Friday, February 6, 2015

We need a modern Jutsu

I was viewing Naihanchi versions, trying to understand something, and I came by a version performed by one of the great, son of one of those Great artists of the early XXth century, the ones who made Karate flourish. He still practices the old karate. The karate of Hojo Undo, of Chi-Ishi, of iron Geta. Of hitting the legs with baseball bats and stones with your hand.

His hands are hypersized, chronically swollen. A CT scan would probably reveal a life of abuse, of micro (and not so micro) fractures, and I wouldn't like to bet on the state of his joints, veins and bones.

Why? This is the Way of Karate. Pain is the path to enlightenment.


This is not World War II. This is not Sengoku. This isn't even the 80s. I've said it time and again. Adriano Emperado trained like a devil... and spent his last decades being pushed around in a wheelchair.

We should know better. And yet, we have cults of strength doing seminars for young jocks, uncaring of strains, of bad muscle development, in the name of reality and self defense, oblivious to the price they'll pay a couple of decades later, when you won't find the original instructor to sue and new fads will have taken the place.

And we have old systems, with great ideas (which is why they have survived) attached uncritically to old methods that might have been the best there was back then, but are no longer sane. Risking a wheelchair into your 60s when people in your neighbourhood only lived so much if they were lucky was a decent investment. Risking that when the likelihood of violence is as low as it is right now, when hospitals and prisons abound... is risking your health for nothing.

We need a new Jutsu. A new interpretation of arts like karate (or Wushu, but I know that case much less) that allows for current medical practice, for current training methods, for current physical development. People today may reach martial arts after playing baseball, or soccer, or... where they reached them after loading heavy bales and logs and carcasses and kids. Yet the training, the mechanics, stay.

And I don't have the foggiest idea how to reach that.

Take care.

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