Archive for March, 2015

4 Year Old Bruce Lee Clone “Bruce Ryu”

        If you have read this blog for awhile you will know it never denies cute martial arts kids an article here and there. Whether it be an extremely cute child saying something super, super cute, or doing a cute move in a martial arts class, or a little kid doing something amazing and skillful, this blog will cover it. This article on the other hand features both super cuteness as well as amazing skill with a 4 year old Japanese boy who mimics Bruce Lee, and is basically a 4 year old child clone of Bruce Lee. His Bruce Lee clone name is “Bruce Ryu” and I believe he is Japanese because his name Ryuji Imai sounds Japanese. If he is Japanese it must be funny when he is watching the scenes where he beats the crap out of those “Jap-bastards” in “Fists of Fury.” Anyway check out his skillfull and powerful movements! His striking is really, really good as many 10 year olds cannot even move like he can!!! He also has impressive nunchaku skills. To see his videos go to his Facebook page: Ryuji Imai (Bruce Ryu).

Here are some videos from YouTube which show his incredible nunchaku skills for a 4 year old:

now that is soooooo cute and he is so fierce!!! He is going to be an amazing martial artist when he grows up if he keeps this enthusiasm. But hopefully he will not ONLY copy Bruce Lee, but also develop himself as an original martial artist as well. But maybe his impersonation skills will branch off into other areas too. He is very talented! please check his Facebook page to see other videos where he basically copies Jeet Kun Do movements with the lead punch and lead round kicks and spin kicking. He is solid!

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The Fight Doctor Sensei Takuya Futaesaku

        Several years ago I randomly found a cool YouTube channel of a Karate master who is also a Physical Therapy doctor. I first saw a video of a Japanese female fighter doing a slow kicking exercise. His videos are full of various martial artists, most of them professional fighters of K-1 and MMA and other sports such as Kyokushin Karate, and even Olympic Taekwondo athletes; all of them are doing various martial arts style physical therapy. It is an interesting channel. His name is Dr. Takuya Fitaesaku and he is the founder of Society of Fighting Medicine. His channel name on YouTube is “sunliveorio.” So check it out.

I wanted to get an interview with him, and he agreed to do it, but had second thoughts because of English language issues, as well as he is a very, very busy doctor and Karate teacher traveling doing so many seminars and appointments that translation would take a long time. So he changed his mind and did not want to answer all of my questions. He was very polite and nice to talk to even so.

        Apparently he is famous in Japan for being the doctor at ringside for many fights such as K-1 Kickboxing and Japanese MMA promotions. He is not only a high ranking Karate black belt in 2 styles, but a real medical doctor with a degree from medical school. I think he has valuable information on injury prevention, healing of injuries and strengthening, and all around safety in practice of martial arts. He is big on Karate but he is a overal general martial arts and combat sports enthusiast and respects it all. He is a Karate master of Yoshukai and Kyokushin Karate styles. He also invented an awesome striking bag which is a thin cylinder on a chain that works great for fast kicking, punching, and avoiding simulated strikes toward you called the “KO Bag.” It allows you to move around more freely than a standard, large heavy bag. Dr. Futaesaku is a Karate genius!

There are other videos showing all kinds of punching drills and also connected 2 of these KO Bags together as well as tying on 2 striking pads on the bottom to simulate multiple legs kicking at you. It looks like an incredibly fun cardio workout.

It can get crazier and crazier depending on what you connect to it! You can order one and have it shipped to you. He also sells really cool shirts that he designed that say “No Karate, No Life” on them for diehard karateka to wear. He always is wearing one of these shirts as he never wears a gi top or black belt in any of his videos.

         “Dr. F” as he is known also uploads “pay for” video seminars. All of his videos on YouTube have pretty much been in Japanese, but he has since started to upload English language videos. His seminars are available by purchase online via instant video streaming/download at the following link: http://necfru.jp/video?id=3993. You can view a 3 minute sample there and if you want more you can pay for it and get the entire video.

