'Martial' art of 'Karate'
has gained a wide and growing audience in recent
months. Magazines and newspapers do features on it, the hero of a TV series
useskarate instead of a gun to eliminate his antagonists, how-to books are
piling off the assembly lines andkarate schools are opening up like pizza
is, I think, heartening, because for years a large number of American citizens
have been unfairly discriminated against simply because there has been no
opportunity for them to receive instruction in a technique such as karate.
These citizens—bar fighters, muggers, juvenile rumblers, cop baiters,
strikebreakers, labor goons, itinerant rapists and stick-up artists—have been
the collective victims of what I call the "judo conspiracy."
Due to an
unhealthy and one-sided interest in self-defense, it's possible today for any
child to learn the secret principles of judo at his friendly neighborhood dojo.
Judo, a science that uses an attacker's strength to defeat him, is designed
especially for the victim of an Unprovoked Assault.
In every judo ad
or instruction book there is always an illustrated rendering of the same
dramatic scene. A slender fellow with clean features and a neat necktie is
being assaulted by a larger, beefier type who needs a shave and whose shirttail
is out. Sometimes the Assaulter is pictured as lunging with a knife (and
presumably with his eyes tightly shut); often he carries a club or a revolver.
But in every case in the second panel we see the slender fellow heartlessly and
violently hurling him to the pavement. In the third panel he (the Assaulter)
sits holding his head, above which are pictured stars and a facsimile of
Saturn, while the fellow with tie (the Assaultee) smiles arrogantly and walks
on with his girl, who is wearing a hat and dress that went out of style in
1932. Above his head is a balloon in which is lettered: "THANK HEAVEN FOR
has always depressed me, possibly because I identify with the unshaven fellow
(my shirttail is usually out, too) who is so obviously the underdog.
Is it consistent
with our American tradition of fair play to send these men, many of them
sensitive teen-agers no more than 27 years old, up against trained experts who
do not hesitate to flip them on their cotton-pickin' skulls with a flip of the
wrist? I say, "No!"
karate can even up the odds that have for so long been in favor of the
judo-trained Square. Karate is designed especially for the Unprovoked
According to Roy
(Pop) Moore, Olympic wrestling coach who studied judo in Japan and took the
first Caucasian judo team to Tokyo, "Karate is not a sport at all. It's a
method of killing or maiming or disabling. That's all it is. A dirty, low,
nonsporting attack that is likely to be lethal."
How about that?
With such high praise from an expert like Mr. Moore, it's no wonder karate is
on the upswing.
grimmer elements of karate were used only by special police or combat units,
like Japanese troops in World War II. But today, for example, schools
advertising karate instruction can be found in the New York classified
directory. The ads use phrases like "Safe. Inexpensive. No physical
conditioning required. Age no barrier."