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February 12, 2007

I (want to) Know Kung-Fu

I've always been jealous of people who know martial arts. The kicking, the punching... occasionally the groping. It's all so freaking cool! Also, I hear it makes you a more complete person. A friend of mine is a black-belt, and he's always extolling the virtues of karate training: how it strengthens your body, helps you develop mental and spiritual discipline. Sounds great! But honestly, I don't care about any of that. I just want to learn how to kick someone's ass. (If I could also learn to rip out a man's heart and show it to him before he dies, that would be a bonus.)

To be clear: I'm not interested in "self-defense". What's the point of learning to beat the crap out of people if you can't crack open a can of whoop-ass until someone else throws the first punch?


Think about it: how many times a week does someone take a swing at YOU? In my case, somewhere in the 3-8 range. More if I happen to visit the Olive Garden that week... but that's still not enough. I've always believed that the best defense is a strong offense -- and if I learn martial arts, I intend to use my skills ALL THE TIME.

The actual training doesn't scare me. If the movies I've seen are accurate, you can learn any martial art in just a few minutes. All you need is some deft editing and a stirring musical theme playing in the background. The part I'm worried about is deciding which martial art I should study. There are SO MANY of them out there! I've done some research into some of the most promising martial arts, and I've broken each down into Pros and Cons to help me choose the one that's right for me.

Ninjitsu (AKA Ninjalistics)

Pros: Stylish black uniform. Training includes armed and unarmed combat, as well as lessons in weather forcasting and demolitions. Used by Ninjas!

Cons: Black uniform gets awfully hot in the summertime. Lots of expensive equipment to buy (have you price-checked shuriken lately?). Too much emphasis on stealth, I'd prefer to kick ass in front of an audience. Centuries old feud with Pirates could cause hassles on the open sea.

Krav Maga (AKA Jew-jitsu)

Pros: Used to train the Israeli military. Efficient and deadly. Teaches you to use any available object as a weapon (always fun!). Your mom always wanted to you settle down with a nice Jewish martial art.

Cons: Might have to learn to speak hebrew. Massive guilt trips from instructor when you miss a training session. Some retailers frown upon using merchandise as improvised weapons (beware of "You Break it You Buy it" policies). Jokes about "jew-fu" could get old really quick. Outside of Israel, how many badass Jews do YOU know?

Gun Kata (AKA Gun-fu)

Pros: Finally, a martial art designed around gunplay! Pulling trigger much easier than flying roundhouse kick. Allows me to incorporate the skills I learned playing all those hours of Duck Hunt.

Cons: Great when attacked by multiple gun-weilding assassins... probably overkill when harassed by some drunk guy at a bar. What happens when you run out of ammo? Though undeniably badass, Gun Kata is a fictitious martial art -- might be hard to find a teacher.


Zui Quan (AKA Drunken Fist)

Pros: Drinking and fighting go together like drinking and driving. Punch with one hand, dial up ex-girlfriends with the other. Binge drinking could SAVE YOUR LIFE. Heck, you had me at "drunken".

Cons: What happens when you run out of beer?

Posted by Joey at February 12, 2007 10:35 AM

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i hear christian bale can teach you gun kata when he's not busy being awesome.

Posted by: takahiro at February 12, 2007 01:11 PM

Yeah... but when is Christian Bale NOT being awesome?

Posted by: joey at February 12, 2007 08:34 PM

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