Chan Saturday

28 02 2010

Some days, I’m just not there. I missed Fu Fri with Shifu yesterday ( Friday) I was just not into it. The pouring down rain, the facing 1 hr drive, the traffic. It is the first I’ve missed since…well, ever that I did not have other plans. The rain stopped, I was back from my errands, but I was not focused. I ended up sleeping way past time to leave by two hours. I guess I was just out of it.

Sat, I was up early, and headed out to my way early morning Tai Chi /Kung Fu class. I really felt like staying in bed, but I did not. We only had a 1 hour session today, because the Dojo was having some event there . Turns out it was some kind of Judo tournament. We finished up early which was fine, because I needed to go to my Monthly East Bay Chan meeting.

Once a month all the Northern Cal chapters get together and have a meditation meeting. The meetings are good, lots of Chi involved. There were some new comers. In total there were about 12 people or more. I was the only non-Chinese, which is kind of usual. Some Americans come from time to time, but they do not stay. There is one who is my student that comes to our local group, but otherwise not many. I believe in the whole group of a couple hundred here, there are about a doz Americans. We have I am told we have meditators world wide France, German, England, Romania, US, India, Vietnam, Costa Rica, Belize, Saint Vincent, Haiti, Mexico, Nicaragua, etc. The USA is slow it seems to me. Oh there is another student of mine who does Meditation when he comes to Tai Chi but does not come the local group session any more. At the large group monthly meetings it maybe because they speak so much in Chinese. They do make the effort to speak English and to translate , But I think most avg Americans feel uneasy with so much non- English going on. I do not follow a lot of it when they are just talking, and I’m used to it. I try to follow but sometimes, however I get tired and just go into my own space until I hear something i can follow in English. This is how Non-English speakers feel around Americans when we just speak in English, even if they can speak English . It is work to keep up. I heard LZ and her friends say that. I can feel for them. At the larger meeting it is done with a translator for the lectures so no one feels left out any time, Unless there is just a group of Chinese speaking among themselves. If a non-speaker joins them they switch, they are polite about that.

The current group drive is to have 300 people attend the Northern CA retreat in Sept. so that the Shifu will come and teach for 2 days. That could be powerful I may have to make a point to go. At the last meeting with Shifu, many spoke of powerful experiences I would like to feel something like that.

Today we meditated for 20 min, then did motion Chan, which to me is Chi – Gong. They say the effects are deeper than Chi-Gong, maybe because of the added meditation, I guess. Still It is Chi -Gong to me. This is one of the points about Chan that is different from other forms of “zen” our physical drills. Here are some:

Five Stretching Exercises That Help You Relax and Circulate Your Qi

1. Rotate the Head
Stand with the feet apart at shoulder width.  Close the eyes and let the arms hang naturally and loosely.  Slowly rotate the head clockwise 5 times, then counterclockwise 5 times.   Do this slowly.  Make sure that the shoulders remain still and in the original position.  This exercise helps relaxing the neck and shoulders.

2. Swing Your Arms
Stand with the feet apart at shoulder width with the eyes closed. Bring both arms up in front of you so that they are parallel with the ground at the shoulder level.  Then let them drop as in a free fall.  Relax the neck completely.  Let the free-falling arms tuck on the relaxed neck.  If you do it correctly, the arm dropping will bounce back and kick up your chin. Repeat this several times.  This exercise helps to relax the shoulders. It does take some trial and error to kick up the chin.

3. Kick Your Legs
Stand with the feet apart at shoulder width.  With the eyes open, focus on a fixed point in front to maintain balance.  Lift the left leg.  Then, kick the left leg forward with the toes pointed.  Do not do it too fast or kick with too much force.  Then, repeat this with the right leg.  Do18 times each leg.  When kicking, try to maintain balance by keeping the torso rigid and eyes focused on the object ahead.  Let the force of each kicking motion travel upwards to massage your buttocks and kidneys.

4. Twist Your Waist
Stand with the feet apart at shoulder width. Close the eyes and let the arms hang naturally and loosely.  Turn the torso to the left without moving the legs and hold this posture for about 2-5 seconds.  Then turn to the right and hold it for the same amount of time.  Repeat it several times.  This exercise relaxes the muscles around the waist.

