When Steven Seagal created all martial arts, he had no idea that a man from San Fransisco was about to take the world by storm. That man was called Bruce Lee. In 32 short years this man changed the face of martial arts forever. Something that not even the great Steven Seagal could attest to having obviously taught everyone, everything about martial arts. Or so he claims.
Bruce was different. He was a natural philosopher and an inventor in his own right, albeit one that wasn’t based entirely on fiction, dillusion and the ideals of importance in the lives of those you have no fucking impact on. Fuck you Seagal, fucking fuck you right in your fat fucking neck.
Sorry, I blacked out a bit there. Back to Bruce. This is a man that devoted himself to Wing Chun even though the other students practicing Wing Chun were racist towards him, because he was in fact mixed race. Bruce strong of character didn’t care much for their opinions and continued his training. Let’s fast forward a bit. Lee loved to scrap, he fought regularly and even fought to defend the honour of his students in a private match, as he was given an ultimatum by the Chinese Community. He was basically told that he could no longer teach non-Chinese people any form of Kung Fu. If he won, he could teach whomever he wanted, whatever he wanted. He won, obviously. He’s Bruce fucking Lee for fuck sake.
He developed his own form of martial arts taking scraps from well, everywhere. He called it Jeet Kune Do which I can only presume translates into I Fucking Own You. It’s another useless martial art. He’s thought to be the parent to Mixed Martial Arts as we know it now. You know, trains TapouT, is a cage fighter, etc. He forever established himself as one of the greatest martial artists of all time, and that is in part due to his excellent philosophy which can be beautifully applied to almost anything. At one point or another you will have heard this little gem on your martial arts journey.
“Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup; You put water into a bottle it becomes the bottle; You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”
For years I thought this was a load of shit. And for the record I’m under no illusion that a master or even semi-proficient practitioner of either Wing Chun, Jeet Kune Do or even fucking Basketball couldn’t give me an absolute fucking battering.
Recently, as you’ll know my BJJ head has been slipping. The reason for this is because like my body, my mind can be lazy too. Who’d have thunk it? Anyways, on Wednesday I decided to pull on the Gi and attempt to get myself out of this funk I’m currently in. I didn’t really get to train much, as I had to be called away. HOWEVER before class, a fellow early starter in the form of the wonderful Neil was there.
We decided to roll. Keeping in mind my recent funk, I decided to let my negativity dissipate. It’s time for a flow roll. I wanted to try new things, and try new things I did. Neil did catch me eventually, with what can only be described as floating kimura. Don’t fucking ask. Aside of that, I could see my scattered approach to rolling had him thinking differently. I had set out a few goals for myself, which were simple. I didn’t allow myself to be flattened, and didn’t play my usual boring game. I tried to work other awkward little things into the roll as well. Neil has brilliant core strength so a lot of it just didn’t work, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is I really enjoyed the roll, and didn’t get dominated. Or at least I didn’t feel dominated.
Now where does Bruce Lee fit into this? The flow roll itself. Be water, my friend. This is now my goal, as ridiculous as it may sound. I am going to be water. I will flow around my opponents when required, and I will crash down on them when required. I are be water, bitches.
The little water quote in itself really can apply to Jiu-Jitsu beautifully. Think about how you feel when you spar with an upper belt. Those higher ranks make things seem effortless as they flow around you like water. Every nook and cranny is filled with their weight or body in some way, again like they are water. This is effortless to them because of how often they’ve drilled that technique. They’re closer to that ‘water’ objective than you are now. I want to be water.
I trust what I’ve written has made sense. I’m hopped up on Chewits, so I may be off my fucking tits.