Martial Arts Instructor News and Articles

John Graden

John Graden

Executive Director

John Graden led the martial arts into the modern era by creating the first professional association, trade journal & instructors certification program.

New York City – A doctor who was forced to resign from Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center shot and killed another doctor and injured six other staff members on Friday, June 30, 2017.

Fortunately, hospital staff had prior active shooter response training which they applied during the shooting. The shooting is being investigated as a case of workplace violence.

According to active shooter trainer Chris Sutton, the hospital’s investment in employee safety paid off. Sutton says, “The best way to prepare for an active shooter is to prepare for an active shooter with expert training. Too many people think it will never happen to them.”

Sutton also says that there may have been signs that the shooter was a potential threat. “From the news reports, he was forced to resign based on sex-harassment allegations. His picture should have been circulated at all restricted entrances so security would have stopped him from getting access to his targets. Good active shooter training starts with threat assessment and prevention.”

The shooter, 45-year-old Dr. Henry Bello, hid a AR-15 he was carrying under his lab coat and walked past security using his employee badge to enter Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center. When Bello learned that his target wasn’t there, he opened fire anyway, killing another doctor. Six others were injured during the attack, having been shot in the head, chest or abdomen. The suspect then attempted to set himself on fire and then fatally shot himself.
Chris Sutton
Active Shooter Training Video

Notice Tyson’s hand is by his face, not his hip.

His chin is down instead of up.

His shoulder is up instead of pulled back.

His body is sideways to his opponent instead of squared off.

His legs are under his body not spread apart like he was riding a horse.

With this kind of form, he would fail his orange belt exam in most schools. 

How does that make any sense?

Sensei Tyson?

If Mike Tyson or a world champion kickboxer came to your school to teach your black belts. What do you think he would work on? Double punches, square blocks, and keeping your chin up?

I’m pretty sure he would emphasize head movement, how to snap your punches and a defense that does NOT include pulling your punch back to your hip.

I’m sure the students would learn advanced applications to adjust for different fighters. Notice I said advanced applications, not advanced strikes.

When you focus on application, you can apply that to almost any technique.

For instance, if the drill is about how to fight a taller fighter, the answer is more about footwork to stay on the outside until you can secure quick access. My brothers are 6′ 3″ and 6′ 4″ so I know something about fighting a taller opponent.

Drills that teach that application do not require complexity. They require simplicity.

The more complex a skill becomes, the less chance it can be used. Have you ever seen a double punch? Only in kata and here:

If you eliminated all kata and traditional skills, you could devote that time to drills and conditioning that would give your students a true advantage in sparring or self-defense.

Imagine teaching fewer skills that are easy to teach and learn than traditional skills and kata.

You could spend more time on the application of those skills rather than stepping up and down the classroom and holding blocks and punches out in the air, which leaves you wide open for a counterattack.

Rather than spending student’s time with the complexity and frustration of spending years perfecting the bad habits of pulling their hand back to their hip, keeping their chin up, aiming and holding a punch in the air, and blocking with power while stepping forward, your retention will improve. Your student quality will improve. Your curriculum consistency will improve.

This is the core of our white to black belt curriculum Empower Kickboxing.

It’s an old saying, but true. “Less is best.”

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