Archive for February, 2011

Children’s Taekwondo Phoenix Wins High Praise From AZ Parents and Children

February 27, 2011

Attention Phoenix Parents With Children

Hello, we’re glad you found this blog.

Is your child a Karate Kid?
Perhaps your thinkng about getting involved with martial arts. Does your child imitate Jackie Chan, Jet Li, Bruce Lee or Chuck Norris? Do they jump around like Jet Li after watching Ninja Turtles, Kung Fu Panda or Power Rangers?

Jet Li | Bruce Lee | Kung Fu Panda | Chuck Norris Most martial artists say they became interested in martial arts training from watching martial arts on television and movies.

We would be honored to have you or your child as one of our students at USA Martial Arts Phoenix. But first you should get to know a little bit about us. We are a private martial arts school and that means we select who we work with.

Traditional Martial Arts Instruction with a Modern Approach
We have time tested and proven lessons handed down from generations of Masters, Grandmasters and champions. Parents consider us a great tool on helping your child learn to be his or her best.

How Do We Help Kids Be Their Best With Martial Arts Classes?
While lots of other childrens sports and activities are claiming to instill these things, we really do. It’s natural to be skeptical and we welcome your questions and the opportunity to prove that we really do positively impact the lives of our students. Click here to hear what other parents of children are saying about our Phoenix Children Martial Arts School.

Tang Soo Do | Taekwondo | Karate | Phoenix
First, we pass on time-tested traditional martial arts lessons such as discipline, modesty, integrity, good manners, focus and self control. This is an important part of our school culture because those lessons directly impact our students lives.

Second, we integrate personal development lessons to teach our students how to be leaders, rather than compliant followers doing whatever is necessary to fit in with peers. From character to citizenship, USA Martial Arts Children develop a strong mind as well as a strong body.

Our Martial Arts Black Belt Success System awards incentives along with Taekwondo belt rank and different colored Karate Uniforms to build enthusiasm for goals. We recognize that children today have shorter attention spans and this keeps children motivated.

Life and Character Lessons from Martial Arts Masters


As you get to know us you’ll discover that we emphasize the development of each childs character.

o SELF ESTEEM – To stand tall for your values and be proud of who you are
o SELF CONTROL – To know when to use KARATE and when not to. Common sense before self defense.
o LEADERSHIP – To be strong on the inside and learn to project that to others.
o FOCUS – For better grades, faster learning and first time listening at home with parents
o PERSEVERANCE – Preventing a quitting attitude and fostering the will to stick with challenging goals and commitments
o CONFIDENCE – To adapt to change
o CITIZENSHIP – To respect the liberties we have and learn the patriotic values of America
o RESPECT – The value of treating others with dignity
o CONFLICT RESOLUTION – How to make and keep peace
o FITNESS – Life-long learning and healthy energetic living
o INTEGRITY – The importance of developing character rather than being one
o VIRTUE – reinforcing the noble family values parents teach at home
o TEAMWORK – Bringing out the best in everyone

These values are especially important at USA Martial Arts Phoenix in working with children and families — the premier focus of our martial art school in Phoenix, AZ.

Click here for our WEBSPECIAL

Arizona Bully Prevention Teacher Launches Bullying Initiative

February 24, 2011

John Nottingham
(602) 896-8721

Arizona Martial Arts teacher launches Bully Prevention Initiative and Bully Proof training for Arizona children.
Listen NOW to our radio interview on Bully Busting or read Bullying Prevention Tips.

The Arizona Bully Intervention Initiative and Bullying Prevention Project is Phoenix based group who provide education, training and resources to parents, teachers and children of Arizona. Bully Proof Training Arizona teaches methods on how to stop a bully, school bullies and how to reduce bullying behavior.

Does Your Child Have a Bully Proof Vest?

Grade School Bullying | Middle School Bullying | High School Bullying

The Bully Solutions Project is a private initiative sponsored by a collaborative effort from USA Martial Arts Phoenix and Nottingham Sword & Shield Security Bodyguards

John Nottingham, owner and Chief Instructor of USA Martial Arts Phoenix is using his skills and resources to educate teachers, parents and children how to effectively handle bullies. More than just a local Karate Dojo do-gooder, Nottingham has a background in the Army Special Forces Intelligence community and whose knowlege have been shared with law enforcement, military and companies throughout the world. He also owns Nottingham Sword & Shield Security Bodyguards, a security and training company headquartered in Scottsdale.


o 160,000 children cut school every day in the United States to avoid a bully. –National Education Association.
o A majority of the school shootings have been linked to cases of excessive bullying – U.S. Secret Service.
o Studies have shown that adults who were bullied as children have a much higher level of depression and lower self-esteem than those who were not.

