Tuesday, March 31, 2009

LINKS: The renowned Sandow Plus website

Sandow and the Golden Age of Iron Men
The Online Physical Culture Museum


There are articles and ebooks/pdf's as well as ebooks in html/jpg format on the old-time strongmen and physical culture of that period.

Sometime ago, I surfed across this site when I was looking for information on Farmer Burns. Check out:


for info on Martin 'Farmer' Burns as well as a free pdf download of his "Lessons in Wrestling & Physical Culture", which is the famous Farmer Burns Mail Order Course. Scanned direct from a 1912 set of lessons!

Loads of cool & good information on this site. Enjoy!

READING LISTS: Kelly McCann's Reading List

Want to learn something new? Read an old book. Combative concepts have been around forever. Techniques don't vary much but the concept behind their use, method of application and mindset may. Not to be flippant but frankly I've never cared whether a strike is called a "tiger claw" or "face mash" or who called what when - you don't whip anyone's ass reciting proper terminology. All I care about is effectiveness.

Read as much as possible about combatives. Form your own educated opinions. Combatives are only a loose set of finite techniques applied violently - they're not meant to be difficult to understand or practice, they're designed to be simple, effective and easy to recall under duress. There's not a combatives "system." Combatives comprise a collection of techniques each practicioner chooses from and relies on based on his / her personal attributes and preferences. By the way, just because a technique appears in an old black & white book doesn't mean it is "battle-proven" or provides an assurance of success. Some of the old stuff plain sucks. So don't do what sucks. Combatives - as promulgated by ANY author - are not sacrosanct. Use techniques that are most powerful and effective for you, dump the rest.

When combatives are made difficult, they're no longer combatives.

Know what you're talking about. Bang hard and work out your own "system" or curriculum.

There are some exhaustive reading lists on Combatives websites. Surf around and see what's out there. I tend not to read everything from any one author as a lot of it has been repackaged and repackaged again. Once I think I have a feel for what the author's about I'll pick something else up. I like old books and always keep my eyes open in antique stores, at the odd flea market and dusty joints selling old stuff. I scored "Boxing" (1940) Edwin Haislet - a great boxing reference - an edition of "The Complete Jujitsuan" (1914) W.H. Garrud and a 1943 United States Prison Service defensive tactics reference titled, "Physical Training" at a remote gas station I stopped at when traveling once - you'll be amazed what you'll find around when you start looking.

In no particular order of preference:

John Styers "Cold Steel"

W.E. Fairbairn "Defendu","Get Tough","Scientific Self-Defense"

Joseph Rosa "The Gunfighter - Man or Myth?"

B.J. Cosneck "American Combat Judo"

John Martone "Handbook of Self-Defense - for Law Enforcement Officers"

Rex Applegate "Kill or be Killed"

W.E. Fairbairn & E.A. Sykes "Shooting to Live"

USMC Field Manual (Dermot O'neil) "Combat Conditioning"

US Army 21-150 (circa 1940's) "Combatives"

Wesley Brown "Hand to Hand Combat","Self Defense"

Leon Claire Metz "The Shooters"

Drexel Biddle "Do or Die"

James Hipkiss "Your Answer to Invasion"

Francois D'eliscu "Hand to Hand Combat"

Cut and pasted from: http://www.kellymccanncombatives.com/?itemCategory=34162&siteid=314&priorId=0


From time to time, I will come across various authors'/martial artists' recommended reading lists. I will put them up and of course, with full credit to the author and the book/website/source I cited it from.


Submissions? No, not the fang choke, rear naked choke, double top wrist lock, surfboard, rolling kneebar or heelhook LOL

From time to time, I may be putting up articles that were submitted to me for inclusion to my blog/site... articles that seemed informative and interesting.

As with anything archived to my site or put up to my blog, YMMV (your mileage may vary). I don't expect everything I've found informative or interesting to be the same for you. But if even one article, archived thread, or piece of info I've put up or mentioned has any merit to you, then I've done my service and have added value. The name of the game is value added in my book.

Very truly yours in the MA,


NEWS: Computer Virus 'Time Bomb' Could Go Off April 1, 2009

Cut and pasted from http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,510296,00.html:

Computer Virus 'Time Bomb' Could Go Off April 1

Tuesday , March 24, 2009

The Conficker Internet worm could strike at infected computers around the world on April 1, a security expert warned Monday.

Conficker is a sophisticated piece of malicious computer software, or malware, that installs itself on a Windows PC's hard drive via specially written Web pages. It then conceals itself on a computer.

Graham Cluley of the British security firm Sophos confirmed that Conficker is programmed "to hunt for new instructions on April 1."

However, he added, "This does not mean that anything is going to happen, or that the worm is actually going to do anything. Simply, it is scheduled to hunt a wider range of Web sites for instructions on that date."

One strange thing about Conficker is that no one yet has any idea what it is programmed to do.

In February, Cluley told The Times: "It's as if someone is assembling an army of computers around the world, but hasn't yet decided where to point them."

A worst-case scenario for April 1 would be for all the world's millions of infected computers to receive simultaneous instructions to attack, or to flood the Internet with spam e-mail.

Ed Gibson, Microsoft's chief security adviser for the U.K., was reluctant to make predictions about Conficker's behavior.

"April 1 is a classic date for anything like this to go off," he said. "But I really would hate to say that April 1 is going to be unlike any other day."


A belated selective cut and paste from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/March_27:


1871 - The first international rugby football match, England v. Scotland, is played in Edinburgh at Raeburn Place.

1958 - Nikita Khrushchev becomes Premier of the Soviet Union.

1970 - Concorde makes its first supersonic flight.

1993 - Jiang Zemin is appointed President of the People's Republic of China.

1998 - The Food and Drug Administration approves Viagra for use as a treatment for male impotence, the first pill to be approved for this condition in the United States.


1901 - Carl Barks, American illustrator (d. 2000)

His name may not ring a bell, but his creations probably will... he created Duckburg and its inhabitants including Scrooge McDuck. His stories have influenced the likes of Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. A legend in the history of comics illustration.

1942 - Michael York, English actor


1963 - Quentin Tarantino, American director, writer, and producer

One of my favorite directors.


1972 - M. C. Escher, Dutch artist (b. 1898)

If you have never heard of him, just check out his art... a mind-trip!

2002 - Milton Berle, American actor and comedian (b. 1908)

2002 - Billy Wilder, American director (b. 1906)

A giant amongst directors. Directed so many classics, for me, he directed possibly the best (or 2nd best) film noir of all time, DOUBLE INDEMNITY, starring Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck.


A belated selective cut and pasted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/March_26:


1953 - Jonas Salk announces his polio vaccine.

1982 - A groundbreaking ceremony for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial is held in Washington, D.C..

1979 - Anwar al-Sadat, Menachem Begin and Jimmy Carter sign the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty in Washington, D.C..

1997 - Thirty-nine bodies found in the Heaven's Gate cult suicides.

