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Monday, June 29, 2009

Blind Karate student earns Black Belt after 4 years

From: Courant

MERIDEN, Conn. - Some call it a big obstacle to overcome; he just calls it a nuisance. All agree it took a lot of hard work to accomplish what he has.

George Sanchez is blind, and after passing his test this month, he is also something that defines his character much more: a karate black belt.

Sanchez, 47, stood next to his 10-year-old son, Timothy, and the rest of his class as both were awarded black belts by Villari's martial arts studio, in Southington, after four years of work.

"It feels great," Sanchez, a former Southington resident who recently moved to Middletown, said after passing the test in Windsor. "It was a lot of hard work to get here."

He tried to get involved in a karate program a few times in the past, but no one would train a blind man. Then, four years ago, Timothy signed his father and himself up for a demonstration without George knowing about it while both were attending Trails Day at Panthorn Park.

When he found out, "I said, 'Oh boy.' I was kind of shy, because I didn't know what to expect," Sanchez recalls.

Carrie Waskowicz, one of the instructors at Villari's, said that when Sanchez called up to ask if they would train a blind man, she thought he was joking, but told him to come on in anyway.

"It doesn't matter who you train. Just because you are blind doesn't mean you can't defend yourself," Waskowicz said.

Sanchez, who lost his sight at 3, said the path to the black belt was difficult, but he has had help along the way from instructors, classmates and his family. Classmate Brian Bradshaw was one of the helpers to whom Sanchez was thankful.

"We've had some good times and some good hits," Bradshaw said jokingly after the ceremony. "We're the two oldest guys in the class, so we practiced a lot to look good."

Sanchez said some of the most difficult aspects to master were correct angles, forms and precise combinations. Along with Bradshaw, he would go in early to get a quick overview from the instructors of what the class would be working on that day.

"You're exceptional, but there were no exceptions for you," Waskowicz said to him at the ceremony on June 14. "No special treatment when performing. It was a challenge to teach. We learned multiple teaching styles."

Sanchez kidded that Waskowicz got fairly nervous the first time he asked if he could spar. She said he ended up being great at it. She would often play music when he was sparring to take away his sense of hearing, which would be eliminated through the screaming during tournaments.

Many other classmates and instructors came over to congratulate him as he posed for pictures after the ceremony. Master David Shirley said he would have said something more about Sanchez during the ceremony, but was afraid he would get choked up talking about it.

"We're very proud of you, you know that," Shirley said to his pupil. "It's been a long, hard road and you did well." Shirley said Sanchez is the school's first-ever blind black belt.

That road was navigated a little more easily due to the friendly competition with Timothy. Sanchez's wife, Susan, said the adult classes were usually a day or two before the youth classes, so dad would tease Timothy about getting his colored belts first. She was very proud of them both.

"Don't ever tell George he can't do it, because he will go out of his way to prove that he can," Susan Sanchez said. "I think it's awesome. It's nice to see them both reach that goal. I hope they go on."

George Sanchez laughed while thinking about some of the classes to which his wife came. She would get dirty looks from bystanders, who didn't realize who she was as she yelled teasing comments to her husband to "pick up the pace."

Besides learning martial arts, Sanchez also plays golf. He used to wrestle, has been president of the Southington Lions Club, and has run a silkscreen and sewing company. He now has a cafe, called 20-200 Cafe, in the state Department of Labor building in Wethersfield, after many of his sewing jobs went overseas.

"I figured no one is going to go to China for lunch," Sanchez said of his new venture.

As for continuing in martial-arts, he said he wants to let it sink in and enjoy the fact that he is actually a black belt, while encouraging his youngest son, Nick, 6, to keep working on one of his own.

If Timothy decides to move on, however, [anchez said, he will probably have to get back into it in order to keep their friendly competition alive.

~武德为首, Martial Art Virtue comes first

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Youngsters taught Martial Arts to stop anti-social behaviour

YOUNGSTERS in Pendle are being offered the chance to hone self-defence skills in a bid to crack down on anti-social behaviour.

