December Theme: Honor

Copyright © 2007-2010 by World Dragon Kenpo. All rights reserved.
Blog design copyright © 2007-2010 by Steve Amoia. All rights reserved. The blog template was provided by Google Blogger.

"Everything begins in the mind. Create the intention and then apply the effort to receive the result."

"It is very easy to break a pencil in half. Breaking ten pencils in half is an altogether different matter."

--- Coach Ron Pfeiffer, 7th Degree Black Belt, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin USA


"Don't fear the person who has studied a thousand techniques one time. Fear the person who has studied one technique a thousand times."

--- Ed DellaCroce, 3rd Degree Black Belt and the North Carolina State Director for World Dragon Kenpo.


December Theme: Honor.

The Example of Staff Sergeant Salvatore A. Giunta

“I lost two dear friends of mine. I would give this back in a second to have my friends with me right now.”

Featured Video




Thursday, December 13, 2007

December 2007 Slayer News

SLAYER NEWS
About Dragon Kenpo Karate
December 2007 Charity

“With malice toward none, and charity for all.” --- Abraham Lincoln

Table of Contents

The Only Constant by Coach Ron Pfeiffer
Featured Article: Dragon Kenpo in Real Life by Michael A. Gregory

Dragon Kenpo Street Defense by Ed DellaCroce
A Gift For Yourself by Phoebe Nelson Oshirak, RN
SAMBO: The Russian Martial Art by Steve Amoia
New Member Biography: David Hayes
Closing Comments by Coach Ron Pfeiffer
Staff Biographies Link

The Only Constant
By Coach Ron Pfeiffer


Each year, I announce a Member/Instructor of the Year. There were quite a few candidates, and making the choice is one of the toughest end-of-year tasks I have. Congratulations to Steve Amoia who is our World Dragon Kenpo Member of the Year for 2007. Those of you who know Steve are aware of his untiring efforts to promote our school, and his very professional efforts with our newsletter. Additionally, he was one of those who I was able to lean on a bit during some personal challenges and changes which I am still dealing with.

For those of you who know me well, I want to thank you for the kind words and encouragement that I have received during this past year. My life changed in 2007 by 360 degrees, and that change has been more than a simple distraction. Now that I am adjusting, I'm putting all members of WDK on notice to prepare for an unprecedented year for our school.

Since the inception of World Dragon Kenpo Schools of Self Defense in July of 2004, we've seen a steady growth and developed a very loyal membership. These take no prisoners. No holds barred warriors have been persistent and insistent in personal development, and in sharing the experience of being a member of our elite program.

From Hawaii to the United Kingdom to Iraq and points in between, the style known as Dragon Kenpo Karate has been adopted, not as a replacement, but more as an attitude towards self-improvement and improvement of martial teaching.

Instructors and students of our (Note: "our" means all of us) organization, school, program and virtual dojo share a unique bond. It is my sincere wish that over the next year, all of us rededicate our efforts to share our Dragon Kenpo with friends, family and others so that they too can know how empowering the study of Kenpo can be.

Many of our members have embraced the Nunchaku as "weapon of choice" and Tai Chi as "a counter balance." This has truly expanded the scope of WDK and will for years to come.

So as we enter 2008, let's refocus and prepare for the some of the most interesting times of our lives... They are coming... Watch or you'll miss it... So what is the only constant…

That's right, you guessed it, change.

Coach Ron Pfeiffer can be contacted at dragonkenporegister@yahoo.com

“Give him a little earth for charity!” --- William Shakespeare

Dragon Kenpo in Real Life
By Professor Michael A. Gregory

(Professor Gregory is a member of the Ivy Tech Community College Dragon Kenpo Training Group).

It started out as a routine traffic stop in Harrison County, Indiana, where I have been a Senior Reserve Officer for the Sheriff’s Department for some thirteen years. Driving 70 mph in a 55 mph zone with a kid in a car seat will generally get my attention. I pulled the driver over and ran him through our dispatch, looking for wants and warrants. He came back “signal 80” (not wanted by any jurisdiction), but did have a restraining order against him. I wrote the ticket for speeding then asked who the child was. He replied that it was his, and named the person listed on the restraining order as the mother. Now we had a problem. He was to have “no contact” with the mother, or the child, according to the conditions of the restraining order issued by the Judge.

WDK Wrist Lock Technique

As I questioned the driver further, he became verbally abusive, and very agitated. I ordered him out of the pickup and had him stand at the rear of the vehicle. If this verbal attack was going to become a physical fight, I wanted him away from the child. I ordered him to face the tailgate and put his hands on the truck and proceeded to pat him down for weapons. At that very moment, he shoved his right hand into his pants pocket shouting an obscenity at me. Without hesitation, I grabbed his wrist with both my hands, and placed him in a wrist lock while lifting him off the ground. I promised him (in terms I won’t repeat here) that I could and would pull his arm off if he wanted to fight. White technique number something, I don’t remember. (Editor’s note: Professor Gregory refers to WDK White Belt Technique # 1).

New Skills Utilized

The point is, I received no police training in my past that equipped me for the situation as well as the Karate training I had recently received in Dragon Kenpo. In times gone by, his sudden movement of reaching into his pocket while being searched would possibly have resulted in my .40 cal. Glock being pointed at the back of this angry man’s head, or taking him to the ground in the gravel to subdue him as I had been trained in defensive police tactics. Instead, I felt calm and reacted appropriately to the threat level using my “new” skills. It was smooth and professional. Karate had actually helped me to de-escalate a potentially violent situation while making an arrest alone on a two lane highway in rural Indiana.

By the way, it was a cell phone vibrating in his pocket that the driver foolishly reached for. He ultimately went to jail for invasion of privacy, got a speeding ticket, and the baby left with relatives at the same time his vehicle left with the tow truck. As for me, I went home and started practicing yellow and orange belt techniques. The bad guys are still out there waiting to be found, and I still have a great deal more to learn.

I study under Sensei Jim Patus at IVY Tech Community College in Sellersburg, Indiana. I teach Anatomy to the Nursing and Allied Health students here. Jim and I both enjoy the study of the history of the martial arts, and have adopted Dragon Kenpo as the basis of our training. I am currently working on the analysis of the anatomical features of power and strength, as well as speed of movement of the various techniques we practice. I look forward to hearing from anyone who has questions or comments concerning the anatomy of martial arts.

Michael Gregory can be contacted at mgregory@ivytech.edu

“Charity begins at home.” --- Terence

Dragon Kenpo Street Defense
By Ed DellaCroce

ABI'S Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Studio, located in Goldsboro North Carolina, is a 10,000 square foot facility filled with Martial Arts enthusiast and an atmosphere of pure adrenaline. Serving the local area since January 2007, MMA fighters train and prepare there for regional competitions. Offering a variety of arts from Grappling, Boxing or Ultimate Cage fighting the staff of certified instructors maintain the needed pace to be the very best.

I am the North Carolina State Director for World Dragon Kenpo Karate, and a 2nd Degree Black Belt instructor. At ABI'S, I am a staff instructor, and have taken a personal self-defense class. I have developed a more realistic street level fighting course. My course encompasses the arts of World Dragon Kenpo, Hapkido, Aikido and other mixed defensive tactic techniques. My course allows a victim to adjust their force to the attacker. Teaching persons to defend themselves is their greatest reward.

Basic Approach

The defensive class taught at ABI'S is entitled "Dragon Kenpo Street Defense." The name certainly describes the course outline. Unlike traditional Karate classes, the street defense class is only eight (8) hours of instruction. It teaches a basic approach to everyday self-defense situations. The proven techniques show a student how they can defend themselves against a much larger attacker. Keeping a technique simple ensures a natural reactive response under pressure. What we learn, good or bad habit, becomes second nature under pressure.