1999 - The "Melissa worm" infects Microsoft word processing and e-mail systems around the world.

2006 - The military junta ruling Burma officially names Naypyidaw, a new city in Mandalay Division, as the new capital. Yangon had formerly been the nation's capital.


1874 - Robert Frost, American poet (d. 1963)

One of Frost's most famous poems, THE ROAD NOT TAKEN:

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

I first heard of Frost when I was trying to find some lines used in the Charles Bronson movie, TELEFON, which was used to trigger sleeper agents into action. The lines came from this poem: STOPPING BY WOODS ON A SNOWY EVENING, which was Frost's favorite of all his poems.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
but I have promises to keep.
And miles to go before I sleep,
and miles to go before I sleep.

1904 - Joseph Campbell, American author (d. 1987)

Campbell was a mythologist, writer and lecturer best known for his work in comparative mythology and comparative religion. What he basically did was extract the essence of universal symbols in the world's myths and religions. He noted that the world's myths are similar and there are common themes. One of his famous books is THE HERO WITH A THOUSAND FACES. His works have influenced George Lucas when Lucas crafted the STAR WARS saga.

1916 - Sterling Hayden, American actor (d. 1986)

One of the great film noir classics, Stanley Kubrick's THE KILLING, starred Hayden. This movie had some influence on Quentin Tarantion's PULP FICTION. What was great for me about this movie was not just Hayden's solid performance, but also how the movie followed one character's actions through to the caper heist, then picks up on a different character and follows his actions until the heist at the racetrack. Non-linear storytelling.

1931 - Leonard Nimoy, American actor and director

Mr. Nimoy, Live Long and Prosper!

1940 - James Caan, American actor

So many great, classic movies with Caan: GODFATHER, ROLLERBALL, WAY OF THE GUN and more!

1943 - Bob Woodward, American journalist

Probably best known for co-authoring the book, ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN, on Richard Nixon and the Watergate scandal.

1954 - Curtis Sliwa, American founder of the Guardian Angels

I don't have statistics or anything, but I believe Sliwa and the Guardian Angels helped to cut down crime in New York City subways.


1959 - Raymond Chandler, American-born novelist (b. 1888)

Crime writer who is practically synonmous with 'hardboiled' fiction... creator of the quintessential private detective, Philip Marlowe.

STICKGRAPPLING: Martell's Simplified Ju Jitsu (1942)


Author Jules Martell calls this hold simply a 'neck breaker'.

Click for a bigger picture.

Monday, March 30, 2009


A belated selective cut and pasted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/March_25:


1911 - In New York City, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire kills 146 garment workers.

Just yesterday I was watching some of the bonus features of the GANGS OF NEW YORK dvd. It mentioned that percentage-wise (based on population and real estate) that the damage from the fire was more catastrophic than September 11, 2001.

1965 - Civil rights activists led by Martin Luther King, Jr. successfully complete their 4-day 50-mile march from Selma to the capitol in Montgomery, Alabama.

1972 - ABC sitcom Bewitched has its final episode aired.

1979 - The first fully functional space shuttle orbiter, Columbia, is delivered to the John F. Kennedy Space Center to be prepared for its first launch.

1992 - Cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev returns to Earth after a 10-month stay aboard the Mir space station.

1995 - The world's first wiki, a part of the Portland Pattern Repository, is made public by Ward Cunningham.

Nice... the first wiki was based on Apple Macintosh's HYPERCARD. I used to love Hypercard when I had a Mac.


1908 - David Lean, English film director (d. 1991)

Director of film classics such as: LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI, DOCTOR ZHIVAGO and others.

1911 - Jack Ruby, killer of Lee Harvey Oswald (d. 1967)

Will we ever find out what really happened about the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963?

1918 - Howard Cosell, American sports reporter (d. 1995)

A legend. 'Nuf said.

1926 - László Papp, Hungarian boxer (d. 2003)

He won gold medals in the 1948 Summer Olympics in London, the 1952 Summer Olympics, in Helsinki and the 1956 Summer Olympics held in Melbourne, Australia. In his final Olympic competition, he beat José Torres for the gold medal, to become the first boxer in Olympic history to win three successive gold medals.

1943 - Paul Michael Glaser, American actor

The original Starsky of STARSKY AND HUTCH. 1970's!!!!!!!

1955 - Lee Mazzilli, American baseball player


1960 - Idy Chan Yuk-Lin, Hong Kong actress

Asian TV fans should know Idy. She is most famous for her role as Xiaolongnu in the 1983 TVB adaptation of Jinyong's novel, The Return of the Condor Heroes, costarring mega-pop idol Andy Lau.

1960 - Steve Norman, British saxophonist (Spandau Ballet)

Awesome 1980's music with songs such as TRUE and GOLD.

1965 - Sarah Jessica Parker, American actress

1966 - Tom Glavine, American baseball player

Former NY Met and Atlanta Brave... future Hall of Famer with 305 wins to his record.

1976 - Wladimir Klitschko, Ukrainian boxer


1999 - Cal Ripken, Sr., American baseball manager (b. 1936)


A belated selective cut and pasted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/March_24:


1868 - Metropolitan Life Insurance Company is formed.

1900 - New York City Mayor Robert Anderson Van Wyck breaks ground for a new underground "Rapid Transit Railroad" that would link Manhattan and Brooklyn.

1934 - U.S. Congress passes the Tydings-McDuffie Act allowing the Philippines to become a self-governing commonwealth.

1936 - The longest game in NHL history was played between Detroit and Montreal. Detroit scored at 16:30 of the sixth overtime and won the game 1-0.

1944 - World War II: In an event later dramatized in the movie The Great Escape, 76 prisoners begin breaking out of Stalag Luft III.

1958 - Elvis Presley is officially inducted into the U.S.Army.

1989 - Exxon Valdez oil spill: In Prince William Sound in Alaska, the Exxon Valdez spills 240,000 barrels (42,000 m³) of petroleum after running aground.

1999 - Kosovo War: NATO commences air bombardment against Yugoslavia, marking the first time NATO has attacked a sovereign country.


1855 - Andrew Mellon, American financier (d. 1937)

1874 - Harry Houdini, (Weisz Erik), Hungarian-born magician (d. 1926)

1930 - Steve McQueen, American actor (d. 1980)

Coincidentally, Steve McQueen starred in THE GREAT ESCAPE as mentioned above in the Events section on this date. Of course, in a previous post about movie car chases, he starred in BULLITT.

1951 - Tommy Hilfiger, American fashion designer

1960 - Kelly LeBrock, American actress

Probably best known for THE WOMAN IN RED and WEIRD SCIENCE. Wonder if she is still married to Steven Seagal?

1960 - Barry Horowitz, American professional wrestler

Barry Horowitz aka Mr. Technical's official site.

1960 - Nena, German pop singer

99 RED BALLOONS is a staple of 1980's music!

1965 - The Undertaker, American professional wrestler

1970 - Lara Flynn Boyle, American actress

TWIN PEAKS and RED ROCK WEST are 2 of my fave Lara Flynn Boyle's work.


