Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Grumpy martial artists and Kha-Kra-Do

I'm grumpy in the mornings. Erin avoids me, and the chatty barista at my neighborhood coffee shop tries to cheer me up by unloading the deliciously invective cultural insult: "I love Indian Chai Tea."

The day usually kickstarts at work after reading Sepia Mutiny and Bullshido, a martial arts bulls*** monitor. Establish a "McDojo," (or martial arts McSchool), overcharge students and dish out black belts to anyone who can kick. You'll get on Bullshido too.

There's "Grand Celestial Do," which offers martial arts defense against 'aliens' (say, folks like Tom Cruise?). There's also desi bullshido -- a Bombay school offers an online "Ph.D in Martial Science." Write some BS, pay some Rs. 15,000, and tada, you're a Ph.D. in Martial Arts. Napolen Dynamite's Rex-Kwon-Do is Bull-Shi-Do too.

A loony ninja named "Ashida Kim" offers $10,000 to beat him in a no-holds-barred fight. He first wants a $25,000 collateral and a 1st class ticket. There's a reason he keeps himself masked.

Slightly more authentic was "Count Dante," who claimed to be of Spanish royalty, perhaps ashamed of being from Kentucky. He had nothing better to do than challenge Muhammad Ali by "personally going to his house in Chicago's south side," and challenging the world wrestling and judo champions to bouts.

During the "Dojo Wars"of the 60s/70s, Starsky & Hutch-types whacked the pulp out of each other, as if to say "you stole my monkey windpipe flip move!" Somewhat like Bruce Lee meets Sesame Street.

But genuine martial artists *still* threaten to knock the wind out of each other.

Steaming up heat is an interesting war between WTF and ITF, two substyles of Tae Kwon Do (or TKD), a fine Korean kick-based martial art. Rival practitioners claim their styles are better in the ring. They talk, never put their mouth where the money is.

This conflict is political bullshido, between egotistical folks and dysfunctional mismanagement, a friend J said.

The IOC recognizes WTF as the official Olympic TKD style, not ITF. ITF says its sparring style is more practical than WTF, which focuses on the impractical Olympic Style sparring. It's a pointless fight -- both styles looked similar during observation, only the terminology differed.

The conflict could have led to TKD being removed as a 2008 Beijing Olympic sport. WTF's HQ in Korea, Kukkiwon, wants to bring WTF/ITF under one roof, but hasn't done enough, J added.

The US Olympic Committee threw mismanagement and fund misappropriation accusations at US TKD Union (USTU), which selects the Olympic Taekwondokas. Since then, USTU dismantled and USOC took the task of restructuring it in its own hands.

In the WTF/ITF bullshido, other TKD styles like ATA and ITA benefitted by developing their systems and going about their own business. All of TKD generally originated from one person, though technical and theoretical differences broke it up as time went along.

Not having done TKD, I don't know any better than what my friend says. But like in Karate, only some bad apples give TKD a bad rep. Violence defeats the purpose of learning martial arts, so why those odd TKD/Karate crazies can't control themselves is beyond me. They have to stop watching the triple runs of Bruce Lee flicks.

Despite Karate, I can't control my grumpiness, especially in the mornings. My style of preference is Kha-Kra-Do, a martial art that doesn't preach patience. Nor does it teach people how to read The Onion at 7:00 in the morning.


Blogger Chick Pea said...

hehe.. i like chai as well.. but hell i'm brown..and make it in the morning.. nothing like good garam masala chai with fresh grated ginger...

10:40 AM  
Blogger ME said...

I like masala chai with Kha-ka-ra too:)

3:45 AM  
Blogger Khakra said...

i hate khakra, i seriously don't understand how so many people enjoy it. oh well, another world vagary!

9:30 PM  
Blogger Chick Pea said...

i just ate some khakra :)

thought of you mr. khakra who hates himself

10:17 AM  
Anonymous downunder said...

Ahhh the Mc Dojo, a member there for over 7 years! I've since moved to bigger and better things. Thankfully? Hows your going Mr Cheese, in your red Santa suit?

3:12 PM  
Blogger Khakra said...

you still had to learn something allie-o? but 7 years is too much. man i've forgotten everything. it's difficult starting off again.

12:56 PM  

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