Combat Immersion

  Six Instructors. Thirty-six Students. Multiple styles of martial arts: Karate, Kung Fu, Jujitsu, Tae Kwon Do, and Kenpo. We put the students in the middle to evaluate our starting point. “Bow to your partner. Slow, circular sparring with both people attacking and both people defending.” I said. They sparred and switched people a few times in ten minutes, […]

Middle Ranks

Dr. Seuss called it The Waiting Place, in Oh, the Places You Will Go! In Karate, we call it Blue Belt Blues. White Belts are Emotional and Excited. Yellow Belts are Arrogant. Blue Belts are Creative. They know that they are a little better than the cocky yellow belts, and yet, hopefully, we have humbled them […]

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 […]

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, […]

Kids and Sparring I (Short)

Should Kids Spar? Yes How about Little Kids? Sure, in a safe and well supervised way. Big Kids? Absolutely Is it scary? Sometimes. Is there crying? Occasionally. Is it Fun? Usually. Is it Necessary? It is the best thing we do. When can they start sparring? As soon as possible. How do we get there? Progressively.