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Thread: Martial Arts Politicians

  1. #1
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    Politicians endorsing martial arts

    Hopefully, this thread will grow over time...
    President Patil Advises Girls to Take up Martial Arts
    Faisal Fareed
    Daijiworld Media Network - Lucknow

    Lucknow, Nov 3: President Pratibha Devi Singh Patil has suggested martial arts be taught to girls. The self defence martial arts are a means for self protection against the rising crime against women, she opined.

    The President was guest of honour during the quasquicentennial celebration of Isabella Thoburn College in Lucknow on Wednesday. The IT College, which is celebrating its 125th year of foundation was founded in July 1886 and was earlier called as Lucknow’ Women College. A postage stamp on the college was also increased on the occasion.

    The President also mentioned that girls should be taught judo and karate for their self protection which is always the best protection and a medium of self defence.

    She also expressed deep concern over rising number of crime against women in the country and asked the authorities to pay attention towards this trend. She stated that families are concerned over the safety of female members.

    She also quoted the example of Rajasthan which she stated that during her governorship, females were given 33 percent reservation in police force and they have now emerged as protectors. The President during her speech also hinted at women empowerment and gender equality and advocated full partnership of women in all activities.

    "There are two sides, women in India have attained success in all spheres of life like scaling peaks of Himalayas and top corporate posts, still there are malpractices of female foeticides and dowry," she said. President Patil also urged teh colleges to provide education and inculcate social values for developing a person in a responsible citizen.
    Gene Ching
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    Outstanding!

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    Martial Arts Politicians

    This is so great, it deserves a new thread from me. Hopefully more politicians will step up and follow suite.
    Posted on Wednesday, 05.15.13
    HIALEAH/MIAMI LAKES
    Hialeah, Miami Lakes mayors to duke it out in ‘mixed martial arts’ bout


    Miami Lakes Mayor Michael Pizzi, left, and Hialeah Mayor Carlos Hernandez pose in front of Milander Park in Hialeah on Apri 25. The pair will fight in a mixed martial arts match for charity later this summer. ROBERTO KOLTUN / EL NUEVO HERALD

    A couple of South Florida city leaders fighting wouldn’t be unusual, but two Northwest Miami-Dade mayors are taking it to a new extreme — with a real “mixed martial arts” match in front of an audience.

    Hialeah Mayor Carlos Hernandez and Michael Pizzi, mayor of neighboring Miami Lakes, say they will take to the ring, or in this case an octagon, this summer. They say it’s all for charity, but that doesn’t stop them from trash-talking.

    “He will last 30 seconds,” boasted Pizzi, 50. “I will knock him out, but I am going to catch him and lay him on the ground so he doesn’t get too badly embarrassed in front of his colleagues.”

    They have not yet set a date, but the fight will take place on Hernandez’s turf, in Hialeah’s Milander Auditorium, on an unannounced date. Money raised from the brawl will go towards children’s programs in each of the cities.

    Pizzi’s share will go towards the city’s youth center, which is slated to open by the end of the year. He said he wants to put money toward activities such as dance classes, martial arts classes and scholarships.

    Hernandez, 52, is considering Best Buddies as one of his charities, and is still weighing other options.

    Pizzi said he and Hernandez came up with the idea over dinner at Shula’s Steakhouse a few weeks ago.

    “This is what happens when two middle-aged men meet and have dinner and talk about who was tougher in their childhoods,” Pizzi said

    During that story swap session Pizzi, who hails from Brooklyn, told Hernandez he was known as the “Brooklyn Brawler.”

    Pizzi earned that nickname after he won some 25 street fights and boxing matches in a row as a teenager.

    “At heart I am a middle-class street kid,” Pizzi said. “In my neighborhood, I used to box at the YMCA and I used to get into two or three fights on the way to school. I came from a tough neighborhood.”

    Hernandez has been involved with martial arts since he was a teen.

    He calls this fight a contest between “the street bully versus the trained athlete.”

    Pizzi said he expects the fight to generate at least $100,000. .

    Hernandez said has already had locals contact him to contribute.

    “I’ve had plenty of calls from people wanting to buy front-row seats,” he said.

    Hernandez said they hope to make the mayoral throwdown an exhibition match on a slate of professional mixed martial arts fights.

    Although the fight is weeks or months away, both mayors already have come out swinging, albeit verbally.

    “We’re going to have a weigh-in downstairs in the chambers and we’ll probably get into a fight at the weigh-in,” Pizzi said. “This will be really great.”

    Hernandez said he won’t add on to his normal training routine. He works out with his 13-year-old son, who studies Brazilian jujitsu.

    “I’m going to train as hard as it takes to beat Mayor Pizzi,” he laughed. “And that’s not a lot of training. I might have to pull back to make it a fair fight.”

    Hernandez is coming into the fight at 5 feet 10 inches and 193 pounds, while Pizzi is 5 feet 9 inches and 205 pounds. But Pizzi said he already has started a strict diet to get into fighting shape.

    “I am down to only one beer on Saturday and I only eat pizza three times a week for dinner,” said Pizzi, adding he tries to fit work-outs into his schedule. “I have lost a couple of ounces.”

    Hernandez said he’s concerned about Pizzi’s training routine.

    “If he is cutting back on beer and pizza, then he’s serious.”
    Gene Ching
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    ttt 4 2017!

    This thread (well, one post actually) was originally titled MMA Politicians. I'm changing the title to Martial Arts Politicians to make it more general and hopefully develop more of a list over time. We shall see...

    Martial arts expert sworn in as Mongolian president
    Monday, July 10, 2017 - 19:02

    =
    Mongolian businessman and martial arts expert Khaltmaa Battulga was sworn in as president Monday, vowing to revive the flagging economy and pursue relations with countries outside its giant neighbours Russia and China. PHOTO: REUTERS

    [ULAN BATOR] Mongolian businessman and martial arts expert Khaltmaa Battulga was sworn in as president Monday, vowing to revive the flagging economy and pursue relations with countries outside its giant neighbours Russia and China.

    Mr Battulga inherits a US$5.5 billion International Monetary Fund-led bailout intended to stabilise the economy of the debt-laden country and lessen its dependence on China, which purchases 80 per cent of Mongolia's exports.

