Feb 26, 2016

Robert Bussey

"The common man needs to be able to save his life. So give him a principle that he can use, that he can fit into his world and his life, and let him survive." - Robert Bussey


Robert Bussey was born in the summer of 1961.  He began his martial arts training as a youngster growing up in Nebraska.  By the time he reached High School, this young black belt prodegy was running multiple academies throughout the Midwest. 

Using money he saved from teaching, Bussey made the first of what would become many treks to Asia.  He became the first non-Korean man in history to earn a black belt in YongBiKwan Hapkido, a system dating back 28 generations. 

In Japan, his skill level was instantly recognizable and he was awarded several black belts, some of which he respectfully declined (most notably by the great Mas Oyama of Kyokishinkai Karate).  After searching out Masaaki Hatsumi, 34th Soke of Togakure Ryu, he began his journey in the Ninja arts, training exclusively with the Grand Master and other leading master teachers including Fumio Manaka, Shoto Tanemura, and Toshiro Nagato. 

In 1980, Bussey pioneered the art to American audiences and by the mid 80’s was running the largest Ninja training facility in the world.  His 10,000 square foot academy was the equivilant of a modern gym, complete with weight equipment, heavy bags, climbing ropes, hundreds of training weapons, and all the necessary mats and customized apparel.  Bussey’s facility and his legendary Ninja summer camps drew people from all corners of the globe. 

As his personal style evolved, he wrote numerous articles for magazines such as "Fighting Stars", "Inside Kung Fu", "SWAT", "Black Belt", "NINJA Magazine", and others.  A deeply spiritual man, Bussey was guided by a personal code and questioned certain ancient traditions and techniques.

By rejecting the politics and false sense of security that was rampant in the arts, Bussey pioneered a new and progressive approach and became the poster boy for the contemporary American Ninja warrior.

Feb 23, 2016

It’s O.K. With Ralph Macchio if You Call Him the Karate Kid

(by Erik Piepenburg nytimes.com 2-12-16)

Let’s get this out of the way: Ralph Macchio doesn’t mind being forever Danny.

It was 1984 when Mr. Macchio, 22 but babyfaced, nuzzled his way into teen dreams as Danny LaRusso, the martial arts cutie-pie in the movie “The Karate Kid.” It was a role, opposite Pat Morita as Danny’s beloved mentor, Mr. Miyagi, that made Mr. Macchio a star and cemented his perch in the pantheon of ’80s heartthrobs.

Today, Mr. Macchio looks so much younger than 54 it’s like the ’80s never ended. Those puppy dog eyes that once turned his Tiger Beat covers into teenage wallpaper, the softly cocky Long Island cadence — still there. Ignore a few wrinkles, and out pops Johnny Cade, the pouty bad boy he played in the 1983 film “The Outsiders.”
It’s fitting, then, that for his latest project Mr. Macchio stars in a melancholy memory play, set in 1979, about a man grappling to understand what his past means to his present. In “A Room of My Own,” Charles Messina’s semi-autobiographical comedy, which is to open on Feb. 25, Mr. Macchio plays Carl Morelli, a writer who narrates his own coming-of-age story about growing up in an Italian-American family in a cramped Greenwich Village studio apartment.

"Persona-wise, I represent a lot of people’s childhoods,” Mr. Macchio said during an interview at the June Havoc Theater, where the Abingdon Theater Company production will open. “That’s why I feel I’m the guy to play this part. Even though this is not necessarily the biggest stretch, it is a good fit, and there are challenges. It just seems right at this point in my life.”

Mr. Macchio first appeared in a reading of the play in 2010 after Mr. Messina approached him cold, thinking he would be suited for the role because, as Mr. Messina explained, their upbringing was so similar, “we could be in the same family.” Mr. Macchio joined subsequent readings, drawn, he said, by its depiction of how “sometimes people love in a very strange way.” Mr. Macchio took some time for work in TV (placing a decent fourth on “Dancing With the Stars”) and film (the coming “A Dog and Pony Show,” with Mira Sorvino) before committing to an Off Broadway run.
“It’s pilot season now, so you always want to keep it clear in case a ‘Friends’ or ‘E.R.’ drops in your lap,” he said of making room in his schedule. “But I was getting hungry to do a good play.”
Mr. Macchio cut his theater teeth long ago. He made a high-profile Broadway debut in 1986 when the play “Cuba and His Teddy Bear,” with Robert De Niro and Burt Young, transferred from the Public Theater. (It’s Mr. De Niro’s only Broadway credit.) Mr. Macchio followed that with two Off Broadway plays — “Only Kidding” (1989) and “Magic Hands Freddy” (2004) — and a song-and-dance turn in the late ’90s as the inadvertent striver J. Pierrepont Finch in a tour of the musical “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.”
“Maybe because he’s a New Yorker, maybe because he’s Italian-American, people feel they know him,” Mr. Messina, 44, said. “Given that this is about a crazy family, we needed somebody who would guide us through it and say: He’s normal.”
Normal and Macchio have been synonyms for decades, as Mr. Macchio has steered clear of the sex-and-drug scandals that have bedeviled some of his ’80s peers as they’ve aged. He’s parlayed a prepossessing personality into comically self-deprecating performances as himself on the TV shows “Entourage" and “How I Met Your Mother.” He shot a sweet-natured Funny or Die video a few years ago that shows him getting in sad bar fights and hiring prostitutes in hopes of achieving TMZ-level notoriety. The plan flops, to his family’s disappointment.
“My wife and kids maybe beg to differ but I am generally a good guy,”

