April 2

April 2012 Newsletter – Seminar, Tournaments, PE Waiver Update, and More

I hope you’re enjoying your spring break. It’s always nice to have some time off because it makes me look forward to training even more.

While you’re off, though, please take a few minutes to read through the April newsletter.

Seminar: Steve & Kim Aldus Come April 28

The month is finally here! Mr. and Mrs. Aldus will perform an exclusive workshop for us on Saturday, April 28, from 1:30-3 at MTHS. The event is only open to high school students, adults, and selected grade school students.

In case you’ve missed the announcement, I have been practicing tai chi chuan and hsing-i chuan with the Alduses since 2010. I’m very excited for all of you to meet them, but more importantly, that we all get to learn from them. I think the connection is special – they practice arts that predated and ultimately led to the formation of Shuri-ryu karate.

One, Two, Three New Yellow Belts!

Congratulations to Samantha Barth, Andrew Nauman and William Bracero who earned their yellow belts on March 22! The rest of the students who were part of the stripe test earned an additional stripe. It was great to see so much energy, but there’s still lots of work to do to refine those techniques before earning the next full belt.

Competition Update: Adair Rodriguez Takes 3rd, Adam Bockler Takes 1st

Tournament season is underway! Joshu Adair placed 3rd at the Supreme Way Challenge in Pekin on March 10. This was Joshu Adair’s first competition as a black belt, an impressive feat in a group of five black belts who are some of the toughest forms competitors I’ve seen in this area.

I grabbed 1st place at Auvenshine’s Taekwondo 13th Annual Open Tournament in Springfield on March 17 in a division of 2nd-degree black belts ages 16 and up. This was a big goal for me to accomplish, as I’ve come up short the last three times I competed there. I did not, however, take the grand championship.

Coming Up: Moline on April 14 and Bloomington on May 19

We have two more opportunities for you to compete. Mr. Morrow hosts his Karate & Kung Fu Championships on April 14 in Moline, and Mr. Walker hosts Tournament of Champions IX in Bloomington on May 19. If you’re interested, please let Adam know as soon as possible to help guide you through registering and to help get you ready.

PE Waiver Update

Please make sure your high school student is attending class. If not, the student can only miss class for other school-related activities. If a student receiving a PE waiver is not attending class, I will make requests to Guidance for that student to be removed from the waiver. This does not mean I don’t want the student in our martial arts program. I want to make sure, however, that we are doing right by the school standards.

Additionally, I have requested that Metamora Martial Arts students not be given a PE waiver next year. I know how popular this aspect of the program has been for students over the years (myself included), but I’ve explained in detail why the PE waiver will no longer be offered on our blog: http://metamoramartialarts.com/blog/news/pe-waiver-update-and-a-stripe-test-change.

June Schedule Coming Soon

Many students and parents have asked about our summer schedule. Because many of our instructors are in college and have jobs, we are only planning one month at a time at this point. Currently, we are planning on having classes Thursday nights. From 6-7 we’ll have grade school students, and from 7-8 or 8:30 we’ll have high school students and adults.

On two Wednesday nights, brown belts and above will be invited to Mr. Hawkey’s house for a special two-hour Wednesday class.

Please stay tuned to our website at http://metamoramartialarts.com to get the most up-to-date information about our summer schedule.

Quote of the Month

Bruce Lee headshot“You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can flow or it can crash. Become like water my friend.”

I’d never studied much about Bruce Lee. But earlier in March, SpikeTV aired a really cool special called “I Am Bruce Lee” and I became hooked. There’s a lot to be said about his philosophy on the martial arts, bringing people together and finding the commonalities that all arts share, not to mention technique effectiveness.

March 5

March 2012 Metamora Martial Arts Newsletter

It’s March already – Can you believe it?

A special thanks to everyone who came out Saturday, Feb. 25, for our 10th Anniversary Celebration. We had terrific food and a great time bowling.

I also wanted to make a note to say that I’m thrilled to be the new director of Metamora Martial Arts. I have many plans going forward. But for now, I’ll keep hush.

Please sign and return contact sheets!

Our martial artists brought home a three-page sheet several weeks ago detailing the expectations we have if they want to be on the PE waiver or if they want to be promoted. Please make sure you read that, sign, and return the sheet. The sheet also has your contact information on it so you can be on our email list in case of last-minute changes or emergencies.

Special seminar with Steve & Kim Aldus – April 28, 2012

Metamora Martial Arts presents a special seminar with Mr. and Mrs. Steve & Kim Aldus on Saturday, April 28, at 1:30 in the MTHS wrestling room. Due to some of the maneuvers we’ll be learning, this seminar is open only to high school students and adults.

