documentaries and lockdown

An extra week in lockdown has been declared. I have taken the lockdown quite well this time around. I think initially I thought I would go crazy having holidays and a lockdown in unison. Yet it has been nice to spend some time in the local area walking and exercising. I managed to get my little book of short stories out. I have been studying and watching martial arts documentaries. CCTV, a Chinese channel, had CNTV from 2009 to 2016 and they did a lot of martial arts documentaries which are on YouTube. They are very interesting to watch as they are subtitled in English. They cover a lot of styles, some are very obscure but have dedicated schools in some cases. Some of the Masters are beyond belief in their abilities. The documentaries start with a general introduction and around thirty minutes of general philosophy and application and then spend the last thirty minutes going in depth with the masters and their personal challenges carrying on the style and their early years growing up. It is very in-depth and I have a lot of respect for the challenges they have had to overcome to keep a style alive or open their own schools. A lot of these Masters had very humble beginnings, some were trouble makers and had to learn the hard way being turned away by their Masters. Some had no money for years and had to work in factories before finally getting to complete their dream of having a school to teach in.

One thing I liked about all of the Masters was their high moral standing. Some had to learn the hard way to get to that level. To be on their level you had to break through so many challenges. I suppose nothing gets handed to anyone. Some had to fight hundreds of opponents over many years and stay on that level. One Master was in his sixties and could throw people half his age around effortlessly. They kept internal principles brief and at times some denied internal martial arts. Yet mostly they have to keep that kind of thing hidden. Some Masters hinted at internal principles but their schools are based around hand to hand combat. If you try and get some young men who want to fight thinking about internal styles they will mostly find it boring so the schools have a lot of hand to hand fighting with weapons training. I rate the documentaries, they aren’t sugar coated and get into some detail of styles and the most revered of the style and their personal challenges. The first half an hour though is playful in comparison to the in-depth interviews in the last half. Initially I didn’t watch the full documentary because I didn’t have the time and I am glad that I did in the end because I could have thought it was just a general appraisal of different styles.

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