Photo-journalism in The Guardian today: Iran’s female ninja (obviously that’s kunoichi on the Fudebakublog because we are so… so… into all that stuff. Yeah.)
Here’s something you don’t see every day: a furry claw boot.
I found this in some papers recently — it seems that at some stage this was going to be footwear number 7 in Fudebakudo’s Martial Fashion (part 2) image. When that got to final draft, the furry claw boot had been replaced with the altogether more authentic “ninja tabi with wall-running sucker cups.”
The existence of such a rejected illustration reminded me of at least three things going on here: the sophisticated editorial process that goes on behind the scenes, the artistic and scholarly rigour that accompanies every such decision, and an exceptionally finely-tuned train of thought that can arrive at furry claw boots as a viable candidate for a martial arts shoe* in the first place. Each of these remarkable aspects of the creation of Fudebakudo will continue to remain — for everyone’s benefit — unseen. This illustration of a furry claw boot is a rare glimpse behind the curtain.
Time for another new image in the gallery: this time, The Three Sages of the Age of Enlightenment, finally acknowledging the influence of Western thought on the development of the martial arts. Specifically: knocking people down, laying mats, and charging for the paperwork. Given that this is fundamentally the whole of judo and aikido in a nutshell, it’s surprising that portraits of these three do not adorn more dojo walls.
This cartoon was drawn for the current issue of MAI magazine.