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




Saturday, December 6, 2008

December 2008 Slayer News: Diabetes Awareness

SLAYER NEWS
About Dragon Kenpo Karate
15 December 2008: Diabetes Awareness


"Scientific studies show that tai chi improves and possibly prevents chronic conditions such as arthritis, heart disease and diabetes. In addition, it improves balance, immunity and reduces stress. In fact, tai chi improves practically any aspect of health."
Dr. Paul Lam of Tai Chi Productions, New South Wales, Australia.

Table of Contents

Training (and Life's) Ups and Downs by Coach Ron Pfeiffer
Student of the Year: Mike Sokoski
Question to the Coach by R. Michael Sweet, 2nd Degree Black Belt
Introduction to Diabetes by Steve Amoia
Featured Article: Diabetes and Tai Chi Therapy by Bill Douglass, World Tai Chi Day
Just for Fun by R. Michael Sweet, 2nd Degree Black Belt
New Member Biography by David Walker
Evolved Combat by Bryan Marty
Closing Comments by Coach Ron Pfeiffer

Training (and Life's) Ups and Downs
by Coach Ron Pfeiffer

Every now and then, we notice as we work towards our goals, that somehow we don't seem to feel the same as we did when we first began. We know what we're supposed to do or work on but for a reason, which is difficult to pin down, we seem to be able to get into it like before.

Most long-time martial artists can relate. Staying motivated and being able to motivate your students is another skill which comes from taking the long view. When we talk about the long view, it's not a year or two perspective. It's much much longer.

When you begin any serious project (like teaching people life changing concepts) we tend to look at what is happening right now. So we've got a few students and things are looking good. More often than not, we see instructors unable to keep things going and without a plan for success (important note here "Ask for help!") it seems they are doomed to failure. Keeping the tempo of classes up and the interest of students seems impossible and before long we hear about another instructor who has decided to pursue "other interests".


Truthfully, it takes a brand of determination that is rare and a "take no prisoners" mindset. This doesn't mean saying "Well, I'll do my best and see what happens. blah blah blah". It really means "There is no challenge too great, no problem so big and no issue so insurmountable that will allow me to accept anything except total and complete success." The person with that way of thinking will find a way to make it happen, no excuses.

So now... What about you? Are you ready to do what it takes? Or maybe you're going to "give it a try" (that's wussy talk boys). Have you set your sights on the prize that you want or maybe you find it's safer just to not get your hopes up?

Step up and choose what you want from life and life will make you work for it. Nothing is sweeter than the moment you realize this important idea. Success is in the journey, it's not a place we arrive at. Now get back to training!

All the best,

Coach Ron Pfeiffer

www.virtualkarate.bravehost.com

Reminder

Occasionally, our members have asked what's the best way to help others learn about our school and program. K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Students! Just refer them to one of our websites, as some of you know we have a few. Also, our school depends on member referrals to grow. Our tuition is the lowest of any school because we don't have advertising expenses, etc. Use these links for referrals:

http://www.dragonkenpo.us/

http://www.dragonkenpo.net/

http://www.onlinekarate.bravehost.com/

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

Student of the Year
by Coach Ron Pfeiffer

Mike Sokoski has been selected as the 2008 World Dragon Kenpo Student of the Year by Coach Ron Pfeiffer. Congratulations to Mike as he continues to study Dragon Kenpo and Tai Chi in Lake Geneva.


Question to the Coach
by R. Michael Sweet, 2nd Degree Black Belt


In Dragon Kenpo, are there any stripes or markings on the belts of Black Belts for instructor certification or 2nd Degree Black Belt or Brown Belts?

Hi Michael,

I can tell you what we use here. Each instructor usually has their own ideas about belts and markings and such.

For example:

3rd Brown - Camo Belt.

2nd Brown - Brown Belt with a black center stripe.

1st Brown - Solid Brown Belt.

1. There are no markings or stripes on the Black Belt.

2. The Red Belt is worn by full instructors until reaching 2nd Dg. Black and then back to a simple Black Belt.

3. I would suggest a single gold colored bar for each degree of black if an instructor wanted to "dress up" his/her belt.

Hope that answers your question.

Sincerely,

Coach Ron Pfeiffer

Introduction to Diabetes
by Steve Amoia


While the cause of this disease has not yet been discovered, diabetes occurs when our bodies do not properly metabolize or produce the protein hormone of insulin. This hormone, which is produced by the pancreas, is integral in the conversion of food, sugars, and starches to fuel our bodies.

According to the American Diabetes Association, almost 24 million Americans suffer from diabetes. Contributing factors could be environmental and/or genetic; however, individual choices can place one at risk. For example, insufficient exercise, poor diet, and excessive body weight.

Diagnostic Testing

Your doctor can perform two tests to determine whether you have diabetes or "pre-diabetes:"

  • Fasting Plasma Glucose Test (FPG)
  • Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT)

According to the American Diabetes Association, the FPG test is more economical and efficient for all parties concerned.

Types of Diabetes

  • Pre-diabetes: It is estimated that over 57 million Americans may be at risk.
  • Gestational: Occurs after pregnancy, but sometimes develops into (mostly) Type 2 diabetes.
  • Type 1: Failure to produce insulin. This occurs in less than 10% of diagnosed cases.
  • Type 2: Insulin resistance. In the USA, this is the most prevalent form of the disease. Most of the diabetes Type 2 is weight related. Another smaller portion is due to the content of the food we eat, and the resulting body content. Bread and starch are converted into sugar and suppress insulin.

Treatment

  • For Type 1, insulin injections are required on a daily basis, along with dietary modifications.
  • For Type 2, you have to monitor blood sugar levels through dietary modifications and exercise. Then medications may be introduced.
  • For more information about treatment options, please click here.

Dietary Management

The American Diabetes Association has a unique tool:

"MyFoodAdvisor™ is a unique calorie and carbohydrate counting tool that can help with diabetes management and nutrition. Tracking what you eat can help manage your diabetes and in turn prevent the onset of complications. Learn about different types of food and make meal planning fun and easy with MyFoodAdvisor."

Alternative Therapies

As you will read in this month's edition, Western medicine is not the only way to treat diabetes. Our featured article by Bill Douglas discusses the role of Tai Chi to control diabetes. You can also watch a Tai Chi for Diabetes demonstration video at the top of the blog. Dr. Lam also has co-authored a book which is featured in the sidebar.

Steve Amoia can be contacted at info@sanstefano.com. His web site is http://www.sanstefano.com/

Diabetes and Tai Chi Therapy
by Bill Douglas, World Tai Chi Day

Editor's Note: Our featured article is reprinted with the kind permission of Mr. Douglas and http://www.worldtaichiday.org/. They also have a medical research section about new developments with Tai Chi and Diabetes.

I was quite surprised when I began searching for research on Tai Chi's benefits for diabetes . . . it was very difficult to come by. Because on its face, Tai Chi seems to possibly offer many benefits to someone with diabetes. Tai Chi is known to stimulate microcirculation in practitioners, and is a highly effective stress management technique, and very gently burns a significant amount of calories. In fact, Tai Chi may actually help the body find homeostatic chemical levels. For example, in a study on sex hormones Tai Chi was found to have a "balancing effect" on the hormonal chemistry of participants, lowering the abnormally high estrogen levels in older men, while raising the abnormally low estrogen levels in older women.

These findings in other research led me to believe that there had probably been substantial research done on Tai Chi & Qigong's benefits for those with diabetes, given that these findings in other studies at least initially suggest Tai Chi & Qigong may offer much to the diabetes patient. But, as I said, it doesn't appear there is much out there in terms of "tai chi & qigong as an adjunct diabetes therapy," at least from Western institutions.

However, a couple of Chinese medical institutions studies had very exciting results. A Beijing University of Chinese Medicine and Pharmacology study found that blood sugar could be lowered successfully by doing QiGong exercises. 42.9 percent of patients in the study were able to take less medicine while having more staple foods. Also, a Nanjing University study found that Tai Chi exercise helped to regulate metabolic disorder of type 2 diabetes mellitus with geriatric obesity by regulating the nervous-endocrine system in the body. So, why isn't there more Western medical research on this?

