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:

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 "": " 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 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.


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

September: Cute Hippie Chick of the Month

Ah yes;
Up here in the coastal Pacific Northwest we have a long tradition of clam-digging: