Monday, November 29, 2010

Great Saying

Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the Ark. Professionals built the Titanic.

Monday, November 22, 2010

High school presentation

I spoke to two classes at Lely High School in Naples this past week. The students I spoke to are in the AVID program, Advancement Via Individual Determination and it's a college prep program. Here's a link about the program from their local paper,
   I spoke to them about the importance of getting a good education, conflict resolution and problem solving. Both groups asked great questions and their teachers said they were fascinated. I used a lapel grab situation to illustrate how a problem is presented and the US Air Force six-step process one can use to solve it. That process can be used anywhere but using it on the body brought it to life for them.
  The classes surprised me with a gift of President Bush's book, Decision Points and a Leatherman tool.
Thanks to Mr. Davis and Ms. Gaddis for the invitation. 

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The doctor is in

Keep working out.

Importance of Exercise for Those at Special Risk for Alzheimer's
ScienceDaily (Nov. 18, 2010) — In a study that included healthy 65- to 85-years-old who carried a high-risk gene for Alzheimer's disease, those who exercised showed greater brain activity in memory-related regions than those who were sedentary. The results suggest that physical activity promotes changes in the brain that may protect high-risk individuals against cognitive decline.
Physical activity promotes changes in the brain that may protect high-risk individuals against cognitive decline, including development of Alzheimer's disease, according to a new study done at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM).
J. Carson Smith, an assistant professor of health sciences, included in the study both people who carry a high-risk gene for Alzheimer's disease, and other healthy older adults without the gene."Our study suggests that if you are at genetic risk for Alzheimer's disease, the benefits of exercise to your brain function might be even greater than for those who do not have that genetic risk," says Smith.
While evidence already shows that physical activity is associated with maintenance of cognitive function across a life span, most of this research has been done with healthy people, without any consideration of their level of risk for Alzheimer's, says Smith.
A team of researchers compared brain activation during memory processing in four separate groups of healthy 65- to 85-years-olds. The level of risk was defined by whether an individual carried the apolipoprotein E-epsilon4 (APOE-ϵ4) allele. Physical activity status was defined by how much and how often the participants reported physical activity (PA). The study divided subjects into Low Risk/Low PA, Low Risk/High PA, High Risk/Low PA and High Risk/High PA.
Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to measure brain activation of participants while they performed a mental task involving discriminating among famous people. This test is very useful, says Smith, because it engages a wide network called the semantic memory system, with activation occurring in 15 different functional regions of the brain.
"When a person thinks about people -- for example, Frank Sinatra or Lady Gaga -- that involves several lobes of the brain," explains Smith. In the study groups of those carrying the gene, individuals who exercised showed greater brain activity in memory-related regions than those who were sedentary.Perhaps even more intriguing, physically active people with the gene had greater brain activity than those who were physically active but not gene carriers. There are many physiological reasons why this could be happening, Smith says. "For example, people with this increased activation might be compensating for some underlying neurological event that is involved in cognitive decline.." "Using more areas of their brain may serve as a protective function, even in the face of disease processes."
The study's collaborating institutions include the Cleveland Clinic, Marquette University, Wayne State University and Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science. It was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute on Aging.
The study will be published in the journal NeuroImage. Smith's current research builds on this study. He and his team are conducting a new study testing the before-and-after effects of a structured exercise program on brain function. The study includes patients diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment or early Alzheimer's disease, as well as a healthy control group.
For more information on this ongoing study, visit