The Arizona Bully Initiative and Bully Proofing Project’s mission is to reduce violence and bullying and prepare Arizona children for life.

The program was initiated in 1992 in Nottingham’s chain of martial arts schools but only recently was it formed into a State-wide program and put online. His newest program is called The Bully Proof Vest Program and kids, parents and teachers love it.

The Bully Intervention Project is headquartered in Phoenix Arizona.
The Arizona Bully Intervention Project – Bully Prevention Training
Does Your Child Have a Bully Proof Vest?
4731 E. Greenway Rd Suite 9
Phoenix, Arizona 85032
Telephone (602) 896-8721
How To Get Involved or Support These Efforts

Arizona Bullying Prevention Awareness education is supported by its partners, organizations with a focus on bullying prevention, child and youth education issues. Partners actively promote the event on their social media channels, enewsletters, and printed materials. The AZ Bully Proof Prevention Initiative gratefully acknowledges their generous support in raising awareness of bullying prevention.

Arizona Bully Intervention Initiative Blog

Arizona Bully Project – A Bully Proof Educational Initiative

February 24, 2011

Arizona Bully Prevention Education on Bullies, Bullying Behavior Intervention

The Arizona Bully Education Project

The Arizona Bullying Prevention Initiative is a project developed to provide practical tools and training to educate, inform and prevent bullying of Arizona children in schools, playgrounds, online or any social situation where children are vulnerable.

Our tools provide teachers, parents and children a pro-active and positive method of developing effective bully solutions.

Partners in Education
Break The Chain of Child Abuse Foundation
The Black Belt Society
USA Martial Arts Phoenix
Nottingham Sword & Shield Security Bodyguards

The Arizona Bully Project – A Bully Proof Educational Initiative
4731 E. Greenway Rd Suite 9
Phoenix, Arizona 85032
Telephone (602) 896-8721
Facebook Arizona Bully Education Project

How To Stop Bullying, Bullies and Bully Behavior

February 24, 2011

How To Stop Bullying Training Workshops, Bully Prevention Seminars, Bully Help School Talks
Bully Prevention Bully Training Anti-Bullying Seminars How To Stop a Bully How To Deal With A Bully

Bullying Prevention Training Workshops & Advice
Proud Partners in Education | Training The Teacher | Train The Trainer | Phoenix AZ

Advanced Threat Assessment, Conflict Management, Tactical Language (Verbal Judo), Bodyguard Strategies combined with the Time Tested Peaceful Wisdom of Martial Arts Redirection and Inner Strength that Stops Bullying Behavior

ATTENTION: PARENTS, (teachers/leaders),

Discover The Secrets To Stopping The School or Playground Bully From Stealing Your Child’s Confidence and Self-Esteem Forever

These days you will find there is a lot of advice on how to handle a bully. Unfortunately, much of it is unqualified advice from people who have little, or worse, NO EXPERIENCE in successfully managing bullying behavior.

o Many of the “academics” offering bully programs were bullied themselves – and give kids impractical advice that can lead to your child getting beat up! (You may recognize the signs of these guys through their pushing infective and potentially dangerous policies like the politically motivated “zero tolerance”.)

o Some teachers tend to over-talk it and were themselves targets of bullying and STILL lack the practical skills of protection. It simply lacks common sense and usually won’t work in the real world.

o Other advocates are well intentioned parents of bullied children now advocating the demonizing of the bully (who is somebodies child) ie “Anti-Bully training” . Newsflash…Bullying is a BEHAVIOR – NOT A PERSON. Did you know that most children who are targets of bullying often become bullies? It could be your child. That’s why bully solutions requires a more responsible, intelligent and practical approach.

FACT: A parent or teacher simply can’t be there to protect a child every second of their lives.

