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    Abnormal EKG, breathlessness, chest pain

    I had a "Heartwise" physical a couple of weeks ago, and the EKG was abnormal. The doctor said it wasn't a severe deviation, but that it appeared to indicate that the lower part of my heart is stressed and not beating as hard as it should. (My thyroid also appears to be bigger on one side than it...
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    Sport Karate in Austin, Texas

    I've just gone out on my own. :) Check out my website at
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    Vision during sparring

    Center mass, soft focus using peripheral vision to see extremities. You can't lie with your center mass--you go where it goes, no matter what.
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    Feeling so awkward when sparring

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    Two Piece Competition Bo / Staff

    I'm looking for reviews and comments about this bo: Tiger Claw罈Weapons罈Bo & Jo罈Elite Competition Bo :: Martial Arts Supplies, Uniforms, Sparring Gear, and More. I have heard that two piece staffs get unbalanced, especially over time. Have any of you used this type? My students compete in...
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    Where do you look in sparring?

    I teach students to watch center mass with "soft eyes," not staring fixedly, but using peripheral vision and seeing directional changes by center mass and arm/leg movement peripherally. I disagree with the person who says you have to shift weight onto the front foot to move forward, btw; we...
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    Point Sparring Kick

    This technique has a name: pump(ing) side kick. It's used to advance by sliding and meant to a) prevent the opponent from directly attacking (functioning almost as a block) and b) have the leg up and chambered to deliver a side kick. The power part of this is not the actual pump kick, it's the...
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    how do you deal with aging

    Anthony's Curse cracked me up. I know exactly what he meant. I'm 47, and have various health problems that sometimes make it hard to train. The older (and tireder) I get, the more I look for economy of motion--working on timing so I can get the strike in the first time, not bouncing around too...
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    Duped by deceiful business practice - advice needed

    I live in Austin, and I'm very curious as to what school this is...
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    Hook Kick

    I teach American Karate (a sport karate style), and we use a lot of Bill Wallace techs. Personally, my favorite way to use the hook kick is to the face of a "charging" fighter when in open stance. We throw the hook with the front leg; it goes out as a side kick but toward the front of the...
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    Japanese Iron Fan--Tessen

    Can you elaborate? It's my understanding that, open, the fan is used to deflect/capture darts or other small projectiles, to mask movements, and to make "startle" strikes (rather than killing strikes) as a prelude to other techniques. Additionally, some of the non-opening, solid iron tessen are...
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    Japanese Iron Fan--Tessen

    This is a good article about Japanese (not Chinese or Tai Chi) fan, or Tessen. I recently had someone tell me that a fan is only a slashing weapon; while that's mostly true in soft styles, it is not at all true of Tessen as used in Japan by Samurai. Unfortunately, I wasn't in an environment...
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    Too old to compete?

    Wow, talk about Throwback Thursday! I looked at this thread and saw where I had responded in 2009! I'm now 47, a 2nd degree black belt, and still competing.
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    Are women disadvantaged in striking arts/styles?

    One of the women I regularly fight in competition sparring is 6 inches taller than me and outweighs me by about 60 pounds. In karate sparring competition, there are HUGE size discrepancies among competitors, especially in women's divisions, which have fewer weight classes--usually just fly &...
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    Are women disadvantaged in striking arts/styles?

    Nope. We all fight each other. Bigger, stronger, more skilled fighters control their level of contact with the little guys (children, that is). In my experience, I fare well against men of similar size and rank. Bigger guys can be a problem with reach. We don't fight full contact, though.
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    Not sure yet if this is a horror story for the student, the instructor, or both...

    I agree with you on all points. I have my doubts that the reality matches the report. It also sounds like the parents weren't present during the class. I much prefer that my under-18 year olds have a parent present during training. Prevents crybaby tattletale issues, for one thing.
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    My sons are both students in my class and often go to tournaments with me. My mom lives out of state, but watches my class or whatever karate-related event is going on when she's visiting. My husband inquires politely how my classes and tournaments went, but is otherwise uninterested and...
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    Not sure yet if this is a horror story for the student, the instructor, or both...

    If you read the whole article, you'll see that 2 police officers were present during the incident. Hm.
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    Strong Stances and Kicks, Weak (ish) Strikes and Blocks

    I know how to make them powerful--it just seems that they don't look that way. And my gi snaps. In practice, they look and feel strong to me. I wonder if I'm losing that during competition due to nerves. Hm. Possibly. Guess I need to get some video and compare.
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    Strong Stances and Kicks, Weak (ish) Strikes and Blocks

    When competing in kata, I'm often told that my hand techniques aren't as strong or powerful as they should be. Of course, there's only so much power you can put behind a punch into thin air without hyperextending your elbow, but how do I make my strikes and blocks look more powerful? Any...
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    Hearing Aids and Martial Arts

    Supposedly, they have waterproof ones now--the Siemens Aquaris. I'm not convinced...
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    Hearing Aids and Martial Arts

    I finally gave in and went to have my hearing tested--I've known I had some hearing loss for a long time (due to chronic childhood ear infections), but it has worsened over the last few years. Turns out I have "medically significant" hearing loss in both ears and need hearing aids. While I'm...
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    Bunkai/Hidden techniques - Split from "How Do I Quit"

    I know this goes far afield from where this thread has gone, but is in response to the original quoted post: Originally Posted by Kaygee And you know all of those high blocks and low blocks and inside outside blocks? Well, I have NEVER seen one of them used in sparring...
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    Open mat time? How common is it?

    Since we don't have a permanent location (each class has only its own allotted time at the various venues we use), we don't have any open mat time. I really wish we did. Practicing at a "normal" gym can be a little weird.
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    How do I quit... The other side.

    Since I am the head instructor at one location of a large school, I have certain paperwork I have to turn in to my "boss" and to the venue. It's a big problem for me if students drop off the face of the earth, and while I realize they don't "owe" me anything, I think it's exceedingly rude to...
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    Teaching your own children

    I taught both of my sons in the junior class for a couple of years and I now teach my oldest son in the adult class. It can be a pain in the butt, because, after all, no one can irritate you like your own kids or your own parents. However, it has been a very positive experience for all of us...
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    Martial Arts and Mental Health

    All I can say about this is that sparring is cheaper than therapy. :)
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    Grossest thing you ever saw in martial arts? (in person)

    Not terribly gross, but I was doing kata on a cold floor with indoor/outdoor carpet. I pivoted, and my pinkie toe caught and was broken in two places. I didn't notice it until I pitched over to the side (I have Reynaud's syndrome, and can't feel my toes when I have a vasospasm from cold); then I...
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    Fightin' Music

    Rezillos--Somebody's Gonna Get Their Head Kicked in Tonight Joan Jett AC/DC Beastie Boys Dropkick Murphys Yeah, I'm old.
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    What do you think about chest gear for sparring?

    For me, it's a necessity. I don't like wearing it, and I wear the lightest, most flexible version I can get (Martial Armor's t-shirt style vest), but I HAVE to wear something. I had 3 dislocated ribs on the right side once, and 2 broken ribs on the left side TWICE in less than a year...