Lori had seen my martial arts pose photo in a previous issue (at right, in this
issue) and wrote with some questions. First, she wanted to know what style I
study and what belt I hold.|
I don't "study" martial arts anymore. That is, I don't go to a dojo or studio to train. I have trained in many schools and have operated my own. I've studied various martial arts. Many years ago, a friend who moved to the USA from Korea opened a genuine, very traditional Tae Kwon Do school (different from the highly commercialized ones) and featured me as a black belt instructor. And here locally, I've visited a great Kung Fu school as a Master (their unsolicited designation after some interchange with me).
The art I associate with is Kung Fu. But Kung Fu doesn't traditionally have belts, so a belt designation is a bit tricky. I hold a fourth degree black belt, and getting it basically means I had to outfight several fourth degree black belts in several other styles.
The style that I settled on is much closer to MMA than it is to a traditional Karate or Kung Fu style. It's a fighting style. So the high kick you see in the photo isn't part of that style. That kick just looks cool, especially when the guy doing it is in his 50s. I also have a photo from 30 years ago in which I am kicking straight over my head; something that's totally useless in a fight.
My hands are very important to me, so I use them as striking weapons only has a last resort or if there isn't time to do anything else. So I am much more likely to pick up an object and use it as a weapon than to fight empty-handed. This "weaponizing of anything nearby" was a minor feature of what other Masters taught me, and I have since worked that on my own to make it an integral part of how I respond to a threat. Jackie Chan illustrates this quite well in his various movies. It's a basic principle in many Kung Fu styles. Why risk hurting your hand, when you can bean someone with a garbage can lid?
Anyhow, Lori wrote back with what I presume was her real question. She is thinking of taking Tae Kwon Do for self-defense, but the classes are very expensive when you figure in the exam fees, belts, and other costs. She wanted to know if this was worth it.
Basically, no. First of all, you won't learn self-defense. Oh, you might become brainwashed into thinking you can fight your way out of a wet paper bag but you won't learn self-defense. You will become more graceful and physically agile, but using those techniques will make you more likely, not less, to really get your a-- kicked. I personally drove this point home to a much larger opponent who thought his Tae Kwon Do made him an invincible bully. He just happened to pick on the wrong guy. It was a hard lesson for him, but maybe it made him a better person.
Self-defense can be taught separately from full-blown martial arts training. Many years ago, I had two stepdaughters. I taught them very effective self defense. We drilled on only a few powerful techniques so that those techniques became second nature. The girls could react and execute flawlessly.
The younger girl was, in second grade, accosted by a fifth grade boy who wanted to rob her of her lunch money. It's worth noting that this kid was a real discipline problem. He had flunked twice and should have been in seventh grade already. So he had size going for him and constantly bullied other kids. Why the school didn't stop this behavior, I don't know. But my stepdaughter did put a stop to it.
When he tried to take her lunch money, she refused to give it to him. So he pulled her hair and then he hit her. Bad mistake. She used one of the few techniques that I taught her and broke his collar bone. That ended the fight. When my (then) wife was in discussions with the boy's parents who threatened to sue, she asked them why on earth they'd want to advertise the fact their 5th grade boy got his a** kicked by a second grade girl half his size.
In middle school, the older girl was attacked by a gang of girls while walking home from school (she was new to the school). They taunted her and spit in her hair as she walked home from school. They shoved her and hit her, but we had taught her not to fight unless she felt her life was in danger. So she took the abuse.
She was quite upset when she got home. In addition to the spit in her hair, she had red marks (pre-bruises) on her face and all over her back. Her mother took her right up to the school to show the principal and have something done about the assault.
The idiot principal said he couldn't control what happened off school property and would not call the parents of the other girls. Amazingly, my (then) wife got his written statement to that effect. Once she had this, she told the principal he'd be doing those other girls a favor if he called their parents and told them their kids should not physically assault her daughter ever again.
Apparently, he never made those calls. Because the next night, the girls attempted a repeat performance. But this time, my stepdaughter had been authorized by her mother to fight back if any one of those girls laid a hand on her again. She did. Consequently, several of those girls required serious medical attention. When the parents complained to the idiot principal, he called my (then) wife for a meeting, at which he made some noise about expulsion. She produced that written statement and pointed out that he'd had his chance to prevent this.
If you have kids, don't count on the authorities to protect them. Teach them how to protect themselves. And do the same for you.
The nature of real self-defense sometimes means you are going to answer your attacker with bone-breaking force. Fooling around with pretty moves just exposes you to injury. They started it, so let them get the injuries.
If you want to learn how to defend yourself, find an instructor who will teach you a few moves that you can execute flawlessly. Maybe a local cop. But not a commercial martial arts studio. If you ask around, you may find a Kung Fu master who will be willing to teach you.
You should also consider getting a Right To Carry permit. But understand that a firearm is a tool. Just carrying it around won't make you safe. As with those techniques, you will need to drill with it until everything is second nature. When you are able to pull it out of the holster and successfully fire at a target (hitting it) in one smooth motion, then you can consider yourself well-protected.
Note, however, being able to display it with the confidence you are capable of using it is normally all that's required. Case after actual case demonstrates this fact. An armed citizen rarely needs to actually fire the weapon. Even the most dimwitted of criminals understands what the business end of a pistol means. They usually interpret the message as either, "Sit down and shut up" or "Run!" Either way means you're no longer threatened.
You can access back issues of The Armed Citizen, if you don't already receive this excellent publication. It's a compendium of armed self defense incidents as reported by newspapers across the USA. When the "don't hurt the violent criminals, please!" sources of "news" report on actual cases of citizens defending themselves against violent criminals you know the stories are totally unbiased. The reporting is done grudgingly, rather than to support the "political view" that citizens should be protected from violent criminals rather than the other way around.
