by Dennis Lawson on Nov 15th, 2015
I’m currently working on the expanded second edition of Talking Kenpo – Best Practices in Marital Arts Training. In this new version, I will do my best to answer the many questions and comments I’ve received since the book’s original publication in 2012. The revisions of the second edition will include a new chapter on Control.
by JJ Simon on Oct 14th, 2015
Attention is the single most valuable commodity in the world.Whatever you place your attention on will manifest in your life.Unlike other valuable commodities attention is our birthright and it is free to each of us.
by Dennis Lawson on Oct 14th, 2015
As an instructor or studio owner, have you ever taken the time to think back to the past when you first started your Martial Arts training? Just going into your studio can be a scary experience for someone whose impression of the Martial Arts comes from watching TV, movies, or MMA bouts. How welcoming is your process for working with newly enrolled students? Martial Arts industry sources confirm that the average studio loses 22 to 25% of their first year students no matter what their student contracts may say. Successfully welcoming a new student increases your retention rates and can go a long way in reducing your future marketing costs.
by Dennis Lawson on Oct 14th, 2015
As a martial artist, teacher, or studio owner are you as effective as you'd like to be? Sometimes, you don't need to look any farther than you own Art for a more effective direction. Kenpo's Cycle of Considerations is an excellent guide for success in a combat situation; it can also serve as a guide to propel your personal art, your teaching, and your studio toward a higher destination. We'll start, as the Cycle does, with Attitude.
by Dennis Lawson on Jul 14th, 2015
How aware are you of the dangers inherent in your hometown? Does your level of awareness increase or decrease when you travel to another city? These questions recently came to the forefront of my thinking, when planning a trip home to New Orleans. We were bringing some "first timers" along for the experience. So, what should you attitude be traveling to a new city, especially one with a reputation for a "relaxed" approach to drinking, physical contact, and, unfortunately, street crime? The first lesson comes straight out of Ed Parker's Infinite Insights into Kenpo Mental Stimulation (Book 1).
by Jimmy Parsons on Jun 16th, 2015
The weight loss journey Part 1. How many times have you been inspired by what other people have achieved? What did you do with that inspiration? I cannot tell you how many times I have been inspired to achieve by someone or something, only to fall short of my goal and give up. So the questions have to change, how do I motivate myself to achieve my goals? Let me start with a quote from Chris Powell, "Action Conquers Fear: Your choice to change must come from deep emotional desire".
by Dennis Lawson on May 13th, 2015
An article in the Harvard Business Review discussed a 2008 study by Nohria, Groysberg, and Lee which identified the role of the neurotransmitter, dopamine, in human motivation. Without getting too technical, when dopamine takes a particular neural pathway, the brain predicts that something – whether good or bad – is about to occur. That mental image initiates a response.
by Dennis Lawson on Apr 14th, 2015
I recently had a discussion with a young man who was exuberant about learning the Martial Arts. His desire was scattered around studying a number of different Arts. I suggested that, to be successful, he should start by focusing on a single Art and train toward a goal.
by Ooni Wasselmann on Mar 15th, 2015
I'd like to thank the Martial Arts Learning Community for creating a format that allows the ordinary practitioner an opportunity to express themselves in print. Becoming a black belt in any martial art is much more than a rigorous physical reality. Depending on the origin or continued venue for your art, the requirements may range from simple memorization and performance of the basic material, to far more complex discourse on its systematic applications.
by Dennis Lawson on Feb 14th, 2015
You understand the importance of martial arts training, but have you ever struggled to keep the attention of every student in your class? I’ve outlined some ideas to assist you in preparing for your next training session. Here are some basic strategies that can make training more effective for you and your students. Step 1: Create a lesson plan When planning your training, considered who you will be training, what you want them to learn, and how you can measure success.
by Dennis Lawson on Jan 12th, 2015
During a consultation with a studio owner I became concerned over, what I perceived as a lack of studio formalities. When I approached the owner about this “problem” there was little interest in even discussing the issue. It prompted me to reflect on the changes I’ve seen in Martial Arts etiquette over the last 40+ years.
by Dennis Lawson on Dec 14th, 2014
As 2014 comes to an end and we enjoy the holiday season, we inevitably move into the “New Year’s Resolution” season. Many of us set goals for the New Year only to abandon them within the first 90 days. Our goals for ourselves, our studios, or our students can end up in that same pile of unopened workout DVDs and underused exercise equipment if they aren’t SMART goals.
by Dennis Lawson on Nov 14th, 2014
As a Health and Safety professional, I've spent the last few weeks in regular meetings with senior managers and various local community health departments regarding the “Ebola scare”. I doubt that any Martial Arts instructors will be dealing with this issue in their studios, but it occurred to me, how many studio owners understand their health and safety responsibilities under state and federal law? I've written on the subject of studio emergency readiness before (see Are You Prepared published last year). This article will deal with regulations here in the United States; so, our international readers should contact their local authorities regarding health and safety requirements in their respective countries.
by JJ Simon on Oct 14th, 2014
Late one night I was awakened by an argument in the street outside my home. This isn’t unusual. Even though I live in rural area, the spot in front of my house has several late night domestic disputes every year.
