The Wannabe Polymath

Hand and Finger Training

by on Jul.28, 2015, under General

Every martial artist should be giving special attention to training their hands and fingers. A good part of the strength from a punch comes from grip strength. Remember, how you were taught to clench your fist immediately before impact? If you have weak hands you will have a weak punch.

I have always had an obsession with hand strength since I started working out. (One of my favorite moments was when a physical therapist handed me a device to measure my grip strength. I gave one squeeze and he jumped backed and shouted “Holy!” before immediately composing himself to read the number.) Something about a strong grip and being able to lift things with a single finger to me was the sign of true strength. Because of this fascination I have always lifted things throughout the day with only my fingers, done fingertip pushups and used hand grips.

If you are already strength training then your hands are getting a workout already. Gripping dumbbells and barbells give your hands a workout already (especially with heavy lifts like the deadlift). But as a martial artist, you need to go beyond this to get true grip strength.

Here are some hand and finger training methods in no real order:

The Hand Grip

This is the most easily accessible grip trainer. If you have been looking to increase your grip strength, then, chances are, you are already using a hand grip. The goal with the hand grip is to squeeze the handles together so that they touch. It’s a great training device. The downside is that it does not necessarily train all of the muscles in the hands and fingers. The other downside is that you will need to buy new ones as you get stronger. But it is a terrific hand workout, none the less.

Fingertip Pushups

The classic martial arts pushup. Fingertip pushups are going to hurt when you first do them. To assume the starting position: start on your knees with your fingers already spread apart and prepared to lift. Then you will kick out your legs to enter the pushup position and begin your pushups. Do as many you can in each set. If you cannot manage one, then look to other methods to train your fingers before tackling the fingertip pushups.
You can increase the difficulty of fingertip pushups by using fewer and fewer fingers until you are on just the thumbs or the index finger and thumb.

Hand Exercise Balls

Not only are they a great phallic symbol of power, but these balls are also a great way to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome! They go under a variety of names, steel/stone eggs (depending on the material), health balls, hand exercise balls, Baoding balls (I have yet to hear a Chinese person call them that). You rotate them in your hand with the goal of being able to do so without them touching each other. While doing so you can also squeeze them to work your grip. You can increase difficulty by adding a third or fourth ball. Supposedly they also massage acupuncture points in the hands to help maintain health. I don’t know, but they are a good way to exercise finger strength and dexterity. You won’t really get any burn out of this exercise (it is yet another Chinese old man exercise, like Taiji, that make younger Chinese go “WTF?” when they see us young white people doing it.), but it is a simple exercise you can do while reading a book or sitting at the computer. Very easy to add your living habits.

That will do it for now. There are plenty more hand exercises out there. These are the more common ones and between the three of them will already put you on the path to strong hands.

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Sleeping on a Board

by on Jul.27, 2015, under General

Modern living is too soft.  For the martial artist, you need to often go back, go old school, in order to not only live healthy, but also for the body to be in optimal condition to perform the techniques that martial artists need to perform.  Eating organic, non-gmo foods (while a must) is not going to keep your joints and muscles in alignment and shape by itself.  Food is a fuel.  Your lifestyle is the other half of optimal living.  It doesn’t matter that you eat non-gmo if you sit all day and don’t exercise.  To take it further, eating non-gmo and exercising an hour a day is awesome, but their might be other parts of your lifestyle that is that negatively effecting your body and health.

Case in point: I have recently taken to sleeping on a Chinese wooden bed.  There is no real mattress, to be speak of.  The entire bed is wooden, with no springs or rails.  It is almost like a table.  On top of the wood we have placed something like a thin tatami mat.  The Chinese call it a grass mat. It is simply a another layer between you and the wooden board, it provides no sense of softness or comfort.  It is there just for sanitary and aesthetic reasons. Essentially, we are sleeping on a board.

I can only describe the benefits as being great.  From sleeping on a mattress my hips have sunken.  The support is too soft for my hyper extending joints.  As a result my hips sink back when I am sleeping.  When you sleep on a mattress, the heaviest part of your body is going to sink lower than the rest.  For a normal, healthy person (or some out of shape people) this would be the buttocks.  In my case, my old mattress had depressions on both sides from where I sleep that only exacerbated the problem.  As  a result I would have to continually rotate my legs out throughout the day to get support back. Even when sleeping on a new mattress, my hips would still sink into the mattress. It is just a soft surface that is unable to keep things on the same level.

This hurt my kicking alot.  After throwing a kick I would sometimes have to readjust myself to get my hips back into place.  To be clear, what was happening was that some tendon/muscle in my hip socket was not in place and would not stay there. This is an example of the high level of maintenance that my hyper extending body requires. Massage therapy and physical therapy worked a bit, but was not solving the cause.

