Friday, June 10, 2016

Remembering the slugger from louisville.

 Muhammad Ali

Fighting thoughts: As a boxer he will always be remembered as "The greatest". Olympian, multi time world boxing champ. The world's most famous boxer who was an incredible entertainer.
What did he bring as a fighter?
As an athelete Ali was amazing for being a tall man who moved like a lightweight. He was amazing for his sense of longevity boxing from the 60's though to the early 80's.
He was an amazing entertainer who understood the business side of sports.  He bring comedy, poetry, political intrigue, religious turmoil into the ring and into the world/  He could play a very abusive villain and switch to a very good humanitarian in later life.  He was such an entertainer that he even crossed over it the realm of sports entertainment and pro-wrestling.  letting himself get tossed around by the giant gorilla monsoon.  Even wrestling the legendary japanese wrestling champ antonio Inoki. (it should be understood that japanese wrestling is infamous for "working stiff" and wrestlers are known for giving their opponents full impact or even in some bouts just fighting for real. Ali left the ring victorious but nearly paralyzed from 15minutes of leg kicks.  Ali even referee'd wrestle mania 1.

In terms of martial arts Ali made improvements and hinderences to the fighting value of boxing. 
In the negative Ali adjusted his fighting style to contort around the rules of pro-boxing, which while making himsuccesful in the ring stripped the martial arts value of a real life encounter.  The high punches had greater speed and people could land points better.  But in real fighting the high hands opens the boxer ups to kicks and grappling.
In the positive the famous "rope-a-dope" strategy against George Foreman gives to real fighting in the sense that your opponent in real life has a limit of endurance in a street fight before a good defense combined with time does become a powerful offense.  Also his foot work brought a new dimension to hand fighting and a great tool for distraction.
Also Drama plays a role in real life fighting, getting your opponent either distracted or disoriented can be a great tool for enhancing an altercation.

 Personal Thoughts:

I have a lot of mixed feelings when hearing of the passing of Muhammad Ali. A lot of it hit's home. He grew up in my city. Friends from high school told me stories from their parents and uncles knowing him and some even beating him up as a young boy. He was a larger than life figure and a sports hero. When someone grows up in your town and achieves worldwide fame it makes you wonder about your own potential. He will always be known as a legend in boxing. I am aware of many good deeds in the community and many good causes he has supported. I even saw a youtube video where he gave a speech to British atheists encouraging them to believe in God.
On these issues i think it is good to show respect.
But when we speak of Muhammad Ali I don't think we are speak of the man. When the world talks muhammad ali "the greatest". We are speaking of an idol. Perhaps even the man knew he was worshipping an idol.
Ironically the man was named after another man 1800's civil rights activist Cassius clay. The man was named by his parents who were of the baptist faith and it is inevitable that he heard the gospel many times and deny the gospel of Jesus in fact he blasphemed himself as the "savior of the boxing world". Then he changed his name to the name of another man "muhammad ali". The egyptian ali was a man of war. "The event was held on March 1, 1811. When the Mamluks had gathered at the Citadel, and were surrounded by Muhammad Ali's troops, he had his troops kill them.[b] After the leaders were killed, Muhammad Ali dispatched his army throughout Egypt to rout the remainder of the Mamluk forces."
It is quite ironic that in the name of religion he changed his name to war monger and claimed it made him a pacifist. But war is a tricky topic, so who can judge?
The real problem is not whether he was always right or wrong. The real problem is "the greatest" in this life verses "the greatest" in the next life. Ali got everything that life has to offer. He aquired wealth and fame and prestige. People even show him religious devotion. But what will the next life provide him? Now I believe that anyone can make a "deathbed confession" But you have to assume there is a confession. So the message of his life will have to do. We know of 2 doctrines Ali held. Islamic religion and self-esteem philosophy. Jesus the name above all names did not teach self esteem theology as the bible states.
philippians 2: 3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. 4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. 5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross" The religion of Islam offers a different gospel than the gospel of salvation based upon an angel. Galatians 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7 which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed."…/is-allah-same-as-jehovah.h…
Not only does this false teaching rip people away from the truth of the gospel but it brings them naked before God as sinners in time fore judgement. But it spreads like poison. Ali today is not on earth receiving adoration from his followers. He is standing before the almighty jehovah as a mere mortal who claimed to be great.
romans 3:19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. 20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. The only way of salvation is because of the blood!!!!…/its-because-of-blood-reaso…
We need our heavenly Father more than we need a role model.…
I earnestly do respect this man's accomplishments.
But I am willing to take the Heat, if takes the heat from the fires of hell from off the backs of someone who like to hear the grace of the gospel of Jesus Hears the hope of salvation.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

real life self defense.

