Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Demanding Justice

India -- A Human Rights committee is demanding justice for taekwondo competitors who allegedly were beaten up by officials during a national taekwondo comptetition in Nanded in May.

According to timesofindia.indiatimes.com, two Indian national taekwondo players, Rakesh Devkule and Balaji Pawar, issued a letter to sports officials and national sports bodies.

The couple claimed that some officials had beaten them up, abused them and then tried to cover up the matter during the event held between May 17 and 23.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Karate Police

South Africa -- The Western Cape province has announced a pilot project to train 200 police officers in "self-defence techniques", according to int.iol.co.za

A well world renowned karate expert, Hennie Bosman, is scheduled to train police officers in self-defense techniques, officials said.

It has reportedly been decided to train 200 police officers as instructors to train police officers in self-defense to use minimum force to place a suspect under arrest.

"Kung fu" Killer

UK -- An 18-year-old drunken teenager killed a dad with what was described as a flying "kung fu kick" has been jailed for life.

Together with a friend he assaulted the 52-year-old victim - out late at night looking for his lost dog. The victim, from Marske, smashed his head on the ground after being felled by the kick, according to thesun.co.uk.

Instructor Facing Jail

New Jersey -- A 24-year-old karate instructor from Old Bridge is facing six years in prison after pleading guilty to having sex with a 15-year-old student.

He admitted he had intercourse with the 15-year-old girl on one occasion between March and April 2007.

He was arrested and charged February 19 at his studio. A investigated determined the girl had been sexually assaulted.

Blind Karate Black Belt

Connecticut -- 47-year-old George Sanchez from Middletown lost his sight at the age of 3. Now, after passing his test, he is a karate black belt.

After four years of hard work, he passed the test together with his son Timothy, 10.

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

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

No Easy Target

UK -- A knife-wielding criminal probably got the shock of his life when he decided to burgle a 68-year-old man who turned out to be a martial arts expert.

Even though he was stabbed in the hand and slashed across his chest, Alan Thomas from Hunters Chase, Hutton – who's been teaching martial arts for 37 years – punched his almost 6ft attacker in the face before throwing him over his shoulder.

The 5'5" grandfather said "I think he thought I was an easy target, but he was wrong," according to thisistotalessex.co.uk

TKD Instructor, Sex Case

California -- A 20-year-old Foster City tae kwon do instructor who allegedly "celebrated a four-month anniversary" with a 13-year-old female student by performing a sexual act in a parked has struck a deal in return for no more than one year in jail.

San Carlos police arrested the man March 2 after reports were made of a person putting sheets over the interior of a car's windows in San Carlos. Police thought they were dealing with a transient who was planning to spend the evening sleeping in the car.

When they arrived on scene, they found the instructor in the car with a 13-year-old girl. Police said the man admitted to performing a sex act on the girl and officers found stuffed animals and a jar of Vaseline inside the car.

The man told police he had known the girl for four years and that they had met at the martial arts studio in San Carlos where he worked, according to smdailyjournal.com.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

NYC Conductor Sentenced

New York -- The New York City subway conductor who fatally stabbed a man he claimed he took to be one of his attackers, has been sentenced to 15 years to life in prison.

A Manhattan Justice sentenced the martial arts-trained man for the murder of 40-year-old Flonarza Byas on January 10, 2008.

Prosecutors said the accused mistakenly thought Mr Byas was part of the group that attacked and stabbed him. They said the accused chased Byas, caught him and then stabbed him 15 times.

The 40-year-old conductor was convicted in May by a jury that rejected his self defense claim. His lawyer said his client did not intend to commit a crime, but mistakenly thought he was defending himself.

Jaw Jitsu

Ilinois -- One McHenry man ended up missing two chunks of his earlobe and his 34-year-old Johnsburg rival ended behind bars charged with biting them off.

This was reportedly the result of an escalating dispute over martial arts training which ended with a Mike Tyson-style brawl outside a house party early Saturday, according to dailyherald.com.

Police said the fight occurred after the the aggressor began insulting the victim's martial arts training and abilities at a party hosted by a mutual acquaintance. The victim felt he was doing this to provoke a fight, so he tried to leave the scene.

He made it to the driveway, police said, when the aggressor attacked and began punching the McHenry man. During the ensuing struggle the aggressor got his mouth close enough to the victim's ear to bite it.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Po? No; Ho. Oh...

Malaysia -- A 55-year-old kung fu master named Ho recently smashed smashed (geddit?...) his previous record of breaking three coconuts in 70 seconds. And - according to media reports - he managed to pierce four coconuts, using his index finger, in a little over 30 seconds (30.81 seconds to be precise).
(Actually, he punches the nut first and then pushes his finger through. Still, impressive!)

Hundreds of people, among them many tourists, reportedly witnessed the record breaking (geddit?...) event in Malacca on Saturday.

Master Ho said he was now preparing to get into the Guinness Book of World Records. Here's an earlier video of the "nut case":

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Martial Arts Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all you dads out there!

Here's a very nice article about dads and their daughters in martial arts. It's written by Meredith Lyons and it's from examiner.com. I highly recommend this piece.