1905 - Jules Verne, French author (b. 1828)

A giant in the Science Fiction genre. Required reading.

1946 - Alexander Alekhine, Russian chess player (b. 1892)

A giant in the history of Chess.

LINKS: Integrated Fighting Arts Academy / Frank Benn

Frank Benn should not be a stranger to anyone who has been to my site or to the grandfather of all martial arts discussion venues, Usenet's newsgroup: rec.marital-arts. Just found out his Integrated Fighting Arts Academy's website is up. Loads of information up on it.

His bio, cut and pasted from his site:

Frank Benn, the founder and chief instructor of IFA Academy, has been teaching martial art for over 20 years. He has an extensive background in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), Western Boxing, Muay Thai, Freestyle Wrestling, Filipino Martial Arts, as well as several traditional arts.

Frank has spent many years analyzing actual self-defense encounters, fights that occur on the street, as well as challenge matches between trained martial artists of various styles around the world. Based on this analysis, he designed a curriculum primarily emphasizing real world functionality, addressing all areas of combat including stand-up striking, clinch and ground fighting, and modern-day hand-to-hand weapons. It is a comprehensive system that teaches students to flow between different combat ranges and leverage the strengths of each most effectively. Training under this system has produced competent and skilled fighters, in competition, and in self-defense encounters.

If you are in the Austin, TX area, check out the IFAA and Frank Benn. Contact info is as follows:

University Towers Business Center
715 W 23rd St. Suite Q
Austin, TX 78705
Phone: 512.663.4242
Web: IFAacademy.com
E-Mail: info@IFAacademy.com

LINKS: Integrated Close Combat Forum (ICCF)

Photo Credit:  ICCF

If you are into combatives, firearms, universal preparedness, and loads of other related subjects, check out the ICCF discussion site. Members are Mil/LEOs as well as civilians. They are knowledgeable and helpful. Below is a post by the founder/administrator of ICCF on what he wants the forum to be able to accomplish:

The Objectives of ICCF

I feel these intentions and objectives need to be clearly stated and, most significantly, appreciated by all. In fact, this should have been posted when I initiated the forum, my sincerest apologies for this oversight.

In founding ICCF, it is my intent and the forum’s objective to:

- Facilitate in the education of the concerned public, be they rookie or veteran, in all facets of close combat (or so-called self-defense), with or devoid of weaponry, basic first-aid and emergency preparedness, and other related issues et al.

- Discuss, evaluate, and advise members regarding the tools necessary to achieve these goals be they shovel or shotgun.

- Let no question go unanswered. However please consider your response with great care.

- Clearly and most succinctly, state these methodologies in an intelligent, educational, and non-confrontational manner. This is to include replies and/or rebuttals as well.

- Consider that ICCF is not strictly a firearm related forum.

- Remember that what is successful for you may not be so for everyone, therefore keep an open mind.

- Respect with vigilance that you are to view the issues from the perspective of an archetypal individual, if there is such, and that ICCF is not necessarily an instructor based forum.

- Differentiate between the needs of a civilian, police officer, and soldier. Not to overlook the sub-categories thereof i.e. handicapped person, beat officer, or forward artillery observer etcetera. While certain skills overlap, individual circumstance will dictated essential instruction and guidance.

…And finally:

- Maintain the integrity, respectability, and dignity of the forum at all times. As all our members are intelligent individuals, no additional explanation of this mandate is required.

Thank you all, a great deal, for your cooperation in heeding to these tenets.


Check it out! http://kilogulf59.proboards.com/index.cgi

EDITED Feb 3, 2013:  That link is closed. Please check out the new forum:


MOVIES: Ong Bak 2 (2009) Official Trailer

I cannot wait to watch this new Tony Jaa movie!

Friday, March 27, 2009


A belated selective cut and pasted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/March_23:


1775 - American Revolutionary War: Patrick Henry delivers his famous speech - "Give me Liberty, or give me Death!" - at St. John's Church in Richmond, Virginia.

1903 - The Wright Brothers apply for a patent on their invention of one of the first successful airplanes.

1919 - In Milan, Italy, Benito Mussolini founds his Fascist political movement.

1935 - Signing of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of the Philippines.

1983 - Strategic Defense Initiative: President Ronald Reagan makes his initial proposal to develop technology to intercept enemy missiles.

2001 - The Russian Mir space station is disposed of, breaking up in the atmosphere before falling into the southern Pacific Ocean near Fiji.

2003 - In Nasiriyah, Iraq, 11 soldiers of the 507th Maintenance Company as well as 18 U.S. Marines are killed during the first major conflict of Operation Iraqi Freedom.


1910 - Akira Kurosawa, Japanese film director (d. 1998)

1931 - Viktor Korchnoi, Russian chess player

Korchnoi's matches with Anatoly Karpov for the World Championship is the stuff of legends.

1949 - Ric Ocasek, American musician (The Cars)

1980's music!!!!!

1950 - Anthony De Longis, American actor

Martial artist known as a whip expert as well as other weapons. Usually cast as a villain in the movies and IIRC, he trained Michelle Pfeiffer and Harrison Ford on the whip.





1953 - Chaka Khan, American singer

More 1980's music!! :-)

1965 - Richard Grieco, American actor and singer

1980's TV!!! Grieco played Booker from 21 Jump Street, and had a short-lived spinoff series called Booker.


1964 - Peter Lorre, Hungarian-born actor (b. 1904)

Too many movies to his credit, but possibly, the best-known work he did was with Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, and Sidney Greenstreet in the film noir classic THE MALTESE FALCON.

2009 - Raúl Macías, A famous Mexican boxer (b. 1934)

MOVIES: Top 10 movie car chase scenes

Text cut and pasted from http://www.cnn.com/2009/LIVING/wayoflife/03/27/aa.top.ten.movie.car.chases/index.html... I added the Youtube to each entry:

Top 10 movie car chase scenes

*Story Highlights
*In most car-chase movies, the real star is the car, author says
*The chase in "The French Connection" features a 1971 Pontiac LeMans
*More than 300 stunt drivers were employed for the 1998 "Ronin" film
*"Bullitt" is perennially voted one of the best car movies of all time

By Craig Howie

(AOL Autos) -- Which star do you most associate with car-chase movies: Steve McQueen or Michael Caine? Gene Hackman or Burt Reynolds?

Although most car-chase movies pack some serious A-list talent, we like to think that in many cases the real star in this particular movie genre is the car: from McQueen's super-tight Ford Mustang in "Bullitt" to the stripped-down Dodge Charger in Quentin Tarantino's "Death Proof."

But which movie has the best car-chase scene in history? We take a look.

10. "Cannonball Run" (1981)

Almost everyone knows that Hollywood's cheesy celebration of America's intercoastal car culture is one big car chase involving spectacular cars, including a Ferrari 308 GTS, an Aston Martin DB5 and a gorgeous opening sequence where a Lamborghini Countach makes short work of a Pontiac Firebird police cruiser.

