Something for the “size is irrelevant in martial arts” crowd to chew on:
apparently (he) was under the influence of steroids and other drugs, and it took four police officers, two stun gun blasts and four sets of handcuffs to restrain him.
Steroids and “other drugs” indeed.
Read more here
We at FSRI extend best wishes, hopes and sympathy for all people affected by the earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan, and those affected by the tsunami in Hawaii and the US West Coast. As relief efforts get underway we will post links to aid organizations.
The New York Daily News brings us the account of the guy who took out a knife wielding sociopath in NYC.
First off, my hat is off to Joseph Lozito for having the awareness to notice an unstable individual and act before others were hurt, and for having will power to face him down. Training or none, he did what martial artists talk about doing but often lose sight of when discussing how they think it ought to be done.
Some take away points:
- ‘Thanks to his many hours of watching mixed martial arts on television, Lozito says he “took him down” with a single leg sweep.”I wouldn’t win any style points for taking him down, but it did the job,” he said.’ (emphasis mine)
- “Gelman reached under his jacket, pulled out an 8-inch Wusthof chef’s knife and began slashing. “I was trying to get control of his wrist. I didn’t really feel anything...” (emphasis mine)
- “He was rushed to Bellevue Hospital, where doctors closed a 4-inch gash on the back of his head, an 8-inch wound behind his right ear, two 3-inch slashes on his left arm, a cut under his eye and two deep cuts to his thumb.’
The fact that he decided on what to do based on watching MMA on tv is fascinating. The fact that he is 6-foot-2, 270 and responded proactively definitely worked to his advantage. While I do not think that this situation is telling us that watching MMA on TV is a good substitute for actual training, it is highly useful for us to consider whether or not training is more important than the will to act as a threat is perceived.
This article details a trend of serious, unrecognized injuries and a surprising number of deaths in Japanese youth Judo programs. I found this story to be of particular interest, since Judo is often advertised as a very safe martial arts activity for kids.
The take-home message:
”First of all, many judo instructors at Japanese schools are too ignorant about what to do when a serious incident occurs…”
The activity itself isn’t necessarily unsafe, but the environment and attitude in which it is trained can be. We’ve beaten this particular dead horse for a while, but it bears repeating. Instructors have a responsibility to know:
- their students’ limitations and health considerations
- the risks inherent in their activity
- what constitutes a serious injury
- how to avoid serious injuries
- what to do in the event of a serious injury
- what not to do in the event of a serious injury
The quote at the end of the article brings to mind the mindless culture of obedience, subservience and physical abuse that was encouraged/required in early Japanese University karate clubs (and still is, in some cases):
Mr Murakawa said: ”Children, afraid of getting beaten up, must obey the coach and cannot ask for a rest for no matter what.”
This attitude has absolutely no place in any training hall of any art anywhere. It’s not worth emulating, it’s not honorable, and it is not “traditional.” The sooner it’s discarded, the better. Getting tougher and finding out what you can take is valuable and worth pursuing; sacrificing your safety and health for macho posturing is not.
“If they come through that door, it’s open season…”
In 2009 a disturbing video and the story behind it made waves around the internet: a man displaying signs of mental illness enters a karate dojo and the dojo’s members assault him and then hide the evidence as the sensei offers encouragement. Unlike most topics that tend to dominate karate chat forums and blogs, this particular story reached people worldwide within and outside of the martial arts community, and set into motion several efforts to bring an abusive “karate sensei” to justice. This is the tale of Bobby Joe Blythe and what happened in 1984 at his Dumfries, VA dojo, and it’s appalling on a number of levels.
The disturbing details came to light when Blythe himself posted some videos from his old dojo on YouTube. YouTube is full of people in martial arts uniforms spouting nonsense and engaging in general idiocy; Blythe’s videos are of a different breed. In one of these clips he gives his dan grades a talk about the right of black belts to abuse whomever they please in the dojo. This diatribe serves as a foreword to the unprovoked assault upon a confused individual which follows in a later video:
“Show your power and enjoy yourself … don’t beg for a thing … demand it or take it … we can do anything we want in this [expletive] dojo. If they come through that door, its open season … it’s my school … I do what I want in my place of business…”