Would You Choke a Deaf Shoplifter?

Home video showing security guards from a Hollywood store in a scuffle with two men who appear to be deaf has become the talk of the Internet. Police said one of the men apprehended by the security guards, Alejandro Rea, was charged with robbery.

Joshua Fountain shot this video of the physical altercation outside of the Forever 21 clothing store at Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue.

Two security guards are seen in the video, with one of them on the ground holding one of the Rea brothers in a choke hold. Meanwhile, the other brother is circling frantically trying to help. The two men are making sounds and gesturing but they aren’t speaking. [continued at KABC]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1fRv–C_vao

If you were a plainclothes security guard, and someone walked out of your store with stolen merchandise, what would you have done? Continue reading Would You Choke a Deaf Shoplifter?

Is This the Right Time to Hit a Woman?

Last Monday, police officer Ian Walsh observed a group of women jaywalking near MLK Way in central Seattle. He directed the women to his squad car, presumably to warn or cite them for breaking the law. They refused to cooperate.

One of the women, Marilyn Ellen Levias, decided to walk away instead. As Officer Walsh grabbed her, and the pair struggled, a crowd gathered to watch. Levias’ companion, Angel Rosenthal, shoved Walsh so that Levias could escape.

Officer Walsh responded by punching Miss Rosenthal in the face. Continue reading Is This the Right Time to Hit a Woman?

Google’s False Confessions

Inside the company’s daring plan to control the news

The greatest trick that Google Corporation ever pulled, was to convince the world it didn’t exist. Although its shareholders know it as a profitable advertising brokerage, the majority of Internet users believe it to be nothing more than a benevolent purveyor of web search, email, and other free online services.

Google is a fierce and formidable competitor. Its network of websites is the Internet’s single most popular destination; it processes more search queries than all its competitors combined, including stalwarts Microsoft and Yahoo; its annual revenues and profits are measured in billions. Through all its successful expansions, Google has worked to maintain an image of simplicity and altruism.

Google’s bungled launch of their Buzz platform illustrated the pervasiveness, and the deceptive nature of this public image. Continue reading Google’s False Confessions

On McDojos and Mob Justice

Sean Treanor’s article on the Bullshido phenomenon raises some important questions…

Martial arts practice in America is entirely unregulated. There is no central body that issues standards, no set of accepted practices, no communication between different styles. State and local governments have nothing to say about who is and isn’t a martial artist. After all, consumers are free to make their own decisions.

Unfortunately, it can be very hard to tell the difference between fantasy and reality when studying an ancient, esoteric and exotic discipline. Not many people have any idea what martial arts training should consist of. There is almost no agreement within the martial arts establishment over what is effective training and what is not.

Investigation is expensive and the market is too small to attract much media attention, aside from cinematic mythmaking. The mainstream martial arts magazines have never made investigative journalism part of their repertoire. George Dillman, the mental KO king was Black Belt Magazine’s instructor of the year in 1997. There is simply no money in exposing these martial arts entrepreneurs. Some people, however, are willing to do it for free.

Continue reading On McDojos and Mob Justice

Xingyi And The Myth of The Defensive Martial Art

Around a decade ago, I attended a seminar with a famous Shanxi Xingyiquan master. Aggressive and direct, Xingyi is one of the few boxing arts known to have been used in preparation for organized warfare. Its emphasis on straightforward practicality was combined with enough subtlety to earn a reputation as one of the original Chinese “internal” martial arts.

After the seminar was over, I bought a T-shirt to commemorate the occasion. According to the text on the back of my new shirt, I was now an unofficial member of “The International Association of Defensive Martial Arts”.

Nevermind that we had spent the last 6 hours eviscerating each other with spears, sabers and bayonets, metaphorically speaking. Nevermind that, according to the principles of Xingyi and all other respectable combat arts, the use of purely defensive techniques is forbidden. Despite all this, in public, we were expected to present ourselves as practitioners of self-defense. Not offense. Continue reading Xingyi And The Myth of The Defensive Martial Art

One Punch, One Kill, Two Lives Destroyed

Ikken Hissatsu, the popular Japanese Karate maxim, is usually translated as “one punch, one kill”. And although you won’t see it in the sporting ring, it does happen in real life. As reported in the Seattle Times,

The July 9 confrontation began while James Paroline was watering plants in the traffic circle, where he set cones on the street to protect his watering hose. Instead of driving around the cones, a group of girls got out of a car and two of them yelled at Paroline.