One thing I really wanted to do was start exposing our students to different arts. Mr. and Mrs. Aldus will be using the Chinese martial arts to help us better understand our Okinawan martial arts.

On its face, the Chinese and Okinawan martial arts may look very different. However, having studied under these knowledgeable and insightful instructors for the past 18 months, we shouldn’t be thinking about martial arts in terms of difference. Instead, what do karate and tai chi chuan have in common? As it turns out, lots!

They’ll be taking moves from our forms and showing us how we can think about them. That way, students either already know the forms, or will learn them on their way to black belt.

Stripe tests March 22 and 29

The next Metamora Martial Arts stripe tests will take place before spring break. Blue belts and under will be testing on March 22, and purple belts and above will test on March 29.

If students would like to test for their next stripe this month, they’ll need to read the requirements posted at that link. Any questions? Contact me at adam[at]metamoramartialarts[dot]com.

NOTE: This has changed.

Upcoming competitions

Spring competitions start in less than a week! This Saturday, March 10, Kosho Kai Karate hosts the Supreme Way Challenge in Pekin. On Saturday, March 17, Auvenshine’s School of Taekwondo hosts their 13th annual tournament in Springfield. Entry for one event is $40 for each tournament, plus another $5 for each additional event.

Competitions are by no means a requirement for promotion, but exposure to other martial arts help provide a better understanding of the art we study.

Quote of the month

“Nothing will work unless you do.” –Maya Angelou

Deshi Adam Bockler




February 6

February 2012 Newsletter – Metamora Martial Arts Turns 10!

It’s official

Metamora Martial Arts is 10 years old this month! I’m happy to say I’ve been a part of the program for more than eight of those years. In that time, I’ve been with us as we welcomed a blue Power Ranger, performed kata in the Atlantic Ocean at Cocoa Beach, opened three satellite programs, presented seminars and demonstrations for hundreds of people in the Peoria area, and trained dozens and dozens of students.

Thank you to everyone who has bowed with us over the past 10 years. Here’s to 10 more!

For more milestones, check out February’s “This Month in History” post.

10th anniversary party

To celebrate our 10th anniversary party, we’re throwing a potluck dinner on Saturday, February 25, from 5-8 p.m. in the study hall room at MTHS. Current students, their parents, as well as MMA alumni are welcome to attend. Please bring a dish.

Wish us a happy anniversary!

In late January, I reached out to more than two dozen Metamora Martial Arts alumni. I’ll be posting their responses on our blog as I receive them.

If you would like to wish Metamora Martial Arts a happy birthday, please email me at adam[at]metamoramartialarts[dot]com for how you can get involved.

Upcoming competitions

We’re going to competing in a few tournaments this spring, and I’d love to take a big group with us to any of the following events. The Supreme Way Challenge, hosted by Kosho Kai Karate, is Saturday, March 10, in Pekin. On Saturday, March 17, Auvenshine’s School of Taekwondo hosts their 13th annual tournament in Springfield. Entry for one event is $40 for each tournament, plus another $5 for each additional event.

In May, I’d like to attend a tournament hosted by Morrow’s Academy of Martial Arts. I’m unsure of a date, but Morrow’s tournament is another reasonably priced event located in Moline. When I receive more information, I’ll post it on our website.

We’ve done well at both tournaments before. I’ve found that our students enjoy connecting with students of other arts.

Competitions are by no means a requirement for promotion, but exposure to other martial arts help provide a better understanding of the art we study.

Instructors meeting

Basic and advanced class will be canceled on Thursday, Feb. 16. The instructors are working on updating our curriculum and policies. We’ll be taking that day to meet and start setting some standards.

Metamora Martial Arts instructors have been notified via email of the time and location of this meeting. Please check your email. If you did not receive one, please contact Adam.

Quote of the month

There is no single point that marks the completion of karate training; there is always a higher level. For this reason practitioners should continue training throughout their life. –Gichin Funakoshi, “The Twenty Guiding Principles of Karate

Gichin FunakoshiFunakoshi is referred to as the “father of modern karate.” He is credited as having introduced Okinawan karate to Japan and he founded Shotokan karate.

I thought his words were fitting for our anniversary. Sure, we’ve been doing this 10 years, but we’re still working to achieve more goals. I’m confident in my abilities, but I recognize where I need work. We all might think Mr. Hawkey has all the answers – and he does have a lot – but I’ve seen him hesitate and really think through movements and applications before. My tai chi chuan instructor, who’s been in the martial arts 40+ years, will still tell you areas where he believes he needs improvement.

