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On Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024, we had the honor of hosting a trio of special visitors to our class for the first time ever. These representatives included…

  • Mr. Matt Molineux, kaicho (president) of the International Okinawan Budo-Kai, visiting from the Georgia mountains
  • Mr. James Gifford, chief instructor for the IOBK, visiting from eastern Pennsylvania
  • Mr. Steve Aldus, IOBK advisory board member, visiting from Morton, IL

After traveling through an ice storm, all of these distinguished instructors made visits to IOBK member schools in central Illinois throughout the week, and all taught various portions of our classes.

In the karate class, I led a warm-up.

Lately, I’ve been modifying the Street Parking Vault workouts to suit our class. I swap out dumbells and kettlebells for target pads and blockers. My goal is to teach students functional movement patterns they can use to strengthen not only their martial arts, but fitness education as a whole.

Mr. Gifford then worked with all the karate students on white belt ippons. For some, this was brand-new. For others, this was a review of what we’ve done in class before.

Then, we split into smaller groups—Mr. Molineux worked with higher ranks on Fukyu Gata Ni and Pinan Shodan while Mr. Gifford and Sensei Adam worked on Taikyoku with the newer students.

When tai chi chuan class began, Mr. Gifford and Mr. Aldus split teaching the class.

Mr. Gifford explored connections between karate and Hsing-i chuan. He showed how one movement, the shuto in karate, looks very similar to several postures in Chinese martial arts, like the santi (“three essentials”) posture.

Then, Mr. Aldus shared some of his favorite postures and applications from the long tai chi chuan form.

Metamora Martial Arts was welcomed into the IOBK toward the end of 2022 and proudly continues our membership within this organization.

In addition to our Tuesday evening class, Sensei Adam had an opportunity to train several times in person with his sensei, Mr. Gifford. Mostly, due to our locations and schedules, our training sessions are conducted via Zoom later in the evenings.

We thank each of them for making it out to our class and are looking forward to their next visit!

Adam Bockler

Adam Bockler is the head instructor for Metamora Martial Arts. He's practiced and taught martial arts for 20+ years, holds black belts in karate and tai chi chuan, and is also a certified personal trainer through the American Council on Exercise.