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Evan Tanner and the narrow road to the interior

(This post was sent to me by jackal Koolpaw. Thanks for sharing, man.)

I’m not sure how many of you knew Evan Tanner`s Pre-UFC era, but we Japanese knew him as a “Pancrasist” in late 90’s.

After freshmen`s tournament called “Neo blood tournament” ( yes he had to fight newbies of Pancrase, everybody said Funaki and Suzuki the top fighters of Pancrase at that time ducked from Tanner) and few more fight against B-class fighters, he moved to UFC.

UFC was not popular in Japan maybe its not even now, so news about Tanner was limited. I think I found while i was looking for his footprints. He was almost M.I.A. for us Japanese.

After i have found your blog and read Tanner’s site, I started to think he is the same kind of person with great old Japanese haiku writer Basho Matsuo in 17th century. Tanner`s life and articles reminded me the introduction of ‘Oku no hosomichi’ by Basho.

“Many of the men of old died on their travels, and I, too, for years past have been stirred by the sigh of a solitary cloud drifting with the wind to ceaseless thoughts of roaming. Last year I spent wandering along the seacoast.

In autumn I returned to my cottage on the river and swept away the cobwebs.

Gradually, the year drew to a close. When spring came and there was mist in the air, I thought of crossing the Barrier of Shirakawa into Oku.

Everything about me was bewitched by the travel gods, and my thoughts were no longer mine to control. The spirits of the road beckoned, and I could do no work at all.”

I’m not sure you can understand this, its called ” Wabi/sabi” or “Sekiryoukan” in Japanese. It is the base of our mind. That came from oriental religions like Buddism and Confuciousness.

I know Tanner reads Musashi Miyamoto’s “The Five Rings” a lot but not sure he knew other Japanese old literature, maybe he did, maybe not.

He wrote another great haiku with his body and life.

I just hope he didnt feel so much pain at his last time…