Years ago there was a telly programme called GLADIATORS where all these muscley false tanned ladies n' gents used to do strange physical tasks for the enjoyment of the studio and viewing audience. They all had dramatic names like WOLF and YORKSHIRE TERRIER, etc.....Not really i cant remember the others ,there might of been a PHOENIX in there ,but generally like all fit sculpted body people they were a strange bunch.
There was a time when people used to do excercise to get fit ,things like 'jerks' and swinging of arms like soldiers in the morning when exercise was known as PHYSICAL JERKSas shown in those old war timePUBLIC INFORMATION FILMS... and the most technical was a press up or sit up. But now nobody plays sport(goverment cutbacks and money starved property developers removing playing areas and pitches,etc,but that's for another blog!).... or does physical occupations or pastimes ,so now they jump in their car and go to the posh gym which they've spent a fortune to bust a gut and sweat their cobblers off on a variety of very weird and wonderful looking torture devices. It has always been a source of amusement to me going past a leisure centre and seeing hundreds of people running on the spot all facing out at the traffic oblivious of the world passing in front of them as they've got ear phones on or watching the telly above them as drivers and pedestrians are laughing at them and commenting to each other ,"Look at them knob'eads!"....."It's a lot cheaper running around the block!".....
I know a lot of people who 'Go to the gym' and all of them are always complaining of aches and pains i've come to the conclusion that this healthy living will kill you. Whereas in the old days people were active and did their 'physical jerks' nowadays every muscle has a huge machine bearing a vast array of weights to strain this or that particular muscle, so people can develop whatever part of their body they want,mostly for appearance sake rather than health and fitness sake. Muscles have become a fashion statement, like most fashions they come and go and are designed. Take the abdominal muscles ,or as us in the know refer to them as 'AB's', or now the SIX-PACK Every pop or movie star ,etc has the 6-pack. The 6-pack is top of everybodies fitness shopping list, but is totally unnatural. You look at all the movie stars from before BRAD PITT,etc in the 80's back, CHARLTON HESTON,etc and not one of them have the 6-PACK!
You see people walking around town in the middle of winter blizzards in tee-shirts because they have to show their gym pumped bulk, funny thing is most work on their arms and have huge barrel like chests and powerful thick arms and sad spindly neglected legs. A lot of these muscle jocks accentuate their muscle with tatooes, i can't help thinking come the day when the gym membership isn't renewed and the pleasures of laziness and bone-idleness sets in and the muscle starts to shrink, does the tatoo shrivel like a picture on a scrunched up piece of paper.
I trained in KARATYE for many a year and like most young fellahs i used muscle power convinced that ,that was the way it was done ,but to do that you had to be fit and had to be warmed up before you could even start. Now i'm a middle aged old fart i've realised that is wrong. All fighters ,etc are finished by their 30's as their body can't maintain that strain. I discovered TAI-CHI when we lived in INDIA 10 years ago and combined with KARATE i discovered this insane method of training where, instead of speed and power ,general busting a gut ,et al....The slower and more relaxed you moved the better. My KARATE developed speed and power from going in totally the opposite direction, for a lazy bastard like me ,this was proof there is a god and he's a feckin' genius! I'm currently training myself to do a Karate seminar with one of the real Karate greats SENSEI TERRY O'NEILL....As i'm not with a club i'm training myself so i don't get too badly beaten. But the secret of Karate as explained to me once by the great Japanese master HIROKAZU KANAZAWA is in breathing ,relax and breathe and the speed and power is there. The amazing thing is i dont get stiff i dont even have to warm up, but it is advised, i'm a middle aged old fart and i can kick above my head although i've never been able to do the splits even after all these years of stretching excercises, but ah well......And i don't have a 6-pack , but i can take a punch in the gut off anybody.