Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Gichin Funakoshi says, "Shut the fuck up and just lift the God damned weights!"

"True practice is not done with words but with the entire body. Others have mastered the kata that you are practicing. Why then are you unable to? Is there something wrong with you? These are the questions you must ask yourself; then you must train until you fall from exhaustion; then soon you must continue, using the same strict regimen. What you have been taught by listening to others' words you will forget very quickly; what you have learned with your whole body you will remember for the rest of your life."
- Gichin Funakoshi

The above quote can easily be related to any type of physical training and not just karate.

Replace the word "kata" with "100 consecutive push ups"  or "500 lb squat" and it makes just as much sense. Obsessing over piddly bullshit like sets, reps and what day of the week you should do it on is a waste of time. Shut the fuck up and chase the goal like a lunatic and someday you'll be the one everybody else thinks has some kind of secret. That will be when you realize how overcomplicated everyone else makes it. It's simpler than you think.

My daughters are really into Barbies so I thought I'd find some Barbie pictures

The 10 Precepts of Karate according to Anko Itosu

Karate did not develop from Buddhism or Confucianism. In the past the Shorin-ryu school and the Shorei-ryu school were brought to Okinawa from China . Both of these schools have strong points and I therefore list them below just as they are without embellishment.
  1. Karate is not merely practiced for your own benefit; it can be used to protect one's family or master. It is not intended to be used against a single assailant but instead as a way of avoiding injury by using the hands and feet should one by any chance be confronted by a villain or ruffian.
  2. The purpose of karate is to make the muscles and bones hard as rock and to use the hands and legs as spears. If children were to begin training naturally in military prowess while in elementary school, then they would be well suited for military service. Remember the words attributed to the Duke of Wellington after he defeated Napoleon, “Today's battle was won on the playing fields of our schools”.
  3. Karate cannot be quickly learned. Like a slow moving bull, it eventually travels a thousand leagues. If one trains diligently for one or two hours every day, then in three or four years one will see a change in physique. Those who train in this fashion will discover the deeper principles of karate.
  4. In karate, training of the hands and feet are important, so you should train thoroughly with a makiwara. In order to do this, drop your shoulders, open your lungs, muster your strength, grip the floor with your feet, and concentrate your energy into your lower abdomen. Practice using each arm one to two hundred times each day.
  5. When you practice the stances of karate, be sure to keep your back straight, lower your shoulders, put strength in your legs, stand firmly, and drop your energy into your lower abdomen.
  6. Practice each of the techniques of karate repeatedly. Learn the explanations of every technique well, and decide when and in what manner to apply them when needed. Enter, counter, withdraw is the rule for torite.
  7. You must decide if karate is for your health or to aid your duty.
  8. When you train, do so as if on the battlefield. Your eyes should glare, shoulders drop, and body harden. You should always train with intensity and spirit as if actually facing the enemy, and in this way you will naturally be ready.
  9. If you use up your strength to excess in karate training, this will cause you to lose the energy in your lower abdomen and will be harmful to your body. Your face and eyes will turn red. Be careful to control your training.
  10. In the past, many masters of karate have enjoyed long lives. Karate aids in developing the bones and muscles. It helps the digestion as well as the circulation. If karate should be introduced, beginning in the elementary schools, then we will produce many men each capable of defeating ten assailants.
If the students at teacher training college learn karate in accordance with the above precepts and then, after graduation, disseminate this to elementary schools in all regions, within 10 years karate will spread all over Okinawa and to mainland Japan. Karate will therefore make a great contribution to our military. I hope you will seriously consider what I have written here – Anko Itosu, October 1908.

Friday, December 24, 2010

My Favourite Christmas Story

At this point I have no idea who originally wrote this but it gets copied, pasted and passed around every year at around this time. Here you go:

You can take all your Tiny Tims and your Grinches and your Miracles on Whatever Street and stuff them in your stocking. The best Christmas story is about a boxer.

It starts the day in 1918 when a doctor tells a slender heavyweight named Billy Miske that his bum kidneys give him five years to live, if he's lucky. Turns out he's dying of Bright's disease. This comes as rotten news to Billy, who's only 24 years old and not half bad in the ring. He's good enough to fight guys like future light heavyweight champ Harry Greb twice to 10-round draws, which is sort of like tying with a twister. Still, the doc says if Billy's smart, he'll find a comfortable couch and retire right now.

Problem is, almost nobody but Billy knows he's up to his ears in debt, being $100,000 in the hole because the car distributorship he operates in St. Paul doesn't distribute near enough cars. Billy's weakness as a salesman is that he's too trusting. He keeps counting on his friends to pay up, and mostly they don't. So Billy keeps the kidney news to himself and decides to continue fighting and paying what he owes. In fact, Billy fights 30 more times after the doc's death sentence, including bust-ups with guys like Tommy Gibbons, who was knocked out only one time in his career, and three dances with Jack Dempsey, once for the title in 1920.

