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.)

July 11

Ty Campos Teaching Kali Seminar in Moline

A multi-faceted martial artist will teach a seminar on single- and double-stick weaponry Saturday, July 19, 2014.

Ty Campos of the Minnesota Kali Group is featured the day as the guest instructor during a seminar taking place from 1-4 p.m.

The cost of the event is $35.

For more information, contact Morrow’s Academy of Martial Arts at 309-764-1929.

Mr. Morrow invites only the best martial artists to his school, so I expect attendees at this event will learn many things from Ty Campos. Campos’ resume includes training in at least six martial arts.

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 19

5 Improvements Coming to Metamora Martial Arts in June


These changes are the culmination of months of thinking on my part, and the responses by our students and parents to a recent survey I sent out.

I think you’ll be pleased to see these changes, and I’m looking forward to seeing how we progress.

1. An Updated Curriculum for Basic Students

The requirements listed for basic students – mainly white belts – has changed several times since we began holding classes at the Metamora Community Center.


First and foremost, I want our martial artists to learn how to protect themselves. By adjusting what I teach at a basic level, I help ensure that our students are adequately prepared to defend themselves.

Second, as I gain new information in a variety of ways (seminars, chatting with other instructors), I learn what other teachers and styles are teaching. By incorporating this material into our curriculum, it makes our students stronger and better able to defend themselves.

A changing curriculum is normal. Master Robert Trias, who brought karate to America, pulled from a variety of sources while evangelizing Shuri-ryu karate worldwide. When he learned something new, he would find a way to make it work in the style he learned. This is why Shuri-ryu karate is a complete martial art. I look to continue to evolve our art and our style.

This curriculum will be used going forward starting June 1.

2. Two Full Hours of Karate on Thursday

Both the kids classes on Thursday will increase from 45 minutes to 60 minutes per class.

That means basic class will meet Thursdays 6-7 p.m., and the advanced class will meet 7-8 p.m. starting June 1.

3. Break a Board – Monthly Review Sessions

I will run all students – kids and adults – through a review on the last class of the month. We’ll review the recent techniques we’ve learned, and brush up on the ones we haven’t worked as much during the past several weeks.

Promotions will more than likely be earned on these nights. However, students who demonstrate stellar knowledge may be promoted at any time.

The best part is that students who earn a promotion will be eligible to break a board!

Unlike other martial arts programs, I do not charge a testing fee. The only fee I charge related to testing is for the cost of a new belt.

4. Get Your Gear – Regular Sparring Sessions Starting

Once students have their first stripe on their white belt, they will be eligible for sparring.

These sessions will take place on at least every third class of the month. Given we are extending class to 60 minutes, we may do sparring more often (especially if we’re going to a competition in which our students are participating in sparring). For now, though, we’ll stick to once a month.

Students who do not have gear should contact me for pricing and to learn what equipment is required.

Sparring, for those who have never done it, is essentially a game of tag using hands and feet.

Contact me about your required set of gear.

5. Classes/Demos During Metamora Farmers Market

Students have a unique opportunity to do something Metamora Martial Arts has never done before.

I will be holding informal classes in the Metamora square during the farmers market, and students are encouraged to participate and help out.

More details on this are to come on this, so stay tuned.

May 17

Info Packet: 2014 Douglas Grose Memorial Martial Arts Tournament

2014 Harrison Dorris AJKAI IOBK Tournament packet

Download the full tournament packet, including rules for each event

The Douglas Grose Memorial Martial Arts Tournament takes place Saturday, Aug. 9, once again in Peoria at First English Lutheran Church, but with some minor tweaks.

For the first time and to eliminate crowd congestion, karate and tae kwon do events will take place at different times. These events have traditionally been divided in the past. However, divisions have run concurrently until this year.


Karate (or similar style) events – forms, point sparring, tag team and masters’ divisions – will begin at 10:30 a.m.

Combined events – breaking and weapons – take place starting at 12 p.m.

Finally, tae kwon do events (or similar style) events – forms, Olympic sparring (continuous), tag team and masters’ divisions begin at 1:30 p.m.

No-gi grappling begins at 9 a.m., and the special events division begins at 11 a.m.


Competitors participating in 1-2 events can enter for $50, plus an additional $10 per event up for a total of $90 for all 6 events.

Tag teams are $60 per team.

Spectators pay $6 if they are 10 or up, $4 for children and senior citizens, and children 3 or under can get in for free.

Friday Night Seminar

Ms. Harrison’s “Slam, Bam, Wham” seminar features two sessions.

Master Jim Hemphill will cover grappling techniques in session 1 from 4-6 p.m.

Masters Kim Aldus and Erin Lehman will present self-defense techniques in session 2 from 6:30-9:00.

The seminars cost $30 each, or $50 for both, with a $5 spectator fee.

Sensei Bockler’s Thoughts

You should attend this event, whether you’re one of my students or you stumbled on this website through a link your friend posted or through a search.

Honestly, I’m pretty bummed that I have a commitment already made for this weekend because I would love to compete against Peoria’s finest black belts, leaving me unable to attend any event listed here.

Last year’s event was fantastic. You can read about some of my thoughts from the seminars and watch some videos, too.

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