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Kungfoolss
7/05/2003 1:17am,
Turning an ancient art into modern self defense

By Phoebe Sweet / Staff Writer

Thursday, July 3, 2003

As the mercury rises, so do fears that a masked gunman who may have attacked more than a dozen women last summer will resume his reign of terror on the streets of Brighton and Brookline. The recent reappearance of a similar attacker who plagued Boston's North End last summer has raised alarms that the Brighton attacker might soon return from winter hibernation as well. But rather than living in fear, some women - and many men - are learning to fight back at a self-defense school that teaches a combination of the age-old Japanese art of Jiu Jitsu and modern American street fighting.

Nick Theodorou of Watertown, sensei of Theodorou's Academy of Jiu Jitsu, says that his school will "show you how to fight in modern America, not feudal Japan."

And the best tools for this fight? A mixture of confidence and everyday weapons such as cell phones or car keys. "You probably have it in your hand already," said Theodorou before a recent class. "If you are fumbling, you have already lost precious time." "This is what's realistic," said Meribel Gamboa of Newton, a petite woman who will test for her black belt this summer. "Someone my size? What am I going to do? I have to be able to rely on myself." Gamboa is a social worker in Jamaica Plain and has been studying with Theodorou since 1997. She says she recommends his class to women in the neighborhood where she works. "I tell them they don't have to rely on another person to protect them," said Gamboa. Although Theodorou teaches the ancient forms of Jiu Jistu, he also gives students the tools to defend themselves on the street.

Theodorou first took up karate when he was 10 years old in New York City. He and his younger brother, who now owns a self-defense school in New York, picked up the sport because their father wanted them to be able to fight back against bullies. "We were under average size. We were very small kids," said Theodorou. Eight years later, he got his black belt and moved to Boston to attend Boston College, where he began teaching self-defense. Although he's only moonlighting as an instructor - his day job is in finance - Theodorou says teaching people to defend themselves is what he loves best. "They come with an empty tool chest," Theodorou said of new students. "I will give them four or five tools. ... The goal is that they walk away with one tool they feel confident to use if they get attacked that night." Lisa Baroletti of Brookline said she joined last year after attacks in her Boston College neighborhood intensified. Jen Seng, 24 of Waltham, said she heard about the class through a friend and decided to take it so that she would feel safer on the streets. "I'm small and I work in downtown Boston," she said.

Seng said class drills simulate "real-world situations, so it's there if you need it." During Monday's class, Theodorou taught students how to turn an attacker's kick against him and how to punch, roll and elbow out of a scary situation. Theodorou says knowing an attacker's tricks is another key to defending oneself. Some attackers wear cups to protect their groins or other protective body armor. "These are sick but intelligent people," said Theodorou. As students practiced evading kicks and tossing their faux attacker to the ground, the room rang out with the cracks of bodies against squishy gymnastics mats and the sounds of sparring. Most of Theodorou's new students are referrals from other students in the class. Three new students started class on Monday. Other joiners have taken up Theodorou's offer of two free private lessons before joining the regular class of more than 30 students. Two classes a week for a month costs $55. Classes are held at 8 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday in a Watertown gymnastics studio, Tumble Kids, on Arlington Street.

For more information, check out www.fightbackboston.com or contact Nick Theororou at [email protected] or call 508-740-4872.

http://www.townonline.com/allston/news/local_regional/newabdefensems07032003.htm

Fatality Dragon
7/05/2003 2:05am,
Yeah a cell phone antenna is useful to stab it up someone ass and key is useful to jam it up someone nose!

It is a rat eat rat world.

"A magical place where I have a freakish large penis and I am also the king of the mushroom people." - by Omen Stone

Kensai
7/05/2003 9:48am,
I'd use SCARS, because of the right mind set it creates. Everything else really just sucks......

Boomerang
12/16/2004 3:28pm,
Yeah. Anyway, I train at this school. The article is, uh, poorly written.

I have been training in the Martial arts for almost ten years. I have seen schools where you can buy a belt. This is not one.

Just like any other athletic endeavor, there are people with more skill than others. But for everyone, including "petite" Maribel, This style and this instructor focus on real world self defense. No swords, no bo staff, no turning your back to an attacker(s), no jumping off the ground, no high kicks, and no rolling around grappling if you can help it.

