Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Nick Diaz as the One-Armed Swordsman

Nick Diaz : Technician of Unarmed Swordfighting
courtesy of Sherdog

If you want some badasses to inspire your life, you can start by watching Jimmy Wang Yu (the original kung fu star) and Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz in action.

Whether having played a One-Armed Swordsman, One-Armed Boxer or Chinese Boxer, Jimmy Wang Yu is remembered as having brought to life some of the most memorable characters in the kung fu movies. His personal life was even more larger than life than his movies, filled with scandals and brawls.

Although Wang's kung fu was primitive compared to his successors', his unwillingness to fully distinguish screen and street, and sword and fist, turned him into an icon who radiated intensity and badassery.

Whenever I watch the One-Armed Swordsman or Return of the One-Armed Swordsman, a dark, edgy chord resonates inside me. In my opinion, Fang Gang the One-Armed Swordsman is the baddest character from the kung fu movies.

Wang Yu didn't disappoint off-screen, brawling like a madman even after becoming a movie star. In fact, he got his start in the film industry when he auditioned for the Shaw Brothers after he was suspended from swimming competition - for "breaking the rules" (i.e. fighting (in Korean)).

Although I, in no way, condone street fighting, Wang's reported propensity to throw fisticuffs anytime and anywhere - be it in the studios or bars (articles in Korean) - injected his legend with consistency and substance.

Nick Diaz expresses his fighting prowess and instinct in the cage - rather than the screen or, as far as I know, the streets. Like fellow former swimmer Wang Yu, Diaz also has the makings of a legend, especially with the way he dismantled the likes of Frank Shamrock, Scott Smith and most recently, Marius Zaromskis.

At first, even as I noticed its effectiveness, I slept on Nick Diaz's boxing. I thought it looked ugly. It still does, but I can no longer fool myself that the handiwork of Diaz isn't accurate, fluid and devastating. Combine that with his jiu-jitsu and overall feel for fighting, and you've got someone whom I'd love to see matched up against Georges St. Pierre.

When Diaz came back from a bad knockdown to knock out Marius Zaromskis at Strikeforce : Miami, I had a feeling that I was witnessing the birth of a legend.

At the same time, Nick Diaz is susceptible to getting tagged, so he'll have to improve his defense.

If Diaz's standup offense is his right hand and his defense his left, would he be able to fight with just his left, a la Fang Gang the One-Armed Swordsman?

Not a chance.

Sooner or later, he'd get his head chopped off by a deadly swordsman.

However, if Nick Diaz learns to avoid direct strikes while continuing to dish out his own, I like his chances of reaching the pinnacle of MMA.

Then, he can become MMA's answer to the One-Armed Swordsman.

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