Are Women Doomed on the Street?

Written by By Fran Joseph

Are Women Doomed onrepparttar Street?

Imagine a tennis player judgingrepparttar 130743 power and accuracy of her serve solely by its form. Visualize a volleyball player sharpening her "spiking" skill by hitting only air. Also finally, picture a pole-vaulter competing in today's event while refusing to use a fiberglass pole? Ridiculous; you say? As farfetched asrepparttar 130744 above scenario may sound, many women martial artists, unlike their female counterparts in other sports, have not availed themselves of modem training methods. Instead, they are still relying on so-called "traditional" training methods that are all-but obsolete when applied to sell-defense situations on today's urban streets.

What's wrong with tradition? Nothing at all, as long as we distinguish between stylized forms of kicking and punching, with their emphasis on pre-arranged or choreographed kata, and combat-oriented martial arts that stress actual contact over aesthetic or ceremonial considerations. Furthermore, most classical martial arts have a preponderance of "passive" blocking movements that women can ill afford to use against much larger, stronger opponents when precious seconds can meanrepparttar 130745 difference between life and death. So we can further distinguish between "blocking-type" martial arts regimes, and hitting, or "striking-type" martial arts training.

At this point, it should be understood that we are not discussing "this" style versus "that" style, but rather, evaluating a methodology of training. This approach to training has an underlying premise: All martial arts training should parallel actual combat as closely as possible. With this premise in mind, we now have a checklist with which to analyze whatever martial art we are presently studying, so we can be confident our training is truly applicable for someone of relatively small stature in realistic fighting.

Women's marital arts study must incorporate impact-training fromrepparttar 130746 inception ofrepparttar 130747 program. After all, how else can you know? How hard you kick and punch unless you are making solid contact with something? Impact training can be broken down into three progressive stages. Atrepparttar 130748 first stage of training,repparttar 130749 practitioner develops power by striking (or kicking) stationary targets, be it a focus glove, air shield, heavy bag, etc. which will also acquaint her with her own reach (distance) and body mechanics.

The second phase of impact training requiresrepparttar 130750 female martial artist to hit moving targets, such asrepparttar 130751 top and bottom bag, air shields, focus gloves, Thai pads, etc., which an alert coach or training partner can move randomly at a variety of angles, thereby compellingrepparttar 130752 student to deliver strikes while moving. Unlikerepparttar 130753 performance of forms, nothing in this stage of training is pre-arranged, sincerepparttar 130754 coach moves her targets in an unpredictable manner. This phase not only enhances mobility and precision, but also acquaints her withrepparttar 130755 attribute of timing, sincerepparttar 130756 targets are constantly moving. The third phase of impact training isrepparttar 130757 unrestricted force brought to bear on an "opponent" who a wearing full body armor. This is not a self-defense mode of training, becauserepparttar 130758 partner wearingrepparttar 130759 protective gear will not cooperate, but rather be hitting, kicking, and striking you as well. The "assailant" is not a model "mugger," but an aggressive adversary changingrepparttar 130760 combat ranges with no consistent pattern of attack.

This brings up another item on our checklist of combat-oriented training; a method of training that encompasses all four ranges of combat. How often has a well-meaning male martial arts instructor encouraged female students to develop their kicks sincerepparttar 130761 "legs are much stronger thanrepparttar 130762 hands?" Yet, statistics show that most assaults on women occur inrepparttar 130763 "in-fighting," or close-quarter range of combat. While back-spinning kicks may-be beautiful inrepparttar 130764 gym, it is unlikely that you will have time to even launch any kick, sincerepparttar 130765 range of combat closes in less than one-tenth of a second. To restrict oneself to a martial arts method that emphasizes long-range kicking is to limit one's coping abilities inrepparttar 130766 other ranges of a violent confrontation.

So important is this in-fighting range for women that it is imperative we haverepparttar 130767 necessary "tools" to deal with aggression in this "war zone." Strikes that conveyrepparttar 130768 most damage inrepparttar 130769 shortest time must be perfected. This means hitting, and not blocking, onrepparttar 130770 first move. Since no referee will say, "break" whenrepparttar 130771 combat range closes, women must launch damaging shockers so thatrepparttar 130772 assailant cannot continue his attack. (This concept eliminates most restraining-type arts that were developed when professional warriors were clad in armor, thus prohibiting striking or kicking of any sort.)

Some ofrepparttar 130773 most efficient (if not artistically pleasing) strikes are:repparttar 130774 finger jab, which should be cultivated on something harder than a pillow since you will likely run into facial bone. (You can build up to striking padded diving goggles by starting to finger jab your shower curtain.); elbows, knees and headbutts can be perfected on focus gloves or Thai pads; low kicks (belowrepparttar 130775 waist) should be directed torepparttar 130776 groin, knees, femur bone, or shins and can be practiced on a partner wearing shin guards or long "banana bags."

Guide to a Growing Trend: The "Green" or Ecological Wedding

Written by Blake Kritzberg

Does it seem likerepparttar phrases "ecology" and "wedding" could hardly have less in common? Withrepparttar 130740 average wedding costing well over 15 thousand today, one would think so. And yet,repparttar 130741 "green" or ecologically-friendly wedding is gaining momentum acrossrepparttar 130742 nation. The green wedding, like any other wedding style, has its tribal features. By tribal, I meanrepparttar 130743 signs and signifiers that help tellrepparttar 130744 guests whatrepparttar 130745 wedding is supposed to mean, and howrepparttar 130746 couple prefers to appear. From a tribal perspective, a green wedding can be hauntingly romantic, with its outdoor setting, its focus on living plants, and its less-formal gown (often made of hemp) that brings to mind fairy outings from 400 years ago. In personal appearance,repparttar 130747 ecology bride is oftenrepparttar 130748 gamine type. Even on her wedding day, her fresh face forms a contrast withrepparttar 130749 heavily made-up cover girls of bridal magazines. When it comes to more functional aspects,repparttar 130750 green wedding’s shape and flavor flow from three main goals: - Do no harm, - Patronize earth-friendly vendors, and - Reuse/recycle.

1) Do No Harm

The green bride tries to avoid products or activities that could compromiserepparttar 130751 environment. For this reason, butterfly releases are rare (vendors are not always careful to ship butterflies only to appropriate, native environments). Similarly, beeswax candles are avoided, as isrepparttar 130752 use of styrofoam or soft plastics atrepparttar 130753 reception -- glass and porcelain are substituted. (Brides are often surprised to discoverrepparttar 130754 caterer charges little extra for this service.) Many green bridal couples are vegetarian or vegan. In metropolitan or college-town communities, this provides a great excuse to serve dazzling ethnic foods atrepparttar 130755 reception at a reasonable cost! Hemp is widely respected among environmentalists, because unlike cotton, it can be grown without pesticides and returns most of its nutrients torepparttar 130756 soil. Whenrepparttar 130757 green bride buys a new gown for her ceremony, she often looks to hemp fabrics. Surprisingly flexible, hemp can go upmarket ("hemp satin") or relaxed (cottony separates that can be worn afterrepparttar 130758 wedding). 2) Patronize Earth-Friendly Vendors

Cont'd on page 2 ==> © 2005
Terms of Use