    In his inauguration speech, Mr Battulga pledged to "stand for equally beneficial foreign relations" and to pay "special attention to the 'third neighbour policy'" - a push toward strengthening Mongolia's partnerships with the US, Japan, Germany and other countries beyond its two powerful neighbours.

    The opposition Democratic Party (DP) candidate, who was elected with 50.6 per cent of the vote in a runoff last Friday, said he wanted to kickstart the economy, end poverty and boost the manufacturing sector.

    The billionaire property tycoon and world champion in the Soviet martial art Sambo ran a populist campaign that was linked to simmering anti-China sentiments.

    At one rally last month, Battulga supporters accused anti-Battulga protesters of being "mixed Chinese", and a video circulated on social media purporting that opponent and parliament speaker Mieygombo Enkhbold of the ruling Mongolian People's Party (MPP) has Chinese ancestry.

    The Chinese foreign ministry noted this element of the campaigns on Monday while congratulating the new president on his election victory.

    "During the election, certain politicians made some untrue and irresponsible remarks," foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said during a regular press briefing.

    "We express concerns about this." Mr Battulga also promised to "fight against the selling of public service positions," which Mt Enkhbold and other MPP officials had been accused of doing.

    Mr Battulga replaces Tsakhia Elbegdorj, also of the DP, after the outgoing president served the maximum two four-year terms.

    AFP
    Gene Ching
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    More on Mongolian President Khaltmaa Battulga

    I decided to merge our 'Politicians endorsing martial arts' thread with our 'Martial Arts Politicians' thread. They are actually two different topics but neither was doing very well. Someday, I'll go back and copy the politicians out of the Celebrities studying martial arts? thread to fill this one out a little more.

    Mongolia’s president, a former martial-arts champion, wrestles with some major problems
    UPDATED: Sun., June 17, 2018, 9:46 p.m.


    Mongolian President Khaltmaa Battulga lifts weights at a gym in the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar on May 26, 2018. (Giulia Marchi / Washington Post)
    By Simon Denyer
    Washington Post

    ARVAIKHEER, Mongolia – On the vast Mongolian steppe, birthplace of Genghis Khan, a strong man has arisen. Literally. Mongolia’s President Khaltmaa Battulga is a former world martial arts champion who still trains regularly, a friend of Russia’s Vladimir Putin and a business tycoon with a tough-guy image.

    He is also a nationalist and something of a populist. Battulga swept into office last year by casting himself as a Trump-like outsider, a champion of the poor taking on a corrupt and self-serving political elite.

    Like the U.S. president, this is a man who says he always wins, whose campaign motto was “Mongolia will win.” But he is now wrestling with the challenge of his life.

    Mongolians overthrew an authoritarian communist regime in 1990 in a peaceful democratic revolution. Nearly three decades of democracy have fostered progress but also glaring inequality, leaving nearly 30 percent of the population in poverty. Corruption is rampant, the dark side of the country’s huge reserves of copper, coal and gold.

    “I asked before the election and I am still asking,” the gruff-voiced Battulga told a town hall meeting in Arvaikheer in central Mongolia last month. “Why are the people of a country so rich in resources still so poor?”

    Battulga, 55, rose from poverty to the country’s highest post, leapfrogging from a sambo wrestling world championship to a successful business career, but his power as president is limited – parliament and the prime minister’s job are in the hands of a rival political party. Battulga has an important role in setting foreign policy, but his ambitions are much grander.

    For the past three months, he has been touring Mongolia, holding town hall meetings in every one of the nation’s 21 provinces, asking for popular support in his battle to improve the way his country is governed.

    “Do you get the feeling the president we chose is on his own?” he asked hundreds of people packed into a theater here. “It is time to start talking about president plus who? President plus the people, working together.”

    Luvsandendev Sumati, director of the independent Sant Maral polling organization, underscores the parallels between the most recent Mongolian and U.S. presidential elections.

    After the dirtiest presidential contest in Mongolia’s history, he said, many people stayed away or cast blank ballots in protest. In the end, though, Battulga’s anti-establishment status outweighed questions about his business record and past corruption allegations.

    “The poor decided he is their president, and once people decide that, they forgive you everything,” Sumati said. “Anti-establishment politicians are taking over the globe. Why should Mongolia be any different?”

    This is the most sparsely populated country in the world, the size of Texas, California and Montana combined but home to just 3 million people, living in the giant shadows of Russia to the north and China to the south. Culturally, it remains closer to its northern neighbor, but economically it is dependent on its booming southern neighbor, with more than 80 percent of its exports flowing there.

    Distrust of China runs high here, however, and Battulga exploited that to portray himself as a pro-Moscow, anti-Beijing candidate during the campaign. As president, though, he takes a more pragmatic approach, saying that Mongolia should be friends with both countries while “re-balancing” to reduce China’s trade dominance.

    A former president of Mongolia’s judo association, he shares a love of wrestling, and a friendship, with Putin.

    “Because we both practiced judo, it is easier for us to communicate,” he said in an interview, noting that Putin is also “president of a country that has been our neighbor for thousands of years.”

    But Battulga wants American support, too. In 1990, then-Secretary of States James Baker III pledged that the United States would be the “third neighbor” to the newly democratic Mongolia, a pledge repeated when President George W. Bush visited in 2005. More recently, another secretary of state, John Kerry, praised Mongolia as an “oasis of democracy” between Russia and China.

    Yet U.S. defense and security ties with Mongolia are much stronger than economic ties, which account for less than 2 percent of Mongolian trade.

    “The praises of the United States that Mongolia is ‘an oasis of democracy’ or ‘model of democracy’ have not brought any substantial contribution to the economy,” Battulga wrote in a letter to President Donald Trump in December. “Discouraged by this fact, ordinary citizens of Mongolia are losing confidence in democracy and doubting the choice of democratic path.”

    Battulga asked for improved access for Mongolian textile exports to the United States. Trump replied that he would be delighted to explore ways to boost trade in a “fair and equitable manner,” according to the Mongolian presidential office.

