Sabtu, 31 Desember 2011

2011-2012

Posisi sekarang 31 Desember 2011, 1 Januari 2012 sudah di depan mata.

Lebih baik kita introspeksi diri dalam setahun apa saja hal besar yang sudah kita lakukan. Introspeksi itu harus setiap hari, setiap minggu, setiap bulan, dan setiap tahun.

Kenapa banyak? Yah agar kesalahan kita dari yang terkecil sampai besar berhasil ter-scan sehingga bisa diperbaiki.

Kalau bisa sih tahun baru jangan ingin kumpul-kumpul dan pesta kembang apinya saja, sayang. Setelah kembang api selesai, tetap menatap ke langit, lalu ingat-ingat apa saja kesalahan kita yang harus diperbaiki, cita-cita kita yang harus kita kejar, dan mimpi-mimpi kita yang harus perbaiki.

Sekian postingan penghujung tahun, semoga Allah melimpahkan kebaikan untuk kita di setiap saat. Selamat tahun baru. :D

Selasa, 27 Desember 2011

Proposal TA

Tugas akhir semester beberapa mata kuliah memang benar-benar mematikan aktivitas internetan saya, yang biasanya main game-nya banyak, sangat jauh berkurang. Begitu juga dengan blogging, sampai-sampai saya bolong beberapa hari.

Tugas proposal TA ini bukan beneran proposal untuk mengajukan TA, karena syarat sks saya belum cukup, dan ada nilai yang masih D. hehehe...

Tapi suasanya memang beneran kerasa, yang sebelumnya cuman copas, sekarang sudah harus bener-bener baca dan analisa, lalu ketik-ketik, kutip-kutip, dan harus sesuai format.

Walaupun begitu tapi tidak menyurutkan semangat saya untuk tugas akhir, dibandingkan kerja praktek. Hehehe...

Jumat, 16 Desember 2011

Internet Untuk Rakyat

Memang benar internet itu dibutuhkan rakyat. Termasuk saya, internet bagi saya sudah menjadi kebutuhan hidup. Bagaimana tidak, mengerjakan tugas, memeriksa tugas, belajar, mencari info beasiswa, mencari info pekerjaan, bersosialisasi lewat rumah, termasuk membuat janji dengan orang.

Bahkan bagi sebagian orang internet sudah menjadi alat untuk mencari uang. Internet memang sudah meledak dan makin lama semakin murah. Walau belum semurah di luar negeri. Mungkin tepat juga internet untuk rakyat seperti iklan provider telepon seluler. Digambarkan dengan semangkok mie ayam (atau sejenis), mungkin menggambarkan betapa murahnya internet sekarang dibandingkan beberapa tahun lalu.

Internet termasuk teknologi modern, yang memiliki dua sisi, baik dan buruk, yin dan yang, hitam dan putih dan analogi lainnya. Buruknya, internet sangat mudah disalahgunakan, pornografi, kekerasan, menyebar kebencian, menyebar isu SARA yang memicu konflik, hingga hal-hal lain yang tidak kita sadari.
Misalnya, tidak sadar dengan terlalu sering berinternet atau duduk di depan komputer seharian, membuat kiat lupa bahwa kita adalah mahluk sosial yang harus berkomunikasi dengan manusia lain secara langsung.

Well, bagaimanapun juga. Internet untuk rakyat.

Sabtu, 10 Desember 2011

Movie Review: Temple Grandin

Ini adalah salah satu film yang paling keren selama 21 tahun umur saya. Film ini berjudul Temple Grandin, menceritakan hidup Temple Grandin, seorang wanita dengan autisme yang menjadi salah satu orang sukses di dunia. Film ini cocok untuk mahasiswa fakultas peternakan, psikologi, dan para orang tua yang memiliki anak dengan autisme.



Temple Grandin dilahirkan dengan autisme, dan tidak bisa berbicara hingga umur 4 tahun. Dia tidak menyukai aljabar maupun bahasa, namun dia sangat menyukai sains. Percaya atau tidak, Temple Grandin sekarang adalah seorang  Doktor. Dia berbicara melalui gambar, kemampuan visualnya sangat luar biasa, dia bisa mengingat banyak hal dalam bentuk gambar, dia juga memperhatikan hal-hal kecil, dan juga sangat cerdas.

Suatu hari dia mengunjungi bibinya dan bekerja di peternakannya. Dia melihat sapi yang ketakutan merasa tenang ketika dimasukkan ke cattle crush. Dia pun tertarik hingga saat dia mengalami panik, dia masuk ke dalam alat tersebut dan merasakan ketenangan, karena dia tidak suka bersentuhan dengan orang lain maka dia memilih mesin itu ketimbang dipeluk.

Saat masuk kuliah, dia masuk membuat mesin itu dalam versi ukuran manusia untuk dirinya. Namun pihak sekolah melarang hal tersebut, dan sempat membuangnya. Pihak sekolah mengatakan tidak ada bukti ilmiah mesin itu bisa menenangkan seperti yang Temple rasakan, namun dia berkata dia bisa melakukan penelitian.

Akhirnya dia pun melakukan penelitian dengan metode survey statistik. Dia meminta teman-temannya masuk ke dalam mesin tersebut lalu menanyakan apa yang dirasakan, ada yang merasakan klaustrophobia (ketakutan atas ruang sempit), biasa saja, tenang, hingga sangat. Banyak siswa yang merasakan tenang, hingga dia boleh menyimpan mesin tersebut.

Setelah dia lulus, dia pun bekerja di sebuah peternakan, dia pun akhirnya meneliti tentang sapi, apa yang terjadi dari lenguhan-lenguhan mereka, dan bagaimana mendesain jalur penenang ternak sebelum masuk ke rumah penjagalan. Dia pun menjadikan itu sebagai thesisnya.

Hingga suatu saat tulisannya tentang penelitian di majalah disambut baik, dia mulai menulis banyak artikel tentang peternakan di majalah-majalah. Dia pun mulai tenar, dan berkesempatan mengimplementasikan desain sistemnya. Dan menuai kesuksesan.

Di bagian akhir dia datang ke konferensi autisme, hebatnya Temple Grandin adalah dia bisa mengutarakan perasaan dan pemikirannya sebagai anak autisme kepada audiens yang para orang tua yang memiliki anak dengan autisme. Semua orang pun ingin mendengar hal itu darinya dan meminta dia berbicara di depan.

Ada kalimat bagus yang saya ingat tentang orang dengan autisme: "Different, but not less", yang artinya "berbeda, tapi tidak kurang".

Film ini sangat-sangat bagus, dan mengajarkan kita bahwa yang berbeda pun bisa sukses, kita seharusnya bisa lebih sukses. Itulah anugerah Tuhan. Memberikan yang kita butuhkan.
Tulisan ini pun saya tulis dengan sangat mengalir karena film ini terekam jelas karena sangat fantastis. Outstanding! Sangat disarankan untuk disaksikan. Oh iya, film ini bukan film bioskop, diputarnya di HBO. Mungkin harus nonton online atau download. :D

Senin, 05 Desember 2011

Donor Darah

Berhubung saya hobi donor darah, kali ini saya mau berbagi pengalaman donor darah.

Yang pertama, donor darah itu menyehatkan. Setelah darah kita diambil, dalam beberapa minggu tubuh akan memproduksi darah baru lagi. Dan itu adalah darah muda (bukan lagu dangdut). Darah fresh yang masih segar.

Yang kedua, donor darah itu menyenangkan. Donor darah itu menyenangkan, kenapa? Banyak alasannya. Misal, bisa sekalian kumpul dengan teman yang sesama rutin donor darah. Atau saat tensi darah dokternya cantik. Aheeeuuuyy. :D :D

Yang ketiga, donor darah itu mengenyangkan. Setelah donor darah, kita akan diberi sajian makanan ringan. Baik donor di kantor PMI nya, atau di mobil transfusi darah pasti di kasih makanan. Teman saya pernah donor darah sebelumnya dikasih J.CO. Alhamdulillah..

Yang keempat, donor darah itu membahagiakan. Insya Allah kita akan mendapatkan pahala setelah mendonor. Mengingat banyak sekali pasien yang membutuhkan transfusi darah untuk menyelamatkan nyawa. :)

Sekian dulu deh, mungkin nanti kalo terinspirasi akan saya tambah lagi.

Fin. :D

Kamis, 01 Desember 2011

Belajar


Mempelajari hal (kasus: materi kuliah) yang sangat memusingkan itu terkadang menyenangkan. Apalagi jika mempelajari hal itu bersama orang yang sama-sama belum mengerti. Kita dipaksa memeras otak memutar otak dan membanting otak, hingga bagaimana memahami hal itu walaupun hanya selangkah. Walau langkah itu kecil tapi tetap kita merasa harus melakukan karena dengan langkah kecil itulah kita akan mencapai tujuan. 0, 1, 2, 3. ..., N.