The point is, the martial arts is a lifetime pursuit. We’ve only just scratched the surface.

-Adam Bockler

January 2

January 2012 newsletter

Hello, everyone, and happy 2012 from all of us at Metamora Martial Arts!

This is the first in a series of new monthly newsletters to update students, families and friends of the program what we’re up to. This month’s newsletter will be longer than most due to the amount of material that I feel needs to be addressed as we start another year (our tenth!). While you’ll only receive one newsletter each month, you’ll receive periodic emails relating to policies (see below), events and more.

This month’s edition serves as a guide as to who we are and where we’re headed in 2012. In the future, I’ll try to write more columns or opinion pieces as opposed to housekeeping items.

Who we are

Since we’ve only sent out less than a handful of emails between the end of 2010 and now, I wanted to reintroduce Metamora Martial Arts.

We are an after-school karate program that is free for high school students and available at a minimal cost for all other students. In addition to Metamora High School, our grade school locations are in Germantown (GHMS) and Spring Bay (Riverview). Because we are not a full-time business, you’ll never have to deal with the hassle of contracts. We just want to provide a fun environment in which students can learn self-defense moves safely.

Joe Chianakas founded the program in 2002. Mr. C is a former English teacher who now teaches communication classes full-time at Illinois Central College.

I’m Adam Bockler, a second-degree black belt. I’ve been involved with the program since 2003, teaching the 3:30-4:30 class on Thursdays for the past semester. I’ll be the one writing these newsletters and I’m available for any and all questions or answers at the email address with which I’m sending this message. Please don’t hesitate to email. It is the best way to get in contact with me.

As you may have noticed, we’ve undergone some structural changes this semester, though we have regrouped and each instructor has added responsibilities with the hope that we’ll all be able to maximize our efforts for the program. Mr. Chianakas will be discussing these plans with his instructors soon as we move forward.

If you or your child is not active in the program anymore and you don’t wish to receive these emails, there is a link near the end of this email giving you the option to opt out.

Our class schedule can be viewed on our website: http://metamoramartialarts.com/blog/classes

Review of policies

As of now, Mr. Chianakas and the rest of the instructors are still finalizing policies for students earning a PE waiver, how promotions will be handled, and what we’ll do about student absences. Hard copies will be sent home with students. It’s likely we’ll send out a newsletter and announce it online.

Program goals

The most important thing students can do is review what they’ve learned in class at home. We make mention that students can achieve their black belt by the time they’re seniors, but that only comes with lots of practice outside of class. We can teach the material, but it is up to the student to keep reviewing to make sure the information is still remembered. Please make sure you or your student is putting in a good amount of training at home.

Our goal as a martial arts program is to attend more tournaments this year. I know of at least two this spring that are great – one in Springfield and one in Moline. Tournaments run anywhere from about $40 to $70, after all fees (and gas) are paid for. Please start saving now! We’ll get you and your student ready for these. Tournaments are lots of fun and a great way to see what other martial artists are doing. As you head for black belt, it’s important to know what else is out there. I will be doing research and posting any information I receive on our Facebook page and our website.

We’re also going to do more social gatherings. If you have an idea, please let us know. Many of you may watch the UFC, so we could try to head to a restaurant that’s airing a pay-per-view event. I’m not sure of any martial arts-related movies coming out in 2012, but I’m sure there are several. Please keep your eyes peeled and let us know what you’d like to do.

Finally, in May, I’d like to do two things – group pictures and an awards ceremony/potluck. More details will come on dates and such, but I want to make sure these happen. They’ll probably be on Thursdays toward the end of May.

Advanced belt stripe review Jan. 12

On Thursday, Jan. 12, Mr. Chianakas will be testing purple, brown and red belts at MTHS. Before we went on break, I had tested blue and under and promised you all that Mr. C would make a class to test you. This is your chance. Please be ready. If you feel you are missing something, please make sure you are at all classes prior to make sure you can talk with an instructor about what you need. You’ll be reviewing until then.

Help Metamora Martial Arts turn 10!

Our 10-year anniversary is this February. As such, I’m looking for all former and inactive members of the program to reach out to me by replying to this message with a valid email address.

More details will be announced in the coming weeks.

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Quote of the month

The Alchemist book coverSometimes, you just can’t hold back the river.” -Paulo Coelho

To celebrate winter break, I delved into The Alchemist, a book Mr. C bought for his martial artists several years ago. I found it a great read at this stage in my life, having just graduated and with a full-time job ahead of me. Not only was this quote inspiring to me personally, but I really think it’s fitting as Metamora Martial Arts heads into 2012.