Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Karate Against Home Invader

Texas -- In October, a Kilgore school district board member confronted and fought with a gun-toting intruder in his home, according to news-journal.com.

The home owner said his martial arts training -- he reportedly has a black belt in karate -- helped him remain calm and clear-headed during the ordeal.

While fighting to control the weapon, the intruder's gun was discharged. The intruder then fled. No one was injured, according to the report.

Monkey Karate-Waiter

Japan -- A 12-year-old monkey named Yat-chan is "working" as a waiter in northern Tokyo restaurant. Not only that, the tiny fellow is also practising karate...

The tavern owner said the monkey first learned by watching him working in the restaurant. He said it started one day when he handed him a hot towel out of curiosity and the monkey brought the towel to the customer.

Here's the animal in the restaurant:


There were also videos of Yat-chan doing karate and performing push-ups, but these have seemingly been removed.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

TKD Instructor Accused

North Dakota -- Bismarcktribune.com reports that a Bismarck man has been accused of having 'forcible sexual contact' with one of his taekwondo student.

The instructor is accused of using force to engage in sexual contact with a Bismarck woman on December 20, according to a complaint.

Mother Killed by Son

Canada -- A 20-year-old Edmonton man has been charged with stabbing his 60-year-old mother to death with a samurai sword, according to canada.com.

A neighbor called the son "really weird," saying he was constantly arguing with his mother. On one occasion, the son allegedly took a piece of lumber outside and smashed it with his hands.

A friend said the young man took up martial arts in high school to "help him beef up". The friend said he was being bullied a lot. "He always talked about martial arts and kung fu."

Gun Toting Neighbor Disarmed

Alaska -- A 44-year-old martial arts veteran disarmed a 38-year-old Fairbanks neighbor who pulled a gun on him, according to newsminer.com.

The neighbor reportedly showed up at the former firefighters' apartment door with a handgun after complaining about a two-year-old kid "being too loud".

Monday, December 29, 2008

Phony Martial Arts Credentials

Should you trust a martial arts "master" or "expert" simply because he or she says so. Are you rally willing to take any claim, degree or fancy black belt diploma at face value? Do you realise how easy it is to make any old set of credentials sound, and look, legitimate?

I urge you to read this news article from Canadian thestar.com.

Among other things, it reveals how one well known martial arts expert, who counts the RCMP, the U.S. Navy Seals, CIA agents and police officers from across Ontario as students of his courses he has been teaching for years.

In 2003, he reportedly purchased a phony degree in "Political Science" for $1,340, paying for it with a credit card. This is according to the information compiled by the U.S Justice Department.

Black Belt, Broken Foot

California -- On September 27, 13-year-old Jessica Zermeno attained her black belt in taekwondo, according to thefridayflyer.com.

Yeah, yeah, blah, blah... I hear you. Another young girl with a black belt - big deal. And of course - under normal circumstances - I would tend to agree with you. However, this is not one of your run-of-the-mill junior "black belt farm" kind of deal - far from it.

This young fighter was born with an underdeveloped foot, leg and hip socket and one underdeveloped kidney. She had extreme abnormalities in the organs of her digestive system. Jessica has reportedly seen countless trips to the emergency room and numerous surgeries, including a kidney transplant in 1998.

And get this: After 6 years of training, she completed her more than 2 1/2 hours long black belt grading with a foot broken in three places!

I've got one word for you - respect.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

An Amazing Senior Karateka

Australia -- Hawkesbury.yourguide.com.au: "Anyone can learn a lot about living a full and meaningful life from my father," Lesa Tame said, describing her 72-year-old father Leon Tames as 'amazing'.

The cheerful Mr Tame of Grose Vale was facing a dark future after he was diagnosed with aggressive bile duct cancer in February 2007.

Despite the constant bouts of pain that strike him, Mr Tame still continues to lead an active lifestyle, achieving his black belt in karate in August 2008, still attending classes even though he's battling pain and gets tired at times from the cancer."

His daughter said he has an incredible physique for his age, thanks to the gym he has always kept in his garage.

Karate, Supreme Court Justice

Way cool! Tennessee State Supreme Court Justice Janice Holder -- who became historical when she was elected to the post -- is also a 3. dan black belt in karate.

This is according to an article in commercialappeal.com. She has reportedly been training karate for 18 years.

The Best in His Field

Here's an extract of an inspirational piece by m.floridatoday.com.

Florida -- When Keenan Brown received a shocking medical diagnosis (renal failure, congestive heart failure and diabetes) involving dialysis treatments 3 1/2 years ago he decided to try martial arts, a sport his now 8-year-old son already was enjoying.

"I just did it so I could compete with my son," he said. "Just wanted to be closer to him." It didn't take long for him to excel -- just like he had done in other sports.

In martial arts he quickly became the best in his field. He set five world records, including speed, power and creative brick breaking. On March 12, he smashed 100 bricks in 13 seconds to set
a world mark.

He needs dialysis three times a week, and the treatments are 5 1/2 hours a day, almost three hours more than normal because of his size. His daily medications have been cut from 20 to eight, and he's no longer required to use insulin, thanks in part to his athletic activity.

Friday, December 26, 2008

MMA Fighter Shot Dead

Idaho -- 30-year-old MMA fighter Justin Eilers, was shot and killed Friday morning in what appears to be a domestic disturbance at an acquaintance's residence in Canyon County, according to sherdog.com.

The fighter's longtime manager said Eilers had gathered with relatives for the holidays. Allegedly, tensions escalated between Eilers and an ex-girlfriend. Eilers was then asked to leave, but was said to have refused and began throwing dishes and other objects.

The 48-year-old home owner was then said to have pulled a gun on the heavyweight fighter and shot him in the chest after a brief verbal confrontation.

Road Rage, MMA Fighter

Pennsylvania -- A 41-year-old man, of Glendora, New Jersey, was shot in the head October 5 while driving his daughter (8) to her mother's house.

A 275-pound MMA fighter and former U.S. Marine, was charged with the attempted murder, aggravated assault, recklessly endangering others and related offenses. Police alleges he shot the man after he apparently cut him off in traffic.

The 33-year-old South Philadelphia man will remain hospitalized pending further mental evaluation ahead of a hearing on the criminal charges scheduled for February 11. He has been ruled competent to stand trial but it is said medication is needed for him to "remain stable," according to philly.com.

Sherlock Holmes And Bartitsu

UK -- An article from thesun.co.uk mentioned how Russel Crowe was set to play Dr Watson in the coming Sherlock Holmes movie to be shot by Guy Richie.

Crowe said: "I've got to spend some time with Guy and I love his take on it. We're both martial arts enthusiasts and in the original stories of Sherlock Holmes, he's kind of a bad-ass and a bare-knuckle boxer and studies the rare fictional martial art of baritsu. If you look baritsu up, they can't even really tell you what it is, so it gives us a lot of leeway."

Fictional? If you stay by the term baritsu, that may be correct. Bartitsu on the other hand is well known - and most likely what Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the author, was referring to.

In "The Adventure of the Empty House", from 1901, Holmes says: "We tottered together upon the brink of the fall. I have some knowledge, however, of baritsu, or the Japanese system of wrestling, which has more than once been very useful to me."

Bartitsu of course is an art made by a British engineer named E. W. Barton-Wright. He supposedly learned the art of Tenshin Shinyo ryu ju jitsu by Yukio Tani. Barton-Wright was instrumental in bringing jujutsu to Europe. He invited said Tani, as well as Sada Kazu Uyenishi to Britain.

Bartitsu may very well have been the first hybrid martial art, blending Japanese jujutsu with Western boxing, French savate and stick fighting (la canne).

Interestingly, Sherlock Holmes was also said to be skilled in boxing and cane fighting. So - is baritsu "fictional" then? I think not.

14 Years in Jail

UK -- In a previous post (April 1, 2008), I wrote about a Welsh karate and tennis instructor who appeared in court accused of a string of child sex offences.

Then, on August 30, thisissouthwales.co.uk had an update. They had a news article saying that the sexual predator who groomed girls as young as 11 for sex had been handed down a 14-year jail sentence behind bars.

The sentencing judge said that the Neath Karate Instructor "had conducted a campaign of abuse from which his three victims were unlikely ever to recover."

Ju Jitsu Conductor Charged

New York -- You probably do remember the case about the New York City subway conductor who fought back during an attempted mugging in January 2008 - stabbing and killing a bystander?