But perhaps less well known is the original coast-to-coast sprint run undertaken by speed racer Erwin George Baker in 1914. The 11-day drive made his name in the New York press, who forever associated him with the Chicago Express steam train christened "The Cannon Ball."

Trivia: The ambulance driven in the movie by Burt Reynolds and sidekick Dom DeLuise was a modified Dodge Tradesman used by Car and Driver editor Brock Yates when he tried to resurrect the famous race in the 1970s, as part of a protest against the onset of 55 mph speeding limits nationwide.

9. "Death Proof" (2007)

Quentin Tarantino continues to push the limits of speed and taste in "Death Proof."

The film is a stock car- and violence-infused tale that features for a quarter of its run-time a fantastic chase sequence involving a stripped down bad-ass 1969 Dodge Charger and a heavily modified 1970 Dodge Challenger with a girl -- actress and former stuntwoman Zoe Bell -- splayed on its hood.

Apparently, Tarantino came upon the idea for a "death proof" car after filming the car-crash scene in Pulp Fiction and telling a friend he wanted to buy a Volvo for safety reasons. AOL Autos: 2009 Dodge Charger

The friend informed him that a decent movie stunt team could easily "death proof" any car for him. Hence was born the "Death Proof" movie concept. And Stuntman Mike. Doesn't that name still give you chills?

8. "The Fast and the Furious" (2001)

Car chases ostensibly over a half mile, otherwise known as street racing, received attention when "The Fast and Furious" lifted the lid on a high-adrenaline Tokyo Drift racing scene that burgeoned in popularity in Japan and the U.S. in the late 1990s.

The movie explored the phenomenon through a fictional world of ultra-hip hijackers who used heavily modified Japanese cars to steal high-end electronic components.

It's a cops and criminals yarn with a high-octane twist that features some seriously customized old-school cars including a Honda Civic, Toyota Supra and a Mazda RX7 -- though if you look closely, a retro Dodge Charger also features, too. AOL Autos: Honda Civic

Tokyo Drift racing, where drivers work in teams while skidding all four wheels around a tight circuit, now features at many events on the IRL circuit, catching a tailwind from the movie's popularity. Look out for the new "Fast and Furious" film soon.

7. "Mad Max II: The Road Warrior" (1981)

You'd be hard pressed to name any of Mel Gibson's cobbled-together vehicles in his 1981 sequel to "Mad Max" -- which may boast the highest number of chopped and recharged V8s outside of Havana, Cuba -- but that doesn't stop "The Road Warrior" being considered a car-chase classic and one of the best action movies out there.

Motley collections of cut-throat bandits, nomads and braggarts populate Australia's barren, dystopian landscape and blow-up any number of heavy machines, including police cars, motorbikes and a big-rig fuel tanker.

It's all in their quest for that all-important and -- in a post-apocalyptic world -- rare substance: fuel.

The explosive 20-minute chase scene to end the movie still exhilarates nearly 30 years after the movie's release. And don't we all want an engine intake like Max's infamous "blower?"

6. "Vanishing Point" (1971)

A Dodge Challenger R/T gives you some serious leverage when you're involved in a bump-and-run two-car contest on a one-track road in the middle of the American west -- and it's the only road out of the desert heat. AOL Autos: Dodge Challenger

Stanley Kowalski, a renegade Barry Newman, used five separate first-generation Challengers, including the 375-horsepower 440 Magnum, to full effect in forcing numerous hapless drivers off the road on the hazard-ridden 15-hour sprint from Denver, Colorado, to San Francisco, California, as he's pursued by cops, racers and bandits alike.

Dodge released its highly anticipated and heavily retrofitted Challenger update in 2008, with the film's cult following no doubt waiting patiently for any word on a commemorative "Vanishing Point" model.

5. "Gone in 60 Seconds" (1974)

We're not talking about the remake starring Nicolas Cage and Angelina Jolie, which boasts some pretty spectacular car-chase sequences itself, but the 1974 original that features a 34-minute chase sequence over the Long Beach, California, ports complex that some consider the best ever captured on celluloid.

A mediocre cast and stilted dialog may put off many, but the film that centers around a group of car thieves and their bid to steal 48 cars over a couple of days accomplishes what it set out to do: Exhilarate viewers in movie theaters and destroy as many cars as possible (in this case, 93).

An amazing collection of Ford Mustangs, Rolls-Royces and Cadillac limos make up the list that car thief H.B. "Toby" Halicki -- who did all his own stunts -- is given to steal for a South American drug lord.

Few, though, compare to the film's famous 1967 Ford Mach 1 Mustang, christened "Eleanor" and driven by Halicki, that even makes it into the 2000 remake.

4. "The French Connection" (1971)

Gene Hackman bumping and weaving his way around the intersection of Stillwell Avenue and 86th St of Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, while pursuing a bandit on a subway train offers to this day a fantastic driver's eye perspective of driving through New York at rush hour.

We're just kidding. But the chase featuring a 1971 Pontiac LeMans remains a classic as a result of its impromptu crashes that weren't supposed to be part of the action but were left in the sequence after several stunt drivers mistimed their entrance into the car chase, striking Hackman's car instead of narrowly avoiding it as he chases a train-bound drug dealer.

The sequence took several days to shoot even though the chase's screen time is barely two-and-a-half minutes. Director William Friedkin also put together a similarly fantastic car chase in 1985's "To Live and Die in L.A."

3. "The Italian Job" (1969)

Michael Caine's famous "You're only supposed to blow the bloody doors off," has become a familiar refrain among "Italian Job" fans who love the British actor's Cockney twang and the 1969 comic car caper that saw a collection of car thieves attempting a high-stakes bank heist in the Italian city of Turin.

Indescribably hip on its release, and a personification of Cool Britannia, the famous car chase featuring three red-white-and-blue Minis motoring through tight streets -- and even indoors -- was a landmark in quirky and fun car-chase sequencing and cinematography.

The 2003 remake cleverly twinned audience appeal with the film following the 2001 release of BMW's new MINI Cooper that featured in the updated film, leading some to suggest it was merely a two-hour commercial for the new model. AOL Autos: MINI Cooper

Trivia: Turin, or Torino, forms part of Italian car giant Fiat's moniker-- Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino.

2. "Ronin" (1998)

Although it will never be regarded as Robert de Niro's best dramatic performance, 1998's "Ronin" doesn't land on our list for its dialogue. In unbelievable realism, viewers are treated to chase scenes with sport sedans such as a BMW M5, Peugeot 406 and, perhaps most famously, an Audi S8.

Plenty of police cars, trucks and motorcycles meet their end and more than 300 stunt drivers were employed to give the real-time chases scene an air of metal-crunching realism amid a character-driven plot that involves CIA operatives, mercenaries and multiple double-crosses surrounding a mysteriously valuable briefcase.

