horse belt

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Urartian Bronze Belt with Winged & Double-Headed Hybrid Creatures, 8th-6th Century BC

This bronze belt bears the strange images of winged sphinx-like and siren-like creatures with the heads of humans, horses, lions and other creatures. Some have the tail of a fish or bird while others have a ram’s head on the tail.

everybody was kung fu fighting!

[The Shaolin Monks] pursue spiritual peace through mastery of bare-fisted murder.  – The Simpsons, 16x12 “Goo Goo Gai Pan”

To fight is a concept with which every person on the planet is familiar. From the impoverished bowels of third-world countries to the highest echelon of wealthy societies, fighting can almost be heralded as the true universal language. People fight for what they love, against what they hate, for change, for honor, for glory, for money, to stave boredom, to get fit. Every day, wars are waged against both mental and physical obstacles to success. The most personally successful individuals are the ones who brave adversity and courageously do battle with what threatens to block or distract them from their goals. 

Challenging someone to a duel is not a foreign concept in the Western world, but conditions had to be met before making such a challenge was considered socially acceptable. Bound by a set of societal mores (the essential or characteristic customs and conventions of a community, by the dictionary definition), duels were usually made over questions of personal honor. At least superficially, the point of the duel (whether it be carried out with swords, guns, or mano-a-mano) was for each participant to demonstrate a willingness to lay their life on the line for the restoration of honor, either to themselves, their families, or some entity they represented. 

In the Chinese culture (the birthplace of kung fu and by proxy many hundreds of styles of martial arts), such a challenge is called gong sau, or “speak hand.” Plainly, it is a challenge made by one individual to another to test the skills of that individual’s school or style. It was often enacted in private and under relatively civilized conditions. Bruce Lee himself notably engaged in such a fight with the still-living Wong Jack Man at Lee’s school nine years before Lee’s untimely death. The fight was unrecorded and, following tradition, held in near-complete privacy. Performed in good faith, gong sau is meant to enhance a student’s knowledge base and physical versatility, not to harm or disgrace the opponent. These days, many reputable kung fu schools will actually have written policies either barring their students from challenging other schools for the sake of martial morality or greatly restricting the circumstances under which a challenge can occur. Martial arts is a business, and while injuries are common, injuries acquired by way of an outside challenge can potentially irreparably damage a school’s reputation.

Originally posted by feiyueshoes-sizechart

So what if the challenger wishes to challenge a member of his own school? Then it is not a question of style or the skill of instruction, but of skill. When does a match between fellow students cross the line of propriety?

Martial artists live by a code set forth by their masters and the school they are trained in. In a traditional martial art like Shaolin kung fu, the mind is trained as much as the body, and attitude is tantamount to effective absorption not only of the physical material, but of the headspace critical to becoming a respected member of the school community. Those students who embody every aspect of wu de (”martial morality”) are seen as pillars of the microcosmic society that is the kung fu school. Martial arts is indeed a sub-culture of the world-at-large, operating with its own norms, rules, traditions, and mores. There is a way a martial artist is expected to behave here, and while new students typically pick it up by power of observation, elder students have been known to correct them verbally when breaches of conduct are observed. It is the duty of higher-ranking belts to do just that, politely but firmly, to school them into the appropriate role of respectful, passionate student.

Enter the Tiger

Originally posted by dannythug9

Tiger is the youngest third-degree black belt in the school, a few years my junior but two full ranks (and many chambers) my senior. I do not know the exact timeline or details of his martial arts history, but he began his kung fu training a few years ago as a child, and earned his black belt in Taekwondo before that. He is a champion wrestler and world-champion kung fu competitor numerous times over, cross-trains in groundfighting arts, and is a highly skilled sparring partner. His athletic abilities alone make him somewhat of a marvel to newer and seasoned students alike, martial skill aside. But what makes Tiger truly admirable is his humility, coolheadedness, and unwavering willingness to help any student who asks for it. About martial etiquette he maintains and encourages a historically “traditional” frame of thinking and it comes across very obviously in the way he shows deference to other instructors, treats his students, and handles conflict. Though quite serious when it comes to matters of martial propriety, Tiger is fun-loving, amicable, and always game for a round of sparring. The rest of us students love the uncommon occasions Tiger is able to break away from his personal commitments and come train for the simple reason that he is fun to watch and his great attitude makes him a highly respected, but highly accessible role model. I know of no one who has ventured to disrespect him. In fact, I know of no one who is not completely awestruck at him.

