Combatives expert Kelly McCann is a former U.S. Marine special-missions officer responsible for counterterrorism and counter-narcotics. Kelly McCann now serves as president of Crucible, a firm that organizes protective details in all sorts of high-risk environments, provides security support services and trains military, government and law-enforcement operators to do whatever it takes to survive and complete their mission. Kelly McCann's also served as a subject-matter expert in close-quarters combat, high-risk protective services, high-risk-environment force protection tactics, and terrorist techniques and procedures. A former military and security analyst for CNN and MSNBC, Kelly McCann can now be seen on Fox News.
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.
Justin Lin's climb up the Fast & Furious ladder matches the film titles, fast and furious. He's the only director to shoot five sequels (3, 4, 5, 6, 9) with F10 on the way. The resulting action composition in F9: The Last Saga (F9) has been brewing since his intro to Bruce Lee and Lin's early subliminal and now obvious influences from Jackie Chan.
When I first discussed Bruce Lee with the Taiwanese-born, Los Angeles-raised Lin in 1997, he shared, "Whether Asian Americans like it or not, they all have a relationship with Bruce. When I was 10, I was deeply disturbed watching Bruce's Game of Death (1979). There was a guy who vaguely looked like Lee interspersed with shots of the real Lee, right down to a photo of Lee pasted onto a mirror to make us believe the guy in front of the mirror was Bruce. Yet when I first saw Bruce Lee on screen, I felt his power, he gave me the strength to strive for something. After learning about the film's freaky news, I thought, how in the hell did the double get that job?"
Lin addressed this question in his first martial arts film, Finishing the Game (2007). Co-starring Sung Kang, Lin also hired fight choreographer Don Thai, who at the time was a close associate and one of Jackie Chan's protégés.
Years earlier, Jackie Chan's Opera brother Corey Yuen directed Jason Statham's breakout martial arts film Transporter(2002). Around the same time, Jackie Chan's stunt double/fight choreographer, Andy Cheng, was priming Dwayne Johnson in Chan's style of action too as the fight coordinator on Johnson's first martial arts film Rundown (2003).
The Fast & Furious films began as street drag-racing movies, perhaps influenced by the demented driving antics of Steve McQueen in real life and in his movie Getaway (1972). Yet with the addition of Dwayne Johnson as CIA agent Luke Hobbs in Fast Five (2011), whose job was to track down and capture Dom, the franchise morphed into a car-llection of visceral flicks filled with over-the-top, outrageous, literal high-octane car stunts.
Then just as you think there's no more juice in the engines, apart from flashing red buttons connected to newfangled fuel-injection systems, which are attached to nitrous oxide canisters capable of giving short bursts of Star Wars light speed, Furious 7 (2015) arrived. F7 upped the martial arts ante by casting legitimate martial artist Jason Statham as the rogue assassin Deckard Shaw who ran pugilistic mayhem around Dom and Hobbs.
Yet with F9, Lin translated Lee's power into his action sequences and saw how Chan's fights used the tangible qualities of space and how Chan continually transforms it from the confines of small rooms, alleys or a high-rise's narrow ledge to the vastness of a castle, mountaintop, or rooftops of big towering buildings. Like Chan, Lin achieves these transformations via extended chase sequences where each unpredictable redefinition of space adds to the scene's momentum by creating a giddy farce. As his characters move through new environments, they confront new circumstances and possibilities.
With F9, Lin goes beyond these confines. Dom learns that his long-lost renegade brother Jacob (John Cena) has become a deadly assassin who's in cahoots with Dom's mortal enemy Cipher from The Fate and the Furious (2017) and her new psychotic partner Otto. Their aim is to find two halves of a top-secret gadget that can control the world's security network. It's time for Dom and his speedster band of brothers/sisters to unite to save the world from this terminally ruthless trio while dealing with family secrets.
In 1999, Diesel told about his bouncer and boxing background in New York, and his love for the 1970's Shaw Brother kung fu films adding with a bellowing calm voice, "It would've been cool to be in one of those movies, the weapons, the wires, the fights."
By a strange twist of fate, Diesel is doing a kung fu film that's as close to being a 1970s, Shaw Brothers wuxia movie than he could ever have imagined. His weapon of choice isn't fists, knives or kung fu, but a 1968 Dodge Charger with car fufight choreography.
Dom can maneuver his cars to block, deflect and parry oncoming forces of sideswiping and head on attacks from other autos, armored vehicles, giant transporter trucks and even a flying wing. His car fu has skills that can catch and intercept flying members of his team out of mid-air death plummets that are more radical than a square route.
The wire-fu car fu is as outrageous as it sounds. In one moment Dom can be speeding along then he pulls of this dodgy move that's akin to maniacal spider falling from a ceiling toward your unsuspecting head on the end of a single strand of silk thread.
Stunt coordinator J.J. Perry who was into Hong Kong stylized action since his beginnings, choreographed a handful of unique fights that are well worth the watch and there are two particular fights that take into account the yin and yang balance of combat.
One is Dom's rough and tumble, smash and crash brawl as he becomes a human muscle car in a wide-open underground warehouse where he takes on droves of heavily armed punch and crunch security forces. The opposing energy is a powerful light focusing on the F9's fighting women, Letty, Mia and newcomer Elle taking on a team of marauding mercenaries within the tight confines of a small Tokyo apartment. It's a close quarters, tag-team action fray using medium shots, where each lady does 2-6 techniques per take.
In Chinese numerology, nine represents longevity and so it's no wonder that F9 will continue the franchise's staying power where breaking the speed limit is a way of life.
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Here are some statistics to think about:
- Ten percent of sex offenders use online dating to meet people.
- Approximately three percent of men using online dating apps are psychopaths.
