The self-proclaimed Modern Master of Taiji

Chinese Internal Martial Arts, Taji, Bagua Xingyi and a few other internal styles, has for the past decades enjoyed an ever growing popularity in China and abroad for a good reason. Its good for health.
Everybody seems to be a master of something today. Lots of people boaster their ego by calling themselves master of this or that without the slighest merit or recognisable accomplishment to their name. A couple of years of study or even a few weeks on an island and all of the sudden they emerge to the public as full fledged masters. As a master of “some thing” they naturally want to open up a new school to teach and earn a living. The same seems to be the case in the Chinese Internal Martial Arts all over, from the mountains to the valleys, from the big city to the tiny town and onto the Internet.
In the world of sports there often is an elite that tries to propagate and develop the sport to new heights and records. This benefits the sport and is really wonderful – as long you don’t resort to cheating, match fixing and etceteras to win and get the price unfairly. This testing ground is none existing in the Chinese Internal Martial Arts. Its like everything goes!
In the old days in China and elsewhere you could only become a master of the martial arts by merit. You should as a minimum challenge a few well known established masters, win one or more renowned martial tournaments or win a number of important real fights without any defeats. And you had to accept challenges to defend the honour of your school. Time has certainly changed. Nowadays someone who has done Taiji for a number years seems to be a master or even a Grandmaster automatically by their own submission. It seems that if you have the slightest affiliation to a well known internal martial arts master, school or family you must be a real master or even a grandmaster.
When these self proclaimed masters are asked about their martial arts background, they often won’t say,  mention a tradition or linage they have no claim to, or hard pressed they come up with another bunch of self proclaimed nobodies who calls themselves masters of Chinese Internal Martial arts.
Quite a few excel in their arrogance. And when these self proclaimed Taiji masters are asked about their teachings, they show off their arrogance, and relay their own petty experience and limited understanding as the profound truth of the art. When asked about the principles of the art in detail, they most often have to remain silent because of their blatant ignorance. Nobody of these self-proclaimed masters study and understand the Taiji Classics. Some even have the audacity to come up with lies, pseudo science and other esoteric mumble jumble as a pretence of knowledge. Others just pay lip service to banalities or babble about the basics of the art.
Looking at these self proclaimed masters of Chinese Internal Martial Arts, you see the best moments on youtube.com, Facebook and other social media and websites. Others remain in hiding for a good reason. Their skills only excel when shoving their own students and novices around like prime bulls in a ring.
If you have a trained eye and you look closely you see these self-proclaimed masters of Taiji brace themselves in wide stances, some cannot even stand straight but bend over like mediocre wrestlers, having cracks and breaks in their structure everywhere, disconnected, butting and being bottom heavy and unable to move naturally they drag their tail around like snails in the mud believing they are rooted, all using brute and stiff force when pressed a little, unable to neutralise an incoming force their body wobbles when meeting somebody’s force, mostly relaying on partial movement of the limbs, second hand techniques and tricks rather than the principles set forth by the old and renowned masters of Taiji.
 If you adhere to the principles of Taiji; you are doing Taiji. If you’re ignorant, dot not understand, not willing, incapable of putting the principles into practice – what are you doing? Not Taiji!
When do we ever see a bout of Grand Masters in Taiji? ( I can only think of one pathetic video on youtube.)  Or have you ever seen a video on the Internet where a Taiji master takes on one of the top 10 guys from Karate, Kickboxing, Tai Boxing, Judo or MMA  and uses Taiji to win like it was a walk in the park? I guess not! They say its too dangerous! Yes, but not for the opponent!
To avoid criticism the self-proclaimed masters of Taiji often project their own scepticism, ignorance and inability onto their students and even ridicule their students for what they cannot do themselves.
On top of not knowing what they are doing, quite a number of these self-proclaimed masters of Taiji feel inclined to write “expert” books on Taiji or give online lessons in “real” Tai Chi fighting to the world.
Its really pitiful and its a huge loss for the wonderful fighting art of Taiji and all the dedicated students who wants to learn the real thing. A bad student often only reflect a bad teacher. If the teacher is not doing Taiji, how can he teach Taiji to others?
Since the last century its gone down hill from bad to worse as the art of Taiji has grown in popularity. Fortunately, there are glimmers of hope of an emerging renaissance for the Chinese Internal Martial Arts. But the vast majority of Taiji teachers today are still to be considered as scam artists and snake oil sellers.
The Chinese Internal Martial Art needs to develop a firm testing ground and rediscover the true origins of the art if it wants to be reborn, evolve and gain the respect it deserves as a sublime fighting art.
If you do not take my word as the truth, then listen to the words of Master Wang Xiang-Zhai:

The Future of Freedom

A Feature Interview with NSA Whistleblower William Binney

Here you will find insights to the emergence of the global surveillance state!

William E. Binney was a highly placed intelligence official with the United States National Security Agency (NSA) for more than 30 years.

In this feature interview William Binney blows the whistle on NSA’s blatant wrong doings and disregard of US laws, the US constitution and international law. NSA apparently consistently lies to US congress about its doings. Absurdly NSA has their own secret interpretation of US data protection laws. NSA is according to William Binney in the process of building an empire based on curruption and secrecy.

