joe lewis martial arts article

Joe Lewis Interview Excerpts, Good and Bad

Yesterday, I was rereading the August 1997 issue of Black Belt Magazine. In particular, I found an an interview with martial-arts expert Joe Lewis.

I have to admit, that I disagreed strongly with aspects of the article, and completely agreed with other statements. In this post, you get an example of each.

First, the bad …

Joe Lewis’ Martial Arts Mistake

On page 53, Black Belt asks Joe Lewis if traditional Aikido is effective as a means of self-defense. He completely trashes Aikido. Oops.

Of course, being the author of Wrist Locks (revised), I completely disagree with the following statement made by Mr. Lewis:

“… I am not real fond of using throws, joint locks, pressure points or wrist locks. It’s my personal opinion that most of the stuff taught in aikido schools is somewhat useless.” (Page 53, Black Belt, August 1997)

No Bragging, Just Martial Facts

I am in no way saying that me in my prime would have taken Joe Lewis in his prime. I’m not “that” full of myself. On the other hand, if we could talk and “play” martial arts for even half an hour, I am sure I could get him to revise the above statement.

I am not an aikido student. I have no affiliation to any of their schools. But I am fond of teaching people how to make wrist locks and joint locks practical in real self-defense situations.

Not to brag, but I have never failed to convince someone of the use of locking.

And I am sure I could have gotten him to make an attitude adjustment on pressure points, too.

Just saying. :-)

Joe Lewis Training Advice

And just when I thought I should trash the interview (or at least stop reading), I found some worthy pieces of advice. For example, he and my teacher, Steve Golden, share some of the similar views on belt promotion. Both of them promote black-belt level, only.

Another juicy martial-arts quote that I found was:

“I think instructors should also do more risk-tolerance drills, such as working on stress management, fear stabilization, frustration and helplessness manipulation, and other aspects of training which deal with mind-sets, attitudes and focus.” (Page 55, Black Belt, August 1997)

What Would Joe Lewis Think of Control Your Fear?

Part of me would like to send him a copy of Wrist Locks: From Protecting Yourself to Becoming an Expert (revised), to see if I could convince him of the worth of effective locks in hand-to-hand combat.

Actually, I am much more curious to see his reaction to Control Your Fear: A Guide For Martial Artists. Who knows, maybe he’d give me a testimonial (???).

I think he and I would agree on most points in the book.


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