Entrance to the Barn Dojo....

Friday, May 17, 2013

People say the damnedest things

I was raised to think that there were no stupid questions...only stupid answers. But I think I may have grown more curmudgeonly as I get older. Human behavior in general perplexes me. Sometimes it's the big things that confuse me--like why would someone place a bomb at the finish of the Boston Marathon? Sometimes it's just stupid little things--like the guy driving next to me on the highway at 65 miles an hour and texting with the phone right up in front of his face. Well, maybe that's not such a little thing either. But here's my list of stupid karate questions, and it's not exhaustive by any means, only the ones that come to mind at the moment:

What's your favorite kata? (If it is a system, should we be focusing on individual parts of the system to the exclusion of others or favor one part over any other part?)
How high (or low) should your shiko-dachi be? (Does it really matter as long as it is stable and functional?)
Do you practice karate or karate-do? (I practice this stuff. I don't really care what you call it.)
Why does this teacher (or was it that teacher) turn his foot when he steps forward in Sanchin? (Sanchin is a kata to train stance and posture and breath, etc. It's not a bunkai kata. It doesn't matter whether you turn the foot before you step.)
Is this a cluster "M" kata or a cluster "H" kata? (Who decided on these categories anyway? Whoops, that's not fair responding to a question with a question. Ah, tough, that's all it deserves.)
How long does it take to make black belt? (As long as it takes.)
What kata is the best for self defense? (Depends, doesn't it?)
Do you kick with the ball of the foot or the heel? (Depends, doesn't it?)
What kata is the deadliest? (All of them.)
Should you cross-train? (Don't we already?)
Did you know that karate was not even systematized until the 20th century? (Not fair--rhetorical! Why do people ask questions they already know the answer to?)
Which do you think came first, kata or bunkai? (Emphasis on you and thinking, as if this is, in fact, open for discussion. It's not. Guess what the answer is.)
Hey, I wonder what it would be like to focus on one kata for five years? Or even one technique for a year? (Stupid. What a waste.)
Do you say "Osu"? (Will it help my karate?)
Do you spend more time on basics, kata, or two-person bunkai? (You do what you need to do, don't you?)
Do you wear a gi at your school? (What for?)
Matayoshi sensei helping my
daughter Emily on her first bike.
Do you practice "flow drills"? (Whatever the hell they are?!)
Do you compete in tournaments? (No, I buy my plastic trophies at the local sporting goods store instead.)
Aren't all styles really the same--they just take different paths to eventually get to the same place? (No, some styles are better than others.  And some are so corrupted that it's hard to see the original intent anymore.)
What the heck is "oyo" bunkai? (Now that's a good question. And while we're on it, what are different levels of bunkai? Bunkai is bunkai.)

The Greeks had a name for it...hubris. Most of these questions reek of hubris. A Greek tragedy in the making. This rant smacks of hubris too, doesn't it? But that's the irony of it, isn't it?

1 comment:

  1. Fun fact, though tasteless... In Chile "oyo" is slang for sphincter...