Testing Video for Quarter 4

The test for Quarter 4 will be SATURDAY, DECEMBER 9th.

Please save the date, and plan accordingly, as THERE WILL BE NO MAKE-UP TESTS!

If you miss this test, then you'll have to plan for the next one on March 24, 2018. 

Here is the video of the material that will be on the test:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmqUEmpTAic

Remember, the whole point of testing is to get the experience of performing in front of a large audience. With this in mind, the preparation will be much more focused. 

And finally, please be sure to consult the Members Only Video Blog (click on the "Members" tab) to get logistical information about testing, before consulting us.

Testing Video for Quarter 3

The test for Quarter 3 will be SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 9th.

Please save the date, and plan accordingly, as THERE WILL BE NO MAKE-UP TESTS!

If you miss this test, then you'll have to plan for the next one on Dec 9. 

Here is the video of the material that will be on the test:

https://youtu.be/fXdmHyTBJdM

Remember, the whole point of testing is to get the experience of performing in front of a large audience. With this in mind, the preparation will be much more focused. 

And finally, please be sure to consult the Members Only Video Blog (click on the "Members" tab) to get logistical information about testing, before consulting us.

Testing Material for Quarter 2

The test for Quarter 2 will be SATURDAY, JUNE 17th.

Please save the date, and plan accordingly, as THERE WILL BE NO MAKE-UP TESTS!

If you miss this test, then you'll have to plan for the next one on Sept 9. 

Here is the video of the material that will be on the test:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z6p_qSThHpk

Remember, the whole point of testing is to get the experience of performing in front of a large audience. With this in mind, the preparation will be much more focused. 

If you are a Youth Black Belt (no degrees), here is your material for the next pin:
https://youtu.be/R_mD8u0fxWI

If you are a Youth 1st Degree Black Belt here is your material for your next pin:
https://youtu.be/zow-P1fRRTA


Good luck, and have fun! 

Testing Material (Q4 2016)

5-6 Year Olds:
Fundamentals:
Yum Chop, Jaap, Snap Kick

Form Combination:
Fu Jow, Kick, Punch-Punch, Jang

Ground Techniques:
Stage 1
Double Ankle Sweep
Scoot Back, Get Up in Base


7-8 Year Olds:
Fundamentals:
Gwa, Chuin, Side Kick

Form Combinations:
Gwa, Kam, Chin Ji, Biu, Chuin
Fu Jow, Kick, Punch-Punch

Ground Techniques:

Stage 1
Double Ankle Sweep
Scoot Back, Get Up in Base

9-12 Year Olds:
Fundamentals:
Pek, Kam, Ax Kick

Form Combinations:
Gwa, Kam, Kick, Pek, Cheong Nan, Chop
Fu Jow, Kick, Punch-Punch, Jang
Gwa, Kam, Chin Ji, Biu, Chuin

Ground Techniques:

Stage 1
Double Ankle Sweep
Scoot Back, Get Up in Base

 

Myths About Women's Self Defense Tactics

When it comes to women's self defense tactics and strategies, here are the common ones you tend to hear about:

1. Kick him in the groin!

2. Poke him in the eyes!

3. Scratch him!

4. Bite him!

5. Punch him in the throat!

Well, these MIGHT work. But really, it's not likely. What is more likely is that it will make the attacker more angry, and want him to further impose his will on her. What is more likely is that she will miss, or not generate enough power to do damage, thus further aggravating the attacker.

Instead, the following concepts are far more reliable:

1. Manage the distance to manage the damage. Either be all the way out of striking range (2 arms length distance away), or all the way in, clinching (like a hug), because strikes have very little effectiveness there.

2. Use leverage-based submissions to subdue them. This means techniques such as breaking the arm or shoulder (e.g. armbars, figure four locks, shoulder cranks) or chokes (e.g. rear naked choke, guillotine choke, & triangle choke). These submissions don't really look like they are attacks, but they wind up severely damaging the opponent. Breaking the arm/shoulder and chokes are universal ideas that apply to all human bodies. In other words, a punch or a kick's effectiveness depends on how much power is behind it and how much force the opponent can absorb. An arm break or choke will happen, regardless of how much punishment the attacker can take -  a break is a break and no oxygen to the brain is no oxygen to the brain!

