Wakey-Wakey Eggs n’ Bakey. How many times did I hear that as a youngster growing up in a South Texas household? Too many times it seems. Eggs (usually fried in the bacon drippings). Toast on the side. Butter. Jam. Cold milk. Yum (or as the ‘net geeks say today …. Nom-nom-nom). 65 years old and I still don’t know what the hell “nom-nom” really means. Must be Martian-Speak ‘cause I just can’t see how that replicates the smackin’ n’ droolin’ that occurs during breakfast (at least at my house some 60 odd years ago with two little boys and parents pressed and in a hurry to get to work).
So what is about bacon and eggs that causes pigs and chickens to be such an important part of our existence? Why does four legs laying on a plate next to a two legged bird-spawn have such an impact on us? Basic. Primitive. Fundamental. Primal. That’s why. Simple. Easy to fix. Not complex. Easy to eat. Tastes good. Real down home country style comfort food. Not like that plate from the Earth Gaia-Mother food mart. You know the one. Granola and yogurt with green tea. Green tea? For breakfast? Are you a Communist or do you just hug trees? Everyone from Alley Oop the caveman to modern man in a business suit can look at abstract paintings and still identify the pig and chicken. I mean ……. what else could there be. Compare bacon and eggs to say, haggus (“Hey, that looks like swollen road kill”), sushi (“Isn’t that supposed to be deep fried and served with a side of chips and vinegar”), or coq a vin (“Can’t find the chicken bits there’r being so many mushrooms”).
Bacon and eggs. Quick and fundamental nutrition; quick to do, fast to digest, puts meat on your bones, just like kihon. Not complicated or taking days to prepare.
Huh? “Sensei ……. Chotto matte kudasai ….. How does bacon and eggs compare to kihon”? So ………. you weren’t listening the first time? I said ………….. easy, quick, fundamental, nutritious. Much faster and will put meat on your bones as opposed to the hours, days even it take to prepare much more complicated fare that doesn’t have near the level of basic nutritional values.
Bacon & Eggs (equals) kihon and fundamentals. Bacon & Eggs does not equal internal power or ura level kata. Bacon & Eggs. Most all the nutrition you need for the training table. Heavy protein and vitamins. Calcium and potassium. Why do you think that athletic meals for football teams and the like seem to always encompass some variation of bacon and eggs? I remember playing high school football and even if it was a night game the coaches always fed us bacon, sausage, eggs, milk, etc. before the game because it was easy to digest and gave energy for the 4 quarters of the game. The heavy meal (the deep fried chicken platter or the chicken fried steak ……… see the theme here?) only came after the game was over with and everyone had been bandaged and taped and showered and was ready to go home for some sleep before getting up the next day for “Two A Day’s” and prep’ing for next weeks game.
I’ve been off the blog now for about two years but, have been re-posting all the past blogs which has allowed for a review of the old and the inspiration of the new. Seeing what you wrote a decade ago is interesting. Funny thing happened tho’ on the way to the forum (dojo actually) and that is that some things never change. When I first began to blog ten or so years ago I wrote that everyone was in love with material that was too advanced for them to really understand, much less become fully functional with. That is still the case unfortunately but the tendency to ignore the hard work in favor of the quick and flashy is still with us and I suspect, always will be.
So what is the purpose of eggs and bacon? It’s a fast, cheap, easy way to feed the family for the long day ahead in the fields or the classrooms and it takes little time to prepare; time being one of the most precious commodities these days. So what is the purpose of kihon? It’s a fast, cheap, easy way to prepare the deshi for the long randori ahead in the dojo or the theme park outside the dojo and it is the most efficient means by which the foundation of more advanced material can be taught in the least amount of class time.
How much kata and how many waza do we need; really? The concept of tokui-waza demonstrates that out of possibly 100’s of waza, you only really use less than a dozen consistently over the long-term. By consistent, repetitive practice of the basics done literally thousands of times, the few waza that are truly useful can be made most effective.
Look at more advanced material? Absolutely, but spend most of your time on the basics; and then have some bacon and eggs to sustain yourself and put some meat on your bones before going after all that exotic, high level but low protein food (granola) and kata (or internal power). You’ll get more benefit.
Pass the coffee pot and another side of ukemi please sir.
The Aikibudokan, Houston, TX