Sunday, November 20, 2005

Itchy fingers; martial arts; utopia

Seeing that the BMW Williams F1 colour scheme is doing reasonably well, I was tempted to do a more challenging team: Renault F1. Blending sky blue with intense yellow is not something that will necessarily turn out fine, hence the challenge.

However, there is absolutely no point in doing that now, so we’ll leave that for the moment.


I went for a karate training this morning. Quoting an email notice:
Melbourne University Karate Club has been given the honour of hosting a training session with a visiting U.S. group of 20 IMA black belt instructors from USA. […] The visiting instructors are on a national tour led by Grandmaster Clifford Crandall. […] The team will demonstrate some of their skills in an exchange of presentations of various arts.

Please get there early. We only have 2 hours. We want to be ready to go right on 10.

The group in question is from the American Martial Arts Institute founded by Clifford Crandall. It is interesting in that it is tagged “martial arts”, and is not explicitly associated with any specific art. The forms/patterns/katas that they showed us included Chinese, Japanese, Korean and modern US. There were also various weapon forms, including the sai (3 pronged fork-like implements), long stick (about 30cm longer than the user’s height), short sticks, katana, truncheons and short sword.

The diversity was amazing, and coupled with the fact that they did 6 different demonstrations simultaneously due to time constraints, it was all the more mind boggling. It appears that everyone knows every form, although they specialise in particular ones.

Familiar patterns of Koryo, Kuemgang and Taebaek were included in the itinerary, but there was no point observing something I already know like the back of my hand. It’s much more beneficial to watch the new and foreign ones.

We then split into different groups, depending on personal inclinations. I went with the long stick form. There were only 2 weapons but 3 learners, so I made do with imagining a stick in my hands. Not satisfactory, but things happens. One of the guys in the group was holding the weapon in a slightly different fashion, and the instructor pointed it out. He told her “I’ve had 17 years with [mumble] sword, it’s hard to change”.

Throughout the session he proved to be the difficult one. What a bastard. If you are not open minded enough to even grip the stick in a different manner, why don’t you just give me the stick and you can holding an imaginary stick/sword whichever way you fancy. Waste of a good stick and precious time (we are talking about sessions of only 10 minutes, so was absolutely imperative to assimilate as much as possible, as efficiently as possible).

The head of the AMAI, GM Crandall, was annoyingly self centred, unfortunately. And he has the ability to talk too much, about not much, but mostly about himself. Ya lah, you very papai lah. But frankly, I would rather we split up to train with your group of senior instructors and pick up more tricks. He managed to spend something like 30 to 45 minutes talking. But he is a brilliant martial artist. Duh, he’s the head of AMAI.


I’ve been a bit sloppy with my writing lately. Too many short unimaginative sentences, like this. I better watch it.


Early this morning while having breakfast, I noted this from the Star, citing an article from the Sinchew Daily.
Sin Chew Daily reported that a group of people had set up a “lazy-man village” in a rural area in Guang Zhou where they could enjoy a relaxed lifestyle every day.

The group comprised those who did not want to face competition in work; had no interest in earning more money; and did not want to be hardworking.

The village, which now has nine families, came out with a set of rules on working together to farm and to rear livestock for food.

It appears to be a shot at utopia. Often, attempts in creating a society where everyone is happy result in quite the opposite when those in power fucks the backsides of everyone else. Think Animal Farm (George Orwell, 1945). Despite the bleak outlook, we wish the lazy-man village and its inhabitants all the best.