The Human Conundrum

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Introduction

The mind is a very powerful tool and element that we as humans sometimes take for granted. A rough definition of the mind can be as follows; “An individuals ability to enable their awareness about the world, their surrounding and experiences, while also allowing them to think and feel, combined with the state of thought”. With that being said, we can now further analyze what this post is to focus on – why do we as humans “enjoy” deteriorating ourselves and each other? With so many different avenues for us to take, why do have a knack for selecting the “wrong” or “bad” one? There are so many different categories to focus on, I will do what I can to touch on several different ones and try and paint a picture for you, the reader. After all, it is the least I can do considering the time you take to read this post, which means a lot to me in itself. I want to clarify that none of what I discuss is something I look down on or anything along those lines, I simply want to have an understanding of why it is individuals do these things. I have a tendency to jump around and unfortunately, this will be no different – I apologize in advance.

Emotions

Why do people do and say the things they do? Why do we live the way we live? Why do we feel the way we feel and why do we let emotions take over our entire being and state of mind? The mind, with all it’s power, can bring about much happiness and in a second, that happiness can disappear and turn quickly into sadness or anger. Are we not strong enough to avoid this? Or are we too weak to fight it? Well, one thing is for sure, every single person is different and handles both positive and negative events differently. Speaking for negatives, some will remain calm and will process what has happened and use their mind to solve it and make things better, while others? Well, they could instantly snap and release a ton of fury and rage, something that almost always seems to be followed by regret. Or maybe you are the type of person who will hold it all in. Maybe for days, for weeks, for months or worse, maybe even years. All this pent up rage, anger and bottled up emotion can really bring an individual down and those around him/her. This is just one of the MANY methods that humans deteriorate, whether themselves or each other. Perhaps you find yourself possessing all three different methods of handling negative events. Perhaps you unleash a serious fury and rage but also bottle up all your emotions, which does twice the damage.

Emotions are said to be a “natural feeling drawn for certain circumstances”. That word, “natural”. Are these emotions natural? What does it say if someone feels anger in one situation while another feels happiness during the same situation? Does it say that one person is just an angry person and one is just a happier one? Do we get mad because things do not go OUR way and therefore our coping mechanism is being angry? If so, in the moment, you are unknowingly hurting your self, your body and your mind. Now I will not sit here and write this post like I am the most positive person and have nothing but goodness to spread because that is a lie. We all have moments of good and bad. Are we a product of our environment? What makes us who we are? Why do we act the way we act and say the things we do?

Emotions are very sporadic and as the years continue to pass, it appears society has remedies and solutions for almost everything. Don’t like the fact that you were born male or female? No problem, we can fix that. Oh, you get angry often? No problem, we can provide you treatment. Don’t like the way you look? Well we have a solution for that. Yes, everybody is different and they make their decisions for their own reasons, but I ask you; do you ever stop and really think things through? Things about your past, present and future? As much as I try, I cannot escape thought. As Kid Cudi once said, “My mind runs I could never catch it even if I got a head start”. Wow, how true that really is. It has been said several times that the worst thing for humans to do is to think too much. Overthinking, overanalyzing and creating situations out of nothing – letting your mind run wild. Well, I can easily say this happens to all of us, which brings me back to a question I had; are we still too weak to fight this? Are we our own worst enemies?

It is true, we learn something about each other every single day. I believe we also, subconsciously, choose what we want to learn.

Addiction (Alcohol and Smoking)

Alcohol

Addiction, what a powerful word. How much out there can we be addicted to? This raises other questions, are all addictions bad? What is classified as bad? It is infuriating to see and hear how much we struggle with addiction. Addictions can range from a variety of things, for example being addicted to that warm feeling once you put your clothes on fresh out of the dryer, to more serious ones such as alcohol addictions. Sticking with the theme of deterioration, let’s discuss alcohol addictions. How does any addiction begin? Today’s society paints a picture, any time there is a group outing, you MUST drink alcohol. Without it, life is not as complete and if you do not drink, then YOU are hurting society and bringing down the great vibe that alcohol provides.

I want to say that I myself do not drink alcohol at all. Does that make me less of a friend? Less of a person? Does it make me so uncool that you have to exclude me from what you do? Don’t judge a book by it’s cover. I see alcohol as one of the worst things offered by society. It eats away at young minds and continues to be prominent in a variety of demographics. I am trying to understand – why is it so important for individuals to drink? Why the unnecessary pressure? Can we not all just get along without it? When individuals were younger, they got along just fine without it and if they did not get along, then they just were not friends, end of story. Now alcohol comes into your life at a certain age and it consumes you? We are much better than that and it’s time we realize it. You begin to think we are getting smarter as a society, as a group. We hear all the horror stories of what alcohol does to not only the human mind and body, but also what it makes humans do. It makes them say bad things, makes them act poorly and most importantly, makes them make bad decisions. Still, drinking and driving is alive and well. Humans are smart, how can we act so dumb? I don’t know what lies ahead, perhaps I will fall into this “trap” if you will, as well. Everybody leads a different life and I am lucky enough to have never been involved with alcohol. Everybody has struggles and I want to clarify I am not judging or hating, I suffer from daily struggles as well, I simply want to understand why this issue continues to rise rather than fall.

How many non-drinkers are out there? A lot less than drinkers? Finding someone who does not drink can seem next to impossible nowadays. Put down the bottle, respect yourself and respect your body – stop the deterioration. Many will say “we will die one day, why not speed up the process?”. Painful to hear, yes life is tough but you are put here for a reason. Whether you choose to pursue that reason is up to your powerful mind to decide.

Smoking

“Smoking eases the pain” – a quote I have heard many times. While it may do that, it creates so much more and causes so much damage to your body, those around you and the environment. It is true, we do not care about much. It’s almost a fact. Until we are personally threatened or impacted, our eyes and mind will remain closed and we will stay naïve and blind. The negatives don’t stop, we are all to familiar with the high risk of cancer. That word is enough to scare me. Please, stop deteriorating your body and mind, as well as others.

Conclusion

I hope you readers understand, this is not meant to offend anyone nor was it meant to be judgmental. I really want to understand the question – why? Why do such advanced beings such as ourselves act so behind? Perhaps it is I who is behind as most of society does seem to be indulging in these types of things, while I do not. Looking back at oneself, as a child, and now, as an adult – do you feel anything? I feel great sadness and great fear. I feel alone and that because I do not do these mainstream things, I will be left behind. Yes I have my own values and morals, just like others do. Why am I left on the outside? Outliers are outliers and that is no issue, but to other it is. Don’t worry about what others think, focus on you and being the best you can – even when you are outnumbered.

These actions can be avoided, they really can. Please, I ask you do not judge those who do not participate in mainstream society but rather try and see what they see – different perspectives. Nobody is trying to hurt each other but still, that is what happens. It is quick to discount and ignore someone, solely because they do not participate in mainstream activities.

There are many experts out there who can perhaps assist me in understanding society and human and the connection in between the two. Many studies have been done and many have thoroughly analyzed how society as a whole has changed.


All sources are saved and protected by the author.

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Dodgeball – More than a Sport

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Introduction

Dodgeball, a sport many individuals have played growing up, whether in school during gym class, outside during recess, or even outside of school in a recreational or competitive league. Growing up and even until this very day, Dodgeball is an absolute passion of mine, almost a lifestyle. Everything down from playing, to rules, to statistics, even to refereeing it – I do my best to be stay active in this sport everyday. Without further ado, let us explore this and analyze what it has to offer.

Just before we begin exploring, I do want to say that there are many variations of the sport and the way I explain it is what I believe to be the most popular and quite frankly, the most fun. I will speak of other ways of playing but it will be clear as to which method I focus on.

Rules and Objectives – CoEd Recreational vs CoEd Competitive

As mentioned, Dodgeball has various rules to it. Some variations allow players to travel all around the court while I will focus on the most efficient and popular way of playing it. There are also some similarities in rules between recreational and competitive, however I deem it clear which ones differ and which ones are found in both.

