Matter matters


Spesso nelle arti marziali asiatiche si proclama che esse mettono in grado chi è più piccolo di battere chi è più grosso, magari sfruttando la sua forza.


Ye Wen 叶问 (in cantonese Yip Man; 1893-1972), il più famoso insegnante e divulgatore cinese dello stile yong chun quan 詠春拳 (in cantonese wing chun kuen) delle arti marziali cinesi. Stazza: cm. 163 per kg. 54 circa

Funakoshi Gichin 船越義珍 (1868-1957), inventore giapponese dello stile shotokan 松濤館 di karate 空手. Stazza: cm. 152 per kg. 54 circa

Angel Cabales (1917-1991), inventore filippino dello stile Cabales serrada eskrima delle arti marziali filippine. Stazza: assai minuta


Come la mettiamo con questi?


Mike Tyson (1966-), campione americano di pugilato. Stazza: cm. 178 per kg. 95-105

Brock Lesnar (1977-), campione americano di Mixed Martial Arts. Stazza: cm. 191 per kg. 130

Bobby Lashley (1976-), campione americano di Mixed Martial Arts. Stazza: cm. 187 per kg. 111

Jerome Le Banner (1972-), campione francese di kickboxing. Stazza: cm. 190 per kg. 120


Marines statunitensi a Okinawa accompagnano un anziano contadino dell’isola durante la Seconda Guerra Mondiale


I combattenti a mani nude con una stazza minuta non sarebbe meglio che imparassero almeno metodi per sviluppare la massima forza possibile che il loro fisico permette?

I pugili e alcuni esperti cinesi di arti marziali, per esempio, lo fanno.


Manny Pacquiao (1978-), campione filippino di pugilato. Stazza: cm. 169 per kg. 65

Buakaw Por Pramuk (1982-), campione tailandese di muay thai. Stazza: cm. 174 per kg. 70

Li Xiao Long 李小龙 (Bruce Lee, 1940-1973). Stazza: cm. 171 per kg. 59

Tre tipi di forze usati nelle arti marziali cinesi


Isaac Newton (1642-1727) , ritratto da Sir Godfrey Kneller (1689)



Bordello orientale?


I Gogol Bordello sono un gruppo musicale americano. Il suo leader Eugene Hütz, ucraino, s’è pronunciato su temi asiatici in varie interviste:

“I grew up shoulder to shoulder with some martial arts kids in Ukraine who also loved a rock ’n’ roll and punk atmosphere, just as much as I loved to watch them train intensely and talk about Taoism, Tibet, Shaolin… even though my actual training was minimal, an interest and connection to martial arts and Taoist poetry stuck with me. Years later, when touring with Gogol Bordello, I started meeting serious people from the world of martial arts who were dedicated fans of the band! So the thing went full circle. I got back on track with that, in particular with chi kung. Also, various meditation techniques brought a whole new dimension to life. A lot of that practice helped me also to recognize new values of playing music itself, and seeing it as a form of moving meditation too, kind of like my own musical kung fu.” (intervista di Rachel Comey, 13-8-2013,

“There is amazing dialogue going on between West, analytical minds and technology, and East, people like Dalai Lama, who are writing books and making studies with leading biochemists and quantum physicists,” Hütz explains. “That dialogue is fascinating. It’s historical dialogue, never has East and West come together in such a positive spirit. I’ve been studying this dialogue for years and a lot of my songs kind of came out of there. People that know a bit about Eastern philosophy or martial arts, they can understand the power of my lyrics.” (intervista di Philip Cosores, 21-6-2013,

“‘I don’t really differentiate between being on the road and being at home,’ he says. ‘All the same activities are present in my “regular” life, if you can call it regular. There’s a term in kung fu called “moving meditation”, which I think is a pretty important skill if you’re regularly on the road. I look at touring as a form of combat – sure, it’s artistic, there’s partying and nightlife, but you gain condition, then you go into battle, and you spend it.’” (Gogol Bordello’s Eugene Hütz: I’m actually quite introverted, 5-12-2013,

“That’s why people have a feeling of freedom with music, because the divisions temporarily go away and they say ‘wow that felt so fucking great’. Yeah, reach out and get it! Make it part of your day, start the morning with that connection with art. It can be martial arts, it can be science; it doesn’t matter.” (Judy Cantor-Navas, Eugene Hütz Q&A: Gogol Bordello’s New Album ‘Just Feels F—ing Big, 11-6-2013,

“Method, however, implies a lot of homework. You have to be a ninja at what you do, create your own karate; a method that allows you to be spontaneous and free.” (Tanya Siyanko, Kyiv Hit by Gogol Bordello,

“[…] also, martial arts again find its way into my life, and along with eastern philosophy they are huge sources for me…. I find a lot for myself there.” (intervista di Francie Johnson, 23 giugno 2013,

“I’m a huge fan of eastern philosophy and martial arts. A lot of martial-arts principles have been a huge part of my stage performance for years.”

Eugene Hütz durante un concerto dei Gogol Bordello a Madrid nel 2012. Sulla chitarra c’è il carattere cinese he 和: “armonia”, “insieme”. Ciò nonostante, Eugene non ha esattamente l’aria di un uomo cui una madre affiderebbe il suo bambino per una corso di judo


I Gogol Bordello hanno messo le arti marziali anche in una canzone, Lost Innocent World:

“Then I asked every geisha from their willow town

But nobody wanted to see death of a clown

We danced Shanghai tango

Like not tomorrow jive

When kung fu master found me, he asked me:

‘Are you still alive?’”.