Subject: Important Announcement!
This is a reminder to be Christ-like in all of your posts. If I find that there are any that get out of hand, they will be deleted. Please leave your e-mail address on all posts so someone can reach you personally. If your e-mail address is not left, your post will be deleted.
If you feel that you must debate something that someone has said, please do it privately to their e-mail. May Christ be glorified in everything we do. Thanks & God bless you.
Your brother in Christ & in the arts,
Subject: Re: Important Announcement!
Just wanted to say thank you for hosting the INCMA forum and webpage! I appreciate it. It's too bad it takes a reminder for people to be gracious to get you to post.
I'd like to suggest transferring the forum to an MSN community page. You can post messages on a message board and having a community would allow INCMA members to post pictures, events on a calendar and schedule and conduct chat sessions.
What do you think?
Subject: class marketing
How do you market your class? How do you get people in the door?
Subject: Re: class marketing
My old school, seeing a kid wear a karate jacket allowed me to walk in the door, to later join in less than a week. Later on when I was a green belt, I saw an old advertisment he placed at the bowling alley, on the back of the scoring card. He also got a good enrollment when the Power Team came to the chruch he was attending at the time. Also being in the Bible Belt, the sign on the door, that said "Where Jesus is Master" got some attention.
Where I attend now, it was a guy in Target, shopping in Target who saw
my friend from college, and they discussed biking. She then mentioned about
her other sports, karate for one, and he gave her a businss card. He was
a martial arts instructor in a small church in a small town about 13 miles
from here. I have tried to tell him I can create him a website, but he's
not interested, he's not in it for the money. In fact, he's told us, if
you have to ever put a price on the martial arts, to expand the price of
the rent of the building, and marterials needed, you distroy the martial
Subject: Re: class marketing
It has mostly been by "word-of-mouth" of students and their parents. A few have come as a result of seeing us in a demo but they usually don't last long. They tend to come in with the notion that we train like we do demos. They usually are disappointed.
Subject: Class Retention
Once you get new students in the door, how do you keep them there?
Subject: Re: Class Retention
When we first started at my old school, belts were given out quickly. Not necessarly given, but earned quickly. White belt only took two months of training, to get to yellow belt. The idea of a student receiving a New Testament Bible, the school patch, and their first certificate, encouraged them even more.
When a studnet was going from yellow belt to green belt, it took three months. But when a student was able to start sparring as yellow belt, that kept them interested even more. Also, they looked foward to being able to wear a black uniform when they get to black belt. Also, at yellow they can joint he demo team, black belt club, and if they got on the demo team, they can learn weapons early. Also they could wear a red top!
When green belt approached it took four months to get to blue. Students liked black uniforms by now, like to take up weapons, and just now got the heart into it.
I guess it was the fact of getting to do something new. After blue, a lot got restless, and some did quit, but those who stuck with it, really it paid off.
In my new school, not much is done, but contracts are signed.
You choose three, six, or nine months, pay once a month, 25.00, and train. If you back out of the contract, it's 50.00 and you can leave. So that money thing kinda does it, but for me, ti's the fact the instructor respects my rank from my previous school, and understands I want to know more. He's sincere, but pushes me to become even better.
Subject: Re: Class Retention
Being honest with them and sincere. I try to make them feel important to the class, not just another person in line. I try to give them individual attention. Learn their name quickly and the names of their family and friends that come with them. Show them that you are consistent with your beliefs. Never try to appear "better" or "smarter" than anyone just because you are the instructor. Let them see that you are "real", not someone who thinks they are something because of the color of cloth they wear around their waist.
Hope this is a help!
Subject: Re: Class Retention
I few months back I did a study of my class's rank history to help me see where the loss of my student's mainly occurs. I was able to see the following for us:
Out of all the students only
41.18% make it to yellow belt.
25.49% make it to gold belt.
14.90% make it to orange belt.
10.59% make it to green belt.
6.67% make it to blue belt.
4.71% make it to purple belt.
2.35% make it to red belt.
