December 14

Starting in January: Adult Martial Arts Classes in Metamora

About 4 in 1,000 people in Illinois report being a victim of violent crime, according to my analysis of FBI crime statistics from 2011 and 2012.

Luckily, these statistics show a general decrease in violent crimes such as murder and non-negligent manslaughter, robbery and aggravated assault – all down between 2 and 5 percent. However, forcible rape saw a noticeable uptick – nearly 18 percent.

Men and women alike need to learn self-defense to protect yourself from these types of attacks, and my karate class will help you do just that.

For the first time in our nearly 12-year history, Metamora Martial Arts will offer a class specifically for adults starting Tuesday, Jan. 7, at 6 p.m. at the Metamora Community Center.

Here are four reasons you should learn martial arts

1. Avoid Conflicts

It’s said that “there is no first strike in karate.” You’ll get the resources you need to avoid becoming a victim in the first place.

2. Defend Yourself

The statistics support the idea that you very well may need to defend yourself someday. In fact, overall, the FBI statistics show that violent crime increased slightly last year. I’ll show you how to escape from grabs, block incoming attacks, and how to safely return home to your family. We’ll also discuss Illinois law related to self-defense.

3. Earn a Black Belt

Unlike the trophies you earned playing sports in school, a black belt stays with you for life. It’s not an easy task, but one that is worth the effort given all of the ways it pays off in your life.

4. Get Fit and Stay in Shape

Condition your body to withstand and effectively deliver attacks! I’ve witnessed several martial artists who have completely transformed their bodies and minds as a result of the exercise involved in martial arts.

If you’re interested in learning more about joining our adult karate class, contact us!

March 19

Three Reasons Why You Should Join Karate in Metamora

People ask me every now and again why I study martial arts. “Just get a gun,” they say. “Or a knife.”

That’s for them, but it’s about more than that to me. Here are my three reasons to learn martial arts.

1. You’ll Learn Self-Defense

“I hate violence,” Dan Inosanto told Black Belt Magazine several issues back.

I do, too. And I think more people should adopt that attitude.

Most martial arts classes – that I’ve been a part of, at least – focus on some level of combat in their programs. Whether it’s sparring, kata application, or some other pre-arranged self-defense scenarios, that’s great.

But what if we don’t want to get involved in combat in the first place? In other words, what if we never want to use what we’re drilling so often in class?

As martial artists and authors Lawrence Kane and Kris Wilder always say, “If you are not there, you cannot get it.” Avoiding a situation in which you find yourself in a physical altercation is always the best. Kane and Rory Miller describe six levels of force in their book, Scaling Force (which I’ve reviewed on my personal blog). Choose the appropriate level of force to escape the bad situation, but more times than not, I’d suggest your mere presence (or lack thereof) would be enough to stymie would-be assailants.

I graduated college not too long ago. Several years ago, tension had been brewing at a New Year’s Eve party I was at between neighboring apartments. I looked at my friend who had come with me and told him we should get going. Within minutes of our departure, I was told, the cops had shown up.

2. You’ll Get Fit

Put in enough practice and you’ll see incredible changes to your body.

When I was awarded my black belt in 2006, I weighed somewhere around 215 pounds. As a result of focusing on my karate practice, as well as making refinements in my diet, running, biking, and lifting weights, I am now 40 pounds lighter than I was on test day.

Other Metamora Martial Arts students have seen similar results.

Karate works all of your muscles. Your whole body must be involved – everything from your toes up to your hips up to your arms up to your mind.

Remember when I talked about presence up above? Being in shape may help you avoid confrontations merely by your presence alone.

3. You’ll Be Disciplined

I don’t know if I like that word: disciplined. It’s got a negative connotation to it.

But discipline describes the ability to persevere, to work through challenges when you know they’re tough. Discipline means studying for that test when you just don’t care about the subject. Discipline means getting a half-hour or hour workout in when you’ve had a long day at work. Discipline means practicing your kata before your next karate class because you know your instructor wants to see improvement from the previous class.

Try Your Free Class This Thursday

Take a chance. Stand up against violence. Get fit. Improve your mindset.

Karate helps teach you all of these things.

Join me this Thursday at 6 p.m. for your free class at the Metamora Community Center>>

March 1

Forget Guns For a Second: Learn How to Use Your Natural Weapons (For Free!)

With all of the discussion and debate about gun control in this country, I wanted to invite you, the reader, to envision a world in which we are able to take our weapons wherever we go. On the bus. On the plane. In movie theaters. In schools and universities. In a hospital or doctor’s office. Grandma’s house.

If you’re thinking of a world in which we’re packing heat, you’re thinking too hard.

The human body has so many natural weapons: fingers, fists, knees, elbows, feet, arms, shins.

