Monday, December 3, 2012


Mma what the hell? Guess that's your first reaction. But just wait for a minute...
How to reach out to people? This so called mixed martial arts propaganda is getting bigger everyday, and more and more young people are influenced by it. We can quote all of the philosophers, sages and still with no avail. Why? Because people simply don't understand deep meanings of it all. Only a joker can be the one who can pass on the message of the sages.
Like I said before, the Joker is like a bridge that can pass on the philosophy and the spirituality of the sages to the masses. Sages can be too abstract sometimes...
Let me explain...
Imagine you're trying to spread some ideas to people in a foreign country. You're saying all the right stuff but the crowd simply does not understand the language you're speaking. You need a help of an interpreter.
Or if you have children around you. You can't talk to them as you would with an adult. You use baby talk or something else to get their attention. If you want to have an effect on the young people on the street, you need to know their street talk. The best teachers are the ones who use something familiar to you so that you can better understand the subject at hand.
Where is my problem with mma? Actually it's the problem that I have with all things in the world. Basically, spinning the facts and making bad things look good while disregarding the true values that we all as a human race should strive for.
Honestly, I wouldn't mind having mixed combat sports. If the people who promote them would say something like: 'Look, this is a circus where men bash their heads for the amusement of the crowd. If you want to watch it, come on in...', I could live with that because it would be honest business. Say you like eating big macs...It's your life and your choice. But don't tell to me how McDonald's makes healthy food.
It's the propaganda that is upsetting me the most. UFC has nothing to do with martial arts. There's no need talking trash about cage fighters. They are just clowns in a circus...
Again how to reach out to the people? For sure you have a lot of guys around you that are blinded by this mma nonsense. Lao Tzu and Buddha can't really help you with that. You need to show them something familiar... That's where the Joker steps up...

It's this guy

Doesn't really look like a cage fighter right? He's name is Genki Sudo. While I was very much into mma he served as a role model to me. And his example really made me think on what it is all about.
Genki was well known for his eccentric behavior in the ring. He would dance, smile and he's never really taken that fighting hype too seriously. He would also choreograph his ring entrances. It seemed like he was playing although his skills were amazing. He acted like a clown. Why? Because he knew mma was just a circus.
Mma fans always called him a prankster and he really stood out from the rest of them. He was there to amuse himself.

I won't be posting his fight videos cause I don't think they should be part of this kwoon. You can find an interesting   documentary about him on youtube. His unorthodox style became very popular when he, at the age of 28, suddenly decided to quit fighting. Disappointed with this stupidity called mma, at the peak of his career, Genki chose a different path. As a practicing buddhist he started teaching at university. He also began writing books and also formed his own musical group. Cage fighting was not the right place for him to spread his message. After his every fight he would show the words WE ARE ALL ONE. But there's no room for that in the circus called mma.
When you ask mma fans about Genki Sudo they would say that he was a fighter and then became a clown, but in my book he was a clown and then became a true martial artist. A real mma joker.
His band is very popular in Japan, here's one of their videos. You'd never guess that he used to be a cage fighter.

Maybe he's no sage just yet, but he's showing us a step in a right way. And his example can be proven useful to help educating people. It helped me anyway...


  1. Thanks for sharing this, Alex. Genki Sudo definitely does seem to be a different kind of character than your typical MMA guy, more of a jester for sure. You know, to me the whole spectacle of UFC and (perhaps to a lesser extent) K1 are very reminiscent of WWF. I mean, I think it's really the exact same audience... they've just migrated over to something that involves a lot of real violence, instead of faux-violence. It speaks more, in a way, to the pitiful mentality of society at large than it does to the fighters themselves. The big questions remain: How might the attention of the masses be directed toward some kind of expression that is healthier for society? Is it possible to repatriate the concept 'martial arts', to take it away from this gladiator industry? What can we expect for the future if the current trend in reality-violence entertainment continues? Etc.

