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June 15th, 2010

"Take things as they are. Punch when you have to punch. Kick when you have to kick."

Once upon a time, a wise man said: "Rules in street are unfortunately ruthless".
When in fight, no one will ask you, whatever you are ready or not. No one will ask you what are the rules. Fight is fight. Real fight has no rules. If you have already got used to in box, that you must not hit below the weist, in street you can be assured, that your enemies will aim there. If there are spots in human body that are so sensitive to the point, that even in martial arts and sports are prohibited to be hitted, then keep in mind that these kind of spots, will be your enemies's focus.
Who would cover his genitals or ears during Karate competitions? No one, because no one would hit them, nor they would even try to. But what more assailable spots are there than these? In street, only thing that matters is, to survive. No one will stop each time they successfuly land a hit. When you receive one, you cannot afford to wait untill it stop hurting. You could get another and another which could be even fatal.

Learn how to divide your techniques into categories usable and unusable. In karate, they may teach you low stances, but that is only for purpose of training muscles and how to relax. That's not something, which would be helpful during a real fight.
Nor you can use kicks that are above the waist. There isn't anything faster and more simple than the direct hit. But don't miss out on legs. Moving is great advantage and important, remember not to stay in same spot, because distance between you and enemy is decisive. It is essential to know, when your opponent will attack, even before when he does. You won't recognize it from hands movements, but most of the time, the attack is signalized according to the movement of the whole body or legs. Notice that most of the people, who participates in kumite, tends to hide their toes in tatami form, for that purpose they could perform a jump, and to change their spot as fast as possible.

Also, good advice is to confuse your enemy. If you start with hook, but instead of completing it, you will kick your enemy - not many can recover so fast to return the blow. Of course, there are tons of the example how you can confuse your enemy. There are times when you will face opponent who is stronger and taller, and if you're female, forget anything about balanced fight. It is not said for fun: kick him between his legs and run away. Just do it. In case of great danger do anything to survive, and when I say anything, I mean biting, jabbing opponents eyes, pulling hair, earings... anything. No matter how confident and strong you are, you should avoid these kind of situtation. You can never predict what's going to happen in fight, and how will it end. You may be stronger, and you may think you hold the upper hand, but suddenly he can bare a knife or any other weapon, you will be left unpleasantly surprised.

"Be water, my friend."

Dream of every martial artist is to become invicible. Only small number of them has enough will to pursue this dream. Only few has talent and disposition; and even less, those who will succeed.

Bruce Lee wasn't a tall man with great weight, nor he was a man who could resist a blow from enemy. He was simply fast and strong. He was not born with it. He was simply practicing. He did everything in order to get better physical condition. It is hard to judge what is myth and truth. It is known about him, that he used to give a great blows to his punching bag. He said that it helps your physical condition and it makes you faster. But he did practice as normal person would. He did thousands of push-ups, in the end he could even do it with one finger. Nothing you can do, can't be done. Nothing he could do, can't be done.

Bruce Lee had no style. He only chose what suited him the best and what seemed useful. He said: "Does you feet knows that it daily performs so complicated movement, such as step?

Do you realize when you are breating, that you're breating?
Do you realize when you are walking in city, that you're walking? Leg is leg. It goes without protesting, it is its purpose. If it wasn't natural, it would let you know. It would behave as you would slip or stumble on ice. To fight, you need to choose your own style. It is entirely up to you, whatever determine that each movement of your body, every limb will be natural, simple and effective.

If you wish to understand the truth about self-defense, see your enemy clearly, you have to forget about pride, forget about pain, forget about any styles or schools, prejudices regarding your enemy, what he likes and dislike and what will happen to him. Then your mind will be in harmony and in peace. In this silence, peace, you will see everything clear.

