I made this film because I have a great desire, a need to share chinlone. I think the world needs a sport that is truly playful and happy. The urge to play is one of the most beautiful aspects of humans. But most sports are not playful, competition often creates an obsession with winning that takes much of the fun away. Almost everyday there seems to be a new way for humans to compete against each other. Whether it is competitive cooking, eating, dating, singing or dancing, there is a growing obsession to see who can beat who at almost anything. I don't think it is healthy.
Chinlone is a different paradigm, a different way of playing a game. The goal in chinlone is to create beauty and become one as a team. Though it is not competitive in the usual sense of "us against them", to play chinlone well is astoundingly difficult. Rather than creating more competition, chinlone celebrates the spirit of cooperation.
I hope this film will bring respect and recognition to this unknown art, and that viewers will admire the extraordinary skills and devotion of the chinlone players. I also hope that many people will be inspired to play chinlone.
Chinlone has become a path and inspiration for me. It reminds me of what is important in my life. I want to be a good supporter of my friends, lover and family. I want to be playful. I want to share my best and help others to do the same. I want to be open and good hearted toward strangers. I want to feel that I am part of something larger than myself. I want to connect with other people, not defeat them or be the winner.
I believe that I'm doing a kind of magic when I play. I think it's incredible that I'm playing this ball on top of another ball that is spinning and orbiting around other balls in space. And the force that keeps all those balls in orbit is the same force that connects me to the chinlone ball.
At the premiere of Mystic Ball, a young boy asked me "Why is it mystic?" What a great question! I told him that for me, chinlone was like a shadow of something else, and that something else is still a mystery.