He trains any martial arts style and there are videos of Kickboxers, Muay Thai fighters, Full Contact Karate fighters, and Olympic Taekwondo fighters who all had training and physical therapy teachings learned by Dr. F.

Another random thing is, I am not sure, but I believe that he also gives physical therapy to Japanese rock singers and pop artists. Since the videos are in Japanese I am not exactly sure what is going on except he is also famous with some musicians. Check out his channel.

Interview With Master Dong-Hee Lee

 

        When you see a Taekwondo master from Korea demonstrating Taekwondo techniques from poomsae in plausible self defense maneuvers it really motivates the Taekwondo fighter in me. It pumps me up and inspires me to keep developing combat techniques and believing in Taekwondo. Master Dong-Hee Lee is such a master and I found his videos on YouTube recently. I do not believe his channel has many views and he seems to be rarely known. I want to change this and introduce him to my readers so more and more people will see his execution of techniques and fighting concepts and believe that Taekwondo is a fighting art, not simply a sport or performance art. His channel deserves a lot of views so please make sure to check it out and subscribe to his channel.

 


Dong Hee Lee self defense concepts

        I was able to interview master Lee over e-mail. He is a very approachable person and responds to messages and was excited to do this interview. Translation was difficult since I do not speak Korean and he does not speak English fluently yet, but we managed to make it work. I hope you all enjoy it and learn more about this interesting man.

 

Interview:

 

WHITE DRAGON: What’s your name? Where and when were you born? Please introduce yourself.

 

MASTER LEE: Nice to meet you, my name is Dong-hee Lee. I was born in South Korea in 1988. 

 

WHITE DRAGON: How did you get involved in martial arts and how old were you? What made you want to start training? Please list your training history and be as specific as possible. Who were your instructors in the past? Any notable characters?

 

MASTER LEE: I started Taekwondo when I was 5 years old. At that time almost every kid had to go to Taekwondo, even now. I was one of those kids, but unlike the ones who do it because they “have to,” in my case, I started training because I always had envied strength and martial arts. Even now I continue my Taekwondo training and have graduated from Kyunghee University as a Taekwondo major. In other words, I have been training for 23 years in total.
For Taekwondo, I had been taught by a world championship gold medalist teacher (sabum), under his guidance as a sparring athlete for 8 years. Also, I was a poomsae athlete and demonstration performer on the Korean Tigers demo team. 
In between, I’ve also learned Judo and Karate for a bit. After I’ve grown to be an adult I have been trained as an MMA athlete under the guidance of the best Korean Muay Thai athlete, and worldwide Muay Thai fighter Chi-Bin Im. 
Also, I’ve practiced Korea’s traditional martial art (mudo) which is called Hyeondongmu. It is a martial art that incorporates the use of ki.
Not long ago, I had also achieved the instructor certificate for Systema, which is a Russian bodyguard martial art, and Krav Maga as well, which is an Israeli bodyguard martial art. 
The person who taught me Systema in Korea was D.K Yoo (Dae-Kyeong Yoo). he had not only covered Systema but also Boxing. All sorts of Chinese martial arts and weapon martial arts which he had also taught me. 
 
WHITE DRAGON: What are your ranks, certifications or titles in martial arts? Do you have tournament titles?
 
MASTER LEE: When I was a poomsae athlete I had won a lot of gold medals. In 2006 I was nominated by the Korea Taekwondo Association as rank no.1 of poomsae out of all elementary, middle school, high school students, and adult players. 
Before in 2004 I won 1st place in the Korea Open World Poomsae Championship. 
In Taekwondo I am ranked 5th dan under the Kukkiwon and as for Systema and Krav Maga, I have obtained instructor qualifications for both. I also have Kickboxing certification of Muay Thai/K-1 Instructor from WAKO Korea. 
During my time as a martial art athlete, my record for Muay Thai was 3 victory, 1 draw with 2 KO’s out of 4 matches. 

