Bruce Lee is renowned as a martial artist. But one thing that a lot of people don’t know is how admired he is by professional bodybuilders. Despite being small and thin, weighing in at only about 140lbs for most of his life, Bruce Lee is well-known to bodybuilders as one of the most defined physiques to have ever been displayed by a celebrity. Joe Weider, the founder of the Mr. Olympia bodybuilding competition, described Bruce Lee as having “The most defined body I’ve ever seen!” Additionally, many professional bodybuilders have cited Bruce Lee as an influence. There’s a reason that his legacy extends beyond kung fu movies, and there’s a reason that people still wear Bruce Lee t shirts today.
Bruce Lee was known for emphasizing physical fitness. He thought that most martial artists were too focused on developing technique. While he did value the technical side of martial arts, Lee felt that a martial artist, to be roundly effective, should focus on training their bodies as much as their technique. He was known for being extraordinarily fit and even had several exercise machines designed and built to his own custom specifications. He was a very accomplished athlete and had very specific training goals that could only be met by custom machines.
While the film Enter The Dragon was being created, Bruce Lee was choreographing some fight scenes. He did this live on set. The director’s wife, Ann Clouse, was observing Lee and admiring his physique (he was shirtless at the time). Eventually, she approached him between takes and asked to feel his bicep. When he allowed her to do so, she exclaimed, “It’s like feeling warm marble!”
Bruce Lee was not, however, a person with a bodybuilding ethic. While bodybuilders admired him greatly, bodybuilders are people who build muscle primarily for show. Bruce Lee didn’t build muscle for show. Instead, he built muscle for function. His goals were speed, strength, flexibility, and the ability to fight. He wasn’t interested in just looking good. In fact, he wasn’t interested in looks at all!
Take a moment to appreciate that. Bruce Lee’s physique was basically a byproduct of his training process. He was first and foremost an athlete who was interested in fitness. And yet, bodybuilders, whose entire careers revolve around making their bodies look good, are impressed with his appearance. That means that Lee’s dedication to athleticism was so great that he could build a bodybuilder-esque physique from sheer athleticism. Bodybuilders build themselves to look good, but Bruce Lee looked better than any bodybuilder just through athletic training. Bruce Lee was a freak athlete and one of the most physically gifted people to ever live.
Mixed Martial Arts exploded in popularity in the 2000s. Promotions have come and gone: UFC, Pride, Dream, StrikeForce, Elite XC, and more. There is a distinction here that you must be careful to make: the sport is mixed martial arts. UFC, and all the others, are promotions. So UFC is to MMA as the NFL is to football. Many people enjoy modern MMA, and most of us understand that it involves a mix of styles. What a lot of people don’t know, however, is that the idea of cross-training between martial arts is not new. Many of the most famous martial artists throughout history have cross-trained and learned multiple fighting styles. And hybrid styles are as old as martial arts itself. Here’s a list of several different historical figures who were famous for reasons besides fighting, but who were cross-trained in many different martial arts styles. You may not have seen them on a martial arts movie t-shirt, but they’re important figures nonetheless.
One that may surprise you is Teddy Roosevelt. Most people know of Teddy Roosevelt as the American president famous for his pince-nez glasses and his involvement with the Panama Canal. What a lot of people don’t know is that Teddy Roosevelt also had extensive experience in both jiu jitsu and boxing. He was blind in one eye as a result of an injury sustained while boxing with an Army officer. His involvement in jiu jitsu is even more fascinating: he learned from Yamashita Yoshiaki, a direct student of Jigoro Kano. Jigoro Kano, incidentally, was the founder of Judo. Judo consists of a number of ancient Japanese jiu jitsu techniques codified into a single sport, and Kano’s pupil Yamashita taught those same techniques to Teddy Roosevelt.
A less well-known, but equally interesting practitioner of cross-trained martial arts was E.W. Barton-Wright. Living in the early 20th century, Barton-Wright combined Western boxing and wrestling with jiu jitsu and staff fighting to create a unique martial art he called bartitsu. He even sent letters to Jigoro Kano asking him to send jiu jitsu teachers from Japan to teach at his new bartitsu club. The martial art of bartitsu would later come to the attention of Arthur Conan Doyle, who would incorporate the art as a plot element in his Sherlock Holmes books.One final figure that you may have heard of, but who bears mentioning anyway, is Bruce Lee. While the idea of cross-training has existed for as long as martial arts, Bruce Lee was the person who popularized the idea in modern culture. His martial art, Jeet Kun Do, aims to “use no way as way” by combining whatever styles work best. Each individual practitioner does things differently. Jeet Kun Do is not a distinct art so much as a method for constructing martial arts from scratch.