           CoEd Recreational

With a maximum of six players playing at once, the objective is simple; eliminate all opposing six players by hitting them with the ball or catching one of their throws. Now, considering this section includes both male and female, otherwise known as Co-Ed Dodgeball, then of the six players on the court, a minimum of two need to be female. With six aside, some methods of play have the players run (once the referee blows the whistle) to collect the balls that are lined up at the center line, while other ways have each team begin with two balls aside. Playing with four total, eight inch balls, players ideally communicate and make sure they either target a certain individual or they just go ahead and throw at random. If a player catches a throw, then the player who threw that ball is out and subsequently first to return if that player is the first of the 6 on the court out, while the player who caught it brings back one of his teammates that were already eliminated, if any were sidelined. Once a player picks up a ball or catches one, they have a maximum of 10 seconds to hold it. During this 10 seconds, they can use the ball they are holding for protection (deflecting a ball coming at them) or they can try to quickly strategize with their teammates. If a player throws the ball and it is deflected off the opponent’s ball because he/she is blocking, and that ball continues to travel and hits someone before it touches the ground, ceiling or wall, then that player IS out. However, if the same situation occurred but instead of being hit, the ball was caught; that means the thrower is out and that catch brings in a teammate – if one was already eliminated.

Another way of being eliminated is a rule that as a Dodgeball Referee I dislike calling but I have to do so; stepping on the line while throwing. Although this rule is very important and must be enforced, it is also a rather silly way of being eliminated. I respect this rule and every Dodgeball player should. It keeps the individuals at a distance and confirms nobody can step on or over the line, however you are allowed to reach over the line to try and grab a ball.

The controversial “head-shot” rule really depends on how and who you play. If a player throws the ball and an opposing player gets hit in the face then usually the player who threw it is out, however there are times where it may be called simply a “dead-ball” which means nobody is out and the game continues, depending on the severity and other circumstances. If a player is ducking however, and gets hit in the face, that player who is ducking is out as he/she put himself in that position. Whether a player is ducking, jumping or even dodging in some other way, and is hit in the face, he/she will be called out. The only way around it is if it is a blindside head shot, a player not seeing the ball or the ball coming way too fast for someone to react.

If two players remain, one on each team, a 60 second countdown begins. After this countdown, if neither of the two players are eliminated, the first players who were eliminated from that round are allowed to come back on. This is done to add intensity to the game and to also speed it up, if you will.

Although it is recreational, the games get very intense and very close and the intensity alone is enough to make you feel like you are in a competitive atmosphere. Dodgeball alone is very competitive and continues to increase in popularity.

          CoEd Competitive

Like Recreational Dodgeball, six players (minimum two girls) need to be on the court per team while playing Competitive Dodgeball. Instead of four, eight inch balls, six – seven inch balls are used, three placed beside each other on the opposite corners of the center line. Teams need to run and collect 3, hence why they are on opposite sides – three are for one team to collect and the other three are for the other team to collect. Now, strategy and ball control is so important while playing Competitive Dodgeball. With six balls in the picture, can you imagine what it would be like if 6 players on the opposing team decided to target and throw at you? It would be hard to dodge and catch, however this is why players decide to play competitive, to test and possibly enhance their pre-existing skills against other highly skilled Dodgeball players. There is no limit on how long players can hold a ball for however if one team has four balls and the other has two, the “advantage” rule comes into play. This means, the team with four balls must throw at least one ball before the referee finishes his countdown. A minimum of one ball can be thrown while players holding the other three are allowed to continue to do so. Many different players have many different tactics in this scenario. For example, if one ball is being thrown, players on that throwers team will often fake throw and pretend to throw at someone to throw them off a bit – sounds basic but it really is a good tactic, especially for those who are so good at it.

Remember how in Recreational if you were the first eliminated you are the first back in if your teammate made a catch? Well in competitive (depending on the league), there could be no order of return. If your teams strongest player was out third, but someone on your team made a catch, he is eligible to be the first person to come back, a pick and choose kind of thing. Also, remember how once one player on each team remains, the 60 second countdown begins? Well, in competitive, there is a “no blocking” rule. This means that as soon as one player on each team remains, the referee blows the whistle and gives the players three balls each. From there, after both players confirm they are ready, the referee blows the whistle and now no blocking kicks in. No blocking means that if a throw is coming towards you, you are not allowed to use your ball to deflect it or block it. If you do block it, it will count as an out. Everything remains the same except this rule is implemented only on a one on one contest.

Communication is very key as well, hence my earlier mention of strategy. The “fake-throw” is a great method of distraction but aside from that, there are many others. To mention a few;

1. Target Selection: Making sure that players who are holding a ball on your team aim for the same opposing player, therefore giving you a greater chance and higher percentage of eliminating that selected opponent.

2. No Look Throw: Looking one way but throwing the other. For example; looking left but throwing the ball to players on the right side – a great play to deceive and keep opponents on their toes.

3. Fake and Throw: Close to the center line with another one of your teammates, both of you are holding a ball. You talk and confirm that when you are going to throw the ball, only one will actually throw it while the other will fake it – confusing the target and also providing the thrower with protection as a teammate is right beside you holding a ball. Although, this can occasionally back fire as if the opponent throws a ball, considering the proximity between you and your teammate, it can result in both of you being eliminated if it hits you both. This is referred to as a “counter” by the opposing team.

The above strategies can be used in both Recreational and Competitive, however they are utilized more in Competitive as there is no 10 second time limit with the ball for every player, as there is in Recreational.

Types of Players and Positions

Many different types of people play the game itself. This can range from players who have never played a sport before to players who excel at other sports, giving them an advantage. It also includes players who excel at one aspect of the game but struggle on others. For example, one player can be a really strong thrower but a weak catcher and dodger. Aside from throwing, catching and dodging, there are also three main positions. These positions consist of Corner, Center and Sweeper. These all will be positions which I will elaborate on.

Below is a quick breakdown of what to expect from those (mentioned above) players. I believe all of these aspects are specialities and provide much to any team.

          Throwers

Exactly what it sounds like, throwers are the players who have the arm to deliver a powerful throw. With many different types of throwers as everybody throws differently for a variety of reasons, below are a quick list of popular methods of throwing.

1. Overhand: Overhand throwers are those who release the ball when their hand is over their shoulder. This results in a very strong (if executed properly) straight and direct  throw – little movement to them.

2. Side-Arm: Just like in Baseball, side-arm is when players release the ball for a throw when their arm is parallel to the ground. This has been brought into question as it is said that continuously throwing like this will eventually damage your arm as the ligaments will tear and possibly bring on tendinitis. Those crafty side-arm throwers tend to have a curve to their throw, making it much harder to judge, dodge and catch.

3. 3/4 Throwers: A somewhat unknown method of throwing, 3/4 is sometimes considered side-arm, at least a sub-category of it. 3/4 throwing is when the players hand is roughly about 45º from the ground when the ball is released.

4. The Spinning Backhand Throw: A unique throw in Dodgeball where an individual spins his/her body very quickly sideways and releases the ball in the opposite manner he/she would during a regular throw, which is to say it will be released with momentum switching to the spin motion while moving 360°, rather than spinning your body forwards. This method of throwing uses different muscles and is very hard as an opponent to judge where it will go. It is very powerful and not too many are capable of doing it, however those who can are quite strong at it.

Throwing is of course a big part of the game. Those who excel at throwing can manipulate the ball to do what it is they want, especially depending on how they hold the ball. That can be from curving to dropping (sinking) on their opponents. Some players are also ambidextrous, meaning they can throw with both their left and right arms – an impressive feature. This only makes that player even more dangerous. 