In August, the jujitsu-trained man was indicted on a murder charge. Authorities now claim the bystander was attempting to flee the chaotic scene, according to 1010wins.com.

Police had originally ruled out filing homicide charges, ruling the killing as an act of self-defense. However, prosecutors presented the case to a grand jury, which decided to indict the man.

Kids Kicking Cancer

This seems like a really great program!

Story:
A martial arts program at some local New York hospitals has children using physical therapy and meditation to fight illness, according to wcbstv.com.

Children with cancer or sickle cell anemia can focus on something else entirely through the "Kids Kicking Cancer" program.

"These children are getting a little edge, a skill to fight an opponent: pain, stress, boredom, feeling sick, nausea, all the stuff that goes along with their medical challenges," the director of the program, said.

String of Violent Acts

Mexico -- The Chihuahua state police were reportedly investigating a string of violent acts, including the shooting death of a 45-year-old taekwondo instructor, according to elpasotimes.com.

Police said they have detained a 75-year-old landlord who is suspected of shooting his tenant, the martial arts teacher.

Instructor Paying The Price

North Carolina -- A 34-year-old Jacksonville martial arts instructor who was arrested in June 2007, recently pleaded guilty to a number of charges, according to wnct.com.

The former taekwondo instructor and school owner will have to spend 12-15 years in prison after pleading guilty to four counts of indecent liberties with a child and one count of second degree sex offense. Several of the incidents occurred at the taekwondo school.

The investigation started when officials was warned by a parent that the man took indecent liberties with an eight-year-old girl at a swimming pool in the man's backyard.

A Fictional Crime Ring

Michigan -- December 18, mlive.com wrote about an Edmore man facing up to life in prison after being convicted of three counts of raping a 13-year-old Blanchard girl.

Court records show that the man was teaching the girl martial arts an archery. He reportedly told the young girl he belonged to a fictional crime ring and started acting out scenarios which eventually led to intercourse. The girl told officials she had sex more than 100 times with the man.

Testimony revealed how the man used a voice changer to assume different identities when he contacted the girl by phone. He used threats to coerce her into sex, he created a fantasy world of fight clubs and crime rings and also plied her with drugs and alcohol.

Jury Nonsense

Washington -- A 45-year-old former Yakima karate instructor has been convicted of two counts of second-degree molestation of a 13-year-old girl. He was initially hit with child rape charges.

The jury had to settle for the lesser charge to avoid deadlocking. A female juror apparently struggled with the idea that an older man could have raped a 13-year-old.

(My comment: Is this woman for real, or simply plain stupid? Wow, what an idiot...)

The man was accused of fondling and abusing the girl in 2002 at the Yakima karate school, where the girl was a student.

In two other pending cases, he is accused of possessing explicit pictures of two teenage girls who were between 14 and 16 years old at the time, according to yakima-herald.com.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Guilty Judo Killer

California -- January 5, I wrote a post about a judo black belt -- a former student of renowned and respected judo teacher "Will" Cahill -- accused of killing his wife.

August 29, the man admitted in court to the murder, according to findarticles.com. He claimed he killed his wife following an argument, using what the software engineer called a Judo technique. He said that he kept her corpse in his car for two nights while he dug a makeshift grave in the Oakland hills.

He allegedly confessed on August 21 to use "the most unsophisticated choke hold that any judo instructor would completely despise you for ever using,"

He was convicted by a jury on April 28 of first-degree murder in the killing. His wife had last been seen alive September 3, 2006, when she dropped off the couple's two children at the man's home.

The 44-year-old man led police to the grave, where the skeletal remains of his 31-year-old wife were found, on July 7.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Martial Arts in School

India -- (Chennai) Timesofindia.indiatimes.com had an article on August 29 about the obvious benefits of having students do martial arts such as karate and taekwondo in school.

And all though a School Education minister stated that "any form of physical training was good for students" -- something which hardly can be objected to -- I have to make one thing absolutely clear:

Martial arts, properly taught, stands head and shoulders above other sports in one particular area - its inherent discipline.

Here are some of the sentiments from the above mentioned news article:

Revathy Bonns, a higher secondary school principal: "About 98% of the parents of children who signed up for the martial arts classes say their children have become more mature and confident. They have more self-control and are able to cope with everyday pressure. They also say that training has improved their personality."

J Abraham, a physical education teacher in Manali, said, "Now around 40 students are enrolled in the karate class. After joining the class, the students are well behaved and more focused. The parents are also happy seeing their children disciplined."

B Purushothaman, the principal from a higher secondary school in Kolathur: "The confidence level of students has increased. My students (...) tell me that the one hour of physical activity rejuvenates them when they get back to their books." He said 322 students had signed up for the taekwondo classes this year.

The Black Belt Pastor

California -- Mike Peoples, an associate pastor from Sutter Creek, earned his karate black belt in September 2008, according to ledger-dispatch.com.

Peoples, who began his training as a teenager in 1991, said "This has been great. Karate has helped me communicate with people in a new and different way."

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Accused Killer, MMA Fighter

Iowa - One of the young men accused of a Mason City killing Sunday morning allegedly appeared in a mixed martial arts fight in Rudd just hours prior to the crime, according to kimt.com.

The accused fighter from Gladbrook has reportedly participated in MMA for a period of just five months.

The organizer of the Rudd event said many of the fighters he deals with have a troubled past. He said fighting is the only thing between some of theses kids and the streets.

The Alcohol Dangers

An amateur MMA fighter, who spent about 10 years in the Navy, has been charged with second-degree attempted murder after being involved in a 2 a.m. fight at Pensacola Beach, Santa Rosa Island, according to pnj.com.

A 32-year-old father of 8- and 12-year-old daughters, never regained consciousness after the fight. The fighter is accused of punching the victim after he tried to intervene in the fight between the accused and a woman in a beach strip mall parking lot.

Basic Karate Block

New York -- A 50-year-old man testified in November that he used what he called 'basic karate' against an attacker wielding a bottle. The assailant later wound up losing an eye, according to silive.com.

"I was in fear for my life. I blocked the bottle and apparently it went back in his face," the former assistant district attorney told jurors about the incident at a Staten Island nightspot four years ago.

The defendant, who began practicing martial arts at 15 and received further training at the Court Officers Academy, said he used a "club block -- a two-motion move" -- to stop the attack.

He added that he stood over the other man in a "cat stance" in case he would retaliate.

No Kissing!

Brilliant (and fortunately true) observation by a 3-year girl old in Japan:

"In judo, they hug ... but they don't kiss." :-)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Kids Aikido

Aikido kids? Aikidoki, why not! And most other responsible martial arts -- with qualified, dedicated instructors -- for that matter. There are simply a vast number of benefits to be reaped.

Arizona -- Ktar.com has a very nice article about the many benefits of aikido for children. Plus, you can read about 72-year-old Claire Conway of Tucson, a 2. dan black belt and and one of the instructor for the kids. Very cool!

Slap From Brown Belt Teacher

California -- A student filed a lawsuit against a female high school teacher who allegedly slapped him on February 15, 2007 after the student called her "cuddy".

The lawsuit has now been resolved in mediation and the case against the Marysville Joint Unified School District dismissed, according to appeal-democrat.com.

According to the lawsuit, the teacher had asked the boy to step outside. She had then called him a problem child and slapped him on his face and neck in front of other students, again according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit also stated that the teacher had told students of her brown belt in karate and how she would use her martial arts skills against students involved in a fight with others.

He Almost Slipped Away

UK -- (Guernsey) An 80-year-old former judo instructor has been jailed after admitting to a total of eight counts of sex assault on girls between the ages of seven and 14 between 1987 and 1996. This is according to thisisguernsey.com.

A chance encounter with her abuser made a woman decide to tell the ageing man how she would never forget what he had done to her. When she went to police for advice on the best way to approach it, the young woman ended up making a formal complaint.

It was just a coincidence that her decision came just before other women who had suffered at the man's hands came forward.

All these victims had approached authorities independently and they all believed they were alone with being assaulted by the man, police said.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

MA 'Experts' Attacking Media

Nepal -- In a continued attack on media and media personnel, a group of about 50 Maoists attacked Himalmedia and injured at least 12 of its editors and members of staff, Thehimalayantimes.com reports.

The large group, led by the president of the Maoist-affiliated All Nepal Hotel and Restaurant Workers' Union, is said to have stormed into the meeting hall of Himalmedia's Hattiban office around noon.