  2. I've been planning to write a deeper analysis of the so called MMA and the promotion of violence in modern society for a while now. It is a very big and deeply rooted problem and the answer to your question can't be a simple one. I'll get right on it as soon as I finish with this joker series. My opinion is that the people who see the real problem should start making an alternative. What I mean by that... It's not enough to criticize it, but it's important to show the masses that there is a different way. Before we do that, we need to agree on what the true path really is... I have to clean my house first and then I can criticize the hygiene in your home. After you're sure what is the true path then try by any means you can think of to promote the good and oppose the bad. But like I said agreeing on what the martial arts are in fact makes a bigger problem than opposing cage fighting. That's why the people who seek the true path must communicate and share knowledge and experience so that the right alternative can be created. Saying something like UFC is shit won't change anything...

  3. Definitely agree. I think one distinction that I'd propose right away would be that arts and sports are two different things. In fact, quite often the notion of 'sport' enters as a means of corrupting and commodifying something that has previously been about living in beautiful and intensely meaningful ways. I'm thinking at present of natural engagements like hunting and fishing, for instance, and what has become of them as a result of their reclassification to sport/ recreation. In fact, sport even corrupted the notion of re-creation, which to me rings of beauty, before becoming so misused. Now... the idea of gaining some kind of consensus on what 'martial arts' truly are is, as you note, pretty unlikely. However, if even a small collective of like-minds can present a different interpretation of this concept in a manner that is powerful and widely appealing, then there might be a way to change the current scene. You're right, the way to sabotage the UFC is not going to come through criticism. Any obvious attack is going to meet resistance, that should be entirely expected. The way to do away with UFC is to offer an alternative that people can feel themselves to be a part of. I see that as the big attraction to sports - the fans feel that the teams/ players/ fighters are theirs. It's almost like a form of politics. So what kind of alternative can they be given, where they might become equally invested, in terms of emotion and identity?

  4. Just another note, Alex. This evening, I listened to the first hour of the Alan Watts joker lecture series. I notice that he doesn't really make any distinction between art and sport, as I suggested earlier this evening. In fact, it seems to me he's crossing metaphors, drawing on the common denominator of the 'play' concept to equate art and sport in ways I would, at least at present, disagree with. In the English language (and thought) the notion of 'play' crosses the categorical domains of music, sport, drama, etc. And seemingly because of this common metaphorical extension, Watts equates them. But are they really equal? I feel like playing music is a very different kind of experience than playing football. Likewise, my play in FMK is very different than someone training to compete in MMA. The latter is not truly play at all, it's not like the pure joy of dance or playing music, or martial arts practice, which are ends in themselves, and are the kinds of examples Watts offers toward a definition of 'play' in his lecture. But then he extends the metaphor, and everything becomes play, though of a strange sort, where the players don't want to concede they're playing. Here, I recognize he's trying to construct a Zen lesson. Still, true play is pretty far outside of what most sports are aimed at, and what society at large is up to, so I wonder why Watts didn't pick up on certain extensions of 'play' being different. In any case, I'm very grateful you've brought him to this blog, and I'm grateful generally for the level of conversation this is encouraging. About fifteen years ago, I reviewed a lot of Watts material, while trying to get a sense of what Zen was about. I'm going to listen to this lecture series again, in full, carefully, taking notes, and eventually respond. Also, looking forward to the next instalment of your offerings on this joker subject

  5. I'm not an expert in zen but as far as I know for a zen person everything is a game. So in their perspective a cage fighter is a person who's caught in a game but they are not aware of it. Watts is using the word 'play' as a universal term and in that way incorporates both sports, music, dance etc... I agree that there is a difference between professional sports and art but for a zen master it's all the same. Like I said I'm no zen master, but my opinion is that for a zen person we're no different than mma fighters. We're all caught in a game. Maybe martial artist is different because he or she is aware of the game. It's hard to understand it, but that's zen. It can be very complicated sometimes :-)

    1. You are so right. I have not watch the documentary about Genki Sudo but it is very interesting to see a former MMA fighter discover the futility of fighting. Speaking of Zen, I have much to learn about it. It is lifetime journey.


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