Mr. Macchio said with a laugh. “Sometimes I wish I was more shrewd. Sometimes you need that to succeed in this business. That’s the trade-off.”
“There’s a humility to Ralph,” said the comedian Mario Cantone, who plays Carl’s semi-closeted uncle in “A Room of My Own.” “But in rehearsal he works hard. He knows what he wants.”
(But, Mr. Cantone joked: “Don’t let him fool you. He’s got a sex dungeon in his basement.”)
Mr. Macchio said his own family, with roots in both Italy and Greece, is far from the one portrayed in Mr. Messina’s play.
“The characters are big, loud, vulgar and opinionated,” he said. “There is no filter on any of them. My family is much more — they weren’t that way.”
Like other parents his age, Mr. Macchio and his wife, Phyllis, are getting used to being empty nesters. Their daughter Julia, 23, is the lead in a national tour of the musical “Flashdance”; their son Daniel, 20, is a college student. “I’ve kept one foot in the Hollywood world, but family is big for me,” Mr. Macchio said.
Still, doing a show that asks him to relive a life similar to his own has made Mr. Macchio wistful for a childhood that’s “not there anymore,” he said. Grateful for a youthful appearance — “He’s 95 but looks 30,” Mr. Cantone said — Mr. Macchio acknowledges the perils of being “frozen in time” in the minds of fans.
“I lead a unique existence as someone who is famous for being young on film, or young in the minds of everyone,” he said. “You don’t want to read that Joe Montana puts on reading glasses. In the minds of people, I’m still Danny LaRusso or Billy Gambini from ‘My Cousin Vinny.’ Going back to those formative years, I get emotional about that."
Mr. Macchio said he would like “A Room of My Own” to have further life, either with a move uptown or as a film or TV series “in a ‘Wonder Years’ kind of way.” As for the fans who yell “Hey, Karate Kid” at him on the street? Like Carl Morelli, Mr. Macchio shrugs it off.
“I have kids coming up, and they’ll wear the headband or show me their crane kick with their parents who grew up seeing the [“Karate Kid”] movies, or their grandparents who voted for me on ‘Dancing With the Stars,’” he said. “If you can have a legacy that’s a good one, why call that yesteryear?”



Feb 11, 2016

SLC Police: Woman raped in downtown parking garage

(by McKenzie Romero and Sandra Yi ksl.com 2-8-16)

A woman was raped in a Salt Lake parking garage Wednesday night as she walked alone to her car, police said.

The 23-year-old woman was returning to her car about 11 p.m. after having dinner with friends when a man grabbed her in the parking garage at 200 South Main, said Salt Lake Police Sgt. Robin Heiden.

The man grabbed the woman from behind, Heiden said, preventing her from seeing his face. The only description the woman has been able to provide so far is that his arm appeared to be olive skinned, that his voice was raspy with no accent, and he was possibly older.  

The man left the woman following the attack and she called police the next day, Heiden said.

Police expect to interview the woman again this week, having allowed her some time to begin recovering from the attack, Heiden said. Investigators were also looking for surveillance footage and planned to process DNA evidence that was collected after the woman's report.  

The sergeant noted that "stranger rape is extremely rare." No additional incidents have been reported, she said, noting that rape sometimes goes unreported.  

"If there's anybody else out there that this has happened to in the Salt Lake area, we'd like to hear from you. Because if it has happened to somebody else, we can get a better description of this guy," she said.  

Police advise women to always take note of their surroundings and to avoid walking alone at night.

"Unfortunately, you've got to pay attention to what's going on around you," Heiden said. "Salt Lake is generally a pretty safe place, but when things like this happen, it's always because somebody is alone, and it's that opportunity that is taken and then they're assaulted."  

Other options include carrying pepper spray or a civilian TASER, if the individual feels comfortable carrying it, Heiden said.




My take

I'm very disappointed in KSL's reporting of this story.

No where do they suggest learning a martial art or taking some type of martial art class as a viable way of protecting yourself. They suggest carrying pepper spray or a civilian taser, but not even a mention of the martial arts.

Someone who knows even some basic martial arts skills is going to fare better in a situation like this then someone who is relying on pepper spray or a taser, both of which will take a second or two to use.

Knowing a martial art is instantaneous. Once you think about moving you are already moving, it takes less than a second.

"Don't carry a weapon, be the weapon."

C'mon KSL, get with the program.