These ideas are much more accessible to practice. The more you practice this in a simulated experience, the more natural these movements become. Here is an example of one of these practice sessions. Keep in mind, she has been training with private lessons for several months:

Women's Self Defense Video

Our Podcast Episode 1 Is Up!

Austin Kung Fu Academy now has an official podcast!  We call it Kung Fu Konversations.  Check out our first episode, titled "Successful Martial Arts Teaching Methods" where we discuss student engagement, important details about teaching martial arts classes, teaching philosophy, and more!

Click the link below:

http://www.austinkungfuacademy.com/kung-fu-konversations/2016/10/21/kung-fu-konversations-ep-1-successful-martial-arts-teaching-methods

Look, You Must Get Comfortable With the Closeness

We get it - getting in close to your attacker is not very comfortable. But, it is THE BEST strategy! 

Our personal space is very important to us. But when someone is violating your personal space in an effort to dominate you, get in even closer, and get control of the situation!

You are very hard to hit and attack when you are in close. You can escape/defeat opponents twice your size without being a "martial arts master", by simply getting in really close, and knowing a few techniques. 

If you develop comfort with the closeness, it gives you the ability to stay calm in worst case scenarios. Read that sentence again and again. 

Watch this video of one of our female students using highly effective self defense techniques, simply because she is comfortable with being close to her opponents. It offers her greater protection, leverage, control, and ultimately, dominance!

https://www.facebook.com/AustinKungFuAcademy/videos/10154119539754372/
 

A Little About Combat Strategy

When we watch martial arts in movies or TV shows or YouTube clips, we tend to see a lot of kicking and punching. That is kind of the hallmark of the visual representation of martial arts.

In a real self defense situation, while punching and kicking do have their place, and can serve you, it is best and safest to neutralize any type of striking exchange with a clinch. A clinch is basically a hug! 

When you have clinched the opponent, you have dramatically decreased their striking arsenal. They cannot effectively punch or kick at you when you are hugged on to them tightly. You have essentially taken their fight away from them. It is an incredible technical concept!

Now, once you have them in the clinch, their behaviors are quite predictable. And with each predictable behavior comes an effective response. Let's go through some, shall we?

1. If they decide to try to punch you while you are clinched onto them, they will have to lean back a little bit. In that lean, you drop your shoulder into their chest and pull their hips in, and that is called a "Body Fold Takedown".

2. If they decide to try to push on you, they have to stabilize their stance, so that means their stance is wider. In that case, hook their leg, dip your shoulder into them, and turn, and that is called the "Leg Hook Takedown".

3. If they decide to bring their hips away in an attempt to escape out of the clinch, walk your hands up to the back of their shoulders, bring both of your feet up next to theirs, then squat, shoot back, and wrap your legs around them, and then one at a time, wrap one arm around the back of their neck, and another on one of their arms. This is called "Pulling Guard".

4. If they decide to try to wrap your head/neck out of desperation, you pop your head up like a turtle, turn around, get to their back, then bring one foot up next to theirs, and straighten the other leg out, while blocking their other foot and pull them down. This is called the "Rear Takedown".

5. If they break out of the clinch somehow, and it is hard to get back into the clinch, drop down, grab and pull behind their knees, put your foot in between theirs, and drive your shoulder into their midsection. This is called the "Double Leg Takedown".

These are all extremely effective strategies. They are not the flashiest moves, but they work very reliably well. These are all concepts that come from Gracie Jiu Jitsu. We teach and practice these concepts at Austin Kung-Fu Academy. In addition to the great training you get in traditional Kung-Fu, we want everyone to have a very reliable self defense strategy that doesn't involve too much of the kicking and punching, but rather work more towards neutralizing, controlling, and exhausting aggressive energy, rather than over-power it.

The Spirit of Partnerships

One of the things that creates the most productive learning atmosphere is working with excellent partners. It is this spirit of partnership that can take students to the next level. 

In martial arts, this can be a tricky concept. I say tricky because martial arts, Kung-Fu, Jiu Jitsu, you name it, has an image of you fighting or working AGAINST another person.

