From the Archive Vol. 18, No. 8, $1.50

The 200th issue of Black Belt was dated August 1980. It was 76 pages long and featured 40-year-old Chuck Norris on the cover.

Chuck Norris on cross-training: "The Korean style (tang soo do) was good, but there is a lot more to learn than just that. So I started training with a Japanese stylist, and I got my hand techniques down a lot better. Then I started working a lot with the Chinese systems and learning the mobility of the Chinese systems. Plus I studied judo for five years, and so I started incorporating judo — the sweeping punch — and then I started studying aikido. I was just trying to absorb knowledge."


- Likely the most expensive item featured in an ad in this issue of Black Belt: a full-size replica of samurai armor, $2,995.

- The U.S. National Karate Team flies to France to compete in the WUKO World Championships. Chuck Merriman and Alex Sternberg are the coaches. Among the American athletes is Billy Blanks.

- "The theory of 'no first attack' had no place in jujitsu," Alan Kitay writes. "It is because of the flexibility and adaptability of all the techniques — which can be offensive or defensive — that this is so. To merely parry and defend, as would be taught in an aikido school, has one major drawback: It allows your opponent more than one shot at you."

- On the subject of con men in the martial arts, Fred Hamilton of Jamaica, New York, sounds off: "What amazes me is that the kids are an incredible barometer for seeing through phonies. Every person that a kid has warned me about has always turned out to be a lemon. As a rule, [kids] have a good sense for people."

- "The reason that this art has survived, then, is not because of its importance as a means of espionage but because it got back to the original purpose of enlightenment and personal development." So says Stephen K. Hayes on the history of ninjutsu.

- A one-year subscription to Black Belt is on sale for $10.

- In perhaps the first instance of the word "combat" being used to describe a supposedly more street-realistic interpretation of a martial art, it's noted that 35 years ago, Col. Rex Applegate referred to his style as "combat judo."

- "The people who've called me since my TV appearances almost always preface their questions by demanding that I tell them my 'secret,'" says breaking sensation Richie Barathy. "I don't have one. There's nothing I do that is the least bit different from the mental training that can be gained through adhering to the requirements of any genuine martial arts training program."

- The featured fighters in Century's new ad for Pro Pants and Sport Tops are Mike Genova, John Longstreet and Keith Vitali.§ "Everyone has a handicap," says blind judoka Jesse Pope, 25. "It's just that it doesn't always show on the outside."

- After outing a person who submitted faked photos, the editor of Black Belt reveals one way bogus breaking pix are concocted: "Pre-cut the ice, then use salt to join the block back together. The block then breaks very easily when hit." (You can guess what I'll be doing this weekend.)
(Note: Back issues are not for sale.)

Dr. Craig's Martial Arts Movie Lounge

When The Fast and the Furious (2001) sped into the psyche's of illegal street racing enthusiasts, with a penchant for danger and the psychotic insanity of arrant automotive adventure, the brusque bearish, quasi-hero rebel, Dominic "Dom" Toretto was caustic yet salvationally portrayed with the power of a train using a Vin Diesel engine.

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The skill of stick fighting as a handy weapon dates from the prehistory of mankind. The stick has got an advantage over the stone because it could be used both for striking and throwing. In lots of countries worlwide when dealing with martial arts there is a special place for fighters skillful in stick fighting. ( India, China, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, countries of Africa, Europe and Americas etc).

The short stick as a handy weapon has been used as a means of self-defence from animals and later various attackers. Regarding its length it was better than the long stick, primarily because it was easier to carry and use. The short stick as a means of self-defence was used namely in all countries of the world long time ago.

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The Czech Republic's Lukas Krpalek put himself in the history books Friday when he became only the third judoka to ever win Olympic gold medals in two different weight categories claiming the men's +100 kg division in Tokyo. Krpalek, who won the under 100 kg class at the 2016 Rio Olympics, hit a throw with time running out in the finals against Georgia's Guram Tushishvili and went into a hold down to pin Tushishvili for the full point to earn his second Olympic championship. Meanwhile, two-time defending +100 kg champion Teddy Riner of France, considered by some the greatest judoka in history, was upset in the quarter finals and had to settle for the bronze.

On the women's side, Akira Sone helped Japan break its own record for most judo gold medals in a single Olympics when she claimed her country's ninth gold of the tournament capturing the women's +78 kg division against Cuba's Idalys Ortiz. The win came in somewhat anticlimactic fashion as no throws were landed and Ortiz lost on penalties in overtime.