If You Are Ignorant Of Your Enemy Or Yourself

A friend recommended a short film for me, my teacher, and my friends to watch.  I'll be honest, at first, I didn't watch the whole thing.  I skimmed through scenes to find out why my friend was intrigued with this video.  My skimming came to an end when the three thugs encounted a man and his girlfriend in an alley.  Obviously, they wanted their money and maybe even more.  Thus came the interesting fight scene.  Not revealing too much of the short video (because if you're reading this without watching the video, then you will not know what I am talking about), the whole purpose of its message is to not be ignorant of who you area dealing with.  There are people out there that judge a book by its cover or in other words, they evaluate you by just looking at you.  They pass judgement and if you look weak, then allegedly, you are weak.  This video proves that theory wrong.  

On another note, one must be ready for any kind of attack.  No matter what area you are in, anything can happen.  Fortunately, for the man that was defending himself and his girlfriend in this video, he was ready.  I mean, you can go through life not being attack and avoid bad areas but you can never say it WILL ever happen.  No matter what type of self defense you study or train in, always know that you need to be well equipped to dealing with these types of attack.  Unfortunantely, there are those who do not train in self defense and the situation can get ugly or even worse.  Am I trying to convince you to train in marital arts or self defense?  No, but I just want to remind you that if the shit goes down like in this film, then be prepare to do what it takes to survive.  Fight to stay alive.  Your choice.

This film, in my opinion, paints a great picture of what happens when the unexpected comes.  We all passed judgment when we assumed the man didn't know martial arts or self defense.  That was the whole point what the writer or director was conveying to the audience, we assumed that he was going to get his ass whooped but he fought through his advisories (okay, see, I already revealed what happened in the film, lucky you).  The scene where the three thugs approached the couple was of course, uncomfortable.  I guess seeing people being bullied and being robbed is always an uncomfortable thing.  However, to those who live in a dream world, this film depicts real life situations.  It is real out there.  The fight scene could have ended bad or even worse.  Guns could have been involved and we would have seen a different type of ending.  Nevertheless, this film was simple and very straight forward.  Loved how they incorporated Sun Tzu's quotes throughout the video.  Listen to the quote they used at the end of the film.  Something that ALL should take into consideration.

 

 

More Important Than Any Established Style

I just read an article about Real Based Self Defense or “RBSD”.  The writer of this article stated that RBSD programs ARE based on (traditional) martial arts, meaning, RBSD is based on martial arts techniques.  I pondered that for a few and I came up with more questions.  Now, isn’t traditional martial arts techniques a set of movements to attack your opponent?  Or, does traditional martial arts techniques mean the use of tools (hands, feet, elbows… etc)?  Also the writer stated that “if it’s a system, then it’s a martial art”. 

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I have always respected traditional martial arts but to believe that anything like RBSD derived from it is not necessarily true.  Just because a set of attacking your opponent or using a certain tool came from an ancient movement created by wise old monk doesn’t mean that (traditional martial art name here) created it all.  And how do we all know it derived from one particular martial art?  How do we know if that particular martial art derived from another martial art?  It’s not substantial, is it?  One can say, it has been recorded and “verified” by this person and it must be true or fact.  Well, being first to record anything in history doesn’t mean they were the first one to come up with it.  The planet Earth is a pretty big place.  Do you honestly believe that ONE person on the planet Earth came up with the ultimate system of fighting first? 

Everyone wants to classify things.  For some reason, we want to be first and get the recognition.  No matter what the evidence is, do you stop and wonder, did someone else on the other side of the world come up with this too at the same time?  See where I’m coming from?  Who actually owns this particular technique or movement?  I know people who train in RBSD, that never trained in traditional martial arts, normally say (when questions comes like this come up) “An elbow to the face is an elbow to the face.  Tell me which martial art came up with that first but for now, I’m going to elbow this guy’s face in since he’s trying to kill me”.  Bruce Lee once said, “If we have three arms and three legs, we will have another style of fighting but we have two arms and two legs, let’s use them to the maximum.” 