"These people appeared to be martial arts experts. They had military training. One of them could kick a tall person like me in the head," one of the victims said.

The attackers also vandalised the office and left the scene after 15 minutes, according to reports.

She Needs Help

UK -- Scotland: Former martial art arts champion and WTF World Championship silver medal winner, 33-year-old Kirsten McLaughlin from Glasgow, has been heavily hit by multiple sclerosis, according to dailyrecord.co.uk.

In spite of her severe condition, which requires round-the-clock care from her 34-year old husband, she has been denied disability living allowance. Why? Because she can still talk ... that's why.

"My life and my social circle was based around taekwondo and I've lost everything," she says. "It breaks my heart not to be able to take the boys to training."

Update:
September 8, dailyrecord.co.uk wrote that 33-year-old Kirsten McLaughlin had her case overturned.

The authorities reportedly called the former TKD champion with the good news after her heartbreaking story appeared in the Daily Record.

Karate Master, 'Predator'?

South Carolina -- The 40-year old owner of a karate and fitness center in Indian Land turned himself in to authorities August 6, according to fortmilltimes.com.

The man is reportedly being evaluated to determine whether or not he will be civilly confined under the state's 'Sexually Violent Predator Act'.

In 2004, he served six months in jail, convicted of two sexual assault. Following his release, a circuit court judge found no probable cause to hold the man as a sexually violent predator.

Grandma Ninja, 71

Nebraska -- 71-year old Dorothy Fugate, a North Platte resident, have received her second-dan black belt in ninjutsu, according to northplattebulletin.com.

The widower -- who also is an avid runner, in addition to dancing two or three times a week, riding her bike and rollerblading -- said she has no plans of stopping her training.

Age, you said? That is just some sequential numbers my friend - doesn't mean a thing :-)

Martial Arts Goons

Malaysia -- Nst.com.my reported October 21 about three goons belonging to a "a martial arts group". The three members, all in their 20s, were arrested in connection with an attack on a Kuala Lumpur nightclub, according to the report.

Police believed the trio were amongst a large group of people who attacked the club on Saturday around 2 a.m. Throwing glasses, bottles and chairs and smashing everything in sight, the mob barged into the packed nightclub, according to police.

Three men from the group had allegedly gone to the same nightclub earlier during the night for drinks but had refused to pay.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Political Judo

Here's a clip from YouTube, showing an almost perfectly executed tomoe nage on what appears to be a political opponent.

He also attempts to take down another man with what looks like a tai otoshi. Why can't we have fight like this in our national assembly? :-)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Karate-Style Beatings?

Karate-style beatings? Are they in fact talking about the heavily patented and totally mortal "judo-chop"? Anyhow, I digress.

A McKees Rocks man was convicted in 1988 of killing three elderly women -- all in their 80s -- with what post-gazette.com calls "karate-style beatings" in 1985.

Just the other day, the 62-year-old man was denied an appeal for a new trial by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

MMA Tragedy in LA

California -- The deaths of mixed martial arts fighter Justin Levens (28) and his wife (25) are being investigated by authorities, according to latimes.com.

The couple were found shot at about 2:30 p.m. Wednesday in bed in their LA home and detectives are not ruling out a possible murder-suicide. They also believe Levens may be the shooter.

Levens, a former UFC Champ and top-level fighter, was reportedly convicted of spousal injury in 2003, according to records from Orange County Superior Court.

Possible Serial Rapist

A former US police officer and kick-boxer could be a serial rapist, according to amw.com and eveningsun.com.

He left the York City Police police force in 1998. However, it is alleged he still poses as an officer to target women he believes to be prostitutes - telling them that he will let them go if they have sex with him.

The 40-year-old man has been on the run since December 9. He was supposed to turn himself in at that date on two new rape charges.

Below is an older YouTube kick-boxing video with the man:


Update (December 23):
Ydr.inyork.com reports that U.S. Marshals hunted the fugitive to a boarding house in the Albany, N.Y., area on Friday.

When he walked out of his apartment early Monday morning, he saw police and U.S. Marshals and ran back inside. He then is said to have committed suicide with a gun.

Bo Staff Scuffle

Utah -- A police officer in Provo was reportedly attacked with a six-foot bo (a wooden martial arts staff) Sunday night in August, according to heraldextra.com.

Police responding to a call concerning a group of people brawling in the street, found the crowd dispersed when they arrived.

An officer called out to the 39-year-old suspect, clearly identifying himself as police. The suspect allegedly refused to comply with the officer's orders to stop. He simply walked back into his house yelling "no!".

Following the suspect into his house, the officer was attacked with the bo staff. Grabbing the weapon, the officer managed to wrestle the suspect to the floor, disarm and handcuff him.

Despite the full uniform and marked car brought to the scene, the suspect didn't identify the police officer.

Sentenced: Aikido Instructor

Montana -- An aikido instructor from Helena was sentenced in October for felony sexual assault for inappropriately touching a 13-year-old former student at his aikido studio, according to Helenair.com.

The man was 49 at the time of the crime. A psychologist who examined him, told the court he was an emotionally immature man. The psychologist said the defendant relied on his relationship with the young girl to raise his sense of self-esteem.

The instructor was arrested after a female member of his martial arts school confronted him about getting "too close" with the girl, according to reports. When he denied any wrongdoing, the female member told the girl's mother, who then contacted the police.

It is reported how the girl would stay after class and be alone with the man. When police searched his home they found 85 e-mails between the instructor and the girl.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

TKD Instructor Sentenced

North Carolina -- A 34-year-old Jacksonville martial arts instructor has recently pleaded guilty to several counts of molesting male and female students under the age of 10, according to jdnews.com.

Authorities say the man, who was arrested June 2007, molested two girls and one boy under the age of 10 while they were students at his taekwondo school.

He allegedly removed the young girl's clothes, touched them inappropriately and exposed himself to them. According to statements, the instructor also exposed himself to other students in the bathroom of his business.

No Time for Martial Arts?

UK -- I'm sure many of you can relate to this article called "Karate: In the nick of time". It's about how way too many people, the middle-aged ones in particular, seems to sacrifice their health with the excuse of being "too busy" working on their career; developing their business; bringing up their family and so on, and so forth.

Sounds familiar? You bet.

'Nick' here refers to Nicholas Lestas form Coleraine, Northern Ireland. As a businessman and Honorary Commissioner for Cyprus in Northern Ireland he was one of those people.

Then one day, in his 40s, he finally figured out that he was in fact in danger of not seeing his children grow up. "So I decided there and then to do something about it and that something was simple, I would prioritise exercise as a 'must have' within my week," he said.

He also realised how he couldn't keep up such a commitment without having someone to motivate him and something to aim for. "So as someone who loved to watch martial arts films I decided to take up karate, he said.

During a period of five and a half years, Mr Lestas has earned a black belt and a great thirst for life. He has also lost two-and-a-half stone, while slowly changing his whole philosophy and approach to life. Not bad at all, I'd say - good for him!

There are two vital ingredients here, the way I see it. One is this false idea that "we don't have time". It is really quite strange that we don't take the time to stay healthy... This is really all about our priorities.

The other is what Mr Lestas figured out - that we need something and someone to motivate us in order to stay on that healthy track! And as such, the martial arts is a perfect fit for many people.

Suspected Predator Arrested

Hawaii -- A 33-year-old man, suspected of being an Internet child sex predator, was arrested at 4:45 p.m. October 21 as he was teaching a martial arts class at a shopping center in Waipahu.

According to the.honoluluadvertiser.com, the suspect allegedly had arranged to meet for sex on the Internet with a task force agent posing as a 14-year-old girl. The man allegedly showed up at the meeting place in Makiki but fled before the police agents could arrest him.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

An 'Expert Helper'

New Zealand -- An unemployed Northland man, 47, with a history of sex offences against women, has appeared in court. The man has allegedly claimed he wants to help 'wayward teenage girls'.

Northernadvocate.co.nz reported how the man deliberately targeted young women in public places.

December 11 2007, he approached an 18-year-old woman in a Whangarei bus terminal. He then supposedly told the woman that his girlfriend had been killed in a fight after her throat was slit. Claiming he was a martial arts expert, he then tried to show the woman some taekwondo moves.

He touched the young woman's chest and only took his hands away when a member of the public turned up.