         Catchers

Not too much to break down here, catchers are those who specialize in catching the ball. What makes them stand out is that in Dodgeball, catching is easily one of the most key aspects. It not only takes one of the opponents players out but it brings your teammate back in. The only thing that catchers face that is a tough task is the catching itself, considering you have throwers who are highly skilled and can predict and manipulate the ball to make it go where they please. This can be low or high, and very quick. Quick reactions and quick with your hands are two characteristics one must possess to excel at this. Always being aware and always knowing your surrounding is very important as well. Positioning your body to receive a ball in the “bread-basket” area may hurt, but also makes it easier as you can smother the ball a lot quicker. Lastly, never giving up on the ball – this means if you are hit and the ball has not touched the ground you can still make the catch! Although throwers seem to get most of the attention due to their force, catchers are a must and are sometimes overlooked. Rarely would you want to risk throwing only one ball at a strong catcher. A team of catchers is just as threatening as a team of throwers, is it not?

        Dodgers

Well, why not – I will say it. Dodge, duck, dip, dive, and…dodge! “The five D’s of Dodgeball” made famous by the movie Dodgeball that was released in 2004. Dodgers are those who just continue to find ways of getting out of trouble by constantly dodging the ball, no matter what. Eventually, yes this player will be out or this player will be the one to eliminate the opposing team’s players by him/her catching or throwing at the other team. Players are so often irritated because the dodger just continues to follow the five D’s of Dodgeball and continues to evade the ball! Many players see a dodger as everybody on the court at some point, throwers and catchers will have to dodge as well and I agree with that. However, I do personally believe some are just better dodgers than others. But if time is a factor, then a dodger is good to have.

Position: Corner

Corners are players who, depending on how your team decides to play, remains in the corner and always has a ball in hand. They are sometimes known for having very quick and powerful throws, but are mostly recognized for their quick release and accuracy. Simply put, the Corner has outstanding court awareness and focuses mainly on the opposing team’s Corner. As soon as one Corner throws their ball, it is the opposing team’s Corner’s job to eliminate him/her now that he/she is vulnerable. Aside from that, the corner is also somewhat of an intimidating factor. This is done by continuously faking a throw to keep the other team on their heels and to perhaps prevent them from retrieving a rolling ball, by applying that pressure. They are also known to try and catch other players “napping”. This means that if they see you are not focusing or are looking elsewhere and seem unprepared, they will throw their ball at you and catch you off guard.

Position: Center

The big guns, the threatening arms, the power throwers, call it what you would like but the Center position is usually played by those who can throw the ball like a rocket. These are the main powerhouses (although not 100% of the time the case) and opponents look to eliminate them first. Although they may excel at other aspects of the game, they have been recognized as major threats by opposing teams and they are then identified as the number one targets.

Looking at this from another perspective, Centers must also have some sort of ability to either dodge or catch, or even both. If you are being targeted, you need to find a way to remain in the game. How you may ask? Finding a way out of that trouble could possibly come from attempting to catch one of the balls thrown by the other team or by dodging balls coming at you. That’s the name of the game!

Position: Sweeper

Those sweepers, ever so unsuspecting but dangerous and an asset to any team who possesses one. A sweeper is someone who stops the ball from going back to the opposing team and therefore keeps it for his/her team. The reason these sweepers are an asset is because if players on one team are tired (for example) of throwing, simple things like bending down to pick up a ball require energy. Imagine having played for 45 minutes and you are throwing a ball and the ball hits the wall and it comes back to you. You bend down, pick it up and throw it again. What if that was interrupted and instead the sweeper stole the ball and now has an opportunity of eliminating you? Would you have the energy to try and dodge quickly or be prepared for an incoming throw? Sweepers are usually relatively quiet and hidden players who run out, sometimes sacrificing themselves, to retrieve balls for his/her team. Corners are sometimes responsible for scaring them away with their threatening fake throw although Sweepers are very quick in thinking and in speed. Another strong specialty every Dodgeball team should possess.

Clothing/Apparel

Once again, depending on the level you and/or your team play, this can range from simple athletic wear to a team jersey/uniform. To start, players are often seen wearing athletic wear and something they are comfortable in. This does include track pants, shorts, T-shirt, or long sleeve shirts, although the latter causes a lot of warmth. Athletic and indoor shoes are required. Some players do wear Basketball shoes but running shoes are more recommended. 

Health Perspective, Physical Fitness/Exercise, Anatomy Analysis and Advantages/Disadvantages of Dodgeball

Like many other sports, Dodgeball offers many health and fitness benefits for the human body. I will discuss both the advantages and some disadvantages for the human body while participating in Dodgeball and also touch on the fitness aspect of the sport. All of these topics will be intermingled and intertwined.

           Advantages

1. The short bursts of intense movement, whether it be running, jumping or diving, can improve the cardiovascular system of the players. This is done by lowering blood pressure and improving blood circulation, all while burning calories. Dodgeball is a sport that involves constant movement, from your eyes to your entire body.

2. Probably the most obvious advantage; the improvement of agility, balance and anticipation. While playing, players are running but not only running, they are running and are watching to see if a ball is headed their way which will force them to use their body in a different way. The different ways can consist of using your leg muscles (more specifically the quadriceps and calves) to jump hence dodging the ball, or having your arms prepared for a catch in which you need quick reflexes. Certain players’ body will adjust at a more rapid pace depending on other factors such as weight, height and anticipation levels.

3. Considering the size of the court, which really depends on the location, players could possibly be throwing the ball roughly 30-40 feet, if not more. The repetition of this action/motion allows individuals to utilize different muscle within the body. I will outline these muscle below.

Shoulder Muscles – Primarily the deltoids and rotator cuff – which allow your shoulder to rotate back and forth when winding up and throwing, they also provide stability for the shoulder.

Back Muscles – More specifically the latissimus dorsi (lats) which provide stability during the motion of throwing and also providing power to the throw.

Core Muscle – Your core which consists of abdominal muscle, lower back, gluteus muscles, pelvis and hips; these muscle also have an influence and assist you with balance while being able to transfer weight from one leg to the other, all while going from backwards motion to forwards.

Arm Muscle The triceps, a three “headed” muscle group hence tri, provide much power while releasing the ball and increasing it’s velocity and speed while pushing it forward.

Constantly throwing, dodging and catching a Dodgeball with the above benefits in mind, also provides for much endurance and muscle build up. See the anatomy diagram below, identifying all the mentioned muscles and a little more.

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Anterior View – Identified/Mentioned Muscles

All anatomy and other experts please, I encourage you to comment and express your thoughts on these explanations and on these diagrams.

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Posterior View – Identified/Mentioned Muscles

4. Ball dodgers, throwers and catchers develop, if they did not possess it already – great hand-eye coordination. There is no need to explain why dodgers and catchers need this as it self-explanatory in my opinion, throwers require this because while throwing they need to anticipate where their target might go, therefore forcing the thrower to try and add a curve to their throw or another method of throwing.

5. With most games being played for an hour, aside from Tournaments, Dodgeball does indeed promote weight loss. Dodgeball works almost your entire body and will require you to sweat a lot, depending how hard you play and how much you enjoy the sport, or even how warm the playing environment is. The constant dodging can last quite a bit of time if you are really good at doing so, hence you constantly burning calories.

6. As mentioned, the constant moving, twisting, jumping and so on really improves an individuals flexibility. Whether it is a simple motion like ducking or a movement that a player did not even think possible to be done, flexibility is very key.

In my personal playing experience, I recall a player on my team throwing at this specific opponent and he (from his knees) went flat on his back and within a matter of seconds he got back up – ninja style if you will. That alone made him a deadly opponent and a tough target.

7. Dodgeball provides much for the human body and mind, but an important one is the fact that it can relieve stress. Whether you are throwing with anger (instead of proper mechanics and motion) or you are just feeling better because you are with your friends laughing and playing, Dodgeball, as a team sport, can provide the feeling of reliving stress. However with that in mind, depending on how competitive of a player you are and how much you want to win, it can bring you down.