5. Smooth Your Breathing
Stand with the feet apart at shoulder width with the eyes closed.  Overlap the hands (it makes no difference if the right hand is over the left or vice versa) and place them over the belly button.  Curl the tongue to touch the roof of the mouth.  Inhale slowly and deeply through the nose and into the belly.  Then exhale very slowly.  Be sure to inhale and exhale through the nose and let your hands move in and out with your stomach.  This practice not only can smooth our breathing, it can also calm us down and help us focus on the present moment.  Most importantly, it prepares us to enter the meditative state of Ding.

Also that we do not put a group effort of reading the sultras or chanting. We are told the Sultras are someone else’s experience, we should meditate to have our own. Chanting is yet another external practice we are told to work from the Heart.

Then another 20 min of Meditation. That was followed by listening to a download of the Shifu lecture when he was in town last week, or two weeks ago. It can be heard on TalkShoe if you have an interest under Heart Chan. His an other seniors lectures and talks are there.

I have recently learned from recent translation of Chinese text some history on Heart Chan:

Historically Shaolin is known as the birthplace of “Chinese” Chan.
Afterwards ( after Bodhidarma), the lineage was past to the 2nd Patriarch, Master Hui-Ke, the 3rd Patriarch, Master Seng-Can, the 4th Patriarch, Master Dao-Xing, the 5th Patriarch, Master Hong-Ren, and the 6th Patriarch Master, Hui-Neng.  Master HuiNeng inspired forty-three disciples to teach Chinese Chan throughout China.  The five major schools of the Chan from these disciples were described as “a flower blooms with five pedals, and a fruit ripens at its due.”  The five branches are Lin Ji, Cao Dong, Yun Men, Fa Yan, Wei Yang. Chinese Chan then became a major Buddhism denomination in China after Tang Dynasty (907AD).  After Sung Dynasty (1279AD) however, only Cao Dong and Lin Ji survived. Soto and Renzai of Japan are from the Lin Ji branch.

I like history. Some of the other main writings are being translated currently. Intro to Chan is almost finished. Maybe I will post some parts of it. In a way it is kind of like the Kyuhon part I (The Kyudo Manual ) but for Sitting Chan.

Anyway…after the meditation session part of the group including myself went to lunch. Surprising to me, not for Chinese food, but for Korean food, to what is called locally Korean town, where I had Japanese Udon, with my Chinese family 🙂

I had planned on getting in some Kyudo practice in late today, but that idea was given up, when they said they were going to lunch and I was ridding with one of my sisters. Anyway, it was a good day, a break from the external studies and to work on my spiritual practice. It gave me some time to reflect on somethings, which really did not put me in that good of spirits but, I suppose it was necessary to go there.  All things are for a reason, as was this day.

Tomorrow is an all day Kyudo practice, which is really kind of draining…45 day count down

EcoFlag: Zen, Martial Arts, Enviroment & the GSA

26 02 2010

I have stated in many other posts about Zen’s philosophy about interdependence of all things and life. In case you have been undersea or on the moon all this time briefly it goes. There is no duality, we are all dependent on everything else in this world somewhere down the line we need everything to survive. All life is connected, even non-life rocks, etc. There is the Chinese 5 elements of nature dependents. The more we destroy other species the closer we come to destroying ourselves. This includes the earth itself, it is alive, and we who are suppose to be the caretakers burn, pollute, gas it continually. Yet we depend on it to recover and sustain us with little or no care to it’ s needs.

Climate change is heavy upon us, yet some make light of it, or deny it all together, even in the face of facts. The waters we depend on for food, drinking, fun…life are daily used as dumping grounds for our waste. This same waste ends up in our food, and bodies and those of our family and friends.

For those who follow the path of Buddhism and vow help to ease suffering of beings, part of that elimination of suffering is doing your part to ease the suffering from pollution. Reuse, recycle, reduce. Those of the Christians, Muslims, Jewish path we are our brother’s keeper, God made everything. Showing respect and gratitude is not dumping waste into the waters, side of the road, etc… reduce, recycle, reuse. No matter what your faith or lack of it, the cold facts are the earth our only home, we are connected to it’s health. The earth health is our health, it’s sickness is our sickness. SAve the world, Save ourselves. There is no duality, this is the mind of Zen.