by Dr. Jeremy Steel on Sep 9th, 2014
When you make every movement count, you know your training has paid off. Understanding the nervous system helps us to better understand the brain-body connection and can improve body awareness and conscious training so you can make every kick, block, and punch count. When it comes to physical movement, the nervous system is the most important system in the human body.
by Mark Brosten on Aug 18th, 2014
When training in different environments, if you stay alert for it, you may become aware of principles of motion popping up all over the place. For example, splitting firewood has become a great way for me to train my martial arts principles. If you don’t need firewood to keep warm in the winter, you can achieve the same results using a set of old tires and sledgehammer.
by Dennis Lawson on Jul 15th, 2014
Self-Defense – Before, During, and After As a health and safety professional and a student of the Martial Arts for over 40 years, my training and research exposes me to many disturbing statistics. This article was prompted by a review of a 2011 study of violence by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The report noted: Every minute 24 people are victims of physical violence, rape, or stalking by an intimate partner.
by JJ Simon on Jun 15th, 2014
A knife is an aggressive weapon. It may cut whatever the blade touches.Making the choice to carry a knife for personal defense is not to be taken lightly.
by Mark Brosten on May 14th, 2014
Prior to returning to college, I worked for Montana Rail Link as a Carman for five years. A Carman has the responsibilities of inspecting the trains and making repairs as they arrive in the train yard. During that time, I had the frustration of working with the assistant shop manager, who we’ll call Joe.
by JJ Simon on Apr 17th, 2014
Recently, I had a conversation with my blacksmithing mentor. The essence of the talk was about the final 10% of refinement that goes into a quality knife, but what we discussed can be applied to any art. The quality of any artist’s creation can be seen in that product’s transitions and terminations.
by Dennis Lawson on Mar 5th, 2014
Your studio’s curriculum or syllabus determines what your students are required to learn to progress in your martial arts style or system. It tells the teacher what the content of a training session or class should be, but it doesn’t tell you how to structure your classes so that you capture your students’ interest and attention. Engaging students is crucial for any teacher who desires to get important lessons across and internalized.
by Mark Brosten on Feb 16th, 2014
Training in the art for me has been, and continues to be, a rewarding experience. As I train there is a greater emphasis on understanding and applying principles. There is always the next progression of each martial arts lesson.
by Sean Oman on Jan 6th, 2014
On Tuesday, October 15th, 2013, as a green belt in Ed Parker’s American Kenpo, I had the privilege of attending a special training session at the invitation of Sifu Mark Brosten at the American Kenpo Karate school in Missoula, Montana. For the next two hours, my fellow Kenpoists and I were shown an innovative method to internalize the fundamentals of the art. This new method of training involved the study of a simple pattern: Hammer, Thrust, and Whip.
by John Davis on Dec 13th, 2013
In his writings, Ed Parker Sr. made reference to the three types of weapons: Natural (such as empty hands and feet), Environmental (objects readily available in our everyday lives that may be adapted for use in self-defense) and Man- made (guns, knives, etc.).
by Tim Hitchcock on Nov 14th, 2013
There is a degree of misconception about being a black belt, not necessarily a Kenpo black belt, but a black belt in any system. You don’t get super powers or more wisdom or strength. All you have are your knowledge and experiences from your life and training.
by Curt Pijanowski on Oct 14th, 2013
In early August, my friend and colleague, Sifu Mark Brosten, asked if I wanted to participate in a training session with him at the nearby University of Montana. He assured me it would be a bit different from what I was used to doing, that I ought to wear shorts and a tee shirt, and that it would be fun. Of course, knowing him, neither of these assertions surprised me, so I readily agreed.
by John Davis on Sep 13th, 2013
In this second article, I’ll move beyond the discussion of tool development and how some tools became specialized for use as weapons of self-defense. The phrase “form to function “might be used to describe the evolution of tools or weapons that have developed without particular planning. Rocks became tools; they were adapted to strike and kill game or a predator, their form dictated how they were used.
by John Davis on Aug 13th, 2013
Human beings have reputedly used tools since the age of Oldowon, some 2.6 million years ago. During that time our ancestor, Homo Habilis, derived chopping or digging tools from small stones.
by Dennis Lawson on Jul 28th, 2013
I’ve responded to a number of questions since publishing Talking Kenpo --- Best Practices in Martial Arts Training. Many practitioners have queries concerning the Master Key Techniques in Ed Parker’s Kenpo. Here’s my favorite response.
by Dennis Lawson on Jun 13th, 2013
As an environmental, health, and safety professional, I define safety as the ability to recognize dangers in the area around me while managing an acceptable level of risk when performing any type of job. This can take the form of being protected from a dangerous event or from an exposure to something that causes health or economic loss. Safety is about managing risk and includes both the protection of people and possessions.
by JJ Simon on May 14th, 2013
It’s always interesting to learn something new about someone we are very close to. The experiences and relationships people have affect, in small ways, all of their other relationships. My Mom has lived a wide and rich life.
by Dennis Lawson on Apr 14th, 2013
Are You Prepared? One of our associates reported an injury that occurred in a local Martial Arts studio a few months ago. It was a simple case of a beginner student who had his toenail torn off in an accident on the training floor. The injury was not life threatening but it did bleed profusely.
