Seattle Says Goodbye to Kung-Fu Banana, Semi-Pro Wrestling?

Seattle Semi-Pro Wrestling

Where do you draw the line between real fake wrestling and phony fake wrestling?

Seattle Semi-Pro (SSP) Wrestling performers and their fans await the answer from the Washington State Department of Licensing. The decision will determine whether their oddball institution goes down for the count.

The man who blew the whistle on them: a former SSP grappler-turned-real-archenemy known as The Banana. Continue reading Seattle Says Goodbye to Kung-Fu Banana, Semi-Pro Wrestling?

Seattle’s World of Martial Arts 2008 – Exhibition Notes

World of Martial Arts 2008 - Tai Chi Sword
Yang Taiji Sword

  • The annual World of Martial Arts Exhibition, sponsored by the Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation, has been held for more than 20 years. Last weekend marked my fourth year of attendance.
  • This year’s event was the best of those four. Whether intentionally or by coincidence, the organizers and participants responded positively to my past observations.

Continue reading Seattle’s World of Martial Arts 2008 – Exhibition Notes

Real-Life “Fight Club” Ends in Tragedy

Fight Club

Months before Noel Lopez was found dead in the rubble of a construction site, he challenged co-workers at the Seattle Marriott Waterfront hotel to fight him in the garage where they parked cars as valets. His co-workers chalked up the strange request to Lopez’s increasingly erratic behavior and his fascination with the movie “Fight Club.”

Last weekend, Lopez, 25, was involved in a real fight that ended his life. At least 20 people surrounded Lopez on April 13, after drinking alcohol together, and watched him fight another man in Freeway Park, according to court records released Saturday. Construction workers found his body the next day. The man who police say fought Lopez, a 22-year-old from Federal Way, was ordered held without bail Saturday on investigation of murder.

Police are still looking for a second suspect in the slaying, a 20-year-old man.

The 22-year-old, who had not yet been charged, told police he had been contacted by friends to “straighten out” Lopez because he “was treating people wrong,” according to court documents. The man told police he wrestled Lopez for the title of “King of Freeway Park,” court records said.

But he claimed it was the second man who broke boards over Lopez’s head and body and stomped on his stomach and chest. He said the second man fought Lopez after the three walked together to a nearby construction site.

(Continued in the Seattle Times.)

Word to the wise: assume every gun is loaded, and there is always a second man.

A Letter From a Seattle Tai Chi Exhibitionist

A Seattle Weekly reader asks:


Credit: Rod Filbrandt

Dear Uptight Seattleite,

Please explain the compulsion some Seattleites feel to practice tai chi in public. This week on the Seattle-bound run of the Winslow ferry, I observed a middle-aged man practicing tai chi who looked like he was going to mate with the bulkhead, until he almost fell down. Note that it was a calm day and there were no swells. A regular on the ferry told me the man does this every morning. My dog and I always see this other guy who’s tai chi’d to death all the grass around a tree in a park near my house. I see the same thing at Volunteer Park, Green Lake, and other places around the city: middle-aged white guys sweeping the air in elaborate, self-conscious slow motion. Why do they have to do it in public?

Signed,
Why Chi?

Dear Mr. Chi, Continue reading A Letter From a Seattle Tai Chi Exhibitionist

Martial Development – Fun Facts About The Author

Reader and contributor Rick Matz tagged me to participate in the 7 things pyramid scheme writing project.

The rules:

  • Link to the person who tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
  • Share 7 random or weird things about yourself.
  • Tag 7 random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.
  • Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Here we go… Continue reading Martial Development – Fun Facts About The Author

Energy Medicine Becomes Front-Page News

Last year, I predicted that Qi Gong and energy medicine therapies would become big business over the next decade, possibly eclipsing both Yoga and the UFC combined.  I also predicted an increase in qigong fraud, where inadequately trained therapists operate expensive, ineffectual energy devices on desperate patients.

Sorry to say, I was right. Continue reading Energy Medicine Becomes Front-Page News

Tips for a Successful Martial Arts Demonstration

Last weekend, I attended the third annual World of Martial Arts demonstration in Seattle. The event featured local Karate, Hapkido, Iaido, Tai Chi, and other groups.

Karate demonstration
Karate demonstration

As in previous years, the show had some positive qualities, and a few negative ones. In the spirit of constructive criticism, I would like to offer some suggestions to participants in future demonstrations.

  • Every spectator should have an unobstructed view of the action. Seating your audience in chairs where they cannot actually see the demonstration is obscene. If you are performing in a flat gymnasium or some other ad hoc arena, pay special attention to the seating arrangements.
  • Continue reading Tips for a Successful Martial Arts Demonstration