The most important weapon, though, is your mind.

These are the weapons you take everywhere you go. Don’t worry about checking them in any luggage or setting off any metal detectors. Don’t worry about not being able to take them into your favorite restaurant. No matter where you step foot, you’ll always immediately have these weapons to back you up.

You might be asking yourself, “How can I use these weapons?”

For those who have missed it, I have reopened Metamora Martial Arts, a nationally recognized karate program that has served the village of  Metamora, Illinois, for more than a decade.

In your first (free!) class, you’ll learn a number of ways in which you can protect yourself with one of your natural weapons. Come to the Metamora Community Center any Thursday at 6 p.m. in March to take your first karate class. Students ages 8 and up are welcome. I have more than eight years of experience teaching kids, teens and adults.

When you decide that just holding a gun isn’t a complete self-defense, come to me and I’ll help you learn how to engage in unarmed combat through the use of strikes, throws, chokes, grapples, sweeps, breaks and more.

Let me show you how to not only win the battle, but to avoid it completely.

October 3

Metamora Martial Arts Returns January 3, 2013

More than two months ago, I wrote a post explaining that I was placing the Metamora Martial Arts program on hiatus until further notice. Well, that notice is now.

I’m pleased to announce that Metamora Martial Arts will begin serving the town in a new capacity starting Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013.

Classes will take place in our new dojo at the Metamora Community Center (the former legion hall) on the Metamora square on Thursdays. Throughout January and February, we will only have class on select Thursdays due to the building having been previously booked. As those dates get closer, I will post them right here on our blog. Starting in March, class will take place every Thursday.

Because of our new location, classes will no longer be held at Metamora Township High School, Riverview Grade School, or Germantown Hills Middle School. The most difficult decision throughout this process was removing Metamora Martial Arts from the schools. However, in the best interest of the program, I ultimately decided it had to be done because of scheduling conflicts and other new opportunities.

Going forward, we will be tweaking various segments of the program and instituting new initiatives entirely. As those are solidified in the months to come. Pricing will also be finalized.

In order to stay up to date with this new information, please be sure to check this blog regularly.

Tomorrow night, I will be making another big announcement. Like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter to find out what it will be.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment on this blog since others may likely have a similar question.

March 18

Adam Bockler Takes First Place in Black Belt Division at Auvenshine’s Open Tournament

Yesterday was the 13th open tournament hosted by Bill and Patty Auvenshine. I’m happy to say I placed first in the 2nd-degree-and-up black belt forms division, ages 16-34. I have competed only as a black belt at this tournament four times since 2007, and yesterday, I finally clinched a goal of placing first.

Due to a last-minute schedule change, my tournament companion Joshu Adair was unable to accompany me to the event, meaning I have no footage of my two performances. I say two because after all of the black belt divisions finished, the first-place winners were called back for the grand championship. I thought it was cool how that was organized. We were asked to be seated and then turn around. This way, we couldn’t see our competitors’ performance and we were only told what form we would be doing once we were standing in front of the judges. We were all given the number 5, meaning we had to perform the equivalent form in our system. For us, Empi Sho is the fifth form, meaning that’s what I had to compete with.

In a tournament predominately attended by tae kwon do practitioners, I’m proud to have represented not only Metamora Martial Arts, but the art of karate itself.

The event featured two unique twists that not many open tournaments (that I’ve been to, anyway) have, and those were grappling and special divisions. As we had our backs turned to the judges and competitors during the grand championship, I found myself more focused on studying the grapplers – how they jockey for position standing up, how the people on the bottom can attempt to kick their legs out to pass the guard, and how that one guy took a gamble on a sacrifice grab. Since I didn’t win the big trophy, hindsight is telling me perhaps I should’ve been thinking about my own forms a little more than I did. I only saw about half of a sparring match with the special competitors, but I think it’s a cool thing for the Auvenshines to offer.

This year, I’ve been noticing several family members or friends using iPads to record their favorite competitors. I first noticed this last week at the Supreme Way Challenge. It makes sense, given that the iPad 2 that came out last spring was the first with a camera on it. I didn’t attend any competitions last summer, so this year is the first time I’m really seeing them. My guess is we’ll see more and more iPads on the sidelines.

Of course, it was great seeing Mr. and Mrs. Aldus (who are putting on a seminar for us, in case you haven’t heard), Ms. Harrison, the Auvenshines, and Mr. Walker and his troops. And a special thanks Mr. Budan for doing a great job running the ring I judged yesterday, and to Mr. Warren (whose first name escapes me) and the boy who both came up to me and told me they liked my form. Having a trophy would have been cool, but knowing that total strangers appreciate what I did is enough for me.