by Paul Christ on Mar 11th, 2013
Hurt or Heal? “When you move, you either hurt your body or you heal your body.” This principle was taught to me long ago by my teacher, Skip Hancock. As I am a kinesthetic learner, learning by doing, this knowledge has reinforced itself time and time again, I’ve consistently found it to be true.
by Dennis Lawson on Feb 14th, 2013
“Fully Qualified” Responses We received a number of reactions to “The Fully Qualified Instructor” article. As the editing team reviewed each comment, a pattern began to emerge. This pattern was familiar to me.
by Dennis Lawson on Jan 30th, 2013
The Martial Arts Learning Community (TheMALC) has now published 2 newsletters each month for over 4 years. The editing staff decided that it was time to make some changes. Starting in February 2013, we’ve initiated the following changes in our publishing schedule: We will begin publishing a single newsletter each month.
by Dennis Lawson on Jan 22nd, 2013
Black Belt Pledge --- I hold that my time and my skill are the assets of my profession, assets which grow in value as I progress in the Art, until as, as a Third Degree Black Belt, I stand as a fully qualified instructor. It shall also be my responsibility to protect any student from ravenous individuals who would try to take advantage of personal weakness to divest the gullible into unprofitable paths, to preserve the sacred things, God, family, country, and Association, I pledge my all. I tested for my 3rd Degree in July of 1990.
by Dennis Lawson on Jan 1st, 2013
In 2008, nearly 5 years ago now, I received a call from my associate, Mr. Gerry Lynch. Mr.
by Dennis Lawson on Dec 15th, 2012
I had a recent discussion with a teenager (always a challenge!). This young man had started training with me at the age of five. As we discussed college choices, SAT scores, and his interest in musical theater and Quantum Mechanics, I suddenly remembered the article below.
by Diane Ruth on Nov 30th, 2012
During a recent study session, I started thinking about the significance of Ed Parker’s Kenpo reference materials. We are fortunate to have so many principles, theories, study aids, terms, basics, etc. written down for us in Mr.
by Dennis Lawson on Nov 15th, 2012
This article developed out of a recent conversation with a former student. When we began talking about “social distance”, she reminded me that she was introduced to the subject at the age of 11. The Hidden Dimension had been required reading for her promotion to Orange belt.
by JJ Simon on Nov 1st, 2012
Last year I heard a National Public Radio interview with Louis Ferrante. His story interested me so much I had to buy his book and learn more about his life and point of view. Ferrante, a former mob associate, wrote a book after retiring from the life.
by JJ Simon on Oct 15th, 2012
Last year I heard a National Public Radio interview with Louis Ferrante, the author of "Mob Rules, What the Mafia can Teach the Legitimate Businessman." His story interested me so much I had to buy his book and learn more about his life and point of view. Ferrante, a former mob associate, wrote this book after retiring from the life.
by JJ Simon on Oct 1st, 2012
Last year I heard a National Public Radio interview with Louis Ferrante, the author of "Mob Rules, What the Mafia can Teach the Legitimate Businessman." His story interested me so much I had to buy his book and learn more about his life and point of view. Ferrante, a former mob associate, wrote this book after retiring from the life.
by Dennis Lawson on Sep 19th, 2012
We were genetically built for Fight or Flight. Our bodies were “constructed” a.k.
by Connie Alexander on Aug 31st, 2012
Chronic myofascial pain disables the mind and body. Researchers now believe that chronic pain is encoded in the fascia of our body. The purpose of this paper is to gain knowledge of the properties on the fascia and the myofascial lines of connections that run throughout the body, and how the yoga asana affect these myofascial lines which can ease chronic pain.
by Dennis Lawson on Aug 15th, 2012
Modern culture often views slips, trips, and falls as a reason to laugh. From Charlie Chaplin’s “Little Tramp” bumbling along in City Lights, to Chevy Chase’s stumbling characters on Saturday Night Live, or Kramer’s shenanigans on a Seinfeld episode, we laugh when comedians hit the floor. As a Safety manager, I’m all too familiar with the tragedy associated with falls when they occur on a jobsite.
by Mark Brosten on Jul 31st, 2012
Courage is essential for any student to grow personally or in their chosen Art. A strong mental defense and a commitment to self-improvement are also essential for progress. Having the courage to try, and learning how to deal with a mistake, is more valuable than simply knowing how to avoid error.
by Mark Brosten on Jul 15th, 2012
So much time in the art is dedicated to the physical part of training; through repetition of motion we internalize self-defense Ideas. Another way of internal izing self-defense Ideas and developing other fitness(es) (mental fitness, emotional fitness, etc.), is to apply these same self-defense principles in an argument.
by Mark Brosten on Jun 30th, 2012
While training in Martial Arts setting you may find that you use principles of motion (posture, balance, timing, etc.) and principles of self defense (margin for error, angle of deviation, etc.) fairly effectively.
by Melvin Ruth on Jun 30th, 2012
I have been blessed with some injuries that sidelined me from training. These injuries have caused me to re-evaluate the ways I teach and have changed my approach to lesson plans. While searching for simplified terms and ideas to explain Kenpo that even children from the age of five will relate too, I have been able to expand my own knowledge of Kenpo.