Many times martial arts gets mythologized.
We emphasize Olympic level athletics and nearly superhuman abilities.
But we all learn there is a difference between the tall tales of super ninjas and Bruce Lee.

This is epidemic in most athletics.  When athletes are recorded a couple inches taller than reality.

Recently I saw an example of reality.  As christian martial artist friends had to face it  head on.

My friends (we will cal d1 and d2) d1 and his wife 2 are both physically handicapped.  They do not drive and rely on the bus system.
D1  is a 40 year old man.  He is short and has cerebral palsy.  limiting the movement of his right hand and leg.  He was actually quite atheletic in the past but he has gotten older.  As a result he uses a mechanical wheelchair to make up for his limits in walking.
D2 is obese and has limited vision as well as having scoliosis.  She also deals with with disorders involving communication. She is also in her forties.
D1 is a 2nd degree blackbelt.  D2 has a blue belt.
As they were traveling on the bus in the inner city, an unruly group of 5 came on the bus.  A woman said some rather unruly things about D1 in his wheel chair.  D2 verbally came to his defense.
The woman went and began striking D2.  D2 noticed that she had a child.  So out of respect she simply blocked the shots.
D1 stepped in to break them up. but then the others tackled him and held him down.  He broke the locks.  at which point the woman struck him.  he responded with a punch.  He was tackled again and held down.  the woman jumped on him and pounded him in the face.  He bloodied his nose.  He responded by breaking out a second time. Then the police showed up.
The police took the side of D1 and D2.  Asked them if they wanted to press charges and they declined.  D1 felt ashamed and embarrassed that he had to strike a woman.  But honestly she was attacking his wife and then him.  I think D1 and D2 reacted appropriately.   D2 decided to turn the other cheek and D1 had to protect his family.  after all the danger D1 had a bloody nose, but no serious injury and the police took their side of it.
I think the general feeling about it all is very negative.  And there are obvious reasons for this.
Violence is not good.  Violence is not just the issues of physical trauma. you can practice physical threats all day long for years.
But there is a certain psychological devastation that comes from hatred.  Violence is a sinful curse of our society and it may be just at times.  But it is never overtly good.  This is a microcosm of how we deal with war.  We live in an evil world and will eventually have to have violent confrontations.  We must be prepared for it. But in reality it is not something to enjoy.
In reality we are also not as prepared as we wish to be.  D1, could have gotten out of it without getting hit once.  If he was as prepared as he was the day before testing for his black belt.

But that is not reality.  Reality is ugly and sloppy.  By nature you will not be prepared.  now some martial artist have become obsessed with this concept of reality.  but the only way to practice for it is to get in a large amount of street fights.  But there is a problem here.  What if you become beaten up and crippled in your training? what would be the point of self defense if your beating yourself up anyway?
I remember watching a former gang banger talk about the killings he would do. it would sound like hes is tough. but now he has heart problems and is paralyzed from the waist down.  obviously anyone could take him down now.

So we have to prepare ourselves. But let's not over do it.  My safety ultimately is based on the protection from my God.
Psalms 92
For, lo, thine enemies, O Lord, for, lo, thine enemies shall perish; all the workers of iniquity shall be scattered.
10 But my horn shalt thou exalt like the horn of an unicorn: I shall be anointed with fresh oil.
11 Mine eye also shall see my desire on mine enemies, and mine ears shall hear my desire of the wicked that rise up against me.
12 The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
13 Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Memoirs of the "KK" The Kesa Gatame headlock