Those who have followed this blog know that since it’s birth I have slowly been working on sailing from San Francisco  to Osaka. During the course of this Sail I will be flying the EcoFlag with hopes that the journey will bring some attention to our need for thoughts and action on oneness with the world. We ARE the world.Reuse, Reduce and recycle. As much as possible of the refit of s/v Zen will be reused, recylced items. As a 1967 built boat s/v Zen herself qualifies as Reused, and Recycled.

As team Captain for my local GSA/ Ecoflag chapter I have been in touch with our USA leadership to help promote this effort. There is currently a book out called Champions for Change , this is about other athletes who did their share of bring the public awareness to our planet’s need for care. The Global Sports Alliance is there for all peoples all athletes to help spread the word of Reduce, Recycle, Reuse. Sailors, Martial Artists, Kyudoka, Tennis players, all.  The Global Sports Alliance USA (GSA USA) is a coalition of athletes and sports fans working together for environmental awareness and action.

For those who sail, even flying the EcoFlag for others to see your support is something to help. When someone asks what is that?

Whip out a brochure for them to read, tell them you support Reduce, Reuse, Recycling. Then do not just show it, do it. Carry your trash away, use recylced products, do not dump stuff into the water, reduce your use of small plastic bottles, use biodegradable soaps and products. Help the world , help yourself.

Martial Artist, put the flag on your bag, sew it on your sleeve, fly it at your events. Show your support, educate. We martial artist are about protection of the weak, doing the right thing, The earth needs our protection now more than ever. This is a fight worth the effort.

Visit our website for more information on how to get involved:

Sign up to be an ecoplayer and recieve our monthly newsletter:

You can also help to support this non-profit organization by donating at the following site:

visit us on Facebook:


Here are some ways you can help today:

*    Become a GSA USA Corporate Sponsor for as little as $20 per month – your company
will receive regular mention as a GSA USA Sponsor.

*     Become a GSA USA Individual Sponsor for as little as $20 per year.

*     Purchase a copy of our new book Champions for Change.

*     Become a GSA USA volunteer.

Another day…Kyudo & Chan

26 02 2010


I’m ready for this exam thing to be done with. I want return to the fun , the simplicity of just shooting. Right now it is just getting to be work. I suppose in the sense of balance for all the ‘fun’ I had now the work is needed. I wonder if I can really ever go back to just the fun of it, now there will always be that challenge, the drive the quest of doing better, wanting more. Like Sex, Drugs and Rock -n- Roll. 🙂

I went to RSD to practice today. I got some feedback from my Sempai. Some things that I had changed to be more like what I have seen others do… I was told were not as good as my old way of doing. Eg: the balancing on the balls of the foot and leaning into the Bow. He thought it looked unbalance. Well, yeah, it feels off balance also. I shot both ways for comparison. My old way, balance like doing Kung Fu, balanced like in a natural state, looked better, I shot better, it felt better. Sigh. perhaps I went too extreme in my adjustment to the Kyudo way. Shoulders still need work, not only with dropping but in remembering to line up, maintain the crosses.

I am lifting the bow, instead of letting the Yumi raise from the Tan Tien, with the Spirit. Same thing I tell my Tai Chi students on doing the opening of Tai Chi with their hands, which is the same movement as Ochikoshi. I am so focused on raising the right hand more than the left so the Yumi can be even when fully up, I am losing the practice and the principals of lift and balance…sigh

I shot ( hit) better today, but I was not there about the hits. Anyway 47 days more to find harmony between, among all things.

In Chan practice tonight we read, studied from the teachings of Bodhidharma ( Ta Mo in Chinese).  He is the 1st Patriarch of Shaolin Chan) he says:

“To enter the Great Way ( DO) there are many paths but essentially they are of two means: by Principle and by Practice.”

Kyu- Do; I feel like I have the principle to Kyudo. I understand the theory of the shot, how it all works with my mind. However I am lacking the Practice understanding. I can walk the Great Way, the Do with my mind, but not with my body, so therefore my spirit is in limbo, until I can unite them, no Sanmi-ittai is possible. Which means when I shoot there is no Shin Zen Bi. This is the true goal in Kyudo as with Chan…Zen Kyudo

Dharma Karate , Dharma Tai Chi

25 02 2010

As has been my practice for the last few months on Tuesday’s I go to the Alameda Buddhist Temple and help teach Karate. I think it is good karma for me to do so, even if I do not relate to the style.

