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Posts Tagged ‘Kung Fu’

Where Will Kung Fu Take You? – by Jenn Mink

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

In my short 24 years on this Earth, I’ve done some pretty amazing things. I moved to Guatemala right after high school, I went to college and learned a second language, and I lived in Spain for a year. People often ask me how I was able to do so much and still do kung fu. I ask them, “How do you think I was able to do all those things?” Because of kung fu.

Now, when I say I moved to Guatemala after high school, I mean to say, I intended to move to Guatemala after high school. It didn’t actually turn out that way. You know how you know everything when you get out of high school? Yea, turns out, I didn’t. Anyone who’s travelled or even seriously thought about travelling in a big way can tell you it’s not only the fun and excitement it seems. For every ounce of fun and excitement, it’s every bit as much terrifying and nerve-wracking. That was one of those things it turned out I didn’t know, but I found out in a hurry.

I was supposed to stay in Guatemala for six months, living with a family and volunteering with a small local eco-farming organization. They weren’t so organized though. When I arrived in the small town of San Lucas Toleman, I was already deep in the throes of the panic of being on my own for the first time, in a foreign country for the first time, and not speaking the language very well. Hoping- desperately needing to be put to work so I could meet new people and give my mind something to do other than race in the chaos of my panic, I went to the coffee plantation. I was then given a menial, uninteresting job and I was put to work alone. I needed to do something to escape the unbearable conditions inside my head. Even going back to the States wasn’t a quick enough solution. The constant noise and anxiety eroded my reason. I learned what it was like to feel like you’re being driven out of your mind by a foreign invader. How do you fight back? How do you take back your mind from fear, anxiety, confusion and panic? Kung Fu. You go to that place of discipline, that well rehearsed sanctuary that has become an unavoidable creation of the forms. It is a habit so deeply engrained in your mind and body the panic cannot overcome it. Was it enough to get me through six months? No. I needed more training, but it was enough to get me through three weeks, enough to keep me sane long enough to realize I was in over my head. So more training I got. I came home with no idea what I was going to do for the rest of my life. I worked and I trained and I learned. I learned about myself and found my calling. I used the greater discipline and focus I developed over that year between Guatemala and college to complete a four year degree in three years and I continued to train. When I was done with my degree, I was ready to try again. I left for Spain for a year. This time I was ready for the fear, confusion and panic. After two more black tests and countless hours in horse stance, I had become more than familiar with them. I had learned to sit with them without letting them unbalance me and then to work through them. They no longer control me. I have learned to embrace the unknown, the difficult and the painful as opportunities for growth. I’m not fearless or invincible, but when I’m afraid, I jump anyway because the rewards if I do are much more enticing. Because I jump, I’ve seen Spain, Rome, the Alps, Berlin, Paris, London and Ireland. Where will kung fu take you?

Muscle Memory – by David DeWalch

Monday, May 24th, 2010

In Kung Fu we train with repetition, performing sequences over and over in order to place the sequence into our muscle memory. As with other traditions passed down to us from our Kung Fu fathers there is a physiological and scientific basis to muscle memory.

When an active person repeatedly trains movement, often of the same activity, in an effort to stimulate the mind’s adaptation process, the outcome is to induce physiological changes which attain increased levels of accuracy through repetition. Muscle memory is fashioned over time through repetition of a given suite of motor skills and the ability through brain activity to inculcate and instill it such that they become automatic. To the beginner, activities such as brushing the teeth, combing the hair, or even driving a vehicle are not as easy as they look. As one reinforces those movements through repetition, the neural system learns those fine and gross motor skills to the degree that one no longer needs to think about them, but merely to react and perform appropriately. In this sense the muscle memory process is an example of automating an OODA Loop insofar as one learns to Observe, Orient, Decide, and Act.

