Sunday, August 2, 2020

How KARATE Can Help With MEDITATION

Français : Méditation avant le cours de karaté...
Meditation before the karate class 
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Although the ancient origins of karate are somewhat unclear to us, The one thing I can tell you is that about 1400 years ago, while teaching at the Shaolin Temple in China, Daruma Daishi used techniques that were similar to karate. Later these techniques developed into forms of karate known as Shaolin Boxing.

You need a clear mind to use Karate and meditating is the best way to clear your mind when you are in a sport such as a karate. In 1955 one of Master Funakoshi's last direct pupils cam to the United States and was the first person to teach karate in this country. That same year he put together the Southern California Karate Association, which has grown over several years to now become a national non-profit organization. 

As I meditated I continued to learn more about karate. I learned in 1961, which happens to be my year of birth, Mr Caylor Adkins, One of Mr Ohshima's first black belts, began attending CSULB and soon formed the school's first karate club. In 1968 after being gone for a while he returned to CSULB along with a gentleman named Mr Don Depree. Mr Depree carried on the tradition and led the growing club until the year 1992, when he entrusted the leadership of the club to Mr Samir Abboud.

Still keeping my mind clear by meditating I learned that Mr Samir Abboud was a continuing student of Don Depree since the year of 1969. Samir was the CSUBL captain of the karate club and assistant instructor to Mr Don Depree for many years. Through meditation children and adults learn breathing techniques that help them concentrate on karate. When first starting karate you will want to start with the beginner's belt. The purpose of this level is orientation.





Students will be taught the general structure of the class, basic commands, the importance of self-defence and some basic combinations of self-defence moves. By concentration with meditation, the student will learn to be familiar with and to perform any of the moves on the curriculum sheet. The students also should be able to stand in a Chunbi position for 1minute without moving. Minimal proficiency will be required.

The practising time 5-10 minutes 3-4 times a week will be plenty for the beginners level. It will usually take 4-6 weeks to start your next belt. So whether you are a child or an adult learning karate for whatever reason, remember the key to karate is first using your breathing techniques and your meditation will help you to practice your breathing.

Meditation books are also very helpful if you are interested in learning more about meditation just go to your local library and check some of them out. Take time out to study meditation and you could be feeling much better real soon, which is something that most of us all want for ourselves. Good luck and remember that keeping a positive attitude can really make a difference in your stress levels. Please take time out for yourself for meditation. 



Sunday, July 26, 2020

A Basic Guide to AIKIDO

English: Aikido: nikyo omote (second principle...
Aikido: nikyo omote (second principle)
(Photo credit: 
Wikipedia)
Aikido is a unique form of martial art. Its emphasis lies on the harmonious fusion of mind and body with the natural laws of Nature. Aikido focuses on accepting and respecting the energy of life and nature and channeling this harmony onto techniques that expresses this energy in physical forms. 

Aikido is often viewed as more of a defensive martial art since its techniques and teachings are designed for you to avoid or get out of trouble. On the contrary, Aikido's techniques are very powerful and effective.

Basically, there are four levels of technique in Aikido training. These are the katai which refers to the basic training and is intended to build the foundation of body movements and breathing; the yawarakai trains the defendant to deflect attacks and fuse movements to take control of the attacker or situation; the ki-no-nagare which involves training the defendant to defend or counter attack by merging his movement with the attacker even before the latter makes contact; and the ki which is the absolute Aikido technique and involves establishing a link of ki or spirit from the defender to the attacker. 

When training for Aikido, you need a sparring partner. The uke and the nage. The Uke is the initiator of the attack and receives the Aikido techniques, while the Nage is the defender and the one that neutralizes the attack. 

Aikido basic techniques include ikky which involves control an attacker by placing one hand on the elbow and one on near the wrist giving an opportunity to throw the attacker to the ground; the niky which draws in the uke using a wristlock and twists the arm while applying painful nerve pressure; sanky which is a rotating technique aimed at applying a spiralling tension on the whole arm including the elbow and shoulder; yonky a shoulder control technique with both hands gripping the forearm; goky is another variant of ikky



wherein the hand gripping the wrist is inverted and is quite useful in weapon take-aways; shihnage or the four-direction throw; kotegaeshi or wrist return which involves a wristlock-throw that stretches the extensor digitorum; kokynage also known as breath throws or timing throws; iriminage or entering-body throws which resembles a "clothesline" technique; tenchinage or heaven-and-earth throw; koshinage or the Aikido's version of the hip throw; jinage or the shaped-like-'ten'-throw; and kaitennage or rotation throw wherein the nage sweeps the arm of the uke back until it locks the shoulder joint after which the nage applies forward pressure to throw the attacker. 

