Masochistic Perceptions, Trials and Truths

These are my cyberfied cerebral synapses ricocheting off reality as I perceive it: thoughts, opinions, passions, rants, art and poetry...

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Just Judo It

I made my foray back into the Martial Arts world at a local Judo club. It felt really good as my previous injuries are healed, but I was suffering from a bit of minor smoke inhalation from fighting fires at work in the wee hours of Monday morning. I know, I said that I was going to have a go at Karate, but a lad can change his mind can’t he? It was an advanced class comprised primarily of black belts one or two browns, one green and then me and another fellow who are yellow belts. I tended to hold my own on the ground, as that is where I am strongest, though the senior belts were obviously taking it easy on me. I didn’t fair quite so well in the stand-up department.

What is the attraction of rough-housing and most men (and some women)? From our early boyhood days we guys tend to enjoy play-fighting and contact sports, and we never really seem to grow up. Is it violence, a desire to be dominant or simply testosterone? Those are always possibilities. Speaking for myself, however, I don’t feel that these are reasons why I enjoy things like contact sports or sparring. I do see a somewhat inherent nature to war in some of the tendencies I have, but, for the most part, it is truly about testing one’s self. Sparring is like chess, but the consequences of an ill timed move results in something slightly more acute than removing a piece from a board. It requires patience, timing, skill and courage to make your move. I’m not really a big fan of the UFC (Ultimate Fighting), though it is interesting to see the number of participants in that sport who have university educations and grew up in the suburbs as opposed to being mean and lean men from the inner city. Why are they drawn to the UFC then? Again, it is that challenge, and there is definitely something very academic at hand here.

I think society is tainted in how it portrays certain things. For example, in the Olympics the man who wins the 100m is admired because “he is the fastest man in the world”, and that is acceptable. Then you show man people a IFBB Bodybuilder and they’ll say that is disgusting and nothing but pure vanity and narcissism. How is desiring to be the fastest any less vain than wanting to be the largest? Or run the farthest? Or jump the highest? Likewise, the duel in the Judo dojo, the MMA in the octagon or the Boxing in the ring; are these any different than the two squaring off on the Tennis or Squash courts?

In any case, it is to each his/her own. All I can say is that it felt great to be back into something physical outside the monotonous rigours of weight and cardiovascular training. What really impressed me was my restraint and patience which was really hammered into me this past December and January when I separated my shoulder and then tore my hamstring. Normally I would’ve pushed the pedal down hard and gone full out. Age and experience (and lots of play versus my Chess computer as of late) has taught me a new perspective and I think it will be very beneficial as I progress. This feels really good!


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