Kalau buat saya memang mempelajari pelajaran dengan sesama yang belum memahamai merasa menyenangkan, apalagi sewaktu memahami walau satu point, serasa menjadi lebih pintar. :D
Apa yang menyenangkan? Tentu saja perjuangannya, perjuangan mencari sana, mencari sini demi memahamai walau satu point.
Beda dengan memahami dari orang yang lebih mengerti. Untuk kasus sosial mungkin ini lebih baik, tapi untuk sains saya suka memahami sendiri kecuali kalau benar-benar mentok.
Bukan berarti saya tidak suka jika diajari atau tahu dari orang lain, hanya saja terkadang tidak merasa berjuang. :D
Hal lainnya, mungkin bisa melatih otak juga kali yah. Sama seperti catur, main sendiri = memeras otak. Banyak dibantu = ?  *Isi sendiri. :D

Selasa, 29 November 2011

Gagal Diet

Sudah dari awal 2011 saya mencoba diet, dengan merubah pola makan menjadi 6x sehari dengan porsi 1/2 dari biasanya. Kebanyakan orang tidak tahu kalau diet itu pola makan justru harus teratur, bukan menjadi tidak makan.

Oh iya saya kasih tau juga istilah diet itu sebenarnya lebih merujuk kepada merubah pola makan, baik penggemukan atau pengurusan

Untuk diet, tidak cukup mengatur pola makan, karena harus juga olahraga. Olahraga yang sangat baik untuk menurunkan berat badan adalah olahraga yang bersifat aerobik, yaitu yang hitungannya tidak terbatas. Misal jogging, sepeda, berenang. Lakukan jangan cuman 10 menit, ada yang bilang 30-45 menit. Itu sih saya ga tau pasti.

Selain olahraga, juga harus menaikkan masa otot. Otot semakin besar, semakin banyak juga bagian tubuh yang harus diberi makan oleh tubuh. Kalo melakukan penaikan masa otot ini, berat badan terkadang tidak turun, tapi lemak berkurang karena masa otot bertambah.

Saya sendiri sempat turun 3kg, tapi tiba-tiba saja pola makan terganggu, olahraga terganggu. Akhirnya sekarang naik lagi. Huhuhuh...

Minggu, 27 November 2011

Ujian Aikido: Kyu 4!



Akhirnya selesai juga ujian aikido ke kyu 4. Datang 7.30 ternyata matras sudah beres, saya pikir daftar ulang dulu sesuai pengumuman. Sepertinya hanya trik supaya tidak ngaret. Maklum orang Indonesia terkenal ngaret. :D

Hari ini adalah hari yang sangat melelahkan. Pertama saya jadi uke yang ujian ke kyu 5, karena yang ke kyu 4 cuman 3 orang jadinya digabung. Jadi uke saja sudah capek, padahal ujian yang saya belum mulai. Sudah ngos-ngosan. Akhirnya saya bilang supaya pelan-pelan agar tidak sama-sama capek. Akhirnya tibalah saya ujian. Yang tadinya uke menjadi nage terus, karena giliran ujian gantian.

Tibalah semuanya disuruh duduk, saya pikir ujian yang saya pun selesai (ngarep :D). Eh ternyata, yang ke kyu 4 disuruh terus. Tiga pasang pun menjadi penonton. Yang awalnya uke saya yang kyu 6, diganti oleh salah satu instruktur. Biasanya sama yudansha itu enak, kadang-kadang nurut. Apalagi kalo yang ujian kyu 6 dan 5.
Ternyata, instruktur yang satu ini badannya tinggi dan besar, tangannya besar. Saya yang belum bisa rileks akhirnya terkadang masih pake tenaga otot.

Baru beberapa teknik, saya pun sudah ngos-ngosan. Belum lagi uke saya terus menyuruh agar melakukan varian (bukan variasi) teknik yang lain yang saya lupa karena sudah kecapean duluan. Beberapa kesalahan pun terjadi, karena kelelahan, badan pun panas, stamina sudah mau mencapai batasnya, belum lagi mulut menjadi manis kaya ngemut nasi, kemungkinan sih dehidrasi. Mengingat saya kalau latihan keringat yang bercucuran paling banyak di antara yang lain.

Hingga akhirnya terdengar Zagi Kokyuho. Pertanda ujian yang saya sudah selesai. Dan akhirnya peserta ujian kyu 5 dan 4 keluar dari matras disertai tepuk tangan. Saya pun beristirahat, air minum sebotol saya minum sampai setengah, butuh minuman manis-manis saya pun cari keluar. Walau sudah mendinginkan badan tapi badan masih serasa panas, saya pun ke kamar mandi untuk membasahi paha ke bawah, merasa adem saya pun tergiur air dan dengan nekat saya mandi. hehehe

Setelah mandi dan sholat dan ujian ke kyu 1 pun selesai, tiba akhirnya pengumuman. Semua berbaris, duduk mendengar penjelasan dengan kaki kesemutan, diumumkan bahwa semuanya lulus. Semua orang pun bertepuk tangan merasa lega. Setelah sesi pemotretan (kaya model aja) alias foto-foto dan beres-beres matras, semua pun pulang. Pulangnya kami dari RS Al Islam Dojo pun makan empal gentong.

Tapi ada satu hal, saya belum punya sabuk biru. Karena belum punya uang untuk beli. Mungkin sementara masih pake putih strip. hehehe... :D

Dan aktivitas puncak hari ini pun selesai.
Fin. :D

Kamis, 24 November 2011

Artificial Intelligence

Di tingkat akhir ini saya mulai tertarik dengan dunia Artificial Intelligence, terutama yang berhubungan dengan Neural Network.



Artificial Intelligence adalah (menurut bahasa saya) proses pendidikan pada komputer agar dapat memiliki kecerdasan seperti manusia dalam mengolah informasi baru.

Manusia bisa membaca tulisan yang aneh walaupun harus diteliti lebih dahulu, bisa membedakan mana wajah manusia dan wajah hewan. Tapi tidak dengan komputer, komputer harus memiliki data training atau data latihan yang sebelumnya dimasukkan oleh pembuat mesin, sehingga saat ada data baru maka akan dibandingkan dengan data training ini. Sama seperti manusia latihan mengerjakan soal matematika, latihan yang banyak. Setelah ujian diberikan soal jenis sama yang dimodifikasi, dan dia bisa mengerjakannya.

Aplikasi AI (Artificial Intelligence) ini sangat banyak, diantaranya adalah pemain komputer pada game catur, othello, pengenalan tulisan tangan atau tulisan tercetak, pengenalan retina mata, pengenalan wajah, pengenalan suara, searching gambar dengan gambar seperti di Google (atau disebut Google Goggle), hingga mobil yang bisa berjalan sendiri (autopilot), bahkan motor yang bisa menyeimbangkan sendiri.

Mungkin Anda pernah menonton film I Robot yang dimainkan oleh Will Smith. Saat itu para robot menguasai kota, seperti itulah Artifical Intelligence, mungkin karena terlalu canggih. Tapi saya yakin tidak akan seperti itu, karena bagaimana pun juga komputer tidak bisa melampaui kecerdasan manusia. Sungguh ciptaan Allah itu luar biasa. :D

Bagi yang mau belajar AI, bisa search online course di internet, atau masuk jurusan Informatika, atau Robotika, dan sejenisnya. Good luck!

Rabu, 23 November 2011

Movie Review: Fighter in The Wind

Movie review kali ini adalah Fighter in The Wind. Selamat membaca. :D



Fighter in The Wind menceritakan kisah seorang warga Korea bernama Choi Bae-dal. Suatu hari Bae-dal menolong temannya yang dirampok gangster setempat saat menajalankan usaha pachinko. Namun Bae-dal kalah dan dipermalukan di depan orang-orang, dia pun ditolong oleh temannya Bum-soo, seorang seniman bela diri.

Bae-dal pun akhirnya minta agar diajari seni beladiri tersebut, pada awalnya dia menolak untuk mengajari, namun akhirnya dia mau mengajari Bae-dal. Dengan beladiri yang dipelajarinya, dia menolong wanita Jepang dari percobaan perkosaan oleh tentara Amerika. Dia pun kemudian menjadi pahlawan di daerah tersebut, yang belum diketahui identitasnya (kayak film superhero).

Suatu hari, Bum-soo dibunuh oleh gangster setempat, dia bersama imigran Korea lainnya pun menyerang gangster tersebut hingga terjadilah tawuran. Namun mereka kalah, dan Bae-dal juga kalah setelah terpukul di kepala. Dengan tekad tidak ingin kalah lagi, dia pun pergi ke gunung, berlatih siang dan malam, memanjat tebing es, mengangkat potongan kayu, berlari naik turun gunung.

Turun dari gunung, dia mengganti nama menjadi nama Jepang sebagai Masutatsu Oyama, dia pun menantang dojo-dojo karate yang ada. Semua dimenangkannya, setelah itu dia menantang Judo, Ninjutsu, dan beberapa beladiri lain.

Masutatsu Oyama kemudian dikenal sebagai pencipta aliran Karate Kyokushin, salah satu aliran yang cukup populer, termasuk di Indonesia.

Cukup sekian aja deh reviewnya, ini sih udah jadi sinopsis. Masih ada kelanjutannya, lebih baik nonton sendiri. Hehehe..

Selasa, 22 November 2011

Old Movie Review: The Pianist



The Pianist menceritakan tentang seorang pemusik Yahudi Polandia bernama Władysław Szpilman yang dunianya hancur karena perang dunia ke-2. Saat itu terjadi Holocaust, dimana para orang Yahudi diperlakukan dengan kejam bahkan hingga dimusnahkan.