In this physiological description it is demonstrated why we train in the way that the Masters have handed down to us. Repetition is key in training our brain to work in conjunction with our muscle groups so that when the need arises we are ready to defend ourselves without conscious thought. Additionally, this is the reason that we train for good technique and form. In other words if we train with poor technique and poor form this is the information that our brain stores as the muscle memory resulting in unskilled and inadequate Kung Fu.

A common mistake is to perform the actions with too much speed that sacrifices attention to the exact mechanism of the technique and good form. Speed comes with training and is not a necessary component to obtain muscle memory. Again repetition of a movement and good form with focus placed on stances, plucks blocks and strikes is essential to building muscle memory. Speed and skill comes with time, training and patience.

At What Lengths?

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

Josh Davis, three-time U.S. Olympic Gold Medalist in Swimming, said as he stared down his lane at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, the thought crossed his mind that 4 hours of swimming each day for 10 years—a total 25,000 miles—now came down to one moment in time. That’s unbelievable!

I love studying the championship habits of Olympic Athletes—well, really, the habits of any successful person in their field. What is their secret? At what lengths did they go to reach their goal?

As you know, from my earlier blog, “Committed or Interested”, (if you haven’t read it, stop now, scroll back, and read) I don’t believe there is a “secret” to success. The secret is busting your tail with hard work and putting in long hours.

Sifu Fogg always told us there’s nothing secret about mastering mantis kung fu. He said, “You just train hard, then do it again and again.” I’m doing that, but I’m still holding out for the kung fu download that Neo got in Matrix.

I remember before a tournament, I often trained 3-7 hours per day. John Cheng did more than that!

So, at what lengths will we go to achieve our goals? Here is a (very) few of the successful people I studied.

  • Eight-time U.S. Olympic Gold Medalists Michael Phelps swims a minimum of 5 hours per day 6 days per week.
  • Vladimir Horowitz, an acclaimed Russian-American concert pianist practices from 4-8 hours per day. Closer to home, my kung fu student, Shawn Bradley, when practicing for his final concert to graduate, played his piano up to 10 hours per day!
  • John Grisham wrote every day in the predawn hours before he went to work.
  • Stephen King writes a minimum of 3 hours per day 7 days a week. He says doesn’t even take Christmas off.
  • Walt Disney worked tirelessly on achieving his dream of creating the first full-length animated feature, despite all of Hollywood, and even Walt’s family, saying he couldn’t do it.
  • Sylvester Stallone loaded up on caffeine and wrote the Rocky screenplay in just three days.

After studying these people, I did discover their one common secret: persistence.

Psychologists tell us that to develop a habit, you must practice something one hour per day for 40 days.

To master something it takes 10,000 hours of practice to know all about that subject.

That’s 20 hours per week for 10 years!

Who’s up for the challenge?

Please comment and share your success stories with me.

The Bonds We Build

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

As most of you know, I have had to do some extensive traveling over the last year or so. It has been very difficult to be away from my family but sometimes we must do something that we are not happy with to better benefit those who depend on us. But in addition to my regular family, I have also missed my Kung Fu Family. Four hours travel each way gives me plenty time to think about Kung Fu, and I have come to some personal Kung Fu realizations:

#1: I am Kung Fu. It is in my blood, in every cell. There is no separation left. Every step, move, action and reaction is Kung Fu. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

#2: The Kung Fu family is as real as our own family. Those who train with me, sweat, and even bleed with me are my brothers and sisters. It is very much like the bond soldiers build when in combat.

#3: Teaching Kung Fu is one of my favorite things in my life. It helps keep me sane because it takes every bit of my attention and concentration.

I can tell you from experience, that all of the Instructors at Tyler Kung Fu and Fitness feel this way. From the very first time I met Sifu, I knew that was the case with him (and still is), and he has passed that on to us. And because of that we have created these friendships that are extremely strong.

