View Full Version : Karate College 2003: REVIEW!!!

Khun Kao
6/28/2003 6:37pm,
Wow! Talk about a wide variety of experiences….

First, I have to tell everyone that I had a great time. Teaching at Karate College is a lot of fun. I get to meet a lot of really cool folks and get to work with some very recognizable names in the Martial Arts community. Such as Bill Wallace, Joe Lewis, Michael DePasquele, and Renzo Gracie.

The way Karate College works is that all the attendee’s are divided into 3 separate groups. Three classes are in session at a time for an hour each. Each instructor teaches 3 classes over the course of the weekend. So, I taught 2 classes Friday evening, and 1 class this morning at 11am. Let me tell you, teaching immediately after Renzo Gracie is a tough act to follow!!!

I spoke with many of the instructors regarding the format, and we all agree that 1 hour is a bit short to teach anything of substance. So we all simply try to give the attendee’s a “snapshot” of our martial art or our training program. We try to give them enough in the way of ideas that they can go home and train with, but unfortunately, there just is not enough time to teach anything to proficiency.

One of the surprising things that I noted right away was the number of instructors who spent time teaching the attendee’s Boxing skills. Karate instructors, Tae Kwon Do instructors, JKD… EVERYONE was teaching basic boxing skills! I thought this was actually kind of cool to see that so many instructors are taking a practicial approach to teaching punching skills. I was also pleased that they were doing this because this now meant I did not need to spend time teaching basic Boxing skills in my own sessions. I was able to get right to the “good stuff”, like Elbows, Knees, and Kicks!

I ran through the basic Muay Thai strikes with each group of students. I switched around the techniques a little bit each session just so I wouldn’t feel as if I was being too monotonous. In each of my sessions, I spent the bulk of the time period going over the basic strikes… Horizontal Elbow Strikes, Straight Knees, Push Kicks, and Round Kicks. The last 10-15 minutes of each session were spent showing a few ways to actually apply these moves. For instance, in my first session, I demonstrated using elbow strikes to defend against straight punches. During my last session, I was showing my students how to “jam” a Round Kick with a Push Kick, and how to trap a Round Kick and either punch, or elbow strike the trapped leg.

Now, those of you who are instructors, or have participated in seminars will sympathize when I say that “There’s one in every crowd.” In each of my classes, there was one stand-out student who deemed it important to talk to me at every possible moment, either to ask questions or to attempt to impress me with their knowledge. Even in a short, 1-hour session, this is a real test of your patience! There were a few instances that I had to simply bite my tongue, smile, and patiently answer a question rather than tell someone to “SHUT THE HELL UP AND GET BACK TO WORK!!!” LOL. OK, it really wasn’t that bad, but even so, I found myself having to remind myself that I only had to deal with a particular individual for a few more minutes!

Now, Radford University is out in the middle of NOWHERE, Virginia. There was absolutely NOTHING to do between classes. There were very few cool hang-outs. There is “BT’s”, which is a restaurant & bar, and a good coffee shop called “Yummy’s”. That really about covers it. If you are looking for excitement, you’ve come to the wrong ‘burg. My wife and I decided to drive through town last night to find something to do. Well, we were gravely disappointed.

Another thing we discovered was that we should have brought our own sheets (or sleeping bags), pillows, and towels. None of this was provided. I should have known better, as I have been to this seminar before, but its been 8 years. Too many head kicks in the interim really screws with the long-term memory (LOL). So we ended up sleeping on bare, plastic-covered mattresses using our gym bags as a pillow. Needless to say, we did not sleep very well.

Back on the lighter side… I cannot tell you how many people approached me afterwards to express their sincere thanks and tell me how much they enjoyed my class. I was rather surprised at the reaction because I felt that. due to the short amount of time allotted for each class session, I was really glossing over techniques and doing a half-assed job. Instead, students expressed how they found my class to be one of the most interesting and informative of their experience because I did not spend 15-30 minutes of my session talking. I think I spent a grand total of 20 seconds of each session introducing myself and explaining who I was, then I did a short (10 min’s tops) presentation of Muay Thai’s most basic strikes. I then I had everyone partner up and get right to work.

Though I am now physically and mentally exhausted (2 weekends in a row of traveling out-of-town for Muay Thai related events), I have to say that it was time well spent. I got to meet a lot of really cool and interesting folks, and network with many of my peers. I am looking forward to next years event. I intend to go down with a better-prepared presentation, and teach more technique.

Khun Kao