Archive for May, 2009

Under: martial arts
30 May 2009


As I was searching for interesting martial arts stories I came apon the Journal of Manly Arts. Hmm I thought so I clicked in and found some historical stories about Western Martial Arts as well as some Eastern Martial Arts! I came across in volume 2002, 01/02, and exert from Theodore Roosevelt’s, “The Vigor of Life.”


Now I knew about our 26th President’s military experience in the Spanish – American War and his famous charge up San Jaun Hill, but I did  not know about his wrestling and boxing background. Mr. Roosevelt relates about his Harvard experience:

This was, as far as I remember, the only one of my exceedingly rare athletic triumphs which would be worth relating. I did a good deal of boxing and wrestling in Harvard, but never attained to the first rank in either, even at my own weight. Once, in the big contests in the Gym, I got either into the finals or semi-finals…

In this post I will talk a little about wrestling, boxing and transitioning to an eastern martial art. Theodore Roosevelt was a man’s man and apparently was an accomplished hunter. He had to shoot a grizzly bear in this film adaptation video I found.


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Have You Seen Black Belt TV?

Posted by: John W. Zimmer
Under: martial arts
27 May 2009


I was scouring the Internet for news worthy stories about karate and came across this New York Times article entitled, “TV Sports; Coming on the Digital Sports Dial: A Selection of Singular Sensations.” This peaked my interest and I found a Black Belt TV channel that is or will be coming to a cable provider near you, here. This is not the actual website but has the information. This will give an overview (I believe) of what the cable channel will be about.


This TV channel apparently will be about all things martial arts! In this post I will provide some insight to the content and delivery methods including over the Internet. Here is the first video I found about the new channel.



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One of the reasons I got into karate as a kid was to learn how to do amazing things with my body as all things physical interested me. I liked climbing, fighting, riding a unicycle as well as hang gliding and scuba diving. Karate was just one more outlet to push my body to new heights.


I have found some activities that are not necessarily thought of as having anything to do with the martial arts but can be used to improve ones own strength, coordination and timing thereby improving your own martial art. I wrote a post on my other website ( about the fitness benefits of pole dancing here.


As you might know I try to find interesting material for this website that I can weave into karate, self-defense, conditioning, or general martial arts stories. In this post I will speak of fun conditioning exercises that one can do to help some facets of your overall martial art! I found this interesting (although a beginning foray) karate application of pole dancing.



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Karate vs Boxing? What is Better?

Posted by: John W. Zimmer
Under: martial arts
19 May 2009


Imagine that you grew up in the 60’s (some of you did) and your dad used to watch boxing! Boxing was an ideal martial art (even though it was not widely thought of as martial arts) because anyone could learn the basics and then defend themselves against a larger attacker! What you might be thinking? Don’t you mean karate? Well karate was in its infancy in the 60’s but boxing had a large audience.


If one knew how to jab, right cross and hook – he could take almost anyone bigger that was just trying to tear your head off and make them look silly! Karate kicked like girls did so it was not too popular with some men at first. Later when pioneers like Bill Wallace, Joe Lewis, Ron Marchini, and Chuck Norris started to make the sport of karate more popular there was still a dominant question at the time, what was better, karate or boxing?


In this post I will attempt to answer that question somewhat but before I do I will go into some history and note the differences between the two martial arts. Here is a video I found of the debate between boxing and MMA for some of the issues. MMA as many of you know is the most popular form of striking and submission sport that is watched today.



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Under: Video Games
14 May 2009


Carano vs. Cyborg is one of the fights I am waiting to see but for now I found a video game with Gina as Natasha. The game is called Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3 and has a web page here. According to Wikipeda’s page here, the game is set in an alternate universe where Albert Einstein has been removed (so no nukes).


Carano seems to be good for the part as she was already bigger than life as Crush in the American Gladiator TV series. This is a short post about Gina Carano’s recent history and role in this video game. I found this video promotion for the game.



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Under: Self-defense
13 May 2009


Imagine you are a 15 year-old girl, after just getting your allowance on a mid-summers day, walking over to your friends house. On the way you suddenly notice a guy opening a car door and running up to you! What do you do? This is one of the defining moments in any one’s life – how they will respond to danger. I wrote a post about this here, that describes what feelings a person might have and how do deal with the fight or flight response.


In this post I am going to tell you about four recent stories of girls having to fight or run away to safety! I have noticed Internet chatter about karate instructors recommending to just kick the guy in the nuts and the girl will be safe! What? I would like to say that no matter how good I or any other blogger out there is, we cannot teach fighting skills over the Internet.


The only thing I hope for is to somewhat explore an issue or two in any one post! This means that if I say a girl should gouge the eyes out and try to run away – I am not saying that is all that it will take to get away! Who really knows? It depends on how badly the attacker (the bad guy) gets hurt or surprised. If you really want to know how to escape an attacker – go take a self-defense class at a minimum! With that caviot, here is a picture I found  a funny photo on flickr of a scary guy attacking a girl (he is not really a bad guy)!



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Why Should You Learn Martial Arts?

Posted by: John W. Zimmer
Under: martial arts
10 May 2009


Back when I was a kid and had discovered karate on TV, I thought a black belt in karate could beat up any bad guy! I remember seeing shows like the Wild Wild West where Robert Conrad was able to fight his way out of many sticky situations because of his karate training (although karate had not made it to the United States yet – this TV series was set in the 1800’s).


As a boy I had to either learn how to fight or be one of the ones that gave away his lunch money. This started in the sixth grade but I was able to eventually get to the point where I stuck up for myself. Now I understand that girls are every bit as tough as boys. I will admit that I do not really understand the dynamics of girl on girl bulling but boys are simple – the bully will pick on anyone that is afraid of him!


In this post I will talk about some reasons why you should learn martial arts of some kind. I do not think the type of martial art is so important as actully starting the lessons! I wrote a post on how to pick a martial arts school here. Learning is generally an evolving process. I as a young man thought differently than I as a middle aged man. I will talk about this process, some expected goals, achieved goals and the importaint lessons I’ve learned from taking martial arts. Here is a video about one lesson Kwai Chang Caine (played by David Carradine) learned in the Kung Fu TV series.



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