Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Meet a Mentor: Doc Al

  1. Mar 17, 2013 #1
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2016
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 17, 2013 #2

    Drakkith

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Careful, pick on Doc Al and he'll give you the ol' judo chop!
     
  4. Mar 17, 2013 #3

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Doc Al is my hero. :!!)
     
  5. Mar 17, 2013 #4

    micromass

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor
    2016 Award

    I absolutely adore Doc Al!!
     
  6. Mar 17, 2013 #5

    dlgoff

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    That's about the same age of my "epiphany" but a different book.

    $%28KGrHqF,!lUE-5KtEGGLBQ!z0wpBuw~~60_35.JPG


    I don't have any martial arts belts but consider myself as part of the Taekwon-Do family as I've supported my daughters efforts for 14 years now. She to has trained with many masters and grandmasters. She recently submitted her thesis, "A Guide For Teaching Taekwon-do to Children", in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the ITF 4th Dan Black Belt. I'll be attending her testing in North Carolina on the 29th. You have an amazing story. I wish she could meet you.

    A few of questions:

    Do you do any fist breaks? Any broken bones? Any pics of those hands (or any other pics) you would care to share?

    What are your opinions of Premier Martial Arts?
     
  7. Mar 18, 2013 #6

    Borek

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Sigh, you have stolen my line!

    But I think all Mentors would concur.
     
  8. Mar 18, 2013 #7

    Doc Al

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Oh baby! :!!)

    I can feel the love!
     
  9. Mar 18, 2013 #8

    Doc Al

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    That is outstanding! All the best to her. (I like that a thesis is required for advancement; a friend of mine requires that of all his advanced black belts.) Be sure to let us know how it goes.

    Just to be clear, I haven't practiced TKD or any "classical" martial art for decades. (But I still have friends in the art and I still respect it.)

    I don't do any breaking these days. But yes, I used to do fist breaks. I do not recommend it. In my opinion the fist in general (at least the front of the fist) is overrated, especially against a bony target such as the head. Open hand strikes can be more effective, require less pinpoint timing, and are much more forgiving. You want your hands, fingers, and wrists to be strong, but excessive "conditioning" is not a good idea. Even pro boxers mess up their hands in a real fight.

    In grad school I taught a "general science" class (which I, of course, turned into a physics class, since that's all I really know). One of the demos I would do was a "speed break", where I would hold 2 or 3 boards in one hand and chop through them with the other hand. Lots of fun. Probably couldn't do it now.
    Not at the moment, thankfully. But yes, I've broken a few. Almost always from doing something stupid, back in the day. These days I'm more concerned with my joints falling apart.
    If I showed you, I'd have to kill you. :cool:

    I don't like to give opinions about schools that I don't have first hand knowledge of.
     
  10. Mar 18, 2013 #9

    dlgoff

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Wow. Thanks for the reply. Hope it's okay to carry on a little while the community is still trying to meet you. I'll stop with this.

    Will do.

    I knew that. There were a couple years that my daughter trained with ATA when her traditional ITF/WTF style dojo decided to switch to MMA stuff (hence my question about Premier). There was always this elderly married couple at the black belt classes. Once a black-belt, always a black-belt.


    Most of the dojos that my daughter has trained in didn't require fist breaks. Besides, in children (especially young girls) hand bones injuries can cause permanent problems. So I would never let her even attempt.
    Speed breaks are the most entertaining to watch. A very difficult feat that lots of black belts can't do.
    And with one punch I'm sure. :wink:
     
  11. Mar 18, 2013 #10
    Physics + Martial Arts ----------> Doc Al :approve:
     
  12. Mar 18, 2013 #11

    Doc Al

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    MMA is the flavor of the month, or decade. Too sportive for my tastes. Although I did attend the very first Ultimate Fighting Championship in Denver. (More fights in the stands than the octagon!)
    Very wise!
     
  13. Mar 18, 2013 #12

    WannabeNewton

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Did you get to meet Courant at NYU? That would have been so cool.
     
  14. Mar 18, 2013 #13

    lisab

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I'm impressed you're still at a not-to-be-named large telecom lab. No small feat, these days.
     
  15. Feb 5, 2014 #14

    ~christina~

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Nice to learn more about you Doc Al.

    Reminder: Don't get on Doc's bad side! He knows martial arts..
     
  16. Oct 29, 2014 #15
    I'd recognize Milton Stecher anywhere.

    Chet
     
  17. Oct 29, 2014 #16

    Doc Al

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor


    Absolutely! :)

    We'll have to swap Stecher stories one of these days.
     
  18. Feb 3, 2016 #17
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: Meet a Mentor: Doc Al
  1. Meet a Mentor: Mark44 (Replies: 11)

  2. Meet a Mentor: Lisab (Replies: 39)

  3. Meet a Mentor: Orodruin (Replies: 17)

  4. Meet a Mentor: Ryan_m_b (Replies: 17)

Loading...