The John Nottingham 5 Step Bully Management Method teaches common sense before self defense and how to defeat a bully without fighting or violence. Using humor and verbal judo “word blocks” kids learn the warning signs and how to thwart bullying behavior. They often learn to turn Bullies Into Buddies! But if push comes to shove, children need to know that nobody has the right to hurt them and we give them responsible and clever tools to protect themselves with appropriate force and escaping with dignity. They won’t teach you that in other programs.

The Ugly Truth Nobody Is Telling You, The Parent

Did you know that children report that they are being beaten, tormented, abused and harassed by bullies and it continues day after day because they are afraid THEY will get into trouble or suspended?

o Children are told by the bully that if they tell, they will get beat up.

o Kids are told by teachers and administrations that they will get in trouble if they are in a “fight”.

o Children are often ashamed to tell parents or friends because it is embarrassing, makes them feel weaker or it causes such a fuss. Remember what it felt like to be a kid?

FACT: Bullying is one of the leading causes of absenteeism and harms scholastic performance

Where do children turn in this crazy system that lacks common sense?? We have the answers.

The truth is that most of the Anti-Bully programs out there are just parroting the popular bully information but have no real life experience implementing successful bully behavior management programs. While they are usually well intentioned – they are, in our experience, giving inaccurate and potentially dangerous advice that is NOT in the best interest of your child. Parents need an intelligent alternative “peacemaker” approach – NOT being a bigger bully or a push over pansy like so many armchair quarterbacks advocate.

Fact: Did you know that most of the BULLY EDUCATION programs out there are designed around limiting schools, administrators and institutions liability rather than protecting the safety and self esteem of your child?

How is my program different?
I’m so glad you asked. It starts with my background. My name is John Nottingham and I’ve been teaching people for over 23 years how to effectively protect themselves in the real world. From training the military for combat, law enforcement for the street, bodyguards protecting celebrities to thousands of children successfully managing bullies, I have taught a great number of people in my chain of USA Martial Arts schools, community talks as a public speaker, and owner of a bodyguard security training company. It has been my lifelong professional obsession and it has taken me all over the world to learn what I can share with you.

Our Bully Solutions Program is made to work in the real world. Like it or not, bullies exist in the playground, at schools and in the workplace so we have to equip children with skills to deal with bulies. Ignoring bullies or denying bullying only causes it to escalate and get worse. Now parents have proven effective bully solutions.

A Little Background and Personal Experience & Why You Should Here What I Have To Say About Bullying
I was the target of bullying when I was in school (as well as several other stages of my life). I know the pain and lasting trauma it can cause. Fortunately, I got involved in Martial Arts at an early age and it changed my life forever. The life lessons I learned there not only helped me COMPLETELY DEFEAT MY BULLIES WITHOUT FIGHTING, but gave me the tools to become an Eagle Scout and overcome asthma (you can read about it in a Taekwondo Times Magazine article here).

“Wax On Wax Off?” -Mr. Miyagi, The Karate Kid movie
I know what your thinking… 98lb weakling joins martial arts, becomes black belt and learns to beat up bully – but thats not what happend at all (this is real life-not the movies). I learned to handle my bully long before I earned Black Belt – you’ll see that my bully solution techniques can be put to use the very first day (and has been by thousands of children just like yours). You see, it’s not about the kicks, punches and blocks – it is a systematic method developed for responsibly handling bully behavior -usually without ever getting physical.

It’s True- No Bull – Read on…
I went from having average to poor grades as a child to earning academic honors. But it didn’t stop there as I went on to serve in an Army Airborne Special Forces Unit in a support detachment and graduate the US Army Intelligence School. I earned numerous Black Belts and Instructorships in 4 styles and had a 6th Degree Master Black Belt rank bestowed on me. We even have a foundation for prevention and treatment of child abuse, public awareness and education.

You Won’t Find Anyone Else With That Unique Background and Set of Skills Teaching How To Deal With Bullies
I don’t say those things to impress you with my credentials. I share it to impress upon you that this program really is different and it really works due to the very unique experience and education I have had in my life.

Why Our STOP BULLYING Training Works Like Magic
I learned how to incorporate the wisdom of martial arts peace process, the strategy used by military intelligence (and the lessons history teaches on the subject), then I trained in bodyguard schools, then worked with school teachers, psychologists and some of the greatest minds in the world on the subject (one such mind is my teacher Gavin de Becker – I recommend you read his best selling book The Gift of Fear). Gavin de Becker is a three time Presidential appointee and one of the greatest minds on situations that could lead to violence. Our Bully Stop system teaches step by step, easy to learn pre-contact, contact and post contact techniques.