Unfortunately, less than one half of one percent of NIH funding goes to research all alternative or "complimentary" health techniques. Meaning that yoga, meditation, herbology, homeopathy, etc. etc. all share that tiny, tiny slice of the NIH funding pie. Until the NIH provides adequate attention / funding for Tai Chi & Qigong (Chi Kung) research, many of the benefits people with various maladies have enjoyed from Tai Chi & Qigong will not be enjoyed by the millions of others with such conditions. Because physicians will lack the knowledge necessary to inform their patients of Tai Chi & Qigong as a possible viable therapeutic option, until adequate research is done.

Never the less, you might ask your doctor to do some research on this for you. But, for now, let's look at current recommendations for diabetes therapy, and then compare Tai Chi benefits systematically to see if it might be a good therapeutic match for diabetes. As always, I remind everyone not to self-treat. These articles are meant to stimulate a dialogue between you and your physician, and your physician and medical research institutions to lobby on your behalf to get powerful natural health therapies like Tai Chi fully researched so that you have the maximum possible options for your health protocol.

In an article posted on Post Graduate Medicine Online, Drs. Adam B. Mayerson, MD; Silvio E. Inzucchi, MD, state that "Diet, exercise, and the attainment of ideal body weight are the central components of any therapeutic [type 2 diabetes] regimen . . .". Tai Chi is proven to be an effective exercise that not only provides cardiovascular benefit (roughly equal to moderate impact aerobics), but surprisingly given Tai Chi's gentle low impact nature, burns a significant number of calories, in fact more than surfing, and nearly as much as downhill skiing. To achieve such caloric burning benefits, and cardiovascular benefits, with such a gentle exercise as Tai Chi may be important to those with diabetes.

The health site Top5plus5.com's information on diabetes explained that the type of exercise a patient practices is crucial to their well being, stating "Patients with active diabetic retinopathy should not participate in exercises involving straining or heavy lifting since these activities can provoke eye damage. Patients should also be aware that nerve damage caused by high blood sugar levels can lead to a loss of sensation in the feet, with a subsequent increased risk of blistering and ulceration. Patients with progressive heart damage from high blood sugar should be warned about the risk of sudden heart failure and death."

Tai Chi may offer promise regarding heart health so important to diabetes sufferers. On the 9th of October, 2004, BBC News - Saturday, reported "Tai Chi can treat heart failure." The British Heart Foundation said the study was "excellent news" and Tai Chi could be adopted into treatment programmes in the UK in the future." http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/3728174.stm

Again, one should never self-treat, and should always approach all possible therapies in conjunction with their physician. Our articles at World Tai Chi & Qigong Day are meant to stimulate discussion between you and your physician, and hopefully between your physician and health institutions. Our hope is that this will lead to a more realistic apportionment of medical research funding towards Tai Chi & Qigong (Chi Kung), and other natural health therapies. One caution is, we hope that researchers will approach Tai Chi & Qigong with a desire to find out "why it helps many people" rather than with an agenda to prove that it doesn't work. The way that studies are done is just as important as if studies are done.

Our vision for the future is that physicians too, will begin to discover for themselves what Tai Chi and Qigong health technologies have to offer on a personal level as Tai Chi is increasingly offered through medical universities to aspiring nurses and physicians. The future of healthcare should not be a war between alternative therapies and standard therapies, but an expansion of standard therapies to include whatever works best for the patients. Many in the medical field are great advocates of such a vision, and World Tai Chi & Qigong Day celebrates their efforts.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bill Douglas is the Tai Chi Expert at DrWeil.com, Founder of World T'ai Chi & Qigong Day (held in 60 nations each year), and has authored and co-authored several books including a #1 best selling Tai Chi book The Complete Idiot's Guide to T'ai Chi & Qigong. Bill's been a Tai Chi source for The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, etc. Bill is the author of the ebook, How to be a Successful Tai Chi Teacher (Namasta University Publishing). You can learn more about Tai Chi & Qigong, search a worldwide teachers directory, and also contact Bill Douglas at http://www.worldtaichiday.org/

Just For Fun
by R. Michael Sweet, 2nd Degree Black Belt

Editor's Note: Mr. Sweet authored "For the Love of Forms," for our May 2008 edition.

In previous editions of the Slayer, I have talked about the value of Dragon Kenpo as a means of self-defense. I have also written about the exercise benefits of different martial arts katas and forms. When Coach Pfeiffer ask me to write something about our training for this edition of the Slayer, I thought it might be useful to write about the one thing that I have not spoken much about. It is, for me, one of the most important aspects of the Martial Arts. In fact, if the arts had no self defense value whatsoever, I would still practice them. Just for fun! That's really what matters. Martial Arts are fun to practice! I enjoy learning new forms and techniques. I don't feel like my day can start until I have done my martial arts stretches and my Tai Chi. I enjoy the routines. I feel good when I perform the movements. I have heard people say it is great for one's health, but sometimes, I don't care. I just like it. I feel like a dancer who continues to dance for the sheer joy of moving, or a musician who keeps coming back to the piano, long after the crowds have stopped listening.

Tai Chi is something I normally do in the early morning. It is my quiet time. It is my alone time. Dragon Kenpo, on the other hand, has been a family thing. My son is my training partner. The important idea is that we have fun together. In a time when families are under all kinds of stress, and it is a battle to find quality family time; working for the next belt rank in Dragon Kenpo has given us something we can do together.

Video Recording of Training Sessions

Even family members who are not in the program have been involved. I have done my testing with Coach Pfeiffer by video. Now, that is an experience to be remembered! I learned a lot more than martial arts. It was fun, but sometimes in a challenging way. This is where other members of the family got involved. We had my daughter working the camera with all the problems of sound and lighting. We learned to work together. We also learned the techniques a lot more thoroughly by recording them. We frequently had to record them several times. We would laugh and laugh about how silly we looked, or over some glaring mistake we made in the techniques. You can practice the techniques so much, that the mistakes you are making seem normal…. Until you actually see yourself on film. We learned together from our mistakes and had a good time doing it!

Kenpo as Fun

Once, after a particularly grueling Dragon Kenpo recording session, one of my children borrowed the camera and video taped herself singing a karaoke song… right over my belt test. At the time, it did not seem funny! Today it is one of my favorite videos because, as any parent knows, the kids grow so fast that every photo of them eventually becomes a treasure. We had not backed up the tape though, so we had to start over. So if you want to have fun, try Dragon Kenpo. Just be careful! Martial Arts can be very dangerous if not properly supervised. Be safe and considerate, especially if you are working with young people! Remember, if you are stressed out worrying about a belt test or something, take some time to slow down. Try doing Dragon Kenpo, "Just for fun." You will probably learn twice as much in less time.

R. Michael Sweet can be contacted at rmichaelsweet@att.net

New Member Biography
by David Walker

I have always been interested in self defense, and here are some things that I have done:

  • Department of Defense Federal Police Officer/Sergeant
  • Federal Protective Service Department of Homeland Security Immigration & Customs Enforcement/ Acting Area Commander
  • ICE Certified Defensive Tactics Instructor Fort Benning , GA
  • S.P.E.A.R. System, extreme close quarter combat tactics Certified Instructor
  • Street Combat/Kenpo Karate: Certified Black Belt
  • ISSA, Certified Specialist in Sports Conditioning
  • ISSA, Certified Fitness Trainer
  • ISSA Certified Fitness Therapist

Power Lifting Background

I have been competing in power lifting since 1989. My first competition was at the Helenkon Air Force Base in
Greece . I was fortunate enough to win that meet, and was offered a slot on the Air Force European power lifting team. From there, I competed in Germany and Italy several times while stationed overseas. I have competed in over 100 power lifting meets. I currently hold multiple state, national and world records. This sport has been very good to me but it has been a long road. Competing drug free has its challenges. When I got out of the service, I competed in many local meets trying to out lift competitors that didn't follow my drug free philosophy. The meets were not tested and everything goes. I kept competing, getting better meet by meet, until I was out lifting the competition drug free or not. Sometimes, I think I should have channeled all this energy into being a professional golfer. At least that sport pays and I could have retired by now. I have been actively involved in Martial Arts since 1995, and received my first black belt in 1998.

