Common Ground

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This makes me happy:

The ethnically divided Bosnian city of Mostar has agreed to erect a new symbol of unity -- a statue of kung fu legend Bruce Lee, worshipped by Muslims, Serbs and Croats.

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  1. Perhaps this line of reasoning -- the neutral, third party hero -- could be emulated in other parts of the world wracked by sectarian conflict:

    "Introducing the new Prime Minister of Iraq... Jackie Chan!"

  2. Umbriel,

    But then there would be the problem of finding him a suitable sidekick for upholding justice, while acting as his foil:

    "And introducing his Assistant, [insert token raunchy black comedian name here]".

  3. "This is not a chawade..."

  4. Speaking of martial arts, what the fuck is 'Lightning Ju Jitsu'? It looks like a bizarre sex act to me, judging by the ad illustrations.

  5. Meanwhile Chuck Norris is still trying to get a urinal named after himself in a San Antonio taco joint...

    Fear Count Dante!
    http://www.toyadz.com/toyadz/karate/countdante.html

  6. kung fu legend Bruce Lee, worshipped by Muslims, Serbs and Croats

    oh great. another Jerusalem. In 2,000 years the Serbs and Croats and Muslims will all be fighting over the city of Mostar and the right to control access to the sacred statue of Bruce Lee.

  7. Jeff P: Well, yes, but Chuck Norris sucks. And unfortunately he did not have the manners to follow the lead of his "Sidekick" Jonathan Landis and die.

  8. Jeff,

    I followed that link. So from what I understand, Reason Online attracts underwriting sponsors that are the modern-day equivalents of the kitchy Boy's Life DIY Home Karate Kits from the days of yore. And Carpet Humpers. Can't forget them.

  9. I think the plastic Santa Claus in Turkey is cooler.

  10. smacky:

    Don't ask. And definitely don't click the link and read the page. It's like a comic book ad. A quick sample:

    The first trick I saw was the machine gun defense. That single move is worth the price of the manual. After all, how much is your life worth?

    No less that [sic] mine, my friend.

    But I wouldn't have been as jazzed as I was over just this one great life-saving move. As I devoured the manual...

    I was floored by move after vicious move!

    Man... I'm totally pumped now...

  11. In 2,000 years the Serbs and Croats and Muslims will all be fighting over the city of Mostar and the right to control access to the sacred statue of Bruce Lee.

    "ours is the one true style of following the style of no style"
    "no! *ours* is the one true style of the style of no style. Die infidel!"

  12. Those ads on the side of the screen are kinda silly.

  13. Smacky-looks to me like Lightnig JuJitsu is the creation of someone with maybe two years of training who has developed the ultimate realistic street-fighting system.(tm) They're a dime a dozen, and all claim to have trained SEALs, Green Berets and the like. Yawn.

  14. I followed that link. So from what I understand, Reason Online attracts underwriting sponsors that are the modern-day equivalents of the kitchy Boy's Life DIY Home Karate Kits from the days of yore. And Carpet Humpers. Can't forget them.

    Yeah. I seriously think that Reason online needs to either up their ad rates, institute minimum design qualifications for ads, or both. As an ardent hata of bad design everywhere, I have to say that those animated gifs look like they came right out of 1989.

    Oh yeah, and btw, Matt Furey has been totally pwned.

  15. I really enjoyed Kung Fu Hustle. More so than I've enjoyed most Jackie Chan movies; it was on par with recent Jet Li films. Better than 'The One', not as good as 'Hero'.

    Apropos of nothing, except maybe 'Who's the next Bruce Lee?' I'm not saying it's Stephen Chow, but he certainly seems to be in the running.

  16. On a more serious note, don't Muslims usually have a serious problem with graven images?

  17. Don't ask. And definitely don't click the link and read the page.

    It's much too late for your advice. Oh it's much, much too late. I saw it all. I saw everything.

    As an aside, I'm wondering if the ads along H&R aren't intentionally nostalgic in honor of the oh-so-trendy mod hipster-poseur zeitgeist. (The one that Gunnels claims is going on in the recent years of Reason writing.)

    I mean, they can't actually be trying to sell anything with those ads, can they?

  18. Brian -

    Not only that, but when has Bruce Lee ever been an idol for "unity"?

    It seems true; Western culture via the celebrity-syndrome is taking hold everywhere.

    Surely gauis thinks this is a sign of the apocalypse.

  19. Smacky, I wish it were so, but bad design done intentionally by a good designer usually has a few redeeming qualities that make it good.

