Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Promoted to "C - Dog Pound"

I participated in the June 2006 Gathering. My plan was to do "stick only" fights, but fights have a way of not following the rules. I ended up getting elbowed and kicked in the head and dragged to ground by my head. At the time, this freaked me out, but my neck feels great.

My skills were dull from lack of practice over the past year (I have the bruises to prove it), but my conditioning was pretty good for an old fat guy. I will be working to sharpen my game as well as strengthening my grip (which failed me a few times).

On top of a great day, I was promoted to Candidate. My new dog name is "C - Dog Pound." Although I have no regard for rank or belts (mine or anyone else's), it means a lot to me to be promoted within the Dog Brother Tribe.

My plan is to fully participate in the November Gathering (I owe someone a kick in the head).

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

My Stick Dummy

This is my "bagging" dummy for stick work. There are two tennis balls on each arm to mimic hands, elbows, or just act as targets for eye-hand coordination and some bi-lateral training in siniwali. The fencing mask was a late addition and is a 100% improvement. The masks get very beat-up, but happily I have several "retired" masks at hand for replacements.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Push Ups w/ Rings that Rock

The rings are attached to a bar which is hanging (see below) so that each arm has to push evenly. The nerve damage in my left arm atrophied my tricep. This set-up forces my left arm to work as hard as my right.

Friday, June 09, 2006

A Cool Victory that Arrived a Few Pounds at a Time

My 100 lb Dumb Bell Snatch

On June 23, 2005, the day after cervical fusion surgery, I told the neurosurgeon that would lift my 100lbs dumb bell with my left hand (the side with nerve damage) and send him a picture of it on the one year anniversary of the surgery. Here's the picture.

On May 25, 2006, I almost pressed the 106lbs kb with my left hand. Ken (an agent of God's blessing) suggested I start doing "bottoms-up presses."

On May 31, 2006, I hit my goal and snatched the 100lbs dumb bell with my left hand (witnessed by my son Caleb), and on June 9, 2006, I cleaned and pressed a 106lbs kb over my head with my left hand (witnessed by Kettlebell Ken). I'm not sure I could have done that before the surgery. This is a major milestone in my recovery. I have been blessed.

Friday, June 02, 2006

The Law of Sacrifice

The lesser is always sacrificed to the greater. This Law is more absolute than gravity and cannot be broken. Sacrifice is the action that confirms our priorities.

Hebrews 7:7 comments on an encounter between Melchizedek and Abraham that happened in Genesis 14, "[W]ithout any dispute the lesser is blessed by the greater." Melchizedek must have been greater than Abraham because Abraham gave Melchizedek a tenth of some loot he won in a recent battle.

In sacrifice, we give up what we have for what we want more. It is a kind of spiritual/emotional free market. I have a stone, but I would rather have your dollar. Therefore I sacrifice/exchange my stone in return for your dollar. In the Old testament, a bull was sacrificed to God and in exchange God forgave sin. For the sacrifice to occur they must value peace with God more than the bull. Otherwise, they would have kept the bull.

Once understood, the Law of Sacrifice is disturbing and enlightening. This Law is not just an interesting theory. It must always be considered in our dealings with people.

The Atheist's God

In a book titled "Orthodoxy," G. K. Chesterton wrote:

When the world shook and the sun was wiped out of heaven, it was not at the crucifixion, but at the cry from the cross: the cry which confessed that God was forsaken of God. And now let the revolutionists choose a creed from all the creeds and a god from all the gods of the world, carefully weighing all the gods of inevitable recurrence and of unalterable power. They will not find another god who has himself been in revolt. Nay, (the matter grows too difficult for human speech,) but let the atheists themselves choose a god. They will find only one divinity who ever uttered their isolation; only one religion in which God seemed for an instant to be an atheist.