ABI'S street defense also teaches many of the techniques outlined in World Dragon Kenpo (WDK). It provides a defensive approach to react, neutralize, and withdraw from a dangerous situation. The skills taught are not to be taken lightly. Because of the combative nature, many of the moves can cause serious injury to an attacker. Other skills, such as Tae Kwon Do, teach execution of high kicks. In a close environment, such as a small hallway, it would not be practical. WDK teaches a more close-quarters approach. Properly applied, the skills can allow a person to defend themselves with confidence.

Application Versus Strength

Other techniques taught are how to escape from the front and rear choke hold, bear hug, clothes grab, side and rear head lock, and others. Emphasis is on application versus strength. A student can build self-confidence in themselves. Seeing the results of their efforts is a wonderful experience. Many are amazed that they can escape from stronger opponents. We owe it to ourselves to live our lives without a constant fear of being victimized. ABI'S, WDK, and other defensive arts offer victims an opportunity to say no to victimization, and yes to a happy and capable life.

Ed DellaCroce can be contacted at ncdragonkenpo@bellsouth.net

“A bone to the dog is not charity. Charity is the bone shared with the dog, when you are just as hungry as the dog.” --- Jack London

A Gift For Yourself
By Phoebe Nelson Oshirak, RN and Tai Chi Student


Tis the season to be jolly,

Sip your eggnog, go pick holly,

Skip your next Tai Chi lesson

And you will only feel depression.

Go on; attend the office party.

Scoop the dip and stuff in treats.

Deck the halls and eat real hearty.

Give no thought to what you eat.

Tis the season; shop for folly

Eat the cake for which you pine.

Tis the season, indulge, by golly

The pounds add up, you will find.

So fill your tummy to the brim,

‘Cause later on we’ll think of thin.

At season’s end, un-trim the tree

And once again …

Practice, practice your Tai Chi.

If you are like I am; not long after you have been wined on a good Merlot or Cabernet and dined on Thanksgiving turkey with Grandma’s butter- cornbread stuffing (There’s a pun in there somewhere!) you begin to think about the approaching year-end holidays. You think of cards and wrapping, the family gatherings, the New Year celebration and of course, the FOOD! You also anticipate the pure joy of giving. There is something a bit selfish about giving presents simply because the very act elicits such a warm and satisfying feeling within us.

Why not include yourself on the gift list? Generally speaking, we are so “wrapped up” in the gift process during the holidays we forget about taking care of ourselves. But think about it. Shouldn’t you be good to yourself too?

Why not give yourself the gift of a healthy life-style. It sounds simple, but it is not always easy to do, especially during the holiday season. It takes a great deal of will power not to indulge in all the things mentioned in the rhyme. On the other hand, if we respect our minds and bodies and think about the consequences of over-indulgence, perhaps that might help us say, “No Thank You” when the dessert tray comes around for the second time. It is important that we care enough about ourselves to make the right choices for a healthy life-style. In doing so, we can improve our cholesterol, drop our weight, our blood pressure and blood sugar levels.

We can ease the stresses that come with the season’s mayhem… and yes, the guilt we have because we eat too much. But what are holidays for, if not to celebrate? Do we have to “Just Say No” to all the fun and goodies? Of course we don’t. Just use common sense. Practice everything, including Tai Chi, in moderation. It is a lot easier to be careful now rather than trying to correct matters later.

This time of year, spare time is precious, however; try not to skimp on your exercise regimen if possible. Take time or make time, even if it is just a little time, to exercise, rev up the metabolism and burn those extra calories. Another helpful suggestion: Plan ahead for the parties. Eat something healthy before you go. Fill up on lower calorie foods and when you arrive at the party, just take really small portions of the foods that are high in sugar, fat and calories.

However, if you do go overboard, don’t berate yourself too harshly. After all it’s holiday time and I know all too well that it is easier said than done when it comes to resisting the temptations of Mom’s Christmas cookies or the cheese ball at the company party. Gosh, I am making myself hungry just writing about this stuff. This holiday season, I will try my best to give myself the gift of health. I hope you will too. Let’s open a box of “sensible eating.” Let’s fill our stockings with “exercise”… like practicing Tai Chi – and last but not least, let’s bless ourselves with a good night’s sleep as often as we can during this hectic time of year. It sounds to me like the perfect recipe for a Merry Holiday and a Happy Healthy New Year.

Phoebe Nelson Oshirak can be contacted at Ophoebe0077@aol.com

“Too many have dispensed with generosity in order to practice charity.” --- Albert Camus


SAMBO: The Russian Martial Art
By Steve Amoia


Video courtesy of YouTube shows Fedor Emelianenko, who is the current
World Combat Champion.

A few weeks ago, I was watching a martial arts program, “Human Weapon,” on the History Channel. I saw an interesting display of a Russian system called “Sambo.” This is a very popular Russian martial art practiced by a wide variety of people. The Russian Federation President, Vladimir Putin, is a Master of Sports in this discipline. Such a classification would be the equivalent of a national champion. Internationally, this art is deemed to be in the wrestling genre.

History

“Created at the instigation of Vladimir Lenin during the Bolshevik Revolution in 1918 to improve the hand-to-hand combat skills of the military and the police, the secret self-defense training eventually spread to the masses and became an official, competitive Soviet sport in 1938.” (1)

Five Styles

  • Sport
  • Self-Defense
  • Combat
  • Special (Which is a specialized form of the combat style).
  • Freestyle (Which is a uniquely American style).

Personal Russian Perspective

A friend of mine, Dan Leo, grew up in the former Soviet Union. I asked him for his perspective about this very popular martial art:

“The word SAMBO is a Russian acronym that means (SAMozashchita Bez Oruzhiya) or Self-Defense Without A Weapon.

The Soviets made it sound like an ‘original’ Soviet type of fighting or wrestling. That was obviously to oppose the West. Or, really, the Eastern forms of Judo, Karate, and so forth. I'd never seen Bruce Lee's movies there, but that must have entered into the Soviet subconscious somehow.

Overall, the USSR stressed ‘public/citizen defense’ since it was a very military nation and everyone in school had to take these ‘public defense/military preparation’ classes with boys of 13-14 required to know how to shoot and assemble a rifle (AK-47 and single shot), march, take ‘orientation,’ which was another pseudo-military semi-Olympic discipline where people had to run an unmarked course while using a map in an unfamiliar forest and finish 3-5 km by hitting every required post while being timed.

SAMBO was just one of those paramilitary events.” (2)

References

(1) The History Channel, Sambo: Russia’s Extreme Fighting.

(2) A special thanks to Dan Leo for his assistance with this article.

Steve Amoia can be contacted at info@sanstefano.com

“In the end, we will not remember the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” --- Dr. Martin Luther King

New Member Biography
By David Hayes

Coach Ron Pfeiffer and World Dragon Kenpo extend a warm welcome to Mr. Hayes.

I began training in Karate in 1987 at the age of 36. I was interested in the Arts when I was young (10 to 12), but my family was not able to afford that at the time. When my son Marc expressed an interest in Karate at the age of eight, I figured I would give him the chance at something I wanted to do but never did. As it turns out, watching him sort of got my mind going and the next thing I knew, I'm training.

We started training with Sensei Greg Tearney of the Purple Dragon Dojo in Mattydale, NY. This was a combination of both Shorin and Goju kata techniques. As an Orange Belt, I entered my first tournament (The Empire Open in Syracuse, NY) and took 1st in Kata and 1st in Kumite in the over 35 year old division. I continued to compete on and off until 1991. By then (40 years old), my training had taken on more of a personal meaning. I was looking to perfect myself and not seek trophies. (I am still working on that self-perfection by the way). I also was studying Oriental Sports Training (acupressure, chi/qi meridians or pathways and how bodily organs are affected by things that would seem completely irrelevant).