    UPDATED: JUNE 17, 2018, 9:46 P.M.
    Gene Ching
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    Jeffrey Monson

    SEPTEMBER 10, 2018 / 12:15 PM / UPDATED AN HOUR AGO
    U.S. MMA fighter Jeff Monson elected to local council in Russia
    2 MIN READ

    MOSCOW (Reuters) - U.S. mixed martial arts fighter Jeffrey Monson, granted Russian citizenship by President Vladimir Putin in May, was elected on Sunday to the council of deputies of a small city just outside Moscow, official election results showed on Monday.


    FILE PHOTO: American mixed martial arts fighter Jeff Monson attends a news conference in St. Petersburg, Russia October 17, 2013. Interpress/Andrei Pronin via REUTERS
    Monson, 47, a tattooed cage fighter known as The Snowman, registered in June to run for a seat on the council of Krasnogorsk, northwest of Moscow, where election documents say he now works as a coach in a sports club.

    On the website of Moscow region’s election commission, Monson is listed as fourth on the ruling United Russia party’s list of candidates for the Krasnogorsk city council.


    FILE PHOTO: A man casts his ballot during mayor election at a polling station in Moscow, Russia September 9, 2018. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin
    United Russia won 47.9 percent of this vote, automatically securing a seat for the MMA fighter, who was born in the U.S. state of Minnesota.

    Writing on social media, Monson, who has previously cultivated ties to the Russian Communist Party, said he ran as an independent.

    “I was invited by United Russia party to run but I am independent. Unfortunately I learned there are no communists in Communist party in Russia,” Monson said on Monday.

    Monson, a vocal critic of U.S. foreign policy, said in January 2016 he was applying for Russian citizenship because he had felt a solidarity with the Russian people since he first visited their country in 2011.

    “I have big plans for work with children, am preparing various projects, including projects focused on promoting healthy lifestyles,” Monson was cited as saying on election day by the local division of the United Russia party.

    “Everything I do in Krasnogorsk - it’s because I love Russia,” Monson was cited as saying.

    Videos shared on Monson’s official Instagram page showed the sportsman in a Russia hockey team sweater, casting a ballot at a Krasnogorsk polling station with the help of a translator.
    '...there are no communists in Communist party in Russia' WTH?
    Gene Ching
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    More on Monson

    The Strange Career Of Jeff Monson, American MMA Fighter Turned Russian Politician
    Karim Zidan
    Yesterday 4:06pm


    Screenshot: YouTube

    On September 9, 2018, American mixed martial arts fighter Jeff Monson became a government official in the Russian Federation. The former UFC title challenger, who was granted Russian citizenship by President Vladimir Putin less than four months earlier, was elected to a council of deputies in the city of Krasnogorsk, just outside Moscow.

    Video footage posted on Monson’s social media accounts showed the fighter strolling up to a Krasnogorsk polling station dressed in a hockey jersey, where he cast his ballot with the help of a translator. Despite his previous affiliation with the Communist Party of Russia, Monson was listed as a candidate under the country’s ruling party, United Russia.

    The switch worked in Monson’s favor. United Russia won 47.9 percent of the vote, which secured a council seat for the fighter by default. Despite the language barrier between Monson, who was born in Minnesota, and his constituents, the fighter plans to push an agenda that focuses on children, families in need, unemployment, and environmental concerns facing the city. Naturally, he also plans to introduce specific sports programs for children.

    “Everything I do in Krasnogorsk, I do because I love Russia,” Monson was quoted as saying following the election results on Monday.

    Monson’s evolution from American muscle to Russian statesman has set his career on the strangest trajectory in combat sports. His affinity for Russia and the Russian people is hard to deny, but what’s harder to suss out at this point is is whether his political activism is legitimate and capable of making meaningful changes for his constituents, or if his political career is doomed to be remembered as nothing more than a failed PR stunt.

    Long before Monson decided to become a professional fighter, he had already settled into a career as a child psychologist. After spending his early childhood in Minnesota and Germany, Monson received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Illinois, and a master’s degree in psychology from the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD). During that time, he also moonlit as an assistant wrestling coach for UMD. After graduation, Monson worked as a mental health professional for several years. He specialized in crisis evaluation, as well as child and family counseling.

    “I worked with severe mentally ill patients—bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, personality disorders—I really loved the job,” Monson told Deadspin during a phone interview. “I also did family counseling on the side. I really enjoyed the work but I just had this unfinished feeling in my body. Nothing could satisfy it.”

    Monson had been drawn to psychology and family counseling because of his personal experiences with his own family. Monson’s father died when he was two years old, leaving the young boy to be raised by his stepfather. A military man and a disciplinarian, his stepfather made Monson’s life difficult. His hardline style of parenting strained their relationship to the point of emotional abuse. Despite what Monson now refers to as a “difficult relationship” with his stepfather, he credits him with shaping his competitive nature in sports and forming his interest in wrestling.

    Monson began wrestling in high school and eventually joined the Division I team at Oregon State University. He won a Pac-10 championship for Oregon and continued wrestling for Illinois and USA Wrestling while completing his psychology degree. At the time, he did not see wrestling as a viable future for himself. This changed when he began to watch Josh Barnett and Randy Couture compete for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

    “I saw them win UFC titles and I thought that if they could do that, these guys that I know, then maybe I could,” Monson explained. “So I started training. I started taking amateur fights and won them all.”

    Determined to become a champion fighter, Monson accepted a spot to compete in the Abu Dhabi Combat Club (ADCC) Submission Wrestling World Championship in 1999. At the time, Monson was training at the American Martial Arts Centre in Washington State under the tutelage of legendary coach Matt Hume. Though a decent collegiate wrestler at the time—“good, not great,” according to Monson—he knew he had no business stepping on the mat with renowned submission specialists and world champions: “All I knew was how not to get caught in basic submissions.”

    Monson got himself a passport and boarded a flight to the United Arab Emirates, his first trip outside the United States as an adult. He arrived with the intention of not embarrassing himself or his coach. Instead, he defeated four Brazilians in a row to win the 88–98 kilogram weight class. His performances were so dominant that he earned the nickname “The Snowman,” a moniker that captured his wins that weekend. Much like a snowball rolling down a hill, Monson had continued to get bigger and stronger as the tournament wore on.