Personally, I am down only if I feel as though I did not contribute to my team’s success or if I single handedly lost the game for the team. Also, losing to a team that broke the rules is not fun for anybody involved. For those reading, make sure all rules are respected. There will be times where it is a tough call or hard to see for everybody, but honesty is the best policy and is appreciated more than one would think.

8. As I touched upon, Dodgeball improves an individual’s reflexes very quickly. Whether you are a full time athlete or a first time player, your reflexes constantly improve with each passing minute.

9. A very important aspect in all team sports, the building of teamwork. I am a firm believer that although certain athletes may be stronger in one sport, and yes perhaps that person can beat a team, there will always be instances and games where if you do not play as a team – you will lose. To quote Michael Jordan; “Players win games, teams and intelligence win championships”. A very touching and very true quote that applies to almost every sport and in this case, Dodgeball. Teamwork provides a team with a method and strategy to try and take down your opponents but also builds and reveals character and leaders are displayed, whether silent or verbally strong ones.

10. Dodgeball as a sport itself is simply just FUN. Whether you do it to meet new people, whether you participate because you are new to a city or town or whether you do this to impress your coworkers and propel yourself in the professional workplace, Dodgeball brings people together and provides much fun. Just like any other sport, it does cause frustration among some but this is a sport and that cannot be predicted.

Disadvantages

Well, I will spend very little time on this section but still, it is important to identify a few disadvantages. In my closed mind, there are no disadvantages to playing/participating in Dodgeball but realistically, yes there are.

1. The first and most important disadvantage is those who do not respect rules and decide to use Dodgeball as a “legal” way of bullying and causing harm with the intent to injure an opponent. Usually this would be fueled by a previous action in the past between certain individuals nonetheless, I would love to see no bullying in Dodgeball or at all ever.

2. Some believe the sport is too violent and can cause pain to others. Yes, unfortunately this is true but what one needs to remember is that all sports are dangerous and one must take all precautions while participating in any sport, whether you are a veteran of the game or a beginner.

3. If a player does not properly monitor his/her body, he/she can feel pain after the game due to lack of stretching, simple carelessness or overuse without taking a break. The body is a temple and should always be repaired if needed. If one feels pain from too much throwing, or feels pain from being hit very hard by the ball, this is something to contain right away. Keep each other safe, care for each other and make sure everybody is doing well, including yourself. This sport may not be for all but the pain is what should be eliminated. Maintain your physical exercise and participate by keeping your body intact. In the end, Dodgeball brings a community together and creates it’s own. All players/members should care and continuously help and support each other.

Personal Experience

Although I have been playing for several years now, I decided to select the pictures below as a brief example of how popular Dodgeball is. The first picture I selected was taken while I participated in the well known “Forest City Dodgeball Invitational Tournament” that takes place in London, Ontario. This was the 5th installment of the tournament and was a great experience for me, especially playing against players and teams from northern USA and various cities throughout Canada. It was also great to be among individuals who share my obsession, my passion for Dodgeball. These games were classified as competitive and therefore used competitive rules, rather than recreational.

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Forest City Invitational Dodgeball Tournament – Strategy Discussion Amongst Teammates

The second picture I selected was taken during the National Dodgeball Tournament in Barrie, the largest in North America and perhaps in the world, from what I hear. I can easily say this was the most beneficial tournament for me and for anybody to learn what skill is out there and how to prepare yourself. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and learnt so much, I am glad to have participated. Although sadly I was unable to grab a full team picture, below are both myself and some of my teammates getting ready to begin the game. This team was registered in the “Co-Ed Competitive” division and the team was named “Hot Dodge”.

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Team: Hot Dodge – National Dodgeball Festival

The following two pictures below are from a tournament that took place in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. This tournament is known as the “2V2 Tournament” and is held once a month, usually during the summer months. This tournament was played in July (Picture 1) and took place in batting cages and is held to two teammates and had three division; Men’s, Women’s, and CoEd. This picture is of my teammate and I, strategizing our next move.

William&Vinnie vs Joe&Eric11

Picture 1 – July 2V2 Tournament – Men’s Division – Discussion Amongst Teammates

The following picture (Picture 2) is the same 2V2 Tournament but this took place in August, new teams, new competition!

Team Picture - William and Spencer

Picture 2 – August 2V2 Tournament – Men’s Division – Teammates

Conclusion

I strongly encourage individuals to get involved in playing Dodgeball within their community. Not only is it an incredible sport, but it also allows you to meet new people and in turn, make friends. It is a unique sport that has a lot to offer and I hope to see it continue to grow and attract worldwide attention.


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Mortal Kombat – Fujin, Li Mei, Nitara, Havik, Sareena and Frost

Although the Mortal Kombat postings have come to an end (for the time being) I did want to speak of four final characters who I will not number, but simply briefly touch upon. I believe these characters to have a solid role in the game and although they are not the most popular, they are important and I believe should at least have the honourable mention. Speaking for one in specific, Nitara, I included her in this posting not because of her role but because of her unique approach and because yes, I do like her as a character.

Fujin

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Fujin – MKX

Fujin, God of Wind and from the Heavens, he fights alongside the “Forces of Light” at the Battle of Armageddon and works very closely with Raiden. First seen in Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero, Fujin was a boss character. His physical appearance is a tall man with a muscular tone and somewhat long white hair and glowing white eyes. Although he is somewhat of a minor character, his abilities and influence on the Mortal Kombat Tournament is immense. He is seen in MKX fighting with Raiden against Quan Chi and his evil forces. Quan Chi was an eye witness to Shinnok’s defeat and his subsequent “trapped” body in his own Amulet.

Li Mei

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Li Mei – MKX

Subtle and beautiful, kind and generous, Li Mei came to Sonya Blade (with her people) and her group to seek refuge and asylum from the impact of the Outworld Civil War, in MKX. She possesses valuable information as she witnessed Mileena use Shinnok’s Amulet against Kotal Kahn. She also described to Sonya an individual who turned out to be Kano, Sonya instantly knew. She is later seen working with the good aligned characters as her goal is peace for her Outworld residence. I really like Li Mei and am happy to see here slowly climbing her way back into a more of a bigger role within Mortal Kombat. She allies herself with the Special Forces group and Raiden.

Nitara

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Nitara – MK: Armageddon

A relatively unknown character due to her minor role and appearance within the Mortal Kombat franchise, Nitara is a vampires who lives of others to remain alive. Similar to Shang Tsung, instead of souls she requires blood, as you may have guessed. Her goal is not to participate necessarily in the tournament but instead to separate her home realm, Vaeternus, from Outworld. She appears as a gothic individual who despite this appearance, is morally neutral.

She did work with Cyrax and Reptile on certain mission and she does consider them allies, while Shao Kahn is a great enemy of hers.

Havik

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Havik – MK: Armageddon

The Cleric of Chaos, Havik is an individual who often betrays others and does his best to disrupt any order – he thrives of chaos. Originally from the Chaosrealm, Havik is not really good or bad, but instead he just wants to spread disorder.

In MK9, he is seen working with Noob Saibot as the two create and caused havoc to the realms .Satisfied with his work, he returns to his home realm and Noob Saibot is seen ruling the Netherrealm. He is very popular in the comics and can be seen working with Reiko among others.

Sareena

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Sareena – MKX

Sareena, a beautiful woman who first appeared in Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero as a boss character. Originally a demon and assassin from the Netherrealm, she worked for Quan Chi but later turned against him. Initially, she required Quan Chi’s magic to keep her looking beautiful, otherwise she would turn into her demon form. Since she escaped and turned against him, she has found a way to keep her beauty without his help.

She makes a quick appearance in MKX speaking with Kitana, as she is a revenant, about how to “snap out” of her spell but to no avail. She currently is a aligned with the good and has alliances with Sub-Zero and the Lin Kuei although she does fear her demon form taking over her and possibly changing her allegiance. I really like Sareena and am happy that she, just like Li Mei, make a good appearance in MKX and hopefully in future releases of the game.

