I was covering a Kenpo class there yesterday, I wasn’t too familiar with the student as he belongs to another instructor. The lad is dedicated and bright, but when I asked him to show me which Kenpo techniques he wanted to go over, I was frankly gobsmacked!!
One of the things that I have always loved about Kenpo, since I first came across it in 2001, was the speed, power and efficiency involved in it’s movement. I’ve always disliked the overly complex syllabus, but we can’t have it all our own way.
Now watching this lad show me a few of the techniques from the green belt, i could barely believe what I was seeing. Now just to clear this up, the lad is able and dedicated, he does what he’s been shown. So the mistakes he was making are purely down to the instruction he has received.
Here’s a fella, comes in 3-4 times a week, is in the intermediate stages of the syllabus and has no concept of body mechanics, power, moving from the hips, pushing from the ground and poor balance. How did I remedy this, simple, introduced a thing called contact.
I took the fella over to the bags, broke the techniques down to simpler combinations and had him spend about an hour repeatedly executing these combo’s with power on the bag.
1 a greater understanding of the techniques 2 the ability to balance 3 moving from the hip 4 strength delivered from the legs 5 no longer leaning away when striking 6 a big boost in confidence
This lad, like countless other around the world has suffered due to instructor laziness and lack of imagination. Traditional martial arts already take enough of a slagging because we spend our time waving our arms in the air doing forms and kata. And to a degree it’s deserved. If you teach a class invest in some strike pads, focus mits, punch bags, whatever you have the funds and facilities for and have your students spend some time hitting things, the founders and fighters from your style/system certainly did.
Your students will thank you for it.