Thursday, May 13, 2010

Korea vs. Japan(MMA), Korea vs. Europe (Christmas Trees)

Here's the Un Sik Song's first fight after coming back from active military service.  There's a short video profile of him before the fight starts. If anyone out there speaks Japanese let me know what it says. The guy he fights here (Atushi Ueda, 8-3-3) is no bum, although he is obviously not on Un Sik's level.  
As for the fight, Un Sik was really embarrassed about it. He really didn't want me to see the fight on video. It was his first fight in over 2 years and he fought only 2 weeks after being discharged from the Army, so I think everyone would understand the ring rust. Even still he was really mad at himself for gassing and not being able to finish a few of the submission opportunities he had. The fight was probably perfect for what he wanted; shake off some ring rust against an opponent that was game, but didn't pose a major threat.  I think his next fight, in DEEP: Cage Impact, will be much crisper and cleaner.
 Intro and Round 1

Round 2

How the Grinchy Europeans Stole Christmas (Trees)
Koreans are a very proud people. And they should be.  They have managed to accomplish a lot of amazing things without outside help.  There are a lot of things that Korea just does better than the rest of the world (or at least the parts I've been to).  Sometimes though, Korean pride and nationalism can get a little carried away.
Exhibit A:  A few weeks ago I went on a tour of the area surrounding Yeongcheon.  The tour included a hike up a mountain guided by a university biology/horticulture student.  The mountain had some pretty unique flora, but to say it was mildly interesting would be flattering.  The only interesting part was when our guide showed us a tree (looked like a white pine) and told us that 150 years ago Europeans came to Korea and stole this tree.  They took it back to europe where it flourished and eventually led to the creation of the Christmas tree, a symbol which spread around the world, thanks to Korea. 
Think about it for a second.  This guy is saying that there were no pine trees in Europe before 150 years ago and that the Christmas tree is younger than that.  I think these guys would disagree.
Like I said, Koreans have a huge amount of stuff to be proud of, but sometimes they lack a little perspective.  If you move to Korea you may be shocked to discover that Korea created the I Phone and cloned the first human, among other things.  I don't know if it's comforting or scary to know that blind nationalism is a worldwide phenomenon.

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