theMALC

the Martial Arts Learning Community

The Martial Arts Learning Community (The MALC) is a Non-Profit Agency chartered in the state of Delaware. The MALC supports various studies of the history and development of the Martial Arts, studies using a scientific approach to identify Best Practices in the Martial Arts, and the publishing of these research works. The MALC supports the study of the Martial Arts as physical education. Our community produces educational seminars and promotes both national and international amateur sports competitions. The MALC will provide programs and services not currently available that will benefit Martial Arts students and teachers, their community, and our world as a whole.

Recent Articles

Models Or Techniques?

by Dennis Lawson

While teaching a recent class on logic and basics, I fielded some questions about specific applications of basics in Kenpo techniques. I was able to use this opportunity to teach the larger idea of models vs. techniques. This article developed from that class discussion. First, Kenpo techniques don’t appear out of nowhere; some may be patterns of motion taken from the past, others may be modeled from actual street encounters, and still others may be useful constructs developed by Mr. Parker or his students. All of these sequences of motion derive from a particular scenario.

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 Caveat Emptor – Let The Buyer Beware

by Dennis Lawson

A few days ago I read an interesting discussion on Facebook. No, it wasn’t about politics or cute pet pictures. It was a discussion between the buyer of an online karate course and the seller of that course. The buyer was asking whether a special deal could be made by buying the 2nd and 3rd degree black belt courses together. As I remember, his desire was to get his 4th degree black belt certificate as part of the bargain by paying an extra fee, or through some similar exchange. In the discussion, he made various references about the certificate looking cool to his friends. I say he, assuming that the buyer was a young male between the ages of 13 and 30.  My friend and colleague, Associate Master of the Art, Mr. John Ward, posted this discussion with his comment - A Cancer of the Martial Arts.

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What's Your Mindset?

by Dennis Lawson

While consulting with a dojo owner, I had an opportunity to watch him teach a few classes. I became acutely aware of how many times the word “no” was used and how many “negative” corrections he made on his student’s movements. This focus on the negative or negativity bias is hard wired into our minds. I remembered, while watching, that focusing on potential negative results (saber toothed tigers, poisonous berries, etc.) allowed our species to survive for millennia in challenging environments. Unfortunately, paying undue attention to “What’s wrong with this picture?” can become a limiting mindset, or worse, a studio culture.

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Rage

by Dennis Lawson

I recently read a thought-provoking Scientific American interview with R. Douglas Fields, a neuro-scientist, whose new book – Why We Snap: Understanding the Rage Circuit in Our Brain - will be of particular interest to Martial Artists. Fields identifies nine specific triggers that generate an immediate rage response in our lower brain.

They are:

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