World Champion in Drug Free Power Lifting


In October 2008, I competed in the bench press at the World Drug Free Power lifting Federation (WDFPF) in Antwerp, Belgium. I pressed 562 pounds at a body weight of 230 pounds which turned out to be the heaviest bench press of the entire meet. This lift broke the federation's World Records in three categories, (Open, Masters and Police). I also was awarded the meet's best lifter award. This is the pound for pound best lifter of the entire meet (or best drug free lifter in the world). There were more then 300 lifters from around the world at this meet. The judging was very strict, and I think this is why a lot of the lifters were having a tough time pushing up the weights. I have to admit holding the bar motionless for 2 to 3 seconds on your chest before getting the press signal takes a lot out of you. Believe it or not, I was still able to find time to practice the Yellow Belt techniques. They are very similar to what I have already learned with the exception of the blocking techniques. The grab from behind technique # 8 is exactly the same. The blocks that I have learned are with less movement left right or right left parry.

The Benefits of Martial Arts Training


Out of all three lifts, the bench press competition was the biggest. I had never been to a meet where there were over 320 bench pressers from around the world. The building where they were hosting the competition was packed. I weighed in at
7:30 that morning, and didn't compete until after 7:00 pm that night. Trying to stay up and ready that long is some times tougher than actually competing. You have to make sure that you stay hydrated. Muscle fiber is composed of over 70% water; consequently, to be dehydrated would be disastrous. Especially in power lifting. I told my wife when I got home that the thing that I liked most about competing in this World Championship is that when I was given the best lifter award, I could actually say that at that time on that day and under very strict international judging I was pound for pound the best drug free bench presser in the world. I allowed myself to celebrate that night and was back in the gym the next day. The people in Belgium were very friendly, and the sport of power lifting is very popular overseas. The food was expensive, but the hotels and train fares were reasonable. Sunday I was able to relax I was done competing and was able to spend some time practicing self defense techniques. Actually, I find that practicing techniques in the martial arts assists me in maintaining some degree of flexibility and range of motion. This not only relieves tension but enhances my ability to focus.

Evolved Combat
by
Bryan Marty


My stance on traditional martial arts is as follows:

If an individual is determined to achieve their maximum capabilities in being effective in hand to hand combat, a traditional martial arts approach and philosophical outlook will do nothing but hamper their progress and deny them the necessary knowledge to advance their training. Classical karate, Kung Fu, Tae Kwon do, and many other base styles, have become more of a problem in today's martial arts community due to their philosophical lies, unproven techniques, and "filler activities" that produce minimal results in the aspect of combat and street situations.

No Proof of Claims

The most unnerving attribute regarding traditional martial arts schools is the constant insisting that their martial art is the best with no proof to base their claim. In the 1900's, the Gracie family's 1st, 2nd, and 3rd generations constantly proved their style in street and no holds barred competition. At the time, they also proved their style of Brazilian Jujitsu was not only effective but devastating in dealing with so-called traditional martial arts masters. Thus, there is no problem in declaring a style superior if the practitioners of that style prove themselves in challenge matches.

This is not what happens with these schools. They just proclaim their style's mastery without backing up their statements with any substance. In addition, the constant lie or belief that a single martial art is all one needs in protecting themselves, when that same martial art only encompasses one aspect of fighting. (Tae Kwon Do, for example, has target levels, no below the waist kicks, and no ground work). The very audacity of these statements made by martial arts schools across the nation blind so many practitioners into believing that just by executing their traditional style, it will save them from anything that they encounter on the street. Finally, my last complaint about traditional martial arts philosophical lies is the fact that they cannot be questioned, and that the logic they prescribe should be taken as gospel truth. This very concept baffles me due to the fact that many of their systems have been devised from ancient times, and have never evolved into today's modern hand to hand combat/street scene. Moreover, they have not evolved their system or even changed it for that matter, and refuse to change on the extreme arrogance/ignorance that their system, in fact, "needs no change."

Unproven Techniques

Unproven techniques are also hampering the traditional martial arts community. From thrusts that are supposedly cutting through an opponent's solar plexus and ripping out their spine, to the so-called "death punches," to flashy kicks that look amazing but render very little power. These techniques have become more for show rather than for effect. Another concept where traditional martial arts schools have either failed to evolve or have become watered down for families, is in their training for their basics and with sparring. Often during basics, instructors make their students walk straight up and down the floor in drills that are supposed to train their muscles to respond correctly to attacks designed from that specific style. I am not saying that this practice is "unproven", but I question the effectiveness of these constant never-changing drills. Without being devised in a more practical way, such as the students moving in more dynamic and realistic fashions, they will never grasp the concept of what they are doing. This to me is my biggest concern with these groups: The lack of understanding martial concepts.

Having 10 year old black belts who are supposed to have real martial concepts when they cannot properly defend themselves in any real life circumstance is a poor example of an institution. It negates the meaning of a "Black Belt" from that particular school. This leads me to my next point on the effectiveness of some of the traditional martial arts training in regards to their sparring. Often, one of two things happen here. The students use protective gear and spar for points to specified target levels (Olympic Style TKD, AKA Karate), or they have no contact at all and still maintain target levels. A fun sport indeed, yet this completely nullifies the entire point of moving dynamically to try and strike each other in places that one would cause the least amount of damage and not allow take-downs. Many bad habits are learned here (people fight with their hands down) because if one doesn't have to ever worry about being kicked in the legs, one will often not defend his legs from attack. The same can be said about the face or being taken down to the ground. A person won't defend it if they never have to worry about it.

Filler Activities

"Filler activities" are also a concern to people who really want to take their combat skills to the next level. In a traditional martial arts school, students will have many "fillers" that will prevent them from evolving their skill. Forms and patterns are by far the biggest waste of time for a fighter or someone who is looking for self-defense. Forms are not so much as unproven as they are useless for a reliable self-defense system. In the sense that they do absolutely nothing to further your reaction to an oncoming attack. Which in the real world is what one needs to be effective in street situations.

Board breaking is another filler that not only wastes time, but again does nothing to further one's evolution in combat or real world situations. It looks impressive but does nothing but better your ability to break wood. For those who would say that breaking boards is like breaking ribs on the body, I do not disagree, but I would pose this question: How many boards could a person break if those boards were moving or, even better, hitting back? Your timing and velocity of strikes on boards mean absolutely nothing, because the concept is the reality of a moving dynamic force (a person) not an unmoving unyielding object (a board). Hence, the ability of a person to deliver a blow that would break 6 boards is completely nullified by the dynamics of a moving object, and cannot be counted on to save them in a street situation. In closing on this topic, people need to practice how they play. Which means that performing patterns will make you better at patterns. Breaking boards will make a person a better board breaker. Training in a realistic approach will make a person better in reality. It makes sense.

In conclusion, the philosophical lies, unproven techniques, and filler activities found in traditional martial arts will only hamper one who wants to evolve their martial arts training. Let me be clear. My intentions for writing this article are not to deter people from practicing traditional martial arts. There is much to be learned from the discipline, the principles, and the control a person learns especially in their youth. My intention is geared towards the people who want to evolve their combat and training, and maximize their efficiency whether it be in the ring or just for they're own self defense purposes. The only way one can evolve is to go out and find what works for them. and what is real in the martial arts world when there is so much myth to decipher. My experience leads me to believe that a person should train what works and what has been working, and throw the rest of it out. Similar to the late Bruce Lee's philosophy. My other intention is for people not to feel guilty to try out new things. From the no-Gi lovers leaving traditional BJJ, to the traditional Kung Fu student who wants to start training MMA, there should be no guilt but only encouragement from their school.