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So back to the question, “What martial art did RBSD derived from?”  Well, what traditional martial artists AND even non-traditional martial artist fail to see that all movements derived from the human body.  Meaning, the two hands, the two feet that Bruce was talking about, WE all have it.  No matter if you’re Filipino, American, Chinese…we all have two hands and two legs.  Humanly, we are the same.  A jab to the face is the same if a shaolin monk or a boxer throws it.  “But the way it’s thrown in OUR system, makes it efficient”.  Yea, it’s called body mechanics.  Hence the word “body”.  Human "BODY".  It’s not a French body, British body… it’s the HUMAN body.  So what’s the answer?  Well, duh, the human body.  Do you know where traditional martial arts also come from?  Yea, the HUMAN body.  Human beings.  Who came up with the martial arts technique first if RBSD derived from traditional martial arts?  Are you sure (name here) came up with that first and did (name here) learn from?  Questions like these getting a little redundant.  It’s actually annoying.  “[Martial arts] did not arrive by fax from [Martial arts] heaven" (old Da Vinci Code joke).  Human beings are the source of everything that is made and developed.  It is alright to question but what is the right question anyways?  Concerning martial arts, there are no really true answers other than a response of “Well, it has been recorded for thousands and thousands of years…”.  People might read this and call this rubbish but if you start seeing everything as it is (including martial arts or RBSD), without nationality or religion or whatever, then you will see a whole different plane of existence which has always been there.   

"A style should never be considered gospel truth, the laws and principles of which can never be violated. Man, the living, creating individual, is always more important than any established style."

Cheung Tin-chi

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Out of the 3 "Ip Man" movies, I thought the third installment of Bruce Lee's Wing Chun teacher was interesting.  Not because of the lead character "Ip Man" (Donnie Yen), it was because of the protagonist/antagonist, Chueng Tin-chi (Max Zhang).  His display of Wing Chun was raw and utterly merciless.  My kind of character.  Cheung Tin-chi befriends Ip Man but pits himself against him to be the best Wing Chun martial artist.  During the movie, he helps Ip Man with a couple of street fights and even helps out to save his son.  On the low, he participates in underground fights for money but gets to test his Wing Chun at the same time.  The use of his elbows and knees during those fights...vicious and unforgiving.  The challenges between him and local martial arts teachers...wow.  Using tea pots and tables to win his matches were top notch in my book.  The end fight between Cheung Tin-chi and Ip Man, skill vs. skill.  You would think that you were watching a movie about Cheung Tin-chi not Ip Man.  Which brings me to this..

Even though "Ip Man 3" was a success, many felt that the fighting scenes from Ip Man himself, lacked the fierceness and savagery from the last two movies.  For instance, the scene between the 10 Karate Black Belts vs Ip Man in the first film.  No one would have ever thought that Ip Man would be breaking bones, cracking legs, and straight blasting a dude's face at a million miles per hour.  It's something that no one had ever seen and Ip Man's "get this fight over with quick and done" continued throughout the movie.   

Now, as for Cheung Tin-chi in "Ip Man 3", his fierce and savagery in ALL his fight scenes were reminiscent of Ip Man vs. 10 Karate Black Belts.  Cheung Tin-chi did not give a fcuk.  He put his challengers through tables, glass, striking dudes necks and throwing them off the rafters... Jesus!  Max Zhang's performance was something I've already seen but felt that his abilities stole the show...or stole the movie.  The difference between Cheung Tin-chi and Ip Man, Cheung Tin-chi will do anything to win.  Meaning, if he has to use an elbow to strike a man's face, he'll do it...with full force.  While Ip Man sticks within a structure and has to work harder to win.  Basically, instead of using an elbow, he would rather use his hands.  You can see a huge difference within the way both fight in "Ip Man 3". 