by Diane Ruth on May 31st, 2012
As a Martial Arts teacher and Business owner I try to create a safe, welcoming learning environment for all who enter. I’m well aware that potential students immediately identify, whether positively or negatively, with the training space. If a potential customer doesn’t feel comfortable with the studio they will not enroll in your programs.
by Dennis Lawson on May 14th, 2012
This is the first of what will be a series of articles concerning the “Practice” of Martial arts. After the publication of “Talking Kenpo” (See Subscribe to Talking Kenpo to download your copy), I received a number of questions concerning my definitions of: training, scenario, model, technique, and, of course, practice. PRACTICE (v) --- To engage in frequent consciously directed activities.
by JJ Simon on May 1st, 2012
I was listening to a podcast the other day and heard an interesting statement. It was in reference to training in meditation, but I believe it applies to all human endeavors. The podcast presenter noted, for any thing that we intend to do we have to have three things; Willingness, Know How, and Capacity.
by Nora Lawson on Apr 15th, 2012
This is a question that all massage therapists and bodyworkers around the world have heard at one time or another in their career. It is a question that we will chuckle over when having a drink with fellow body aritsans. The answer to us is obvious.
by John Davis on Apr 2nd, 2012
Tonight I witnessed the end of an era. The world champion Muay Thai fighter, Winston Walker, was ousted by a younger, stronger, faster man. Alex Gong battered the elder Walker, who finally decided to leave the ring; pushing his way through the crowd.
by Melvin Ruth on Mar 15th, 2012
I will begin this article with some history of my Martial Arts experiences. I have studied Ed Parker’s Kenpo for over 15 years. In the early eighties, I boxed for the Highland Town boys club.
by JJ Simon on Feb 29th, 2012
If your intention is to work on being in balance then your attention has to be focused on whatever you are working on while training. The study of balance in the Martial Arts begins with the physical dimensions. It should not end there.
by Diane Ruth on Feb 15th, 2012
Life is a Journey; and this is a reflection on my experience toward 2nd Degree Black Belt. It’s been a challenging year. I can discuss this in detail because one of my test requirements is to Blog about my training for 2nd Degree.
by Dennis Lawson on Jan 31st, 2012
On the matter of colored belts many people continue to labor under the assumption that a colored belt, even a brown one, has any meaning in the Mudansha / Yudansha structure that was the precursor of the various belt systems used in today’s martial arts. As I noted in my previous article on this subject, traditionally, the graded ranks or Yudansha were the only obi color change for the Kodokan’s, the home school of Judo, uniforms. Jigoro Kano, the founder of Judo, developed this ranking system for his students.
by Lena Varuolo on Jan 15th, 2012
Recently, I moved from my comfy little apartment in a small town to a major metropolitan city. This move posed a number of challenges for me; first and foremost, it moved me 2 1/2 hours from my marital arts coach and training partners. Twice a month, I make the trip back to my old home town to get a lesson from my coach, but this isn't enough to keep my skills fresh.
by Dennis Lawson on Dec 31st, 2011
The principle goal of education in the schools should be creating men and women who are capable of doing new things, not simply repeating what other generation s have done. - Jean Piaget This is a time of year when many of us “take stock” and try to gain some perspective on our past, the present, and our future. The Martial Arts Learning Community (The MALC) as an agency that provides services to martial artists is not a traditional vertically integrated (rank based) organization.
by Nora Lawson on Dec 15th, 2011
In a lifetime each person makes millions of decisions. Our decisions are based on what we know, where we are at the time, and the circumstances. When these decisions deal with other people then there is more room for error.
by Dennis Lawson on Nov 30th, 2011
During our recent trip to Dublin in October, I had the honor of teaching a class on the history and development of Mr. Parker’s Kenpo. I attempted to convey a sense of how the Art had progressed from its modern revelation in Hawaii during World War II to the present day.
by Melvin Ruth on Nov 15th, 2011
As discussed in my previous article, “Universal Pattern Project Introduction” published in May 2011, I’ve been working with the Universal Pattern that Mr. Parker left for us in the Infinite Insights Book Series, Volume 4 for the past 10 years. In Chapter 8 Mr.
by Mark Brosten on Oct 30th, 2011
Shadow boxing has been around a long time and is a very useful tool in your training. As a non-impact cardio work out, it is a very handy exercise. It takes no equipment; moreover it can be done almost anywhere or at any time.
by JJ Simon on Oct 15th, 2011
How many people who train with sticks have been hit with one, especially with intention, speed and force? I have, but not during training. At the age of 12, while stick fighting with a neighborhood friend, for fun; I was struck with considerable force in the head, just above my right eye. I suffered a concussion, a laceration millimeters from my eye that required 13 stitches, and I was knocked nearly unconscious.
by Diane Ruth on Sep 30th, 2011
Thinking Errors, such as, good or bad, right or wrong, all or nothing, and black or white are what gets us in trouble or holds us back from personal success. They lead us to irrational thinking and do not allow for the many shades of grey in everyday life. Irrational means to lack the power to reason.
by Lena Varuolo on Sep 15th, 2011
Recently, I moved away from my martial arts coach and training partners. I decided to cross-train in another martial art because I could not find a school in my system (Ed Parker’s Kenpo) close to my new home. Going in to this new art as a beginner, it was surprising to me that they required their male students to have groin protection but didn't have the same requirement for their female students.
