No offense to Ralph Macchio, but he ain't the Karate Kid. - Barney, How I Met Your Mother, the Bro Mitzvah, S8 E22
Now I try to avoid situations from the past that may threaten me. How do you do that? I go through life like a Karate Kid. - Britney Spears, MTV's Britney: for the record. 2008
It's all about the paper, you say it's not, but it probably is, I swear my soul turned black like the Karate Kid. - Muzzy Muzz, Cannon Gang and Green Light - The Movement

Dec 31, 2012

Dec 30, 2012

What is Kyudo?



www.mardb.com

Kyudo, which literally means The Way of the Bow, is considered by many to be the purest of all the martial ways. In the past, the Japanese bow was used for hunting, war, court ceremonies, games, and contests of skill.

The original word for Japanese archery was kyujutsu (bow technique) which encompassed the skills and techniques of the warrior archer. Some of the ancient schools, known as ryu, survive today, along with the ancient ceremonies and games.

But the days where the Japanese bow was used as a weapon are long past. Modern kyudo is practiced primarily as a method of physical, moral, and spiritual development.

No one knows exactly when the term kyudo came into being but it was not until the late nineteenth century when practice centered almost exclusively around individual practice that the term gained general acceptance. The essence of modern kyudo is said to be synonymous with the pursuit of truth, goodness, and beauty.

Truth in kyudo is manifested in shooting that is pure and right-minded, where the three elements of attitude, movement, and technique unite in a state of perfect harmony. A true shot in kyudo is not just one that hits the center of the target, but one where the arrow can be said to exist in the target before its release.

Goodness encompasses such qualities as courtesy, compassion, morality, and non-aggression. In kyudo, goodness is shown by displaying proper attitude and behavior in all situations. A good kyudo archer is a person who maintains his or her composure and grace even in times of great stress or conflict.

Beauty both enhances life and stimulates the spirit. In kyudo, truth and goodness, themselves, are considered beautiful. Beauty can also be found in the exquisite grace and artistry of the Japanese bow and the elegance of the traditional archer’s attire. It is also present in the refined etiquette that surrounds the kyudo ceremony. Etiquette, which is simply common courtesy and respect for others, is an essential element of kyudo practice.

Much has been written about the philosophical connections of kyudo. Perhaps most known is the book Zen in the Art of Archery by Eugen Herrigel. In his book Mr. Herrigel sets forth his experiences with kyudo in the 1930’s. It was a beautifully written account that has been translated into many languages, giving people worldwide their first glimpse of the art. Unfortunately, the book was very one-sided in its description of kyudo as a Zen art and is responsible for a lot of the current misconception surrounding the practice of kyudo as a religious activity.

While kyudo is not a religion it has been influenced by two schools of Eastern philosophy: The previously mentioned Zen, a form of Buddhism imported from China, and Shintoism, the indigenous faith of Japan. Of the two, the influence of Shintoism is much older. Ritualistic use of the bow and arrows have been a part of Shintoism for over two thousand years. Much of the kyudo ceremony, the attire worn by the archers, and the ritual respect shown for the equipment and shooting place are derived from ancient Shinto practice.

The influence of Zen, on the other hand, is more recent, dating back to the Kamakura Period (1185-1333) when the warrior archers adopted Zen as their preferred method of moral training. Zen’s influence on kyudo became even greater in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries when Japan, as a whole, experienced a period of civil peace. During that time the practice of kyudo took on a definite philosophical leaning.

This is the period when sayings like “one shot, one life” and “shooting should be like flowing water” were associated with the teaching of kyudo. Because of its long and varied past, modern Japanese archery will exhibit a wide variety of influences. Today, at any given kyudojo (practice hall), one can find people practicing ancient kyujutsu, ceremonial court games, rituals with religious connections, and contests of skill. The key to understanding kyudo is to keep an open mind and realize that any style of kyudo you see or practice is but a small part of a greater whole, and that each style has its own history and philosophical underpinnings which make them all equally interesting and important.

