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Apr 12 2007

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Calling Topos

This forum entry is worthy of “home page” coverage. I hope you enjoy the “trip down memory lane” as much as I did this morning. For those of you who have not had the privilege of meeting “Topos”, suffice it to say that he is a national Uechi-ryu treasure who has been studying Uechi-ryu for a  long time and has a wicked good memory.

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Calling Topos,

You are obviously someone who knows a whole lot more than most, what violence is. 

How do you see uechi ryu karate, as a system of hand to hand survival, and how do you approach the integration of karate with all of your other training?

What are your thoughts about karate?

Do you see a dichotomy, or just a misunderstanding of the nature of what we are supposed to be learning; techniques versus mindset?
Has uechi helped you in your life, or has it been some kind of misguided adventure in Eastern Mysticism?
What is really real?   “Five Dragons”


Five Dragons: I am somewhat taken aback by your kind inquiry. Like a particle in a quantum dynamic state – “in both states at same ‘time’
[time here is a misnomer as I once expressed the underlying metaphor in our Mind/Brain of "Time is the conveyer of Information - Context Operators - between Processes/Clocks are processes that index time delivered information - which when I read Einstein's little book on General Relativity was exactly what was his starting metaphor - Please accept my most abject apology for being longwinded but no sleep for 23 hours trying to write up this very thing has me in a state of stream-of consciousness]
So let me jump into middle:
Your “Has Uechi helped you in your life, or has it been some kind of misguided adventure in Eastern Mysticism? What is really real?”
With Van’s forebearance I shall ‘stream’ – hopefully not too inchoately – on my personal experience.
I was blessed to start with GEM in 1960 in the ‘Meat Locker’ [cold loft on 3d(?) floor ]. My class had the first wave of the very best, starting with Walter Mattson – a personification of the Zen, humble, most ‘deadly’ fighter, gentleman; Bill Finnerty; Ahti Kahn; Charlie Earl; Bob Fulton; and a potpourri of other luminaries. This was the era of Bob Fulton, Harvard, exemplifying the seeing of ‘Eastern Mysticism’ and Zen in Uechi.

Not so humble I, whose study had been [student of Norbert Wiener's], was, and still is, the understanding of the Mind/Brain topology & nature’s imperative in every increasing evolutionary complexity [from start of forthcoming paper "Nature is a Darwinian Fractal Operator on Information Space" from which my theory of consciousness is founded], was intolerant of the ‘Hippy-Dippy’ mysticism. Bob & I were antipodal. In some later exegisis I shall expand on it.

