Pretty sure this faceless dude in a yellow jumpsuit is supposed to be a depiction of Bruce Lee. How could I resist the temptation to kick alongside the “little dragon?”
I know what you’re thinking: “Why didn’t you do a jump kick?” Answer: because I’m an old fart and my jumping days are pretty much behind me. To be honest, I never was much a jump kicker, even back in the 80’s, a.k.a. “the Taekwondo years.”
I’ve caught myself thinking about those days quite a bit recently. I can’t say why. I’ve forgotten some of my hyung (also know as tul or poomse) and that makes me a little sad and nostalgic. Not enough to put on a uniform and go back mind you. I love what I’m doing now too much.
I can’t say that Cabal Fang, the martial art I founded, is “better” than Taekwondo. That would be like saying a screwdriver is better than a hammer. No tool is better than another because each as its own specific functions.
It’s hard to put on a uniform and go to Taekwondo class, to follow instructions, stand in line, memorize movements and material, follow directions, and so on. But it is also hard to be responsible for your own education, to fight with more contact, to test and re-test techniques for effectiveness, and to stay focused without the external support of fifty other people who all dress the same. Which is most difficult? Well, which is harder: walking a hundred miles of road with the support of fifty friends, or hiking twenty miles through uncharted wilderness with a couple of your buddies? It’s an impossible question with no meaningful answer.
The trap of dualism is deep and wide, and few escape. Evaluating, categorizing, judging seem to be engrained in human DNA. Black and white, good and bad, left and right, moral and immoral. Opposites. Value judgments. Which is better: blue or safety orange? Depends. Are you dressing for a hunting trip or a job interview? Are you painting the shutters on your house, or highway cones?
But more importantly: what do you want to paint today?