atma: ([FFT] Agrias - Stern)
This morning, I read The Unfettered Mind, a series of 3 short essays by a Rinzai Zen Buddhism monk named Takuan Soho. He was adviser to Musashi and some of the other big swordsman, shogunate, emperors, and daimyo of his era. If you'd like to read it, there's a PDF at the link. This was recommended to me as essential reading for my Samurai arts by my sensei.

It's a book about applying Zen Buddhist philosophy to martial arts, particularly swordsmanship. The great samurai of the era, particularly the style founders, felt there was something lacking still in their work. Soho, who never once used a sword, watched them practice and saw their minds would grow stuck and frustrated. So he wrote these treatises and a new way was born.

I'm not Zen nor Buddhist myself; I do admit it has influenced me, but I'm always Shinto through and through. However, it did reinforce a lot of what I knew and am figuring out as a swordsman myself.

read more )
atma: ([DC] Elf - idgaf)
Nothing greatly of note lately. I survived a gasshuku at my dojo, which is an intensive hell training weekend. 9 hours of work one day with 9 more hours the next, all the hardest conditioning work and hardest difficulty versions of workouts and sparring. We had to cut apples midair with a katana as they were pitched to us and learned how to use bos, tonfas, sais, kama, and nunchaku. It was pretty much worth it and I'd like to do it again. Found out that I should totally work with kama, they were one of those things you pick up and know immediately was meant for you. Karkatma jokes can go to the left.

I'm trying to get back into icon making and photoshopping more. Thing is I only gt PS7 on this crappy laptop. It works but it takes a bit to find shit that's still compatible with it. Once I get that in hear I'll be using [community profile] shaifang as a graphics dump. I have a feeling once I get in gear I'll be one of those icon comms that only works with obscure/niche stuff that nobody cares about.

If you like my writing, especially original stuff, that's all going to be put in [community profile] heroicrecords from now on. You're free to watch and comment. Anything you can ask me to help me write better or create more details from is most appreciated.
atma: ([TH] Suika - Grows on you)
Recently celebrated two years together with [personal profile] catzero and feel great. Love ya, dear.

I re-did all my personal journal icons and think I'll take up iconning more often. I made a comm to dump them in at [community profile] shaifang if only because I work too damn hard on my RP icons and want to share, as well as start doing whatever catches my eye. Maybe I'll do icon sets for characters that nobody else icons, like Queen's Blade anything. Oddly proud of my own work for once.

Queen's Blade: Rebellion started airing on Tuesday. It'll be subbed by a reliable group that did the original series. Maybe I'll collect links to them as they're subbed and make just one big QB download resource post. People have been asking for one for a while. I saw the RAW, it's really good so far. It's definitely itself, even in sequel/new cast land, which is a good thing. This will be the main show I'm following this season, of course.

I've been playing this translation of an old, obscure SNES JRPG called Mystic Ark. It's a pseudo-sequel to the game The 7th Saga, if you've ever played that mess. It's really good and quite surreal so far. First I helped cat pirates, then people who lived in produce, then a kingdom of kids, and now I'm almost done helping a world that's 1/3 without sound and 1/3 without color and 1/3 rapidly aging. No idea what will happen next but it's all pretty amusing to watch unfold and has some great dialogue.

I'm probably going to help my school perform at a Japanese festival at the end of the month, which means demonstrating martial arts and swords in public. I hope I can do this. Sword classes also increase to twice a week next month.

About ready to start my own self-employment career of choice. Some of you already know what it is, and once I start, I'll make a locked post about it. I'd prefer all talk about it be done in private for personal reasons. If I can just make enough money for equipment and supplementary classes and maybe a treat like a fancy beer now and again, I'd be happy until I found steady work.
atma: ([QB] Alleyne - Angled blush)
Not much has been going on recently. Which is good, slow and easy is always nice.

-Pretty sure I passed a surprise yellow belt test last week in karate. Should be getting it next week. Only one who passed, too.

-Finally ordering an iaito today or tomorrow. It will be that nice red one.

-Learned how to meditate properly in karate, brushed up on my warrior philosophy, and practiced my execution orders in swordsmanship. Way too many ways to split someone in twain.

-I may be doing a weekend of intensive training by April. Teacher just said he does this a couple times a year and will flesh out details whenever everyone attends again (class was small this week) and it'll be a weekend of 8 hours each of intense martial arts and sword work along with weapons maintenance work and such. Only breaking for food type deal. Get sunburned and pushed to your limit. Sounds like heaven to me. Hope I can get the money.

-Been slowly watching My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. It's not bad at all. Only up through like episode 11 of season 1 but Applejack pretty much owns.