Wladyslaw kemudian berusaha menyelamatkan diri dengan bantuan orang lain , berpindah-pindah tempat tinggal dengan diam-diam layaknya seorang imigran gelap yang takut diketahui keberadaannya.

Suatu saat dia tinggal di atap bangunan yang sudah hancur, kemudian dia mencari makanan di dalam bangunan tersebut, ternyata dia ditemukan oleh seorang kapten tentara Nazi, namun beruntung dia tidak dibunuh bahkan dia diberikan jas nya agar tidak kedinginan setelah mengetahui bahwa dia adalah seorang pianis.

Hingga saat masuknya tentara Uni Soviet dan tentara Nazi berhasil dikalahkan, dia melihat kapten yang melepaskannya tersebut tertangkap, dan memohon agar membalas jasa nya dahulu yang sudah menyelamatkannya.

Film ini mengajak kita seperti sang pianis sendiri, bersembunyi di langit-langit, menghindari kejaran tentara Nazi, dan semua aksinya untuk menyelamatkan diri. Membuat kita penasaran bagaimana akhir ceritanya dan bagaimana nasib sang pianis kemudian.

Film ini diangkat dari memoir yang berjudul sama, yang ditulis oleh sang pianis sendiri.
Film ini adalah salah satu film yang wajib ditonton terutama bagi pecinta film perang dunia ke-2.

Minggu, 20 November 2011

20 Nov 2011

Hari ini hari yang cukup melelahkan, bangun pagi siap-siap walimahan kakak saya. Beres jam 3, pulang langsung mandi, sholat dan berangkat lagi ke Gor C-Tra Arena dengan harapan masih bisa nonton ujian yudansha. Sayangnya sudah keburu selesai karena peserta cuman 16, dan saya kebagian angkut-angkut matras.

Dengan badan yang sudah gak enak (agak sakit maksudnya), saya pun menjadi malas angkut-angkut matras, alhamdulillah saya ga perlu bermotor malam-malam ke jalan sukarno hatta. Walaupun "tersogok" (kebagian jatah) makanan seafood yang terdiri dari kepiting, kerang, ikan, cumi, tidak membuat saya terhibur. hehehe.. :D

November ini kemungkinan menjadi puncak kesibukan saya di akhir tahun ini, karena di bulan inilah banyak acara yang membuat stamina saya sedikit terkuras dan kurang istirahat.

Anyway, semoga saja kesibukan ini bisa bermanfaat di hari kedepannya. :D

Sabtu, 19 November 2011

Seminar Aikido

Hari ini saya kembali berlatih dengan seorang instruktur Aikido dari Aikikai Hombu. Dan kali ini alhamdulillah saya merasakan menjadi uke-nya. Dengan tangannya yang besar, agak sulit memegang tangannya.

Latihannya rame dan have fun, saya pun mendapatkan ilmu baru dari partner saya yang gonta-ganti dan juga dari penjelasan dari Shihan.
Contohnya saat menjelaskan Ryotedori Tenchinage, mau daru mulainya Ai Hanmi atau Gyaku Hanmi, "both is correct", kata beliau, walau dengan bahasa Inggris yang lancar namun agak sulit saya langsung tangkap karena tidak bisa mengucapkan "L".

Berkali-kali dia mengatakan "white belt just try, enjoy". Pokonya walau tekniknya untuk ikkyu ke atas, pokona mah just try and enjoy!

:D

Jumat, 18 November 2011

Registrasi Semester Depan

Hari ini saya ngambil formulir rencana studi alias FRS. Akhirnya saya akan menginjak ke Semester VIII. Dan saya masih bingung apakah Tugas Akhir dan Seminar akan saya ambil. Berhubung KP baru mulai di bulan November ini.

Rencana topik yang selama ini saya siapkan sebagai tugas akhir memang masih yang itu, belum ada alternatif lain. Registrasi ini bikin saya pengen cepet-cepet mulai, berhubung belum banyak juga anak-anak yang mulai. Baru satu orang yang memulai, itupun masih dalam tahap pengajuan proposal menurut informasi terakhir yang saya ketahui.

Tapi kesibukan akhir tahun ini bikin saya bingung, terutama hubungannya dengan KP. Takut-takut kalau KP mundur, Seminar mundur. Wisuda pun mundur. Hehehe..

Anyway, untuk para mahasiswa tingkat akhir. Berdoa, berusaha, bertawakal. God be with you.

Kamis, 17 November 2011

Tugas Kuliah di Semester Akhir

Ngerjain tugas mata kuliah RTI kali ini berasa ngerjain TA. Mengingat tugasnya adalah mengerjakan Latar Belakang sampai Tujuan penelitian.

Ga tau kenapa saya lebih ingin buru-buru ngerjain TA dibanding KP. Mungkin karena sudah mau lulus, atau mungkin TA nya salah satu topik yang saya suka.

Lancar atau tidak, semuanya harus dijalani..

Sekian postingan pendek kali ini. Maklum agak sibuk mendekati tugas sebagai panitia seminar. hehe.

Rabu, 16 November 2011

Skripsi


Sebenarnya apa arti skripsi? Sekedar tugas akhir agar lulus? Atau penelitian untuk diimplementasikan?

Buat saya (dan teman-teman lain) yang sudah semester 7, skripsi sudah mulai dipikirkan, para dosen pun sudah bilang ini itu tentang skripsi, topiknya, pembimbingnya, mata kuliahnya, daaann lain sebagainya.

Yang sering saya lihat (ketahui, beneran lihat sih belum pernah), skripsi yang paling umum beredar adalah sistem informasi, hingga kabarnya sistem informasi tidak boleh dijadikan skripsi. Well, masih lebih baik yang penting sistem informasi tsb ada di domain yang baru dan dikerjakan sendiri. Soalnya banyak juga nih yang skripsinya beli jadi, malahan dibikinin ama orang lain yang bukan jurusan yang sama (contoh: skripsi IF dikerjain ama anak ekonomi). :D

Yang penting sekarang adalah mengumpulkan semangat untuk mengerjakan skripsi yang sudah di depan mata. Karena saya tahu pasti ada saatnya saya merasa malas. Pokonya kuliah tidak boleh sampe semester 10! :D

Update 2013: Saya gagal memenuhi target, saya sampai di semester 10. :/

Selasa, 15 November 2011

Pelajaran Dari Statistik Blog

Memantau statistik blog saya beberapa minggu ini memberi saya pelajaran yang sangat berharga, bahwa konsisten itu penting, sangat penting.



 

Menurut saya dan bagi saya, konsisten itu tidak bicara kualitas, atau kuantitas. Tetapi bagaimana kita bisa terus melakukan sesuatu terus menerus, berulang-ulang. Rasa bosan pasti ada, tapi itu wajar, dan disitulah konsistensi kita teruji.

Menurut saya lagi, kualitas dan kuantitas bisa mengikuti asal kita bisa konsisten. Konsisten itu lakukan dari yang kecil, lalu kecil+1, lalu (kecil+1)+1, (lalu (kecil+1)+1)+1, dan seterusnya, berulang-ulang tanpa batas akhir. Hingga yang tadinya variabel "kecil" itu memiliki nilai yang sama dengan variabel "besar", dan "bagus".

Bosan itu boleh, penurunan itu ada, tetapi saat peningkatan harus lebih tinggi dari titik puncak sebelumnya. Kalau sama atau di bawah, itu berarti belum meningkat. Buat saya, itulah yang disebut istiqomah, satu tingkat lebih tinggi dari konsisten. Dari yang naik, lalu naik+1, lalu naik+2, lalu naik+3. Atau istilah jepangnya Kaizen (continual improvement). Atau istilah fisikanya percepatan. Walau ada kalanya naik-2, tetapi harus setidaknya naik+4.

Apa sih yang saya lakukan pada blog sehingga mendapat pelajaran? Simple, saya membuat postingan setidaknya 1 buah perhari. Walau saya belum bisa meningkat, setidaknya saya berusaha. Wish me luck! :D

Minggu, 13 November 2011

Minggu Masa Kini


Hari minggu masa kini, udah ga sama kaya minggu saat saya kecil beberapa belas tahun yang lalu. Hari minggu di TV masih banyak film untuk anak-anak, nah sekarang udah hampir ga ada tuh yang namanya film kartun untuk anak-anak. Yang ada apa? Acara musik yang pagi-pagi tuh, yang presenternya suka ngelawak, suka ngehina orang, terus agak-agak banci gitu. :D
Belum lagi infotainment yang isinya berita dari para artis yang walaupun kita tahu ga sama sekali mempengaruhi hidup kita. Mungkin masih banyak acara tv yang amat sangat ga jelas jaman sekarang.

Efeknya? Untuk anak-anak, kalau nonton mereka akan terpengaruh gaya hidupnya, mungkin bisa lebih parah dari yang ada di TV.

Kenapa kartun jadi berkurang? Saya juga ga tau, mungkin karena anak-anak sekarang udah doyan online, masih SD udah dapet hp, merknya bisa BB, waduh. ckck
Atau mungkin doyan maen iPad, ataupun PSP, dan lain sebagainya. Yang rata-rata device modern yang membuat mereka jarang berinteraksi dengan orang sekitar.

