Darin Hyde wrote:
Man, I thought in other schools people didn't fart. They just held it in or timed it when doing ukemi near someone else. Probably explains the constant frowns on the faces of the masters in those black and white pictures. A form of ki (kiai) training?
In Venezuela people cut the cheese, too, as a method of radical aggression and/or defense. Not only that, there are many variants of funny odors in and out of the tatami. This doesn't happen often, but when it does, it's an equivalent to shock after earthquakes. No modern weapons here, just the old classical weapons like regular farts, bad breath, "violín" or "cebolla" (smelly armpits), and "trapos sucios" (dirty rags), and once in a while those irregular farts that actually rip the stratosphere. I went to a 3-day seminar once and Sunday's practice (last day) was an orgy of funny smells and no one could really be blamed for it, because the dinner-that-evolved-into-a-party the night before involved many caciques (indian chiefs, play of words, "cacique" is the well-known brand of rum here) and "ositos" (little bears, the polar bear being a recognized image for a beer brand here), coupled with an energizing soup called "mondongo" (which explains the unwanted gas the following day), not to mention that during the weekend there was water shortage in Caracas so nobody bathed or washed their gi's.
Anyway, training that Sunday was interesting with the added challenge of dealing with these ancient methods of physio-phsycological aggression and/or defense. The lady at the "arepera" near the seminar (arepera: 24 / 7 restaurants that sell corn-flour Venezuelan chewy biscuits filled with just about anything), could not believe her senses (eyes and specially nose) when a bunch of us stormed in her restaurant after rock n rolling on the tatami that day "oliendo a mono" and "pidiendo café pa' calmar las tripas." I leave that last phrase for you guys to translate in your free time.
Yours happily and truthfully in Caracas, Venezuela