CIA admits they had experimental mind control programs, but says they suspended them in the 1970's.
Others say they suspended them because they were successful and had gone operational. There was no need for further experiments.

The Kool-Aid killings in Jonestown were another example of a CIA mind control operation gone terribly wrong. That cost the lives of at least 700 people and Congressman Leo Ryan who went down to investigate. Ryan was shot dead on an airstrip and the followers of Jim Jones were poisoned and shot to prevent disclosure of the program.

Voices in Your head?

Right about now you're saying "Dojo Rat has gone off the deep end!"
But check this out;

Here is how far the technology has come: companies have the ability to put voices in your head as part of new add campaigns. Here is an example from "Add Age":

"NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- New Yorker Alison Wilson was walking down Prince Street in SoHo last week when she heard a woman's voice right in her ear asking, "Who's there? Who's there?" She looked around to find no one in her immediate surroundings. Then the voice said, "It's not your imagination."
No, he's not crazy: Our intrepid reporter Andrew Hampp ventures to SoHo to hear for himself the technology that has New Yorkers 'freaked out' and A&E buzzing.
Indeed it isn't. It's an ad for "Paranormal State," a ghost-themed series premiering on A&E this week. The billboard uses technology manufactured by Holosonic that transmits an "audio spotlight" from a rooftop speaker so that the sound is contained within your cranium."

Yes, that's right. Putting voices in your head.
This is in billboard advertising. Where do you think the technology came from?

Now, we could go very, very deep into this subject, but perhaps this example will make the point; there are lots of movies that show how hypno-programmed assassins are created. The most famous is perhaps the original "Manchurian Candidate".
One of my favorites is the Warren Beatty movie "The Parallax View", which I saw in a theater when I was about 15. It woke me up to the idea of conspiracy as historical truth. Here is a scene where Beaty, as a reporter follows a trail and ends up in one such hypno-program:



No shit. This is how it's done, but in a more graphic way.
So when we have people in society that flip out and pull off some horrific crime, it may just be a random event of a troubled individual.

Or maybe not.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Strange and Rat's Excellent Adventure

A Couple of Ugly Mugs


Hell, I knew I was in for it.
He's bigger than me.
He's about 16 years younger than me.
He's a Texan.
He's a 5th Dan and practices Judo and Aikido.
He's capable of holding large quantities of alcohol quite well.
Oh, and I forgot to mention he's a magician.

Yes, He is often known as "Sensei Strange" at The Dragons Orb Website.

Strange and Rat have been long-distance friends for a while. We have traded compliments and barbs and like many of us on martial websites, we became friends.
Strange (His parents call him Eric) is on the journey of the warrior. Much like a hero in an ancient epic quest, Strange is wandering from Texas, through Oklahoma and to the far outskirts of the Dojo Rat Empire on a remote island on the Canadian border. He is hitting Dojo training on the way everywhere.

So Strange has been on this tour of drinking engagements disguised as martial arts seminars.
That works for me. When he showed up the first night, we had a nice mellow BBQ party which included a bunch of old people as well as a few local drinkers. We filled the Saloon and played into the wee hours.



Strange admitted to me that he was on a mission.
Agents deep within the New Confederacy had sent him up here to take me out.
Apparently, they were pissed off at me mocking Chuck Norris and that I had coined the term "Republifucks" to describe over-the-line so-called "Conservatives".
It seems they were truly pissed off.
Would he have warned me if he was going to kill me?
So I developed a strategy; Take Strange to a sauna /hot tub facility where there were naked hippie chicks.
Great distraction. Worked for a while.
There was only one tense moment where he looped his "Scarf of Death" around my neck from behind. Thankfully, it was a failed assassination attempt.
But for all you conservative guys who consider yourself in the "Republifuck" category, I got the message.
My next plan was to keep him intoxicated.