by Diane Ruth on Aug 31st, 2011
Remember that training in the Martial Arts is a student centered activity. I like to think of "being supportive of your student’s learning" as a larger generalized principle. One of the best ways to ensure your students’ success is to be accommodating of their learning process.
by Paul Christ on Aug 15th, 2011
As I see it, Kenpo is way of thinking. What does that mean for my daily life? It means I evaluate everything according the Kenposcope. For those who might not be familiar with the Kenposcope, the Kenposcope is a model created by Skip Hancock and illustrated in his book Mastering Kenpo The Path of Excellence.
by Diane Ruth on Aug 3rd, 2011
Adult learners’ have specific characteristics that need to be considered when planning or delivering any type of lesson. Many adults lack confidence when learning something new. This is different from self-confidence.
by Dennis Lawson on Jul 15th, 2011
I came across a book project I had started (and never finished) a number of years ago concerning joint locks and their use in Kenpo. This article is a result of dusting off some of those notes. The terms, written in capital letters, are an important part of how students of Ed Parker’s Kenpo describe the “chaos of combat”.
by Dennis Lawson on Jun 30th, 2011
Recently while teaching a series of classes at Chris and Pattie Crews’ Missoula Kenpo Karate, I decided to end the final lesson by introducing Gleicher’s Formula for Change. I had originally studied Beckhard and Harris’ research on this model for organizational change years ago. I prefer the way Kathie Dannemiller has restructured this idea and, using this representation, I saw it as a useful structure for personal development (change), as well.
by JJ Simon on Jun 15th, 2011
Recently, I was involved in a discussion on Facebook about rank in the martial arts, part of that discussion concerned whether it is a professor’s responsibility to add to the arts. First, let me give you my definition of Kenpo. Kenpo is a philosophy of motion.
by Diane Ruth on May 30th, 2011
Is a Virtual Learning Environment effective for Martial Arts education? Can we utilize Virtual Learning in our various curriculums? We’ve seen a rise in this genre in the Martial Arts industry over the last two decades with Video tapes and DVD’s being produced for various Arts. Instructors can reach more students by producing videos and students can take their time digesting the information on the video lesson. In my case, I must argue; video alone is not enough.
by Melvin Ruth on May 15th, 2011
This article has been written to introduce my project about using the Universal Pattern as a training aid. You can find more information on the Universal Pattern in Infinite Insights, volume 4 chapter 8, where Mr. Parker introduces the Zone Theory and the Universal Pattern.
by Dennis Lawson on Apr 29th, 2011
When discussing the martial arts we often hear about the lineage, origin, or development of a particular style or system. No one knows when the martial arts, as we recognize them, developed in human society. Some say they developed in China or came from India or even Egypt or Greece.
by Diane Ruth on Apr 15th, 2011
Defined below, the principle of tailoring can be illustrated best in modern day Mixed Martial Arts matches. You’ll notice the best fighter’s try to dominate the fight utilizing their primary fighting strengths. For example: A strong grappler tries to get the submission, the boxer tries to get the knockout.
by Lena Varuolo on Mar 31st, 2011
The majority of people look to martial arts as a study of self defense. Although I can't find any hard statistics to back this up, countless hours of discussions with people either in the martial arts or looking to study makes this point quite clear. Since the focus for most is learning to defend themselves, why is it when confronted with a self defense situation people freeze, even after obtaining an intermediate to advanced belt rank in their system? When I first started studying the martial arts many years ago, I joined several online martial arts news groups.
by Mark Brosten on Mar 15th, 2011
Staying motivated when training by yourself is one of the most difficult things to keep consistent. Having the sole responsibility for your training with no one else to help motivate you is tough. This makes it a personal learning experience.
by Helen Wiggan on Feb 28th, 2011
On Sunday 13th February 2011 in Cumbria, Sensei Mike Ilderton & myself held a self-defence seminar & inter club Kata competition. Mike also assessed 6 Brown belts whom hopefully will attain Black belt status in May of this year in Newcastle. The course started well with 30 juniors & 6 adult students filling the training hall in the little town Barrow.
by Diane Ruth on Feb 15th, 2011
“Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.” ~ Gavin De Becker As a Martial Arts instructor I wanted to look at the best targets and weapons to teach women and children, since statistically attackers are mostly male and stronger.
by Mark Brosten on Jan 31st, 2011
A training tool that is available almost everywhere is the heavy bag. They come in different sizes weights and styles. A bag can be purchased from a store or homemade by tightly rolling up an old futon mattress and duct taping it in place.
by Diane Ruth on Jan 15th, 2011
How powerful would it be if we knew by standing on the left side of the instructor in the middle of the group we would process the lesson more efficiently, even under stress? In some ways we already know. How often have we said; “I really want to take this seminar; I need to get a good spot…” Where’s a good spot? A good spot for you may not be a good spot for me. Wouldn’t it make our next lesson a lot easier to learn if we know we learned best starting with the larger generalized idea or if we learned best starting with details to put the idea together? If you knew how you learn best you could say to your instructor “I’d like to go over the big picture before we go through the steps,” or “can we go through each step so I understand the order before we talk about the big picture.
by Mark Brosten on Dec 31st, 2010
A training tool that always seems to be available is the staff. When thinking of training with a staff we tend to think of a long range weapon that we spin and twirl in a large room with high ceilings. This is not that kind of training.
