Jiun, a Shingon master, was a well-known Sanskrit scholar of the Tokugawa era. When he was young he used to deliver lectures to his brother students.
His mother heard about this and wrote him a letter:
“Son, I do not think you became a devotee of the Buddha because you desired to turn into a walking dictionary for others. There is no end to information and commentation, glory and honor. I wish you would stop this lecture business. Shut yourself up in a little temple in a remote part of the mountain. Devote your time to meditation and in this way attain true realization.”
-Zen Flesh, Zen Bones
I find this an apropos quote for a blog focusing on theory and discussion of physical activities. All of those who write, research, talk, debate and take the academic approach to martial arts need to remember that “the proof is in the pudding”. A building full of people who “talk” are not on the same level of one person who “does”.
How much of our lives pass us by and is wasted because we exist on auto-pilot? Most of us are either focused on the past or future and are not aware of what we are doing most of the time. Our modern (American) lives are so hectic and fast paced that our diets and sleep patterns leave many of us in a haze. I am reminded of a Zen parable…..
After ten years of apprenticeship, Tenno achieved the rank of Zen teacher. One rainy day, he went to visit the famous master Nan-in. When he walked in, the master greeted him with a question, “Did you leave your wooden clogs and umbrella on the porch?”
“Yes,” Tenno replied.
“Tell me,” the master continued, “did you place your umbrella to the left of your shoes, or to the right?”
Tenno did not know the answer, and realized that he had not yet attained full awareness. So he became Nan-in’s apprentice and studied under him for ten more years.
Can you imagine living a life where you were aware of every moment?
Ring training is one of the Crossfit staples. The mainstay in their program is called the “muscle-up”. Which is basically a pull-up into a dip. I can’t do one of those yet. The transition between the the two components is my sticking point. Its functional application is in surmounting obstacles. It’s said that a person who can do a muscle-up can get over any wall or fence he can get a hand-hold on.
Used for dips, the rings tax the neuro-muscular system like regular dips cannot. Trying to maintain hand position combined with the dipping motion increases the physical effort of the dip to what some authorites claim is a 3 to 1 ratio. In other words 1 ring dip equals 3 regular dips.
Watching myself from this angle reveals to me that Im not dipping as low or getting as much “lock-out” as I should be.
My alibi will be that this is at the end of an X-fit workout where the athlete has to do 225lb deadlifts, box-jumps and dips in series for 21-15-9 repetition cycles, for time. So Im crapping out a bit at this point.
I purchased my rings from Mr. Tyler Hass of Ringtraining.com. For $80-$90 dollars you get a quality set of portable rings with mounting straps. They are durable, comfortable and easy to set-up. If you are looking to buy, check him out.