The delusion of grace under pressure

The Tai Chi Notebook

Surprise! Fighting looks like…. fighting

This blog post grew from a discussion on RSF, a discussion forum on internal marital arts where I’m a pretty active user. Some members were expressing their displeasure at what they saw as low-level skill displayed in the recent 2012 Olympics Judo contest in London.

I was incredulous, since competing on an international stage in a tough sport like Judo requires the athlete to have levels of skill far beyond those of the mere mortal. Yet phrases like “low level” and “muscling” were being thrown about with abandon. The standard thing the detractors of modern Judo say, while explaining how Judo has entered a state of decline from which it can never possibly recover, is that modern athletes are not as good as the old timers. Then they post a black and white video of Mifune (The “God of Judo”) practicing with his students back…

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