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. Just send your submission within the body of an email. Comments and questions about our publication are encouraged, and 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

Friday, December 5, 2008

World Dragon Kenpo Demonstration Technique: Orange Belt #11



The following video is an actual lesson from our online distance learning program.

Coach Ron Pfeiffer and Dan Arnold demonstrate Orange Belt Technique #11:

Defense Against A Left Punch to the Head.

Coach Ron demonstrates several moves in this technique. Take note of the logical sequence and economy of motion:
  • Outside right/Inside right Block (no trap initially)
  • Right Punch to the Face
  • Left Palm Heel Strike to the Face
  • Wrist trap
  • Knee kick to the Head
  • Come-along hold

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Dragon Kenpo Street Defense (DKSD) by Ed DellaCroce



You have probably never heard of Dragon Kenpo Street Defense (DKSD) as a Martial art. Well, that may soon be changing. Basic DKSD has evolved. No longer is it just a basic self defense class, it now incorporates expanded offensive moves as well.

The original course concept was to react, neutralize, and withdraw. Today's Street attackers are becoming increasingly violent. A new generation of evil has emerged from the shadows of darkness. With attackers killing their own parents, you as a victim do not stand a chance. We must all adapt. The change must begin with our mindset and expand into our training applications.

As the creator of DKSD, I have listened to my class participants. It is no longer enough to just stop the attack, I must now teach a more aggressive reactive approach. A straight forward punch to a victim now launches a block, followed by stepping forward and grabbing the attacker by the back of their neck. Next there is an unleashing of a knee strike to the mid section or chest area. The attacker is then pushed backward onto the ground. More than likely this counter strike will deter any further aggression. DKSD participants have now been given more options.

This new aggressive stance does not change the original concept of basic self defense. It merely allows the situation to dictate how much force is used in response to the attack. A straight punch to the face, not blocked, can immobilize you if strategically placed. My favorite expression of “I'd rather be tried by twelve, than carried by six” still applies.

The force used in an attack cannot exceed the force used against you. A slap on the face still does not warrant a broken nose in return. Again common sense prevails.

What has this got to do with the new and improved DKSD? First of all a set standard is in place. In the past classes, were never fully standardized. Tactics were added as the class was being taught. This concept was like Kenpo Karate itself, always evolving. A suggestion was made to recognize DKSD as an official street defense class. This will not only allow it to be taught in our local school, but eventually anywhere. The Soke of Tatsu Te Ryu, Grand Master Geoffrey R. Spohn, has taken a strong interest in DKSD. His style, which literally means style of the Dragon's hand, incorporates many of the same techniques as DKSD. Tatsu Te Ryu has been recognized and registered by the Japan All Karate Union as an art.

DKSD is an optional class being taught exclusively at Abi's Mixed Martial Arts studio in Goldsboro, North Carolina. What started as a Women's basic self defense class has turned into a new course with its own created logo. Abi's is also becoming a household word in the MMA circuit. They are the proud sponsor of a local based and international MMA gear distributor, American Stand Up. Visit the web site of Abi's Mixed Martial Arts at www.abismma.com for more information.

Copyright (c) 2008 by Ed DellaCroce and the Dragon Kenpo Street Defense Association.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Press Release: World Dragon Kenpo Wales Announces the Opening of a New School in Abergavenny in Monmouthshire (Gwent, Wales)


Press Release
Date: 27 September 2008


World Dragon Kenpo Wales Announces the Opening of a New School in Abergavenny in Monmouthshire (Gwent, Wales)

Thor Sulland, Director of World Dragon Kenpo Wales, recently opened a new school in Abergavenny. Mr. Sulland holds a 4th Degree Black Belt in Dragon Kenpo.

"It was a roaring success, and we teach at the Holy Trinity Church Hall."

He will offer two sessions per week at Abergavenny. His other school is located in Barry in the Vale of Glamorgan in South Wales.

Shortly after earning his Black Belt in Dragon Kenpo, Mr. Sulland created his first school of self-defense in Wales during 1999. Presently, he manages two schools, and trains about 30 students. He is assisted by Nick Hoare in Barry, and plans to release a Combat Ninjutsu DVD series in the near future. You may also study Combat Self-Defense (TJD Kempo), Yoshin Ryu Jujitsu, and Honshin Ryu Ninjutsu. Distance learning programs are offered via DVDs and video tape examinations.

For more information, please contact Sulland's Academy of Self-Defense (S.A.M.A.) at the following web site link:

http://www.dragonkenpoeurope.bravehost.com/index.html

Or you may contact Mr. Sulland by phone: 07981870736.

---Coach Ron Pfeiffer, Owner of World Dragon Kenpo Schools of Self-Defense, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.

Friday, September 5, 2008

September 2008 Slayer News


SLAYER NEWS
About Dragon Kenpo Karate
15 September 2008: Muscular Systems

"Naturalness means easily and comfortably, so all muscles can act with the greatest speed and ease. Stand loosely and lightly, avoid tension and muscular contraction. Thus, you will both guard and hit with more speed, precision and power." --- Bruce Lee

Table of Contents

Opening Comments by Coach Pfeiffer
Featured Article: Interview with Coach Ron Pfeiffer: Tai Chi for Back Pain and Other Modules by Steve Amoia
The Advantages of Finishing by Jerry Munday
One Student's Story by Michael Sokolski
Treatment for Back Pains and Spasms by Steve Amoia
Important Life Lessons by Paula Carson, Kenosha Tai Chi
New Member Biography: Bryan Marty
New Member Biography: Logan Gabriel
Closing Comments by Coach Pfeiffer

Opening Comments by Coach Ron Pfeiffer


The Welcome Ambassadors for the Burlington Chamber of Commerce and Sharon, Nicco and Dave Angelici, Bill, Matthew and Michael Murray, Mike Sokoski, Laura Barkwell, Stephanie Ross, Chris Miller, Mike and Kathy Weisnewski. Not pictured, Jill Leable, who was instrumental in the opening of the school.

On September 3rd, we unveiled the new Midwest Tai Chi and Self Defense Club in Burlington, Wisconsin. We have been busy preparing for the grand opening for about 3 weeks, and with the help of our friends, students and some local businesses, we had a very nice opening. The Burlington Chamber of Commence held a ribbon cutting ceremony for the School and local minister Jeff Graff said a prayer with all who attended.

We had a raffle ticket for each person who came along with a survey asking what other days and times would be best. After the ribbon cutting there were T
ai Chi demos featuring Mike and Kathy Weisnewski, Laura Barkwell and Mike Sokoski, self defense and Nunchaku demos with Jeff Hansen, Mike Sokoski and yours truly, followed by brief discussions by some of our students as to why they study martial arts. After having some cake and tea, lessons began immediately with Tai Chi at 5 p.m. and Self Defense training at 6:30 p.m. All in all, it was a good day and people left with a very positive feeling about martial arts and our new school.

All the best,

Coach Ron Pfeiffer

Reminder

Occasionally, our members have asked what's the best way to help others learn about our school and program. K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Students! Just refer them to one of our websites, as some of you know we have a few. Also, our school depends on member referrals to grow. Our tuition is the lowest of any school because we don't have advertising expenses, etc. Use these links for referrals:

http://www.dragonkenpo.us/

http://www.dragonkenpo.net/

http://www.onlinekarate.net/

http://www.onlinekarate.bravehost.com/

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

Interview with Coach Ron Pfeiffer: Tai Chi for Back Pain and Other Modules
by Steve Amoia for Slayer News, September 2008

A few years ago, Coach Ron Pfeiffer became certified by the respected expert, Dr. Paul Lam of Tai Chi Productions, during a seminar sponsored by the Arthritis Society. Since that time, Coach Pfeiffer has augmented his Dragon Kenpo instructional classes with these new Tai Chi modules. Since our theme this month is muscular systems, I asked Coach Ron to provide us with a status report, along with a refresher on the health benefits of Tai Chi. Since back pain and spasms are a common ailment, we will focus part of this discussion on those areas.

