On Bowing in Martial Arts

Alternative title: I Am Not Now, Nor Have I Ever Been a Member of the Bowers.

A friend, an anonymous warrior whom shall remain nameless, emailed me and another blogger about martial arts. And the subject turned to bowing. This is what I said:

I have absolutely nothing of worth to contribute to this conversation. I once bowed to the chef at Benihana; it went over well. He flipped me a shrimp in appreciation. And I stayed at a Holiday Inn last night.

In Krav Maga, you don’t bow*. I took six months of Kung Fu, from a Corpsman who was a black belt. And I remember bowing all together in tandem. To ourselves and the teacher.

I also took Shotokan Karate in Queens, New York when I lived out there. And I did not get far enough into it to really grasp exactly what we were doing. I was a bike messenger and did not need the extra pt as I was already riding my bike for 8 hours a day.

* Actually you bow at the end of Krav, but it is to signify a good class.

Men Fighting Women

I don’t fight girls. In my civilian* Krav Maga class, I was gentler with the women when working out with them. It is an inbred instinct, perhaps.

Our teachers used to encourage us to go all out in exercises. Once my partner was a 110 pound female. She held the punch shield while I worked combos. 1, 1, 2. Jab, jab, cross.

The instructor encouraged us to kick it up a notch. I threw a little harder. And my partner got the willies and suddenly backed off two feet. I missed the shield altogether, punching out (hyperextending) my elbow. Painful. Because my joint absorbed all the surprising force. I still feel it five years later.

Today, I cringed when I read of military women fighting their male counterparts. Maybe I am old-fashioned, but this seems wrong:

The Army still bars women from fighting in combat units. But some women are trying to break that barrier far from the front lines — by battling male soldiers in chain-link cages against a backdrop of strobe lights, thumping music and swirling smoke.

The slugfests resemble ultimate fighting, a staple of pay-per-view television, right down to the black wire cages and throat-constricting holds with names like “the guillotine” and “the rear naked choke.”

Army Staff Sgt. Jackelyn Walker, right, is the aggressor as she fights Pfc. Gregory Langarica in the first round of the bantamweight championship of the finals of the Fort Hood Combative Championships in Killeen, Texas, February 16, 2012. Langarica wins the fight as the fight was called off in the second round.

Or maybe I am the one behind the times? I can accept that. I am all for women learning Krav Maga. I would suggest everyone take a martial art. But when it comes to serious sparring or the fighting illustrated above, men should stay within their gender.

* Added later for clarity. See comments for clarity on why I clarified.

Why Every Woman Should Own a Gun and Know How to Use It

Recently, Sarah McKinley’s husband died of cancer. And she was at home, alone with her infant. Then two animals tried to break in:

When two knife-wielding men attempted to break into her home to steal her late husband’s painkillers, McKinley grabbed her guns, called 911, and asked for help.

In a polite colloquy with the 911 operator, McKinley asked if it was okay to shoot the intruders. . .

Sarah McKinley with a Shotgun

As the old saying goes: God made man and Sam Colt made them equal. That statement is doubly true with women.

I practiced Krav Maga and even the toughest woman in my classes could not push me around. I am tall and there were some women who were strong. But it is just a fact of nature, men’s and women’s bodies are different.

Gina Carano, Haywire

I don’t doubt that a lady black belt could hurt me. And possibly beat me up. Maybe. Rough Gina Carano here? Yeah, like her. But those are the fun exception.

Now put a gun in a woman’s hands. The great equalizer, a loaded pistol can blunt that natural strength and height advantage that a man has.

I don’t know why every woman does not own a gun. And included in gun ownership should be safety and gun classes on responsible use.

God bless you, Sarah McKinley. You, ma’am, are a great American. You remind me of another great Sarah.

Sarah McKinley or Sarah Connor?

But Sarah McKinley just acted as a mother protecting her baby. She is not a super-hero, she is not Sarah Connor. With the proper training, every woman could do the same thing. Sarah Connor is fictional. Sarah McKinley is everywoman.

Lastly, I reserve the lowest opinion for the animals who tried to break into her home. One is fish food. And the other is in custody. Enjoy that one.

The Lethal Use of Krav Maga in Preventing Zombie Attacks

To: Everyone
From: Zombie Attack Prevention (ZAP) Headquarters
Subject: Using Krav Maga to Prevent Zombie Attacks

Krav Maga Zombie Shield


Zombie attacks, are you prepared for them?