“John Nottingham’s Defeating the Bully Without Fighting Works Like Magic and the children loved the training.” – Kathy Lester, Teacher

My experience afforded me a unique opportunity to bring together some amazingly effective tools and skills to handle conflict in different ways. The result is a 3 pronged treatment 5 step process for DEFEATING A BULLY WITHOUT FIGHTING and, in general, a CONFLICT AVOIDANCE method that works like magic. (You won’t see these same methods in other programs, unless they got them from us.)

A dirty little secret about bullies…
Nearly all bully situations can be prevented, thwarted and diffused if your child knows what early warning signs to look for and what to do at the right time. However, not all bully situations can be stopped before they get physically abusive. We train children for that too. You won’t hear that in most bully training programs!

Can We Really Teach You or Your Child How To Quickly and Effectively Deal With Bullies?
Yes we can, just as we have thousands of children just like yours. But wait… just because I have great ideas and bully avoidance program that works doesn’t necessarily mean I can teach it. That’s where my experience as an educator comes in. I’ve been teaching martial arts since I was a teenager, was paid to brief Officers and high ranking brass in the military, and my staff and I have taught over 10,000 men, women and children. My hand-picked team and I have the ability to articulate our Bully Solution message in a way that makes it non-intimidating, rewarding, and fun.

We hope to work with you and share our experience in how to resolve conflict peacefully and defeat a bully without fighting.


John D. Notingham
USA Martial Arts | Nottingham Sword & Shield Security
Phoenix | Scottsdale Arizona USA

FREE Class Offered By USA Martial Arts Phoenix Reveals How To “BulIy-Proof” Your Child!
How To Deal With A Bully – Defeat The Bully Without Fighting – Turn Bullies Into Buddies

ALL PHOENIX PARENTS- A New class being offered to the community totally FREE by The Break the Chain Foundation and USA Martial Arts in Phoenix AZ can save your child from the lifelong affects of bullying. Bullying has and will continue to erode the self esteem of millions of young victims.. Bullying is linked by the CDC to isolation, drug abuse, school violence and suicide. But, YOUR child doesn’t have to be just another statistic! It’s tough for both Parents and Teachers to deal with bullying and most kids are forced to deal with it on their own. The problem is they’ve not been trained!

Do you remember seeing kids get bullied?
Did it happen to you when you were a kid? How did it make you feel?
Do you remember the names of the bullies when you were a kid? This Special FREE Class Will Reveal…
How To Easily Spot and Read The Bully.
How To Defeat The Bully WITHOUT Violence.
The Secret Word That Always Stops The Bully In His Tracks
The Little Known Strategies For Dealing With Mental Bullying
How To Deal With a Bully – In The Real World!
Much Much More

Date: Call for Details
Time: Call for Details
At: USA Martial Arts Phoenix in cooperation with Nottingham Sword & Shield Security
(4731 E. Greenway Rd Suite9 Phoenix, Arizona 85032)

This Class is held FREE at designated times for all Phoenix AZ Children, But Space is Limited! You Must Register in Advance!

For a fee: seminars, appointments, off site seminars, school talks and training Call: (602) 896-8721 or visit to Reserve Your Space Now! Don’t Wait! Your Child’s Self-Esteem is Too Valuable!

Attention Phoenix Parents…You’re About To Discover The Untold Secrets To Developing A More Focused, Confident, Self-Disciplined and Fit Child.”

February 23, 2011

USA Mastery Martial Arts represents a tradition far beyond the punch, kick and the block.

Attention Parents!

“You’re About To Discover The Undisclosed Secrets To Developing A More Focused, Confident, Self-Disciplined and Very Fit Child.”

By: John Nottingham, founder of USA Martial Arts Phoenix

Dear Phoenix AZ Parent,

As a mother or father you prepare your child for the future the best way you can everyday, but what about developing the core “Character and Social Skills”: The Inner Strength to speak up for themselves, the ability to Concentrate and be Dedicated so they can set and achieve worthwhile goals. What about developing the initiative and responsible discipline to start and do the right things on their own without being reminded over and over again?