James Coker (my main instructor while at Sensei Tearney's) opened his own dojo and my son and I went to train with him. I believe I was a Green Belt at the time, 4th Kyu. This is where I received Shodan grade, and was given the title of Instructor on July 13th, 1991. I taught morning classes to adults of all Kyu grades twice a week for several years, along with helping out in two evening classes that my son, Marc, was still training in. In the summer of 1992, Sensei Coker sought affiliation of his school with the Okinawan Goju Ryu Karate Do Goshinkai under the guidance of Shihan Frank Van Lenten. (Master Van Lenten was instrumental in establishing Karate in the Central NY area along with Sensei Peter Musacchio back in the 1960's). All Yudansha under Sensei Coker were asked to audition for certification with the new association. I was recognized as Shodan on November 7th, 1992.

My son, Marc, died in an accident in September of 1993. I continued to train but it was the hardest thing I had ever been through and going to the dojo without my partner from day one of my training was something I had to give up. I continued to train on my own and to research Bunkai for kata I knew. I attended tournaments on and off and judged the competitors of Kata and Kumite.

I sought to expand my knowledge and studied American Tiger Jujitsu thru what I refer to as distance study. Material was sent to me, and I would send video back when I felt I knew the material. ATJ is basically a system of 60 or so techniques designed for self-defense. This has given me some further understanding of technique that I find in my kata that could be interpreted as throws or joint locks, etc.

In or around February of 2005, my granddaughter took an 8 week class sponsored by her elementary school in Kenpo (Masters of Karate). Once again, as before when watching my son Marc in his classes, my desire was rekindled to train with other Karateka. I sought out some of my old friends and found some training at a boxing club that had donated space for a karate program that would be offered to residents of the area. I worked-out there for about two years. It seems to be “too kata heavy” (if you know what I mean) with little in the way of hands on self-defense. I do believe that kata is the vehicle that Karate uses to teach techniques and the means of practicing these techniques for solo training. But there is no substitute for actual hands on application when it is available.

While looking to further my knowledge, I came across The American Federation of Jujitsu under Master J. Moore. Through email conversations about the program, along with training I had already, Master Moore thought I should be ranked higher than Shodan due to my time in the Arts. The AFJ (Master Moore) recognized me as Sandan in the art GoJu Jutsu. I don't claim or use this title/rank. Never really felt comfortable with it. This is based on my own feelings and that I had been out of formal training in the arts for such a long time. But as I continue to grow and train, I’m starting to embrace the grade more and more in my mind.

Rank may be good at one place but not good at another. Knowledge will always be what it is and it is something that can not be taken away from you.

At the present time, I am training on my own and occasionally getting together with other practitioners to share ideas and techniques. I am on the Board of Directors of the Brotherhood of Martial Artists, which is a non-political association with the goal of sharing martial arts knowledge with other practitioners open to all styles.

Now I’m here looking at Dragon Kenpo. The concepts of Kenpo have always interested me. I see Okinawan Karate as a hard linear style with the one strike, one kill mindset. Kenpo seems to flow, and seems more alive. I also like the idea of straight up self-defense apposed to learning kata, and then finding the technique in it. I trained in it for years and I love it. But at this time in my life and training I’m looking for something new, at least new for me.

David Hayes can be reached at dhayes@twcny.rr.com


“In charity there is no excess.” --- Francis Bacon

Closing Comments by Coach Ron Pfeiffer

If you have an article that you would like to submit, you may respond to me or Steve Amoia. Comments and questions about our publication are encouraged via the interactive nature of our blog. Or you can direct them to me by email. Please proofread your submissions, and shorter rather than longer articles are preferred. WDK reserves the right to edit any submission.

Important Notice To All Members

All Student/Instructor members are reminded that advancement and promotion are not automatic. Contact Coach Pfeiffer or your local instructor if you have questions or to request advancement information.

Is your school having an event? Let the Dragon Kenpo community know by placing it in the Slayer News! We are here to help you and your students get the most out of your training.

Please remember to keep your information updated so that the World Dragon Kenpo Schools of Self Defense can serve you in the best way possible!

The articles within this newsletter are the views of the writer and not necessarily the views of World Dragon Kenpo Schools of Self Defense.

Coach Ron Pfeiffer can be contacted at dragonkenporegister@yahoo.com

Staff Biographies Link

For a link to our Slayer News Staff Biographies, please click here.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

SAMBO: The Russian Martial Art


Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Please click the image to see a
video of Fedor Emelianenko, who
is the current World Combat champion.

A few weeks ago, I was watching a martial arts program, “Human Weapon," on the History Channel. I saw an interesting display of a Russian system called “Sambo.” This is a very popular Russian martial art practiced by a wide variety of people. The Russian Federation President, Vladimir Putin, is a Master of Sports in this discipline. Such a classification would be the equivalent of a national champion. Internationally, this art is deemed to be in the wrestling genre.

History

“Created at the instigation of Vladimir Lenin during the Bolshevik Revolution in 1918 to improve the hand-to-hand combat skills of the military and the police, the secret self-defense training eventually spread to the masses and became an official, competitive Soviet sport in 1938.” (1)

Five Styles

  • Sport
  • Self-Defense
  • Combat
  • Special (Which is a specialized form of the combat style).
  • Freestyle (Which is a uniquely American style).

Personal Russian Perspective

A friend of mine, Dan Leo, grew up in the former Soviet Union. I asked him for his perspective about this very popular martial art:

“The word SAMBO is a Russian acronym that means (SAMozashchita Bez Oruzhiya) or Self-Defense Without A Weapon.

The Soviets made it sound like an ‘original’ Soviet type of fighting or wrestling. That was obviously to oppose the West. Or, really, the Eastern forms of Judo, Karate, and so forth. I'd never seen Bruce Lee's movies there, but that must have entered into the Soviet subconscious somehow.

Overall, the USSR stressed ‘public/citizen defense’ since it was a very military nation and everyone in school had to take these ‘public defense/military preparation’ classes with boys of 13-14 required to know how to shoot and assemble a rifle (AK-47 and single shot), march, take ‘orientation,’ which was another pseudo-military semi-Olympic discipline where people had to run an unmarked course while using a map in an unfamiliar forest and finish 3-5 km by hitting every required post while being timed.

SAMBO was just one of those paramilitary events.” (2)

References

(1) The History Channel, Sambo: Russia’s Extreme Fighting.

(2) A special thanks to Dan Leo for his assistance with this article.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

November 2007 Slayer News


SLAYER NEWS
About Dragon Kenpo Karate
November 2007 Honesty

December Theme - Charity


The World Dragon Kenpo Slayer News and its members, local and beyond, are invited to participate in our annual adoption of a Christmas Family from a local Charity, Love Inc., here in Wisconsin. All our students need to be reminded how lucky we all are, and that there are less fortunate persons who can use our help. Contact us to help a needy famliy.

Train Hard!

Coach Ron Pfeiffer





Table of Contents

Nunchaku Scripted Lessons by Ron Pfeiffer
Chai Tea for Tai Chi by Phoebe Nelson
Awareness of Self Defense by Ed DellaCroce
How to Typeset a Book by Steve Amoia
Closing Comments by Coach Pfeiffer
Honesty Quotes by Steve Amoia


The very spring and root of honesty and virtue lie in good education." --- Plutarch


Nunchaku Scripted Lessons

by Coach Ron Pfeiffer

Nunchaku: A flail made of two short pieces of wood (or metal in my case) each the length of a forearm, attached by a short cord or chain. It was originally a farming tool, used for threshing. It developed in Okinawa into a formidable weapon. It can be used to crush, poke or jab, and it can deflect and parry other weapons. There are numerous blocking and striking techniques that can be performed by experts, though since it is a very difficult art, great masters are increasingly rare. The Vietnamese martial arts use longer nunchaku, with handles that are at least two feet long: other variants in China and Vietnam are very short. Also called long gian and tham thiet gian. In the Philippines, they are call tabaktoya. (Taken from The Martial Arts Encyclopedia by Jennifer Lawler).

