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29 03 2012

A Monday practice

“When shooting for the prize one’s skill is lost…”

Ahhhh, it had been a while since I was able to get to practice at the Tanuki Dojo. I had been there a couple of times to practice however, there were key lock issues :-(, as in me forgetting the key or not having the right one…totally my bad!
So my trips were wasted since I could not get in.

This time was different I had the correct keys . The downer today is the cold. There is no heat or power in the dojo so I was not really keyed up to do much. However I made ready and started with a bit of Zazen before proceeding with my Kyudo practice.

It was difficult getting into the mode of shooting dressed as I was for warmth not for shooting so it took me a few rounds to adapt.

My whole ficus of practice today was targeting. Overall I  averaged about 49%. Not great but ok for the amount of time with no distance shots. There were two shots that were spectacular dead center. Both of which happened when I stopped trying to hit and just shot!!

There is something to that saying about trying to shoot for the gold. It is the same when I did the tournament in Japan. I did not care about the hits and just shot and got two hits and immediately placed in the finals.

I have changed my attitude about wanting, needing, having to pass the test in Aug and making that pass or wasted effort mind set. The big thing is the seminar the opportunity to learn and grow. That is the focus as far as the test, I’ll do my best and not be attached to the outcome. Just follow the words of the Queen.

Thursday class

I went to class on Thurs. It is always a but of a challenge. Not so much the class but the day after because I get home so late and up so early for work the next day.

It was a small class only 4 of us. I got a bit of bad news from the head Sensei of the cultural center about the financial  struggle of the Dojo and him having to find work in order to keep the Dojo open and him alive. that is always sad news. Understandable with so many people still struggling spending on Art classes is not high on the list of things to do.

Anyway since we had only makiwara set up and their were four of us students Sensei had me critic with him the first three shooters. In a way it a test of my understanding of what is suppose to be done by seeing what corrections I suggested for others. O am usually pretty close to his assessment. He brings up more finer details. Which is as it should be since he is the Sensei.

As far as my  shooting,  I felt I shot well. My correction was I was leaning into my shot and not staying centered enough. I think I am starting to get the feel of Tenouchi and the spin. I am getting so turn now pretty consistently.

I was concerned about shooting a bit due to some major pains I have been having the last few days. My back, leg, rib area however that did not cause to much of a problem other than I did not feel that stable when standing. After class I hurt and this morning was brutal. However I dealt with it, that is the Shaolin way.

Saturday practice.

It rained and rained and rained today. Sugoi!! It was nice ! Ingot to sleep some and listen to it beat on the boat and feel relaxed because the boat had no leaks. After taking care of a few things around the boat then heading out for some errands, and Thai food for lunch I went to the dojo.

It was a peaceful day, on the cool side but not enough to be uncomfortable with a couple of layers. I got in a little zazen and listened to the rain beat on the tin roof and felt grateful.

My plan for the day was to do some Tai Hai, and film that with my new iPad 2 . Afterward I was going to do some just targeting practice. The Tai Chi was ok I still need to smooth it out in some places. At least I think so. I am still trying to get the feel of tai chi when doing it and the flow of harmonized breath. I am not there yet. From watching the bid later it looks ok, nothing is missing,  a few small hick ups but I am not pleased with it yet. It looks ok but does not feel in the pocket … Yet. Especially the raising one knee thing. That needs much more work.

My draw feels good and my Tenouchi is improving. I remember the points from the last seminar. Where I really failed this practice was I did not hit anything! 😦
Most of the shots were at a level that would have hit however they were TI the left of the target . I do not know if my sighting is off on the Yumi or I am pulling to much to the left. My next practice I will try half moon instead of center. I can tell when my Nobei is good because those shots bury much deeper into the backing board.

I am going again today for a few shots. I see how that goes with the sighting change. I used to hit more but I guess the corrections I have made with drawing, Tenouchi , expanding, effect my targeting. As we say in Chan everything is connected. I once saw a movie about some people who did time travel. On guy stepped on a butterfly on the ground. When they got back to their time everything had changed due to one small act.

Monday practice:

This turned into a rather long post. I just kept it as one tale rather than break it up as it happen. Does not matter anyway ne!

Because work and Internet issues I have not uploaded this to my computer to post. I have been doing the writing while I am at my security job on my iTouch. I love this thing, so handy. So helpful in the battle against boredom .

So Monday after work I  go to  RSD dojo to practice. It is quiet not quite as cozy as Sat. Because no rain. I love being there when it rains. It us also not as cold as the other day.  So after a bit of warm upI have at it. I did nit do my fl warm up of meditation  and Tai Chi, I had a bit of time factor to deal with.

The practice plan for the day was just focus on hitting. My frist three of five rounds came and went with no hits.

I gave some thought to what could wrong. It did not seem right to make a adjustment by aiming off target to hit. I started paying attention to some details. I noticed that my shots all hit in a place that even though high were right in the center so I lowered my aim a bit and made sure my left arm did not drop. Bam , a center hit! The next three shots were at the correct level but to the right of the target .

I took a break at this point and did some Zazen.

Rather than change my aim I thought I should try opening up more on hanare and focus on my crosses…bam ! Ok I felt I was on to something. My next two shots were close but just off a bit. I was wanting it too much. One was to the left and one to the right.

Last shot of a set of 4 and my final for the day. Calm the mind and breath. Focus on the crosses, do not drop the left on release… Bam!

