Can the 97 pound Weakling Fight?

Posted by: John W. Zimmer
Under: Self-defense
29 Nov 2012


I don’t know about you but when I was growing up I was not that confident in middle school. I mean some kids seemed to know what they were capable of and all of the rest tried to go around unnoticed so kids would not pick on them. I know you might be thinking this is a bully post about the kids are intimidated by bullies and such but no.


I am writing about how a kid might surmount their self image and become a good fighter. By the way this applies to anyone including boys, girls, women and men that don’t think they could fight effectively if they had defend themselves!


The question is what does it take for someone to excel at fighting (or what I really mean if self defense)? Sorry but I lump in all fighting into the word fighting. Charles Atlas seemed to think building muscles would give the preverbal 97 pound weakling confidence but I would disagree.


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Under: karate, Self-defense
30 Sep 2012

When I was a kid – I remember “accidentally” kicking a cousin in the nuts as we were fighting. Sure I did it on purpose but it was only a tap. My poor cousin was rolling around on the ground and several generations of males at the family gathering were frowning at me. My dad took me aside and told me (this was a different time), “John – only girls kick.”


Well now in the post-boxing era – kicking is a generally accepted form of fighting. There are many fighting methods and no real acceptance of “the right way to fight.” One guy might favor boxing, another karate, and yet another jiu-jitsu. Each martial artist thinks they have an edge over the other.


The question in this post based on the popularity of sport fighting (boxing, mma, judo, wrestling…) – would you use a groin kick in a fight – or do you even know how?

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Karate Legend Joe Lewis Died

Posted by: John W. Zimmer
Under: karate
1 Sep 2012


I received a call from Dave Hays (8th Dan – AKKA) that Joe Lewis died on Friday, August 31, 2012. He was battling brain cancer I believe. This has been the year for passings as his friend Richard “Dick” Willett passed in May. Dick was my instructor and always had the highest praise for Joe’s fighting ability. First I’ll put some links about Joe’s history and then share some personal experiences.



The last time I saw Joe was at Dick Willett’s 40 anniversary event. I asked Joe about his movies and he mentioned that James Coburn helped him get work as I recall. One great thing about taking karate from Tracy’s or AKKA was that Joe used to have seminars to teach us how to use his angular attacks and initial movement. Those techniques are what helped Tracys/AKKA produce some of the great fighters.


We will all miss Joe Lewis as a fighter, friend and one of the martial arts greats! As Joe lived his life and would say Semer Fi.

Under: Self-defense
11 Aug 2012

I turned on the Olympics last night and found yet again Taekwondo was not recorded for some reason. I found the application from my cable provider that I could playback events! I was going to treat my wife with some pseudo karate (you know Taekwondo says they are NOT karate).


Boy let me tell you this was a mistake. We played back a gold medal match between Turkey and Iran and was waiting for the point match to begin. Then they grabbed each other and tried to kick each other! Never mind that either one of them was in range for a punch – they did not punch!


In this post I will talk about how embarrassed I was showing what I thought would be point karate/taekwondo (you know where they did not try for the knock out) but it turned out to be worse than watching a Batman and Robin show of my youth. Everything they did including the kicks – were totally ineffective! While I am not hoping to convince any Taekwondo practitioners – they are already drinking the kool aid – I would have rather seen a couple of karate aerobic instructors from the local gym go at it… at least they would have punched if they were in close quarters.


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Under: Self-defense
12 Jun 2012


Some drivers exchange words or gestures, stop at a light and one driver confronts that other. One driver punches the other and gets shot! Did I make this up? I took some poetic liberties but this situation among others – happen all of the time. Take a look at this story here.


Here is where I have an issue. If someone is attacked and the defender cannot get away and/or has people or property to protect – I am fine with self defense. What I am not fine with is if someone is passive/aggressive (pretending to be passive but lying in wait) and then unloading on a bad guy/gal. I think we as a people should give other people allowances if they are behaving badly and try to avoid confrontation.


In this post I will spell out what is happening today with stand your ground laws – the good and the bad and what is common sense in these situations. I’ll also go over what my mother taught me as a kid and what it means today (sticks and stones will break your bones but names will never hurt me).


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Under: karate
9 May 2012

Sadly I have to inform all that Grandmaster Richard “Dick” Willett died today. I’ll have more information soon but I wanted to get the word out as I know many of his students read this blog. The information I do have is Dick was admitted into the hospital yesterday and died today.


For the general readership that may not know – Dick Willett was the reason many of us (his students) excelled in life. After taking karate lessons from Master Willett – his students were taught to excel not only in karate but at any endeavour we pursued.


Dick started with Tracy’s Karate in Northern California and after getting his black belt – he moved to San Diego to open Tracy’s Karate Schools here. Mr. Willett was promoted to Judan (10th degree black belt) in 2008 by Al Tracy and was one of the few so highly ranked masters in the world.


For more information the school website is

Nick Diaz vs Carlos Condit – UFC 143

Posted by: John W. Zimmer
Under: MMA
9 Apr 2012



Here is my delayed reaction to Diaz vs Condit in UFC 143. Wow! I have been a fan of both men over the years. I like Diaz because of his aggressive, continuous straight punches that keep up the pressure. I like Condit because of his fighting savey. Both men could have won this bout on a good day but Diaz was the favorite with most folks.


Watch some of this interview and I’ll talk about this in a bit more detail.



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