Physics?? Kung Fu??


This summer, I have been taking Physics 20 online. Although it definitely isn't my strongest of the three sciences we take at school, I do enjoy it for the most part. I'm very thankful that my dad is able and patient enough to help me understand things I struggle with. Right now I'm learning about dynamics and how different forces interact with one another.

Something that I find pretty interesting is that all objects with an acceleration of 0 have an equal Normal Force (Fn) and Gravitational Force (Fg) as long as (Fn) and (Fg) are the only vertical forces. If there is no acceleration or other vertical forces, the force applied by an object to Earth is equal to that Earth applies on the object. For example, as long as my book is not accelerating, the force it applies to the table is equal to the force the table applies to it.

This reminds me of one of the concepts we touched on yesterday in class: Rooting. This is something I know that I need to work on. We need to be grounded and exert a force on Earth so that Earth can apply an equal force on us. If there is another vertical force such as lifting heels, the (Fn) surpasses the (Fg). In this case, Earth is not in our favour and it is not keeping us grounded. We are working harder and exerting (Fn) when really we should be letting (Fg) take care of things instead of us constantly working against it.

Thinking about it this way, I understand the concepts in both physics and my Kung Fu better. My favourite part of science is learning the hows and whys of the world and this is a perfect example of how both my science and kung fu can serve me. Hopefully a better understanding of the concept itself can help me apply it better in both ways. Having knowledge is only half the battle (or less than half, I'd say). Being able to apply knowledge is where the real learning happens. If I practice applying this concept, I will learn it.

Hannah Meier

We Are All In This Together

Hello everyone!

I’m on vacay, so trying to write this from my phone- so there may be spelling mistakes 

I wanted to talk a little about opportunities in life. About choices that are made for us and choices that we have the power to make.

I saw a video the other day about a coach in the US who lined up all of his students for a race, the winner of the race would win $100.00. However, he asked a series of questions before starting the race. Those who answered yes to those questions were permitted to take a step forward, those who answered no were made to stay standing on the line. The questions were all along the vein of family support, opportunity, and privilege. With the outcome being that the students who had been born into stable environments were half completed the race prior to its start, and those whose paths were less than remained at the starting line. There were some very identifiable racial divides; and, although the students at the back were clearly the more athletic and powerful group who would easily have won the race if it were even, the opportunity afforded those who came from stable homes was easily identified.

We aren’t all given the same opportunities in life. Some have to work much harder and climb much further up a mountain of stigma than others. I’ve heard Sifu say we are all only a few missteps removed from facing our own severe challenges ” not quoted”, the point being – everyone deserves an opportunity, but not everyone is given an even playing field.

Recognizing, helping and empathizing with those in a less fortunate positions is such important work. Work that I believe we could all benefit from. Removing judgments, bias, and racial pillars in order to recognize that every person deserves a clean slate and the benefit of being believed in. We just don’t know when we might be the ones who will need that same level of understanding and empathy.

Living with our eyes open and removing social and political blinders, and not punishing those for decisions made outside of their control, but instead helping to lift them using clean perspectives and the recognition that we are all In this together.

Nicole Tomie

July 20th, 2018


This week, it was my turn to be the primary caregiver for Heidi, our puppy.  That means I was in charge of all her training, feeding, and disciplining. As a family, we generally all share the responsibilities that come with having dogs, so this added responsibility was a little different. With more responsibilities and involvement in Heidi's training, I learned a few things.

Dogs learn from their surroundings and actions of those around them. Most dogs can be taught anything with enough patience and dedication on their mentor's part. However, the way we train our dogs is very important to keep things sustainable.

If all we ever do is punish them for their faults and completely disregard any of their successes, the training is not sustainable. Eventually, the dog will resent the owner and this can cause disobedience. In the majority of cases, I would hope this is seen as a negative thing. This isn't fair to the dog because
they are not recognised for any of their successes. Without recognition, they will stop their good behavior because it has no reward. 

If we give our dogs rewards every time they do something well and we turn our backs to all their mistakes, their habits won't improve. This method is also unsustainable. The bad may lessen slightly, however the bad habits will still be there. In this case, the owner could become frustrated with the dog because it is not improving. This isn't fair to the dog because they don't know what they're doing wrong as there are no repercussions for bad behavior.

When training and teaching Heidi, pointing out her bad behavior as well as her good behavior is very important to us. The hard part is finding the right balance. We need to recognise her good habits and reward her appropriately to encourage her to continue to keep it up. We also need to discipline her responsibly for her mistakes and bad habits to make it clear that her actions are sometimes undesirable.  If we lean too far to either side of the scale, our relationship with Heidi would be damaged, her training would suffer immensely and it would no longer be sustainable.  