-Also been replaying Dragon Quest 8. I never actually have beat it and just now got past the furthest point I've been, which is getting to the Godbird Isle/Empycchu. In Dark Empycchu now. Making sure to keep my mini medals up and I abused the fuck outta Baccarat's casino for a Gringham Whip and 4 Liquid Metal Armors. See also: Atma's huge dumb crush on Jessica, she's pretty much perfect, marry me already you vaguely Birtish and saucy sorceress. I love how witty and take no shit she is. Average party level is 36.

-I want to write a bunch of small fics. Mostly shameless femmeslash, but some more angst/serious. I have an idea for a fic about Alleyne and Aradia talking about life and death. One's a girl dead too many times and the other is technically immortal. Should be good and sad. I should probably do this.
atma: (Default)
Let's have a happier, more public entry now!

I will be tested for my yellow belt in two weeks in karate. This is the second belt on the rung and the first rank advancement. It means I am well drilled in the basics and have a solid, strong foundation in me. I know how to form my fists and feet, I know how to block, I know all the basic stances and attacks and how to transition between them, I have mastered Fukyugata-Ichi and know what it's for, and I know all the historical/educational/philosophical stuff given to me so far. Basically, do I have what it takes to actually take my learning further? I know I'll pass, but it's time for me to drill those basics in anyways. Especially the kata, understanding it and form is a huge part of this test, as well as understanding why we counter attacks they way we do.

You can see a video of the kata I'm refining here. It's even one of the two styles I'm learning, Matsubayashi. We tend to use a bit deeper stances but otherwise that's what I get to do about a billion times before testing. Honestly, it's basic looking, but it's mentally taxing to keep form the whole time. It's designed to teach us how to deflect and counter kicks. If I can keep up with this I can keep up with other, more intricate kata.

Still no iaito yet. I need to test out some swords sensei will bring in next week before making a commitment. He's rather proud of me choosing to wait and make sure this is going to work than eagerly diving in and possibly wasting money. It will come to me, I know it. It sucks being the only one in class without one yet but sensei knows it's because I'm so damn short. It's excused for now. Better to wait for the perfect weapon than to hurt yourself on an unfit one now.

Hey you guys it's like I like martial arts and swords a lot! Swordblog 2012.

Also [personal profile] sushiflop I got your card. It was under the door when I woke up and cats pawing at it. Thank you, I'll look at it after I go out to eat and run some errands here in a bit.

EDIT: Two dreams I had earlier were I was on a local highway and a car in front of me kept launching soda cans at me I would catch and one where Kotetsu from Tiger + Bunny came by telling me he knew all the cool hero girls go hang out at this one lesbian wine bar and he could get me a discount as the hero team worked with this company on the down low. Okay dude.
atma: ([QB] Alleyne - Nice top-view)
My quest for an iaito (unsharpened metal katana used in swordsmanship practice) continues. Turns out my small size means regulation blades that sensei usually recommends are a tad too much for me to use; I can do everything with it just fine save for re-sheathing it. My small size means I often have to do a bit extra work and steps in all my classes to make up for how fucking short and skinny I am. We may have found one at last, and I hope I can use it. He knows sword quality and is pretty much on the mark with judging how I can adjust my techniques/use equipment to better suit my size but still wants me to try an adjustable wooden sword with scabbard first and see if I can manage an inch shorter than regulation; he's sure that's all I need and could use a 27inch blade with a bit of extra training just fine. I don't have this problem with basic bokken and suburito regardless of size because lol what scabbard.

Anyways. I hope I can use this sword. I mean come on, one of the two he picked out for me in this size is red. Look at it. Unf. It was made for me. Here's hoping. I'll find out during class tomorrow.

In other news, I made char siu broiled pork ribs for dinner tonight. Was my first attempt. Turned out pretty good, though I think mixing up the base sauce would make it even better. You can see some shots of my food here. Miyamoto Musashi himself advocated warriors being more well-rounded skill wise, including things like writing, the arts, appreciating tea, so this is one way I can round myself out as a knight/samurai is by providing others with food. Only Atma would relate cooking to warrior philosophy.

Last but not least, Queen's Blade: Rebellion is getting an anime adaptation this year, which means I'll probably app one of them somewhere eventually in RP, or at least meme them. Most likely Inquisitor Siggy, dominant women seem to be my type. That and I already made a journal for her; I just know she'll mesh well with me.

This post sums up my life pretty well; swords, food, boobs. Such is my existence. See also: being unashamed.
atma: (Default)
So, class is canceled today, since it's the day after Christmas and the whole sports center I take lessons at is closed down for holiday renovations. I'm sick as hell anyways, so it's not like it matters much. So instead of practice on my own, I'll be starting my series of posts relating to what I do in class and why. I've had some people ask me about this and wouldn't mind expounding in the least.

The who, what, when, where, why, and how )

If anyone has any other questions or comments, feel free to ask and I'll field them as I can!


atma: (Default)
The Sunset Samurai

July 2017



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