Many styles of Chinese Kung Fu mimics the defense of various animals. Fingers of mysterious warriors clop like a hawk's beak, graze the opponent like the wildest kind of a tiger, perform a hardest kind of movements that is possible for human species. Why? Japanese Karate is greatest example of sprominent represantive of styles, producing a rigid set of movements called kata (in Chinese Quen or Kuen). Disciples practices for years, blocks, hits and many various kind of attacks against imaginary opponents, firmly standing in specific prescribed locations. Everything is setted up, and it is unthinkable to change it. Question remains the same: WHY?
Why do human has mimic a birds, bears, dog, insects, donkeys, octopus, whale, dead fish - the last four were joke, yeah I know, I have no sense of humour, but let's get back to the topic. Are human adjusted to it? Do humans have hard beaks, claws or sharp teeths? Why do people makes life more complicated, when you have your own natural, adjusted weapons? Why should you learn senseless series of movements that have will never be used in fight? Why making false illusion how the duel is supposed to look, how it is supposed to end, why "dirtying" your mind with these naive thoughts?

Try to during a fight, or even during a practice exploit all your natural weapons and your natural way. A spar, which is the closest to the reality, gives ability to predict opponents movements. Rather use easy and direct hits, than slow hooks. Keep your distance, so that your enemy cannot reach you, but yet, that single step forward is enough for you, to reach your opponent.

Hits and kicks.
"Evil cannot be erased by evil."

Most of outsiders lives in belief, that bodybuilder with dominant, muscular body can give deadly, fatal and dangerous blows. But reality is quite opposite. Bodybuilder grows their muscles and strenght for lifting weights, but not speed, accuracy, nor the power in fists/hits. These "gorillas" can be dangerous, when they actually grab you, or when they successfuly manage to catch you in clinch. Do not misunderstand, that lifting weights is useless or unsuitable for martial artists.

For hits and kicks are obviously important proper speed and exploiting a right muscle. Maybe this will shock you, but right punch does not only just involve muscles in arms, right kicks does not only just involve muscles in legs! You can trust me, but to make this sensible, you have to understand it. And there's no other way than with practice. And it is surprisingly easy:

For training strokes there is no better solution than simply hitting the space and over again. Whatever age, whatever physical condition you are in, I recommend you to do at least 1000 a day. A lot? Wing Chun disciples can even give 10 strokes per second - in 10 seconds they already have 100 of strokes.
First, you engage the muscles of the arms, shoulders, etc., but you will get tired over time and gradually begin to use flick of the hips and this is the desired goal. That is the right way how to train your strokes. Let me repeat this again: you will not understand until you've tried it. And that way you can even train with your legs.

From the beggining we have been focusing only with speed and engaging the appropriate muscles. Another criterion is accuracy. Yet again, practicing your accuracy is easy. All 1000 kicks and hits will be blown and aimed to specific target. But the target must not be a firm one! You can try hitting the specific spot on the veiling. Simply, choose one target on veiling and keep hitting on that spot.

Also, correct condition to kick and hit is right distance from the target. Trick lies in the fact, that your strike or kick doesn't stop just by touching the opponent's body. Try to hit an imaginary target, which is further than the real target. For example if you'll start hitting the wooden boards, you will aim few inches below the plate.

Just remember, that street has no rules and everything is allowed. It is only up to you, how merciful/ruthless you will be.

Few important tips for real fight: If your opponent is trying to attack you, don't step back, but get closer to him! That is much better and effective, and if you perform a kick while you are getting closer to him, it is likely that you will win, because a single kick or blow can be decisive. (It is called "intercepting fist", translated as "jeet kune" - does it remind you of something?) If you got a weapon, don't look at it, don't concentrate on it, don't think about it, nor if your enemy had one. Do not look at your opponents hands, legs or directly in eyes. Try to perceive your opponent as whole, let the body react intuitively, because it is the quickest response. Learn it all, then forget it all. Your body will intuitively move at the right time - he's right.
And remember, martial arts does not necesarrily have to be for self-defense, as everyone is thinking.
Posted by spupapi | Jun 15, 2010 4:57 AM | 0 comments
June 12th, 2010
because of the lenght of this post, I have decided to put it on blog, rather than having it on GD, since it is considered as "TL;DR"; people honestly should only post, when they have something usefull to say.

