Skip to comments.W. Va. Gov. Gets Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do
Posted on 01/15/2005 2:33:10 PM PST by Kuksool
Don't mess with Gov. Bob Wise the outgoing West Virginia chief executive won his black belt in Tae Kwon Do on Saturday.
Nearly two decades after his initial attempt and just three months after surgery on both knees, Wise performed a series of body moves, traded arm chops and leg jabs with a partner, and kicked and elbowed through pieces of wood at the Kang Tae Kwon Do Academy.
"I'm ecstatic, really," said Wise, 57. "This is something I've worked for for a long time."
Wise was one of 80 students from gold belts to black belts, from 4-year-olds to senior citizens who competed for higher ranks Saturday in front of an overflow crowd. He is believed to be the only sitting governor with a black belt, said Sok Ho Kang, the academy's grand master.
An extramarital affair led Wise to not seek re-election; fellow Democrat Joe Manchin will be inaugurated as his successor on Monday.
Wise earned a gold belt early in his nine-term career as a congressman, which ended when he ran for governor. But he suffered a broken rib during a tournament and didn't take classes again until after he sent his son to Kang a few years ago. In October, the avid jogger underwent arthroscopic surgery on both knees to clean out torn cartilage.
"I don't know that my job is that much different than anybody else's, whether you're a truck driver, police officer, whatever," he said. "How do we deal with that stress and how do we focus our energies to what's important? Tae Kwon Do is about the best school for learning that that I know."
Along with California's bodybuilding Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (news - web sites), active chief executives include Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who is training for the Little Rock Marathon in March, losing more than 100 pounds along the way.
"Governors are very competitive by nature," said Peter Wiley, director of management consulting for the National Governors Association. "They're usually high energy, so this kind of athletic competition goes hand in hand."
North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley once lost control of a stock car and slammed into a speedway wall at 120 mph while practicing for an all-star event in Charlotte. Idaho's Dirk Kempthorne rides his Harley Davidson motorcycle to meetings in other states.
Gary Johnson, governor of New Mexico from 1995 to 2002, was a world-class triathlete and in 2003 climbed Mount Everest (news - web sites). He was a passenger on a balloon that flew 1,740 miles from Albuquerque to Delaware to win a race in 2002.
Wise prefers to stick to martial arts, especially the part about punching through a board.
"Once you break the first one, there's a pump. Your adrenaline gets going," he said. "When you get it right in the middle and you hear 'crack,' it's an incredible feeling."
My personal favorite is Ed parker's kenpo. It is a very efficient and devastating art. After studying Goju karate for many years, I switched to kenpo and will never go back, although I think Goju is an excellent art also. I was never impressed with the Korean styles, such as TKD and TSD.
TKD is a beautiful art. One of my best high school friends is, today, one of THE masters of TKD today, he is korean, grandchild or nephew of Master Choi (General), who invented TKD.
Thanks for those links. I'll have to check them out later since I'm on a slow wireless connection at the moment.
My only 'martial arts' training is in jujitsu and grappling. It's pretty effective, since the whole goal is to get people on the ground and disable them. As a general rule, any combat move that requires you to kick into the air and stand on one leg makes you vulnerable to being toppled.
I test for 3rd Gup in a week.
I'm not a fan of high kicking. Looks great in the movies... but...
I did Tang Soo Do Moo Duk Kwan a long time ago too...
But you also have to remember, that if you're fooling around with friends, karate guys can't really punch people, so you would have to judge them in a real fight. The same goes for Kung Fu.
Kung Fu is particularly deadly, because almost all strikes are to the enemy's throat, eyes, or groin. You can't do that in a "rassle" with friends, nor even in a competitive sport. Go to the link I posted earlier. Check out the speed of that guy. Imagine him trying to machine-gun punch you in the throat... all the while, he holds your hands down. Watch his technique... that's kung fu. No high kicks. No spinning acrobatics. Straight "Ling Wang Wan" puches to the throat. Fight over in seconds.
He'll get my respect when he wins a round in the UFC.
Ed Parker passed away in the early 90's. He trained thousands since the 50's. One of his best is Larry Tatum. I don't know if his site has any video clips. I do know that several people have documented the entire system on instructional video. There was a very good movie called 'Perfect Weapon' starring Larry Speakman that was released right after Parker's death that shows kenpo very well.