But the truth of the matter is, most of the learning and foundational development happens when you work WITH your partner. 

There's also an unseen benefit - the better of a partner you become, the better your own skill gets! It takes a good amount of strength, control, and mindfulness to be an effective partner. 

The actual self defense techniques are great, and there are a lot of sources where you can learn that information. What isn't so readily accessible are the perfect training partners. 

Creating perfect training partners is our goal. When you have the perfect training partner, and you are working together at a very proficient level, aesthetically, it looks amazing. Functionally, you are developing some very real skills.

So as we start this 4th Quarter at Austin Kung-Fu Academy, we will be discussing what it takes to become a Perfect Partner. We will be practicing a lot of these ideas in class, and we will also have an achievement and reward system in place, to help set some concrete goals. 

A Perfect Partner is genuinely concerned with making you successful. So the focus becomes on this idea:
What can I do to help you reach your best?

With that in mind, let's get started! 

How Can I Help My Child To Focus?

It is not uncommon to hear parents ask us how to help their child improve his or her focus. There's no one magic sliver bullet for this, as there are many factors to consider.

But what we can tell you is that giving them structure tends to help. Having a specific schedule of activities (they don't necessarily need to be too complicated), but just a schedule and adhering to it tends to help. 

We recommend taking some time and doing structured activities with them, such as building something, practicing Kung-Fu moves together with a designated amount of repetitions, or reading to each other.

It takes more effort and time, but you are instilling a sense of orientation towards a goal. And when that becomes the culture of your household, it does tend to rub off on the child.

A couple of cautionary notes. It could very well be that your child has a neurological condition that inhibits his or her ability to focus. If you have suspicions, by all means, get your child evaluated. Not to say a structured environment won't help, it probably will, but there may be deeper issues that need to be dealt with.

Another cautionary note is to keep as cool and as positive as possible when creating a highly structured world. If you keep yelling at them, and/or berating them for losing focus and not adhering to the structured task at hand, then resentment will form. Instead, tell them how much you love seeing them do xyz. 

Sometimes you might get some resistance and attitude. Again, try your best to keep your cool and be positive, and talk to them about how to express their frustration without being too negative. Maybe it is something you can work a compromise with. Or, maybe it is a non-negotiable, that you acknowledge their feelings, but it is extremely important to you that they do xyz. Use bribery rewards sparingly. 

An over reliance on rewards has them focusing just long enough to get the prize, but then it's all over after that. They might just do the bare minimum, just to get the reward. So, like I said, use rewards sparingly. 

In another post, I'll talk about strategic games you can play with your child to help them prepare for more structured activities like going to our Kids Kung-Fu class! =)

Timing is Everything, with Children

When teaching and raising children, one of the most challenging things is to figure out which approach to use, and at what moment. Additionally, it is worth mentioning that too much of one has the possibility of creating longer term issues. For example:

--Too much freedom could lead to not respecting boundaries.

--Too much control could lead to a lack of self confidence.

--Too little consequences could lead to lack of awareness of what their actions means for others or themselves.

--Too many consequences could lead to someone who does just enough to not get punished. 

--Too much criticism with not enough praise can lead to a lot of self doubt.

--Too much praise with not enough constructive feedback can lead to a false confidence.

Bribery, humiliation, being hands-off, and endless positive praise have their moments of short term results, but might not be the best strategy for the long term.

So what is the right answer? Well, in martial arts, you have many techniques to deal with situations. But using a certain technique at the wrong time is the wrong technique. For example, if I try to do the technique for escaping a wrist grab against someone who is choking my neck, that's the wrong technique!! 

There are some moments when you need to be hands off, let them make their own mistakes. There are other moments when you need to be hands on, and teach/remind. There will be some moments where in order to get a task done where bribery could be effective. There will be other moments where you have to have them understand that getting the task done is a non-negotiable, and failure to do so will result in a consequence. There will be some moments where you want pump the praise, and not give much attention to what needs fixing. There will be other moments where you need to give more attention to what needs fixing than the praise.

It's all a balancing act. We want children who can take their own initiative, make good choices, learn from the mistakes, but have the confidence to keep moving forward. We want positive children who are able to deal with and learn from negative situations.

