Monthly Archives: March 2011

MMA Legislation in Connecticut

While the United States is grappling with Libyan brutality and civil war, Japanese tragedies and disasters, and continued debates over health care and energy reforms, the argument over legalizing Mixed Martial Arts seems almost entirely trivial.  But in reality, it couldn’t be more serious.  Fighters literally enter a caged bloodsport with an opponent who has any number of martial arts techniques in his favor.  And the goal is to pain.  Authorizing it as a legitimate sport would mean, for some, endorsing the notion of extreme violence like gladiators from the Roman era.

This is one of the reasons American democracy is so often praised.  The people of each state vote for representatives who will support or oppose the views of their constituents through a formal assembly noted for dignity and collegial respect.  Debate is at the heart of almost every state and federal law that ultimately goes into effect.  And now, in Connecticut, a bill supporting the MMA is moving through different phases of the legislative process.  If enough opposition in the state exists, it won’t pass.  If enough support in the state exists, it will pass.  That’s really as simple as it gets.  Experts believe the MMA will be sanctioned in Connecticut before the end of 2011, but that really depends on how much the people of the state are willing to stand for or against its legalization.  In the meantime, martial arts isn’t going away anytime soon.

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MMA Fights New York

In the blue corner, weighing in at 54,000 square miles and demonstrating 300 years of American history: New York State!  In the red corner, weighing in with the support of fighters all over the world and 20 years of professional history: Mixed Martial Arts!

For many, many years now, the MMA (with help of the UFC) has been fighting to earn professional sanctions in the State of New York, but have continued to fall short of their goals.  Fighters have a dream of cage fighting in Madison Square Garden, but legislators in the state have been fighting back.  Last year, the biggest opponent had been Democratic state assemblyman Bob Reilly who submitted a letter with 48 signatures from other members of the assembly to their state speaker, demanding that an already supported MMA bill not be included as part of the state’s budget.  Reilly succeeded.  This year, Reilly is still the voice of opposition, fighting to prove that the sport is too violent and that such violence should not be celebrated.

Still, many New York residents have been jumping across the border to see MMA fights in Newark, New Jersey where the UCF has acquired sanctions.  And in the end, most New Yorkers seem either apathetic or supportive of such a measure to legalize the sport in their state.  UCF representatives have argued that there have been no serious or deadly injuries in the MMA since 2001, a claim, they say, that even cheerleading, skiing, professional hockey, and the NFL can’t even argue.  They have a point.

While the MMA continues to fight New York in the weeks and months ahead, the Brace Shop wants to reaffirm its support of those who participate in martial arts, whether professional or otherwise.  We are one of the premiere websites to sell braces for those who participate in any level of martial arts.  Each item comes highly recommended at a reasonable cost to you.  No one can beat The Brace Shop prices, their service and their huge selection. The Brace Shop supplies hospitals, sports teams, schools, doctors, therapists, nursing homes & military bases around the world. Shop Where The Pros Go!

MMA Wins West Virginia

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) has had a young, colorful history in the United States.  During the 1990s, many people saw it as nothing more than bloodsport, a kind of entertainment only suitable for underground fight clubs and those who are bored with the punch-only style of boxing.  But times have changed.  On Thursday, March 24, 2011, West Virginia Governor Earl Tomblin signed a bill that provides sanctions for the sport, making West Virginia the 45th state in the union to encourage the MMA so long as there are regulations in place. 

The decision in Tombin’s state did not come through unanimous consent.  The state’s house voted 71-26 in favor and the senate was much closer with 23-10 in favor.  The UFC has spent a great deal of money and resources attempting to get the MMA sanctioned all over the world, achieving remarkable success in areas like Germany and Ireland.  Within the United States, however, there are three remaining states who are still in talks over whether to sanction the MMA for their citizens: New York, Vermont, and Connecticut (Alaska and Wyoming do not have athletic commissions requiring any such discussion in their regions of the country). In other words, not everyone is gung-ho about sanctioning a sport where blood can be seen spilt on the floor of a cage where men pound each other to a knockout.

For the fans of Karate Kid and other mild-mannered stories where martial arts is so often presented as a peaceful, defense-oriented activity,  the truth is, many people have grown to enjoy cage fighting as a way to see an exhibition with any number of crafted martial arts skills.  Dangerous?  Absolutely.  And that’s where we come in.