The past couple of months, in an attempt to distill the methods and practice of my particular nunchaku method, I've been working with a great group of my local students. With the help of Griffin Williams and his dad Bob (Bob submitted an article about our camp trip), we are preparing an E-Book which will detail and script the first 15 or so lessons for our instructors.

As many of you know, because you have the Nunchaku Instructors CD-Rom, our style is called The Art Of The Flexible Styx, a name I coined 30 years ago. By teaching in a logical progression, we give a student the techniques that build to a nunchaku pattern. The new E-Book will add even more techniques and even a couple of movements that I've never taught anyone! In the index, please refer to Double Lower Half Circle.

Separate drills for single and double weapon skills and some great picture ensure that this supplement to the currently available nunchaku training will become a staple for our serious members.


"The longer I live the more beautiful life becomes." Frank Lloyd Wright, Architect

Chai Tea for Tai Chi

by Phoebe Nelson Oshirak, RN, Tai Chi student

When I attend Tai Chi class, I find shifting gears from the busy work day to the slower pace and focus needed in class, to be a challenge. I often try to prepare myself for the transition by having a cup of Chai tea and taking a few moments to leave the pressures of the day behind. For all you dyed-in-the-wool coffee drinkers, who wouldn’t be caught dead holding a tea cup, consider the benefits of Chai. (Pronounced like “pie”).

What is Chai? Well, it is the word for tea in many parts of the world. Chai is a beverage that consists of rich black tea, whole milk, a sweetener and a combination of spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and pepper. Indian Chai produces a warming, soothing effect, acts as a natural digestive aid and gives one a sense of overall well being. It is difficult to say no to a second cup. In the past three years there has been a phenomenal growth in the popularity if Chai. It has become a favorite at over-the-counter specialty beverage shops such as Starbucks and is now available at most of our supermarkets in the tea and coffee section.

Chai Tea is similar to Tai Chi in that both are centuries-old. Each has their particular traditions and variations which have been passed down from family to family over generations. Tai Chi, a form of Chinese martial art, often practiced with the aim of promoting health and longevity, has a very long history. Training forms are most recognized as the slow motion routines that groups of people practice together each day in parks around the world, particularly in China. It is best described as a “soft style” of martial art. There are many styles of Tai Chi, but most modern schools can trace their development to the system originally taught by the Chen family to the Yang family starting in 1820.

Many teachers of modern day Tai Chi believe it is a way for older people or the infirm to reclaim the vigor of their youth and restore health. Recent studies seem to substantiate the merits of Tai Chi, confirming that it does have healing and restorative impact on personal well being; in some instances even reducing the effects of diseases such as arthritis, osteoporosis and diabetes.

Just as there are many variation of Tai Chi, so are there many variations in Chai Tea recipes, each formulated for the purpose of enhancing the well being of the practitioner and consumer. Both Tai Chi and Chai tea impact our bodies positively. They certainly confirm that what we practice in our life-style, what we eat and how much we exercise effects our performance, our thought process and the way we handle the challenges of daily life. Despite the advances of modern science and with new information being discovered about what makes us “tick,” it still appears that a well balanced diet and adequate exercise is the most effective recipe for longevity. Add a pinch of personal genetic heritage to the life-living recipe and the mind and body will respond to the nurturing we give it well into the “golden years.”

Baseball Manager Casey Stengel once said, “The trick is growing up without growing old.” We should remind ourselves that it is never too late to improve our quality of life. Longevity being one goal and the other, of course, more time for drinking tea and practicing Tai Chi.

Now if you will excuse me, I am headed for the kitchen where I intend to treat my own mind and body to a warm, fragrant cup of Chai Tea before my Tai Chi class.


"Every man has his fault, and honesty is his." --- William Shakespeare

Awareness of Self Defense
By Ed DellaCroce

Twenty-five years ago, if the average person were asked what was self-defense, their answer would probably mention the word gun. Today, however, the subject encompasses a vast range of
ideas. From guns, we have advanced to the Stun Gun and Taser. Mace has evolved to Cayenne Pepper Spray and so forth. As our products evolved, self defense arts grew right along side of them.

Kenpo Karate once was simple in a class all by itself. You could count the various styles on one hand. If you were to perform an Internet Google search today the list would be quite longer. What’s next Donut Kenpo? The art of hitting you with a stale donut and yelling Kiya!

The quest for the perfect defense system goes far beyond the variety of names, as it centers around a desire to be safe. We gravitate towards what we perceive as the most effective way to survive.
Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs lists Safety/Security. It is innate, plain and simple.
Today, there is a growing trend with a desire to acquire survival defensive skills. No longer is it limited to just women. Men have also joined the ranks. With the art of World Dragon Kenpo Karate, you can discover, “size does not matter.” The art teaches technique and application properly applied produces effective results.

While teaching a self defense class, I explained to a student a simple technique to escape from a rear Bear hug. Her response was “There is no way that could work, it’s too easy.” She must have been from Missouri , the “Show Me State.” While explaining the steps in sequence, I was unexpectedly attacked by my assistant. I stand a mere 5' 4" and 198 lbs. (Yes, much of it is muscle). My assistant stood at approximately 6' 5" and 280 lbs. (He is all muscle). His attack was so swift it got me totally by surprise. I reacted immediately to the threat. Here, time is of the essence. To loosen his hold, I quickly pulled downward on his massive arms. I then dropped down onto one knee. (This put the attacker off balance by bending him forward). It also created stress onto his lower back. Applying an elbow strike to the groin, I was able to redirect his attention, which allowed me to escape. I did a follow up by grabbing his wrist and controlling his arm. To finish off my attacker, I bent his wrist and applied pressure onto his elbow joint. To avoid broken bones or torn ligaments, my assistant gladly lowered himself onto the ground.

Moments earlier, there was disbelief in the room. The loud gasp let out by our unbeliever said it all. From the onset of the attack to complete execution was approximately 4 seconds or less.
Who can benefit from this type of training? Let’s start with you as the reader. Browse our web site at www.dragonkenpo.us, along with our Slayer News Blog. There may be a certified instructor in your area. If not take advantage of our on-line course for distant learning. We have students internationally from all professions. Become a part of our family as we continue to grow from New York to England and beyond.

"Honesty is the first chapter of the book of wisdom." --- Thomas Jefferson

How to Typeset a Book

By Steve Amoia

All historical learning can be traced to the quest to transmit and record knowledge. Millennia ago, our ancestors painted images on cave walls to pass knowledge to future generations. As mankind evolved, a great value was placed on the written word. Unfortunately, books could only be owned by the rich. One of the reasons was due to the expense to create a book. With the advent of movable type and printing presses, books and newspapers became available and affordable to the masses. From ancient caves to the computer screens of the Internet, the basic theme has remained the same.

Perhaps a greater appreciation for literature and/or writing can be obtained if one understands how a book is produced. In my youth, I worked at a typesetting shop. I began as a delivery driver, and then expressed an interest to learn photocomposition. That was my first exposure to the world of computers. Back then, nobody would have imagined that a laptop computer (the term itself would have been mind boggling) with off-the-shelf software applications could produce in minutes what used to take us days. For example, our Slayer News would have been a major undertaking. Technology no doubt has changed some of the processes since then; however, before a book is printed, it must be typeset according to an author’s specifications. Much like executing self-defense techniques, certain precise actions must occur to produce the correct final result. Typesetting, which is an integral component in the production of a book, is comprised of three distinct stages.