Sorry I didn’t get anything posted over the weekend, but I had something to do that was WAY more important (and fun) than sniping at jobs listed on online dating posts, and I’m not talking about the Superbowl. However, I will make sure to get something done every day this week, although I might have something to do next weekend as well.
Anyway, I’m getting into more specific jobs, mostly based on what I think I can make the most funny and insightful comments about. Still, I think this could all be pretty useful.
Pharmaceutical Representative. In the world of manufactures sales reps being a pharm rep is the Holy Grail. Great money, low geographic area, and easy to sell products. I have long dreamed of dating a pharm rep, for any number of reasons. First of all, pharmaceutical companies as a matter of course only hire super hot women to do it. Something about trying to convince male doctors to prescribe their drugs. So even if you don’t see a phote, you can know they are probably pretty good looking. On the other hand, they are super busy and honestly are probably shopping for a doctor, so go easy.
Massage therapist. These women fall into three camps. The most first is trained, true massage therapists. They tend to be into Eastern culture and are probably do something like Shiatsu. They take lots of classes and have a ton of certifications which in their mind is the equivalent of a college degree, in spite of the fact that it really isn’t. They tend to be super fit, kind of skinny, vegetarian, and into stuff like meditation. However, if you ever hope to see her naked you can never get her to massage you. These women are so paranoid about being unprofessional that as soon as they dig into your doughy musculature you will forever be considered a client. The second type is less trained, tends to be a lot more hippy dippy, cute in an slightly out of shape granola way, and more willing to give you a massage after sex. She tends to be more happy and into the fun of it, but is flat broke. The third is pretty much a hooker. Usually from another country (Korean, most often from what I have heard) and willing to have sex for money. I don’t know why they would be online, but if they are I would highly recommend not having anything to do with them. It is a mess you don’t want to deal with. If this person is a guy it will either be a super hot, muscular dude or a big, overweight, not terrible attractive guy. If the first, I can almost guarantee he is looking for a sugar mama. If not he is probably pretty sleezy. If the second he is likely to be a decent guy, who actually will be able to give you a killer back rub. See past the bulk if you can.
Stripper. Often listed as erotic or exotic dancer, most likely this woman is actually just fishing for guys to go to her pay website. A women who dances for money who is sincere about meeting someone for a relationship will make up a fake job (which is a whole different kind of problem). Odds are at some point I will do an entire post on dating (or trying to date) strippers, but for now believe me when I say dating a stripper is like being stuck in the accretion disk of a black hole. If the stripper is male and not gay then he is 100% a sleezeball. Basically he is not meeting enough women through his job (where is is surrounded by dozens of women stuffing money into his jock) and wants more sex. On the other hand he is probably pretty good at sex, so if you are looking for a good time and/or a social disease, then go for it. Just know going in he will cheat on you if you attempt a relationship and lie about it constantly.
Waiter/Waitress. Or server, if you want to be PC. Very similar in many ways to a retail worker, in that they can be very fun to date when they are young and absolute hell when they get older. The main difference is if you date one he or she will totally critique your food habits, table manners, the servers professionalism, and how much you tip. Also, if you want to lose any desire to eat at a restaurant ever again have him or her tell you stories of health code violations that they see pretty much every day. Also, they can cause you to eat less by telling you about all the fat bastards who do 10,000 calorie meals every night.
Wactor/Wactresses. This is a waiter/actor or waitress/actress. I have no experience with actual actors or actresses (I actually assume if you are good enough looking to be an actor you don’t need to go online to meet someone) but living in LA I used to meet wactors and wactresses pretty much every day. They usually studied drama in college, work as a server to pay their bills, and fight mounting desperation as each day passes without being discovered. They generally tend to date each other like cockroaches living on each others filth, but once in a while will branch out. However, be prepared to go to a lot of horrible plays and spend a tone of time reassuring them that they are still attractive and can act. If they didn’t actually study acting then there is a pretty good chance they will eventually get into stripping or porn. Kind of fun to date on the front end and generally easy on the eyes, these folks usually turn into a headache of astronomical proportions.
That’s enough for now. I think I will do one more post on this and then move on to interpreting online photos.
For our question last post, a ninja versus a football team’s worth of zombies, I think the Ninja would win as long as he figured out early enough to cut their heads off. If he tried anything else he would probably end up as zombie chow. (Ninja image from the cheap t shirts category)
For today let’s get political. Who would win, Abraham Lincoln versus a young Ronald Wilson Reagan?
So last night was Tuesday night, which means $5 movies at the Regal Jack London Square cinema, and I decided to spend some of my hard earned scratch catching up on current pop culture. I refuse to see any of the Narnia movies, and most of the rest looked like Speed remakes, Harry Potter, or some other piece of dross designed to crowbar Angelina Jolie into the same movie as Johnny Depp. The only thing that looked like it would appeal to my inner nerd was the Warrior’s Way.
