From Daniel-san to Jackie Chan to Kung Fu Panda, Mike Kasdan shows you how you can achieve balance of mind and body, and ultimately levitate through bamboo forests (or at least break three two by fours with a single chop).
In 2014, we introduced our Saturday Sports Explained feature, in which we take an off-beat look at familiar and unfamiliar sports, using humor and pop culture references. In 2014, we brought baseball, football, basketball, soccer, rugby, ultimate Frisbee, golf, lacrosse, bowling, figure skating, and weightlifting under the Sports Explained microscope.
We are kicking off our 2015 series with karate and kung fu.
May we all find our inner strength, so we can kick ass in 2015.
We open with the iconic Bruce Lee:
Oh. Well then. Scratch that.
We open with a quote from Kanken Toyama, founder of Shudokan Karate:
Karate does not have any one style. Karate molds an individual to be the only object of defense or offense and, through this, it teaches the fundamental concept of self-protection.”
In Kung Fu, “The path to victory is to find your opponents weakness and make him suffer for it; to take his strength and use it against him.”
To become a master of karate or kung fu requires great training – both of body and of mind.
Sure, it would be nice if it were this easy:
But it is not.
As we learn from The Panda, perseverance is the key. Kung Fu hates quitters.
Karate is not about raw physical strength, but pairing strength of the mind with that of the body. (I made that up! #Miyagi-ism!). It is about balance:
As noted Ninja Florist and GMP reader, Peggy Excell says, “Karate is mostly mental. The physical strength follows the mental discipline. This dictates that you push past your comfort zone to do more than you think you can. And then you can.”
And it is about respect and awareness. We must “look eye. (Always look eye.).”
Take all these lessons to heart, young grasshopper, and you can be “the best…around.”
Once you get really good, like the king of action comedy, Jackie Chan, you can do some pretty sick shit, like walk up walls and leap the occasional building in a single bound.
Feats of levitation, walking on water, and fighting on bamboo branches are – of course – for particularly advanced students.
So…keep plugging away!
Photo Credit: YouTube/screen capture
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