March 18

Walker’s Taekwondo Tournament of Champions IX – May 19, 2012

Mr. Joe Walker hosts the ninth Tournament of Champions in Bloomington, Ill., on Saturday, May 19.

For the first time this year, the event will have black belts 14+ double-elimination parring, a grand championship for colored belt forms, and three overall colored belt forms grand champion awards for ages 9 and under, 10-17, and 18 and over.

Other events include forms and Olympic sparring. Olympic sparring, for those unfamiliar, is continuous sparring for a given amount of time for two rounds. The time varies for colored belts (two 1-minute rounds) and black belts (two 2-minute rounds), with a 30-second rest period in between rounds.

The black belt forms grand champion in the junior and senior divisions will win a 6-foot-tall trophy, as well as $100 cash.

The tournament will be hosted at Illinois Wesleyan University’s Shirk Center and will start at 10 a.m. Fees are $50 for both events before May 5. After May 5, add $10.

A full tournament packet can be downloaded at the Walker’s Taekwondo Tournament of Champions IX page.

302 E. Emerson St.
Bloomington, IL 61701

Joe Walker

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.

February 27

Metamora Martial Arts Seminar with Steve and Kim Aldus

I am thrilled to say that Steve and Kim Aldus will be leading a seminar for Metamora Martial Arts students on Saturday, April 28.

Steve and Kim Aldus present a special seminar for Metamora Martial Arts students

To download, right-click and "Save Link As…"

We made this announcement Saturday night at our 10th anniversary celebration. The seminar will take place in Black Partridge Park at 1:30 that afternoon and will cost $15. Participants should pay the day of the event.

Mr. and Mrs. Aldus will be giving us instruction that will benefit our karate training in several ways.

For one, it’s always great to be exposed to different arts. I think karate is great, but my passion really began when I was first exposed to tae kwon do, and now tai chi chuan. For me, these other arts have made my primary art stronger because I’ve been able to take what I’ve learned from them and bring them back into karate. Plus, there are always multiple ways to accomplish a goal.

Secondly, the information Mr. and Mrs. Aldus will show us will have relevance to us. They’ll take moves out of our katas and adapt them for the Chinese martial arts. As you’ll see, the Chinese martial arts and the Okinawan martial arts have many common bonds.

Ahead of announcing this special seminar, I had many conversations with Mr. Hawkey and Mr. Aldus. One thing we wanted to make sure was that students didn’t attend this seminar and forget everything they had learned within a few months since we don’t regularly practice tai chi chuan. By showing extensions of our karate forms, Mr. and Mrs. Aldus will help us strengthen the moves we already know and practice on a regular basis.

Due to some of the techniques we’ll be performing in this seminar, we’ve agreed to limit participants to ages 14 and up. That means high school students and adults are welcome. Grade school students may attend by invitation only.

I have been training with Mr. and Mrs. Aldus since August 2010 and it’s been a great experience. Not only are they incredibly knowledgeable and capable, but they’re both fun to work with. They create a great environment to learn in.

Steve AldusMr. Steve Aldus has more than 40 years of martial arts experience. He is recognized as the only known student in the United States continuing the teachings of Master Li Chi Lan in the arts of old yang style tai chi ch’uan and hsing-i ch’uan. Mr. Aldus possesses an 8th dan in tae kwon do, a 2nd dan in karate (Matsumura Seito Shorin-Ryu Koeppel-Ha), a 2nd dan in ju-jitsu, and has trained in numerous other arts. He’s a multiple-time USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame inductee, he’s won championships for the past four decades, and he’s performed seminars and demonstrations all over the United States. To learn more about Mr. Aldus, read:

Mrs. Kim Aldus is a 6th dan in tae kwon do, a 2nd dan in karate (Matsumura Seito Shorin-Ryu Koeppel-Ha), a 3rd dan in ju jitsu, and has a master-level teaching certificate in both tai chi ch’uan and hsing-i ch’uan.

February 4

Auvenshine’s Taekwondo 13th Annual Martial Arts Tournament – March 17, 2012

Get ready for another tournament, everyone!

Mr. and Mrs. Bill and Patty Auvenshine host their 13th Annual Martial Arts Tournament at Lincoln Land Community College in Springfield, Ill., on Saturday, March 17, 2012.

Events include Forms, Sparring and Grappling. Grand champions will be awarded in junior and adult black belt forms divisions. Please note the the Sparring event is Olympic-style, meaning there will be two rounds of continuous sparring with 30 seconds of rest in between the rounds.

The cost is $40 for one event, plus $5 for each additional event. Spectators ages 12+ must pay $3, 6-11 $2, and ages 5 and under get in free.

Unlike many tournaments, this event includes electronic scoring and matted rings.

For a complete breakdown of rules, see the Auvenshine’s tournament package.

Metamora Martial Arts has competed in the Auvenshine’s tournament several times – first in 2007, then again in 2010 (Jake Potter and I both took 2nd place in our Forms divisions) and 2011.

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

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.

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