When did you first begin to study Tai Chi, and how did the certifications by Dr. Lam assist you in the instructional process?

A few years ago, I began the study of Dr. Lam's Tai Chi programs. That was after some investigation into who I would want to mentor me in this important healthful training. What I found was concise instruction and clear explanations of what was to become one of the most important changes in my martial art direction. My first teacher was Caroline Demoise. The thing I remember most was her question to me after our first training session. She asked "So Ron, I can see you've been doing this for quite awhile. How long have you been practicing?" To which I replied "A couple of weeks..." You see, my past training prepared me well for tai chi. I had an understanding of fastness within slowness and hardness within softness. So moving in a smooth and controlled manner was second nature to me. As I tell my students, "Would you learn cooking from an auto mechanic?" So learning Tai Chi from a martial artist, instead of some other exercise form, just makes sense."

How does Tai Chi differ from our studies of Dragon Kenpo?

Dragon Kenpo is the Yang (hard) of martial training, it's focus on stopping a criminal attack is unwavering. Tai Chi is the Yin (soft): The slow, even, and continuous movements complement our bone breaking DK by working on the internal movements. It really is a great combo.
In terms of muscular tone and flexibility, how does Tai Chi help us?

As all of us age (take note; the Baby Boomers are retiring, guys), the movements and concepts within Tai Chi allow for a simple, effective exercise using the entire body. Flexibility is enhanced due to the continued development of our range of motion. This occurs in my teachings mainly during our warm ups and Qi Gong practices (we'll discuss Qi Gong next time around). Muscle tone is gradually improved over time by the students controlling his/her movements. As strength increases, then effort can increase as well. For example, if the legs are stronger then a slightly lower stance will increase the workout.

Let's take a look at back pain and spasms. You told me that over 95% of the developed population suffers from these problems. What are some daily changes and/or exercises, whether at work or at home, that can help us before we study Tai Chi formally?

One of the most important thing is to gain an awareness of the structure of your back. During training we show the student how to do this, and how to activate those muscle groups and supporting structures so strengthening to prevent injury can occur. Steve, I guess you're just gonna have to come to Wisconsin for a few private lessons!!

One change we all can do is to practice keeping the back straight by using good posture.

What types of movements in the Tai Chi for Back Pain program address proper spinal alignment and good posture?

Many of the movements do this but primarily the form Waving Hands Like Cloud. Students should remember to always do this form turning at the waist, and avoid moving the arms from the shoulders. Tai Chi for Back Pain is simply a change in the Tai Chi for Arthritis movement order with a focus on the muscles of the spine.

For those with chronic back problems, how soon can they reasonably expect to see improvement via the Tai Chi for Back Pain program?

When beginning anything new always speak with your doctor and keep him in the loop. He will be glad the person is interested in doing something, and not just waiting for the back pain to get worse or go away on it's own. Remember that if you don't change what you have been doing, how do you expect to get a better result? Most students see improvement and feel improvement in 60 to 90 days. They need to be reminded to practice but not over practice. If they experience pain during practice they should stop and try again the next day.

Recently, The Midwest Tai Chi and Self Defense Clubs (a division of the World Dragon Kenpo Schools) was founded. What is the training schedule for the various modules at the new club?

1. Six Basic Movements (Sun Style Introduction which is pronounced "Soon").
2. Six Advanced Movements
3. Reverse these 12 movements
4. Introduce reodered movements of Tai Chi for Back Pain
5. Add Nine new movements to complete Tai Chi for Arthritis
6. Begin 73 Forms (Usually introducing 2 new forms per week).
7. Review Tai Chi Back and Tai Chi Arthritis forms with more depth
8. Tai Chi for Osteoporosis (Yang Style Introduction).
9. Continue depth training of 73 Forms
10. Begin instruction in Chen Style "The 32 Forms." Still health focused but with self defense applications detailed.

How can we purchase the CD/DVD programs for the various Tai Chi modules, and can you certify WDK members if they attend in person seminars?

Most of the training is available through Dr. Lam. World Dragon Kenpo Students are welcome to inquire about Tai Chi Instructor/Leader status within our school. The ideal method would be for someone to commit to spending at least a few days here to receive personal training from me and attend some of the classes I teach. This would give them a good grounding in how to teach, as well has how to organize a program which attract interested students.

Our grand opening on Sept 3rd at 4 p.m. for the new school, Midwest Tai Chi and Self Defense, has received many inquiries. Some from soccer moms wanting their children to learn self defense, instead of going to expensive point tournaments. Others from local martial arts instructors who have checked out the area, and decided that we have the "Best of the Best" in experience and credentials. Also some former martial art students have been emailing and calling wanting more info and to sign up. The local Chamber of Commerce has offered to do a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony so I'm wondering if I should supply a sword... hmmm.

And in case this applies to anyone reading this, here is the page you want:

www.dragonkenpo.net/midwesttaichi.html

All the Best,

Coach Ron Pfeiffer

The Advantages of Finishing
by Jerry Munday, Florida State Director of WDK

Editor's Note: Mr. Munday has been a frequent contributor to Slayer News. To view his past articles, please click here.

I recently completed the online requirements provided by Ron Pfeiffer from White belt to 3rd Degree Black belt. Upon completion, I was asked to write up a short article on my experience. I was surprised to find that the completion rate for the online program is low. At this point, I would like to throw out a word of encouragement. If you have put the energy into signing up and beginning the program, follow through and finish. The advantages may not be immediately apparent, although there are many. The most obvious is the fact that it's incredible inexpensive.

Where else can you get Kenpo instruction for only ten dollars a month?

You will also have a video library available to you anytime that's easy to access with no waiting to rewind or review even the smallest portion of the video. As an instructor, I often use the techniques in these videos as a jumping off point to develop counters and other variations to use in class, as well reviewing the videos repeatedly can reveal how these techniques are related to the classic katas.


All isn't roses here though; there are two disadvantages to the series. First, you can not directly query Coach Ron on his footwork, hand positions, or why he has made a particular move. But he has never failed to answer an e-mail. The second and most debilitating is that you must motivate yourself to complete the course. This last point goes hand in hand with one of the basic premises of original Dragon Kenpo system; that of self motivation and concentration. Those of us who went through the course when run by Ed Hutchison remember the 12 audio tape series that accompanied the videos. Among other things, these tapes spoke of concentration and self-motivation. In short, this video tape series teaches more than just Kenpo techniques. It also gives you the chance to exercise your ability to be a self-motivator, and develop your concentration, observation, tactical and mental fighting skills.

Jerry Munday can be contacted at modular_kenpo@yahoo.com

One Student's Story
by Michael Sokolski

Editor's Note: Mr. Sokolski's experience again emphasizes the health benefits of Tai Chi.

In October 2007, I took my first Tai Chi class at the Lake Geneva YMCA. I started taking the class mostly because I thought Tai Chi was interesting. I knew a little about the benefits from a bit of research, and I was looking for a minor health improvement. Little did I know, the path I had started down would change my life. When I started my training, I was very shy and lacked self-confidence. The thought of talking in front of a group of people terrified me. Looking back, I'm surprised I signed up for the class.

In my first class, everyone was very nice and made me feel welcome. Over the coming months, I noticed that my health was improving. I felt less tired at the end of the day and was able to deal with the daily stress better. Even my balance had improved. Over the winter, I found that my immune system was getting a benefit from the Tai Chi. I got fewer colds that season than I normally do. All of these changes were great, but the biggest surprise was yet to come.

In Spring 2008, Coach Ron announced to the class that he had started teaching a short-term class at UW-Parkside and if any students wanted to show up they were welcome to. Surprising myself, I volunteered to show up to the class at Parkside to assist Coach Ron in teaching that class however I could. I couldn't believe it. I was volunteering to be up in front of a class. The idea of it terrified me, but I was able to push aside the fear, get in front of the class, do Tai Chi, and talk to the class. In doing Tai Chi, I had gained some of the self-confidence I was lacking.