A couple weeks ago, I drove from Port Arthur to Galveston (about 2.5 hours one way) to see two of my Kung Fu brothers, Adam and Kody. We ate and proceeded to play hands on the beach. I made this trip after working for over eight hours and it was well worth it to see my brothers. That same mindset brings back all of our Kung Fu brothers and sisters back to the school every time they come back to Tyler for whatever reason. It’s all in the things that we have shared at this place, that has become sacred to us, and built these bonds that will last a lifetime.

How Far Does the Fu Go?

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

From: Adam
Date: Mon, Apr 12, 2010 at 9:27 AM
Subject: How Far Does the Fu Go?
To: Sifu

Sifu!!

I was out for my run and saw a huge Rottweiler several blocks up. He was by the front door of a house and I was trying to discern the situation. I popped out my earphones to be more aware and was about to turn around and try a different route when he saw me. He did that aggressive freeze and stare they do so I slowed down a bit to try not to appear scared or aggressive. When I got a couple of yards from him I tried to softly say “hey puppy”, to calm him down – it didn’t work. When I got parallel to him he took off out of the yard right toward me. I immediately stopped and looked right at him. I clapped as loud as I could and yelled “NO!” as sternly as I could and I pointed up to the house and ordered him, “GO!”

With him running at me and me trying to stop running we basically collided. We were so close his chin hit my knee and got dog slobber on it. My clap and aggressive yell startled him, I could see him sort of twitch. He stopped, growled a bit and looked up at me. Again I said, “NO!” and pointed and said “GO!” It was like he was thinking for a second and then turned and jogged back up to the house. I walked until I was out of his sight and then took off faster than I had planned to run today!!

I gotta tell you, I was ready to bring about “complete destruction” on that dog. Not sure how it would have gone, but I would have snatched the life out of that dog, that’s for sure! Well, at least I had to believe I would have! Whew, that was intense. I just kept remembering times we had run together and you had taken that aggressive stance with dogs before and it worked. I did everything I could to show I wasn’t scared and was in charge of the dog. I’m glad he decided to buy it!

Adam

Mrs. Jones

Sunday, March 14th, 2010

Junior High for me-as was for many of you-a very interesting time of life. Kung fu definitely helped me get through it. However, I never dreamed I’d have to defend myself against a teacher! Her name was Mrs. Jones. She was a riot! She cared nothing about political correctness, wasn’t afraid of lawyers, and dealt with discipline problems herself. If I didn’t know better, I’d swear that Mrs. Jones was Tyler Perry’s role-model for his popular character Medea.

I remember the time well . . .

“Jones, whatcha writin’ boy?”

I closed my eyes and cringed at the sound of Mrs. Jones’ voice. She caught me. I was supposed to be reading pages 104 thru 125 in my eighth-grade History book, something about the War of 1812, but instead of that nonsense, I was writing another Wade Cheng Ninja adventure. I had been writing the series since sixth-grade.

Wade had just killed ten ninjas on top of the Empire State Building. As he repelled down, using his ninja grappling hook and trusty ninja rope, a mafia hit man was shooting at him from the top of the next building. Half American and half Chinese, Wade was the last American ninja, hired as an assassin for the CIA. Bad guys around the world were trying to take him out. Wade was cool, tough, and the ultimate ladies’ man. James Bond envied him.

I sat third from the front, middle row. Without looking up, I told Mrs. Jones I was taking notes on the assignment.

“I didn’t tell nobody to take notes, boy. But since you so smart read whatcha got.”

My classmates started laughing and Michael, sitting behind me, punched my shoulder and said, “Busted!”

“Everybody, shut-up.” Mrs. Jones pounded her fists on her desk. “I got to hear this.” She adjusted her three-inch thick bifocals and fixed her eyes on me like a starved Komodo dragon stares at a wounded jackrabbit. “Go on, boy, read.”

I could feel my ears turning red. There was no way I would actually read from my journal. Earlier in the year, in Social Studies class, a girl named Sherry told me I was weird when I told her I was writing an action novel. Since then, I tried to hide it.

