Books, movies, politics, and whatever I want

Monday Book Pick: What is Self-Defense: Kenpo Jui-Jitsu

Monday, June 3rd, 2019

What is Self-Defense: Kenpo Jiu-Jitsu by James Mitose

This classic is back in print. My copy was printed in the early 1980s. The original was printed back in 1953. Most of the Keno/Kempo taught in the United States traces directly back to James Mitose, and the most famous of his students, William Chow.

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Friday B-Movie Pick: The Octagon

Friday, July 18th, 2014

The Octagon

Going way, way, back to 1980 for this Chuck Norris classic. In this movie, he takes on his brother, played by Tadashi Yamshita (OK, one of them was clearly adopted), who went over to the “Dark Side” and set up a Ninja training camp for mercenaries. Norris, who is busy training for his next big fight, doesn’t want to get involved, but does anyway. Many the Ninja fall to his deadly, Ninjia killing inside crescent kicks. Of course there is the big brother on brother fight to the death, and plenty of gun fu as well.

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Friday B-Movie Pick: Films of Fury

Friday, May 30th, 2014

Films of Fury

A fun trip down memory lane for martial arts film fans. The animated narrator is a video store clerk with an extensive knowledge of martial arts films. Sounds familiar? He sorta looks like Quentin too. He touches on many of the classics, including several previous B-Movie picks Heroes of the East,  My Young Auntie and Lone Wolf McQuade. Some gun-fu classics are mentioned, mostly by director John Woo, which is an often neglicted sub-genere. He does go into some of the modern American films by Chuck Norris and Steven Seagal, but leaves out any reference to Van Damme. Fire up the popcorn and check it out! See what films you think are missing, and make a list of the ones you now have to see.

Friday B-Movie Archive

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How to do a proper pushup

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

It’s not a proper martial arts class without push ups.  Lifehacker has a good article on how to do proper push ups.

Originally published on my Shaolin Kempo Blog.

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Jim Kelly, R.I.P.

Monday, July 1st, 2013

I just found out that Jim Kelly died yesterday of cancer in San Diego.

Jim Kelly, best known for his role as Williams in Enter the Dragon, was a martial arts instructor before he started doing movies.  He also had a successful career as a tennis pro after his film career.

I own some of his other movies, including Black Belt Jones and Black Samurai.  Excellent martial artist, a much better actor than his B-Movie career gave him credit for, and from what I hear, a gentleman to his last breath.

Originally posted at my Shaolin Kempo blog

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Friday B-Movie Pick: Kill Zone

Friday, April 26th, 2013

Kill Zone

A tale of bloody revenge staring Donnie Yen and Sammo Hung. A group of cops get tired of a mob boss (Hung) walking despite their best legal efforts to take him down. So they step outside the law. Great fight scenes by Donnie Yen, including the final battle with Sammo Hung. Hung is still quite spry despite his age and size. The fight between him and Yen was like watching a bear battle a leopard. A really bad ass bear in this case, with really fast paws.

Friday B-Movie Archive

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Monday Book Pick: The Five Tibetans

Monday, March 11th, 2013

The Five Tibetans: Five Dynamic Exercises for Health, Energy and Personal Power by Christopher S. Kilham

I learned these yoga exercises at a martial arts seminar a couple of decades ago. Found the book years later. I find them very useful in jumpstarting your metabolism. Best done in the morning. I find that if I do them in the evening, I’m up past 2AM.

Monday Book Pick Archive

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Friday B-Movie Pick: My Young Auntie

Friday, January 18th, 2013

My Young Auntie

Going with another 1970s era Shaw Brothers Kung Fu classic. My Young Auntie is the story of a young martial arts student who marries her dying Master, at his request, in order to keep his fortune out of the hands of his evil younger brother. She delivers the will and deeds to her new nephew, who happens to have a son about her age. He is going to college in Hong Kong and returns in time to join in the fun. Interesting mix of East meets West, with the college students’ love of all things western (fancy dress, dancing, music, European saber fencing,…) being introduced to the new Auntie, who is a bit old fashioned. This gives the film conflict on two levels. The first being between the Third (and only surviving) Uncle and the rest of the family over the deceased Master’s fortune, and the second being the culture clash between old fashioned, yet young, second aunt, and her great nephew (who is about the same age as her) and his college friends. It’s the Shaw Brothers, so the fight sequences are great. This film also has singing, dancing and more than its share of humor.

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Friday B-Movie Pick: Heroes of the East

Friday, January 11th, 2013

Heroes of the East

It’s Chinese Gung Fu squaring off with Japanese martial arts in this 1970s Shaw Brothers martial arts classic! This film stars Gordon Liu and group of actual Japanese martial arts masters recruited for this film. The fights are a real treat to watch. Three Section Staff vs. Nunchuka & Tonfa. Katana vs. Gim Sword. Sai vs. Butterfly Swords. Spear vs. Spear. Karate vs. Chinese Drunken God style Gung fu. Judo vs. Chin Na. How does this come about? Well, a young Chinese martial arts student has an arranged marriage with a young Japanese girl who is also skilled in her countries martial arts, including Ninjitsu! The fun continues from there.

Friday B-Movie Archive


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Friday B-Movie Pick: Haywire

Friday, June 22nd, 2012


Steven Soderbergh directed this film built around Muy Thai and MMA fighter Gina Carano. So ya, the fight scenes kick ass. Otherwise this a pretty boiler plate spy thriller will some suprising A List actors. Michael Fassbender, Ewan MacGregor, Antonio Banderas and Michael Douglas. Ya, that is a lot of star power, but it’s Carano kicking ass and not bothering to take names that really make this film.

Friday B-Movie Archive

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