While on bail, he assaulted another woman indecently in Whangarei. He went into the room where she was staying twice, touched her chest and said he was a martial arts expert.

Ample Time to Think

California -- He should have more than enough time to reflect upon his crimes ... After all the former karate instructor received a massive 105 years to life jail sentence for molesting 7 boys.

The 51-year-old man owned karate school in Westminster between 1999 and 2005. He reportedly molested the young karate students, aged 10 to 14, at his school, ocregister.com reports.

Major Karate Headaches

Spain -- (November 12) It is alleged that a karate instructor from Tomelloso used his martial arts expertise to murder his wife, their unborn baby as well as 4-year-old niece.

The defendant admitted to the murders at the family home on April 30, 2006, according to thinkspain.com/news-spain.

The defendant, who described himself as a hypochondriac, allegedly told the court that he "lost control" after being told by his doctor that he had hepatitis.

He also explained how he had been suffering from crippling headaches, was convinced that he had a brain tumour and believed that he was about to die at the time of the murders.

Child Porn Shame

UK -- Hartlepoolmail.co.uk reported in August how the 25-year-old son of a disgraced karate instructor narrowly escaped prison. The son, also an instructor at karate, had admitted to be in the possession of child pornography material on his computer.

His 52-year-old father has previously been jailed for voyeurism after he was found spying on a naked girl as she got undressed to shower.

The man, who helped his father run karate schools, told court how he downloaded the indecent images because he "wanted to see what his father was all about" and find out if he was a paedophile.

He was arrested on November 6, 2007, and initially claimed the computer belonged to his dad. However, he eventually admitted downloading the child porn, claiming he was "curious".

Martial Arts Moves on Bus

Oregon -- A knife wielding man, who ignored a driver's request to put his knife away, continuing to perform 'martial arts moves' while continuing to pace the aisle of a deserted city bus in Eugene.

The driver managed to get out of the bus, and so did the man. The 'martial artist' began walking down the street with what looked like a dagger with a rather long blade, according to police. The weapon later proved to be a realistic looking toy, katu.com wrote in August.

When a Sheriff's Deputy ordered the man to drop the weapon, the man ran into traffic. Deputies were eventually able to use a bean bag shotgun to subdue the 25-year-old man, who allegedly was suffering from a mental disability.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Martial Arts Dad Sued

UK -- A brother and sister team, 27 and 30 years old, sued their own ex-Navy officer and "martial arts expert" dad after he was convicted of killing his 55-year-old wife in 2004.

The siblings want nothing to do with their evil father and it is said they have taken legal steps to avoid any further contact.

It was skull fragments found in the washing machine at their family home which eventually proved the man was a wife killer, according to sundaymail.co.uk in November.

The murderer evidently emptied his bank accounts while he was out on bail during an appeal against his jail sentence.

Even More Politics

India -- The Taekwondo Federation of India has cancelled its invitation to a Pakistani team for a friendship match that was scheduled for a December 19-21 championship in Lucknow.

The decision is said to come as a consequence of the recent terror attacks in Mumbai, according to newspostonline.com.

The Indian governments has been very clear about accusations of a Pakistani link to the terror attacks, and so the Lucknow organizing committee and the TFI called off the invitation.

Shaolin Expands

China -- December 13, several monks from the Shaolin arrived in Guandu, Yunnan Province, according to china.org.cn.

Aiming to combine Shaolin Chan (zen) Buddhism and martial arts, with the native Buddhist culture of Yunnan - the monks reportedly had arrived to take over the management of the four ancient Kunming temples. Kunming is the province capital.

It is said that the Shaolin Temple agreed to take over the four temples because the local government had shown great respect to freedom of worship and belief.

Karate With Down Syndrome

Minnesota -- "I'm proud of me. I'm proud of myself, yes," Bruce Stolp of Oronoco says. And he has every reason to be. The 31-year-old man with Down Syndrome, recently earned his black belt in karate after training for ten years, according to kare11.com.

Described by his parents as a very determined person, he didn't walk until he was four years old. However, he's been making up for lost time ever since.

Way to go Bruce! I'm sure you will have many great years ahead of you at the National Karate in Rochester - working towards your 2. dan.

Sexual Assault

Wisconsin -- August 21, todaystmj4.com had a piece about a 23-year-old former Brookfield martial arts instructor being charged with five counts of sexual assault of a 13-year-old male taekwondo student.

The man was said to have been fired from the martial arts school in early August for an unrelated matter. It was at the same school he reportedly had illegal contact of sexual nature with the young student.

The case was discovered when the boy's mother found a sexually explicit instant message on her son's PC.

In a comment to the story, the school owner told how he felt betrayed by the young instructor -having what called as a sacred bond broken.

"To have one person ruin all of that is very difficult. I absolutely feel betrayed, hurt. I'm angry. I'm upset," he said.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Chinese Kung Fool

China -- September 5, chinadaily.com.cn had a piece about a 16-year-old kung fu fanatic who was arrested by police in Baodi, Tianjin.

Allegedly, the teenager was mistaken for a cat burglar while he was observed leaping, "ninja-style", over the walls which surrounded a rural courtyard on Sunday night.

The "kungfool", who turned out to be the courtyard householder's son allegedly informed police that he was a Chinese kung fu fanatic, and that he often practiced at night.

Wow, for a while there I thought only the ninja buffs could be capable of delivering brain farts of this magnitude. Now I know otherwise.

More Politics

In a recent post we had a look at one of the negative effects of the politics within the martial arts.

December 13, John Kitch of Wales, UK wrote a letter to the editor, published in walesonline.co.uk - the article was called 'Give my son a fighting chance in karate'. The boy's father wrote, amongst other things:

"We have seen many incidents of politics in sport and I'm deeply concerned that this has spread to karate."

"It's my understanding that the chairman of the Welsh Karate Governing Body (WKGB) is to face disciplinary action."

"The WKGB is the only body recognised by the Sports Council for Wales, and my concern is that, as the parent of an up-and-coming karate student (...), my son's association has been temporarily suspended."

Former Instructor Charged

Wisconsin -- Gmtoday.com had a news brief on August 21 about a 23-year-old, former martial arts instructor from Milwaukee.

The young man was reportedly charged with molesting one of his former students -- a boy under the age of 16 -- over a six-week period earlier in 2008.

Killer, Marine, Trained in MA

Nevada -- Sparks construction worker James Biela, a former US Marine who reportedly trained in martial arts, has been set to go on trial, accused with murder, kidnapping, and three cases of sexual assault.

The man is accused of killing a 19-year-old college student and sexually assaulting two other women last year near the University of Nevada in Reno, according to lasvegassun.com.

Hidden Camera at Spa

Oklahoma -- A 30-year-old former spa manager, who previously taught karate in Broken Arrow, reportedly videotaped female clients in secret during massage sessions at his facility in Stillwater, according to tulsaworld.com.

The creep, who told told the judge at his trial he did not think he needed to go to prison -- since he considered himself "a helper," and not a threat to society -- estimated that he had filmed clients for approximately five to six months.

The Assistant DA alleged that at least 60 to 80 women were victimised during a six-month period in 2005 at the (now-closed) health center in Stillwater.

Vigilant Karate Parents

North Carolina -- A 57-year-old part-time karate instructor and restaurant employee was arrest December 12 when he was found teaching young teenagers even though he had been told twice by the courts not to, according to Journalnow.com.

It is presumed that a parent who considered enrolling a child at a karate school in Forsyth County decided to do some background checks.

The parent contacted an Internet 'Sex Offender and Public Protection Registry', and found that one of the instructors had a previous conviction of taking indecent liberties with a child in August 2001.

Former TKD Olympian Jailed

As you probably know by now, I will be the first to talk about all the benefits, positive sides and fantastic people within the martial arts. Very few things gives me more pleasure than that!

I could probably have kept a well-informed blog just with talking about the up-sides and positive angles of being involved with judo, karate, aikido, taekwondo, jujutsu, kung fu, MMA and all the other, potentially, great arts of ours.

However, the way I see it, that wouldn't be all fair. Striving for an act of balance, I do find it vitally important to present the not-so-shiny within the martial arts community also. That way, you as a parent, student or reader can make up your own choices and appropriate response.

It really hurts each and every time I come across some of these bad seeds and tragic events, but I can't help but getting the word out anyhow.

