The Way of the Brush & the Sword Sacred Fist Karate International Ken To Fude No Ryu Kenshu Kai Karate Solly Said's Solly Said's Karate,Kickboxing & Gym
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Jailhouse Rock is also known as '52 blocks' first came to public attention in the late 1990s, thanks to Douglas Century, author of the book Street Kingdom: Five Years Inside the Franklin Avenue Posse. In the book, Century describes his friendship, over the course of a few years, with a former criminal and would-be rap star named Big K.

It is in this profanity-laced narrative, in which the identities of those involved are disguised with aliases, that 52 Blocks or “Jailhouse Rock” is described. Century followed this up in August, 2001 with a feature article in Details magazine called “Ghetto Blasters: Born in prison, raised in the ‘hood, the deadly art of 52 Blocks is Brooklyn’s baddest secret.”

The style was also profiled in the New York Times in July of 2009. The article explains that several instructors have emerged who now publicly teach what author Justin Porter called a “quasi martial art.” Porter charitably allows that, “because 52 Blocks exists practically as an oral tradition, its history is a bit murky.” This is a polite way of saying that no one can or will give you a straight answer or any substantiating evidence of 52 Blocks’ lineage.

According to Newsome, 52 Blocks or Jailhouse Rock is an underground system. Unless you go to jail, hang out in underground fighting circles, or are family to an ex con, you’ll never learn it — and if you are white guy, nobody will teach it to you. As Newsome’s interviewer, identified only as “Dempsy,” wrote, “the art is the art of the African who needs it for survival. Much like the Asians decades ago, who would not teach outside their race, the analogy is that you do not give your enemy your best weapon.” In other words, Jailhouse Rock is a racist, racially determined system, in which all of you who are white and NOT in prison are the enemy.

This would be offensive if not for the fact that the system simply doesn’t exist. To believe that it does we have to believe a series of increasingly unlikely propositions: First, we are asked to believe that a people sold into slavery and shipped across the ocean to serve as slaves in the United States somehow managed to transmit the coherent body of a complex, technically diverse martial arts system to their children, their children’s children, and their children for generations, all under the watchful eye of slave owners who would not be eager to have their property learning to fight. There are those who would have you believe that these offensive and defensive moves were disguised as dance… but while this might be believed of flowing, rhythmic styles like capoeira, it is far less likely that Jailhouse Rock’s progenitors could have so disguised this system of fighting.

Second, we are told we must accept the absurd notion that entire systems of fighting — not one, not some, but many — are being transmitted and taught from inmate to inmate in an extensive web of prison instruction despite the fact that such activities would surely be discouraged by prison officials. Yes, we do have grainy footage of inmates teaching their fellow felons sloppy martial arts moves or other criminal methods, such as during time in prison yards… but these isolated incidents are a far cry from the fully realized, technically complex instruction we are asked to believe is taking place. Violence does occur in prison, yes… but it takes only moments to stab or rape a fellow prisoner. It takes considerably more time to impart the details of an intricate martial art system to another person and especially to successive generations of other persons… all while in the strictly controlled environment of the penal system.



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