Monday, July 23, 2007
While the fighting community may look strong, passionate, stoic, and unweilding most of the what is actually happening is just plain embarassing.I refer to when a martial art is represented in media. I blame this on our spectacular society's tendency towards reification (the making of social relationships into objects) and commodification.
This saturday, after my training, I biked over to the Rocha Jiu Jistu gym in downtown Oakland. I'm casually acquainted with one of the instructors there and he let me know about try outs for a new reality tv show. Having a few hours to kill in the afternoon it seemed like it may be worth trying out. As one of the other participants said, "Getting on tv is probably going to get you a blowjob or two."
Upon entering Stefan and I chatted for a while and I mentioned my upcoming match this saturday. Then I was sent on my interview. A grey haired guy and a early thirties year old dude brought me back to the small office for a few questions. They were the producers for a project of Ken Shamrock's. Shamrock is going to have some sort of "School of Hard Knocks" reality tv show. He'll be training some street toughs for a while and showing them the errors of their ways, especially taking testicle reducing steroids. The producers asked me some leading questions about my past.
"So tell us where you were born."
"Well I was born in upstate new york and lived there for most of my childhood. Then my parents split up and I moved to vermont. After a stint in vermont, I finished high school in upstate at my father's house. Then I went to college..."
"So, when you were growing up were you smacked around at all? Did anyone rough you up?" Grey hair asked.
"Uh... not really," was my tentative reply
"Okay and then..." the thirty year old producer said.
"Well then I went to college. I did get kicked out of college for grafitti. After school I floundered for a while and moved out to california. I stayed in the bay area and then went to Las Vegas then back to the bay area."
"And have you had any trouble with the LAW?" Grey hair inquired.
"Ummmm. I guess not so much."
"Well it sounds like you're a real nice guy," affirmed the thirty year old.
"Yeah something like that."
"Thanks. Send the next guy in," said Grey Hair.
Occasionally I like to subject my friends to awful kickboxing movies. Muay Thai is not kickboxing, well at least not in the American sense. For a long time kickboxing has been a fighting sport fulled with dudes with mullets and satin pants snap kicking each other, this would be the American version of kickboxing. In movies portraying kickboxing such as "Kickboxer" with Jean Claude Van Damme you have an American kickboxer going to Thailand to learn muay thai. What they end up learning is how "easy" thai girls are and how to improve their flashy snap kicks.
Last night my friends and I sat down and watched "King of the kickboxers." I watched about two-thirds before it became too painful to go on. The story follows an american detective who goes to thailand in order to investigate a movie production company. The company shoots American kickboxers getting killed by evil "muay thai" bad asses (in this case Billy Blanks inventor of Tae Bo). Our hero finds out that Blanks is the man who killed his brother when he was younger (yawn) and now must avenge his brother's death (snooze). In order to do so he must go into the jungles of thailand (sounds like kickboxer with Van Damme) to learn muay thai (more american kickboxing) from an authentic thai (not thai). This movie had the typical western douchebag walking all over Thai culture and showing off. In one scene he goes to a muay thai camp with his douche bag denim jacket and steps into the ring challenging the nak muay to a fight. He quickly beats the nak muay with his flashy snap kicks. KA-POW! GO TEAM AMERICA!
Below is a sweet scene of Blanks killing out American superstar's older brother.
Finally tonight I got to sit down and see the new series out on the history channel called Human Weapon. The show follows two american douchebags on their to gallivanting adventure to become Human Weapons. In their quest to show how awesome one fat ex football player, and one mma schlob can be they go to thailand to learn muay thai. While in thailand they learn some muay boran, muay thai, krabi krapong, and a few other muay thai arts. The show has quick interviews with our hosts talking about how they're gonna kick ass in the show's last five minute scene. The last segment of the show has one of the hosts fighting a muay thai champion. In order to prepare for their upcoming match they travel through the exotic land of thailand learning ancient secret arts in hours. Its better than getting a black belt in a box kit! The show had some neat visuals, and it was rad seeing shots of thailand but had a typical american covering of spectacular lard. If only billy blanks could gun those two hosts down!