Probably the most successful grappling hold in my arsenal is the "KK" headlock.
This is a nickname for a judo hold called kesa gatame.
However I learned this hold in "folkstyle" amateur wrestling.
The difference being that in judo I would not simply be concerned with gripping the body but also the sleeve. This is probably the most successful hold in my grappling arsenal.
    I have pinned men 70lbs heavier than I in matches with this hold. I even scored a pin fall on a high school state champion with this hold. I have tapped out practitioners in Brazilian jujitsu, ninjitsu, judo and a Lion's Den student just before he fought at UFC.
It is a simple hold. A headlock which includes an arm. Having your opponent on the ground and laying atop them. It seems sure to be countered, yet it is also sure to accomplish it's task.
They key to accomplishing a pin fall or tap out is to understand that the KK is not a still statuesque lock. It is a process.
    You have two areas, possibly three points of concentration you can be most potent. The chest, throat and head. You also can smother the mouth. I don't think it is possible to get everything accomplished at once. and yet if you stay at only one area of concentration you will most likely be countered. However, if you master riding your opponent out, victory is inevitable.
   To me, the most essential of these areas is atop the chest. You anchor your body by the hold of the collar and elbow. Make sure that you are high on the elbow around the triceps muscle and funny bone. If you pass the elbow towards the forearm, your opponent will escape. Your locking around the head should be under the ear.You should lay your back on the opponents chest. At the minimum, make sure that you have placed your shoulder further than there breast and over the heart. Yet don't want your shoulders passing your opponents opposite arm. At this point bridge with your legs, in order that all your weight focuses squarely on the chest. Your balance will be found in between the grip of the elbow and the bridge on the chest.
    Now this is not a pain lock, yet by concentrating your weight, you are supplying a slow suffocation. This takes a little longer to affect and yet it is much faster than you think. If you fail at suffocation entirely, your opponent will begin to weaken which will help over all in accomplishing victory.
    You can also roll over and shift your weight to your opponents head. This is useful causing a great deal of pain and discomfort and pressure to the cranium. Yet be careful. This is also the weakest part of the series and is most easy to counter. Because in going for the kill, you have allowed your opponent full range of motion. where they can easily slip out or roll you over. I really prefer not use this technique with the exception of losing the ride anyway and simply having this strategy as a last resort. Or in the case of a weaker opponent using the head crank as a means of intimidation for an early submission.
Smothering the mouth can also be a very intimidating tactic. if your opponent is frightened by the lack of air they will get excited and suffocate quicker. Another tactic you can use is to wrap the arm that you have trapped around there head. these tactics are effective but never forget they are risky. You must not lose your balance over the opponents chest in the process. otherwise you will be countered.
  Finally a safer approach is to crank your opponents head toward you as you ride on the chest. This neck crank will accomplish the goal while giving you greater balance.
  There are many ways to apply this hold.  The key is to acquire a lock from the front of the armpit and neck.  Most popular is from a standing position. You acquire the lock and then perform a hip toss.(we will cover that hold later.) Even if on your back, with your opponent on top. you can apply the lock and pull them into a somersault.  Keeping hold of the lock and twisting 180degrees you can accomplish a reversal with your self in control of a "KK".
The lock can be escaped if your opponent rolls into you digs his opposite forearm in, bridges his legsand slips his headout.  It can also be countered if your opponent pulls into you and hooks your legand rolls you onto your shoulders.  It can also be countered if your opponenet pokes your eyes and hooks your head in a figure four head lock.
The key to the first two is maintaining the balance of your back. and using a strong grip on the funnybone while bridging your legs. When your head is attacked roll into your opponent crushing there cranium temporarily until they release. but be careful to roll back quickly to maintain balance and dominance. In a no holds barred situation. you can lock the funny bone with one hand and strike up the nose with the other hand.  Just remember that these tactics ust be quick or you will lose your position.
  When going through this series, it reminds me that a battle is rarely one single incident, but instead a process.If you have any major battle whether physical, mental, political or spiritual.  You have to look at the big picture.  You must be ready to complete the process and not be set back by a short term plan.

    Friday, April 26, 2013

    should christians get violent?

    Matthew 5:38Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:
    39But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

    "While it is the divine right of the secular government to wage a “Just War”. It is the duty of Christians to seek peace with all men on principles of righteousness. In accordance with the spirit and teachings of Christ they should do all in their power to put an end to war. The true remedy for the war spirit is the gospel of our Lord. The Supreme need of the world is the acceptance of his teachings in all the affairs of men and nations, and the practical application of His law of love. Christian people throughout the world should pray for the reign of the Prince of peace.
    Ecclesiastes 3:8, Romans 12:18-19,13:1-4, 14:19, Matthew 5:9,21-26,38-48, 6:33, 26:52 Isaiah 2:4, Luke 22:36, Hebrews 12:14, James 4:1-2" from the freedom baptist church  confession of Faith.

    As we read from the scripture and turn our attention to my confession (which is extremely close to the baptist faith and message on in this article)
    You may wonder How I can be a martial artist in good conscience and be a practitionaer of martial arts simulatneously?

    While I could start off with a rebuttal and justify squeeking past the principle. Instead I want show why I nevertheless do believe in this principle.

    The gospel is for all mankind.
    1 Timothy 4:10 For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.

    Our war is not against flesh and blood
    Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

    we should not fight out of vengeance
    Romans 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

    However there is a purpose for self defense

    There is a time ecclesiastes 3
    3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
    5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
    8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

    And even Jesus advises weapons for self defense.
    Luke 22:36 Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.
    37 For I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me, And he was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning me have an end.
    38 And they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And he said unto them, It is enough.
    39 And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him.
       Here we see that the disciples are advised to get weapons for protection.  Now the disciples were never told to get weapons at any other time.  This is because their lifestyle never required them to protect themselves from attack.  Yet when Danger was near christ was responsible to provide them permission for self defense.

