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Traditional Blocks vs Empower Kickboxing Blocks


white belt child kicks with instructor watching

Get Certified as a Martial Arts Instructor Online

MATA Martial Arts Instructor Certification Course

Module 21-The Proper Use of Student Instructors

by Scot Conway, Esquire

The $25,000 Volunteers

Excerpt from the Martial Arts Instructor Certification Course:

Using upper ranks to teach classes has been a long-standing martial arts tradition. But, is it legal?

A California instructor had his black belts teaching under-rank classes at his studio. In exchange, he no longer charged them tuition.

This continued until one fateful day when the owner and a black belt student had a disagreement.

The vindictive student contacted the California Labor Board and reported that his instructor had been employing assistants by requiring that they teach classes each week.

This can constitute an Employer – Worker relationship. The only thing missing was payment for the workers and the taxes the government would collect if they were being paid.

The State of California investigators concluded that the owner, over the years, had a total of 25 black belts teach classes.

They defined them as uncompensated employees, which is illegal under the laws of California, and fined the instructor $1,000 per incident.

The final bill: $25,000 for the volunteers.

Lesson: Know your state laws regarding utilizing assistant instructors.

Most martial arts schools start with front stance down block and aim lunch punch.

So let’s replace this multiple step action with something very simple and that is our block. The Empower Kickboxing downward block.

Notice my shoulder comes up, my chin comes down, my hand opens, it is just as effective. A lot easier to learn, a lot easier to teach. And also, as you can see, my hips are turning. So there’s a kick coming here towards my groin area. I am turning the target away and just

redirecting with an open hand so I can grab plus an open hand covers more, so I’m in good position, bang! To come right back again. So we’re not doing this stuff.

Robot, monster robot it is. There’s your front down block then the same thing on the other side here. I’m sweeping my body lines. The hands stay inside the body lines right there. So that is our downward block. So this goes out the window.

Obviously, you never aim to throw a punch and you never hold a punch out and you never put your hand at your hip in any kind of reality sparring or a street fight.

So let’s just discard that forever.

Next block is our shield block. And this is a defense against the haymaker. Very simply, I’m just going to hide and protect the target. This side of the head is the target.

I turn and always when I do that front action again, I’m turning the groin away a little bit. I’m making my target smaller by turning it away rather than turn it at the opponent, which is what traditional martial arts teaches. So shield, shield, it doesn’t stay there long. I don’t pose. I get there and I’m back. I’m getting there. Bang! I’m countering same thing on the other side. On the other side. Then we have the window wipers.

Just these things.

And I did I use this constantly when I’m sparring because guys to step in and push like that. Well, they dropped her hand and I’ll just, boom. Help it down. And I might make it my mission for my right hand to get to his head faster than his hand can get back to protect it. It’s worked many times in big tournaments and upside and upside Joe Lewis’s head has had a couple times.

Ok, so quick review. Shield. Window wipers. Now rather than boom. This forearm block.

That’s it. That’s it. That’s all there is. Simplicity.

So you’re working with your students in their living room rather than having them step, step and doing all over the place and then going off camera because there is somebody big steps in this form. They’re right there in front of you. And you’re right there in front of them. Leg checks.

If that’s something you want to do, you a little better back here. Like checks?

Not really. My thing. I wasn’t raised because I’m not an expert in that area. But you could use it or not. That’s the beauty of Empower Kickboxing. It’s not a strict style. It is a guideline. It’s lesson plans. It’s a brand. And it makes a lot of sense and makes teaching so much more easier because you have everybody in the same class.

So quick review. Shield blocks.

Window wipers. These are our forearm blocks and then our downward blocks, real simple. I don’t have to move. If I move it just a little pike step back.

Pike is kind of like a cat stance, actually. So I’m going to pike back up on the ball a foot here.

Those are the basic blocks from Empower Kickboxing versus the basic blocks from traditional martial arts. Out with the old.

In with the new.


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