1.96% make it to brown belt.
1.18% make it to black belt.
It appears in our case that if I can get them to stay past their gold
belt, the chances of them going all the way are much better. After doing
this study I noticed that I was losing alot of white and yellow belts,
mainly from the kids classes. I have added more variations of exercises
into their classes to keep it fun for them. The numbers are improving as
Hopefully this is something you might look into studying for your classes.
Subject: Games in the class
For those of you that have children in the class, do you use games that keep their morale & interest up? If so, what are some of the games?
Subject: Re: Games in the class
We play a relay race. Team of 4 or so. 1st they run to the 1st kick pad and do 10 front snap kicks with each leg. Then they run to the next kicking pad and do 10 down (ax) kicks with each leg. Then they run back and tack the next team mate and then he starts.
We also play "Simon Says" using stances and blocks. Push-ups are used when they mess up.
We have all students line up in 1 line in sitting stance. The person at the end of the line crawls through each students legs and then rejoins line at the front. We save the largest kid for last (my 12 yr old son). When he goes throug he can't get under the little 5 yr olds legs and the all end up in a pile laughing. This is a good sitting stance practice.
I need some more games. Anyone have any games maybe in a circle?
Subject: Re: Re: Games in the class
Games from a circle:
1) shark bait - tori in the middle, ukes are assigned numbers (tori doesn't know numbers). Call out numbers at random and uke attacks tori in center. Do one-step/SD techs/weapon disarms. A soon as uke hits the ground call out next number. Keep pushing the shark bait to keep moving and alert for next attacker. Start with standup only and add takedowns later.
2) Multiple attacker. Similar to above but all those around circle attack at once (standup and then add takedowns). Go only 25-50% speed. Object is develop tactics - to get outside circle, escape and line up attackers, get to a door, not fighting two attackers at a time. Develop standing grappling, pivoting and footwork to use attackers as shields. Also develop commitment and INTENT to take out whoever's closest and to get away. This one's not so much a game as a drill.
3) Kids on the outside of circle. Have a person in the middle (good to have instructor do this first) swing bo staff overheads or under feet. Practice inward-outward parry and bobbing as the bo comes around at shoulder level. Practice hopping right-left, left-right emphasis on replacing foot to ground quickly, not jumping high with both feet. Change levels of bo and direction at random - sweep under feet of same student once or twice and then overhead for example. Swing towards upper part of torso to really get them to duck deep. Go from leg sweep to overhead to make them use economy of motion and not jump too high so they are able to duck quickly. This one is really fun.
4) Not in a circle but a good ones with partners - one student shoots through legs and leap frogs back over. 10 reps and switch.
5) Add wheelbarrow (ie partner holds up legs and other partner runs with arms in pushup position) to relay races that have already been mentioned.
6) Any grappling, especially from knees. And tag team with Sensei as your partner.
Subject: Re: Games in the class
We had a game simular to Davids, but in a horse stance, and the last person in line army craws under the legs, not to touch the sides, and to not use thier feet. They must use all upper arm strength to do this. It does work on the muscles for a horse stance.
We also would play stance drills in the dark, all lined up side by side, and then shut off the lights. We then would move, on instructor's count, moving foward in that stance, and see who could end up straighter. If you ended leaning in one direction, in the end, that meant your other side was just a little weaker, but could be worked on.
We also sometimes did stump the student, which wasn't a game outside karate teachings, but worked as a game as well. Students site down, instructor call on a kid, and says, do such and such, form or self defense set, and they do it. If the student doesn't know it, they sit in a hot seat, waiting to do it again. In the mean time, the kid that went first, calls on someone, and chooses something for them to do. Of course, the requirement had to be something on their belt level or below. The game goes till everyone can get it done, best to do it first. Sometimes, if a student is laughing at the stumped student, they are chosen to do something, to see if they really know their stuff even more.
Sometimes too, not as games, but for fun, we'd allow kids to tumble on the mats, such as simple techniques, such as cartwheels, tuck rolls, sholder rolls, and simular ones. Kids also loved having the long jump competition, and the high jump competition as well.
