Long-distance throwing places a heavy strain on the arm, shoulder and elbow. Particular care must be taken to avoid injury or a condition known as tennis elbow is likely to occur. This phenomenon, called tenosynovitis by the knowledgeable, is also common to baseball pitchers. It occurs when there is an undue strain on the musculature in a specific area. The best defense against this discomfort and pain is warming up properly, and careful attention to one's daily practice habits. If this condition should occur, the best possible way
Pitcher's Elbow to alleviate the pain is an application of the oriental panacea salve called Tiger Balm. It is available commercially in this country but I recommend a visit to the beautiful Tiger Balm Gardens in Hong Kong. An inferior American substitute called Cloverine Brand Salve may be found advertised on the backs of old comic books. One could turn a handsome profit or win a bicycle by selling this stuff to friends.
During the exercise called "drop and shoot," you start in a standing position; quickly drop to your knees and hurl a card. This technique is a must in the card thrower's bag of tricks and a vital defense against pygmy assassins. The sudden dropping to the floor may cause a bumpy lump to appear on the knees. This phenomenon, called osseous callus by the knowledgeable, is called "surfer's knobs" by the beach-blanket-Bingo set. It can be avoided by practicing on a rubber mat or wearing knee pads (see the advertisement for the special Jay model). If injury does occur I again recommend the application of the oriental panacea salve called Tiger Balm.
Repetitive card-throwing may cause a scraping of the skin between the first and second fingers; this is likely to occur if the student uses the Thurston card throwing method. This scraping of the flesh produces a disturbance which is called "Frisbee finger" by the knowledgeable. The beach-blanket-Bingo set is not familiar with this term, and it may be used as a shibboleth to separate the men from the boys. If this condition does occur, it may be best to shroud the fingers with a clever western invention called the Band-Aid. Eventually a callus is built up on the sore spot. Switching to the Jay method of card-throwing, you're surer and safer.
A prejudiced enquiry into the advantages of cards over more conventional weaponry. Special sections on self-defense against plastics and humans, and a pertinent discussion of cards as a pest control. Also, an added bonus: the secret fighting technique against multiple adversaries, the lethal "four card fist." And a second bonus: the consumer's guide to mechanical card-throwing.
Why defend oneself with playing cards? Indeed, why not? These are perilous, even parlous, times. It is no more plausible to go through life without thinking about defense than it is to forget one's morning ablutions. Yet, for most of us, the thought of striking another person—even to defend ourselves, our loved ones or our homes—is anathema.
In the light of this, let us discuss some of the important advantages of cards as a means of self-defense.
They are easy to carry, they are designed to fit comfortably in the hand, they are inexpensive, and they may provide countless hours of amusement before the actual encounter (if the student is a competent gamesman he may even acquire considerable fortune from his meager investment).
In addition, in these times when outraged citizens shout at police brutality and the restriction of constitutional rights, it is comforting to realize there are no recorded busts of persons carrying cards as concealed weapons.
Perhaps the greatest advantage of the card as a weapon is that it may be used primarily as a deterrent to crime and only in extreme cases used to maim and kill.
During the author's college days he worked as a disc jockey in a rather rowdy dance parlor. From his vantage point on a raised platform inscribed with the words "R.J. plays the tunes you wanna hear," the author had an excellent view of the entire bar and dance floor. Many times he saw an argument about to be transmuted into violence; as soon as a fist was raised to strike a blow, the author would hurl a card and strike the belligerent
by firing a card from her guitar.
Emmylou Harris defends herself against members of the Fourth Estate too-tenacious by firing a card from her guitar.
Emmylou Harris defends herself against members of the Fourth Estate too-tenacious bozo squarely on the ear. The attacker, startled, would wheel around in search of the culprit. If his eyes did meet those of the author all he would see was the benign and innocent look described in the chapter on Advanced Techniques.
In this and many other situations the author has reduced a bellicose bonehead into a whining wimp with a perfectly accurate toss of the card. This invariably dissuaded such an ogre from his evil intentions. Some may argue that this is playing God or meddling where only divine intervention seems appropriate. While the author respects these feelings, his defense is that after years of study and the mastery of an art, one also acquires a sense of discretion applicable to most worldly situations.
A further moral note is appropriate. In carrying out self-defense techniques it is best to assume that one is locked in a life-and-death struggle even when practicing. Although human targets are the best practice
68 material, they do not react well to such playacting. Consequently the student may wish to provide himself with human effigies in the form of manikins or dolls, or a bevy of toy animals to serve as the objects of his attacks. (For information as to how this practice may be turned to more ominous purposes, see the discussion of sympathetic magic in the chapter on How To Practice and Stay Fit.) If the student feels it is important to protest the onslaught of plastics, choosing a plastic object for a target allows him a subtle repudiation of society's polyethylene propensities. Although it is best to select nasty or malevolent creatures for this work, the author's favorite practice partner is a seemingly mild-mannered plastic duck. On an otherwise uneventful carnival night in Rio this very duck took a piece of the writer's left buttock in its beak and paraded it triumphantly through the festive streets with mallard panache.
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Since World War II, there has been a tremendous change in the makeup and direction of kid baseball, as it is called. Adults, showing an unprecedented interest in the activity, have initiated and developed programs in thousands of towns across the United States programs that providebr wholesome recreation for millions of youngsters and are often a source of pride and joy to the community in which they exist.