Jean Jacket, Karate and the ’80s

As I mentioned previously I love the Cobra Kai series on YouTube.  It makes me remember the ’80s very fondly and how I really don’t like the times these days.  Part of it is that I’m older and just remembering my youth.  The other part is that the ’80s seemed more exciting and ‘pure.’  In the ’80s MTV had made its debut, the bands played actual music instead of being corporate and thus profit driven ventures, guys drove around in T-Birds and Grand AMs blasting Def Leppard looking cool!  It was a time when being awesome was in instead of this PC, metro-sexual, safe space, participation trophy of today.

The way Johnny Lawrence talks and acts in Cobra Kai is the definition of ’80s cool.  He isn’t concerned with anything else but being a bad-ass:  no feelings, no safe spaces, no weakness and No Mercy!  It is all just so refreshing even though I consider myself a Liberal.

So about the jean jacket.  Johnny wears one and it made me fondly remember when I had my own jean jacket I wore everywhere in the ’80s.  I think I was in the 2nd grade and it was cool to fill the back up with buttons one could get at “Dairy Farmer’s” convenience store now known as 7-11.  It made me think about bringing the jean back to my own wardrobe and perhaps starting a trend if it wasn’t already in style.

For the past couple of years I’ve only worn a blue windbreaker with shorts or jeans.  I thought it might be nice to mix my own wardrobe up a little and so I bought my jean jacket.

When I got it my wife laughed a little.  I’m so predictable that if I do something different or out of the ordinary it always causes her to laugh and wonder what I’m up to.  We’ll she’ll have to get use the the jean jacket because I really like it, it makes me feel a little stylish (which I haven’t felt since my 20s’ and appealing to my cheap sensibilities (I only buy my clothes at CostCo if I can) is extremely durable and should last forever.

As for karate I’ve started reading our Grandmasters autobiography and love it. It teaches me so much and I can relate to a lot of things in it.  For one, the Kyokushin headquarters is in Ikebukuro.  Well I lived in Mejiro for two years which is right next to Ikebukuro.  Ikebukuro is the main city in Tokyo that I know best and must have passed by the ‘honbu’ so many times without realizing it – it is right next to the station!  Of course it looked quite different when the Grandmaster (Saiko-Shihan) was there being just after the war.  Now it is an incredible metropolis with humongous buildings everywhere.  The other thing I relate to is when he his brother Soshu, also a founder of World Oyama karate bought him noodles and spoke with him about training after practice one day.  He told him that he would have to train very hard to beat his rival Haruyama and Saiko-Shihan’s ‘ki’ got so pumped up for training.  However, when it came to the actual fighting his ‘ki’ shriveled because it was absolutely brutal.

This is also how I feel when I watch Cobra Kai or think about karate.  I get pumped up and cannot wait for the next class.  But when it is time to fight I get winded very quickly and my ‘ki’ also quickly disappears.  As I continue reading Saiko-Shihan gets stronger and when he gets his brown belt actually looks forward to the fighting part of the class.

As for me, I always hated the fighting part in the beginning.  Now when I think about it I’m pumped until I actually have to do it because it is hard and does hurt.  But I’m no longer scared, I’m getting stronger, and now not worried about the fighting until I’m actually doing it and my stamina depletes.

By Mateo de Colón

Global Citizen! こんにちは!僕の名前はマットです. Es decir soy Mateo. Aussi, je m'appelle Mathieu. Likes: Languages, Cultures, Computers, History, being Alive! \(^.^)/