Dec 19, 2012

Karate Kid Day!

We’ve had it all wrong about Sensei Kreese


(borrowed from tumblr.com)

We’ve had it wrong for a long time. Sensei Kreese tells Johnny Lawrence to “Sweep the Leg”. He has some trepidation but goes along with it. In the second still, Johnny performs a front sweep and a kick to the face. He is awarded a point and it is perfectly legal. In the third still, you can see where Johnny drives his elbow into the back of Danny’s knee and receives a warning for illegal contact. Sensei Kreese didn’t instruct him to commit an illegal action, he told him where his opponent’s weakness was to attack. Danny performs the crane kick and the rest is cinematic history.

Dec 3, 2012

Karate Kid greeting card

Have a safe and enjoyable Karate Kid month
With love, Tommy, Johnny, Dutch, and John

Nov 23, 2012

Japan's ninjas heading for extinction


(by Mariko Oi bbc.co.uk 11-22-12)



Japan's era of shoguns and samurai is long over, but the country does have one, or maybe two, surviving ninjas. Experts in the dark arts of espionage and silent assassination, ninjas passed skills from father to son - but today's say they will be the last.

Japan's ninjas were all about mystery. Hired by noble samurai warriors to spy, sabotage and kill, their dark outfits usually covered everything but their eyes, leaving them virtually invisible in shadow - until they struck.

Using weapons such as shuriken, a sharpened star-shaped projectile, and the fukiya blowpipe, they were silent but deadly.

Ninjas were also famed swordsmen. They used their weapons not just to kill but to help them climb stone walls, to sneak into a castle or observe their enemies.

Most of their missions were secret so there are very few official documents detailing their activities. Their tools and methods were passed down for generations by word of mouth.

This has allowed filmmakers, novelists and comic artists to use their wild imagination.

Hollywood movies such as Enter the Ninja and American Ninja portray them as superhumans who could run on water or disappear in the blink of an eye.

"That is impossible because no matter how much you train, ninjas were people," laughs Jinichi Kawakami, Japan's last ninja grandmaster, according to the Iga-ryu ninja museum.

However, ninjas did apparently have floats that enabled them move across water in a standing position.

Kawakami is the 21st head of the Ban family, one of 53 that made up the Koka ninja clan. He started learning ninjutsu (ninja techniques) when he was six, from his master, Masazo Ishida.

"I thought we were just playing and didn't think I was learning ninjutsu," he says.

"I even wondered if he was training me to be a thief because he taught me how to walk quietly and how to break into a house."

Other skills that he mastered include making explosives and mixing medicines.

"I can still mix some herbs to create poison which doesn't necessarily kill but can make one believe that they have a contagious disease," he says.

Kawakami inherited the clan's ancient scrolls when he was 18.

While it was common for these skills to be passed down from father to son, many young men were also adopted into the ninja clans.

There were at least 49 of these but Mr Kawakami's Koka clan and the neighbouring Iga clan remain two of the most famous thanks to their work for powerful feudal lords such as Ieyasu Tokugawa - who united Japan after centuries of civil wars when he won the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600.

It is during the Tokugawa era - known as Edo - when official documents make brief references to ninjas' activities.

"They weren't just killers like some people believe from the movies," says Kawakami.

In fact, they had day jobs. "Because you cannot make a living being a ninja," he laughs.

There are many theories about these day jobs. Some ninjas are believed to have been farmers, and others pedlars who used their day jobs to spy.

"We believe some became samurai during the Edo period," says Kawakami. "They had to be categorised under the four caste classes set by the Tokugawa government: warrior, farmers, artisan and merchants."

As for the 21st Century ninja, Kawakami is a trained engineer. In his suit, he looks like any other Japanese businessman.

The title of "Japan's last ninja", however, may not be his alone. Eighty-year-old Masaaki Hatsumi says he is the leader of another surviving ninja clan - the Togakure clan.

