The secret behind Langer's intensity?
When Jock Campbell, physical trainer of the Australian team led by Steve Waugh, was asked who the most intense player in that team was, his answer was simple - Justin Langer. And one of the reasons behind that intensity could just be the Bushido Cross. This honour is awarded to Black Belt holders from the Zen Do Kai (ZDK) School founded by Bob Jones in Melbourne. Zen Do Kai is a martial art form that draws influences from other fighting forms such as Brazilian jiu-jitsu, boxing, karate, eskrima, judo, and muay thai.
Introduced to ZDK at the age of 16, dealing with a broken nose as a result of sparring with his mentor John Andrew, soon became commonplace for Langer. “ZDK taught me discipline, to respect elders and when carried over to cricket, helped me concentrate,” Langer told the Hindu. Small wonder then that the fiercest bouncers on the cricket field were dealt with aplomb.
Akhila Ranganna is assistant editor (Audio) at ESPNcricinfo