Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Paint the Fence and Wipe the Floor

The movie, "The Karate Kid" is remade and released in this year, 2010. Jackie Chen plays the master role very good. Still the impression of the first version "The Karate Kid" is strong. In any Kung Fu movie, the most interesting part is the training. Since the hero is not strong in the beginning of a Kung Fu movie, it is fascinating to watch the hero growing stronger. It is also appealing to watch how the master trains his student.

In the first version of "The Karate Kid", just right after the master Miyagi agreed to teach the boy, Daniel, Karate, the first thing the master ordered the boy was "Paint the Fence". The boy frowned because he was expecting his teacher to teach fighting skills. Master Miyagi totally ignored his student and asked him to wax cars after the boy finished painting his fence. The third request from his master was wiping the floor with a wet rag, not with a mop.

Since all these works contained basic Karate movements for attacks and defenses, the boy has mastered basic motions by the time he has finished all of his works. In an actual training of martial arts, things would not happen that easy. It takes years for a trainee to master one skill and comfortably use it. However, the movie shows the truth about martial arts' training especially in Japan.

The very first thing one needs to do, after he started martial arts' training, is wiping Dojo floor with a wet wag. The master does not allow him to use a mop. Since it is a just a wet wag, he must take crouching position for keeping his hands on the floor. He keeps the crouching position and runs forward to wipe Dojo floor. When he hits the other sidewall, he turns back, sit on his heels and run back wiping Dojo floor in a straight line.

Since the Dojo floor is a wide space, the one would be exhausted if he repeated this for several times. There are reasons for this. When one starts to practice martial arts, the most crucial factor is to strengthen his lower part of the body to gain stability. At the same time, in the contemporary life style using cars and remain sitting in offices and schools, people's lower part of their bodies are not so strong.

By wiping Dojo floor with a wet wag, one can strengthen his lower body and be prepared for higher level of fighting and defending skills. If one ignored this training, his skill level would stop, and he would face difficulties to improve his techniques. Professional athletes practice not only their expertise, but also they exercise side-training, such as weight training or jogging. Wiping a floor with a wet wag is the oriental version of effective side-training.

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