It is a standup style, stiick and knife fighting as well as D against multiple attacks come as you move up the ranks, mental preparedness are emphasised and the fact that there are no rules in fighting are taught. So yeah, if you want to use a cellphone to smack up someones face, go for it; if your life is in danger. Why not use the car keys you already have in your hand as a weapon (or the steaming hot cup of cofffee your carrying on your way to work) if someone wants to hurt you or someone you love? That would certainly add an element of suprise, and make good use of your surroundings. You can punch them next, if that is what you feel comfortable with.

This dojo is not the instructor's job. But it is an imporant part of his life. There are students that walk in the door with incredible natural athletic ability, but most do not. None the less, everyone who is willing to put in the hard work (just like any other activity, you earn it) improves. The odds of any martial art student should improve when in a real world situation. The first time you see a punch should be in a dojo, not on the orange line.

Anyway, like I said, it is a good school and a good style. We have women and men, white and black, big and small -- all great people who are serious about learning and teaching. I think the belt list is 95% crap free. No kata or forms, but plenty of free-style opportunities to use what you learn above and beyond the standard list. There is a little bit of Judo, Arnis, Aikido, striking, ground fightiing, pressure point, joint locks.
it is a nice mix of material.

Short of starting fights on the street, or siigning up for NHB copetitions, I think it is a great place to train in practical self defense. No style or instructor is perfect for everyone, just get out there and train.

--B

Meex
12/16/2004 3:44pm,
Yeah. Anyway, I train at this school. The article is, uh, poorly written.
Uh. . .you wouldn't happen to be Theodorou Sensei, would you?

`~/

btw - as for Maribel, 7 years to bb seems reasonably long enough to have earned it the right way.

Boomerang
12/16/2004 4:50pm,
Uh. . .you wouldn't happen to be Theodorou Sensei, would you?

`~/

btw - as for Maribel, 7 years to bb seems reasonably long enough to have earned it the right way.

---------------

LOL. Hello. No, that would be Nick. I am just another student.

Yes, the pace is usually slower at this school relative to what I have seen. I started there in '98, and I hope to become a black belt candidate in January. I will need to train for at least another year to be tested to become a black belt. In this school, this is "the beginning of my training." And that is the way I like it. It sounds as if you feel the same way.

I just wanted to set the record a little straighter. I thought the article up top was cheesy. I think it is mis-leading regarding the philosophy of the school and the instructor. And since they could'nt even spell the student's names correctly, I doubt the quotes are even accurate.

Wounded Ronin
12/16/2004 6:01pm,
I think I'd do more damage with a full power rear cross than I would do trying to bop someone with a small plastic cell phone. Since when would cell phone smackage actually do damage rather than just piss an attacker off?

DCS
12/16/2004 6:48pm,
I think I'd do more damage with a full power rear cross than I would do trying to bop someone with a small plastic cell phone. Since when would cell phone smackage actually do damage rather than just piss an attacker off?

Nor a RBSD story but i know the case of a construction worker who fell on his back at work and was carrying a cell phone attacched at his belt.

Suffered serious cuts because the landing on the cell phone.

Wounded Ronin
12/16/2004 7:05pm,
If he got *cuts* then probably the cell phone broke and cut him, right? I can see that happening. But in that case, if you were smashing the cell into someone's face, might you not also cut your own hand when the cellphone breaks?

Deadpan Scientist
12/16/2004 7:07pm,
Did he happen to fall from a roof? I hate it when that happens...

DCS
12/16/2004 7:09pm,
Yes, you're correct.

Cause that i posted it was not a RBSD story, but in any case, be careful about where you're carrying your cell phone.

DCS
12/16/2004 7:11pm,
Did he happen to fall from a roof? I hate it when that happens...

Nope, a scissors ladder.

Meex
12/16/2004 8:00pm,
Nope, a scissors ladder.
maybe he got cut from the scissors? :adios:

`~/

DCS
12/16/2004 8:10pm,
http://ace.imageg.net/graphics/product_images/p957462reg.jpg
Step ladder, sorry, i translated directly from spanish.

Meex
12/16/2004 8:39pm,
I thought you were half way between scissor-lift, and step ladder. . .*lol

`~/

Quikfeet509
12/17/2004 5:35pm,
it is important to remember the context in which a martial arts was developed, i.e., if the martial art was developed to kick soldiers off horses, how relevant is that to a street fight? or if a martial art was designed to throw an armored soldier onto the ground where they were fairly immobile due to the armor, how will that help in a bar fight against a person (that hopefully is) not wearing armor?


that's why at the place i train we go to the bar and drink mucho beero...because that's how it usually starts.