My Report On Chuck Norris

The reason for the reports to be done is for us to learn more of our history in martial arts, whether it is directly related to us or not.

Growin up playing the drums the first thing I learned was that Buddy Rich is the god of all drummers. The King, the one and only, but I really never knew why or understood why. It took me some time to find old recordings, listen to what he was playing more more important to remember the year he was playing this. No one else could play like he did back then. It may not seem like much these days, but back in the 50’s it was impossible.

The same goes for martial arts, and the reason we are doing this report. Most of my students may know Chuck from his infomercials adds and maybe his TV show. So I thought. After reading 6 reports, not a single person named off these things he as done.

My own personal hsitory in Chuck was that I loved his movies. The Octogon and Lone Wolf Mcquade were two of my favorites and i rented them a hundred times. And of course there was the final fight in Return of the Dragon.

He was one of my kartae hero’s growning up, even though it would be many many years before I started training in tae kwon do.

Now jumping forward about 12-13 years, after I began training with my first instructor and began to see many other martial artist in action, I grew a large distaste for Chucks movies. It was the same fight scenes, the same moves, a little sloppy, and didn’t really seem like karate.

It was several more years into my training that I went back and re-examined his work. I was flipping through channels on the TV and came across his TV show and thought I would give it a try. It was a huge success so it must be pretty good right?? Well it was not a bad episode that I got to see. During one of the fight scenes I noticed right away, that it was some of the same moves, (his side kick, reverse turning kick, hook punch, & spinning back fist and spinning heel kick), but it all started to make a little more sence.

While other stars would and could do all these fancy jumping and flipping around stuff, he was doing “what works in real life (for the most part)”. Many different techniques and moves my own instructors had taught me is similar to what he was doing. And yes, during some of his spin kicks and such he may look a little wobbly and not 100% perfect, but that is how it works for real.

It was at this point I found my new apreciation for his work and art. While other artist do the fancy stuff which is entertaining, Chuck was doing the practical, the things I could do myself with training and be like him.

I have never met the man, but I have never heard a bad thing about him. Many stars turn into jerks or have a time period of being a jerk, (even Jackie Chan), I can never say I heard of such rumors. I have read he has a heart of gold and more important to me, his martial arts trainign starts from the heart not his fists.

Maybe some day it would be cool to meet him on a personal level but I do not see that happening at anytime soon. So here is some highlights of the reports, and som things I learned myself doing this report.

*real name is Carlos not Chuck. Chuck was nickname he got in the millitary
*found Tang Soo Do while walking around town due to an injury to his shoulder preventing him from training in Judo.
*earned his black belt in 15 months (but trained 5 hrs a day for a year)

There is still so much more to learn about “The Man” but this is it in short form.

Hope everyone learned some great info on him and try to catch some of his movies.
*failed his first black belt test. retested in 3 months and passed
*opened his first school at age 21
*opened up 32 schools in his name
*retired from fighting with a record of 65-5
*is an avid offshore powerboat racer and had set a world record
*has written 2 books
*spokesman for United Way
*Spokesman for Veterans Administration
*has won several different awards for his TV show
*was in his 60’s with the first Total Gym ads
*created Kick Start
*Black Belt in TKD, Tang Soo Do, & Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
*devoted Christian and takes action politically

Rumble In The Bronx

One of my all time favorite martial arts movies and I am sure most of the movies I may write about will be my all time favorite.

One of the greatest things about this movie is that they spend about 10 minutes on plot and another 90 min on the action.

Here it is in a nut shell. Jackie goes to visit his uncle who just sold off his convienence store to retire. Jackie ends up staying around for a few days to help the new owner get settled in. Well there is a huge gang in the city and when Jackie stops a few of them from shop lifting in his uncles old store, they take some revenge. Small added plot that the gang’s girlfriend has a handicap brother who becomes Jackie’s friend and then they become friends, blah, blah, blah.

It takes maybe a good 15 minutes for the action to start but then it just goes almost non stop. With most of the fights being in the street and sloppy houses and such that sets up so many props for Jackie to jump over, into, around, under, and use as weapons like ski’s, refrigerators, lights, a car antenna, and a ottoman. Can’t forget the pinball machine too.

He did some cool crazy stunts such as jumping off a roof to a balcony (which I believe he broke his foot doing this), diving into a car’s moonroof head first with his legs still sticking out and having a motorbike case him right over the car, and the water skiing in the end in just sneakers. This last one he did with his foot broken, just watch the mistakes clip during the credits.

One nice thing about Jackie is he tends to get hit and even his but kicked from time to time taking away that image of “no one can stop him” like Bruce and Chuck does.

All in all a great movie to watch and so much to see. If you get a chance and like good action & non-plotted movies, then check it out.

Hand Position When Kicking

This may not be the most enjoyable posting but more for my own interest and education.

Simple basic question: When doing a kick sucky as a round house kick, where do you keep your hand placement?

This could be a simple answer or could have more than one correct answer. I am hoping to get a few responses here so please feel free to comment.

A little back ground, my first instructor was a kick boxer in the 70’s. fighting was a lot different back then compared to now, where everything is just about all MMA. He had taught us to keep our hands up by our face, maybe 6 to 8 inches away. Lead hand in front rear hand more back by our cheek.
When we did a round kick with the front or rear leg, our hands were kept in almost the same position, so when we lowered our foot back onto the floor, our hands were ready to give us protection.

Now what I have seen over the years, in multiple schools & videos, is people are taught to drop & extend the lead arm (whichever it may be), over their kicking leg or even to throw their arm past their leg where the arm & fist are closer to their butt.

Here is what I see as simple problems or issues with this way, though not trying to claim I am the correct one.
1- our head/face is very fragile, why drop your hands at anytime in a fight if you don’t need to.
2- when done poorly, throwing the arm behind you prevents pivoting the hips all the way and I see a lot of twisting in the hips & back. Looks like wringing out a towel.
3- some try to put so much power into a single technique a little bit of control is lost
4- with this lack of pivot the round kick becomes more in the middle of a round and instep kick.
5- takes too much time to retract your arm from down low to bring it back to your guard position. May not seem important but blocking my face feels more important to me.

I teach tae kwon do, and do my best to keep our schools kickboxing background. I have not been in the ring fighting in any form besides more traditional karate tournaments.

So please feel free to chime in, please don’t just complain or tell me I’m an idiot. I am looking for information and education…


Chuck Norris Report

I had asked my students to write a report on the world-famous Chuck Norris. With each generation, our new students will lose the importance many martial artist had played in creating what we know of as todays arts.

I originally told my students that I would also do a report for them to read but being the boss has its privileges. So I changed my mind after reading a couple of the reports. Instead I will do a summary of all fo theirs and do my best to capture all the info they provided me and add so much more. It may be difficult to make it entertaining to read and not lose their attention.

I will be posting it here within a few days…. Check back when you can.