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September 20, 2006 - Image 18

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2006-09-20

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Students at
the Weapons
Camp display
their skills
with weapons.

model for funding with the NIH, a cornerstone of
which is the ROl grant, is highly effective and needs
as much support as possible.
Not all basic scientists are completely opposed to
the new initiative. Kao said that he is in favor of more
funding for clinical research.
Burant pointdd out that clinical researchers often
face different challenges in their research than basic
For example, basic scientists can breed knockout
mice, which can have certain genes activated or deac-
tivated for absolute control in an experiment.
"You can make a knockout mouse. You can't make
a knockout human," Burant said.
Most clinicians who favor Zerhouni's plans do not
think the established model is ineffective: They are
excited by the possibility of developing a system for
the future.
"It all depends on which side of the equation you
sit on," said John Wiley, an associate professor of
medicine and director of the general clinical research
Michigan's GCRC is one of about 70 in the United
Part of the driving force behind the development
of Zerhouni's model is the new nature of biomedical
The field draws heavily from a wide array of other
sciences, incorporating things like nanotechnology,
which requires different types of specialists.
Zerhouni's ultimate goal for the CSTA is to bring
different types of scientists together to perform
research more effectively.
Zerhouni hopes to fund between eight to 10 clinical
research centers a year for the next four years, which
could leave up to half of the current centers without
Despite this, Wiley said he supports the new direc-
"I believe it's time to try something different," he
said. "Somebody's going to have to take a chance on
Time will reveal whether or not Zerhouni's plan
will be effective. In the meantime, there are several
things people can do to save the NIH.

How to save the NIH and the consequences
of avoiding the issue
Institutions can do a lot for their younger research-
ers. Seminars on grant writing or other training
programs for grant writing can make an enormous
difference to scientists.
In the end, these issues primarily concern funding.
Many groups, including the American Gastroenterology
Association and the American Diabetes Association, have
come out with their own awards for junior researchers.
The most powerful opportunity to make an individual
difference will come in November. Electing government
officials who know and care about the issue will be a vital
component to remedying the situation.
The contributions that researchers who are driven
out of science would have contributed are impossible
to determine concretely.

But in the early 1990s, under George H. W. Bush
Sr.'s administration, the nation faced a similar funding
crisis. The result? The scientific community suffered
tremendous losses.
In June, Marks published a second editorial, one that
contained responses to his first editorial from many
active scientists. One scientist wrote the following
"'A wonderful editorial. It perfectly echoes the
feelings and frustrations (of) many of us (young
investigators) who look for the support of NIH ...
Many of my bright colleagues are considering leav-
ing science forever.' "
The duration of the crisis will determine its ulti-
mate impact. If the University wishes to remain
among the leaders and best in biomedical research,
it must act on behalf of its research faculty before
it's too late.

An uncommon art

eapons camp teaches i


oarse techno beats
distract me time and
time again while I sit
at a small table, attempting to
read, at Espresso Royale on
State Street. The repetitive lyr-
ics, ich, ni, san, shi, are sung
in a way that could provoke
hip-thrusting motions. The
less-than-background music is
suddenly recognizable.
It occurs to me that the words,
ich, ni, san, shi, are Japanese
for "one, two, three, four."
Those four small words put
to rhythm take me back to the
second week of September -
when I would have my first try
at handling a nunchaku.
Upon arrival at the Weap-
ons Connection Society Sum-
mer Weapons Camp held at the
YMCA Storer Camp in Jack-
son, I approached a robed and
belted crowd standing in a large
grassy area bordered by a group
of trees on one side and a large
cabin on the other. Psychedelic
rock streamed from the cabin.

The Weapons Connection Soci-
ety is a nationwide martial arts
society specializing in weap-
As I entered the scene, I
noticed a small group of stu-
dents performing for about 10
instructors. Approximately 20
students were on deck, standing
quietly behind the performers.
The sensei (or instructor),
pronounced "sen-say," shouted
commands: "Rei" for a bow,
"yoy" to begin. The students,
males and females of all ages,
demonstrated their skills with
the tonfa - a wooden Oki-
nawan weapon consisting of
a shaft and handle. I watched
in amazement as the students
swung the tonfas, one in each
hand. With swift thrusts of
the wrist, the students wielded
the tonfas in circular motions
across their bodies. I was star-
tied when the group smashed
the shafts of the tonfas togeth-
er, producing a loud "clunk"
sound. The group then bowed
and disappeared into the larger
student audience.

Everyone in attendance
applauded and looked on, antic-
ipating the next kata demon-
stration. A kata is the name for
a demonstrated series of move-
ments, usually pertaining to a
martial art. Looking to my right,
I spotted the featured guest of
the camp: Grand Master Kiichi
Nakamoto of Okinawa. He sat
peacefully, all regal-like, in a
blue foldout lawn chair. Of all
the people in attendance, he
was the only one seated.
Soon thereafter, the demon-
strations were over. I was intro-
duced to Peter Carbone, whose
martial-arts academy was host-
ing the camp.
I told him I hadn't brought a
weapon to train with. I looked
at him, worried, because I real-
ized everyone else had a weapon
(and significant experience). He
then put his hand on my shoul-
der and asked cunningly, "Did
you bring your brain?"
I assured him I did.
NI: Breaking hands with horse

I never realized how easy it
is to break someone's bones.
Of the three weapons I learned
to break hands with, the hanbo
was first. Put simply, the hanbo
is a three-foot-long stick, a
shorter version of the tradition-
al bo - which you've probably
seen in the hands of Bruce Lee.
After Carbone demonstrated
a technique with the hanbo, I
paired up with the man beside
me to practice. My partner had
driven from London, Canada,
where he runs a martial-arts
academy. Upon hearing this, I
smiled innocently and told him:
"This is my first experience.
with martial arts."
My partner pointed at his left
temple and nodded his head at
my hanbo. I squinted, momen-
tarily unsure, and then he
slowly moved my hanbo toward
his head. Suddenly, he counter
stuck and twisted his arm about
mine, jerking the weapon from
my hand. Standing in disbelief,
I knew I would need some extra
Thanks to my partner's

patience, I was able to get
the motions down. When he
swings, I counterstrike, then
reach for his arm, twist the
hanbo and apply pressure until
he drops the weapon - or his
hand breaks.
I started to realize that the
skills I was learning were all
means of defense. We were not
learning to be the aggressor,
only to respond quickly and
wisely to an attack. This idea
of being on the defensive dates
back to the year 1609, when
Japan invaded Okinawa. The
Japanese confiscated the Oki-
nawan weapons and thus the
people began to use common-
place kitchenware and farming
tools to defend themselves from
the Japanese.
Next time you see a horse,
take a look at its bridle - that's
where the nunchaku came from.
Then, take a look at the horse's
stirrup, which was transformed
into another widely used weap-
on, the tekko.
The tonfa was originally
See CAMP, page 11B

Dr. Wiley is one of the doctors supportive of the new directive.


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