Two Florida Mayor’s Fight Each Other & For Charity

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 this summer. They say it’s all for charity, but that doesn’t stop them from trash-talking. The news attracted attention from Wellington martial arts programs as well as Jacksonville schools.

“He will last 30 seconds,” boasted Miami Lakes Mayor Michael Pizzi. “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 charities 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 has yet to decide which group he wants to benefit.

Although the fight is weeks or months away, Pizzi already has 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.”

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Michigan Based Martial Arts Program Helps Kids Kick Cancer

The young people who learn martial arts at a studio north of Detroit are not considered students.

Their instructors use a different word.


That’s because the techniques these children learn will be used not to take on an opponent from a rival studio but against the deadly diseases that ravage their young bodies and threaten their lives.

Called Kids Kicking Cancer, the Southfield, Michigan-based program helps sick kids learn to use martial arts-style breathing and relaxation techniques to manage stress, anxiety and pain stemming from their illnesses and medical treatments.

It was founded by Elimelech Goldberg, a rabbi and first-degree black belt in the art of Choi Kwang Do. Known to the children as “Rabbi G,” Goldberg said he was motivated to start Kids Kicking Cancer by the memory of his daughter Sara, who was diagnosed with leukemia just before her 1st birthday and succumbed to the disease a little more than a year later.

“My daughter, at 2 years old, contributed so much to this planet, because she brought in this light. And now that’s the light that I’m privileged to help spread to the rest of the world,” Goldberg said before leading a class of 16 preteens and teenagers suffering from cancer, sickle cell anemia and other ailments.

One child in the class of “little heroes,” as Goldberg calls them, is Jayson Harris, a 9-year-old from Detroit whose cancer is in remission.

“Being in class is like a second family to me,” Jayson said shortly before taking his spot on the mat and driving his fist into a striking pad held by instructor Michael Hunt.

The training also is designed to teach the kids to take control of their situations. Or as Goldberg says, to teach them to be victors instead of victims.

(See the original article right here.)

Hunt, 27, was the latter when he joined Goldberg’s first class in 1999. He had already undergone a year of chemotherapy to treat a cancer of the muscles known as rhabdomyosarcoma, as well as having four ribs and a tumor removed from his side. Hunt later had two steel rods surgically implanted on either side of his spine.

Now, he certainly is the former.

Being a part of Kids Kicking Cancer allowed him to cut down on the medications he had been taking to manage the pain, and as a trainer he is an ever-present reminder to enrollees that the program can help.

“I’ll tell them my story, and they’re like, ‘Oh, OK. Now, I know I can do it,'” Hunt said.

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Top 5 Self Defense Techniques

Self defense techniques are not all created equal. When it comes to self defense there are some tried and true self defense techniques that can certainly help should you ever need the skills to survive. Consider the following 5 techniques when it comes to self defense:

Nail the Basics

One of the most important parts of self defense training is learning the basics. Once you have learned the proper form for your basic punches, strikes, jabs, and kicks, it is important that you practice until you are truly mastering each move. Learning and mastering moves are very different. While learning may provide you with core knowledge, mastering is the fine tuning and perfecting of each move to ensure strength and proper form is being used. Proper form is what helps provide the body with true strength and also helps you avoid injury.

Memorize Basic Pressure Points on the Body

Our body has multiple pressure points including the eyes, neck, groin, and shins. When pressure is applied to one of these spots on the body it can produce crippling pain, which could come in handy should you need to defend yourself. Delivering a quick blow to an attacker’s shin could provide you with just enough time to get away. If you are close enough to go for the eyes, you may again provide enough pain to the attacker to get away. The goal is to give yourself a window of time to get away safely.

Practice Being Calm

One of the hardest things to overcome is the ability to remain calm in a life-threatening situation. If you have often thought that you would not know what to do if an attacker approached you, you are not alone. One of the best parts of taking a self defense class, like Krav Maga, is learning how to remain calm in a dangerous situation. Real life training scenarios help students prepare should they ever find themselves in a situation where self defense techniques are needed. Remaining calm will help you think more rationally and make better decisions, which at the end of the day could help save your life.

Work on Your Awareness

Many self defense class instructors will tell you that awareness is everything. Being in tune with your surroundings is key to staying safe. Always know where exits are, have your keys in your hand before heading out into a parking lot, and travel in a group whenever you can. I’m sure we’ve all read the key awareness tips before and perhaps you have brushed them off in the past, but the truth is awareness is a major component of safety.
You can start practicing awareness right now. The next three places you visit, take note of your surroundings, locate the exits, see if you notice anything suspicious and have a plan to escape your location.

Be Prepared

One core piece of advice is to simply be prepared. This means be ready for anything. If you are in situation where self defense is needed be prepared to fight wherever you are. This means your attacker may want to fight on the ground in a parking lot or in extreme weather and you’ll have to find a way to rise to the occasion. One of the best things about the self defense training of Krav Maga classes is that students learn how to fight in realistic environments. The benefit of this is learning how to fight in all sorts of situations. It’s not just a classroom setting, it is a real life setting.


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How To Hook Punch With Power!

Do you know how to hook punch with power… and not injure your shoulder? I didn’t!