Many of american and people from west, tends to criticize and negatively idealize China, for being communist. Saying that communists lie to its citizen, and distributes pamphlets advertisements.
Doesn't, for example United States, do the same thing, instead of using propaganda posters, they sell books, textbooks and teaching in school, that communism is literally bad. As I talk with people about Chinese communism, they start talking about how communist was bad during cold war and that Stalin killed tons of people - wait, aren't those soviets?

In my opinion, democratic states are no worse from chinese in matter of propagandas, it is just sad that smaller group are always more visible rather than the bigger one. Socialist in Korea is really close to wet and dry sh*t, but China is not North Korea. While people think, that rest of the "world" hates communism and socialism, the other side of globe, consisting over 1 bilion of population think otherwise - China was always dictatorship, and I think it works well and is very effective.
Relationship between society and government is not the best, I have to admit, but relationship between societies are at same level of western world, maybe even greater in matter of morals and lever of culture.

And I have to say, that Chinese do not criticize U.S. at all, many of them even praise U.S. for having great movies, music and such.

So what does Chinese communism look like? Additionally, what is it like for Chinese people living in communism? Will it be obviously different than the capitalistic places. Does The utopian Communist society, would consist of everyone having the same amount of “stuff”. Same house, same food, same car, socialized health care, people not motivated enough to work etc?

As I walk the streets of Guangzhou, it seems no less from capitalist cities, for instance, New York.

General consensus seems to be that China is, in effect, a Capitalist society. This wasn’t always the case though. Many reforms began to occur beginning in the late 1970’s such as ending collectivized agriculture, liberalizing pricing, developing a stock market, and opening the economy to foreign trade and investment. The government went from a centrally planned system to a more market-oriented economy. It seems that the primary item that still remains Communist is simply the name the government keeps for itself.

There are extremely wealthy people that drive Bentley and Aston Martin cars and live in large mansions, and there are people that sleep in tunnels underneath the street. People don’t live in similar government issued housing nor do they eat government issued meals.

The notion that in a Communist society people would not be hard working certainly did not prove true either. Chinese people seem as hard-working as they come. In each city we visited, shops were open at the crack of dawn, closed well into the night (a lot open 24 hours), and were open 7-days a week. Not only were shops open at all times of the day, it was very often the same people working during all hours of the day.

The few things that one might classify as being “Communist” were:

  • Despite China’s massive size and the fact that it spans several time zones, it has only 1 time zone for the entire country. The entire country is on Beijing time.

  • The Chinese exchange rate for a long time was pegged directly to the US Dollar. In 2007, they changed this to a basket of currencies, but the currency is not changed by market forces and instead is regulated by the government.

  • Many websites are blocked by the Chinese government, for example Facebook, Twitter, YouTube. They reportedly have over 30,000 people monitoring what’s published on the web as well as monitoring the activity of individuals within their country. Criticisms of the Chinese government are typically erased in a matter of minutes on some of their most popular websites. Actually, I know one funny story, about friend of mine, posting a funny song which had same melody of chinese national anthem, which did not consist any vulgar word, on his blog. Not after 5 minutes, it was deleted. Confused by what happened, he posted it again - not after few minutes, it was deleted again, and him being repetitively confused, thinking it was bug, in the end he just re-posted. After 10 minutes, someone knocking on doors of his flat, are policemen warning him to stop it, otherwise he would have to pay a fine.

  • No substantial political opposition exists. The two primary parties, “the China Democratic Party” and “the Falungong spiritual movement” are not political opponents in the way the American Republican and Democratic parties are, for example.

