Monday, 21 July 2008

Satire Superhero

Eddie Paradise has posted this brilliant deconstruction of an Ajeosshi-do performance, an ancient, rarely-recognized but often-practiced Korean martial art, and a candidate for Korean cultural treasure #181818.

The scene is anywhere in Seoul at past your bedtime. Any casual person walking around may not be aware of what is about to happen. A plastic chair scrapes on pavement and a voice is raised. The antiphonal section answers back slightly louder. All heads turn and prepare to bear witness, for tonight shall bear witness to the ancient, dramatic art that is Ajoshido (the Way of the Ajoshi). What one must bear in mind in any meditation on the subject of Ajoshido is that it has no relation to Ajummahdo. Whereas Ajummahdo is a fighting style created with the intent to kill, maim or punish, much like Abir and Bokator, the Way of the Ajoshi (meaning “married man”) finds itself more firmly rooted in theater.

When a practitioner of the Way scrapes is chair against the pavement to stand (if somewhat shakily) it signals not only to his intended opponent but also to any onlookers that a performance is about to begin. It is analogous to dimming the lights in an enclosed theater, signifying a separation between our humdrum everyday reality and the greater reality of the stage. Without an audience to observe the scene swelling outside the local GS 25, the performance is for naught. Thus an exhibition of Ajoshido requires, nay, demands an audience.

Follow the link and read the rest for yourself.

Related to Ajeosshi-do is the ancient dance "Deuh-long-keun Seuh-tae-geo" the final steps in the dance here being practiced by a few young Koreans, obviously still in training: (warning: ugly -- these Seuh-tae-geo dancers are inexperienced, and unskilled)
-note especially the light footwork from 2.50 to the end


Daniel Gray said...

thanks for the link love

Roboseyo said...

anytime, Daniel.

That is, any time you write something as farking hilarious as THAT.

Keep on plugging, and have a good'un.