My journal was on top of my open textbook. I slid the journal up a bit, so I could see the bottom page of my book. I begin to read from page 105.

That lasted about ten seconds.

“Stop right there, boy, stop right there. You must think I’m stupid. You readin’ straight from the book.”

The whole class busted out laughing.

“Bring me whatchu writin’ boy.”

Hoping that Myron, sitting in front of me, could block Mrs. Jones’ view, I quickly slid my journal beneath the history book and searched for something to give her. But in my haste, I dropped my latest copy of Inside Kung Fu. The magazine hit the floor with a splat. I may as well have dropped a hundred dollar bill the way Mrs. Jones’s gaze locked on to the fallen magazine.

“Well, what we got here?”

“It’s one of those violent magazines, Mrs. Jones,” said Myron.

At first, I wanted to deliver the iron-palm-explodes-brain-stem technique to the back of Myron’s neck for fronting me out, but then I realized he just stole Mrs. Jones’ attention from my journal.

Mrs. Jones crossed her arms and cocked her head to the side. Her curly wig hung on for dear life. She stared at Myron.

“Forty years of teaching, I ain’t ever seen nobody as stupid as you. I see that’s a magazine, boy.” She sighed. “You the reason I’m retirin’ in sixty days. And that ain’t soon enough!”

Myron mocked being offended. “Mrs. Jones, you hurt my feelings.” Myron always had a grin on his face and it drove Mrs. Jones crazy.

“I don’t care about your feelings, boy. Your problem is having feeling to begin with.”

The class went wild. Mrs. Jones and Myron got into it like this everyday.

“And I tell you something else, old smiley-boy. Whenever somebody smiles all the time like you do, that’s the first sign of insanity!”

I was laughing so much that I forgot about my magazine still lying on the floor-until Mrs. Jones focused back on me.

“Jones, bring me that magazine.”

“I’ll bring it to you, Mrs. Jones,” Myron said, just to irritate her.

Mrs. Jones shook her head in disgust. “Boy, you done tipped over the edge. That smilin’ cult you belong to done sent you to the land of crazies. Stand up, Myron. You gonna stand till your feet’s as flat as dimes.”

Standing all period was one of Mrs. Jones’ evil punishments.

Myron stood, still grinning. I took my time walking to Mrs. Jones’ desk.

“Give it here, boy.” She snapped her fingers and held out her hand. I gave her the magazine and stared at her desk while she flipped through the pages, mumbling, “Mmm-hum.”

Stacks of un-graded papers, textbooks, a large round container of beige face powder, and the daily paper opened to the obituary page, covered one-half of Mrs. Jones’s desk. On the other side, sat her Bible.

Mrs. Jones didn’t let anything sit on, or even sit near, her Bible – it was HOLY!

The huge black book weighed as much as a Honda Civic and was as thick as five encyclopedias. I was tempted to touch it to see what she would do but it seemed that my magazine had already stirred her up.

“Boy, you know how to do all this stuff? You think you’re Chinese?”

“He is Chinese, Mrs. Jones!” Myron shouted.

Mrs. Jones leaned around me to see Myron. She lifted her fist. “Uh, Myron, do you want me to come over there and punch your smilin’ mouth? Even though my ankles is swelled up and my feet got the gout, I be on you faster than ugly jumps on your skin, boy. Shut up.” She looked back at me. “Jones, do you know this kon fu stuff?”

“Yes, ma’am,” I said, trying not to laugh.

“Are you fast?”

“Yes, ma’am.” I wondered why she asked me that as she began rolling up my magazine. Then it hit me. Literally.

“Let’s see how fast you are, then.”

I couldn’t believe it. Mrs. Jones was swinging the magazine at me.

I stepped back and blocked a few of the blows. The class went berserk.

Not satisfied with her hit-miss ratio, Mrs. Jones pushed away from her desk and stood up. Her over-weighted chair let out a hideous shrill as it scrapped against the linoleum floor.