Timeless Martial Arts Wisdom For Success In Life!
There are so many skills we need to teach our kids to be successful, yet there’s so little time and so many distractions. If there was a Fun, Exciting and Easy Way for your child to get all of the “fundamental skills for life” needed for success would you be interested or at least be open-minded enough to try it out and see for yourself?

Specialists At Building Self-Esteem & Confidence in Kids
My name is John Nottingham, and I’ve been a Martial Arts instructor for over 23 years, specializing in helping children and families become highly successful at those essential life skills.

Why Parents Bring Their Kids To Karate
One thing that I’ve discovered over the years is that more families bring their children to karate for so many other reasons totally unrelated to kicks, blocks and punches. The unfortunate part is that there are too many martial arts schools out there who claim they can deliver what parents really want but fail miserably at actually making it happen! But not USA Martial Arts Phoenix and I Can Prove it to you!

Arm Your Child With Self Esteem, Leadership Skills and an Indomitable Spirit!

Click here

Taekwondo High Kicks Effective in Full Contact?

February 22, 2011

“It’s not what you do… it’s how you do it.”

Advanced Kicking Functionalized and On Display
MMA, UFC, K-1, Muay Thai Kickboxing

o Footwork
o Set ups
o Changing high low, low high
o Integrating with punches, elbows and fakes

Anthony Pettis Rebound off Cage Kick in WEC Championship

Respect to anyone who masters their art and does the tough work to functionalise their techniques.

“It’s one thing to be able to fight, it is another thing to be able to do it with style.”

Time tested wisdom. One of the greatest fighting strategies of all time is to do the unexpected. “Respect tradition but do not be bound by it”.

How to Do Karate Phoenix AZ

February 16, 2011

The Karate Kid Movie

How to Do Karate Phoenix AZ
Tips From a Martial Arts Teacher

Here you will find helpful information and expert advice and resources that will help with How to Do Karate in Phoenix, Scottsdale and Paradise Valley, AZ. Get the information and resources you need about How to Do Karate in Phoenix. Includes detailed information on local businesses that provide access to Do Karate, martial art, Karate Practice, Karate Classes, Karate Instruction, Karate schools, Karate supplies.

Brought to you in part by and of Phoenix AZ

Step 1. Find The Right Karate School for You or Your Children
Do You Have a Karate Kid?

One of the most important aspects of selecting the right Karate School for your Children is to find the right martial arts instructor. The Karate Teacher needs to be good with children, have the ability to communicate clearly, be a good role model and have a passion for teaching Karate as more than just kicks, blocks and punches.

Traditional Karate | Freestyle Karate | American Karate | Korean Karate | Japanese Karate |Okinawan Karate

Each instructor has different abilities just as each Karate school has its own specialties. Some specialize in life skills, self esteem, self defense, tournament competition or cultural martial arts and Japanese, Okinawan or Asian tradition (Shotokan, Shito Ryu, Goju Ryu, and Wado Ryu).

The best way to find out is to visit local Karate Dojos and see the Karate Instructors in person and then try a class or trial course.

Look for a Karate instructor who leads by example because the teaching staff of Black Belt instructors will certainly follow suit. The experience a child has in the beginning will often determine how far as well as what belt rank they achieve. That is why it may be worth a little extra investment in tuition or driving a bit further to a better school with more experienced instructors.

Depending on your goals, it may be wise to seek out an authentic Master (Usually 6th Dan and higher with 25+ years of experience) to learn the philosophy and intricacies of the art.

Step 2. Create a Goal Plan for Karate Success

It is important to set realistic goals to achieve the benefits you want. Poor attendance or lack of consistency in training can sabotage a beginning Karate student’s experience. If you don’t feel successful or see results, it can be discouraging. Be patient, consistent and dedicated to doing your best in every class. Focus on improvement rather than perfection and celebrate all progress.

Step 3. Commit to Your Plan and Plan for Contingencies to Succeed in Karate

Everyone can go to Karate class when it is easy or they are new and excited. It takes the realization that the most important class you or your child will ever attend is the one that they won’t feel like attending. Dedication and discipline are just like muscles and must be exercised so they grow stronger. Without consistent practice and encouragement, those attitudinal attributes grow weaker. Resistance builds strength – and that goes for a child’s attitude and spirit as well. This is one of the great life lessons that martial arts such as Karate can teach. These Karate lessons will carry over to other children’s activities and sports as well. That is why Karate and other Martial Arts Black Belts are so sought after by coaches and respected by teachers.