But don't stay too much in one place. Sometimes, it is tempting to stay with one main default way because it is the most comfortable. This calls for more mindfulness, and be open to sometimes changing the way you respond to your child. Yin and Yang! 

The most skilled martial arts teachers can meet you where you're at, and give you the perfect exercise to get you to the incremental next step. What that requires is an acute awareness, sensitivity, and deep understanding of where the student is, as far as techniques, ability, mindset, and belief in one's self. 

As a teacher, one might tend to develop this ability with students. But it is much harder to do as a parent. Chances are, we've not received training for this, and even if we have, it is more difficult with our own children because we might not always be "on" for our kids as we might be for students, employees, clients, etc.

So there is always movement, it is always shifting. And that is what we provide at Austin Kung-Fu Academy for our Adults Flow class, where you are being given situation after situation after situation to respond to, and your job is to work at bringing the correct response to the situation.

As parents, I feel like you could benefit tremendously from our Adults classes. Not only is it a great stress reliever, but you start realizing and developing your ability shift from technique to technique based on whatever I give you.

 

The Secret to Self Defense....

...is getting comfortable with the closeness. When you are comfortable with the closeness, you start developing the ability to stay calm in worst case scenarios. 

You need to stay in close, because you can control the situation better. You also are more effective at neutralizing devastating strikes from there. 

You don't have to be big and strong to do this. You don't need to be a seasoned martial artist training for 10 years to do this. Anyone can do this, and it really does not require a lot of energy. You can effectively shut down someone's attack, by simply hugging them! This is also known as the clinch. Whether you want to escape, or finish the fight, the clinch is probably the most important technique you can learn. 

There is a stigma that in order to do martial arts, you have to be strong. And/or, a martial arts class is simply a more formalized way of getting beaten up. Perhaps at some places it is. Ok, perhaps at a lot of places it is like that. Not with Austin Kung-Fu Academy. This simply is not true. Our methods are for average, everyday folks. There is no expectation on strength, ability, or any prior knowledge. 

What we want to do is empower you with leverage based techniques, structural mechanics, help you develop a calmer mind, and build your confidence and belief in yourself. At Austin Kung-Fu Academy, we take a "ladder approach" towards everything. Climb one incremental rung at a time. We take baby steps. If you take enough baby steps, and enjoy those baby steps, before you know it, you'll have climbed Mount Everest!

 

 

TEST MATERIALS

The test date is Sept 24. Please be in FULL UNIFORM.
Graduation is Friday, Sept 30 at 6pm. 

Tests for colored belts are $25.
Tests for buttons, stripes, and pins are free.
3-4 Year Olds Test - 9am
5-6 Year Olds Test - 9:30am  
7-8 Year Olds Test - 10am
9-12 Year Olds Test - 10:30am
Adults Test - 11:30am

5-6 Year Olds Class:
Chop
Gwa
Chuin
Pak
Side Kick
Ax Kick
Stage 1
Stage 5

7-8 Year Olds Class:
Chop
Gwa
Chin Ji
Chuin
Pak
Jaap
Side Kick
Ax Kick
Roundhouse Kick
Form: Gwa-Kam, Chin Ji, Biu, Chuin
Stage 1
Stage 3
Stage 4

9-12 Year Olds Class:
Chop
Gwa
Chin Ji
Ow Choy
Chuin
Pak
Jaap
Jeet
Side Kick
Ax Kick
Roundhouse Kick
Jumping Front Kick
Form: Chuin, Poon, Poon, Sow
Stage 1
Stage 3
Stage 4
Stage 5
Stage 5 Rollover

Adults:
Chin Ji
Kam
Sow Jang
Chop Jang
Jumping Front Kick
Skip In Side Kick
Spinning Hook Kick
Self Defense:
Standard Grip Knife Stab to Body
Standard Grip Hostage Hold
Standard Grip Knife to Throat
Ice Pick Grip Angle 1
Ice Pick Grip Angle 2
Ice Pick Grip Stab to Body
Ice Pick Grip Hostage Hold
Ice Pick
+ Your Form Requirements

What Does Tai Chi and Jiu Jitsu Have in Common?

