Sunday, July 17, 2016

When OCD meets TSD

For the record, I have never been clinically diagnosed as having OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder).

From WikiPedia: OCD is a mental disorder where people feel the need to check things repeatedly, perform certain routines repeatedly (called "rituals"), or have certain thoughts repeatedly. Some common compulsions include hand washing, cleaning, checking things (e.g., locks on doors), repeating actions (e.g., turning on and off switches), ordering items in a certain way, and requesting reassurance.

I have underlined a certain section above because I have observed that martial arts (and Tand Soo Do (TSD) specifically) tends to either cause OCD tendencies, or people with OCD tendencies are disproportionately drawn in. Understand that only about 2.3% of people exhibit OCD.

There are about 310 million people in the United States, and according to the website Maine Martial Arts, there are 18.1 million practitioners of karate in some form or another. Mathing this out, gives us 5% of Americans study martial arts, and it is my observation that half of them have OCD. Stated another way, virtually everyone with OCD has been in my Dojang in the past few years.

Enough of this scientific math data - let me give you the hard anecdotal evidence.

The image below is of four free-standing kicking bags used for practicing power kicks. You will note that someone has purposely lowered one of the bags with the deliberate intent on inciting disdain, pursed lips, and the stoppage of class until the situation is rectified. Let's not even mention that the last bag is too close to the third one.

At the end of each class the students are asked to hang the kicking pads up on the wall. Invariably, some malcontent will, with malice, dangle one of the pads in a dangerously incorrect direction, just looking to cause ill-will. These students should be expelled and have their color belts bleached. (No self respecting black belt would hang a pad so shamefully). Please tell me you are equally nauseated by the flagrant disregard for symmetry.

Lastly, and there can be no excuse for this, is a picture of tournament trophies waiting to be distributed to the winners of forms and sparring competitions. What would have caused a person to misalign the rightmost trophy so poorly? Is this a test? Am I to be congratulated for not correcting this evil with Photoshop?

While I maintain that I am not OCD, it is clearly possible that I am CDO - which is like OCD, but with the letters in their proper alphabetical order. Let me know if you exhibit OCD-type tendencies in your training.

Tang Soo!

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