Taekwondo victory after Muay Thai fight.

 

WHITE DRAGON: How long have you owned your school in Korea? Is it your first dojang that you have operated? Where are you located exactly? What classes do you offer?

 

MASTER LEE: I’ve entered Kyung Hee University located in South Korea in 2007 as a Taekwondo major and have graduated this year. The very first Taekwondo major that has been created.
I had made a club on actual combat and had been instructing for a few years and also let my club mates take part in games.
I currently don’t own my own dojang but I’m planning to next year.
If I get to own my dojang I would like to teach mainly adults on actual Taekwondo that can compete against any other martial arts. 

Kickboxing practice

WHITE DRAGON: Have you ever had to use Taekwondo in a real life fight or self defense situation? Have you ever been given a challenge by someone who wanted to fight you? If so how did you deal with it?

 

MASTER LEE: When I was living in South America a few years ago I ran into two black robbers. I chased them away by kicking them in the private spot. But if they had weapons it would have been hard. Luckily for me they didn’t. 
I myself am not of the personality who likes random fighting, so whenever someone tries to provoke me I usually apologize first to avoid a fight. Most situations there is almost no chance for me to get into a fight. People in Korea say that maybe it’s because I have quite a huge physique and my fierce looks. 
When I was a martial art athlete I had a lot of fights myself and most of the time Taekwondo had been a great help. Recently, I had trained a few martial art athletes and had sent them to participate in matches.

WHITE DRAGON: Why were you living in South America?

MASTER LEE: I was in Ecuador doing volunteer work for 2 years. I was teaching Taekwondo to the people there. 
 
WHITE DRAGON: Is taekwondo a dangerous system used for killing?

 

MASTER LEE: All martial arts contain the system for killing and giving great injuries to opponents. It is just as well with Taekwondo. Most people (including taekwondoin) don’t really know it, but deadly skills do exist in Taekwondo. However the purpose for all martial arts are not specifically for killing people, but defending yourself.

 

WHITE DRAGON: What was the Taekwondo scene like in Korea when you were growing up? How is training different today in most dojangs compared to then?

 

MASTER LEE: I feel that children in the recent era are really blessed. They can learn whatever they want. It was different for me when I was a kid. At that time even the internet wasn’t as well developed as it is right now. Nowadays, kids have to learn everything that they can learn. The current dojang of Korea have become more focused on physical education and recreation for kids, but I believe the trend will change to martial arts dojang for adults.
Back in the day most of the dojangs had armed us with strong training and discipline for our body and heart. But nowadays most dojangs don’t train students as it was before.

WHITE DRAGON: What is your opinion on the modern state of Taekwondo? Many feel that Taekwondo has lost much of its combative nature these days. Is it true?

MASTER LEE: I think that Taekwondo has lost a lot of its combative nature. To be exact, a lot of its nature has been latent. On the other hand, Taekwondo sparring has been developed a lot and by itself it is very combative and a very effective combat style. However, Taekwondo contains more techniques that need the application of the whole body.
If such skills become revived I believe Taekwondo will be a stronger martial art.

Dong Hee Lee

 
WHITE DRAGON: What is your opinion of the ‘taekwondo-dance trend’? The Korean Tigers really promote it and have made it popular all over the world. I would like to know your thoughts on that?

 

MASTER LEE: Adding in dance or other elements to Taekwondo can be said to be as entertainment. It is another trend to the Korean culture itself. I think the Korean Tigers had done a great job in promoting and making Taekwondo famous around the world. It is a bit sad that the actual combat style of Taekwondo couldn’t be introduced, but it is the truth that they have contributed to making the name Taekwondo as well-known as it is now. But for people who don’t really know, they may carry doubt or misunderstandings towards the sport and style itself.
Such traditional taekwondoin must put forth an effort to display this. Tony Jaa is a Thailand action movie star who was cast in the movie “The Protector” and other Muay Thai movies. He has added acrobatic moves to the martial art for movie fight scenes. Even so, nobody will say that Muay Thai is weak in actual combat. This is because Muay Thai has already been recognized for its veracity in many MMA matches. 
As for Taekwondo, its veracity hasn’t been recognized much foreignly, so by the adding of acrobatics, dance moves, and entertainment elements, such as how the Korean Tiger’s display Taekwondo, it easily produces misunderstandings of the martial art. Therefore, I think of it as a cultural aspect of Korea and we have to keep the idea of “taekwondo-dance” in such a light for what it is, but at the same time we have to focus more on the traditional values and martial art (mudo) side of Taekwondo itself.

