Golden Rule Karate & Fitness LLC has been proudly serving the communities of Warren County, NJ since 1997. We offer a wide variety of martial arts and fitness classes, including Isshinryu Karate, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Yoga, and Kickboxing. Our facility is also equipped with a 24/7 Adult Gym for members to take advantage of.
At Golden Rule Karate & Fitness LLC, we strive to provide a safe and fun environment for all ages. Our classes are taught by experienced instructors who are passionate about helping our students reach their goals. We welcome you to join our community and start your journey to a healthier and happier lifestyle.
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By Sensei Kelly Cere
Importance of the basics I have seen throughout my years of training so many schools no longer emphasize the basics. They focus more on kata and memorizing the moves instead of having good technique. Their students can go through the moves but lack the understanding of the technique and how it should be done. For example, they head block with their arm in the wrong position and their wrist bent or curled. If they actually had to block a wild punch coming at them, they would most likely hurt themselves instead of stopping the action. The reason, they continue to learn one kata after another making the same basic mistakes, that get carried on and on. Why? I believe that today dojos are more concerned with keeping students so they can pay their bills. So, they just keep students “moving through” their program and handing out promotion after promotion. Once the student learns the basics, they usually start the first kata, but I have seen dojos start teaching kata on the student’s first day, which to me is insane! This behavior just promotes the cycle of students having bad technique from one kata after another. I like to come up with creative ways to mask the repetition of doing basics. This way students hopefully don’t get bored doing the same thing repeatedly which we know is the key to developing muscle memory. At my dojo we start every class with basics. Here are a few examples of how to make basics more fun and challenging: 1. Upper body basics 1 - 4, do 4 reps stepping forward, then do 4 reps stepping backwards. 2. Upper body basics 5 - 10, do 4 reps stepping backwards, then do 4 reps going forward but add 2 more punches (block - punch - punch - punch - punch) 3. Lower body basics 4 - 7, set the kicking leg in front instead of back. 4. Combine upper and lower body basics together. For example: front kick with right left, set down in front, set hands on left side of belt, down block right, left reverse punch. 5. Work basics with a partner or on focus mitts. Be creative yourself and make the basics fun. Put more emphasis on them to get your students excited about doing them too!
Many people start out in the martial arts. Some don’t make it past the first class while others train for many years. Some students may achieve into the brown belt ranks, and others will achieve into the black belt ranks. The reasons people stop training are as vast as the reasons people never quit. Many believe that people either quit or continue to train. However, there is a third gray area of martial artist out there among us. These are the self-proclaimed students. I’m not calling them self-proclaimed because they didn’t at one point earn their rank. No, I’m calling them self-proclaimed because they claim to be a martial artist, but don’t train on a regular basis and sometimes not at all. They may occasionally attend class or events and that’s great, but they rarely if ever participate. Why is this a problem? It’s a problem because your Martial Art skills like most other skills are perishable. Without constant practice and continued learning your skills become dull and a shadow of what they once may have been. You may confuse techniques in a kata and may loose the ability to properly demonstrate at full speed. Some martial artists haven’t realized it, but their art is a perishable skill that must be continuously renewed through practice and training. Experts in other skill-based fields recommends regular training time to both improve and maintain accuracy and the skills needed for proper task execution. Why do some people in the martial arts feel that we can somehow escape the natural order that affects every other skill-based task? Continue to practice and avoid the trap of complacency.
Small Minds and Plagiarism in the Martial Arts
In the years I’ve been training in the Martial Arts I’ve attended countless seminars and have visited many other Dojos from New Jersey to Hawaii. These for the most part have been great experiences and in every case learning something. Many times I will bring students with me. This is great for them, but also for everyone else because together we can remember more.
When I bring techniques back to the Dojo I always talk about where I have learned what I am teaching. I speak of the host Dojo and the instructor that taught the technique or drill we brought back. In many cases you can see the interest on the students face, and many times students will ask how they can also attend the next outing.
Unfortunately today there are many instructors that discourage students from attending seminars with or without them. Some may not want the student to see better techniques because the instructor has slacked off in their training, and other times it could be that the instructor wants to bring the techniques back as their own. Neither should be acceptable from any instructor. I personally value everything I have learned over the years of training and always mention the person I learned it from when teaching it to my students.
Teaching seminars is not for everyone. The amount of time and thought that goes into a well organized seminar should not be taken lightly. Therefore when repeating and teaching what you have learned also give the credit that is due. You will feel better about yourself and will earn some actual respect.