August 20, liverpooldailypost.co.uk had an article about a 39-year-old British taekwondo instructor and former Olympian who was jailed for under-age sex with a 14-year-old student.

The martial arts champion had reportedly been training the young girl for about two-and-a-half years. Then, in July 2007 he molested the teenager following a lift home after a training session.

The facts only came to light when a school teacher became concerned after the girl wrote an essay describing the sexual relationship with the father-of-four.

Martial Arts Politics

Recently, I was contacted through my site Your Martial Arts Resources by a gentleman who wanted to know if there was a way to find out the number of people involved in martial arts world wide as well as in the US.

I told him that this was almost impossible to figure out. One of the main reasons, I told him, is all the politics involved in the arts.

Just to prove my point, you might want to read this article from Malaysia. It's titled "No more punch in taekwondo" and signed by "Disgruntled Parent". The writer says:

"My eldest child has a one dan black belt from the Malaysian Taekwondo Association (MTA). My second child is under another association whose certification is not recognised at the new school he is in, while my youngest is in a club that has no links to any national body. However, all three associations claim to be part of the WTF."

"My children argue over which of these taekwondo associations is better. Why should children be subjected to such nonsense in schools?"

"It is indeed disheartening for students after having put their heart and soul into taekwondo in one school, to be told that the same form of martial arts is not recognised in another school."

The Gift of Martial Arts

Columnist Doug Giles is offering some great thoughts and pieces of advice in a recent article ('Give Your Daughter the Gift of Martial Arts') in townhall.com.

He has realised - and taken action upon - a vitally important thing. He says: "(...) In my family, I am alpha dog: provider, protector, hunter, and hero. I do, sadly, realize that I am not omnipresent and that my daughters are going to have to rely upon themselves as the first line of defense."

Subsequently, Mr Giles has provided his daughters with the martial arts gift from an early age. Needless to say, I couldn't agree more. If only more parents realised how proper martial arts can benefit young boys and girls...

If you're interested, you may read more about the topic at Squidoo:
Martial Arts Gifts and Children's Martial Arts.

Judoka Raped

Update (January 2009): After the victim backed out from her complaint, a judge acquitted the four men -- amongst them a former coach of cricketer Yuvraj Singh -- accused of raping a national level judo player, indopia.in reports.

----

India -- In Haryana, a man claiming to be (international cricketer) Yuvraj Singh's coach was arrested - charged with rape of a national-level judoka, according to freshnews.in in mid August.

The man was accused by the young judoka of raping her in July 2008. The victim claimed that four people - three men and a woman - sedated her and brought her to Meerut in Uttar Pradesh on July 17.

According to police, the girl was allegedly raped in a room of faculty house of the Haryana Agriculture University.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

National Champion And Thief

Pennsylvania -- A 26-year-old man is waiting to stand trial next year, along with his twin brother and their 42-year-old mother, according to philly.com. The three of them are reportedly charged with burglary and conspiracy.

Meanwhile, the man was recently sentenced to four to eight years in state prison in a separate case - a one-man burglary in December 2007. He was arrested December 10 when police caught him sawing a hole through the roof of a business in Northeast Philadelphia.

The skilled martial artist attempted to escape police by jumping from the roof. However, he was caught in a nearby alley after a brief struggle with officers. During the struggle, he reportedly told the officers: "Don't make me hurt you!"

The man's defense attorney tried to convince the court that his client had not used the force against the arresting officers that a "national champion" in martial arts could have - even though he "technically resisted arrest."

The twins, who has co-starred in a number of gay-porn videos, made somewhat of a name for themselves when they were arrested on February 19. They were caught by police in Philadelphia, suspected of breaking into a number of area businesses through the roofs.

Ninja Bros Arrested

New Jersey -- In August, Clifton police arrested two men dressed liked ninja, according to cbsnews.com.

The two young self-acclaimed "crime fighters" (aged 19 and 20), who were armed with martial arts weapons, said they were "sending a warning to drug users".

The couple allegedly called themselves "Shinobi warriors." They wore vests of the black SWAT-type and carried knives, throwing stars, swords, nunchaku and a bow and arrows.

Guys, guys, guys (young guys, that is). Please stop reading all this ninja drivel. Grow up, please...

Six Boys Molested

California -- A 51-year-old former karate instructor recently admitted to having molested six boys. These incidents occurred at his Westminster school between 1999 and November 2005, according to cbs2.com.

The six boys, aged between 10 and 14, previously told authorities they tried to avoid the man's office, because that's where much of the indecent fondling happened, officials said.

In July, one of the juvenile boys told a counselor how he had been molested by the martial arts instructor in 2005. Police consequently discovered five more boys who claimed they had been molested.

An Extensive Graphic Collection

New York -- A 25-year-old Long Island karate school instructor was arrested by police in mid August after investigators found child pornography on his computer, according to abclocal.go.com.

What was called an "extensive and graphic collection" was reportedly found on two computers seized from the martial arts school in Ronkonkoma where the 25-year-old male was working at the time.

The man was living in a basement apartment at the martial arts center, according to the article.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

As Bad as It Gets

California -- Reading about this torturing case really sends shivers down my spine. I can't help but wonder how anyone can get themselves to do such things to another human being?

A 43-year-old woman has been charged with starving and torturing a 16-year-old boy for more than a year. The teenage boy was under her care, while living with another couple in their Tracy home.

Now, the torture victim's older brother has spoken, clearly blaming the woman for "what she did to our relationship."

The brother said the woman was a friend of their single, drug-addicted mother. Not sure how the woman gained custody of the two boys -- the older brother said she managed to take them away.

The older brother said the beatings began when they failed to win their taekwondo matches. He added the woman sometimes forced the boys to hit each other.

My, oh my...

Guilty of Sex Charges

UK -- In mid August, a 43-year-old Bedford martial arts instructor pleaded guilty to sex charges with 14-year-old girl according to bedfordtoday.co.uk.

The senior instructor at a karate club in Bedford reportedly admitted to two charges of sexual activity with the child. The allegation is that the man twice had sexual intercourse with the girl between December 2007 and April 2008.

A Swift Karate Kick

Here's one more of these older articles that somehow seems to have slipped me by. Well, not 'older' as per se - more 'recent', I would argue :-)

Anyhow, a 10-year-old girl fought off a child predator in Irvine, California with a swift karate kick to the grown.

The young girl told police how the man offered her candy if she'd take off her clothes about 3 p.m. on Tuesday. According to reports, that's when she put her karate skills to good use.

She kicked the young man and put him on the ground," a Sheriff's spokesman later said. Bravo, I say!

This news article appeared in ktla.com on September 26, 2008.

He Doesn't Get Angry Anymore

I wonder when parents, schools and authorities are going to wake up to all the positive effects inherent in martial arts done the correct way?

UK -- Gazettelive.co.uk had a nice article on October 23 about how two teenage boys, Nathan Simms-Moody and Shaun Youll, benefited greatly from martial arts (kick-boxing).

Up until very recently, 15-year-old Nathan was an angry young man -- truanting from school and had counseling to deal with his anger issues. He could be often be found sitting with a bottle of alcohol in his hand on a street corner.

The story talks of how he now looks forward to every Wednesday -- the highlight of his week. That's when he can learn fitness and positive behavior through his weekly martial arts session.

Young Nathan now reportedly prefers to pound the streets running and has found a new enthusiasm for school.

Shaun also admits to not attending school everyday. His ADHD ('Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder') made it it hard for him to concentrate and he too would get angry.

Through the weekly training he now finds school easier to cope with. "I like doing active stuff," Shaun said "I have ADHD. I like kick boxing and it gets you fit."

Objectionable Material

New Zealand -- In Christchurch, a former teacher has appeared in court on a number of charges of distributing objectionable material, according to stuff.co.nz.

The 32-year-old former high school teacher and martial arts instructor -- who left New Zealand in 2004 -- first appeared in court in July.

The man is accused of providing objectionable photographs of young boys via the Internet.

Police officials said several thousand files had been found on the man's computer. They had estimated three-quarters of the files -- movies, photographs, websites and fictional stories -- were objectionable.

The man was reportedly convicted December 12 on a number of charges of "making an objectionable publication available to other people for gain". He will be sentenced in January 2009.

Monday, December 08, 2008

A Security Guard Rapist

UK -- On October 29, northantset.co.uk had an article about two women who accused a security guard of sexually assaulting them. The women spoke during the trial of the 24-year-old former security guard from Poppyfields, Kettering.

