Thursday, January 15, 2009

And now for something completely different...

Writer and Vice president of the London Writer’s Society, Kevin Love, recently sent me a link for his latest project and I just had to share. The website, with text by Kevin and illustrations by Jon Oaker, is an introduction to Aiki-DOH!-Ka, a somewhat inept although always enthusiastic practitioner of the martial art Aikido. I found it hilarious, perhaps because a few years ago I took Kung-Fu and can totally relate to poor Aiki-DOH!-Ka’s incompetence, and his determination to stick with it.

For those unfamiliar with Aikido, it is a Japanese martial art and the name is sometimes interpreted as ‘The Way of Harmonious Spirit’. Practitioners are called Aikidoka. Aikido concentrates on grappling (rather than kicking or punching) and re-directing force, both to defend against attack and try to minimize damage to the attacker.

That’s the ideal...but perhaps the most famous practitioner of the art is Steven Seagal of movie fame, who certainly didn’t seem to worry too much about not hurting the bad guys. Of course that was only on the screen, so it doesn’t really count. What you might want to do however, if you ever get a chance to watch one of his movies, is take note of the absolute fluidity of Seagal’s movements. Aikido is beautiful when done properly and he knows what he’s doing.

Having done that, go back to and the genius of Kevin and Jon’s creation becomes evident. Aiki-DOH!-Ka is the embodiment of each of us who, without great natural talent and knowing we’re probably going to get hurt, put ourselves out there over and over again—and after falling flat on our asses, lie there laughing.

As Kevin said, “If we didn’t laugh at ourselves, life sure would be dull.”

Words to live by indeed...

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