“Boy, not even the Lord Jesus, can help ya now.” She leaned over her Bible and swung like a mad woman. Her watermelon-sized breasts threatened to bust out of her tight blouse and her arms jiggled like platters of Jell-O.

I kept blocking but I was laughing so hard I almost fell. It seemed like she swung forever. The whole class was on their feet, the noise louder than a pep rally.

Finally, the bell rang.

Mrs. Jones tossed the magazine at me and collapsed into her chair. Her gray-speckled wig sat lopsided on her head and rivers of sweat had turned her thick make up to paste. She fanned herself with someone’s term paper.

“Y’all better get outta here before I kill somebody. Whew.” She took a sip of tea from her 64 oz plastic Chevron mug.

“Jones, don’t you bring that magazine back here tomorrow, boy,” she told me as I was leaving.

I didn’t. But on the next day, she attacked Myron with the eraser.

Caramel Apples

Friday, February 19th, 2010

A couple years ago had you asked me, “What thoughts would go through your mind if someone walked up and pushed you?” I would have probably said that it would make me mad and I would push back. I know the correct response should have been to turn the other cheek, but as you can see I still don’t have the answers.

Just the other day, in a small kung fu class in the little town of Tyler, a couple of us guys were getting some instruction from the “Man” It had something to do with plucking, center, being empty, timing, and caramel apples I think. You’re saying, “Caramel Apples?” Yes, caramel apples, and believe it or not it was a great analogy. I think I described our lesson as a grenade going off in my mind. I had just enough know how to see it, but was unsure if I could ever really grasp the whole concept.

What’s bad is that this confusion isn’t after my first week of kung fu, or my first month or year, but I’m going into my third year now and the questions just get bigger, broader, and a little further apart. After talking with my sihings, they all have the same problem understanding. That gives me some comfort, but not much.

This is what keeps me training every week. It may sound weird to some. – why would you want to keep working so hard at something you will never fully understand? Because it’s that complex, it amazes me. More everyday. The more I think I know, the less I really understand.

So now when I get pushed, I’m wondering…Did my shoulders fold around the punch? Did they drop in the hole? Did they have my center? Were they empty when I plucked? And then I’m telling myself, I was off balance, they had my center, I was too late, or did he say get a beat ahead? Was I supposed to return the strike? I think I turned that time. Was I supposed to turn?

Then I SCREAM to myself, bow to the “Man”, and leave more confused than ever but I can hardly walk out the door.

Hell’s Angel

Monday, January 25th, 2010

Growing up in the kung fu world of Sifu Fogg was always adventurous. One lesson he taught me early on was that you have to stand on your own kung fu. Meaning the art must become your own; your skills; your talents. You must have confidence in your own ability.

Well, Sifu Fogg has a knack for drawing this confidence out of you, even when you’d rather he didn’t.

The spring of my senior year in high school, I was training with Master Fogg on the basketball court of an apartment complex. The worn-out ball court was a mixture of crumbling asphalt, grass, dirt, and potholes. The goal posts leaned and rusted chains served as the nets. The backside of the three-story apartment complex completely circled the ball court. Every tenant’s patio or balcony faced the court.

I’d trained with Sifu here on many occasions, so the fact that it seemed everyone in the complex was watching us on that beautiful sunny day didn’t bother me. <em>(Actually training anywhere didn’t bother me. We’ve trained in some crazy places before…but that’s another blog). </em>

Sifu was pushing me to the max, which I’m sure it was great fun for our audience. Me, in the sun, sweating, bleeding, on the brink of death, begging for a cup of water just to dip my finger into as Sifu laughed, and said, “Play your form again!” all while he sat under a crooked oak tree and sipped lemonade.

We’d trained an hour when this guy started heckling us from his third floor patio. He shouted, “That stuff’s not real. Bet it can’t stop a bullet (he’s never seen Sifu Fogg move) and “I can still kick your ____.” We ignored him. He continued for about ten minutes then went inside.