    After the event, Monson wandered through the desert surrounding the Abu Dhabi Combat Club in a daze. After arriving in the Gulf as an obscure fighter with limited grappling credentials, he would leave as one of the world’s top submission grapplers. In the span of two days in a distant land, he had achieved his competitive desires. When it came time to fly home, he boarded the plane with a calmness he had never experienced before.

    “I felt as though if I crash now, at least my life will be complete,” he said.

    Upon his return stateside, Monson began to focus on his budding career in combat sports. After trying his hand at professional mixed martial arts, he decided to give up his job as a mental health professional to maximize his potential. By 2000, Monson had compiled a 5-2 pro record and had signed with the UFC. He made his promotional debut at UFC 27, where he defeated Tim Lajcik by unanimous decision. His victory, however, was short-lived, as Monson lost to UFC legend Chuck Liddell less than three months later and parted ways with the promotion as a result. He returned two years later but was knocked out by Ricco Rodriguez.

    With a less-than-stellar 7-4 record, Monson decided to gain experience on the regional circuit before trying his luck in the UFC again. He compiled 13 consecutive victories between 2003-2005, claiming heavyweight titles for CWFC, XFC, and SportFight. Upon his return to the UFC in 2006, he extended his win streak with victories against Brandon Lee Hinkle, his ADCC rival Marcio Cruz, and Anthony Perosh. His impressive 3-0 run in the UFC earned him a heavyweight title shot against Tim Sylvia.

    The Sylvia vs. Monson title fight was the co-main event of UFC 65: Bad Intentions. Monson lasted all five rounds with the heavyweight champion but lost by unanimous decision. It was the last time that the Snowman would compete for the UFC.

    Following his exit from the UFC, Monson was viewed as a journeyman. He spent the next 10 years—a time period that encompassed the remainder of his MMA career—competing for approximately 40 different promotions. His fights took him around the world, including countries such as France, South Korea, Ukraine, England, Switzerland, Israel, and finally, Russia. This strange career trajectory brought Monson face-to-face with notable opposition such as current UFC champion Daniel Cormier, Roy Nelson, Pedro Rizzo, and Josh Barnett.

    It was during this twilight stage in Monson’s career that he came up against arguably the greatest heavyweight of all time, Fedor Emelianenko. The bout took place at an M-1 Global event on November 2011 at the Olympic Arena in Moscow, and was attended by Vladimir Putin himself. Despite suffering a broken leg during the fight, Monson survived the entire duration of the bout, losing by unanimous decision. His performance earned the respect and admiration of Russian fight fans, and helped make him one of the most popular American fighters in Russia.

    M-1 Global: Fedor vs. Monson will be remembered for the dramatic main event, but it was also the night where Russian MMA fans showered Putin with boos as he stepped into the ring to congratulate the fighters.



    Though momentarily surprised, Putin regained his composure and complemented Fedor on his impressive performance before stating that Monson was endowed with the “Russian spirit.” According to Monson, Putin had more to say the following day.

    “The next day in the hotel, Putin called me,” Monson told Deadspin. “I picked up the phone and the hotel staff transferred me to another line. Then someone said, ‘the next voice you’re going to hear will be Vladimir Putin.’ It was. We spoke for a few minutes. He congratulated me and said it was a good fight that showed the Russian spirit. He said he was proud of me and thanked me for performing. It was kinda cool that he did that.”

    continued next post
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    Continued from previous post

    Following his loss to Fedor, Monson began to fight more regularly in Russia. Despite a mixed resume and some poor performances, the American continued to gain popularity amongst Russian fans. He was recognized on a regular basis and was stopped for autographs on the streets. Much of that fandom was due to Monson’s public support for the Russian Federation, his outspoken criticism of the United States, and his political activism as an anarcho-communist. In 2015, Monson began seeking Russian citizenship.

    In 2016, Monson penned an op-ed for Newsweek titled Why I Became a Russian Citizen, which delved into the reasons why Monson viewed himself as a man with a “Russian soul” and why he had applied for Russian citizenship. According to the UFC fighter, it was “due to my solidarity with the Russian people, something I felt when I first visited Russia in 2011. I felt deep down right away that this is my home—the one place I feel at peace with myself and my surroundings. And it was as unexpected for me as it would be for nearly any American.”

    Monson concluded the op-ed with the statement: “So when people ask me why I sought Russian citizenship, it’s hard to give a concise answer. I guess it’s because I just feel Russian. Why did I accept Russian citizenship? It’s because “Ya russkiy (I’m Russian.).”

    Monson would not be granted Russian citizenship until 2018, but his transition from American fighter to Russian politician had already begun. In June 2016, the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (KPRF) announced that Monson had become a special representative of the Communist Party’s sports club focused on international cooperation. The statement added that the UFC veteran would be “engaged in the implementation and promotion of the ideas of the Communist Party.” The partnership began with the KPRF sending Monson to the so-called People’s Republic of Luhansk (LPR), a proto-state in Eastern Ukraine, to develop a new sports program for children. The intent behind the program was to enhance the party’s image abroad. Well aware of the benefit of a good story, the KPRF jumped at the opportunity to enlist an American communist and athlete in their service.

    At the time, Monson’s partnership with the KPRF was mutually beneficial. Though Monson no longer believed that traditional communism was an applicable ideology in modern Russia, he wanted to work with the KPRF to bring about “libertarian communism.” The term refers to anarchist theory that advocates the abolition of capitalism, private property, and the state—an ideology that emerged from Monson’s disenchantment with U.S. politics.

    “I want to work with the [KPRF] to achieve this aim,” Monson told me following his trip to People’s Republic of Luhansk. “Today, the party is forced to preach communism in a capitalist world. Because these two forces couldn’t coexist unless one meshed with the other, certain compromises have been made.”