Frost

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Frost – MKX

First appearing in Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance as Sub-Zero’s apprentice, Frost is a powerful but very forceful fighter. Not afraid of anything, she has much arrogance and hostility towards possible threats.

Fans have really come to like her and want to see her more involved in Mortal Kombat. She does make an appearance in MKX, running towards Scorpion to attack him before Sub-Zero freezes her and explains the situation to Scorpion.

She is originally from Earthrealm and is a cryomancer. Her allies are Sub-Zero with Scorpion being an enemy of hers.

I like Frost and think she does have a good role within the games and can easily be developed and included.

Conclusion

Finally, as I am sure many of you are a little tired of these postings, we have made it. Thank you for allowing me to take you on this journey that saw us asking questions and understanding certain concepts of the Mortal Kombat games. I apologize for not including very much from the Mortal Kombat movies , TV series and comics. I really appreciate you taking the time to read and to allow me to express and share my favourite game with you. Yes, I realize I was a little inconsistent by jumping around from game to game or game to movie, but as I said in the introduction, it would not be easy to follow otherwise, considering Mortal Kombat itself can be complex at times.


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Mortal Kombat – Shinnok, Shao Kahn, Queen Sindel, Shang Tsung and Quan Chi

This is it, if you decided to push yourself and keep reading all of my Mortal Kombat posts, these are the final warriors up for discussion number 34, 35, 36, 37 and 38 – Shinnok, Shao Kahn, Sindel, Shang Tsung and Quan Chi respectively.

34. Shinnok

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Shinnok – MKX

Shinnok’s name has been mentioned while discussing other warriors but now it is time to focus solely on him.

Originally a God and from the Heavens, now referred to as the “Fallen Elder God”, Shinnok resides in the Netherrealm  and is one of the most evil characters in the entire Mortal Kombat franchise. Very powerful and deceiving, Shinnok first appeared in Mortal Kombat Mythologies; Sub-Zero as “the boss” and most recently appeared in MKX, delivering the same role. He is also the leader of the “Forces of Darkness” during the Battle of Armageddon.

Speaking of Armageddon, in Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, Taven (protagonist) is amazed that Shinnok, whom (to Taven) believed to still be an Elder God, required his help. The entire time, Shinnok was working with Daegon, Taven’s brother. They were trying to eliminate Taven but Shinnok did not have enough power to do so alone at the time, hence why he was taking his time to regain his powers and work with Taven’s brother. The two ultimately fail as Taven does defeat his brother and was surprised to learn the whole plot against him.

Shinnok possesses many magical powers, which goes back through Ancient times and works hand in hand with manipulation. Undisputed ruler of the Netherrealm, he has been alive for millions of years, continuously acquiring knowledge and power as he cannot necessarily “die” due to his Elder God nature. As MKX illustrated, with the help of his Amulet, he is able to turn into a massive demon, both in height and strength. It is said that he can manipulate almost anybody as he was the one who convinced Quan Chi to convince Shao Kahn to merge Earthrealm and Outworld against the Elder God’s will. This resulted in both realms being at a weakened state, allowing for the Netherrealm to invade and possibly take power.

Heartless and ready to kill anybody who opposes him in the slightest, it is said that his sorcery however can be matched by Shang Tsung, Delia, Shao Kahn and Quan Chi – an impressive feature if you ask me.

Sometimes referred to as Lord Shinnok by his followers and minions, he is often seen battling Raiden. Raiden (and to a lesser extent Fujin) is responsible for his defeat and locking him up in the Netherrealm. This took place millennia ago and the reason he is considered a Fallen Elder God is because he wanted to conquer all of reality.

I was happy to see more of him in a modern release of the game as he was always discussed in an evil manner and always was an evil leader but never really demonstrated it. MKX was a perfect representation of this and the way he spoke and acted was perfect for the game, in my opinion – although his demon figure (known as Corrupted Shinnok) was a little scary. Currently, at the end of MKX, post credits, Raiden is said to have warned Liu Kang and Kitana (both revenant’s), who are now the Netherrealm leaders due to Shinnok’s defeat, that they better not even think of harming Earthrealm unless they want to face fates worse than death. Raiden leaves by showing them Shinnok’s severed but still living head. He is now condemned to a immobile state.

Shinnok’s current allies are D’Vorah, Shao Kahn, Shang Tsung and the remaining revenants – for the time being.

35. Shao Kahn

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Shao Kahn – MK9

Debuting in Mortal Kombat II, Shao Kahn is arguably the most well known villain in the Mortal Kombat franchise. Obsessed with conquering realms, he himself is from and resides in Outworld. Despite much confusion, he is NOT a God but instead just a very powerful and dark leader who possess so much power that it is ALMOST God-like. Known as the “conqueror”, he, among many other evil leader, is the definition of the word “evil”. He is always seen as the major rival of Raiden and vise-versa. In the second Mortal Kombat movie, Raiden states that Shao Kahn is his brother and that their father is Shinnok, however the games have not made reference to this. However, during the games, it is referenced that he treats Queen Sindel like his own wife. He is, as many already know, not the real father of Princess Kitana but does refer to her as his daughter. King Jerrod is Kitana’s father however Shao Kahn killed him.

What really makes him so powerful you ask? Well it is because of his profound knowledge of black arts and black magic. Like other villains throughout the Mortal Kombat universe, he has the power to consume other warriors’ souls. Shao Kahn may represent evil and power, but he cannot easily be played into a trap. He is very smart and cunning as he tends to have his plans for attack very well organized, including proper timing. He does however make basic mistakes, such as invading Earthrealm and underestimating it’s fighters.

The main issue with Shao Kahn trying to conquer Earthrealm is because to do so without limitation, he needs to win 10 straight Mortal Kombat Tournaments, and it is said he has only won 9.

He is also well known for his weapon of choice; Wrath Hammer. This big weapon allows him to swing, like a baseball bat, his opponents far away with brute strength. It is obvious throughout the series how much Shao Kahn likes this weapon and how powerful the evil conquer really is. At the end of MK9, Raiden defeats Shao Kahn and shortly after one can see Quan Chi make his way on scene and he is plotting with Shinnok. This plot is the storyline of the following game; MKX.

36. Queen Sindel

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Queen Sindel – MK9

Known for her aerial magic and sonic waves (scream), Queen Sindel is Queen of Edenia and mother to Princess Kitana. Surprisingly not one of the main characters in the game, Sindel continues to have a major impact on the Mortal Kombat tournament and unfolding of events within.

In MK9 she is found and brought back to life by Quan Chi (he just brings all bad people back!) to help the evil side consume Earthrealm. Instantly after being brought back to life and hearing that her daughter Kitana has joined the Earthrealm warriors, she abandons her and gladly accepts to work with evil. Why was she dead in the first place? Excellent questions. She was forced into marriage with Shao Kahn when he conquered Edenia. In an attempt to foil the evil emperors plans, she sacrificed herself and committed suicide. This suicide prevented Shao Kahn from moving forward with his plot and created a magical barrier, with him no longer able to step foot in Edenia. Being resurrected and having her mind enslaved, Shao Kahn is able to continue what he had initially planned. In MK9, she destroyed almost all Earthrealm warriors in the climax of the game, except Nightwolf who sacrificed himself and destroyed her in the process. Personally I was highly irritated with this concept as she gets resurrected and what feels like minutes later, wipes out pretty much all Earthrealm warriors. That really frustrates me as she was barely in the game to begin with and she had no need to be so over powered.

Aside from that, she was first seen in MK3, a game that saw many new characters.Eventually, she did turn good and is now a revenant as seen in MKX working once again for evil. Her allies, aside from other revenants are Shinnok, Quan Chi and Shang Tsung.

