Monday’s Martial Madness: Discount Chuck Norris and Other Rebate Martial Art Tropes.

We Ninja loooooove a terrible 80’s martial arts movie, especially ones involving mullets and cheesy one liners. Last night we had the dubious pleasure of witnessing one such movie: Gymkata. Sake and IPA’s might have been present to numb the senses to the over-achieving sensibilities of Kurt Thomas and a rather scurrilous cast of characters.

Image result for Gymkata zamir
When HI-YA takes on new meaning.

Our high-flying hero, Jonathan Cabot, is recruited by…somebody, to do…something. Okay the plots not clear, or I had had enough sake by then to not really care. Anyway, our gymnast hero gets trained by a Japanese dude who likes swinging kama at his crotch blindfolded, a selectively mute “Princess of Parmistan,” and some random “karate” expert who tosses out cliches like ninja stars thrown by the blind. This crazy quilt of training montages results in what appears to be some fusion of gymnastics, ninja stuff, knife work, and karate…? I guess the title of the movies sums up this new art fairly simply.

Take me seriously, or I’ll throw my falcon at your pointy head.

Several key things stuck out to me about this movie: the conveniently placed gym equipment, a discount Chuck Norris, the love interest and of course, the inevitable Ninja.

That face you make when you realize your kata sucks and it won’t “work” in the street.

When one knows gymkata and finds themselves running through the Middle Eastern equivalent of zombie land, its helpful when useful and familiar gymnastics equipment suddenly appears. Those flying feet of death need the force generated by gravity defying leg circles, moores, spindles, and flairs. How convenient then that our hero just so happened to find a pommel horse when the local crazies where closing in, or one half of the uneven bars randomly attached to a couple of walls.

The Princess of Parmistan is Jonathan’s love interest. It seems inevitable from the get-go that these two crazy kids ought to end up together, but there’s too many mullets, cheese, and political tension in the way. Somehow, with nary a word in the first act, Rubali, the princess, conveys her sexual tension by pulling knives on Jonathan fairly regularly. She wants him bad, but she’s not going to say that. He has to figure it out with wide-eyed stares and the occasional flicks of a switchblade. But she’s supposed to marry her dad’s right-hand man, because that what was in the script. Being the princess of her dad’s cheese empire means she has to do what he says, and dammit, he’s gonna make her marry that mullet-headed discount Chuck Norris whether she likes it or not.

The producers really wanted that effervescent know-it-all and badass of the universe Chuck Norris to play the bad guy, but as luck would have it he was too busy proving his immortality on the internet by pointing big guns at his own bad guys. So, instead of ‘Ol Chucky we get this guy:

Discount Chuck Norris with the culmination of all 80’s hair tropes: mullet, rat tail, wings, and poof.

Zamir somehow manages to be on the kahn’s (intentional misspelling) good side, and Rubali’s bad side, AT THE SAME TIME. It’s as if the sexual confusion of his wardrobe and hairstyle choices convey ambiguity, or something. Is he good? Is he bad? Who knows, or cares? Given the discounted nature of this fellow’s acting skills, we ninja feel he is rightly dubbed Nuck Chorris.

Thanks to the ninja boom of the 80’s they tend show up in every martial arts flick from that era. But one has to wonder what these guys were doing in Parmistan, and why they look the Foot Clan? Was it Nuck Chorris’ fault? Did he extend his confusion to his soldiers, or were they white belts undergoing a hazing by their seniors? It’s kinda hard to tell what’s really going on under their masks, but we’re thankful they were standing there with their flags, pointing the way for our hero.

When it comes to films, the goings on of Parmistan is a highly marked-down wheel of cheese. With the help of his metaphysically superhuman aptitude, and some depreciated citizens of the Cheese Cartel, this movie will drive you to drink, especially since this was apparently the point?

Uh, thanks, I guess?

Monday’s Martial Madness: Miss Me?? Or, How Slowly Do Mole Asses Move Anyway?

Well, I’m back….

I’m Dai Senpai (大先輩 for the uninitiated dai senpai simply means Big Senior) now. I passed all tests required before shodan and now I’m in the hold-onto-your-gi-pants-cuz-its-getting-crazy-up-in-here pattern until February. What does being dai senpai get me? More responsibilities, like the kind where herding cats seems like a dream job. Seriously though, I’m doing my best to lead people into their best selves but sometimes the process moves like molasses, or is it mole asses? My friend texted me this morning and said they (her and her family) were moving like mole asses (Autocorrect? Or did she TYPE ass…hmmm…) trying to get out the door to the gym. And I’m like, how slow do mole asses move? She never answered. BUT, it’s an idea worth exploring, because LOOK AT THAT MOLE BUTT.

It’s a hiney and I wants to pinch it Precious….

I’m getting my first tastes of teaching because I’m headed toward sensei territory and guess what, more responsibility awaits. I’m pretty sure my sensei is throwing me into the deep end of the instructor pool, but it’s kinda hard to tell what with these messy swim goggles and all that splashing I’m doing in my tiny, half-dead water wings. I mean, he’s the kind of guy who gives bruises for free then says “You’re welcome” when you complain about it, but I digress (Uh-oh, a song parody of Money for Nothing is lurching around in my brain. Maybe next blog post, heh heh). Figuring out my role, duties, and authority is going a lot like I imagine mole asses go when the front end is busy digging tunnels– a jarring, muddy ride full of long-dead bug carcasses pushing up daisies.

The little bastard doesn’t know when to quit–dragging his ass around in the mud and all.