We toured our secret location and did about an hour of push-hands / kazushi unbalancing on the waterfront at the grounds of an expensive historic resort without getting arrested or kicked out by the staff. I only got knocked down once.
Strange, aside from his youth and size is a superior practitioner. I mentioned he is a magician, and I truly think that has a lot to do with his skill development.
He has the ability to think in non-linear ways in all respects. His push hands are unorthodox due to his Judo/Aikido training. This was great for me. We ran about an hour of standing grappling at the waterfront and then retreated for the comfort of our local Tavern.

It was late afternoon and we drank, snacked and then went back to my Saloon for more food, drinking and training.
Strange clearly outfights me in the clinch due to his judo skills. Our grappling range practice began to include leg traps and punching. I felt the only way I could keep my game going was with some controlled hitting, very soft and changing angles but keeping him off grappling range.
Whew!

We had a fantastic sparring session and after that everyone moved inside to drink in the Saloon and go through Knife stripping techniques.

Random drunk friend training with Strange



I am proud to have connected with a true friend and Martial Brother. He had traveled a long,long way to reach our little island and play.
This is the beauty and wonder of our interaction with others on the intertubenetwebs.
We had a wonderful martial and drinking visit, and I hope for many more;

Thanks Strange!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

When You Own Your Form



The video above is of our resident Tai Chi Chuan master, T.Y. Pang performing some freestyle Tai Chi and Bagua.
Experienced Yang Tai Chi stylists will recognize he is way off script, and loving it.

Back in the late 1990's our group was fazing out of hard-style Karate and into the softer arts. This is a natural progression for seasoned martial artists, regardless of style. Of course, it takes years to achieve.

When I started learning Tai Chi Chuan, I was still looking through the prism of Karate eyes. The movements appeared martial, but confusing and I sought application in every move. That can be frustrating with the differences between Karate and Tai Chi being so extreme.

So the process is to just run the damned form. Over and over, thousands of times.
What helped me is something that was never allowed in traditional Chinese arts; train with other masters. In my case it was in the sister arts of Tai Chi which are Xingyi and Bagua. I was fortunate to have attended seminars with people that can actually fight, such as Tim Cartmell and his students.

Gradually, I understood the purpose of the movements and applications. One art informed the other and I saw huge similarities as well as subtle differences.

In Pangs form performance above, he has abandoned the structure of the form, and that is the ultimate goal.
The form eventually becomes your manifestation of art.
Inside your head you have all the applications. You have the imprinting, the muscle memory.
Now you are ready for the Zen experience that the form provides;
You "own" the form, it is yours.

Friday, July 13, 2012

"Milling About" at Dojo Rat Headquarters

"Hey DR; Why have you not been flooding us with fresh, new martial arts posts lately???"

Well, there are multiple reasons.
The first being that I am trying to secure Dojo Rat Headquarters for the upcoming winter. that means cutting at least three cords of firewood.
No problem, I have all these logs:



But wait; there's more!
We're also building a farm house and that requires big beams and planks and custom lumber. so we brought in my friends mill:



So we made big pieces into little pieces:


Some of these beams were 6x12x16 feet long. They took five guys to move them.



And here is some of the very nice live-edge Maple that will be for some nice custom features:



So fair warning; readers will have to slog through the long building process as we develop the farm at our undisclosed secret island hideout.
The Dojo Rat Blog is taking yet another left turn and hang on for the ride.

Look; you got the aging DR, scrambling to build the farm while the old body can still pound it out.
You got a huge political election that we will be ranting about soon.
And you still have some cool martial arts going on.

But as we tinker under the hood and keep this fucker on the road, some new and interesting stuff may show up.
Get ready for some building projects, music projects and writing projects coming your way soon!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Ridin' The Dog



There is nothing that levels the cultural playing field as much as these two things:

1. "Airing" your dirty laundry at a laundromat
2. Riding a Greyhound Bus.

I've only had the pleasure of two such Greyhound trips.
The first, in the early 80's, I rode down from Portland to Modesto California. From there I hitchhiked south to Delhi to try and find a girlfriend who wanted to get back to Portland. On the trip I took a small backpack with a few essentials. I never let it out of my sight, and one of the passengers accused me of being a drug mule.
After hitching to Delhi I walked aimlessly around town until I found my girlfriends house, mission accomplished.