Mungkin orang-orang jaman dulu sebelum saya lahir sama herannya seperti saya, hari minggu jaman dulu anak-anak selalu main di luar dengan teman-teman, atau jalan-jalan atau kumpul keluarga. Tapi hari minggu yang saya alami adalah nongkrong di depan TV nonton kartun dari jam 7 pagi sampai jam 12. Video game masih cukup mahal kala itu.

Pendidikan anak itu perlu, termasuk di hari minggu. (apa hubungannya?)

Jumat, 11 November 2011

11-11-11


Banyak yang nikah tanggal ini, mungkin juga banyak yang jadian. Mungkin juga banyak yang operasi cesar demi tanggal lahir cantik.

Sebenarnya ada apa sih dengan tanggal cantik? Toh ga ada pengaruh sama sekali. Jangan sampai menganggap tanggal cantik bisa membawa peruntungan, itu sudah bisa menjadi musyrik.

Tanggal cantik memang sudah membudaya di masyarakat, apalagi dengan kebiasaan para artis yang otomatis dianggap tokoh masyarakat oleh para penonton infotainment.

Memang sih tidak salah, tapi kalau sudah menyentuh kepercayaan kita akan tanggal tersebut, itu yang bahaya. Mulai sekarang biasakan tidak menganggap tanggal cantik itu yang tidak, it's just a date, (not date, not date)

Minggu, 06 November 2011

Aikido and the Spine

I think we are finally at the point of concluding our description of the body parts and now we can concentrate on the spine. The spine is a no man’s land that has been explored by many, and explained erroneously in so many ways it is hard to believe. My conclusions will be questionable to some, but I am not simply gazing into a witch’s crystal ball. I would defend them because my patients show me the correctness of these findings. Nature defends itself. There is just one physiology, one anatomy; we will not invent anything revolutionary.

Let me divide my deductions into several parts:
1. A mechanical analysis of the spine and a quick look at its five parts
2. The role of the spine in autonomic body function
3. Aikido and the spine
4. Pain and aikido
From the mechanical point of view, the human spine is a system of pivots, shock absorbers, and propelling devices. The range of movement of particular spine parts depends on the shapes of the relevant articular surfaces that determine its mobility.

The neck
We anatomically divide the neck into two major parts: the sub-occipital complex, and the remaining part or functionally from the sub-occipital to the C3 level and from C4 to Th4. The upper structure works in a different manner than the rest. It is responsible for rotating the head which goes along the rest of the neck, of course, and meets with the neck/thoracic junction whose rotation is also remarkably significant. The neck bends forward and backwards, and rotates successfully only when all its parts are free from mechanical and reflex limitations, and when the underlying thoracic segments are also fully mobile. A lack of movement on any of these levels requires inner compensation within the spine, and requires extra effort. The short and long muscles of the neck allow it to move smoothly only when of the proper elasticity and length.

The thoracic spine
The strong. but elastic and springy rib gage protects the internal organs, vital to body functions. The thoracic spine has to co-work with the ribs to make the whole structure both rigid and elastic. Its movements are strictly determined by the ribs and sternum. Thoracic spine movements determine the fluid movements of the neck. The muscles do their job well when they are free from pathological tension and injuries.

The lumbar region
This area is the most controversial one due to the many mysteries of the lower back. It mainly bends forward and backward with minimal rotation apart from the very last joint junction between L5 (the lowest lumbar vertebrae) and the sacral bone. Thick discs, strong supporting ligaments and muscles support the upper body on the pelvis,and move it, and decelerate its movements.

The central nervous system penetrates the skeletal spine (bones) via the spinal cord. There are pairs of nerves divided into ventral and dorsal nerves exiting the spinal cord on every level. They innervate all internal organs, muscles, and veins, providing them with connections to and from your brain. With the autonomic nervous system running along but outside the spine, the nervous system controls all bodily functions without any conscious effort on our part. It all works automatically. This is true of the tensing of the muscles, the sweating of the skin, blood pressure, etc. All impulses that go here and there join together in one huge “internet superhighway” within you. Impulses travel very fast from one place to another. The spine and spinal cord play a large part in the channeling of these impulses.

The spine in aikido
There is more to describe here than we might imagine. To make the story short, I will organize it all into points:
a) The spine secures all of the limbs and the chest, so it transmits all movements from one end of the locomotor spine to the other. It works as a transmitter of the smallest tensions and muscle actions that we are applying, feeling or responding to;
b) The spine dampens vertical vibrations through its internal cushions, the spinal discs (gelatinous parts that absorb and dampen vibrations occurring during all movements;
c) The spine allows the performance of any movement required because it consists of so many articular surfaces. It can choose the most convenient combination for movement possible. Usually, the spine makes all of these structures work together with some focused on movement, while others less so;
d) The spine bends to meet the demands placed on it in forward and backward falls. It deals with throws to the mat so as to protect the spinal cord and the rest of the body from being injured;
e) The spine, when free from limitations, allows to us to perform any movement we think of. In an aikido context, any combination of iriminage through kaitennage, to suwariwaza;
f) The spine reads our state of mind, responds to it, and is its reflection regardless of our physical structure and its history. It glows when we are healthy, springy and full of life. It likewise reflects our state when we are in a bad mood, ill, or in pain;
g) The spine is also connected to breathing. Its shape and relationship with the chest is a basic factor in breathing, apart from soft tissue limitations;
A painful spine in aikido is indicative of the following:
a) It has suffered an injury and not properly healed. By injury, I refer to something less than bone breakage, including soft tissue disorders like capsula irritations, ligamentous instability that leads to hypermobility, and/or muscle imbalance affecting actions of the smooth spine region;
b) The spine has had no opportunity for a good warmup before dojo workouts or a reasonable cooling down after,
c) The spine has some persistent irritations in one of its tissues, or in group of them, and cannot work freely without receiving warning signals from them,

From my personal experience, the most common spinal problem is disc dysfunction, prolapse, hernia, or whatever we choose to call it. Discs are commonly blamed for all spine problems, but this is not true. There are so many tissues surrounding the spine that are innervated and that respond when under load. To pinpoint the specific area causing the problem is like exploring a maze. With specific manual procedures we are able to determine what tissue groups we need to work with to minimize and eliminate the problem. Sometimes very simple procedures can bring a lot of pain relief and help us to get back exercising again.
Pain in aikido usually means a lack of elasticity in muscles governing pelvic action and is expressed as asymmetric spinal action. This, in turn, disturbs the fluid action of the whole body, and it is only a matter of time before this results in a painful disorder.

Aikido is supposed to be a pain-free activity. It should fill us with pleasure and a joy of learning and performing. We should not be deprived of participating in this activity. Reasonable stretching exercises combined with skillful breathing, and work on personal growth are a simple way to pain free aikido. Our body, with all its parts described in all my articles, is a fantastic mechanism that serves us 24 hours a day. We need to take care of it to maintain a healthy life. We can enjoy a very balanced state of mind and body through proper nutrition, physical exercise (aikido) and emotional health. That is my wish for all of my aikido friends!

Source

Movie Review: The Shawshank Redemption

Yak, review film kali ini berjudul: The Shawshank Redemption

Film ini tahun 1994, film jadul dong.. Hehehe.. Walau film jadul, film ini menurut saya layak untuk ditonton. Film ini diangkat dari novel Stephen King yang berjudul Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption.

Bercerita tentang Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins), seorang bankir yang menjadi napi di penjara Shawshank State Penitentiary selama 20 tahun setelah dituduh membunuh istrinya. Di sana dia bertemu dengan Ellis Boyd Redding alias Red (Morgan Freeman), yang pada akhirnya mereka menjalin persahabatan.

Red adalah salah satu penyuplai barang-barang ilegal dari luar penjara ke dalam, dengan bayaran tentunya. Dari sanalah Andy dan Red mulai berkenalan. Andy yang pendiam tidak banyak berbicara dan memiliki ketenangan, langsung disukai oleh Red sejak pertama kali melihatnya.
Di dalam penjara, Andy dilindungi oleh kepala penjara dan penjaga karena dia dimanfaatkan oleh kepala penjara untuk melakukan pencucian uang.
Andy juga seorang yang pintar dan banyak membaca buku, dia pun turut membangun perpustakaan penjara yang awalnya seperti gudang buku yang penuh debu menjadi perpustakaan yang banyak koleksi bukunya. Dia meminta bantuan kepada pemerintah daerah berupa sumbangan uang dan buku dengan mengirimkan surat sebanyak 1 surat setiap minggunya. Setelah beberapa tahun baru diberi, Andy tidak puas dan mengirim 2 surat setiap minggunya. Hingga akhirnya perpustakaan tersebut mendapat bantuan yang lebih besar.

Sejak menolong kepala penjaga (bukan kepala penjara) mendapatkan uang tanpa pajak, dia menjadi terkenal di seluruh penjara sebagai konsultan keuangan.

Film ini sangat menyenangkan ditonton  terutama saat melihat bagaimana hebatnya Andy disukai oleh orang-orang penjara dan menjadi  Film ini akan membuat penasaran jika tidak disaksikan sampai selesai. Susah menjelaskan bagaimana serunya film ini, lebih baik saksikan saja sendiri. Hehehe...