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Queen Sindel – MKX (Revenant)

37. Shang Tsung

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Shang Tsung (Younger) – MK9

The much talked about Shang Tsung is a unique and very powerful character. A sorcered and another primary villain in the game, he is a shapeshifter and can utilize the abilities of those who he changes into. To be able to live comfortably in appearance and feeling, he needs to consume souls and life. His appearance of well-dressed and professionalism is all a ruse, hiding his true intentions of evil domination. He and Liu Kang have one of the most popular rivalries in all of Mortal Kombat, often seen going at it in combat, or should I say Kombat!?

He is a character that over the years I have come to appreciate. A very well played, craft and intellectual villain, he is often seen convincing Shao Kahn for another chance at something he had failed to do so successfully the first time. Shao Kahn knows how powerful Shang is and he continues to grant him pardon. Originally from Outworld, he has close ties with Shinnok, Quan Chi and Shao Kahn.

If an opponent challenges or reaches a stage to challenge Shang Tsung and is defeated, he consumes their soul. He is as mentioned very crafty and often sabotages many Earthrealm warriors, hindering them or weakening them prior to their opportunity to fight in the Mortal Kombat tournament. This could be done by he himself or by other villains who he ordered to do so. According to Mortal Kombat creators, Shang Tsung pledged his life to Shao Kahn in exchange for enhanced powers, to which Shao Kahn granted. He now is bound to Shao Kahn.

In MK9, via Baraka’s ending, it can be seen that Shang Tsung does want ultimate power all for himself as he was impersonating Shao Kahn but Baraka could not be fooled as he killed him. It is also said that Shao Kahn wanted to enhance Queen Sindel’s power so he stole from Shang Tsung and this eventually killed him. In MKX, he is not seen until Ermac’s ending where Ermac is seen wandering in the labyrinth when all of a sudden Shang Tsung appears out of nowhere and acquires SOME souls from Ermac, leading fans to believe he is making a return in some way.

What has come into question is why Quan Chi did not resurrect Shang Tsung’s soul. This could have been intentionally done as Shao Kahn did grant Quan Chi the right to resurrect souls of only fallen Earthrealm warriors but not of his own servants. This is a reason as to why he was not resurrected.

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Shang Tsung (Older) – MK9

38. Quan Chi

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Quan Chi – MKX

Lastly, a character I really dislike but had to include through the writing series; Quan Chi.

First heard of in the Mortal Kombat: Defeanders of the Realm TV series, Quan Chi is easily one of the most powerful sorcerers in the Mortal Kombat franchise. A demon and necromancer from the Netherrealm is occasionally known to have his own plot, despite looking like he is following that of the supreme leader. He allies himself with individuals, usually evil in nature, if he believes they can help him or he can use them to attain his own goals.

I will not repeat the whole story again as I have already done so twice now in two separate sections, but he is the reason for Scorpion’s family and clan, the Shirai Ryu’s, extinction. Quan Chi is a member of the Brotherhood of Shadow faction and can be seen alongside most of its members, mostly Noob Saibot.

He specializes in resurrecting fallen warriors to assist him with his own plot. Examples of this can include Scorpion and Noob Saibot, and the revenants in MKX. Speaking of MKX, Sub-Zero (as mentioned in Sub-Zero and Scorpion’s section) explains to Scorpion that Quan Chi was responsible for his family and clans demise. A great scene that I liked in MKX was finally, as Hanzo Hasashi, Scorpion KILLED Quan Chi. I am hoping that no longer can he magically re-appear and cause havoc. He always walked away untouched and showed up once everybody was either weak or dead and began implementing his plans, so annoying but smart. I apologize for my words, as I said he plays the villain role so well that I despise him for it. Despite everything, he is a strong warrior and one who can re-appear but ideally not in the same capacity and perhaps weaker, if he returns at all.


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Mortal Kombat – Goro, Kintaro, Sheeva Motaro

Warriors number 30, 31, 32 and 33 are all beasts and fearsome warriors who are fueled with destruction and pain.

30. Goro

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Goro – MKX

First debuting as a sub-boss to Shang Tsung in the original Mortal Kombat game, Goro (sometimes referred to as Prince Goro) is the first Mortal Kombat character to have four arms and represent the closest thing to a beast. His species, the Shokan, are a race comprising of half human and half dragon warriors that are originally from Outworld. In comparison to another Shokan, Kintaro, Goro is of the “Draco Lineage”. He has been the Mortal Kombat tournament champion for nine generations, making him undefeated in 500 years. Needless to say, Goro is a favourite of Shao Kahn because of his winning ways and absolute will to kill.

Depending on how you view it, during the tenth Mortal Kombat tournament, some say Liu Kang is the one who beat him while others (according to the first Mortal Kombat movie) say Johnny Cage beat Goro and killed him.

In MKX, the Shokan are not on either side of the Outworld Civil War and remain outcasts. Not having a serious role in MKX, many believe that Goro will return and play a bigger role in future installments of the game but this is just a rumour. He allies himself currently with Kintaro, Sheeva, Shao Kahn and Shang Tsung.

31. Kintaro

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Kintaro – MK9

Kintaro, another Shokan but of the “Tigrar Lineage”, is another bloodthirsty four armed beast who is often seen with Goro. Throughout the Mortal Kombat franchise, he is the only Shokan of Tigrar Lineage. According to his biography in MK9, his lineage and therefore his body markings (similar to tiger stripes) represent the lower-class for the Shokan, in comparison to Goro’s (and Sheeva’s) Draco Lineage for example.

Like many Shokan, he thrives off destruction and loves to fight. He is responsible for burning Kabal, hence why Kabal needs to constantly wear his mask and respirator for the rest of his life. 

He is last seen in MK9 fighting with Goro against Cyber Sub-Zero, to which both Shokan’s are defeated. He does fit the Mortal Kombat role well and plays an evil warrior very well. Often defeated, he does have the strength and power, however he sometimes underestimates the human spirit. Prior to his demise, he was allies with Goro, Sheeva and Shao Kahn.

32. Sheeva

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Sheeva – MK9

The last Shokan up for discussion, and one who possess the same lineage as Goro, Sheeva. Sheeva’s race, like the above two warriors, are rivals to the Centaurian race. Tall, muscular and powerful, Sheeva serves as the personal bodyguard of Queen Sindel.

In MK9, Sheeva is seen as a the guardian of captured Earthrealm warriors. An example of this is when Liu Kang and Kung Lao come to try and rescue Kitana, but Sheeva and Noob Saibot were waiting for them and they begin to fight. She remains the jailer of Shao Kahn’s dungeon, appointed this position by the evil conqueror himself.

Sheeva is a unique character as she manages to be play a decent size role in the game and seems to make an appearance at just the right time, in my opinion. While combatting her, she is notorious for her “Death from Above” move, where she jumps high into the sky and lands on her opponent. As mentioned, she and her race remain outcasts and she allies herself with Kintaro, Goro, Shao Kahn and Queen Sindel.

33. Motaro

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Motaro – MK: Armageddon

First appearing in Mortal Kombat 3, Motaro is of the Centaurian (sometimes referred to as Minotaur) race that rivals the Shokan’s, hence his anger toward Sheeva – first seen in the Mortal Kombat Annihilation movie. Being of this race, his lower half is that of a horse while his top half is of a man. He also has horns on his head and a long tail that causes a lot of damage. Approximately 9-foot tall, he is a beast who proudly serves Shao Kahn. His race is well known for their hunting and their somewhat mystical magical skills. The Centaurians see the Shokan race as inferior and are constantly going against each other to prove their worth to Shao Kahn.

In the Mortal Kombat movie, number 2 – Annihilation, he is seen in the climax of the movie fighting against Jax. Throughout their fight, he rips off one of Jax’s cybernetic arms. This forces Jax to realize that he was much stronger without them, which is what Raiden was telling him all along. After realizing this, Jax went on a rampage and eventually killed Motaro.

