Archive for the 'karate' Category

Under: karate
19 Apr 2014


I remember as a kid talking to a Tang-Soo-Do 3rd Dan Black Belt, the old, “What would you do if?” questions. and he told me if I tried to throw a punch, we would break the arm with out outside chop and then break my neck with a chop. He said if I tried to kick he would break my leg with a chop and then break my face with a kick… So as a 13 year old kid I was impressed. I “knew then” that blocking was very important in karate.


Later as I progressed in karate and three styles later I finally learned the truth. Blocking was what you used if all else failed. Even the faster parry or cover was more of a whoops move if you were an outside fighter like me. Blocking is for beginners that don’t have any skills yet or find themselves in a precarious situation. But for the effective outside karate fighter you mostly strike and move using critical distance, initial movement and angular attacks. The advantage of being an outside fighter is one does not have to depend on fast reflexes, blocks, parries, and a good chin to best your opponent.


In this post I’ll speak about outside fighting and why I did not block often in real fights. I want to add of you like inside fighting and banging away (trading blows), more power to you. I’m not saying that does not work too… only I did not do that for personal stylistic reasons (I did not like getting hit too often). :)


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Under: karate, Movies
28 Mar 2014


This is an exciting time for me although some might not understand my attachment to ninja karate turtles that came from nuclear slime in the sewers. When my boys were young they had the Nintendo Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle video game, We (yes I said we) watch the cartoons, watched the movie and I even took my boys to the San Diego Sports Arena to see the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles live! I found out that the Turtles could also play guitar.


You see I taught both of my boys some karate as they were growing up so having the Turtles as role models seemed to fit. And that Master Splinter always had sage wisdom. Here is on of the trailers of the new movie.


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Sparring Hip Kick and Other Low Kicks

Posted by: John W. Zimmer
Under: karate, Self-defense
18 Mar 2014


When I was fighting lots of tournaments, fighting on the door, and sparring in the school – fighting was fighting was fighting. I did not vary very much from the way I trained and fought. Sure in a real fight I would end up knocking out my opponent instead of holding back a bit in sparring or racking up points in a tournament but I fought the same.


One of my favorite kicks in all venues was the hip and thigh kicks from my side fighting stance. Ok I am dating myself as everyone knows that side stances don’t work right? I mean MMA, boxing, Muay Thai all use forward fighting stances in their sport.


Well let me just say that forward stances can only work in today’s world where groin kicks are not legal and most schools have stopped teaching groin kicks for sport. People have gotten out of practice using groin kicks so forward stances that would not work against any competent karate fighter – flourish (front stances) in today’s sport fighting disciplines.


In this post I will talk about the wonderful low kicks that work in any situation and why you should use them in your fighting, sparring, and tournaments.


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Are Martial Arts Weapons worth Learning?

Posted by: John W. Zimmer
Under: karate, martial arts, Self-defense
2 Mar 2014


When you walk into a karate school, one of the first things you notice are weapons on the walls. There are also trophies and pictures but the weapons are what I noticed right away. After watching karate movies and seeing how deadly weapons could be I wanted to learn how to use them!


But after a quick reality check I realized that most of these old weapons that would still work on an unarmed opponent – would have little effect against even a taser. Nowadays the personal self defense standard weapon is a gun. But after some more thought on this – I live in California where the gun laws are pretty strict – only the cops and crooks have guns outside homes.


In this post I will try to address the question if martial arts weapons are worth anything today or if you are just wasting your time that might be better spent learning how to use a taser, mace or a gun to augment your hand to hand self-defense.



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Can Karate Training help Fight Disease?

Posted by: John W. Zimmer
Under: karate
22 Feb 2014


I came across a story about a woman that was a student of karate, who got diagnosed with cancer, fought it, and earned her black belt! That got me thinking about the obvious benefits of karate but does it also include fighting disease? I’ve heard many strange things attributed to karate lessons but normally the accepted wisdom is gaining self-confidence and increasing fighting ability.


I know nowadays dog are thought to help the healing process just by making people happy in the hospital. Heck I’ve heard of a new twist on the age old tried and true method of praying to God – meditation and visualization. But to many people if you cannot see it, touch it, quantify it and prove it with a double blind study – it does not exist.


Here is the article: Karate Helen kicks cancer, winning black belt months after chemo ends


In this article I will explore why karate might be one good option in addition to other methods to help combat disease.


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The when to fight question haunted me as a young boy. Before I learn any fighting I used to avoid fights if I could. I did not really know how to fight but I was better than average in sports – so I did not have to fight much before 5th grade. Later in the 5th grade a kid came up to me and challenged me to a fight and then smacked me. I did not even fight back! I did not think I was allowed to fight and did not have much confidence. By not fighting back my fate was sealed – I got beat up!


When my dad taught me the old one – two, and told me it was ok to fight back if attacked, I did ok. But when I knocked someone down I stopped and asked if he gave up. That was all it took to stop a fight in grade school. You only fought until the other acknowledged your win. Kicking a downed opponent was not done. Later when I learned Karate – I was taught how to punch and kick and how it was better to run from a fight if possible. I never ran and I finished all of my fights when the other guy gave.


So is it better to know how to fight and not do it? Or is it better to stand and fight? But the real question is if Martial Arts Philosophy it any better then Western Martial Arts (read boxing for self-defense) Philosophy? Here is a Kung Fu TV Series about, “Cowardice is the Wisdom of Weakness.”



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When I was a kid I remember wondering what was best, wrestling or boxing. At the time I thought boxing was the best but when karate became popular in the 60′s – the argument became boxing or karate! Well fast forward past the 90′s (was a very confused time) and now if you ask any kid… they will no longer say jiu-jitsu but mma! Why to a teenaged kid that would not even watch a boxing match – MMA is king!


So why am I not impressed with the flavor of the day? I am not out to challenge anyone or trying to get an accomplished martial artist in judo, muay thai, jiu-jitsu, wrestling, or boxing to come over the dark side. But what I do want to do in this post is to examine how effective various martial arts would be in a real fight for an average guy/gal that has a couple of years experience under his/her belt.


I also want to look at some other factors such as the point of each martial art… you know what is it good for anyway? Don’t get mad but if your martial art has lots of rules that don’t easily transition to a real fight – what good is it in a fight (unless you are a world class fighter – then it makes no difference what you learn… it will all work)?


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