Wednesday, October 06, 2004

A while ago I mentioned that a spider is living on the thermometer outside my kitchen window. Well, he's still there, despite the fact we've already had several evenings of below freezing weather this fall. Tough little guy isn't he?

Recently I've been reading Black Belt magazine in the library, Black Belt being America's longest running(as far as I know) martial arts magazine. A couple things in the articles have amused me. One is that a certain writer seems to think the Christianity of certain interviewees is important. Fair enough, but its kind of funny when you consider that the Asian martial arts often have a connection with spiritual/religious practices like Buddhism. I suppose this is something anyone with a strong faith must resolve for themselves. Studying something like Shorinji Kempo might not be your first choice if you're an Evangelical Christian. Another was a very American whining at the end of one article in the latest issue about the possibility of those horrible "gun grabbers" taking everyone's guns, so your martial arts will come even more in handy.

The ads are interesting as well. You can buy stuff ranging from very straight ahead books on things like karate katas(forms) to videos offering to teach you some supersecret "unbeatable" martial arts style, no doubt so you can beat the jokers who buy someone else's "unbeatable" martial arts style tapes. Not to mention all sorts of training equipment, including gizmos to help you learn to do all those cool Jean Claude Van Damme splits. You know, the one he does in every bloody movie he's in. I can only wonder what the old masters of certain arts would think of doohickies like that. I can just imagine some Okinawan karate master muttering under his breath in bemusement about very idea of wanting to do such moves, let alone buying some Rube Goldberg device to help you do them.

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