The next trip was when I had first moved up to our current undisclosed island hideout and had to get back to Portland to bring back a pickup truck.
I walked on to the Ferry Boat, took three county busses and made it to the Greyhound station right as the bus for Portland was departing.
Of course, they call these rides "The milk run".
The damned bus stops at every Podunk whistle-stop on the way, and it drags on and on.

As it turns out, I had a two-hour lay-over in Seattle, and the bus station is in your typical run-down concrete hellhole.
Two fucking hours...
So I walked out and saw three baggage handlers laughing and chatting. Appearing as the Little Country Mouse, I approached them and asked where a guy could get a decent sandwich and a Beer.
The one woman on the crew faced me and sternly cautioned that nobody who was drinking alcohol would be allowed on the bus, so she couldn't tell me where to find a Tavern or Bar.
But the very helpful man that was working with her pulled me over to him and told me with great confidence to go out the gate and take a right. He said go down two blocks and on the right is the place I was looking for. He even said "Go to the side door; they'll take care of you".
Well, I thanked him for the information, and left the gate as they all laughed their asses off in the noisy background.

So I'm walking down a dirty urban street past the station- back pack, boots, and flannel. Sure enough there's a Bar right where the guy said it would be. But something was a little off...
As I stood outside thinking about a cold Beer, a street person approached me like the typical "mark" that I was. I clearly established distance from the guy as he was up to no good.

"Hey man, wanna smoke some weed?"
"Back-off Dude"
"Whatcha doing standing outside this Bar?"
"The guy at the Greyhound station said I could get a Beer and a sandwich here"

"Ha-ha-ha-ha! He told you that? Man, this is a Gay Bar!"

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

July 4th: Individual Freedom or Free Individuals?

Readers of The Dojo Rat Blog probably know this is my favorite statement for "Independence Day".
The point being; people who squak the most about "individual freedom" are becoming the most controlling authoritarians in our present-day society.
Think Religious Conservatives (of every stripe).
"Free Market" Capitalists.
Folks obsessed with stockpiling huge amounts of guns.
Charter school and "privatization" fanatics.

Need I say more?
Enjoy this clip from "Easy Rider":

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Rediscovering Alan Watts



When I was around 13 years-old, FM radio was just starting out. The stations were few, and usually played classical music.
But that was in the heady days of "album rock". The emerging FM stations distanced themselves from the bubble-gum music by playing long sets and entire albums.
One station I started listening to had both an AM and FM spot on the dial. I took two old radios, tuned each to the same station on FM and AM. My Dad told me that was actually "Stereo".

On Sunday mornings while I was hanging out in my bedroom that station played something completely different; lectures by a brilliant man I had never heard of, about philosophy that blew my fuckin' mind.
That man was Alan Watts.

Born in London in 1915, Watts studied East Indian philosophy, Buddhism, Taoism and Zen. He hung out with Joseph Campbell, composer John Cage, and CG Jung.
Watts had a masters degree in theology and served a brief stint as an Episcopal Minister before moving to California and immersing himself in Asian studies.

In California, Watts split his time living on a houseboat in Sausalito, and at a secluded mountain cabin. His iconic lifestyle was challenged at times; he was criticized for not spending long sessions in seated meditation. He went through a series of marriages and rejected certain issues of personal morality in favor of societal morality and relationships between people and nature.

Watts was known to have experimented with Mescaline, LSD and marijuana. When asked about drug use years later, he commented "When you get the message, hang up the phone".

40 or more years have gone by since I heard Alan Watts' voice and philosophical ramblings.
Recently, I've been frustrated at not getting decent radio reception while working on farms, gardens and orchards on our remote island. I decided to buy an I-pod and listen to downloads.
So who do I stumble across again? Alan Watts.

There is something mystically reassuring about Watts' voice and philosophy, and I'm glad we found each other again.