Five minutes later, Mr. Heckler was on the ball court.

Imagine the biggest, ugliest, motorcycle gang member you can think of and that would be Mr. Heckler, who now towered over me. He looked as if he walked straight off the set of a 1970’s biker-movie starring him as the lead bad-dude. He kicked at a chunk of asphalt and stepped closer to me. I could smell him.

His hair was a black tangled grease pit that tumbled off his fat head. He wore a sleeveless leather vest with a tattered sleeveless Harley Davidson T-shirt underneath. His arms were white hairy tree trunks. A nude woman named Lola, tattooed on his left bicep, danced with each flex. Fingerless riding gloves covered his huge hands and his fingernails had at least an inch of dirt caked underneath. His hairy gut spilled over the top of his grease-stained jeans concealing the origins of three chains that hung from his belt loops and slithered into his back pockets. His cycle boots were worn and scuffed.

He glanced at Sifu then at me and smiled with tobacco-yellowed teeth. He pointed at me, raised his fists, and said, “You wanna go?”

<em>Heck yeah, I wanted to go! </em>Go running like a scared rabbit and hide behind Sifu Fogg, who was still just sitting calmly drinking lemonade.

Biker Monster asked Sifu, “You the teacher?”

Sifu grinned, said yes, and then told him I was his top student and would be happy to fight with him.

<em>Wait, I’m not the top student. John Cheng is! I can call him. He can be here in thirty minutes.</em> I looked at my feet expecting to see all the blood that had just drained from my body to be pooling around my kung fu shoes.

Biker Monster said, “Right on,” and began to circle me, shadow boxing as he stumbled around.

I looked at Fogg. My mouth hung open and my knees were shaking. He waved at me, opened a package of cookies, and crammed a double-stuffed Oreo in his mouth. What is this! I’m about to die and he’s eating.

“Let’s do it, kid,” Biker Monster said.

My arms felt like hundred pound dumbbells and my legs were tubes filled with concrete. My heartbeats were off the charts.

We faced off, two warriors in a Roman coliseum. A million scenarios flashed through my mind like a DVD stuck on fast-forward. One thought was that if he If he connects a punch, I will have no face. I couldn’t believe Sifu was letting this happen.

He moved in, and without thought, I adjusted my stance to defend from the outside gate. That <em>one</em> movement did it for me. I realized my training was overriding the fear. I thought of Bourne. (A sly advertisement to read my blog “Just Like Bourne”)

Monster Biker grunted, shuffled forward, then suddenly stopped. “Hey, man, just joking around.” He dropped his hands and laughed. “I don’t wanna fight with you.” He looked at Sifu. “I’m outta shape, man. I can’t do it like I used to.”

He and Sifu talked while I sat down and encouraged my bodily functions to return to normal. After he left, I asked Sifu Fogg if he would’ve really let the fight happen. He said yes and that of course he had my back, but he knew I’d be alright.

Sifu’s confidence in me at that moment forever changed the way I viewed my own kung fu abilities. No way am I saying I’m great. I agonizingly strive to improve my kung fu everyday. It’s just from that day forward, I was confident enough to put myself out there, via tournaments, demos, etc. And twenty years later, that same confidence was a weapon of encouragement when I was struggling to open a kung fu school.

My goal is to pass that confidence on to my students in whatever they do. I hope during trying times in life, they will look back and say, “If I can pass my kung fu test, or learn a particular form, I can get through this.”

Lethal Weapon

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

The first action you must take after achieving your black belt is to register your hands as lethal weapons. It’s you civic duty to inform society how dangerous you are.

I remember the day I did. It was a horribly miserable August afternoon. Bleeding, bruised, and covered in dirt, from already enduring a twelve hour test, I was standing in the middle of a field with ten Eagle Claw masters circled around me. At once, all ten warriors attacked me for the final phase of my black belt exam.

