The Power of Intent.

A man put his arms around my neck and brought me to the ground over the weekend. He didn’t mean to hurt me. He thought he was challenging me. He thought that with my skill and experience that the lesson of being attacked from behind was a good lesson. The intention: teach me to never have […]

Authentic

When my son was finishing 4th grade he was assigned to a teacher who got married and switched districts over the summer. We waited, then we got the letter introducing us to his 5th grade teacher: Douglas Elder. I did what any self respecting mother would have done, I googled him, and this is what I […]

Behavior Management IV

Can you believe he is back? I was wrong; so wrong about my assumptions. He missed 2 weeks because of summer scheduling. He is doing SO WELL in class. He is listening to directions. He recalls expectations and responsibly does what he is supposed to do when he is supposed to do it. Do I […]

What is Kata?

Every Karate school has forms that they study. Kihon(s) are basic movements, in our school we would call them combinations. But Katas are more complex, they involve blocks, strikes and kicks as well as proper stances and turns. They are choreographed and must be memorized. Each belt rank has certain katas that are part of the […]

Loser Circles

The key to keeping excitement in class is not in creating new things, but making the old things have new life. Why Hula Hoops? One summer I was teaching Karate and radKIDS at the Paris Elementary day camp. They had lots of amazing activities for the kids to do all day long. A dance instructor friend […]

Sparring: It’s NOT What you DO, It’s What you SEE.

One of the benefits of being the old dog in the room is that you have SEEN it all before. Specifically, thousands of front kicks have come my way; left side, right side, front leg (Sensei John), back leg. Probably more round house kicks, and twice as many punches: high, low, middle, straight punch, reverse punch, […]

What is Bunkai?

Bunkai is an analysis; used to deconstruct the inner workings and to create a deeper understanding of Kata. What is Kata? Katas are complex. They involve blocks, strikes and kicks as well as proper stances and turns. They are choreographed and must be memorized. Each karate belt has certain katas that are part of the requirement of the […]

Learn Karate. Have Fun. Stay Longer.

We make our practice videos FUN for Three Reasons. 1. That is the way we teach. 2. Most other videos are either violent or boring. 3. If we can keep kids interested; they will last long enough to teach great life lessons. Like our live classes; we quickly demonstrate and explain our techniques, then we […]

Always Praise Effort. Never Praise Ability.

Dr. Carol Dweck wrote, Mindset, and in it she outlines many examples of why building a culture based on effort is far superior to one based on ability. I used to tell the really gifted kids how great they were, but that creates a handicap they may never overcome. Just because a child learns forms […]

Grappling is NOT Self Defense

  I really hate it when big guys try to tell me, a 5 foot 5 inch woman, that joint manipulation and arm bars are self defense. Maybe for you. But not for me. Joint locks are fun to learn. They teach incredible body knowledge; exposing strong and weak ways to link wrists, arms and […]