May 12

4 Reasons to Join Adult Martial Arts Class in Metamora

Metamora Martial Arts is offering a weekly self-defense class for adults on Tuesdays from 6-7:30 p.m.

Find out why this is a great opportunity for you to learn karate and get in shape!

It’s Only Once a Week

Your time is valuable. That’s why the adult class is only held once a week.

For just 90 minutes a week, you’ll learn the basics of karate, allowing you to be better prepared to protect yourself should the situation arise.

You’ll Learn What You Need to Defend Yourself

I have just overhauled the basic curriculum, meaning I’ve meticulously selected what to include in the curriculum, what to leave out, and in what order the material should be taught.

You can review the curriculum here, and know that its intent is to give you the best possible means of self-protection.

You’ll Be Able to Apply It

Once you have the tools, you’ll be able to apply them in safe, controlled sparring scenarios. Sparring is a highlight for many students as we leave the theoretical cloud and get down to practical application.

Contact Metamora Martial Arts for more information on classes!

You’ll Get In Shape

A complaint I often hear about martial arts-based fitness classes is that the instructors don’t actually know martial arts. As a result, they teach incorrect movements.

Learn how to do punch and kick the right way so that if you need to, you’ll be able to.

May 10

Class Update: Pictures and Board Breaking May 22, 2014

Our annual photo op takes place Thursday, May 22, at 6 p.m.

I’m asking all Metamora Martial Arts students – kids and adults – to be present for this event in full uniform and belt. We will take a group photo, followed by individual photos for anybody who would like them. Plus, couple photos and parent/child photos!

These are a great keepsake, and a great way to track your progress from last year. Pam Siefken (Portraits By Pam) has been taking our pictures for 12 years and has always done a fantastic job.

Envelopes for ordering pictures will be available at class May 15.

Following the pictures, I will host a board breaking seminar!

I have boards on hand for anybody to break who would like to try at no cost to you.

Here is a unique break from Metamora Martial Arts’ first black belt, Adam Ulbricht.

April 26

A Letter to Competitors Following The 2014 GAMA Tournament

Mark your calendars for April 25, 2015, because I cannot recommend this tournament enough.

Master Aaron Wayne-Duke address sparring competitors at the 2014 GAMA Tournament

Master Aaron Wayne-Duke addresses sparring competitors at the 2014 GAMA Tournament

Congratulations to Master Aaron Wayne-Duke and Galesburg Academy of Martial Arts for a successful tournament. This is the first event I’ve known Mr. Duke to hold since I first met him in 2008 when he attended the first-ever Metamora Martial Arts open tournament.

Mr. Duke and his entire crew should be proud of their effort today. The whole event only ran as smooth as it did because of how hard they prepared.

The atmosphere at his tournament all day was very positive, starting from grappling to forms, then weapons and sparring.

What I saw was a group of determined, focused, phenomenal group of young competitors who gives something a shot that more of their peers should, in my opinion. Not only are they learning martial arts, but they’re learning what it’s like to compete, and what it’s like to win and lose.

A young competitor came up to me after receiving third place in his forms division. I personally thought he was in the top 1 or 2, but the other judges had a different opinion.

He should’ve gotten an award for his character, though.

“Thank you, sir,” he said, as he shook my hand and bowed. “This is my first tournament, and my birthday is tomorrow. This is the best present I could’ve gotten.”

While I noticed some tears following a few divisions, I’d like to think all of the competitors eventually went home happy. The coaches/instructors, from what I saw, all helped guide their students after the students felt disappointed, I assume, from not winning first or at least performing better.

As my instructor always said: “It’s all right to be disappointed, but it’s not all right to be discouraged.”

You have a year to get better if you didn’t win first place today.

Practice.

Try again.

Fall down seven times, get up eight – so goes the old proverb.

To the competitors who won first place and walked out with smiles…

Keep working because everybody else who didn’t win first is gunning for you next year.

I feel like I’ve got a target on my back for the adult black belt forms division.

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.

April 21

Make It Your Own: Martial Arts Tips from Geoff Meede and Eddy Parker

Make it your own.

That was the overarching concept behind two of my favorite sessions at the USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame this year.

Martial arts instructors tend to do teach in a relatively similar fashion. The moves may be different, but generally, they begin with a certain set of movements, then gradually increase the difficulty by adding in body movement or more techniques.

The attendees, for the most part, tend to lose the individual techniques as soon as they move on to the next combination. I would guess that most people lose the techniques they were taught within a few days, maybe a week.

Maybe I’m just forgetful, but I can’t tell you the exact techniques I’ve learned at almost any seminar because we didn’t practice them repeatedly during the session, and I probably didn’t work it enough at home.

However, martial artists should look for what Eddy Parker and Geoff Meed were showing in Indianapolis. The techniques themselves don’t matter.

Find what works for you, and use it. 

Mr. Eddy Parker teaches kung fu in Peoria. Starting his training under his uncle when he was 5, the 40-year-old has more than three decades of experience. Because he’s based in Peoria, I’ve been able to get to know him fairly well over the past several years. A stand-up comedian/shoe salesman/security guard, he has a broad range of experience in life.

One statement he made that resonated with me was to make what he was showing my own.

It’s true.

I’m not going to be an expert in hung gar kung fu any time soon.

However, I know enough about karate to recognize similar movement patterns.

For instance, one of his self-defense techniques looked an awful lot like a kihon. Instead of doing Mr. Parker’s prescribed set of techniques, I switched it up and added some karate flair to it.

“Everybody look over here,” he shouted.

And he asked me to show my technique. He loved it.

Geoff Meed, an actor-turned-school owner, expressed the same philosophy.

Borrowing techniques from his kempo experience, such as “vengeful dragon” – which he said he thought was a bizarre name – he first told us to “follow the script,” so to speak, when it came to performing the movements.

After each person in the group had a go at it, he encouraged us to make it our own and try to be more realistic.

These were both excellent sessions with fantastic martial artists.

Next time you go to a seminar, pick out what you like and what you don’t like. Use your art as a basis to see if those techniques would work in your style. If not, drop it. If so, then figure out how to optimize it for you and your art.

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