Friday, November 23, 2007

The Art of Fighting Without Fighting

So today several of us met at the Combattitude gym to watch the full (missing footage added in) version of "Enter the Dragon" starring Bruce Lee. To say we had a great time is an understatement. Firstly because here was an opportunity to see the version of the movie that Bruce Lee had wanted to make in the first place. Then we had narration/explanations from Chuck, owner of the gym, who has lived the martial arts life since he was a young child. How cool was it to watch a scene and recognize some of the moves we'd been learning. SWEET!!

Nostalgia hit me while watching the movie. Except for the fact that I wasn't sitting on my grandfather's bed back in New York at the time, the afternoon reminded me of watching "Kung Fu Theater" with him. Every Saturday, there I'd be with him and my brother watching some guy kicking some one's butt while flying through the air for an incredibly long amount of time. When the more modern movies came on, they weren't always as interesting unless they have Bruce Lee in them. He was just too smooth for his own good. There he was, surrounded by 10 guys and after taking out most of them, he'd motion one guy to take him on with the "come here" waggle of his fingers. The guy would of course foolishly come at him and Bruce would send him flying. Taking out the guy sneaking up behind him at the same time.

I never wanted to be the person who got into fights. I had no desire to ever get hurt. I'd never had the desire to take karate, tae kwan do, or any other form of martial arts because I didn't think I'd understand it and again, I didn't want to get hurt! Falling into Combattitude was purely accidental (visiting the school as a favor to a friend). Chuck and Suz, his wife, don't teach fighting so people can go out and kick 10 guys butts whenever they want to. They teach fitness, confidence, and how to defend yourself if necessary. What they teach is adjusted for everyone's needs and abilities. Some people are there just to stay fit or lose weight. Others for self defense. A few want to get into the movies (stunts) and here's an opportunity to learn from a real Hollywood fight choreographer. Once you have the basics, it's just a matter of where you want to go with it. Me? I'm a sponge and have been taking in every blasted thing they've shown me. I'm even taking stick fighting which looks beautiful when done correctly.

Sounds terribly violent? Not really. It can be but it doesn't have to be. Everything is taught with a respect for the art, a respect for one's self and a whole lot of fun mixed in. Where else can you learn how to disarm a person holding a stick and find yourself laughing hysterically in the processes? Chuck and Suz (and everyone else at the school/gym/studio) aren't here to show off. Those that come with that intention end up not hanging around. This is the Cobra Kai dojo from "The Karate Kid" movies. No trophies in the window. No taking a person out nonsense. There are no mirrors anywhere so you can primp and show off. My mom is even having fun doing it!

When we're not learning how to do the various techniques, we're learning how to think. That's where the famous quote, "The Art of Fighting Without Fighting" comes in. Rather than be this emotional wild child, think. Either to avoid a fighting situation or to quickly end a situation so you can get out of there, think. To not be locked into a set series of movies or a single style, think.

Oh and when we're not learning how to fight, we also have the opportunity to learn cosplay combat. Think Star Wars fans in full costume not just holding a lightsaber but actually doing a skit that looks like it's right out of the movies!

Yes, that's me near the end of the video. =)


Blogger Jennifer said...

That sounds like a lot of fun!

11/24/2007 10:12 PM  
Blogger Jewels said...

Okay, that light saber business looks like a heck of a lot of fun! Almost as much fun as belly dancing with a saber on your head! ;)

11/26/2007 3:50 PM  

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