No offense to Ralph Macchio, but he ain't the Karate Kid. - Barney, How I Met Your Mother, the Bro Mitzvah, S8 E22
Now I try to avoid situations from the past that may threaten me. How do you do that? I go through life like a Karate Kid. - Britney Spears, MTV's Britney: for the record. 2008
It's all about the paper, you say it's not, but it probably is, I swear my soul turned black like the Karate Kid. - Muzzy Muzz, Cannon Gang and Green Light - The Movement

Jul 26, 2012

The original training grounds

Shaolin Temple, Song Shan mountains, Henan Province, China

Jul 23, 2012

A different order of events

Movies, as we all know, usually differ from the book. Sometimes a lot, sometimes a little.

One thing that made reading the book fun was stumbling across a different order of events from when Daniel starts training with Mr. Miyagi to when Daniel has his birthday party.

Let's compare!

Saturday Oct 29th - wax on wax off
Monday Oct 31st - ask Ali out for their first date
Saturday Nov 5th - first date
Friday Nov 11th - sand the floor
Saturday Nov 12th - paint the fence
Sunday Nov 13th - paint the house
Monday Nov 14th - go to the beach, learn balance, witness Crane technique
date unknown - ask Ali out for their second date
date unknown - go to the lake to practice balance
Friday Nov 18th - second date, Country Club, head to Mr. Miyagi's home
Saturday Nov 19th - start training alone
date unknown - learn how to punch

Saturday Oct 29th - wax on wax off
Monday Oct 31st - ask Ali out for their first date
date unknown - sand floor
date unknown - paint fence
Saturday Nov 5th - first date
Sunday Nov 6th - paint house
Monday Nov 7th - ask Ali out for their second date, go to beach, learn balance, witness Crane
Friday - second date, Country Club
Saturday or Sunday - go to Mr. Miyagi's home
Monday - tell Ali off at school
date unknown - go to the lake to practice balance, learn how to punch
next day - start training alone

I will go into detail on a couple of these subject in upcoming posts.

One thing that makes more sense with the book version is that it makes it sound like Daniel went to Mr. Miyagi's house a day or two after the incident at the Country Club, not that same night. I've often wondered about the movie version where Daniel shows up to Mr. Miyagi's house in his stained shirt on his bicycle. Why on his bicycle? He wasn't picking Ali up on bike, he would have had the car. Why not show up to Mr. Miyagi's house in the car?

By having him go to his house a day or two later, like in the book, it solves that problem the movie has created.

Jul 18, 2012

Four karate founders

Upper Left - Yasuhiro Konishi - Founder of Shindo Jinen Ryu
Upper Right - Tatsuo Yamada - Founder of Nihon Kempo Karate Do
Lower Left - Chojun Miyagi - Founder of Goju Ryu Karate Do
Lower Right - Gichin Funakoshi - Founder of Shotokan Karate Do

Jul 13, 2012

Girl takes down would-be attacker

(by Paul Nelsen 11-5-09)

LINDON UT -- A would-be attacker bumped into the wrong junior high student in Lindon. The 13-year-old girl was able to bring the suspect down with a martial arts move that would make the Ultimate Fighting Championship proud.

It all started innocently enough. The girl was walking home from school and accidentally bumped into a young man on the sidewalk.

"I apologized, but he turned on me and said, ‘Don't mess with me,'" the girl told KSL News.

She asked us not to give her name, but said the attacker punched her in the shoulder and swung for a second punch.

What the suspect may not have known is that she's been studying Tae Kwon Do for the past couple years. And just one day before, she learned a trick called the arm bar, which brought him to his knees.

"Once you have him in the arm bar, you can pretty much control everything," she said. "He was flat on the ground, and I was able to get him on his side."

She then kicked him, aiming for the groin, but might have just hit his stomach. Police say the suspect has not been caught yet.

Jul 9, 2012

A ninja in MMA WEC

"He ran up the wall like a ninja"!

Jul 8, 2012

Why does Kenpo/Kempo use a "Black Gi"?


When James Mitose returned to Hawaii in 1937 from his Kosho/Kenpo training with his Grandfather, Sukuhei Yoshida (20th Great Grand Master) in Japan, he knew that people would assume his "Art" was just another Japanese/Okinawan martial art.

He immediately wanted to send a message to all the other martial artists in Hawaii that this was not the case. He did this by wearing a "Black Gi," which was contrary to the nature of the "Traditional" Japanese martial arts! James Mitose wanted all to know that while there were some similarities to other martial arts, Kosho/Kenpo had taken a different path of development and was a style of its own - not to be considered Japanese in nature or origin!

Kenpo was not a Japanese art! Even it's "characters" are of Chinese origin - in China known as "Ch'uan Fa".

