Potato chop

Posted on 05 Apr 2012 at 5:30pm

Couch Potato Adventure Journal returns to go all Jackie Chan on your ass!

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CAN’T TOUCH THIS | Black belts go with anything — especially as self-defense in the gay community right now is becoming essential. (Arnold Wayne Jones/Dallas Voice)

RICH LOPEZ  | Staff Writer

I don’t get the Chuck Norris thing. I laugh at the jokes about how he’s such a badass that he won American Idol  using only sign language or that ghosts sit around the campfire and tell Chuck Norris stories, and I’ve imitated his moves from The Octagon a time or two in my bedroom. But that was all in fun.

Only now, I — and you — might be able to learn those moves for real … maybe not fend off 12 ninjas, but with Mickey Fisher’s help, I can learn how to kick some butt if the wrong person messes with this.

Fisher has been teaching martial arts “for more than 50 years,” he says, and has a ninth-degree black belt in karate.

Holy shitballs. That’s who Mickey Fisher is. He adds that he was one of the first teenage black belts in the U.S. I’m not gonna challenge him on that.

Fisher has just teamed with Resource Center Dallas to provide free self-defense seminars for the LGBT community. “Free” is my second favorite four-letter F-word, so it got me wondering: Could I earn some kind of belt color in a short time? Journalists appreciate getting stuff done quickly.

“No,” he says. Fair enough.

The emphasis of Fisher’s instruction is one of empowerment. Self-defense shows you not only how to protect yourself, but also instills a sense of confidence. Walk down a dark street with an air of “don’t even think about it” is half the battle.

“I felt like this would be an opportunity to present the community with a means of recourse,” Fisher says. “It’s not a punch-and-kick course, but shows how easy it can be to prevent injury, whether it’s domestic or street assault. There’s psychological technique as well as physical.”

Fisher has been personally touched by the rampant epidemic of criminal assaults and bullying against queer youth. He feels that the martial arts community could have a stronger relationship with the LGBT community in providing these sorts of classes on a regular basis.

“I had gotten extremely upset over the years hearing about any kind of bashing, but particularly the younger people. When Matthew Shepard was killed, that’s when it started getting to me,” Fisher admits. “The gay and lesbian community has sort of been overlooked, and unfairly so. I want to bridge that.”

Fisher will hold four seminars total on April 10 and 12 and a longer session at Youth First Texas on April 19. While we can dream of throwing stars and flying deathstrikes, he will boil down the instruction to the basics.

While he started teaching in Dallas, he now has schools beyond Texas. But he’s returning for the sole reason of educating the LGBT community; if the interest is there, he may initiate regular classes.

“What I’ve done from the early days of this kind of instruction is concentrate on practical self-defense,” he says. “These are going to be easily learned techniques most used against common street assaults. And if there is this need or collective interest, then perhaps we keep the instruction going.”

I could be on my way to a belt after all. I really like blue. So who would win in a Chuck Norris versus Mickey Fisher deathmatch? Neither would go on the record. I’d put some money on one, but I am, reminded no one bets against Chuck Norris — or Mickey Fisher.

Resource Center Dallas, 2701 Reagan St. Sessions April 10 and 12 at 7 and 8 p.m. Free. To enroll, call 214-528-0144.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition April 6, 2012.

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