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is defined as a collection of cancers that usually begin in the bone marrow and result in high numbers of abnormal white blood cells. There are four main types of leukemia — acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), acute myeloid leukemia (AML), chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) — as well as about a dozen less common types. There are four imprecisely defined  populations – infants, children, young adults and mature adults.

In the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015 published in The Lancet leukemia was present in 2.3 million people and caused 353,500 deaths world-wide. About 75% of leukemia cases in children are ALL, but about 90% of all leukemias are diagnosed in adults, with AML and CLL being the most common. About 250,000 people in the United States have some form of leukemia, including those that have achieved remission or cure. Approximately 50,00 new cases of leukemia are diagnosed per year in the US. I hope to get more quantitative data.

Among environmental factors thought to be causes we have smoking, ionizing radiation, some chemicals (notably benzene), prior chemotherapy, and Down syndrome (chromosome 21 trisomy). There is some interesting research on genetic causes of some leukemias, especially involving genes on chromosome 21.

Of interest was an email from China which mentioned that in traditional Chinese medicine there are several diagnoses that we would associate with leukemia. In some cases the drug homoharringtonine has been effective – made from the leaves of a plum yew tree found in parts of Asia – Cephalotaxus harringtoni. Of additional interest was the advice to de-emphasize direct (flesh on flesh) and indirect (flesh on floor) impacts during practice. The example was given of Buddha’s Warrior Pounds Mortar (done multiple times in 18 Movements, Lao Jia 1, Lao Jia 2 [Cannon Fist], Xin Jia 1 and Xin Jia 2) where the back of the right fist impacts the upturned left palm and the right foot stomps into the ground. The problems are most people with leukemia bruise easily, and the bruising tends to increase the number and activity of abnormal white blood cells.

I am checking around if Dit Da Jow, the liniment used in Iron Palm training, might be useful.



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While the painting of the white box is going on I have been thinking about what to use as a liner. Among the candidates are blankets, towels, sheets, cardboard and bubble-wrap. The goals are to minimize dings and dents in the weapons, not add too much more weight, and be quick and cheap to replace.

I may build two similar-sized experimental boxes – one out of PVC and one out of wire mesh. I have not found a cart big enough – 12″ or more higher, 24″ wide and 48″ long.

Next up at some point would be one or two boxes for long weapons – probably one box for weapons 48 to 72 inches long and one box for weapons longer than 72 inches. I have 20 of the former: 11 are staffs plus a bagua big saber, a Miao Dao saber, a flail, a long sword, a spear, a gold coin spade, and three hybrid weapons (butterfly wing, sun moon spear, horse blocking knife). I have 17 of the latter:  eight are kwan daos; a nine-point rake, trident, a halberd, a long-handled ax, a pu dao, a wolf tooth mace, a gold coin snake spade, a monk’s spade, and a lau gar long pole.




White Box – Wheels and casters


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I decided to start with casters so here they are before painting started. These are two inch – we will see how they work out. I could not find larger casters at Lowe’s or Home Depot. I was not anticipating a runaway white box full of weapons rolling wildly so I thought  a caster with brakes was unnecessary. These were about $2.50 each – larger, harder swivel “wheels” with the ability to screw into the bottom can get quite expensive.

I was looking for zinc (or something silvery) coated three inch door hinges, but they were out of stock everywhere – and not due in for days. So I went with brass.

For a bill of materials and tool list we have


Thinking about blanket versus towel versus cardboard versus paper for the interior lining.



White Box – waiting for signs



The feather was dropped by a crow. The owning species of the eggshell is a bit more complicated. I am guessing ring-necked dove. I had no glossy black paint, but since I did have about half of a gallon of eggshell white paint, I am painting the box white. Normally, I prefer to use one coat of spirits of turpentine to open up the grain and then two coats of polyurethane, but because I was using surplus (=scrap) lumber of different types this seemed like a painting opportunity.

White Box – on all the corners

At one time describing oneself as “Irish on all the corners” mean you had four Irish immigrant grandparents. On the short sides the L-shaped brackets are again six inches from the edge and 12 inches apart on center.

I had 4 (four) 12 inch long pieces of rope so I drilled two holes in each end piece in order to use the rope pieces as handles. Also on on the lid – not shown yetWhiteBox07

and a simple fixture – a hose clamp – on the inside



White Box Testing


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In quality assurance, especially in electronics and software, white box testing involves testing the internal processes as opposed to black box testing which would test external functionality.

Currently, in the racks there are 51 weapons that are more than 20 inches long and less than 49 inches long. The 20 inches is the length of a standard cardboard carton of which we have dozens.  There are lots of 26 inch long wooden batons that have their own cartons because the boxes they were mailed in have been saved.  There’s something of a gap between 44 inch long weapons like the shinai and the Zhan Ma Dao (horse chopping saber) and 54 inch weapons like the Bagua saber as well as the butterfly wing and sun moon spear. When weapons like sword and saber are taught in class I felt it would be easiest to haul sixteen sword or 16 sabers or both in one container. I could not find a plastic container long enough and I had some surplus lumber around. At least in California forty-eight inches is a common measure for  pre-cut wood, so that was also an influence. So I started by assembling a pile of tools, some accessories (screws, sandpaper and paint) and five 1″ x 12″ x 48″ boards with one 1/4″ x 24″ x 48″ sheet of “oak” plywood and one piece of 1″ x 6″ x  40″ “whitewood”.

First thing was to glue the two worst boards together to form the base. Then the 1″ x 6″ was cut in half to form two reinforcing cleats. That’s Gorilla Glue on the cleats – soon to be turned over.




Longer pole


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I believe these photos are authentic images of the formidable Chen Fa Ke


All I have for him are dates of 1887 – 1957. If anyone knows days and months I would be obliged. Be aware that there are a number of faked photos.

According to legend he practiced groups of 10 repetitions at least three times per day. I have not heard anyone say whether this was all Lao Jia 1, all Xin Jia 1 or some combination. Likewise, I am am unclear if he included Cannon Fist (Lao Jia 2), Xin Jia 2 or weapons. Page 219 of Chen style Taijiquan (ISBN 962-238-016-6; compiled by Feng Zhiqiang and Feng Dabiao; published in 1984) mentions that in addition to sometimes doing “100 reps a day he practiced with a wooden staff about four meters long (slightly more than 13 feet) and fifteen centimeters (6 inches) thick”.

That is not a pole – that is a tree 

The Colors of Dragons


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The font Zhongyi Songti (中易宋体), known by some as its English name SimSun. If anyone can shed some light on why synonyms are used and how translation of colors could be improved I would be grateful.

green, blue, black, verdant, blue-green

Used in Chen style set and movement number (from the Grandmaster Chen Zhenglei books) saber 3, 15 – translated as blue; sword 4,7,9,18; spear 10; kwan dao 21; long pole 1; lao jia 17 and xin jia 17.



Xin Jia (2) 34, 35; cannon fist 25; long pole 12; spear 15



spear 63



sword 22

spear 32


black (bear) in double sword

blue, bluish-green

blue, cold, green, vast