Offensive (as in Offend!) Self-Defense Classes

Sensei Posted in Self-Defense
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I was glad to see that Snope.com King of debunking urban legends has an entry discussing an email for a self-defense program which is offensive and filled with lies. Unfortunately Snope.com won’t let me reproduce the email and their rebuttal however I did get permission to link to the snope. So here is the link to their coverage of this offensive piece of spam marketing.

Your Diet and Training…

Sensei Posted in Recipes and Health Facts
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This is not a post about the latest fad diet! I just read an article about added sugar and how much it can negatively impact your weight, energy levels, and training progress. It was very interesting stuff, everyone knows about trans fat, etc but I bet most don’t know a can of soda contains almost your daily dose of sugar! So I have begun writing an article about it but wanted to share some preliminary information my friend Marie (Marie has a degree in Dietetics.) shared with me after I asked her some questions…
Yes (Mitch), you are right a regular can of soda has about 35g of sugar (7 tsp) which is half of the daily allowance for men and 3/4 of the daily allowance for women. Below I’ve given some helpful information regarding sugar intake. Additionally, I would suggest to all those trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle in general to check out eatright.org which is the american dietetic association website that gives accurate information regarding health that is easy to understand.
– “Sugars are simple carbohydrates that occur naturally in foods such as fruit and can also come from refined sources like table sugar and corn syrup. The easiest way to stay within the proper range for intake is to make sure that refined sugars do not comprise more than 10% of daily intake. The maximum recommended intake of sugar per day for the average person is 10 tsp which is equal to 50 grams. For an active male the recommended daily maximum intake is 14 tsp which is equal to 70 grams. It is best for most sugar intake to come from natural sugars such as those from fruits and plant starches.
The best way to keep refined sugar intake down is to consume whole foods, substitute applesauce in recipes that call for added sugar, refrain from adding additional sugar to foods like cereal, coffee, etc and consider consuming sugar alternatives. Xylitol for example is in available in local grocery stores, is safe for diabetes, does not produce the glycemic response that other sugar alternatives do and has fiber-like benefits. Additionally it is important to look for hidden sources of refined sugar in products consumed one of the biggest offenders is high fructose corn syrup”.
Well that should at least get everyone’s attention! I hope to have thefinal article written soon so look for the full feature here:) Again many thanks to my friend Marie.

2006 US Open

Sensei Posted in Competition
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This Year’s Tournament Will Be Held On June 30th and July 1st , 2006 at The Coronado Springs Resort Ho2006 US Open and ISKA World Martial Arts Championshipstel and Convention Center in Disney World, Orlando, Florida, USA. The US Open represents a unique experience to all martial artists. This is a thrilling competition with activities for everyone with inspiring performances and memorable good times. The OPEN will again be telecast worldwide on the ESPN Networks though it appears it will air from 1-2 AM EDT so set your VCR/DVR timer. Whether you are a seasoned competitor or a newcomer to the art and sport, the US OPEN aims to be your most exciting and enjoyable event of the year! If you plan on attending please post a comment OR drop us an email.

Meditation Point #30

Sensei Posted in A Zen Thing, Quotes
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The real miracle is not to walk on water or thin air but to walk on the Earth!!
— Thich Nhat Hanh

How true this seems some days, more so each day!

Monkey Steals the Peach?!?

Sensei Posted in Training notes
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Not sure that is what I would name this move but hey! Who am I to question the name?!
Monkey Steals the Peach...
Monkey Steals the Peach explanation!
So there you have it! I especially like the “swinging arms like windmills to distract the enemy“! Pardon me but if you walk around in a Ninja uniform with the hood on, aren’t you the enemy?! Just an observation.
Regardless this is an ok move a friend sent me that I thought I would share. A much more effective move is to drop into a straddle stance and execute a quick thrust to the groin. This is much faster and harder to defend against (if you are stupid enough to stand exposed) AND no windmilling is required! 🙂

Can you trust your eyes?

Sensei Posted in OffTopic
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We often take for fact everything we see, but our eyes are incredibly crude tools at perceiving reality. Don’t believe me? Look over these graphics and see what you say then…
Illusion 1
Illusion 2
My personal favorite!
The above graphics are NOT animated graphics, that was all your eyes (and brain). So the next time your sparring or in a situation pay close attention to what’s going on, it may be different then what you are seeing!

Dead before your time!?!

Sensei Posted in Identity Theft
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Medical Identity TheftWe’ve been discussing Identity Theft here for some time now but there is a new danger in town! Given the rising cost of medical care and the desire for some to obtain prescription drugs for illegal purposes Identity Thieves are targeting your medical identity in addition to your financial identity!! This is a devious twist to the now old crime of identity theft. Tens of thousands of Americans may already be victims of medical identity theft and not know it.