These are just basic techniques and from the list, thousands of possible implementations or combinations can be drawn by the aikidokas. In Aikido, the strikes employed during the implementation of the Aikido technique are called atemi. For beginners, grabs are the first ones to be taught. It is safer and the aikidoka can easily feel the energy flowing from the uke to the nage. 

Among the basic grab techniques are the katate-dori or single-hand-grab which involves using one hand to grab one wrist; morote-dori or both-hands-grab which uses both hands to grab one wrist; ryte-dori another both-hands-grab technique wherein both hands are used to grab both wrists; kata-dori or the shoulder-grab technique; and the mune-dori or chest-grab which involves grabbing the clothing of the chest of the attacker.  

Mastering each technique involves discipline and dedication. To be a good aikodoka, one must master both the techniques and principle of martial art.



Sunday, July 19, 2020

CHINESE HERBS- A General Synopsis of the Properties of the Herbs

Some elements for Médecine chinoise in Xi'an
Some elements for Médecine chinoise in Xi'an (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The marvels of Chinese herbs have continued to charm and help people all over the world for a very long time. Almost all medicines have been created by mixing them in different quantities and proportions. The Chinese herb logy is a vast field that consists of numerous types of herbs possessing a wide range of properties and specialties.

Chinese herb basically possesses a specific taste, temperature, and certain special characteristics. The basic tastes are sweet, bitter, salty, pungent, bland, astringent, and aromatic. Some are known to poses herbs are mixed together on the basis of their tastes and temperatures.

Sweet herbs are sticky in nature and if they are mixed with a cold herb they are useful in creating a medicine that is useful for fluids. The yin property allows the energy of the body to be restored and also cure stomach and urine problems. The sweet herbs are sticky so they help in clogging the misplaced elements of the body. The bitter taste herb possesses the quality of dryness. 

So whenever there is a defiance of yin in the body this herb is used to cure the problem. The pungent herbs assist in the movement functions of the body. When this herb is mixed with a cold herb it is useful in solving joint problems and regulating the other movements of the body. The salty herb poses the quality of codifying and dissolve. It is mostly obtained from the marine world which is why the salt content is high in these herbs. Whereas the astringent herb is useful in supplying useful components to the body.



Apart from these properties herbs also poses properties such as hotness, coolness, coldness, warmth, and neutral. All these are combined with the above-mentioned herbs to give you the best medicine for your problem.    


Sunday, July 12, 2020

The History of FENG SHUI

Feng Shui is the art of placing and situating a structure so it is in harmony with nature. Also known as “Kanyu”, cultural and social issues are influenced by cosmological, metaphysical, and natural factors.

English: Zentao symbol as evolution of the Tao...
Zentao symbol as evolution of the Tao
(Yin Yang) and the Five Elements of Feng Shui.
(Photo credit: 
Wikipedia)
To use this ancient technique, you have to understand the influence of cosmology on earth. You should also have knowledge of how astronomy and astrology influence the placement of buildings. You also need to understand Confucian classic, the weathering process, the forces of nature, the magnetic fields, and how these all influence us. If you think about it, that is a lot to study.

The history of Feng Shui originated in the West Han dynasty around the third century BC. Those who practice it believe that the earth is alive with energy. If people built a structure on land that has revitalizing energy, then they would prosper. If this is placed in a site with bad energy, misfortune will occur.

Originally, Feng Shui was used to help place tombs for those who have died rather than for building homes for the living. Back then, they believed that choosing a good burial site will bring peace and prosperity to those who remained here on earth.

The instrument used to select the correct burial site was known as the “Lo Pan.” This invention was traced back to the Yellow Emperor where it is said that the “Lady of the Nine Heavens” gave him this knowledge.

This ancient compass was called the Hin Shi and is described as a square base called a diviner’s board, holding a bowl of water that floated a magnetic south-pointing spoon. The Hin Shi then developed into the “Lo Pan” and during the Sang Dynasty, this was used to navigate at sea. When this was brought to Europe somewhere during the 13th Century, this was better known as the compass which helped navigators explore the rest of the world.