Lori, congratulations on your decision to not only equip yourself to not be a victim, but to stop some screwball from moving on to another victim after attacking you. By protecting yourself, you protect others.
Susan wrote to ask me what exactly I eat on my low fat or no fat diet. She said
she had been following Susan Powter and was missing something.
Well, to both Susans, I don't do low fat or no fat diets. In fact, I don't worry about fat at all. Two of my favorite fatty foods are olive oil and coconut oil.
You might notice that, even past the age of 50, I manage to be lean and cut. All that fat that I eat has not given me a pot belly.
Oh, wait, it's my genes. Ya got me there. Except, they don't work in my favor. Without going into too much detail, I'll just tell you that my genetics work against me in the battle of the bulge. I'm lean because I choose to be and make decisions that support that choice.
One of those decisions is to consume so much olive oil that I go through a liter of it every month or so. This isn't the only oil I use, but it is my favorite.
Here are some things you need to know about olive oil.
First of all, the labels often lie. Olive oil distributors and illegal drug dealers tend to cut their products, unfortunately. So you read Extra Virgin Olive Oil on the label. Big deal. They all say that, and you might actually have some in that bottle. Or not.
To solve this problem, you can either ask a genuine Italian chef or cook for a recommendation or you can buy various brands and stick with the one that tastes best and performs best for you. More about this, in a bit.
Also note that the various designations of virgin, extra virgin, etc., really don't tell you about the quality of the oil. They sort of do. The International Oil Council has definitions for these grades. Extra virgin olive oil comes only from olives and is cold-processed without chemicals.
So, yes, you want an extra virgin (or higher) designation. In addition to the
taste factor, there are the health benefits. Those are erased when the oil
undergoes certain processing and is thus not extra virgin.|
It may not be extra virgin if the label says it is, but it surely is not extra virgin if the label does not say it is. And the cheapest bottle on the shelf probably is not extra virgin, though a high price tag doesn't mean it is either.
If you see any qualifier on the label such as "pure extra virgin" it's not extra virgin. Light, pomace, and diet are all qualifiers that seem to indicate it's a better, healthier oil but the opposite is true.
Should you buy only imported oil? Now, being half-Italian I am a life-long brainwashee in terms of what country the oil must come from. Obviously, that would be Italy. My more logical counterparts with a different heritage can readily see that California olive oils are every bit as good, if not better. I'm just immune to that fact and cannot accept it for purely ethnic reasons.
That said, the labels lie about the origin also. It's like the "bottled spring water" that actually comes out of the tap. We do know for sure with certain brands that they really do come from Italy. Again, a chef would know (an Italian or Greek one, anyhow). So would the owner of an ethnic store; if you go to a small Italian or Greek food store you can just ask. And just because it comes from Italy doesn't mean the olives it was made from were grown there. Italy is the world's largest importer of olive oil. One reason is Italian companies repackage it and export it back out with an Italian label. The spring water thing again.
One advantage of olive oil that's made in the USA is you might live close to an olive oil mill. I grew up in northern Illinois, just south of the Wisconsin border; I have an analogous experience with dairy products. It really does make a difference.
The olive is a fruit, and olive oil is perishable. It starts degrading right after it's milled. This is a slow process, but the older the oil the more this process has progressed. So don't buy something that's been on the shelf a long time. What's a long time? I wouldn't buy a bottle that's more than two years old. If you buy olive oil and expect not to use it up quickly, then allow for less age at time of purchase.
Robust or mild
Just as grapes are made into wines of different types, so are olives made into oils of different types. If you really like the taste of olive oil and don't care if it can be a bit overwhelming (to some pallets) in some dishes, get a darker, full-bodied oil. I use a robust flavor in my salad dressing and for cooking omelets, and I use it wherever olive oil might fit.
But if I had occasion to prepare grass-fed chicken for a group, I would go out and buy a lighter oil to go with the white meat.
Oil's well that ends well
What you should do is experiment and see what works for you. But don't be afraid of the fat. As you can see from my photos, it's really not a problem. In fact, not getting enough (of the right kind of) fat is a problem. A serious one, really.
Contrary to what Ms. Powter says, fat does not make you fat. Fat is an essential macronutrient. The low-fat craze is actually contributing to the stupidity epidemic because the brain needs dietary fat to stay healthy.
www.supplecity.com, you'll find plenty of informative, authoritative
articles on maintaining a lean, strong physique. It has nothing to
do with long workouts or impossible to maintain diets. In fact:|
|If you're thirsty and the feeling goes away, you need to drink water as soon as you can get some. When a human body is dehydrated, its thirst mechanism shuts off.|
He's a destructive psychopath with way too much power, but Obama is only human. His reign of destruction will, some day, end. Maybe even before this decade is out. So take that happy thought with you into the day.
Please forward this eNL to others.
Except where noted, this e-newsletter is entirely the work of Mark Lamendola. Anything presented as fact can be independently verified. Often, sources are given; but where not given, they are readily available to anyone who makes the effort.
Mark provides information from either research or his own areas of established expertise. Sometimes, what appears to be a personal opinion is the only possibility when applying sound logic--reason it out before judging! (That said, some personal opinions do appear on occasion).
The purpose of this publication is to inform and empower its readers (and save you money!).
Personal note from Mark: I value each and every one of you, and I hope that shows in the diligent effort I put into writing this e-newsletter. Thank you for being a faithful reader. Please pass this newsletter along to others.