Modern Teaching Methods of an Ancient Art, A Humble Courtesy to All Martial Arts Instructors Your Martial Arts Ezine Issue 21

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I'd like to thank everyone for the wonderful contributions of money, articles, classifieds, and link exchanges. I've, thus far, received nothing but support and good wishes from our fellow martial artists. It is interesting to note that some of the most dangerous people in the world are also some of the nicest people in the world and we do mean world. This is the World Wide Web. Your articles classifieds, quotes, and links are seen by martial artists and martial art enthusiasts all over the world! If you submitted an article and it wasn't in this issue of the Martial Arts Ezine, keep looking. For now I'm just going to stick with one or two articles per Martial Arts issue. I truly appreciate your contribution and it will be used in an issue of the Martial Arts Ezine. In the meantime, because you were kind enough to contribute, I will keep your classified ad and or link in the Martial Arts Ezine at least until your article appears.

  Welcome to our martial arts ezine. I'm Sensei J. Richard Kirkham, your host and editor. There will be no prejudices in this martial arts ezine. We will accept articles from tournament fighters and self-defense specialists. For a short period of time, anyone who contributes to the Martial Arts Ezine can place a free advertisement with us. Who is us? All of you, the contributors, the readers, the advertisers. As I seem to be quite good with web sites, this Martial Arts Ezine will also be posted be and registered with over 1000 search engines and links. As another service I offer is to enhance a web site for search engine and sales protocols and register the web sites, to search engines, many people all over the world will see your articles and advertisements.

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Place the web site address on business cards and flyers of web sites in which you have written martial arts articles. Being published world wide martial arts electronic magazine will give you even more credibility.

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Quotes of the day:

Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die.--Joe Louis

When good people do nothing about evil, that, in itself, is evil enough - semi-quote from the movie Street Fighter

How about submitting your own quotes.



From: Erik


Subject: re: kicking and punching with weights

Date: Wed, 28 Apr 1999 16:47:24 PDT

You had a mistake in your formula here: KE = 0.5MV^2 and power = change in KE over change in time... So by doing things at full speed you are training yourself to be able to deliver a certain amount of power at a certain weight, which will result in a proportional power increase when you go back down to your natural weight....

Thanks Erik

I stand corrected


Sensei J. Richard Kirkham

Regarding Increasing The Power of Your Reverse Punch Your Martial Arts Ezine Issue 20


Modern Teaching Methods of an Ancient Art

I'd like to thank all the members of the martial arts forum and Turtle Press which sponsors the martial arts forum for being such a wonderful group and having a positive impact on my life, teaching of martial arts, and martial arts training. The martial arts forum by Turtle Press can be found as a link in this martial arts ezine.

There are such a variety of theories of teaching martial arts, from the traditional silent master (unless you do something wrong) to the neo-modern school where everyone is on a first name basis. I will be basing the teaching techniques on a study and teacher certification in physical education with an emphasis on special education and movement education. These teaching techniques are effective for both children and adult students. Remember both adults and children have a need for positive attention, they simply express their needs in a different manner. I could write 100 articles on this and still not get through it all, and I probably will write some more later. I would like to motivate the readers to submit their own articles on teaching methods or at least comments I can enclose in the up coming martial arts ezines. I would like some input from the readers as to areas they would like me to cover in future martial arts ezines.

Everyone has a right to learn in a healthy non-threatening environment

Yes I know we must learn to deal with stress in self-defense and martial arts, but the drills for that should be specific. Otherwise the environment should be relaxed, comfortable, yet professional. The environment should be such that when the instructor speaks, everyone else stops speaking. This is for safety as well as respect for the instructor.

Let's take an example wherein someone continues to speak when the instructor begins speaking to explain a new drill.

The instructor may be tempted to call the student up to the front to explain the drill himself or herself. I disagree with this procedure. There is no reason for embarrassing the student nor reinforcing the negative behavior by giving him or her more attention for it than is necessary. In the beginning a simple neutral look should take care of the situation. Telling parents helps, but remember, in most cases they are not professional educators or counselors and may reinforce the negative behavior further. I suggest simply reporting it to them and telling them how you dealt with it. This may give the parents further ideas as to how to deal with their child's behavior other than spankings and groundings.

Calisthenics for Punishment
Remember, we are attempting to motivate students to get into shape and even work out on their own. Using calisthenics as punishment, eventually, especially in children, could give the student the impression, even if just a subconscious impression, that exercise is punishment, that it should not be performed if one is doing well or being good. A professional physical educator said it best to me when I was student teaching when she said, "Why punish people with an activity we are trying to promote?"

Ignoring negative behavior or redirecting it is a more effective way of long term behavioral modification. I had a hyperactive student named Pete. At one point Pete did the "Ali shuffle", threw a reverse punch, jumped in the air, landed on his back, and jumped back up again. What was my reaction? "Now Pete, that was a very good reverse punch, if you keep your elbow in, it will be even better." As I moved on to the next student, I noticed Pete practicing his reverse punch. It took a while, but Pete eventually realized he would only get attention from me for training hard, and I made sure I complemented him on it continuously.