Step 4. Follow The Guidance of Your Karate Instructors (Sensei).

Most successful people from corporate executives to professional athletes have coaches. Role models, coaches and mentors help you overcome many of the common pitfalls that would prevent you from reaching your goals. They can provide motivation and inspiration as well as share wisdom in how to overcome the typical obstacles along the way.

Remember too that Karate should never be used as punishment or linked in any way to punishment. Since it is a form of discipline, even though it may be a privilege to learn, connecting any negative experience to it may have unintended consequences (like causing a child to feel defeated or even quit) and it may be destroying a healthy, positive tool for developing great children. Keeping it part of “life education” is a key to success and especially earning the esteemed Karate Black Belt.

Step 5. Review and renew your Karate goals.

Adjust attendance to accommodate other sports, homework and activities. Remember that martial arts such as Karate is a lifestyle as well as a sport, so maintaining attendance is key to a child’s success – especially Black Belt. Discuss your goals and other concerns with your Karate Teacher to have the best chance of success. Good Karate teachers will support your child’s development, goals and dreams.

Come meet USA Martial Arts own Sensei Steve Caprara, traditional Karate National Champion!

To Learn About The USA Martial Arts Phoenix Karate Kid Black Belt Success System For Children CLICK HERE.


Scottsdale Karate Phoenix AZ

Scottsdale Karate Phoenix
4731 E. Greenway Rd Suite 9
Phoenix, AZ 85032
(602) 896-8721

Why Parents Often Prefer Taekwondo for Their Children’s Martial Art and Self Defense Training?

February 16, 2011

Why Do So Many Parents Make Taekwondo Their Choice of Martial Art for Children?

o Is it for the self defense?
o Is it for Children’s self-esteem?
o Is it for the life skills of respect and discipline?
o It may be one or all of these things because parents are discovering the power of Taekwondo for raising great kids!

Taekwondo is by far the worlds most popular martial art for children, especially in the USA. It is Korea’s national sport, an official Olympic Sport as well as a cultural tradition of Asia with lessons of wisdom for daily life.

Taekwondo = Happy, Healthy, Confident Children

In addition to the many health and fitness benefits, many parents prefer Taekwondo because of its track record for keeping kids interested (and higher success rate for producing Black Belts.) This is due to its more rapidly advancing belt rank system. Taekwondo is typically one of the faster arts to earn a Black Belt due to its streamlined curriculum and emphasis on attitude, character and respect. This proven goal setting success system really helps keep children with shorter attention spans motivated and feeling rewarded and successful. This means that parents don’t have to struggle so much to get them to go to Taekwondo class.

Tenets of Taekwondo
Modesty, Courtesy, Integrity, Perseverance, Self Control, Indomitable Spirit

These Taekwondo philosophy life skills go a long way in helping children succeed in school, other sports, developing the discipline do learn musical instruments and being accepted into colleges, universities and earning scholarships.


In most Taekwondo schools (Dojang/CheYuKwan), attitude is far more important than the kicks and punches. The advanced training begins at Black Belt – once the student has demonstrated that they are serious about being disciplined, dedicated and prepared for the responsibility that comes with such powerful self defense skills.

Couple this reputation along with the health benefits of building strong, flexible bodies as well as having a positive outlet for energy and you have a solid argument for Taekwondo over soccer, football and other sports that often leave children sitting on the bench.

These are just a few of the reasons that more and more parents are choosing to give their children a head start in school and life by enrolling them in authentic traditional Taekwondo schools.

USA Martial Arts

Read more on How To Do Taekwondo Phoenix

Taekwondo Kicks & Advanced Martial Arts Kicking

February 12, 2011

Taekwondo High Flying Jump Kicks
One of the more misunderstood aspects of martial arts are advanced aerial kicks. Although most advanced kicking is associated with Taekwondo, you can find them in most of the Korean martial arts as well as Wushu (Kung Fu) and modern artistic expressions such as competitive freestyle XMA or Extreme Martial Arts.

Those Who Can – Do
Those Who Can Kick – KICK! Those Who Can’t Kick – Criticise
The degree in which advanced kicking is emphasized in any given school is usually a function of the instructors ability, talent or propensity for this advanced skill set.