Dempsey hits people only slightly harder than a bus, and in that title bout he belts Billy once so flush in the heart that Billy goes down for a nine count. In those nine seconds a purple welt the size of a baseball pops up on Billy's chest, scaring Dempsey half to death. But then Billy himself pops up, wanting more. Dempsey knocks him clean out less than a minute later, this time with an anvil to the jaw, as Dempsey is trying to get the fight over before one of them faints, maybe Dempsey. "I was afraid I'd killed him," Dempsey says afterward, but Billy's kidneys are doing a good job of that all by themselves.

By the fall of 1923, Billy is dying fast. He looks like a broomstick on a diet. He's too weak to work out, much less prizefight. The only thing thinner than Billy's arms is his wallet. He hasn't had a bout since January, which is trouble, because Christmas is coming up hard.

Well, Billy isn't about to face his wife, Marie, and their three young kids, Billy Jr., Douglas and Donna, tapped out for his last Christmas, so he goes to his longtime manager, Jack Reddy, and asks him for one last fight. Reddy says no chance. "I don't like to say this," Reddy tells him, "but if you went in the ring now, in your condition, you might get killed."
"What's the difference?" Billy answers. "It's better than waiting for it in a rocking chair."

Reddy chews on that for a while and comes up with a proposition: "Do one thing for me. Go to the gym, start working out, and let's see if you can get into some kind of condition. Then we'll talk."

Billy says no can do. He says there's no way he can work out. He says he's got one last fight in him, and maybe not even that. A softie, Reddy arranges a Nov. 7 bout in Omaha against a brawler named Bill Brennan, who went 12 rounds with Dempsey and is still meaner than 10 miles in brand-new shoes.

True to his word, Billy doesn't get any nearer the gym than his aspirin bottle. He stays in hiding, slurping bowls of chicken soup and boiled fish, and rarely making it out of bed. But he turns up in Omaha on the appointed night, survives four rounds with Brennan and cashes a cheque for $2,400.

That cheque buys the best Christmas the Miskes ever have. The kids come flying downstairs in the morning to a Christmas tree, a toy train, a baby-grand piano and presents stacked higher than they can reach. They eat like Rockefellers and sing like angels and laugh all day. Do you know, the only smile bigger in Minneapolis that day than the ones on the faces of those three Miske kids is on Billy's mug.

The next morning Billy calls Reddy and whispers, "Come and get me, Jack. I'm dying." Reddy rushes Billy to St. Mary's Hospital, but the doctors can't do a thing. On New Year's Day 1924, Billy, 29, dies of kidney failure.

That's it, really. Except that if you ever pass through Omaha and run into an old-timer, ask him about the prizefight that day, the one that gave Billy Miske the finish he wanted, the one he won in four rounds, over Bill Brennan, by a knockout.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Beatings

I think it would be great to knock somebody out for their Christmas present.

"Merry Christmas..." *BAM!* Straight up blast right to your stupid looking face.

Maybe I'll dress up like Santa Claus and walk through the mall just lighting up kids everywhere I go.

*BAM!* Down you go, son. *BAM!* There's your fuckin' dad too. Thanks for the X-Box.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Martin Short is a piece of shit

There is no bigger goof to ever come out of Hamilton than Martin Short. I'll bet he got his ass kicked all the time before he became a "celebrity," if you can even call him that. What is he, the voice of the fucking Cat in the Hat now?

I would love to beat the shit out of Martin Short. He might be one of those guys who's really boring to beat up though. He strikes me as one of those types who wouldn't even hit you back. You could stomp him into a corner and he'd spend the first half of his beating shouting random bullshit like "What the fuck?" or "Fuck off!"
Then he might just shut the fuck up and turtle for a while, desperately hoping that someone will come along and help him.

Whatever his bodyguards are getting paid it's not enough. I think if I was one of Martin Short's bodyguards I'd give him a good shove at least once a day. Just a straight on, two-handed blast right in the chest and fire him all the way across the room. Watch him trip over the couch and do a flip over the back of it. Then just pretend like nothing happened and ignore him for the rest of the day. You don't want a guy like him to forget the fact that he's a goof and a human punching bag. He'd start taking his protection for granted if that ever happened. There are probably so many people that want to kick Martin Short in the balls that trying to protect him from all of us has got to be the hardest job in Hollywood.

Why the fuck does Martin Short even still exist? There's no reason anyone should even know who he is. Nothing he was ever in has ever been funny. Not because he was in it anyway. Any of his movies that were funny at all were because they had ensemble casts with funny people other than him picking up his slack. Same thing with SCTV before that. Any skit that was centred around him was crap and made me want to punch out my TV.

If I ever get within arms' reach of Martin Short I'm probably going to be arrested.

What the fuck is that he's got in his hands?! No one has ever deserved a clothesline more.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

I didn't think anybody was reading this blog.