Don't get me wrong, I am not writing off Donnie Yen's fighting scenes in all of the "Ip Man" movies.  I just feel that his character's fighting abilities were refined to the point where he doesn't have to be aggressive as Cheung Tin-chi.  I guess any character that has an on-going movie sequel, development is a must.  However, in Ip Man's case, Ip Man didn't really need character development.  His characteristics never changed, it's just the people around him did.  If you're a fan of martial arts movies like "Ip Man", you would want to see more of the brutality but with precision and effectiveness.  Unfortunately, Ip Man did not deliver that in "Ip Man 3".  I just hope one day, a Cheung Tin-chi move would get made.  Oh, wait...

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SYNOPSIS: After defeated by Ip Man, Cheung Tin Chi (Zhang) lives a depressed life and stays low profile. While Tin Chi tries to stay out of trouble, he gets himself into a fight with the foreigner Davidson (Bautista), big boss behind bar district. Tin Chi fights hard with Wing Chun and earns respect.

Source: http://www.maactioncinema.com/archives/5552
 

I can't wait!!

"Tao Of Jeet Kune Do: Expanded Edition"

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After Bruce Lee's death in 1973, his wife, Linda Lee (now Linda Lee Cadwell), decided to compile Bruce's notes of unarmed combat and put together a book.  Linda felt that it was important for her husband's fans and followers to know what it took for him to "find the cause of his ignorance".  Before his death, Bruce Lee wrote 7 novels of notes which helped developed "Jeet Kune Do" (the Way of the Intercepting Fist).  Bruce's idea was to release a book on his "commentaries of the martial way" but scrapped the project.  He concluded that it would limit and hinder those who read the book from expressing their own thoughts of fighting.  Bruce felt that in order for people to understand "fighting as it is", is to film it cinematically.  Thus, this idea caused him to write and direct his next movie, "Game Of Death" (*due to Bruce's death, this film was never finished).  Linda Lee, with the help of editor Gilbert Johnson, and Bruce's student; Dan Inosanto, formulated and edited Bruce's notes which became as we all know as "Tao Of Jeet Kune Do".  Released in 1975, fans and martial artists was reintroduced to Bruce Lee's martial art, "Jeet Kune Do".

Over the years, the "Tao"'s popularity became THE book to have.  The book sold over 750 thousand copies around the world, written in 9 different languages...and counting.  Controversy about the book's authenticity grew over the years as well.  Many believed that Bruce wrote this "biblical" work of art in text form but alas, this fact is more fiction than true.  Reprints of the book had an addition, crediting authors and books where Bruce resourced his notes from.    

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In 2011, Bruce Lee's daughter, Shannon Lee, decided to update the "Tao" and released "Tao Of Jeet Kune Do: The Expanded Edition."  A revival of a historic 30 plus year book, gained world wide popularity again, capturing the attention of a new generation of martial artist and Bruce Lee fans alike.  So what's different between the 1975 version and the 2011 version?

The Expanded Edition has been reconstructed from beginning to end.  The exterior cover of the book is no longer paper-like and it is now protected by a soft gloss.  The font of the front cover and the entire book has been dramatically changed.  What's missing on the new front cover is the tag 'Best Seller - Over 750,000 copies sold in nine languages', the small Jeet Kune Do logo, and Bruce Lee's signature.  However, an updated Jeet Kune Do symbol is posted on the back of the book.  Inside, almost everything has been reorganized.  In the original "Tao", important passages that didn't seem to belong within a certain subject are now where they are supposed to be.  The illustrations drawn by Bruce himself, have been enlarged for better detail of quality.  New chapters are inserted at the end of the book which contain: The History of Jeet Kune Do, Reflections of Bruce Lee's students and their students about the original "Tao" and translations of all the Chinese writing by Eric Chen.  Overall, if you have been a constant reader of the original "Tao" and/or advocate of Jeet Kune Do or a practitioner, then you will definitely love the Expanded Edition and what it has to offer.  Even though the look has changed, the notes compiled by the man himself, will always stay the same.