Monday, July 06, 2009

Back to teaching

I haven't been teaching very much the past couple of months. I was taking another class that met on the same night I usually teach.

Tonight, it's back to my regular class and I'm looking forward to it. I really enjoy teaching and it's a great way to refine your technique as well.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Recent Black Belt Test

MetroWest Martial Arts and Wellness in Westborough, MA recently held another Black Belt test.

I was one of the people giving the test. It's only been three years since my last test, so I'm good for awhile. :-)

The test went well and the folks going for Shodan & Nidan really shined.

In case any of my dear readers are still spreading that myth about belts slowly getting dirtier over time until the advanced students belts were black, here is the true history of using colored belts for ranking.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Basics, basics & more basics

If you are a martial arts instructor, and just don't know what you are going to cover in your next class, here is a good suggestion.

Basics, basics and then more basics.

The basics are the core, the foundation you build more advanced techniques from.

You get more power from a good punch thrown from a solid stance than you do from a good punch made while off balance (OK, you Drunken Monkey stylists are an exception, but then you practice a lot to do that).

Practice, practice and more practice. You want to be able to hit that nerve bundle with that Leopard Paw strike in a fight, then you have to practice punching over, and over again.

There are all sorts of cool and fun drills to do to keep things interesting, but it all comes back to the basics.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Customizing Kempo

One of the basic principles of teaching Kempo is that Kempo changes to fit the student.

This doesn't mean you don't have to learn the basics. It means that as an instructor, you should modify techniques you teach to fit the student.

A petite female who weighs 110 pounds soaking wet is going to have a different fighting style than a 200 pound man a foot or more taller.

There are differences beyond the obvious size and weight difference. They have a very different center of balance. The man will generally have much more upper body strength. Then there is overall social conditioning that the different genders gets.

You want to successfully teach women and young girls in your school, you will need to understand these differences and be able to adjust your teaching style for each different kind of student you have.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Sixth Law of Kempo

Law of No Block

Kempo emphasizes economy of movement and economy of time. Kempo's no block principle teaches to avoid being struck by a punch or kick, you should move your body out of harm's way. As one of my old Saber coaches use to tell me, "It's all about controlling timing and distance."

In other words, a block is a wasted move because it does not stop your opponent from attacking again with their free limbs. It is much better to move out of the way and simultaneously counterattack.

This is a fairly complex concept to implement correctly. So I teach beginners to block.:-) Once they have a better understanding of the art, I introduce this concept.

Kempo has multiple systems of just blocks, but note that the more advanced onces involve traps, redirects and body movement (Next time you watch a Master do one of the blocking systems, pay attention to the movement of their spine.)