Ya gotta love Master Ken, he does not mince his words and he does not mince. He is a real man, one tough, straight talking hombre with the full, awesome  power of Ameri-Do-Te to back him up, the man is a legend in his own lunchtime. Having exposed Ninjitsu as bullshit he now turns his withering fire on Taekwondo and there is no quarter given and I am sure none expected in return. Listen to the man:

Well he has a point and I do not wish to denigrate those who teach or practise Taekwondo at all, Master Ken is an invention, a fictitious character well-played but in real life these characters exist. Sometime what Master Ken says is very close to home. The character is a parody of instructors that exist in real life, they are not funny at all. They see themselves a some kind of elite killing machine usually based on some tenuous past experiences, ” Served in the Gulf War”, (pay corp type stuff), you would think the had crawled on their bellies with a knife clenched between their teeth in enemy infested territory. Many of them are Walter s, Billy Liars, some have experience and exaggerate it beyond proportion. The genuine heroes do not need to do this. Remember the saying about the empty vessel making the most noise.

I really like Master Ken as he provides a reality check, if ever you feel you are becoming, even a tiny bit like him you need to stop, stop right there, face the mirror and look carefully at yourself. I also like Master Ken as he helps us to laugh at ourselves if we start to take ourselves too seriously.  My business is teaching self defence, hence The Academy of Self DEfence, my main hobby is Ju Jitsu, these two things are a large part of my life, they help me to define who I am, why I do what I do, they help pay the mortgage but they are not me, well not solely me. I have a great family, a loving wife, children and grandchildren, parents, brother, sister and nieces, I have some really great friends, I have an extensive network of contacts, I like to read, write, talk, cook, walk, work, play, swim, exercise, cycle, fish, garden, eat and drink and lots of other things too. Over focussing on one aspect of your life can be unhealthy you can become obsessed with this and lose focus on the important other things you could do. If we take one thing too seriously, however good that thing is, it can lead to a form of monotone sameness dominating our life. Variety really is the spice of life.

So whilst we started with Master Ken slating Taekwondo here is another funny guy providing us with a Karate Class.

This one makes me laugh whenever I watch it and we have all met these guys, just look at my previous post on the Red Spider Ninja Society. Tommy Cooper was a comic genius and his timing perfect. His amazing technique works along as the attacker attacks properly. This is where most Master Ken Ninja Commando types fall down, their surprise attacks are no surprise at all, they cannot be or they would not work. What if the attacker goes off script? Violence can be scripted but it can be chaos too, we need to plan for both circumstances, we need to train the body and the mind to function under duress. Fancy sport orientated techniques are great if that is what you are after, what you are into. It’s like art itself, impressionism, cubism, romanticism, there are more isms than in a left-wing convention. Do you prefer, Monet, Picasso or Constable or maybe a Banksey is more to your taste. The world of art is gloriously open to interpretation and perspective, we can all look at the same picture but see different things.

Why is this not the same for martial arts? Because too many people clutter their art with politics. Too small simple words are a real problem, these words are ‘the way’. Once you have, or more importantly your Master has found ‘The Way’ you will almost certainly begin to retreat from openness into a closed, protectionist world. It is not inevitable, there are incredible people out there doing incredible things, I really love to see experts in their own martial art at work, the style may not work for me or be to my taste but I have respect for what others do. I also love to have a go, I do not seek to excel but to learn a little from others, to understand from their perspective, to see for a while with their eyes. But what of Ken, sorry Master Ken, where has he got to in all this? Well he is central because I have been lucky to meet and train with some great people and there has been no Master Ken present. Most people in the Martial Arts are great people, happy to share and learn from one another, yes there are closed minds too but I have come across very few. There is some bullshit out there and the martial arts can provide an incredible platform for those fantasists who occasionally infiltrate.

Watching clips like those above puts a smile on my face, I will leave you with a masterclass from a world champion instructor, not Master Ken this time but a World Champion teaching a women’s self defence class on how to deal with a knife attack, enjoy.