I admit it… I once tore my shoulder throwing wild hooks—too wide, too hard. During rehab, I swore I’d never throw a hook again.

But over time, I realized the problem wasn’t the hook punch, it was my lousy technique. That’s when I figured out a simple way to fix my form and throw a safer, stronger hook. I hope it helps you, too!

If the video doesn’t play, you can find a summary below. Take it slow and steady!

How to Hook Punch with Power

The hook punch is one of the most effective knockout shots in fighting. But when people throw it, one of the biggest mistakes you see is using too much shoulder.
Winding up the arm not only puts your shoulder in danger of being injured, it puts your chin in danger of being hit!

My advice? Train your hook punch from the ground up instead of the fist down.

How do you do that?

Throw an elbow!

That’s right. The best way to develop a strong hook punch is to not throw a hook punch… throw an elbow instead. Throw the elbow!

That may sound crazy, but for me, throwing an elbow feels exactly the same as throwing a short hook. In fact, I consider the elbow strike a test…

If you can’t throw an elbow with balance and power, then you’re not ready to throw a hook punch. Get the elbow right first! Here’s what I mean by “getting it right”…Pivot!

Start with your feet.Make sure your front foot pivots.

You can shift your weight to the other foot or just “sit down” on the punch, but make sure you turn that foot!

Pop your knee. I like to imagine someone kicking behind my leg, causing my knee to explode forward. A little imagination adds a lot to the pivot!

Rotate the hips. If you’re wearing a martial arts belt, it’s easy to see if you’re rotating the hips or not. Make that belt flip and flop.

Raise your shoulder a little. But don’t lift it out of the socket! It should feel comfortable when you make contact.

Keep your chin down.

Keep your guard up.

Breathe on every strike.

Once all of that feels good and you can slam the heavy bag with your elbow, it’s time to add the hand and practice the hook punch. Use the same body movement as before, but instead of leading with your elbow, lead with your fist. Wrist straight!

As you make contact with the bag, make sure your elbow is lined up behind your fist and your wrist is straight. You don’t want to put all your power into a bent wrist. Ouch!

Start off with a short hook. Remember—don’t wind up your arm. Just let your hand lead the pivot.

After you feel your short hook is strong and balanced, then open up the range and extend the punch.

To make your hook even more devastating, try throwing the elbow right behind it! That gives you two hits in one motion—fist > elbow. That’s illegal in boxing, but great for self-defense.

Two more tips…

First tip: To add even more power, wind up your body, not your arm. How?

  1. Wind up your body by slipping to the side, then hooking back.
  2. Wind up the body by throwing a straight punch or cross. Punching with one hand winds up the other hand.

Whatever you do, be sure to keep your guard up and power the punch from the core, not the shoulder.

Second tip: You’ll hear a lot of different opinions about the proper way to position your fist on the hook.

But as a general rule, I always want to position myself in a way that minimizes tension in my muscles. That means I follow the natural lines of motion in my body. In that spirit…
If you stand naturally with your arm hanging down, you’ll notice your thumb points up. As you lift your arm, your thumb faces you. As you raise your arm higher, it begins to dip down.

So, following the natural motion of the arm, when I hook to the body, my thumb tends to be up. A little higher, my thumb faces me. Higher than that, my thumb starts to dip down.

Thumb issue aside, my biggest concern is fitting what I’m hitting so that my elbow is always behind my fist, my wrist is straight, and my knuckles hit as flush as possible. That’s the secret to a good hook punch.

Now you know how to hook punch with power. Give it a try!

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The Coolest Things I have Experienced In Martial Arts

So, I wanted to make a list of some of the most interesting experiences I have had in Martial Arts; I am not ranking these, merely listing.

1- Getting my black belt at 7. Getting another when I was 16 for another style.

2- My father impaling his competitor (without injury) at his neck, and his shinai going through his opponents helmet.

3- breaking my first cinderblock.

4- Watching a 16 year old (3rd Dan) break 3 inches of concrete.

5- Dropping 4 people at once, and then outside the dojo, fighting off 6 people and escaping the conflict, without hitting anyone once, or getting hurt myself.

6- Extinguishing a candle by punching.

7-Watching someone break a 1″ slab of concrete by vibrating it.

8- Using meditation to go to sleep.

9- Punching 8 times in a second.

10- Watching someone do a front axe kick, then drop into a full split without injuring themself.

11- Watching the same (mentally handicapped individual) reach their 3rd dan.

12- And the biggest miracle- training since I was 4 until now, when I am 26. Even with pauses, I have only improved with time.

13- Disarming a master of Aikido and student of O-sensei wielding a sword during a demonstration, using a technique he had not seen before. While everyone else said, ‘That’s how you cut off your own leg’ he said to me at the same time, ‘It is good’. Only he and I knew what I did- and that moved me.

14- Watching an elderly woman over the age of 80 from the south, using a naginata, disarming a kendo master in a friendly match. She whooped his ass, so to speak.

15- Seeing someone in Tae Kwon Do do a tornado kick on a lit candle on top of a katana, while standing on a chair. He extinguished the flame, without knocking the candle over.

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