A Long Strong Spirited Response

580 is the new 15 (years)Dave Randolph over at iron-body offered a spirited response to my somewhat comic post entitled, "The Two Finger Rule." He offered several challenges to my anti-strength position so I thought it would be a good idea to explore them.
Do you see all the obese, people out there? People who can barely carry their groceries into the house. Frail old ladies & men who can’t get out of a chair by themselves or have to use an extension thing on the toilet so they don’t have to squat down so far.

Yes, I do see them. Obese people eat too much. People get old and die. I'm not sure, because I haven't done it yet, but I think getting old and dying takes a lot of practice. If you try to do it without practicing, you can expect some extra complications. Internal Martial arts like Taijquan can be understood as practicing for death.
Correct strength training does not impede the flow of fluids or qi.
Are you saying that all the old drawings of monks carry water up and down steps, swinging stone lock etc were wrong in trying to build functional strength??

Are you confusing true strength training with body building? Yes building bodies is wrong. It teaches muscle isolation and creates huge muscles that areAKC Bells not necessarily strong and that will creates circulation issues. But proper strength training, and I’m speaking of barbells & dumbbells, but things like kettlebells, clubbells, sandbags etc, that teach full body integration and coordination, causes so many positive responses the body in terms or weight control, mobility, flexibility, coordination not to mention the positive effects on hormonal balances, sleep, digestion, among other things

If the definition of "correct strength training" is that it does not impede flow of fluids or qi, than I would be inclined to agree. However; the people I've watched training with these AKC Kettle Bells (pictured to the right) do indeedAKC Bells restrict qi circulation, and they compress qi as well.

But let's agree to drop the word qi, because it has too many possible meanings for such a concrete disagreement. What I mean by qi in this case is a quality of animation that is characteristic of active children and predatory animals.

Two Fingers I thinkMonks in Asia carry water on their shoulders, people in Africa and South America carry it on their heads. The skill of carrying water is to continuously transfer all of the weight to the ground and not take any of it in your muscles. Since water tends to slosh around, this requires constant movement and is perhaps one of the reasons we see such great hip articulation in dances like the Samba and the Rumba.

I'll concede that if someone is really good at water carrying and they get help putting the water on their shoulders or their head, they can carry a heavy load and avoid loosing sensitivity.
...Part of my strength training includes lots of mobility work for joints and muscles as well as qi gong.

I think the Scott Sonnon, Iron-Body, movement to loosen your joints and use awkward weights to stimulate your body to be more efficient is wonderful! Now just drop the strength part!

I love business, and I love this new health kick. But if you are looking for high level internal martial arts, strength will inhibit your development. My point is not to convince the world I'm right, I don't think sensitivity is for everyone. Perhaps I'm a weakness elitist in that way. Then again, remind what we need strength for?
By the way can you pick up a 75 lb child with two fingers from each hand? No? then how are you going to pick one up & carry he/she if they are injured & can’t walk? Call for someone to help you pick them up?

I would like the world to know that I have two really sJika Tabitrong fingers, and I'm undefeated in thumb wrestling. Also, I'm not saying only use two fingers, I'm saying test whatever you are about to lift with two fingers. After the test feel free to add the other fingers, a hip, a chin, or even a whole arm. (And we've all heard the story about the lady who flipped over a car because her baby was underneath it. If you're healthy and you really need the strength, it'll be there.)

As for picking up kids, two fingers in the armpits usually works, but in my experience they are not shy about biting, better to get help.

Since an injured kid is one less kid I have to teach, I should leave it at that but... I noticed the Iron-Body website does trainings for firefighters who obviously aSteel Toes for Clumbsy peoplere in the business of rescuing people and their kids. This is great stuff. I admire the business model. But it does raise the question, do firefighters really need extra strength?

You know those ninja shoes? Well, they aren't actually ninja shoes, they are called jika tabi. All construction workers wear jika tabi in Japan. That's right, Japanese construction workers think of themselves as crafts people, not laborers. They don't drop things on their feet, so they don't need steel-toed boots.  Sometimes conventional thinking is a limitation.
When I was born, all the fire fighters in San Francisco were straight, white, over 6 feet tall, male, and at least 185lbs. We had a Whites Only Union until 1990! San Francisco currently has twice as many fire fighters, engines, and firehouses as we need. WhenNice Guysever a city official with balls comes along, the Unions go to the sentimental-fireman-gushing-voters and have that official castrated.

If we didn't have to pay for all that fire fighter corruption we could afford to design and build all new lightweight efficient equipment and we could even have midget fire fighters. Strength is an issue here only because it protects a class of aging, compassionate and heroic men--that should have been let go a long time ago.