This Tuesday it was rainy and cold for a while it was just Rev Sensei and myself for a while. We did not think any one else was showing. I asked him about his Tai Chi practice. He showed it to me. It is Yang 24 the same I learned from Ling Sisuk and I teach. Sensei’s was a little different, but it not enough so that it was strange or way off the hook as some people I have seen do Yang 24…However it could use some major adjustments.

After he did a bit I also did some with him to show the match up and we were doing the same set.  Then he said, Tai Chi is really like doing slow Karate. Then he showed me a Karate set done slow. My mind screamed Blastfamy! OMG!! That he said that confirmed his Tai Chi was in need of work and his mind awakened. It is like saying , doing Shaolin slow is the same as doing Tai Chi no it is not, or just sitting with legs crossed is doing Meditation, or what I was doing 2 months ago was ( or even now) good Tai Hai, NO IT IS NOT!

Sigh. I said nothing to him, I took a deep breath and watched.

Afterward we did went through some Katas together. Perhaps the whole Shotokan style. I do not know. Anyway I was surprised at his Karate and his recall of the forms. I just followed and copied as I do not recall any of the kata’s only half of the first one. For his age, his Karate was still good. I was impressed.

…However not with his Tai Chi. I’m wondering if I should offer to help, or just let it be unless I am asked. Of course if he does not know it is off, why would he ask.  “Ignorance is bliss” on the other hand “the truth can set you free”

What is the true Dharma?

Chan (Zen) -n- Kyudo…

22 02 2010

Yesterday was day two of the weekend Kyudo practice. With 51 days to go I’m in it. I find it hard to focus in Zazen , without thoughts of Tai Hai forming in my mind’s eye. Yesterday I was out at RSD putting in some time on Tai Hai. It looks so simple, but it is difficult. Sort of like Tai Chi. It looks so peaceful and easy to do, but people sweat doing it. They get frustrated, discouraged, dis-hearted. Tai Hai is like that over-all it looks, so simple, but it is full of small details that drive one up the wall with it’s complexity and challenges. I’m more and more getting to non-attachment to passing the “test”,  just doing my best and whatever happens, happens. So much to deal with, group timing, group breath, individual timing, individual breath, the arms, the hands, the back, the feet, the turning on the KNEES, the grip, the release, the draw, the aim, the turn of the head, the look of the eyes, the angle of sight, the bow, the standing, the exit…Ganbattemasu Fuu-kun 🙂

I spent a couple of hours or more on practice on Sat. Not giving much to shooting or care to hitting. Just to get a smooth, mindful Tai Hai. Very much like a Zen practice, being there fully for each movement. Relaxed yet, clearly alert. Not attaching to the out come or end, but that moment.

“Given this day

Right now

To ponder;

Yesterday will not return

Who knows about tomorrow?  …Awa Kenzo

After a few hours of that I just shot. I did not do well, but I did not do bad. It did not matter, because I was not there to be about hitting, I was there about the practice.

Afterward I stopped by “the Bone” ( BoneYard dojo), the Lads, less one were there doing 60 meters shots. I was done with my shooting for the day and needed food more than target hits. The next day was a 6 hour session with Sensei, so I did not want to be burnt out. So we just chatted a bit, before I headed off into the soon to be sunset.

The next day was rainy, rainy, rainy. I like rainy days there is a cleansing about them that is nice. It meant there was no out-door range practice today, which was not as nice for other reasons I will not post.

Let me insert a bit about my Chan (Zen) practice. Shaolin Chan practice is different from your everyday Japanese Zen, Soto or Renzai. Our practice has the sitting like they do, and it is the foundation, but it is only the outside practice. We have the deeds to help the suffering and all but it is more than that. We do not sit and do the chatting or reading the Sutras. Our is an active meditation or sitting. We work on activating our Chakras, on moving Chi, we have motion Chan practice, which is physical movements, somewhat like chi gong. So our “Zen” practice is not just about sitting and going Ommmm, being in a calm state of mind, it is Physical as well as mental and spiritual. Therefore it is in all things, connected to all things. Sailing, Kung Fu, Kyudo, walking, gardening, healing.

