Sarah Leonie Cysique Olympics
Host country Japan set a record for most gold medals in judo this Olympics with nine but couldn't add a tenth as the Tokyo Olympics closed out their judo competition Saturday with an upset in the first ever mixed team competition. France stormed the mats to knock off the favored Japanese 4-1 in the finals.


Clarisse Agbegnenou and Axel Clerget started strong for France defeating Chizuru Arai and Shoichiro Mukai, respectively, in the first two matches. But Japan's +78 kg women's gold medalist Akira Sone came back to beat Romane Dicko. However French judo legend Teddy Riner, after having to settle for a bronze medal in yesterday's +100 kg men's competition, returned to defeat under 100 kg gold medalist Aaron Wolf in overtime to keep France ahead. Sarah Leonie Cysique then sealed the gold for France beating Tsukasa Yoshida in the fifth match. Japan's team silver still gave them a record-tying 12 overall medals for the games.

That a director of my city's opera company would call me seemed a little odd. There are probably some monkeys who know more about opera than I do. But the director was inviting me to lunch, so of course I went.

It turned out the company was producing a performance of Madame Butterfly, the Puccini opera that tells the story of a doomed love between a French military officer and a geisha in early 19th-century Japan. The opera has come under fire for its stereotyped, utterly fanciful depictions of Japanese culture. The local company was trying to anticipate such criticism, and the director asked me, since I serve on the board of some organizations related to Japanese culture, what I thought.
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Apologies in advance for the title if it gives impressions that this is going to be all that poetic. It's not this presentation that is all that literary, but something else. Haikus and pentameter aside, MMA has moments that are nothing less than poetic on a pretty astral level. Not long ago, irony at the nauseating level (unless you are a psychopath) happened when former UFC Middleweight Champion Chris Weidman broke his leg on Uriah Hall's leg in an eerily similar way as the other former champ Anderson Silva did on Chris's in their title rematch. If you know anything at all about MMA and did not know this story, you have to have been living under a rock. Save your energy and do not go look at pictures of either event as it is nightmare material.
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Dr. Craig's Martial Arts Movie Lounge

Have you ever watched a film that was just so amazing that when the sequel came out, your mind started developing great expectations and that it would be a pip, which has nothing to do with a Charles Dicken's novel, yet a movie that could be a real humdinger?

In 2017, one of the most engaging and exciting elements of the Sammo Hung and Vincent Zhao starring God of War is that it was a remake of Jimmy Wang Yu's classic kung fu flick Beach of the War Gods (BWG; 1973). This gave me the perfect opportunity to see how a film on the same subject was handled by two Chinese filmmaking eras 44 years apart and how the fight choreography was used to tell the hero's story.

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