April 24

Bill “Superfoot” Wallace: Sparring Is Only Fun When You’re The One Who’s Scoring

Not everybody can say they took a hook kick to the jaw from someone who retired after 6 years undefeated as a full-contact champion.

I can.

Granted, it was controlled. But still.

Bill “Superfoot” Wallace had some excellent sparring tips to share with a young group of students Sunday morning.

Superfoot’s strength is with his left leg as a result of an injury to his right leg. Sure enough, in the hour we worked, all of the techniques led with the front, left leg.

Adam Bockler with Bill "Superfoot" Wallace

His seminar capped off an amazing Hall of Fame weekend.

May 13

Results from Morrow’s 39th Semi-Annual Tournament in Davenport

I always tell my martial arts students that a tournament only represents how you performed that day, at that time, in front of  a set of judges, in a division with a set of people. In other words, you can almost never predict how you’ll be scored by the judges.

After coming up short at the 20th annual North American Grand Nationals last week, two of us placed in four different divisions at Morrow’s 39th semi-annual tournament in Davenport at St. Ambrose University.

Faith Robertson and Mr. Bockler

I’m very proud of Faith Robertson’s 3rd-place victory in her division with green and blue belts. I judged her division last week, but got to watch her as a spectator. I could tell she’s been fine-turning her performance, and I’m looking forward to seeing how she does in the future. She received what I always consider to be the best compliment you can get at a martial arts tournament: a judge from her division came up to her at the end of the day, gave her some tips about how to improve, and told her she thought Faith should have won first place.

I placed first in three black belt divisions – forms, sparring and…horse-riding stance.

That’s right – horse-riding stance. Mr. Morrow is the only person I know to have a horse-riding stance competition at his tournament. The goal is simple. Sink into a horse stance so that your legs are parallel to the ground and can balance a bo. When your legs give out, the bo falls. The last person to remain in the stance wins. After what was probably about 2 minutes, I managed to outlast five others.

My forms division was tough.

One competitor was in his first black belt division after being promoted earlier this spring. I know it’s recent because I worked with him at a seminar in February and he was still a brown belt.

Another pair of competitors were a husband-and-wife combo, who I first noticed at this event last year for their internal martial arts. While I’ve been trained for most of my martial arts career in the hard style of karate, seeing a Chinese style such as tai chi chuan in this type of environment is great.

The other competitor was a karate stylist who, I discovered after talking to later, seemed to be a Japanese or Okinawan stylist. We talked for a bit, and I could tell he respected Shuri-ryu.


My sparring division was even tougher. I don’t often spar in tournaments since my emphasis is typically on kata. But, after five years of coming to this tournament, I thought it was finally time I strap on the gear.

One competitor drew blood in the first match, cutting his opponent right under the eye. These accidents happen. He lost the match, and I assume left the building. He didn’t even stick around to watch the rest of the matches. I can only suspect why he left, so I can’t say with certainty what happened. If he left because he was upset about not winning the match, I hope that in the future, he represents himself and his school in a better manner.

I defeated two competitors, including the fresh black belt I mentioned earlier, as well as the brown belt who received the cut. (Due to lack of competitors in his division, or his age – I’m not exactly sure – this individual was placed with the black belts.)

Fasting to End Hunger

Every year in time for his tournament, Mr. Morrow fasts. He does this for a number of reasons: to show discipline, to demonstrate the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, and to show that the martial arts can help you persevere. But mostly, Mr. Morrow was doing this as a means to eradicate world hunger. He says of the 7 billion people in this world, so many are obese and so many go hungry. “Let’s balance that out,” he told the crowd.

Mr. Morrow, 61, then proceeded to do 130 pushups on the backs of his hands in 60 seconds, unofficially breaking his Guinness World Record of 123. An article that appears to be from 2006 discusses this feat.

Overall, this is a great martial arts tournament to attend. Quick divisions. Fair judges. Great competitors.

What more do you need? 

February 3

The 2012 10th Annual Supreme Way Challenge is in Pekin on March 10

This year’s Supreme Way Challenge is located in Pekin at the Moose Lodge. The March 10 event features Forms (Kata), Sparring (Kumite) and Weapons (Kobudo). Special events include Chanbarra, Self-defense, and Three-person Team Synchronized Kata.

Registration begins at 9 a.m. and the tournament begins at 11.

As you’ll see, the tournament organizers require the following safety equipment: Foam headgear, hand pads, foot pads, mouth guard and groin cup for male competitors.

The tournament is hosted by Frank and Patricia Fink of Kosho Kai Karate in Pekin. For more information, I’ll include the tournament flyer, registration form and rules summary.

The Finks can be contacted via email or at 309-353-8639.

The last time Metamora Martial Arts competed in the Supreme Way Challenge was 2007.

May 20

MMAL 2011 Illinois Martial Arts Championship in Hoffman Estates, Illinois – Saturday, July 30

The Midwest Martial Arts League presents the 2011 MMAL Illinois Championship at the Hoffman Estates Community Center on Saturday, July 30, 2011.

Registration by July 1 for two events is $40, plus $5 for each additional event. Add $5 to each value after July 1, including at the door. There is a $5 discount for MMAL members.

Events include Forms – which includes Traditional, Creative, Team and Weapons forms – Self-Defense Routines and Light Contact Point Sparring. More than 100 divisions are expected.

Check-in begins at 8:30 a.m. and the tournament begins at 10:15 a.m.

The tournament is sponsored in part by Tiger Claw, and has a AAA-sanctioned rating. Custom medals and trophies will be awarded.

To get all of the details regarding this tournament, we have provided the PDFs sent to us by Mr. Valin…

2011 MMAL Illinois Championship flyer

2011 MMAL Illinois Championship information packet and registration form

If you still have any questions, please contact Master Dan Valin of the Midwest Martial Arts league at 847-815-0898 or email him at matkd[at]prodigy.net. You can also visit MMAL online, though the Facebook event points to last year’s tournament.

March 23

Upcoming Illinois martial arts tournaments in 2011

After visiting the Auvenshines’ tournament this past weekend, I wanted to make a short post about upcoming Illinois martial arts tournaments for 2011.

Mt. Sterling YMCA Strong Kids Martial Arts Open
Saturday, May 7
Mt. Sterling, Ill.
Registration starts at $30.00.
Proceeds benefit the YMCA Strong Kids Campaign
http://www.mtsterlingymca.net

Morrow’s Karate & Kung Fu Championships
Saturday, May 14
Moline, Ill.
Registration is $30.00.
Visit our blog post for more information on Morrow’s tourney

Walker’s Taekwondo Tournament of Champions VII
Saturday, May 21
Bloomington, Ill.
Registration starts at $45.00.
http://walkerskicks.com

Douglas Grose Memorial Martial Arts Tournament
Promoted by Ms. Vera Harrison
Saturday, August 13
Peoria, Ill.

Ms. Harrison is also promoting a women’s only self-defense seminar entitled, “We Rock Seminar,” the night before on August 12 in Peoria.

Midwest Open Taekwondo Championship
Promoted by Master Joshua Sharp
Saturday and Sunday, November 19 and 20, 2011
Registration starts at $45.00.
Decatur Conference Center & Hotel
http://midwestchampionships.com