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Josephine (Jojo) Kim

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  1. Oh I absolutely loved reading this. How well articulated. I just watched Spider-Man in the Spider verse last week. I still can’t get over the colors, the characters, and how the shapes move across the screen. The theme of getting to know your silhouette to fully unleash your powers = the idea you will fit into your Spider-Man suit in time. No returns policy. Your post reminds me about the phenomenon of the human imagination. The liminal space we step into when we suspend disbelief temporarily and listen to the narrative. The place where literally anything can come to be! The space between the tip of the animator’s pencil and paper. The space where the brain and a vivid literary world collide in the reader’s mind. The space that rests between the fighter who is and the fighter who is to be. Our gaps are our potential bc that’s where our imagination naturally thrives. Ive been thinking a lot about the imagination recently. This was such a relevant and encouraging post. I like thinking with the concept - Ruup! Very insightful and beautiful ~ thank you for the thoughtful post.
  2. I love how your juxtaposition of different fighters’ craft is shared from first hand observation. I sense the awe and appreciation for each fighter's “chosen” style of preservation (for example, Samson v Karuhat). Especially given the mission - “Preserve the Legacy,” I think it is special to tap into individual modes of preservation bc each legend’s relationship to the art is absorbed and “shelved” differently in their mind and muscle memory. Thank you for this angle in the forum!
  3. Absolutely. Wilde was not a Muay Thai fighter, and this was his only novel based off of a Faust legend. If he had seen a Muay Thai fighter fighting within the trinity of transcendentals, he might have written about that experience/story instead haha The arts is such a large umbrella term and often (too?) all-encompassing. I’m realizing now that different kinds of art philosophies don’t always occupy the same “shared venn diagram space” as each other, though they all lead to a form of art.
  4. This is so neat - to use chicken fighting and Kru Nu’s Gym as case examples. Art seems to draw in community, maybe even form community, because this is the nature of beauty. We want to discover it for ourselves, but we also want to gather others around to celebrate, study, learn from, and test Beauty together. There is a larger, communal validation of the Beauty. Also, we want to absorb as much of it as possible. Specifically in regards to Muay Thai, I perceive nak muays want to “inscribe” the Art into our bodies. For it to become a partner of our bodies’ natural flow is a beautiful thing indeed. (On a relevant side note, I think fight photographers want to savor and capture the beauty in a different form. Not on their own bodies, but within different cascades and shadows of light. They can then share something closer to their exact personal perceptions to the onlooker via the camera’s malleable eye and the dramatics of light/color/effect). On the topic of patrons, there seems to be layered motives to wanting to support. Some patrons want to tap into this beauty and grow from it and ultimately support it by tangible means. Other patrons want to invest in it because Beauty is also a source of raw power. (These motives are not mutually exclusive, but just two types of motives I am currently thinking of). I think the rarer ”Beauties,” like Petchruongrang Gym, are the ones chasing after the art, not the money. They could chase the latter if they really wanted to, with probably just a few tweaks, but they are so consumed by the art itself that may not be their primary concern. In a sense, they have reigned in the true power of Beauty because it is untainted. This is a pretty romantic view of power, money, and art, but I think I ascribe to it.
  5. Thank you for sharing so much, Kevin! This speaks to the functionality versus symbolism of art. Is it just meant to express the artist or hide/free the artist? I am reminded of the preface in the classic novel, “The Portrait of Dorian Gray.” It’s a page and a half but my highlight is the last line after all is said and done about the greatness of art itself. [Admin edit: these photo files were lost in the takedown of the site]
  6. I agree with Jeremy - in general women are more eager to please and seem more attentive to learning (this goes for the academic classroom as well). I would say this may be the case across most personalities in women, even with shy individuals who do not express themselves as loudly with their voice. In Taiwan, I was and under-10yo children’s kickboxing and BJJ assistant coach. The girl:boy ratio was always 1:10, or something like that. Of course there are cultural differences, but in general, I still noticed the girls were very quiet and not as vocal as the boys. Yet, it was clear they wanted to learn (for example, they would try to correct their technique when I pointed something out). The main coach always had me work with the girls and the newcomers as the only female assistant coach. So, I got to see how they grew over time too. One girl was always down to spar bc she would willingly and literally walk up to challenge. She “became more aggressive,” or stood her ground when she was in the center of the ring to spar with everyone watching, but still no screaming or crazy sounds, like the boys. Another girl was always more hesitant, but would go up since I constantly yelled, “You can do it!” As time went on, the girls seemed to become more normalized to the procedure of getting over nerves and going on their own. I think the mad cheering helped them because they were receptive and eager to please. The boys were objectively more talkative and “silly.” Even the “leader types” goofed off more than the girls. While they knew when to be serious and work hard, but they seemed to enjoy a flexibility of seriousness-playfulness as a child. I saw less of this behavioral breadth in the girls. This is just my general observation. There were some shy boys too, but the more extroverted personality traits were dominant amongst the males (also given the highly unbalanced gender ratio). At this age, there is not too much “sweetheart of the gym” present. Sometimes fitness-goal-centered gyms have this issue amongst adults. I can feel competition in the air to be “seen” by the male coaches or men in the room. But in serious gyms that train to fight, this dynamic is not as common. Women are usually THRILLED to have other women fighters step into the space and work with them. Occasionally, I would hear from female friends that this dynamic is going even in serious gyms. Even though, I am one to be sensitive to gender dynamics, I was surprised because I was unaware. So despite the gym space itself, perhaps the experience for women will still vary per individual. I can on, but I’ll stop here for now haha.
  7. The role of the rich in the arts in general! In the context of History, I’m learning that with wealth comes the birth of the opinionated man. Preferences and taste are socialized by the richness of exposure and education. This is a fascinating topic because art is one of the intersection points of the rich and the poor. (I’m thinking of the rich art collector and the “poor artist” cultural motifs). Also, art has the potential to be an equalizer of class, like death, because of the arguably more inherent nature of human creativity. As for martial arts, I see money all over the gym and fight scene both locally and internationally (travel, equipment, nutrition science, etc). But, I would like to see...how much of its survival is fueled by human fight philosophy or technology, than pure monied privilege?
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