As part of the scheme, children aged eight to 15-years-old can sign up to the free martial arts summer school, where they will be taught an introduction to the ancient Japanese art of ju-jitsu.

The classes will take place at Pendle Martial Arts Academy, in Colne Road, Brierfield, but the project is the brainchild of police community support officer (PCSO) Catherine Horner, who said a similar incentive in a neighbouring area has led to a reduction in anti-social behaviour.

Students who sign up to the course will receive a uniform, insurance to the club for a year and on completion will be graded to red belt status.

The course is due to be run on a Tuesday afternoon throughout the summer holidays at the club.

PCSO Horner said: “This is now the second year we have run this type of event, last year we saw a very positive outcome with a reduction of anti social behaviour on the Queensgate area and it was great getting to know the children.”

“There are still several students at the club who attended the scheme last year and they are all making good progress.”

The course has a very limited number of places on the course. Those wishing to apply must be between the ages of eight and 15 and live in the local area.

For an application pack contact PCSO Horner on 07961065419. If there is no answer then leave a message with contact details.

Pendle Martial Arts Academy trains six days a week in many different types of martial arts. For more information contact them on 01282 690216.

~武德为首, Martial Art Virtue comes first

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Martial Art Pic

Indian Martial Art: Urumi

~武德为首, Martial Art Virtue comes first

Monday, June 22, 2009

Malaysian Master Pierced 4 Coconuts with Fingers

~武德为首, Martial Art Virtue comes first

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Calorie intake and outtake

~武德为首, Martial Art Virtue comes first

Thursday, June 18, 2009

How to knockout someone with one punch

From: Ezinearticles

It is actually not as hard as many people think to knock someone out with one punch. Watching a boxing match, mixed martial arts fight, or other combat sports you can get the impression that a knockout punch is something very difficult to get right. But in real life, in a street confrontation with no gloves and fighting against someone who is probably not trained to take a punch, getting a k.o. is much, much easier.

If you want to learn how to knock someone out with one punch the first thing you have to do is to think about what it actually is which causes the loss of consciousness. Some types of punch can be very effective at hurting your opponent, opening up cuts on their face or breaking their nose, but may still have little or no chance of knocking them out.

When a person gets knocked unconscious by a punch it is not the immediate force of the impact which does this, but rather the force of the brain being rattled against the inside of the skull.

This means that a punch which causes the head to jerk and move rapidly will be much more likely to knock someone out than a punch which causes less movement of the head, even if it is not as hard. It also means that speed is paramount. A very fast strike with just enough power to move the head will be more likely to knock someone out than a slower punch which has more power and weight behind it.

The need to create this movement of the head is the reason why you are more likely to knock someone out with a punch which they don't see coming. If you see a punch coming towards you you will tense your neck muscles and brace yourself against the impact, reducing the movement of your head when the punch lands. If your neck muscles are relaxed when a punch hits you then you will almost always get knocked out, whatever kind of punch it is.

Once a fight has started it is very difficult to engineer a situation where your opponent will not see a punch coming, however if you are in a situation where you are being threatened and a fight seems inevitable, but hasn't yet started, you can take advantage of this by suddenly throwing the first punch at an unexpected moment, such as while you are in the middle of a sentence, and by striking from a direction where they will not see it until it is too late.

When it comes to the actual punch a strike from the side, such as a hook, is more likely to knock someone out than a straight punch to the front of the face, simply because it will be harder for the neck muscles to prevent the head from being jerked. For the same reason an uppercut is generally better than a straight punch, but probably not as good as a hook. When trying to knock someone out with a hook the further away from the neck you can land the punch the more movement there will be and the more likely it is to knock them out. This means that the best place to land a hook is right on the end of the chin.

The ultimate knockout punch, however, uses and entirely different method. Rather than jerking the knead it uses the principles of Dim Mak pressure point fighting. The ultimate knockout punch is a strike to the temple. You have to be very accurate to get this right, but with practice you can do it every time.