Hatsumi is the founder of an international martial arts organisation called Bujinkan, with more than 300,000 trainees worldwide.

"They include military and police personnel abroad," he tells me at one of his training halls, known as dojo, in the town of Noda in Chiba prefecture.




It is a small town and not a place you would expect to see many foreigners. But the dojo, big enough for 48 tatami mats, is full of trainees who are glued to every move that Hatsumi makes. His actions are not big, occasionally with some weapons, but mainly barehanded.

Hatsumi explains to his pupils how those small moves can be used to take enemies out.

Paul Harper from the UK is one of many dedicated followers. For a quarter of a century, he has been coming to Hatsumi for a few weeks of lessons every year.

"Back in the early 80s, there were various martial art magazines and I was studying Karate at the time and I came across some articles about Bujinkan," he says.

"This looked much more complex and a complete form of martial arts where all facets were covered so I wanted to expand my experience."

Harper says his master's ninja heritage interested him at the start but "when you come to understand how the training and techniques of Bujinkan work, the ninja heritage became much less important".

Hatsumi's reputation doesn't stop there. He has contributed to countless films as a martial arts adviser, including the James Bond film You Only Live Twice, and continues to practise ninja techniques.

Both Kawakami and Hatsumi are united on one point. Neither will appoint anyone to take over as the next ninja grandmaster.

"In the age of civil wars or during the Edo period, ninjas' abilities to spy and kill, or mix medicine may have been useful," Kawakami says.

"But we now have guns, the internet and much better medicines, so the art of ninjutsu has no place in the modern age."

As a result, he has decided not to take a protege. He simply teaches ninja history part-time at Mie University.

Despite having so many pupils, Mr Hatsumi, too, has decided not to select an heir.

"My students will continue to practice some of the techniques that were used by ninjas, but [a person] must be destined to succeed the clan." There is no such person, he says.

The ninjas will not be forgotten. But the once-feared secret assassins are now remembered chiefly through fictional characters in cartoons, movies and computer games, or as a tourist attractions.

The museum in the city of Iga welcomes visitors from across the world where a trained group, called Ashura, entertains them with an hourly performance of ninja tricks.

Unlike the silent art of ninjutsu, the shows that school children and foreign visitors watch today are loud and exciting. The mystery has gone even before the last ninja has died.

--------------------


5 ninja myths

Ninjutsu is a martial art: In fact, fighting was a last resort - ninjas were skilled in espionage and defeating foes using intelligence, while swinging a sword was deemed a lower art

Ninjas could disappear: They couldn't vanish as they do in the movies, but being skilled with explosives, they could make smoke bombs to momentarily misdirect the gaze, then flit away

They wore black: Ninja clothing was made to be light and hard to see in the dark - but jet-black would cause the form to stand out in moonlight, so a dark navy blue dye was usually used

Ninjas could fly: They moved quietly and swiftly, thanks to breathing techniques which increased oxygen intake, but kept their feet on the ground

And walk on water: CIA intelligence says they used "water shoes" - circular wooden boards or buckets - and a bamboo paddle for propulsion, but doubt remains over their effectiveness


Nov 19, 2012

A dream of a dojo



Now this would be an amazing dojo.

Nov 15, 2012

The black and white gi



Since I started my kenpo journey this summer I've bounced back and forth between a black gi and my current white gi. (As stated in an earlier post my black gi was shelved because I think I bought a size too small and my round midsection became too evident.)

I like both colors, but I felt I didn't deserve to wear an all black gi, I felt I hadn't earn it yet. And while surfing the web to look into other martial art subjects I occasionally come across images of martial art practitioners wearing a combination of black and white. At first I did not like the look at all. I thought one should chose a color and stick with it, either black or white but not mixed. But lately I've been having a change of heart. I think I like the look of the white top and black bottoms.

I'm still sticking firm with my dislike of white bottoms and a black top. Guys just look odd in white pants. But I'm feeling good vibes with the black bottom and white top. And thankfully with my original black gi the pants fit fine.

