Archive for February, 2014

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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Nut Pull and Twist?

Posted by: John W. Zimmer
Under: Self-defense
16 Feb 2014


At times I have reviewed various techniques that while would work – are very worrisome from an unconscious shiver point of view. In this case a girl or woman has is already fighting for her life and limb; she is already being attacked or being sexually assaulted. Her choices are to try and comply and hope the guy will let her go or fight for her life!


The attack is a classic self-defense scenario. A bad guy isolates the victim and then robs, rapes, or murders the victim. The extra confusing thing here is some times a woman will find herself on a date that also turns into a sexual assault!


Disclaimer – I am a guy so I don’t understand most of might be happening in a woman’s mind at this point – only from a self-defense, fight or flight response point of view.


In this post I will review what happened to a woman as she recounted to me and a post I’ve found on this very subject on a martial arts self defense site. I tend to get guys responses where they purport to have iron nuts that cannot be harmed by a woman… I just accept that – although ladies – it is not true.


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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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Sword Fighting in a Modern Age: HEMA?

Posted by: John W. Zimmer
Under: martial arts, Sword Fighting
3 Feb 2014


I used to watch Zoro as a kid and of course picked up sticks and fight with my friends. Later as I got involved in Eastern Martial Arts (I knew as Martial Arts), I discovered that kicking and punching is a more effective fighting method. I learned some sword katas in Kenpo but the stress was mostly on knowing how to use an improvised weapon.


So Kendo never really interested me much you see as one cannot walk to the grocery store with a Samurai sword strapped to your belt. Also I am not descended from Asia so there is no particular familial historical interest either. I always wondered how my ancestors survived the dark ages and how one used the weapons of the day but again – they would not work for real fighting today.


I saw this video the other day and got to thinking about Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA). This post is just my thinking about taking up sword fighting in a modern age.



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