Posts Tagged ‘current events’

Here is a Special Post from Master Jim’s THINK Like a BLACK BELT blog on how best to help your children cope with the school shootings in Connecticut today…



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At the Black Belt Mindset Institute at Northern Chi Martial Arts Center, we have a realistic approach to children’s self-defense. They may think they can outfight an adult assailant; after all, that’s what they see on TV.

We teach kids that an adult has an overwhelming advantage in a violent attack. We teach them three simple rules:

  • Run!
  • If you can’t run…punch, kick, bite and…
  • SCREAM!!!

A 40 to 80 pound child cannot outfight an average adult. However, if they’re trained to stay alert, they’re much less likely to get into trouble. If they know some basic fighting tactics, they make the attackers job a lot more difficult, will attract attention and may even discourage the attack altogether. If they train to scream and yell for help, they become the attacker’s worst nightmare.

Guess which tactic saved the life of these two children in Philadelphia…

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Portland Press Herald headline: Maine crime sees greatest jump since 1975

The biggest spike in crime in more than 35 years- and many of you thought it couldn’t happen here!

From the article by Kelly Bouchard:

Public Safety Commissioner John Morris said every crime category went up last year, except a slight decrease in robberies, according to a news release.
“Drugs are the main reason for the increase as addicts commit crimes to feed their habits,” Morris said. “Prescription drug abuse is responsible for much of the state’s drug problem. Although Maine continues to be one of the safest states in the country, the crime numbers are troubling.”

Troubling to say the least.

A criminal drug addict is a very focused individual. He is obsessed with one thing and one thing only- the next fix. If you just left the ATM with newly minted 20 dollar bills, or your medicine cabinet is stocked with Oxcycontin from your back surgery you are a likely target of violent crime. You are either in the way of or the source of the junky’s next high.

Both aggravated assaults and simple assaults increased in 2011. Aggravated assaults, which involve serious injury and usually a weapon, increased by 16.3 percent (884 cases in 2011 vs. 760 cases in 2010). Simple assaults increased by 15.3 percent (12,200 cases reported in 2011 vs. 10,581 simple assaults for 2010).

This is a significant increase. It’s time to pay attention. What can you do about it?

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. In personal defense, this means learning the signs of an impending attack and becoming aware of habits that make you a likely target. Avoiding an attack is vastly preferable to a physical encounter, particularly with a singularly motivated and possibly psychotic drug addict.

Do you:

  • Walk around with your cell phone glued to your head?
  • Wear earphones while walking or jogging?
  • Look down when walking?
  • Park in dimly lit or unlighted spaces?
  • Leave your doors and windows open at home?
  • Use open-air ATM machines?
  • Count your money in public?
  • Post your illnesses or injuries on Facebook?
  • Post your vacations on Facebook?
  • Tag yourself out of the house on Twitter and Foursquare?

Any of these habits can make you an attractive target. In our two-hour intensive we cover what you should and should not be doing to avoid a potential threat. We teach you how to recognize impending danger and how best to avoid physical confrontation. We teach intuitive, practical and easy-to-learn tactics in case you exhaust all options and have to fight.

Of course many people in Maine live in rural areas and feel that “it just can’t happen to them.” Crime is up in the country as well as in town…

Crime in the rural areas increased 3.5 percent in 2011, while crime in the cities and towns increased by 6 percent.

We don’t want you to be paranoid. We want you to be AWARE. While anyone can be a target of violent crime, it’s much easier to avoid an assault than to have to fight your way out of it.

Spaces EXTREMELY limited to provide full attention to all participants…Click here to register TODAY!

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The troubling rise in campus violence and crime continues. Are you sending your children to college this fall? Send them prepared.

Most college assaults can be avoided. AWARE focuses on reducing the likelihood of an attack by being in tune with one’s environment and learning to recognize danger before a physical encounter is unavoidable.

This is NOT a martial arts class and it’s NOT your typical self-defense class. AWARE is an intuitive response approach to personal safety that emphasizes avoidance rather than engagement. Should you be unable to avoid a physical assault, you’ll learn practical, natural physical techniques that work…whether you’re a trained martial artist or not.

While this session will emphasize the transition to college or an urban environment, this seminar is also perfect for business professionals and travelers who want to be safe away from home.