by Dennis Lawson on Dec 16th, 2010
“I sometimes hold it half a sin To put in words the grief I feel; For words, like Nature, half reveal And half conceal the Soul within” From In Memoriam Alfred, Lord Tennyson By the spring of 2011, I will have taught Kenpo for 30 years. It’s time to reflect on some of my most significant influences as a martial artist. Keith See began studying Kenpo in the Territory of Hawaii about the year I was born.
by Mike Ilderton on Nov 30th, 2010
On Sunday, October 31, Dee and I went off to Darlington, UK, to train in Iaido with the thought that one or both of us would grade. Once there, Dee opted out of grading and I decided to go for it. Dee, it’s fair to say, is far more accomplished in Iaido than I am.
by Mark Brosten on Nov 15th, 2010
Having a training partner is the best resource for achieving real progress in your chosen art. A partner can help to keep you motivated and dedicated to your training. Because you are interdependent with a partner, motivation is provided by positive competition, generating training ideas using creativity, the setting of goals and the chance to get feedback for your work.
by Diane Ruth on Oct 29th, 2010
Too much challenge and our student is overwhelmed, anxious, frustrated, or unable to process the lesson. Not enough challenge and our student is bored, not focused on the lesson. “Optimal Flow” is the place where skills meet challenges.
by Dennis Lawson on Oct 15th, 2010
During the annual Bethany Beach Residential The Martial Arts Learning Community (TheMALC) board of examiners evaluated three candidates for promotion. Heading the evaluation team was Senior Instructor Liam Brady of Brady Kenpo Schools Dublin, Ireland. Other examiners included Professor Dennis Lawson of www.
by Paul Christ on Sep 29th, 2010
As a retired police officer, I have a number of stories about the importance of attitude, but those must wait for another time (article). In my line of work now (security), I generally work at a company where I open up early in the morning and close late in the evening. In the morning I start with opening 3 buildings, Then, I man the reception desk in the main building which is the head office of the company.
by Diane Ruth on Sep 14th, 2010
At a recent seminar, “How to Communicate with Tact and Professionalism,” I studied new methods for improving my communication style. While writing my notes I discovered a connection between the tactics & skills presented and the self-defense strategies we study in Kenpo. I used this information to develop a strategy we can all use to improve our communication skills.
by Diane Ruth on Aug 30th, 2010
On May 4th, 2010 JJ Simon, Melvin Ruth and I traveled to Baltimore, Maryland to participate in the "Get Motivated" Business Seminar. There were several speakers with topics ranging from Goal setting, Motivation, Financial Savvy to Leadership. The best speaker that day was General Colin Powell and his speech was about Leadership.
by Nicholas VanHole on Aug 28th, 2010
“Never take up arms until you have exhausted the way of reason and of persuasion.” Franois de Callires, On the Manner of Negotiating with Princes Diplomacy has been called “the art of the possible.”1 This quote demonstrates how skillful and persuasive speech is essential to our survival and to our dealings with others on both an international and smaller social dimension.
by Melvin Ruth on Aug 15th, 2010
I have recently taken a group of students through the basics of handling and firing handguns. Most of them had no experience with these destructive weapons. I realized the most important thing is to establish TRUST in the group.
by Scott Marker on Jul 27th, 2010
Senior Grand Master Ed Parker said for years his system was developed to handle the environment of modern day street situations. He modified existing techniques and added new ones in the development of his system. Initially, major changes in his movements were made; then, smaller changes (refinements) when he discovered a more efficient way to get the job done.
by John Davis on Jul 13th, 2010
Television is an incredible communications medium. In just an hour or so each day, with the flick of a button, I can glean bits of information about many topics of interest. Occasionally, I'll experience moments of sheer joy that surround viewing a good comedy act, a fine food show or a vintage movie.
by Dennis Lawson on Jun 14th, 2010
An earlier article compared Bloom’s Taxonomy of learning with Mr. Parker’s Three Phases of a Technique. Using this model was valuable to identify the process used for learning the traditional exercises of Ed Parker’s Kenpo.
by JJ Simon on May 30th, 2010
When a person begins to train toward any goal, they have a vision of what their life will be like when the goal is finally accomplished. Many times, there are certain factors needed for success that will help any person reach their goal.Some of the factors that aid success are having: an achievable goal, a supportive community, strong coaching, discipline and concentration.
by Dennis Lawson on May 30th, 2010
I recently read an article on Benjamin Bloom's Taxonomy of Educational Objectives: The Classification of Educational Goals. Bloom, an educational psychologist, published his taxonomy (definition --- the practice and science of classification) in 1956, the same year Ed Parker opened his Pasadena studio. The coincidence reminded me of Mr.
by Dennis Lawson on Apr 29th, 2010
The Martial Arts Learning Community evolved into its second year in 2010. We've published a number of articles on Organizational Behavior and what makes TheMALC different. We still get many questions about membership, testing criteria, hierarchy, etc.
by Mike Ilderton on Apr 15th, 2010
On Sunday, we set off to Cumbria to visit Helen and her students. The early sunshine gave some credence to the rumor that spring had arrived in Newcastle. When some 40 miles from Helen we hit the fog and we were back to winter! We were subsequently a little late and found the hall full of Helen's students.