Before I get into the film, let me say the one bad thing about $5 movie tickets is it really drives home how much they are gouging you for candy when you pay $8.75 for a tiny bottle of water and a box of Junior Mints. I might have to adopt my mom’s childhood policy of sending us to the liquor store for cheap candy before walking in.
Anyway, the Warrior’s Way was not what I expected, which is normally good (see my review of Skyline). However, it is not really good if what you were expecting was something relatively decent. It is the creation of a first time writer and director from South Korea with the unlikely I’d-like-to-buy-a-vowel name of Sngmoo Lee. I don’t want this review to be a reflection of my attitude towards South Korean film, as they have a real growing film business and I have seen some really good stuff coming out of there (if you haven’t seen Save the Green Planet I highly recommend it).
Sngmoo apparently wanted to create a mashup of Western and Eastern culture in the form of Ninjas versus cowboys. This sounds great in concept, but honestly I think it could have been done a lot better. I will recap the story without spoilers; however, I don’t need to spoil anything as the story is so cliche and predictable it could have been a porn movie, only with slightly less good acting. The story is of Yang, the worlds greatest swordsman and the only character who is slightly appealing and believable in spite of the fact that he says about 15 words during the entire film, who opts out of a ninja clan war when he has to kill a baby girl. He flees to the American Old West and lands in a town who’s sole industries seem to be drinking, caving in to local bullies, and collecting sand. The set looks a lot like a more surreal version of the set they used in the Star Trek episode Specter of the Gun. In the town he meets a series of white-trash cliche’s, each less believable than the next, and a super hot red head with a predictably tragic past and an annoying personality. The rest of the town is half inbred losers and (for some unexplained reasons) an old carnival. The mayor of the town is also the ringmaster, a midget bald black guy with the kind of insulting name of 8-ball. There are clowns (in full makeup 24/7 in spite of being in a dustbowl), a bearded lady, a strong man, assorted other surreal freaks, and a town drunk who later turns out to be an amazing gunslinger. Each one is less believable and appealing than the last.
Anyway, you should be able to tell already that I was less than impressed, but let’s let my patented stars/black holes system speak for itself. Stars first, as always.
The movie has ninjas. Two stars. (ninja image courtesy of the martial arts movie t-shirts category) It also has cowboys. One star. The martial arts sequences have a kind of cool Matrix-like fast motion/slow motion film technique that I liked. One star. Kate Bosworth is hot. One star. The main character is kind of cool in a dead-inside ninja sort of way. One star. The ninja costumes are all pretty cool. One star. There is no shortage of killing. One star. The action went pretty much as one would expect (ninjas getting shot at range, cowboys getting Ginsu’d up close). One star. The photography is pretty good. One star. Net total: ten stars.
Now the black holes. The film has clowns. One creepy BH. The story is painfully predictable. Two BHs. All the characters except the main one suck. Two BHs. The main character spends most of the movie literally babysitting a baby (who, in spite of what looks like months of film time, never grows. Too cheap to hire more than one child actor, I guess). Two BHs. There is little to no motivation for anyone to do anything in the movie, especially for a couple hundred ninjas to travel across the world to kill one baby. One BH. Somehow the ninja and his master arrive in the dust hole of the American southwest speaking perfect English. One BH for continuity. The cowboy costumes looks like they all just climbed out of a steampunk sewer. One BH. The villains all look like low level faceless NPC’s from a video game. One BH. The final, epic battle scene between the worlds greatest swordsman and the master who trained him was over in about 30 seconds. One BH. There were flashback training scenes (normally very cool) crowbared into the LAST fifteen minutes in a pathetic attempt to add more character development to an already flat character. One BH for root-canal-like editing. The set looked like I made it out of balsa wood in a childs sandbox. The surrounding scenery was bland and boring. One BH. The ninjas had magic powers when it was needed to push the story along but never at any other time. One BH. Total: 15 black holes.
Subtracting one from the other leaves us with 5 black holes, a painfully bad score. Honestly this film looked more like a badly written first person shooter video game than a movie. That being said, there is a real possibility that this could, 5-10 years down the road, turn into one of those cult films everyone loves for being so bad. Don’t see it in the theater, but if you are looking for a brainless Tuesday night with beer and pizza stream it off NetFlix.
This is turning into a really long post for me, but I have to answer the who would win question from yesterday. In my opinion, Darth Vader would probably in the long run beat Godzilla, most likely by using his force powers, but ultimately the real loser would be the city of Tokyo.
Today’s question: who would win; Optimus Prime versus the Iron Giant?