Mild spoilers ahead. Tread with caution.
So, I finished watching Marvel’s Iron Fist last night and I was satisfied. I mean, I enjoyed it even though the show has its shortcomings and isn’t as polished. Sorry, if I’m playing the devil’s advocate here. To be fair, Iron Fist is one of the few Marvel superheroes whose origins are perfectly clear to me and I’ve read a decent bit of the old comics. So, I find most of the criticisms unfounded. Anyway, this post isn’t about Iron Fist’s winnings and failings as a show. Instead, I’ll take a diagonal route and talk about something peculiar and very interesting in the show – Danny Rand’s exercise and meditation routine.
When he first starts to meditate in the Chikara Dojo, Colleen obviously finds the music a bit odd. To be fair, it is unconventional. Who even meditates, centers their chi or practices tai chi with hip-hop?
This is interesting because it shows how unconventional Danny Rand is as a person. While at K’un Lun the only music he must’ve had access to was his hip-hop playlist. Theoretically, he must’ve blared through it for over 15 years. That build quality though. That said, the music is Danny’s way of showing his not belonging to K’un Lun or New York. He added a new spin to the idea of calming yourself and focusing.
Iron Fist is an old character and the outsider bit is a bit more prominent in the comics as far as I remember. The show only mentions it, never shows it. He’s a rich kid from New York who is also the phenomenal Iron Fist of K’un Lun and both parts converge at that point in his morning routine. Danny (and later Colleen) practicing tai chi to Anderson .Paak’s Come Down describes that dichotomy (and uniqueness) brilliantly in my opinion.
By definition, meditation is “to focus one’s mind for some time, in silence or with the aid of chanting, for religious or spiritual purposes or as a method of relaxation” but no one ever added a strict rule about what chanting might calm a person or help them focus. Anything could calm us given that we connect to it on a spiritual level. During his time in K’un Lun, all Danny had left of home was his playlist. It probably helped him get through all the hardship, the same way your favourite track gets you through the day. Therefore, it’s safe to say Danny is focusing just very unconventionally.
I found this bit in Iron Fist peculiar, amusing but inspiring on a whole new level. Perhaps, Marvel’s Iron Fist can have the title of Breaker of Conventions. It’s not Breaker of Chains but it’s better than worst show ever.
P.S. You can find most of Danny’s playlist in this article by Complex.