Over the past few weeks, we’ve been going through some of our old stuff and throwing the bitter-sweet trappings of history away. I think it must be the season. It’s a time for reflection on the past and saying farewell. It’s a time for acknowledging the present and expressing gratitude. It’s a time for thinking about the future and plotting a course by the dim light of the Southern Cross.
A starving man is wandering along a dusty path when he spots a tiny seed. He falls to his hands and feet and greedily picks it up. Finally, some food! If the man has enough self-control, at this moment he becomes aware of a choice. He can either:
Once upon a time. A long time ago. There was a very famous blacksmith who lived in a land far, far away. It may have been China, it may have been Japan. It may even have been Spain. No one really knows anymore. He was renowned far and wide for making the very best swords. He worked iron and steel like a necromancer conjuring spirits with the dark arts. Metals seemed to come alive in his skilled hands and take on a life of their own.
Once upon a time. A long, long, long time ago. A primitive man or woman stared out of their cave shelter. They were cold, hungry and terrified. There was precious little on the menu for their tribe to eat but they themselves seemed to feature heavily on everything else’s menu. And then a miracle happened. They thought to themselves, “How can I ensure that we don’t starve and that we have some way of stopping that blasted sabre-toothed cat from eating us!” And shortly after that, some really good ideas started to occur to them. Ideas that had sharp, pointy tips and ideas that smoked and burned.
Last Christmas day 2016, I lived through a major martial arts failure which could have easily cost me my life. It all started with a minor Dad-fail on Christmas morning as my 2-year-old son was unwrapping presents. This was the first time that he understood enough about Christmas to get excited. I knew that he would appreciate his Christmas presents for the first time and I was really looking forward to giving him something special. He loves cars, machines and vehicles of every type, so I thought I’d go the extra mile and get him a small remote-controlled quad-copter drone. I had assumed that the technology had advanced enough so that controlling it would be easy enough for him to master. I was so wrong.
I have a three-year-old son. His name is Gerald, named after my grandfather because we recycle male names in my family instead of inventing new ones. It’s a way of preserving part of our heritage and history so that it is not lost with passing generations. Gerry is my pride and joy and is a very happy, well-adjusted introvert. My wife and I are both introverts and when you take two introverts and put them together, it is unlikely that they will produce an extrovert. Note that being an introvert is not synonymous with lacking confidence. Gerry is supremely confident and never hesitates to speak his mind. This we have always encouraged.
In the year 1949, George Orwell wrote the dystopian novel “Nineteen Eighty-Four”. Readers of his novel will be familiar with the type of overt control exerted by the Party and its various representatives. In the novel, individualism and independent thinking are persecuted as crimes known as “Thoughtcrimes” with obedience enforced by the “Thought Police”.
It sounds like a terrifying world but I am sometimes left thinking that we may be living the nightmare without even knowing it.
My last couple of articles have detailed the construction of a Titanium Kukri. If you have not read them, I encourage you to do so to shed some background illumination on this final article.
In this final article, I will briefly discuss the comparative testing that I carried out between my Titanium Kukri and my traditional Steel Kukri. I was very surprised by the results of the testing. In particular, the comparative cutting test. I honestly and sincerely believed that the Steel Kukri would at least marginally outperform the Titanium version in this test. As it turned out, the results were different to what I expected.
This is the second article in my series documenting the building and testing of a Titanium Kukri. Please see the first article here.
This article will be followed by the third and last installment of the series which will document the final comparative tests between the Ti Kukri and the steel Kukri.
© Chinese Martial Arts and Health Centre Australia 2018. ABN 12 792 347 015