Sunday, August 3, 2008

Counting the Cost

I haven't updated my blog in a while as I've been overseas. Recently, while I was in Australia, I was supposed to train Jits with a friend but as Murphy would have it, he suffered a really bad injury during training, which required an immediate operation. He's on crutches and will be stuck with a metal plate permanently in his ankle

This should give us pause and food for thought. We sometimes forget that what we do can be a dangerous sport and it will take it's toll on the body. We idolise Bruce Lee for his severe training methods but he passed away in his youth before we saw what time and old age would have done to his body. Those masters of yore like Mas Oyama were beset with athiritis from all the pounding to those joints to "toughen"them up.

Thus, there is a cost to this sport, which for most of us is a hobby. We stand (or roll) as though we are invulnerable until that which we do not dare speak about, the dreaded injury, rears it's ugly head. Then, we count the cost. We have to, there is no other option

The cost of time recuperating, in pain, lost income, the all counts. And you should ask "is it worth it?". It's not a question of cowardice or lack of manly courage but it takes more strength of character to admit that maybe, just maybe, there are certain priorities that should take precedent over your 'hobby' (for that what it is, essentially. No one is pointing a gun to your head to take up the combat sports)

For too long, there's been this macho culture underlying the combat sports which has subverted an essentially useful vehicle for a certain measure of self-development into a truck of self-aggrandasising posturing and preening. Instead of making someone look at themselves in self-reflection; it has caused many to fall into denial and an escapist fantasy.

It takes guts sometimes to say that maybe golf is more my thing now, or table tennis. Or maybe you want to spend more time with the kids. Or your loved one. At the end of the day, your kimono won't love you back. Of course, if you think it will..there are probably websites that will cater for that :-)


A Rogue said...

Much of what you said is true. This glorious sport is a hobby that we all enjoy. I would be crushed if it was taken away. I've been involved in this sport for over 30 years and find it unsettling when I encounter UKEs who want to win at any cost, won't tap, don't release, really push the limits when there is really nothing to be gained by winning. However, when you have a more relaxed uke, the "learning" is the winners prize which both the UKE and Torre partake.

Justin said...

You're all poofters!! What's with all this quitting, golf and shite?! With great achievements come great sacrifice ok!! And once I tap the crap out of you, you will bow down before the greatness that is me. Now lay prostrate dammit!!


As you can see, lying in bed without much exercise has its side effects. The good news is that by the time I went into surgery, the swelling went down and everything sorta lined up again. So 2 screws, and no plate. I'm glad the cast is off (you know you're a sado when you can stand the pain, but not the itch!). But no weight on the foot until end Sept, when I go back in for surgery to take the screws out. Then its the long physio recovery.

Where to from here? I still haven't figured that out yet. God will show me the way I'm sure! And the next time you're in town, I think we'll skip the rolling and head straight to Plume ok!

Charles Wong said...

Justin my man, so sorry to hear about your injury. Dang you're tough for someone who has mastered the soft "peaceful" art of Aikido.

Has the dark side taken over you? Are you training day, nite and wee hours? Is BJJ the ultimate answer to everything? So you met a bigger shark in the ocean of Jits?

OK OK, I overeact. Seriously bro, get plenty of rest and get well soon. At least you are still organic and not cybernetic. Now dat's something to be thankful for rite? Hehehe...

Take care bro, cya!

Rizan said...

Good post Mike, and so true too. Yes, it takes courage to admit that there are other priorities in life that should take precedence. Personally, I don't see the point of learning 'self defense'. On the street it's not about punching or submitting the mugger but more about common sense that will save you. I think people are too paranoid about personal safety. For me, combat sport is a sport...I enjoy it for what it is. It gives me a good workout for me to stay in shape and improves my confidence too. However, if it means unnecessary injuries or if I unable to find a suitable training ground with great people to practice, I'm calling it quits! Better safe it for the young punks that wanna prove something

The bjjmissionary said...

a_rogue, I agree with your point. At the end of the day, presumably most of us do this for enjoyment and since these a partner related sports(involving an uke and tori); your enjoyment factor, and presumably his or hers; is very much dependent on the degree of cooperativeness that each give to another.

I would go as far to say that for most people who drop out, it's usually a interrelationship related factor (either with training partners or the instructor) and not so much in relation to the art

Riz, it depends on the environment and circumstance. While I don't do kali for personal reasons; I will not dis anyone who does so. Why? In the Philipines, everyone carries a knife and virtually all fights involve one (or a gun). And sometimes running away is not an option. But I hang around Bangsar Village, what are the chances of a knife fight occuring in Delicious? :D

However, I reckon the best self-defense is an offshore bank account, a valid passport and an open plane ticket to anywhere in the world. :-)

And if you're that rich, hire a bodyguard with a gun! There, self-defence at it's simplest and most effective

Justin, uh..dunno how to break this to you'll be backto Jits. It's a disease. Once caught, no can defend