Tea ceremony, Ikebana and Judo share similar disciplineMartial arts, (judo, jujitsu, kung-fu, etc) are all Asian art forms, even though we in the United States view combat pairings as sports competitions, and file them under athletics.
By: Sharon Cox, The Jamestown Sun
Martial arts, (judo, jujitsu, kung-fu, etc) are all Asian art forms, even though we in the United States view combat pairings as sports competitions, and file them under athletics.
In reality, in their home origins, they are art forms, and interpreted as exercises in discipline used to control vital forces, that when released, can cause bodily damage or death. In this country, we emphasize the description with the combatant element: being able to injure an opponent. But martial arts (the culture of the Samurai, as well as Chinese and Korean martial arts) were used as a means of energy direction and bodily discipline… that of balancing the chi — or inner forces — of the mind and body. The medium is disciplined motion and it’s performed in front of an audience instead of paint applied to a canvas. Consider the “do” (pronounced doe) to mean “the art of.”
It’s grace expressed in cultural rituals that include the lovely Geisha fan dance, the delicate handling of tea implements in Chado (Japanese tea ritual), Ikebana (art of flower arranging), or the art of defense using a bamboo pole/sword (Kendo), as well as the art of fist, foot, or body contact (as in Chinese kung fu, tai-kwan do, or judo).
A former Jamestown College professor in psychology, AnnMaria Rousey taught judo at the YMCA here in the early 1990s, and inspired her own daughter Ronda to go on to the 2008 Summer Olympics to place bronze in her weight class in women’s competitions. AnnaMaria Rousey, following the death of her husband Ron, remarried and is now Dr. AnnMaria Rousey DeMars. They live in California. By Googling her name or Ronda’s, more information can be found to follow both of their careers and even to buy “Ronda Rousey” workout clothing.
Rousey is still a judoka and has stepped into Strikeforce, a more western practiced of combat. She was interviewed July 31 on TMZ for her recent win. She is on the cover of the 2012 ESPN the Magazine’s “Body” Issue that just came out. She’s scheduled for her next bout on Aug. 18 in San Diego where the 25-year- old will be taking on Sarah Kaufman. It will air on ESPN.
Rousey has trained under Jimmy Pedro in Wakefiield, Mass. prior to moving back to San Diego to train there for Women’s Bantomweight Strikeforce competitions. Pedro and his son, were also Kayla Harrison’s coaches, and she credits them with her success in both life and her taking the first USA gold medal in women’s judo during last week’s London competition. Rousey and Harrison credit judo as a means of mental balance in their lives. But then, Asian arts focus on balance in the whole person.
Many people are interested in learning various art media from Asia. Rebecca Young Sletten teaches Japanese cultural arts several times a year. Martial arts are taught here in Jamestown for various ages and styles, and at more than one location. Information on dates and locations can be found on the web or in The Jamestown Sun or the phone directory.
Jamestown College also has classes that focus on Asian art beginning January 2013. An art history class will cover fine arts from Asia as well as various martial arts and the rituals of ikebana and tea ceremony. It is an upper level class and will fill up quickly. If anyone is interested in taking the class or participating in the Medieval Feast and Tea Ceremony, please contact the registrar for instructions for the class. I will have more information in this column on dates for the feast and tea ceremony nearer those dates.
If anyone has an item for this column, please send to Sharon Cox, PO Box 1559, Jamestown, ND 58402-1559.