Sunday, December 30, 2012

The more things change...

"Most of what passes for legitimate entertainment is inferior or foolish and only caters to or exploits people's weaknesses. Avoid being one of the mob who indulges in such pastimes... If you don't choose what thoughts and images you expose yourself to, someone else will...." -- Epictetus, A.D. 55 - A.D. 135

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Judo for Kids

Lately, I've been wondering about judo for kids.
I got a lot out of my brief encounter with the art when I was about eight. I still use some of the basics from those classes in a little school in the woods. This was why I had to quit, actually, the location was too remote to have a sensei in to teach on any sort of regular basis. But my hip throws stayed with me; my scarf holds always a playfight go-to.
Currently, my five-year-old son does karate. He is learning to kick, punch, block, and keep his guard up while doing all these. He has done a couple of throws; a bit of play wrestling. But for some reason, at some point, I have this gut feeling to let him decide if he wants to explore judo, as well. It might just be a result of my own good experiences with the sport; it might be that I feel it would round out his training. And don't get me wrong, I'm in no rush to ask him. He's a busy little lad: hockey, soccer, karate, and, oh yeah, school. But at some point, if his interest is there, I'd love to give him the chance to do judo. 
The funny part is, I don't think I have it in me to explore judo again. Not right now. We cover a lot of judo in my jiu-jitsu classes, to be sure, and I find training hard enough now that my time goes mainly to my two boys. Plus, I have a date with aikido... the where and when to be determined...
But my judo cravings are there, but that tale is not for this post.
I'd just hate to be one of those parents who wants their kid to be a pro hockey player because they, themselves, failed to make it. So I'm learning to let go; I'm learning to open doors for my sons, and not close others in the process.
But at some point I'm going to ask, my gut just tells me to do so.
And whatever he says will be the right answer, I am sure.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Tao of Tarot...

I stumbled upon this Feng Shui Tarot Deck recently. And I like the art.... a lot. I don't do tarot divination but as a visual artist, i love checking out different interpretations of the cards, especially the major arcana. This one, to me, was a great mixture (both mystically and artistically) of east meets west.

But what really caught my eye was the card above: Strength. This card is in all decks and often includes a depiction of a lion and a woman--symbolizing the balancing of our lower and higher natures. Anyway, the above version is different than normal as it shows a man practicing internal martial arts, possibly tai chi or qi gong. It depicts the balancing of internal strength with the external. The Strength card was once referred to as the Fortitude card--perhaps a more accurate name for the attributes it describes. Below I have found another "Eastern" style pack: the Ukiyoe Tarot. I have shown the Strength card, once again, and this time it has more of a traditional depiction with the lion.