There are few actors that can capture the mixture of terror and exhilaration involved in a car chase quite like De Niro, while Jean Reno is the only actor who could make driving a Peugeot an exercise in steely manhood.

Director John Frankenheimer pretty nearly perfected the art of filming gritty car chase sequences in 1966's "Grand Prix."

1. "Bullitt" (1968)

"Bullitt" is perennially voted one of the best car movies of all time and we're comfortable following suit. In the 1968 classic, real-life racing enthusiast Steve McQueen barrels after bad guys on the streets of San Francisco in an epically cool 1968 Ford Mustang in a delicious "Highland Green" color. AOL Autos: Ford Mustang

In a cityscape that gets most drivers nervous for its ups and downs, San Francisco proves the ultimate car chase backdrop. Lieutenant Frank Bullitt is not only one of the coolest cops of all time, he proves to be one of the best wheelmen we've ever seen. This is a must-see film and hands-down the best car chase movie of all time.

© 2009 AOL, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Selective cut and pasted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/March_22:


1622 - Jamestown massacre: Algonquian Indians kill 347 English settlers around Jamestown, Virginia, a third of the colony's population.

1894 - The first playoff game for the Stanley Cup starts.

1916 - The last Emperor of China, Yuan Shikai, abdicates the throne and the Republic of China is restored.

1960 - Arthur Leonard Schawlow & Charles Hard Townes receive the first patent for a laser.

1978 - Karl Wallenda of the The Flying Wallendas dies after falling off a tight-rope between two hotels in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

1993 - The Intel Corporation ships the first Pentium chips (80586), featuring a 60 MHz clock speed, 100+ MIPS, and a 64 bit data path.

HAHAHAHA... I remember the first Pentiums... and even the predecessors... back in da day, having a 80386 aka 386 was good stuff! Man, technology has advanced so much since then.

1995 - Cosmonaut Valeriy Polyakov returns after setting a record for 438 days in space.

1997 - Tara Lipinski, age 14 years and 10 months, becomes the youngest champion of the women's world figure skating competition.


1887 - Chico Marx, American comedian and actor (d. 1961)


The Marx Brothers. 'Nuf said.

1931 - William Shatner, Canadian actor


Probably my first exposure to Judo's Tomoe nage/Stomach Throw was watching Shatner as Capt. Kirk fight on STAR TREK. LOL.

1937 - Angelo Badalamenti, American composer

His compositions for TWIN PEAKS is awesome and totally helped to evoke the mood for the TV series!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

STICKGRAPPLING: The Stick and Cane in Close Combat by Tom Lang

For you stickgrappling afficionados out there, Tom Lang has written THE STICK AND CANE IN CLOSE COMBAT.


For a preview of the book, check out his article, Jointlocks and Takedowns with the Stick and Cane.

Additionally the publisher for some reason neglected to include an appendix, which author Tom Lang has provided on his site, Appendix 1 - Strikes with the Cane.

To order, check out Tom Lang's site: http://www.tomlangmartialarts.com/.

I have the book for some time now. In short, I love it! A longer review is forthcoming.

Mabuhay ang Stickgrappling! :-)


Selective cut and pasted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/March_21:


1871 - Journalist Henry Morton Stanley begins his trek to find the missionary and explorer David Livingstone.

Stanley is often remembered for the words uttered to Livingstone upon finding him: "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?", although there is some question as to authenticity of this now famous greeting.

1905 - Albert Einstein publishes his theory on special relativity.

1928 - Charles Lindbergh is presented the Medal of Honor for his first trans-Atlantic flight.

1945 - World War II: British troops liberate Mandalay, Burma.

1963 - Alcatraz, a federal penitentiary on an island in San Francisco Bay, closes.

1965 - Ranger program: NASA launches Ranger 9 which is the last in a series of unmanned lunar space probes.

1965 - Martin Luther King Jr leads 3,200 people on the start of the third and finally successful civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.

1980 - US President Jimmy Carter announces a United States boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow to protest the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan.

1980 - On the season finale of the soap opera Dallas, the infamous character J.R. Ewing is shot by an unseen assailant, leading to the catchphrase "Who Shot JR?"

1989 - Sports Illustrated reports allegations tying baseball player Pete Rose to baseball gambling.

Definite Hall of Fame career, but with the gambling scandal in the mix, his inclusion to the Hall is questionable.


1946 - Timothy Dalton, British actor


No disrespect to Timothy Dalton, but Sean Connery will always be the one and only James Bond for me.

1958 - Gary Oldman, English actor


Despite his many great performances, I will always think Gary Oldman's best performance was in LEON aka THE PROFESSIONAL, directed by Luc Besson and co-starring Jean Reno and Natalie Portman.

1962 - Matthew Broderick, American actor


An icon of the 1980's! Broderick was also awesome in LADYHAWKE co-starring Rutger Hauer and Michelle Pfeiffer.

1962 - Mark Waid, American comic book writer

Most famous for his run on THE FLASH (no pun intended) and collaborating with artist Alex Ross on KINGDOM COME.


1617 - Pocahontas, Native American, daughter of Powhatan (b. c.1595)

1987 - Dean Paul Martin, American musician (b. 1951)

He died in 1987 when his National Guard F-4 Phantom fighter jet crashed in California's San Bernardino Mountains during a snowstorm, killing him and his WSO (Weapons Systems Officer), Ramon Ortiz. The American singer Dean Martin never recovered from the loss of his son, retiring from show business a few years later.

1994 - Dack Rambo, American actor (b. 1941)

Dack Rambo passed away from complications due to AIDS virus. I remember him from the short-lived TV show, SWORD OF JUSTICE, which lasted 10 episodes. At the time, I thought it was a cool concept.


Sword of Justice was an American action-adventure television series that aired on NBC for one season during 1978-1979.

This series was considered a mix of The Saint, It Takes a Thief, and The Rockford Files. Dack Rambo plays Jack Cole, a rich playboy by day, a troubleshooting mercenary by night (a la The Saint). During a prison sentence for a crime he did not commit (a la Rockford Files), Cole learned how to crack safes, break into banks, and most of the other secrets of the criminal trade. Upon release, he decides to turn the tables on criminals by fighting them at their own game (a la It Takes a Thief), and using a unique way to leave his message: the "3" from a deck of cards, indicating how many years he spent behind bars. On these cards would be a written warning for the criminal(s). The three of clubs read: "The club is the sign of vengeance -- it holds no man as friend." The three of spades marking the end of the game, read: "The spade is the sword of justice -- its rapier marks the end."

The series was produced by Glen A. Larson.

2007 - Drew Hayes, American writer & graphic artist (b. July 20, 1969)


He was best known as the creator of the long-running independent comic book series Poison Elves. Hayes died at the age of 37, of a heart attack while suffering from pneumonia.

2007 - Kevin Whitrick, first British man to commit suicide on a live chatroom (b. 1964)

EBOOKS: Boxing by R. G. Allanson-Winn

Kirk Lawson has faithfully transcribed another antique manual. This time around it is Boxing by R. G. Allanson-Winn.


