Liz Ray has Mad Throttle

Getting rear-ended and other misadventures...

No Fear In This Dojo

no fearThis morning, I pondered the question that all of us face at one point or another in our lives: If a bo-staff-wielding Ninja were to break into my house, am I prepared? Obviously, no one wants the answer to this question to be: “I don’t know” or “Gosh, I’m not sure.” And I for one certainly did not want to be caught unawares. Today’s blog post explores how my scooter and I went about answering this important question.


As an initial matter, due to the low ceiling height in my house, any bo-staff-wielding Ninja who breaks in will immediately regret his choice of weaponry and wish that he were a jo-staff-wielding Ninja. And even with a jo, there’d be a lot of furniture in his way. He’d probably whack a couch or clip a book case before he could get a clean hit on me. But who wants to rely on furniture placement to get out of this type of situation? (Not I.)   As a secondary matter, I know of only one person who would be prepared in the event that a bo-staff-wielding Ninja were to break into his apartment…

No, not this guy:

cobra kai

(Ahh, Quintessential Evil 80s Blondes – always made me proud to be a brunette. Nope, the Cobra Kai are all really old now and may not even be able to fend off a tube of Ben Gay. Come to think of it – I wonder whatever happened to this guy…)

No, the guy I know who’s prepared for wayward Ninjas is ready because he himself is essentially a bo-staff-wielding Ninja. (Word to the wise: Except for this one guy I know, we all need to be better prepared.)

So what are a girl and her scooter to do? Answer: Ride up to Asian World of Martial Arts, which is somewhere northeast of where I live. Did I know where this place was? Sort of. OK, not really. But the one guy I know who is essentially-a-bo-staff-wielding-Ninja-himself once told me about it.  I had been looking for an excuse to go ever since.

(And I’ve never let not knowing where I’m going keep me from getting there.  Eventually.  Somehow.)

Truth be told, I already had a pair of sai (a gift from that guy who is essentially-a-bo-staff-wielding-Ninja-himself), but they were little. (Sai come in multiple sizes, and who wants to limit herself to rinky-dink sai?) I could barely block a bo-staff-wielding kindergartener with the pair I have. Ergo, I was in the market for the next size up.

As I rode along towards where I thought Asian World of Martial Arts was, I came across the Holmesburg Bakery.

holmsb bakeryThey have ginormous donuts for only 99 cents.  donutMoreover, donuts is the most important meal of the day.  Even a bo-staff-wielding Ninja would appreciate a good donut.  So, I pulled my scooter onto the sidewalk and parked next to two enormous Harleys. (I blended right in).  Up in this neck of the woods, it appears that parking rules are lax or not enforced.  I think I could have parked a jack-knifed semi on the sidewalk without anyone batting an eye.

With my daily dose of pancreatic insult in hand, I continued on.

When I arrived at Asian World of Martial Arts, the nice men behind the counter pointed me towards the wall full of sai.  All different colors.  All different sizes.  As I Goldilocks’ed my way through the collection, I found a pair that was just right.  Bigger than what I had, but not so big that I whacked myself when rotating them — and much better weighted.  The new ones practically rotate themselves.

(Yes, the image to the right is a pink scooter with a pair of sai on it.  How did I get home?  Very carefully.)

buddy sai

Now, of course, no one can go to Asian World of Martial Arts and leave with only a new pair of sai.  That’s like going to a bar and having only one beer.  Can’t be done.

So, I may also have purchased several books on the martial arts mindset: The Art of Peace (to go with my Art of War), Musashi’s Book of Five Rings, and a few others.  (Mad Throttle likes to read and having control of your own mind (e.g., conquering fear, practicing non-attachment) is far more important than wielding a bo, or sai, or even nunchaku.)

I know what you’re thinking: Liz, why didn’t you get a katana? Remember the low ceiling height, people? Katana is an outdoor sword, not an indoor sword. (You try swinging something with a two-foot blade and an eleven-inch handle in a house with eight-foot ceilings – see how far you get.)

Plus, I already have one. (Hey, never know when that fight with a bo-staff-wielding Ninja will spill out onto the street…)


  1. With a Glock, you win every time

  2. Hmmm… ceiling height be damned. Need a bo? I happen to know a guy who makes them. Maybe he could make you a custom bo for 8′ ceilings.

  3. I used to study Tai Chi for a bit. Sadly I fell out of practice, and have been meaning to get back into it ever since. What most people don’t realize is that Tai Chi is the basis for all the martial arts and you can kick some serious ass even against a bo staff wielding Ninja.

    As along as they come at you really, really slow.

    • I will be sure to send any slow-moving, bo-staff-wielding Ninjas your way 🙂 Seriously, though, I tried to take Tai Chi but the only studio in Philly that I found had an instructor who kept putting me into very poor knee alignment. I value my knees, so I didn’t go back.

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