How do you work out discipline with your students, especially the young
students, and children?
My old school used to tell the child once about being disruptive, and after the second time, they were told to do ten pushups. The child would then get back in line and continue. If the student did it again, usually a game would be played at the end of class, and that student would have to sit out and not participate. We would usually do what that student liked best. Sometimes students did self-discipline during class too. What that basically meant, is if we did something, and finsished, and we did our about face, the students adjust their belts, and uniforms some of the kids who thought they didn't do their best would drop to the floor and give ten pushups and then stand back up. This was something I never saw before, but really liked it. Pushups seem to be the worst exercise, so that's why it was used more. One benifit, was stronger arms, but sore arms in the short run. Also, report card time, kids were to do ten pushups for every C and 20 pusups for every D, but not monitored. Basically he'd be in line, and said, for those of you who did good in school, congrats, those of you who didn't do your best, get them up. I want those of you who made the such and such grades do such amoutn of pushups, and be honest with yourselves. You can do it now, or at home, break it up, or do it all at once, but when you come back, next time, have them completed. So it was an honest discipline deal too, and it was amazing to see so many kids, after told to about face, drop and do their pushups.
Mr. Blackstone expected good grades, after all to be on the Demo Team you had to have all A's and B's, nothing less!
My instructor now does the discipline, usually makes you stay in a stance longer, or pushups too. For an example, this girl kept moving around, when we were standing in line, as he gave us a pep talk on not to use drugs and finally she was told to stand still, and she refused, and she had to do ten pushups. And in this school, you have to ask permission to get back up. She straignted up quickly.
What do you do for discipline? Does it work? How do you keep a child from doing it again? Do you allow people to do some type of self-discipline in class as well?
Subject: Re: Discipline
I have found it helpful if I can get a child's respect and attention early. If I let them goof off because they are new, it gets contagious and the other kids get a little unruly. For the most part I only have to tell them one time not to do something because I have laid the groundwork over the years that I don't put up with the "battle of the wills" that the kids are used to at home. There have been a couple of occasions where I had to ask a student to not come back because they consistently disobeyed me and no amount of punishment (pushups, running, demotions, etc...) was working. These were usually cases where the parents did nothing to discipline their child and as a result they had no respect for authority.
One way I have found to have the students "police" themselves is to punish all of them when someone disobeys me. Usually the students will get tired of one person causing them to get punished and will deal with it.
I hope this helps!
Subject: Starting Karate Advice
Hello again, it's me, Vicki.
My sister, who is younger, age 20, asked me the other day of why I liked the martial arts so much. She asked me to name just two things that karate has done for me in my life. I said to myself, which two of the many do I want to say, and then I spoke.
I told my sister, Lori, that Martial arts changed my life. She asked, well, that I have seen, buy why and how.
I told her that I had first of all, with the Christian atmosphere we had at my old place, that I became a stronger person, not only physically, but spirtually as well. I felt as if I could defend myself in a situation of attack, and actually would have a reason to do so. Years ago, I never liked who I was, but knew God loved me. However, that just didn't seem to be enough. When I joined under Blackstone, I began to feel the love of other students, who welcomed me into the Christian family. I met many friends, and felt wonderful.
I also overcame my asthma like symthm. I still sometimes am short of breath, but do not have to use my inhaler on a daily bases.
My sister said, so what do you think I'd benifit from it, if I chose to take it. I was shocked, because my sister who used to make fun of me for taking the martial arts, joking around like making Jackie Chan noises, and such, was actually interested in something I enjoyed so much.
Basically, I guess I am asking a question, again. The school I go to and practice now, is not in a "Christian Environment" meaning that of learning Christians teachings and such, but it is taught in a local church. I belive everyone there is a Christian, but they aren't incoporated with the martial arts. We do nothing that goes against the Christian teachings as well, which is why I don't feel bad to continue training there.
What would you tell someone who asked you what Martial arts is?
What would you tell someone who asked what has Martial arts done for you?