Moving with the grace of a ballet dancer, my hands and feet shot out like exploding grenades. I moved faster than the wind. Within seconds, my opponents were eating grass and begging their master not to make them attack again. I stared at the master, showed him my mantis claw. He ran away, leaving his injured students behind. My Sifu was so impressed with my ability he told me to go immediately to the police station and register my hands.

Arriving at police headquarters, I informed them of my lethalness. Out of nowhere, this huge cop grabs me and tries to throw me down.

How silly of him.

Careful not to injure the officer, I made sure he landed on top of his desk instead of the floor when I flipped him using the secret tiger leaps from mountain and kills pregnant antelope technique. The entire department gasped in awe as the big man sailed over my shoulder. The officer who attacked me rolled off his desk and offered a handshake. Said he did that as a test to everyone who comes in to register their hands. I nodded, smiled, adjusted my new black belt, and shook his hand.

From there, officers led me down a dark narrow hallway. They blindfolded me, pushed me into a room that smelled of gunpowder and burnt rubber and locked the door. I could hear water dripping somewhere. Though completely blind, I sensed others in the room. I drew a deep breath and centered my chi as I prepared to use the blind monk escapes the cave and attacks one-legged merchant in village technique. I quickly exhaled. I was now one with the room.

For the next seven hours, I went through a series of grueling tests that involved handcuffs, shotguns, tennis balls, ninja stars, smoke bombs, Taser guns, and a live goat.

At the conclusion, the chief of police said he was sure glad I was one of the good guys, but being that he’d never seen anyone as amazing as me, I needed to register my hands and feet. I agreed. Just registering my hands wasn’t being totally honest. With my killer kicks, I actually equaled two lethal weapons.

I filled out the proper forms, swore in before the judge of my lethalness, took the oath only to use kung fu when in danger, and was issued the official Lethal Weapon card. (Only Mel Gibson and I carry multiple lethal weapon cards). The police even gave me a small badge that I must wear whenever I’m in public that informs people that I’m a hands-registered black belt.

Of course, the story above is false-well; some parts of it-but you’d be surprised how many times I’ve been asked if a person must register their hands once they become a black belt.

The answer is an absolute NO. Registering your hands is an urban legend, a Hollywood myth. There is no such registry and research has failed to reveal any statutory, regulatory, or other requirements that boxers or martial artists must register their hands.

I did read, however, of several court cases where jurors considered a defendant’s MA or boxing experience when deciding the outcome of their case. In 1988, (Wyo. 1988) the Wyoming Supreme Court convicted a man of aggravated assault for punching someone in the head. The defendant’s training in boxing supported the jury’s findings on his mental state. I also discovered a website where you can pay $34.95 to register your hands with this company. I wish I’d thought of that marketing idea.

Bottom Line: As martial artists, the courts hold us to a higher standard than regular civilians, as we should be. Discipline and control is the cornerstone of martial arts. Just use common sense. If you are at the grocery store and a guy bumps into you, don’t break his leg. However if someone is in your home to kill, steal, or destroy, then all bets are off.      You unleash on them.

That goes for terrorists attacking you on a plane. I have no problem using the kung fu master completely decimates the lunatic screaming “death to infidels” technique.

I am a Martial Artist

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009

A poem that I found very interesting:

I am a martial artist. I see through different eyes.
I see a bigger picture when others see gray skies.
Though many can’t conceive it, I stand…facing the wind.
My bravery, not from fighting, but from my strength within.

I am a martial artist. I’ll walk the extra mile.
Not because I have to, but because it’s worth my while.
I know that I am different, when I stand on a crowded street.
I know the fullness of winning, I’ve tasted the cup of defeat.

I am a martial artist. They say I walk with ease.
Though trained for bodily harm, my intentions are for peace.
The world may come and go, but a different path I’ll choose.
A path I will not stray from, no matter, win or lose.

-Karen Eden