For more information see:

The Alan Watts website

The Alan Watts Wikipedia page

Alan Watts on YouTube

Thursday, June 21, 2012

More Militant Jesus: "Fight Church"



Somehow, in December we get "Free Market Jesus", who sells us stuff on the TV to give to kids programmed to believe in Satan Claus.

But just like the modern Conservative movement, "Free Market Jesus" is also "Militant Jesus".

Please take note on how the Prince of Peace no longer speaks of social justice and brotherhood, the new message is "The enemy wants to destroy you personally, destroy your family".
That enemy should be the darker side of human nature, in which case one would look over the deep introspective cliff of Ego.
Instead, the easier demon is "the other".
Muslims.
Welfare.
Gays.
Some other guy who worships a different version of Jesus.

Hey, I've come to respect MMA for the spectacle of the times that it is. But isn't there a mixed message here?

As I recently heard a comedian say; I can appreciate Jesus, I just don't care for some of his fan club.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

"Maternity" Bungee Jumping? WTF?



No shit.
This poster was on the bulletin board at our local market. At first I thought it was a joke, but it has an e-mail address attached for information and liability forms.

In case you can't read the print, it's aim is "to further pre-maternal mother-child bonding" through Bungee jumping.
"Recommended for women in their first or second trimesters".

First of all, I have heard that the last thing you want to transfer to an embryo is a huge amount of terror-induced stress that, let's say, a hundred-foot fall might induce.

And imagine years later little Billy or Sally having a re-occurring dream of falling...falling...falling...
Why am I afraid of bridges, Mommy?

Note that at the bottom someone wrote "Are You insane?"

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

June Saloon Party

I know posting has been a little light lately, lots of summer stuff going on.
Saturday was our annual BBQ at the Saloon, and it was great! Lots of people set up tents and a bunch just passed out in their cars. These things tend to go from 5 pm to 5 am.



One gas grill, one smoker BBQ, more than enough food for sixty people. No complaints from the neighbors, most of them were there. At 1 am I told the crew to keep the electric guitars down to a mild hum, it seems to have worked.



I'll be posting when I can, but there are a few big projects that have to be done in the next couple of months. This includes bringing in a portable saw mill and turning a log deck into beams and lumber for the cabin, and getting at least four cords of firewood cut.
Luckily we have a Saloon to rest our old bones and have a shot and a cold Beer after the work!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Got Gas?



Well, this is the price we pay for living on a secret undisclosed island hideout; we pay more for everything. Gas just hit $5.00 for regular.

However, this scenario will be reversed when the economy comes unglued again.
That's right, Wall Street and London Bankers have driven the global economy into the ground.
Coming to an urban neighborhood near you: austerity driven poverty and civil unrest.

Here's a link,

Get out while you can.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Back to Lock-Flow Drills

Ok, let's all put our shirts back on and take in some more lock-flow drills demonstrated by our training partner Corey:

#1


This flow transitions between kote gaeshi and nikkyo, with a thumblock in the transition.

#2


Now a little more complex. Note the transition to the "escort" hold, this is the hallmark of this flow.

And here's where Corey credit's these flow drills:

"Joint Lock flows 1-7 were learned from Leon Jay, Will Higginbotham, and developed by Corey Wiscomb. These were recorded in May of 2001"

I already posted #3. so we will skip to #4-#7 later this week.

Friday, June 1, 2012

June: Cute Hippie Chick of the Month



Well it seems that New York City is becoming a mecca for women to go topless. A while back we put up the photo above, of a cop giving directions to a topless girl.

Now we have the video below, this time of a topless girl being interviewed. The video goes a little long, but is worth watching to see the reaction of the repressed Jesus-freaks that say she is doing something evil and against Biblical principles.
I suppose those folks already live in their own self-imposed Hell.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Old Lock-Flow Video #3



I dug around and found some old footage of our Dojo Member Corey running some lock-flow drills. These are mainly training tools, not contiguous fighting techniques.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Faceplant Stock Conspiracy



People have a love-hate relationship with Facebook, which I refer to as "Faceplant".