And what advice would you tell someone who has never taken martial arts to expect, and how to prepare?
Subject: Re: Starting Karate Advice
I like to say martial arts, in the way that I practice them, are both
a sport like hoop, tennis, soccer and an art like music, dance or writing.
They are physical and creative expression of the bodies God has given us.
I enjoy martial arts because it is growth, it is learning and changing. It is creating something uniquely yours. It is discovery and sharing something useful and fun with others. It is give and take. It teaches humility. It teaches conflict resolution. It teaches grace and forgiveness. It causes you to test your prideful motives whether you are teaching or learning. It is a challenge mentally and physically. It demands concentration, your all. Your training partners, your instructors and students become an extended family. Just the time you spend and the nature of the training forms bonds that are powerful. It allows you to show you care and gives an opportunity to share God's love with others.
I could go on and on, but I gotta go. See you guys, next week.
Subject: weight loss
My sister has been considering the martial arts, not only to lose weight,
but to get into shape. She hasn't exercised regulary in about seven years,
because that was when we moved here, and before that, physical education
class was recommended in school. She is big boned, and about 5'8, but weighs
close to 200 pounds.
She would kill me if she knew I put a forum idea on here, about her, but she is more heavy in the top than the bottom, meaning she has extra weight in the stomach and ribs area. She is a little flabby in the arms and legs too, but the stomach and rib area I am more concerned with.
I am asking if you guys know of anything to help her out. She still wants to join, I think, but she doesn't want to look out of place. I am trying to see if she can work on her endurance, but I think if she loses some weight first, she'll be able to have more. What do you think?
Do you know of any good exercises for her, I know she'll have to start out slow, but already we agreed on walking together, about a half a mile a day, for beginners, and work our way up. Anything else?
Subject: Re: weight loss
Usually the first thing I bring up with new students that come to me with a weight problem is their diet. Without a doubt, practically every person I talk to drinks more soft drinks than they do water. The sodium in the soft drinks causes them to retain water and they stay bigger. It's amazing how drinking lots of water actually flushes your system and causes you to lose weight. Most people who lay off of the Coke or Pepsi for a few weeks notice a 5 to 10 pound drop. This usually is real encouraging to them and makes them more excited about working out and getting fit. The hard part is getting them not to drink the stuff. I know it is tough for me to lay off of them. Hope this is a help to your sister!
Your Brother In Christ,
Kicks For Christ School Of Martial Arts
Subject: Re: weight loss
Seconding Stephen's advice, and add drink lots of water.
Also would highly recommmend Weigh Down Workshop by Gwen Shamblin which deals with the heart. Karate, exercise, food, recreation, internet can all be poor substitutes for what are souls really want and need and that's Jesus.
Vicki, how's your training going? Learn all your Japanese terms yet? Did you get promoted to Orange?
Subject: Student Creeds
Do you guys and gals have any student creeds or such you quote before
or after class? If so, is it something from your style of martial arts,
or is it Biblical based, or both?
Our school never had a student creed, but we always were reminded of Philippians 4:13.
My new school doesn't have a student creed, but we are always encouraged to do our best, and to not compare ourselves with anyone, but ourselves, with that of our ability.
I have had a friend tell me he will use Galatians 5:22-23 for his student creed. I like it actually. "But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfullness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such thing there is no law."
What are your ideas? I haven't yet had any come to me in my dreams, but not sure if that's just part of the dream I am missing, or what.
Subject: Re: Student Creeds
We don't have anything like a creed. We do use a class verse (Ps. 144:1) which we have on T-shirts and other stuff.
Subject: Re: Re: Student Creeds
My wife developed a student oath based on the 5 tenets of Taekwondo:
"We will honor God by being courteous, honest and self controlled. Having a heart that never gives up."
My old school had a student oath also:
"Be honest and always stand for justice. Respect and help each other. Be loyal & courteous."
Subject: Re: Student Creeds
In my clubs we don't have a creed but it is traditional to have a short meditation at the end of class. I use this time to quote a verse of something, usually scripture. I used to have a deferent saying each night but I now only change it once a term. That way it becomes sort of a memory verse.
