Wednesday, May 30, 2007
The joy of catching kicks

Hurrah for the first embedded YouTube video on this blog. It depicts sanshou highlights from the 2003 World Wushu Championships held in Macau and focuses mainly on pick-ups and takedowns but also features the occasional foot to unguarded head. The action is a oh-so-slightly slow and clumsy—the only thing with real speed being 'Firestarter'—but I appreciate the sentiment. Related YouTube goodies include detailed explanations of the mechanics of pick-ups and takedowns by the captain of the US national sanshou team, Cung Le.

posted by Hong at 3:15 am | Permalink | 0 comments
Monday, May 21, 2007
The many edges of modernity

An illustration I made to accompany an article by Shumon Basar (he also edited this book) for the December 2006 issue of Tank which apparently got cut by the editor because it looked too similar to something someone had done somewhere else. Ah, well. At least it got me that much closer to my goal of eventually seeing my name in tiny print. And yes, that is indeed an element of Le Corbusier's Plan Voisin at the end of the razor blade.

The article, 'Destiny Designed', ends:

From the beginning to the middle of the 20th century, architects like Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe sang sermons on the liberation of built form from the shackles of the past due to technological advancement. Modernism, in its purest ilk, took its lead from what was suddenly possible. The science of splitting of the atom came first. The atomic bomb followed. Application always lags behind discovery. Knowledge seeks its place of settlement, often in desperate or disturbingly strange ways.

We can, therefore, safely assume that in our lifetimes, we will experience a world that hosts a razor with seven blades. Then nine. Then eleven. And so on. An endless embedding of ever thinner blades engineered for our edification. And in doing so, the razor designers continue those heroic modernists' dreams. Dreams that refuse to allow anything we conceive and cultivate to converge into the dead end of historical stasis.

posted by Hong at 3:04 pm | Permalink | 2 comments
Sunday, May 20, 2007
Turning things around

(Illustration extracted from Classical Sambo.)

Known as an overturning, this technique involves lifting the opponent up bodily, flipping him upside-down and then dropping him on his back or head. In order to effect this throw more efficiently the lower arm should act in a vector that is as much lateral as it is vertical. This, in conjunction with the upper arm acting in the opposite direction, should result in the opponent overturning in a circular motion. The upper arm may also wrap around the waist which tightens the circle but diminishes control.

posted by Hong at 1:54 pm | Permalink | 0 comments