Follow this link to register. Save $25 on early registrations: Enter the discount code: EARLY 25

For more information call 721-0299…

Save $25…Enter discount code: EARLY 25 when you register NOW!

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Very interesting report on what you can do to keep your kids out of trouble on the internet…


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“Man, 65, kills teen who knocked him off bicycle” 

That’s the MSNBC headline describing last week’s story of a man who was knocked from his bike while riding on a woodland trail during what he says was an attempted robbery. In self-defense, the cyclist shot and killed one of the assailants; Julius Johnson.

Three youths attacked a man who was apparently minding his own business riding on a rural bike trail. According to NBC 10 in Philadelphia, Berks County, Pennsylvania District Attorney John T. Adams reported that the boys cut school to commit robberies and had already attacked two other elderly men earlier that morning.

This incident has again ignited the ageless debate over the proper use of deadly force. It also clearly shows why deadly force is an appropriate, if regrettable option in cases like this one.

There may not be any outcry had the headlines read:

“Three strong young men viciously attack elderly cyclist; one killed in attempt” 

The loss of life is always regrettable in a self-defense situation. Few victims of assaults kill attackers in a blind rage intent on murder. The death of an attacker is one of the possible outcomes in a righteous self-defense situation when the victim decides to fight back; armed or unarmed. When you make the decision to train responsibly in self-defense, armed or otherwise, this is a serious consideration.

In a situation like this, there is no time and should be no obligation for the victim of the attack to analyze the ultimate intentions of the assailants. We do know in this case that Johnson, the assailant who was killed, was continuing to attack the cyclist. When he was shot, he was trying to kick his target in the face.

We also know that Johnson “had a criminal record and was on probation at the time of the incident. He was even on electronic monitoring, officials said.” (NBC 10, Philadelphia)

Declaring that no charges would be filed against the shooter, DA Adams added:

“While I do not condone violence, the bike rider had no choice…”

Adams is wrong in one respect.

The “bike rider” did not commit an act of violence. The violence was perpetrated by Johnson and his accomplices. Righteous self-defense is not violence; it is an appropriate response to unprovoked violence.

In this case, the gun was not a tool of violence; it was a life-preserver.

Ancient martial arts proverb: 

“It is better not to fight. 

“When attacked, it is better to injure than maim, 

“It is better to maim than kill, 

“It is better to kill than be killed, 

“For all life is precious and can never be replaced.”


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Need more reasons to enroll your children in a martial arts program? Check this out…

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What would you do?

You’re a kindergarten teacher with a roomful of children. A gun battle rages outside your classroom between drug dealers and cops.

Here’s what one teacher in Mexico did recently!

This is a great lesson in courage and a wonderful example for how to keep children calm in a traumatic situation. This teacher truly Thinks Like a Black Belt!

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WARNING- The following video is extremely disturbing. Frankly, this video should never have been shot; the person holding the camera should have dropped the damn camera and helped this girl…

What is wrong with us?

Two unarmed teenage girls terrorize a third young woman, apparently because she is trans-gendered, and beat her into a seizure while at least four or more bystanders watch it all happen. To his credit, a manger helps to some degree, but he had several other options that would have ended this situation long before the victim was critically injured.

The only real hero in this scenario is an elderly woman, obviously not an athlete, who had the courage to intervene and in no uncertain terms told the attackers to stop and get out.

Let’s focus on what should have happened…

In my humble opinion, both the attackers should have been physically removed from the restaurant. I know most companies, and I’m sure McDonald’s is no exception, have “observe and report” rules to keep employees safe. In this case, two or three employees could have easily removed the teenage girls from the scene or “gently” guided them out the door.

Likely they would have been fired for doing so- it still would have been the right thing to do.

Notice at about 59 seconds into the video that there is an open door on the left side of the frame. The manager and one employee who seems to be offering at least some assistance at that point could have guided the victim through the door and to safety in the kitchen or back office.

Although there is a break in the video timeline, at about 1:05 we see both attackers obviously leaving the restaurant. Lock the doors…problem solved. This would have prevented the worst part of the beating.

Instead, the attack continues…

At 1:25 the only hero on the scene arrives as the girls drag their victim by the hair toward the door- the same door they should have been prevented from re-entering moments before. Ironically, one of the little darlings is heard yelling “you can’t touch me” to the elderly woman who bravely puts herself between the attackers and the victim. Our hero does not look intimidated in the least- contrast her demeanor against those who were watching the entire scene play out.