It has come to our sad attention that some among you may have forgotten one or two of the seven lethal elbows of Krav Maga. This will not abide.

Bottom line up front: you have no idea when a surprise zombie attack might occur. And there you’ll be: scratching your dry, flakey scalp (or itching something worse), trying to remember which numbered elbow to throw.

Have no fear! Some enterprising, young elbower has made the process easier with a pictorial display. More information can be found at his site:

The Seven Deadly Elbows of Krava Maga, Last Resort to a Zombie Attack

Should you desire some video accompaniment to the deadly art of Krav Maga elbows, the following YouTube vid should suffice. You will notice the clip is in an instructional format. It does not feature real-world altercations with the undead.

My experience with these bloodless creeps has led me to believe that prepping video equipment, to capture them in their untamed glory, is nearly impossible. Yes, they are not exceedingly smart, but they are spontaneous. Sort of like Neil at a Neil Diamond concert. You know Coming to America is on the horizon. You just don’t know when. Zombies are the same way. They are coming to America. But I got nothing as to time and place.

Maria Menounos, Krav Maga Expert, Feminine Zombie Repellant

And for our cuddly, female zombie killers: you too have options!

Do not allow the bloodsuckers to chase you all over your house, in and out of your living room, down through your laundry area, and out into your garage, without at least popping one good, close-quarters elbow.

When and if the zombies come prowling, slip some good tango music onto your iPod dock and go to town.

Alternative attack possibilities: should you be baking pies: WATCH THIS VIDEO! (Ladies, if you do one good act for yourself today, click that empowering link. Forget about Oprah, Dr. Fill, O Magazine, One Life to Live, the Wizard of Oz. . .Watch that!)

"Quintana, that creep can roll man." Click on pic for demo

Of course, your two best alternative weapon options are a 12 gauge with silver slugs or a burlap sack with a bowling ball inside. But should one of your several shotguns be not handy, Maria Menounos (featured on: TodayAccess HollywoodExtra, and Entertainment Tonight) will demonstrate effective and deadly elbows for you to experiment with.

Jesus Man, not a Krav Maga Zombie Killer

Please observe the one long gun per room minimum, as per Zombie safety manual (zombinst 1410.3h: Sawed-offs, due to their swingable barrel, are an ideal zombie defense weapon. Duct tape one to your leg to combat possible forgetfulness.

Months down the road and a pending zombie attack? No problems, mon. Unstick your boom stick and go boom. Warning: do not walk through airports geared up in this fashion. We here at the Zombie Attack Prevention HQ will no longer bail team members out of the pokey should you find yourself canned.)

Moni Aizik, Commando Krav Maga Zombie Killer

Lastly, for our steely-eyed killers seeking something possibly more lethal, Commando Krav Maga founder and chief instructor Moni Aizik has a blood-curdling move called the Rhino (not to be confused with the spray-on, pickup truck liner.)

Mr. Aizik follows his Rhino defense up with an offensive move called the cat strike. Yes, it is feline-ish; yes, it is exactly what you are thinking. . .

Do watch the video. You know the zombies are. Watching the video, your house, waiting. To pounce. Argggh, zombies! There are not enough elbows in the world to rain down on them. Well, there would be, if all ZAP team members would pull their weight. (Hint, hint.)

2 (two/dos) alligator

Final thought- As a rule of thumb, a good Krav Maga elbow striker can, from a standstill: throw any of the above numbered elbows at a poppyseed bagel, slice it perfectly in two, smear it with chive nosh, and be smacking it before you can shriek 2-alligator. Yes Zombies, we are that good. (Caution: pumpernickel bagels, due to their robust nature, have given some of our elbow strikers fits. Stick with the lighter, seeded variety for best results.)

Word to the wise (undead): don’t mess with our numbered elbows. You will get bladed (with an elbow #6) and it will rattle your dentures.

Very Truly Yours,
ZAP HQ Training Manager

PS Team members, do not forget to pay your dues for this month. Due to inflation in the mid-sectional region, we will not be accepting any more (delicious, scrumptious) pies. So sorry!

Hand Salute: America’s 1st Sergeant for the pie link.

