Informational notes and training concepts:

  • I have always explained to my students that a martial artist/practitioner MUST establish a solid foundation (instinctive balance, striking, blocking and targeting to name just a few), and if you look at most of the styles out there, many of the training and conditioning drills are very similar.  To be a very good martial artist you should be well rounded (technician, teacher and a fighter) in my opinion.  One of my teachers once told me that for the most part there are 3 types of martial artists; a technician (gifted in forms/kata/technique), teacher (gifted in teaching, able to express and explain things in different ways to get through to the student, patience and understanding) and a fighter (gifted in combat, natural ability enhanced by training and fortitude). Once in a while you will find someone who is gifted in two of the three mentioned areas, but very rarely you will find someone gifted in all three.  I think if you look at that alone and think for a while in regards to the evolution of martial arts in all aspects of where we are today and how we got here, you will find many answers to the questions many of today’s martial artist have regarding variations of training methods and principals.
  • I believe in teaching my student all that I have, to include forms (Palama Sets, Concentrations - short forms with breathing control, and the more traditional styled Japanese and Chinese forms that we have in our system).  Granted when the student realizes how much there is to learn, to include adding techniques (grab, punch, knife, club, alphabets, step-ins, roll tricks, two man, three man, etc), ground fighting (and how not to stay there!), stand up fighting (full contact, point, boxing, multiple attackers, etc), and not to mention the addition of the stick and knife fighting arts, it can often seem overwhelming to the student.  And yes, it can be a challenge to the teacher, (just remember the foundation requirements!).  I simply remind my students that Martial Arts (Kajukenbo) should be more than a short term goal of achieving a black belt, it should be a way of life, something that is truly part of you, and when you keep that in mind you will find that it is a journey that really never ends and should not be limited to one way.
  • I incorporate sparring at the beginning level of the student.  A student must learn to get to a point where they are comfortable with striking and moving and realizing that getting hit is not the end of the world.  Realizing through their training and conditioning that they can take solid hits and stay focused in a fight.  I also require my students to fight at the end of the belt testing  “Blue belt, 2 attackers for 2 minutes, green belt, 3 attackers for 3 minutes, brown belt, 4 and 4 and so on”.  This is usually done at the end of the testing process, and the student is usually pretty exhausted by the time they have to fight.  This I have found brings out the survival instinct, and the true Kaju comes out!
  • Belt progression may be a slow process but that should not be the primary reason for training.  Everything has a benefit, and some not realized until many, many years later, and yes it does take time away from other areas instructors and students may like more.  But if you look at it through the eyes of someone who is hungry for knowledge and having the desire to continually learn, there is always time to enjoy learning other principals and theories.