Do any of you allow your students to compete in competitions?
If so, is it voluntary on the student's behalf, or required for progress in rank? Do you if you compete have open tounaments you go to, or do you have just closed competition for your own style, or maybe even just your own school? If you do closed tournmanets, do you have judges from the same school judge, or do you have another system judge? Do you give out trophies to all that compete, or for only certain places. Does that differ for children? How do you do your weight class? Or is it done by belt color? Do people in your competition do forms solor, or do they do it unison, if they are the same one?
I know this is a lot of questions, but I am interested in competition. I know it's good, to have the students see how they do, but can be devistating if they can not place. I know this from previous experience, because my judge said to another, eeks, she's from Blackstone's, and he beat me before. She'll place last. I ended up placing last. His four students placed first, second, third, and fourth. That to me wasn't fair. I never went to anotehr competition again, to participate, except for my own school competition, where I was in the adult women's division, becase I was 18 at the time. I ended up doing much better, placing second in forms, and first in sparring. My new school does not do competition, because he has had bad experience with them in this area as well, and he doesn't want to see students quit, because of someting like that.
Subject: Re: Competition
My students do compete about 3 times a year in RSKC and NASKA competitions (ones that are close by). My students only compete in the fighting divisions (since we don't do forms). I have students that travel to Alabama to compete on the PKC kickboxing circuit there. I have one student who recently placed first at the Bluegrass Nationals, the Battle of Atlanta, and the Southern American Championships (all of which are World Circuit tournaments). He is a very talented young man who enjoys the competition. I allow my students to compete as often as they want, many who don't even compete at all (mainly due to the cost).
We do have several in-class competitions which I give trophies and other prizes for. We have two grappling tournaments a year (spring and fall). We have two point fighting tournaments a year (summer and winter). One time a year we have a huge competition we call "Spirit Warrior". This usually is done in the summer and the student's compete in several categories (speed, strength, agility, spiritual) for the title of "Spirit Warrior". They accumulate points in each category. Student with most points wins trophy, gift certificate to Century or AWMA, and paid registration to the next tournament.
I haven't had a student quit yet because they didn't win in a competition. I do see discouragement in their faces but my student's are real good about picking each other up. I think the key is not keeping them from competition but helping them to see that they are of little importance in the big picture.
Subject: Re: Competition
I require my students to participate in 2 tournaments prior to testing for black belt. I decided on 2 because the 1st tournament they go to they may not do well or have a bad experience and decide that all tournaments will be this way and not give it another try. If they don't like it after a 2nd try then they don't have to attend any more. I believe tournaments are good for self-esteem and allows us all to guage our skills against others besides at our dojang. It also gives the students something to practice towards besides their next belt test.
We are an independant school of Taekwondo. We do belong and attend tournaments of the AAU (Amature Athletic Union). The AAU is a larg organization of about 30 different sports. Taekwondo & Karate are the martial arts included. We compete against all styles of Taekwondo. They have local, state, regional, national & jr olympics tournaments. We compete in individual & team forms, olympic & point style sparrings. They try real hard to keep the politics out.
The federation I used to be in required 6 tournaments and only sent students to their closed tournaments. Thereby keeping the money for themselves.
We have attended other tournaments besides the AAU and have had mixed results.
If you do Karate then give the AAU a try.
Subject: Jump Spin Kicks
Jump spin kicks? Are they necessary? If so, why? I have been told becuase
if you are backed into a wall, and need to gain some space foward they
are great, but is that all? If they are necessary how can you work on them
getting a jump higher, and to spin easier? Our old school had five of them:
Jump spin hook
jump spin side
jump spin inside cresent
jump spin outside cresent &
jump spin back.
In a few of our forms we used them, but for sparring, I would never use them. I wouldn't be able to aim at anything I was coming at, and also, I couldn't jump much with them. My favorite of all five, was the jump spin inside creasent kick.
