Coming home from work the other night, I sat down to unwind for a few minutes. The TV was playing a movie starring Jackie Chan. I never caught the title but it caught my interest. Jackie was teaming up with another monk to teach a non Chinese student the laws of martial arts. Not long after watching, I found myself strolling down the path of memory lane, to my childhood and the fascination I always had with Kung-Fu.
Kung-Fu was a Series that was airing on Saturday late afternoons in Germany. It was a huge part of my life and something that couldn’t be missed. The one hour long episode usually flew by and had me fever towards the next one that would air one long week from that day.
The odds were stacked against me to ever study the art of Kung-Fu. We lived in the country away from martial arts schools and with no transportation to get to and from. After my fathers death we relied on buses and trains which wouldn’t have made it impossible, but definitely made it much more difficult to adhere to schedules and deadlines. Especially in the winter months.
I taught myself a few things here and there, mainly not to fight like a girl, ha, what does that even mean? I have heard that comment during a friendly wrestling match before and I guess it was made out of an element of surprise. Maybe I was suppose to screech, claw and scratch and if that works, well then I will do that too. Who knows, but I joke about it until this day and will quickly take on the stance of Neo from the Matrix, standing slightly sideways with one arm stretched out towards you, locking eyes with you, while motioning with my fingers for you to come and bring it lol.
I may also call you grasshopper or warn you in a playful way that I know jujitsu (nonsense) if you don’t stop messing with me. The keyword is playful and if you know me, then you know that I’m bluffing as I never studied any of it, but it’s a warning sign, poker face and all to tell you that I will put up a good fight and don’t surrender easily. Just thinking about it makes me smile as another scene from the movie “A knights tale” enters my mind where Heath Ledger leans over Adhemar, after a jousting match. Adhemar laying on the ground, defeated, as William (Heath) is telling him that “You have been weight, you have been measured and you have been found wanting”. Good, clean fun….so back off.
It wasn’t my love for Kung-Fu though that kept me captivated at the screen the other night. What caught my attention was Jackie arguing with the other monk about the teaching techniques for the student. They didn’t agree with the style of both being a tiger and it being the main or only technique to teach this new, unaware student. He was talking about the crane, the dragon and the snake and how they all were beneficial to be used together. I was never aware of the different animals in the world of the martial arts, the study and that it’s movement was a reference to those animals.
It was the timing that kept me glued to the screen as I thought of a dear friend I just recently met here on WordPress. “White Crane”. Just a few days ago he made reference to me being a tiger and I’m still learning what that entails and what characteristics may come with it. I will have to re-watch the episode “The way of the tiger, the sign of the dragon” that aired in February of 1972. I was way too young to have ever understood the message back then, but today I believe it might be another sign of the universe trying to tell me something. I think “White Crane” paid me a visit that night, sharing his wisdom and insight while taking another stroll down the path of life with me. A path reminding me to reflect on life, to find new strengths in my belief to live and let live. Chances are, a tiger could easily be the enemy of a crane and yet we all have to learn to coexist. Especially in today’s chaotic world of global disaster filling our news with hate and arrogance just to name a few. The list goes on and I have no desire to harm or kill anyone, tiger or not, but if we do our part, just a little bit at a time, if we show compassion for each other regardless of rank, power and strength’s, well maybe just maybe we can make this place we live in just a little better for everyone.
You see, it’s not a matter of who is stronger and more powerful, who can destroy who, but it’s a matter of what we can learn from each other. How we can fuse our styles together to become a force that is unstoppable and stands together. United. Life is reminding me lately that no matter how powerful a tiger might be, sometimes even the tiger is tired of being so powerful and strong. Like Ozzy Osborne would say in one of his songs “I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired”. It comes down to choice and if we don’t want to feel like this all the time, well then we have to believe that we can change our stars and “Just do it”.
With that being said, I close my thoughts and thank my dear friend for sharing his wisdom. It is no coincidence that our paths have crossed and I see and hear you loud and clear “White Crane” as your feathers spread around my fur once more.