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Thinking back to 1988 I would be remiss to not mention the Dodgers underdog win against the Bash Brothers and the Swingin' A's. I remember where I was, at a campsite when this game was on the radio and my Dad and uncles were freaking out. The A's had Eckersley on the mound, perhaps the best closer in history or close to it, and Gibson was expected to sit the whole series because of two bad legs. When I watched replays of the at bat later, he really gave a sad couple swings. He was all arms. Hitting a home run was just about his only option because he would have had to hit a double in the gap to leg out a single. That game set the tone for the series and had Lasorda not made that decision to pinch hit Mr. Gibson I don't believe the Dodgers win that series.

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50 days ago

Tae Kwon Do sometimes gets some flack from martial arts practitioners as being more a workout than a self defense style. However, I wouldn't want to get in the way of an experience Tae Kwon Do student's kick. They can be flashy but also quite effective. The focus is generally at least 70% kicks, and like all styles they are taught to whip the kicks like a wet towel; pulling it back after it hits. This adds quickness and power, and sets the student up to deliver the next strike. The main difference here is that since the majority of time is spent on kicks, theirs are some of the most powerful. There is also often a big emphasis placed on training and endurance, so Tae Kwon Do students can be some of the best athletes.

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50 days ago

Kenpo for me was the simplest martial arts style to learn. There isn't a lot of complicated locks, nor a lot of grappling. The moves aren't very complex. It's quite direct, and the concept is that every block is a strike. For example, if someone throws a strike, some martial art form may teach that the block is it's own specific first move, there to avoid getting hit and set you up for your first strike. Kenpo eliminates the setup and goes straight to the offensive. A downward block for example might be used to strike a nerve in the forearm, and now your hand is in place for a quick strike to the face or neck.

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50 days ago

I've dabbled in aikido a little. When done well it can be a beautiful thing to watch. It's a lot of re-directs, using opponents force against them. Steven Segal is a bit of an anomaly in that it's often for shorter folks going up against taller opponents. While it can be beautiful, it's quite effective, and it's sometimes taught to cops to subdue a person without inflicting much damage. However, in terms of overall self-defense, some of the flash might be better of eliminated. A 4 or 5 step aikido move could be cut down to 1 or 2 moves, and now you have a simple, straightforward and effective way to end the confrontation. My theory on why the advanced and drawn-out moves are taught in the dojo is that, as an art form, there is a focus on aesthetics, and it's also a way to attract new students to the art. It's generally easier to dial it back, so if your body is trained for a longer move you can edit that down to what's practical in a self defense situation.

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1162 days ago

I really expected Whiteside to be another case like "Linsanity", where a fringe NBA guy was given big minutes all of a sudden and managed to produce above his ability for a while. (Lin did manage to convert a legit NBA career out of that Knicks run, but as a back-up level pg, not an almost all-star level player.) But Whiteside has been a legitimately dominant big man both last season and this season. He's currently averaging a double-double and just a touch under 4 blocks per game. That merits all-star consideration.

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