I still don't see why they are called jump spin kicks, when you spin first, then jump. Maybe they should be called spin jump kicks.
Subject: Re: Jump Spin Kicks
In my style (a traditional Okinawan Karate)we don't do any jumping or spinning. Our philosophy is to be strong and well rooted(although fluent in movement). I spent time this last week with a gentleman who learned Kung Fu in a Sholin Temple for 13 years. Although he is dianamic in the air, he said his teacher taught the philosophy learn high, fight on the ground. The thing is, if a treet fight cathes you turning your back and aren't scared, they are going to grab you and start tearing you apart. It is awesome for speed and flexability, but can be dangerous on the street. It is not a "my style is better" thing, just my simple opinions...
Subject: Re: Re: Jump Spin Kicks
Are they necessary? No, of course not, neither is anything but a lowline kick and a jab-cross, some standup grappling and a few wristlock, arm bar pins. (I'm just kidding).
They are fun to do. It depends on what your goals are - if you want practical self-defense, teach your attackers to jump and spin and then dump them on their head. If you compete within a certain framework (rules) that reward the spinning kick, train them. Some sport touraments reward spinning and jumping techs more points for instance.
They develop attributes: explosive jumping, agility, timing. And they are powerful if you are willing to risk the trade-off. I saw a Kickboxing card when I was in the Phillipines 1980 in which the intro was entirely about a boxer converting over to kickboxing. Well, he came rushing out of his corner and his opponent nailed him with a jump spinning hook kick flush to the jaw. Lights out at 4 seconds into the round. So, there is a time and a place for them.
They are just like doing the splits, if you have the inclination go for it and train them. But if you have a limited time to train there are probably other things to prioritize. It's all good, besides they look cool. Don't let anyone diss you too much about them, the first ones to downplay them are the ones who can't do them .
In terms of a situation on the street, backed against a wall. I'd clear space with a low line kick, if I kick at all, not with anything that turns my back or gets me in the air. If you are in tight all they have to do is step in with their hands up and you end up on your head. Elbows, knees and headbutts are better for close-quaters. Let them punch the wall, or sweep them into the wall. Save the jump kicks for demos, exercise in class and sporting events.
Doing jump squats is good for getting more height. There are nice drills to be found in any book on plyometrics (be careful of your knees though). Add 180 spins, then 360 and 540 spins with the jumps to get the spin down. Then extend just the knees, opening up the hips. Then add the kicks. If you can jump high enough you should be able to jump first and spin in the air as you kick instead of spinning first.
Subject: Fighting Stances
How do you position yourself in a fighting stance, feet and hands position?
My old school, fighting stances were narrrow, no wider than your sholder width, one foot foward, one foot bac, knot of the belt to the side, and the back foot on it's ball.
Hand are held up, usually the back hand up to the chin, and the front hand a little higher.
My new school feet are almost like in our old back stance, in a L shape sortof, sholder width apart, feet are flat on the floor, and hand are held up high. The body is turned to the side somewhat, and the back hadn is up, almost like it's grabbing the ear, and the front hand, is almost like it's punching straight up infront of the face. Elbows are close to touching.
How do you guys do it?
Subject: Re: Fighting Stances
Our fighting stance is called a neutral bow (kenpo). The feet are positioned in a toe to heel alignment with the line coming straight from your oponent. The feet are turned at a 45 degree angle & knees bent. This will help close off the center line for us guys so we don't get kicked in the groin. :0) It helps from someone hooking their foot inside your leg & guidlining right up to the groin.
Hope this helps.
Subject: Re: Fighting Stances
We adjust our styles and stances to the particular person's skill, size, and body type. This does go back to the fact that we are an eclectic style that does not have a set stance.
Subject: Re: Fighting Stances
My particular fighting stance varies depending on the situation. I have adopted the primary stance of a modern Wing Chun based art. As a result, my legs are positioned in a sort of place of compromise, where i am allowed maximum mobility combined with maximum stability. My upper body is turned so my center line always faces the opponent.
