Thursday, February 18, 2016

Things I want work on in my next class

Two Man Fist Set
Wrist and other joint locks
Falling
Take down techniques 

The order of the last two is important. 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Butterfly Swords

So I've got a few years of butterfly sword work in.  Now to start teaching a form to some of my students. 

Monday, April 06, 2015

A note on uniform sizes

Just a note on “traditional” martial arts uniforms.   I’ m not under the “bell” in their sizing curve.


To get a uniform that fits without tailoring, I wear a size 7 top and size 5 pants.  


Thursday, February 05, 2015

New Class

My teaching schedule has changed.

I'm now running the Adult Black Belt Classes.

I've done Black Belt only classes before and they are fun.  Especially when you have Sandan & Yondan's in the class.  

You can go deeper into concepts and principles, which is way cool.

Spend most of last class digging into Swift Tigers with the upper ranks.  

The lower ranks were analyzing each other doing Six Kata.  A good skill for them to develop.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Eight hands of the Leopard

One of the other black belts at the school (Tom) found this technique.

I like it.  Interested in your opinions.



I like that the opening block is counted in the "eight hands."  That fits with my "blocking is striking, striking is blocking" mantra.

Monday, April 07, 2014

I hope this isn't one of your students

I really hope this isn't one of your students.

First off, I've got over three decades of active martial arts experience as well as a similar amount of time in the computer networking field.  I've been on line longer than the existence of the WWW, and have been active on various martial arts forums over that time.  I've hosted and updated the Kempo/Kenpo FAQ since the early 90s, and have a Kempo blog I infrequently update. Over the decades of doing research for the FAQ, I've communicated with system founders, system inheritors, and senior Masters.  Who have been, with few but notable exceptions, extremely polite and well spoken.  

Then you get the trolls.  For example, here is an email exchanges I had right after I got home from work today.

Random person with  a gmail account (RPwaGA): "What about Kempo system x?"    [names withheld to protect other people associated with that system]

My reply: "Tell me about.  Is there a web site with data on it you recommend?"

RPwaGA: "Google"

My Reply: "Let me guess.  You don’t work in marketing."

RPwaGA: "Nope. But I am not going to do your research for you. Unless of course you pay me."

My Reply: "So you want me to do the research to promote your system and you’re talking about me paying you?
You don’t have a sales background either. :-)"

RPwaGA: "You wrote an online article. If you are not going to list one of the oldest kempo arts around, then your article is not only biased, but inaccurate."

-------
These is where I refer to two old Internet terms, "Killfile" and "Plonk."
My background is on line.  A good chunk of my research is on line.
As I've said, I've contacted, and have been contacted by, system founders and other heads of systems, and for the vast majority of them, have had very pleasant, informative conversations on various styles of Kempo.

This person brings none of that to the table.  No history, no background, no common courtesy, just rudeness, insults, and, as the Star Trek nerds say, he has "no guramba."

Seriously, rec.martial-arts had 13 year olds with a Sailor Moon fetish who troll better.


I hope this is not a student of anyone on this forum.  If he is, please have a quiet talk with him about common courtesy and respect.  It's been my experience that those are goals most martial arts should strive for.

Monday, July 01, 2013

Jim Kelly, R.I.P.

I just found out that Jim Kelly died yesterday of cancer in San Diego.

Jim Kelly, best known for his role as Williams in Enter the Dragon, was a martial arts instructor before he started doing movies.  He also had a successful career as a tennis pro after his film career.

I own some of his other movies, including Black Belt Jones and Black Samurai.  Excellent martial artist, a much better actor than his B-Movie career gave him credit for, and from what I hear, a gentleman to his last breath.

Friday, May 03, 2013

Nothing like a nice piece of hickory...

One of the black belts at our studio found a place that makes really wooden Japanese weapons from Appalachian Hickory. It's Kingfisher Woodworks.

In addition to the really nice and appropriately priced finished weapons, they occasionally sell 1 inch diameter staffs, about 56" in length.  These staffs are not up to their high standards, so they are selling those for only $8.

The fact that these staffs are 56" long has an interesting side benefit.  Cut them in half and you have two 28" long sticks.  The standard lengths for Escrima sticks is 26" to 28".  So for $8, plus shipping, you can have some really nice solid hickory Escrima sticks.  A nice step up from rattan.

Tom, the instrutor who found them, ordered a staff for each of the other instructors at the school.  I've got mine and will be cutting it and sanding the two resulting sticks smooth.

I'll post pictures of the process.

Here is picture #1.  A 56" length of Hickory.

Picture #2.  Cut it into two 28" sticks.  One is 3-5 mm longer than the other, but I'm not sure I want to bother evening them out.  They got a light sanding with 300 grit sandpaper first and then 800.  After I took this picture, they got a light coating of lemon seed oil.


I'll give them another dose of lemon seed oil after I buy some more.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Joe Lewis, Kempo Black Belt

I have a copy of Circle of Iron on Blu-Ray, and IMHO, the best feature is a thirty minute interview with Joe Lewis.  While stationed in Okinawa during his stint in the US Marines, Joe Lewis earned three  Black Belts in three different systems, including Okinawan Kempo.

He also had some interesting statements on why he got called in to reshoot most of the fight scenes after the principle photography was shot.

I like the movie, but the Joe Lewis interview really is the best part of the Blu-Ray release.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Twin Tigers Academy

Earlier in the year, I was out on the left coast and stopped by the Shaolin Kempo school my nephew studies at.  It's the Twin Tigers Academy of Self Defense in Brentwood, CA.

I had a good chat with the head instructor.  He is an old Shaolin Kempo guy who studied with Charles Materra, so our lineage is really similar.

If you are out that way, and are looking for a good Kempo school, stop by Twin Tigers!



Monday, May 07, 2012

Footwork

"Firm footwork is the fount from which springs all offense and defense."


-- Fencing Master Giacomo diGrasse, 1570


Good Advice for any Martial Artists

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Good interviews for Kempo people

I've been listening some of the Martial Arts Lineage Project podcasts and there are two with Kempo instructors.

The first was with Senior Grandmaster George Pesare, the man who brought Kempo to the East Coast.  Grandmaster Pesare was Nick Cerio's Kempo instructor and the first person to promote Cerio to Black Belt. A lot of good "no shit, I was there" history in this interview.

The second was with Shihan John James. Shihan James was a personal student of the late Grandmaster Nick Cerio and was one of the people selected by Cerio to be on the Board of Directors of Cerio's Kenpo after Cerio's death in 1998.  I exchanged several emails with Shihan James around that time.  He was always polite and very much a gentleman of the old school.  That came across in this interview.

I recommend listening to them both.