Practicing for a demo

WHITE DRAGON: What was it like touring with the Korean Tigers? What kinds of performances did you do? How is their martial arts philosophy as a whole compared to you individually? 

MASTER LEE: I was a Korean Tiger member for 4 years. I never did Taekwondo dancing. I focused mainly on kicking such as kyuk pa and poomsae techniques. Their philosophy is just about performance art and not actual martial arts. For me, my philosophy is about martial arts and not the same as theirs. During my time with the K-Tigers I was able to visit several countries such as China, India, Qatar just to name a few. It was a fun experience but I decided I really want true martial arts and to further Taekwondo as a martial art which is different from their focus on performance art. 

WHITE DRAGON: What is your opinion on the International Taekwon-Do Federation?

 

MASTER LEE: I think the International Taekwon-Do Federation itself is a magnificent fraction of Taekwondo. Especially, the fundamentals of ‘sign wave’ is special and remarkable. 

K-Tiger’s promotional photo

WHITE DRAGON: It is said that martial arts change people’s lives. In what was has martial arts training influenced your life? What can it do for other people?

 

MASTER LEE: By strengthening your body and mind it can bring help to one’s livelihood. It gives you confidence and can let you protect yourself and the people around you. Also, it deepens the understanding of other’s pain, since pain accompanies through the process of training in a martial art. Anyhow, I believe through training it secretly influences others and gives out good influence. 

 

WHITE DRAGON: Who are some Taekwondo masters that inspire you? Also, do you have heroes in other styles of martial arts as well?

 

MASTER LEE: I respect all of my teachers who have taught me since I was inspired by all of them. They have taught me different martial arts throughout my life.

 

WHITE DRAGON: What does it take to become an instructor? What qualifications would you suggest? Do you have any tips for people wanting to start their own gyms and become full time Taekwondo teachers?

 

MASTER LEE: At first the person must have good skills. There must always be something to teach. They must also have leadership skills in order to forward the things that one wants to teach. Not just that but during the process in transmitting skills the teacher must have a personality that other people can respect. However, I currently don’t operate any dojang so it is hard for me to give any tips to other masters.

 

WHITE DRAGON: How did you get the idea to join YouTube and begin uploading videos? Do you have any specific future plans with YouTube or video production?

 

MASTER LEE: The idea of making filming a video just popped up one day so I uploaded it onto YouTube. I’m planning to keep uploading videos of my skill system of techniques and poomsae interpretations and application, etc. 
In Korea I have already uploaded through blogs and stuff, especially the response on Facebook was really good. 

 

WHITE DRAGON: How important is poomsae practice to you and your philosophy? 

 

MASTER LEE: Poomsae was a gift that was given to me. Through poomsae competitions I could ultimately increase my ego in Korea and throughout the world. However as an aspect of my philosophy it wasn’t important. It only was a great help for training to master techniques and control the body and mind.

 

A focused Lee preparing before a poomsae event back in his high school days.

 

WHITE DRAGON: Do you enjoy Olympic Taekwondo sparring?
 
MASTER LEE: After my 8 years as a Taekwondo athlete I don’t especially enjoy it any more. 

Tying a student’s glove for kickboxing training

 

WHITE DRAGON: Do you have any final shout outs, statements, or feelings to express? If so feel free to mention them!
 
