When I was a kid, I’d play pretty much only one type of video game: fighting. And most of the time, the Street Fighter franchise would, more often than not, fill my video gaming needs. What this instilled in me as a little boy is a sort of idol worship for the characters I played as. My favorite is, and always has been, the Ryu character. I’m not sure what it was about him, outside of the fact that he’s the male poster boy for the franchise and is the favored character of many players out there, but I believe it was because he always seemed the most human to me, and that made me relate to him more. Sure, he throws fireballs and flies vertically through the air, but he didn’t have green skin and fangs, or was bald, had an eye patch and stood nearly seven feet tall.
In short, Ryu is a martial artist. He’s not a corrupt boxer, a psycho – powered terrorist, or a green monster. The basic story he’s usually given is that he wanders the world seeking out new challengers so that he can become a better fighter. He’s a martial artist, plain and simple; the original World Warrior. Well, I couldn’t travel the world like he did, but I could adopt his dedication.
As a kid, I tried out karate and taekwondo, and eventually settled on the latter. I trained in it for several years, but never attended any of the tests or whatever it is they’re called, so until now I only have a yellow belt. I grew tired of taekwondo because the instructors I got never really took many of their classes seriously, possibly because we were all very young. So what I did was took all the basics I learned and build upon it by myself. I would (and still do to this day) get any and all books on the martial arts I could get my hands on, read them cover to cover, and move on. I’d do this for videos as well. I started slowly amassing equipment for myself, such as gloves and a heavy bag, that I could use to train. Of course, many of these books also detailed how to become fit enough to perform the movements detailed well and compete in tournaments, so I started on a particular road to fitness.
This is what Street Fighter has given me. What have your childhood dreams given you?
Credit goes to Gamefaqs and Gamespot for the many pictures I used in this post.