BJJ Class; What an Experience!

Posted by: John W. Zimmer
Under: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
27 Feb 2010


I’ve been learning a new martial art lately that I’ve alluded to at times – Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ). Our association has adopted jiu-jitsu training as part of our curriculum so even though I don’t need it (as I’ve already attained rank), I decided to widen my martial arts horizons.


In this post I’ll discuss how jiu jitsu relates historically to the kenpo that I practice and some background on what grappling is today. I’m going to have some fun because I have always been one of those guys that does not like ground fighting. I mean when I wrestled in school – boy was that a lot of work compared to striking. Here is an overview video of BJJ.



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Sanshiro Sugata; The Judo Saga!

Posted by: John W. Zimmer
Under: Movies
5 Aug 2009


I was flipping channels the other day and came across an old grainy black and white film on IFC where a martial artist was backed against a wharf and taking on his antagonists! The movie is called Sanshiro Sugata (the Judo Saga) and was filmed in 1943. What caught my eye was how he was dispatching his opponents – by throwing them over the side.


This was reminiscent of when I found the Seven Samurai movie on IFC. As the story unfolded it was apparently about the early days of Judo and its players being challenged by Jiu Jitsu combatants! In this post I will review the movie and speak about Judo’s beginnings as well as my views of Judo as an effective martial art. Here is a clip from the movie as the head of a Jiu Jitsu school faces one of the main Judo players (subtitled in French I think).


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[Forward: My good friend, David Hays is contributing this article. David is a 4th degree Kenpo black belt from Dick Willett. Dave has been a fierce tournament competitor, studio owner and now he mentors the upcoming generations of karate students. The photo credits go to Barbara Steinberg. Welcome David! John W. Zimmer]


On June 14th, 2008 Dick Willett’s senior Black Belts hosted a seminar in San Diego Ca. with the legendary Joe Lewis and world champion grappler Dean Lister.


Joe Lewis was the best of the best in the golden age of Sport Karate.  During the early years of martial arts in America, he stood out as the best in the sport. There was no one more feared and/or respected than the legendary Joe Lewis.


 Joe Lewis & David Hays


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T.O.P. Army Fighter Series

Posted by: John W. Zimmer
Under: MMA
19 Apr 2008


I’ve been watching a couple of hours of the T.O.P. (Toughest Operational Personnel) Army Fighter series on the Military Channel (105 on COX South San Diego) yesterday. I am impressed with how our military is being taught to fight. A good overview of this series is found at


Safety is a great concern during the military version of MMA so while it is OK to use a leg lock, it is not OK to twist the foot because these guys are actually shipping out to Iraq. I found a short clip of one popular fighter that fights MMA and T.O.P. Army Fighter for your perusal.


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