A lot of us who practise martial arts go through a solid mix of emotions when we watch action movies. This ranges from the guilty pleasure of the glorifying 80’s flicks a la ‘Bloodsport’, to the face palm inducing cringe-fest that is ‘Street Fighter’.
But back in the day, when we started training (and even before that) we were at first awestruck with how impressive our respective arts are. So. Much. Awesome.
The 20th century folk hero for martial artists everywhere
I was watching a Youtube montage for a Brasilian-Japanese UFC fighter Lyoto Machida, which starts with him explaining the training philosophy that his father passed on to him:
“Technique beats strength, but the spirit beats the technique.”
The meaning here is that having technical quality in your skills and a tactical mindset will aid you in overcoming someone relying on brute force, however all the technique in the world will do nothing for you if you lack the spirit to back it up. When you are pushed to the brink, spirit may be all that you got, and all that you need.
Few examples demonstrate that quality as firmly as this kata performance. No excuses, indeed!
Shameless plug – a montage (or rather, another montage) for my school. This will probably be the official intro to our school in Sydney – and a damn good-looking intro it is, as well.
On a personal note, for once yours truly had nothing to do with setting it up (except for a small dose of feedback during its revision).
So an old friend that I met during the Capoeira days challenged me to this ice water bucket challenge that has been going the rounds. Should’ve seen that coming… much like he should expect some nasty surprises when Secret Santa comes around this year! Continue reading
Another overdue entry – last year, as I went competing again, I had the pleasure of getting acquainted with Sydney-based stuntman Stephen Murdoch.
Competing in both Traditional Weapons with a sword form from the Korean martial art Kummooyeh, as well as going into the Creative Weapons category with a tricking form with dual-wielding Kamas, Stephen showed both strong versatility as well consistent high quality.
But just as important was the respect he showed through it all, win or lose, both to martial arts in general as well as all the competitors he was up against. That is the kind of character that each instructor should try to foster in his students.
It has been far too long since last I posted on this blog, but no excuses – besides, it’s not like I’ve been idle! Although work and parenthood have taken their toll on my time and attention, I was able to squeeze in a few sessions to help a friend out with his showreel.
Nick English, a fellow student, instructor and friend from my school has relocated to Hong Kong in order to pursue live the dream and make it as an actor. Combining his Kung Fu skills, multilingual talents and dashing good looks I wish him all the best in his film career!
Also, the excellent cameramanship is all thanks to Ming Ng, whose creations can be seen on his Vimeo channel here.
PS. the lightning is real, happens every time Nick gets all fired up.
A bit of self indulgence – when my knee got seriously damaged and I could not train for over a year, one of the few good things from that period was that I finally got the time to sit down and compile the best footage of the tricks and acrobatics I had learnt so far. Continue reading
Another shoutout to a friend of mine from the Capoeira days. Before posting this I asked Cain what he does nowadays, but he wasn’t able to give me straight answer – apparently the man is just too talented for words. Actor, personal trainer, martial artist and semi-professional narcissist. Check out his action reel below, and see contact details at the end of the video if you want him to star in your next movie (or hens night)
Do try to ignore the moustache, no one is perfect.
When writing about my Kempo years and my old Sensei Werner, I remembered how he used to tell us stories when we were stretching after class. One in particular stuck with me, the story of a smaller man’s quest to defeat a most imposing foe. You could say it shows how important martial arts can be when one has no choice but confrontation…
There was once a man named Norman, who worked as a bus driver in a small village. Norman was a nice man who enjoyed his job. Every day he drove the same route, and always greeted his passengers with a heartfelt smile. All passengers – except one. Continue reading
Putting the spotlight on a good friend of mine – Glenn Chow is a long time martial arts student (Wu Shu, Capoeira and whatever else he hasn’t told me) that has ever since I got to know him worked hard to become a stuntman. Continue reading