- More than twenty percent of rapists use online dating sites and apps to find victims.
- Internet predators commit over sixteen thousand abductions, one hundred murders and thousands of rapes annually.
The crazy thing about this is dating sites are making big money and more and more Americans are going online every day looking for the right soulmate. Some people are comfortable meeting up with a stranger after just a few chats on an app. You can tell if someone is telling you the truth about themselves just by speaking to them on the phone. If they are reluctant to give out their number, or they shrug it off, suggest a video chat instead and pay attention. A red flag should go up if they avoid providing any personal or contact information.
If you are planning to meet someone for a first date, meet them in a public environment such as a coffee shop or restaurant, with a lot of other people in the area. Never have them pick you up at your home or work.
Keep yourself and your home safe. Do not give out your address and do not accept a ride, even if the person suggests riding together for convenience. Your home is your place of safety. Do not create any uncertainty, so do not do it. You must always keep your guard up because you never know when an attempt will happen. Rape catches every victim off guard. You go out to have a fun night with someone and it ends up being a nightmare and you have been sexually assaulted. Nobody can predict when rape will happen but be proactive by thinking ahead and be smart.
What I would recommend before you meet up in person with a potential date for the first time is you may want to research the person's name on social media to be sure they are not using a fake social media account to create their dating profile. If you feel uncomfortable with that person and they are acting inappropriately towards you and you are feeling suspicious, you can block them and report them. If you decide to meet someone, before meeting them on a date, tell a family member and/or a friend where you are going, when and who you are meeting on a date. Take a screenshot of your date's profile and let them know. If you decide to go somewhere else, text your friend and let them know where you are going and when you are home. Even if everything goes good on your date, DO NOT invite him to your home or go to his. You want to spend more time together in public places.
While on your date, if something does not seem right and you get an uncomfortable feeling, your internal alarm is going off. Go with your intuition. You may have possibly met with someone who intends to commit sexual assault. Make up an excuse and leave. Trust your instincts and feel free to leave a date or cut off communication with whoever is making you feel unsafe. Do not feel bad about your decision; you are playing it safe, and you are a warrior. The safest plan is to think ahead. Stay around people, make your own way there and back, and do not feel pressured to go home with your date. You want to get to know the person face to face and make sure your expectations match your date's. You do not owe this person anything, no matter how long you have been chatting online.
Be aware of alcohol and drugs, they play a major role in date rapes. Drinking can loosen inhibitions, reduce commonsense, and causes some people to get extremely aggressive. Drugs can take away your ability to be in control or get help. Some criminals will put a drug in your drink, and it is almost impossible to detect it. These drugs make people feel weak and confused and can cause you to pass out and forget everything that happened while on the drug. You must protect yourself and focus on the safety and prevent it.
Self defense is not a luxury; it is an essential life skill. Knowledge and experience are a necessity. Fighting back may be your only choice of escape and you deserve a fighting chance. This can happen to anyone, so work on your self-defense skills and be prepared. You should know the person well before you go into secluded places, especially when you are in the early stages of dating. Going someplace where you cannot get help is risky. This includes your home, apartment, or bedroom. If you do feel comfortable going to their house, be sure a family member or a friend knows where you are. When in their house, know how to get out. Make up an excuse to go out to your car and know how all the locks work on the doors and how to get out quick. In case you need help, I recommend having a speed dial on your phone.
If your date is not being respectful and is putting his hands on you, yell "Please stop" and put on a mean face. Get yourself to be angry. If they persist, hold their hands, and get your feet on his hips so you can control the distance between the two of you and you can get away. Be sure to make a lot of noise screaming and yelling, as you want to make him think someone can hear you. His fear is getting caught. If they continue and do not stop, you should not hesitate or feel badly about striking someone who has not listened to what you told them. Be aware, though, that it could possibly trigger violence in them. You want to get away and go to safety. Criminals and predators have a plan and have likely "done this before." Assaults are swift and vicious. Fighting back and having a plan may be your only chance of survival, and you deserve a fighting chance.
Just so you know, if you have been scammed or assaulted by interacting with others online, you are not alone, and it is not your fault. I was catfished by someone I met on Facebook. She was from China. It seemed so genuine that our communication went on for a couple months. It seemed like we had so much in common, but something did not seem right. I went with my intuition and instincts, so I insisted on a video chat. She resisted and shrugged it off, made up several excuses not to have the video chat. That was when I knew I was catfished by a stranger.
This can happen to anyone. Use this knowledge to keep your guard up and go with your intuition and stay safe.
Robert "Tokyo Joe" LaMattina is the founder of Tokyo Joe's Studios. He is a Grand Master in Kempo karate. He has bee studying the martial arts for over fifty years and has been offering women's self-defense rape prevention courses since 1980. To contact him, send an email to
In an epic final day match-up of unbeatens, sumo legend Hakuho defeated fellow Mongolian Terunofuji in an intense battle to claim a record 45th title at the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament Sunday in Japan. Both wrestlers had entered the bout with perfect 14-0 marks, one of the rare occasions the finals of a Grand Sumo Tournament featured two competitors with perfect records.
Hakuho came out of the blocks with an immediate forearm to Terunofuji's face followed by a slapping attack. After a belt grip, he secured an overhook on Terunofuji's right arm and finally forced him to the ground with an armlock throw to earn the championship.
At 36, Hakuho is currently the only wrestler holding the title of "yokozuna," sumo's highest rank. He'd been the subject of retirement speculation prior to Nagoya having withdrawn from the last six tournaments due to injury. Terunofuji had already staged his own comeback story. After falling from the sport's upper echelons following knee surgery, he battled back to ozeki status, sumo's second highest rank, winning the last two tournaments. It's believed his 14-1 record at Nagoya may be enough to insure him a promotion to yokozuna.