Tang Soo Do Kickboxing American Freestyle
My initial foundation in kicking was heavily influenced by the American expression of practical power kicking, much like moderate to full contact kickboxing. I learned a hybrid system of Tang Soo Do (Moo Duk Kwan) and a Korean temple art that resembles Chinese Gung Fu. One of the Masters who often conducted our belt tests was “Bad Brad” Hefton’s (blood and guts era of kickboxing) teacher so the influence was apparent. Although we did lots of multiple kicks, spins and double kicks, we didn’t have much aerial kicking other than flying side kicks.

Olympic Taekwondo Kicking
As Olympic Taekwondo grew and my first teacher supported its inclusion into the Olympic games and internationally recognized sport, our kicking began to modernize and morph. The “half crescent kick” became an AXE KICK. Our traditional horizontal round kick, which was more akin to a Muay Thai Kick or Shotokan roundhouse kick, was expanded into using angles and a deceptively clever and efficient single point of reference for the knee while turning the hip at the top. For those with a Bill “Superfoot” Wallace seminar under your belt, you would recognize the reference point deception strategy. The footwork, blocking, evasion, foot position (top of the foot for round kick) and dynamic movement training was an expansion of our previous training.

Illinois and Wisconsin State Taekwondo Training for Nationals
When training for Nationals, qualifying individuals were invited to go to State Team TKD training. This was my first exposure to actual “coaching” for performance, rather than the traditional style hard-core training classes in the Dojang (Korean Martial Arts School).

Olympic Taekwondo Kicking Training
I had the opportunity to compete in an international competition at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs Colorado. While there, I got to train with the USA National Taekwondo Team (and be cannon fodder for their explosive fast kicking.) The speed drills, pad drills, footwork, scoring strategy and workout intensity was a major departure from what I had known.

Learn From Advanced Taekwondo Kicking from a Video?
At that time I also started performing more demonstrations and wanted to integrate more advanced jumping kicks into my arsenal. I was able to pick up a video by NASKA Freestyle National Champion Stuart Quan. I followed his step by step tips for developing a jump split front kick and have been doing it ever since. Videos can be a great supplement to a hard working martial artists training. I still believe you need to be in a good school, have a qualified coach and someone who can do the skill you want. I would later use it in a film (which is so low budget and cheesy it shall remain nameless) for a slow motion action fight scene.

John Nottingham Pulgueksa Temple Korea

Scissor Kicks, Split Kicks, Triple Kicks, Flying Spinning Kicking
Later I would have the privilege of studying Hapkido and then when I moved to Arizona the complex art of Hwarang Do. In Hwarang Do I was fortunate to have a teacher with a rare depth of technical skill. He had the developmental exercises to help me build the strength and control to throw more advanced kicks, then make them functional. It really enhanced what I knew from my Taekwondo kicking arsenal.

WTF TaeKwonDo ITF Tae Kwon Do ATA Taekwondo Jhoon Rhee American Freestyle TKD
I was fortunate to have studied and practiced several traditional as well as modern expressions of Taekwondo as well as other arts. Teaching the World Taekwondo Federation, International Taekwondo Federation/Jhoon Rhee system gave me new insights on how each taught kicking. While core principles remain the same, it was beneficial to see the different development tools and methodologies. More than the system, the instructor was the defining factor in my experience.

Here is an interesting story about my advanced kicking Hwarangdo teacher…
One day My Hwarang Do teacher Master Corona and I were in Karate Mart, a local martial arts supply shop in Arizona. The guy behind the counter was a typical beginner student passing himself off as a knowledgeable guru with his rhetoric. Master Corona, a friendly but reserved Master, was cordial without saying much. The Karate Mart guy took it upon himself to educate us on how high kicks dont work.

“Those fancy high kicks don’t work. That stuff will just get you killed.”

On and on he babbled, revealing how little he really knew. Typical talk for those who have never put on the sparring gear and went toe to toe with a truly skilled kicker. My mind flashed to the Police officers I knew who cited examples of using high kicks on duty.

I was trying to hold back a snicker and just looked down at the ground. I knew that if I caught Master Corona’s eye, I might chuckle out loud. After a while I couldn’t take it anymore and I asked what style he studied, with whom he trained and for how long.

