Why is Bernie still in the race?

Why is Bernie still in the race? The math is clear: he can’t win. Shouldn’t he do the right thing and drop out? It’s like playing chess and being down a queen in an otherwise equal position against a grandmaster. You know he’s going to trade off everything and mate you with the queen, so why push it? It’s honorable to resign. In Bernie’s case, why doesn’t he congratulate his opponent on making history? By stepping down, he could help the party unite.

“Textbook definition of a racist comment”

Paul Ryan’s condemnation of Donald Trump’s attack on Judge Gonzalo Curiel is as strong as it could have been. He said:

Claiming a person can’t do their job because of their race is sort of like the textbook definition of a racist comment. I think that should be absolutely disavowed. It’s absolutely unacceptable.

But Paul Ryan is still not withdrawing his endorsement of Trump. He says it’s because Hillary is not the answer and that he has a better chance of getting his ideas into law with Trump. While that may be true, Ryan seems to be missing the bigger picture. With this racist attack against a Hispanic judge, Trump is undermining the entire government. What good are laws if the commander-in-chief is working to undermine them?

Muhammad Ali, Rest in Peace

From Laila Ali's Twitter, pic of Muhammad Ali and his granddaughter

From Laila Ali’s Twitter, pic of Muhammad Ali and his granddaughter

Muhammad Ali…I’m not sure what words there are to say. He really was the greatest, not just because of what he accomplished in the ring, but because of how his accomplishments in the ring combined with his political activism transcended the entire sport. He was one of a kind. Muhammad Ali, rest in peace.

Martial Arts Always Evolve

brucelee

Absorb what is useful, discard what is not. –Bruce Lee

The most common dispute in traditional martial arts is the dispute over lineage. People in TMA like to identify their styles by the names of their teachers or teachers’ teachers. In Wing Chun, for example, most practitioners today trace their lineage to Yip Man. But after Yip Man, the lineage divides into several branches of Wing Chun led by Yip Man’s disciples. Wing Chun practitioners today identify one another by who their teachers are/were. They have differences in history, but they also have differences in art. Different teachers, even within the same style, teach different techniques and have different methods of practice. For much of the modern age, students of Asian martial arts have prided themselves on how genuine their arts are. If people study Yip Man’s Wing Chun, many hope to learn it exactly as Yip Man practiced it, even two or three generations later. People view change as a bad thing.

The Pro Wrestling Ethos

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Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

This NY Times article explains the political world today: Is everything wrestling?.

This is partly because the rest of the world has caught up to wrestling’s ethos. With each passing year, more and more facets of popular culture become something like wrestling: a stage-managed “reality” in which scripted stories bleed freely into real events, with the blurry line between truth and untruth seeming to heighten, not lessen, the audience’s addiction to the melodrama.

What is normal?

Just to break up (for a second) the discussion about streetfighting and martial arts.

Check out Dumbfoundead’s video above. I thought it was interesting.

Also, Asian American TV actors have been recently speaking out against Hollywood’s Whitewashing. It’s creating a very big conversation. It was even featured in the NY Times. Check it out here.

I wanted to link to my post about the Default Human Being. I think we’re trying to change what the “default” is. I think we’re making a lot of progress in that area. (Thank you, RiceDaddies, for preserving a copy of my son’s artwork which got lost in our server migration!)

Does Wing Chun work?

In my quest to understand the martial arts better, I’ve been listening to some Joe Rogan podcasts. Some of them are very good. Others will drive you crazy. One of Rogan’s favorite punching bags is Chinese martial arts. His main point is that kung fu doesn’t work because we haven’t seen a kung fu fighter of the caliber of Machida, GSP, Liddell (all karate) or Pettis (TKD) in the UFC. Rogan feels that Wing Chun and other forms of kung fu have been refuted since there haven’t been any kung fu fighters at the elite level of MMA. He doesn’t say anything about other “unproven” arts like Krav Maga or Pentjak Silat, but he smacks Wing Chun around as if he were an Asian American feminist beating on a handcuffed Asian American frat boy.

The 3 kinds of fights

Check out John Hackleman’s excellent vlog above about the three kinds of fights. Hackleman is Chuck Liddell’s coach, and he makes excellent points about the 3 kinds of fights: MMA fights, kid playground fights, and adult self-defense. If I were a martial arts coach, I would make sure that all of my students knew which fights they were training for. A punch is a punch, and all fights require good physical fitness, but each category has its own goals and aims, and therefore each requires its own preparation. I agree with everything that Hackleman says, and here are some of my thoughts:

MMA vs. Muay Thai in Thailand

There’s an interesting article in the NY Times about Muay Thai getting gentrified by MMA: Sold-Out Mixed Martial Arts Event Invades Muay Thai Turf. I had never even known that there was a competition over such things, but this is really interesting. Some thoughts:

1. A top Muay Thai fighter in Thailand only makes around $5,700 a fight. That’s insane. Meanwhile, a One FC champion can make hundreds of thousands a fight. It would seem to me that the choice is obvious, although I hope people will still do Muay Thai. There’s too much culture there to give it up.