Trunk Story

Non-Linear Project Trunk Omari Richards

Martial Arts is a word that covers a wide range of subjects. From sports to self-defense, Martial arts is a useful tool that can empower the common person. It can even be overlapped with religion in the case of one Memphis Tennessee minister.

There are many branches, styles, and techniques in the martial arts field. One of the most well known for street self-defense is the Israeli style, Krav Maga. Meaning “combat contact” in Hebrew, Krav Maga was created by Imi Lichtenfeld to protect the Jewish communities from anti-Semitic gangs in Europe. It’s known for its disbarring of the more traditional aspects of martial arts and focusing solely on street combat and self-defense.

“Instead of being focused on traditions, we’re focused on the streets,” said Moshe Katz a guest instructor for Towson University’s Krav Maga session.

Krav Maga is one the more well known styles for self-defense. It utilizes everything possible to formulate a proper defense. Elbows, knees, groin strikes, and chokeholds are some of the more basic techniques.

A small baton called a Kubotan, which is small and light enough to be carried on a keychain, is something that Moshe recommends a person carry with them at all times.

“People can never believe how useful this little thing is until I show it to them,” he said.

Martial Arts however aren’t just defending you against attackers. It is also a very popular sport. Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is full contact sports, which incorporates a little bit of everything from every style, traditional or otherwise. Ryan Mackin a local amateur MMA fighter of Maryland’s Ground Academy says that MMA requires fighters to balance a wide verity of styles and techniques in order to stay in the game.

“Once I start feeling I got one of the aspects down, like I feel like my boxing is really sharp, I come into practice and get tapped out…. You defiantly have to juggle a lot of balls and wear a lot of hats.”

But for practitioners there will come a time where everything you have practiced suddenly becomes real. Anthony Richards found that out one-day when a mugger approached him with a gun and demanded the college professor to drive him to an ATM.

“Initially, I was very scared. I think every one facing sudden death gets scared,” he said. “However, My training had prepared me for this.  I knew I had to conquer the fear very, very quickly before it paralyzed me so it lasted just about two seconds.”

Richards subdued the mugger with quick thinking and a swift kick to his throat.

“Your survival depends on how you train prepares for moments such as these.”


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