Friends and family I know live their lives on Facebook, something I refuse to do. Now, I realize that the Dojo Rat Blog details aspects of my life, but these are just little tidbits of eternity. I don't get up in the morning and type in what kind of tea I am drinking. I don't complain about work on Facebook. I don't play farm or mobster games with strangers on Facebook. In fact, I can't remember the last time I checked the Dojo Rat page on Facebook at all.

People are willingly giving their lives over to researchers and advertisers by posting the most intimate details of their lives in a public forum, a dream come true for commercial marketing as well as Government snoops.
Lately I have noticed that I am being tracked on random websites just because Dojo Rat has a Facebook account.

That being said, there are some very valuable aspects of the "Facebook Revolutions".
The Arab Spring was organized on Facebook. Authoritarian countries like China try to block it's use in some cases. In a very real way, social networking like Facebook has allowed oppressed people all over the world to rally against "The Man".

So it was no surprise to see a controversy as Facebook released it's "initial public offering" or "IPO" for publicly traded stock.
Forbes explains the much-awaited IPO release:

"Shares of Facebook managed a slim gain from the IPO price of $38 when they debuted Friday, but then spent the next two sessions in free-fall. The stock finally righted itself Wednesday, climbing 4.5% to $32.40."

As IPO's go, this was quite a disappointment.
Naturally, wherever money is involved, lawsuits follow. According to the Forbes article:

"The defendants named in the suit include Facebook executives Mark Zuckerberg, CFO David Ebersman and Chief Accounting Officer David Spillane; board members Marc Andreessen, Erskine Bowles, Jim Breyer, Donald Graham, Reed Hastings and Peter Thiel; and underwriters Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch and Barclays Capital."

Allegations cover whether the stock was knowingly overvalued or if investors were misled.

But here's an interesting angle;
I heard a very knowledgeable investor describe how the major financial networks played with Facebook in the lead-up to the IPO release. Financial networks like CNBC were slamming Facebook even before the release. It's like they just couldn't stand it and here's why:

The elites that puppet the country have no control over the most popular organizing tool in the world.

The damned thing was built in a college dorm room.
It didn't take any government money.
Wall Street doesn't control it.
Companies, organizations and even politicians have to use Facebook pages to be competitive in their field.

All this by some hoodie-wearing pot-smoking kids that don't give a shit about authority.
Zukerberg and his merry band of hackers have beat the system, and the system can't stand it.

So there is a possibility, nay probability that the elites have chosen to punish the outlaws, and from a report this morning on NPR the financial giant Morgan Stanley is being looked at very closely.
Remember, financial firms profit from "going short" on investment bets when stock prices go down also.

Now here's the kicker from the Forbes article:

"A separate lawsuit brought against Nasdaq OMX Group, alleges negligence on the part of the stock exchange operator, which delayed the initial trading in Facebook on Friday due to technical issues and then struggled to send execution confirmations notifying customers of completed trades for several hours."

So the stock exchange operators meddled with the IPO release. How much more direct can it get?

And now this, from the belly of "The Beast" itself, financial network CNBC:

"My heavens, who didn't conspire to deceive the public on Facebook [FB 31.90 0.90 (+2.9%)] First it was Nasdaq messing up the open. Then it was Morgan Stanley for not supporting the price, and upping the shares. Then, it was high frequency traders.
Now it's Morgan Stanley's technology analyst, who cut his revenue estimates on Facebook during the road show."

Years ago, I used to resent computer technology as a pending arm of "Big Brother" authoritarianism.
Then I realised that if anyone was prepared to stand up against a computer-driven "Big Brother" it would be the cyber-punks.

For all it's shortcomings and laying bare of public persona, the social network is a genie out of the bottle. The "powers-that-be" can't own or control it, it is a global people-powered super-entity and the elite are punishing it.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Countdown to Count Dante Movie



Film maker Floyd Webb has worked tirelessly against the background of personal and professional threats to complete his documentary on the legendary "Count Dante".
Dante is featured in the upper corner of the Dojo Rat Blog in reverence to the "kitchey" Karate atmosphere that grabbed many of us as youth. Dante's comic book adds promised power in the destructive techniques of his "Black Dragon Fighting Society", and no doubt inspired many of us to go on and discover the true martial arts that we would carry through life.

