Hello Parents!

Happy Year of the Dragon!  We have had a great week at our studio.  Here is your week in Review:

************  Preschool ********************

We are getting ready for the Yellow Belt test, which, if you were already informed, will be happening this week on Saturday, January 28th, 2012 starting at 3pm at our studio.  We worked on all of their blocks, punches (front, back, hammer and thrust) and kicks (side, front and back).  Also, we practiced kempo A and Dm #6, which you can see in our Student Resources Section.

We also made sure to talk about the 5 principles of Martial Arts:  Effort, Etiquette, Sincerity, Self Control, and Character.  All students must know these before testing for Yellow Belt, so parents, you can help with these.  Lastly, as we always do in class, we are making a strong point that Martial Arts is not to be used during the classroom, or with other kids.   We teach that its use is only for Karate Class, where they can practice without hurting others.

*******  Tiny Tigers **************************

These week we worked on a lot of different topics.   First we touched upon hand combinations.  These are easy and effective ways to remember which strike follows which.  We believe the all strikes follow each other in a flow, and therefore, we like to teach our students which combinations are more suitable in different situations.

We incorporated, also, a lot of elbow strikes.  We teach 5 different kinds of elbows:  roundhouse, back, down, side and rising; and we practiced a simple exercise to remember them all.  Do 2 of each strike like this:  Round with the right, Round with the left, Down with the right, Down with the left, Rising with the right and Rising with the left, and side with the Right and side with the Left.  These exercise is good for hand coordination, and it is also a great work out, the faster you do it.

We also reviewed Side Club techniques #1 and #2 which you can also see at our Student Resources section.  Lastly, we talked extensively about bullying, and how bullies can be kids just like them, all who share issues trying to communicate with others.  They usually express themselves in more physical and verbal ways, and we teach our students how to defend themselves against them.  We teach to say “Please Stop!”, and to talk to the teachers and parents.  We also teach that hitting them will only make things worse, and even though Martial Arts teaches you how to strike, that you are not expected to do so.


**********  Teen Dragons  ****************

With the teens we worked a lot on Kempo techniques.  As we teach our students, Kempos spawn out of our core Defense Maneuvers.  These techniques are quick reactions you can use in cases of attacks we don’t normally cover with the DMs, and enrich their capacity to understand their forms.

We also took time to teach them a few grab techniques.  Specifically, techniques against two handed grabs.  The technique we taught goes as follows:

1.  As the opponent grabs, form a circle with the right hand going counter-clockwise.

2.  Use the other hand to grab onto the crease of the arm of your opponent, making them bend their elbow and turn their back against you.

3.  Take your right hand again, and form another circle in the same direction, snaking around the arm of your opponent until your hand ends up on the back of their shoulder and press down.

We always emphasize that these kinds of techniques are specially to control your opponent, but not to hurt them.


***********  Adult Class ********************

During the Adult Class we started a challenge:  to be able to do the split stretch by the end of the year.  As we come to class we will work on getting our legs to be more flexible, but as always, safety is our primary concern, so we do recommend our students to do as much as their bodies will allow them to without getting hurt.  We also, touched upon a bit of Yoga, by introducing the Sun Salutation – the short version.

This Salutation is a great way to start your day.  The version we taught goes as follows:

1.  Starting in an attention stance, draw your hands up to the sky meeting in the middle, and press down your body, crossing the center until you reach your waist.

2.  Push your hands down to the ground with your legs straight.

3.  Bring your hands forward until you reach a Down Dog position.

4.  Dip your body down until you reach the Up Dog position.

5.  Push with your hands until your legs are straight again in the Down Dog Position.

6.  Bring your hands to the center while using your elbows to push your knees out.

7.  Bring your rear up, straightening your legs, and keeping your fingers touching the ground.

8.  Pull your hands together and up until you reach your waist.

9.  Pull your hands up and around until you reverse the initial movement you did in step 1.

These kind of exercise is great to control your breathing, as you are required to breath inhale and exhale fully at each movement.


*********  Sparring Class  ************************

During the sparring class we worked specifically on hitting the target.  Though it may sound obvious, we wanted to make the point, that while we spar, we sometimes hit places of the body that are protected, and so we emphasize to hit the targets that are open.

We practiced together, and we had time to spar as well.  It was a lot of fun, and we are looking forward to seeing everyone in class this week as we will be working on taking sparring to the ground.  Bring your gear!