Since then, thanks to the self-confidence I have gained and the attitude changes that have followed, I started taking Coach Ron's self defense class at the YMCA. This has helped move the mental changes even further along and has started physical changes as well that will change my life for the better. When the class at Parkside had ended, we moved it to the Recplex in Pleasant Prairie on a long-term basis. I've assisted Coach Ron in that class as well, and have thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.

Thanks to the martial arts, I've improved myself mentally and physically and I will continue to make changes in myself for the better. I've made some good friends and have had a lot of fun. I've started to help others improve themselves through the martial arts and I hope to be able to do so for a long time to come.

Treatment for Back Pains and Spasms
by Steve Amoia

Back pain and spasms are a common complaint. Let's take a look at their causes, symptoms, along with treatment options.



Causes of Back Pain

Most of us, regardless of age or athletic ability, will suffer from back pain and spasms during our lives. Due to its sudden onset with acute pain, it is one of the most frequent causes of missed work. According to Dr. Vijay Vad from the above referenced video, who is the official PGA and Pro Tennis Tour medical consultant, "One of the main reasons that we experience back pain is because we sit in chairs. It's really that simple. Even though millions of years of evolution have designed our spines to do otherwise, we eat, travel, and sit in chairs for hours at a time..."

"Sitting on a floor crosslegged, as the standard in many developing countries, is much better for our backs. This forces the spine into perfect alignment, and maintains flexibility of the hips..."

"A relaxed balanced posture is the key for a pain-free back."

Dr. Vad is the co-author of an interesting book, which may be purchased at Amazon.com, entitled, "Back RX: A 15-Minute-a-Day Yoga- and Pilates-Based Program to End Low Back Pain."

Main Symptoms of Back Spasms

Since back spasms are the most prevalent form of pain in this region of the torso, let's examine some of the key symptoms:

"The main symptoms of back spasms include severe pain emanating from the back in the absence of motion, significant discomfort in the back upon movement of the legs or arms, and/or pain associated with rotation of the spine. Such symptoms are usually accompanied by a sensation of a lack of mobility of the spine. The discomfort and feeling of immobility may last from a few seconds up to several minutes, go away, and then return again after a brief respite. Spasms which appear suddenly during activity may disappear when a resting position is assumed; anecdotally, lying down seems to be more relieving than sitting."

Source: Sports Injury Bulletin, Lower Back Spasms.

Treatment

Rest and ice are the key components of this therapy. Pain is a warning signal to stop the activity or cease using the back muscles. Ice acts to lessen the swelling of the affected areas when used as a topical analgesic. After a few hours of rest, you can begin to apply ice treatments in the following manner. These, along with prescribed anti-inflammatory drugs by your physician, can accelerate the healing process:

"You should keep the ice on the site of injury for about 12 minutes at a time, with 20-minute 'recoveries' between applications. Ideally, you or a helpful friend can perform 'ice massage' on your affected area, using the nub of ice from a styrofoam cup (which has been left in the freezer for enough time to freeze its water) to gently work coldness into the hurting area; reveal the icy nub within the cup by peeling away its topmost styrofoam. Massage for about 12 minutes, take a 20-minute break, and repeat. At least six 12-minute massages per day should be performed to ease pain, inflammation, and swelling.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (such as ibuprofen or a COX-2 inhibitor) may be prescribed by your doctor to control the inflammation at the spasm site and reduce pain. Note, though, that COX-2 inhibitors may not represent appropriate treatment if the back spasms are the result of ligament damage to the back. Recent research suggests that the use of COX-2 inhibitors might be linked with retarded healing in injured ligaments ('A Cyclooxygenase-2 Inhibitor Impairs Ligament Healing in the Rat,' The American Journal of Sports Medicine, Vol. 29(6), pp. 801-805, 2001).

Your doctor might also prescribe muscle relaxants, which may ease the hyper-contracted state of the back muscles involved in the spasms. Such easing can decrease pain and increase mobility in the back, which are good things, of course - as long as an individual does not attempt to return too quickly to normal activity. Quick returns might further injure the problem area."

Source: Sports Injury Bulletin, Lower Back Spasms.

Disclaimer
:

If your pain is severe, or you have any other concerns, please consult with your health care provider. The suggestions in this article are for illustrative purposes only, and not a recommendation or an endorsement for any specific treatment plan.

Steve Amoia can be contacted at info@sanstefano.com, and his web site is www.sanstefano.com.

Important Life Lessons
by Paula Carson, Kenosha Tai Chi

I started Tai Chi in March for a number of reasons. I'm middle-aged and need to do some type of exercise for my overall health. But I already have some arthritis and back pain issues, so I didn't want something that would hurt me before helping me. Also, as a nurse manager of critical care, my stress level gets out of control. Overall, I needed to start taking care of myself.


After a few months, I was feeling better (no more knee cracking) and encouraged all of my staff to take deep breaths when stressed. Other than that, I couldn't say I had noticed a drastic change in my health (no weight loss or buffed muscles :)). Then in June, my 15-year-old son suffered a major health issue. It took all of my energy to deal with his treatments, doctor appointments, and still stay on top of things at work. I pushed my Tai Chi classes aside and also my practice time. After two to three weeks, things had settled down, and I planned to go to my next Tai Chi class. Then, I threw my back out and spent the class time at home in bed. Then it hit me: I had not had any back trouble since starting Tai Chi.

Unknown to me, I had been strengthening my core and back muscles. Now three weeks without Tai Chi, and I was right back where I started. It also occurred to me that by not taking any small time out for me, I couldn't help anyone else, either.
Though my summer has been chaotic between work, my son, and vacation time, I try to take a little time each day for me. Sometimes, all I do is rehearse our new moves, but I now know it is helping me. It's amazing how something relatively simple has made me healthier.

New Member Biography
by Bryan Marty

Hi everyone, my name is Bryan Marty.

I have trained in martial arts since I was 7 and have evolved tremendously in my short 21 years on this earth. Finally, I can say that I am truly training in what makes me happy. While a child, my father allowed me to begin training in Chung Do Kwan Style Tae Kwon Do. It was fun, no contact sparring, until black belt, and I learned how to discipline myself. I stayed content with this traditional form of martial arts up until I was 16 years old. At that point in time, I began to question the effectiveness of style. Was it as superior as my instructors at the time proclaimed it to be? I had no idea.

Where I grew up, there was no place to test out your skills in NHB (No Holds Barred) competition without going to jail and it wasn't my thing at the time, so I was left to wonder. Then, one day, my friend Katie Brugger invited me to one of her Kenpo karate classes in Lake Geneva WI. This was the first day that I met Ron Pfeiffer, and his philosophical outlook was hard for me to grasp at the time, but it ultimately blew my mind. His perspective on everything truly gave me the confidence to continue on and question my martial arts training in what and what does not work.

Around this same time, my friend had lent me some videos of fights that had taken place in the early 1990s. They were of the first two UFC's. This was my first introduction to Royce Gracie and his style of Brazilian Jiujitsu. I would have loved to try it out at the time, but there were no Brazilian Jiujitsu classes in my area so I again was left to wonder. After I graduated from high school, I joined the U.S. military, and from 18 to well into my 19th year, I took a hiatus from training in martial arts focusing much of my attention on work and other types of workouts. I was strong, athletic, and extremely confident with my skills. One day, I was inside the gym where we trained, and some members of my unit were really going at it in combat. It looked like a good time, so I decided to join in. I was completely and utterly dominated in every aspect. These weren't even close, and the ground work and the technical skill that had been executed on me was a wake up call. Little to my knowledge, those two guys were some pretty serious amateur fighters, and they let me know a lot about what and how I needed to train to become effective. From that point, I began to search for an effective training style, and fell in love with MMA. I trained Brazilian Jujitsu 5 to 6 days a week with a wrestling emphasis, and also developed a Muy Thai approach to my striking that evolved from my years in Tae Kwon Do. Most importantly, however, is that I am now truly happy with what I am practicing. I have the confidence to know that the skills I have work against anybody.