    Several months following his initial visit to the Luhansk, Monson announced that he had accepted LPR citizenship, effectively becoming the first American to do so. Monson, who requested citizenship himself in a letter sent to the LPR president at the time, revealed that he was prepared to make “an active contribution” to the LPR. The next month, he was made an honorary citizen of the Republic of Abkhazia, a partially recognized republic in Northwestern Georgia, due to his support of “nations striving for self-determination.”

    Monson’s popularity in Russia occasionally gave him opportunities outside of politics and MMA. In 2016, he was a contestant on the Russian version of Dancing With The Stars, where he danced the Rumba while dressed like a Russian aristocrat from the Tsarist empire.



    Over the next few years, Monson would grow resentful of the KPRF and eventually part ways with the second largest party in Russia. When he was elected to a legislative assembly in September, he did so as a member of Russia’s ruling party, United Russia. When asked about this switch in political affiliation, Monson said, “Unfortunately I learned there are no communists in the Communist Party in Russia.”

    Monson’s switch in party affiliation from the KPRF to United Russia was a strange decision for someone who refers to himself as a libertarian communist, but it was a politically beneficial one. It was through his affiliation to the ruling party that Monson was able to secure a seat as a city councilman in Krasnogorsk (United Russia won 47.9 percent of the vote). He has since stated in various interviews in Russia that he does not represent United Russia, and plans to run as an independent in any future political campaigns, including the State Duma.

    It’s also been tough to figure out exactly what sort of policies Monson plans to propose. He campaigned on a platform that primarily focused on engaging Krasnogorsk youth in martial arts programs, and when he was asked a policy question after his election he spoke vaguely about working to improve the lives of “children and families” and installing a recycling program.

    Monson’s political inexperience is a problem compounded by the fact that he does not speak fluent Russian. This has not escaped the attention of his critics, which include former Bellator champion Alexander Shlemenko. In a recent interview, Shlemenko characterized Monson’s election as an embarrassing farce, calling the fighter a “monkey who can’t speak Russian.” To Shlemenko’s credit, it’s hard to look at Monson—a man who can’t speak Russian, just became a citizen in 2018, and performs absurd anti-U.S. propaganda skits on his state-sponsored television show, Monson TV—and not catch the whiff of a political sideshow.

    Monson being welcomed into Russia’s political scene was most likely due to the country’s political parties being unable to resist the allure of trumpeting a former American citizen’s transformation into a loyal servant of Russia. Their plan may have been for Monson to be nothing more than a mascot, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that Monson will play along.

    Recently, Monson traveled to Balashikha, a suburb of Moscow, to speak to citizens who say that they were swindled by a housing developer who stole their investment and left them to pay mortgages on apartments that will never be built. According to Radio Free Europe, Monson addressed a crowd outside of an abandoned estate in Balashikha, promising through a translator that he’d take their concerns to the governor of Moscow and the banks collecting their mortgage payments. That appearance seems to have raised the ire of the mayor in his home province. From Radio Free Europe:

    But before he had even departed, Monson later told RFE/RL, his Russian wife Zhenya had received an angry phone call from the Krasnogorsk mayor’s office. Monson should stick to his patch, he says she was told. He adds that he was summoned for a meeting with the mayor, but shrugged off the controversy.

    “If they were doing their job as government officials,” he wrote in a text message. “Then this wouldn’t be an issue.”
    Monson isn’t the first aging American who has used what fame he has to achieve an elevated status in Russia, but maybe there is more behind his acceptance of Russian citizenship than Roy Jones Jr.’s or Steven Seagal’s. Monson really does seem to have a respect and affinity for the Russian people, and he now permanently resides in Krasnogorsk with his wife. Vladimir Putin has made a point of collecting famous American playthings, but if Monson continues to be willing to stand up to powerful people on behalf of the citizens who elected him, he doesn’t have to be the next one in Putin’s collection.
    What a strange tale. Monson may well deserve his own indie thread soon.
    Gene Ching
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  9. #9
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    Brune Poirson


    Les révélations sur son stage de kung-fu à Shaolin coûtent cher à Brune Poirson © AFP 2018 ludovic MARIN
    FRANCE
    14:30 07.01.2019URL courte719
    Brune Poirson, la secrétaire d’État auprès du ministre de la Transition écologique a révélé avoir fait un stage de kung-fu à Shaolin, en Chine, une expérience qui l’aide au quotidien en politique. En dépit de tous les mérites d'une telle philosophie, le Net lui a montré en réponse son visage satirique…

    Dans une interview accordée à Libération le 4 janvier, la secrétaire d'État auprès du ministre de la Transition écologique, Brune Poirson, a annoncé avoir fait un stage de kung-fu à Shaolin, ce qu'elle considère comme un atout dans sa carrière politique.

    «Le kung-fu, c'est apprendre à faire un geste parfait en totale harmonie avec son esprit. Et l'autodéfense en politique, ça peut servir, surtout contre la misogynie et l'arrogance technocratique», conclut-elle.

    Cette expérience lui a permis de perdre «neuf kilos» plaisante-t-elle, mais lui a surtout appris «l'endurance et la rigueur».

    Cette interview n'est pas passée inaperçue du grand public d'Internet. De nombreux internautes n'ont pas manqué l'occasion de plaisanter:

    Auparavant, Mme Poirson avait découvert une photo d'elle sur un profil de l'application de rencontres Tinder et annoncé via Twitter qu'elle allait «engager une procédure judiciaire» pour usurpation d'identité.
    googtrans (I didn't copy&paste all the comments)
    Revelations about his kung fu training at Shaolin are expensive at Brune Poirson © AFP 2018 MARINE ludovic
    LA FRANCE
    14:30 07.01.2019Short URL719
    Brown Poirson, the Secretary of State for the Minister of Ecological Transition, said she did a kung fu internship in Shaolin, China, an experience that helps her on a daily basis in politics. Despite all the merits of such a philosophy, the Net has shown him in response his satirical face ...

    In an interview with Libération on Jan. 4, Secretary of State for the Minister of Environmental Transition, Brune Poirson, announced she had done a kung fu training in Shaolin, which she sees as an asset in her career. policy.

    "Kung-fu is learning to make a perfect gesture in total harmony with one's mind. And self-defense in politics can be useful, especially against misogyny and technocratic arrogance, "she concludes.

