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Bare Knuckle Push-UP

Just had a chat with a friend of mine over in East (almost) Texas.  Fort Worth, actually.  He said that he went to lunch with a couple of friends from the Dallas Rules Group who wanted to start up a course based on the Progression Chart listed on the DRG home page somewhere.  It’s a “kind-of” Sigma-Six thing where you study your whatever off and you get awarded varying degrees of completion that is based on Karate / Tae Kwon Do / Kung Foo kind of progression.  Basically it is a five-year or more plan where the student moves from apprentice to journeyman to master, or in their case white belt (three grades) to yellow, green, blue, purple, three levels of brown belt and finally to black belt.

I’m not too sure that anyone would want to do bare knuckle-pushups to strengthen their hands and wrists and focus in order to better perfect their punch.  Especially when the workout is on a gravel road leading to the sand dunes and then to the sea.  It all seems so Okinawan to me.  (Karate started with Kung Foo teacher from China who taught on Okinawa and the art migrated to Korea, Japan and, eventually, to the USA and Europe.)  Anyway, the Okinawa “masters” would repeatedly punch a 1″x4″ board wrapped in hemp rope, do spear-hand-thrusts into buckets of sand, do knuckle pushups on gravel, wood or something else damaging to human flesh, all in order to enable them to punch through bamboo armor worn by the Japanese soldiers occupying their land.

So, what does all this have to do with his luncheon date?  My friend carried away two things from the meeting.  One of the persons there asked, “Is there any way to compress this time frame from five years down to something shorter?”  He should have just gotten up and walked away at that point but, being a Western Gentleman he gave the lady the benefit of the doubt and simply answered with a comparison of shortening a Ph.D. career – some can, most can’t.  Obviously, she would not have lasted two weeks but he was too PC to tell her that – maybe at some later date.

The other problem was that it had to fit into a corporate environment.  Oh, yeah.  Now there’s a great idea.  Move a Knowledge Engineering school that probably belongs in a Ph.D. program in some high-end university to a corporate environment.  Never happens – no “short term” benefits; only long-term benefits if the students can last that long.  Think about it – most high-tech employees don’t last five years on the job.  What’s to keep them there to complete a five year course of study that will separate them from their family and friends?  

Anyway, like most high-school rock-musicians, programmers eventually have to get a day-job to support their habits of family, friends, nice homes and fancy cars.  The Karate stuff, and the studying, go out the window as soon as they leave college.  No, Jimbo, you’re going to have to keep looking for those few, those silly enough to commit their very lives to the study of knowledge for the sake of just knowing what they are doing.  I hope you have a long and fruitful life but I don’t think it’s long enough to find those Fearless Five in this century.  🙂





July 21, 2008 Posted by | Rule Stuff | Leave a comment