The only trick you must know in order to knock someone out with a strike to the temple is how to hold your hand. It should be clear that an ordinary fist is much bigger than the area of the temple, and so it is very poor at focusing force on this pressure point.

There are two hand forms you can use instead. The first is the phoenix fist, in which you hold an ordinary fist but with the middle finger raised up a little out of the bunch. When using this you strike with the middle joint of the raised finger, rather than the knuckle.

The other option, which I personally prefer, is to use a sword hand. To do this hold your hand out flat with the palm facing downwards and turn your wrist so that your fingers are pointing outwards. This creates a fairly sharp point from the joint at the very base of the thumb, just above the wrist. With this hand form you strike using a swinging motion of the arm.

When practicing either of these strikes power is virtually irrelevant, and accuracy is everything. If you land a strike with the whole force focused on the temple you will knock your opponent out every time, no matter how hard the strike is.

~武德为首, Martial Art Virtue comes first

Sunday, June 14, 2009

10 Reasons Older Adults Need to learn Yoga

From: SMUT

Today, millions of older Americans are experiencing a higher quality of life by taking an active and positive approach to their personal wellness. They are enjoying improved health and successful living by becoming self-educated, personally responsible and proactive. The most successful are those who adopt a whole-person wellness model, addressing the needs of the body, mind, and spirit.

Most people know about the research that shows that regular exercise provides a wide range of health benefits and, perhaps most importantly, can preserve function and independence. Fewer realize that their choice of exercise activity can produce another host of unexpected benefits. By choosing mind/body exercises, such as yoga or soft martial arts (like Chi Gung and T’ai Chi), older adults can unleash even greater health and vitality.

Yoga and Chi Gung (as well as all other soft arts) are ideal choices for older adults because they positively affect the whole person: body, intellect, emotions, and spirit. They increase vital energy while strengthening and soothing the body, focusing the mind, and nurturing the spirit.

The ten best reasons older adults need a mind/body practice are:

Body – Caring for the body improves health, preserves your ability to function and preserves independence. Yoga and Chi Gung offer powerful protection from falls – a major threat to older adults!

1. Strengthen Muscles and Bones… Yoga especially builds muscle strength and bone mass. The vital weight-bearing postures of yoga stimulate the bones to retain calcium. In yoga, both the upper and lower body receive the benefits of bearing weight, unlike walking or running.

2. Improved Heart and Respiratory Health… Chi Gung and the soft martial arts have been shown in studies to improve circulation, heart health, and respiratory function. Yoga breathing exercises are very powerful tools to increase respiratory function, breath capacity and physical energy. Both increase vitality and sense of well-being.

3. Increased Flexibility… Yoga and Chi Gung both increase overall flexibility, contributing to improved everyday functioning and mobility, and protection from falls. Despite popular notions, you do not need to be flexible to practice yoga. The idea is to practice at your current level with patience and compassion, gently becoming more pliable.

4. Better Posture… Good posture calls upon our new strength and flexibility to keep our spine healthy and strong. Healthy body posture supports digestive and respiratory functions as well. Poor posture in combination with osteoporosis leads to stress fractures.

5. Improved Balance… Balance gives older adults the confidence to move freely and to engage in physical activities. One of the most important parts of a senior fitness program is balance training. Seniors who exercise and practice balance activities, like those found in yoga and Chi Gung, can avert the devastating effects of a fall – the second leading cause of accidental death for seniors. Balance is an intangible force that many people take for granted.

6. Increased Energy… Yoga and Chi Gung are, in essence, ancient renewal and balancing systems for our vital energy. More than the sum of their parts, these practices gently revitalize the body. The term “Chi” itself means “energy”, and “Chi Gung” literally means “energy work”.

Mind - Challenging the mind is crucial to staving off diseases like Alzheimer’s. Be sure to stimulate your intellectual dimension through learning new information and exploring topics that require judgment and decision-making. The physical aspects of a mind-body practice lead directly to a mental sense of rootedness, stability and balance.