Pilot and business owner Joe Ryan thought it was a joke when he opened a letter from a collection agency stating he owed more than $40,000 for a surgery that he never underwent. In an effort to clear up the matter he told them he had not had any surgery. At first unresponsive Mr. Ryan went in and talked with the agency where he offered ‘You want to see my body?’ And they said ‘No, no.’ I said, ‘I have no scars'”. He discovered he was a victim of medical identity theft. Medical Identity Theft occurs when someone takes your identity information and they use it to get medical treatment in your name, using your insurance or credit. Often the imposter’s simply provide fake insurance information, or none at all. It is estimated that nearly 250,000 Americans have already been victims of medical identity theft. In many ways this is worse then financial identity theft because you can be looking at one time charges of upwards of $100,000.00.

Aside from creating medical bills for you these medical identity thieves pose and even more dangerous problem, one to your health. Once in control of your records they can alter your medical information, changing your blood type, removing drug allergies or medical conditions thereby putting you in a life-threatening situation.

Joe Ryan commented, “What happens if I drive home today, and I get in a wreck and I end up in a coma? They bring all those medical records, you know. Am I allergic to penicillin; is that the same blood type?” The man Ryan believes stole his identity has since died, but the problems could haunt him for years. “Now, he’s dead. Am I dead? You know, will I ever get Social Security?” said Ryan. More hospitals are now recognizing the crime and establishing programs to prevent it. Hospitals are now asking patients to provide identification such as a passport or driver’s license. While these items are difficult to get they are not impossible, just costly. Regardless the hospitals think the new measures are working. So how do you know if a medical identity thief has hit you? If you receive a bill or an insurance claim in your name for medical services you never received, that is a red flag. Just as with your financial records go over any bills you receive, if you find an error go to wherever the bill was sent, call them up and ask them for a copy of your medical file. Work to change your records. Go to the insurance company; go to every place where you think your medical file has been. This process can be very difficult since once your medical records are altered it is almost impossible to get them information completely removed because of duplication and storage requirements.

While victims of financial identity theft have explicit legal rights to help clear their records, victims of medical identity theft currently do not have any blanket rights allowing people to correct errors in their medical files. Basically all you can do is protect your identity as best as possible, watch your records and hope your identity doesn’t get targeted. If it does document everything. Another good suggestion is to maintain a copy of your medical records which simply means the doctor has to give you a copy either periodically or as things are entered. This way you have your records on hand if you need to prove you are the real John Doe!

Meditation Point #29

Sensei Posted in A Zen Thing, Quotes
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I am what is around me.
— Wallace Stevens

This seemed to be an appropriate quote given yesterday’s post.

Meditation Point #28

Sensei Posted in A Zen Thing, Quotes
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There is no reality except the one contained within us.
That is why so many people live such an unreal life.
They take the images outside of them for reality and
never allow the world within to assert itself.
Hermann Hesse

This is an interesting quote which I fear most people will not understand, even if it is explained to them! This is true because people do not like to be introspective. Very few people can define themselves, whether in high school or college they feel lost in the masses, not sure of who they are or want to be. This lack of self-confidence and awareness leads to a multitude of sins, most of all the sin of being a follower, one easily led by others. Those who do not buckle to peer pressure typically know who they are and are not looking for group or societal recognition. The next time you go to the Mall (at least in the Northeast) you will see the lost masses, the people who constantly look outward to establish their identity. The body piercing, mutilations, tattoos, and general presentation of people screams of their desire to define themselves as different or to call attention to themselves. There are few exceptions to this rule. I see this as an increasing trend in the martial arts. Look at most tournament posters or ads, predominantly represented is a figure tattooed and tough looking. To me this is no different then watching a prison fight with some added skills. Why do prisoners get tattoos? They do it for one of two reasons, to define themselves thereby affiliating themselves to a group or to make themselves look tough and scary so others will leave them alone. The same can be said for most civilians. I know I will receive a lot of hate mail over this, but bear in mind I don’t care if you have tattoos or body modifications or not. I am not saying there is anything wrong with these things, I am merely observing the culture and mindset surrounding these activities in relation to today’s meditation point. Think of it this way, in the Martial Arts we are supposed to maintain the element of surprise, this is the martial way. How can we surprise our enemy if we display our affiliations all over our body? Who is the more difficult opponent to stand against, one with a dragon tattooed across his chest/arm with several piercing or one with no markings or piercing (“clean cut”)? Which opponent tells you more about themselves by their appearance? Which leaves you wondering what they know and what to expect next?

Auditing Your Time Leaks

Sensei Posted in Articles of Interest
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If you are like me you have a million things going on at the same time which equals a million distractions when you are trying to focus on one thing. The following is a useful list of 12 things that should help you better identify where your time is going and rechannel that time to better use.
1. Starting a job before thinking it through
2. Doing unproductive things from sheer habit.
3. Keeping too many unnecessary records.
4. Paying too much attention to “low return of investment” items.
5. Failing to anticipate crises.
6. Making unnecessary visits or phone calls.
7. Socalizing at great lengths between tasks.
8. Failing to build good barriers against interruptions.
9. Doing things that should be delegated.
10. Doing things that aren’t part of the job.
11. Failing to plan regularly with your boss/staff/schedule.
12. Engaging in personal work before starting business work.
I know that I am and have been guilty of almost every one of these items. If you want to truely succeed you must get your time leaks under control so you have time for success!! Good Luck. 🙂