Sensei and I got into the subject of Zen. Partly because of he told me something on the the Kanji. Sometimes or at one time the Japanese wrote it different from Chinese. Having to do with the strokes on the radical. Another one of the topics discussed was centering and expanding chi. On one of the Sensei’s shots, he said he was practicing bring up the chi. On another he said he was expanding the chest. He could not do them both as the same time yet, so he was going back and forth with them until the control merged. Like focus going from left hand to right hand until they connected. One thought, one mind, one arrow. Balancing the shot from the Tan Tien and not the upper body, then the other way around. This set me to thinking about our Chan practice we shift from one Chakra to another and then try to connect them. Ok, now we are on something I can understand. This was in keeping with our Chan practice, opening the chakras and expanding the Chi. Bring the Chi up from the Tan Tien or Hara and expanding it in to the other parts of the body  How that effects the power of the shot, the balance of the body, the expanding of the energy outward, shooting from the Bones as stated in the Kyuhon.

I tried that on my next shot. Not thinking of the Tenuchi, the hands, expanding the chest none of that. I just let the body fall into place as I did a large draw, Hikiwaki to Kai. I locked into a position that felt supported. From there I focused Tan Tien like we do in Chan sitting practice on the Navel Chakara and bring up the chi from there and pushing toward the target and out. Like a two direction punch we do in proper Kung Fu. Expanding the body with the Chi, rasing it then outward rather than thinking of opening the chest or arms or anything.  Bam, the arrow hit firm, the yumi spun, the right arm recoiled. Nice! Sensei said, Yes, that was it, like that, everything was there. Now the trick is can you do it again. Sou ne! I thought. I did the second arrow, still good, but not as good as the first, too much thought was there. Hmmm, so now the to do that consistently at will part, that is yet another Kyudo challenge.

Kyudo…the unsame conflicts

18 02 2010

Some random thoughts on training…

Now you maybe wondering what does the weird title mean…Well here it is. It maybe a write off to Chan training, seeing the likeness in all things, the oneness, the no duality thing. However, there are things that make up the individualness, like us. As much as we are the same in basics as as our brother, not the real one the spiritual one. No change that even the real one if you have one that is. If not then the spiritual one will do for this example…or sister…Hmm were am I… oh yeah

Sameness vs un-sameness. Lets start with Tai Chi, the principals of Tai Chi are the same, or it would not be true Tai Chi. The principals of Praying Mantis are the same no matter, Tai Chi Mantis, Seven Star Mantis, 8 Step Mantis, etc. Principal of Mantis are the basic same. Then there is the style differences that make up the Tai Chi Mantis, vs the Seven Star. Yang Tai Chi vs the Chen Tai Chi or Wu Tai Chi. Still with me? Ok, So Martial Art is in the foundation Martial Art, like Soto is Zen as Chan or Tibetian is Zen. Karate is Martial Art like Praying Mantis is Martial Art. Ok, ok, so I have been viewing Kyudo’s sameness with Tai Chi. However now it is time to view Kyudo as it’s own being. In polishing my study it is time to understand the duality of principals, in order to resolve the conflicts the rough parts of my training. In order to advance. For as far and fast as I have come I am reached the time to nurture Kyudo as Kyudo.

Balance; In Kung Fu and Tai Chi balance in a stance come from being centered. The weight is back over the heels more , more in the center of the foot, with the toes grabbing. Knees bend yet the feet are full grounded. In Kyudo the weight is over the toes more, leaning into the Yumi more, even though the frame supports everything, the sense of balancing the body to do so is different. Hmmm, like the balancing in say Drunken Style, is different, it is still in the TanTien, but different, looks out of balance but is not. I see the Kyudoka in Kai, leaning, but it is a balance lean…different. I have been keeping my center back, like doing a horse stance. I’m learning that is wrong. Right for Fu wrong for Kyudo. The Tan Tien part is right, but the sense, placement of balance is wrong.

Modesty & Humbleness; these are qualities, to be cultivated in Kung Fu , Tai Chi, it is the way of Shaolin/Chan and Taoist Arts. This is not the way of doing Tai Hai. One needs to emit “Ki”, attitude as it is said in the street. It is not about being humble modest, it is being proud, with presence, power and authority. It is not the way of the Monk warrior, the servant of the Tao. Kyudo is the Art of the Imperial Court. the one time elite. This is my lacking point in Tai Hai. It reminds me of when I practiced Karate, I felt the power and the Pride. One wanted someone to start so you could show your skills, kind of like the bully Sensei in Karate Kid, less the Jerk.