Despite being a generally optimistic person, I find it easy to forget to look at my successes and I let the failures overshadow them completely. In reality, every failure is a success because we learn from them. I need to treat myself more like Heidi when training myself. I need to recognise my successes as well as my "failures" to maintain a good relationship with my goals and self. If all I do is beat myself up for not obtaining said goal, that relationship will be damaged and I will soon resent the goal and stop trying completely. On the flip side, if I only recognise successes and turn my back to the shortcomings, those shortcomings will never cease to exist and mediocrity would become inevitable. If I can learn to maintain that balance, it will help me stay motivated and maintain a good relationship with my goals. This next week, I'm going to work on this by writing out my successes and shortcomings of my IHC year to date. I believe we are around half way through the year already (yikes!), so this self assessment will be good for me to do.

Hannah Meier

Aliyah Rose

Today Aliyah Rose turns five. It is to her that I dedicate this journal entry. All that I do, I do not only for myself, but in turn I do for her, her brother and her cousins.  Nana loves you all very much.

For my requirements this year, I have challenged myself to learn something new every day.  I was going to say no matter how small, but knowledge can not be labelled with a price tag, for all knowledge whether seen as large or small, is invaluable. These are but a few of what I have learned. 

- To maintain and bake sourdough

-To maintain and make kefir

-The benefits of kefir and sourdough

-That my fear of bears runs deep enough to limit my activities alone in the bush 

-A better understanding of capitalism and socialism

-That the best teacher to have is one that is not afraid to reprimand his students. (Correct, don't protect)

-There is true value in being open to correction 

-That a conscious relationship is when both people involved are working on self improvement and support each other in that endeavour.   

-The importance and power of intention. 

-That in order for me to trust, I have to have clear precise communication. 

-That to say an apple is red, green or gold, is to look at an apple with perception. To recognize that an apple is white, is to look deeper and see the apple with mindfulness. Making mindfulness more powerful than perception is the key. Without mindfulness, our experience remains at a surface level. 

-That I am sometimes torn between feelings of independence, and feelings of loneliness. 

-That I am not a better person because of the trials I have endured in my life, but rather I am a better person because of the choices I have made when faced with those trials.  

-That feeding my body with wholesome and non processed foods, serves me well.  

-That pragmatic means dealing with things in a practical or sensible way, that suits the existing conditions. 

-That dogmatic means to be very firm with your convictions, and go by the book, even if evidence shows another way. 

-How to recognize the calls of a nighthawk

-That my pains of arthritis can direct my intentions with Kung fu techniques. 

-That brown headed cowbirds will lay their eggs in the nests of smaller birds, unbeknownst to the mother bird that will raise all of the chicks. Only to have the baby cowbirds eventually kill the smaller birds in the nest.

-That my best classes are ones where I am fully engaged with my students, and when I can bring my students fully engaged with the lesson. 

-That my fear of abandonment is real, yet can be worked on through my meditation practice.

-That clear and plentiful communication is a very important key to any successful relationship I am in

-That money is not needed for success in life, but improving, and giving of oneself is. 

-The song of a swainsons thrust goes up in pitch, and the song of a hermit thrush goes the other way.

-That all habits have a cue, and if I want or need to dissolve the habit, I have to interrupt the cue.

-A conventional relationship is one that doesn't really go anywhere because no one is conscious, so there is nowhere else to go.

-To be fully aware of the direction of my stances at all times.

-Meditation is wholesome healthy therapy because it makes the unconscious, conscious

-Proclivity is a tendency to choose or do something regularly.

-In order for me to grow, I have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

-I need to work my ego as a tool, not as an identity.

-Through creating my 5 animal form, I have learned the extent of my determination and drive.

-I have a tendency to knock myself down or make excuses before I let anyone have a chance to build me up or give me a compliment. Now that I have recognized that, I am more conscious of not doing that.

-That I need to put in effort in my martial arts training in order to improve, and to be worthy to be taught. Wishing I was better, without actions, gets me nowhere.

-That the thought of a person, is not the same as the person.

-Meditation helps me to see my desires, which when seen clearly, helps me to make better decisions and choices.

-That for me, keeping a healthy attitude is everything.

-Love is not something I do, it is something I can become.

-Love or hate happens within me, and only by choice.

-When I can face the things that haunt or disturb me, it is only then that they will go away.

-Self compassion is the #1 importance in self healing.

-That I used to want to be like everyone else, but now I want to be different than everyone else.


Brenda Stoddart