Euclid’s Bloodsport by Andrew Davie

Punk Noir Magazine

            Some have looked to ancient texts like Aristotle’s Nichomachean Ethics, or more recent books like Simone De Beauvoir’s Ethics of Ambiguity, for doctrines on how to live a worthwhile life. Baruch De Spinoza employed the The Geometrical Method as used in the composition of geometric proofs to establish a system of ethics whose precepts would be as unassailable as the certainty in mathematics. Some of the lessons in the film Bloodsport, starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, would help to address some of the universal conundrums from most ethical practices. 

            Many philosophical schools consider virtue the greatest metric for examining a life well-lived. Others might suggest the pursuit of wisdom. The Epicureans would offer life’s goal is the avoidance of pain, and secondly the achievement of ataraxia or aponia; physical or mental pleasure. However, the true mettle of a person can be gleaned from their response when someone slices the brim of their hat off with a katana sword that you cannot get from stealing.

            Detractors will argue the validity of the feats listed in the end credits of Bloodsport, such as the fact the protagonist held four world records including the fastest knockout at 3.2 seconds, the fastest punch with a knockout at .12 seconds, the fastest kick with a knockout 72 miles per hour, and 56 consecutive knockouts in a single-elimination tournament. They will say that you would need 72,057,594,037,927,936 quadrillion entrants in the tournament to have 56 consecutive knockouts. Based on the fact that as of 2019 there were only 7.674 billion people on the earth, they make a good point. While there are certainly discrepancies, there is also evidence of travel records and the death certificate for Senzo Tanaka, person who inspired the character of the protagonist’s sensai. Tanaka was originally from Kumamoto, which is where Miyamoto Musashi, a venerable samurai, wrote the philosophical martial arts text “The Book of the Five Rings.”

Andrew Davie has worked in theater, finance, and education. He taught English in Macau on a Fulbright Grant and has survived a ruptured brain aneurysm and subarachnoid hemorrhage. He has published short stories at various places, crime fiction novellas with All Due Respect and Close to the Bone. His other work can be found in links on his website