Archive for April, 2008

Haidong Gumdo: the beginning

Posted in martial arts, personal with tags , , , , , on April 23, 2008 by freakychinaman

My journey into the martial arts world was nothing spectacular or any point of enlightenment, mine started as a 13 year old overweight boy wanting to do a bit of exercise and do something cool; and what better way than to wave a sword around in a skirt?

I (left if you haven’t seen me before) also dragged my cousin (right) into it: who (for the record) also quit

Haidong Gumdo is a Korean martial art focused with sword fighting (“gumdo/Kumdo” and “Kendo” both mean “the way of the sword” except one’s the korean pronunciation and one’s Japanese). The basic breakdown of it is it’s very similar to its traditional Japanese counterpart (and I don’t mean the “I keep slapping your head” type), though what I gathered has a greater focus in wide arch slices for multiple opponents and some differences in the stances; but they still use the Japanese style swords and the forms have the same type of movements. I’ll just leave out the history of the art simply because there’s just a lack of legitimate evidence of its origins and development.

Haidong Gumdo is a very simplistic martial art (not saying this in a bad way), the techniques are very direct and allows for a lot of freedom in terms of attacking angle and defending area. With that said there also isn’t that much to really learn, and it’s mainly just developing the skills to use them and training. I often have people tell me that the stances (especially the short stance: basically your usual long stance but you tuck your back leg in so that the knee is directly below you and your front knee is in front of your hip..) will screw up your legs, but I reckon that does the art injustice: the stances can seem awkward, but if you have the calibration of your hip and trunk the movements are ergonomically fine. One point that I think should be emphasized is that these movements are designed to support the SWORD, so you wont have the same balance or dynamics of the body as your average combat type martial arts.

I never really had many problems with the art itself, I left mainly due to the whole McDojo phenomenon happening, i.e. the head instructor (who was actually very good) pretty much stopped teaching and the classes just became systematically the same everyday mainly comprising of workouts; the fees were at a ridiculous level (fuck I paid like $450 [something like that, it’s a sum that people will slap me for anyway] for my blackbelt, and this didn’t include my sword..); and pretty much anyone who grades gains a level, and this happened every 1.5 months till you get to the grade just below 1st dan (I know some people that make it to BB in a year…), so we had have an overflow of posers and kiddy black belts, and a bunch of people that were teaching me that I would probably easily take down in a fight. Finally the most disappointing part of the training is that there’s no sparring (if you want to refer to the pictures in this post, they we pre-rehearsed fighting sequences), so I don’t even get the chance to prove my point… so all these factors simply just forced me to leave.

However I am definitely happy that I joined the club: it got me fitter (the training there is still the toughest I’ve experienced), gave me a better understanding of myself, and some of the skills and techniques I still use in my own training (and I actually still practice, just not as often as I should). Well, that’s my summary of my Haidong Gumdo experience that lasted for over 5 years (more on my old blog if you want to flick through some entries), some of it was frustrating but most of it was fun. For those that do Haidong Gumdo out there, I will once again state here that I am not meaning to insult or degrade the art, I have just simply moved on… to things that are more practical (trust me, you won’t get that many chances to swing a samurai sword around when you go out). I also further reemphasize it was some of the PEOPLE and clubs I had issues with (and taken into account how many people leave after black belt, I know I’m not alone…).

[Those people that I’ve complained about above, if you know who you are: go kill yourself, you’re an insult to humanity and degrade all those that deserve the title of a martial artist. If you are as incompetent enough as to be incapable of suicide: leave me a message and I’ll lend a hand. If you’re not sure if I’m talking about you: leave me a message and I’ll lend a hand…]

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Random picture of the day: homosexual prostitution market at depression

[taken in the University of Queensland refectory]

Women’s self-defense: why women are getting raped and assaulted more often

Posted in martial arts, rant with tags , , , on April 20, 2008 by freakychinaman

“women’s” martial arts has always been that itch I just can’t scratch without being called sexist, even though I never think that I’m in any way being unreasonable or biased against women. I know a few women out there that I’m sure would be able to kick my ass pretty easily… but then again, there’s only one way to find out…