Stage 1

The initial computer input of the author’s manuscript, along with subsequent proofreading, is the beginning of the typesetting process. The typesetter codes the manuscript to comply with the author’s instructions. It is customary to input one chapter at a time into a computer database. A typesetter must possess rapid keyboard skills; however, attention to detail and accuracy are more essential.

Upon completion of a chapter, the typesetter outputs a print-out of the work to the proofreader. The purpose of proofreading is to locate any typographical errors that may be contained within the initial input. Proofreaders must be meticulous; consequently, highly accurate individuals are valued members in a typesetting firm.

Stage 2

After the proofing process, the typesetter updates the computer data file and begins to produce galley proofs. When the typesetter is certain that he has made all of the indicated corrections to a chapter, he transfers the data from the computer to the photocomposition machine. The photocomposition device interprets the computer coding to produce the specified typeset format. Each chapter is typeset upon high-quality film, which is then processed through a rapid developer. When the film exits from the developer, it is divided into sections called galleys, which are copied and delivered to the author.

Stage 3

The final stage in the typesetting process prepares each chapter for delivery to a commercial printer. Upon receipt of the author’s final alterations, the typesetter makes the indicated changes, outputs the corrections to the photocomposition machine, and sends the entire job to the proofreader for final inspection. If everything is satisfactory, the proofreader submits the typeset matter to a paste-up artist. The artist applies a thin coating of wax to the surface of each galley. Adhering to precise specifications, the artist cuts and pastes the type to specially designed page templates, which are called boards. After making a photocopy of each board, the originals are sent to a commercial printer for mass production.

Slayer News as an Archive

Years ago, one of our clients was the National Archives. When I was a driver, I used to deliver the galley proofs to Mr. Doug Stickley, who was the editor of the American Archivist. When you enter the building on Pennsylvania Avenue, there is an interesting quote on the wall:

“What is past is prologue.”

In many ways, our Slayer News project is an archive for future members of WDK.


"Truth has no path. Truth is living and, therefore, changing." --- Bruce Lee


Closing Comments by Coach Pfeiffer

Do you want to see improvements in this publication over the next year? Send in your ideas! Feedback is important! Let us know what you would like to hear about!

If you have an article that you would like to submit, you may respond to me or Steve Amoia. Comments and questions are welcome too.

IMPORTANT NOTICE TO ALL MEMBERS:

All Student/Instructor members are reminded that advancement and promotion are not automatic. Contact Coach Pfeiffer or your local instructor if you have questions or to request advancement information.

Is your school having an event? Let the Dragon Kenpo community know by placing it in the Slayer News! We are here to help you and your students get the most out of your training.

Please remember to keep your information updated so that the World Dragon Kenpo Schools of Self Defense can serve you in the best way possible!

The articles within this newsletter are the views of the writer and not necessarily the views of World Dragon Kenpo Schools of Self Defense.

How to Typeset a Book


Courtesy of Stock.xchng.

All historical learning can be traced to the quest to transmit and record knowledge. Millennia ago, our ancestors painted images on cave walls to pass knowledge to future generations. As mankind evolved, a great value was placed on the written word. Unfortunately, books could only be owned by the rich. One of the reasons was due to the expense to create a book. With the advent of moveable type and printing presses, books and newspapers became available and affordable to the masses. From ancient caves to the computer screens of the Internet, the basic theme has remained the same.

Perhaps a greater appreciation for literature and/or writing can be obtained if one understands how a book is produced. In my youth, I worked at a typesetting shop. I began as a delivery driver, and then expressed an interest to learn photocomposition. That was my first exposure to the world of computers. Back then, nobody would have imagined that a laptop computer (the term itself would have been mind boggling) with off-the-shelf software applications could produce in minutes what used to take us days. For example, our Slayer News would have been a major undertaking. Technology no doubt has changed some of the processes since then; however, before a book is printed, it must be typeset according to an author’s specifications. Much like executing self-defense techniques, certain precise actions must occur to produce the correct final result. Typesetting, which is an integral component in the production of a book, is comprised of three distinct stages.

Stage 1

The initial computer input of the author’s manuscript, along with subsequent proofreading, is the beginning of the typesetting process. The typesetter codes the manuscript to comply with the author’s instructions. It is customary to input one chapter at a time into a computer database. A typesetter must possess rapid keyboard skills; however, attention to detail and accuracy are more essential.

Upon completion of a chapter, the typesetter outputs a print-out of the work to the proofreader. The purpose of proofreading is to locate any typographical errors that may be contained within the initial input. Proofreaders must be meticulous; consequently, highly accurate individuals are valued members in a typesetting firm.

Stage 2

After the proofing process, the typesetter updates the computer data file and begins to produce galley proofs. When the typesetter is certain that he has made all of the indicated corrections to a chapter, he transfers the data from the computer to the photocomposition machine. The photocomposition device interprets the computer coding to produce the specified typeset format. Each chapter is typeset upon high-quality film, which is then processed through a rapid developer. When the film exits from the developer, it is divided into sections called galleys, which are copied and delivered to the author.

Stage 3

The final stage in the typesetting process prepares each chapter for delivery to a commercial printer. Upon receipt of the author’s final alterations, the typesetter makes the indicated changes, outputs the corrections to the photocomposition machine, and sends the entire job to the proofreader for final inspection. If everything is satisfactory, the proofreader submits the typeset matter to a paste-up artist. The artist applies a thin coating of wax to the surface of each galley. Adhering to precise specifications, the artist cuts and pastes the type to specially designed page templates, which are called boards. After making a photocopy of each board, the originals are sent to a commercial printer for mass production.

Slayer News as an Archive

Years ago, one of our clients was the National Archives. When I was a driver, I used to deliver the galley proofs to Mr. Doug Stickley, who was the editor of the American Archivist. When you enter the building on Pennsylvania Avenue, there is an interesting quote on the wall:

“What is past is prologue.”

In many ways, our Slayer News project is an archive for future members of WDK.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Strength in Unity by Coach Ron Pfeiffer



Courtesy of Stock.xchng.

As a Martial Arts student, you learn some very important lessons. One of these lessons is that there is greater strength in developing unity with those around you than there is in trusting everything to yourself. The good Martial Artist knows that it is better to work with a fellow student than against that student, and the shared victory is ultimately a greater victory than the victory of one person’s vanity over the honest efforts of others. It is very easy to break a pencil in half. Breaking ten pencils in half is an altogether different matter.

Be Polite: Always be polite to your fellow students. The reason why you bow (a) to the flag, (b) before and after sparring and (c) to your instructor is to show respect. When you are impolite to others, you show disrespect not only to those students but to your Martial Arts community. It demonstrates greater learning when you behave in a disciplined manner.


Show Good Sportsmanship: Learning also means being a good sport. Nobody likes to perform badly, or feel beaten when sparring or practicing self defense techniques. Nevertheless, every experience is a learning experience. Keep control of your temper and your actions. Sometimes students lose sight of the fact that training is only an exercise, and approach it as if it is a real fight. You know better than this, and you should be able to demonstrate it. Good sportsmanship is fundamental.


Work with other students: For example, if you are sparring with another student who is not as experienced as you are, do not try to show the other person up. Nothing is gained by this behavior. Try instead to work with that person so that the exercise can help develop both of your skills. Often you will be surprised at some of the things that you can learn from a less experienced student: everybody has their different strengths and weaknesses. Try to put yourself in his or her place. Imagine if your instructor, in order to demonstrate something, asked you to spar with him or her, and proceeded to do nothing but demonstrate his or her superior Martial Arts ability in front of the other students. Do you think you would benefit much from the experience?


