Thursday, September 18, 2014

Cornfield Combatives - How Urban Is Your Cotton Patch?

     I live in the outer reaches of the ever-expanding Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex in north Texas. This geographic term "DFW" just continues to grow and grow, but up here we are still surrounded by farmland and ranches in the outer 20% of all that is the dense DFW Metroplex. A housing addition, then a ranch, then a strip center, then more farmland and ranches. That breakup is what I like about the area.  It's still country and open.

     I belong to a new, large gym franchise that was built in a huge empty field that once grew corn. Huge acreage still surrounds the gym, and there is some spotty construction around it. The owners await their marketing demographic destiny, as the DFW area swallows everything on up to the Oklahoma borderline. In what? Fifty years? I have lived all around here since 1972, and it has taken all those years just to get this far out.

     Then a small strip center was built across the street from the gym in another cornfield.  I assume that it will fill up with the usual stuff over the next decades. A haircut place? A tanning salon? Etc. But the first entry in this isolated small building was a place called Urban Nutrition. Brick wall art sign. That ubiquitous claw ripping through the brick art signage. It was a big city name suggesting real, inner city … ahhh, what exactly ... inner city eating? Inner city muscle growth? Inner city vitamins? What exactly, Mister Businessman?

“Howdy, neighbor! Learn how them inner city boys get real big and muscular?”

     It is a place of powdered protein, racks of pills and potions, and those energy drinks that should, by content alone, kill a mule. All that stuff. All that stuff that would no doubt either kill me, too, or throw me into a seizure if I consumed any of it. But enough about me and my declining constitution. Wouldn't you rather be a big strapping country boy? Eat fresh country food? Or vitamins made out here on the farm instead of some dingy, dirty city factory?

     If I were one of those professional photographers, I would like to set up and photograph that nutrition store, ensuring I could capture the huge farming field around it. Try to catch the wheat stalks or the cornstalks beside it. Maybe that grazing cow. The photo would capture the very dichotomy of that name in that place. Urban pills and powder, homey … in a cornfield. Wazzup, Farmer Jones?

     Urban. Suburban. Rural. The U.S. Bureau of the Census defines urban as a community with a population of 2,500 or more. That is just about everybody everywhere I guess. But is that what you first think of when you hear the word "urban"? A village with 2,500 people? To me, I think people attach an inner-city feel and look to the word "urban." Official government urban definitions have been skewed in public by many things, like the Hip-Hop culture for one.

     Sure, sure, sure, in the next fifteen years a few things will pop up all around the nutrition store, but I will never say that it will look remotely urban, like Watts or Harlem. It will look suburban at best. And sure, the owners are following a marketing plan of opening up right near a major franchise gym, in the cornfield right across the street from their cornfield. WAZZZUP! Still, it sends an odd message.

     It is just odd to have an Urban Nutrition store in the middle of a rural cornfield, least of all to strive to eat like someone from the Detroit hood? And it is also odd to see the pop term "urban combatives" to me. Like the nutrition store, not all Urban Combatives schools are in downtown Glasgow or Harlem. And if there? A country-bred coal miner could probably walk in off the street and beat everybody up.  I see a lot of urban stuff these days and, of course, even the ubiquitous "urban combatives" all around the world today. I find this title curious, too. Urban Combatives. A sales pitch might be …

      "... these techniques have been tested ... in, you know ... urban … ahhh … areas."

     "Wazzup, suburb boyz? Country boyz! Fight like inner-city, urban boyz! Word!" 

     "Fight like Boyz in the Hood."

     We know what Urban Combat is for the military today, as opposed to say ... jungle combat or the "forest combat" of Europe in World War II. I mean, what does "urban fighting" really mean then? Harlem? Watts? The inner-city warrior, tough guy? What? The inner city is tough. Toughest? Tougher than the outer city? Actually crime and/or fights will occur anywhere. Rural, suburban, or urban. Some of the worst crimes and baddest fights have occurred behind the barn in Idaho or in an alleyway in Branson, MO. Alleyways are everywhere, even in Mayberry. Per capita, a whole bunch of violent crime happens outside the so-called urban inner cities.

     So the term "urban" used in anything, especially combatives, confuses me. Should it you? Inner- city crime involves weapons, ambushes, and vendettas. What do you REALLY envision when you think of urban combatives? Gutted projects? Detroit? Or a seashore resort city? Gang wars? Bouncers? Moscow Cartel? Who, what, where, when, how, and why are … urban combatives? And will they work behind the barn in Mississippi?

     Will Georgia Barnyard Combatives work in Manchester or the Prague? Will Harvey's Suburban Combatives work in Camden, New Jersey? Will Jimmy Bob's Hearth of the Homeland Combatives work in Detroit? You know Matt Hughes is a farm boy from southern Illinois. Brock Lesnar is from Webster, South Dakota. Randy Couture is from Cornellous, Oregon. I could go on and on with this country-boy list. Not exactly an inner-city or urban majority. Champs and super-tough guys nonetheless. I'd put money on Randy in a Harlem alley fight, wouldn't you? WORD! And they say words count, so who are you training to fight where?

     Think about it. Fights and crime (and war) occur in rural, suburban, and urban areas. A comprehensive fighting program must include all these turfs. Picking one name like urban is actually quite limiting as far as a smart business plan goes. The marketing name of something counts both overtly and covertly as in subliminal or obvious. Subliminal advertising is a major influence in the success of business.

     Urban. Suburban. Rural. Will we ever see Outer City Limits Combatives? Rural Combatives? I guess urban sounds just way, way cooler? Maybe I am just over-thinking this? Oh, well, if your punches and kicks are all kinda ... urbanized? Run through that special "urban" filter?

     Just stay away from all the nearby cornstalks, wheat fields, and barns when the cameras roll out for pictures. A city boy should not be, ironically, rural. You know - hypocritical. Urbanonically, suburbanomical. 

     Word. Or ... word up! (That what they say?)

 Country Boy Can Survive by Hank Williams, Jr. Click on it....

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