Black Belt, Black Eye

We have a saying the martial arts: You have more to fear in class from a junior belt than you ever will from a black belt. I first heard this as a white belt in HKD & I have never forgotten how true it is.

Well, apparently, I needed a huge dose of reality in the form of a clumsy, 250 lb, police officer yellow belt. Moreover, someone decided my smile (33 years, ZERO cavities!) was a bit too pretty.

This yellow belt was being way too intense the whole night (all 15 minutes of it, anyway) & I know I should have called him on it. He nearly injured a couple others & torqued on my wrist quite a bit. I figured no harm since it's flexible after four years of this treatment. Needless to say, I paid the price for my complacency: Black belts are expected to lead, not just observe & think to themselves.

Anyway, this lumbering junior belt did a breakaway from a single wrist grab that involves "pushing" your elbow into the solar plexus & driving it straight upwards into the person's chin...BUT, that's not where he got me. He didn't even drive into my solar plexus. No hit, no problem.

The problem started when he was coming down. I actually stepped back for this part knowing there's a risk you can get popped in the face when the elbow drops. Well, Skippy apparently decided to over-compensate for my compensation & drove his elbow into the bottom edge of my eye socket. This particular motion drove my head downwards (no, really!) & slammed my mostly closed jaw shut. The resulting crack made me think I lost 1/2 my teeth in that shot!

I dropped to the ground in the interest of: 1) getting away from this guy; and 2) to appraise the extent of my injuries. No blood, eye still seeing 20/20, so far so good. That's when I felt a chunk of tooth in my mouth.

Now, for anyone who's never chipped a tooth by way of having a 250lb guy driving an elbow into your skull, let me tell you that chunk gives you a baaad feeling. Add to that I have basically perfect teeth & you'll understand why I was nervous.

I went to the restroom & got the piece of tooth out. Fortunately, not that big. It was a small, angled chip off my lower incisor (#25, I think). I went home & used some fluoride mouthwash on it & went to the dentist this morning. Apparently, it's fixable with "no problems" according to the dentist (BTW, Gentle Dental rules! They are so great!)

As for the rest, the elbow impact (just below my left eye) was iced immediately & that kept the swelling to a minimum. I've still got a bit of a shiner & it's tender but I was very lucky.

The lesson learned? First, I will ALWAYS use my mouthguard - even during warm-ups. The other guys call me paranoid but that's too close a call to look like a hockey player permanently. Second, if there's a student acting a bit too rough for his/her level I will tell the person about it & slow them down. Addendum: Unless it's a very attractive "she" & then we'll see where it goes. heh heh

Seriously, take a cue from Roses & learn from another person's mistake: If it's not looking quite right or seems out of place - it probably is. Do something about it when you see it, not when it's too late.



That's the only way to describe this brilliant little clip from Family Guy:



Columbia University, despite various protests, will not cancel a speech by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the university's "World Leaders Program".

And why would they? For a school that has no love for the military - they kicked the ROTC out - and apparently the rights these service members provide these collegiate chickens we shouldn't be surprised that they want a declared enemy of the USA to speak. In this case, it's fair to assume Columbia is rallying for him to speak because they support his anti-American views.

Well, if you think, like Ahmadinejad, that the holocaust is fake & Israel should be destroyed, then you probably still believe in the Tooth Fairy & think universal heath care is a good idea. In other words: you're really a loony leftist.

If a declared enemy wanted to step on the shores of this great land in the past, he'd receive a 21-gun salute...in the form of 21 Marines popping holes in his brain case! Not only do I think this shameful display by Columbia University is un-American, it's demonstrative of how institutions of higher "learning" have become indoctrination centers for socialist leanings.


Here's a petition in protest of Ahmadinejad speaking at Columbia University. I definitely took the time to sign it. I hope you will, too.


Communism At Its Finest

Hillary Clinton is showing more of her true colors ("puke" is a color, right?) by stating to the AP that she "could envision a day" when applicants would have to show proof of medical insurance as a pre-requisite for a job interview.

Oh, well gee, why don't we get the Klinton/Edwards ticket started right now? If we're all going to have to pay through the nose for health care - those of us with jobs, anyway - we might as well be required to have that insurance so we can prove we're not deadbeats...except for actual deadbeats, who will DEFINITELY have the insurance all us working-class folks provide.

What a load of crap. Seriously, I pay a significant portion of my income just to ensure people who aren't working still aren't working. The last thing I, or any other working Americans, need is tax & spend liberals telling us heath care is mandatory. That's just one more "burden" they're taking off of us, the little people.

Hey, while you're at it, can you take away my choice of route to drive? Ooh, how about my vacation destinations? Can Hillary tell me what to eat? I'm sooo confused on all of this!

Earned My Title

Last week I tested for & passed my 1st Degree test in Hapkido.

Before I get into details, apologies to ChlorineJenny of IDPWWO for not having the air fall video - yet. I will post the clip as soon as I have it.

My techniques went pretty well. I didn't miss any - which is good considering there's 171 of them. I do think my throws could have been better. I'm normally solid with them & while they weren't bad I expected them to be faster.