One of the girls summoned Brian Keith Brown, who was driven to the scene. He hit Paroline once and walked away…

Hans Aschenbach, a friend of Paroline’s for 20 years, said the [cellphone video evidence] proved Brown deserved a long sentence. “The video is shocking and was really an execution with a fist.”

Now, I’m not going to ask whether, with all your Karate training, you could have stopped someone like Brian Brown. That is too easy. Continue reading One Punch, One Kill, Two Lives Destroyed

My Art is Sustainable, Ethical and Green

Bamboo electric car
Bamboo electric car
Environmentally friendly, or death trap?

Looking at ridiculous news reports of bamboo laptop computers and recycled toilet paper, it would be easy to conclude that the so-called “green revolution” has gone too far.

I think it hasn’t gone far enough. While many embrace the concept on a shallow and symbolic level, fewer people are asking themselves difficult questions about sustainability. Continue reading My Art is Sustainable, Ethical and Green

I Challenge Kimbo Slice to a Fair Fight

Chris Brown
Chris Brown

Chris Brown must wish he was R. Kelly right now.

After reportedly beating up his celebrity girlfriend, Rihanna, R&B singer Brown has become the newest target of the Internet Vengeance League. Everybody wants in on the action, including LA Boxing president Anthony Geisler.

Geisler recently contacted Chris Brown’s manager, inviting him to step into the boxing ring for a few rounds, and copied the invitation to a Facebook group (“I Want to Fight Chris Brown”). Personally, I find this obscene. Continue reading I Challenge Kimbo Slice to a Fair Fight

The Unwritten Rules of Mixed Martial Arts

Last week, we considered the evolution of mixed martial arts, specifically:

How do we define the ecosystem of mixed martial arts? Where are its boundaries?

The most obvious boundaries of MMA are its official competition rules. Techniques carrying the highest risk of injury are typically banned:

  • Headbutting
  • Eye gouging
  • Hair pulling
  • Biting
  • Fish-hooking
  • Attacking the groin
  • Striking the back of the head, or spine
  • Striking the trachea

Significant as they are, these explicit rules do not fully capture the difference between a sporting event and a “martial art” (when conventionally defined as an art of life and death, killing and self-preservation). The majority of rules governing MMA fights are implicit. Continue reading The Unwritten Rules of Mixed Martial Arts

Would You Train With a Superhero?

From The Legend of Master Legend:

Master Legend and The Ace
Ace and Master Legend

Master Legend races out the door of his secret hide-out, fires up the Battle Truck and summons his trusty sidekick. “Come on, Ace!” he yells. “Time to head into the shadows!”

The Ace appears wearing his flame-accented mask and leather vest; Master Legend is costumed in his signature silver and black regalia. “This is puncture-resistant rubber,” Master Legend says proudly, pointing at his homemade breastplate. His arms are covered with soccer shinguards that have been painted silver to match his mask. “It won’t stop a bullet,” he says, “but it will deflect knives.”

“Not that any villain’s knives have ever gotten that close!” the Ace chimes in.

Nyx, protector of Kansas City
Profile: Nyx
“I am Nyx–formerly Hellcat, Felinity, and Sphynx (I had a penchant for name-changes). Like the night, I cannot be proven or disproven…”

When Master Legend bursts into a sprint, as he often does, his long, unruly hair flows behind him. His mane is also in motion when he’s behind the wheel of the Battle Truck, a 1986 Nissan pickup with a missing rear window and “ML” spray-painted on the hood. He and the Ace head off to patrol their neighborhood on the outskirts of Orlando, scanning the street for evildoers. “I don’t go looking for trouble,” Master Legend shouts above the engine. “But if you want some, you’ll get it!”
Continue reading Would You Train With a Superhero?