Like one father (Trent Zilmer) says: "I am really happy my two girls started martial arts early. They took to it immediately and haven't looked back. I figure my job is to raise my kids to be confident and successful adults. (...)"

Is martial arts really for girls? You betcha - do read!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Black Magic ... Policeman

UK -- A 42-year-old former Scottish policeman, who claimed he was a black magic high priest, has been convicted of sexually abusing three youngsters, news.stv.tv reported.

The man told a 12-year-old boy, one of his victims, that demons and spirits would kill him and drag him to hell unless he carried out sex acts.

The youngster told the court that the man had abused him almost every day for four years, between 1988 and 1992, using evil threats to silence him.

The man befriended the boy after he joined a martial arts club that was run by him. The abuse began when the man, who still lived with his parents, invited him to stay overnight.

Another alleged victim came forward in 1999 to complain that he had been indecently assaulted by the man at the age of seven while the paedophile was babysitting him. He resigned from the police that year but was not convicted. He was finally charged years later when two other victims came forward to report incidents of similar nature.

Guilty of Murder

New Zealand -- The 55-year-old martial arts expert, charged with murdering his 28-year-old wife and abandoning his toddler at a train station has been found guilty.

The jury found that the accused strangled his wife to death in September 2007, then took their three-year-old daughter to Australia.

The girl was later found crying at a train station in the Melbourne after her father abandoned her and fled to the United States.

National Karate Coach Killed

Iraq -- The coach of Iraq's national karate team was shot and killed by gunmen in Mosul on Friday, according to nytimes.com. Police and sports officials said 45-year-old Izzat Abdullah was shot to death near his house in Mosul, in northern Iraq.

Iraqi sports figures have frequently been kidnapped and killed, many of them during the height of sectarian slayings in 2006.

Insurgents reportedly remain active in Mosul, although the attacks have been less frequent over the past couple of years.

Finding Acceptance at Dojo

Oregon -- All Cory Harrington wanted was a place that would accept her little girl as she is. Her daughter, 6-year-old Lora has Down syndrome and athletic groups in the Salem-Keizer area didn't return the mother's inquiries when she tried to enroll her daughter.

Then she found Keegan Ireland and his American Taekwondo Association school. He now offers a class for three 6-year-old girls with Down syndrome, one of them Lora.

Since Lora took up kicking and punching a year ago, her balance and strength have improved vastly. Mrs Harrington added the training help combat another issue: weight. People with Down syndrome tend to gain weight.

What's more, with a little encouragement from Harrington, Ireland has gone from being welcoming to actively seeking students with Down syndrome, according to statesmanjournal.com.

Friday, June 19, 2009

'All Hell' Broke Loose

UK -- "All hell broke loose." These were the words used by eyewitnesses to describe what happened when a fight was cancelled at a a martial arts/MMA event in Rotherham.

It was shortly after 11:15 p.m. when the announcement was made that a competitor had suffered a cut eyebrow and the fight was cancelled. In the ensuing riot spectators had to run for cover as a barrage of missiles including a full-size pool table rained down on them.

One witness said the venue got trashed beyond belief, according to thestar.co.uk.

Brilliant - lots of alcohol and ignorant "fans" ... just what the sport needs.

A Judo Molester

California -- Jurors in a Sutter County Superior Court trial were told how a judo instructor, charged with molesting two youths, had ninety-three photographs of naked boys on his laptop computer.

A witness said the 44-ear-old Yuba City resident "had a lot of kids around the house — mostly boys," according to appeal-democrat.com.

The defendant, who's work in judo included a camp in foothills, is facing four felony molestation charges involving boys who were under the age of 14 and involving his alleged acts between 2002 and 2004.

Update, June 19:

Appeal-democrat.com reports that the Yuba City judo instructor was convicted this morning in the sexual abuse of a preteen boy.

A jury found man guilty of four counts of child molestation. Each count carries a maximum five-year prison sentence. Sentencing is set for August 7.

Update, May 16 (2011):

It is being reported that the convicted Yuba City judo instructor had his 14-year prison sentence affirmed by an appellate court.

The appeal argued that a second boy should not have been allowed to testify at the trial, and that jurors did not agree unanimously on which specific act was behind each of four molestation charges. The appellate court rejected the arguments.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

MMA Fighter Defying Odds

Michigan -- "Don't do it." Those words were the stern advice given by his doctor to Dean Walsh when he said that he wanted to become a cage fighter.

It's easy to understand the physician - after all the Monroe man has suffered from cystic fibrosis since birth. The serious, life-shortening genetic disease results in coughing and shortness of breath.

However, 21-year-old Dean says fighting for the last six months has actually helped strengthen his lungs. He's already had seven MMA fights.

Walsh said he was inspired to fight by his pastor and by his brother, Dan Walsh, who died of a drug overdose in January, monroenews.com reported.

Karate and Disabled Children

Illinois -- Karate is more than kicking, reports abclocal.go.com. It improves the mind and bodies of children, and that is especially important for kids with disabilities.