So if I want to give this new look a try I could certainly do it.

Now if I could just decide on what to do with my patches.

Nov 2, 2012

California karate student pummels intruder found in bathroom

(foxnews.com 10-30-12)

Fresno - A California man got an early morning beat down after being pummeled by a karate student who found him drunk in her bathroom.

Jannine Ramirez had just won a karate competition when she arrived at her Fresno apartment early Sunday and heard someone in the bathroom. Ramirez, 20, kicked down her bathroom door, then kicked the intruder through a shower door.

She continued with an onslaught of kicks and punches until Wilberto Zapata, 18, was outside her apartment.

"We didn't recognize him," Ramirez said. "Me and my mom live in the apartment, so no guy whatsoever should be in there."

Zapata recently moved into the apartment complex and mistakenly went into the wrong apartment unit, police told the Fresno Bee.

Ramirez has a yellow belt -- a step above beginner -- and expects to be promoted to orange belt next month at during a competition in Fresno.

She has been a karate and Muay Thai kick-boxing student for a year. Saturday was her first competition.

"I was actually more nervous in the competition than I was trying to get this intruder out of my house," said Ramirez, who attends Fresno City College and plans to study physical therapy at Fresno State University. "I literally kicked him all the way through my house."

Police said Zapata was drunk and thought he had broken into his own apartment. He was cited for unlawful entry into a home and released. A phone listing for Zapata could not be found.

Ramirez has no regrets.

"I had to protect my mom and protect myself and get this intruder out of my house," she said. "He sort of did deserve it. If he hadn't broken into my house, it wouldn't have happened."

Oct 29, 2012

A day of confrontation, a day of learning


Along with labor comes learning.

Right about now, 1038 am Pacific time. Saturday, October 29th, 1983, a confrontation, a challenge, and a warning.

Oct 28, 2012

Night of little mercy


Friday, October 28th, 1983, a night of little mercy, a night of revelation.



I made sure to enjoy a Sprite today in honor of Daniel's Sprite consumption in Mr. Miyagi's workshop before he headed to the Halloween dance.

Oct 20, 2012

Forgotten All Valley tournament poster



Recently discovered alternate All Valley Tournament poster. I asked Daniel Larusso the other day about this poster and he said he does remember seeing this, as well as the other more well-known poster, hanging around town leading up to the tournament.

He said he thinks Ali even saved one of these posters as a souvenir.

Oct 12, 2012

Road rage incident leads to man ramming car and attacking woman

(by Emiley Morgan ksl.com 10-12-12)

An Alpine man was arrested Wednesday after police say he attacked a woman in a road rage incident in which he apparently caused his car to flip over.

Bill Kelsch, 39, rammed his vehicle into another vehicle in American Fork Wednesday afternoon "over a road rage issue," a police affidavit filed in 4th District Court states.

"Bill admitted to being upset with the victim because she flipped him off, so he 'lost it' and swerved purposely into the victim's car and caused his own vehicle to flip over," the affidavit states.

Police say Kelsch and the woman both exited their vehicles and Kelsch ran after the woman. Upon reaching her, he began hitting her "with his fists in her back," according to the affidavit. Multiple witnesses watched the incident and told police that Kelsch was yelling and "acting disorderly."

Kelsch was booked into the Utah County Jail for investigation of aggravated assault, simple assault, aggressive driving and disorderly conduct.

--------------------

(There are crazy people out there! That is why it is important for everyone to learn how to defend themselves through practicing a martial art.)




Oct 4, 2012

Woman fights off knife-wielding attacker

(by Shara Park and Randall Jeppesen ksl.com 10-4-12)

Police are looking for a man with a knife who attacked a woman getting off a TRAX train in Sandy. The woman fought back with a full soda pop bottle as the man tried to drag her into a field.

Lt. Victor Quezada said, "She felt something bad was going to happen if she went to that field area."

