No it isn’t. Not if it’s worth doing, it isn’t. It sounds like the recipe for a rotten shag.
A few years ago when I made my twice or thrice weekly trek to a karate dojo, if there was one thing which turned our very mellow sensei into a raging bull it was the sight of an advertisement for a newly opened dojo which suggested that learning the philosophy and skills of the
Martial Arts were ‘quick, easy and fun’.
For starters, it’s a pack of lies. Guys work increasingly over many years to attain the status of black belt. Having reached that level most of them then proceed to move up the ten levels of Dans. I’m told that to do that requires as much time and concentration as was necessary to move through the earlier process (if not more).
And easy? Pull the other one. True, it’s easier for some guys, particularly early on. The dojo I attended had half a dozen lads who were New York City Firemen, and the physical training these guys undertook as part of their work provided them with an excellent grounding for karate.
There was another lad, a dancer on Broadway, who became a favourite of the sensei on account of his physical performance of the various katas (the equivalent of musical scales).
His physical build was the total opposite of the firemen. He was skinny and seemingly devoid of muscle, but you soon learnt that the power he could produce from the control of his movement, was formidable.
He always reminded me of photographs of those Oriental Grand Masters who, to me, always looked undernourished. The lads from the fire station were twice his size and looked like they’d have no trouble tossing you on to their shoulder in a crisis.
As for ‘fun’, well yes, I suppose so. As far as I know, none of us were masochists, though let’s not go down the sadism road.
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What get’s me when I see ‘quick, easy and fun’ being used to promote an activity, is that it clearly has contempt for the guys to which it is trying to appeal. Isn’t it closer to the truth to
say that Life for most guys is too easy? Isn’t part of the objective of leisure activity that it challenges us to become bigger? Greater? It’s not just to ‘fill in Time’ That is the curse of the wimp and the flake.
Surely if you’re advertising the potential joys of a leisure activity the emphasis should be on giving a guy the feeling that by being involved he will experience it as time well spent?
And Time – the shortage of – along with Fear represents our two greatest enemies. Fear for me is the ultimate sicko; however you slice it, it’s after our Balls, defined in the What Men Do Guide as, ‘Courage, Action, Risk and Determination’.
And whilst Time isn’t quite so nakedly insidious, it’s not doing us any favours. O.K., by having Balls we keep Fear at bay, but Time holds the ultimate ace as it alone knows how much Time we’ve got. All we can do to temper our vulnerability is to treat all Time as precious and not involve ourselves in any wanker’s paradise that’s ‘quick, easy and fun’.