So when, one evening, a white belt walked up to Tiger and challenged him to a fight, I imagine even Tiger was himself was somewhat taken aback.

Enter the White Belt. 

He’s a young man around Tiger’s age, give or take a couple years, with short, curly hair and big, shiny glasses. So fresh to the kwoon his perfectly black uniform still gleams under the fluorescent lights, he approaches Tiger and personally challenges him to a fight. 

I was not present at the time, engaged in a class that was simultaneously occurring. The school was crowded with students that day, and once class ended at 7:30 that evening those who had attended flooded to the back of the school, on their way to locker rooms or the carpet to stretch. As I walked by, equally purposed, I saw Tiger kneeling on the floor, the white belt’s head between his legs, the rest of him all but immobilized as he struggled to buck Tiger off. Tiger, of course, looked as calm and collected as ever, if not slightly irked. Having no picture of what was occurring, as I had just entered the situation, I only got the impression that this wasn’t a usual sparring match.

Fascinated, I reached out to Tiger after the fervor had died down to try and figure out what had happened.

Goat (me): He challenged you?

Tiger: Yes, he did. The issue I had with him was that I specifically told him there was a difference between sparring and challenging someone. I made it clear that if he wanted to spar I would… make it a learning experience. But if he’s asking for a challenge, it’s completely different.

In a martial arts community, I agree wholeheartedly: vernacular is important. Challenging someone seems to imply that the challenger wishes to do the other person some degree of harm to prove a point, barring defense of honor, which was not the context here.

Tiger: I told him that it was inappropriate for him to actually challenge someone at the school, especially at his rank and lack of skill. Said that at this point, he should be seeking help and guidance rather than walking around challenging black belts.

Which is apparently exactly what the young man had been doing. Prior to making his fatal mistake with Tiger, he challenged Monkey, Horse, and a handful of other notable students. With no previous martial arts training except for some summers spent with a grandfather who was apparently proficient in some form of Aikido, he really never stood a chance. 

Goat: Challenging someone to get better sounds exactly like some old-fashioned school-of-hard-knocks bullshit instilled by an overbearing (or at least misguided) father figure. 

Monkey, Dragon, and I got on the subject of the challenge while hanging out at home a few nights later. It was then I first found out the white belt had been challenging other black belts; Monkey revealed he’d been issued (and accepted) a similar challenge, as had Horse. Monkey, naturally, prevailed in the match. I was surprised to hear that after losing to two successive second-degree black belts the young man would bother trying to win against a third-degree, but then, a lack of logic had already proven a recurring theme. Dragon, interestingly, had not been challenged, and expressed rhetorical curiosity as to why. To me, it was glaringly obvious: either he hadn’t gotten around to it, or (more likely), the student was shying from Dragon because, well, Dragon’s a big, scary-looking motherfucker. Tiger and Horse are both of average height and relatively unassuming standing a crowd of students. Monkey is tall but thin. I speculated that the white belt had shown at least some intelligence picking opponents with a body type most similar to his own. Tiger, Horse, and Monkey may have all presented the illusion of being equally manageable.

When I had the chance to introduce myself to the young man (I try to do this with all new students), he told me that Tiger reminded him of his grandfather, who was a “fighter,” but seemed hesitant to share more with me, perhaps still shamed from his encounter with the black belt. Still, he kept a smile on his face when I asked him if he’d learned anything, replying yes, I got a lesson in vernacular. Before taking my leave, I asked him if he was still on his quest to challenge black belts to fights and he shook his head abashedly. 

Tiger’s account describes giving the kid a chance to rescind, or at least to re-consider what exactly he was asking for. As always, Tiger extended the offer to spar, to help coach the young man about technique while in a practice hand-to-hand scenario, but the white belt was relentless, insisting on a “challenge.” With his great reverence for martial etiquette at the helm, as well as the honor of the school in his hands, Tiger acted in defense of both and allowed the engagement. It didn’t last long, and while Tiger was not cruel, hurtful, or punitive, he did not show mercy with his technique nor offered any of the usual encouragement or helpful criticism that a student would be blessed to receive from him in the course of a training match.