The camera pans to show at least two employees, young men nearly twice the size of the attackers, who actually look as if they’re backing away from the fray. Even worse, they are heard laughing and possibly encouraging the attack as one of the perpetrators tries to pick up a chair as a weapon. The elderly woman is still putting herself in the middle of the fracas as she tries to separate the victim from the attackers. We again see the manager who now appears to be barring the attackers from dragging the victim out the door.

The older woman is struck by one of the attackers and never backs down a single step.

Now we finally hear some display of compassion from the bystanders as they witness the victim go into a seizure, apparently triggered by the repeated blows to her head. For the first time we hear one of the cowards yell, “call the police.” Fortunately, someone had already done so; no thanks to these guys.

Your brave cameraman gets his close-up as he continues to yell, “she’s having a f@#king seizure, y’all…she needs help now!” Anyone with the most rudimentary first aid training would have known to place a towel or cloth in the victim’s mouth and move objects out of her way until the seizure ran its course. I suppose it’s too much to expect that any of these employees would have been trained in basic first aid, but it’s disgusting that the one felt his primary obligation was to capture the next viral video.

Update: Interview with Chrissy Lee Polis from Baltimore Sun:

As repulsed as I am by his cowardice; I’m grateful we have the video. Too often we hear about these stories but never see them. Don’t look away; have the courage to confront this ugly scene with eyes wide open. This is an ever-increasing reality we simply cannot ignore.

Now let’s focus on what can and should happen in the future:

  • Whether from the outside or as a result of the actions of employees, violence can erupt unexpectedly. Have a clear plan of action and train employees in the proper procedures and protocols. As we’ve pointed out; there were several opportunities to end this situation long before the young woman was seriously injured.
  • Teach courage to our young people. How do two unarmed teenage girls hold at least 5 people at bay while they beat their victim into a seizure?
  • Teach tolerance- and if not tolerance at least restraint. The victim, Chrissy Lee Polis is apparently a trans-gendered person and the fight was ignited when the primary attacker, Teonna Monae Brown was offended that Polis was using the women’s room and apparently talked to her boyfriend.

Ultimately, this attack never should have happened. I’m not saying you’re not entitled to your point of view; the issue of trans-gender is at best little understood. I can understand a woman being offended or even nervous about a person she sees as a male in a women’s restroom- but the solution in this situation would have been leave the restroom, not beat the other person to a pulp.

At the same time, take care that you do not condone an attack on someone because that person is different. What of your unique characteristics would justify violence against you?

I’m all for defending yourself physically if you feel threatened or you’re under attack. Where was the threat in this instance? Teonna Brown and her teen accomplice were wrong- period.

I also teach in my self-defense classes that you have to be very cautious about when and how you get involved in a violent situation. In this case, the attackers’ only advantage was their aggressive posturing. They could have easily been controlled or, as I already pointed out, there were other options available to diffuse the attack.

The manager at least did something to try to help. The older woman that put herself at risk to protect another human being is a hero.

The bystanders who did nothing were criminal accomplices and cowards.


What can we do about the continuing escalation of bullying and violence in our communities, schools and workplaces? We’ll be talking about REAL solutions to this very real problem on May 10th in Brunswick, Maine:

Register here. Proceeds benefit Big Brothers/Big Sisters.

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The Black Belt Mindset Institute is collecting donations to support the continuing earthquake relief efforts in Japan. As martial artists we owe a great debt to Japanese culture and heritage. Your loose change and donations is a welcome way to support the Japanese people and show our appreciation for what we have borrowed from Japan.

Nichelle Nichols, the original Lt. Uhura of Star Trek will send us a personalized photograph to anyone who sends a donation of $50 or more to Japanese earthquake relief efforts. Find out more by listening to our interview with Nichelle on Think Like a Black Belt: The Show!

The inspirational Ms. Nichols also talks about her role on Star Trek and her part in empowering women and fighting prejudice. We talk about her pivotal meeting with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and about her return to music with her one woman show!

You can listen to Think Like a Black Belt: The Show live every Tuesday at Noon ET, or on-demand at BlogTalkRadio!

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