The 25-year-old woman from out of town left the TRAX station at 115 E. Sego Lilly Drive in Sandy about 11:50 p.m. Wednesday walked toward State Street to her hotel. She noticed a man following her, and about a block from the station, he grabbed her from behind in a "bear hug" and tackled her to the ground.

"This male then pulled a knife on her, kind of a hunting knife, if you will," Quezada said. "She was able to hit this male with a Dr. Pepper bottle across the head, and they struggled some more."

He tackled her to the ground two more times and told her to be quiet. When she got up to run away, the man grabbed her foot, which came out of her shoe. During the struggle she was able to reach her cell phone and call 911.

"The dispatcher was able to hear the commotion before it became disconnected," Quezada said.

While on the phone with the emergency dispatcher, the man grabbed the phone out of her hand and ran off in the opposite direction.

"You hear her say, 'Hey,' and then you can hear the phone rubbing against his leg as he's running with the phone. He did not disconnect the phone," said Sandy Police Sgt. Jon Arnold.

After reviewing surveillance video, Sandy police said the woman arrived at the TRAX station 10 minutes before the man who attacked her arrived on a separate train. Investigators didn't know how he had caught up with her.

When police arrived, seven police dogs tried to track the attacker, but he got away. Neither the shoe or the phone has been located.

The woman described the man as in his 30s, with shaggy blonde hair wearing khaki pants and an orange hooded sweatshirt. Police say they considered him armed and dangerous.

"She said he smelled like he hadn't showered in a couple of days. She thought he was possibly homeless," Arnold said.

"This guy needs to be off the street," Quezada said. "He's proved he's dangerous. He's pulled a weapon on somebody, grabbed a female. We don't know what his intentions were, but they were probably not very good."

Police say the woman did everything right in this situation.

"She held her own, which is good," Quezada said. "That's probably what saved things from going any further. We're not sure how much further they would have gone, but she did do her job tonight and she fought him off."

The Sandy Civic Center TRAX platform is near the Dimple Dell gully where there has been a problem with homeless camps in the past. But Arnold said it had been awhile since police had had issues with homeless people in that area.

Investigators were also trying to determine a motive for the attack. Detectives were unsure Thursday if it was robbery, a sexual assault or something else. The man only got away with the woman's cell phone, and he did not make any make any sexual references or grope her, even when he tackled her to the ground, Arnold said.

"He didn't make any statements. He didn't tell her whether he was going to do anything," he said. "Even when he had the knife, he just said, 'Be quiet.'"

Investigators want anyone with information about the attacker to call police immediately at 801-840-4000.

--------------------

(Krav Maga teaches practitioners to defend themselves by any means possible, using whatever is needed to fend of the attacker. Using a soda bottle to hit the attacker in the face is perfectly legal.)


Sep 29, 2012

Home study course


I was having lunch with Daniel recently and he wanted to show me something he had been hanging on to for awhile. It was the above advertisement for the New Orient Karate School.

He said he had seen it in a local newspaper back in New Jersey before he and his mom moved out to California. He had considered taking the home study course but right about the same time his mother suggested he take karate classes at the YMCA.

He hung on to the advertisement even with the move out to Reseda.

Later it became even more important to him because of the irony of the cobra on the advertisement and all the trouble he had with the Cobra Kai.

We got a good chuckle out of this while enjoying our lunch.


Notice Daniel is wearing a jacket in this photo so it must have been taken during a rehearsal.
 
Cool photo nonetheless.

Sep 22, 2012

Karate Kid timeline - version 3.0






A - Saturday, September 3 - The Larusso's leave New Jersey and start their trek west.

(Thursday, September 8 - Most likely the day the Larusso's leave the Canyon Portal Motel and push-start their car as we see in the opening scenes.)

B - Saturday, September 10 - The Larusso's arrive in Reseda. Daniel meets Freddy and gets invited to a beach party for the following day. Daniel meets Mr. Miyagi as well.

