Exploring community culture can show you a lot about martial arts, and can teach you lessons you won’t see coming. One such example is illustrated by an early episode of “The Simpsons”. It was in season 3 that a simple sub-plot launched an interesting topic of discussion on the martial arts as a whole, for those who paid attention to the deeper meaning. It is in this episode that Bart Simpson seeks to learn to master the elements of karate, and has visions for combating aggressors, like a new student in the arts.
Bart Simpson takes this idea to be the next big kung fu legend, and shows through the ideas given to him through video games and the culture of the episode. This is what people learn about martial arts first, through the media. The culture is saturated with it, and when they go into the first lessons, they realize that it is a little boring. No crazy flying fists, no pirate teacher moving his facial hair in sinister movements, no explosions or rival schools coming in to disrupt things. That’s where people leave. It is during the first lesson that Bart Simpson leaves.
The Real World
When the bully Bart is resorting to the episode, Bart gets beaten up and hung on the edge of a basketball. He failed to protect his sister from bullies, and became a target instead. Karate is very interesting, as with all martial arts, but you have to understand that what is shown in movies and video games is not the truth. It’s not worth fighting as a UFC which fully shows what martial arts really is.
Turning bored excitedly
It is not acknowledged that there is no great act when you first start learning karate, kung fu, or anything in life. Even if you were a stunt person, your first day of training would not see you flying out of a car at rest neck speed. The first thing you learn is the basics, and those basics build your career as a martial artist, whether for profit or personal reasons. It is within that framework that the art form comes alive. If you follow the simple story shown on “The Simpsons”, you will see that the lesson is much more than the subplot. The point is, don’t give up on the first lesson, and don’t assume that the rest of the learning, training and methods will be boring. The first step of an incredible journey is not the most iconic ever, it is the biggest picture. Focus on the bigger picture, that’s where the whole scope of the lesson really starts to make sense.
Modern Samurai Association – Standing United We Pack Punch