In 1915 R.G. Allanson-Winn published this abridged version of Boxing.

The Lord Headly, an avid boxer, martial artist, and self defense enthusiast, included not only sections on the basics of boxing, old pugilistic grappling, judging advice, training, and diet, but also a section of self defense and la Savate.

He included over 30 posed photographs and drawings detailing important elements of this golden age boxing system, making this manual a must for boxers, researchers and martial artists of today.


Kirk Lawson is a legend in the MA community. THANK YOU for your hard work as always in making these rare books available to the rest of the MA community!


Friday, March 20, 2009


Selective cut and pasted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/March_20:


1916 - Albert Einstein publishes his general theory of relativity.


1942 - World War II: General Douglas MacArthur, at Terowie, South Australia, makes his famous speech regarding the fall of the Philippines, in which he says: "I came out of Bataan and I shall return".


1969 - John Lennon and Yoko Ono were married.

1990 - Ferdinand Marcos's widow, Imelda Marcos, goes on trial for bribery, embezzlement, and racketeering.

1995 -A sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway kills 12 and wounds 1,300 persons.

2003 - 2003 invasion of Iraq: In the early hours of the morning, the United States and three other countries begin military operations in Iraq.


1928 - Fred Rogers, American TV host (d. 2003)

An icon of American TV. Educated many many children.

1945 - Pat Riley, American basketball player and coach


I remember being on the edge of my seat when Pat Riley coached the 1980's LA Lakers which included Magic Johnson, James Worthy and Kareem Abdul Jabbar as they played the Boston Celtics. Wasn't much of a basketball fan, but rooted for the Lakers because of Jabbar being a student of Bruce Lee's LOL. Epic battles of the rivalry between Larry Bird's Boston Celtics and Magic Johnson's Lakers.

1948 - John de Lancie, American actor


Any Star Trek fan should be no stranger to "Q".

1948 - Bobby Orr, Canadian ice hockey player

1957 - Spike Lee, American film director

1959 - Sting, American professional wrestler


1961 - Slim Jim Phantom, American musician (Stray Cats)

Rockabilly Rules! *hums ROCK THIS TOWN* Long live 1980's music :-)

1986 - Lady Gaga, American singer & songwriter

My daughters love her single which was a #1, JUST DANCE.


1995 - Big John Studd, American professional wrestler (b. 1948)

1997 - Tony Zale, American boxer (b. 1913)


Born and raised in Gary, Indiana, a steel town, which gave him his nickname, "Man of Steel." In addition, he had the reputation of being able to take fearsome punishment and still rally to win, reinforcing that nickname. Zale was known as a strong body puncher, who punished his opponents and steadily wore them down before knocking them out.


He was a 2-time world middleweight champion and made the Ring Magazine's list of 100 greatest punchers of all time. Zale is best remembered for his three bouts over a 21-month period with Rocky Graziano for the middleweight crown. These three bouts were among the most brutal and exciting middleweight championship matches of all time.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

MUSIC: Tank! by Yoko Kanno and the Seatbelts

As mentioned in the previous entry, Yoko Kanno and the Seatbeats perform the opening theme song, "Tank!", to the anime series COWBOY BEBOP.

Here's a longer live version of "Tank!"



Selective cut and pasted from wiki:


1954 - Joey Giardello knocks out Willie Tory in round seven at Madison Square Garden in the first televised prize boxing fight shown in color.

1954 - Willie Mosconi sets the world record by running 526 consecutive balls without a miss during a straight pool exhibition at East High Billiard Club in Springfield, Ohio. The record still stands today.

Days of my misspent youth... in the poolhalls shooting pool... practicing my technique. Willie was da man! I was never any good. My best run was only 8 balls :-( LOL

1995 - Michael Jordan comes out of "retirement" from the NBA and plays the Indiana Pacers in Indianapolis. He wore jersey number 45 because his number 23 was retired by the Chicago Bulls. The game paved the way for another "3-peat" by the Bulls. He scored 19 points in the game.


1848 - Wyatt Earp, American policeman and gunfighter (d. Jan. 13, 1929)

1928 - Patrick McGoohan, American-born actor (d. Jan. 13, 2009)


THE PRISONER tv show, on so many different levels, was way ahead of its time. A true classic of the medium. The picture is from the tv show which preceded THE PRISONER, called DANGER MAN (aka SECRET AGENT). McGoohan always stressed that John Drake aka Danger Man/Secret Agent used his brains over his brawn. That didn't prevent him from resorting to fisticuffs for self-defense.

1936 - Ursula Andress, Swiss actress


Anyone who has watched Sean Connery as James Bond in DR. NO, should recognize Ursula Andress.

1952 - Harvey Weinstein, American film producer

He is best known for his 26-year career as co-founder of Miramax Films. Of the Miramax films, these come to mind: Pulp Fiction, From Dusk 'Til Dawn, Jackie Brown, Gangs of New York, Kill Bill, 2 Hong Kong movies released by Miramax - Hero and Infernal Affairs), No Country For Old Men, There Will Be Blood, and a whole bunch of other modern and cult classics.

1955 - Bruce Willis, American actor

A classic icon of the 1980's, John McClane of the DIE HARD movies... Yippeekaiyay, motherf*cker! I also remember him as David Addison on tv's MOONLIGHTING. Happy Birthday Bruce Willis!

1955 - Simon Yam, Hong Kong actor

You may recall his role in the Hollywood movie, TOMB RAIDER, with Angelina Jolie. Fans of cult Hong Kong movies may remember him as Judge in Ringo Lam's FULL CONTACT starring Chow Yun-fat. Or as the policeman in Clarence Fok's NAKED KILLER with Yau Chingmy aka Yau Suk-ching. Sun Yat Fai Lok Simon Yam!

1964 - Yoko Kanno, Japanese composer

One of my favorite all-time jazz bebop songs is composed by Kanno called "Tank!" which is the opening theme song of the anime series COWBOY BEBOP. Simply awesome! Otanjou-bi Omedetou Gozaimasu Yoko Kanno!


1943 - Frank Nitti, American gangster (b. 1883)

One of Al Capone's top guys.

1950 - Edgar Rice Burroughs, American author (b. 1875)

Creator of Tarzan and John Carter of Mars... 'nuf said.

2005 - John De Lorean, American automobile engineer (b. 1925)

Growing up during the 1980's, who doesn't know Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly in the BACK TO THE FUTURE films and his De Lorean car?

2008 - Sir Arthur C. Clarke, English science fiction author and inventor (b. 1917)

UFC welterweight Parisyan suspended for 8 months

Cut and pasted from Fox Sports on MSN:


UFC welterweight Parisyan suspended for 8 months
by FOXSports.com
Updated: March 18, 2009, 5:08 PM EST

Parisyan tested positive for hydrocodone, oxymorphone and hydromorphone following a split-decision win over Dong Hyun Kim at UFC 94 on Jan. 31, 2009.