Practical Is As Practical Does
Just because it is a popular notion, doesn’t make it right.
It’s hard to argue with results. A fellow Master Instructor I know has a newspaper article posted on the wall of his school from when he disarmed an armed bank robber with a round kick to the head. The fact is that for most people, a high kick is out of the question. However, for a guy who has practiced for years and is a skilled kicker, it was the right tool for the job.

Nice to know it and not need it, than need it and not know it.

Nothing Wrong With Having an Opinion – You Just Have To Consider The Source
Typical of an inexperienced boastful beginner, the Karate store clerk danced around his martial arts qualifications explaining he bounced from style to style and teacher to teacher. (I predict he probably went on to invent his own style after gaining such mastery of all martial arts.) Unwittingly, he was revealing his martial arts immaturity and lack of real-life quality experience.

Ah but for the grace of God, there go I. (It’s always uncomfortable to see a bit of your younger self in someone else.) While I was never to that degree of ignorant and arrogant, I certainly had my moments of stupidity when I was a young teen in the martial arts.

As the Karate store clerk babbled on he went back to the kicks again. Master Corona and I were meandering around the store just taking in what he was saying, reserving any comment. Finally, Master Corona piped up and said,

“So what your saying is that you don’t know how to kick or know anyone who really does.”

I stared at the Karate store clerk curious as to his response. Stunned, he paused for a moment then sputtered, “Well, I duno…uh I guess not.” After a moment he asked, “Who are you?”
I spoke up and said, that’s Master Ken Corona from the Hwarang Do school over by ASU. The clerks cheeks turned a bit red and said, “Ohhhhh, I’ve heard of you. People say you’re really good.” Master Corona just smiled and then graciously invited him in to train sometime. Of course, we never saw the young man. Too bad, he could have experienced advanced kicking first hand.

The fact is, advanced kicks are just like any other skill. One’s ability to effectively use them is a matter of how much they have functionalised those skills to be used at the right time with the right opportunity. As I learned in the Army, surprise is still the greatest war and fighting tactic of all time.

Now, many years later, it is only once in a great while that we get to see the grace, beauty and power of an advanced kicker. While lesser known to most US MMA fight fans, PRIDE and K1 featured amazing kickers (as well as a sense of honor and some modesty from time to time.) High kicking knock out artists like Mirko Crocop slammed people in the head and neck with his sledge hammer-like legs. In recent events the larger MMA viewing public has seen the advanced sweeps of Karate Master Lyoto “The Dragon” Machita.

UFC MMA fans also witnessed the amazing Anderson “The Spider” Silva crush people with his devastating kicking and striking. (Remember when the experts touted that grapplers ruled the earth just a few short years ago?)
Check out Anthony Pettis KO kick. He’s using a classic Korean style rebound kick off the cage at WEC in Arizona.
Old School Kickers
For those of us fortunate enough to know the era of Benny “The Jet” Urquidez, Don “The Dragon” Wilson, Pete “Sugar Foot” Cunningham, Ramon “Diamond” Dekkers and others, it is refreshing to finally see more variety in kicking gain recognition. I’m optimistic that the viewing public will expand its thinking about martial arts, the various styles and recognize the amazing beauty, strengths and benefits that each style offers.

Freestyle Martial Arts, Extreme Martial Arts Tricking, Parkour, Freerunning
One of the top innovators and better known stars of tricking is Mr. Steve Terada. Check out the amazing level of skill and creativity he demonstrates.

Master Mike Chat XMA – The Stuff You See In Movies!

For those interested in Hollywood Chop Socky style action, or bringing younger students an appealing way to train, this is the system that launched Talor Lautners award winning performance skills. I can tell you from personal experience that Master Chat is an outstanding martial artist, talented coach, and taught me a great deal. It’s visionaries like these that will shape the future of performance martial arts.

It’s one thing to see someone with functional kicks used effectively to knock people out. It’s another thing altogether to see them do it with style.

Kicking is Fun!
Perhaps more and more people will develop an appreciation and respect for advanced skills and the artistic expressions as well. They are no less amazing and bring a richness and depth to martial arts practice. After all, it really is much more than just kicks and punches.

USA Martial Arts Phoenix
Phoenix Martial Arts

FIGHT THE FAT with Kickboxing Classes in Phoenix

February 12, 2011


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