My good friend and mentor, Coach Ron, has also given me this tremendous opportunity to express some of my feelings and concerns with the martial arts community. I would like to thank him and his staff for this open forum, and also like to acknowledge this as an honor.

Thank you again.

Bryan Marty

New Member Biography
by Logan Gabriel

When I was 14 years old in 1987, I began my study of Martial Arts. Like many of the kids, I got my first taste of the Martial Arts from Bruce Lee movies. After watching "Chinese Connection" and "Enter the Dragon," I begged and pleaded for classes. I worked my way up to Blue Belt in Fred Villari's Shaolin Kempo, and then dropped out because I began to slack off in my musical studies. That was my first and foremost priority.

Since I was 8 years old, I have been playing Classical Guitar. Now, I teach and perform regularly in the States and abroad. My time is very important to me: This is why I like Dragon Kenpo. It gives me the opportunity to train in Martial Arts on my own time.

I am currently a yellow belt in Dragon Kenpo, and my martial arts training has helped me immensely in my musical training. One of the most influential books I have read was "The Book of Five Rings" by Miyamoto Musashi. It's amazing that when I mention this to students or a class the looks I get. I know what's going through their minds, and it's how does a book on combat strategy help with music? The long answer could fill the pages of a book, but for now the short answer will do. There is one saying by Musashi that brings it all together: "To know one thing is to know a thousand things." At first, this could be a very philosophical discussion; however, we can get just as much discussion if we don't get philosophical but stick to the obvious (and not so obvious).

Playing guitar relies upon muscles that we normally do not use. From the time we are born, we use large muscle groups to perform tasks. This is a great thing because large muscle groups are able to do more work with more efficiency. It is natural for us to sit, jump, squat, run, walk, throw, and lie down. All of these use those large muscle groups. Tthe next time you get the chance, watch a baby as it eats some finger foods. The baby reaches using the whole hand.

I did this experiment once when my eight year old was just a baby. I put a pile of cheerios on his high chair and watched his use his whole hand to grab a pile of Cheerios and fill his mouth. Then I cleared his high chair, and put just one cheerio on the tray. Because there was only one, he failed at using the whole hand. He knew that he had to use a less natural approach, and use fine motor skills in order to use just two fingers to pick up this small snack. It was amazing. It took him awhile to figure it out but he did. This is an excellent lesson for musicians.

The first lesson is adapting to the task at hand. Use only what is necessary when it is necessary; economy of muscular exertion. Now to tie that in with Musashi by knowing this one principle of muscular exertion, we can apply it to a score of things Now, I know this is a very basic and maybe even too obvious, but it does get the point across. I have enjoyed playing in other countries, but unfortunately, it has all been performances and I haven't had the time to really check out the martial artists overseas. However, next year, I am going back for my annual tour of England, and I will be booking a few extra days to hunt down a Kenpo school and train for a day or two.

If you like classical guitar, please visit my MySpace page.

http://www.myspace.com/logangabrielguitarist

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. Just send your submission within the body of an email. Comments and questions about our publication are encouraged, and 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

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Ribbon Cutting for the Midwest Tai Chi and Self Defense Club



The Welcome Ambassadors for the Burlington Chamber of Commerce and Sharon, Nicco and Dave Angelici, Bill, Matthew and Michael Murray, Mike Sokoski, Laura Barkwell, Stephanie Ross, Chris Miller, Mike and Kathy Weisnewski. Not pictured, Jill Leable, who was instrumental in the opening of the school.

Yesterday, Coach Ron Pfeiffer and a few friends unveiled the new Midwest Tai Chi and Self Defense Club in Burlington, Wisconsin. Here were some comments by Coach Pfeiffer:
"We have been busy preparing for the grand opening for about 3 weeks now, and with the help of our friends, students and some local businesses, we had a very nice opening. The Burlington Chamber of Commence held a ribbon cutting ceremony for the School and local minister Jeff Graff said a prayer with all who attended. We had a raffle ticket for each person who came along with a survey asking what other days and times would be best. After the ribbon cutting there were Tai Chi demos featuring Mike and Kathy Weisnewski, Laura Barkwell and Mike Sokoski, self defense and Nunchaku demos with Jeff Hansen, Mike Sokoski and yours truly, followed by brief discussions by some of our students as to why they study martial arts.

After having some cake and tea, lessons began immediately with Tai Chi at 5pm and Self Defense training at 6:30pm. All in all it was a good day and people left with a very positive feeling about martial arts and our new school."

--- Coach Ron Pfeiffer

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Press Release for Grand Opening of The Midwest Tai Chi and Self Defense Club


Where
: 609 Pine Street, Burlington, WI 53105
When: Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008
Time: 4 p.m.
Contact: Coach Ron Pfeiffer
,
dragonkenporegister@yahoo.com
Tai Chi for Health: 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesdays.
Self Defense for All Ages: 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesdays.

Cost: $40/month: The second family member can join at half price.
Pre-register: Sign up online and receive a free uniform ($25 value).
To Signup online, please click the Join link at www.dragonkenpo.us
and/or email Coach Pfeiffer at dragonkenporegister@yahoo.com.

What Are the Benefits Of Tai Chi For Health?

Tai Chi was created in ancient China. Today, it is practiced throughout the world as a form of exercise for better health. Many studies have shown that Tai Chi is conducive to more efficient breathing, reduced blood pressure, cardiovascular endurance, increased bone density, increased strength and range of motion in joints, improved flexibility, reduced stress levels, improved immune function and heightened mood states.


Are you afraid of falling? Few if any training methods are better than Tai Chi for improving balance. Scientific studies conducted by Seoul National University in 2001 and the Arthritis Foundation of NSW (University of New South Wales) have shown that this program is quite safe and effective. Thousands of people with arthritis have gained pain relief and better quality of life by learning and practicing every day. Coach Pfeiffer teaches an approved Tai Chi curriculum and you can view his various certifications at www.taichiproductions.com (click Instructors/Wisconsin).


What Are the Benefits Of Self Defense?


There is a real need for an effective method of protecting yourself and your family in today's often hostile and violent environment. While crime rates have recently been in decline, crime itself continues to be an ever present concern, because the police cannot protect you during an attack on the street. The best they can do is to attempt to arrest and punish criminals AFTER they have ALREADY victimized you. The ability to defend, protect yourself and your family, is ultimately a personal responsibility. The Kenpo System is logical, practical, and thorough. Armed with knowledge of Kenpo, you will be prepared to deal with a variety of attacks from all angles. The types of attacks Kenpo teaches to defend against fall into these major categories: grabs, pushes, punches, kicks, hugs and holds, locks and chokes, weapons, combinations, and multiple opponents. Kenpo is dedicated to developing each student’s potential, and increasing their proficiency to maximum levels. Hence, improved fitness combined with reduced stress and tension. You will notice an increase in your stamina and enthusiasm for everyday life. Coach Pfeiffer teaches a number of Tai Chi and Self Defense programs including at Lake Geneva YMCA and at the University of Wisconsin, Parkside.


For Adults


People from all walks of life study Kenpo. It can benefit you physically and mentally by improving your levels of fitness, coordination, self-confidence and self-esteem. Persons who compete in today's society will gain increased confidence to cope with any situation. The release of stress and tension are also gained from the consistent study of the art. Additionally, you will notice increased stamina and enthusiasm for life.


For Children


Many parents worry about their children being safe on the street. The well-being of a child can be threatened by adults as well as by other children. Kenpo teaches children to think instead of panic in a threatening or potentially dangerous situation. Kenpo training challenges the entire body. It helps develop balance, agility, poise, and dexterity that often neglected in team sports. Lessons are dynamic and challenging for children who are athletic, energetic, awkward, shy, bold, nice, or maybe a little wild every once in a while...