But going back to Feng Shui, if the “Lo Pan” can be used to pick good burial sites, couldn’t it do the same for erecting buildings where people could live? The answer is yes and so this device was now used to analyze the orientations in a relationship to the main door, the bed and the stove.

Since then, both the rich and the poor incorporate this in their architecture. Archeological studies have shown that ancient Chinese city planners were made in concentric rectangles surrounded by walls that were then surrounded by lakes, hills, valleys, gardens, courtyards and parks which were to enhance positive energy.

As for buildings, these were constructed to enhance a healthy relationship between family members and the country.

This is where Yin and Yang come in which is considered to be the foundation of the universe. Coming from Taoism, these two are complete opposites that cannot exist without the other.

For them, the left side of the building must represent Yang or the male force while Yin or the female force is on the right.

Examples of Yang in the past included sunlit roofs, built areas and an elevation in the front. For Yin, there must be empty areas, shadowed eaves, set back structures and elevations in the back.

The history of Feng Shui was almost forgotten when the communists took over in 1949. If it wasn’t for the masters who practiced it and shipped it out to Hong Kong or China, we would have never known it existed. Feng Shui made its way to the US only in the 1970s. Various articles and shows have focused on it and people now use it to help in building a house or a building.



Sunday, July 5, 2020

Making CHUNK CANDLES

Christmas Chunk Candle
Photo Flickr - Liz
Chunk candles add a great alternative to the standard pillar candle of yesterday. These colorful candles add a vibrancy and life to them. Looking at chunk candles, they appear to be very difficult to make. However, just the opposite is true. In fact, many candle makers claim they are easier to make than basic pillar candles. This is because pillar candles have to be perfectly smooth. If they aren’t, it is easy to see the visual defect. Such blemishes aren’t visible in chunk candles. While chunk candles aren’t recommended as a beginner project, they can be made once you know the basics of the candle making process.


There are two phases to making chunk candles. To make the process easier, it is recommended that you keep the two separate. Attempts to cut corners often result in chunk candles that are of poor quality and don’t burn well. The first phase of the project is making the chunks. The second is the process of turning those chunks into gorgeous candles. Some individuals choose to purchase pre-cut chunks at craft stores or online.

To make your candles their prettiest, select colors that compliment each other. To start making the color chunks, spray a cookie sheet with a non-stick cooking spray. You only want a thin film on the cooking sheet. After the wax you are using has completely melted, add color to it as well as any fragrance you want. Pour the mix onto the cookies sheet. Fill the sheet to the level you want the depth of your candle chunks to be.

Keep an eye on the cooling color chunks. Once it is the consistency of cookie dough you will want to use a sharp utility knife to cut it into chunks. Allow the chunks to continue cooling. If you are making several colors of chunks you can mix them together or leave them separate. Some people choose to let the colors mix together on their own while others like to create a design by adding the amount of each color they want.

Using the same molds that are used for pillar candles, insert your candle wick through the bottom of the candle mold. Fill the mold loosely with color chunks. You can put one color on the bottom with another color on top or even layers of three colors. You can also use only one color. The choice is all yours. Do not stack as many chunks as you can in the mold or the candle won’t form properly. Just toss them in and let them lay where they end up.

You are now ready to pour the melted wax over the color chunks. It is recommended that you do leave the melted wax colorless, but some people choose to add a light color to tint it and add a uniqueness to their chunk candles. As the candle cools, the chunks will adhere to together with the hot wax. Once the molds cool the chunk candles should slide out with ease.

Making chunk candles is really quite simple if you have the basic candle making concepts under your belt. These candles add flair to any décor as well as make great gifts. They are a bit more time consuming to make since you will be making your color chunks, but well worth the results. Remember that you can purchase color chunks to save you time. That is a great option for someone who plans to make large quantities of chunk candles.



For those who want to get even more creative, consider using embeds on the sides. You can place them in the candle molds first. They will stay in place once you put the chunks in the mold. You can adjust the embeds as needed prior to adding the hot wax to the mold. There are excellent books available on the various patterns and embeds you can add to make specific chunk candles. There are also great pictures and step by step instructions available on the internet.