Without Writing

The art of writing without writing… about fighting.

Tag Archives: fighting

Empty Force and Empty Promises

Another exposé of no-touch knockout bullcrap has been doing the rounds. In this one, a wonderful group of skeptics attended an “open seminar” by a Finnish pseudo-martial artist named Jukka Lampila.

Those courageous skeptical fool-smokers really did a number on him, specifically by asking a set of very basic questions, by not flinging themselves in the direction of his pats, wafts, prods and pokes and generally not being willing accomplices to his cultish buffoonery.

I could spend the entirety of this post taunting his poor, misguided followers that leap into the air and fling themselves on the floor at the slightest provocation, and metaphorically shaking my head in disbelief that he’s probably still teaching the same nonsense back home, even after this very public experience. But this would not be the best use of anyone’s time, and I’ve already done it so often in the past relating to similar incidents, that it would be redundant.

Instead I’d like to take the opportunity to address two points. Read more of this post

Georges St-Pierre: Right decision, just twelve years too late

GSP seems to be happy that he's left the sport... but he may have been happier if he'd never gotten into it in the first place.

GSP seems to be happy that he’s left the sport… but he may have been happier if he’d never gotten into it in the first place.

Most people au fait with the martial arts will be aware that Georges St-Pierre, a man who could legitimately be called the greatest pound-for-pound martial artist the world has ever seen, has vacated his world title– a title which he has held and defended against all comers for the best part of six years- and has taken an indefinite leave of absence from the sport of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA).

Naturally, most of the coverage of this significant event in the sport revolves around a discussion of his legacy, with some folks speculating that the closeness of his recent fights has led him to give up, due to his competition catching up uncomfortably close behind him. Others are wondering how his effective retirement will impact the box office for MMA globally; St-Pierre has been the biggest draw in the sport for some time, after all.

But- of course, and as ever- this is a sideshow to the real discussion that people should be having. The issue is not whether St-Pierre should leave the sport; the question is not how his departure will affect the sport… in fact the more pertinent point of discussion is: whether he should ever have gotten involved with the sport in the first place… and for that matter, whether anyone should.

Read more of this post

Steroids and Performance Enhancing Drugs: defining the issue

Most of the public are familiar with the word “steroids”. This word automatically conjures up images of ridiculously inflated body-builder types, blind rages and shrunken genitalia. But very few people are familiar with the realities of performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) in sports, and still fewer are au fait with the real ethical and philosophical issues surrounding PEDs.

In fighting sports, as in other professional sports, anabolic steroid use is rife, as is the use of other performance enhancing substances. It’s impossible to put numbers on the table, as it is a clandestine phenomenon and subculture, but some professional fighters and industry experts have estimated that up to fifty percent of pro fighters are on performance enhancing substances of some kind.

Read more of this post

The Perniciousness of Mimicry

This is not a bee.

In an old blog entry on the subject of Steven “Runs Like a Girl” Seagal, the martial teacher and commentator Steve Morris noted that the secret to the success of liars like Seagal is that they are able to convince people of their ability, despite the fact that they lack ability. He stated:

“their greatest talent does not lie in what they get paid for doing, but in their ability to get people to believe that what they do is for real and what they say is true.”

This is the art of the mimic. In nature, a mimic is something which has- through the process of natural selection- evolved over countless generations an uncanny similarity to another thing, be that thing an inanimate object, a part of a plant, or another animal. This similarity offers protection from predators… Or disguises the mimic’s dangerousness, depending on the type of camouflage employed. Read more of this post

The Case of Harry Cook, and Abuses by Authority Figures

There have been many scandals associated with martial arts teachers in the past. Most have simply been exposés of teachers’ lack of credentials, but in the odd case there have been more serious issues unearthed. Such is the case with one Mr Henry Wilson “Harry” Cook,  who was for the majority of his lifetime one of the most prominent and most feted Karate teachers in the UK.

Harry Cook: Self confessed paedophile and rapist. Who’d have thought?

Harry Cook has, over the past six months, been remanded in a prison in Durham, and has- bit by bit- admitted committing 14 counts of sexual assault- primarily against minors- over a twenty year period. He has, as of 31 October, been charged with 29 counts in addition to these, including charges such as sexual assault and taking and possessing indecent images and videos of children. In other words, he is a self-confessed paedophile and rapist of children. Read more of this post

Why I Write… Without Writing

I have touched in past posts on my reasons for starting this blog, but they are many and varied, and interesting enough (I feel) to warrant more detail.

The martial arts have been the main focus of all the articles I have written for this blog so far, and this is primarily due to my personal passion for the field of combat; there is no more stimulating game, I assure you. “Human Chess”, some have called it… but to call it that is to undersell the game. Chess has finite combinations of moves and outcomes- breathtakingly complex by human cognitive standards to be sure, but still limited by the 64 squares and the prescribed motions of the pieces.

Combat on the other hand is as close to infinitely complex as any game can be; Read more of this post

Sofos strikes back… against illness

Sidney’s in the press again. I wondered why he had been so quiet for so long. Apparently it was an enforced absence. 

According to this “human interest” article published in a local London newspaper this very month,  Mr Sofos recently had life-saving surgery to correct a heart problem. Some of the article consists of Sid thanking his cardiologist for saving the aforementioned life of Sid. (all credit for spotting this fantastic literary farce goes to one Mr Peter, who kindly commented on the original Sofos article on this blog) Read more of this post

Boundaries… and Honesty

This post will discuss personal boundaries, self-worth and the importance of honesty in both areas.

The great martial artist and martial philosopher Bruce Lee was fond of saying that martial arts are all about “expressing yourself honestly”, and also “not lying to oneself”. And he was right on the money.  The discipline of being honest with oneself and honest to others is key in the proper application of martial arts in all potential settings. Read more of this post

Q & A on the Ephemerality of Niceness

After having read my previous blog post, a friend of mine e-mailed me the following query:

“because you have honed your fighting skills you are free to be nice to everyone as you no longer fear others or at least don’t fear them as much. The reason being that you are pretty sure that you could beat them in a fight or at least defend yourself from any kind of attack that they may throw at you. What would happen if you stopped training or could not fight anymore?”

Read more of this post

The Power to Be Nice

Some time ago, someone tried to physically injure me. And not in training mind you, in an actual, public assault kind of way.

A strike was thrown at my head without warning at extremely close range, and my response was to jam the striking arm and shove the individual several feet away from me. The individual in question chose not to pursue further contact with me, and that was the end of the matter.

I was happy with my response. I wasn’t happy that I hadn’t seen the attack coming sooner and avoided it well in advance mind you, Read more of this post