This is a fun question!

If you know nothing much about either of the arts, no problem! Just keep reading, I think you'll find this fascinating.

If you know a little something about both arts, you might reason that they both go with what ever energy is given. And more advanced, they use joint locks and leverage mechanics as a way to neutralize, redirect, misdirect, and submit the attacker.

Those are all not false at all! But that's not where I'm going with this. My idea is a little broader.

Gracie or Brazilian Jiu Jitsu uses the ground as a leverage principle. They connect their body to to the ground and use that to gain an advantage. So, a big part of the strategy is to clinch the opponent, take them to the ground, control them with strategic, leverage based principles, and ultimately submit the opponent.

While Tai Chi doesn't generally take the fight to the ground, it uses the ground as a leverage base point, as well. You see, in order to generate more energy/power, you push your foot into the ground to transfer weight to the other leg. There is an isometric tension going on that increases the more you do it.

So the more you push off your foot (not unlike a track athlete who pushes off of support for the sprint), the stronger your legs get, and more grounded you become in your executions.

There is a whole-body effect that happens when you start all of your motions from the push of your foot on the ground. 

So the ground is an incredible place to build your skills from!

If you'd like to understand more about how we do this, contact us to try a Tai Chi class!

TESTING MATERIAL for Quarter 3

The test date is Sept 24. 

5-6 Year Olds Class:
Chop
Gwa
Chuin
Pak
Side Kick
Ax Kick
Stage 1
Stage 5

7-8 Year Olds Class:
Chop
Gwa
Chin Ji
Chuin
Pak
Jaap
Side Kick
Ax Kick
Roundhouse Kick
Form: Gwa-Kam, Chin Ji, Biu, Chuin
Stage 1
Stage 3
Stage 4

9-12 Year Olds Class:
Chop
Gwa
Chin Ji
Ow Choy
Chuin
Pak
Jaap
Jeet
Side Kick
Ax Kick
Roundhouse Kick
Jumping Front Kick
Form: Chuin, Poon, Poon, Sow
Stage 1
Stage 3
Stage 4
Stage 5
Stage 5 Rollover

Adults:
Chin Ji
Kam
Sow Jang
Chop Jang
Jumping Front Kick
Skip In Side Kick
Spinning Hook Kick
Self Defense:
Standard Grip Knife Stab to Body
Standard Grip Hostage Hold
Standard Grip Knife to Throat
Ice Pick Grip Angle 1
Ice Pick Grip Angle 2
Ice Pick Grip Stab to Body
Ice Pick Grip Hostage Hold
Ice Pick
+ Your Form Requirements

A Yard is Hard, An Inch is a Cinch

Whenever we'd like to achieve something, either for ourselves, or our children, it is important to set goals. 

The problem is, often times the goals are either too over-reaching, or too vague. When we have goals that are too over-reaching, we often set ourselves up for disappointment. An example of this is trying to make a basket from half court, without even trying to make a basket from up close! When we have goals that are too vague, then, we end up with vague results. An example of this is saying you want to be good at Kung-Fu. Well, what does that mean, exactly? What does that look like? 

The solution is simple:
Make it specific, make it simple, and make a lot of them!

It's a lot easier to reach a smaller, simpler goal. It is specific, and within grasp. After you achieve that goal, make the next goal to build on top of that. The key is to make them small and achievable so that you feel success! It is very important that you feel success, and keep building on those successes! In the world of Behaviorist Psychology, this is referred to as the "Law of Successive Approximations".

This is why we have all the different belt colors in martial arts! 

Dr. BJ Fogg, a professor of Experimental Psychology at Stanford University, said to have "mini celebrations" for these mini victories! He said that it is very important that you reward yourself for any achievement that you make towards developing more productive habits towards your end goal. These mini celebration can be as simple as doing a little fist pump and saying, "YES! I DID IT!" And then move into the next goal.

Anything is achievable when you break it into small pieces. Too much at one time can lead to disappointment. Goals that are vague don't allow for a clear path towards what you want.

At Austin Kung-Fu Academy, we are all about everyone feeling those mini victories, on their path to the big one!