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Boabom and the Olympics: Art and Sport

Today we are inundated with publicity from the current Olympiad, held every 4 years with barely any interruption for a little over a century. Without detracting from the effort to bring together different nations on the sporting field, perhaps this event deserves a deeper analysis, beyond any political debate, from the point of view of the sacrifice the athletes make for the medal. It serves as a point of meditation for both Teachers and Students Boabom.

The key word in the development of sports is COMPETITION. Competition is a strong word that unleashes passions, and without a doubt there is competition in life, but in no way does it describe ther majority of richness and capacity of living beings.

Meditating on this, what cost do the athletes pay for this admiration of the moment? Is it necessary that this cost be a perjury to their current or future health? It is so easy to fall into societal obsessions that ask for what is extraordinary but illogical, for belief in beauty, even to the detriment of long-term health.

Any sport done in a measured manner, with consistent and appropriate care, is good, but watching some of the competitions, such as boxing, with its obvious consequences, or gymnastics, especially involving jumping, where the act of bending the knees while landing is scored against, invariably draw our attention. What is the purpose? Would not it be better to reward and give points to those who consider the immediate and long-term consequences? It’s as simple as changing the scoring rules just a little.

Personally, every time I have seen a gymnastics routine involving a final, unflexed landing, it hurts my knees just to watch. In the long term, terrible consequences are unavoidable. Several years ago I knew a former Olympic gymnast in Spain. The woman, just over 40, already had 3 knee operations and walked with a cane, and said that she was one of the gymnasts of her generation with the fewest injuries. Was it worth a few seconds applause?

The difference between SPORT and ART is that sport and competition are linked, while Art, such as Boabom, is linked solely to the principles of ADAPTIVENESS, to accomplish elegant movement with effort, but without injury to oneself. Instead, movement is developed as pure energy, natural to the body-mind that values itself, not the prizes or applause of others.

Some students tell me, somewhat jokingly, that it would be interesting to see Boabom, as an Art of Defense, competing with the martial arts or boxing in the Olympics. Usually I say, “From the moment the competition begins, it would no longer be Boabom.” As Art, Boabom has profound meaning as an essential, fundamental defense, creator and regulator of vital energy, lethal in real action and with real motives, but only in extreme cases. This is the quintessence of adaptation, to not act beyond what is necessary, fluidly, cultivating your body for yourself and for your old age, for youth is short and old age is long. Therefore, in Boabom, there is no contact between the students, there is no competition, no tournament or championship, no boards or bricks to break. The primary idea is that the balance of self, physical and mental, has little to do trophies or applause.

There is a gap between ADAPTIVENESS and COMPETITION, between art and sport, but even so, they walk very close together. Perhaps in the future the Olympics will be more ecological or friendly to the athletes, when nations abandon their obsessions and an event like the Olympics can demonstrate the incredible capacity of humans to adapt; to show elegance without risking themselves; to evolve, full of energy, life and a beautiful and fulfilling old age.

Perhaps even to dream, too…

Asanaro (Boabom South-North)