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 12

City of Peoria: Crime Rate Down in 2013

The crime rate in Peoria is lower than it was last year, according to data released from the City of Peoria.

Violent Crimes Mostly Decrease

Crimes between people – murder, criminal sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated assault – are down 15 percent.

As you can see, the only category in which crime increased was murder, from 10 to 16, or a 60-percent increase over 2012.

Violent crimes in Peoria reflect a the downward trend seen throughout Illinois.

Property Crimes Are Down, Too

Property crimes are down 12 percent, which include burglary, theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson.

What This Means For You

The downward trend can be traced back to 2009, suggesting that Peoria is safer today than it’s been in several years.

News 25 reported that “many are giving credit to former Police Chief Steve Settingsgaard’s cornerstone program, the ‘Don’t Shoot’ campaign.”

As for martial arts students, or people who are looking to attend a martial arts school, don’t let any instructor fool you. Some martial arts instructors will use fear mongering to influence you to take their class, citing that “crime is getting worse and worse.” The more likely explanation is that crime is prevalent on the news, because as the old adage goes, “if it bleeds, it leads.”

(Also, it should be noted in that News 25 report that they say violent crime is down in Peoria. While true, overall crime is actually up 6 percent in Peoria this year as of May 2014 over the same period in previous years because of more thefts and arson incidents.)

June 4

Summer Self-Defense Seminars on the Metamora Square

Join me this summer for self-defense seminars on the Metamora square!

Every Saturday morning this summer, I will be teaching:

  1. How to enhance your awareness for maximum self-protection
  2. Self-defense techniques
  3. How to protect yourself online from cyberbullies and criminals
  4. Fitness tips and tricks
  5. Plus much more!

Saturday Self-Defense in the Square!

The structure of the class will be very informal – part workout, part Q&A, part demonstration.

Participants of all ages just need to wear some loose clothing and come with an open mind.

Please make sure to check our schedule to know whether we are having class. We will not do so in the event of rain or if Sensei Bockler will be unavailable.

May 12

4 Reasons to Join Adult Martial Arts Class in Metamora

Metamora Martial Arts is offering a weekly self-defense class for adults on Tuesdays from 6-7:30 p.m.

Find out why this is a great opportunity for you to learn karate and get in shape!

It’s Only Once a Week

Your time is valuable. That’s why the adult class is only held once a week.

For just 90 minutes a week, you’ll learn the basics of karate, allowing you to be better prepared to protect yourself should the situation arise.

You’ll Learn What You Need to Defend Yourself

I have just overhauled the basic curriculum, meaning I’ve meticulously selected what to include in the curriculum, what to leave out, and in what order the material should be taught.

You can review the curriculum here, and know that its intent is to give you the best possible means of self-protection.

You’ll Be Able to Apply It

Once you have the tools, you’ll be able to apply them in safe, controlled sparring scenarios. Sparring is a highlight for many students as we leave the theoretical cloud and get down to practical application.

Contact Metamora Martial Arts for more information on classes!

You’ll Get In Shape

A complaint I often hear about martial arts-based fitness classes is that the instructors don’t actually know martial arts. As a result, they teach incorrect movements.

Learn how to do punch and kick the right way so that if you need to, you’ll be able to.

April 13

Karate Black Belt of the Year: 2014 USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame

Martial arts seminars are like family reunions. At least, that was the atmosphere at the 2014 Martial Arts Hall of Fame in Indianapolis, Ind., this past weekend.

Sensei Bockler with the signatures of all 2014 USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame inductees

Sensei Bockler with the signatures of all 2014 USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame inductees

I myself felt like that significant other being introduced for the first time to the family. You feel like an outsider at first, because they have years of history with everybody and you’re getting to know them for the first time.

But I know at the end of the day, I’ll have walked away with stronger relationships. And that’s what keeps me going to things like this.

After a list of thank yous, I’ll give you a sneak peak at just one of my weekend’s highlights.

Coming soon, I’ll post more pictures and video in new blog posts specific to the seminars I attended. You’re going to love it!

Thank Yous

Since we didn’t get much mic time because of the scores of people receiving awards, I wanted to thank some people for this significant award.

Thank you to Steve Aldus for nominating me as the Karate Black Belt of the Year. His support and guidance is invaluable. Receiving an award is nice. But to me, the bigger rewards for what I do as a martial artist, and now as the proprietor of my own school, are twofold.

One, being recognized by an esteemed martial artist like Mr. Aldus is incredible. With all of his knowledge of martial arts and the things he’s done throughout his life, it’s a real honor for me that he thinks highly enough of me to bring me into this group.

Sifu Steve Aldus, Mrs. Aldus, Sensei Bockler

Sifu Steve Aldus, Mrs. Aldus, Sensei Bockler

The second – and most important – reward is that my students come to class every week to learn from me. As somebody mentioned in their Hall of Fame speech last night, we can’t be instructors without students. I go to things like the Hall of Fame seminars, like the a Chinese martial arts seminar, like Iain Abernethy’s seminars and more because I learn so much about my own art and style from visiting others. As a result, the students get a well-rounded martial arts education.

Thank you to Joe Chianakas for starting Metamora Martial Arts for hooking me into the martial arts back in 2003, and thank you to Dave Hawkey for continuing me to push me to get better all the time.

And thanks to my family for their support of my endeavors, and especially my parents for coming to Indianapolis for the ceremony.

The Peoria Martial Arts Scene Rocks

Sensei Bockler and Sifu Parker

Sensei Bockler and Sifu Parker

There’s no question about this. The level of martial arts talent that is in Peoria is unrivaled.

There were no less than three tables full of Peoria-based martial arts instructors and students at the Hall of Fame banquet.

One, Mr. Eddy Parker, even represented Peoria by presenting the most fun seminar of the day. I say that despite not attending about half of the events since they took place in different rooms.

However, Mr. Parker’s session kept growing and growing. It was fun, and I think people really learned something, too. I always enjoy seeing Mr. Parker’s demonstrations and seminars, and I can’t wait to share videos and some of my thoughts from his session this weekend.