Category Archives: American martial arts

Boston Tea and Mad King George: The Six Degrees of Henry Angelo

Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels. But it’s also  one of the great sources of historical irony. The War of 1812 created one such irony, as far as the classical canon of fencing literature is concerned.

This one is quite complex, as indeed anything should be that manages to connect personages as diverse as a prominent member of the Boston Tea Party, Mad King George, the Hessian mercenaries—and the ubiquitous fencing master dynasty of the Angelos in a game that makes the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon look as one-dimensional as a Partridge Family reunion special… Continue reading

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Gratuitous Violence: The Tough Guy’s Guide to getting things DONE!

mikehammerWorld War II put a temporary dent into the popularity of Asian martial arts in America that “jiu jitsu” had briefly enjoyed in the 1920’s and 1930’s. It wasn’t until the aptly titled “chop sockey” movies out of Hong Kong that Western audiences reconnected with the highly stylized if not artistically choreographed exotics. Until then, the shortest way from Point A to Point B was a straight right to the chops… Continue reading