Friday, September 30, 2011

day 320: spam, backtracking, and misc

  • 5-element theory
  • hsing-yi
  • kyudo
ok, i'm going to have to issue a mea culpa. i haven't posted an entry for a number of weeks, even though i have been attending class. part of it is me being busy and too tired to post anything thoughtful. part of it was an unexpected Saturday run-in with a flat tire, broken apartment, plumbing, and a computer system crash. part of it, however, is a recent spate of spam.

it seems this blog has become afflicted with spam. somehow, it's become targeted by random computer-generated messages and comments that have increased in volume over the past few months. i know they're not genuine because 1) there is bad spelling and grammar, 2) there are seemingly random strings of letters and numbers, and 3) they always contain links--to where, i'm afraid to find out (apparently, hackers use this as an opportunity to learn your IP addresses and enable downloads of nefarious viruses/spyware/etc. to your computer). it wasn't that bad at first, and i was able to delete them as they came in. recently, however, it's gotten to the point that the more i try to delete them, the more they come in. it's starting to make this blog difficult to manage.

i've been reporting them as spam to Google, but so far it doesn't seem to have made any difference. the one thing that did make a difference was inactivity on this blog--the last few weeks of missing posts corresponded with a dip in spam. as a result, i'm wondering if they'll all dissipate if i wait long enough to let this blog have the appearance of inactivity.

i'm going to think about my options, and let you know.


last Saturday was a very well-timed and very much needed review day. Cheng-chieh is back from China, and so we ended up going back over material that she'd missed. for this class, we worked on the hsing-yi 2-person form.

i was grateful for this. i don't remember having done this. Eric said i was there when we did go over it, but i can't remember at all. i do remember some discussion about 5-element theory and an initial attempt to work through the 2-person form, but i suspect this was just before i left for June, and so i probably missed all the weekends everyone spent refining the 2-person form.

the 2-person form is essentially just the first 5 basic movements of hsing-yi arranged according to the 5-element creation/destruction cycles. there are 2 partners, and 1 partner performs the 5 movements in a sequence following the creation cycle and the other counters each move with a corresponding element from the destruction cycle. the idea is that each of the 5 basic movements corresponds to each of the 5 elements, and that each movement/element has a corresponding counter.

this means that 1 partner follows metal-water-wood-fire-earth (destruction cycle). the other partner then responds with wood-fire-earth-metal-water (creation cycle). it should be noted that the both cycles follow a sequence that is shifted by 2 (i.e., while 1 cycle starts with metal, the other starts with wood).

i'm sure there's some metaphysical theory behind this (not the 5-element theory. that i already know. i'm talking about the 2-person form). and perhaps also some connection with traditional Chinese medicine. the class probably went over that while i was away.

for now, Sifu said that we should just recognize that the 2-person form is showing how each technique has a counter, and that the 2-person form is just a learning tool to help remember the counters. he also pointed out that we can see that in the 2-person form the movements are not identical to the individual forms for each of the 5 basic movements, and that this is a reminder to recognize the principles involved and understand that the 2-person form is preserving the principles of each of the 5 basics even as it causes the movements in them too look differently.

this was a little complicated, and it took us the entire class to get this down.

i should note that Sifu showed the hsing-yi sabre form today, and had me record it for my Youtube channel. i've uploaded it, and you can see it:

hsing-yi sabre:
Sifu commented that this shows how hsing-yi can still employ the slashing techniques of a weapon like the sabre.


i skipped kyudo last week, but i made the previous weeks. i've been working on what Sensei told me before about flattening my shoulder blades. of course, the adjustment in my shoulder blades has disrupted everything else, and so i've been having to re-align everything to get the yumi and arrow back under control.

i think i mentioned this before, but it's essentially analogous to a parametric calibration in engineering, where you have 2 variables that both affect each other, so that an adjustment in one causes an adjustment in the other. to calibrate them, you have to work in increments, setting one as a constant and calibrating the other, then setting the calibrated one as a constant and calibrating the other, and then repeating the process again until both arrive at a stable equilibrium--and every time you change the equilibrium you have to do the entire calibration process all over again to find a new equilibrium.

that's essentially what i feel like i'm doing. and right now, things are going all over the place. but as usual: it's just going to take some time.

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