Enter The Danny: A Month of Martial Arts Instruction


Man, the last 48 hours have been a rollercoaster.  I went from the excitement of having the blog mentioned on CNN to the experience of being vilified on international discussion boards, denounced by Taiwanese legislators, and receiving emails letting me know that I'm an ignorant racist.  To those of you who have emailed or left comments letting me know that you appreciate the site, I thank you.  All I'm trying to do here is present something fun.  To those of you who have let me know that I am an awful human, let me encourage you to find some perspective.  It's not like I pushed an old lady down a flight of stairs.  My sin was trying some eggs and not enjoying them.

And that's the last I'll say about the matter, because it's time to announce my latest project!

"Throughout your life advance daily, becoming more skillful than yesterday, more skillful than today.  This is never-ending."  From The Hagakure: The Way of the Samurai
Project Horror and Project Valentine both kept me at home, watching movies.  Project Gastronome at least let me focus on an activity, but it still kept me in the house for the most part.  But now it's summer!  It's time to get out and get active!  That is what this project will be about.

Did you ever watch the really excellent series Fight Quest?  These two guys traveled all over the world, immersing themselves in different martial arts disciplines and then competing.  It was AWESOME.  My original vision for this project was something similar, studying a different style each week and writing about it.  My friend John Q. studied martial arts for many years, and talked me out of this approach.  The difference between me and the guys on the show is that they have dedicated decades to studying martial arts, and I've never even spent a day.  I could do virtually nothing in a week.  This left me unsure about whether I still wanted to do this project.

Then I met Tony Bonello.

Every year, the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce hosts a business expo, and as a member of the business community, I like to go and take a look around.  One of the booths at this year's expo was Black Belt Universe, a local martial arts school operated by Tony "The Gun" Bonello, who I had the chance to visit with.  He's a really friendly guy!  It wasn't until I got home and looked him up that I realized he's not only a really friendly guy, he's also a huge name in the world of MMA.  He actually lived with the Gracie family, the creators of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu!  We talked about this blog, and I told him about the different projects I've done, and that I wanted to do one where I study martial arts for a month.  He lit up, and we started bouncing ideas for it off of each other right there.  This led to the best part of the conversation - he offered me a month of free lessons, if I will write about it on my blog!

Classes meet on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, so I'll be going to my first one tomorrow.  I'm not sure yet whether they'll be holding class on Monday the 4th.  I'm both excited and nervous, but I think this will be a fun month, and I'm hoping to have some great video to share with you, just like on Project Gastronome.

Here's another thing that I'm nervous about, although I wouldn't have been before the whole century egg-CNN debacle.  My friend Kirsten made me a really great graphic that I'm planning to use as part of the articles about Enter The Danny, which I will now show you, along with my disclaimers.

  1. Yes, I am aware that Bruce Lee (whose picture is adapted above) was from Hong Kong, not Brazil, and that he developed the style known as Jeet Kune Do, not Jiu-Jitsu.  He is iconic enough in the world of martial arts that I felt like his image would add something to the project.
  2. Yes, I am also aware that the jumpsuit he is wearing above is from the movie Game of Death, not Enter The Dragon (the name of which I have adapted for this project).  I liked the way that Enter The Danny sounded.
  3. Yes, I am aware that The Hagakure is a Japanese text which was studied by samurai, who also have nothing to do with jiu-jitsu.  I will still be reading it and quoting from it this month, because I feel that the insights it provides on the path of a warrior are applicable.
Is that good?  Have I covered my ass enough, and convinced everybody that I mean no harm?  Good.  Because I have a different hornets nest to stir - hey Pennsylvanians, I think that scrapple sucks.  (OK, I don't really, but I'm also willing to bet that I won't get a single comment or email from a disgruntled Pennsylvanian who thinks that I am insulting their entire culture because I happened to say something negative about a single food item that they consume.)


Ali said...

i'm forwarding this to the pennsylvania chamber of commerce. your ass is in a sling now, my friend. those pennsylvanians are PROTECTIVE of their local foodstuffs.

(but, p.s. i had to look up just what the hell "scapple" is just now and i think i threw up in my mouth.)

Danny said...

You, Mrs. Johnson, are a pot-stirrer.

Ali said...

*innocent look while looking over shoulder* who? ME?!

Roy B. said...

From Wikipedia- "Scrapple and pon haus are commonly considered an ethnic food of the Pennsylvania Dutch, including the Mennonites and Amish"

Wow, Danny. Really going out on a limb by using the internet to try to stir up the Amish....

Do Mennonites surf the 'net?

Danny said...

It's 2011, Roy. Even the Amish are online, or at least have smartphones.


It's cool if they come for me, though. I've had a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu lesson, so I can take care of myself.

Danny said...

I have a friend who studies at Pittman's, and enjoys it a lot there. Thanks for sharing their information.

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