Last night’s Walking Dead was introspective.
There were only four characters onscreen, and that includes Hershel’s undead head. With the exception of some clumsy, teenage style zombie kills from Carl, and one spectacular spree (32?) from Michonne, it was mostly people walking around the woods and backroads of Georgia, thinking deep thoughts and working through their emotional demons.
It was one of those, episodes that makes you think that maybe, it’s all going to be okay for the survivors. Those episodes are particularly important, because I’m pretty sure that they are going to be using the next few months to tear them apart again.
This time they moved into different territory. In the past, wellbeing has been synonymous with shelter and food. This time, it was all about getting your mind right. Which got me to thinking… Where is the tai chi?
Of course, they don’t talk much about martial arts in the Walking Dead. With the exception of Michonne, who was obviously versed in Japanese swordsmanship, most of the guys just use brute strength or true grit to get the job done. Which tends to work very well. After all, zombies aren’t skilled opponents.
It would be cool as hell to watch some dude take down a zombie hoarde like a Shoalin Boss, with a broadsword in each hand. But this isn’t that kind of show.
They play with certain themes; Rick, with his cross draw revolver is obviously a cowboy, while Michonne is the samurai. But having a dude marching around the back woods of Georgia with two chinese broadswords would steer the narrative deep into fantasy territory. I think it’s the same reason we haven’t seen someone with a European longsword and shining armor. Too many theme characters and the cast begins to look like The Village People.
That said, this show needs a tai chi guy. I mean, if we’re going to talk about getting into your headspace, nothing says naval gazing like showing someone going through the Yang long form while the sun rises over the zombie wasteland. He doesn’t have to dispatch the zombies with a tai chi saber or speak like Yoda. Showing him do the form would suffice.
Their moral compasses don’t tend to last very long. First Dale, then Hershel… deep thinkers are like Black guys in horror movies. You know they’re dead; it’s just a matter of how long. My tai chi guy could reverse that trend.
It’s been clear for a while, that staying out of the hands and mouths of the Walkers is only part of the battle. You also have to find peace. Which isn’t easy, even in our regular, non-zombie world. So, while you guys think about the ammo that you are going to stockpile, I’m putting tai chi on my to-learn list. Okay, it’s pretty far down, but it’s there.
In the meantime, this video shows an internal approach to archery. Why not, right? Before the internal arts got all granola on us, they were genuine fighting styles, with principles that were developed in war. Still, with the exception of kyudo, I didn’t know that there was an internal approach to archery. Think about that the next time you consider the bow as your weapon of choice. Archery can be deep too.