Physical Training Nov 2003
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Sporting Tidbits
Your miscellany of thoughts on sport


A recent survey has revealed that 90% of women who practise a martial art do so to become proficient in self-defence techniques. Research conducted by Lyn Davis and her team at "Snap Punch!" shows that women of all ages are becoming increasingly concerned at the prospect of being attacked outside the home and want to take more responsibility in protecting themselves.

Interviews with both male and female Instructors revealed that self-defence was rated as the main priority for women learning a martial art. 30% of those interviewed had experienced a threatening situation where they considered self-defence skills would have been beneficial in preventing an attack. All the Instructors surveyed felt their self-defence skills were a sensible precaution and increased their chances of not being attacked, or suffering any serious injury should they be targeted by an attacker.

Master Wai Po-Tang, Chief Instructor at Wing Chun Kung Fu Club in Richmond, Surrey, says that the Media have been effective in high-lighting self-defence for women. "There is a growing trend in the media displaying women in action martial arts films and using self-defence to their advantage. Also, I think women like the fact of knowing they can be in control of a threatening situation……martial arts provides women with both mental and physical discipline to overcome initial fear if ever such a situation were to arise."

Achieving a greater level of fitness was cited as the second main reason for practising a martial art; confidence building was cited as third. Other reasons why women practise a martial art as revealed in the survey include weight control, gaining self-respect, developing greater flexibility, self-awareness and developing a more positive outlook on life.

 New Research Says High Paid and Ill Disciplined Behaviour of Sports Stars is Actually Evidence of the Original Amateur Basis of UK Sports Culture

A new book entitled Amateurism in Sport by University of Warwick researcher Lincoln Allison suggests that the valuable amateur ethos of UK sport may be dying but it has not been completely overwhelmed by professionalism and big business – in fact the recent poor behaviour of UK football stars shows strong signs of UK sport's amateur roots.

He argues that the vast sums footballers are paid may in fact partly undermine the culture of professionalism in football, and give those players some of the sense of freedom enjoyed by amateur sportsmen. He says some footballers:

";..are paid so much that they do not have to worry about the future. They can afford to enjoy their football and have to worry much less than their predecessors about pleasing their employers…by the late 1990s football managers were frequently complaining that it was difficult to discipline or control players who were not already multimillionaires."
The book also explodes some of the myths of a golden age of innocent amateurism in UK sport. It details, for instance, the history of the third Lord Tennyson (grandson of the poet) who prided himself on being the amateur unpaid captain of the English Cricket team in the 1920s, but yet wrote the cricketing book Sticky Wickets as a means of getting out of debt and even demanded a £100 fee for a cricketing poem he composed for a national newspaper.

The book also disposes of the other major myth that there was a golden age of innocent amateurism in which one played sport only as a game in itself rather than playing to win. He points out examples disproving this myth such as Douglas Jardine – the amateur captain of the England cricket team tour to Australia in 1932-3 where he used fast bowlers in the aggressive "body-line" bowling technique.

Lincoln points out that UK sports amateur ethos and roots were, and are, crucial for the development of almost every sport in the UK – particularly as communities came to together to develop nation-wide spread of sports clubs and facilities. However that community backbone of UK sport may actually be undermined by the commercial pressures and constraints of lottery funding of sports.

Egovision To Develop ‘Naked Weapon’ Microsite For Kick-Ass Female Hong Kong DVD

Online strategy, design and development agency Egovision are to deliver and manage a new microsite and screensavers for Hong Kong Female Movie ‘Naked Weapon’. Film and video distributors Medusa Communications and Marketing, will be using direct and digital marketing to push the release scheduled for the 29th September 2003. The website and initial first competition launches on the 29th August 2003, with the second viral to be launched closer to the DVD release date.

Even before Charlie's Angels One and Full Throttle and the forthcoming Kill Bill, there was Naked Weapon [Certificate 18 TBC]. Hong Kong cinema's latest contribution to this "babes, blades 'n' bullets" revolution is the sensational, action-packed DVD released as a Platinum 2-disc Special Collector's Edition DVD by Hong Kong Legends

This is one of the rare Hong Kong films to be shot in English, defining women as 21st century action heroes. Starring a trio of sexy female assassins, led by rising star Maggie Q (Gen-Y-Cops, Rush Hour 2; Around The World In 80 Days). The microsite at will become the main vehicle to market the release, Maggie Q’s arrival and presence in the UK and promotional activity.

Debbie Rowland, Marketing Manager at Medusa Communications and Marketing, explains,

“Aitch:creative will be creating the artwork for the sleeve, DVD menu graphics, print and poster advertising, and working with Egovision to design the Web site, with Egovision developing the microsite and producing the accompanying online promotions. The new Naked Weapon microsite will the perfect medium to push the competitions and viral activity that will tie into offline advertising and promotions in film and men’s lifestyle magazines, national and local radio, tabloid and national newspapers.

Maggie Q will be visiting the UK in September 2003 to promote the release of the film on DVD with interviews, photo shoots and media press events..”

The project took five weeks, from planning to inception; with the website and virals targeted at action movie fans and gamers aged 18-35 (which are mostly men), and special activity catering for women aged 18-24. The campaign is set to run for three months, with the first competition to close on the release date and the second competition running until the end of the campaign in October 2003.”

John Lyons, Interactive Director at Egovision explains how the competition virals work, “The first competition is intended to introduce entrants to the movie, its stars and the great special effects. It has been designed to revolve around the movie trailer so that entrants become familiar with it. Entrants will view the trailer and be asked a question based upon the trailer, pulled at random from a database. They can enter again by recommending friends, and will be asked a different question each time they enter.”

The second competition is based around a fighting game, where entrants can play Maggie Q’s character and have to beat five challengers for the title of top assassin (as is the case in the movie). This is something of a departure for Medusa’s online promotions and is the first time we have used a game for a movie launch for them. We feel that the nature of the movie and the target audience makes this the perfect vehicle for what we hope will develop into a successful and regular promotional tool for Medusa.”

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Physical Training Nov 2003