Tiger: A challenge is a questioning. It questions my rank, my skill, my training and, most of all, my teachers. As a direct representative of their teachers, a martial artist can not take a challenge lying down. Some people might see that as an old-school mentality (the entire idea of someone challenging a martial artist is, by itself, pretty old-school), but I take it very seriously.

(Tiger, center, earning his third-degree sash last year.)

In researching modern opinions on gong sau (though this incident doesn’t completely align with the definition) I came across numerous opinions about the subject. Perhaps common-sensically, many martial artists advise against it unless certain criteria are met and rules set in place governing the fight. The best advice I read was simply this: just don’t go looking for a fight, because eventually you will find one and it will not end well. Moreover, it seems to me that if one’s mindset is so narrow and linear that it drives an individual to believing the best way to achieve the goal of becoming a great fighter is to continually challenge fighters of much higher skill, that student would be more suited to a Muay Thai or boxing gym than a kung fu school.

“The most dangerous time for any student of any discipline is when the student is at a point where ambition outreaches skill. This will serve to keep the student training, but can result in some harsh lessons.” - anonymous

Needless to say, I’m keeping an interested eye on the white belt’s development.

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George Harrison on 17 November 1976, screen capped from the YouTube video of a news report and interview with him.

For anybody wondering about some of the jewelry George wore, this is an interesting bit of information I thought I’d type up, from Crawdaddy magazine:

“As he drives and talks, Harrison occasionally pushes the hair from his face; it curls thickly at his army jacket’s collar. A ring flashes on his pinky. This is no Vegas special; jewels of every type are fitted into a Hindu checkerboard: a diamond, baby pearl, ruby, garnet, emerald and most importantly, he assures me, a sapphire. George’s astrologer had warned that to wear sapphire, ‘a very strong, powerful stone,’ before August '75 could be dangerous. Harrison tells me this, unembarrassed… For him it is true.

He also wears a necklace and belt buckle both engraved with the seven-headed dark horse - the horse that carried Krishna and his frightened friend/soldier Arjuna into battle; a battle they won easily. The necklace, a gleaming gold oval, is tucked inside his shirt, much like his resolved belief in Krishna himself. The days of open proselytizing, wearing his spirituality like a Dark Horse T-shirt, are gone. Still the anchor of his life, his beliefs are more integrated. They now constitute his personality. Once Swami Prabhupada, the founder of the Krishna Consciousness Movement, called George 'my archangel.’ This time out he’s just a solo artist.” - Mitchell Glazer on George Harrison, Crawdaddy, February 1977

lessons from the mat: find yourself a battle anthem.

blood, sweat, I’ll break my bones
‘til all my scars bleed golden
my name’s forever known
bang bang, won’t stop ‘til we’re legend

This song is hogging my attention right now. Continuous loop. Every now and again you hit on a tune that just gets you pumped, you know? Unfortunately, my “playlist” is a bunch of songs scattered across different apps. Stuff I thumbsed-up on Pandora, Shazamed, or downloaded on Apple Music… probably should consolidate that. 

Training’s been good this week. After seeing myself in the mirror the other day and noticing a small crease of muscle definition forming across my biceps, my motivation at the gym rocketed upward. Sifu’s out of town this week with his family so the black belt crew is holding down the fort, covering all classes and lessons. Monday’s beginner class was taught by a second-degree kung fu sister with no shortage of formidable skill. With a megawatt smile and well-timed sense of humor, she led her first ever adult group class through one of the hardest sessions I’ve ever experienced. Ran our asses right into the ground! It was fantastic and I loved every minute of it!

Tonight’s classes were taught by Horse and Sifu Monkey. Got some fundamentals of sparring work done and a great workout after. 

Hope all of my martial arts brethren are having a kick-ass week! Enjoy your training! And find yourself a battle anthem! 

anonymous asked:

Fkamui fights against her husband leo

(Want to change the name? Use this!)

“Leo, please…don’t do this.”

He wanted to say your plea fell on deaf ears. He wanted to pretend to show you no mercy, to tell you that no, he would not back down. You were the traitor. Not him. You abandoned your family.