Jumat, 04 November 2011

Movie Review: Valkyrie

Kali ini saya akan mereview film lama yang berjudul: Valkyrie



Film ini rilis tahun 2008 dengan setting di Jerman yang dikuasai Nazi dalam masa perang dunia ke-2. Tokoh utama film bernama Claus von Stauffenberg, diperankan oleh tom Cruise. Claus von Stauffenberg adalah perwira dengan pangkat kolonel yang melakukan rencana pembunuhan Adolf Hitler, yang terkenal dengan nama "20 July plot".

Pada masa Nazi menguasai Jerman, mereka memiliki rencana yang telah disusun sebelumnya dan akan dilaksanakan jika negara dalam keadaan darurat, seperti tewasnya Adolf Hitler, rencana tersebut dinamakan Operation Valkyrie. Dari situlah Kolonel Claus von Stauffenberg melihat celah tersebut, dia ingin mengambil alih negara dan melakukan gencatan senjata dengan sekutu.

Rencana pembunuhannya akan dilakukan di Wolf's Lair milik Adolf Hitler pada 20 Juli 1944, menggunakan bom yang diledakkan di bawah meja dimana Hitler dan petugas lain berkumpul.

Film ini sangat menegangkan, namun bukan film menyeramkan. Kita akan merasa seperti salah satu kelompok Stauffenberg.

Film ini bukan film perang, jadi tidak banyak adegan seperti Band of Brothers, Saving Private Ryan, Platoon, dan lain-lain. Film ini tentang kudeta, pemberontakan, apapun istilahnya, dan merupakan salah satu tema yang saya sukai.

Bagi yang belum nonton, wajib deh nonton. :D

Ujian Mudansha Aikido: Kyu 4

Kali ini, 27 November 2011 saya akan kembali menghadapi ujian mudansha aikido, Insya Allah naik ke Kyu 4.
Walaupun belum daftar, termasuk belum ada uang, latihan harus jalan terus, sapa tau mendadak ada yang kasih subsidi. Hehehehe..

Ujian Kyu 4 ada yang bilang perbedaannya dari ujian ke Kyu 5 tidak terlalu banyak. Yang banyak perbedaan itu dari ujian ke kyu 3.

Tapi tetep aja ujian jadi berasa menegangkan, masih ada teknik-teknik yang belum lancar, belum lagi teknik yang udah lama ga dilatih jadinya agak-agak lupa. Termasuk teknik ujian ke kyu 3 yang kadang-kadang disuruh dipraktekin. Wadaaww...

Tapi yang harus disiapin tentu saja mental dan stamina. Terkadang kalo udah cape, mental terganggu dan teknik yang saat latihan lancar pun bisa menjadi blank, blank, blank!

Bismillah..

Jumat, 29 Juli 2011

Six Principles of Training

by Kondo Katsuyuki 

(English translation by Derek Steel)

Daito-ryu is built upon a foundation of six basic elements. These are extremely deep and complex and mastery of even any one of them requires a great deal of time and effort. One's ability to perform Daito-ryu techniques correctly and fully will only develop through constant and strenuous efforts to take all six into account at all times.

Rei: Correct Formal Personal Conduct

The term rei has been translated variously with words such as etiquette, manners, courtesy, decorum, respect, or propriety. However, rei may be generally understood to mean the rules of correct formal personal conduct. Historically in Japan such rules have served in lubricating social and interpersonal relationships and preventing strife among people. Daito-ryu preserves historical forms of correct personal conduct, not because they have any particular relevance to the performance of techniques per se, but because they contain and continue the spiritual mindset of the traditional warrior that pervades and informs the Daito-ryu tradition even today.

Metsuke: Eye Contact

Metsuke refers to the use of the eyes. Essentially there are two types of metsuke training in Daito-ryu, one called mokushin(lit. "the eye of the mind"), the other called ganriki(lit. "eye power"). Mokushin involves seeing with the "eye of the mind," often to enclose and envelop an opponent. Ganriki, on the other hand, is a sharp, penetrating gaze that sees an opponent's intentions and can be used to dominate and control him.

Maai: Distancing

Maai refers to the physical distance or interval between things. Maai is often the single most important factor in determining the outcome of a combative encounter. It sometimes happens, for instance, that a combatant thinks he has established a favorable maai only to have it suddenly turn out to be to his opponent's advantage. Primarily a form of unarmed combat, Daito-ryu focuses on the diligent study of the closer maai characteristic of striking and grappling techniques, although other maai also come into play in some situations.

Kokyu: Breathing

Kokyu refers to breath or breathing. We generate physical power and movement more easily when exhaling or in some cases when stopping our breath, both of which are states of yang. The opposite is true of inhaling, a yin state. Thus, techniques are usually performed while exhaling, often with one breath from start to finish. Similarly, it is considered ideal to time any attack to an instant when your opponent has just exhaled and has just started to inhale again. We take advantage of the openings in an opponent's defenses offered by yin states, with many counterattacks and defenses timed to coincide with the instant your opponent enters--or is made to enter--a yin state.

Kuzushi: Unbalancing

From ancient times the admonishment to attack where the opponent has been unbalanced has been a fundamental axiom of Japanese combative theory. In the name Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu we see that the term aiki has been placed before the word jujutsu, and it would not be an exaggeration to say that this aiki refers mainly (though not exclusively) to the principle of kuzushi, or unbalancing, the opponent. Indeed a great many of Daito-ryu's oral transmissions and inner teachings pertain to the various subtle aspects of kuzushi.

Zanshin: Remaining Mind & Full Effort

The characters for zanshin have the general meanings of "remain" (zan-) and "mind" (-shin). The term is usually interpreted as referring to a mental state in which you continue to focus your attention on your opponent and the surrounding environment. I have another interpretation, however, which is that the characters for zanshin can also refer to the phrase "Kokoro wo nokosazu" (lit. "Leave nothing of the spirit behind"). This means giving of yourself so completely that nothing remains to be given and so that nothing is held back. When practicing Daito-ryu this means giving your absolute all to the performance to each and every technique.

Selasa, 26 Juli 2011

Aikido and Conflict Resolution: A Kind Word Turneth Away Wrath

Cerita ini ada yang bilang berjudul "A Kind Word Turneth Away Wrath", ditulis oleh Terry Dobson. Terry Dobson adalah salah satu uchidesi non-Jepang O Sensei.

Cerita ini adalah pengalaman Terry Dobson saat ada kejadian di kereta di Tokyo. Intinya berhubungan dengan aikido dan conflict resolution. Selamat membaca! :)

Terry Dobson
THE TRAIN CLANKED and rattled through the suburbs of Tokyo on a drowsy spring afternoon. Our car was comparatively empty - a few housewives with their kids in tow, some old folks going shopping. I gazed absently at the drab houses and dusty hedgerows.
At one station the doors opened, and suddenly the afternoon quiet was shattered by a man bellowing violent, incomprehensible curses. The man staggered into our car. He wore laborers clothing, and he was big, drunk, and dirty. Screaming, he swung at a woman holding a baby. The blow sent her spinning into the laps of an elderly couple. It was a miracle that the was unharmed.
Terrified, the couple jumped up and scrambled toward the other end of the car. The laborer aimed a kick at the retreating back of the old woman but missed as she scuttled to safety. This so enraged the drunk that he grabbed the metal pole in the center of the car and tried to wrench it out of its stanchion. I could see that on of his hands was cut and bleeding. The train lurched ahead, the passengers frozen with fear. I stood up.
I was young then, some 20 years ago, and in pretty good shape. I'd been putting in a solid eight hours of aikido training nearly every day for the past three years. I like to throw and grapple. I thought I was tough. Trouble was, my martial skill was untested in actual combat. As students of aikido, we were not allowed to fight.
"Aikido," my teacher had said again and again, "is the art of reconciliation. Whoever has the mind to fight has broken his connection with the universe. If you try to dominate people, you are already defeated. We study how to resolve conflict, not how to start it."
I listened to his words. I tried hard I even went so far as to cross the street to avoid the chimpira, the pinball punks who lounged around the train stations. My forbearance exalted me. I felt both tough and holy. In my heart, however, I wanted an absolutely legitimate opportunity whereby I might save the innocent by destroying the guilty.
This is it! I said to myself, getting to my feet. People are in danger and if I don't do something fast, they will probably get hurt.
Seeing me stand up, the drunk recognized a chance to focus his rage. "Aha!" He roared. "A foreigner! You need a lesson in Japanese manners!"
I held on lightly to the commuter strap overhead and gave him a slow look of disgust and dismissal. I planned to take this turkey apart, but he had to make the first move. I wanted him mad, so I pursed my lips and blew him an insolent kiss.
"All right!" he hollered. "You're gonna get a lesson." He gathered himself for a rush at me.
A split second before he could move, someone shouted "Hey!" It was ear splitting. I remember the strangely joyous, lilting quality of it - as though you and a friend had been searching diligently for something, and he suddenly stumbled upon it. "Hey!"
I wheeled to my left; the drunk spun to his right. We both stared down at a little old Japanese. He must have been well into his seventies, this tiny gentleman, sitting there immaculate in his kimono. He took no notice of me, but beamed delightedly at the laborer, as though he had a most important, most welcome secret to share.
"C'mere," the old man said in an easy vernacular, beckoning to the drunk. "C'mere and talk with me." He waved his hand lightly. The big man followed, as if on a string. He planted his feet belligerently in front of the old gentleman, and roared above the clacking wheels, "Why the hell should I talk to you?" The drunk now had his back to me. If his elbow moved so much as a millimeter, I'd drop him in his socks.
The old man continued to beam at the laborer. "Whatcha been drinkin?" he asked, his eyes sparkling with interest.
"I been drinkin sake," the laborer bellowed back, "and it's none of your business!" Flecks of spittle spattered the old man.
"Oh, that's wonderful," the old man said, "absolutely wonderful! You see, I love sake too. Every night, me and my wife (she's 76, you know), we warm up a little bottle of sake and take it out into the garden, and we sit on an old wooden bench. We watch the sun go down, and we look to see how our persimmon tree is doing. My great-grandfather planted that tree, and we worry about whether it will recover from those ice storms we had last winter. Our tree had done better than I expected, though especially when you consider the poor quality of the soil. It is gratifying to watch when we take our sake and go out to enjoy the evening - even when it rains!" He looked up at the laborer, eyes twinkling.
As he struggled to follow the old man's conversation, the drunks face began to soften. His fists slowly unclenched. "Yeah," he said. "I love persimmons too." His voice trailed off.
"Yes," said the old man, smiling, "and I'm sure you have a wonderful wife."
"No," replied the laborer. "My wife died." Very gently, swaying with the motion of the train, the big man began to sob. "I don't got no wife, I don't got no home, I don't got no job. I am so ashamed of myself." Tears rolled down his cheeks; a spasm of despair rippled through his body.
Now it was my turn. Standing there in well-scrubbed youthful innocence, my make-this-world-safe-for-democracy righteousness, I suddenly felt dirtier than he was.
Then the train arrived at my stop. As the doors opened, I heard the old man clucksympathetically. "My, my," he said, "that is a difficult predicament, indeed. Sit down here and tell me about it."
I turned my head for one last look. The laborer was sprawled on the seat, his head in the old man's lap. The old man was softly stroking the filthy, matted hair.
As the train pulled away, I sat down on a bench. What I had wanted to do with muscle had been accomplished with kind words. I had just seen aikido tried in combat, and the essence of it was love. I would have to practice the art with an entirely different spirit. It would be a long time before I could speak about the resolution of conflict.
Terry Dobson
Sumber

