Dan Harden wrote:
I've often wondered why the masters of this stuff were all said to ab a bit wierd. Were they wierd before hand? Self absorbed, odd ducks? Or did the hours and hours of work, and failure, then these "masters in the making" the facing all the other budo-johnies so ill equiped to face THEM that gave them a bit of low opinion of others efforts? A little research shows the personaliteis of many of the known masters was a litany of strange behaviour.
IMHO, its not a change of subject at all. Besides the internal physical skills, there are certainly the internal attitude (for lack of a better word) skills that also direct energy (ki).
What about systema, Mikhail & Vlad? If what they say on the 'net is true, these guys got some skill at least, and Vlad at least seems to be genuinely nice and all that (not that I've met him).
I wonder how much of this is just related to general aristocratic culture and/or a general drive to succeed. There are plenty of examples of quirky millionaires.
Also, it's worth noting that there are plenty of stories of monks--from all religions, east and west--who display "quirky" attributes. I read something (I forget where) that stated that the type of long periods of isolation and meditation that monks undergo leads to mental issues in some people. It suggested that simply maybe not everyone has the mental endurance & will power to undergo such practices.
I also read a story a year or two ago about a hardcore endurance bicyclist from Russia, I believe. He would participate in races that were 500-2000 miles long, such as the Race Across America (west to east coast, stopping only for sleep). Anyway, his training involved long periods of isolation and physical hardship. He began developing weird obsessive behaviours and other mental issues. The story ended with him going to see a doctor because the mental & social stuff was beginning to interfere with his personal life.
So maybe there's some of that in play as well in those masters' lives.