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Strange stuff

An as yet unknown person has been mailing defamatory information about me to my students, business associates and other kenpo people around the country. This person is obviously unbalanced and has been described  as "deranged", a"whack job" and "a nutbar" by some of the recipients I have spoken with. One person, who contacted another recipient, told them they didn't know me well at all but knew the stuff within is absolutely fabricated.
     This person obviously has an axe to grind with me and apparently has for some time. (I wonder what their shrink has to say about that.)  They do not put their name to it and have gone to some lengths to cover their tracks because they know it is false (and illegal).  Too bad they got postmarked rather clearly, so the law enforcement agencies I have contacted have a pretty good idea where they came from.
   Like propaganda, it has some grains of truth such as where I went to junior college, some of the names of students and instructors from my first schools in Chicago and the like. They make numerous statements that you'd have to ask yourself how they knew something and them realize it would be next to impossible to discover such information, even if it were true. They attempt to weave a story around these facts, which was probably good because it gave us several clues as to their identity.
    This person makes laughable attempts to discredit me in attacking my 1) intelligence, 2) abilities, 3) appearance, 4) social affiliations, 5) character and integrity and 6) accomplishments. They spent a lot of time creating this. They start by taking a print-out about me taken from someone's website and run with it.
   They open by saying I was self-promoted and have no certificates for any rank at all. Hundreds of people have seen my diplomas hanging on my studio walls. They state I tell everyone my first kenpo teacher was Mike Sanders, also untrue. Loads of proof  exists that I went with Mr. Sanders after leaving the first school I studied at (for example, read The Journey). As to my first instructor, I don't normally mention his name but suffice to say that John Sepulveda worked for him, too, when he was in California and I found the man was a convicted flasher. And it was Ed Parker who told me that. You can imagine my surprise. Speaking of Mr. Sanders and Mr. Parker, this person makes allegations about them, too -  pretty brave when those two are dead and can't respond.
   They continue by writing that I did not win any competitions and simply bought trophies and had plates made for them. I have to wonder how I did that and still managed to accumulate enough points to be nationally rated by Karate Illustrated magazine in 1980? That's easy enough to look up and verify. They mention the American Karate Association several times. Check with them, they still have the same president and he remembers me and my record. Another invention of theirs is that I simply copied numerous ideas from others. That happens all the time in society but it's bad for me to do it, I guess. If you think about it, that's what WE do, we copy people doing techniques and forms, etc to transmit the art. They go on to say Mr. Parker had a pencil portrait so I had to have one. Shame on me. This person apparently does not know (or conveniently disregards) that Ed Parker Jr. asked all the seniors if he could do their portraits when The Journey book was being written. That tells me this is out of touch with the mainstream kenpo world. Even people who don't study but are familiar with kenpo people know that Ed was taking commissions to do portraits and anyone could have one done. Heck, this person can get one done so they don't feel so bad about themselves and we'll have a face to put with a name when we file the defamation lawsuit.
     They included a photo of me and make a hand-written note with it that points out I cast no shadow and that makes me evil. Good photographers go to lengths to insure there are no shadows in their work and that's what mine did. I can only imagine that this person thinks I don't have a reflection in the mirror, either.
   But this is not enough. They go down the road of making allegations of improper sexual activity by myself and another instructor at my Chicago area school and then create a delicate chain of "what-ifs" and associations to imply that my niece could have been at risk at the hands of another kenpo instructor. This is a sick mind. And there is much more weird stuff that I won't bore you with but is a fantastic stretch of the imagination.
    This person's attack on me is not founded on truth, is easily proven false and they are hiding. The law says you cannot defame a person in the workplace. They have done this, and anonymously to boot. As one recipient said, "They can't write, can't spell and don't even have the balls to sign it." I'm not going to sacrifice my reputation on the altar of their ego. On the other hand, I have to feel bad for a person who holds this much hate, envy and jealousy for such a long time and feels the need to act on it. One of their letters to me says "say it ain't so". Of course it's not so and they know it. So do the people they sent it to. 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Member section article

A new article is posted for subscribers to me website at on cover-outs. Here's an excerpt.
Theories on the Origin of the Cover-Out

By Lee Wedlake

At a seminar in Chicago I was asked by a participant* if I knew if the cover-out (or cross-out) was always a part of the techniques. I had never thought to ask Mr. Parker that question and had to admit I didn’t know. But, like a good instructor should, I told him I would ask and see if I could find an answer.

I surveyed some of the higher-ranking instructors and came up with a variety of answers, some of which were the same as mine. After gathering information and thinking about it, this is what I came up with.

The seminar participant himself sent me a link to story about Joe Emperado, one of the brothers who had studied under Professor Chow and a founder of the Kajukenbo system. Emperado had been stabbed in the kidney during a street fight in 1958 and died two days afterward. The implication is that he didn’t see it coming. Of course, there is more than one version of how it happened but here is a link.

Friday, November 12, 2010

New article at my site

I have posted an article by England's Phil Buck on Pacific Fighting Arts. It's a quick read on Polynesian arts. You can find it at

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Frank Trejo

Mr. Trejo went into the hsopital with a heart problem while on a seminar weekend in Fresno recently. I spoke with the gentleman who took him to the hospital and he said Frank was out and home by Weds. Let's keep him in our thoughts.

California seminars

I was out at the Valdez Dojo in Madera and Graham Lelliott's school in Fresno over the weekend. The turnout at both schools was great. The children's seminars were well-attended. Both studios teach good discipline and the kids were attentive, learned something new and we all had some fun. We did a little ground work and some two-man techniques for the adults. In the course of the evening, Mr. Lelliott promoted Pete Valdez to fourth degree black. David Jimenez was Pete's first instructor and he was present, too. It was a pleasure to be there with them.
   At Graham's the next day I did another seminar for children.The intermediates worked on more two-man and the brown/black group worked on Long Three. Amy Long was down from Sacramento, Armen George was in from Washington and many local black belts attended. Two of Graham's brown belts, Marty Sherwood and Doug Taylor were promoted to 1st black, too.
  Mr. Lelliott was celebrating his 30th anniversary as a black belt (on a date now shared with Mr. Valdez).
Congratulations to them all!
  Thanks to everyone who made the seminars a success.

New junior blacks

Mitchell Etheridge started as a Little Dragon and kept at it tenaciously. He recently tested for and passed his junior black exam. You can tell by his grin that he's excited to make the achievement.
  Maria Caamano was also promoted. She had just been elected as her class president at school. She's a good example of the scholar/warrior.
  Will Spearman is right behind these two, working toward his as well. He's our next candidiate.
  Congratulations to all of them!