Opinion | You Should Meditate Every Day – By Farhad Manjoo – NYT- David Lindsay on Aikido


By Farhad Manjoo
Opinion Columnist, usually Covers Tech, NYT
“Because I live in Northern California, where this sort of thing is required by local ordinance, I spent New Year’s Day at a meditation center, surrounded by hundreds of wealthy, well-meaning, Patagonia-clad white people seeking to restore order and balance to their tech-besotted lives.

In the past, I might have mocked such proceedings, but lately I’ve grown fond of performative sincerity in the service of digital balance. It’s the people who haven’t resigned themselves to meditation retreats who now make me most nervous, actually.

Which brings me to my point: It’s 2019. Why haven’t you started meditating, already? Why hasn’t everyone?”

David Lindsay:

I have not tried meditation in decades, but I have returned recently to practicing Aikido at the New Haven Aikikai – Fire Horse Dojo, but this time without the breakfalls. Aikido is a modern version of ancient Japanese and Chinese Ju Jitsu, and it includes serious meditation as preparation for strenuous tumbling exercises, needed when you are thrown off your feet by your partner. It also teaches one how to disarm a violent opponent who is stronger than you.

For decades, I have argued that our police forces would be vastly better equipped to serve, if they were all required or incentivized to study this East Asian art of disabling a stronger opponent, by using thier own strength to bring them to the mat without actually damaging them.

Of all the martial arts I have studied for decades, it is the one which most closely resembles ball room dance.


via Opinion | You Should Meditate Every Day – The New York Times

Not One New York Police Officer Has a Body Camera – The New York Times

“The New York Police Department once seemed poised to be an early adopter of body cameras. A federal judge thought the technology could curb unwarranted stops and searches of black and Hispanic men. So in 2013, after finding the department’s stop-and-frisk practices unconstitutional, the judge ordered that a pilot program be established in at least five precincts.Three years later, not one of the department’s approximately 35,800 officers is wearing a body camera, even as the devices have become a staple for officers elsewhere.

The Police Department says it is committed to outfitting officers with body cameras, and on Monday said that a company had been chosen to supply up to 5,000 over the next five years. But a contract has yet to be signed, and a rollout of the cameras would not begin for months.The halting pace of its effort is striking for an agency that has pledged to make itself a model of technology-driven policing and a leader in improving police-community relations.”

Source: Not One New York Police Officer Has a Body Camera – The New York Times

David Lindsay NYT Comment

I realize that good policing is hard, and a complex subject. I wish to propose that NYPD, and all police departments, consider training in the Japanese based art of self-defense called Aikido, which I studied for over 10 years.

This idea was reinforced by the video of the police officers who killed the large man in NYC who was selling CD’s. He was unprofessionally wrestled to the ground with a joke hold, and then accidentally? joked to death.

Aikido was invented by a famous samurai, Ueshiba, a master of ju-jitisu, karate and weapons, who wanted to come up with techniques for an unarmed warrior to disarm an armed warrior and not maim or kill him. He developed a complex series of dance or blending moves to use the attackers momentum to remove his balance, take him to the ground, and then use ancient wrist and arm techniques to stabilize the attacker without causing any serious harm. Leverage looks like magic.

One of my favorite Aikido teachers once said that the greatest form of Aikido was purely mental. You were the greatest Aikidoist, when you could talk an engraged assailant into quitting an attack, by changing his mind about it. This technique is more for the mentally disturbed, but it teaches Aikidoists to consider changing the channel of the attackers mind, much the way good parents try to change the focus of a child having a tantrum.

Aikido is good exercise, that involves tumbling and judo throws and falls. It is terrific exercise and practice.

Tiger Woods: there is magic in slowing things down, like the magic of T’ai Chi for boxing.

I left a comment at the NYT after the article below: I think Karen Crouse had given some excellent advice. She wrote: “Instead of looking at his swing on a video monitor, Woods needs to picture shots in his head and then playfully try to duplicate them. No pressure, all process. As soon as he deflects the focus from the results, he’ll experience success, and his confidence will return like long-lost paparazzi.” Changing the focus is the best part. I often play my best 4.0 level tennis after giving lessons to beginners. For me, there is magic in slowing things down, like the magic of T’ai Chi for boxing. Many centuries ago, the man who invented T’ai Chi went on to become the most acclaimed boxer of China in his time. He did the exercises very slowly, as a warm up for sparring. Also, the teaching is fun and gets you out of yourself, into the game you love, with the eyes of your student. Since Mr. Woods is a professional athlete, maybe he could adapt this idea, and teach younger golfers who are possibly becoming pro’s themselves — as long as its fun and rewarding. David blogs at LindsayOnVietnam.wordpress.com.

As he begins an indefinite leave from competition to resuscitate his game, Woods should not make pounding golf balls on the range his priority.
nytimes.com|By KAREN CROUSE