MASTER LEE: Thank you for such an opportunity to give me the chance to have such an interview. I’m really grateful for your interest in me.  

*For more information on Master Dong Hee Lee you can visit his YouTube channel:
Be sure to subscribe!
And his Facebook page:

Moving To A New City, Crazy Neighbor, Establishing The Fence Posture

        It has been awhile since I posted anything. I recently moved to another city and had to get things situated and wait for internet service etc. Meanwhile, in this apartment complex I was unlucky enough to live in an apartment directly below an extremely obnoxious and loud person who plays video games all day and all night with a 60 inch TV and loud bass. He also stomps the floor and is a maniac and crashes around all night. He is a total lunatic and most likely mentally disabled. He is also erratic and seems violent or prone to it. But there is good news, it has been said they only have 2 months left before they move. They have already been reported for their behavior by the management. I wish they would get evicted. The guy lives with his mom.

        The other week I saw his mom outside and was polite and friendly and asked her to please make sure the noise stops. That he would stop stomping and playing loud music and video games. He also yells a lot and cusses and stamps the floor in anger. I think he is a video game addict. His mother said she would talk to her son and she acted defensive and was in denial about it. She made excuses. Nothing was done. That night maybe they were more quiet but the following days it was the same thing again.

       Maybe 5 days later I see the nutjob outside on the stairs barbecuing on the freaking stairs! Who does that?!?! The stars turn a corner and have a platform section. It is a total violation of the fire code! I brought it up and he instead becomes passive aggressive and sarcastic and tells me he can do what he wants. But then he said he would move it. Then I asked politely if he could stop stomping the floor and turn down the video games. He instantly got pissed off as if he heard it all before by other people. He started to raise his voice and tell me off. He made idiotic excuses with no logic and basically told me he could do anything he wants simply because he lives there and he does not care at all about how it affects me below him. It really was insulting and I told him that I would report him to the office if he keeps doing it. Right then he got even more pissed off and said, “What are you going to do?!?! huh what?!!? What are you going to do!??” He then ran down the rest of the steps and around the stairs toward me. He had a fork in his hand, then put it down and approached me in a challenging manner trying to get in my face. I instantly said “Stop! Don’t come ANY closer” and established the fence posture. I commanded him to go back and go away. he then stopped and realizes he made a mistake because I would destroy him since he is a pathetic excuse for a person. His violent behavior and irrationality does not compute that he is going to get his ass kicked. But he seemed to realize it then pretended he just wanted to  introduce himself and he was not trying to challenge me. It was such a joke. But I was seriously about to do what I had to do to protect myself including punching him in the face and knocking him out. The fence posture and instant defensive attitude protected me and stopped the situation from escalating.

The fence posture can work to deescalate a situation. Of course I did it more aggressively and commanding than the woman in this photo. Act like a cop like you are the authority and command them to stop coming toward you. There are different versions of the posture, some less aggressive to the extremely authoritative. Depending on your situation use common sense to calm a person down. My situation was imminent. So I became ultra authoritative. Be the defensive person and protect yourself from legal problems and show that YOU are the victim and not the aggressor for any witnesses who may be present.

        The martial artist has self control and waits for the proper and exact moment to fight. If that moment does not come, even if it was just a millisecond away the true black belt does not act more than he has to. The fence posture is a basic self defense technique taught in most courses and it works. Make sure you take action to stop a situation before it gets worse. There was no reason to physically fight over my neighborly dispute. I now learned my upstairs neighbor is mentally deranged and has serious problems. I will keep an eye out and long for the day this jackass moves. I pray for him to get evicted but it seems I will have to wait 2 months. Sleep is tough. I had not slept right for 2 weeks because of this idiot. Even one of our lights fell down from the ceiling and hung on wires because of how hard he stomps the floor. This is a struggle. But I did not get into a fight and that was a victory and he knows not to mess with me, even though he will continue to play loud bass late in the night and stomp the floor and crash around in his room at 5am every morning. What a low life.