Friday, February 02, 2007

underworld avengers

I have just completed a new video which is on youtube. For the first time I am not embedding it to the dojo blog. If you'd like to see it, please just go to youtube and type in underworld avengers and it will come up. The poster was designed by Alwen Laguatan, the father of Ashlyn of the teen class. When I visited Frank Doran sensei at the semi-annual CAA meeting in Redwood City last August, he showed me a movie poster one of his students had designed for him which had him featured in the "film". It seemed like good fun, so I talked to Alwen about a "film" where I would co-star with Diana Rigg and Kate Beckinsale, and we came up with the above poster. After "Secret Agent Gal", which just went over 2100 views on youtube, I decided to try to do a video based on the poster.

I took probably the weirdest and darkest(and, paradoxically, one of the all-time best) episodes of the Avengers, mixed in some cuts of Underworld and Underworld Evolution, put in "Her Portrait in Black" from the Underworld Evolution soundtrack album, and let them mix. The results, which I like, might be a little too dark to just casually connect to the dojo blog,which is loosely supposed to be about aikido topics. I say loosely, because the Avengers was supposed to be about spies and the Underworld films about vampires and werewolves, and I guess the blog tends to follow their lead.

The Avengers episode is " A Touch of Brimstone" by Brian Clemens. It was considered too radical(kinky) for American TV when the series was first brought over from Britain in 1966. I saw it for the first time much later in syndication. Mrs. Peel is dressed in spiked heels and a whale bone corset as "the queen of sin" and is whipped at in the final climactic scene. That, interspersed with the darkness of the Underworld films, made me decide not to directly link up the blog to the new video.

Things that are apparent. Though the Avengers was a '60's show, it holds up well with the current and cutting edge Underworld scenes. Kate Beckinsale's Selene owes an awful lot to Diana Rigg's Emma Peel. In fact one reviewer referred to Selene as "the Emma Peel of the undead". Even though Selene has supernatural vampiric strength and speed, their fighting styles are similar. Their is a strong empasis on sensuality in their movement.

What place does the dark side have in aikido? Aikido cannot be grasped by simply copying what is considered light and beautiful and truthful. The mind's concept of these things is too shallow to allow a deep enough mix of mind and body.And what the mind cannot label or grasp is often times labelled as "dark". Much of what we may consider feminine energy and power is suppressed even to this day. I don't feel aikido can be grasped without this in the mix. Carl Jung talked about a process of individuation, where the ego individuates into the self. It is in this place, where we encounter the archetypal energies, where I feel true aikido can blossom. So for me Selene and Emma Peel represent some very important archetypes. Just as the mind can be seen as masculine, so the feminine is represented through the body, the earth, the belly, the heart......And the task facing aikido and the world is to integrate those energies into our consciousness properly.

Anyway, I hope you will give the video a look, and, I hope you enjoy it. If you find it strange, please consider the source.....


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