My biggest problem would have to be: “why women’s martial arts?”, what is the difference compared to our normal martial arts?. Unless you’re telling me you plan to throw hooks at people with your breasts or insert a dagger in your vagina; the last time I checked women still have 2 arms, 2 legs, 20 phalanges, and a head. How I see it, women’s martial arts is just another money making scheme for girls to keep fit, look cool, feed their ego, and at the same time not break a sweat. The only real excuse I can find to support the term is scenario based focusing such as sexual assault, someone stealing your purse… yea, that’s about it, I tried…

When I evaluate a martial art/skill (basically everything), I just think about what works realistically [i.e. are my reflexes really that good? will that guy just stand there while I jump around him? can I really tap a guy in a pressure point with my pinky while he’s elbowing my face?]. And when I think about the division of the sexes in something like martial arts (and anything competitive really..): “I’m pretty good for a girl” just doesn’t cut it. People always say that girls do push ups on their knees because of mechanical disadvantages with a less broad shoulder width, and that this way is ‘equivalent’ to the normal on-your-toes ones. keyword here is “equivalence” (here go the double standards again…); I just don’t get the logic behind this: since you’re already at a biological disadvantage with body portions and muscle development, shouldn’t it be that you work twice as hard rather than half of what the guys do?

now back to women’s ‘self defense’, which is the more bullshit stuff marketed all over the world. These classes usually educate you in the art of somebody grabbing you by the wrist then you twirl around like a fairy till he lets go, while totally ignoring he also has 3 other limbs; the classes also educate you 175 techniques of how to kick someone in the balls. And what qualifications do you need to teach such a class? here’s one I got off an apparently highly regarded women’s martial arts organization:

http://www.nwmaf.org/mc/page.do?sitePageId=61891

to break it down:

  • I need to have joined a martial art/ self defense group for 3 years, but only needing to train for 20 days
  • know how to do an upper, middle, and lower block; be able to break-fall
  • babysit your students and shower them with love and care
  • been ‘violently victimized’
  • make class as friendly as possible, reassuring your students that your would be attackers will be just as polite
  • be happy to lower your standards if your students find it too hard
  • paid the organization for a year
  • conform to a load of feminist bullshit (i.e. it is never a women’s fault)

[here’s some other shit to look at while you’re at it: Oh My Fucking Goddess Martial Arts…]

A lot of these ‘self defense’ ideas are not just unrealistic and ineffective, but it can also be dangerous. For example this guy wants your wallet, edging a knife at your throat: normally you would just give him the wallet (at least I would…), but no, you’ve mastered the way of knocking his hand away and giving a punch to the solar plexus… then you realize arms don’t just go limp once you touch them and you don’t successfully defeat an attacker by landing 1 punch that has shit all power to it. So now you’ve successfully pissed the guy off and you get stabbed, have your arms and legs broken, and your nose is pointing in the wrong direction, and your wallet’s still taken. congratulations.

All you women out there wanting to learn how to protect yourselves: learn a real martial art, not the 2 month program shit. Understand that males have a biological advantage in physical activities, accept it, but don’t be discouraged by it: aim to be a good fighter, not just a good female fighter (but try not to use drugs). If you aren’t prepared to put some effort into it: get either a tazer, pepper spray, baseball bat, with a pair of scissors; and if you want to learn how to REALLY defend yourself, learn to sprint, and try to use common sense more like ‘don’t walk through dark alley ways alone at night in a miniskirt’ and calling people “girl bashers” will not always stop someone from bashing you.

[Feminists are the ones responsible for making men look down on women: genocide all feminists to restore world order!]

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random crap of the day: How many 5 year olds could you take in a fight?

hm…. I’m pretty sure I can do better than that… well……..only one way to find out!

Screwing up the Beijing Olympics will not free Tibet!

Posted in current affairs, rant with tags , , , , , on April 13, 2008 by freakychinaman

It seems like everywhere I look and hear it’s ranting and shunning driven by the recent conflict with China and Tibet, and with that said, I will not be discussing this issue, instead I’ll talk about how I plan to design a motion tracking laser that will slice everyone but the torch carriers into tiny cubes.

A common trend I observe through the news and occasional discussions I get with people, is that once something involves something or someone dying, everyone has to have a say in it, regardless of what you know and how much you really care. Then everyone’s talking about it, start protests on the streets and bothering everyone BUT the people they’re protesting against, then ultimately forget what they’re angry about altogether.