You abandoned him.

Leo shook his head, maintaining the upper hand only because of the height he held over you. The horse separated him from the sorrows waiting for him on the ground. It let him look down on you, the woman he considered his equal, once. The one who he entrusted his heart with, only for you to break it apart.

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George Harrison, Hamburg, Germany, 1 February 1977

Photos: ullstein bild

“That’s good - I like that. I think individual love is just a little of universal love. The ultimate love, the universal love or love of God, is a basic goal. Each one of us must manifest our individual love, manifest the divinity which is in us. All individual love between one person loving another or loving this that or the other, is all small parts or small examples of that one universal love. It’s all God, I mean if you can handle the word ‘God.’ Ultimately the love can become so big that we can love the whole of creation instead of ‘I love this but I don’t like that.’ Singing to the Lord or an individual is, in way, the same. I’ve done that consciously in some songs.” - George Harrison in response to the question, “On the new album I’ve never been able to figure out whether you’re talking about Krishna or a woman.” Crawdaddy, February 1977 [x]

ereriere  asked:

ereri with a desperate heartbreaking 13? c:

I HAVE SO MANY APOLOGIES TO MAKE FOR THIS

It is so sosososososo late!! I’m sorry it took me so long! I have like 30,000 excuses, but I’m just going to say that I’m sorry, and that I hope you enjoy this.

I lost the previous WIP that I spoke to you about, but I really really hope that you like this.


Prompt: Desperate, heartbreaking “Kiss me.”

Pairing: Eren Jaeger/Levi Ackerman

Title: Bright Memories

Rating: N/R

Word Count: 4881

Notes: This is a revolutionary war inspired fic surrounding the War for Independence for the Colonies of Maria from Titan(I know I am so original).


“Where is he?!”

 Levi heard the shout in the voice so familiar and flinched. He winced at the pain the action caused and struggled to let out a calming breath.

 “Is he alive? Please tell me that he’s alive.”

 Levi couldn’t hear the doctor’s reply - it was slow and low in pitch. Eren’s matched it in his reply. He released a painful breath. He wasn’t going to last long. He could feel it.

 He closed his eyes, if just for a second. When he opened his eyes again, Eren was sitting beside his tiny little hospital bed, brushing Levi’s sweat dripping hair off his forehead.

 “Eren,” he breathed, going to shift towards him, but stopped to gasp in pain.

 “Don’t move,” Eren told him, moving his hand to brace lightly against his shoulder. Barely any pressure on it at all. It was just to tell him that he was there. Levi inclined his head and leaned back against the bed again. Eren furrowed his eyebrows, looking down Levi with such emotion in his eyes. He opened his mouth briefly, and then quickly shut it as he seemingly thought better about what to say. Finally, he sighs and draws his hand away so it can tangle with the other on his leg. “We’ve sent for your mother,” he settles with. Levi draws in a deep breath. Fantastic. If the bullet wound doesn’t kill him, his mother will. “I sent her a message the second I heard,” he paused, giving a slight smile. “As I was leaving home, actually.”

 Levi grunted at the little effort to make words leave his mouth. “She’ll be pissed,” he whispered. His voice was groggy, and full of breaks and cracks that he couldn’t help. His mouth felt as if it was full of cotton filling, though the thought of water made him nauseous. The last time he had tried to drink he had barely got any down his throat. The rest simply spilled down his chin, and in turn his chest and down to soak into the thin mattress he lied on.

 Eren nodded, his teeth biting at the side of his bottom lip. Levi looked at Eren, struggling to focus his eyes. He was barely dressed, his shirt was sloppily thrown on and left untucked, his vest was buttoned oddly and out of sequence so that Levi briefly wished that he had enough strength to correct the man’s clothes. Eren’s hair was left to fall loosely around his shoulders and in his face.

 He hadn’t even taken the time to right his hair.

 Levi looked to Eren’s eyes. They looked so dark in the little light left by the oil lamps in the room. Eren’s face was dipped in shadow as he dropped his head forward to look down at Levi. His hair scattered around his face as if it were a curtain. Levi could see his chest rise and fall strange, uneven and fast in a strange repetitive sequence.

 He looked up to him. His eyelids felt heavy and started to slip shut.

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