The baddest motherfucker on the planet

If you want to be the baddest motherfucker on the planet, you should spend more time fundraising than shadowboxing

We come to martial arts for many reasons, not the least of which is control over ourselves, over fear, and some modicum of influence over our destinies should a hand-to-hand combat situation arise.

However both the shysters and well-meaning ‘reality-based’ set sometimes overreach in equating this to mastery over our situation or others, linking power over self to a more general sense of power. So I thought we should take a moment to remember that the baddest motherfucker on the planet in 2016 is Barack Hussein Obama, and will continue to be the sitting president of the United States for some time to come.

With Putin, president Xi, and so on to follow. There’s no martial artist, soldier, or fighter in like, the top million people on Earth, in terms of real power or capacity to inflict harm. At least, not if that’s all they do. Even Canada’s teddy bear of a prime minister, Justin Trudeau, is badder than the most unnerving thousand-yard stare merc you’ve ever seen.

baddest motherfucker on the planet

The baddest motherfucker on the planet

Justin Trudeau

Doesn’t break the top 10, but ahead of you.


My dad used to ask me, “Why learn so much kung fu? Who you wanna kill?” I laughed at first, but like most adults found that dad goes from being not wrong about everything to right about some things to right about pretty much everything as you grow up.

“Beating one or even ten is useless, you have to learn to beat ten thousand, one million.”

Sort of wish I took his advice, but I was too busy needing to master other issues to think on that level. So I sympathize with many of the reasons people come to martial arts.

However we need to understand the limits of what the training does for us, and recognize when we start using a tool from one aspect of our lives to compensate for a feeling of inadequacy or impotence in another.



True power, as it always has, lies in money & politics, and hence true will and courage to stand up and do something means going through or working with those channels. That’s right, I’m saying Barack Obama probably has bigger balls than you. Just let that inconvenient truth sink in a bit. That said, I suppose I’ll have to give the same props to The Donald and Sarah Palin.

Tuhon Bill McGrath

Tuhon Bill McGrath. More afraid of at < 1,000 m. (Click for his website)

Dick Cheney scary

Dick Cheney. More afraid of everywhere else, including outer space.

Being the sharpest sword just puts you on the front ranks for a faceless field marshal. Those who take the lessons from Musashi and Sun-Tzu to apply them as generals in business are the ones who truly understand, even if they can’t throw a punch to save their lives.

Now, I’m not saying we should be like them because honestly, most people I know who spout The Book of Five Rings
in business are kind of dicks.

Rather, even if it improves aspects of our character, we should recognize when martial arts is an escapist luxury; when it distorts our attitudes and rhetoric; or even worse, when we assume that physical prowess means anything in an argument among civil society.


Speaking of escapism, I don’t believe it’s chance that our period of greatest political frustration coincides with a new Golden Age of Television. Thank you Netflix!

We used to love when Stallone or Bruce Willis punched out the bad guy at the end, the guy in the $2,000 suit with no “real backbone”, but we should note that the transformative myths of our time, Harry Potter and Star Wars, had the most physically powerful individual at the top of the evil organization, also requiring a special individual to topple them, equating personal power with true power at both ends of the moral spectrum, and thereby giving the Comic-Con geeks the ultimate escapist fodder.

Rocky V

We love to see him get his comeuppance

Emperor Palpatine

But we actually want to be him, without the evil. Or with. Whatever.

But before you shit all over them and put on your gloves to go train, recall that the most powerful man in MMA is this guy:

Dana White

Love him or hate him, works harder than all the fighters.

and part of the reason Conor McGregor is such an engaging story is that it makes us believe for a moment that it may not be true, that the baddest motherfucker on the planet with the most attitude might be worth something beyond a flash in the pan. Worse, is flash in the pan our ceiling for measuring success now? It is if you’re playing the game with the wrong strategy.

But hey, if you’re locked in, you’re locked in, and hopefully walk your path honorably and kindly. But let’s not let frustration at our limits turn what should be a beneficial hobby into an amplifier or soapbox for an angst that’s maybe not even recognized.

Last Man on Earth, Mr. Robot, and all the zombie stuff are a harbinger for the next zeitgeist, one we would do well to resist, “We’re done with heroes because we’re beyond saving: fuck it all and start over.”

I suppose “Fight Club” was on the leading edge of this fantasy: reduce the world to a size our impotence can get into a fair fight with.




 

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