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https://youtu.be/O06JQiVDvwc I like Kenshin, and I think this video is worth watching -- in fact, better for you to watch it before reading my thoughts. I have a quibble, though. I thought I'd post about it here, since he frequents this forum and might join in. I was a bit put off when he started explaining why Somchai was winning exchanges, especially in the clinch. Judging by his name, Somchai trained muay thai, and therefore clinch work. I don't know much about Rijker beyond that sports science episode, but most kickboxers literally don't know how to clinch at all -- or know the inactive clinch of a boxer. Maybe one factor was that only one of them knew what they were doing in the clinch, and not only a difference in strength? I do think there are some physical differences between women and men, but I think we're often too eager to attribute gaps in athletic performance to biology. And I don't mean only in this specific case. When people are explaining how much stronger/faster men are than women, much of their evidence has very little explanatory power. To take an example. Let's say we compare the top marathon times for men and for women. The men's times are substantially faster: the fifteenth fastest man finished about 6 minutes faster than the first fastest woman, and about 22 minutes faster than the fifteenth fastest woman. That's a pretty big gap. But nothing here helps us understand which factors had the greatest influence on the result. For instance: Inherent biological differences between women and men of the same height/weight (maybe hip shape, for instance) Biological difference across populations (men are taller on average, although a given man is not necessarily taller than a given woman) Differences in talent pool (there are almost certainly many more men than women who run marathons. The top 15 out of a pool of 5 million are going to be faster than the top 15 out of a pool of 500 thousand. You get the same effect when you look at the number of olympic medals held by large nations vs small nations.) Differences in training (for various social reasons, it might be that one group trains with greater frequency or higher quality on average) There's absolutely no reason to think that factors 1 and 2 are having a greater effect than 3 and 4. And yet all I hear about, over and over, all day, is how women can't expect to beat men in fights because of biology. Maybe there are some other things going on, too.
I wanted to post my guest post here: Broken Tusk: Breaking the Body and the Art of Fighting because I think this is a really deep topic and possibly there is a lot to be talked about here. The idea is that the fighting arts compose a kind of graphic system that can be used to express an inherent beauty in violence, and that the pursuit of fighting arts, in that they are arts, and in that they verge towards a real violence, can be used to restore bodies and spirits that have been broken. In fact, through fighting the body can be built as a "higher" body, and higher house, a higher vehicle, by analogy. An excerpt: ...Sylvie’s “house of the spirit” doesn’t really exist any longer, not in any sense that we often assume someone to have one. Her house of the spirit, her body, was broken that day of multiple violations. Her spirit has no dependable house, no real protective shell. Since she was 11 she has been living in the ruins of her body-house, and as the human spirit is both beautiful and adaptable she has learned to live in those ruins. She can hide in them, in the broken pieces, use the shadows, the crevices, the places people don’t think to look. She learned since that young age to be in the ruins, of a kind. What Sylvie is doing in Thailand – for all those who don’t get (or worse, approve of) what she is doing – is building a higher house, or one can just as easily say, a higher body to replace the broken house/body she has had for all these years. This is why she strains and breaks herself over and over and over, reaching up to the promise of calm in the onslaught of violence. And like Genesha she cannot stop until the epic is written. This is why the Art of Muay Thai is a salvation and even a duty, the calm she sees in the bodies and faces of so many Thais that have fought since a young age – the poise, the balance, the grace, the ease – it calls her. This attempt is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen in my life. I'd love to hear the experiences and thoughts of others. So many focus on the violence of the real fighting arts and imagine a motive of something between aggression and rage. But to me the fighting arts, when pursued, are something so different. They compose a base language, and a writing system that uses the broken edges of the body as its instrument. In the article I draw the analogy of the myth of Ganesha, and his broken tusk:
I've messaged Sylvie on Facebook, but she asked me to post my question here instead, because the answer may be relevant to other people. There really isn't much information on the topic. So here goes. I had my first fight in Thailand on Friday (shameless plug - you can read about it here). It was all very last minute, I just sort of went through the motions, hoping my coaches would not let me make huge mistakes. I got in the ring under the ropes and when I was inside my trainer put the mongkol on my head. I was already wearing the flowers (I don't know what they are called, sorry). I didn't think much of it until after my fight, when I noticed that the guys from my gym were entering the ring already wearing the mongkol. Hence my question, is it because I'm a woman and it's not going under the ropes with me, or is it because we were in such a rush to get me in the ring that we forgot to put it on? If it's because I'm a woman, would it make a difference if it is my personal mongkol and not one shared with the male fighters?
I just discovered this new blog the other day. You, Me and MMA https://youmeandmma.wordpress.com/ YouMeAndMMA is a blog by the husband of Cubicle to The Cage (Canadian reality television) cast member and aspiring mixed martial arts fighter Nickie Cleroux. Follow Nickie's journey (from Ron's perspective) as she prepares for her first mixed martial arts bout. Thought it would be interesting to follow a female fighter's journey from her partner's perspective.