In addition to the suspension, Parisyan has been fined $32,000, which is 40 percent of his $80,000 purse. Parisyan was paid $40,000 to show and a win bonus worth the same amount.

The commission's ruling drops Parisyan's record to 18-5, while Kim's perfect record remains intact at 11-0-1. Had the decision not been altered, Kim would have dropped his first bout to the Armenian judo specialist.

Parisyan's positive test was first reported Feb. 10, meaning that his suspension would have officially commenced on that date.

Parisyan has already appealed the suspension and a hearing is expected to be announced soon.

Parisyan has stated that he has a prescription for the medications due to a severe back / hamstring injury. He was scheduled to fight in UFC 88 and a back injury forced him to drop out. He also has to deal with panic attacks since UFC 78 (November 2007).


Good luck Karo Parisyan!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

NEWS: China's last eunuch spills sex secrets

Cut and pasted from Reuters' article ... China's last eunuch spills sex secrets:

China's last eunuch spills sex secrets

Sat Mar 14, 2009 11:40pm EDT

By Emma Graham-Harrison

BEIJING (Reuters) - Only two memories brought tears to Sun Yaoting's eyes in old age -- the day his father cut off his genitals, and the day his family threw away the pickled remains that should have made him a whole man again at death.

China's last eunuch was tormented and impoverished in youth, punished in revolutionary China for his role as the "Emperor's slave" but finally feted and valued, largely for outlasting his peers to become a unique relic, a piece of "living history."

He had stories of the tortuous rituals of the Forbidden City, Emperor Pu Yi's last moments there and the troubled puppet court run by the Japanese during the 1930s. He escaped back to the heart of a civil war, became a Communist official and then a target of radical leftists before being finally left in peace.

This turbulent life has been recorded in the "The Last Eunuch of China" by amateur historian Jia Yinghua, who over years of friendship drew out of Sun the secrets that were too painful or intimate to spill to prying journalists or state archivists.

He died in 1996, in an old temple that had become his home, and his biography was finally published in English this year.

It unveils formerly taboo subjects like the sex life of eunuchs and the emperor they served, the agonizing castrations often done at home and also often lethal, and the incontinence and shame that came with the promise of great power.

"He was conflicted over whether to tell the secrets of the emperor," said Jia, adding that Sun preserved a loyalty to the old system because he had dedicated so much of his life to it.

"I was the only person he trusted. He did not even confide in his family, after they threw away his 'treasure,'" Jia added, using traditional eunuchs' slang for their preserved genitals.

They were discarded during the chaotic 1966-76 Cultural Revolution, when having anything from the "old society" could put lives at risk.

"He only cried about two things; when telling me about the castration and about the loss of his 'treasure'," said Jia, who works as an energy bureaucrat, but devotes all his spare time to chronicling the dying days of Imperial China after a childhood enthralled by the eunuchs and princes who were his neighbors.


Over years of painstaking research, he has gleaned arcane details about every aspect of palace life, along with secrets about the emperor's sexuality and cruelty that would look at home on the front page of tabloid newspapers.

For centuries in China, the only men from outside the imperial family who were allowed into the Forbidden City's private quarters were castrated ones. They effectively swapped their reproductive organs for a hope of exclusive access to the emperor that made some into rich and influential politicians.

Sun's impoverished family set him on this painful, risky path in hopes that he might one day be able to crush a bullying village landlord who stole their fields and burned their house.

His desperate father performed the castration on the bed of their mud-walled home, with no anesthetic and only oil-soaked paper as a bandage. A goose quill was inserted in Sun's urethra to prevent it getting blocked as the wound healed.

He was unconscious for three days and could barely move for two months. When he finally rose from his bed, history played the first of a series of cruel tricks on him -- he discovered the emperor he hoped to serve had abdicated several weeks earlier.

"He had a very tragic life. He had thought it was worthwhile for his father, but the sacrifice was in vain," Jia said, in a house stacked with old books, newspapers and photos.

"He was very smart and shrewd. If the empire had not fallen there is a high chance he would have become powerful," Jia added.

The young ex-emperor was eventually allowed to stay in the palace and Sun had risen to become an attendant to the empress when the imperial family were unceremoniously booted out of the Forbidden City, ending centuries of tradition and Sun's dreams.

"He was castrated, then the emperor abdicated. He made it into the Forbidden City then Pu Yi was evicted. He followed him north and then the puppet regime collapsed. He felt life had played a joke at his expense," Jia said.

Many eunuchs fled with palace treasures, but Sun took a crop of memories and a nose for political survival that turned out to be better tools for surviving years of civil war and ideological turbulence that followed.

"He never became rich, he never became powerful, but he became very rich in experience and secrets," Jia said.

(Editing by Nick Macfie and Bill Tarrant)

p.s. in the pic, on the left, the one with the cane is Sun Yaoting.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

LINKS: Irish Martial Arts

Again, in honor of St. Patrick's Day, some links to sites on the Irish Martial Arts.

Comhraiceoir Bata - Ken Pfrenger's site... one of the first sites I recall devoted exclusively to the Irish Martial Arts. Loads of info on there about Irish Stick Play!

NEOHEMAS (Northeast Ohio Historical European Martial Arts Society) - Ken Pfrenger's blog. He regularly updates it with notes of his training sessions. He also puts up youtube clips demonstrating specific techniques much like the 'simple chokes using a shillelagh'.

Kirk Lawson should be no stranger to readers of this blog. Besides his work in faithfully transcribing out-of-print/antique fight manuals, he also practices/teaches Irish Stick Play. His site: Cumann Bhata Dayton Study Group. In addition to the Irish MA, he also studies/practices/teaches other forms of the Western Martial Arts.

Rince an Bhata Uisce Bheatha - Glen Doyle's family bata style ... Rince an Bhata Uisce Bheatha means Whiskey Stick Dancing. What distinguishes Glen Doyle's family style is the use of a 2-handed grip on the bata vs the traditional one-handed grip of other bata styles. Loads of info on this site too!

John Hurley's site - Hurley wrote at least 2 books on the Irish MA, one on the shillelagh, and one on faction fighting in the works of William Carleton... his site has a lot of background on Irish MA.

I'm sure there's more sites out there on the 'net. But you cannot go wrong with the 4 above if you are new to the Irish MA. Enjoy!

STICKGRAPPLING: A few simple chokes using the shillelagh

I noticed that I didn't have much entries about "stickgrappling" (OK, OK ... no entries at all!) and given my nickname of "Stickgrappler" I probably should LOL.

When you hear "stickgrappling" do you think of the Filipino Martial Arts? The Japanese Martial Arts? How about the Irish Martial Arts? What's that you say? You don't think the Irish Martial Arts has any stickgrappling?

Given that we are human and all have 2 arms and 2 legs and generally the same range of motion... it doesn't surprise me that stickfighting from cultures other than the Filipino and Japanese wouldn't have stickgrappling in one form or another.