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The Vonn Saga Continues

With more than a month since the Brace Shop mentioned her name, Olympic skiing expert Lindsey Vonn is still in the news. During the second week of February, Vonn took a shocking fall on a training run where she landed motionless on the ground. Doctors examined her CT scan and gave her a free pass to get back on the slopes. But within a week, Vonn admitted that it would be better if she gave herself some time off. That she did, but the problems haven’t gone away.

Vonn, long considered one of the best skiers in the world at age 25, also suffered a ‘serious shin injury’ around the same time during yet another training run.  She described it to NBC’s Matt Lauer like this: “It’s essentially a deep muscle bruise, so I have a contusion. So the muscle is bleeding and it’s really deep inside the muscle.”  A bruise that’s bleeding deep on the inside of a muscle, huh?  These are the kinds of continued injuries that lead many people to call it quits on their athletic ventures.

But Vonn emerged from the physical wreckage to win three titles in the month of March and was ultimately stopped short of another title because of poor course conditions.  Instead, the win went to her friend and long time rival Maria Riesch.  Alas, the bodily damage did not put an end to her run this year… it came down to the weather.  That’s one tough girl.

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WSJ: Oblique Pattern for Yankees

Daniel Barbarisi of the Wall Street Journal recently noted a problematic trend in the locker room of the New York Yankees, something he called a ‘nemesis’: oblique injuries.   Four players have already gone down since spring training began in February: Joba Chamberlain, Sergio Mitre, Greg Golson, and most recently, Curtis Granderson.  Such a pattern has led physicians to ask whether there may be a problem with the way these men are training.

Most people think about a completion of the ‘six pack’ abs when they talk about the obliques, but the specific problem for many of the Yankee players rests with the internal oblique muscle of the abdomen that helps in rotating the hip.  Every batter must use these muscles when they twist to make a hit, which is one of the reasons that such an emphasis would be placed on them during practice.  But shouldn’t that be true for every other baseball team?  Yes it should.  Which is exactly why physicians are puzzled about the kind of strains popping up in the Yankees’ camp.

Dr. Jonathan Glashow, co-chair of sports medicine at Mt. Sinai hospital, noted the following possibility: “It seems like what’s happening is that the exercises they’re doing this preseason may be creating a little more muscular imbalance, and then they really push it with their first exposure to this explosive rotation. Baseball’s an all-or-nothing sport, and when you go all out, you stretch these muscles that aren’t perhaps quite ready yet.”  At the end of the day, if some abdominal muscles are worked harder than others, the sudden jolt of an unworked muscle area may come back to bite the athlete.  And that appears to be the problem in New York.

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James Taylor Still a ‘Walking Man’

James Taylor, a Grammy winning singer and songwriter, released his album ‘Walking Man’ in 1974 to poor reviews and poor sales.  But like so many of the songs in classic rock, the album went on to become a fan favorite at concert after concert.  This week, Taylor has proved to be one of the toughest ‘walking men’ around after he broke his leg and injured his shoulder while skiing in Park City, Utah.  He has a concert on March 29 in Norfolk, Virginia and apparently, he says the show will go on.  A broken leg won’t stop him from walking, the singer determined.

Doctors called it a fractured left fibula and minorly injured left shoulder when the performer fell during a ski run.  Taylor, 63, was fairly modest when asked about his well-being: “It’s wonderful that people are concerned but this is nothing. It was stupidity on my part and I’m just lucky that it wasn’t worse. My heart goes out to the people of Japan and that nation and what it’s grappling with.”  And yes, the devastation in Japan is far worse, but what a remarkable thing to stand up after a fall at his age.  The show must go on.

Word has it that doctors made a ‘movable splint’ to fit in his walking boot so that he could… well, go skiing again later in the week!  There is no stopping the walking man!

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Canada Joins Fight to Prevent Injuries

While Americans and state legislatures have begun to clamp down on head injury prevention, Canada has taken a new step in their efforts to minimize all injuries to youth and amateur athletes.  Based on their calculations, the nation spends billions of dollars every year pressing down the health care industry as a result of sports related injuries that would have been preventable if proper precautions were either practiced or more widely supported.

Sports Minister Gary Lunn announced last week that Canada will spend five million dollars in the promotion of preventative measures  aimed at increasing awareness for young sports enthusiasts who might not know that there are safer ways to enter the activities for which they are intrigued.  The primary advocacy groups who will receive these funds are Hockey Canada and Think First, which both spend a great deal of time raising awareness about concussions and all injuries that come from skating on rinks, skiing on slopes, and biking down paths.

