First Lesson: Traditional vs Empower Kickboxing

Traditional Karate First Lesson    

Empower Kickboxing First Lesson  

There is a massive disconnect between what students enroll into a martial arts school for and what they get.

Students enroll because they want to improve their fitness, confidence, and ability to defend themselves.

Students DO NOT enroll to learn KATA. Most have never heard of kata prior to enrolling. Why do you still teach it?

Here are two videos. In one, I’m teaching what I taught for two decades as part of a students’ first lesson. Front stance, downward block, lunge-punch. 

Video one takes 7-minutes to teach front stance, downward block, lunge-punch. 

Video two takes 6-minutes to teach fighting stance, downward block, cross, hook, and uppercut.

The differences could not be more clear. 

As you look at each one these points ask yourself, “Why?”

Video 1 Traditional Karate

Important Points

  1. Keep shoulders squared and expose your center-line to your opponent. Why?
  2. Keep shoulders back and upright for form. Why?
  3. Keep hands on hip. Why?
  4. Leave block out. Why?
  5. Aim to punch. Why?
  6. Leave punch out. Why?
  7. Keep chin up. Why?
  8. Cross your arms before you block. Why?
  9. Step forward and block. Why?
  10. The deeper the stance the better. Why?
  11. Block with power. Why?

Video 2 Empower Kickboxing

Important Points

  1. Turn your body to the side to protect your centerline. Why?
  2. Keep hands up to protect your face. Why?
  3. Snap punch back quickly. Why?
  4. Do not telegraph your punch. Why?
  5. Tuck chin down. Why?
  6. Raise shoulders to protect your chin. Why?
  7. Block quickly and recover. Why?
  8. Keep your legs under you. Why?
  9. Minimalize the block. Less is best for quick recovery. Why?

If you are honest with yourself, the Whys of the first video are MUCH harder to answer than the second video.

So here is my why. Why do you still teach the video one system? If you want to be a museum curator and preserve the traditional styles, I totally understand and appreciate you for doing that. 

However, if you want to teach your students an efficient skill set that matches what they are enrolling for, the second video clearly demonstrates how that would look. 

Empower Kickboxing is full white to black belt curriculum that is designed to be easier to teach and easier to learn.

 EmpowerKickboxing.com

 

Three Curriculum Questions for Martial Arts Instructors

martial arts curriculum

NOTE: There is a link to the curriculum at the bottom of the page.

1. What is easier to learn? A hook kick or a sidekick? I say the hook kick.

Which do you teach first? I’ve always taught sidekick first. Why? Because it’s always been taught that way.

In truth, when you are teaching hook kick, most students are actually doing a low hook kick. Why? It’s a more natural movement.

2. What is easier to learn? A spinning hook kick or a spinning back kick? I say the spinning hook kick.

Which do you teach first? I’ve always taught spinning back kick. Why? Because it’s always been taught that way. The reality is that most kids can do a spinning hook kick on their first day in class.

3. As white belts in your school, do students have to first learn the basic tradition blocks and stances before they move into more applicable strikes and kicks? Why?

Traditional anything is more complex (not more advanced) than most any strike or kick. The application of traditional material is also harder to grasp for the new student.

Do the traditional arts have value? Yes! Absolutely. It’s just a bit of a hard sale to retain a new student when he is hit with this kind of complexity right out of the gate.

For the past few years I have been working on a curriculum that makes teaching and learning martial arts easy.

Rather than spreading practice time over dozens, if not hundreds of techniques, we focus on a much smaller amount of techniques so we can spend more time on each.

The idea is that if you spend 45-minutes practicing a half-dozen techniques in various applications your students will feel much more progress than if you spend that class teaching or reviewing a 24-move kata.

We call a month a Module. Each month the focus of the module changes:

Three Modules  = One Term

Term One

1. Kickboxing

2. Weapons / Ground

3. Martial Arts

Term Two

1. Kickboxing

2. Weapons / Ground

3. Martial Arts

Term Three

1. Kickboxing

2. Weapons / Ground

3. Martial Arts

Term Four

1. Kickboxing

2. Weapons / Ground

3. Martial Arts