Video Art and Fighting Art

I’m really loving my recent ventures into animation and video as an artistic media… I’ve begun with 2D animation using the primitive — in a good way — freeware software Pencil, but am stoked on teaching myself After Effects, Digital Fusion, and other fun stuff. As I mentioned before, one of my favorite things has been exploring the tools and then using my new knowledge to really appreciate the projects that I see from other people — sort of like how understanding context through art history gives you a deeper appreciation of a walk through an art gallery or museum. Anyway, one of the recent comments here on my blog was from Goda, whose profile linked to his digital portfolio, which included the sweet video below.

Oh, and I watched the UFC 111 pay-per-view last night and wanted to comment on three of the fights. So stop reading if you don’t want UFC spoilers! First, the Shane Carwin versus Frank Mir, in which Shane Carwin continued his frightening trend of never letting his opponent survive the first round. Damn that guy is scarily brutal… what a knockout. There were a few strikes to the back of the head peppered in there, and it went on long enough — I was amazed the ref didn’t stop it sooner — and I was afraid that Mir had suffered really serious damage. I’m pretty sure Carwin could kill me with a single punch. So scary. I suspect that the eventual Carwin versus Brock Lesnar will be one of the biggest Pay Per View financial victories for the UFC corporation, and a very intense battle of gargantuan robots that’s going to remind me more of daikaiju than humans. Yeah, now that I think about it, Lesnar and Carwin are America’s daikaiju.

The other headlining fight, the brilliant and perhaps “best pound-for-pound fighter” Georges St-Pierre versus Dan Hardy really bothered me. GSP completely outclassed and dominated Dan Hardy, and Dan Hardy pulled the same dishonorable conduct as Royce Gracie while being defeated even more solidly by Matt Hughes. Both Dan and Royce were put into solid joint locks, and so as not to have to “give up” even though they knew they had lost — too big of an ego, and too much bragging and shit-talking before the fight to admit they had been bested — but then refused to tap out, forcing their submitter to choose between breaking their arm or letting them go. In each case the winner chose to let them go. For some reason the commentators commended them on how much “heart” they showed in not tapping out — and in the post fight interview Dan Hardy even said something asinine like “I don’t know the meaning of the word ‘tap’” or something like that — but in my opinion it reflects poorly on them as a martial artist. This isn’t a bloodsport. Great lengths have been taken to make the sport safe while still being as “extreme” as possible. Very few people — I hope — get into the sport just because they want to hurt others, and most of the people at the top of the ladder have great respect for the spirit of the art forms involved. Saying “if you want to win, you’re going to have to break my arm” is in terrible taste, and just a shitty way to behave. I haven’t expressed this as well as I want to, sorry, but I hope you know what I’m saying.

At the other end of the submission behavior spectrum was the fight in which Tomasz Drwal lost to Rousimar Palhares by a heel hook less than a minute into the fight. Tomasz tapped very obviously, first on one part of Rousimar’s body, then another, and then the ref tapped as well, and it seemed like his response to the tapping was to apply more and more force to the heel hook, with a look of obsessed angry aggression on his face. It really looked to me like he was going out of his way to do damage and cause pain, which bothers me, as I’ve always liked joint locks because they allow you to control your opponent with a minimum of violence — there is a real beauty, a real elegance to ending combat with this perfect dance. Rousimar, who is a BJJ black belt and experienced enough to know better, spat in the face of this and the fight didn’t end until the ref pretty much pulled him off of Tomasz. I certainly didn’t buy his “I didn’t want to hurt him” apology, and thankfully he was suspended for 90 days, in addition to taking an impressively fast and decisive victory that should have been on his highlight reel and turning it into something shameful.

Anyway, yeah… I’m looking forward to Lesnar versus Carwin.

America’s daikaiju for sure.

5 Comments

  1. martini wrote:

    they were good fights although i agree with you on all points above. I really dont think anyone will beat GSP anytime soon… coming home soon… see you then!

    Sunday, March 28, 2010 at 6:55 pm | Permalink
  2. Erica wrote:

    I loved seeing Carwin work. It amazes me how many of these big guys almost completely eschew striking in favor of submissions. If you’re Royce Gracie fighting much bigger guys at UFC 1, sure it makes sense. But with guys like Carwin, the way I see it, you weigh 265 lbs, you’re wearing 4 oz gloves, and your opponent doesn’t have big boxing gloves with which to protect his face. PUNCH HIM IN THE HEAD!!! It’s good to see a heavyweight fight like a heavyweight.

    I bet that Dana White won’t give Hardy any fights for a very, very long time. He wasn’t even trying and was completely outclassed by GSP.

    Palhares should never be allowed to fight again. Heel hooks are serious business, and it only takes a second to snap the opponent’s ACL so that can’t even walk for a year.

    Monday, March 29, 2010 at 6:15 am | Permalink
  3. Zander wrote:

    For some reason your intrepretation of the GSP/Hardy fight didn’t occur to me at the time but it makes complete sense. I would love to know if GSP feels the same way.

    Monday, March 29, 2010 at 2:27 pm | Permalink
  4. choice wrote:

    i watched/taped it. i was put off by hardy’s comments of how he fights to ‘hurt’ people (wtf, really?) he said that in the beginning. he also noted that GSP gets “too much” respect, although in the end mr. rubber arm ended up shaking st. pierre’s hand. i was way too happy to see him lose that one.

    Monday, March 29, 2010 at 7:55 pm | Permalink
  5. Cut Throat wrote:

    If you’re trying to learn After Effects, video copilot has some fantastically helpful tutorials.

    http://www.videocopilot.net/tutorials/

    That, and just fucking around for hours is how I learned the bit that I know. Powerful tool.

    Saturday, April 10, 2010 at 10:26 pm | Permalink
Wow Shannon, that's really annoying! What is it, 1997 on Geocities? Retroweb is NOT cool!

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