I don’t think I’ve ever written this story. I’ve been living it, filming it, and writing about it for over 20 years, but I’ve never tied it up into a neat package. Now is the perfect time to do that. It all begins with…
Martial arts popped up on my conscious radar after seeing first Karate Kid when I was 5 or 6. I was drawn to the character, Mr. Miyagi. I wanted to be Mr. Miyagi when I grew up (I still do, but the half-black kid from Milwaukee version). I don’t know if I begged and pleaded or if my mom just saw me express interest, but at some point, I was able to take Karate classes at the local YMCA. I’m not 100% sure how old I was at that time. Maybe 10? I remember the teacher telling me a story about how he met a 10th-degree black belt in Okinawa who was able to stir his tea by swirling his finger above it. That planted a seed of magic and wonder inside of me that exists to this day.
Flipping through the yellow pages in middle school I found a martial arts school called The Chinese Kung Fu Center (exactly what I was looking for!)
This is where I really began to train. I was obsessed (a common theme in my life… lol) I did my best to immerse myself in Chinese culture (as a young black dude in the Milwaukee hood). I borrowed kungfu movies from the Asian stores and from friends. My all-time favorite, to this day, is 8-Diagram Pole Fighter (Shelton, my teacher at the time, loaned it to me).
Let’s pause for a moment and watch my favorite scene… At the beginning of the movie, Gordon Liu’s father and 5 of his seven brother’s are killed in a battle. He decides to join a monastery and master the ways of the Buddha. His sister gets kidnapped so he decides to leave. This battle between him and the Abbot of the temple earns him the right to leave.
Maybe that was the film that made me decide to become a Buddhist monk (not the best career decision… I do not recommend! lol)
…and the Wu-Tang sword style.
A friend who knew how much I loved martial arts loaned me a CD called “Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)”. That messed me up because “The 36th Chamber of Shaolin” was already my favorite movie! (I hadn’t seen “8-Diagram Pole Fighter” yet 😉 lol .)
(Note: I used to hang out in the basement punching candles in the dark because of this movie… lol)
Needless to say but after that, I was hooked!
If what you say is true, the Shaolin and the Wu-Tang could be dangerous.
There’s been a constant battle inside of me. There’s the side of myself that wants to be a (Casey) Abbott (Payne) of some one man temple in the mountains and then there’s the “Wu-Tang Warrior”.
I really only have two setting. Casey, the monk who would like to renounce all worldly things, surf by day and hang out in the mountains by night and miltownkid ZEE… the Wu-Tang warrior…
Neither side of me fits in the modern world very well… lol
So… Casey = Shaolin Shadow Boxing and miltownkid = the Wu-Tang Sword Style
Do you think your Wu-Tang sword can defeat me?
I’ve spent the bulk of my adult life being piloted by “miltowkid”. From about 1999 to 2013. I didn’t buy this domain (caseyabbottpayne.com) until 2015. I haven’t spent much time reflecting on miltownkid just yet, but I wrote about him a few times. While I was always into the Wu-Tang Clan, we really crossed spiritual paths 10 years ago, on April 18th, 2008.
All I think about is “warring arts”. A lot of warring arts from the past don’t apply to the warring arts of the present. One thing that might not be obvious (if you’re not from Milwaukee) is that I absolutely LOVE Milwaukee. It’s built into the name miltownkid (Mil-Town is a nickname for the city). On that day 10 years ago I “declared war” (in a very serious way to me) on the “City of Milwaukee” (the place I love). Why?
Well… I moved back to Milwaukee from Taiwan in 2007. Doing my best to fight the modern day war going on that’s relevant to me (the war on black youth in the city) I signed up for Big Brothers Big Sisters. I needed a car to participate (I didn’t want a car, I got one just for that). Shortly after getting that car a police officer pulled me over, gave me 3 tickets when a warning would have been enough. The video below is from the day I lost the battle in court. I wanted to hunt that cop down and choke him out so bad… like… not to sleep… to death… but that’s not how the world works… so… as an outlet, I created the Mil-Town Klan. A group that will one day take the city back by “force” (I’m not kidding). Or maybe better “the force“.
I can’t use actual swords to slice the heads (off of bitch ass cops giving young black men a hard time for no good fucking reason). So the sword I needed to sharper was one of storytelling, democratic organizing, entrepreneurship, marketing, economic knowledge, history, understanding law and the constitution… The head I need to slice off isn’t a head… it’s cancer. It’s systemic racism, it’s economic oppression… sorry… having “PTSD” flashbacks…
Anyhow… the city asked me “Do you think your Wu-Tang sword can defeat me?”
En garde, I’ll let you try my Wu-Tang style.
Return to the 36th Chamber: The Mil-Town Version
I’m the one-man army, A-Sun / I never been tooken out, I keep City Officials looking out / I drop videos like girls be dropping babies / Enough to make a nigga go crazy / In the MC-Building, taking all types of medicines
“All art is martial.”
You know… my war with the city goes back further than that incident above. I mean… pops passed his fight down to me. I can’t get it out of my system. It’s like embedded in my DNA. Anyhow… the city created a monster! lol
Here I am in Taiwan still “feeling like Huey Newton with Panther plots”. I can summarize my takeover plan pretty easily.
- Create personal wealth through the creation of a startup
- Create separate vehicles of influence for Casey (Black Horse Tai Chi) and miltownkid (the Mil-Town Klan)
- Use wealth from startup to build and fund organizations in line with removing systemic cancer from the City of Milwaukee
- Use influence of Casey/miltownkid to run for office and inspire others to run for office
That’s a simplified version of course. Anyhow… I’ve been using the last 20 years of my life mastering Daoist philosophy/wizardry (in the digital, physical and spiritual realms). Sharpening my Wu-Tang Sword. I suppose it’s more of a Wu-Tang Scalpel now.
The RZA Show in Milwaukee
Oh yeah! The title of this post!
“RZA, the leader of hip-hop ensemble Wu-Tang Clan, will perform his live re-scoring of the 1978 kung-fu classic “The 36th Chamber of Shaolin” at the Oriental Theatre on Aug. 25 — the production’s only Midwest stop. “
I feel as though you have some of the background as to why I… I mean miltownkid, would like to attend this event so badly!
Oh! I just remembered about that one time I tried to bring the Wu-Tang Clan to Taiwan. Maybe that can still happen… 😀
OK… enough of this! I made a GoFundMe if you randomly see this between now and the show and are in a giving mood.