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As of today, the TKRIblog will redirect to the Fight Sciences Research Institute blog. For readers familiar with our former TKRI blog and identity, you can expect the same high level of quality original research and articles, training information and ideas, discussions, and accurate resources about the fighting arts and sports.

We invite you to follow us as we kick off a wider exploration of the fighting arts and combat sports and all related topics. If you found our old site useful, the new one will be packed with even more research, news and training ideas.

And we’re just getting started.

Don’t try this at home…

We at FSRI extend best wishes, hopes and sympathy for all people affected by the earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan,  and those affected by the tsunami in Hawaii and the US West Coast. As relief efforts get underway we will post links to aid organizations.

The New York Daily News brings us the account of the guy who took out a knife wielding sociopath in NYC.

First off, my hat is off to Joseph Lozito for having the awareness to notice an unstable individual and act before others were hurt, and for having will power to face him down. Training or none, he did what martial artists talk about doing but often lose sight of when  discussing how they think it ought to be done.

Some take away points:

  • ‘Thanks to his many hours of watching mixed martial arts on television, Lozito says he “took him down” with a single leg sweep.”I wouldn’t win any style points for taking him down, but it did the job,” he said.’ (emphasis mine)

 

  • “Gelman reached under his jacket, pulled out an 8-inch Wusthof chef’s knife and began slashing. “I was trying to get control of his wrist. I didn’t really feel anything...” (emphasis mine)
  • “He was rushed to Bellevue Hospital, where doctors closed a 4-inch gash on the back of his head, an 8-inch wound behind his right ear, two 3-inch slashes on his left arm, a cut under his eye and two deep cuts to his thumb.’


The fact that he decided on what to do based on watching MMA on tv is fascinating. The fact that he is 6-foot-2, 270 and responded proactively definitely worked to his advantage. While I do not think that this situation is telling us that watching MMA on TV is a good substitute for actual training, it is highly useful for us to consider whether or not training is more important than the will to act as a threat is perceived.

This article details a trend of serious, unrecognized injuries and a surprising number of deaths in Japanese youth Judo programs. I found this story to be of particular interest, since Judo is often advertised as a very safe martial arts activity for kids.

The take-home message:

”First of all, many judo instructors at Japanese schools are too ignorant about what to do when a serious incident occurs…”

The activity itself isn’t necessarily unsafe, but the environment and attitude in which it is trained can be. We’ve beaten this particular dead horse for a while, but it bears repeating. Instructors have a responsibility to know:

  • their students’ limitations and health considerations
  • the risks inherent in their activity
  • what constitutes a serious injury
  • how to avoid serious injuries
  • what to do in the event of a serious injury
  • what not to do in the event of a serious injury

The quote at the end of the article brings to mind the mindless culture of obedience, subservience and physical abuse that was encouraged/required in early Japanese University karate clubs (and still is, in some cases):

Mr Murakawa said: ”Children, afraid of getting beaten up, must obey the coach and cannot ask for a rest for no matter what.”

This attitude has absolutely no place in any training hall of any art anywhere. It’s not worth emulating, it’s not honorable, and it is not “traditional.” The sooner it’s discarded, the better. Getting tougher and finding out what you can take is valuable and worth pursuing; sacrificing your safety and health for macho posturing is not.

“If they come through that door, it’s open season…”

In 2009 a disturbing video and the story behind it made waves around the internet: a man displaying signs of mental illness enters a karate dojo and the dojo’s members assault him and then hide the evidence as the sensei offers encouragement. Unlike most topics that tend to dominate karate chat forums and blogs, this particular story reached people worldwide within and outside of the martial arts community, and set into motion several efforts to bring an abusive “karate sensei” to justice.  This is the tale of Bobby Joe Blythe and what happened in 1984 at his Dumfries, VA dojo, and it’s appalling on a number of levels.

The disturbing details came to light when Blythe himself posted some videos from his old dojo on YouTube. YouTube is full of people in martial arts uniforms spouting nonsense and engaging in general idiocy; Blythe’s videos are of a different breed. In one of these clips he gives his dan grades a talk about the right of black belts to abuse whomever they please in the dojo. This diatribe serves as a foreword to the unprovoked assault upon a confused individual which follows in a later video:

“Show your power and enjoy yourself … don’t beg for a thing … demand it or take it … we can do anything we want in this [expletive] dojo. If they come through that door, its open season … it’s my school … I do what I want in my place of business…”

Read the rest of this entry »

Well done, Mr. Perez.

Man Rescues Abducted Child

If you watch closely you will see two short clips from the TKRI demonstrations at the Missouri Botanical Gardens this year. Nice job guys.

Via the wonders of Google, I came across a Time Magazine piece on parkour while researching hip flexor strains. Go figure. Parkour is a fascinating activity, and obviously one that requires excellent physical conditioning, coordination, agility, strength and mental acuity. Not so different from serious training in a martial art.

There are several fascinating sequential photo montages of  traceurs vaulting from rooftops and landing, or traversing the exterior of a building in a controlled fall. If you’re an appreciator of human movement, give it a look.

Check it out here: An Urban Adventure

Dan Rather has written an excellent piece about the dangers of traumatic brain injury amongst primary school-aged participants of sports activities. Highlighted is the data that the NFL itself recently released about the incidence of long-term impairment amongst it’s players, with a discussion of what the information means to coaches and athletes.  The information is just as applicable to teachers and students of martial arts.

The article ends with a bit of advice that any martial arts instructors and students should follow when it comes to a possible concussion:

“When in doubt, sit it out.”

Kids, Head Injuries and the NFL


"Try to see yourself as you truly are and try to adopt what is meritorious in the work of others. As a karateka you will of course often watch others practice. When you do and you see strong points in the performance of others, try to incorporate them into your own technique. At the same time, if the trainee you are watching seems to be doing less than his best ask yourself whether you too may not be failing to practice with diligence. Each of us has good qualities and bad; the wise man seeks to emulate the good he perceives in others and avoid the bad."
Funakoshi Gichin

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