Wednesday, January 9, 2019

The Black masters of the martial arts you probably didn't know about

Image result for blacks in martial arts

I came across this article when I was surfing the interwebs the other evening. It struck a cord because I recall as a teen that in my neighborhood there had been a martial arts studio run by a Black guy who had fought in Vietnam and who had been stationed in various places around South East Asia. He was very stately  but carried himself with an air of "don't eff with me." He liked the culture of the East so much that his digs above the studio (I'm going by 2nd hand convo here. The parents of the boys who took lessons with him had seen his abode up close) were Eastern-inspired and not the typical, 70s plastic-covered living room set with bonus Barcalounger thrown in. His wife was Korean.

Anyhoo, martial arts studios used to be a staple in Black neghborhoods when I was a teen. They were all the result of Kung Fu movies. Guys coming back from 'Nam with knowledge of the sport. Influence from Black Panthers regime. Martial arts was big in Black neghborhoods. Hell, I had a mad crush on Bruce Lee for the longest. These studios channeled teens' energy into something productive. It cut down on gang wars tremendously and crime and gave the kids hope and discipline.

Then as quickly as ithe feeling of hope arrived, it left. To be replaced by crack cocaine. It moved in and ruined lives. Drugs had always been around but it had been a behind-the-scenes thing, whispered about and not indulged in on a mass scale. Oh, you might have seen a wayward visiting third cousin on it but not somebody's momma or sister. No. Just no.

So, seeing the above article warmed my heart because it brought back the memories of that feeling of hope lots of young men had in my 'hood that any one of them could be, not the next Bruce Lee or Sonny Chiba, but the next Jim Kelly.

Image result for blacks in martial arts

Image result for blacks in martial arts

No comments:

Post a Comment