In reference to your article Dangerous Delusion (Oct. 18), I would like to make a couple of comments. I agree that if a student should involve himself with an "unAmericanized" form of karate, chances are that he will be less able to defend himself than before. It is correct to assume that the Oriental methods are fairly inept when it comes to defense. But the pragmatic attitude of the better American instructors has made it possible for karate to be used as an effective self-defense tool, and in a much shorter time than Richard W. Johnston might expect.
Consequently, I believe there is a point in taking up karate solely for purposes of self-defense. Most people who stay with their lessons for more than a year stay for other reasons, but they should definitely be able to defend themselves after studying at a qualified Americanized school for that period of time. Americanized in this sense means that many of the illogical, irrational and superfluous movements of the traditional Oriental styles of karate have been deleted in favor of fighting techniques that will work in our society in 1976.
Let me suggest that those interested in self-defense search out a good Americanized school so that they may learn realistic techniques and at the same time develop their own American philosophy regarding karate.
World Professional Karate Commission
I am not particularly a fan of gymnastics, but I was amazed and enchanted by the excellence displayed by Nadia Comaneci of Romania in her beautiful and artistic gymnastics routines in Montreal. I nominate her for Sportswoman of the Year.
JOHN E. BOWLEY JR.
I nominate Dorothy Hamill.
The only natural choice for Sportsman of the Year is Bruce Jenner.
DAVID E. OELLERICH
Olympic cross-country skier Bill Koch. He did more for sports, America and the world than any of us yet realizes.
Fort Collins, Colo.
Central Islip, N.Y.
The U.S. Olympic boxing team.
G. RUSSELL TAPPAN
Fort Lauderdale, Fla.