The Japanese government recognized this when they did away with the Samurai as a class and outlawed the traditional wearing of swords. At this same time the Japanese Government's edict went out: when the sanctity of human life was affirmed, Kenpo was made an illegal art. Jiu Jitsu was allowed to be practiced because it was more scientific. Meaning: Kenpo was a "killing art" that had its true origin in China!

Much of the nature of the martial arts in Japan had its origin in the Shintoism (the original religion of Japan) that was restored by the New Japanese Mejia regime in the 1890's - and the "Emperor" once again was recognized as a "God." Within Shintoism "White" was symbolic of "Purity".

A classic example of this is in the making of a "Japanese Sword" where the "Swordsmith" in his forging of the sword is dressed in "pure white."

To keep the sword "pure" when it was tested on a corpse or live prisoner, the prisoner could not be a "murderer," have tattoos (tattoos from an early date were associated with the "Yakuza"- Japanese Mafia), have a disease or be from the "Untouchable" "eta"* class. The finished Sword took on a "life" or "soul" of its own - which had to be pure! Today some of these exceptional swords are worth millions of dollars. The final polishing of the "blade" was usually done by someone other than the person who had forged and given the blade its "soul' - this person did not have to be dressed in white.

"eta class" - They buried the dead (sick and diseased) and worked with dead animals. Most Japanese were vegetarians - especially the Buddhists - and only the "lowest of the low" handled carcasses of animal or worked with leather from dead animals. In Japanese society they were truly "untouchables!" Once born into this class there was no way out! But this was true of every Japanese class. Even if you were a Samurai, but of low rank, it was almost impossible to ever move above the position into which you were born.

"Black" by its very nature took on the opposite meaning: night- death- evil. The Ninja were dressed in total black from head to foot - even covering their faces. The Ninja were always identified with darkness and evil.

The message the "Black Gi" sent was that Kenpo is a War Art; black was an indication of "Death and Bruising." To this day Traditional Japanese and Okinawan tournaments will not allow the wearing of a "Black Gi".

Ted Sumner is affiliated with a group of Martial Artists in Japan who send "exchange groups" to train and live with Ted in California. Those students refuse to step onto the mat to "freestyle" with anyone wearing a "Black Gi."

James Mitose did not allow his students to wear a Black Uniform because as beginners they had not reached the point of truly understanding and representing Kosho/Kenpo. Also "Black Uniforms" were not commercially available and had to be "custom made."

The full use of the "Black Gi" was actually instituted by Sijo Emperado and used by all Kajukenbo stylists of all ranks.

The first Black Uniforms imported to the United States were so thin and flimsy, they were torn with the first hard grab or throw.

Originally most Kenpo practitioners had to use unbleached Judo uniforms (bleaching to make them WHITE weakened the material) to hold up to the grabbing and throwing. Early Kenpo as taught in the 50's was very much Kenpo-Jiu Jitsu: realistic grabs and hard throws.

This is where the main break would come between "Traditional Kenpo" and "American Kenpo." When quality black uniforms became available (usually from one of the Kajukenbo sources), black uniforms became the accepted standard for all students.

Ed Parker and American Kenpo took another path: Only instructors were allowed to wear a "Black Gi."

The wearing of a "Black Gi" also had a great "psychological" effect. I remember reading a article by Chuck Norris when he related that as a "brown belt" what concern him most were those "Kenpo fighters in black uniforms" . . . if they wore a beard, as Ralph Castellanos did, it was even worse!

For over 30 years the "Black Uniform" gave Kenpo its unique identity; Kenpo and Kajukenbo were the only styles wearing the "Black Gi'! Today so many are wearing "Black Gi's" you can't tell if they are Kenpo or Kajukenbo stylists, until you see them fight! (We are the ones disqualified for excessive contact). Just wearing a "Black Gi" does not make you a fighter.

The Black Gi is part of our Kenpo/Kempo/Kajukenbo heritage and distinguishes us from all other Martial Arts. It states to the entire world: "We are a fighting art"!

If you want to play it as "Sport," wear a "White Gi!"

Today most Kenpo studios will allow the wearing of either a black or white Gi, or even a combination of the two: black top, white bottom; white top, black bottom.

Today the trend from the "Business Guru's" is to get us out of our "Traditional Gi." Why? So they can sell you on their "New Age Martial Arts": No uniforms; no belts; no Sensei/Sifu (replaced by the "program director"); no history; no tradition! Where "aerobics" have replaced "Self Defense" - where EVERY health spa and gym has "certified" kick-boxing instructors ($295) who have never been hit in their lives, nor have they ever landed a real kick or punch! Where Tae Bo is passed off as "True Self Defense." Almost makes you want to have the "Ninja Turtles" back as "Role Models" for the martial arts!

For most Kenpo/Kempo/Kajukenbo stylists, they will have to be "rip our Black Gi's off our backs!" before we will ever buy into their "designer sweats" and "Nike" approach to "Feel Good Karate" !