TRAILER FOR MOVIE AT LINK BELOW

Floyd Webb is getting very close to completing the project, here's a website for more background information.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Old Martial Arts Adds


Oh boy, do I remember some of these.
I bought a couple of the books, The "Ketsugo" book is the one I remember. It combined Karate, Judo, Aikido, and Yawara (stick work).
I'm sure a few of you old Dojo Rats will remember some of these:







Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Swords, Super Moons and Shanghai Tunnels



Last weekend was a crazy scene in Port Townsend Washington.
My training partner and I attended a seminar on the traditional 54-movement Tai Chi sword form, and nailed the last part of the form. It's beautiful, stylish and lots of great techniques are involved. As usual, our instructor Michael Gilman taught the class in great detail and the form is a gift to practice and explore for years to come.
But Saturday was also "Cinco De Mayo", a terrific evening for margaritas and Mexican food.
- And it was also the "Super Moon", a rare night where the full moon was closer to the earth than usual, and craziness was sure to break out.

Port Townsend, along with San Francisco was one of the earliest West Coast seaports. It's where all ships had to clear customs to enter Washington State, and the town is flanked with Victorian houses and ancient brick buildings.
Long ago, high pressure water cannons were used to wash a long stretch of hillside into a marsh that was filled to provide room for the town. Here's the cliff and what's left of the hill:

As a result, the ground is very unstable and there is worry that the sediment could "liquefy" in an earthquake emergency. It's not a happy forecast, as the West Coast is due for a major quake in the future.
So several of the roads and sidewalks have been torn up and are being re-fitted with structural supports which probably won't help much.
However, it did expose some of the "Shanghai" tunnels that were probably used for smuggling and other nefarious crimes as referenced by this website:

"Most of the buildings in the Downtown business district are the originals and many still connect to the underground tunnels that were once used to shanghai witless sailors."

Here's one view:


All very interesting, but sometimes history and modern-day events collide...

So my wife and I proceeded to put it in party mode, we were up at one of our favorite bars in town and there was a great rock band playing late into the evening.
After many, many Beers and vodka drinks, we went into the outside hall where the restrooms were near the entrance to the bar.
Then the weirdest thing happened, and I chalk it up to the Super Moon and the Shanghai tunnels:
As I walked out of the restroom, I looked across the hall to where my wife had been standing.
Except now, there was a guy grabbing my wife and trying to drag her through a door that we had never seen anybody use before.
Seriously, he had my wife by one arm and the back of the neck, and I heard him say "Come on in little girl, I'll show you what's down here"...
This all happened very fast; the guy was propping the door open with his shoulder as he pulled my wife, and I stepped up and palm-slapped the heavy wooden door right next to his head. I hit the door so hard I thought I might have cracked it, and he let go immediately. I looked down the stairway and saw two other guys on a landing halfway down. At the same time, an employee from the bar must have seen what happened and walked over. Everything ended quickly and the three guys left through the door several floors down.
I took this picture of the stairway, which we had never seen anyone use before:


I don't know, these things often happen when you least expect it.
It's probably good that I hit the door instead of the guy's face, it probably would have killed him.

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Difference Between Xingyi, Tai Chi and Bagua



We attended another great seminar with our Tai Chi Chuan instructor Michael Gilman this weekend. In this session we completed the traditional 54-move sword form, but more on that later this week.

After the seminar several of the students gathered at our favorite watering hole, slammed beer and talked about the Chinese Internal Martial Arts. One of our friends came up with this quote from her instructor that was so good I wrote it down:

In Xingyi you wait for the opponent to come to the door, then you kick it in.

In Tai Chi Chuan, you wait for him to come outside, then you steal his key and let yourself in.

In Bagua you ignore the front door and move around the house to go in through a side window or back door...

Well said, well said!

More on the wild night of the "Super moon" and the crazy stuff that happened that night coming soon...