The Challenge: Ask an expert something you are curious about in his/her field.
A few years ago I met a very talented man named Jason Huett. He is a 3rd Degree Black Belt and founder of Kicks Unlimited. Jason’s vision is to develop the greatest martial arts system in the United States—one where kids and adults of all ages could learn not only the martial arts, but also life skills in a positive and service-oriented environment. The thing I remembered right away about Jason is that he told me that he used to be a real Power Ranger. I also found out today form his website that he has worked as a professional stuntman in Los Angeles for the movie Legally Blonde and the ever popular ER.
Well, needless-to-say I had a few things I was curious about in his field. So I called him up and fumbled through the reintroduction of myself, after having only talked with him for two minutes two years ago. He was super nice and very open to answering my questions.
I asked him to explain for me about his style of martial arts. He called it “extreme martial arts.” He said that in the 80’s with the Karate Kid movies martial arts became more popular. His style combines some of his acting and stunt experience involving entertainment and it also combines some acrobatics with martial arts. I asked him about the choreography of the Power Rangers. Is it all choreographed perfectly and how long does it take to learn it? Jason shared that for the TV show they would get on set that morning very early, choreograph the scenes for the day and then shoot the scenes the same day. For the live performance shows he would do for Power Rangers, the moves were choreographed farther ahead of time. They would try to “mix it up” here and there to keep adding harder moves and to add variety to their performances. Jason also shared that the talent in Hollywood pales in comparison to the talent in the Karate schools across the country. The teachers in his classes are some of the best talent there is out there.
Of course by the end of our ten minute conversation I was wanting to see some of this talent in action. Jason invited me to stop by anytime to watch any of the classes or even the tournaments. He also directed me to the NASKA website.
I have to say that this experience really got me out of my comfort zone and got my curiosity peaked into an area I know very little about. Jason’s profession is fascinating and it is neat to hear home much creativity and personal style he has put into his profession and business.
On Challenge #17 I took the time to learn a magic trick (they’re illusions, Michael). I only had 30 minutes and no chainsaw, so I wasn’t able to figure out how to saw Kim in half. Safely, that is. Today I turned my attention back to magic. I happen to know a magician, and I figured that this was a pretty good time to ask a burning question:
Where do magicians get the ideas for their tricks?
Are there special books they can buy? Do they create their own original tricks? Do magicians get together at conferences to learn new tricks? Here’s what Robert said:
All of the methods you asked about I do. There’s no easy way to answer your question. Yes you can buy tricks and illusions and probably make them work OK. Remember though, it’s kind of like buying PhotoShop. You can probably make it do what you want. But there are countless nuances and techniques that transform it from a software program into real magic. I’ve been doing magic for 31 years and I’m still learning.
Best secret…it’s not about the tricks or fooling people. It’s about connecting with people and having fun.The real secret is to make stars out of your audience members.
Interesting comments, I thought. (Thanks Robert!) Upon further review, I uncovered a magazine devoted to magic and quite a few web sites that turned up conferences. I’ll be meeting with Robert in a few weeks, and I have a few follow up questions to ask him then. So far I have not been able to dig up a book that will show my how to saw Kim in half. Safely, of course.
Dark Room Confessionals:
Bonus Video: Kim | Jason
So, who was most creative with today’s challenge? Who went beyond the comfort zone and put the biggest hammer on Adultitis? Who did a better job of capturing the spirit of childhood, Kim or Jason? Cast Your Vote!
Tomorrow’s Challenge: Audio Sneak Peek
Over the weekend, my mother-in-law got high honors for her quilting at a gallery in Kenosha, WI. So I decided to ask the expert a little bit about her craft. Her theme this year is trees or woods. She explained the process of dying and bleaching fabric (also called discharging ) to get the colors she wants. She paints on bleach – the stuff you’d buy at any store – and then uses this “stop bleaching” stuff. Yeah, I’m sure I sound like the expert now. 🙂 It was really interesting.
Today I interviewed my middle son Daniel. He is a research chemist and works for Baxter Health care. Since science had been one of my weak subjects in school along with reading, writing and math, I thought it would be good to ask Dan about his work. As luck would have it, Dan told me about a dept meeting that they had just yesterday. The topic was “Six Sigma” which is a program designed to help science people evualate their methods and proceedures for how they do there testing stuff. This is cutting edge stuff and they will be selecting several folks to learn and implement this new system. Dan volunteered to do this so maybe he’ll be selected. He also said how tough the FHA is on the drug industry always checking and double checking to make sure things are being done properly in the lab. Dan said he is looking forward to his next challenge at work, hopefully management duties. It is good for the general public that I am not a research chemist because at times I can be a “that’s good enuff guy.”
What do I need expert advice on? Hmm, how about the shoulder pain I’ve been having for a while now? Utilizing my insurance website I was referred to a specialty page for rotator cuff injuries. I learned a bunch of interesting things about my symptoms and possible treatments and such. Now how does this help me escape adulthood you ask? Well, two ways, 1) by helping me overcome the fear of the unknown I had about going to the doctor – I have been concerned that the treatment will have to be invasive and long term but I found there are lots of options, so going to the doctor will help me get back to doing some of the fun child-like things I enjoy like playing softball this summer. And 2) looking at the cool photos and illustrations was a neat way to indulge the curious scientist in me!
Today, I asked a co-worker of mine about kayaking. She co-operates a kayaking & canoeing outdoor business. I learned more about kayaking on the open ocean or sea kayaking vs. lake or river kayaking, as well as the difference between wet suits & dry suits. She told some great stories of challenge & people overcoming some dangerous situations. It was fascinating! Maybe I’ll learn how to kayak someday, but I think I’ll probably stick to just the calm lakes.
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My wife and I went to see our obstetrician, so we took the opportunity to ask some questions.