Some are arguing that this is ‘pale in comparison’ to the strides being taken in the United States, but acknowledging a problem with an effort to raise awareness is nothing to sneeze at.  On the contrary, if the Canadian government can gradually see a return on its investment, they’ll probably take further strides in the months and years ahead.  Nothing happens overnight whether you’re in the U.S. or whether you’re half way across the world.  Change takes time.

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Pogo Stick Recall

Say it ain’t so!  Bravo Sports, a California based company, has been distributing faulty pogo sticks and was forced to recall 200,000 of them last week.  The Consumer Product Safety Commission stated that there were 123 accidents in which ‘riders’ would receive facial lacerations or chipped and knocked out teeth.  Apparently, the frame tube and the pin holding the spring has been breaking on multiple occasions, leading safety experts to consider the toy a fall hazard.

Among the sticks that were recalled are the Rocket Stick Pogo, the Pop Stick Pogo, the Monster Stick Pogo, and the Twin Stick Pogo, all products that were made between April and October of 2010.  Full refunds are available to those who purchased the pogo stick and concern about the risks involved in riding it for any length of time.

Perhaps the most vulnerable among us are the children who innocently hop on these toys without knowing the potential danger that awaits.  Many adults can recall the silly joy of hopping along the sidewalk with a pogo stick, so we can understand the eagerness our kids have to enjoy the same treasures.  Fortunately, in a world of fast-moving information, we often know when to remove the dangerous obstacles from their path before an unexpected accident happens.

We are one of the premiere websites to sell all types and styles of pediatric braces for those children we care so much about.  Each item comes highly recommended at a reasonable cost to you.  No one can beat The Brace Shop prices, their service and their huge selection. The Brace Shop supplies hospitals, sports teams, schools, doctors, therapists, nursing homes & military bases around the world. Shop Where The Pros Go!

Rescued Nine Days After the Nine

Just nine days after the magnitude 9 earthquake in Japan, a teenager and his grandmother were rescued from a badly demolished house in Ishinomaki.  Not only did they survive the quake, but the tsunami that followed as well.  Police officers had not given up hope that there were still survivors in the small town and were ecstatic to come across Sumi Abe and her grandson Jin.

The two survived that time on yogurt, water, and soda products, but astoundingly, there were no major injuries sustained.  The grandmother, wrapped in a blanket (pictured above), spoke with authorities about her harrowing experience.   Her grandson, although not seriously harmed, did suffer from hypothermia, a condition which a human’s body temperature sinks below the normal level (generally 95 degrees Farenheit).  Symptoms can include shivering and disorientation, but the boy seemed to be doing well after some time spent in recovery.

Considering all that happened in Japan and all those who lost their lives, it’s quite remarkable for anyone, let alone two members of the same family, to emerge from the wreckage without a scratch.  While hypothermia is no laughing matter, it certainly beats a number of other injuries that could have been sustained.

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Follow Up: Yera Leaves Hospital

Last week, the Brace Shop did a story on Thaddeus Yera, a 13-year-old boy who rode his bike through a stop sign in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania and collided with a car.  The crash happened on Tuesday and Yera was allowed to leave Hershey Medical Center by Friday.  Such in-house recovery seems almost miraculous considering that his sustained injuries were quite extensive.

Yera, a student at Lincoln Middle School, endured fractures to both his hands and his wrists.  Add that to a broken femur and a resolvable, but painful head injury.  There is no remaining indication that he has internal injuries as it was suggested when the accident first happened.

While none of Yera’s injuries should be taken lightly, the one perhaps most daunting to him is likely to be the broken femur.   And this shouldn’t come as a surprise if he was paying attention in science class.  The femur, or thigh bone, is one of the largest and strongest bones in the body.  He didn’t just damage a ligament or tear a muscle.  He will have difficulty running or jumping for quite some time, if not years.  The recovery process is different for everyone, but he has an advantage as a young man.  This will change his life in more ways than one.

We are one of the premiere websites to sell all types and styles of pediatric braces for those children we care so much about.  Each item comes highly recommended at a reasonable cost to you and those you care about.  No one can beat The Brace Shop prices, their service and their huge selection. The Brace Shop supplies hospitals, sports teams, schools, doctors, therapists, nursing homes & military bases around the world. Shop Where The Pros Go!