I am fan of Motaro and would love to see him return in the Mortal Kombat games. A well thought out character and a deadly opponent, he can provide much asset and much storyline for Mortal Kombat games. He does make a very slight appearance in MK9. He is seen in Shao Kahn’s Arena, listening to his leader talk about his plans and is also seen fighting (in the background) Johnny Cage when Raiden flies in and strikes Motaro – killing him. He is last seen being brought back to Shao Kahn dead, to the emperors surprise and anger. He was allies with Goro, Kintaro and Sindel.


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Mortal Kombat – Kano and Tremor

Warriors number 28 and 29 are two from the Black Dragon clan; Kano and Tremor.

28. Kano

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Kano – MKX

A well known mercenary and leader of the crime ridden faction Black Dragon, Kano is originally from Earthrealm, more specifically from Australia however he resides in Outworld. Kano is a very brutal individual who does not seem to have much remorse either. Kano, also known to be quite resourceful, is an original Mortal Kombat character. He is the man responsible for Sonya’s partner’s death and Sonya ever since then has wanted to capture and even kill him. Although he may work well with his Black Dragon clan members, he is often known to betray those he either works with or works for. This is usually done for financial gain or if a better opportunity presented itself. Another well known personality trait of his is his dark and twisted sense of humour, making jokes of the most serious of scenarios.

Despite this, Kano does remain a fan favourite – many (including myself) love to see this type of character make his way in realms full of superhuman beings. On the right side of his face, it is clear one can identify his bionic eye. This bionic eye provides him with infrared vision and a deadly laser emission. He first got this cybernetic eye because of facial damage which Jax Briggs is responsible for giving. This even occurred before Mortal Kombat, on Earthrealm. Surgically placed on his face, Kano can have greater focus and greater amounts of power because of it. A trigger happy, crime loving individual such as Kano possessing this, makes him even more dangerous than he already is.

Always a villain, he remains an undisciplined fighter and relies on his bionic eye, clan members and brute strength during battles. He can be hired for the right price and this is seen several times throughout the game, especially in MK9 and MKX. In MK9, he is hired by Shang Tsung and he provides Shang Tsung with different types of weapons and explains their worth and functions. In MKX, he is hired by Mileena to take down the usurper Kotal Kahn, a man he was working for. He does have military background training  which allowed him to run the Black Dragon. Kano is forever a survivor and always seems to squeak his way out of almost all situations. A weapons expert, tough combatant and an unpredictable dirty dealer, Kano is a formidable foe and remains dangerous at all times.

29. Tremor

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Tremor – MKX (Metallic Variation)

First appearing in Mortal Kombat: Special Forces, Tremor is a former member of the Black Dragon Clan. He is originally from Earthrealm and yes, is human despite his appearance as another species. Really given a backstory in MKX, Tremor seems to have some animosity towards Kano as he believes Kano led the clan on a life-threatening mission, where Tremor mentions to him. during their dialogue, that he nearly escaped with his life, to which Kano mentions how fun it was.

He has the power of an earth elemental. This means he can create earthquakes, has the ability to project stones and lava and he can also shape the ground to suit him. It is said Kano sent Tremor to acquire a “psych-bomb” which Kano would then use in the theft of Shinnok’s Amulet. This mission is believed to be the cause of animosity between the two. Along with Kano, Tremor has great hate for the Special Forces, more specifically Jax Briggs as in a previous game installment (MK: Special Forces) Jax engages in combat and eventually kills Tremor.

I am very happy to see Tremor in MKX and having a great appearance and attitude, as well as abilities. He is easily one of my top favourite characters and with a unique name, abilities and sense of humour, I believe he does have potential to be good despite being currently aligned with evil. He expressed, in MKX, how beautiful he finds Princess Kitana and also expresses to Mileena that she is reborn in the Dream Realm, the realm he travelled to, to acquire the mentioned “psych bomb”.

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Tremor – MKX (Crystalline Variation)

His MKX ending states that he, after defeating Shinnok, has his powers enhanced. This enhancement expanded his mind as well and is said to have the power to rival that of the Thunder God (Raiden) and Wind God (Fujin). His current allies are minor characters, both current Black Dragon clan members, Jarek and Tasia.


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Mortal Kombat – Sektor, Cyrax, Cyber Sub-Zero, Smoke/Cyber Smoke and Triborg

Now, warriors number 23, 24, 25, 26 and 27 are all cyborgs and unique in appearance, abilities and background. Allow me to begin discussing them.

23. Sektor

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Sektor – MK3

First introduced to fans in Mortal Kombat 3, Sektor is a ruthless, remorseless, savage and strong warrior originally from Earthrealm. When he was first developed, prior to being given the name Sektor, he was referred to as “Ketchup” as to avoid confusion amongst the creators between him and fellow cyborg Cyrax, who they referred to as “Mustard”. As mentioned, Sektor is originally from Earthrealm, more specifically he is from Japan although there is confusion amongst many, some state he is originally from China. Sektor is the physical form of what an evil cyborg can possibly represent. Combine this with his deadly attacks and abilities (his well known Rocket Punch and Missiles), not to mention his stealthy behaviour, Sektor is a killing machine ready to take on any opponent if it results in their destruction, at his hands.

When Sektor was human, he was part of the Lin Kuei, like Sub-Zero. It is the Lin Kuei that initiated a specific project referred to as the “Cyber-Initiative”. This initiative was intended to transform all of the clans warriors into Cyborgs. The Lin Kuei Grand Master, Sektor’s father, was a strong advocate and made it mandatory for clan members to participate. Although many were hesitant and uncertain, Sektor volunteered to be the first to make the transformation, he volunteered with absolute pleasure. Sektor later spoke that he believed this would remove insubordination from the clan, making them even stronger and cooperative to the clan’s Grand Master. Many members of the clan were skeptical because they believed it involved them giving away their free will, which I will elaborate on while discussing Cyrax. As a cyborg, Sektor never considered trying to reflect on his human past, but instead was only focused on missions at hand and delivering punishment. The only emotion Sektor really displays is anger and sometimes joy. The joy emotion can be heard when Sektor performs a “combo-attack” in MK9 as he laughs at his opponent upon completion. Sektor is actually the code name for unit LK-9T9. It was said that he survived the Outworld invasion, prior to joining Shao Kahn, as he has no soul to take.

It is revealed to us in Mortal Kombat Armageddon that Sektor was initially unsuccessful in accomplishing his goal of being Lin Kuei Grand Master, which saw him fled to Japan to establish his own clan of ninja warriors – all cybernetic. He called his clan the “Tekunin”.

In MK9, Sektor and Cyrax (in their human form) were hired by Shang Tsung to eliminate any of Earthrealm warriors, prior to their opportunity of fighting – a way of sabotaging that Shang Tsung is notorious for. Sektor and Cyrax are seen mostly arguing amongst each other, arguing about the Lin Kuei’s Cyber Initiative and possible negative effects on the clan and its members. 

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Human Sektor – MK9

Now, a full cyborg and following a fight with Cyber Sub-Zero, Sektor is seen in the climax of the game; the final fight. Sektor, among many other evil aligned warriors, ambush the Earthrealmers in an attempt to kill them. Sektor fights many but ultimately fights with Smoke and nearly kills him, if it was not for Nightwolf’s interruption. This was the last time Sektor was seen, therefore it is believed he fled the scene and remains alive and intact.