    Those ads are, quite frankly, drek.

    I can just see Matt Furey, up late, laboring away with a pirated copy of PhotoShop doing his best to put together an ad.

    "Yeah, my ad will be Red, White, and Blue! It'll be BADASS! Then all I need is to show a couple of the exercises...I know! The Hindu Pushups are sweet! I'll totally show that!"

  20. Isildur, if you haven't seen it already, go rent "Shaolin Soccer."

    Freakin' Genius.

  21. I hear that Mostar is worse than Detroit.

    Back at you Jeff P.

  22. By the way, Norris only recently came to suck. One of the best fight scenes ever is between him and Bruce in Return of the Dragon. As far as movie martial artist go he is about as legit as you can get. In his day he would have toasted that glorified dancer Van Dame and that bullshit artist Segal. He holds ranking belts in multiple styles and did Tae Kwon Do before the pussified Olympic version became the norm. He may be a GOP shill now, but he would still own your ass in a fight.

  23. This ruins my plan to bring peace to the middle east by erecting a statue of John Saxon.

  24. We shall never accept the existence of the Lightning Ju Jitsu entity.

  25. Jesse,
    Thank you! That is the first sign I've seen, that civilization exists on this planet, in as long as I can remember. Honestly, I can't remember the last time a piece of news left me feeling so hopeful for the human race.

    May the Bruce be with you

  26. medigageek:

    That link is awesome. The world's most absurd martial arts bullshitist has to be Dillman and his cult of pressure point, chi manipulating wackos.

    I have experienced one of the most depressing things in martial arts, a decent Krav Maga school run by a real down to earth guy who liked all kinds of stuff gets bought by a Dillman nutcase. It was about 2.5 seconds until all of the Krav students were out the door. It took just about enough time for the guy to explain that repeated knees to the groin were all well and good, but real martial artists know that a woman can take out a larger man much easier with her index finger.

    Sigh. No Krav school for me anymore. Now I just work out with Bas Rutten's mixed martial arts CDs at home.

    On the plus side, if you guys like kitchy movies with good martial arts, check out "Ong Bak - Thai Warrior". The kid in there, Tony Jaa, is an impressive athlete. Think young Chan minus the comedy. No guide wires, cool stunts, that sort of thing.

  27. Years of training in kung fu, jiu jitsu and various other offshoot styles have taught me that, no matter what you know or how incredibly well-conditioned and vicious you may be, you're no match for a good eye-raking.

    End of fight.

  28. The world's most absurd martial arts bullshitist has to be Dillman and his cult of pressure point, chi manipulating wackos.

    Are those the Radki kids that claim they can do ki blasts, ki punches, ki flying, ki teleportation ala Dragonball Z? That's out of control nuts.

    http://www.geocities.com/donjitsu2/radkichallenge.html

  29. Soda:

    Dangerously close. George Dillman make a living by going to the seminars where he demonstrates his 'pressure point self defense' system that was derived from 'what the katas actually look like and not the watered down version most white people have been taught'. He will grab a guy out of the audience and knock him out, ostensibly with pressure point strikes. He will explain that he is interrupting the flow of your chi, and will mysteriously allude to other types of chi manipulation he teaches at his compound, er, school. Even his school is all seminar based. Money flows better than chi, I suppose.

    His students tend to be even worse than he is. You see, they never have to put anything on the line. They just sit there, out of shape, and smile knowingly while you bust your butt working thai knees and elbows, secure in the knowledge that they can take you out with their pinky. If you invite them into the ring, they suggest that you are not ready yet and that in any event Dillmans techniques are too deadly to work in a mere sparring environment.

    As for the seminar stuff? What they do is have to stand with you hands at your side and hit you in the neck up to three times. I don't know if they use crowd plants or not, but I'm willing to concede that if you can hit me in the neck several times, I'm in trouble. I have seen one of Dillmans top students try to knock out a former heavyweight boxer who wasn't playing along. That didn't go well. Embarrassing really.

    "You got wobbly there for a minute, did you feel that?"

    "No. If you smack my neck again, I'm going to throw my right hand."

  30. My old man is a doc and a Kenpo black belt. If I had a dime for every time he crushed some poor bastard's world by explaining to him that pressure points and ki flow are bullshit. The only "pressure points" are the testicles and the throat. You can also cause some considerable discomfort by digging in to the big glands in the armpit, but alas there is no Touch of Death or Five Point Exploding Heart Palm Technique. As for ki/chi, most legit styles that talk about it are using it as shorthand for body mechanics and balance. Turns out if you're opponent is off balance and you maintain yours you can do some shit that looks pretty damn mystical but is really nothing more than applied physics. Aikido is fun like that.