I have no particular position for my hands, since I make sure they are constantly moving in the event of a real confrontation. I just place them within the area I would Chi Sao.
The most important element of my stance would be the basic understanding that I don't fight _in_ my stance; rather, I fight _from_ my stance.
Subject: Re: Fighting Stances
Of course I'm a Kenpo trained Martial Artist since 1973, boy am I dating myself. )
Anyway I was taught and I teach my students a fighting horse is with left or right leg back feet at about a 45 degree angle and parallel with each other. The back heel should line up with the front toes. The back hand open or closed near the chest and the front hand closed in front toward your opponent. Of course elbow bent. Chin somewhat tucked in eyes forward.
Hope it helps a bit. My word picture may not be the best. The feet also should be a little more than shoulder width. Too close good flexible state, but not a strong stance too far apart strong, but not flexible. Somewhere in between.
A Christian Brother
Mike "Major Dad" Reisman
Instructor CCKK Christian Combat Kenpo Karate
Subject: Re: Fighting Stances
In my style stances depend on strategy and we don't stick to one particluar stance. This is based on a principle called "changability."
Thus, if we plan to maneuver to the side we may take a Hsing I type stance (40% on front foot, 60% on back) with open hands in front. If we plan to attack we may put the weight on the front foot and narrow the stance. If we plan to be defensive we may take a "closed stance" with our side to the opponent. Of course none of these stances mean we will stick to one strategy.
In addition to all of these I might throw in a hook stance temporarily to allow for spinning, a low snake stance to lure the opponent in for ground work, or even open up my hands to lure the opponent by what Bruce Lee called "ABD" ("Attack By Drawing"). Hey, I can't help it--I love stances!
Subject: Re: Re: Fighting Stances
Depending on range, fighting horse or neutral bow at kicking range. Boxing stance at boxing and trapping range - hands open. Switch to either side. For knife or stick sparring, weapon hand forward 90% of the time.
Subject: Lock-in HELP PLEASE
We are planning to have a lock-in next Friday night (7/28/00). Our school
is only 1200 sq. ft. Here are some of the ideas I have so far:
Kicking & punching contest
Watch movies (Karate Kid, 3 Ninjas and maybe some others)
Video games (Martial arts fighting & the like)
Pizza & Cokes
Relay racing, Simon Says and other games.
Sock baseball & soccer
I know I need more ideas & games.
Subject: Re: Lock-in HELP PLEASE
You could try letting the students arrange skits using martial arts, like one sees in demos. You could make that a contest too... YOu might even select certain fight sequences in movies and kind of do a "fight scene kareoke".. You might introduce an entirely new technique or form at the beginning of the night and judge who has improved or learned best over night. Just a couple of ideas...
Stephen, you don't do forms? May I ask why you don't. I have been told
that forms help one with different combinations of technique, while moving
in different directions. They also help on stance practice, endurance,
and balance. I learned 23 forms from my old school, and so far have learned
eight more new forms, even though two of them are simular, since I started
this new place, and still I learn something out of it each time. They are
also good to help you know of a good strike to use, when someone tries
to attack you.
I know self defense is sometimes more realistic, but patterns do help too. I am just confused how it's martial arts without forms, but instead like kickboxing.
Sorry if I sound stupid, just confufsed, about that one. I love forms, they help me out more and more everyday!
Subject: Re: Patterns
For 16 years as a student and instructor in TKD, I learned and trained with katas for HOURS every week. You are correct, katas do help you with your stance, endurance, balance, etc... My problem arose when I was seeking to improve my skills for competition in the ring. I began training on the side at a boxers gym to help me. I noticed real quick that most of what I learned from katas did not transfer over into real combat. The katas I did used exaggerated techniques and didn't prepare me mentally for combat with another person. As a result, I began spending more and more time working out on the heavy bag, speed bag, shadow boxing, and sparring with "intensity". Within a year I began to phase out of the "traditional" martial artist mentality to that of a "practical" martial artist, always asking "Will this work?". As a TKD instructor, I began incorporating some of the training techniques of the ring into my classes. Because of this I was stripped of my black belt and shown the door. It was then that I began seeking the instruction of "non-traditional" schools.