A simple example will suffice:
Bob F – “Zen cannot be talked about, it is beyond the Western Mind’s ability to explain, etc. Uechi open’s up the gates to the Zen…..”
I: ” [in my mind's eye, seeing a male bovine creature squatting in the field producing a cow-pie] ..no Bob, all Mind/brains work on the same physical principles, the difference is the generating metaphors that each society induces into the person from which all reasoning and world views emminate. For example, Greek disputation in the agora and local independence of ‘mountain types’ lead to methoric operators of logic and geometry. The Jewish desert metaphors meeting Greek culture & logic in Alexandria lead to the mind set that eventually lead to Spinoza, Mamonides, Einstein,etc. [bland stare, eyes glazed over, subtle look 'MIT type, lacking a Harvard etheral perspective']. The ‘Oriental Mind’ is just a set of generating metaphors. OK Bob, let me say this slowly … If as you say Zen cannot be discussed then how in blazes did you learn about it? GEM waved pixie dust over your head and voila…I understand what they mean by ZEN???? No, you read about it so de facto it can be understood and analyzed. Right Brain processes information in real time in a pseudo quantum/parallel level – Zen state of Alpha/Theta waves. Left brain follows by ‘editorializing. ” By now you get the impression that I was not taken in by ‘Sushi Oil Salesman’ mysticism. And especially as it applied to fighting “Iron shirt Karate can stop bullets”. Really?
I ended with my interpreation by placing the Big 3 Kata in a pseudo Euclidean axiomatic parallel:
“Sanchin corresponds kinesthetically to the generating axioms of optimum human fighting body dynamics [Ballet has the BARRE which undergirds all ballet and is the start of each class from beginner to asoloist's last day]. Squids[no, Marines, not sailors] have their own generating axiomata for efficient movment and fighting.
Seisan corresponds to geometry’s ‘rules of derivation’ – you see it induces into your preconsciousness the way of optimally reaching/avoiding/ contacting/ destroying, etc.. Bunkai are examples of some examples of derivations.
Sanseiryu corresponds to Theorems which solve problems.”
By now Bob tried to show my lack of understanding by giving out a list of philosophers which obviously an MIT type would not grasp – another mistake of his. Wanting to understanding how the Mind worked I asked my professor, Bob Hartman how I could learn the essentials of philosophy as I easily learned math on my own. He gave me 3 sources, I read them, understood the evolution of metaphors [damn those logically trained mathematicians horse's a$^#s!- grin].
So I countered Bob with Ernst Cassirer, Hericlitus [please pronounce correctly"...clit.." in his name in the correct Greek -KLITE..! Thank you].
Where am I? Oh, yes. I found in Uechi a most wonderfully efficent method of taking a ’98 pound weakling’ and allowing him to reach his level of icompetance. If, using the analog to the speed of light as being the standard of ‘fast’, I became an .45 Van/Walter. [I joke to my friends when I regale them with these Sensei's prowess " I need the Hubble telescope to even see their brightness .. and I really feel that]. So many are called but so very few are chosen.
The vast number of guys who have played football in high school, college, and some for a very short time in the pros still, as I with Uechi, feel ‘I could have been a contender’ when they see a game. But in their heart they know that they were vastly outclassed by the professionals [my cousin played for the old Baltimore Colts and then with the Redskins so I really understand the rare +6 sigma athleticism it takes to be a professional football player, Army Ranger [I marvel how I had the temporary madness to actually think that I could have ever made it through Ranger Training & I never toked up either {grin}]; the attrition rate for Navy Seals is another example.
But if you have ever been lucky to be on the periphery of their missions you can appreciate, admire, and in a self-delusionary state ALMOST, NEARLY believe you could do that with them. [HO, HO, Captain Midnight! Not in this Univese.]
So what are we left with? For me I have performed the big 3 over all these 47 years. I knew and still know my extreme limitations — Van or Walter “would have wiped the makawara with me in a flick of a shuto” – BUT in those few instances when I needed to react I was miracuously able to optimize my deflection and retaliation – time moved like molasses as if it had slowed down; calm, mostly efficient. Later the ‘holy s*&&t’ scared tremors set in – like climbing up 3 stories on the outside of a building and when I reached the top. climbed over the rail, looked down at the hight & got the most frightened shakes.
When I am under stress I use the Uechi breathing to calm down, retreat in driving situations, and then imagine my being Van taking on those hoodlums at a summer camp so long ago.
[ A Marine Buddy's defition of Stress :
Stress if that mental activity which occurs when your brain overrules your desire to choke the lilving 's^%t out of some a##&%^e who truly deserves it [GRIN++++++].
For me I am eternally grateful for the Uechi training that has an uncountable number of times overruled my desire to ….
As my friend said “saved your Albanian tush many time”
Now when it comes to the 1911 A1 .45, I was born to shoot it accurately. Decended from Balkan mountain types. And with a Sabre or Randall I can flow effortlessly as I cut news print hung from a steel clothes hanger. The Zen ‘no mindedness’ as I explained to Bob Fulton so long ago is just being trained so well that you ‘see’ what is going to happen an increment of time all at once. My fish tail blocks and crossing-palms are, I am pleased to say, totally automatic.
And, as I know you are thinking ‘mercifully’, final comment, there is no mysticism in Uechi. Just the embodiment of one of the most efficient generating algorithm for optimal combat body dynamics -even allowing a -6 sigma student as I am to learn ‘derive new theorems’ every so often.
“Uechi – The most fun you can have exercising by your self with your pants on” – Old Balkan expression [I just made up -- grin]
Again apologies to Van and to you for taking up so much time and space.
As my darling wife says humorously- I hope- “is this the posting that will finally force your friend Van to cancel all your publishing privleges?”
Bon Nuit, mes amis
                                  Topos

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