What was needed was for a hard surface to lie on. After a single days rest on the wooden bed I was already better. My hip joints now stay in alignment and the rest of my body does as well. My kicks are now back and I do not have to perform any readjustments anymore. If you are having joint troubles, perhaps consider a hard wooden bed. You can easily test this out by spending a night on the floor and seeing how your body adjusts to it. Chances are, you will be better off for it.
Soft living hurts the body. Harden up your daily living and you will be stronger for it.

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Hong Kong Protests are US Backed

by on Oct.08, 2014, under General

The Hong Kong protests are a manufactured event.  It is not an organic uprising of the Hong Kong people protesting Beijing.  How can I tell?  Because the news media is talking about it.  That should be everybody’s first clue.  News today has no obligation to cover every newsworthy event.  You are told what they want you to see.  If CNN is covering the Hong Kong protests obviously they want you to know about it.  So the question is why?  There are a couple reasons.  One is that the Press and Americans in general like news that paint China as totalitarian/Soylent Green state.  A quick way for a Chinese person to become famous is to have their art “banned” in China.  If it is not banned in China then it should tell us what we want to hear about it: “Women are oppressed and everyone is dirt poor.”

The other, main reason, is that the protests are Western backed:

I am not going to practice churnalism and rehash what this brilliant journalist has discovered.  Please go read it on his site.  Suffice it to say, this is an attempt to get Western backed politicians in control of Hong Kong.  A brilliant, evil, strategy to continue to surround China.  It will be a foothold on Beijing if successful.  What remains to be seen, is if, like the manufactured, scripted Occupy Wall Street, some real, organic, protests arise in an attempt to make real change.  One can only hope.

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China and America War Potential

by on Oct.02, 2014, under General

In the future I will have some Chinese articles posted about a future war with America.  First, I want to make clear about how likely I see this being.  I have been hearing talk about the two countries fighting for a couple years now.  I am not sure what started people thinking the two countries will/should fight.  I have heard these rumors and speculation since at least 2008 if not earlier.  It seems odd to me, alot of the logic seems to be based on the want for an enemy who can bring a conventional war.  The logic now seems to be an “There can be only one” mentality with regards to a rich country.  I do not see any reason why there needs to be balance.  I think the world could be perfectly fine and safe if every country in the world was a rich superpower, let alone two.  The more the merrier.

The origins of war, as Plato wrote in The Republic (373e), is and was territorial disputes.  All war can be boiled down to claims for territory.  Hitler wanted lebensraum for Germany.  Hirohito wanted the resources of South Asia to fight off America’s oil embargo.  America wants oil from the Middle East today.  America and China have no territorial disputes.  However, China has territorial disputes with about everyone in and around its border.  These countries America has made their business America’s business.  If China and Japan start something, America will get involved.  If China and Vietnam or the Philippines start something America will get involved.  If China and Taiwan start something America will get involved.

China knows this.  China also knows there is no way they can fight America…….now.  In their own reports they say they will not be ready for any war until 2020-2025.  That is when they will be properly trained and equipped for a major conflict.  (Do those numbers sound familiar?  They should.  That is when the war with the machines happens in the Terminator movies.  That is when They in They Live said They will take over the world.  You see these years often used to predict an apocalyptic war, but that is another post entirely on predictive programming in entertainment.)

2020-2025 is pretty soon.  While I can see China beefed up enough to fight a major war, I am not entirely sure they will.  I think the status-quo will hold with the territorial disputes.  Nobody wants land badly enough to get the planet nuked (well, most people don’t.  See the end of this post.).  The Chinese aggressive posturing is Chinese Narcissism at play.  In everyday practice, and in geopolitics, the Chinese have a firm belief in escalating conflicts to get what they want.  They are Narcissists and so hold the childish habits of threatening not to be your friend anymore if they don’t get what they want.  In this case, they say things like “If you fly a plane over here, I’LL SHOOT IT DOWN!”.  Will they?  Maybe, maybe not.  That is what they are counting on.  In my experience, the best way to deal with this infantile behavior is to call the bluff.  Show the baby that you are the boss and are not afraid.

Another point, is that alot of Chinese people do love America.  Alot don’t, but alot do.  They spent their entire academic careers in America, many have married American men, they have close friendly ties with America.  Now, I predict that as America’s planned collapse occurs and China grows stronger, Chinese students and women will look elsewhere for their schools and husbands, but for now it is certainly the case that the American people are the Chinese people’s friend.