    This experience allowed her to lose "nine kilos" she jokes, but mostly taught her "endurance and rigor".

    This interview did not go unnoticed by the general public of the Internet. Many Internet users have not missed the opportunity to joke:

    Previously, Ms. Poirson had discovered a picture of her on a Tinder dating app profile and announced via Twitter that she was going to "sue" for impersonation.
    THREADS:
    Martial Arts Politicians
    Shaolin Journeys
    Gene Ching
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  10. #10
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    US President Teddy Roosevelt

    US President Teddy Roosevelt Trained Jiu-Jitsu & Judo
    Posted by Diego Rodriguez on November 21, 2019


    US President Teddy Roosevelt Trained Jiu-Jitsu & Judo

    Yama****a Yoshiaki taught Teddy Roosevelt Judo and Ju Jutsu

    Theodore Roosevelt trained the same type of old style Judo & Jiu-Jitsu that the first Gracies learned in Brazil from Mitsuyo Maeda (who was passing by The USA on his way to Japan) back in the early days. He was taught by Yama****a Yoshiaki, the pioneer of Judo in The US, and a direct student of Jigaro Kano. President Roosevelt trained jiu-jitsu to lose 20 pounds prior to an election.

    Below is an extract from “Professor Yama****a Goes to Washington”:

    “during March and April 1904, Roosevelt practiced judo three afternoons a week, using a ground floor office in the White House as his workout space. Then, for the rest of the summer, he practiced occasionally. He stopped training during the elections, and there is no record showing that he resumed his studies afterward.

    The President’s training partners included his sons, his private secretary, the Japanese naval attache, Secretary of War William Howard Taft, and Secretary of the Interior Gifford Pinchot. When these people were unavailable, then Roosevelt tried his tricks on husky young visitors.”

    Yama****a went to the White House to meet President Theodore Roosevelt. Roosevelt practiced wrestling and boxing while in the White House, and he had received jujutsu jackets from William Sturgis Bigelow and jujutsu lessons from J. J. O’Brien, a Philadelphia police officer who had studied jujutsu while living in Nagasaki. Roosevelt was impressed with Yama****a’s skill, and during March and April 1904, Yama****a gave judo lessons to the President and interested family and staff in a room at the White House. Subsequently, at other locations, Yama****a and his wife Fude gave lessons to prominent American women, to include Martha Blow Wadsworth (sister of Kindergarten pioneer Susan Blow), Hallie Elkins (wife of Senator Stephen Benton Elkins), and Grace Davis Lee (Hallie Elkins’ sister), and their children.

    Yo****sugu (Yoshiaki) Yama****a, Jigoro Kano, Kermit Roosevelt, and Fude Yama****a in Japan, mid-1920s

    In a letter from the White House from Theodore Roosevelt to his son Kermit dated Febuary 24, 1905.

    “………I still box with Grant, who has now become the champion middleweight wrestler of the United States. Yesterday afternoon we had Professor Yama****a up here to wrestle with Grant. It was very interesting, but of course jiu jitsu and our wrestling are so far apart that is it difficult to make any comparison between them. Wrestling is simply a sport with rules almost as conventional as those of tennis, while jiu jitsu is really meant for practice in killing or disabling our adversary. In consequence, Grant did not know what to do except to put Yama****a on his back, and Yama****a was perfectly content to be on his back. Inside of a minute Yama****a had choked Grant, and inside two minutes more he got an elbow hold on him that would have enabled him to break his arm; so that there is no question but that he could have put Grant out. So far this made it evident that the jiu jitsu man could handle the ordinary wrestler. But Grant, in the actual wrestling and throwing was about as good as the Japanese and he was so much stronger that he evidently hurt and wore out the Japanese. With a little practice in the art I am sure that one of our big wrestlers or boxers, simply because of his greatly superior strength, would be able to kill any of those Japanese, who though very good men for their inches and pounds are altogether too small to hold their own against big, powerful, quick men who are as well trained.”
    I'm trying to imagine any recent president that might have trained...
    Gene Ching
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  11. #11
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    Sharice Davids


    It's the Year of the Woman - again. And there's ‘no other option' for these women running for Congress

    Lindsay Schnell
    USA TODAY

    Emily Weber was driving to the grocery store on Nov. 9, 2016, the day after Donald Trump was elected president of the United States, when a man abruptly pulled out in front of her and rolled down his window.

    “Go back to where you came from, China doll!” he screamed at Weber. His comment startled her. Then itwoke her up.

    “That was my moment of realization — I have to get more involved, right now,” she recalls.

    Soon, she found herself volunteering for Sharice Davids, the young LGBTQ woman and former MMA fighter running in the Kansas 3rd District, who was trying to flip the district from red to blue and become the first Native American woman elected to Congress in the process.

    When Davids ascended to the House of Representatives, an elated Weber couldn’t help but feel like she’d won, too.

    “In some ways, Sharice is like me," says Weber, a 37-year-old South Korea native who was adopted as a baby and grew up in Colwich, a predominantly white town in rural Kansas. "I’m not gay and I’m not Native, but seeing somebody who you don’t often see run — and seeing her not just run, but win — that was amazing to be a part of."


    Democratic House candidate Sharice Davids gives a victory speech in Olathe, Kansas, on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, after defeating Republican incumbent Kevin Yoder in Kansas' 3rd Congressional District.

    A thought crept into Weber’s mind — if Davids can run and win, maybe Weber could, too.

    Now, she's going to find out. Weber, who works for a financial firm, has been knocking on doors and talking to voters in Missouri’s 24th District in her bid to become the first Asian American woman elected to the Missouri State House.

    The 2018 election was hailed as “Year of the Woman” as women ran for office and voted in record numbers, many of them Democrats furious about the election of President Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton.

    Approaching 2020, that wave doesn’t appear to be slowing down. Besides the four women currently running for president, 2020 will be highlighted in particular by two types of female candidates: There’s women who ran previously, lost and opted to immediately get back in the mix — a decidedly male way of thinking, according to political strategists — and there are women like Weber, who never imagined they’d run for office until they saw a woman like them, with a similar story, capture a seat and open the door for someone else.

