James Brown, Martial Artist
Martial artists could learn an important lesson from James Brown.
By mid-1960s, James Brown had developed his signature groove that emphasized the downbeat – with heavy emphasis on the first beat of every measure to etch his distinctive sound, rather than the backbeat that typified African American music.
Brown often cued his band with the command “On the one!,” changing the percussion emphasis/accent from the one-two-three-four backbeat of traditional soul music to the one-two-three-four downbeat – but with an even-note syncopated guitar rhythm (on quarter notes two and four) featuring a hard-driving, repetitive brassy swing. This one-three beat launched the shift in Brown’s signature music style, starting with his 1964 hit single, “Out of Sight” and his 1965 hit, “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag“.