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Old 05-17-2011, 01:17 PM   #13
phitruong
Dojo: Charlotte Aikikai Agatsu Dojo
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,811
United_States
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Re: Howard Popkin in Charlotte, NC May 14,15

My review of the seminar with Howard. It's one man's opinion who spoke for the rest of you and this is my story; well, actually Howard story....hmmm ok it's some kind of story, OK!

Once upon a time, we had a schedule mixed up with the kungfu class as the aikijujutsu group shared the same space, but not the same time which would have violated some sort of quantum physics. We shown up and a bunch of kungfu guys in silk pajamas (fake silk mind you) practicing whatever that they were practicing of the silk pajamas variety (wonder if anyone inform them about the danger of silk pajamas and silk bed sheets). So we stood around a bit as the organizer sort thing out. As we stood there watching, i was thinking we can take them. i am sure i can take the 60+ year old guy, especially when i am armed with that giant kwan dao racked by the wall. Also, we had a tough young lady who could take out everyone the room. we also had a guy with the look of a viking who could probably bench press a tank. my vote was on the young lady. so ya! we could take those silk pajamas.

So here we were at the kungfu school with more weapons, lined wall to wall, even into the dressing room, than words in dictionary to name. I was thinking, if we are in a melee, free for all fight, my two battle axes will prevail, because we are descendants of the Pho Khan from South Vietnam, damn it! So i decided to loitering near the battle axes, racked on the wall, just in case...... because you never know what might happen as these internal/aiki seminars.

So Howard shown up and didn't bring any stinking blue fins, but only shown the pictures. I marked him down just for that.

Howard started out talking about doing IS works and not going to focus on techniques. That was a big disappointment. Here I was paying good money and looking forward to some kickass, take name (maybe skip the take name part), silk pajamas demolition, kungfu weapon destruction, viking booting killer aiki techniques. Now to find out that there won't be any of that. How am i going to kick ass that 60+ years old kungfu guy who gave me the challenging look earlier (wonder if he would give me a different look if he had his reading glasses on). Marked him down.

As i was loitering and wondering whether i should dig a tunnel out of the place and went drinking and carousing, Howard pointed to me and said "Phi, come over here and push me!" Oh great! he wanted to turn me into a pusher, and here i just wanted to learn silk pajamas's ass kicking techniques! So I sashayed over as best my figure could manage. Howard said "push me and tell folks what you feel". so i pushed him. he asked "what you feel?" i said "soft". oh great! he's one of those softies who liked being push! and i was expecting some tough guy who could eat "high quality/realism/athletic" aikidoka for breakfast, lunch, and
possibly dinner with a side of green beans and coleslaw. i got a softie! very disappointing. Marked him down for spite.

Howard got us to work on these strange things. as one time, we were doing some sort of line dance and some sort of electric slide across the floor, without benefit of wearing leotard. Come on! we are manly men. except for the young lady who could beat the living snot out of us. but we are aiki men, damn it! so the whole day went down the tube like that. and Howard, he's a softy who kept asking burly men to stand behind him and to touch his business end to make sure that it was soft. whoohoo marked him down.

Here we were at a kungfu school with all the these weapons and he didn't even bother to use them. at one point, after lunch, he point to the huge kwan dao and ask me what sort of technique would work against that. I said "Run". he respond "Right!" So he wouldn't do any weapon at all, not even the chain whip, with the pinky bow tied to the business end, which as a newly married man, he should be quite familiar with it. so no weapon, just the IS stuffs. yes, marked him down.

At some point, in waltzed a couple of local systema guys. they let any drift draft come in these days! the way they swaggered in, you just want to hit them. so we put up with them and they didn't start hitting anyone, so it was a good compromise, since we were surrounded with weapons of mass distraction. although at end of the session, the small systema guy started hitting Howard and he didn't fight back! what a whim! Howard just stood there and breath like a pregnant woman. if it was me, i would have grab the spiky mace hanged on the wall and went after them. that's the way we do it in the old country! Marked him down, the whim!

The second day went the same as the first. no weapon techniques, except for the time when Howard demonstrated the up-down line by sticking a six foot rattan staff up his behind. we didn't even learn how to make pipe bomb or potato gun from the various PVC pipes laying around! of course, we went nowhere near the ultimate weapon at the kungfu school, which were known for its terrifying waza, and absolutely sucked, the vacuum cleaner. as a concession price, we got a chance to push a couple of the silk pajamas around. Still marked him down.

Of course on second day, my son decided to stay home to do "home works". what sort of excuse is that! he left the old man, in lots of pain and agony and disappointment, to deal with Howard "the softie". So we back to do strange dance (still without wearing any leotard) and in between periods of watching Howard got molested by burly men. lucky for me, I was not in the burly category. Definitely marked him down.

in summary, it was bad. I have marked him so far down that he will need all the IS training to get backup.

Look forward to the next time Howard.

Next time, we need to eat at Mac's BBQ, where the beers flowing, the pretty ladies lolling, the foods worth dying, and the tough bikers worth bitching.
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