Ask for help: A lot of students are afraid to ask a question for fear that it will sound stupid, or they will appear to be less advanced that their peers. Such behavior is only counter-productive. When you do not ask for help, or you pretend to understand something that you do not, you put yourself at risk of falling even farther behind. When the time comes for you to demonstrate what you have learned, all of your confusion will be evident, and you may be more embarrassed than you would have been initially. There is no embarrassment in asking for help. Often questions which you may think sound foolish are shared by many other students, and can have profound consequences. The Martial Arts is a very precise art. Like any other disciplined art form, the nuances need to be constantly studied and repeated. When you ask questions you demonstrate your interest and respect for it.


The world of World Dragon Kenpo Schools of Self Defense is a place where teams of students work together to perfect our martial discipline. Everything depends upon that. Concern yourself with the process of learning that is going on; think about how to work with the other students so that the whole class, the whole school can progress. How you behave is important. Remember that you are all learning together and that you represent a larger program. Our best Student/Instructor members never lose sight of this principle.

Sincerely,

Coach Ron Pfeiffer

Monday, October 15, 2007

October 2007 Slayer News


SLAYER NEWS
About Dragon Kenpo Karate
October 2007 Perseverance
November Theme - Honesty


The Slayer News, persevering since Sept of 2004. The only thing we can be sure of as a constant is change. This is a year of change for me as well as our school.
Train Hard !
Coach Ron Pfeiffer

Contact Coach Pfeiffer or any Slayer Staff member concerning our Membership Mapping Project.


Table of Contents

Bruce Lee Interview by Steve Amoia
New Member Bio by Jerry Poe
Something Happened by Phoebe Nelson
The Tai Chi Choo Choo by Bill Bell
Closing Comments by Coach Pfeiffer


"Champions keep playing until they get it right." Billie Jean King

Bruce Lee Interviewed by Pierre Berton:


9 December 1971 in Hong Kong

By Steve Amoia

Our theme this month is perseverance. In my humble opinion, few in martial arts history represent that concept better than Bruce Lee. He overcame racial stereotypes to become a mainstream American actor before his unfortunate and untimely death. Equally important were his numerous contributions to the Martial Arts, along with his decision to teach non-Orientals (the correct term used during his lifetime) his passion for self-defense and self-improvement.

The following interview is a unique display of Mr. Lee speaking about a variety of themes. I will provide a few of his more salient quotes, and encourage you to view the video. If you are like me, you probably will watch it several times. The discussion occurred two years before his death.

Here is the link to the video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uXOtmhA6Nvw

I will also place this video link on our WDK Slayer News Blog for future reference.

We are taught to study techniques of the grand masters. It is rare to have the opportunity to study the mind of one. Please take 25 minutes to view the philosophies of Mr. Lee. Feel his passion, and absorb his words. They may strike you harder than one of his punches.

Commenting about film.

“To me, a motion picture is motion. You got to keep the dialogue down to a minimum.”

What are the Martial Arts?

“The Martial Arts include all the combative forms of fighting.”

Can you break five or six boards with your hands or feet?

“I’d probably break my hands and feet.”

Why did actors in Hollywood (such as James Coburn and Steve McQueen) want to learn martial arts?

All types of knowledge ultimately mean self-knowledge. They came to me not only to so much to defend themselves or to do somebody in, rather, to learn how to express themselves through some movement, be it anger, be it determination... He is paying me to show him in combative form the art of expressing the human body.”

“The idea is unnatural naturalness or natural unnaturalness.”

On his opinion of styles:

“I do not believe in styles anymore. I don’t believe that there is such a thing as a Chinese way of fighting, or a Japanese way of fighting… Styles tend to only separate men, because they have their own doctrines which became the Gospel truth, but if you don’t have styles, here I am as a human being, how can I express myself… That way you won’t create a style. Because style is a crystallization; not continuous growth.”

“But when you talk about fighting as it is, with no rules, well then baby you better teach every part of your body. And when you do punch, you got to put the whole hip into it, and snap it, and get all your energy into it, and make this into a weapon.” (He demonstrated).

On Tai Chi Chuan:

“It is a slow form of exercise called Tai Chi Chuan. It is more of an exercise for the elderly. Not so much for the young. Hand-wise it is very slow but you push it out and keep the continuity going. Bending, stretching, everything. You keep it moving. To them the idea is “Running water never goes stale.” You got to keep it moving.

On his best actor/student:

“Steve McQueen had that toughness in him. He just gets it done. James Coburn is a peace-loving man. He is really nice. Super mellow and all that. He appreciates the philosophical part of it more than Steve.”

On philosophy, art, and thought:

“Honestly expressing yourself. It’s easy for me to put on a show and be cocky… Or I can make all kinds of phony things. But to express oneself honestly, that my friend, is very hard to do. You have to train. When you move, you are determined to move… To become one with what you think.”

“Empty your mind; be formless, shapeless like water. Put water in a cup. It becomes a cup… Water can flow or it can crash. Be water my friend.”

Are you going to be able to live in both worlds and be a superstar in the States?

“The word ‘star’ is an illusion. You should look at yourself as an actor… Yes, I have been very successful, but when I think of the word star, I don’t look upon myself as a star.”

Have people come up and said “We don’t know how they’ll take a non-American?”

“The true Oriental should be shown… Unfortunately, such things do exist in this world, certain parts of the country, business-wise, it is a risk. I don’t blame them… If you honestly express yourself, it shouldn’t matter.”

I think of myself as a human being. Under the sky, under the heaven, there is but one family. It just so happens that people are different.”


"Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success." Dale Carnegie

New Member Biography:

by Jerry Poe, Certified Master Instructor


It is a pleasure and a honor to be a part of the World Dragon Kenpo organization. I look forward to work with many other Kenpoists in the future. I have many years of experience in a wide range of martial arts. I'm a 7 time national champion, a 2 time silver medalist, and was gold medalist in the World Cup. I have several State and regional championships as well.

I hold a 7th degree black belt in American Vital Karate (AVK), a 5th degree in Dragon Kenpo, a 3rd degree in Genkotsu Karate (Shoto-kan Karate), and 1st degree in Seiei Ju-Jitsu (Japanese style). As a certified master instructor, I am recognized by the International Rank Advisory Board of the Alliance of Martial Arts. I have competed in Point Karate, Kickboxing, Muay Tai, Bare Knuckle Karate, San-shou and Mixed Martial Arts. I'm a proud member of two USA. teams that competed in international events here and overseas in such places as Canada, Mexico, Australia, Hungary, Russia, and England. I'm also a very proud member of the USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame with two inductions as a competitor and as a instructor.

In my 25 years of training, I've reached a new passion for self-defense. I have searched the Internet for a long time trying to find a group to progress my knowledge of Kenpo, and this is perfect. After talking to Coach Pfeiffer on the phone, I knew this group was the real deal, and the right place for me to be. I only hope your group welcomes us so we can share the same goals in our journey for WDK self-defense.

Feel free to contact me at anytime at jpoe@wcoil.com.

God bless and train hard,

Jerry Poe
Master Instructor
Poe's AVK

"The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand." Vince Lombardi

Something Happened.

by Phoebe Nelson Oshirak, RN, Tai Chi Student

That’s right, something unexpected happened in our Tai Chi class. No one saw it coming. No one knew exactly when it happened, either. It wasn’t there a few months ago, and now it is. One thing I do know, it didn't happen overnight. And when it did happen, I didn't recognize it right off the bat. I mean, it didn't just come into to classroom and say, “Hey, wake up and smell the coffee, folks!” It happened gradually over time and with a lot of hard work.

The first time I became aware of what had happened in our class was last week when the new students arrived for the next 8 week Tai Chi session. I was pleased to see so many new faces. Coach Ron invited our class, (aka: Advanced Tai Chi class) to demonstrate the 31 moves of Sun Style Tai Chi for the incoming students. He wanted to demonstrate to them exactly what they, as Tai Chi students, could accomplish through dedication, attending class and spending a little time practicing at home. Needless to say, I personally felt a slight expansion the old ego when I was asked to demonstrate the moves for the new kids on the block. Of course it was not just I who would be performing the 31 moves it was the entire class; who have become my buddies and my friends.