People forget about history. Freedom is an enemy of a totalitarian state. Surveillance of everbody is a prime feature of a totalitarian state. It is the PR of totalitarian state that surveillance of everybody is for the public good, but in fact is about control of the general public. People living in East Germany under the Stasi regime remembers the surveillance state. According to William Binney they know because they are now living in a post-fascist state, but importantly they are talking about the US as a pre-fascist state.

Facts: NSA haven’t stopped a single terror attack on US soil with their collection of data. NSA have tap points on more or less all internet connections world wide. NSA capture daily meta and content data on hundred of millions of people in the US and Globally without any prof or indication of malice or wrong doings! Basicly no digital device, network or OS is secure now.

If you blow the whistle on NSA, they will come after you with everything the have. And this includes framing people wrongly if needed!

Nothing could be more wrong than the naive world view: “I have nothing to hide, so I have nothing to fear!”

The idea of the surveillance state is grotesque and goes against the very foundation of a democracy. People everywhere should be informed and they should be marching in the streets to protest this. This is about the future of freedom!

The understanding of mindfulness

It seems to me that “mindfulness” is often misunderstood. In my view it’s because of wishful thinking or simply “wrong view” to use a buddhist paraphrase.

I guess you can argue about the definition of  “mindfulness”. And you can argue which is more or less accurate in and out the Buddhist context. The following is however not really dependent of an correct definition of term “mindfulness”.

A simple and straight forward definition of Mindfulness is the act of being aware of the present moment.

For example being aware is in a natural and strict sense not judging. If you’re judging, you are judging, and then you’re not being aware. Off course you can be aware that you’re judging, but then you’re not judging, you are being aware! Daydreaming is not being aware, but suddenly you can become aware that you’re daydreaming.  If you’re lost in your past or thinking about the future; you simply cannot be mindful of the present moment.

Mindfulness is the act of being aware, moment to moment, of everything that happens in your entire field of perception, without being seduced, captivated or lost in the intertwining events of your own mind. You are even aware of awareness itself. Your mind is clear like water. The longer time you’re able to support pure awareness, the more mindful you are. When you are truly mindful you are the lord of your own house in a spiritual sense.

Most people really don’t know what mindfulness are in regards to pure awareness as mindfulness. Because they have no access to this experience. It can only be hinted at, but it cannot be explained. This understanding of mindfulness can only be understood through direct experience.

If your mind is all over the place. And your mind is jumping around the entire time like a monkey in tree. Then you are not mindful. In a sense you’re lost. You’re constantly being captivated by everything that occurs to you. You can say you’re a victim of your emotions and thoughts. In away this is a negative definition of mindfulness.  In a spiritual sense this is to mistake the servant for the lord in your own house. Many consider it the common and the current state of the human mind.

Life takes place in the present moment. It’s not yesterday or even tomorrow. In a way there is no yesterday or tomorrow.  Truly we will never have anything but the present moment. The practice of mindfulness awakes you to, and anchors you, in the present moment.

In this way mindfulness to me is good in an absolute sense. It’s an essential skill in life. And it’s something that should be learned, practiced and mastered by every single human being on the entire planet.

Mindfulness is not escapism, blind acceptance, or a radical form of denial.

To be mindful of the present moment, is to align you self with the truth of this moment. It’s not more and it’s not less.

Mindfulness is an innate quality or faculty of the human mind. Like the skill, ability or faculty of “concentration”, “acceptance”, “understanding”, “affection”, “cognition” and “conation”. It is not inherently good or bad in it self, it’s just an ability, skill or faculty of the human mind.

Being mindful of the present moment, I get to understand the events in my life, understanding all the events, I get to understand my self deeply. Understanding my self, how can not begin to understand others. Understanding others deeply, how can I avoid seeing the suffering of others. When I understand the suffering of others, how I can avoid compassion? When the feeling of compassion is alive in me, I see my self in others. Seeing my self in others, is that not like becoming one with them? Then I need not speak of love – because love is all pervading!

How can it not be better to live and act from this understanding of “mindfulness” in regards to self, others and the planet?

Fight for Freedom on the Internet 2015

For the People it is all about freedom. For the people in power it is all about control.

Campaign #Fight4Internet2015 #ContraSurveillanceState #FreeInternet with #Tor and #OTR

United Nations Declaration of Human Rights

Article 12.
• No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

Article 19.
• Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Freedom online is not something you can take for granted – it is something you have to fight for in 2015!

The current state of PRIVACY AND HUMAN RIGHTS on the Internet.

You can reclaim your privacy, anonymity, and freedom of speech online with apps like:

TorBrowser – browse anonymously everywhere on the web
pidgin – chat anonymously
Adium – chat anonymously (Mac)
Anomos – download torrents anonymously

Links:
Tips, Tools and How-tos for Safer Online Communications eff.org
The Guardian view on the freedom of the internet: it’s under attack around the world The Guardian, Thursday 11 December 2014
Hubertus Knabe: The dark secrets of a surveillance state youtube.com ( about Stasi in DDR )
Inside the NSA’s War on Internet Security Der Spiegel

Reconstructing narratives – transparency in the service of justice 30. December 2014 by Jacob Appelbaum & Luara Poitras  Chaos Computer Club