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Martial Arts feats that will make your eyes pop (literally)

June 4, 2010

When martial arts expert Dong Changsheng talks about a total-body work out, he isn’t kidding about the “total” part—last week, he towed an airplane for approximately 15 feet. Not impressed, you say? What if I told you he pulled it using only his eyelids? Yes, using ropes attached to his eyelids, Changsheng managed to tow the plane 15 feet in under a minute. And as if that wasn’t enough to cement his superiority and awesome-ness, he later said that he didn’t use his full strength to pull the aircraft and easily could have dragged it at least three times as far. As in 45 feet. With his eyelids. Changsheng has been practicing kung fu for nearly 40 years, winning several awards for his efforts, and was careful to add a “don’t try this at home” caution should any less-experienced practitioners think they can duplicate his performance. You can check out Changsheng’s full story here.

And if Dong Changsheng wasn’t inspiring enough for you, check out Massachusetts native Sheila Radziewicz. Last month, Radziewicz announced her intention to test for her black belt in taekwondo—despite being born without arms or kneecaps. Radziewicz was born with thrombocytopenia-absent radius, or TAR syndrome, and began her martial arts training 3 years ago. Despite her disability, she can still kick and even use nunchucks. She credits her family and friends for her success because they never let her believe she was incapable of anything. She also shared the mantra that has inspired her to succeed in everything she does: “The impossible only takes a little bit longer.” Radziewicz proves that no excuse is a good excuse—not even, “Oh, but I have no arms.” For more on Radziewicz, read the full article at

To learn more about the styles practices by these incredible athletes, check out the following titles:

Jingwu: The School that Transformed Kung Fu, By Brian Kennedy and Elizabeth Guo

The Complete Guide to Northern Praying Mantis Kung Fu, By Stuart Alve Olson

Taekwondo: A Technical Manual, By Gilles R. Savoie

The Complete Guide to American Karate and Tae Kwon Do

By Keith D. Yates, with Foreword by Chuck Norris

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