In Shaolin, we understand the power and the results of the power. We also understand the need to filter that with compassion and humility . We are able to rip  a beating heart out of a chest, but have no need to show it or prove it. Very general , Rough and dramatic examples of course. Shaolin walks on rice paper, Shotokanka crushes stones under his steps. Shotokan’s Knarly fist strikes break all the bricks in a pile to reach the bottom one. Shaolin’s soft palm breaks the bottom one and leaves the others whole. Mantis is a small insect that is brave and skilled enough to take on a larger opponent, yet humble and unobtrusive, Kyudo is a proud Tiger. I need to re-touch the Tiger when doing Tai Hai, show the Tiger though caged is still a Tiger. This is my challenge…Yet, in, demoing Kung Fu, there is that same need to show the controled Tiger, Spirit…back to the sameness…sort of.

The Zen clan visits Japan…

16 02 2010


No it’s not that time yet… and…as much as I want to go, I’m losing my confidence on the trip. However that is another story… this is about our trip to Japan-town in S.F. for Valentine/Chinese New Year

I was up early yet again today, it started off as another foggy day. LZ wanted to go to J-town for a magazine sale they were having. Being the good husband that I am, I passed on going to LA to visit my Chan Shifu and took her to S.F. Interestingly the toll taker on the Bay Bridge says to LZ you have a good husband, be sure to love him. He did say the same to me about her, but it said it about me first 🙂

Before we left I was getting a major ear full form M3 on how many corrections I need to do to my Tai Hai from to be ready for Japan, and not just fail right off the bat…sigh. Disheartening, That is yet another story.

This story is about our day trip to SF and could be called “the Problem of having a Japanese wife” or more exact. The problem of “Having a Japanese Wife Who Can Cook and Likes Good Food”. However that is too long a title. I’ll get to that shortly…

We head out to J-town, I’m told we need to be there by 11:30 or she will miss all the good books. I rush, We get there at 11:25 even with finding parking.

I put LZ in front of the bookstore, park and come back. She is calling me on the phone. Huh?? Why are you here? She says I was looking for you. Why are you not inside for the sale…

Come to find out she told me 11:30 but it is really 12:00 so she would not be late… (*_*)

Ok, no biggie, we hang out,  I check out a few stores, paper, incense, antiques…

LZ waits…

I check an Origami display, with some amazing stuff…

She waits…

Finally the mags are out…

I come back she is shopping then loads me down with the heavy mags while she looks for more…

The is another guy standing there doing the same, waiting for his woman. I say to him; guess we are the delegated shopping carts ne! He laughs as we share a male bonding moment.

Ok, done, now we look for a place to eat lunch, cheap but good. She has one place in mind, I’m not all for it so much. I say the place we usually go has another store on the other side of the mall. Someone told me was better…

She had her doubts and said who… An American? Hmmmmm, I do not recall; I reply.

Hmmmm she says, I do not think it will be so good and gives me the run down. Ok, we go there anyway…

Price is cheaper, I’m pleased there, …smaller place… she says not many Japanese. I think hmmm

We order what we generally get instead of something new, so we can compare. While we wait, I get the run down again about a branch store with the same name…

The food finally comes, she looks and says smaller portions, yup I agree.  The tuna cut does not look as good as the main place I notice. She comments on the look of the rice and the arrangement of the items in the my soup… It should be “this” way, not “that” way.

We taste… Ma ma. eatable, but not great. both dishes. My noodles not quite right. Her tempura, too oily, my soy bean cake, too sweet,  the rice, too hard, green tea weak. Sigh. it was disappointing.

So why is this a problem with having a Japanese wife. The reason is one learns what good Japanese food taste like, and get spoiled. One can tell the poorer taste right away, sometimes even just by looking…

One no longer can go to just anyplace and enjoy a good meal, the bar is raised, so you have to seek out quality food places. Of course you have to be grateful, in just being able to have food, but when you spend for it, going out, more so with limited money, you want it to be so good in taste it makes you cry. Not because you paid for something you could have made better at home.

So it was a two lesson day:

1. I need a lot more Tai Hai work

2. DO Not go to that restaurant again. Yosh!

Make that three lessons:

3. The main store is always best.

Ok, four… Make that four lessons:

4. Do not forget the Ichiban rule :  The wife is always right