Is Tiger Woods a Poser of the Week?

Crouching Tiger. Hidden Dragon?

At first, Tiger Woods looks like a solid candidate for poser of the week. He is standing in a posture with the sword that nobody in his right mind would ever use in combat.

  • What is the hand doing arched over the top of his head?

  • What are his left fingers pointing at?

  • Do you really want to rest a blade along your inner wrist?

  • Is a reverse grip a good idea with a sword?

Of course, the whole idea is to assume a posture that looks “cool” or awesome, precisely because it is totally worthless as a combat stance.

You might think Tiger Woods is a poser because he has no skill. Yet the Poser of the Week may in fact be very skilled –it’s just that he assumes a pose that makes himself look ignorant. (In fact, Tiger looks more balanced and graceful than the other golfers who are asked to follow along with a sword form. In the photos you’re seeing Tiger’s first sword lesson, and he looks impressive in view of that fact.)

But there are several factors that prevent me from granting Tiger Woods the Poser of the Week award.

  1. He Doesn’t Make Exaggerated Claims: If he called himself Exalted Grandmaster Woods, or Datu Puti Woods, or Supreme Dragon Tiger Woods, then he might qualify.

  2. His Clothes Look Normal: Tiger wears a classy, casual outfit. He calls attention to himself by wearing tasteful clothes and carrying himself with poise. If you’re going to be Poser of the Week, you need to use your clothes as a desperate attempt to call attention to yourself. Get lots of patches, wear red, or multiple bright colors (and if they clash godawfully, then that’s great, ’cause now you’re really attracting attention). The sword is exotic, but I think he could add some reflective tape or flashing lights to make it even gaudier. The whole point is not to let your skill speak for itself, but to use every tacky gimmick you can imagine to make yourself look like a grandmaster.

  3. He Is Smiling: You’ll never get Poser of the Week unless you scowl. Come on, you’re the deadliest guy on earth, somebody who can take out Bruce Lee or any MMA chump in seconds. You have to look like you eat, sleep, and breathe death-dealing.

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4 Responses to “Is Tiger Woods a Poser of the Week?”

  1. I have seen others do that pose, mostly in Tai Chi, so it does seem traditional. I do wonder about the effectiveness of holding the sword that way, as if to thrust; it seems to limit the range as well as limiting the ability to parry. I don’t really have any skill in the area of using the Chinese jian so it’s more questions than answers.

    The hand in the air is similar to Western fencing. Was it for balance? Was it for keeping the empty hand out of cutting range? Who knows?

  2. James,

    yeah, it is like the hand in rapier fencing, held up and out of the way.

    I’ve seen a reverse grip used as a quick draw from a scabbard. The left hand comes down to the sword at the right hip and draws the blade as a surprise move, especially when the opponent is watching for the right hand to move across the body to the sword at the sheath.

  3. In the video I posted above the guy starts out with that reverse grip, so you could be right that is the reason behind it. Easy to miss things when a sheath isn’t used.

    I met a fellow who was trying to do some Kendo on his own with the bamboo sword and I told him he was holding it wrong. “After all”, I told Him, “if you had the Katana on your left side you would have to draw it like this, so your grip is backwards”. You miss things when you don’t have a sheath. It’s like all the guys training with knives yet not even 10% start with the knife in a belt sheath, at best they may stick it into their gi belt but we don’t wear gi in public and we dont carry unsheathed knives tucked in our belts in public either.

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