October/November 2019 Community

On Our 52 Blocks Cover Story


Malachi Mutakabbir: I am reaching out to you about the June/July cover of Black Belt. I want to express how happy I am to see that you guys recognize 52 Hand Blocks as a true martial art. I have been training in it most of my life. Sensei Mo is like an uncle to me. I am the son of Abdul Mutakabbir, an undefeated kickboxing champion. I have several black belts in various martial arts. However, I always revert to 52 Blocks when things go bad. This art connects to the streets.
It is legendary because a lot of the older cats practiced the art back in the day and would pass it on to the youngsters — such as it was passed to me. A lot of practitioners have done time, and that is where the art was believed to originate from. It didn’t. It was certainly put to the test and perfected in the prison system but not created there. From the prisons, the guys would come home with this new fighting style and share it with the neighborhood or anyone willing to practice it.
I am a Hollywood stuntman that is an up-and-coming fight coordinator because of my extensive background in martial arts. I incorporated 52 Blocks in a lot of my choreography, and it will be featured in several films I’m working on in the near future. Stay tuned!
Respect to Black Belt magazine and what you guys do for all the martial arts.

Acie Mitchell: I have been a practitioner of 52 Blocks for most of my life. I’d like to thank you for maintaining the art’s integrity in that it is indeed an art of Africa. As you clearly indicated, its supposed link to the prison system is misinformation and conjecture. Indeed, your iconic presentation of Mahaliel Bethea, aka Professor Mo, on the cover and in the interview provided accurate information on the art’s origin. I really appreciate how on Page 36, the phrase “art of incarceration” is X’d out in red, and [the comment in the interview about] how this African martial art is stored within our (black people/Africans in America) DNA with the comparison to break dancing and capoeira.
Furthermore, celebrities such as Larenz Tate and Ludacris have done movies to expose the art, but it’s early practitioners like Professor Mo and Wesley Snipes who are the true masters and pioneers, making this complete African martial art a global sensation. Again, thank you for presenting our martial art on your prestigious platform.

Master Phoenix Le Grand: I would like to say that the 52 Blocks story was an incredible read! It laid down the foundation and information of African arts. It was well-needed in society today to show the different cultures and origins of the unknown arts. Thank you so much for putting out such information. How do I get more of it?

On an Old Pic We Posted
BLACK BELT: Can you decipher the action in this photo from a 1969 issue of Black Belt?

Josh Horne: Right-side roundhouse kick. Left side with a leg sweep counter.
Stefan Stoica: The guy on the left tried a ushiro-ura-mawashi, and the other dude used a stopping kick to the support leg ...
Køy Nåtahäñyel Sörianø: Spinning back kick counter to a side or front kick attack.
Mike Allen: Notice ... No pads!!!
Ron Irwin: Sweeping the leg in a counter to the round kick. Actually quite devastating.
Prentice Martin Southwell: One thing is for sure. Everybody WAS Kung-Fu Fighting.

On Breaking News
BLACK BELT: The new issue is back in stock! Get yours while they last.
Mario Morin: After 46 years after his death, this man still sells because he was the incarnation of martial arts, not the portrayal of the latest film of Tarantino. One word, Respect.

On an Inspirational Quote We Posted
Richard “Mack” Machowicz: “It all comes down to this: Everything you want in life depends on your ability to focus. No one ever really teaches you how to focus other than to say, ‘Focus!’ It’s your mind that says you can’t do things. Can is just as powerful as can’t. Will power is just as powerful as won’t power.”
Adam Hamlin: Overcome internal resistance, and solve problems. I hear him.
Larry Rose: Wise words ... Respect and honor to the man who said them. RIP, Mack.

On a Link to a BlackBeltMag.com Post
BLACK BELT: Go here to read about Sean Kanan, the bad boy from Karate Kid 3!

Danny Singleterry Guevara Jr.: Really hope he makes a return in the Cobra Kai series.
Steve Hodson: Yeah, Mike Bad Boy Barnes needs a cameo for sure!!!
Michael Mckenna: We need more than a cameo.

On an MMA Challenge
BLACK BELT: [link to “MMA Star Kayla Harrison Calls out Cris Cyborg”] So would you pick Black Belt Hall of Famer/two-time Olympic judo gold-medalist
Kayla Harrison or MMA veteran Cris Cyborg?
Mikey Seweyestewa: Kayla has good judo. But, she’s in waaaaaaay over her head here.No one she’s fought has been anywhere near the level of Cyborg.
Anthony Phillips: Kayla for sure.
Jonathan Reyes: Cyborg doubtless.

On a Movie Question
BLACK BELT: Think of all the rising stars in martial arts cinema. Now, who will become the next SUPERstar?
Stella Stagaki: Scott Adkins (shown) already is!!! But now it’s time for his big break.
MXRTPLACE: TJ Storm. 

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Photo Courtesy: Dawson Holt via Instagram

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