C - Sunday, September 11 - Adios a Summer Beach Party. Daniel sees Ali for the first time as well as is introduced to Johnny Lawrence and the Cobra Kai.

D - Monday, September 12 - First day of school. Soccer tryouts after school and Daniel sees Ali again as well as learns her name. "Ali with an i."

(Tuesday, September 13 - Most likely the day Mr. Miyagi comes to fix the Larusso's leaky kitchen faucet.)

(Some time between Saturday,September 17th and the end of the month we get the first scene at the Cobra Kai dojo, as well that same day Daniel is bullied while riding his bike home and his mother confronts him in the back alley of the apartments as to what is going on. Within a day or two of that incident we get the scene at school where we are introduced to Susan and Daniel decides not to confront the Cobra Kai despite Ali's urgings.)

E - Friday, October 28 - Halloween Dance and another beating for Daniel and the hands of the Cobra Kai. Mr. Miyagi steps in and somewhat saves the day.

F - Saturday, October 29 - Trip to the Cobra Kai dojo to make peace and the agreement is reached to settle the score at the December 19th tournament. Daniel begins his training with Wax On Wax Off.

G - Monday, October 31 - Confrontation at school as well as the first day of Take a Worm for a Walk Week. Daniel asks Ali out for their first date.

H - Saturday, November 5 - Daniel and Ali go to Golf n Stuff for their first date.

I - Friday, November 11 - Daniel's training continues with Sand the Floor.

J - Saturday, November 12 - Daniel catches a fly with chopsticks and continues training with Paint the Fence.

K - Sunday, November 13 - Daniel continues training with Paint the House. Mr. Miyagi finally reveals the secrets of the training techniques Daniel has unknowingly learned.

L - Monday, November 14 - Daniel and Mr. Miyagi go to the beach where Daniel learns balance in the surf and Mr. Miyagi practices the Crane Technique.

(Either Tuesday, November 15th or Wednesday, November 16th Daniel asks Ali out on the 2nd date. Also, either on the Wednesday the 16th or Thursday the 17th Mr. Miyagi takes Daniel to the lake where he practices balance and blocking on the bow of Mr. Miyagi's row boat.)

M - Friday, November 18 - Betrayal at the Country Club. Daniel later heads to Mr. Miyagi's where he learns about Mr. Miyagi's diffictult past.

N - Saturday, November 19 - Daniel begins training on his own.

(Sometime in the next week Mr. Miyagi teaches Daniel the proper way to punch.)

O - Sunday, December 18 - Eve of the All Valley. Daniel has his birthday party and gets #1 and #2 birthday present from Mr. Miyagi and later finds Ali at Golf n Stuff to make peace.

P - Monday, December 19 - All Valley Tournament.


Sep 21, 2012

Karate Girl

 
Karate Girl Review
 
(by KMiller martialartsmoviejunkie.com 6-1-12)
 
Background info
 
Rina Takeda made her debut with High Kick Girl. While the film was not as impressive as many had hoped, it did help put Takeda on the map. In KG, she pairs up with the original High Kick Girl team and also adds a younger star to the mix, but would they be able to learn and grow from their past mistakes, or simply repeat the same ones over again?
 
Story/Characters
 
I’m going to be as nice as I can here. I have no idea who wrote the story, but it is awful. The whole movie revolves around a belt. I get it’s the prized Kuro-obi of a skilled master, but it is really enough to create an organization around and kill people for? Can one belt really make or break a school’s reputation? I mean, can’t it just be reported as stolen? What I’m trying to say here is that there isn’t enough for the audience to feel connected to the story or the characters.
 
The characters don’t fare much better in KG. Takeda doesn’t show any more depth to the character she played in High Kick Girl, granted she didn’t have a lot to work with. The sisters that are pit against each other really has no emotion, and in kinda unnecessary, to be honest. Of course, the biggest offender of character is the main villain. I cannot, for the life of me, understand why he makes such a big deal about this belt. On top of that, he kidnaps the youngest sibling and trains her to be a killer, yet decides both her and the older sister must be killed to end the family name itself. Why!?
 
