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Bowley Kenpo Karate » Sparring

8 Sparring Drills We Do

8 Sparring Drills We Do

When we spar, the goal is to get better at incorporating our basics and techniques into faster, more intense situations. Freestyle (sparring) is the highest form of martial arts application. Sometime though, we get into the rut of just using our “go to” moves and pounding on each other for 2 or 3 minutes. To break out of that, we will utilize some of these drills in sparring class to focus on targeting, timing, stamina, … Read entire article »

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How Do You Watch Yourself Fight

How Do You Watch Yourself Fight

In sports to aid in training, it’s a common best practice to watch yourself on video. Athletes and coaches worldwide review video of practices and games to see which areas did well and which can always be improved. If they aren’t already, martial artists should adopt this habit. Historically the viewpoint on the videos is from a third person perspective. You see the action from the perspective of the person filming off to the side. With … Read entire article »

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Karate Drills: Mr. Trejo’s Duck the Punch Drill

Karate Drills: Mr. Trejo’s Duck the Punch Drill

In July 2012, Mr. Frank Trejo taught seminars at my instructor’s school, Disciple Martial Arts, in Edmond, OK. All of his classes were highly engaging and informative. He gave each class and age group different drills to work through. One of them we work frequently in our school focuses on ducking a punch and countering the attack. We’ve dubbed it Mr. Trejo’s Duck the Punch drill. (While we don’t know if he created the drill, … Read entire article »

Filed under: School Information, Sparring

Kids Karate Sparring March 2013

Kids Karate Sparring March 2013

March has been a testing season both at our school and also at Disciple Martial Arts in Edmond, OK. All the students testing did fantastic. Below are a few of the sparring videos captured during the exams. (The headgear has been equipped with a GoPro camera.) Allison vs Luke at Bowley Kenpo Karate. Both age 8 and testing for their 2nd purple stripe on this evening. Serra sparring with some of the students at Disciple Martial Arts … Read entire article »

Filed under: Belt Promotion, Sparring

What’s a Black Belt Test Like?

What’s a Black Belt Test Like?

A frequent question from coworkers and friends, what is a karate test like? What’s a black belt test like? Most other hobbies, extracurricular activities, or even passions don’t have a similar evaluation system built in as martial arts does. There is a certain “mystique” to what people believe about karate exams. What follows are stories of my experiences. Keep in mind, other martial arts styles, other schools, even other instructors could do their testing differently. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Belt Promotion, Personal Stories, Sparring

Everyone But Daddy

Everyone But Daddy

“It takes a village to raise a child” is a common proverb almost everyone has heard. While talking about how it’s a group effort to teach a child the necessary characteristics to be a responsible, well-round adult, it can apply to martial arts training as well. Anyone who teaches karate to, and specifically spars, with their children will probably be able to relate. As of this writing, my daughters are ages 11 and 13. They’ve been … Read entire article »

Filed under: Personal Stories, Philosophy, Sparring

Our Sparring Class Examples

Sparring class is an important (and fun) part of our school, and each month we try to have 2 classes independent of the regular curriculum classes. For our school, it usually means one Wednesday evening and one Saturday morning with each about an hour and a half long. A typical class has everyone on the mat doing a 1 or 2 minute warm up round with each other student (kids and adults) focusing on getting loose and making light contact. We go over the goals for the class, which recently have been move in and move out, throwing more than single or double attacks, and zone blocking. After the warm up rounds, we move to 2 rings and keep the matches going. Based on who and how many have come … Read entire article »

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Trying new sparring styles

During a recent Saturday sparring class at our school, we were visited by Mr. Johnny Guzman, a black belt from Mr. Duffy’s Kenpo school in Austin. He fought all of us with a sparring style I hadn’t seen before. Mr. Guzman would stay in a much closer range then you’d traditionally see, and he’d keep his front hand or forearm pressed against his opponent’s front arm. It acted as almost a radar, measuring the distance between him and his opponent. If the opponent moved to go right, he’d slip his front hand in for a quick rib shot. If the opponent moved to the left, it acted as a trigger, allowing him to move toward the opponent’s center line. It was pretty interesting to watch (and feel), and I began … Read entire article »

Filed under: At Disciple Martial Arts, Sparring

Ping Pong and Karate. No, Really.

Ping Pong and Karate. No, Really.

At my alter ego, day-job, the company has recently put a ping pong table in the break room. Now there’s a daily gathering, sometimes more frequently, to determine the “championship belt.” Over the last few months, as players got better, I’ve seen a chance for better sparring as a result of playing ping pong. No, our games don’t become so violent we resort to throwing the paddles . . . . usually. In dojo or tournament sparring, … Read entire article »

Filed under: Personal Stories, Philosophy, Sparring

Karate Drill: Defending the Line

For each Kenpo karate belt and/or stripe test in our AKF organization, there is sparring involved. Usually it’s the last part of the test and lasts 45 minutes to an hour. The opening sparring portion is traditionally one-on-one matches with the goal being to see good movement, use of the basics, and solid technique incorporation. The last portion is designed to raise it up a notch and find the top end point for each person. The method used most often right now, especially for the kids, is the drill Defending the Line. The person being tested has a point on the mat they need to defend, usually it’s a piece of tape: The Line. On the other end of the mat are 4 or 5 other students. One at a time, … Read entire article »

Filed under: Belt Promotion, Sparring

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