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PUNCHING DAY

Punching Day: Self-Defense Aerobics

Mixing two concepts together has been a part of our life since an industrious australopithecus invented Murder Stick Murder Rock, but the terrible power of one-thing-plus-a-different-thing was never fully felt until 1985 when Joe Corley, karate champion and world famous instructor, created Self-Defense Aerobics. You know that dull terror you feel when you read the news of Man and worry civilization is in a decline? It is. We peaked in 1985 when karate champion and world famous instructor, Joe Corley, created Self-Defense Aerobics. Hi, hot dog readers. I’m Seanbaby, karate instructor famous world champion, and there has never been a more perfect fighting system for eliminating an attacker during a barely contained state of arousal. Let’s get this out of the way right now, Self-Defense Aerobics: 10/10.

Self-Defense Aerobics proves art doesn’t have to be clever. If your fighting system is perfect for fitness and the office, you can say that with a picture of a lady sidekicking at the gym and then later at her accounting firm. It’s what photography critics call “Gasp, perfection.” The minimalist design is broken up by an extraneous, composition-destroying clutter of office supplies, as if the artist wants us to dread the chaos that comes from hiking up your business skirt and kicking a lobby intruder through a window and into the street. “Looks like you’re trying to take my job,” jokes security guard Gene as your attacker’s head is crushed by a taxi, long removed from your eyeline and interest. It’s art that says, “Self-Defense Aerobics is fucking stupid in the good way. And white-hot erotic.” It’s art that belongs in a museum.

The video begins with Joe Corley introducing no one, including himself, and instead explaining the very basic concept of exercise. He and the girls run in place, and if you think there’s something better than ’80s leotards mixed with a horny cameraman, congratulations on being the wrongest dumbshit.

After running in place for a few seconds and doing several burpees, we learn Cindy and Donna’s names after Joe asks them if they’re breathing. Like all good instructors, Joe assumes you have escaped fully-formed from a cloning pod knowing only hunger. For instance, in the next part of the video he introduces everyone to “jump ropes.” As he explains, and I quote, “The idea is to get this little skinny rope under your feet.” Donna is just terrible at this, but it fills her with a joy that’s almost obscene in a karate setting. She is so wonderfully happy, very wet, and if you had to pick only one thing to look at for the rest of your life, Donna sucking at jump rope would be a very good choice.

With only a half hour to teach you self defense, Joe dedicated ten entire minutes to explaining girl push ups and toe touches. I cannot stress enough how little martial arts there are in this video. Any viewer who walked away from this VHS tape thinking they could defend themself is either dead from poor judgement or extremely dead from attacks. But judging by the camera work, I don’t think the main goal of Self-Defense Aerobics was birthing mighty warriors.

The camera work in Self-Defense Aerobics is powerful and engaging. It looks like full creative control was given to a stranger who listed “Special Skills: Poontang” on his resume. It looks like a producer said, “I can tell by the boner you get what we’re going for here, kid. Follow those instincts and go to work.”

After 13 minutes, Joe teaches the ladies their first punch. A punch critic might notice a flaw here and there in Joe’s instructions or Cindy and Donna’s execution, but as far as winning smiles go, these are five star haymakers. Maybe you were way ahead of me on this, but I am just now realizing I have a weird hot girls doing bad karate thing. And I am not alone.

The word “gratuitous” gets thrown around a lot when a camera cuts to jiggling cleavage in the middle of a martial arts workout for the 17th time. But are pointless karate boob closeups “not art” simply because they were photographed by a moist leotard-sniffing pervert? Thirteen minutes and fifty five seconds ago I would have said, “of course.” Now I say, let’s see that footage you’re talking about, right away if possible.

Look at Cindy and Donna just fucking wrecking enemies from every direction. My gut still tells me it’s pornography, but it’s also lethal or worse martial arts. Can you imagine getting hit by one of these backfists? With human bones? Psh. Dead. Your friend too. And you again.

After four short rounds of punching, Joe teaches the girls karate’s greatest weapon and fitness’ fittest exercise– twenty or so low blocks. It’s honestly irresponsible to put this much power into the hands of someone when all you know about them is they own a VCR. If you watch this video more than three times and try to change a diaper, you will tear that baby’s legs clean off. That’s awful, I’m sorry, but my brain is doing everything it can to compensate for all my sexual impulses firing at once.

I swear I’m not exaggerating when I say the entire last third of this self-defense video is Joe, Cindy, and Donna laying down and gently kicking from the floor. The cinematographer, having trained his whole life for this, captures many generous closeups of Cindy’s groin and crotch. Cindy could send this tape to her gynecologist and save herself a trip to the health clinic. If you showed me the bumps on the head of Cindy’s newborn, I’d say, “Hey, I recognize those shapes.”

The video ends with a brief cooldown where Cindy and Donna, and I want to make sure I’m explaining this correctly, lay down on the ground as if they were dead. Joe explains this technique in slow, painstaking detail, stroking each part of Donna’s body as he names it. He has been wedged between these sexy women for a half hour of soaking wet, filthy karate and he’s by far more horny than you or I have ever been. As his fingers slide up Donna’s leotard, it is legitimate, edge-of-your-seat suspense when he starts to get near her titty. Scientists could calibrate their electron microscopes by how close Joe comes to groping this model in the middle of her workout cooldown.

So now we’ve learned what fitness is, sort of punched, very blocked, barely contained our boiling desires, and taken a nap. All that’s left to do is thank the people who made it possible…

… obviously with titties. What a perfect video cassette. Happy Punching Day, everyone!

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