Shooter Fitness: Battodo and Crossfit, with humor

Obata Toshishiro-sensei, who brought Toyama Ryu to the United States post-WW2.

Obata Toshishiro-sensei, who brought Toyama Ryu to the US post-WW2.

Throughout my adult life, I’ve generally had some form of get-out-of-the-house activity to keep me reasonably fit and somewhat sane.  Until a few years ago, when my schedule got in the way of making it up to Oakland 2-3 times per week, I had the privilege of learning Toyama Ryu Battodo at Suigetsukan Dojo under Sensei Mike Esmailzadeh.  Yes, I’m an actual swordfighter in the tradition of the Japanese warrior class — not the most marketable skill, but fun to trot out at boring parties to spice up a conversation.  It was a bummer when I had to stop going after five good years of study.

Fast-forward a few years after my swordfighting studies came to an end: I could sense that I was getting sedentary and un-fit.  (It was something of a clue when my wife observed “You’re packing on a few pounds there, aren’t ya?”)  On a trip to rural northern California to do some camping and shooting at a friend’s ranch, one of my kids took a cameraphone picture of me in profile.  It was… not flattering.  In fact, I had apparently developed into my genetic predisposition: tall, skinny guy with belly fat.  Before the week was out, I had signed up for the mandatory Crossfit Fundamentals class at what is now Homegrown Crossfit.

Continue reading


Trevor’s truck tool kit needs an upgrade

The go-bag tool kit in Trevor’s truck desperately needs a cutting-tools upgrade before the upcoming Memorial Day trip into the northern CA countryside. The Leatherman Charge Ti that lives in the go-bag has very nearly been outmatched by downed trees and brush across trails on recent trips. Needed:

6-inch fixed blade knife
Hatchet or light axe
Folding saw

Looking for recommendations in the “reasonable” price range. For me reasonable means less than hard-use grade, but won’t break or bend the first time I put 200lb of torque on a handle/grip.

What say you, folks?

Innovation = disruption, regardless of what you’re working on

The culture which initially fosters innovation has a tendency, over time, to solidify around whatever created success. It’s easy to see the re-application of your previous successful lessons as innovation, but it’s just another form of stagnation.

The difficult but worthy challenge is sustain a healthy culture which fosters innovation today, while continually looking for ways to disrupt the equilibrium that follows success. Without disruption, there is no innovation, but people aren’t innately comfortable with that.

I’ve found this to be a bedrock truth during my career as an innovator, inventor, and disruptive influence in the Internet-connected product space, and I’ve found it to be true in virtually every other field of endeavor I’ve encountered.