I believe the reason most people don't see how we are "martial artists" is because they tend to put the martial arts inside a traditional "box" in their mind. If forms and katas is what defines something as a martial art, it is probably a shallow definition. Is it the method of training that makes a person a martial artist or is it their skill that makes them a martial artist? I guess that is the question we must all ask.
There are several quotes below from Bruce Lee that probably explain my thoughts best:
"Instead of facing combat in its suchness, then, most systems of martial art accumulate a "fancy mess" that distorts and cramps their practitioners and distracts them from the actual reality of combat, which is simple and direct. Instead of going immediately to the heart of things, flowery forms (organized despair) and artificial techniques are ritualistically practiced to simulate actual combat. Thus, instead of "being" in combat these practitioners are "doing" something "about" combat."
"Set patterns, incapable of adaptability, of pliability, only offer a better cage. Truth is outside of all patterns."
"If you follow the classical pattern, you are understanding the routine, the tradition, the shadow - you are not understanding yourself."
I don't know if you are familiar with his teachings but he was very radical at the time he was alive. He was not accepted as a true martial artist because he broke with tradition and began training and thinking outside the box. If you ever get a chance to read his book, "Tao of Jeet Kune Do", check it out. It might help you understand the "non-traditional" side.
Does this mean one is right while the other is wrong? Of course not.
It all boils down to what that person is seeking from their training. If
it is the "art" and "tradition" you want, your choice is easy. If it is
more "realistic" training you want, your choice is easy. There are also
good schools out there that have a good balance between the two.
I'm glad you enjoy forms and that your training is progressing well. I'm just not one that seeks the "art" aspect anymore.
I hope this helped answer any questions you might have. Feel free to ask me anything.
Your Brother In Christ,
Kicks For Christ School Of Martial Arts
Subject: Re: Re: Patterns
Stripped of your black belt?!?!?! That's lame!! That is the kind of thing that has discouraged me about the MA - the emphasis on things that are really not important. The politics, pride, etc. I really think it is a spiritual stronghold.
I love forms, I love training for combat, I like to compete. What I
hate is people judging others or putting on superior attitudes because
other people train and teach differently than they do. And this attitude
is prevalent within Christian martial artists! I confess I have my prejudices
as well. It's sad that a heathen like Bruce Lee probably had the attitude
that I respect most when it comes to viewing and approaching different
The only things we should get dogmatic about is Jesus, not punching and kicking.
Subject: The True Master
The True Master
I could be a novice white belt with God in my heart,
Or a veteran black belt with many years behind me,
Young or old training hard in the study of my martial art,
A Christian warrior reflecting Jesus for all to see.
Praying to live in peace, seeking the high ground day by day,
But skilled I am to defend my loved ones or guard what is right,
May God grant me strength and courage to fight evil along life's way,
And if I should fall in battle, I'll bow to the true Master, Jesus what
a glorious sight.
Written by Mike "Major Dad" Reisman Maj(ret)
Instructor 1st Dan Black Belt
CCKK Christian Combat Kenpo Karate
Dedicated to my fellow Christian Martial Artists all over the globe.
Subject: Re: The True Master
Very nice!! God grant us the grace to live by the power of His Spirit.
Thanks Major Dad,
Dear Brothers, The issues of getting and keeping students have been in the forefront of the questions we recieve also. Here is what we found that works in our area.
To get students print up flyers and go to your local schools. Tell them
what your program can do to help them with the "at risk" kids and ask if
they will post or pass out flyers. An example of how this works can from
the school of "Susan Moore", and "Pennington" in Blount Co. Al. who passed
out 2000 flyers which brought us 400 kids. Some kids from this area came
but they also gave the flyers to friend in other counties.
IN OTHER WORDS, GO TO WHERE THE KIDS ARE!
More later on how to keep it going
Joseph Lumpkin www.karateforchrist.com