One of the women said the man grabbed her outside a shopping center, while the other woman claims the accused raped her after locking her in a room at the center.

The jury was told how the accused knew martial arts and was able to use his strength to overpower the women he assaulted.

Wanted on Drug Charges

Texas -- A 25-year-old man wanted for violating a probation related to drug charges is wanted by the El Paso County Sheriff's Office, according to kvia.com.

After his arrest, the man continued working with children as a martial arts instructor, authorities says. It is believed the man is aware he is wanted by authorities.

The man, who is considered violent and dangerous, has reportedly had a number of drug-related arrests.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Hands Down Sort Of

In this article from blogs.reuters.com under the descriptive heading 'Oddly Enough', we are able to see, and read about, high school students having their hands run over by a motorcycle.

Why, you say? Evidently, this is a demonstration of their karate skills - performed at an annual sports day in Hyderabad (India) on November 22.

Why, you insist on asking still? To be frank, I haven't the faintest idea.

TKD Teen Helps Her Dad

California -- When a group of armed men entered a house through an unlocked door and robbed a Rolando (San Diego) family at 2:20 a.m., a teenaged daughter fought the suspects, giving her father a chance to escape and call police.

At least three suspects entered the house, demanding money and jewelery. They tied the father's hands up and ordered him to lie down on the ground.

One of the men went to the 18-year-old daughter's room to search for more valuables. However, the daughter, who is a black belt in taekwondo, started fighting with the suspects.

While his daughter was fighting back, the father managed to break free and ran outside. He used a neighbors phone to call 911. None of the victims required any serious medical attention, according to nbcsandiego.com.

Pub Employee Fights Back

21-year-old martial arts expert...? Yeah, right.

UK -- October 24, lep.co.uk had a news article about 21-year-old Richard Sedgewick, described as a "martial arts expert" who tackled a hammer-wielding thug and stopped him raiding a pub. Great going, I'm sure. But a martial arts expert...?

The Preston physiotherapist was reportedly working at his second job in a Royton pub, when three armed raiders burst in.

During the 11:20 p.m. Sunday raid, customers and staff were threatened with a machete, hammer and golf club.

Richard (who practices taekwondo) was, with the help of a second staff member, able to overpower one of the robbers, take him to the floor and disarm him.

Jessica Really is Incredible

Holy cow, what an amazing young woman this is; do read this story!

Arizona -- According to ktar.com, despite being born without arms, 25-year-old Jessica Cox from Tucson has only stopped herself from doing one thing only - and that is to use the word "can't."

She's a black belt in taekwondo and she holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Arizona.

Now, this determined woman has done something almost unbelievable in becoming the first pilot licensed to fly using only her feet. She uses one foot on the controls and the other guiding the steering column.

Her Sport Pilot certificate qualifies her to fly a light-sport aircraft to altitudes of 10,000 feet.

Court in Favor of Hijab Ban

France -- As you may recall, two French Muslim girls (aged 11 and 12) were expelled from school in 1999 following their refusal to take off their hijab during sport classes. At the time, the school said that hijab was deemed not compatible with physical education classes.

Recently, the top European human rights court in Strasbourg ruled in favor of the school, saying the ban was not a violation of the European Human Rights.

The European Court of Human Rights said: "The court observed that the purpose of the restriction on the applicants' right to manifest their religious convictions was to adhere to the requirements of secularism in state schools," according to Reuters and islamonline.net.

There have been several reported cases involving the use of hihab within the martial arts also.

For instance, on November 14, payvand.com reported how a female Iranian karateka, Helen Sepahi, was dismissed from the World Karate championships in Japan when she refused to take off her hijab prior to a fight.

And in November 2007, A judo official in Manitoba, Canada refused to allow an 11-year-old girl to compete in a tournament wearing a hijab. We covered that story in this post.

Honorary Black Belt?

In this article from moultrieobserver.com columnist Dwain Walden has a good point or two about flaunting your honorary black belt in karate.

He writes: "On a quiz program the other night, a contestant told the host that he held an honorary black belt in karate. My immediate conclusion was, I would rather have a real tire tool than an honorary black belt in karate."

My thought is exactly the same - why would anyone mention a good-for-nothing black belt like this? Sure it could be something to joke about amongst friends - but apart from that...

Me, I would rather be a certified idiot (which many will swear I am already) than an honorary anything, any day.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Accused of Sex With Student

Florida -- A 26-year-old female karate instructor has been arrested for an alleged inappropriate relationship with a 15-year-old student. Police investigators said the woman was in love with the teenager, according to wftv.com.

The instructor is reported to live with her parents in east Orange County. She is alleged to have driven to Apopka to hook up with the young student.

Police said the inappropriate relationship developed over sparring at the martial arts school in Apopka. The female instructor apparently took a liking to the juvenile student. Reportedly, she later confessed that she knew the relationship was being inappropriate.

Curbing Juvenile Violence

Canada -- October 23, dailygleaner.canadaeast.com had a very interesting article about youths at risk for violence and how learning martial arts can prove to be helpful in curbing inappropriate behavior, resistance to rules and aggression.

The article was seemingly an answer to -- or rather an alternative to -- an announcement by the leader of the Conservative Party, who reportedly said how he was going to get tough on juvenile crime.

The article pointed to how several psychiatrists had written about a study in the journal 'Adolescence'. The psychiatrists had attempt to reproduce other (smaller) studies - pointing to how school-linked courses in traditional martial arts could benefit juveniles at high risk for violence and delinquency.

Previous research often shows mixed results. This is because participation in the studies is voluntary, or the participant is already in a martial arts program. The researcher say that both factors self-select for more aggressive youth, with the result that some studies even show an increase in violence for students who take martial arts.

However, in the study done by the psychiatrists, school teachers identified students at high risk for violence and delinquency. As the school was located in a poor area of a large urban city, with a very high juvenile arrest rate, there was no lack of such students.

Students who were identified as high risk could only take the course if their parents agreed, and an outside martial arts teacher was brought in to teach them.

60 students with similar problematic behavior profiles were paired and then assigned randomly to either a treatment group or to a wait-list control group, to make the study scientific.

The students took three classes per week, for ten weeks, of a traditional martial art . The art emphasized self-protection and calmness, using meditation and kata (patterned movements).

In this really great article, the author points to the significant positive findings of the study. He also has some great insight as to why this is so. A must read!

Wudang Kungfu

China -- Watching Zhao Jianying teaching young and old alike at the park, it's quite common to think she looks great for a woman in her 60s. However, the martial arts master -- acclaimed as a "living fossil of Wudang martial arts" -- is 84 years old, according to chinadaily.com.cn.

As she demonstrates Taiyi (taiji) Wuxing Quan, a form of Wudang kungfu, the moves are graceful - slow and relaxed. But she also uses lightning fast hits in mock fights against even young men.

She's been practicing Wudang kungfu for over half a century, and says this is the reason she's still strong and agile at her advanced years.

In 2007, She was named a "Key Inheritor of Intangible Cultural Heritage" by the State General Sports Administration and the Ministry of Culture in China.

This is an interesting article about someone who has clearly lived an eventful, long and healthy life!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Judo Assault Case

Australia -- Judo Olympic competitor Matt Celotti is facing charge over a pub assault, news.com.au reported on August 15.

The 29-year-old fighter, who was eliminated from the games after losing his opening bout against a Cuban opponent, faces an outstanding assault charge in Melbourne, police confirmed.

The charges is reported to stem from an incident at a hotel in November 2007, the news article said.

Police Laud Martial Artist

From Pennsylvania, altoonamirror.com had a nice feature story back in mid August about 45-year-old martial arts expert and bodyguard Brian Gates who stopped two copper thieves, aged 24 and 27, dead in their tracks on April 10, 2008.

Mr Gates, who operates a martial arts studio in Patton, has also gained attention as a bodyguard for the Knievel stunt family and film and country music stars.

Las Vegas TKD Arrest

Nevada -- The 41-year-old owner of a Las Vegas taekwondo school was been arrested in September 2008, fox5vegas.com reports.

The man is accused of sexual assaulting a 13-year-old girl in June 2007, according to police. The girl is said to be a relative from New Mexico.

The girl and her father were visiting Las Vegas when the incidents occurred. Police documents said the assault took place at the taekwondo studio, while the girl's father was working.