Karate and other martial arts teach children with disabilities how to focus, concentrate and set goals, while at the same time, to be cool and strong.

A karate school in Glenview, Chicago teaches children and teens with and without disabilities. "When we get these kids in the gym and they all put their karate suits on, they're not that different," said the sixth degree black belt and founder of the school.

He has been working with children and teens with disabilities for more than 25 years.

Care-Less Karate Chop

UK -- The Mirror.co.uk reported about a care worker who allegedly "karate-chopped" a mentally-ill patient. It was reported the patient was hit because he would not sit still.

The 45-year-old female care worker has been found guilty of assaulting the 59-year-old patient at the nursing home in Lutterworth, Leics.

The woman said the man had touched her bottom when she tried to calm him. But the court heard colleagues were stunned when she retaliated by slapping him hard between the shoulder blades.

Hyperactivity and Martial Arts

Florida -- When 34-year-old Chad Houvouras was a child, he struggled with hyperactivity, according to seminolechronicle.com.

However, what another might be using as an excuse in life, this elementary school special education teacher turned into a passion to help others.

The Apopka dad started studying Kung Fu in Gainesville. "I have dealt with hyperactivity my entire life, and I found martial arts were a great outlet for my energy," he said. "It helped me to focus and stay calm. Now I study Kung Fu, Yoga and Tai Chi."

Houvouras is also a certified behavioral analyst and provides home therapy to children and their families.

Yoga Fraud?

Illinois -- You may sign up for a yoga class and then find yourself trapped in a cult. 24 people claim that's what happened to them. These people are now suing Dahn Yoga, according to cbs2chicago.com.

The nationwide group reportedly makes millions and is said to have 12 centers in the Chicago area that often target college students.

Former members are claiming that Dahn Yoga is a cult and a con. "I think that Dahn Yoga is an extremely deceptive and very dangerous cult," one former member said.

Judo, Doping

Luxembourg -- It's being reported that the anti-doping agency and the Department of Sports in Luxembourg have announced that a judo competitor who represented the country in an international tournament in Belgium in April, has had a urine sample test returned "abnormal", according to station.lu.


Oregon -- A fellow called 'Nature Boy' from Portland, allegedly a longtime practitioner of karate and tai chi, has apparently come across the idea to develop a specific self defense technique for people who ride bikes, using the bicycle itself as a tool for fending off attack.

He has been working on creating particular techniques using bicycles for several months, according to bikeportland.org. Recently a group of 16 bike riders were introduced to the 'wheelie' new art of bikendo.

Cool idea. I do wonder if it shouldn't be called bikempo though - rather than bikendo :-) You'll be the judge of that.

Cleaver? Not Clever

Australia -- On April 9, an Ipswich man reportedly terrified Sunshine Coast pub patrons when he began waving a meat cleaver around while performing karate moves, a court was told.

The unemployed 33-year-old had been drinking extra-strength bourbon and coke for some time prior to the incident, according to qt.com.au.

For no apparent reason, he began yelling at pub patrons, accusing one man of being a terrorist and doing his martial arts moves.

When police arrived, the man told them he needed to carry the meat cleaver with him because he was a pizza chef back in Ipswich.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Controversial Shaolin Abbot

He is probably the most controversial monk in China. And now -- amid a public debate -- Shi Yongxin has been named "the representative inheritor of the Shaolin martial arts," according to xinhuanet.com.

The announcement has encountered quite a bit of Internet criticism. The complaints have been ranging from the business-savvy abbot's disqualification in exercising kung fu to the authoritativeness of the selection process.

An official with the cultural bureau of the central Henan Province (home of the Shaolin Temple), claimed the decision had been approved by China's State Council.

Indecent Liberties

North Carolina --Starnewsonline.com reported about three children being the alleged victims of a 61-year-old Wilmington karate instructor. The suspect is facing three charges of indecent liberties with a child, according to arrest warrants.

The incidents reportedly occurred on April 13 and June 8 and 9, according to court documents. The suspect is said to be a sixth-degree black belt with more than 30 years of martial arts experience and owner of an after school program.

Karate for Protection

India -- Chennai sex workers are learning karate as self-defense to protect themselves from violent customers, according to medindia.net.

Deprived of legal protection -- prostitution is illegal in India -- they often have to put up with violence and harassment at the hands of their customers.

By equipping themselves with karate skills, the female sex trade workers feel can protect themselves from being assaulted by violent pimps and customers.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Kicking the Limitations

If this great article doesn't speak to your emotions, then you and I probably wouldn't have too much to talk about.

It's about 29-year-old Jesse Richardson from Dayton Ohio — who has spent a lifetime kicking right through the limitations that come with Down syndrome. It describes the way he finally earned his black belt in taekwondo.

Just a few nights earlier, in front of another crowd, he had slowly read through his report on what the art meant to him. It had taken Jesse half an hour to get through the 250 words, but his sincerity and determined effort had brought many to tears.

I've said it before, and I'll repeat it - this, to me, is a big part of what the martial arts is all about. It is a way to help people achieve something valuable to themselves as well as the people around them; and consequently, to the society at large.