For more information, please email Coach Pfeiffer at dragonkenporegister@yahoo.com. Due to our online training videos which are used by Coach Pfeiffer's students from around the world, new members can begin learning immediately.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

June 2008 Slayer News: The Heart


SLAYER NEWS

About Dragon Kenpo Karate
15 June 2008: The Heart

"
The heart of a wise man should resemble a mirror, which reflects every object without being sullied by any." --- Confucius

Table of Contents

June Exams and School Trip by Coach Ron Pfeiffer
Featured Article: You're Being Admitted by Reverend Ray Mann (A very interesting look how Dragon Kenpo techniques were utilized in a hospital setting).
Anatomy of the Heart by Steve Amoia
Closing Comments by Coach Ron Pfeiffer
Staff Biographies Link

June Exams and School Trip
by Coach Ron Pfeiffer

The weekend of June 7th was our annual "camp trip." It wasn't real camping though as this year we elected to go to the Great Wold Lodge, which is a major Dells resort with indoor water park. Students from the Lake Geneva Self Defense Club and Ronin Martial Arts participated in exams on Saturday morning and waterpark fun the rest of the weekend.

There were some torrential rains along with tornado warnings. At one point, we had a good number of our group in my 1st floor motel room due to the upper floors being cleared by the management. When I looked out into the hall way, it looked like a scene from the Titanic! The hotel staff were very accommodating, passing out water, soda and games for the kids. All together between the two tornado warnings, people spent over 4 hours huddling in the hallway.
If anyone saw the news in the Wisconsin Dell, Lake Delton was almost completely drained due to the washing out of a section of land and road. The water, about 600 million gallons, went into the Wisconsin River and major damage was done to flooded out homes and businesses. Since the tourist season is just starting, it will be a bad year for the folks in the Dells.
Due the the rain, we had to cancel our flag retirement ceremony and awards presentations that were planned. Our big announcement at our camp trip is the new Parent of the Year. This year the honor went to Bill and Sonya Murray. They have big shoes to fill as Tim and Maria Starck have set the bar quite high with a great job of chairing the Parent committee. New ranks will be handed out in classes. Make up exams will be held the next couple of Wednesdays at 5:30pm at the YMCA.
And finally be sure to get registered for the upcoming Tai Chi Instructor training being held the first weekend in Sept at the Y!

September and Another Tai Chi Weekend!!

The first weekend in September is scheduled for our 3rd Annual Tai Chi Instructors Training Seminar. Now even if you are just interested in improving your Tai Chi skills, this would be a great weekend for you. Although the focus will be on the 31 movements of Tai Chi for Arthritis, there will be some advanced work on the 73 Forms as well as testing opportunities for our World Dragon Kenpo members. This is an intense weekend of training, and according to past participants, a life changing event. I sincerely hope to see many of you there, and if you need lodging or other information you know how to email for it. If you don't know, just click on wi_ron@yahoo.com and put Tai Chi Weekend in the subject line.

And Finally,

Just because World Dragon Kenpo Schools of Self Defense is on track for another great year is no reason to get lazy!! Talk to at least one person per week about your (remember this is your school) membership in WDK and the benefits of our program. If you are at least at the Orange Belt and want to start a training group, email your request for Assistant Instructor status and get to kickin'!

All the Best,

Coach Ron Pfeiffer

Reminder

Occasionally, our members have asked what's the best way to help others learn about our school and program. K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Students! Just refer them to one of our websites, as some of you know we have a few. Also, our school depends on member referrals to grow. Our tuition is the lowest of any school because we don't have advertising expenses, etc. Use these links for referrals:

http://www.dragonkenpo.us/

http://www.dragonkenpo.net/

http://www.onlinekarate.net/

http://www.onlinekarate.bravehost.com/

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


You’re Being Admitted
by Pastor Ray Mann, WDK Orange Belt

Editor's Note:

Our theme this month is about the heart. Both in a physical sense, and in terms of personal character. In this featured article, Reverend Mann demonstrates the true meaning of heart.

“You’re being admitted” are words you dread hearing when in a hospital emergency room. I had come into the emergency room in February of 2008 after seeing my doctor for a backache and a stomach ache. What I did not realize was that the two issues were not separate, but related to the same thing, an attack of pancreatitis. Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas which can be extremely painful and even possibly life-threatening. The treatment, though, is simple. After finding me a room, I was given an IV with morphine for the pain and a saline solution to keep me from being dehydrated. To rest the pancreas, I was allowed nothing by mouth… No food, not even water. For the next six days, I had the pleasure of watching daytime TV hosts cook wondrous meals and not be able to have even a bowl of jello!

Over the next two months, I spent 20 days in the hospital with three separate incidents of the same illness. To this point today, the doctors still do not know for certain what triggered these episodes. Early in the course of this adventure, I realized that I was in danger of growing weaker physically, a state the doctors called “de-conditioning”. Each day spent in bed meant at least two days recovery time after release… In my case, over 40 days of recovery time!

In November of 2007, I joined World Dragon Kenpo and began training. I am a minister in the Church of the Nazarene in my mid-forties, and started down this road with the thought of starting a Martial Arts Ministry in my church, as well as getting into shape myself. Having had prior experience in Aikido, I advanced quickly to Yellow Belt. When I was in the hospital and realizing the problems I was facing with de-conditioning I asked my wife to bring in a set of resistance bands for me. I began walking up and down the corridors trailing my IV stand like an old friend, and practicing the routines from WDK in my room. I had some access to the Internet in the hospital and was able to go online a few times to the WDK site. With these resources available I was able to maintain some degree of an exercise program.

It is now a little more than two weeks after my release from my last stay at the hospital, and I can say that the conditioning that World Dragon Kenpo afforded me before I was admitted, and the routines and techniques I was able to practice while actually in the hospital have allowed me to recover much quicker than I otherwise would have. I have now advanced to Orange Belt two months behind schedule, but I’m here!

Moreover, the benefits of WDK are not simply physical. The benefits of concentration, focus, assertiveness and prioritizing which WDK teach also were qualities that became very important in the hospital setting. “Make the most of every opportunity” is not simply a nice saying or Bible verse; I found that WDK was a way for me to open bridges to people that I would not otherwise have had much in common. It was a way for me to help other people as well, in the middle of what I was going through.

I also know that WDK is keeping me in shape, so that if this should happen again and I hear those dreaded words, “You’re being admitted,” I will be ready physically, mentally and socially. Hooah! Go WDK!

Reverend Ray Mann can be contacted at raymannjr1@aol.com



Anatomy of the Heart
by Steve Amoia




Copyright Texas Heart Institute, www.texasheart.org used by permission.

Four Chambers

As we can see from the above detailed diagram, the heart has four chambers:
  • Left Atrium
  • Right Atrium
  • Right Ventricle
  • Left Ventricle
"The left ventricle is the largest and strongest chamber in your heart. The left ventricle's chamber walls are only about a half-inch thick, but they have enough force to push blood through the aortic valve and into your body."

Source: Copyright Texas Heart Institute, www.texasheart.org used by permission.

Four Valves

To complement the four chambers, the heart has four valves. To view more detailed images, please click here. But if we look above, we can see the valves in the highlighted diagram.
  • Tricuspid
  • Pulmonary
  • Mitral
  • Aortic
In a Hearbeat

We often hear that phrase. But did you ever wonder how many times your heart beats during your lifetime? According to the Texas Heart Institute:

"By the end of a long life, a person's heart may have beat (expanded and contracted) more than 3.5 billion times. In fact, each day, the average heart beats 100,000 times, pumping about 2,000 gallons (7,571 liters) of blood."

Source:
Copyright Texas Heart Institute, www.texasheart.org used by permission.

To learn more about the heart, please visit the Heart Information Center Page at the Texas Heart Institute.

I would like to thank
Mr. Ken Hoge, Manager, Visual Communications Services, of the Texas Heart Institute, for his kind assistance with this article.

Steve Amoia can be contacted at info@sanstefano.com

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. Just send your submission within the body of an email. Comments and questions about our publication are encouraged, and 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

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