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Sektor – MK9

His loyalty and dedication to the Lin Kuei, displayed by his willing cyborg transformation, had brought great honour to his father. His father had believed it was time for Sektor to begin his time to replace him as Grand Master. Sektor and his dark nature came to his father. His father spoke and warned him of the power that comes with wearing the Dragon Medallion, which in this case was worn by the Lin Kuei Grand Master. Unfortunately, Sektor ignored this warning and eliminated his father, whose soul was said to fly into the medallion itself. After placing the medallion around his neck, he began to finally seize control of the Lin Kuei. This was short lived however as shortly after he eliminated his father, Sub-Zero makes an appearance. In a strong and epic battle, the two fought hard for control of the clan. Sub-Zero however, outlasted Sektor and ultimately beat him. After destroying Sektor to pieces (MKX), Sub-Zero kept all of his cybernetic body parts in pieces to investigate what Sektor was aware of. He then showed Scorpion, while playing a message Quan Chi delivered to Sektor from Sektor’s severed head, that Quan Chi was responsible for destroying Scorpion’s clan, the Shirai Ryu. The fact that Sektor’s cybernetic technology is all kept and in decent condition, it tells me that although Sektor may be dead for the moment, he could be put together and simply brought back to life, and perhaps with more artificial enhancements. As my favourite character in the game (tied with Rain and Tremor), I would love to see him return and return with a vengeance. We do know however, that he technically can be represented in MKX as Triborg. He is, obviously, an evil character and his allies are (most recently) Shao Kahn, Shang Tsung, Noob Saibot and Baraka among others.

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Triborg – MKX (Sektor Variation)

24. Cyrax

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Cyrax – MK3

First seen in Mortal Kombat 3, Cyrax is originally from Botswana, as a human of course. To avoid repetition, I will simply remind you that he was hired by Shang Tsung in MK9, along with Sektor, to eliminate the Earthrealm warriors prior to their opportunity to fight. Unlike Sektor, Cyrax believes in free will and that is what ultimately forces him to renounce himself from the Lin Kuei. As Sektor was all for the Cyber Initiative, Cyrax was against it and believes that artificial enhancements were no substitution for the human soul, as did Cyber Sub-Zero. He did however, undergo the transformation but was eventually able to remain cyborg but possess his own free will. Cyrax is also known as “Mustard” which I mentioned, and his designated unit is LK-4D4. Unlike Sektor, once again, Cyrax really wanted to recover his memory about his human life. Thanks to Sonya Blade and Jax Briggs, he was able to do that and because of their help, he decided to help them and their Outer World Investigation Agency (OIA) and show them respect and appreciation for their efforts.

An early release of information regarding Cyrax was from Mortal Kombat 3, the first game he was introduced in. It stated this original mission was to capture Sub-Zero, but instead Sub-Zero captured and reprogrammed him. His mission is to now kill Shao Kahn and he is successful as Shao Kahn cannot sense his soul in his presence due to his cybernetic form. Upon Shao Kahn’s death, he waits for orders to be given to him for a new mission but no orders came and he found himself wandering aimlessly and eventually caught in the middle of what is believed to be Jade’s desert. He is eventually rescued and recruited for the greater good.

Fast forward to MK9, Cyrax of course resists cybernetic enhancements and eventually reluctantly loses his humanity. After officially leaving the clan he is fully aware the no one leaves the Lin Kuei, and that the warriors were on the hunt to find and kill him. Like Sektor, after the major fight at the end of MK9, after being defeated by Nightwolf (as he was unwillingly evil), he is no longer seen suggesting that he, with other evil warriors, escaped and remains alive.

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Cyrax – MK9

At this point, he is allies with Shao Kahn, Sub-Zero and Raiden. As you may have noticed, you can clearly see that his is allied with an evil conquered and two good-natured characters which include the Protector of Earthrealm, representing he is a character fighting for good.

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Triborg – MKX (Cyrax Variation)

25. Cyber Sub-Zero

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Cyber Sub-Zero – MK9

Cyber Sub-Zero, unit LK-52O, in MK9 was put in place instead of Cyborg Smoke. After his transformation he was of course evil but regained his good nature thanks to help of the Earthrealm warriors. Not too much can be said about Cyber Sub-Zero, except for the fact that after being reprogrammed in MK9, he is sent “undercover” to acquire information from Shao Kahn’s plot. This was a good plan that Stryker came up with, illustrating his strong law enforcement background. Shortly after speaking with Sektor, Sektor states that he has scanned Cyber Sub-Zero’s “neural-net, 5-2-0” and he then states that his “neuromodulators have been recalibrated” and Cyber Sub-Zero punches him away. The two engage in combat with Cyber Sub-Zero emerging victorious and acquiring information from Sektor’s unconscious form.

With this newly acquired information, Cyber Sub-Zero heads to the graveyard where he sees Noob Saibot and Quan Chi developing a soulnado. Noob Saibot sees and confronts him. At this point, Cyber Sub-Zero realizes that Noob Saibot is his older brother (Bi-Han). Noob rejects that they are brothers, stating that although they may share blood, they are not brothers. After their fight, Cyber Sub-Zero states that they are no longer brothers, after defeating Noob Saibot. He is seen fighting for the Earthrealmers at the climax of the game and ultimately suffering the same fate of many Earthrealm warriors at the hands of Sindel.

In MKX, he is seen back as Sub-Zero in his human form as Quan Chi captured his soul and eliminated his cybernetics citing that they are not strong enough. He is a revenant until Raiden is luckily able to restore his soul and he finds himself for most of the game rebuilding the Lin Kuei and serving as it’s Grand Master – helping the Earthrealm fighters. He is also represented as a variation within Triborg.

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Triborg – MKX (Sub-Zero Variation)

26. Smoke/Cyber Smoke

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Smoke – MK9

Thomas Vrbada, better known as Smoke is an Earthrealm and former Lin Kuei warrior. Originally from Prague, the capital city of the European country Czech Republic; he was introduced to fans in Mortal Kombat II. He was first a playable character in Mortal Kombat 3, as a cyborg. He was first seen in Mortal Kombat II as a secret/hidden character, occasionally peeking out of trees in the Living Forest while players fought Reptile. After he and Sub-Zero received word that the Lin Kuei was making the Cyber Initiative compulsory, they fled and although Sub-Zero escaped, Smoke did not and he was transformed. As a cyborg, he is unit LK-7T2 and was the third member of the clan to be forcefully transformed into a cyborg. Eventually, he was restored to his human form, including his memories.

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Cyber Smoke – MK3

He has special abilities that, one can obviously identify from his name, allows him to transform into a wisp of smoke. With no memory of his childhood, he does consider the younger Sub-Zero (Kuai Liang) to be his brother. His MK9 ending states that after defeating Shao Kahn, his death shook memories of Smoke’s early life. It is said he was abducted by a cult and was meant as a sacrifice to a demon. After being burned alive, he returned to the mortal world as an “enenra”, a term I will define in the next paragraph. Those who captured him were helpless as he, in a fit of rage, destroyed them all. After killing them, he felt avenged and returned to his human form. At this point, he is fully aware of his identity and understands he more than just an assassin.

Considering Raiden was unable to save his soul and restore him at the end MK9, he is currently (in MKX) a revenant known as “Enenra”. The term enenra loosely means “a being formed of smoke and vapour”. 

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Enenra (Smoke) Revenant – MKX

He is also a cyborg in the game as Triborg. I do not like to dwell on the fact that a good character like Smoke is now evil, all because of someone I dislike with a passion; Quan Chi.

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Triborg – MKX (Smoke Variation)

27. Triborg

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Triborg – MKX

I want to quickly touch on Triborg as he represents the Cyborgs in MKX. Prior to his demise, the Lin Kuei grand Master had all of his members participate in tests. These tests, although unknown to its members, were all recorded and their results/data was stored in an undisclosed location. After infiltrating the Lin Kuei base, the Special Forces found this piece of data and attempted to process it at their Special Forces Lab. While testing, the consciousness of Sektor, Cyrax, Smoke (as he was cyber) and Cyber Sub-Zero all merged together to create what we know as Triborg. Once conscious, he killed all those at the Special Forces lab and has a mission of destroying all human and organic life. Needless to say, he wants to re-establish the Cyber Initiative and have all participate. Although I am a big Triborg fan, I am a little confused by the name Triborg. Tri, meaning three, but four cyborgs merged during the processing. Considering four of the cyber warriors merged, Triborg can replicate all of their fighting styles, including abilities. Either way, I do like the character and the name and am glad to see the Cyborgs still involved (as they should be) in Mortal Kombat.


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