By Spice Williams-Crosby, BSc, MFS
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Posted: 13 January 2005

I met Sensei Cecil Peoples years ago when I was just starting out in Martial Arts. He was my hero then and he still is today. He's a great guy with a great sense of humor, whose classes and privates are beyond a challenge. On one hand he's tough as nails, but on the other, he's a pussycat quick to share his wisdom, techniques, and experience. I love his classes. They empower me as a martial artist.

Sensei Cecil to me (however Master Peoples to the world) has become one of the most recognizable and respected names in the sport of kickboxing and Karate. Starting out at a very young age, his journey has lasted more than thirty-five years and he's still going strong. In 1970, Sensei was awarded his first-degree black belt.

I don't think too many people would argue that Master Peoples is the foremost kickboxing expert in the United States, not to mention that he holds an eighth-degree black belt in Karate. His skills are based off power and speed, his focus on respect for the arts and discipline for spiritual advancement. Outside of his notoriety from countless tournaments and exhibitions worldwide, he has been featured in hundreds of martial arts magazines. In January of 1997, Black Belt Magazine awarded Sensei with the "School of the Month Award" in honor of his integrity, service to his community, and impeccable teaching skills.

One of the greatest honors bestowed upon Master Peoples was to be inducted into the Karate Hall of Fame. To his further credit, he has more than twenty-five world champion students internationally, taught thousands of students nationwide, and has personally awarded more than fifty black belts to martial artists at varying levels. In July of 2003, Master Peoples was also inducted into the Martial Arts History Museum's Martial Arts Hall of Fame.

Over the years, Master Peoples has trained with the best of the best, including Benny "The Jet" Urquidez, Mike Stone, Sensei Bill Ryusaki, Bill "Superfoot" Wallace, Peter "Sugar Foot" Cunningham, Don "The Dragon" Wilson, Kathy "The Punisher" Long, and Maurice Smith.

One would think that nothing could stop or take this man down. But in 2001, it finally happened. Outside of the usual aches and pains associated with martial arts training, Sensei began experiencing impotency. At first, he thought it might be from the nighttime medicine he was taking for a cold. Sometimes those medications can affect not only how you feel about having sex, but also how you perform sexually. His doctor prescribed Viagara, but it didn't work. He eventually went for tests and found out his testosterone levels were unusually low. When Sensei spoke with the doctor about it, he explained to him that without the right amount of testosterone the human body begins to suffer.

Testosterone plays a key role in the development of our skin, organs, muscles, bones, sex drive, and energy levels. Men have more of it than women, but when male levels drop below 200 ng/dl, there is generally a reason for concern. Experts tell us that the normal level of male testosterone ranges from the low 200's to more than 1200 ng./dl. I believe that for peak health, men should range between 500 ng/dl and 1000 ng/dl. Sensei Cecil's testosterone levels were at 57! There clearly was a problem. More tests had to be done, including an MRI to see what was going on in his brain.

Sensei Cecil has always been a busy man. Outside of being one of the top Senseis at the House of Champions in Van Nuys, California, he teaches, has privates, referees for the CA, NV, CO, and NJ Athletic Commissions, King of the Cage competitions, and the Gladiator Challenge. Sensei didn't want to hear what he heard on his way to a fight one day. His doctor told him that he had a nine-millimeter brain tumor on the pituitary gland (the master gland that controls the functions of the other endocrine glands). The pituitary gland is about the size of a pea and is located at the base of the brain. It has three sections or lobes known as the anterior, the intermediate, and the posterior, each lobe producing particular hormones that are necessary for life.

Hormones act sort of like little "FedEx" agents delivering extremely important chemical messages to the rest of the body. These hormones include testosterone to control body changes at puberty and also sperm production, prolactin for milk production, ACTH to stimulate the adrenal glands, TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) to stimulate the thyroid gland, FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) to stimulate the ovaries and testes, LH (luteinizing hormone) to stimulate the ovaries or testes, MSH (melanocyte stimulating hormone) to control skin pigmentation, ADH (antidiuretic hormone) to increase absorption of water into the blood by the kidneys, and oxytocin to contract the uterus during childbirth and stimulate milk production.

As Sensei Cecil thought about what his doctor had told him, he actually had to pull off to the side of the road. "Brain Surgery? Their gonna cut my head open and operate on my brain!!!" But like every other challenge in Sensei's life, he tackled it head on (no pun intended) and went forth with what he had to do. Especially since his doctor told him that if he didn't have this surgery, he would eventually go blind and die. That was not an option for him, and he later learned that the surgeon would be able to go up through his nose and not have to cut his head open. Being 52 years-old at the time and full of life, there was no way Sensei was going to be brought down by a silly little tumor. So the scary process began with the endocrinologists, the 24-hour urine samples, and dealing with the cold and indifferent doctors that were incredibly insensitive to his concerns and fears. On August 24, Sensei entered Holy Cross Hospital for a nine-hour surgery, and I'm happy to say the operation was a success and the tumor was excised clean away from the gland.

That being said, when this nightmare began, I had to ask myself why something like that would happen to Sensei. After all, no cancer ran in his family. I couldn't figure it out until my dojo was hosting a Smoker this year at which Sensei was judging. As I looked over at the girl bringing him something to drink, I noticed that it was a popular diet soda. I was horrified. I've spent over ten years researching these poisonous substances and I finally put two and two together. You see, diet soda has ASPARTAME that damages the body's nervous system and suppresses the formation of male hormones. In fact, early studies on aspartame showed testicular tumors and atrophied testes in men, a clear sign of how this destructive substance can break down the line of communication between the penis and brain. Sensei Cecil and I went nose to nose on this issue until I convinced him to never again touch anything with artificial sweeteners in it. Now he's back at the dojo, stronger than ever, and I want him to stay that way.

