September 5

Kim Aldus Performs Self-Defense Routine and Slip Set

Kim Aldus is a tremendous martial artist.

She’s thoughtful, patient, and she operates with precision.

But in this video, she shows her vicious side.

Mrs. Aldus performed this series of self-defense techniques as part of a routine at the Martial Arts for St. Jude demo held in August. In it, she shows defenses against chokes and grabs, and she even demonstrates some cane techniques.

A few weeks later, she demonstrated a slip set of various locks and holds on Mr. Landrew Olson at the Share the Martial Arts camp.

Martial artists around the country have taken note of Mrs. Aldus’s skills, having performed demos and seminars in Wisconsin and Florida, among other places. I’d definitely like to get her on The Martial Arts Podcast sooner rather than later.

If you dig the videos, share this post! Give them a thumbs up, while you’re at it!

August 29

Ty Campos Shows Kali Drills, Disarms and Chokes

As an instructor, I think it is important to remember what it’s like being a student.

That, and my first-ever martial arts instructor instilled in me to “never stop learning and seeking new knowledge.”

That’s why I keep attending new seminars with new instructors. Often times, the ideas are similar, but their methods and techniques are wildly different.

In July, my friend Mr. John Morrow of Morrow’s Academy of Martial Arts in Moline invited me to a seminar being taught by one of his former students, Ty Campos.

Ty didn’t go into his background much, but it was clear to me he was very proficient in using single- and double-stick techniques. I enjoyed his drills and have been practicing them on my own since this event.

A sampling of what Ty taught during his seminar have been assembled in the medley video below.

A three-hour won’t let anybody work anything in depth, but it was great to see just how broad and even how deep some of these techniques can go.

Thanks to Mr. Morrow for bringing Ty Campos to his school. And thanks to the people I worked with for being my partners.

If you like the video, share it and give it a thumbs up!

August 20

Team Forms from Share The Martial Arts

It’s been a busy several weeks for me, and I’ve got a lot of video coming your way!

We’ll start with this past weekend, when I was in Chetek, Wisc., for Brown’s Karate Academy’s annual Share the Martial Arts summer camp.

The weekend was filled with seminars (some footage will be available later).

On the last day, the campers split into four teams. Each team then had to compose and perform their own unique form in less than an hour.

Mr. Leland Brenholt combined techniques from all the members of his group, The Laughing Buddhas, to create Many Roots.

I was in Mr. Stefan Stein’s group. I learned he’s done mega team form competition, with dozens of people performing the same form at the same time. We stuck to a common form pattern and fairly basic techniques for many martial artists.

Mr. Aldus also stuck to a basic pattern for his students, and composed a fantastic blend of a variety of maneuvers into a form called “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Panda.”

Mr. Jeff Borchardt’s team performed one of the most unique and entertaining team forms I’ve ever seen, complete with Zumba moves and a backflip.

Each team won first in their division.

July 22

Martial Arts Demo for St. Jude in Peoria August 2

I will be participating in a demo for Martial Arts for St. Jude in Peoria on Saturday, Aug. 2 at St. Paul Baptist Church on Forrest Hill Ave.

Martial Arts for St. Jude demo Aug. 2Metamora Martial Arts students are welcome to attend, too, as are family members.

The seminar lasts from 9-12, and will include several USA Martial Arts Hall of Famers, including:

  • Dexter Parker,
  • Eddy Parker,
  • Steve Aldus,
  • Kim Aldus,
  • Robert Adell, and
  • Vera Harrison.

Admission to the event is $7 – additional donations are also encouraged – and all proceeds will go directly to St. Jude.

This demo is sponsored by Trinity Training Center and SOCA School of Combative Arts.

St. Jude demo 2013

Sensei Adam (2nd from left) as part of last year’s St. Jude demo

July 18

Book Review: Simplified Tai Chi Chuan

Overall, I enjoyed Simplified Tai Chi Chuan: 24 Postures with Applications & Standard 48 Postures (Revised).

After many years of reading books on Okinawan martial arts, it’s refreshing to learn new information from the Chinese martial arts, and it’s enlightening to corroborate information between the two styles.

To me, the first three chapters were the most beneficial of this book. That almost seems contradictory, since the final two chapters are dedicated two the 24 postures with applications and the 48 postures.

I’ll explain why.

First of all, the history and philosophy of martial arts are always interesting to me. Dr. Liang and Mr. Wu do it in a way that’s different from another prolific YMAA writer, Dr. Yang, but effective, nonetheless.

I found their explanation of yin and yang very beneficial, explained to me in a way that resonated with me that hadn’t before. Additionally, they goes into detail about the five element theory, which I also benefitted from.

Dr. Liang and Mr. Wu go to great length to suggest the proper body movements and breathing for tai chi chuan practice.

Finally, they provides a number of stretches and qigong exercises, adding to my growing library of them.

As the authors say, “it is never an easy task to learn from a book.”

I would agree. They provide great information for body awareness and positioning as you’re in the postures, but I take issue with some of the applications here. I would prefer to see principles of movement taught by tai chi chuan as opposed to the selected applications that are in this book.

There are two people in this book: White and Gray. White is always attacking Gray, and Gray is always showing you the applications of the moves.

Except White’s punches often look very much like a traditional karate-ka’s, a position that is often criticized. It’s something I’m to move myself and my students away from in karate for the purposes pointed out in that link.

Two, some of Gray’s defenses seem awfully contrived.

For example, in the second application of Wave Hands Like Clouds, White attacks with a simultaneous punch and a kick. I don’t watch a lot of UFC, but it’s the closest thing to actual street fighting I see. And I don’t see a lot of simultaneous punches and kicks.

Further, White often appears to have the ability to throw a second punch when Gray completes his initial defense. Some moves, in particular, suggest Gray moving directly into the line of White’s attack.

This means one of a couple of things.

One, the pictures were taken for one of the earlier editions of the book.

Two, the authors are showing very basic interpretations.

Three, a combination of both.

Whatever the case, there is a DVD available to accompany the book (as is with most YMAA publications).

To give you a preview of what the moves look like, YMAA has selected a few videos to watch on their site.

What’s more, they’re great at giving you a PDF excerpt.

Pick up this book if you’re serious about tai chi, but work the applications with an instructor you trust to help you decide whether you think these will work for you.

Full disclosure: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review.

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