7. Intellectual Stimulation… Learning a mind-body exercise is like learning a new language with its own vocabulary and rules. It takes focused attention. It is a practice…a journey of exploration. Yoga and the soft martial arts also invite us to explore a way of thinking that may be very unfamiliar to us.

8. Emotional Support… The philosophies infusing yoga and Chi Gung encourage us to be mindful of the present moment, to be aware and grateful of all around us, and to let go of our attachments of how we think things should be. This positive outlook leads to a sense of calm and well-being.

Spirit - A new study shows that once people retire, they adopt a new sense of time and their place in the world as their values and beliefs begin to change. Adding a spiritual dimension to your exercise activities offers additional wellness benefits. In addition to yoga and Chi Gung, consider nature walks and ‘mindful’ strength training and meditation in all forms.

9. Connecting with the Big Picture… A mindfulness practice is a direct way to practice connecting with a truth larger than ourselves. Practicing becoming quiet and receptive allows our inner wisdom to be heard. Older adults have indicated a desire to search for “the meaning of life”. Practitioners of yoga and the soft arts create a deep sense of richness and unity in their lives.

10. Inner Exploration… Central to the spiritual dimensions of the older adult is the desire to explore the inner self. Beyond the physical exercises of yoga and Chi Gung, they challenge us to look deeply at ourselves, to “be” with ourselves. We learn to celebrate our strengths and forgive our weaknesses while practicing patience and focused concentration.

Copyright 2005 Karen B. Cohen All Rights Reserved.

~武德为首, Martial Art Virtue comes first

Monday, June 8, 2009

Martial Art Pic

~武德为首, Martial Art Virtue comes first

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Pupils to be taught self-defence in school to counter muggings risk

From: Times Online

Children as young as 7 are to be taught self-defence in schools to help them to cope with muggings, as the authorities battle rising crime rates against the young.

A national standard safety initiative is also being implemented for the first time to counter the targeting of vulnerable young people for possessions such as mobile phones and iPods, The Times has learnt.
Police and education sources said that street crime was one of the most serious issues facing young people because their generation was the first to carry around expensive technology.

Concerns about attacks on pupils have prompted the Metropolitan Police to focus patrols on the three hours after schools shut. Transport for London is considering aligning its bus timetables with school closures to avoid students being targeted while they are waiting for buses and trains.
According to the Home Office, 10 to 15-year-olds are the most likely age group to fall victim to personal crime such as muggings. In response, a self-defence programme is to be used in schools across the country after it proved successful in the capital.

The Safety Box scheme, which is funded by local authorities and police, teaches primary pupils defensive tactics to minimise the risk of injury in the event of confrontation. Nathaniel Peat, its founder, told The Times that workshops were planned for schools in areas including Manchester, Leeds and Derby. The programme has already been undertaken in Northampton, Milton Keynes, Luton, Reading, Slough, Stevenage, Birmingham, Surrey and Watford. “It gives young people confidence and the fundamentals of how to stay safe,” he said.

In a similar initiative, primary and secondary school pupils will be taught how to avoid muggings, such as hiding their mobile phones when in public. The scheme, run by the Kids Taskforce, will become the first national standard safety programme, after a pilot in Yorkshire last year.
Many schools, particularly in the capital, already warn their students not to wear their ties and blazers to and from school to avoid being mugged. Police regularly address students on safety tactics. In London, patrols by Metropolitan Police officers outside schools and at transport hubs in the three hours after schools close have resulted in a 21 per cent fall in the number of young people who were victims of violence in January this year compared with January 2008.

Commander Mark Simmons, head of the Met’s violent crime directorate, said that the carrying of gadgets was only part of the problem. “Some of it is just about rival groups of kids, and those who want to assert their authority,” he said. “It’s not always about the goods that get stolen. It’s also a way for them to assert their control and influence.”

~武德为首, Martial Art Virtue comes first

Monday, June 1, 2009

Martial Art pic

~武德为首, Martial Art Morality comes first