I noticed something seriously this time which I had also noticed in the past. I can tell when I am going hit, before release. When everything is aligned correct and my aim is on target there is this almost electric sense that days release. Kind of like shows where a gunner is lining up a target and when the target is locked on a light and a sound happens. Like that but with out the light and sound.

I think I am on the right track. Some to work on next week. Crosses vertical and horizontal, Nobei

I felt better after today’s practice. I have no one to guide when I do my distance practice. So I re-play my guides instructions in my head as I shoot. Yeah, voices in my head tell me how to shoot.

Lawyers, taxes and debt oh my

24 03 2012


Parts of getting ready to move is not all about preparing the boat. It is tax season, I did not file last year. Well I did but only partly. 2010 our condo was sold it was a short sale which meant tax issues…big time. I needed to hire a lawyer to handle the tax prep. Which meant $$$$, of which we did not have. This year our taxes are much simpler but I need to have them taken care of, for real! I found a deceit tax lawyer/ accountant to handle things but it will cost, ofcourse.  However I do feel better having someone on the job to settle things.

So with finally getting the Coast Guard documentation for the boat and now a lawyer to handle our taxes things are coming along. The next thing is our PB aka credit card debt. After losing my job and having to basically live off plastic to fill the gaps really put us in the money hole.  We want to try to do the right thing and get things settled rather than just bail. The President gave the banks and auto industry a bailout but us regular workers are left to fend for ourselves… Pretty much sucks! We could use a bailout, debt forgiven , interest reduction, something. However it seems like if you have money you can get a break, but if you are a 9-5 er you suffer.

Anyway I do not want to get started on how messed up the system is…everyone already knows that…think about it, I do!

I do not know yet how much the tax resolution is going to cost, I expect it to be painful. Perhaps one must suffer to remove the monkey off ones back. However the monkey is suppose to make you feel good. Paying Taxes does not…Sooo hmmm…something is off here.
Then the debt thing, it needs to be reduced in order to go with the Japan move. We are not behind on anything, but what a struggle…8 jobs ( and we’re not Jamaican: see in Living color) income to get by and we live simple mostly. I suppose there is always bankruptcy, corps do it, they are people…right. They say, …well the banks and tax makers say so for their purposes. Anyway, onward. Ganbarimasu. Training on another level …another chance to deepen my Zen practice…Yosh

“They say I’m a dreamer, but I am not the only one”… John Lennon.

Blu Pel Ryu Do

3 03 2012

Blu Pel Ryu Do sounds like a Japanese martial art or lunch.

“The world is our Dojo”… Kyudo saying

I was sore last night and parts are still today. I discovered some new aches and pains yesterday while teaching / warming up for Kung Fu. Some leg soreness and upper body. This was after a particularly active day at the Pelican.

Moving sails out of the loft, sorting, moving next door, up stairs, restocking the left overs on a shelf. Yeah, it was work. So I noticed some soreness, legs are ok from stance training, upperbody soreness more noticeable.

Not a big deal however this did in turn get me to thinking.

“Everything is Kung Fu training”… Kung Fu saying

This is a Kung Fu philosophy, I flashed on this and got to thinking with the depth of training I am receiving at the Blue Pelican I am learning more than just stocking and operations, it is a form of Kung Fu a “way” A Tao or ” Do” as they say in Japan. This is both a mental and a physical training. I’m sure with a little thought I can see the spiritual aspect of this ” training path” the Blu Pel Ryu Do. I should call the owner Sensei. His knowledge on boats and retail operation is pretty vast, for sure “master” level. Lifting, climbing, walking, the physical training.

I used to watch a lot of old Kung Fu movies. This how they trained, just regular hard work, washing dishes, plowing fields, chopping wood, that sort of thing. Depending on what the family did training varied. A cook would develop by chopping wood for the fire, storing some soup or something, washing dishes. A carpenter would learn from sawing, hammering, wood turning, and so on. So here is me the Kung Fu sailing Padawan, lifting sails for weight training, climbing stairs with the sail for legs, climbing ladders for balance…Everything is Kung Fu training.

Oh so the mental. Besides learning about what goes where, what this and that part, I am getting training from the Master on selling, customer philosophy, display arrangement. Not just putting items on a shelf, but giving thought to what is going where. Attention to detail, are the coat hangers all the same color and facing the same way. As when doing a tea ceremony or walking meditation, or Kyudo. Mindfulness of the moment, details. Training in humility, from dusting the shelves, waiting on the customers. Weapons training from the dust mop handles, Coiling lines, math from counting change…

`Spiritual training comes from watching how the Sensei (owner) and his wife deal fairly and ethical with their staff and customers. I read once that if one’s employees are unhappy the bottom line will be effected positively. Everyone has value, everyone gets respect at the Blu Pel. It is the customers and staff that keep the store running. The spiritual value on the Ecological philosophy of recycling ( my thoughts). In a way this is a bigger deal than arrangement operations or displays. The spiritual values go beyond a job description. Like the principals of the Shaolin philosophy Cha’n (Zen), go beyond it’s combat training, (wushu)

So there it is a full “Do” system, physical , mental, spiritual training.

Blue Pelican KungFu aka: Blu Pel Fu…or Blu Pel Ryu Do. Not just a job, not just a great place to save money on boating supplies, not just a place to practice environmental compassion by recycling,  but a path of training in life, a “Do”. Or…

It could just be me tripping, I have been known to be weird at times.