Friday, June 29, 2007

FreeForm Comments

Say whatever you want to in the comments to this post -- random, off topic thoughts, ideas, suggestions, questions, recommendations, criticisms (which can be anonymous), surveys, personal news, self-promotion, and so on.

For my part, too much Kill Bill, Avatar, and a deep love for the new The Immortal Iron Fist comic book have planted a bug in my brain I cannot seem to get rid off. I think I should learn Kung-fu. I think it would go well with my doctorate (I should have a date of my final examination within the month). I am twenty-eight. Is this an awful idea? It feels like a good idea to learn a sport, one without a team, but it also seems a bit like a mid-life crisis.

I found out on wikipedia that "Kung-fu" does not necessarily mean martial art; it just means skill. So the casual use of phrases such as "I am going to break out all my computer-fu and fix your lap top" are not wholly inaccurate, which is kind of funny.


Dante Kleinberg said...

Not so weird. I'm 25 (close to 26) and still want to learn a martial art, a musical instrument, another language, and how to swim. My only concern re: the martial art is taking a beginner's class and being the only adult, a la that episode of Seinfeld where Kramer beats up all those kids.

In other news and in the spirit of Free Form comments: Add me to your blogroll! Would it help if I said please? What about pretty please?

Mitch said...

Geoff-- I don't think you can have a midlife crisis at 28. But yeah, martial arts all the way, Hi-yah!

Geoff Klock said...

Dante: "We're all at the same skill level!"

Mitch: I can have a midlife crisis at 28 if I want to. :)

brad said...

Geoff. Yes. Learn King Fu. After the army of killer robots is destroyed and the death ray has been dismantled, it's always cooler when the supervillain knows how to fight with his own two hands.

Jumaan said...

I would suggest the almighty god-sport of Judo!

Christian said...

I can't believe you might become Kung Fu Doctor Klock. And you're wondering why Fraction is using your name for a villain?

Geoff Klock said...

Yeah, but I am twenty eight -- how long does it take to get good at Kung Fu? I have no idea. I am in pretty good shape but I feel like i will look silly in a room full of teens.

Kung-Fu Doctor Klock. Yeah, Christian, that is prety much the last thing. I am going to have to learn Kung Fu now.

Let me warn everyone that I have read the Casanova issue with Dr. Klock. He is not exactly Dr Doom.

troy wilson said...

"He is not exactly Dr Doom."

Yeah, but he'd be a lot closer if he learned Kung-fu.

On an unrelated note, Timothy Callahan was right - The Devil's Backbone is a very good film. All you Pan's Labyrinth fans HAVE to see it (directed by the same guy). Heck, you might even like it, Geoff, because it's more redemptive than Pan's and has more of a point than "the world sucks." No cool creatures, though - just a ghost. Fair warning: it's a slow burn at first, but once it gets cooking it REALLY gets cooking.

Voice Of The Eagle said...

Now that we're off New X-Men:

Jean Reno IS Fantomex, what'ca think?

Geoff Klock said...

VoE: absolutely. But why did that have to wait until we were done with NXM?

Dante: you are added.

Streebo said...

"The Deadly Hands of Doktor Klock!"

It has a certain ring to it.

Geoff, I've trained in martial arts for several years until my duties on my film and writing projects took all of my free time away.

First, why do you want to learn martial arts? Do you want to approach it from the spiritual and philosophical side or do you want to learn self defense?

If you are more interested in the spiritual side - then look into something like Tai Chi or Aikido. Tai Chi emphasizes forms and breathing and involves very little hard contact. Aikido is also a very spiritual form with more physical contact as learning to fall and take a throw is the first step to learning to apply the throwing techniques to others. Both styles take decades to master - but they are both tempered with non-violent philosophies.

If you are more interested in self-defense - then you might want to look into Wing Chun (Bruce Lee's original style) or Judo or Juijitsu. Judo, Juijitsu, boxing, and kickboxing are all very effective arts - but they are also very physically demanding - leading to multiple injuries over the course of training. I'm 33 this year and have moved away from the more physically demanding styles.

Wing Chun is always interesting because it was developed by a Buddhist nun and was a distillation of the various Shaolin styles. She developed a simple, direct, and economic method of self-defense that was perfect for a woman - and works quite well for men in that regard.

I'm sure there is a proponent of Wushu or Tiger Claw or some similar style that could come along and extol the virtues of their various styles. I'm just laying this out as I see it.

I recommend looking into Aikido (although it's not Kung Fu), Wing Chun, or Tai Chi.

And no, you are not too old to learn Kung Fu.

Streebo said...

Recommended Kung Fu viewing:

The Five Deadly Venoms
Return of the Five Deadly Venoms
The Kid with the Golden Arm
Prodigal Son
Enter the Fat Dragon
Drunken Master
Enter the Dragon
Master Killer aka The Thirty-Six Chambers of Shaolin
Shaolin Challenges Ninja
Duel to Death
Fist of Legend
Once Upon a Time in China 1 & 2

Geoff Klock said...

Streebo: thanks so much. I want to learn self-defence with a little spirtuality mixed in, but not too much, because that stuff can be hard to take seriously.

Decades to master -- of course. But how long to get above amateur level? How long to get to intermediate.

Thanks for the film recs. I have seen about half of those, many researching Kill Bill.

Streebo said...

Hey Geoff!

No matter what style you decide to go with - the first six months are what I call the "sweeping the dojo" months. You learn the basic stances, movements and precepts - but none of the fancy stuff. Once you make it past the first year - you will start to see how all of the different elements fit together and allow oneself to express oneself creatively through martial arts.

The first year is the "make you or break you" stage. If you stick with it that long - you will no longer be just a beginner. The intermediate stage can last much longer and is wholly dependent on one's mental, spiritual, and emotional maturity.

I highly recommend seeking out the books on martial arts written by Bruce Lee. He offers a synthesis of technique and philosophy that can give one a new way of looking at combat - as well as life.

The Tao of Jeet Kune Do is a collection of Lee's notes on training, philosophy, and combat. It was never organized for publication by Bruce - but it is good to dip into from time to time like the Tao Te Ching.

I started getting LOST in from Netflix last week. I've watched the first eleven shows of season one and I am simply blown away. LOST offers a clinic in great storytelling with each episode. Everything is set up and everything that is set up is paid off powerfully by the end. It's simply amazing. I still can't believe I missed this when it started airing. Ah well. . .

Thanks for the recommendation!

Voice Of The Eagle said...

"But why did that have to wait until we were done with NXM?"

You know, I really have no idea.

Dante Kleinberg said...

Geoff: Thanks! You rock!