A Martial Arts Bucket List

Bucket lists, those ubiquitous wish-lists for the almost-dead, are found nowadays for just about every specialty field - except martial arts. I honestly could NOT find a martial arts bucket list no matter what search engine I used. I mean, I even broke down and tried Bing, which act only made me look forward even more to my own death.

So, always wishing to fill a hole, here's my suggested Martial Arts Bucket List: the 12 Martial Arts To Try Before You Die.

1. Death Touch

Come on, this HAS to be #1 on the list! I mean, to be able to lightly touch someone and have them die a slow, painful death only hours or days later? How cool is THAT?!? Several infamous figures over the years have become known for their claimed abilities in this art; unfortunately it only seems to have given their victims a bad case of hysterical laughing.

Try at your own risk.

2. Capoeira

Presumably by the time you're considering a bucket list you're at an advanced age - for most martial artists that's probably going to fall in the 30-40-years-old range. So it won't matter at that point if, when you learn Capoeira, you snap your fool neck trying to perform all the acrobatic flips, splits and cartwheels.

Still, you'll go out lookin' good.

3. Iron Shirt

Iron Shirt training is a specialty of Kung-Fu and teaches the student to withstand amounts of pain that would make a lesser mortal keel over and die. That's what makes this the ideal bucket list martial art - if you don't pay attention in your training and manage to pierce your sternum with a spear, or your testicles fall off when using them to pull a bus, then no harm done - you were planning on dying anyway, right?

4. Drunken Style

Drunken Style Kung-Fu is a great way to go out, not with a bang but with a power-vomit. What other martial art style do you know of that actually encourages the student to get ripped both before and during training (with the possible exception of any Russian martial art, but then we all know THEY are crazy)?

Whether your liver decides to up and leave your body while you're still using it or you drunkenly stumble in front of a truck hauling coals to Newcastle, be advised that this style of fighting isn't one for teaching longevity but it WILL dull the pain of your final exit.

5. MMA

If you're the type of martial artist who has always had the hidden desire to spend the majority of your sparring and competing time with your face in your opponent's crotch, hide no more! Now that you're ready to bite the big one, so to speak, it's high time to come out of the shadows and get involved in the fastest-growing, most popular so-called style of martial arts available!

Do it before you die, because immediately AFTER your match you're going to wish you already had.

6. Ninjutsu

Ninjas are considered by most reputable martial artists to be the Sneaky Petes of the fighting world. They are pretty much universally despised for slinking around in dark clothing, using poisons and weird weapons to dispatch their adversaries and even stooping to having their female counterparts lure their enemies in with offers of Japanese-style sex, which I'm not sure but I believe involves copious amounts of schoolgirl uniforms and tentacles.

So if you always turned down the opportunity to learn The Dark Art because you were concerned what the neighbors would think, now's your chance - you're going to be dead and gone soon anyway, so what do YOU care?

7. Kapu Kuialua

Known as the “bone-breaking art of Hawaii”, Kapu isn't really such an unusual martial style - they use mostly movements that are already displayed in other styles - but the big thing here is to be able to get tribal tats all over your body and dress in scanty little loincloths as you practice.

Come on - you KNOW you've always wished YOUR style offered those kinds of benefits!

8. Jailhouse Rock

No, not dressing up like Fat Elvis and wolfing down a dozen peanut-butter, banana and bacon sandwiches; rather, it's the style also known as “52 Hands” which was supposedly invented by some guy doing serious hard time in jail. Everything about it is designed to reflect the training and fighting conditions one encounters while trying to avoid Bubba and his pals.

Once again, the techniques are nothing new; it's just that, since you're ready to sail across the River Styx soon anyway, you'll get to experience what doing hard time is REALLY like, instead of watching those wussy crime-shows on TBS.

9. Model Mugging

Once again, do not be confused; I'm not saying that you should include in your list beating the bejeesus out of Christie Brinkley and Kate Moss, although on second thought that might be fun …

No, this is the instructional method used by many women's self-defense seminars that utilizes a guy dressed in a Marvin The Mugger protective full-contact suit; the theory is that the women can execute full-power blows on Marvin while allowing him to continue dreaming of someday having children.

Rather than limit this training to just women I think everyone should have a go at Marvin at least once in their martial career - there's nothing like the feel of letting your inner psycho loose on someone you've never met before to the accompaniment of enthusiastic applause. It just makes you feel good all over!

10. Scottish Dirk Dance

Okay, this one isn't really a martial art style per se but it DOES include what the Scottish in their delightful accent call “dirks”. It's sort of like the Pentjak Silat fighting-dance portraying a heated battle between two men, except in the Scottish version they're wearing skirts.

Facing a determined opponent wielding a razor-sharp dagger while you both feel the Highland breeze upon your privates is an experience everyone should have at least once before they kick the bucket.

11. Chess Boxing

Okay, I grant that whoever came up with this concept must have had access to far better weed than I've ever had, but there ARE actual tournaments for this so I'll include it as a martial art. Practitioners engage in one round of boxing, take off their gloves and play a few moves on the chessboard, then lace up and go at it for another round, continuing in this way until one of them is either knocked out or checkmated.

Just for the sheer insanity of this “style” you should include it on your list. If you don't know how to play chess, no problem - just bone-up on your jabs and uppercuts so that your opponent can't tell a pawn from a Queen.

12. Turkish Oil Wrestling

This is perhaps the ultimate fighting art to include in your list. Manly men doing manly things, namely, doing a martial flash-mob number on a grassy field while coated head to toe in olive oil. The good thing is, if you can't find sufficient quantities of olive oil in your local grocery you can always substitute 10W-30 or Joy Jelly. Definitely one to try before you slip and slide into the hereafter.

Martial Arts | Humour

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