Action/Choreography
 
I can tell you that KG is a lot better in this department simply because of the toning-down of one certain aspect: slow motion. High Kick Girl was used this effect way too many times, and it made me hate the fights every time they came up. Just trust me, it was really awful.
 
Now, with the assistant director or High Kick Girl directing KG, things are a little better. I’m not saying the fights are going to be memorable or thrilling, just better. There are some nice athletic feats from both girls, but the pacing is still too slow and some hits don’t connect at all. If you tolerated High Kick Girl, KG won’t be as bad, but it still can’t hold up to other films of this day.
 
Own it, Watch it, or Skip it?
 
KG takes a few steps in the right direction, but it still doesn’t have what it takes to be taken seriously. The plot needs to be much better (I’d associate with a Buddha head more than a belt) and the action still needs improving. I think that Rina can be a great asset to Japanese cinema if they know how to use her (and this means no more schoolgirl outfits. I thought this was a sequel to High Kick Girl for the longest time.)

I’m really hoping that Japan finds its identity in the martial arts genre, but it has a long way to go before the rest of the world will take it seriously. High Kick Girl was awful, but KG does enough right that if you want to see what Rina is capable of, I’d suggest it over High Kick Girl.

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http://www.martialartsmoviejunkie.com/2012/06/01/karate-girl-review/

Sep 19, 2012

Karate Kid swastika



(by Bob Kerstetter villagehiker.com)
 
Japanese maps display hundreds of swastikas. You also see them elsewhere—not everywhere, but elsewhere—on decorative containers, fans and building edifices, as examples.

A swastika consists of two equal length lines perpendicular to each other and aligned at their centers. Half the distances from their centers to their ends the lines bend at right angles, all in the same direction to the left or to the right.

In modern western experience, the swastika represents the hatred and violence of the Nazi party. In the 1920s, the German Nazis adopted the swastika as their symbol. After the party gained power in the 1930s the swastika became the emblem of Germany. To those outside the Third Reich the swastika soon signified humanity at its worst. The Nazis rotated the swastika 45°. The angled ends of the Nazi swastika pointed to the right.

From their beginnings in India, swastikas meant be well, be good in your higher being and other healthy things. Even the Nazis understood this, but as Aryan superiority.

As adapted by Buddhism, one of the major faiths originating in India, the swastika symbolized eternity. The Buddhist meaning of the swastika traveled from India to China to Japan.

On maps of Japan, swastikas mark the locations of Buddhist temples. The angled ends of the Buddhist swastikas point to the left or to the right. There is no rotation. There is no tie between Japanese Buddhism and Nazism.

Japanese pronounce their word for swastika as manji.


Sep 13, 2012

Rendezvous in the cafeteria

That'll be $2.50. Oh, for both. $3.75.


All day today I've been walking around in my Daniel Larusso jacket with $3.75 in the pocket. I was hoping that either in the grocery store or at the burger place they would charge me that amount so I could take the money out and say, "three seventy-five".

Sep 12, 2012

First day of school and soccer tryouts



I've always thought that Daniel could have come up with a better excuse for the black eye than "I hit the curb with my bike and then the curb hit me."

I think a better excuse would have been "We were playing soccer on the beach and me and this other guy went up for the ball. I got the ball but he got me."

That's just me thinking out loud but I think that sounds much better.

Sep 11, 2012

Adios to summer beach party

Love...

at first sight

Something wicked this way comes

Sep 7, 2012

The Larusso's head west


What route did the Larusso travel as they headed out west?

Well, we are only given a few clues in the movie and in the book but I think I have come up with a route that is the most plausible with the information we have.

So how did I come up to my conclusion as to their route and the dates of their trip? Well, it was actually easier to start with their arrival in Reseda and work backwards retracing their steps. 