High kicks tend to be a trademark of the Korean systems. The point behind teaching students to kick high is improve flexibility and endurance. Going through a one hour class focused on high roundhouse kicking drills is great way to burn calories. But, I agree that for self-defense purposes, kicks should be no higher than the waist.
Maybe they will get things done, chop chop, in WV.
In December my kids tested for their yellow belt and hope to test for their orange belt in Feb. Is "gold" the same as yellow.
Sorry, my kids are in TKD.
Because of my background in freestyle wrestling, I got interested in Jujitsu, especially Brazilian style. I think one thing the "Ultimate Fighting Championships" showed was that to be a fully rounded "fighter", you had to train in multiple arts. Its a shame though that the grappling arts, since they aren't as "pretty" as the striking and kicking arts, don't get alot of exposure.
Grappling is ugly but effective. Stand-up fighting is all good and well, but lots of fights end up on the ground.
Gov. Bob "Hot Lips" Wise needed some sort of skill to help him deal with the outraged husbands of the women with whom he has affairs.
No, I never got in the ring. I learned grappling in High School, joined a wrestling club afterwards for a while in college, and contintued my friendship with the TKD folks. Most of my friends were "martial arts" types, proficient in some art. Around that time MMA got popularized with the UFC, and that sure opened alot of eyes.
You mistake martial arts and fighting arts. I started training in Shotokan karate when i was in 2nd or 3rd grade (i stopped Shoto a few years ago once i achieved Nidan ranking. I figured i knew enough of that style). However years before, when i was around 14-15, i started in Jeet Kune Do, an art i still practice today (and consider to be my 'primary' art, even though i have a nidan rank in Shotokan). I've also taken kodokan judo for its grappling aspects, arnis for its stick-combat, chin-na for its joint locks, and krav-maga. Finally i have been studying some lian shi kung fu principles.
Thus i think i am somewhat qualified to say some words (and those who know me know i would still comment even if i knew jack ....LOL). Anyways, most 'martial arts' are merely castrated versions of what they truly are meant to be. That is why there is a big difference between Karate-do and Karate-jitsu. One is meant to propagate form, artistic expression and discipline, while the other is meant to take down an opponent and take him out fast (and in some cases, like in Lian Shi, to outrightly kill him).
The reason wrestlers would win most 'martial artists' is because wrestlers are trained quite well to dominate and win, and most 'martial artists' are trained to be ....well .....martial ARTISTS.' Before i came to the US 5 years ago i used to go to this seedy part of town where they were teaching Tae kwon do and challenge some of the students to one on one fights (yeah yeah, those who know what nidan ranking in shotokan means will probably say i should have the 'dignity' to not challenge those of other styles to fights, but i needed to try out some jeet kune do principles on 'real world' opposition that would be hitting back and hitting hard .....and they worked perfectly....but i digress). Those dudes would always go for flowerly kicks, trying to jump and spin and all that, and they went down fast. Jeet kune do is perfect for dealing with the stuff tae kwon do has. Any kick above the waist on the street will only lead to a beating. Hence imagine such a person trying to perform a spinning crescent kick on a wrestler! Even a marginal wrestler would see the kick coming, duck it, take the kicker down, and mount him. And most 'martial artists' do not evne know how to guard nor reverse a mount.
But that doesn't mean that wrestling is better than the martial forms (i hate the term martial arts). There are a number of inherent weaknesses to westling that are easy to take care of. And styles like Jeet kune do, Lian shi, ving tsun and krav maga concentrate on the street. Some like jeet kune do and krav maga are very effective, while lian shi will get you in trouble with the law (to this day i have not seen a usable move in that particular art that would be safe, or legal, to use on a drunk friend acting rowdy). And obviously it is appropos to learn a grappling art that would enable one to know what to do if the fight goes to the ground (which is why i took judo ....when i started brazilian jujitsu was still as exotic as brazilian capoeira).
The problem with the traditional arts like tae kwon do and most versions of karate (apart from kyukinshin) is that most of the moves taught in the dojo/dojangs are 100% USELESS in the street. Sure, the punches look nice and the kicks are beautiful, but trying them out in a real life scenario would only result on the practioner getting a stomp-down! They spend time teaching correct postures, and then spend hours on end teaching forms (the ubiquitous katas). And there is nothing wrong with this .....it is just that the senseis tell their students that they will 'know how to defend themselves.' That is a lie, which is sad because those katas were originally meant to impart very effective moves but are now only useful for getting the next belt rank.
