Today while was reading the news I saw this article, entitled, “In Rough Slum, Brazil’s Police Try Soft Touch.” Apparently in the favela’s (slums) some cops have been working with the youth to reach out with karate! After a little more research I found out about an organization called, “Fight for Peace” were this NGO (non-governmental organization) also reaches out in a favela to offer boxing & martial arts, personal development, youth support services, job training, and youth leadership!

In this post I will highlight the problems, some traditional solutions, and what I think of this organization’s approach, “Fight for Peace.” First here is the movie trailer – City of God.



Full Story »

Why Self Defense Works!

Posted by: John W. Zimmer
Under: Self-defense
11 Jul 2010

A man on vacation at a bar finds himself in middle of a fight and as so often happens – it is hard to discern the good guys from the bad. Well he puts some distance between the fight and his wife and scans for exits. One of the fighters notice and comes right at him! The vacationer side-steps the rusher and give him a little push into the table – grabs his wife and makes for the exit.

I don’t know about you but I’ve been in this type of situation before and it is a little scary if you have the family with you. This website has often evaluated different types of fighting styles and self defense but why does self defense work? I mean most bad guys can fight – right? If they can fight then why can some minimal self-defense training carry the day?

In this post I will delve into the question of why self defense works and what I think are some good ways to go about learning how to fight. Let me be clear that self defense is learning how to fight. More on that in a bit but first I’d like to show you the average caliber of fighters you have to prepare for in case you ever have to defend yourself. Take a peek at this video of a street fight – there are some weapons but no one seems to get hurt too badly.



Full Story »

Look Mean; Avoid Fights?

Posted by: John W. Zimmer
Under: Self-defense
8 May 2010


Ok imagine you are on the way to the airport in a major US city but you have to fill up the gas tank. It is 4:30 a.m. in the morning and you’ve found a station near the airport! Unfortunately this airport is near the barrio and some of the people are plain scary looking.


You get out but wonder if there is a way to keep people from messing with you. I don’t know about you but I’ve lived so many stories like this in my life and learned early on that you have to project an image of “Don’t mess with me!” if you expect bad guys to steer clear!


In this post I’ll try and explore what how you look has to do with your likelihood of getting into a fight. I mean should how you look have any bearing on your fighting ability? Do people prejudge you (wimp – duke)? Should you buy into other peoples realities and try and look the part? To start this off, take a look at this video.




Full Story »

Robot Fighters? Iron Man 2!

Posted by: John W. Zimmer
Under: Humor, Movies
22 Apr 2010


As you all know by know – I try to cover the hard hitting issues in martial arts. One such area affecting our national security is how robots, androids, and super computers might be used in future conflicts. I mean are the dogs of war going to be unleashed without using real dogs?


One such movie that explores this idea somewhat is Iron Man! Yes as a boy I used to read about Tony Starks adventures when he put on the suit effectively making him a robot!


In this post I am going to explore robots in popular music, movies, TV and as a replacement for troublesome mates! To start out this humorous litany take a look at this almost top hit song!




Full Story »

Under: karate, Self-defense
30 Mar 2010


I remember how often planes were hijacked to Cuba when I was young and thought that would be inconvenient to be diverted to Cuba like that. As I recall most of the time everyone was returned to the United States without harm (or at least that is my memory).


As you know today we are facing not only common criminals but a new breed of thugs called terrorists! Terrorists are not really new as one might argue the Trojan Horse in Homer’s Odyssey was a terrorist act but today men, women, children and pets (is nothing sacred?) strap on bombs to kill the maximum number of innocent people.


In this post I will attempt to show how some flight attendants are trying to counter some of this senseless violence by taking karate and self defense courses to protect passengers! I will also show some videos discussing this trend and the TSA crew member self defense course. I’ll round this out by highlighting how important it is for every day citizens to take part in their own safety so maybe some future attacks can be stopped and show a 9/11 video. Here is the recent story I saw in San Diego.



Full Story »

Winning your Fight; What Does it Take?

Posted by: John W. Zimmer
Under: martial arts
24 Mar 2010


When I first started taking karate lessons at Tracy’s Karate, I asked Dick Willett how he could teach me to be a good fighter. He said that knowing how to kick and punch was not enough but rather I would learn how to connect the strikes.


What does it take to win a fight? That is what I will examine in this post. Remember the first Ken Norton vs Muhammad Ali? Norton was widely reported to have undergone hypnosis to get the edge in that match. If someone beats you in a match – was he or she just a better fighter? How can you consistently become a fighter that wins opposed to collect a paycheck?


To set the stage lets look at this humorous video of Dolf Lundgren’s.



Full Story »

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.



Full Story »