    I will probably do a follow up concerning specific apllications,
    In christ.

    Tuesday, January 15, 2013

    Saving the silvers method. looking at the karate kid3

    The other night I watched a karate classic. or a classic sequel

    I think what attracted me to this movie was not the terrible plotline.  Or the ultimate in high technique karate.
    But the strategy that was used by the villain.
       As far as plots.  I just don't see a millionaire mafia vietnam vet focused on buying a whole chain of karate stores, based on his old buddies failed business.  But regardless ;)
      He has a very interesting way of handling things with the nemesis Mr. Miyagi and daniel.
    He realizes that it would be hard to attack myagi upfront so instead revenge is perpetrated through the young man. First he stalks there house looking for information.
    Then he introduces himself as a freind. 
    He hires a profession fighter to be a thug and intimidate daniel into fighting.  Meanwhile myogi feels that managing daniel into competitive fighting would compromise His family philosophy concerning marshal arts.
    Steel then swoops in and trains daniel.  But he does it in ways that are not productive.  He trains Daniel to loose self control.   He trains Him in ways that are dangerous and injure daniel.
    All to get revenge.

    Now one principle that comes out from this encounter which martial artist. And christians or just moral people in general have to be aware of.

    The defender is always caught off guard.

    The innocent person is always some one not looking to harm anyone. So the evil doer is at the opening advantage, able to scout out his opponent and expose his weaknesses.

    one thing that is true in spiritual warfare just as much as in self defense is that the good guy is always surprised or at least caught off guard.

    The Offender is always over extending themselves assuming that their power of surprise gives them immunity
      This is a key aspect to martial arts. Be prepared!
    The key to self-defense is surprising those who are surprising you because there defenses are down.
    Watch a good fight and the best knock outs take place while the person getting knocked out is in the process of attack.

    This is a lesson for us in forms of spiritual warfare as well. 
    We are not prepared for the devil in our lives.  He has all the time in the world to survey us. But if we have a strong defense, or as Miyagi say "strong root" we will continue to grow and prosper.
    Ephesians 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

    Friday, December 14, 2012

    What really is the ultimate goal of fighting?

    One major problem in the martial arts world is to nail down a philosophy and ask what the goals are for martial arts.

    The obvious goal in recent years has been self defense. The simple fact is that , martial arts is essential for this scenario.  perhaps one may choose a gun over hand to hand training.  But either which way, one is in a position where they are forced to fight.

    But really it is not the first cause for fighting skill.  Cain killed abel out of murder and not self defense.  Probably using techniques acquired when hunting animals is another use.  So the ability to produce violence has several applications

    Warring parties no doubt were first offensively minded before they became defensively minded.  Otherwise they would have no one to fight  ;)

    So you really have to ask yourself why the violence?

    Martial arts as a sport really could be seen back with the ancient greeks and even earlier.
    In ancient times to parties would meet and produce to champion warriors to fight to the death. The reason for this was actually rather civilized.  The two nations were doing this to avoid a full scale war.  that way their wopuld only be one casuality.  Without a governing body this was the best possible solution.  This scenario is scene in the classic bout of david verses Goliath.
    1 Samuel 17

    Yet the modern fight sport is designed not decisions of War but instead for the sake of entertainment.  At whic point the only gain is money and fame.  These things can become intoxicating to the heart however. 1 Timothy 6:10
     For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
    also fame is worldliness 1 john 2:
    16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
    17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

    So a christian fighter would need more reason than wealth and fame to participate.  Perhaps if his money were going to serve the Lord in ministry for instance.

    Monday, September 24, 2012

    Going the distance?

    I just got done watching a classic Boxing bout between Rocky Marciano and and Joe Walcott. Joe Walcot out weighed Joe by at 20 lbs and was the then current heavyweight champion. And believe me even in the fuzzy film you could tell that Joe wasn't carrying an ounce of fat. In the first round Joe dominated Rocky and even knocked him down for a 5 count. For several rounds Joe looked impenetrable and didn't even blink at Marciano's shots. By the 12th round Marciano lays a no nonsense knock out punch to the tired champion; who then gives up the title. This begs the question how much attention should be paid to endurance? Karate has historically trained for the "one step" the instant knock out split second street fight in order to end a situation as quickly as possible. While kung fu was typically more of a marathon style. I don't know if there is a right answer and I am open to suggestion. Because on the street you might not want the variable of a long altercation. Yet perhaps the instant knock out is out of your grasp against a certain opponent.