Major League Baseball Player Pursues a Mermaid

Antoinette Nikprelaj

Ooof, Stanford University has egg on its face. John Mayberry, a 2005 Stanford graduate, and current Philadelphia Phillie outfielder, tried to arrange a date with actress Antoinette Nikprelaj. She plays a mermaid in the movie Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. Her total screen time in the Argggh-worthy yarn is rumored to be an impressive 5 seconds.

Still, she set the salty hook into Mr. Mayberry’s heart and he had to get hooked up on a date with her. So how did our Stanfurd Indian Cardinal Tree go about living his own mermaid tale? He asked his agent to work the back channels. One tiny tiny problem: the 24-year old actress is married and has a daughter.

Yahoo writes: Unfortunately for Mayberry, it’s too late to stuff the underwater genie back into the bottle. Because of his mad crush on a Hollywood starlet, Mayberry’s plan has made Page 6 of the New York Post:

John Mayberry and Antoinette Nikprelaj

“I hate to even be sending you this e-mail, and I’m quite embarrassed to say the least, but we have a young client on the Philadelphia Phillies who asked us if we knew any agents at Innovative Artists and could connect him to Antoinette Nikprelaj.

“I know you’re not a dating or set-up service, but John Mayberry Jr. (Phillies OF) would love to meet Antoinette or invite her to a baseball game sometime. Would this be possible?”

Antoinette Nikprelaj doing Krav Maga

And some additional future career plans (hopefully including movies with more than 5 seconds of screen time) are provided by Jack Detroit:

Nikprelaj is training in martial arts for the role (in the upcoming movie Star 23), including Krav Maga. “So I’m a trained fighter, with license to kill,” she said with a laugh.

Mr. Mayberry is batting .260 in the Major Leagues this season, but .000 with the mermaid cuties. Which leaves this to say: Hey brother, don’t they teach google up at the Farm? (As of press time, the jilted Phillie Phanatic had no comment.)

Krav Maga and CrossFit Memories


These things I remember:

Having to wrestle with a guy who smelled of curry the day we were working ground escapes. Nice guy: way, way too much Pakistani food.

Being surprised at how hard this one tall lady punched. Being proud of her too. (Not in a condescending way, but in an atta way to go, grrrl kinda vibe.) Striking in Krav starts in the hips and the proper snap adds a lot of umph. She’d ’em snaps.

No being surprised that tattoos and big muscles do not always translate into power.

Not being surprised again that tattoos and biker goattees do not translate into fearlessness. Quite the opposite with one or two folks I used to work with.

Having to watch the little guys warily. It is the wiry dudes, who have been forced to scrap all of their lives, that tended to surprise me. With their treachery and cunning. The Offensive Line types, I could always see them coming. From a mile off. Or at the very least, a kilometer.

Listening with annoyance as an Army SFC made dumb comments while we did lunges with medicine balls in our CrossFit class. I had a ball that looked smaller than his. Still I passed him and he made a point when he finished to point out that I had a lighter ball. Um, not really, I replied. And I showed him my heavier, but smaller ball. He was silent. CrossFit brings out competitors.

Reacting with anger when a girl stepped back from a kick-shield I was striking and I punched out (over-extended) my elbow. I still feel it five years later. My fault, really.

Observing that a post on Krav Maga would not be complete without the Krav Maga Ensigns! Oooof-daaa. . .

Krav Maga Ensigns

Every American should learn a martial art. It instills confidence and, if taught correctly, keeps one from becoming a victim. My choice in the past has been Krav Maga. The following exchange happened back when I was an Ensign and another Ensign I knew from OCS happened to be in my class.

We were doing the front kick. I lashed out, skimmed the kick bag (the other Ensign was holding) and hit him squarely in the hip.

Krav Maga Ensigns

Other Ensign: Oooof-daaa! (doubles over)
Me: You okay, bro?
Other Ensign: (Groaning)
Me: Hey, are you okay?
Other Ensign: (Still groaning) Yeah.
Me: Are you wearing a cup?
Other Ensign: (Straightening out) No, should I?
Me: (Nodding vigorously) Yes! Yes! Always.
Instructor: (Yelling) Alright, 20 pushups. . .
Other Ensign: Oooof-daaa.

Moral of the story: If an Ensign, always wear a cup around other Ensigns. They are a treacherous and dangerous lot, especially to themselves.