But it’s good for me, right? After all, the shortest path to trial-by-fire learning is paved on the road of the do-or-die method of teaching. Remarkably, here I stand in the center of the volcano, pretty sure my underpants are on fire and the pool noodle of justice is headed my way (No, we’re not THAT sadistic. We gently whack each other in the name of NOT making knuckle-headed moves), but feeling determined to give it my best, despite the rambunctious moles and their yucky ass-dragging-ness.

Bring it volcano!

Truly, I appreciate flailing around in the dark like a blind guy at the disco, because getting my mole-asses butt headed in the right direction is bit like corralling bulls bent on shopping for china ware. Because I’m THICK-headed. Thick like the fur on a mole ass. I can be pretty slow on picking up details, clues, and the occasional direct command. Butt, I try, oh, how I try. I guess that’s what got me here in the first place. Being bullheaded has its place in the martial arts. Dogged determination to see the training through to the next level is what makes a decent person decent-er. Even if getting there flows like mole asses.

The after pic of the tests that got into this dai senpai mess…ignore the hair.

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Monday’s Martial Madness: My Life, in Jigsaw Puzzle Pieces Accidentally Tossed on the Floor by a Madcap Martial Artist

I missed last week because time passed quickly Monday, and there just wasn’t time to get into silly mode. As this Monday approached, I started to dreading finding time to be silly again. Being silly is one of my favorite things, writing hasn’t always been a favorite for me. However, having a handful of people who enjoy my silly writing makes it worthwhile, hence making the time to write. BUT (and this is a big but) life is now hectic because of several factors. It’s like an already-assembled jigsaw puzzle a martial artist accidentally kicked on the floor when they went down trying get that bottle cap. So many pieces have been tossed about and I’m attempting to settle into my new reality.

It does take me a little longer than most people to get used to new routines, I remain an undiagnosed female with Asperger’s Syndrome (How can I know if I’m not diagnosed? That’s a question for another day) which means I takes me at least 2 months to get used to changes, sometimes longer. There are lots of good things happening and one key to reducing stress and anxiety for myself is putting on hold things that are lower down on the priority list. I’m gonna take a moment and list my priorities for you in case you’re wondering “What the heck??” If you’re interested in my reasons for taking a break, read on my friend, otherwise, see you later excuse hater. These are not in any particular order. Rather, they’re like a 10-ring circus in my head right now, all featuring some whacked version of reality at once.

  • Living. This one is key to all the other ones below. No life-y, no list-y. Capiche?
  • Drinking coffee. I’m pretty useless without coffee in the morning. Like don’t-know-what-day-it-is useless.
  • Breathing. Breathing is essential to life. I occasionally hold my breath and forget to breath normally. Which leads me to my next reason…
  • Spiritual life. Keeping that healthy, growing, and fruitful is essential to the rest of the stuff I have to deal with.
  • Trauma recovery. I am knee-deep in my latest bout of PTSD recovery and am in therapy. Thankfully I have a wonderful therapist who knows of a kind of recovery tool called EMDR (look it up) for flashbacks, and PTSD.
  • Depression, panic, and anxiety management. I’m on some good meds to keep me from losing it. Its a good regimen, but my sleep is whacked, I still have bad days, and constantly fluctuating moods and emotions. It’s like being a roller coaster where the tracks look familiar but keep changing position.
  • Exercising. I am a fitness nut. I work out a lot, usually 6 times a week (that includes training) plus teaching self-defense.
  • Oh, yeah, I’ve started a new business with my best friend and my sister. Talk about dealing with moodiness. Change is good, but dang if doesn’t come with a side of WTH?!?! I love it, but is stressful. Lots of meetings and talking, and other stuff that needs doing.
  • Napping. I take naps almost every day. I keep trying to fool myself into believing I don’t need one. All that exercising of my body, and my mind, keeps me tired.
  • Taking care of the family. My husband works constantly, my son is an Asperger’s child, and my sister, who lives with us, works full-time. I am the only adult not working a full-time job. So, it’s up to me to keep order.
  • Taking mental health breaks from everything. Which usually looks like hiding in my room while Brooklyn 99, or some Murder and Mayhem show is playing while I eat snacks and do my nails. Or sleep.
  • And, finally, my favorite thing keeping me busy is training in Ninpo. I have a goal to test for my black belt in February. I have 2 more tests to do to be at the correct level for testing in shodan. There is a lot of work to do between now and February. So many things to memorize, practice, drill, and etc to get me ready.

Hope to be back soon, bringing some silliness your way! Oh, uh, speaking of naps, zzzzzzzzzzzzz…..😴

Monday’s Martial Madness: You Might be a Martial Artist If…

The desire to practice a martial art is a bit like a madness that takes over your entire being. Your soul starts to burn for more horse stance while your body and mind agree that that your soul needs a chill pill. However, not all the signs of this kind of lunacy are quite so obvious and one might wonder if they have taken the red pill, instead of the blue.

“Remember, all I’m offering is the truth, nothing more… Heh, heh, heh.”
Continue reading “Monday’s Martial Madness: You Might be a Martial Artist If…”

Monday’s Martial Madness: 3 Things Martial Artists Say, and What They Mean

Special groups often have lingo that only the members know. Shorthand, code, and special terms are flung around like shuriken (aka throwing stars for you non-ninjers). So, in the company of martial arts groups you might hear a few things that require interpretation.

And other stuff Sensei says…
Continue reading “Monday’s Martial Madness: 3 Things Martial Artists Say, and What They Mean”