Thursday, June 14, 2007

Sweep the Leg....You Got A Problem with That?

I have a question for you. It has been bugging me for a few weeks. Perhaps you can help me out with an answer…..what do you call the male equivalent of a “camel toe”? There has GOT to be a great name for a dude wearing pants so embarrassingly tight that you can see his “junk”.

Jimmy Buffet’s School of Martial Arts (read on, not just about karate)
I have been reading the Fighters Fact Book by Loren Christensen to supplement my training at Butturini Family Karate. Why would I need to read a book when I am being trained by highly qualified staff? I look at it this way….all things being equal, if I am fighting a similar skilled and sized partner who has ALSO been trained by the same staff…..any little extra edge could make the difference!

Anyway, Christensen made an excellent quodlibet to decry the difference between memorizing and understanding karate moves. He said that a parrot can mimic, but it can’t carry on a conversation.

He is pointing out that anyone can memorize a “form” or “kata” (series of moves) and repeat them. That is even a necessary part of the beginning of martial arts training. But as you progress, you gain an understanding of the moves, when to use them, how to pick up on subtle body movements of your opponent to KNOW what he/she is about to do etc. You know how to respond in sparring or in a real attack.

The difference in class is evident when an instructor tells us to go freestyle for 1 minute on the bag and throw any punch, kick or punch/kick combinations we want. Some people can throw combos with a comfortable flow. Others seem mechanical with long pauses as they try to think of a combo to throw other than “Polly wants a cracker.” It doesn’t necessarily have to do with belt rank or length of experience. Tonight we were going to do some free form combos in the last 15 minutes of class and a student ranked the same as me and who is on a demo team said, “We like it better when you TELL us what to do.”
When I heard that statement, I immediately thought back to Christensen’s statement about the parrot. It was one of those “life imitating [martial] art” moments because I applied his statement to general life and personal growth. It’s the difference between “talking the talk” and “walking the walk”.

Want proof? The next time someone identifies themselves as “I’m a Republican”, “I’m a Democrat”, “I’m a Baptist” or any other label, ask them “Why?”.

I think many people, maybe even the majority of people, will have a hard time giving a coherent statement about why they consciously chose to align themselves with that label. It’s just “because”. Too often it is "We like it better when you TELL us what to do....don't make us think for ourselves."
I am NOT CRITICIZING because I can be just as guilty of this at sometimes. When you allow yourself to just go through the motions of life (i.e. living unconsciously), it’s easy to adopt “the party line” and start parroting.

So any ol’ parrot can say “I’m a pretty boy! What’s your name?”

But it takes a purposeful being to truly walk the walk. And before you can walk that walk, you have to understand why you chose THAT walk to begin with.

Or as Steven Tyler (the obvious role model of conscious living, right?) would say…understanding why you “WALK THIS WAY…..TALK THIS WAY….WALK THIS WAY”

Just gimme a kiss.

And on that note, you must absolutely watch this ultra hilarious video for the song "Sweep The Leg" by the band No More Kings. It won a grammy...for the best music video EVER.

No comments:

Post a Comment