Mar 8, 2009

Bruce Lee 'Chong Wei'

Malaysians experienced another failure at the All England Badminton men's single final yesterday. Lee Chong Wei (recently conferred the title 'Datuk') lost to Lin Dan of China. He lost to the same opponent at the Olympics, Lin Dan taking the gold medal. Looks like he is always coming out second best and i feel for the lad. He has lost 8 out of their 9 previous meetings.
Looking at Lee, i felt that he lacked mental strength. I felt he felt inferior to Lin Dan. As the Malaysian crowd at the stadium cheered his name and 'Malaysia Boleh', as the nation watched on TV, he could not even win a set, losing in straight sets. In the first set, he was just two points away from winning the first set but made silly mistakes to allow Lin Dan to win the set. He lacked the cool composure of a Morten Frost or a Yang Yang in that crucial time and that costs him the set and the game. Lee has got good skills but that is useless without the winning mentality. He lost to himself. Lin Dan wanted to win more badly than Lee. He looked confident, acted confident and had the 'Superior mentality'. Lee on the other hand looked sick, weak, insecure and lost. Lin Dan played the role of the bully. Lee, the bullied.
I received a sms from a friend which sums up more or less what most Malaysians must be thinking:-
'Sorry i am unable to reply to you earlier as i am very frustrated and speechless as he lost to himself and not Lin Dan as this chinese played his lousy game as b4. Opportunity do not come every time at this prestigous tournament. He lost to his shadow. Dato tak boleh as he failed to hope that almost every malaysian had on him. It always happen to malaysian sportsmen when u expect them to deliver, they failed. Really sucks!'
Lin Dan himself had said after the game "It wasn't tactical or anything - we are both good players. It was more psychological. I was focused and calm".
Perhaps Datuk Lee should heed the words of his namesake, the late Bruce LEE on how to win the next time:-
Lee should be like water.. 'Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless - like water. Now you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup, you put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle, you put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend'.
That way he can adapt to any style Lin Dan uses. Lee should "Forget about winning and losing; forget about pride and pain. Let your opponent graze your skin and you smash into his flesh; let him smash into your flesh and you fracture his bones; let him fracture your bones and you take his life. Do not be concerned with escaping safely - lay your life before him.".
Lee should also learn from this Bruce Lee interview:-

Question: "What are your thoughts when facing an opponent?" Bruce: "There is no opponent." Question: "Why is that?" Bruce: "Because the word 'I' does not exist." A good fight should be like a small play...but played seriously. When the opponent expands, I contract. When he contracts, I expand. And when there is an opportunity... I do not hits all by itself."

Lee should also forget about what he has learnt from his coach Misbun Sidek - "Any technique, however worthy and desirable, becomes a disease when the mind is obsessed with it." "Truth has no path. Truth is living, and therefore, changing. It has no resting place, no form, no organized institution, no philosophy."

He should just forget the past, the future, all his philosophy, his coaches advice, techniques and concentrate on the NOW and adapt accordingly to it. Every game has its own truth and Lee must find his style as the game progresses in the present. Lin Dan is good at changing his game, so must Lee - "The man who is really serious, with the urge to find out what truth is, has no style at all. He lives only in what is." .

Lee should "Possess the eye of an eagle, the cunning of a fox, the agility and alertness of a cat with the courage, aggressiveness and fierceness of a panther, the striking power of a cobra and the resistance of a mongoose." And finally - " There is no actor but the action; there is no experiencer but the experience."

Perhaps Lee can start by calling himself Bruce Lee Chong Wei.

Weekend demonstration

Last weekend thousands marched and demonstrated to protest the teaching of Maths and Science in English. Of course the police and the Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) were there to disperse the demo with tear gases and water cannons. We have been independent for 51 years now. We tell the world we practice democracy. Why then are citizens still not allowed to march and demonstrate peacefully? If they want to march and hand over a memorandum to the King, let them do it. Give the organisers a permit to demo to hand over the memo to the palace. It is a joy to see people able to assemble, march and air their views peacefully. GIve them an avenue to vent their frustrations with the policies of the powers that be. No need for violence and assault by the FRU and the police. We should learn from countries like France, US and UK how to go about handling such assemblies. The fact that the powers that be still do not honor such a democratic right is pathetic and shows that we have not matured as a democratic society.
Now about the teaching of maths and science in English, I have no objections with that policy. However there are others who feel they want to study the subjects in the Malay language. I have no objections with that too. Students should be allowed to study in the language they are most comfortable with. As long as they are educated rightly in the subjects. To resolve the problem, allow the subjects to be taught in both languages. Those who want to study in English may attend the classes that teach in English and those who want to study in Malay may attend classes that teach the subjects in Malay. The students and their parents should be allowed to make up their minds about the benefits of studying the subjects in English or Malay. End of problem.