We performed the 31 moves with grace and precision…using slow, even and continuous motion to execute each move. I noticed how synchronized with one another we had become after many months of working together. The realization hit me then and there. Something wonderful and remarkable had happened to our class. We were no longer merely Tai Chi students going through the moves. Somewhere along the line, we had transformed. A metamorphosis had occurred and we didn't even see it coming. But here we were, moving together as if we had been doing this side by side for a very long time. Right in the middle of the 31 moves it dawned on me that we were no longer a class of individuals.

What happened to our Tai Chi Class? We had become... a TEAM.


Believe that a man will not merely endure, he will prevail. William Faulkner

The Tai Chi Choo-Choo
By Bill Bell
Tai Chi Student Lake Geneva, WI

You know what they say: “The older you get the etc. etc. etc.” Add your own subject, they’re all true. My particular demon was time. Time that used to flow so slowly, so gently; day by day, week after week. Despite the fact that each new birthday accelerated the flow of time, I looked forward to a leisurely, slow paced retirement at age 65. But retirement simply made me available to all kinds of needs and wants of other people. At 70 I was busier than I had been at 60. The days, weeks and months were flying by at an unbelievable pace. I knew I couldn’t keep this up. By age 75 we had changed things; my wife and I were living in a condominium (let others do all that yard work, snow blowing, etc.), my term on the church council had ended and I had no committee, seminar or other outside commitments. Wow, now I’m really retired! Arthritis and all.

And then I saw the Geneva Lakes YMCA Program Brochure. Paged through it and was stopped cold on the Health and Fitness page by the words under the heading Tai Chi for Health: Arthritis, Back Pain Certified. I had suffered back pain and some spinal arthritis for many years and had been told by doctors that it will never get better. On-line research convinced me that Tai Chi might help both with pain and with the breathing and balance problems I’d been having. So I signed up for the 2006 Fall I session Intro class.

And that was the beginning of my journey. Coach Ron and the intro class grabbed my attention on the first day. I knew intuitively that this was something I could do. That this was something I had to do. So little by little, step by step, slow move by slow move, over the next nine months I advanced from form to form, Intro class into Tai Chi I, 6 forms into 12 forms into 24 forms into the full Tai Chi for Arthritis and part way into the 73 forms. I was being helped immensely in balance and breathing and my back pain had not gotten worse but seemed to have changed in nature. What had been lower back muscular pains coalesced into sharp lower spine pains. That prompted me to see my doctor who ordered spinal x-rays which confirmed his diagnosis of increasing calcification of the lower spine; two sets of vertebrae were locked up.

Then came the warning; a radiologist reviewing the spinal x-rays had detected an aneurism on my aorta. Four weeks later sad news: a CT had shown the aneurism to be growing, growing too fast. Doctors insisted I stop all exercise including Tai Chi, no physical strain whatsoever. I was sent to St. Luke’s in Milwaukee to see a cardiovascular interventionist who ordered an angiogram of the aorta and a battery of tests. The stent graft procedure followed three weeks later. After three more weeks of doing nothing, I was allowed to drive and to begin stretching exercises. Four weeks later the doctors turned me loose to go back gradually into Tai Chi and other exercises.

So I’m back in class again, willing but a bit wobbly. I know time (and practice) will bring me back to where I was when forced to stop. I really look forward to the classes and to a great group of fellow students. Tai Chi has changed my outlook on time, my outlook on life.

About that title up above: I named this article The Tai Chi Choo-Choo to remind everyone that Tai Chi, like a child’s choo-choo train, has no real destination. It is the journey itself that is all-important. That journey will slow down at times, speed up at times and may even go into reverse at times. But it is up to each of us, individually, to see that it never stops.


Defeat never comes to any man until he admits it. Joesphus Daniels


Closing Comments by Coach Pfeiffer

Do you want to see improvements in this publication over the next year? Send in your ideas! Feedback is important! Let us know what you would like to hear about!

If you have an article that you would like to submit email any staff member. Comments and questions are welcome too.

IMPORTANT NOTICE TO ALL MEMBERS
All Student/Instructor members are reminded that advancement and promotion are not automatic. Contact Coach Pfeiffer or your local instructor if you have questions or to request advancement information.

Is your school having an event? Let the Dragon Kenpo community know by placing it in the Slayer News! We are here to help you and your students get the most out of your training...

Please remember to keep your information updated so that the World Dragon Kenpo Schools of Self Defense can serve you in the best way possible!

The articles within this newsletter are the views of the writer and not necessarily the views of World Dragon Kenpo Schools of Self Defense.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Bruce Lee Interviewed by Pierre Burton

Bruce Lee Interviewed by Pierre Burton:
9 December 1971 in Hong Kong
By Steve Amoia





Our theme this month is perseverance. In my humble opinion, few in martial arts history represent that concept better than Bruce Lee. He overcame racial stereotypes to become a mainstream American actor before his unfortunate and untimely death. Equally important were his numerous contributions to the Martial Arts, along with his decision to teach non-Orientals (the correct term used during his lifetime) his passion for self-defense and self-improvement.

The following interview is a unique display of Mr. Lee speaking about a variety of themes. I will provide a few of his more salient quotes, and encourage you to view the video. If you are like me, you probably will watch it several times. The discussion occurred two years before his death.

Here is the link to the video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZ0RF_QetSQ&mode=related&search=

We are taught to study techniques of the grand masters. It is rare to have the opportunity to study the mind of one. Please take 25 minutes to view the philosophies of Mr. Lee. Feel his passion, and absorb his words. They may strike you harder than one of his punches.

Commenting about film.

“To me, a motion picture is motion. You got to keep the dialogue down to a minimum.”

What are the Martial Arts?

“The Martial Arts include all the combative forms of fighting.”

Can you break five or six boards with your hands or feet?

“I’d probably break my hands and feet.”

Why did actors in Hollywood (such as James Coburn and Steve McQueen) want to learn martial arts?

“All types of knowledge ultimately mean self-knowledge. They came to me not only to so much to defend themselves or to do somebody in, rather, to learn how to express themselves through some movement, be it anger, be it determination... He is paying me to show him in combative form the art of expressing the human body.”

“The idea is unnatural naturalness or natural unnaturalness.”

On his opinion of styles:

“I do not believe in styles anymore. I don’t believe that there is such a thing as a Chinese way of fighting, or a Japanese way of fighting… Styles tend to only separate men, because they have their own doctrines which became the Gospel truth, but if you don’t have styles, here I am as a human being, how can I express myself… That way you won’t create a style. Because style is a crystallization; not continuous growth.”

“But when you talk about fighting as it is, with no rules, well then baby you better teach every part of your body. And when you do punch, you got to put the whole hip into it, and snap it, and get all your energy into it, and make this into a weapon.” (He demonstrated).

On Tai Chi Chuan:

“It is a slow form of exercise called Tai Chi Chuan. It is more of an exercise for the elderly. Not so much for the young. Hand-wise it is very slow but you push it out and keep the continuity going. Bending, stretching, everything. You keep it moving. To them the idea is “Running water never goes stale.” You got to keep it moving.

On his best actor/student:

“Steve McQueen had that toughness in him. He just gets it done. James Coburn is a peace-loving man. He is really nice. Super mellow and all that. He appreciates the philosophical part of it more than Steve.”

On philosophy, art, and thought:

“Honestly expressing yourself. It’s easy for me to put on a show and be cocky… Or I can make all kinds of phony things. But to express oneself honestly, that my friend, is very hard to do. You have to train. When you move, you are determined to move… To become one with what you think.”

