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

January 24

Kung Fu Seminar Offers Similar Ideas As Shuri-Ryu Karate

The more seminars I attend, the more it rings true that each martial art is just a different path up the same mountain.

In 2013, it was my goal to attend a a seminar as my schedule and finances would allow, which wound up being about every two months, on average. By picking up different pieces from different styles of karate and different martial arts all together, I feel that I’m able to do a number of things.

One, I can take the similar ideas and techniques in order to gain a better understanding of my style of karate. Two, I get to meet awesome new people that I’ve never met so I can have friends in different areas. Last year, for example, I made friends from all over Illinois, Kansas, Florida, Minnesota and more. It was great. And three, I can toss out of the stuff that doesn’t appeal to me.

Sifu Chris Childs presented a seminar in the Chinese martial art of choy lay fut at Five Animals Kung Fu in Springfield this past Saturday, Jan. 18. I was able to translate most of the moves to Shuri, but I also kind of wanted to “empty the cup,” so to speak, and try to shed my predispositions and understandings to understand a different perspective.

Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t.

Where it worked well was with generating power from the hip and putting a person in a disadvantaged position. I know how powerful techniques can be when the come from the hip due to a rooted stance. Shuri-ryu does that – just look at Wansu or Bassai Dai for clear examples of that. Blocks (strikes) are designed to disorient the attacker in order to give you the opportunity to finish the confrontation before the attacker has time to react.

Where my prejudices came were with the positioning of my own body. Choy lay fut (and other Chinese arts, such as tai chi chuan) stresses different body positioning than karate.

For instance, in karate, many punches involve the body being pretty straight on to the attacker – your shoulders are at 9 and 3 on a clock, if you think about it that way. With choy lay fut, I had difficulty executing (if I’m punching with my right hand) putting my right shoulder at 12 and my left shoulder at 6. The theory makes sense: your reach is increased while making your reverse hand spring-loaded with potential energy. For me, however, it felt slower and unnatural.

Obviously, it’s hard to break 10 years of habit in a four-hour seminar.

Overall, though, the seminar was a great experience with even better people. If you’re in the Springfield area, I would highly recommend trying out a few classes with Josiah Mott.

July 31

Trinity Training Center Demo for St. Jude a Hit

The Trinity Training Center in Peoria put on what I believe was its first benefit for St. Jude this past Saturday at St. Paul’s Baptist Church in Peoria.

The event featured several talented and knowledgeable instructors presenting information about a variety of arts, mostly Chinese in origin.

I was invited to participate as a member of Aldus Martial Arts, where I’ve trained in tai chi chuan and Hsing-i chuan for the past three years. The Alduses and several students presented a short piece of the old Yang style tai chi chuan form and the five Hsing-i element forms, but the audience was stunned when they began seeing the self-defense applications. They were literally “ooh”ing and “ahh”ing when Mr. Aldus showed practical applications on me and his top student. Mr. Aldus showed empty-hand applications, as well as applications with escrima sticks and a cane, before ending his allotted time with a spear form.

Other instructors showed some great arts, as well.

Audience members and students alike participate in a group stretching session during Trinity Training Center's St. Jude benefit

Audience members and students alike participate in a group stretching session

One whose name escapes me (please forgive me if you read this, or leave a comment and let me know who you are), led a stretching session for about 30 minutes to begin the day. Both students and attendees were invited to participate.

Mr. Ed Parker, the emcee of the event, brought up audience members to teach them several self-defense techniques, including an armbar and a wrist turn.

His uncle, Mr. Dexter Parker, showcased the abilities of his students, and later demonstrated five-animal hung gar kung fu on his nephew.

Ms. Vera Harrison, whose seminars and tournaments are coming up quickly, demonstrated some taekwondo sparring techniques before delving into some self-defense and jiu-jitsu work.

Two more students of the senior Mr. Parker invited members of the audience out for some breathing exercises, which I enjoyed.

I also participated in a challenge with the host school’s students in which we had to balance on our left leg for 10 minutes while holding our right knee at our belt level. I made it nearly 7, and I applaud the students who soldiered through 10 solid minutes. Afterward, many of the same students participated in a horse stance competition for the same duration.

I was honored to participate in this demonstration with so many other talented martial artists. Next year, I’d like to bring Metamora Martial Arts into the event and perform some Okinawan martial arts.

September 9

Upcoming tournament: Morrow’s in Moline

Save the date!

Morrow’s 37th Semi-annual Karate & Kung Fu Championships will be Saturday, Oct. 22, 2011. The event is held at Morrow’s Academy of Martial Arts at 1321 5th Ave., Moline, Illinois.

Events include weapons, forms and sparring. This tournament features a black belt division of competitors age 40 and older, and a black belt championship match for a 4-foot trophy.

Mr. Morrow requires sparring competitors to bring dip foam boots and gloves, a groin cup and a mouth guard.

Registration is $30 for all events, and the spectator fee is $4. The tournament begins at 10 a.m. with registration beginning at 9 a.m.

For more information, please call John Morrow at 309-764-1929. Don’t forget to like Morrow’s Academy of Martial Arts on Facebook.

If you’re a Metamora Martial Arts student, let us know by Saturday, October 8, here on the blog or in our private Facebook group if you intend on competing.