Senin, 25 Juli 2011

Aikido And Hands

As I stated in my recent article on shoulders in aikido, shoulders are everywhere in the art and so are the hands. From the mechanical point of view, the hands are a very complicated complex of joints, muscles, tendons and sensors that are all connected together for the purpose of controlling the most precise actions ever imagined: sensing with touch, touching itself, grasping, holding, drawing, painting, hitting, pushing, pulling, pinching. Everything we think of, we translate into hand language and make them carry out our every intention. We share our hands with other people, offering them to shake; we heal with our hands; we hurt with our hands; we embrace our children with our hands; we put them to sleep and stroke their heads for comfort; we play piano, violin, sew, hold cups… Our hands seem to act hand with hand with our will.


Aikido is also hands. Our hands are always in front of us. They “welcome” all attacks, blend into them with their softness (and the rest of the body and mind), and respond to them when applying a chosen technique. We direct our ki through our fingers. We finish off every technique with our hands to give it the exact direction according to what we feel, sense, and read in uke.

The hands cooperate with the eyes. The eyes and hands are like a couple that complement each other. The ability of your eyes to track strengthens your actions because of the cooperation of sight with postural muscles, body tension and mobility. Please, check this by placing your fingers gently right under your skull where it meets the neck and look right or left. You will easily feel muscles acting there just when your eyes turn! They rule the rest of the body since those sub-occipital muscles are kings of the spine muscle action kingdom. So looking toward the direction of movement helps your hands because it helps your coordination.

Hands are very strong but very delicate.

Let me be straight with you – v e r y delicate. The fundamentals of hands are wrists that act as arches standing on oblique surfaces of forearm bones. To keep them there and not slide from them they are held in place by strong, short ligaments full of nerve sensors. That is why we must take care of the hands and wrists basically to keep them able to work. With an unstable wrist (ligaments damaged in any way) or painful wrist (unhealed injuries), no hand can function properly. So many techniques involve “locking” wrists in extreme positions (close packed positions) for one simple reason: next move is simply driving our uke or opponent into pain that can be excruciating and signal destruction. That makes the uke follow our technique. Nikyo is the best example. There is no doubt it works more than well when applied well… We all know how convincing this technique is.

When warming up, we must concentrate on gradual warming our hands and wrists. Getting into a dojo and practicing aikido without any attention to the hands is simply stupid. This generates injuries that last for years and confirms the belief that something is wrong with us, that we have bad wrists and hands, and prevents further exercise in a desired manner. It is not simple for the wrists to heel because they are inherent part of our daily activities. Please allow them to heal before treatment is needed.

Please take a close look at your fingers. Let us be honest, they are small in comparison with the rest of the body. Let us recall what they have already been through during our life so far: lifting weights, receiving so many sankyos, twisting screwdrivers, holding hammers, etc. For every single kilo of external mass applied to the tip of our finger, an open hand generates approximately seven times more kilos to the very first finger joint that has to handle the load. That IS a lot. I know fingers are constructed to stand much of the load, but we must be aware of this fact to keep them in good condition for the rest of our life. Without properly functioning hands, we can’t look after ourselves when we enter our golden years. Please keep this in mind.

The hand is usually positioned in the so called working position: pronated (palm facing down and medially) with wrist slightly extended and fingers flexed. This is all due to the muscle balance around the hand. Flexors and extensors do their job in the following way: if, for example, I want to grab something, extensors “close” the wrist in extended position to enable the flexors to execute the grip. In the hand, we observe most the fluidity of opposing muscles. And that is why we need them to be as elastic as possible to keep the wrist and hand working as well as possible. Stretching, stretching and stretching again. In the office, where we spend hours working on a computer (repetitive movements), at home doing gardening and housework Please remember to stretch your hands along with your forearm muscles when in the office, where we spend hours working on a computer (repetitive movements), and at home doing gardening and housework.

This will keep them healthy.

Our hands are the eyes that see the invisible. Aikido blends this “second pair of eyes” with the rest of our body-and-spirit to read the dynamic sphere as precisely as possible, and act within it. Our hands reflect us. In a certain sense, they are us. We should make our hands stable, strong and gentle. To paraphrase a classic saying, “Make them like water.”

Source
Image from Aikidojournal.com

Aikido And Shoulders

Shoulders are everywhere in aikido; bare-handed or armed, we use our shoulders.


The shoulders are highly mobile joints, yet open to so many limiting factors. Their stability and function are governed by anatomical structures such as the short and strong muscles originating in the shoulder blades, superficial trunk muscles, and passive stability apparatus like the capsula and ligaments. The shoulders are vulnerable to many injuries (static and dynamic), due to the complexity of their structure and behavior. Since all aikido techniques are hand techniques, they involve the shoulders. The shoulders are forced, pulled, pushed, compressed, twisted, and made to accomodate body movements, mostly of the rib cage.

The shoulders are operated by distant muscles as well: for example, the latissimus dorsi that attaches to the pelvis and lowers the arm and rotates it internally; the levator scapulae that goes down the neck to the shoulder blade and controls its rotation (the sliding on the rib cage, known as an anatomical, or “false” joint); the very strong, wing-like pectorals that function as internal arm rotators; the elbow extensors, etc.

There is just one small bony contact point that delivers all of the forces from the shoulder to the trunk and back again. This is akin to speaking about a single fulcrum from which the entire Earth can be moved. This is your clavicle or “key bone” (clavis = “key” in Latin), and that bone is the real key to arm and shoulder efficiency. Without it, there would be no stable arm movement, no strong arms, just limbs hanging down from your trunk.

A close view on the shoulders shows us the complexity of that joint group: five joints combining into one great mechanism that works smoothly in free arm movements as well as when resistence is applied against the arms. Some of them are true joints; some are false, but they work as a single team called the scapula-arm joint, or arm joint, or shoulder joint, etc.

The articular surfaces and their angles, and the shoulder blade position on the rib cage determine the basic movements of the shoulders, and the muscle action and fluency of that complicated group of co-working tissues. We elevate, depress, rotate (twist), elongate and shorten our arms. That is what the shoulders do for us. All of these movements are possible on that little bony point that also must accommodate the shoulders’ action demands. The shoulders are mostly muscle-operated joints, and that is how we classify them. Briefly speaking, the strong flat and short serratus muscles compress and control the shoulder blade against the rib cage; the short scapula muscles stabilize the arm bone on the scapula, and mostly control the shoulder’s rotation. The long muscles allow it to move. The shoulder is covered by a hood formed by the deltoid muscle, and is suspended by muscles that attach to its upper regions.

It is beyond the scope of this article to precisely analyze the muscle action of the shoulder while moving in various ways. Let’s focus on how we use the shoulders in aikido.