“Empty your mind; be formless, shapeless like water. Put water in a cup. It becomes a cup… Water can flow or it can crash. Be water my friend.”

Are you going to be able to live in both worlds and be a superstar in the States?

“The word ‘star’ is an illusion. You should look at yourself as an actor… Yes, I have been very successful, but when I think of the word star, I don’t look upon myself as a star.”

Have people come up and said “We don’t know how they’ll take a non-American?”

“The true Oriental should be shown… Unfortunately, such things do exist in this world, certain parts of the country, business-wise, it is a risk. I don’t blame them… If you honestly express yourself, it shouldn’t matter.”

“I think of myself as a human being. Under the sky, under the heaven, there is but one family. It just so happens that people are different.”

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Special Training Guide by Chris Gregurich

Beginner Martial Art & Grappler Tips

by Chris Gregurich
Michigan State Director

Enjoy the Training

This is a hobby and/or pastime for most of us. You are learning to defend yourself, but you should also be having fun. It will be hard at times, and you may question if it's worth it, but you should enjoying it deep down. If you don't, then find something else. Life is to short.

Relax

Every newcomer to martial arts is told to "relax" about a hundred times. It will take time to realize, but is important for productive training.

What they roughly mean is:

a) Pace yourself. Don't try to go all out for 30 seconds, and then be unable to carry on rolling without passing out or throwing up. Learn that a purple complexion suits nobody.

b) Don't be so tense. It will slow you down and make you tire quicker. Not every muscle in your body has to be working at full contraction the whole time!

c) Don't freak out in bad positions or when you're caught in a sub. It's just training. By staying calm and reacting instead of panicking, you'll learn more.

d) Expend your energy as efficiently as possible.

e) Don't try to do moves a hundred times faster than needed (or that your skill level allows). Mechanics and leverage are important, too.

f) Don't try to bully moves. Use what is there, not just what you want. Also, learning when to let go of a move is as important as when to go for one.

g) Head squeezers are not welcome. You're there to learn; not to try and headlock someone to death.

Breath

When new students tense, they tend to hold their breath as well. Try to keep a regular breathing pattern. This sounds simple, but you'd be surprised how hard it can be when under pressure. You will gas, anyway, but breathe and you'll last a lot longer.

Patience

If you want to learn anything and get good it takes time. You aren't going to be tapping everyone out after a week’s training. Have patience and put in the work, and it'll come.

Consistency

If you want to make progress, consistent training is the key. A session here and there is not good. Make the effort to attend regular classes. Consistency in attitude is also important.

Focus

Simply turning up is not enough. No one else can make you good, and a coach can only guide you. It's down to you. Pay attention and try to get as much out of the class as possible. You should take something from every drill and roll.

Ask Questions

If you don't understand something, ask. You are there to learn. Ask more experienced students you train with as well as the coach. If someone keeps catching you with something during training, ask what you are doing wrong. Correcting it will make you both better. As the saying goes "The only stupid question is the one not asked".

Note: Ask relevant questions, don't be the one who asks "Would Bruce Lee beat Rickson Gracie?" when a drill is being explained.

Tap!

Don't get hurt. If you are caught, tap.

You're supposed to get tapped, and it's part of the game. If you can escape, go for it, but if you're going to get hurt, tap. You don't actually have to be in pain with gritted teeth to tap, since sometimes that is too late!

We all end up learning this the hard way. Anyone with some mat time under his belt can probably think of times he wishes he hadn't been so stubborn and had tapped earlier. Tapping and carrying on with the class is much better than missing sessions while an injury heals.

Don't Be A Jerk With Submissions

Apply the final portion of submissions with slow and even pressure. Do not jerk them on without control. By all means enter quickly into the technique, but when it comes to finishing, you must control the limb and apply pressure slowly.

Be Aware Of The Tap

When you have a submission applied, it is your partner’s job to tap, but it's yours to notice the tap. Don't just wildly apply the submission without being aware of your opponent. He may not be able to use his hands on you, and could signal vocally by tapping the mat or by stamping his feet.

Injuries

Take injuries seriously.

Another biggie we all learn the hard way, and some of us never get into our thick heads.

If you pick up an injury, stop and get it treated before you go back on the mat. Missing the end of a session to ice an injury and skipping the rest of the week is better than creating a problem which will blight your training for months or even years. Seriously, if you need to take time off, do it.

Going down to watch the classes during your break is encouraged, but only if you can resist going on. If it's too much temptation, find something else to do.

Learn to treat your injuries. R.I.C.E. will be your best friend.

Don't Beat Yourself Up

You WILL get your butt kicked. At the start, you will get tapped frequently. Remember that everyone went through the same thing. Even the best. Even with some experience, you'll always get caught and have days when you get schooled by people you normally beat. Bad sessions are part of training. Don't get discouraged. Have patience, keep training, and try to enjoy the workout.

Watch Others

You can learn a lot from watching others. Being able to see and understand what others are doing will increase your understanding. You may be able to pick up a technique, detail or movement that will help your game. Everyone has their own way of grappling. Differing styles can teach you different things.

Also, studying someone better than you and modeling how they roll can be a good way to make progress.

Hygiene

Shouldn't really need to include this but you never know.

Wash your kit every session. Wash yourself every session. Keep nails trimmed.

Respect

Show respect to the people you train with.

On the mat, keep your partners safety in mind, and don't go bullying less experienced players.

Off the mat, taking trash is part of being a team, but bad blood and gossip can kill a group.

"Leave Your Ego At The Door"

This is a motto at many clubs. Training can be competitive, but you are there to learn, not fight. Training and drilling are about improving performance, and not "winning." Don't bring your insecurities to the mat.

Position, Position, Position

Good position skills are what make a good grappler.

Pin escapes and guard passing are the two most important aspects of your skill set. They are what you are going to need when rolling with better opponents. Add to that your pinning game and sweeps. This should be your focus, not only when you start training, but always.

Submissions are great fun but good position skills are where it's at. They are what get you to the sub and keep you out of bad positions. Not much point learning a submission combo from the mount if you can't get there or hold the position.

The Fundamentals Are Your Friends

Spending the time on the fundamentals is the way to become proficient at grappling.

The "basics" may seem a boring after a few months, but in time you will see the depth of understanding there is to gain in their application. Little nuances will become apparent, and you will have the foundation to take your game to the next level.

Learn To Do The Things You Hate To Do

We all have areas we need to train but try to put off. It may be your side control escapes, your penetration step, or your leg kick. You need to learn to enjoy this training. It is focusing on these areas that improve your game. Not relying on your strong moves. Train for the things you dislike in the knowledge you're making progress and putting in that extra bit of effort others at your club might not apply.

Training Partners

Finding a good drilling partner is great for making progress. Someone that understands how you train, and will challenge you.

However, training with just one or two people can put you in a rut. Make sure you roll or spar with as wide a cross section of the club as possible.

Goal Setting

"Set daily, weekly, monthly and yearly goals. Write them down and share them with someone close to you." - Randy Couture

You must constantly set realistic and relevant goals, have a plan to achieve them, and stick to it. Goals keep you motivated and give you a map for improvement.

Performance Is Your Guide

When evaluating your physical skills in fighting/martial arts the only thing that matters is performance. Performance is measured by success against a resisting opponent (i.e. sparring and live drilling).

Rest

Get plenty of sleep and rest. Your body needs time for recuperation, repair and growth. Over-training, tiredness and stress will all hamper performance.

Nutrition

Your nutrition is you fuel. You must find a good balance in your food, drink and supplements to support your training.

The Big Picture

Remember that fighting ability doesn't mean much in the big picture. If it brings enjoyment to your life, that's brilliant. But at your funeral, do you want the mourners missing you and grieving over the loss or saying "Well, he had a really tight side control?" Be nice and let your family and friends know how much you love them.