What is with the Ghi?

Why the Ghi? Was Benno’s question. 

We have given Benno choice over his day. He doesn’t have to go to camp, but he has to do something. And of those activities, he has chosen Jiu-Jitsu.

Honestly, if I didn’t see it with my own eyes, I wouldn’t have believe. Is this MY child? The child who won’t go on the subway?! This is not Karate. This is not Tai Kwon Do. This is Jiu-Jitsu which, from what I witnessed, has one objective, and its not respect and mantras. It’s choking that fucker out. Benno spends his days now taking people down and chocking them. 

Alrighty then. 

When I went I asked his teacher what I should call him. Sensei? Master? 

“James works”. 

Alrighty, James.

There is no “bowing” prior to battle, just a handshake with a look in the eyes and then off to choking. James says he has “talent.” And Benno LOVES it. Okay than. Brutal violent martial arts it is. 

But “Why the Ghi?” I for sure ain’t no Jiu-Jitsu expert, but I agree with Benno. This uniform makes no sense. It seems like a ridiculous choice of battle gear. Why are you wearing a robe with a rope? A rope that is constantly untying. Every five minutes we are retying. Constant wardrobe malfunction. 

But, of course, there is a reason and it goes beyond culture and traditions. And guess who knows the entire history of the ghi? 

Of course, Steve Brody! 

He delights in sharing his knowledge. In great great great detail. And I mean in every detail. He starts talking about fabric. The reason behind the fabric. All the different fabric options. He explains that the black belt became the black belt because of how the best people practiced until their belts were black.

 I have to cut him off. He tends to go a bit deeper than anyone really cares. Can you answer the question, please. Why do they wear the outfit when it is unpractical? And how do you know all of this? Do you have some ghi in your bedroom closet that you’re hiding?!

Turns out there is a factoid I don’t know about Steve. Steve took Kazen GoJuryu as a child. 

Kazen GoJuryu? You most likely have never heard of it. I mean what is that? But if you have, it is most likely form the Office, as in the show.  Dwight is an avid follower. He was always threatening Jim with his Kazen GoJuryu . Ahh yes. Of course, Steve took this.

And he finally gets to the point. And its a big point.

“No one goes into battle without armor.”

No one walks into a fight naked. They will always be clothed or in a disguise. And having a collar is most common, there is always something to grab. A collar of some sort. Hence, the robe, the collar.  The belt is another thing to grab, but just like some things you will grab they will rip, they will not take hold. 

The ghi is a simulation of real life.

In real life people wear armor. They wear clothes. 

But their armor can be your best weapon. 

I’m looking at my armor…I have nothing to grab. I wear sweatpants and sweatshirts. The same 5 in rotation. Not because I don’t have more, but because I don’t wish for more.

My armor screams I come in peace and that is truly what I am, I am coming in peace. I come with the wish of nothing, but health. I have no collar, no belt, and some days not even pockets. I carry nothing. I’m defenseless. I have no energy to even fight you. 

But now I can’t help watching people and reading into their armor. It’s easy. I live like a ghost. No one notices me. I don’t call any attention. I just pass by you on the street. Even if you knew me, you don’t recognize me. You don’t recognize this armor, but I see yours.

I see yours so clearly and I see how it can be used to take you down. By no means am I planning to choke you out, but I just never saw it before. I never saw how the more we dress up, the more into battle we go. But who are we fighting?

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