So back to the Beijing Olympics, it provided the perfect platform for those who wanted to express their views to the world and pressure the Chinese government to listen since becoming the NAZIs of the east would probably not help their national image, BUT NOBODY TOLD YOU TO FUCKING SCREW UP THE OLYMPICS!!! It has nothing to do with the politics with Tibet. The situation right now is you’re surrounded by cops and you’ve taken a hostage, now you blow the hostage’s brains out all over the front door, then the SWAT will smash through the walls and windows and fill you with enough lead to sink through the floor; and I am telling you now China has proven itself through history to be capable of doing this, it ain’t pretty but it’s reality (:you know, that place where bitching won’t feed you unless you’re married!).

Now think of what the people are doing now: attacking torch carriers, boycotting the Olympic event, shunning athletes… the entire focus has shifted from “free Tibet” to “fuck the Olympics”, something I totally don’t agree with. Remember that the Olympics is not just a Chinese event: it’s GLOBAL!! so you’re effectively ruining it for absolutely EVERYONE!!

And just spare a thought for the athletes, they have trained years for this opportunity, and many only have this one chance in their whole life; and you want them to give it up because you don’t like what something the country that happened to be hosting it was doing? It’s like refusing to fill up your car because the oil company employs illegal workers: makes no fucking sense. Now when they refuse to conform to your irrational demand you go take them down when they’re carrying the torch? They had to make a secret detour because of you people, which makes the whole process completely pointless and everybody is disappointed and annoyed. If we get politics involved into the Olympics like this, it’ll just become a weapon for countries to force other countries to comply to their ideals! [Next country to hold the Olympics: North Korea]

In the end I personally don’t think these protests that involve you repeating the same lame statements over and over really work (at least not the way it should), the so called public pressure really just gives the government/company a harder time by needing to do some marketing to keep you guys happy. Though at the same time if you really want to actively do something about Tibet: talk to the politicians in China or are going to China, or convince a physical intervention from the UN; if you’re not influential enough: go there and fight off the Chinese military there; if you can’t do either, DON’T DO ANYTHING! you’re making it worse, just mind your own business and let the people that CAN do something about it do their job right! I just want to enjoy the Olympics and see some good sports, is that too much to ask? or should I take out the laser?

[Wasn’t China voted by all those countries in the first place? why boycott it now? just don’t fucking give it to them! not like China was any nicer to Tibet before]

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Random picture of the day (obviously not one of mine, but who cares, it’s funny):

Ever have that feeling that your boyfriend’s cheating on you behind your back?

The mentality of a fighter

Posted in martial arts, personal, philosophy with tags , , , on April 4, 2008 by freakychinaman

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I have always believed that to be a great fighter, you must have to be fighting to protect something. This can be anything from a person or religion, to your health or pride; but when you fight to gain, such as to conquer or grab some cash on the side, the will will never be as strong. The logic is that to protect is a need in which failure leads to a loss, and if you need to fight for it then the loss would be a dear one; whereas for gain the motivation comes only from greed, losing just means everything is back to how it use to be. I’m not saying that greed isn’t a powerful driving force, I mean it’ll get you to being good, but not great.

I am a person that enjoys fighting, I love the fact that it’s the competition of every aspect of 2 people (…or 3.. or 10…): speed, agility, strength, skill, intelligence, durability and plain guts (if they haven’t already been spilled), and that you can create your own tactics and variations in moves depending on your opponents without needing to follow rules(as oppose to sports such as: running= just run FASTER!!; swimming: just swim FASTER!! etc), however I have no real need for it. The things I want to protect are not in any immediate danger nor in any environment that could lead me to believe so: I nor the ones I love are living in a war zone , I’m not bullied and picked on, and I have no religion and nor am I really an atheist, I simply don’t care. I’m a pretty lazy person, and at this point in my life martial arts is an interest to me and a precaution for any future encounters when I DO have something to protect; but having no real application for it in my everyday life I won’t be training 12 hours a day kicking palm trees and punching concrete slabs (and a lot of the time I find working out just repetitive and boring, but that can differ depending on how drugged I am).

As a martial artist, as well as a person, I’m still really just starting. So considering the average life expectancy in this day and age… I guess I should pick up the pace and find something worth protecting in this world.

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[Random picture of the day: well actually I got this a while ago now and I’ve already criticized it in my old blog, so you guys be the judge, I can’t even be bothered wasting time writing about this (if you don’t see what’s wrong in this ad, you’re probably a star wars fanatic and trains in the art of the force)]

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