The girl told police that, after coming out of the shower, the relative exposed himself from the waist down. She told police he then asked her if she had ever kissed a boy on his privates.

The girl told investigators that the man had forced her to do so several times, and that he afterwards made her "pinky promise" not to tell anyone. He allegedly also bought her ice cream and gave her $7, according to the report.

Karate Instructor in Sex Case

Update (January 2009): The 32-year-old former high school math teacher and a private karate instructor is bound for state prison after he pleaded guilty to repeatedly molesting one of his martial arts students - a 15-year-old girl.

----

Pennsylvania -- In September, a 32-year-old karate instructor and high school teacher from Cumberland County was charged with having sex with one of his female students, according to wgal.com.

The Mechanicsburg karate school in owner was charged with having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old karate student. The girl told police she had performed sex acts with the man several times at the karate school earlier in 2008.

Kicking Autistic Boy

Texas -- A 20-year-old man from Troup, has reportedly trained martial arts since the age of 6. He recently told a court how he has "a very short temper" and an "anger problem".

This young man has been found guilty of using kick boxing to "discipline" a young autistic boy - with the approval of the boy's mother, according to tylerpaper.com.

The boy's mother, 34, allegedly did nothing to stop her boyfriend from repeatedly kicking her then 11-year-old son as a neighbor videotaped the abuse.

The woman admitted at her trial that she caused bodily injury to her son by striking him and by failing to protect him during the incident on April 24.

Oh dear...

A True Judo Expert

By now, I'm sure you are aware of how I feel about the term "martial arts expert" being handed to everyone and everything earning a black belt. If not, do feel free to use the word 'nonsense' (or some similar, perhaps even stronger, words).

A 12-year-old taekwondo or karate "expert" with a few years of training? Yeah, right... So, just in case you wonder, this is what I consider an expert.

78-year-old Pat Toner from New Zealand has recently been awarded the very high grade of seventh dan in judo after 60 years of learning the art.

Mr Toner -- a former British Royal Marine -- began training when he was 18 and he still works out every day, either at the gym or the Wellington Judo Academy. The enduring competitor says the secret to his success and longevity was his discipline.

Congratulations, Mr Toner; well deserved!

A New Lease on Life

Florida -- Two-time cancer survivor, 62-year-old Shary Pittman was met with skepticism when she took up martial arts a while ago in High Springs. In fact, her 7-year-old grandson told her outright "(...) you're too old and you're too fat to do martial arts."

Mrs Pittman turned a deaf ear, and she intends, in her own words, to go "all the way" - meaning: She is already set for a black belt.

Reading about this survivor and ready born fighter, I don't doubt her for even half a second. She will make it!

"I won't quit for anything. You look in the mirror and you're old, and you're embarrassed because you're overweight. Then you punch the lady in the mirror and say, 'Keep going! You don't have to lay down and die; get up and FIGHT!" she said.

The inspirational woman has credited her martial arts classes with giving her strength, saying she's gotten more limber and healthier.

"It will work you through the pain, and you'll work through it with a smile," she said. "By the second class, my energy level tripled," she said. "You'd be amazed even for an older person at how fast your body responds."

Read the whole story at highspringsherald.com.

A Royal Insult

Morocco -- An 18-year-old karate champion -- and obvious FC Barcelona soccer fan -- has received a one year suspended prison sentence for writing "God, Homeland and Barca" on a classroom chalkboard, according to iht.com.

The motto of Morocco is "God, Homeland and the King", and authorities ruled that the scribbling showed "disrespect to the kingdom's national motto". The youngster now fears that the sentence could seriously affect his professional future as well as his sports career.

Oh dear, another serious crime has been committed...

MMA Veteran Speaks Out

Japan -- MMA veteran Enson Inoue, known from Shooto, pride and UFC, recently spoke to mmajunkie.com following his release from jail.

41-year-old Inoue, described as "a hard-fighting, hard-living warrior who refused to submit to anyone -- or anything", reportedly served 26 days in jail following an October arrest in Tokyo on marijuana possession charges.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

UFC Fighter on Steroids

Chris Leben - the (American) UFC fighter with a well known background as a participant on the 'Ultimate Fighter' TV show - reportedly tested positive for anabolic steroid (Stanozolol) use after losing his fight at UFC 89 in the UK, according to mma.fanhouse.com.

It's being said that Leben is one of the highest-profile MMA fighters to test positive for these performance-enhancing drugs.

The steroid known as Stanozolol is the same substance that was used by former Olympic sprinter Ben Johnson from Canada and (former) baseball player Rafael Palmeiro. Also Tim Sylvia, the former UFC heavyweight champion, has been found testing positive to the steroid.

The Diddly Deadly Limbs

Ahh... the deadly hands of Muay Thai; nothing more lethal ... except for a knife, gun, battle ship, bomb or cruiser missile? Nah, forget that, let's settle for the diddly deadly hands.

Oh, and let us not forget the judo chop, karate kick, jiu jitsu grip or ninja flip - those are totally deadly too, of course! Oh yes budoka - we are all registered lethal weapons for sure :-)

You see, philstar.com recently mentioned an incident between a security guard and a Muay Thai representative during a Filipino National Sports Association meeting.

The Muay Thai man was refused to enter the premises by the guard. The Muay Thai representative apparently took this personal. He delivered a punch to the guard's stomach "to express his sentiments".

"(He) is trained in the martial arts and his hands are considered deadly weapons," a source said. "I don’t think it was right for him to treat the guard this way because after all, he was just doing his duty."

Kung-Fu vs Intruder

Barbados -- When a machete-wielding intruder entered a holiday apartment, armed with a machete, 13-year-old Redmond Lee helped protecting his family by putting his kung-fu training to good use, according to kentnews.co.uk.

The Maidstone, UK family, had only spent their first morning at the St Lawrence Gap hotel, in Barbados, when the masked man burst in on April 9 this year. Millina, the 11-year-old daughter was sitting on the luxury apartment balcony when the armed intruder climbed over a wall and onto the balcony.

The girl ran screaming into the apartment with the man at her heels. Her mum, making coffee, screamed and threw a cup at him, but the intruder continued. When the man attacked 13-year-old Redmond the boy managed to grab him and somehow put him in an arm lock.

His dad, in the bathroom at that point, heard the commotion and ran out to find the culprit holding the bladed weapon above his son's head. The angered and frightened father ran at him and wrestled him to the ground. He was able to throw him back out on to the balcony. The man then ran off.

Martial Arts Killer Lost Appeal

Australia -- in September 2005, a martial arts instructor, 38, raped and killed a 48-year-old Melton real estate agent.

The man had tricked the Realtor to a unoccupied property listed for sale under the pretence of being a potential buyer. Her body was found in the bath, covered in a garbage bag, when her concerned colleagues went looking for her.

Representing himself at the Court of Appeal, the man recently lost his bid to appeal against his conviction, according to news.com.au.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Legally Blind Third Dan

Colorado -- 64 year old Ron Roe from Denver recently tested for 3. dan in taekwondo in Aurora. What makes this something out of the ordinary is that Mr Roe is legally blind.

According to denver.yourhub.com, Roe took up martial arts training nearly 13 years ago. "I may be slow, but if I just keep going and never stop, I know I'll make it in the end," the black belt competitor said.

Very, very cool - congrats Mr Roe!

School Owner Sued

Indiana -- Customers claim a martial arts school owner failed to give them refunds after the business closed, and now the owner is facing a civil lawsuit.

The State Attorney General has brought the action forward to the owner of the martial arts business, which had studios in Hamilton and Boone counties, according to indystar.com.

19 former customers are reportedly listed in the lawsuit and the owner is said to have used long-term contracts, ranging from $2,900 to $5,760, with them. Furthermore, many customers paid up to $2,210 in additional program fees.

According to reports, this is not the first time the studio owner has been accused of misleading customers. In 2006, the State Attorney General filed a lawsuit, and the owner agreed to refund $20,000 to Mishawaka customers.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Illegal Weapons Charges

UK -- A 33-year-old former heavyweight champion in judo has been charged with possessing a handgun and ammunition without a firearms certificate, according to blackpoolgazette.co.uk.

The man, who is is a gym owner and boxing promoter, is said to have been hiding the illegal items at his Ansdell, Blackpool home, hidden in a cushion.

A Martial Arts Gang

Spain -- Spanish police are questioning four British martial arts "experts", aged between 40 and 55, following a kidnap and extortion attempt in Tarifa, southern Spain.

