Advocates of compulsory health insurance plans will often ask rhetorically, “What if you got hit by a bus?” Yet we all know that the relatively poor health of America today isn’t the result of some freak accident. It wasn’t the shark attack, the falling piano, or the runaway Prius that has led so many of us to physical (and financial) ruin.
The real cause is inappropriate conduct. It is, primarily, neglect and disregard for the effects of diet, exercise, environmental conditions, and other factors under our imperfect but substantial control.
As a holistic form of exercise, martial arts can arguably be classified as health care. Experienced practitioners also recognize it as a form of health insurance. Daily practice provides a richly detailed baseline against which latent health issues can easily be observed, and hopefully corrected in their earliest stages.
Those are the straightforward facts; now here is the tricky part: we can use martial arts to insure and ensure our health, but how do we insure the practice itself?
I would love to cite Raging Phoenix as the first awesome martial arts film with a female lead. I would love to do that. But its choreographers and writers conspire against me.
Raging Phoenix is the story of a young female rocker (played by Jeeja Yanin) who gets caught up in a ruthless kidnapping ring. Women are abducted off the streets of Thailand, drugged, and taken to a secret laboratory hidden within a Temple of Doom, which is in turn hidden within a metropolitan sewage system. Naturally, the women’s tears are harvested there, to concoct a patent medicine for eccentric billionaires.
Only one force is strong enough to thwart the kidnapper’s plans: a small group of drunken vigilantes who learned to combine Muay Thai boxing with stylish hip-hop dance moves.
Fantastic tales about Ninja clans and other secret fighting societies are depressingly common in the martial arts world. These legends are used for marketing and entertainment purposes; repeated often, but rarely taken seriously.
Benjamin Fulford wants to be taken seriously. Formerly the Asia-Pacific bureau chief at Forbes Magazine, Fulford spent years reporting on the highest and lowest echelons of Japanese society, from politicians to Yakuza gangsters.
In 1982, Chuck Norris was choked out by the famous Gracie Jujitsu family. A decade later, everybody started copying him. We now know this phenomenon as the UFC. (pg. 57)
On the set of “Walker, Texas Ranger,” Chuck Norris once took a live rattlesnake by surprise. Then he set it down on the ground, and grabbed it again. The director fleed the scene in terror. (pg. 2)
Chuck Norris is half Irish, and half leg. (pg. 20)
In the interest of full disclosure: I owe Chuck Norris a favor. It was by introducing his “facts” to the mainstream audience back in 2006, that I first established this blog as a premier source for martial arts humor, news, fact and opinion. As payback, he has kindly allowed me to review his latest book,
For almost twenty years, Qi Magazine featured original articles on kung fu, qigong, and other facets of Chinese culture, many written specifically by and for martial artists. (Qi Magazine is not to be confused with Qi Journal, which seems more targeted to the Goji berry set.)
Qi Magazine ceased production in early 2009, and publisher Michael Tse has since opened the archives.
In the latest episode of America’s Best Dance Crew, each team was asked to incorporate a unique style of martial arts into their routine. The styles chosen were: Capoeira, XMA, Kali, Karate, Muay Thai, Taekwondo, and Shaolin Tiger. You can watch every performance below.
The year was 2002. After a decade of expansion, our nation’s economy was reeling from the devastating effects of the dot-com collapse and 9-11 terror attacks.
No industry was immune to the slowdown. Sales of karate-themed entertainment products—long considered a bellwether for overall financial health—were sharply impacted.
Forged in this bleak crucible: a masterpiece of video game action. Creative Edge Studios, a small but courageous band of developers and artists, released the world’s first digital bikini-based fighting adventure.
Excerpted from Professor Lu Zuyin’s “Scientific Qigong Exploration”, a survey of qigong research experiments conducted in China between 1978 and 1992.
Scientific research in the last ten years has captured many external qi phenomena and qualitatively recognized certain characteristics of external qi. On the whole, research on external qi is still at a qualitative stage. It is not easy to establish quantitative laws and phenomenological theories thereby moving to a quantitative stage.
The difficulty is mainly due to insufficient investigation of external qi and the resulting lack of scientific means to express the level of external qi. With more than a thousand qigong schools and numerous different qigong methods, it is difficult to establish common standards.
In addition, a qigong master’s qi-emission power is closely related to his own physical, mental, emotional state at the time of qi emission. As a result, each external qi emission is at best only roughly the same, and it is not as precisely reproducible as an instrument. Experiments seeking basic laws of external qi are not easy to accomplish because they require tens or even hundreds of strictly repeated experiments.
[As demonstrated by our previous experimental results,] qigong is more advanced than contemporary science, thus it is difficult to fit into the framework of contemporary science. However, like all fields of scholarship, if qigong research does not pass strict scientific examination, it will not survive in contemporary society, let alone be accepted in international academic circles. This is a fundamental contradiction.
Science is what we understand well enough to explain to a computer. Art is everything else we do.
~ Donald Knuth
You’ll never appreciate the true complexity of a mundane, everyday task, until you’ve tried explaining it to a computer.
Contrary to popular perception, computers are not smart. Actually, they are stone dumb. Given a lengthy set of precise instructions, your computer can follow them well enough, most of the time, but when asked to exhibit the tiniest bit of reasoning or creativity, your cutting-edge laptop PC is helpless and hopeless. Ditto for the Mac. Sorry, Linux won’t help either.
Consider the simple act of making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. You can teach the average six year-old child this skill in a few minutes; writing the equivalent instructions for a general-purpose computer could literally take weeks or months of effort.
Knowing all this, I was amazed by the concept and promise of Spike TV’s new show, Deadliest Warrior:
In Los Angeles, CA, we’ve created a high-tech fight club, with scientists, martial arts experts, and lots and lots of weapons. It’s all here to create a virtual battle between two legendary warriors. We’ll test their weapons and fighting techniques on high-tech dummies—stand-ins for human victims. Based on this data, a battle simulation program will stage a true-to-life fight to the death. The winner will be The Deadliest Warrior.
Could it possibly be true? Would the endless debates over the ultimate fighting style finally be put to rest, by indisputable scientific evidence?
Spike TV, the unabashed cable channel dedicated to all things manly, has created a new show in the same vein as the moderately popular “Fight Science” and “Human Weapon” series. Like those other shows, it uses modern scientific equipment to gather data from historical weaponry and techniques. Unlike those shows, however, “Deadliest Warrior” makes no effort to be a cultured or sophisticated study of the martial arts.