A disclaimer: At the higher rankings the traditional styles can be quite effective. For example once i reached a certain level with Shotokan we were taught exactly how to apply the moves in the katas in a combat setting (and the kata Sanchin has some very effective, and interesting, applications). And i have some friends who have taken tae kwon do to a very very high level (unlike the dudes i used to mess with), and these highly trained exponents would be a mistake to mess with (they are that good). Thus any art can be very effective if properly applied. But most people never ever get that far. They only learn how to do movie-style punches and video-game kicks and think that is all there is to it. I should probably add another disclaimer here. I am concentrating on self-defence. Many arts are totally comfortable with being just arts. And there is nothing wrong with that. Others decide to concentrate on tradition. Infact some of them are beautiful in a myriad ways. The only problem i have is when the adverts say that they will teach one how to defend themselves from an attack when the senseis do not even teach their students the proper frame of mind to have during an attack.
Compare that with krav maga, which on the very first day teaches one to develop a killer instinct (and some effective moves, on the very darn first day). OR with jeet kune do, which after one year of consistent study allowed me to know more than what over a decade of shotokan had taught me. Jeet kune do, when learnt well, is one of the most effective arts on this planet. Or chin-na, which allows you to know the effective application of joint-locks.
Let me put it this way ....your typical wrestler wouldn't even get within 3 feet of me. Not even within what JKD calls trapping range. And those of you who would say what about a grappler who 'shoots.' Well, there was a time me and this guy trained for almost two months on how to deal specifically with grapplers that 'shoot.' They can be stopped, effectively.
Anyways, one more thing. The popularity of the UFC has given grappling arts a lot of (deserved) glory. For the longest time the grappling arts were relegated to the background since they were not as flashy as the stand-up styles. However many have bought into the whole mantra that Brazilian jujitsu, particularly the type taught by the Gracie family (which seems to have more family members than there are sands in the sea), makes a person unbeatable. That is true ....and false. Few arts are as effective as brazilian jujitsu if you are fighting in a open-style COMPETITION. That is why the Gracies are famous after all. HOWEVER in the real life Brazilian jujitsu can get a person killed. Why? How the heck does a person take down the crazy oaf at the bar and mount him, and at the same time defend himself from the crazy oaf's drunk friends. Going to the ground in a public setting is asking for a beat down.
And no, i am not belittling the grappling styles. Jeet kune do 'requires' one to learn at least one grappling style (i chose judo, although i would have preferred brazilian jujitsu were it available to me at the time). However having a grappling art as the primary and sole style can lead to some 'interesting' situations. I once took down a grappler pal of mine with his own style (i knew all his moves, but he did not know all of mine).
By the way, you said in your post that 'the good thing about Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai, etc. is that you're training the exact techniques you'd use in a real fight. It's the paradox of effective martial arts: The safer they are the practice, the more effective their fighters tend to be in the streets.' I have to politely disagree with the second part (but i agree with the first ....whcih is why jeet kune do and krav maga are amazing. What you learn in class is 100% meant for the street). But the second part is not completely accurate. I have not actively trained in Muay Thai but i have seen how the exponents in Thailand and the Netherlands (weirdly enough Muay Thai is actually more popular in Holland than it is in Thailand) train. That is probably the most brutal art in the world when it comes to training. Muay Thai probably has less than 10 major moves, but they drill on those elbows, shins and knees so much they become certified weapons. I have seen bleeding shins and elbows with callouses almost an inch thick. The funny thing is i saw a muay thai class in the US, and it wasn't even close to what was in the Netherlands. Here the teacher was being soft and 'nice' (i have never seen a 'nice' Muay Thai teacher outside the US), and the reason for this was probably because the school would get sued if lil' Joey went home with bruised shins and a bleeding forehead. As for Brazilian jujitsu i have never watched their training but i hear that the Gracies are quite tough (since they have their family legacy to protect). I am sure there are 'soft'schools (again, in the US a school can be sued out of existence if one of the students gets an over extended tendon). Back home in Shotokan we had to punch our hands over and over into buckets filled with sand, and hit a makiwara with our elbows until we lost all fear of hitting any object. Doing that here would probably lead to the sensei getting sent to jail.
