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.
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:
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.
Sorry for the late notice, but I had a podcast with Tales from Mangri-La two weeks ago. You can hear it here. The guys who run the podcast are part of a Reddit called r/Asianmasculinity. Sorry for not keeping y’all updated on my web stuff, but I got detracted with Keon’s death, and I wanted to help raise awareness of his contributions. I had to give Keon his space. But I like what these guys are doing! I don’t know if I was so well-prepared for the podcast since I wasn’t sure exactly what we were going to talk about, but I was told that it would be like a bunch of guys talking in a bar. Perhaps if I were really drinking, I would’ve remembered more about our conversation with Jessica Hyejin Lee, who is now a tech CEO.
I went back on Facebook to tell people about Keon, and man, I now remember why I left. You get hit with all kinds of news and stuff. Facebook is the ultimate time-waster.
I learned about Anni Ma from YOMYOMF. Anni is a feminist who works to “free the nipple;” she goes around without a shirt to protest the double-standard in society where men can go shirtless but women can’t. See her interview above. In the interview, she talks about the double standard: how men can go shirtless without shame. She talks about how she wants to show the world how regular boobies are just as good as boobies you see in the movies that don’t have tanlines or stretch-marks (she actually raises a good point–how do they avoid tanlines in the movies?).
(Edit 5/10/16: People have asked how they can help Keon’s family. There is a GoFundMe page here. Please support this veteran, patriot, hero, and artist by supporting the family in giving Keon the Buddhist ancestral farewell that he deserves.
About Keon’s anonymity: Everyone at the Banana Conference knew Keon by name, but he chose to use only his moniker online in order to separate his activism from his future work as a novelist. Keon never completed his novel. His family has approved the release of his identity so that this hero can leave the world proudly and to get recognition for his immense contributions to the Asian American blogosphere and the many people he influenced.
Thank you, Aardvark, for posting the story above. An 33-year-old Underrepresented Minority (URM) named Montress Gomez was harassing a female waitress in Chinatown, and the owner of the restaurant, a 50-year-old Chinese man named Qang Wang, asked him to stop. The harasser punched a hole in the wall of the restaurant and left. When the owner followed him outside, the harasser beat the crap out of him. You can see the video above.
I just saw this IndieGogo campaign. For some reason, I thought that Love Boat was a high school thing, but I guess it does make more sense that it’s a college thing (since probably fewer Taiwanese parents want their kids dating in high school). On the other hand, don’t college relationships work better when kids go to the same college? If you’re go to college in Boston, it would seem pointless to do a program in order to meet a romantic partner from UCLA.
Those chess fans on this blog will remember the disastrous ruling by Tony Rich last year that gave Varuzhan Akobian a forfeit win over Wesley So in the 2015 U.S. Chess Championship. Well today, Wesley got his revenge in the 2016 U.S. Chess Championship. He demolished Akobian by sac’ing a rook and a minor. See the finish and interview either above or here.
Wesley had a great quote on chess.com.
“I did some critical preparation today,” So said. “I decided to play more safely but then I couldn’t control myself.”