Apparently there are a lot more people reading than I thought. Considering I thought there was only two or three before, "a lot more" doesn't necessarily mean much. I put almost zero effort into it and that's probably not about to change but finding out people are actually reading it has inspired me for the moment.

My History with Lifting Weights

I've told this story online a few times now and probably with a lot more detail in the past but whatever. It is what it is.

The first person I ever beat up was in the second grade. I don't even remember how or why the fight started. I just remember kicking this kid around the field. He started crying so I threw him into a puddle and walked away. Seems pretty silly the feeling of being so much stronger than someone else felt pretty good. I still talk to that guy sometimes. I started taking karate lessons in the third grade. That was my first introduction to working out. I got addicted to knuckle push ups and sit ups. I would do them constantly. The fourth grade was when I had my first official after school fight. I had cut in front of a guy in line and he got pissed off about it. We decided to settle it with a fight by the rocks after school. I kicked him in the leg a few times and could see that he was hurt so I grabbed him in a headlock and fed him a shitload of punches. He and I ended up fighting after school every day for the rest of that week. We lived only a few doors from each other so we would just punch the shit out of each other all the way home from school. It was fun. In the sixth grade I joined the wrestling team and was introduced to squats and started doing them all the time too. Around this time I also started lifting an old typewriter that my dad had given me. Presses and curls mostly. My high school didn't have a wrestling team so I got involved in competitive taekwondo instead. I started doing hill sprints all the time because it seemed to help a lot with that sport and there was a good sized, steep hill across the creek behind the apartment building where most of my friends lived.

There used to be a guy who taught kenpo lessons in the basement of that building. My taekwondo dojang was in the plaza across the street so there was always a bit of a rivalry between the two schools. When that guy went to jail on some drug charges, his dojo was abandoned. A friend of mine and I heard that there was a samurai sword hidden in the ceiling down there so one night during March break we broke in with a screwdriver to find it. We never found any sword but the place was full of weights. The old plastic ones with the cement on the inside. I had been bugging my mom for weights and a punching bag every birthday and Christmas for years at this point and she told me she would never buy me that stuff because I was too crazy to have stuff like that. Months earlier I'd been lifting in the high school weight room after school but some asshole stole something one night and they cut that off. I figured this was the only opportunity for a home gym I was ever going to get.

My friend and I came back with some hockey bags and filled them with weights. When we tried to pick up the first one the handles ripped right off the bag and the bag didn't even move. This idea was obviously not going to work. We went and found a shopping cart. It only had three wheels but there it was so we took it. We left it at the top of the stairs and loaded it up with weights. Dragging a shopping cart with only three wheels filled with weights through the snow was a fucking pain in the ass. We had to get it across the creek and up the hill, ankle deep in snow the whole time. Needless to say, we didn't use that method again. We left the door to the dojo open just enough that we could go and open it any time but nobody would notice anything unless they looked really closely at it. Nobody ever went down there anyway. We spent the whole rest of the week making trips back and forth between the basement dojo and my mom's house, taking turns carrying a barbell loaded with weights across our shoulders. I remember at one point I dropped a bunch of them in the creek but I didn't want to put the rest down to go and pick them up so I left them there for the time being. Somebody yelled from behind me, "Glen, are these your weights?"
And I yelled back, "Yeah!" expecting never to see those weights again. But they were still there when I came back.

For the next couple of years I kept finding myself coming across exercises equipment everywhere I went. I found benches and barbells in the trash and in those places that sell cheap used furniture to poor people. To this day you can look up my mom's house on google Earth and see her backyard filled with junk. We'd bring big stones back to the yard from the creek in shopping carts. We stole a railroad tie from the train tracks once. We ripped off some big tires from a yard where they specialized in tires for trucks and heavy machinery. We'd take shit from construction sites. Anything that looked like you could work out with, we'd take it.

That friend eventually lost interest in working out but I never did. I would lift every day in my mom's basement or backyard. In between sets I'd go flex in the mirror. I used to like watching the World's Strongest Man competitions on TSN. They looked like fun but in the back of my mind I knew I'd never be big enough to do one. Not on that kind of a level anyway, but my own workouts were pretty much inspired from them. Schwarzenegger movies too.

I'd been lifting weights like that for about five years when another friend phoned me up and said there was a strongman contest coming up in three days just a few towns away and there would be weight divisions. That was it. I had to do it. I got third place in the middleweight division that year and I've been competing ever since. I gave up on martial arts and focused solely on the weights. That was, I think, eight years ago.

Strongman is probably the most fun sport I've ever done. There's something about being able to flip a 700+ lb tire down the street that makes any drunk retard running his mouth at the bar pretty laughable. Good enough for me.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Vince Gironda was a goof.

His methods are used by chickenshits as an excuse to piddle around with light weights and stay the same size.