    “This is so much larger than a political reaction,” says Stephanie Schriock, president of EMILY’s List, an organization that recruits, trains and endorses female Democratic candidates who support abortion rights. Since early 2017, more than 50,000 women have reached out to EMILY’s List to ask for help running for office.

    “That’s a cultural change,” Schriock says. “So many women are saying, ‘I need to serve, I have something to offer, I can do this’ … that’s not gonna go away when Trump’s out of office.”

    Female candidates don’t consider themselves a novelty, either.

    In 2018, Gina Ortiz Jones, an Iraq War veteran who served as an intelligence officer in the Air Force, lost a Congressional race in the Texas 23rd District — which stretches across southwestern Texas from San Antonio to near El Paso — by just 926 votes.

    Almost immediately after conceding, Jones knew she’d run again. Her path got easier when Rep. Will Hurd, who narrowly defeated Jones in 2018, announced his retirement Aug. 1.

    If elected, Jones, who served under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” would become the first openly LGBTQ person elected to Congress from Texas.

    "Frankly, I’m surprised when people are surprised by this,” says Jones of the surge of women running again in 2020. “Because you can’t be surprised when the most vulnerable people, who have the most to lose, raise their hand and say, ‘Hey, I have something to say about that.’

    “Our voices need to be at the table. There’s no other option than continuing to fight.”

    More Republican women running, too

    Jessica Taylor wants to make something clear: It’s not accurate to say the 35-year-old mother of three from Prattville, Alabama, was inspired to run for Congress by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the self-described Democratic socialist who’s become a lightning rod for conservatives around the country.

    In her announcement video for Alabama’s 2nd Congressional district, Taylor, drawing on her high school basketball-playing roots, tells voters that “Conservatives like us need a squad of our own,” a direct nod to the four progressive congresswomen who have become some of the most visible Democrats in the U.S. and includes Ocasio-Cortez, who’s from New York City's Bronx borough. Taylor ends her video by saying, “So, Alabama, put me in the game,” before rattling in a no-look, behind-the-head shot.

    The wave of women in 2018 “was inspiring,” Taylor concedes. “But we didn’t see female conservatives being represented.”

    From Taylor’s perspective, that wasn’t OK. And she saw an obvious solution.

    “Women,” says the small business owner, “solve problems.”

    Taylor is one of seven Republicans vying for the seat, which is currently held by Republican Martha Roby, who announced earlier this year that she would not seek reelection.

    According to the Center for American Women and Politics, Taylor is one of 170 female Republicans who have either filed or are considered strong potential candidates for the House of Representatives. Two years ago at this time, ahead of the 2018 cycle, that number was just 67.
    continued next post
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
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  12. #12
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    Continued from previous post



    “The numbers we saw in 2018 were very lopsided,” says Debbie Walsh, director for the Center for American Women and Politics. “I think we could see, in the next cycle or two in the U.S. House and in state legislatures, that women could make up 50 percent of the caucus. But that is so far from where we are on the Republican side.”

    She pointed out that despite 2018’s surge, women still make up less than 25 percent of Congress — and the majority of that is Democrats. Of the 126 women in Congress, only 21 are Republicans. In 2018, women candidates in particular were crucial to delivering Democrats the House of Representatives.

    “It’s not as though we’ve achieved political parity,” Walsh says.

    Still, she recognizes the progress being made, especially on the conservative side. In some races, multiple Republican women will run against each other in primaries.

    No conservative organization or PAC equals the political muscle of EMILY’s List, a force on the progressive side with substantial money and resources that helped Democrats take back the House of Representatives in 2018.

    But there’s a growing movement on the conservative side.

    Maggie’s List, a PAC focused on electing anti-abortion conservative women, has been around for almost a decade. Winning 4 Women, a PAC dedicated to supporting free-market conservative women for federal office, started two years ago. And in January, Rep. Elise Stefanik, a Republican representing the New York 21st District, launched E-PAC, which aims to “engage, empower, elevate and elect Republican women in Congress.”


    Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., who's been visible during the impeachment hearings, launched a PAC in January dedicated to electing Republican women. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) ORG XMIT: DCAH483

    Walsh, the director of the Center of American Women and Politics, sees a lot of potential for Republican women in 2020.

    “There’s more room for growth on the Republican side than on the Democratic side because there’s so many seats that flipped from red to blue,” she says. “Those seats are vulnerable and Republicans are going to try to take advantage of that vulnerability. If they’re smart, they’ll run a lot of women in those seats.”

    Consider this opinion:Are most women who run for president unlikable? Asking is sexist, yet many voters agree.

    'I am not a quitter'

    Those vulnerable districts include the California 39th District, a decades-long Republican stronghold in Orange County that went blue in 2018 in a race that went down to the wire.

    Young Kim, a 57-year-old Republican immigrant from South Korea, was so confident she’d maintain her slim lead against Democrat Gil Cisneros that she attended freshman orientation in D.C. in late November 2016. (She was just one of two Republican women there; the other was Carol Miller from the West Virginia 3rd District.)

    But after every vote was tallied, Kim found out she’d lost. Cisneros had won the district with just 51.6 percent of the vote.

    Young says she’s tired of watching the left characterizing Republicans as the party of old, white (and often wealthy) men. She’s trying to rebrand the “grand old party” to the “grand opportunity party.”

    As for why she decided to run again, Young says simply and directly, “I am not a quitter.” If elected, she’ll be the first Korean American in Congress.

    In this Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018, photo Young Kim, is pictured outside her campaign office in Yorba Linda during her run for a U.S. House seat in the 39th District in California. She lost and is now running again to win the seat in 2020 and become the first Korean American woman elected to Congress.



    There are so many women like Young running again in 2020, in fact, that the Center of American Women and Politics is tracking them as “rebound candidates." It’s the first time they’ve collected that data set. They’ve identified 79 so far, with Ortiz Jones’ Texas seat considered one of the best Democratic pick-up opportunities in the country.

    “There’s been a lot of conversations in the past about how women will lose, then they’ll move on and do something else, whereas a man often thinks, ‘Oh, they just need another opportunity to vote for me,’” says Walsh, the Center’s director since 2001. “I think these are very encouraging numbers.”