We are only given a couple of clues in the movie as to their cross country route, same with the book. And from the study I did last year we know they arrived in Reseda on September 10th.

We know they stayed in Sedona, Arizona (just south of Flagstaff) at the Canyon Portal motel. According to the book their car wouldn't start in Nevada, and in the movie we see they arrive in Reseda during daytime hours, probably early afternoon.

From that I concluded that they probably spent the night in Las Vegas, why else would they have gone to Nevada? They didn't have to swing by Nevada if they didn't want to, they could have driven due west out of Arizona and straight into California. So from that information I figure they spent the night in Las Vegas, probably to see the lights after a day spent at the Grand Canyon. Plus, since they arrived in Reseda during daytime hours they would have had to spend the night in Nevada, it would have taken too long to drive to California from Arizona while at the same time including a side trip to Nevada. Had they done that they would have pulled up to the South Seas Apartments in the evening hours, not during the day.

We are also able to conclude that they came in to Arizona from the east, from New Mexico, instead of from the north, from Utah. We can safely say this because had they come down from Utah they could have gone right into Las Vegas, no need to go out of the way to Flagstaff. So if they came in from the east straight across New Mexico and Texas you have to figure they retraced somewhat the old Route 66 highway.

Now, the next step is to figure how much driving Mrs. Larusso could do in a day. We know she was doing all the driving because Daniel didn't have his license yet. So you have to figure she isn't going to drive more than 8 to 10 hours a day, more than that would have started to be dangerous as she would have started to get too tired.

So roughly 8 to 10 hours east of Flagstaff is Amarillo, Texas. That is my best guess as to where they spent the night roughly halfway through their trip now.

Next step was to look at what was 8 to 10 hours away from Amarillo. Here though I had to use a clue that was given in the book. The book mentions that the car had trouble and wouldn't start while they were in Michigan.

Michigan? Why Michigan? What does Michigan have to do with their trek west?

Well, the book mentions Michigan so we have to include it on the map. I figure the only reason they would stop by Michigan is if they had family there and they were going to spend the night with them. Otherwise Michigan would have been out of the way.

So, once I started to fill in the blank between Texas and Michigan I looked at what cities were on that route. There are several big cities but roughly 8 hours away from Amarillo is Kansas City. And roughly 8 hours away from Kansas City is Indianapolis.  

Now, I have no solid proof those were the cities they spent the night in but they are each roughly the same distance away from the next city along the mostly likely path so that makes them the best candidates for the cities where the Larusso's would have spent the night.

Next step, Indianapolis to Michigan. We don't have any idea what city in Michigan the Larusso's had family. So that is one reason I chose Indianapolis as their stop after Michigan since they probably left the family's house late, most likely having a good time and they wouldn't want to leave any earlier than necessary to beat the setting of the sun. And Indianapolis would have been only a few hours drive away most likely. 

Last step in the journey, New Jersey to Michigan. Could Mrs. Larusso had driven this in one day. At first I thought yes, but it would have been a horribly long drive, roughly 12 hours. That is a lot to ask one person to drive in one day. So I figure they took two days to cover that distance. A likely city they would have spent their first night in? My guess is Youngstown, Ohio.

Mostly because Youngstown is the first city you come into after exiting Pennsylvania and I think they would have felt getting through Pennsylvania their first day of driving would have been a worthy goal.

So this is my theory, my idea of the Larusso's trip west;
Saturday, September 3rd - leave New Jersey and spend the night in Youngstown, Ohio
Sunday, September 4th - drive to Michigan and spend the night with family
Monday, September 5th - leave family's house mid-day and drive to Indianapolis
Tuesday, September 6th - drive to Kansas City and spend the night
Wednesday, September 7th - drive to Amarillo and spend the night
Thursday, September 8th - drive to Flagstaff AZ, spend the night in Sedona
Friday, September 9th - drive to Las Vegas and spend the night
Saturday, September 10th - arrive in Reseda