Posted by spupapi | Jun 12, 2010 8:34 AM | 0 comments

  • Nose-picking is common, performed and accepted by the public.
    When I say nose-picking, I mean actually sticking your finger up there, clearly moving it around your nostril, looking at your fingers for boogers, then flicking it on the ground. People dig their nose to look out for gold for good ten seconds, untill they find their nugget and flick it away - it is done even during conversation between two people.

  • Men are openly intimate with each other even if they are just friends.
    It is often that to boys and men walking with each other, while holding hands, lying together in park, squatting on the ground in a semi-embrace, etc. In western world, they would describe this as "gay". Actually, this is my favorite one, that I often do with my friends.

  • Crossing street in Vietnam for first time is like making a death wish.
    You know when you are crossing streets, cars are supposed to wait untill you cross it, or avoid you - but in Vietnam, it is opposite. Cars do not wait, nor do they avoid you; you avoid them. Every time you cross street, your life flesh just right before your eyes. The driving here is really crazy too! Cars drives so close to each other, like it is about to bump to each other.

  • Many people in China really like western people, coming to them and saying "hello", they get extremely excited when they say hello back. The cutest is when little kids see western people and actually gasp, then say hello and giggle. It is not common for China to have tourist, especially from west. It is more common for Tai Pei or in Hong Kong, to have white tourists.

  • People in Vietnam change price of their selling product just whenever they feel like it.
    If sellers notice that you are rich or foreigner, they change immediately change price. When I was in Vietnam with my friend Vladislav from Slovakia, he went to buy ice cream, just opposite of hotel we were staying in, he stood there in queue and the woman in front of him paid 5000 dongs (Vietnamese currency, about 0.3$) for chocolate ice cream, he then too asked for chocolate ice cream, but the price was now 20.000 dongs! (1$)
    I cannot ever forget, how funny was the expression of Vlado (short name of Vladislav).

  • People in China S-T-A-R-E.
    As I mentioned above, in China, it is not so common to have tourists from west to visit China. When I was in China with Vlado, everyone stared at him, like he would be from different universe! Not to mention he's something over 190 cm's high - people not only stared at him, but at me too, thinking "what the f*ck, chinese talking in russian?". First of, it is czech, secondly, it is surprising how their english is terrible! Like 1 out of 20 speak English in China...

    Well, people sure are curious where Vlado is from, but sometimes it is annoying, like when we go to eat, and they still stare at us, while we eat!! Is there such word for being so rude? Well, people wouldn't stare at me, if I was alone, and spoke in chinese.

    It might be really upset someone for the first day.  When they see us, they double take, say something to their friends, and then stare directly at us and continue to stare as we walk by.  In west we are institutionalized to
    take staring as a rude behavior, but here it’s just commonplace. 
    when someone doesn’t stare at us.
    One group of teenagers even took a picture of Vlado as we walked by…no

  • You might've notice, how things are cheap Vietnam!
    Let me say this loud "Things here are CHEAP! Whole meal, pho, bun anything here cost 2-5 $ for both of us. It really kind of p*ssed me off, when I came back to Czech - McDonalds, KFC suddenly seemed overpriced for me.

  • People are extremely friendly.
    In restaurants and sometimes stores westerners are usually approached by a nice staff member with either an english menu or some help in deciphering the Chinese symbols.

  • A great compliment to a Vietnamese woman is you look “fat and white”. It is something like saying to western people "you look tan and skinny". The reason a people likes to be fat and white? It’s a sign that they have money and enough food to eat. Women like to be white because it means that they don’t work in the fields. Whiteness symbolizes prestige and wealth. People in China believe that american woman are the beautiful with big boobs. Sometimes I find it extremely ridiculous, woman wearing long gloves, masks, glasses, and tons of clothes in order to prevent from getting tanned when it is about 30 degree celsius

  • Engrish, not english morons.

    Notice "Chinese restaurant"

    <3 China and Vietnam!

Posted by spupapi | Jun 12, 2010 5:47 AM | 2 comments