    In 2018, two political ads went viral from Democratic female candidates: MJ Hegar’s “Doors” and Amy McGrath’s “Told Me” video.

    McGrath, a former Marine fighter pilot running in the Kentucky 6th District, and Hegar, a former Air Force pilot running in the Texas 31st District, both lost their races to Republican incumbents by about three percent.

    Now, both are running for the U.S. Senate. McGrath is trying to unseat Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who was elected in 1984, while Hegar is trying to beat incumbent John Cornyn.


    After losing her 2018 congressional race, Kentucky Democratic Amy McGrath, is running again in 2020, this time for U.S. Senate. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley) ORG XMIT: KYTE102

    For Hegar, it's about defining loss differently than others. Yes, her opponent, John Carter, got more votes than her in the 2018 race. But he only beat her by 2.9%; his margin of victory in his previous race had been 32 points.

    "That sure didn't feel like a loss," Hegar says. "It was not a gut punch."

    But she acknowledges this time around, there will be no moral victories. Her race in 2018 proved Texas is winnable for Democrats, and she’s holding herself to that standard in 2020.

    Strategists say that shift is generational.

    Amanda Renteria has spent almost her entire career in politics, serving behind the scenes (national political director for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential bid and chief of staff to U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California) and out front (failed bids in both the California 21st District and in the 2018 California gubernatorial race). Now she’s interim president at Emerge, an organization that teaches Democratic women how to run for office — and she’s not surprised so many women are running again after losing in 2018.

    “There’s often been this underlying sentiment for women as they run where they’re wondering if they belong,” Renteria says. “Now you’re seeing a different conversation. Now we know we belong at the table.”

    Thousands of women running for, and winning, political offices is only the beginning of the story, Renteria says.

    “We’re in Chapter 2,” she says. “Chapter 3 is gonna be actual policies being enacted that women will lead the charge on, like paid family leave.”

    To Renteria, the first Latina chief of staff in Senate history, it’s not just about watching women who look like you run and win — it’s about the network that those women create, and the electorate they build.

    Rhodesia Ransom is living proof of that.

    Ransom, a 45-year-old nonprofit director, is running for San Joaquin County Supervisor in the Bay Area of California, a seat she lost by just 2% in 2014. Since 2016, she’s been serving on her local city council. But she wants more — namely, to be the first African-American on the San Joaquin board of supervisors.

    Members of the black community, Ransom says, know they’re capable of anything because “we already grew up beating the odds.” But when she saw Jayne Williams, another black woman, run for Oakland city attorney, she says it opened her mind.

    Now, she sees women running all over the country, on both sides of the aisle, in majority-minority communities and majority-white communities.

    “When you run as a woman, it’s not about fighting inner voices of doubt,” Ransom says. “It’s about fighting other people’s stereotypes of old, white men being the only acceptable form of representation.

    “We have to figure out how to normalize lots of women running. We just have to get it done — and we’re going to.”
    This article is about something totally different but it popped on my martial arts newsfeed.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  13. #13
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    Andrew Yang

    US Presidential Candidate Andrew Yang: “Police Officers Should Be BJJ Purple Belts”
    SEP 11, 2019



    2020 USA Presidential Candidate Andrew Yang is young and hip. He recently shared the following on the social media:



    Presidential Candidate Andy Yang Suggests All Police Be BJJ Purple Belts:

    What many don’t realize is that jiu jitsu has a history with american presidents having been a significant part of Teddy Roosvelt’s life
    Below is an extract from “Professor Yama****a Goes to Washington”:

    “during March and April 1904, Roosevelt practiced judo three afternoons a week, using a ground floor office in the White House as his workout space. Then, for the rest of the summer, he practiced occasionally. He stopped training during the elections, and there is no record showing that he resumed his studies afterward.
    The President’s training partners included his sons, his private secretary, the Japanese naval attache, Secretary of War William Howard Taft, and Secretary of the Interior Gifford Pinchot. When these people were unavailable, then Roosevelt tried his tricks on husky young visitors.”


    Yama****a went to the White House to meet President Theodore Roosevelt. Roosevelt practiced wrestling and boxing while in the White House, and he had received jujutsu jackets from William Sturgis Bigelow and jujutsu lessons from J. J. O’Brien, a Philadelphia police officer who had studied jujutsu while living in Nagasaki. Roosevelt was impressed with Yama****a’s skill, and during March and April 1904, Yama****a gave judo lessons to the President and interested family and staff in a room at the White House.

    mid-1920s

    In a letter from the White House from Theodore Roosevelt to his son Kermit dated Febuary 24, 1905.

    “………I still box with Grant, who has now become the champion middleweight wrestler of the United States. Yesterday afternoon we had Professor Yama****a up here to wrestle with Grant. It was very interesting, but of course jiu jitsu and our wrestling are so far apart that is it difficult to make any comparison between them. Wrestling is simply a sport with rules almost as conventional as those of tennis, while jiu jitsu is really meant for practice in killing or disabling our adversary. In consequence, Grant did not know what to do except to put Yama****a on his back, and Yama****a was perfectly content to be on his back. Inside of a minute Yama****a had choked Grant, and inside two minutes more he got an elbow hold on him that would have enabled him to break his arm; so that there is no question but that he could have put Grant out. So far this made it evident that the jiu jitsu man could handle the ordinary wrestler. But Grant, in the actual wrestling and throwing was about as good as the Japanese and he was so much stronger that he evidently hurt and wore out the Japanese. With a little practice in the art I am sure that one of our big wrestlers or boxers, simply because of his greatly superior strength, would be able to kill any of those Japanese, who though very good men for their inches and pounds are altogether too small to hold their own against big, powerful, quick men who are as well trained.”
    THREADS
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    For Brazilian Jujitsu Practitioners
    Gene Ching
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  14. #14
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    I thought the "sleeper hold" (rear naked choke) was made illegal for cops to use(?).

  15. #15
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    I don't know Jimbo

    But I do know this. If I'm packing a firearm and a baton, ain't no way it would go to grappling.
    Gene Ching
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