I've been studying nutrition for over 18 years, heading towards my PhD, and I can tell you that my research has shown that Aspartame becomes a deadly poison at 86 degrees Fahrenheit (a scary thought when you stop to think that the human body has a core temperature of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit). Aspartame also releases a pleasant little thing called methanol (aka wood alcohol) during the digestive process (specifically when it comes in contact with the digestive enzyme chymotrypsin). Chymotrypsin then converts to formaldehyde, which in turn, converts to formic acid, a well-known insect poison. It's even a scarier thought when you realize that formic acid is used as an activator to help strip off epoxy and urethane coatings. Aspartame eventually breaks down into diketopiperazine (DKP), a known brain tumor agent.

Continued use of Aspartame has very slow, long-term, damaging effects on the human body. It may take one year, five years, ten years, even forty years, but the evidence is pretty clear -- use Aspartame and you're asking for trouble. And we're talking about damage to the body that is sometimes reversible, but sometimes not. The truth of the matter is, Aspartame was never and cannot be proven to be safe, nor can it be an effective diet aid since the formaldehyde it produces stores up in the body's fat cells, making matters worse. Even the National Soft Drink Association presented a 30 page protest in the 1980's that stated Aspartame was unstable, and that it depleted serotonin, the very component that gave their diet-conscious customers the "full feeling" that they were looking for. And up until 1981, Aspartame wasn't fully approved. Why? Because the FDA knew it caused brain tumors and seizures in lab animals.

The formaldehyde that Aspartame produces is a deadly neurotoxin and a known carcinogen, causing retinal damage, interference with DNA replication, and birth defects. Why would anybody want to put this stuff into their bodies?! Simply because it has no calories?!!! Outside of the long list that the FDA has put together pointing out the symptoms and adverse reactions that people have to Aspartame (including abdominal pain, brain cancer, chest pains, fatigue, hypertension, impotency, migraines, numbness, rashes, seizures, tremors, vision loss, weight gain and death), this man-made chemical also mimics symptoms or worsens diseases such as fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, lupus, diabetes, Alzheimer's, ADD, lymphoma, and severe depression. This means, of course, that you could be treated for one of these diseases and not even know that it just might be an aggravated or adverse reaction to Aspartame.

History has shown us that government approval does not always indicate 100% product safety. Think about all the prescription drug recalls that have occurred over the last thirty years. Intentional or not, in the case of Aspartame, the FDA has made a huge mistake and approved a product that can be fatal to those who use it as provided by law. For more information, please go to:

Start thinking smart. Don't subject yourself to possible brain tumors and other maladies like Sensei Cecil did. Remember that you are what you eat. If you eat poison, no matter how small the daily amounts, you are poisoning yourself. Arm yourself with education. Help your family and friends by telling them to STOP using foods and beverages containing Aspartame.

Sweeteners To Use:

Stevia **
Barley Malt
Evaporated Cane Juice
Fruit Juice
Rice Syrup
Agave Necter
Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) **
Licorice Root

**Perfect for diabetics

Sweeteners To Avoid:

Sucralose (Splenda)
Refined Sugar
High Fructose Sweeteners

FDA list of 92 aspartame-related symptoms:

Abdominal Pain, Anxiety Attacks, Arthritis, Asthma, Asthmatic Reactions, Bloating, Edema (Fluid Retention), Blood Sugar Control Problems (Hypoglycemia or Hyperglycemia), Brain Cancer (Pre-approval studies in animals), Breathing Difficulties, Burning Eyes or Throat, Burning Urination, Can't Think Straight, Chest Pains, Chronic Cough, Chronic Fatigue, Confusion, Death, Depression, Diarrhea, Dizziness, Excessive Thirst or Hunger, Fatigue, Feel Unreal, Flushing of Face, Hair Loss (Baldness) or Thinning of Hair, Headaches/Migraines, Hearing Loss, Heart Palpitations, Hives (Urticaria), Hypertension (High Blood Pressure), Impotency and Sexual Problems, Inability to Concentrate, Infection Susceptibility, Insomnia, Irritability, Itching, Joint Pains, Laryngitis, "Like Thinking in a Fog", Marked Personality Changes, Memory loss, Menstrual Problems or Changes, Migraines and Severe Headaches (Trigger or Cause From Chronic Intake), Muscle spasms, Nausea or Vomiting, Numbness or Tingling of Extremities, Other Allergic-Like Reactions, Panic Attacks, Phobias, Poor Memory, Rapid Heart Beat, Rashes, Seizures and Convulsions, Slurring of Speech, Swallowing Pain, Tachycardia, Tremors, Tinnitus, Vertigo, Vision Loss, Weight Gain.

Aspartame Disease Mimics Symptoms or Worsens the Following Diseases:

Fibromyalgia, Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Parkinson's Disease, Lupus, Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS), Diabetes and Diabetic Complications, Epilepsy, Alzheimer's Disease, Birth Defects, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Lymphoma, Lyme Disease, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Panic Disorder, Depression and other Psychological Disorders.

This article was written by Spice Williams-Crosby, BSc, MFS (,,

Note from Dr. Betty Martini:

Class Action/brain tumors/seizures/blindness or eye deterioration Send your case history with contact information to Keith Silverstein, Attorney-At-Law. Email Send copy to Dr. Betty Martini,

Dr. Betty Martini
Mission Possible International
9270 River Club Parkway
Duluth, Georgia 30097