The arms are everywhere in aikido. They touch through the hands, receive pressure from the attacking partner (receiving partner, or “uke”). The arms feel the resistance and play between two aikidoka as in “menuchi.” They allow us to respond in intricate ways, and serve us in every applied technique. The feet move us from place to place. The knees are responsible for springy and smooth movements. The hips provide power for what we do, and the shoulders act! They complete each of the many spectacular techniques of aikido!

The numerous sensors within the shoulder complex coordinate with the whole body to carry out a read-analyse-action process. It all happens in no time at all when needed, so just imagine the speed of information flow within. The nervous system has almost no limits in transmiting data. It learns how to work even when the synapses are overloaded. Using the body’s locomotive system, the nervous system uses our body as its executive performer, an excellent performer I should say!

As I mentioned above, the shoulders are everywhere in aikido, and they also participate in falls. They hit the ground and are easily injured. Let me concentrate on this aspect.

I find shoulder disorders fall into the following basic categories:

1. injuries from falls, strikes, sudden pulls, etc., and incorrect posture.
Falls and other injuries can tear ligaments, pull muscles out from their attachment points, or tear them within the muscle belly. That all requires medical help and appropriate treatment. Diagnosis is usually made with ultrasound or MRI devices. The use of casts is very often the treatment of choice. but some other treatments are possible, for example, arthroscopy with its wide range of treatment options. Bringing your shoulders back to life after immobilization takes time, but also teaches us how to use them properly and with tender care.

2. incorrect tension of certain muscles (static imbalance) leading to worn-out syndrome.

Incorrect elasticity and muscle length are due to the ignorance of the need of stretching. Each joint, to work well–as has often been said–must be supported and controlled by elastic muscles. Age is not a significant factor here. If, due to incorrect exercise or prolonged sitting, those muscles and ligaments tend to shrink, contract and remain in that state for long periods, this will in turn incite pathological chains that will sooner or later cause health problems somewhere in the body. The worn-out syndrome is the most known effect of this condition. The best and easiest solution is stretching which restores normal muscle elasticity. When we stretch properly, surprisingly, we feel improvement even in areas far removed from the painful site. That is the effect of disrupting the pathological chain reaction with a simple weapon… stretching.

3. Non-joint factors such as emotional stress, e.g., anger and aggression coupled with temporomandibular joint syndrome and pelvic and hip complex syndromes.

The non-joint factors are the most difficult to diagnose and treat since they involve our personality patterns and are part of our thinking, reactions, feelings, etc. They are so much a part of us that we sometimes cannot understand living without them despite all the obstacles to health they throw in our path. We resist change in our usual behavioral patterns, but positive changes will are and the entire body will become transformed into something new and radiant.

The shoulders are “sender–receiver” joints. That means they detect and accumulate tensions of various origins from within the body and send them further down the limbs. The most frequent non-joint factors are emotional tensions that accumulate in the cervical and thoracic spine region. An unresolved shoulder disorder may end up as a “frozen” shoulder, chronic pain, trophic changes, thoracic cage disfunctions, and other conditions.

As we have seen, the shoulders are a very interesting and complicated part of our bodies. Since–as has been emphasized in this article–they are involved everywhere in aikido, they should be well treated, exercised and revitalized. Warm ups, warm ups, warm ups! Stretching in conjunction with resistence workouts, sometimes a little massage, and a freeing of the mind seem to be a prescription for healthy shoulders!

Source
Image from Aikidojournal.com

Aikido And Feet

Feet are our body’s supporting elements. A close look at them will reveal the whole genius of Mother Nature: elasticity and endurance. Hardness and softness. The rear part of your foot is a supporting part that bears body weight and load and distributes it on the ground along with the front part of the foot. Feet are also one of the transverse structures of human body. This means they are not parallel to most of the body’s longitudinal elements (blood vessels, limbs, trunk, lymphatic channels, long muscles…), but transverse to them and strongly change the function of body in the case of any reflectoric and structural changes.
 
The feet and two-storey buildings are alike: the joints connecting the foot and tibia bone are the first floor, and the foot itself is the ground floor. The same is the case for the posterior and anterior part of the foot.

The feet are connected to the calves with ankle ( tibio-tarsal hinge joint), “it controls the movement of the leg relative to the foot in the sagittal plane. Those movements are essential for walking on flat and rough ground.” (I. Kapanji). Inherent movements within every joint are so called “joint play movements,” passive movements that are basic physiological normal movements along every single axis possible, and in all planes that are built-in the joint construction. With strong short ligaments surrounding the whole complex, the feet do accommodate regular and irregular ground demands.

Foot bones look like bulky blocks running tightly along arches and long bones of the forefoot with small but springy finger and toe bones. They are “passive” supporting factors as well as ligaments and joint capsules. The foot is surrounded with thin but strong tendons of long muscles that run along fibrous tunnels in its dorsal and plantar side. With short and strong interosseus and lumbrical muscles and plantar muscles. And – of course – the Achilles tendon transmiting triceps muscle strength to the foot – it is a highly moveable and mobile part of our body, works under heavy loads and responds to very extreme demands of fast movements, rapid changes of directions and the decelerating of high speed (i.e. running).

When looking from below, we can easily see an architectural structure of a vault. Its top is displaced posteriorly to the main weight-bearing part. All three arches work as a shock absorber, essential for gait purposes, mobility purposes and support in standing. With any impairments of that perfect shape, they slowly but constantly interfere with the body function, maintenance of erect posture and other symptoms popping out somewhere distant from feet themselves. When thinking of the theoretical centre of each foot, it goes up and down with every step we take; it moves side to side in all three dimensions predicted by Nature. The foot widens and flattens, then returns to its form again. We use our feet imperceptibly – out of our control. We do not think of them when walking, running or exercising. We put them here and there and allow them do their job well.

The feet have thousands of nerve endings immersed in all tissues. Thanks to their incalculable numbers, your brain receives constant data inflow and can smoothly respond to them in the whole body action to keep the feet in the most convenient conditions for work.

From the aikido point of view, the feet do matter a great deal. Their indisputably significant role is reflected in every step we take in aiki techniques. They direct our body positions, turning us towards the next stage of the technique. The angle between the feet determines our stability. The feet must not hinder the ease of movement, and are designed follow the natural body awareness. The feet do read the ground. They are the very first to touch the earth. They guide the hips through their complex world.

Barefoot movements of aiki classes stimulate the feet well enough to keep them alive, strong and durable. The more care we concentrate upon our feet, the more reflex inflow we send to the internal organs as well. Reflex spots corresponding with all inner organs are all over feet. They have been known and appreciated for centuries and used as basic knowledge in foot massage therapy of different types.

Human feet are a part of a whole self-coordinating system of body balance and stability. The lack of any parts of that complex results immediately in the instability of the system and an urgent need of repairs. Foot injury or trauma does not make your dojo activity easier and takes time to accomodate and heal. That does not mean quitting aikido classes at all (if possible, of course). The reasonable and wise teacher will show you the path to walk to avoid unnecessary pain or discomfort. If any injury results in constant disability, we come to the point of discussion of how to practice aikido in its physical aspects. Because – what is obvious to very many of us – aikido does not mean only physical exercises and – what many of us know – above all it is NOT the physical acivity itself. The feet walk with us through our good and bad days, through our days of light and darkness. They take our aikido with us to other people.

Source
Image from Aikidojournal.com

Aikido And Knees

Knee joints are the biggest joints of the human body. With several axes of mechanical load meeting, there they are one of the most mechanically complicated complexes of the body. Every day they bear tons of load, making thousands of movements that are not just flexing and extending.
 
Knees are strictly “ligamentous” joints. That means that their stability and basic functions are governed by ligaments and ligaments only. Muscles are only for precise and fluent joint play. Healthy muscles only – to our surprise – decelerate those joints, but also influence their range of movement if they are not elastic enough to let them work in their natural range of movements.

To any aikidoka in the world, suwari techniques are also historical connection with tradition of Japan. It is a part of inherent integrity of AIKIDO.

Since aikido techniques do not involve mechanically fully flexed or extended joints they work in semi-flexed and semi-extended positions. For knees, this means we are in an unstable situation that deserves more attention than locking in maximal extension or flexion. And here is the moment where we need good muscle action..

Since almost all techniques (if not all) are performed in slightly flexed-knees positions, knees are very hard workers that do need to be taken care of tenderly and well. What is the meaning of that expression? What does it contain on the very bottom?

From my point of view that means:

1. good warm-ups before each aikido session and good session ending to calm down the joints,
2. stretching routine as a part of each aikdoka’s life to keep the joints soft and endure enough to stand the weight of her/his body moving sometimes very fast, sometimes in very low positions,
3. proper tissue softness of all muscles surrounding knees (rear thigh muscle group, quadriceps muscles and calf muscles).