The British victim -- described as a "law-abiding man without criminal links" by Spanish police -- was reportedly rescued by shoppers as the four men bundled him into a car outside a resort supermarket, according to guardian.co.uk.

According to Spanish police, the four martial arts "experts" belong to a criminal organisation. Police said the believe the men travelled form the UK to collect an extortion "debt" on behalf of a criminal paymaster.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Human Weapon Host Arrested

California -- Jason Chambers, former host of 'The Human Weapon' (a well-known TV program running on History Channel) has reportedly been arrested in Los Angeles, according to transworldnews.com.

The 28-year-old TV actor and martial arts instructor was arrested November 11 on rape and drug charges. Authorities believe that the TV host used the drugs to commit the rape, according to reports.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Another Karate Gran

UK -- 73-year-old Barbara Dyson from Methley is a great-grandmother ... and a black belt in karate, according to pontefractandcastlefordexpress.

The fit senior citizen, who has been working out four times a week for ten years, promised her husband, Desmond, who died in 2007, that she would continue until she achieved the coveted belt.

"I would encourage anybody to take up karate - especially older people," she says. Adding that it keeps you fit, gives you a lot more confidence as well as makes you feel safer.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Kung Fu That Spina Bifida

Maryland -- A columnist from washingtonpost.com suggests we share the story of young Jessica Gregory with children who complain about the possible injustices of life, and I couldn't really agree more.

It truly is an inspirational piece about a 10-year-old Forestville girl and her struggle with Spina Bifida. Jessica was born with the congenital disorder of the spine that may cause several problems.

This young fighter has become proficient in kung fu, overcoming obstacles very few of us would face with such style and grace.

Kudos also to her doctors, who suggested she should take up martial arts or ballet to strengthen her legs! Dr. Tosi at the Children's National Medical Center said: "A critical challenge to pediatric hospitals is what happens when a patient turn 18 or 21? How do we care for the adult with a congenital disorder?"

Oh, and while you're reading the whole Washington Post article, why not take part in their annual Children's Hospital fundraising campaign. A worthy cause by any standard!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Deaf Karate Black Belt

UK -- Alistair Anderson has become the first deaf karate black belt from Harrogate, following six years of commitment and hard work, according to harrogateadvertiser.net.

Something which makes this achievement even more outstanding is the fact that Alistair has learning difficulties and suffers from a condition termed dyspraxic tendencies - affecting the ability to co-ordinate movements.

His parents says the martial arts training has helped their son with his confidence, his co-ordination and his memory in ways they didn't think possible.

Our congratulations goes to you, Alistair - as well as your instructors! To me, this is a major part of what these arts are all about.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Gran Master in Karate

Dolores Pearson from Portarlington in Australia is a 78-year-old black belt in karate. After training since 1994, she is soon to test for her fourth dan grading according to geelongadvertiser.com.au.

Together with her daughter Rhonda Wright, 49, the fit senior have been training up to 6 times a week to prepare for the test.

Way to go, ladies - way to go!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Karate Boost in Confidence

UK -- Here's a nice little article from eastkilbridenews.co.uk. It's about 10-year-old Alana from Calderwood who has had a boost in confidence through her karate practise and competition victories.

According to the article, she took up the martial art when she had a rough time at primary school. It was hard to settle in, and she was being bullied.

"I don't get bullied anymore," she says. She goes on to say how karate gives her a lot more confidence and that it helps to know how to stick up for yourself. "It's been great fun and it's made me enjoy my life more and enjoy school more, too," the young girl says.

In our experience, many children and parents experience something similar to young Alana here: Martial arts training can indeed be valuable tool to "fight off" (as in: stand up to) bullies ... if the parents allow the child to spend ample time with the given art. Some times the child wants the easy way out ("this is boring", "I don't like it", "I'm not good at this", "I want ..."), and the parents give in.

What is ample time? Well, let me put it this way, how can you really become good at anything in less than a few years?

Sunday, November 09, 2008

UFC Veteran Charged

California -- 39-year-old "Joe Son" (Joseph Hyungmin Son), a well-known MMA fighter and movie figure has been arrested and presented with several related charges, according to bullshido.net.

The UFC veteran has been linked through the help of a DNA sample to a violent gang rape that occurred Christmas Eve in 1990.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Attempted Carjacking

Florida -- A 19-year-old jiu-jitsu student allegedly fought off a knife-wielding carjacker recently in the martial arts center's parking lot in Fort Lauderdale, according to miamiherald.com and police.

The teenager was in his car with the windows down outside the the center about 7 p.m. on Wednesday when a man, described as in his 20s, approached him. The perpetrator demanded his car while holding a knife to his neck.

"He's not getting inside my car," the teenager thought. He shoved the thief's arm away, knocking him backward, then threw the car in reverse - a reaction he said was "half-instinct, half-skill".

50 Years in Prison

Washington -- A 51-year-old former taekwondo teacher and child molester has been handed down a lengthy prison sentence. The man was arrested and charged in 2006, according to chronline.com.

He was arrested when a teenager, 16, told authorities that her TKD teacher had molested her between the ages of nine and twelve.

The man had been the girls martial arts instructor when he formed a relationship with her mother. He moved in with the woman and lived with the family in Centralia from May 1999 until December 2002.

Sexual activity could happen almost every night after her mother went to work, the girl told authorities.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Former TKD Teacher And Rapist

Connecticut -- "He is a monster,"a female drugging and sexual assault victim wrote, adding that the man should stay off the streets as long as possible.

The man in question is a former state department computer specialist who also ran a taekwondo school in Glastonbury, according to journalinquirer.com.

The 44-year-old man was convicted of drugging four women he dated an sent to prison in 2006. The man recently got five-year sentences in three new, similar cases.

Plucky Karate Pensioner

South Africa -- Thetimes.co.za reported in October about a pensioner who used karate skills to defend himself against robbers.

The armed robbers allegedly assaulted the 64-year-old man at his tuck shop business in Durban, demanding cash and his cellphone after forcing him inside the shop.

The South African Association of Karate honorary black belt said he co-operated with the robbers up until the point he heard them talk in a local language that he had to be "finished off" - allegedly because he could later recognise them.

"I thought it is either me or them, and I wanted to live," the man later said.

Yes, I know ... karate is "not supposed to work" as self-defense. Tell that to Mr Edward will you.

Youth Leader Arrested

North Carolina -- A 64-year-old youth leader in Morganton, Burke County has been charged with more crimes of sexual nature involving juvenile boys. This occurred after another alleged victim came forward following the man's arrest, reports wsoctv.com.

County Deputies reportedly began investigating the man after his daughter found somthing she labelled a disturbing photo of her father on a camera - a picture taken in the man's home.

Previously, the man had used his daughter's dance studio to teach karate to more than a dozen kids. It is also being said the man volunteered with several county youth organizations.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Assistant Instructor Arrested

Hawaii -- A 33-year-old volunteer assistant karate instructor and member of the Hawaii Air National Guard, has been arrested by police after arranging to a meet for sex with a person he believed was a 14-year-old girl.

Rather than a young girl, the suspect was met by an undercover police officer, according to kitv.com.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Superburglar Caught

California -- A 30-year-old college-educated Spanish man once described as a "superburglar" - someone who might have been a caricature of an "Ocean's Eleven" movie - was recently sentenced to jail, according to thefreelibrary.com.

Leaving his well-to-do family in Barcelona, Spain, the man left for Florida to become a mixed martial arts fighter. When that proved not to work out, he traveled west and ending up in Santa Monica. Along the way he allegedly managed to earn a degree in business.

Later, the man spoke to a detective about the adrenaline rush "almost like a drug addict might about a fix". A fascinating and bizarre story indeed!

A Fit Judo Grandad

How totally inspiring, my hat off to you Sir! My esteemed reader might also want to compare this to the "Wow, three years to black belt (aka. 'Expert' status)" nonsense found in some other belt farms.

UK -- After more than 50 years of judo, grandad -- and self-confessed fitness fanatic -- Jack Mitton, 75, was recently awarded his black belt on his birthday.

The Littleborough, Rochdale senior and his partner Maurice Clarke, 72, can often be seen throwing each other around on the tatami (mat), according to manchestereveningnews.co.uk.

Mr Mitton claims his success formula is quite simple: "Positive thinking and feeling fit," he said.