Gestalt versus the Part Method

Both the gestalt (whole) and part method have their advantages and disadvantages. When I give private lessons or small group lessons, I prefer to incorporate the holistic method of teaching. In this way, the student is not learning a brand new technique. The student is simply changing the way he or she already does something. This speeds up learning by up to 50% in a group and up to 75% privately (based solely on my observations). A very basic example of this would be teaching the reverse punch:

Throw a punch

Throw a punch and keep your elbow in

Throw a punch and bend your front knee as you punch

Throw a punch and push your hips forward as you throw your punch

Now place your hand in the chamber (or near your head depending on your style) before you throw your punch.

Anything can be taught this way by beginning with gross motor movement and refining that movement slowly.

The part method of learning is an effective teaching method for large groups and complicated movements or combinations of movements. When I incorporate the part method with a technique such as reverse punch, I will even break it down to using just the punching arm first and then incorporating the non-punching arm. I find that the student, learning a completely new movement, can learn the movement faster not having to combine several new factors at one time.

Answering a Question

I promote questions and personal research even in beginners. If you are being honest with your students, what you are teaching them will more than likely be reinforced through an outside source. I also motivate my students to come up with their own answers.

There are three basic types of questions you will run across and have run across.

The attention question is just a question in which the student is trying to get some extra attention from the instructor. This can be handled as such, "Had you thought that question through Sue? Okay let me know if you have anymore questions." I also recommend giving the student more positive feedback during practice. Complementing and offering constructive criticism of her techniques. "That's a good front kick. It will be even better if you raise your knee as high as you're going to kick."

There is also the type of question in which the student asks a question without actually thinking it through first. This is human nature and can be handled the same way as the attention question.

Finally there is the research question. If a student, for example came up with a new technique and asks you about it. First, I suggest positively reinforcing the behavior, "good thinking John." We can now either run his technique down, proving our superiority and his ineptitude, or we can motivate him to continue to think for himself, which is the goal of all instructors and educators. You can either shake your head no and tell him why it wouldn't work, or you can smile, compliment his thinking, "that's a good technique, it would be even better if you...." I even go so far as to tell my students to try it out in a safe manner, on a bag or with a partner at a slow pace.

Lining Up for Drills

I consider lines in most cases a lazy, inefficient way to do drills. Students can be given other activities and drills to perform. If they absolutely must stand in a line, I do not suggest the students lining up directly behind each other. A better way to allow for visual third party learning is to line the students up against a wall or on a line in such a manner as all the students have a unimpeded view of the other class members (2 students out of 20 doing an activity, that is why I abhor lines) executing the drill. Promote questions and comments. When I was teaching in a small school and could only have 2 partners sparring at a time, I had the other class members think of three things a pair did correctly and three things they did wrong. This got the class involved in the drill at least as third parties and motivated analysis.

Circle Drills

I've seen circle drills which have 30 students in the circle awaiting their turn. Once again, martial arts is a participation activity, otherwise you could learn it just by watching video tapes. I recommend having several smaller circles and the instructor move from one circle to another observing and correcting. When a major point needs to be made, the drill can be called to a halt and the technique demonstrated.


By keeping the individual student's best interests in mind, both mental and physical health, long term and short term, we can have a positive impact on the students' lives and help them to grow, both as adults and children.

Thank you for your support


Sensei J. Richard Kirkham

Sensei J. Richard Kirkham is a 25 year martial art veteran. He is a dual certified teacher with a Bachelors of Science Degree in Physical Education with a background in Special Education, Exercise Physiology, Movement Education, and Behavioral Modification. He is presently an in home tutor, self-defense instructor, and body guard. Mr. Kirkham is presently teaching in Honolulu Hawaii. He can be reached at 808-528-5775 Ext. 5. He has one challenge which has yet to fail him, he can increase anyone's striking power 50% to 100% in one lesson. For those who cannot see him in person. He offers the same service along with others on affordable custom video tapes has the unique service of offering in home classes so that people may learn self-defense in the privacy of their home without worrying about travel after a hard days work.

Please send any articles you wish to contribute to with contribute as the subject. Thank you for your support. :-)

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Sensei J. Richard Kirkham, My name is Bernardino Santana Junior. If is possible I would like to add a link of me page i your site. My page is about ASAMCO, a brasilian martial art. This page have two versions, Portuguese and English. The adress is : I found your site in when I was looking for "martial arts styles". Please reply this email . Thank you Bernardino Portuguese version -English version
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I am a 6th generation disciple of Master Man Kwong Fong who was the youngest student to train eatensively and learn the complete system of Pak Mei Kung Fu also known as White Eyebrow Kung Fu under the personal instruction of Grandmaster Cheung Lai Chun. PAK Mei is a rare,unique and advance form of self defense which is rarely seen is the martial art circle.Pak Mei Kung Fu is one of the few system that combines both shaolin and Taoist practices into a single fighting style.
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  All right that's about it this time. How often will this come out? You let me know how often you would like to come out by submitting articles, space ads, and or classifieds. Have any suggestions yourself? Let me know.


Sensei J. Richard Kirkham

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Conguering Fear Push Ups

Offense Defense

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Modern Teaching Methods of an Ancient Art, A Humble Courtesy to All Martial Arts Instructors


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