    I have simple tests to tell if the dojo I'm checking out is bullshit. How many belt ranks are there? If there are more than 5 or 6 it means the instructor is just looking to milk cash out of you with test fees. Another good indicator is the presence of prepubescent black belts. That's not to say that there aren't any prodigies out there, but most of time you?re just giving a punk kid a false sense of invincibility and pumping up a parent?s ego so he keeps his checkbook open. Tournament trophies can be a bad sign too. They can mean two things; your learning a style that works on the mat but not the street or your going to be used as training fodder for the instructor?s pet black belts. Also if the guy claims to be ex Special Forces or to have trained in the East he may not be lying but your BS meter should be set to maximum sensitivity. And beware of anyone who wants to train you for the Octagon.

  31. all claim to have trained SEALs, Green Berets and the like
    Trained, I suppose, in the sense that maybe some special ops types stopped in for a few classes and then left when they found nothing useful.

    Isildur - Thing with Stephen Chow is he mostly does slapstick comedy. I don't know if he wants to do serious films like Jet Li or even semi-serious films like Jackie Chan does.

  32. Let me preemptively say I'm not dogging all tournament styles. I don't want any Thai boxers or Judo players hunting me down. Olympic Tae Kwon Do pussies however can bring it on.

  33. And beware of anyone who wants to train you for the Octagon.

    We both know that I'm training to be a cage fighter.

  34. Jason, glad you dig the link.

    A question about Krav Maga: I sat in on a class a couple of months ago when I was giving some thought to taking up a martial art. Some of the stuff they did involved disarming an enemy with a pistol.

    Is that seriously part of Krav Maga? The drills struck me as somewhat useful, but really only against an opponent who doesn't know what they're doing with a handgun. (ie, in close quarters, shoot from a retention position.)

  35. "We both know that I'm training to be a cage fighter."

    Yeah right. Who's the only one here that knows secret ninja moves from the government.

  36. mediageek,

    Gun disarms can work, but any good intructor should emphasize that they are an absolute last resort and should only be attempted when your pretty sure you're going to get shot anyway.

  37. mediageek:

    There are indeed disarms in Krav. They believe that there is a need there in the worst of all situations - you know you will be executed if you don't act. They are Israelis, after all.

    As for only working against someone who doesn't know what they are doing with a handgun, I would modify that to say that it only works against those who aren't very disciplined in weapons retention in particular. 99% of even good shooters I know are not trained in extreme close quarters. The average guy on the street? The one handed retention position is vulnerable to the Krav disarm (, but two hands on the weapon at 'chest ready' makes a strip almost impossible. They are very clear that they are giving you a shot at not dying rather than teaching you to dodge bullets. I like that about Krav.

    Also, I would note that if you haven't been in a a close quarters class, you should go through it. Using Code Eagle paint rounds shot out of a .38, you can learn a lot. In a close quarters environment, if the guy has the drop on you, trying to access your firearm is a bad plan. 9/10 guys I see go through the TDI class get shot trying to draw under the gun. A very aggressive Krav pistol move kept me paint free.

    The general tenets of Krav weapons defence;

    1) The barrel must not be pointed at you, ensure this in any of several ways.

    2) Once the barrel is diverted, deliver several strikes to the face and never stop moving into the assailant.

    3)Execute the strip

    4) As always with Krav, aggression wins. Tentative motions get you shot. Commit suddenly and never stop attacking until the weapon is secure.

  38. Did any one catch the NPR interview this morning?

    Apparently it was important to have the statue face the right direction. If it faced Serbia (East) or Croatia (West) or Bosnia (the rest of Bosnia?) (South) it might be interpreted as suggesting aggression.

    So it faces North. I guess it's OK to attack whoever's there.

    (Actually I thought Croatia looped over to the north too, but I'm too lazy to look it up)

    Hey as long as they're happy and stop killing each other it's fine with me.

  39. He's history's greatest monster!

    I'm sorry. But I looked like a good excuse for a gratuitous Simpson's quote.

  40. i want to learn hit and trick them and run fast

  41. i want to learn hit and trick them and run fast

  42. i want to learn hit and trick them and run fast

  43. i want to learn hit and trick them and run fast

  44. i want to learn hit and trick them and run fast

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