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, check out Ken Pfrenger's youtube. Ken uses a shillelagh, aka "bata", to do some stick chokes. A shillelagh is a wooden walking stick that can be used as cudgel or club, typically made from a stout knotty stick with a large knob at the top, that is associated with Ireland and Irish folklore. I queried the Bata Yahoogroup about stickgrappling in Irish stickplay and Ken was a gentleman and obliged quickly with a youtube!

A brief bio of Ken:

Ken Pfrenger is a hopologist from Northeast Ohio who has a background in teaching Muay Thai, JKD concepts and the Filipino Martial Arts (FMA). Several years ago his focus changed from the Asian arts to the Western Martial Traditions of Europe and the United States.

He has devoted most of his time researching the Martial Traditions of the various Celtic cultures, from Irish Collar and Elbow wrestling and stickplay to Cornish Close Hugg wrestling. To this end, Ken has served as Director of Cumann Bhata, an organization founded in 2000 to promote the study and research of stickplay common in the Irish Faicseanaíocht (faction fighting) through teaching, seminars, and publication.

He is also one of the founding members of CMARS (Celtic Martial Arts Research Society) and is currently working on a training manual for those who have a further interest in the Irish style of stickplay.

An avid boxing fan since a young age, Ken has been seriously studying the science of manual defence for many years. His focus now is on the techniques and fighting concepts of pugilists from the late 18th to the late 19th centuries.

There goes my first official stickgrappling entry to this blog and I inaugurate it with stickgrappling off the beaten path in the form of chokes with a shillelagh!

More stickgrappling to come. Enjoy!

IN MEMORY OF: Roland Dantes

It is with saddened heart I report that GM Roland Dantes of Modern Arnis has passed away yesterday. The Filipino Martial Arts community has lost another icon :-(


Roland Dantes was an actor and Filipino martial artist who trained in Modern Arnis with Remy Presas for over 30 years.

He has also trained with other martial arts masters, such as Cacoy Canete/Doce Pares and Edgar Sulite/Lameco Eskrima. He worked several years as a police officer before becoming an actor.

He was one of the best-known Philippine actors. He has had leading roles in different films including "The Pacific Connection" and "Arnis: The Sticks Of Death." In addition, Dantes was a bodybuilder who won the "Mr. Philippines" title five times between 1969-1980 and placed in competitions for the titles "Mr. Universe" and "Mr. World".

GM Dantes passed away yesterday March 16th 2009. He was 67.

I would like to extend my sincerest condolences to the family, friends and students of GM Roland Dantes as well as to the extended Modern Arnis family.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

"May the saddest day of your future be no worse than the happiest day of your past."
~ Irish Blessing

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Army Maguire and Ageless Strength DVD

A few years ago, I "met" Army on some martial arts forum. For the life of me, right now as I post this, I don't remember the specific circumstances. I only remember that we exchanged emails and became friends. Back then, he shot a video of himself bending a nail. did some brick breaking, etc. All 'strongman' stuff. He snailmailed me the vid and the bent nail!

Check out this Youtube clip:

Dayum! Tearing a deck of playing cards in half! Can you do that? I know I cannot. You ever see people who break boards or bricks? They always rest the board/brick they are about to break on 2 other pieces? That is sort of "cheating"... that is you still have to generate enough power on the board/brick... but because you are resting it on 2 boards/bricks... it makes it easier to break in half. Probably not explaining this correctly... but as I understand it, it will be easier to break. Try breaking a brick while holding it like Army did in the youtube clip. That takes strength/power. WARNING: don't do it if you've not had some kind of training. In the interest of full disclosure, Army has trained Iron Palm.

A brief bio:

Richard "Army" Maguire has been in exercise, strength and fitness for many years. He has trained in many martial arts for over 30 years including arnis, Boxing, Muay Thai, Tae Kwon Do, Judo, Brazilian Jujitsu, and Catch as Catch Can wrestling under Billy Wicks. After much encouragement from friends and workout partners he decided to share the techniques that he learned from personal experience and traditional Persian methods including an instructor from Nepal.

If you want to order some wooden clubs, check this site out:


As posted before in the previous blog entry, I will be ordering his DVD soon and put up a review.

"Army" Maguire and club swinging

Mark this date down:

July 11, 2009

Army Maguire's Club swinging clinic

If you are into conditioning/physical culture (with club swinging, etc) you should have heard of "Army". His friends asked him to make a DVD on club swinging. I will be ordering the DVD shortly and a review is forthcoming.

What is old is new again! The current scene of conditioning/physical culture has exploded with the old-school methods, what with kettlebells, wooden clubs, etc. Army is one of the few at the forefront. Check out this email I received last week from my friend Army:

Here is a photo of an early antique pair of wooden clubs made in the 1900's . To the right of them are a new pair I just received from Revolution Clubs of Texas.

These new clubs have some wonderful but subtle improvements over the older model. All these clubs are marked 3lbs.. The older ones are almost 1/2 lb off that weight and weigh closer to 2 1/2 lbs. Revolution Clubs are always as close as one can get to the weight marked on the club. Our friends at Revolution Clubs produced the newer model with a slightly thicker neck. This adds strength and compliments the weight shift towards the bottom of the club. This makes for better weight distribution and a smoother swing. The clubs when resting on the floor have a wider base and are less likely to topple over.

The clubs feel wonderful to swing. Even the knob on top of the clubs has been beefed up a bit.

Another added feature is the custom engraving that can be added to any set of clubs . You may want to personalize your clubs so they advertise your gym or organization. You may just simply want your own signature laser etched into the wood for all eternity. Revolution clubs was nice enough to engrave my Ageless Strength logo on my newest pair.

If you are looking for the best made quality wooden clubs on the market I suggest you go to Revolution Clubs .

Please mention ageless strength. If you decide to purchase a 20 lb pair mention this code ARMY09 and receive a 5% discount.


Hope to see many of you on July 11th here in the South Bay area for our first every Club swinging clinic.


THIS DATE IN HISTORY: March 16, 1984/1985/1988

March 16, 1984/1985/1988

1984 - William Buckley, the CIA station chief in Beirut, Lebanon, is kidnapped by Islamic fundamentalists and later dies in captivity.

1985 - Associated Press newsman Terry Anderson is taken hostage in Beirut. He is released on December 4, 1991.

1988 - Iran-Contra Affair: Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North and Vice Admiral John Poindexter are indicted on charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States.

Oh man, I remember those events! Terry Anderson spent 2400 days (~7 years) in captivity!

VIDCLIP: Bruce Lee lights cigarettes & thrown matchsticks with 'chuks

The folks at Nokia followed up on their Bruce Lee playing table tennis with the 'chuks. This time around, "Bruce Lee" lights cigarettes and matchsticks thrown at him with nunchuku!

You be the judge... real or Memorex... er I mean real or CGI... guessing that Memorex comment dates me LOL



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Stickgrappler's Sojourn of Septillion Steps