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Archive for April, 2009


A day at the Masters…Rugby, that is


Interview with Jonathan Maberry at SF Signal

SFSignal.com has posted an interview I did with Jonathan Maberry, martial jonathan-maberry-patient-zero-72-dp1artist and author of Patient Zero, a techno-thriller. Patient Zero is a fast paced read, featuring Joe Ledger, a no-nonsense, no-hesitation fighter who is recruited for the Department of Military Science (DMS) to fight a new threat: a bio-terrorism agent that affects its victims in a way that makes them resemble zombies.

But this is not a Zombie book: there is science and reasoning behind the action. The interview covers the research Mr. Maberry did, his martial arts background, the current threat of terrorism, and more.

There is also realism in the fighting, based on Mr. Maberry’s martial arts expertise. Here is an excerpt that describes his background:

LARRY: Did you pattern Ledger after a particular experience, or type of martial artist that you have observed (or been)?

MABERRY: Joe’s reactions are based partly on my own views and teachings in martial arts, and on the kinds of reactions and reflexes I’ve seen in men I’ve met who work in SWAT and Special Ops. Immediate reaction without hesitation is a prized skill, and very often it’s the dividing line between those who can hack it in Special Ops and those who can’t. It doesn’t make someone more or less of a good person, but it does qualify them for a certain kind of work.

I’ve been practicing and teaching martial arts for 45 years and currently hold an 8th degree black belt in jujutsu and a 5th degree in kenjutsu (the art of Japanese swordplay). Both arts grew out of the fighting sciences of the Samurai, and immediately reaction and appropriate response are core skills. It’s what the samurai trained for and what I learned.

I was able to get a lot of practical experience with this while working as a bodyguard in the entertainment industry. I’ve taught martial arts and self-defense to a number of special needs groups, such as abused women, school kids, college women, the physically challenged, the elderly, and so on.. Until recently I was also CEO and chief instructor for COPSafe, a firm that provided arrest and control workshops for all levels of law enforcement including SWAT.

What Joe Ledger does is not superhuman. It’s the end result of good training coupled with the sharpness of mind that someone in Special Ops would necessarily have.

The full interview is here.


Dragonball, kids and chi

My son grew up watching Dragonball and Dragonball Z, which means, of gokucourse, that I watched a lot of it with him (yeah, yeah, I play video games and watch cartoons with my kid, and probably will when he leaves for college this summer).  And I find that he and his friends, unlike older Western people of my generation, have no problem accepting the concepts of chi/ki/qi.

Films such as Star Wars introduced an earlier generation to “The Force”, a thinly veiled version of the concept of chi. But manga TV shows such as Dragonball, Bleach, InnuYasha, readily available on YouTube, Hulu and cable’s Adult Swim, have brought Eastern philosophies, and in some cases easier acceptance of those concepts, to our very Western kids.

The contrast between Eastern and Western perceptions used to be quite radical, as shown in this excerpt from the 1997 book The Root of Chinese Qigong by Dr. Yang, Jwing-ming: (more…)


Baguazhang: Theory and Applications by Master Liang, Shou-Yu and Dr.Yang, Jwing-Ming

There are four well known styles of so-called “internal” Chinese martial baguaarts: Taichiquan, Xingyiquan, Baguazhang and Lin He Ba Fa. While I have only practiced Taichiquan from this group, this book on Baguazhang gives particioners of other martial arts an excellent grounding in Bagua, and frankly gives motivation for further study.

In a long list of excellent books on Martial Arts from Dr. Yang and his YMAA, this book covering Baguazhang is one of the most thorough I have studied. In the style of most YMAA books, the book covers a genral introduction, a translation and discussion of ancient texts on the subject, fundamentals of the style, barehand form and weapons form.

Contents include: (more…)

Rockets can win the division

With the Rockets win over Portland combined with the Spurs loss (stomping) at Cleveland, the Rox are now 1/2 game out of the Southwest Division lead. The New Orleans Hornets loss at home to Utah gives the Rockets a 1.5 game cushion over the 3rd place Hornets, with Dallas three games behind the Rockets.

A quick look at the remaining games in the schedule shows the Rockets with an excellent chance to win the division: (more…)

Re-reading MSandT

Re-reading Tad William's Memory, Sorrow and Thorn

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Dusk Before the Dawn

Dusk Before the Dawn

Software By the Kilo

Software by the Kilo


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