by John Davis on Mar 30th, 2010
My earliest memories of the martial arts involve a former school mate who studied Shotokan while in high school. In that late 60's era, the practice of "karate" was not a mainstream activity and one might have looked upon such pursuit as an oddity. It is very likely that by today's definitions he would have, at the time, been branded a "nerd".
by Lela Simon on Mar 13th, 2010
As a general rule the people I meet in the dedicated martial arts community are motivated, driven people. They strive for goals based on intrinsic motivation, without much need for carrots or sticks. As instructors though, we can forget what it is to be a newbie, someone who has not yet seen the benefits of a particular practice, someone who has yet to experience personal fulfillment through self actualization.
by Richard Matthews on Mar 1st, 2010
While growing up in the North East of England, the very first bit of Self defence advice I remember getting was from my Mother, a lovely but tenacious little women from Dingle in Kerry was, "if a bad man grabs hold of you son kick him as hard as you can in the shins, stamp on his foot and then run like hell!". The second bit of memorable advice came in my early teens from my Dad a true Geordie and a really genuine man who did not advocate violence at all but who was a realist about how situations can occur, any way his advice to me was, "if you ever have to fight a "Big Fella" then punch him as fast and as hard as you can aiming for his third shirt button down, if he is still standing then run like hell!". This simple advice from what seems like an age ago was I suppose my introduction to the Martial Arts from a Self Defence point of view.
by Dennis Lawson on Feb 15th, 2010
Here it is mid-February. It's usually around St. Valentine's Day or Mardi Gras that our New Year's Resolutions fall by the wayside.
by Lena Varuolo on Jan 31st, 2010
Recently, I had the privilege of attending the AWMAI (Association of Women Martial Art Instructors) conference. This conference stood out from other conferences I've attended in the past for a couple of reason; not only was it a conference geared for instructors, it was held while cruising the Bahamas. We headed out of the Port of Miami on Monday, January 4.
by Richard Matthews on Jan 16th, 2010
"If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?" - Albert Einstein Systems of any kind seem to be increasingly judged as either good or useless, e.g. Modern (good) Traditional (useless).
by Dennis Lawson on Dec 31st, 2009
As part of my continuing research on how organizations function, I look for lessons wherever and whenever they present themselves. Recently, I watched Fredericksburg again. This documentary film concerning a decisive battle early in the American Civil War offered many lessons that can aid any martial arts organization.
by Diane Ruth on Dec 18th, 2009
Tuesday, December 15th, World Martial Art's Training Day. It is a time to renew our love for our Art, our love for training, and to honor Mr. Parker and his legacy.
by Dennis Lawson on Nov 30th, 2009
Once again we have finished our week long Residential of training, testing, and fun at the beach. I was recently asked about the cost of the event for participants vs. other Martial Arts events.
by Mark Brosten on Nov 15th, 2009
I have long been disappointed with the format of having a list of techniques, forms, sets, basics, terms, etc. for testing. This format stresses memorization and the ability to regurgitate what was memorized.
by John Davis on Oct 29th, 2009
Worldwide, the martial arts have seen a tremendous rise in popularity. One need not look far to find some type of practice taking place. Television and the internet have given us a wide ranging view of sport and competition based combat arts.
by Dennis Lawson on Oct 14th, 2009
I have studied the subject of Organizational Behavior for over 20 years. My last article “What is a Learning Community Anyway?” was the first of a series of articles on organizational structure. In these studies, I will clarify and define some of the differences in Learning Communities (like TheMALC) and more classical organizational structures.
by Dennis Lawson on Sep 28th, 2009
I was recently asked these questions. "What makes The Martial Arts Learning Community different? Isn't it just another (Karate/Kenpo/Martial Arts) organization?" After a full year in existence, it's time for The Martial Arts Learning Community (TheMALC) to answer these questions. For brevity, I will refer to TheMALC and to Associations/Alliances/ Societies/etc.
by Melvin Ruth on Sep 17th, 2009
Here are a list of rules to observe when handling any firearm and should be committed to memory by each individual who plans to hunt or handle firearms. Always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction. Treat every firearm as if it were loaded.
by Melvin Ruth on Sep 16th, 2009
I've spent just over 10 years studying Kenpo Karate. I've trained in seminars, local schools, and studios outside our region. I've trained with many talented martial artists and a "big name" or two.
by Diane Ruth on Sep 1st, 2009
Recently a few of us expressed interest in learning how to shoot rifles and with Dennis' encouragement Melvin Ruth was kind enough to put together a Long Gun Training Course for us. Lena, Nora, Dennis and I came to our first class not knowing what to expect, but very eager to learn. Most of us had no experience with weapons at this point.
by Dennis Lawson on Aug 15th, 2009
Eat a healthy breakfast --- Minimize your intake of simple sugars and caffeine. These act as “short term” stimulants and can leave you sleepy or agitated when they wear off. Wear the appropriate uniform --- If you have questions about proper uniform or anything else; ask the organizer or instructor ahead of time.
by Richard Matthews on Aug 7th, 2009
TIMELY REMINDER Try to remember that the person you are training with may be more skilled or less skilled than yourself, so if speed and force are increased disproportionately to one of the training partner’s abilities then someone is going to get injured. Train intelligently and follow a couple of safety guidelines. Safety First will lead to a sustainable learning gradient in training.