If I had to take one, and only one, i would go for Ving Tsun. MY rationale is as follows. For one Ving Tsun can be as effective as Krav Maga in combat ......with the difference being that Krav Maga is more immediately effective than Ving Tsun. This means that if you and your (imaginary) twin start training at the same time, and your twin starts Krav Maga and you opt for Ving Tsun, that your twin will be able to beat your behind almost immediately. However Ving Tsun is still one of the best martial arts out there (even though Bruce Lee created Jeet Kune Do by removing Ving Tsun's traditional aspects and adding principles from other martial systems). Ving Tsun can be extremely effective in self defense, and in close quarters combat a well trained exponent almost has no equal. After all, if my Ving Tsun history does me any justice, it was created by a Chinese nun. The good thing about fighting systems created by females is that they use an economy of motion, have to be extremely effective, and do not need a person to be able to do flips.
The thing about Krav Maga is that it is extremely simple and straight forward, and thus quite effective since all the time is spent on defence. Ving Tsun has three forms, and obviously a lot of time spent on sticky hands and the wooden dummy (Jeet kune do has sticky hands and the wooden dummy, but did away with the forms).
Why choose Ving Tsun? Well, it can be just as effective as Krav Maga (although you would have to add in your own weapons training. Krav Maga spends a lot of time on weapon disarms, which is something i don't think Ving Tsun covers. After all one was started by a nun and the other the Israelis). Ving Tsun can be extremely effective. Secondly Ving Tsun has more 'flesh' than Krav Maga. It has more history ....more tradition. Now, this might seem contrary to my prior post where i blasted tradition (and since my main system is jeet kune do it is even more ironic since Sifu Bruce Lee spent a lot of time dissing Ving Tsun because it was traditional), but it is always nice to have a little tradition. Especially when it is in an art (eg Ving Tsun) that still has more than sufficient combat elements to it.
Using car analogies Krav Maga is a Shelby Cobra. Super fast, amazing acceleration, and a lot of ooomph. The moment you strap yourself in you are zooming. But the car is not really that smooth, its steering could use some power-steering, and its tail tends to whip around when zooming past corners at high speed. Ving Tsun, on the other hand, is a BMW Z4. It is a fast 2 seater roadster (like the Shelby), but it is not as fast as the Shelby. It doesn't have the crazy horse acceleration of the Shelby. And even though it has oomph it doesn't quite possess the same raw testestorone that the Shelby has. However it is much smoother, has perfect handling, and has no over/under steer problems. It may not be as hard-@$$ fast as the Shelby, but it has a good mix of speed and smoothness.
If the Krav Maga/Shelby is a vodka on the rocks, then the Ving Tsun/BMW Z8 is a martini on the rocks. Same constituents, but one has slightly more bite and the other slightly smoother.
Hence Ving Tsun. And there is nothing like having a wooden dummy in the backyard to train your grandkids with (if/when you get them LOL).
But both systems are equally good. Thus if the Ving Tsun place is a mere half-mile further than the Krav Maga place you might as well go for Krav. Both are quite good.
Actually the best thing would be to go to both schools and watch a couple of their sessions. Most schools will let you watch for a week. See which suits you. Which teacher seems to gell with you. Which environment strikes your fancy. See if the pace is too slow, too fast, just right. Then make your decision.
That is the best thing to do.
gell = gel
Thanks for that lesson.
(note to self : never pick a fight with spetznaz)
shotokan, Bon Mots is spreading rumors about you.
Did he do you?
About TKD, my friend in High School to this day is one of the Tae-Kwon-Do greats. Although he is a successful attorney, I believe he still has his martial arts school. I had seen a few of his student in "street fights", and they got a few hit on their opponents who were grapplers, but the grapplers were always able to take them to the ground, where it was over in a matter of 30 seconds. However, Master Choi himself was "awesome". He was actually famous at my school for having defeated 3 opponents at one time. Badly. (This guy was on the cover of many, many MA magazines).
You mention the Gracies. They have a school in Miami Beach where I went to a couple of times when my interest in the fighting arts were rekindled by the UFC. Speaking with a few fighters and the main trainer (I forgot his name, not a Gracie but this big huge Brazilian cousin of theirs...). They have training for "normal" people, and then they have very brutal sessions where they REALLY train the most dedicated people. They make their money off of their "normal" customers, but their reputation from their hard core trainers. I saw some of these hard core guys. Bruised, scabby, and caloused.
OK. I studied Shotokan Karate some years ago.