Saturday, 29 October 2016

Our Senseis- and other teachers of martial arts, whatever titles they may bear...

I am back from my gasshuku in the lovely forest area of Graskop and really happy to sit and type yet another blog post.

Before I can move on to today's topic I want to mention that those of us who have attended the gasshuku have learnt arm locks, a simple takedown and pressure points. Now- I am no stranger to throws and arm locks, but pressure points were something I have never taken the time to study in depth. What I have learnt on the subject that day shall stay with me forever.

Now I want to get to today's topic. The classes at the gasshuku were presented by Sensei John Barnett. Outside the dojo he is a very friendly and cheerful person. His wonderful sense of humour made the lessons a easy to remember.

Now- I must mention that Sensei John is a 7th dan member of our shihankai and already past 80.

One of the events at the gasshuku- probably the main event- was the obstacle course. Us seniors also had a go at it and Sensei John was right there with us, not missing a single obstacle. What's more- at one of these obstacles I was surprised to hear him sing a line from 21 Pilots' hit song Heathens (that is part of the Suicide Squad movie soundtrack). Yep! Older than 80, in better shape than my parents and picking up new songs from Youtube. :D 

Having been introduced to Zen Buddhism at the age of 16 I have come to learn that an instructor's oddities- which I believe he must have- are a lesson to us to show us what is really important in life and what not.

At the moment I am feeling too lazy to dig up that post about Goku and King Zeno (whom I wonder by the way why he couldn't help Goku defeat Zamasu if Goku would have just asked...), but you could rather observe and enjoy some interesting instructors to get my point than read a quote from the Tao Te Ching...

We have all seen our fair share of fiction and the martial arts teachers therein.

In Western fiction (like DC Comics in this case) we have found the kind karate master Mr Miyagi (Yes! Karate Kid was a DC comics title!) as well as the dangerous and seemingly heartless Lady Shiva (If you don't know her you should read more Batman)

From Japanese anime sources I have actually found a couple of cooky teachers. By now we know about Dragonball Z's King Kai (who refuses to teach anyone before he hears a joke from them first) and Dragonball Super's Whis (who is seemingly gay- in the Japanese version as well as the English version).

As if the Drunken Master's love of liquor is not enough though we have the vices of Jiraiya (from Naruto) and Master Roshi (from the Dragonball series) that indicate that they are not gay at all.

Be it as it may. I reckon that if your level of skill as a martial artist has reached a point where you fear virtually nobody, enjoying life without worrying about appearances ought to come natural. :)

If your teacher is anything like this guy from The Foot Fist Way, though- you have my sympathy. :D

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