Being in the circle went well. I didn't get too fancy - that would be bad against three black belts. - & put my focus on keeping them off me. I did have to use a sort of blind fold (it had small holes that allowed no peripheral vision & screwed up depth-of-field) when doing self-defense & I took a light shot to the jaw.

Groundfighting. Ah, how to describe this unbelievable event! I had to spar one of my best friends - a guy known for his natural ability & speed on the ground - & I started off by getting him in a rear mount! Now, many of you, particularly Harvey, may be wondering why this is so great. Well, in groundfighting, there are four basic positions. In ascending order of dominance, they are:

4) Side Control (Attacker on back, chest to chest)
3) Guard (Attacker inside your legs)
2) Mount (Attacker on bottom)
1) Rear Mount (Attacker in front, back to you)

In other words a rear mount is about as good as it's going to get in a groundfight. Yes, there are ways out of it but they're all very tough. I tapped out a 2nd degree with years of experience by using this position.

So, I have Adam in a rear mount & everyone was just amazed at this. I'm pulling him up to seat the choke, I have my hooks into his legs (so he can't turn his body out of the choke) & I start to squeeze my elbows to choke him out...

That's when it happened.

I don't know how many of you ever experienced a cramp in your calf muscle but let me tell you it HURTS! Even more so when your friend is grabbing it to free himself. Adam was digging in & pushing my leg off so he could turn his body. There wasn't much I could do because that cramp was killing me.

Still, I kept in the fight. I tried to force him out with the choke but it was nothing happening. He had turned out of it & dropped his forearm on my unprotected throat. I've been in this position countless times & I've never panicked. I placed my arm on his elbow & started to push while turning my hips. That's when I realized he had wrapped his other arm behind my neck to support the choke.

There wasn't much I could do. As I went to force his hand off the back of my neck, he dropped his weight on me. Discretion being the better part of valor, I tapped when I started seeing stars & blacking out. It was a heartbreaker but there's no shame in losing to a superior opponent.

All I can remember thinking is, "Man, I HAD him"!

The groundfight against Kyle (the 2nd Degree) was good. No submissions & it went to a draw. He was in a better position (mount) at the end but I was doing OK all things considered.

Well, that's the test. It was good, no one got hurt & I was more sore than I've ever been. I'll have that video up as soon as I get it.


Finding God

Baptist Cowboy

A cowboy, who is visiting Wyoming from Texas, walks into a bar and orders three mugs of Bud. He sits in the back of the room, drinking a sip out of each one in turn. When he finishes them, he comes back to the bar and orders three more.

The bartender approaches and tells the cowboy, "You know, a mug goes flat after I draw it. It would taste better if you bought one at a time."

The cowboy replies, "Well, you see, I have two brothers. One is in Arizona, the other is in Colorado. When we all left our home in Texas, we promised that we'd drink this way to remember the days when we drank together. So I'm drinking one beer for each of my brothers and one for myself."

The bartender admits that this is a nice custom, and leaves it there.

The cowboy becomes a regular in the bar, and always drinks the same way. He orders three mugs and drinks them in turn.

One day, he comes in and only orders two mugs. All the regulars take notice and fall silent. When he comes back to the bar for the second round, the bartender says, "I don't want to intrude on your grief, but I wanted to offer my condolences on your loss."

The cowboy looks quite puzzled for a moment, then a light dawns in his eyes and he laughs.

"Oh, no, everybody's just fine," he explains, "It's just that my wife and I joined the Baptist Church and I had to quit drinking."

"Hasn't affected my brothers though."


Or Just Tune Into A Debate

Scientists have developed a LED flashlight that emits a series of bright flashes that may cause the "target" to throw up.

Fortunately, unlike the crappy debates we've been subject to (hello, talking to you, YouTube), I do NOT have access to a video of this one in action! :-)


Prince Charming

I had to work on Labor Day. Yeah, it was about as fun as you can imagine.

At one point I stood up to go to the copier. At the same time one of my co-workers asked, "Who has Charm today?" Charm is the name of a dispatcher at my company.

Not missing a beat I replied, "I've got TONS of it!" :-P


Gotta Protect Government Property

According to this AP story, John Edwards wants to mandate doctor visits ("preventative medicine") under his universal health care plan.

"Brilliant" is only one of the words I can't apply to this hare-brained scheme. Honestly, why don't we bar-code people or add tracking chips under the skin (Hey, Edwards, great idea for phase 2)? Not only are we going to have available health care for people, we're going to force health care on people - whether they like it or not!

So, what's the next step for a program like this? I ask because once a government program is initiated it pretty much becomes like the Russian guy in Highlander: immortal, unstoppable & a force that will hound you for the rest of your years.

It seems Mr. Edwards is becoming increasingly kooky with time. First, it's no more SUVs (which he owns). Second, we have forced universal health care. What's the next step? How about mandatory grooming standards? Surely if we all can't tell when we need to go to the doctor, we can't be trusted how to dress ourselves! This could become the next great Democrat platform.

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