by Dennis Lawson on Jul 15th, 2009
Good training is all about communication. At The Martial Arts Learning Community, we want your learning experience to be the best possible. Consider employing these Best Practices to get the most from your training experience.
by Mike Ilderton on Jun 30th, 2009
On June 13, 2009, at Paston Ridings Primary School in Peterborough, United Kingdom, Peterborough American Kenpo Karate presented ‘One Big Seminar 2009′. Here is a review of that event. Saturday morning Keelan and I headed South to Peterbrough, some 200 miles from Newcastle.
by Jeremy Del Nero on Jun 14th, 2009
The following was adapted from a project by an 18 year old assistant instructor for his level 3 instructor certification in the Kenpo 2000 organization. Allow less skilled ranks to help you with your training. They may not know the exercise you are doing, but they understand the principles and can watch out for them.
by Richard Matthews on May 28th, 2009
The brain's function of “thinking”, consciously or subconsciously, is a constant human activity, just like breathing. As Kenpo practitioners we know the benefits that can be gained from analysing and developing one of our most natural functions, breathing, the system also encourages practitioners of all levels to develop their ability to "Think", (it is or "should be" especially addressed at brown belt level). Earlier in this blog I made a bold statement," like the tradesman who couldn't read the instructions I had to think", maybe there was something or someone that could help me to develop a method to improve my thinking.
by Dennis Lawson on May 13th, 2009
Lena Varuolo (TheMALC Director of Information Technology) and I arrived in Dublin on Saturday morning April 11th. After settling in we worked a bit with Liam Brady, Gerry Lynch, and JJ Kelly on the principles of Self-Defense --- With and Margin for Error. The lesson then evolved into our first work on technique extensions vs.
by Paul Christ on Apr 30th, 2009
There is already written a lot about the movie "Life of Brian" from Monty Python, but after 30 years this movie is still up to date. And it is still funny as hell, to stay within the theme here. Like all good satires, it holds a mirror to society, it may be a little distorted to assert an absurd situation, but it is still an actual reflection.
by Diane Ruth on Apr 10th, 2009
When you're designing your martial arts curriculum please consider teaching groundwork basics to all of your students. Not because it's the latest fad, but because it will be valuable to your students. You can help them feel more comfortable defending from disadvantaged positions by spending time studying rear attacks than progressing into various ground attacks.
by Lela Simon on Mar 26th, 2009
Lets talk about how to make purple paint. If you start with red paint and blue paint and you slowly mix together the right ratio of the two colors you will get purple. If you use more red, you get a redder violet; more blue paint and you get an indigo shade.
by Mike Ilderton on Mar 11th, 2009
Most, as those who have begun to know me, would say that I am pretty upbeat. I have the body of a 66 year old and the brain of some one around 8 or 9! As Dee as said in the past, "Immaturity, in Mikes case, could last forever." However, this weekend I think I began to grow up.
by Mike Ilderton on Feb 23rd, 2009
As you are all aware, due to the deadly Man Flu (which only attacks the male), I missed Christmas and New Year. Dee therefore decided to take me out of the doom gloom and snow ridden UK for a week of sea, sand, sunshine AND WAIT FOR IT..
by John Ward on Feb 6th, 2009
When I finally achieved my black belt I had to be careful not to let it go to my head. "You are just scratching the surface" I remember my instructor saying to me when I was nearing my black belt. What he meant was you now have a good idea of the tools needed for the job; go out there and make something of yourself, keep an open mind and don't get complacent.
by John Davis on Jan 31st, 2009
In late July of 1999 my Kenpo "journey" began. Perhaps that phrase is an overused cliche, yet, it may be an apt description of any practitioner's development in the art of their choice. As with most journeys there is a beginning and ending point; fortunately, I have yet to see the latter.
by Dennis Lawson on Jan 15th, 2009
Any company is a reflection of the values of its founders. The Martial Arts Learning Community (The MALC) was the creation of a diverse group of martial artists who believe that learning can and should occur anytime and anywhere. More importantly, we believe that knowledge and wisdom cannot be the sole possession of any elite --- both are part of our human heritage.
by Lela Simon on Dec 30th, 2008
In the moment that a baby duck is first hatched it looks out from its shell- and decides who its mother is. From that moment, all the way though it’s little duckling hood, it has one job; Follow momma and do and say what she does. Follow without question, or argument, and never ever follow anyone else.
by Dee Ilderton on Dec 12th, 2008
The MALC'S first event in the UK was the brainchild of Mike Ilderton and Richard Matthews. Both Newcastle United supporters and supporters of the legendary Sir Bobby Robson whose brave fight against cancer has captured the heart of millions. We decided to hold a mixed martial arts festival to raise money for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.
by JJ Simon on Nov 26th, 2008
Humility , or being humble, is the defining characteristic of an unpretentious and modest person, someone who does not think that he or she is better or more important than others. Because the concept of humility addresses intrinsic self-worth, it is emphasized in the realm of religious practice and ethics where the notion is often made more precise and extensive. ~ Wiki Dictionary WALK THE WALK! A purpose worth stating, a model worth living.
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