This,however, is too bad.  Because, there are some certain people in this world who do want to see a nuclear war.  They have wet dreams about the planet being destroyed.  This is the Powers That Shouldn’t Be, The Illuminati, They.  Their plan is for America to go down and China to go up and in the grand scheme of things, for everyone to die.  So, if their is a nuclear conflict involving all the major powers in the world.  That helps Them out.  After all, They want the world to have a good, steady population of under 500,000,000.

China and America might fight.  But it will not be because of any territorial claims, or because one country hates the other.  It will be an apocalyptic event to greatly reduce earth’s population orchestrated by The Powers That Shouldn’t Be.

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The Ten Books That have Stuck With Me

by on Oct.01, 2014, under General

As it is a bit of a thing right now, I will list the ten books that have stuck with me.

First and foremost: The Bible.  Before I get to the actual list, the Bible is above this list.  It has informed my thinking and defined myself and my world view more than anything.  But that is what religion does.  This list is about books.  But the Bible is not entirely disqualified either, because it is a book, The Book of Books, and I do in fact, read it every day and, literally, study it.  The Bible can, and should be, enjoyed for its literally qualities (if it is the King James Version or any translation of the Textus Receptus or the original) as well as for it’s historical merits.  I study and read it for all of this so it is on the list, but also off, because I want to list ten other books.

My top ten books and authors:

  1. Plato  I am a Platonist.  I believe in the Forms and believe that wisdom is understanding of the Forms.  Plato’s theory of the Tripartite Soul is the most comprehensive and sensible of the theories of the soul out there.  Further, he’s able to use it to explain how a person should live his life and form his thinking.
  2. Luo Guanzhong The Romance of Three Kingdoms   I learned alot from this book.  To oversimplify, the book is about contrasting loyalties and traditions.  (Who do you choose between family and friends?  Or an old tradition versus practicality?)  Not to mention the constant strategizing that makes up a bulk of the dialogue in the book.  It is a novel that will make you more intelligent.  Further, it was the first thing to get me interested in China.  At the time I had already studied Japanese, but this began my journey to China and Chinese.
  3. Journey to the West
    This is a fun adventure story, pure and simple.  A monkey happens to get Daoist powers and become invincible and immortal.  What would an intelligent monkey do with those powers in heaven?  Tear up the place.  What follows is a war between a monkey and Buddhist and Daoist gods.  It’s crazy fun and that is just the beginning.
  4. Ernie Pyle  I have read everything of Ernie Pyle’s.  I searched the antiquarian bookstores until I got all of his published books.  His stories of war stuck with me more than anything and influenced me in ways that I cannot describe.  I did wind up joining the Army.  So, he might have something to do with that.  At the same time, it was his writings that helped me come to peace with personal issues as well.
  5. John Toland
    John Toland is the author of historical narratives about World War 2.  He wrote during the 1970s.  His books were my first encounter with this brand of writing history: Do extensive research and turn it into a 100% factual novel, right down to the dialogue being actual conversations, word for word.  His book The Rising Sun was a part of my introduction to The East.  Also, he deserves props for proving, in historical narrative, that 12/7 was an inside job.  He wrote Infamy which was the result of his research for The Rising Sun.  Through exhaustive research he found that Pearl Harbor was an act of deliberate negligence on the part of the US.  I got a first edition, my understanding is that later editions were censored and revised.
  6. Homer  Homer is just one of those guys I keep going back to.  Namely, as an anchor for myself in Western Identity.
  7. Shifra Horn, Shalom, Japan
    This book is the definition of a book that “stuck with me”.  I just keep thinking about it even after all these years.  There was nothing profound about it, but it has stuck with me.  It is the story of a woman who lived in Japan for a couple years.  It is one of those culture shock books, a book about being a stranger in a strange land.  It is another book that said to me, “Go East.”
  8. Herman Melville, Moby Dick
    I read this as a kid.  Alot.  Maybe twenty times.  Yeah.
  9. Sigmund Freud The Interpretation of Dreams
    I have never woke up a single day without a dream to tell since I read this book.  Freud might be screwed up about alot of things, but he cracked the Dream Code.  I wrote about three college papers on this books.  The very first paper I ever wrote was about The Interpretation of Dreams.
  10. Fritz Springmeier, The Illuminati Formula to Create an Undetectable Total Mind Control Slave This book was what brought everything together for me.  When I first discovering that the world is controlled by elite forces I could not understand how they could do it.  This answers it: Mind Control.  Real, legitimate mind control.  Not propaganda, not television, total mind control.  After I read this, I could see it everywhere.  It is the way out of the cave.


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