Now a little bit of function facts:

1. quadriceps muscles are not the most important knee muscles despite common opinions on this fact – they pass exactly the midline of the knee joint (crossing patella) and cannot do any stabilisation action because of this; they significantly decelerate flexion of the joint,
2. calf muscles along with rear thing muscles are major knee extensors on the condition of placing your foot flat on the ground; knee joint is the strongest when foot is placed on the floor with all rear muscles engaged,
3. external thigh muscle groups can generate unnecessary friction between patella and femur bone and need to be as soft and relaxed as possible (it does not equal to weak),
4. knee joints are “receivers” from hip joints that means that any – even minimal – functional changes within hip joints will reflect in knees (you may not realize there is something wrong going on within the hips but feel discomfort in the knees – it may appear as symptoms typical to knee injuries as well),
5. knees respond to lower back and pelvic disfuntions and we must be aware of this fact too when talking of knee structural and functional pathology.

When applying aikido techniques knee joints act like springs and they must be springy enough to cope with this demand. The ease of using them comes together with grace of the whole body. And grace is consequence of the whole body condition. Since the  locomotor system reflects our spiritual state (mixture of emotional heritage and presence), movement patterns may differ from day to day as well. Speed, precision and gentleness connected with firmness are also a part of knee joint function. Treating your knees good is a part of every aikidoka’s life. Be good to your knees.

Image from Aikidojournal.com

Aikido And Hips

Koshi– hips.

Talking of a human practicing aikido we need to see the two sides of that engagement – physical and emotional. Let us focus on the physical aspects of the basic and most important part of the human body in aikido – hips.

Hips are the very centre of aikido. Almost all the stability of a human body is based upon those joints. The way they are, the way they live and how elastic they are and what range of movement they have are the main factors of fluent and harmonic movement and general fitness.

All aikido techniques are based upon hips (I will use hips or pelvis depending on what is to be said or underlined).  At approximately sacral level 2 is your centre of gravity. The ability to use it in a correct way is one of the secrets of aiki.  To apply them well, to use them in an ergonomic way – conscious control over the pelvic region is required.

Legs and application of leg movements (sabaki) guarantees correct body movement. The “where and how” you put your feet affects the map of global body movement. And movement is the life of aiki, even minimal but correctly governed movement is the key of defence.

Irimi, tenkan, tai sabaki, tai no henka, suwari techniques and finally koshi nage...

Every technique involves all body parts - that is obvious to all of us - and they mostly require, gentle softness mixed with controlled “rigidity” in pelvic region. Softness does not equal weakness. It is the attribute of lightness, specific grace in movement required for non-restricted activity during the learning process.

The function of hip joints is ruled by the following major factors: shapes of bones, so called joint partners - related to pelvic type (more: pelvic types according to Greenmann) and what matters most –elasticity of muscular and ligamentous surrounding system. Hips are called “muscle joints”. That means their state is determined by muscles mostly. Muscles determine the easiness of using pelvis itself and do not limit the joint with pain or stiffness.

Hips do grow with us since our very early days. They go through different phases that influence their shape, coordination with the rest of the body parts and ability of using them. 
There are two major muscle groups governing the pelvis: long muscles that do work on long leverages according to pelvic centre (quadriceps, hamstrings, adductors) and short, extremely strong rotators. The better they coordinate their work the better situation they offer to the joint.

Hip ligaments and capsules tend to react upon muscle state, especially to muscle shortening. Muscle and ligaments treatment usually takes time and energy so it is better to prevent those through simple stretching. There are many concepts of successful stretching approaches. I would suggest the simple and safe rule: go as far as the very first sign of discomfort and stop –wait till it easies – then go slightly further. Your muscles tell you straight faced – don't go too far or you will damage the tissue. They speak up with pain. It may occur to be confusing to tell which sensation stands for what situation. The answer is to do slightly less than one drop too much.

Muscle stretching should be mixed with aerobic exercises that supply oxygen to all tissues and remove constantly produces waste products. When stretching exercises are of a habit – it is reasonable to do the next step – hip stability exercises.

Almost every aikido manual suggests some preferred exercises in that group. The most common group of those are usually: kokyudosa, squats with wide positioned feet (along with moving your trunk in different directions), shikko (very recommended) and often repeated irimi-tenkan. Applying stretching as warm ups and at the end of each session is a part of hip care like brushing teeth is a part of teeth care. It is mostly recommended those days when so many of us spend hours working, driving and these are the activities our hips do really dislike.

Pelvic region and its elasticity is also a major factor for breathing mechanism. You cannot divide breathing into thoracic and diaphragmatic (or abdominal) breathing but you can shorten your breath so much so it makes breathing totally un-effective.

Breath is the third major part of aiki process. Without soft and fluent breathing your body gets gradually rigid and loses its vital energy. Without efficient breathing you remove grace from your movements and limit the precise from techniques. Breathing techniques are recommended in seiza positions and in standing positions as well.

Koshi - hip and pelvic complex look like a basket into which we dump many different states of emotional and physical overloading. We very often hide there the most unspoken mysteries of life, tension related to duties we face every day etc. We may or we may not see that or even realise that but that is how it is in real. And that can be a reason why we cannot use our hips effectively. That may be a cause for lack of life in our hips, lack of energy and lack of feeling aikido to the full.

author: Bartek Gajowiec, Meian Dojo, physiotherapist, MSc
co-author: Marek Podolczyński, 4 Dan Aikikai, Meian Dojo, Warsaw, Poland

Image from Aikidojournal.com

Selasa, 19 Juli 2011

Sekolah

Sekolah sudah menjadi hal yang wajib dalam hidup ini, karena dengan bersekolah kita bisa mempelajari banyak hal dari mulai hal-hal yang tidak penting sampai yang sangat penting sekalipun, baik dalam hal pembelajaran dan pendidikan.

Mengutip status facebook teman saya "Dahulu nama perguruan tinggi menjadi besar karena kesuksesan mahasiswanya (alumninya), Sekarang mahasiswa ingin sukses dibalik nama besar perguruan tingginya, ironis", begitu katanya. Saya tidak berkomentar, memang benar itulah yang terjadi sekarang. Orang berlomba-lomba masuk ke perguruan tinggi X dengan berbagai cara dari yang halal sampai yang tidak halal, ataupun yang tidak halal tapi berkedok halal.

Tidak aneh, perguruan tinggi swasta pun banyak yang di-"anak tiri"-kan oleh calon mahasiswa. Mungkin karena mahasiswa itu sendiri ingin mencatut nama besar perguruan tinggi, gengsi dong masuk swasta, mungkin itu di benak mereka.

Apalagi dengan uang kuliah yang mahal, fasilitas kampus favorit pun bisa terjamin, Baik yang masuk dengan jalur SNMPTN, atau dengan jalur yang "lain". Dosen yang berkualitas pun lebih terpusat di perguruan tinggi favorit. Mungkin ada di swasta, tapi tidak banyak.

Calon mahasiswa seharusnya diajari berpikir yang penting belajar dengan baik, tidak hanya mengandalkan nama besar perguruan tinggi, selain itu punya akhlak yang baik. Kita mungkin tidak mau mempunyai pegawai yang sangat pintar tetapi tukang korupsi, atau selalu berbuat onar, atau sangat sombong.

Saya ingin perguruan tinggi swasta tidak terus dianak tirikan oleh calon mahasiswa, pasti sulit, tapi saya yakin bisa. Saya juga ingin kuliah ke luar negeri, pulang ke Indonesia, membangun kampung halaman kita sendiri, dan mengajar menjadi dosen di perguruan tinggi, mungkin swasta saja. :D

Kamis, 07 Juli 2011

Kemacetan

Sehari-hari saya bepergian menggunakan sepeda motor, tapi yang paling mengesalkan jika selalu macet. Siapa coba yang tidak suka macet? Bikin kesal, apalagi kalau macetnya di siang hari, sudah panas di tambah macet orang pasti jadi mudah marah.

Ada riset yang mengatakan, karena jumlah motor lebih banyak, maka motorlah penyebab kemacetan. Tentu saja saya sebagai pengendara motor tidak bisa terima. Saya sendiri menyalahkan angkot yang terlalu banyak di Indonesia, dan mobil pribadi yang isinya hanya satu orang saja. Bayangkan, satu mobil = satu orang, lama-lama bisa tua di jalan raya.

Pemerintah memang selalu berusaha mengurai kemacetan dengan membangun sarana angkutan umum, tapi sayang tidak diikuti perawatan dan peningkatan kualitas, dan juga penekanan kendaraan pribadi.

Di Jepang biaya parkir untuk satu mobil dalam satu bulan, bisa mencapai 600rb rupiah, sedangkan di Inggris hingga jutaan. Tentu saja orang-orang lebih memilih kendaraan umum, ditambah kendaraan umum di luar negeri seringkali kita jumpai sangat bersih dan nyaman.

Kalau di Indonesia, kendaraan pribadi atau umum sama saja terjebak macet. Tentu saja orang lebih pilih kendaraan pribadi, lebih irit dan lebih mudah.

Sepeda mungkin bisa dijadikan alternatif, murah tidak perlu BBM, walau harus menggunakan tenaga fisik. Atau kalau tidak menggunakan sepeda listrik yang sudah tersedia.

Saya mendapatkan gambar unik, di sini kita lihat perbandingan mengangkut 60 orang dengan 3 alat transportasi yang berbeda: mobil, bis, dan sepeda.


Sekian sedikit curhatan-keluhan dari saya, semoga pemerintah bisa mengurai kemacetan dengan menekan kendaraan pribadi dan meningkatkan kualitas kendaraan umum. :)