I have been doing karate for years and have not really thought about this from a beginning students perspective recently. I had a buddy ask me my take on teaching students how to kick the groin as beginners can miss the mark at first. Also (understandably) guys do not want to volunteer their family jewels as target practice!


Ok – one of the first kicks a student learns is the front snap kick in most styles. You bring the knee up, snap the kick out (kicking with the ball of the foot or instep), bring the kick back and land it. This method fast becomes second nature but before a student learns actual sparring (if they style they are learning does that), how is a student to know their kick is going to be a real ball buster? That is the question I’ll deal with in this post.


First for some comic relief Master Ken is going to demonstrate some ways to create more sopranos in the choir. :)



Full Story »

Under: karate, Self-defense
27 Oct 2014


I want to learn karate so I can protected myself against “any” attack! How often do you hear people saying that they can protect themselves because they know how to fight? I’ve heard it all of my life and bought into it sometimes. For instance if you have muscles – no one will want to fight you on the beach because you are not an easy mark (assuming muscles equate to fighting ability). Or you are a prize fighter superstar and become a jerk in a bar… thinking no one “can” get the best of you.


This over or sometimes no confidence is common among karate students. Students take lessons to learn how to protect themselves after all. In this post I’ll go over what karate can and cannot do for you as part of your self-defense strategy.


Once when I was working restaurant for a living (a long time ago), one of the cooks wanted to know how to win a fight with a karate guy. I was honest with him and told him his he had better sucker punch first and hard because if he did not get a fast advantage – he was going to pay dearly. More this story later but please read on if you want to hear my thoughts about karate protecting you from an assassin’s attack.


Full Story »

Under: karate, martial arts
27 Sep 2014


Most martial artists will know fellow students that study real hard for testing and then forget techniques and kata afterwards (until the next testing). Basics seem to stick with us longer because we have to know all of the kick and punch combinations for what most hold dear to their hearts – fighting!


I used to somewhat be one of these martial artists other than while I was teaching – I did remember everything (as I taught it over and over again).  In my case after I sold my karate school and then decided not to make a career of full contact (not much money), I got stale off and on over the years. Sure I would make a best effort comeback every few years but then would be focusing on scratching out a living for my family. No excuses though and I would bet many martial artists fall into this camp at times.


In this post I will be making an argument for not only brushing the dust off your martial art but additionally training in a realistic method of some type. After all now that your are a black belt and hopefully have trained yourself to be a fairly good fighter – what is left to prove to anyone? Nada! You have to be in the martial arts for yourself to improve!


First here is a video where Benny “the Jet” Urquidez is speaking to kid about owning your techniques… and what it means to be a black belt. I only listened to the first part about making techniques your own as that is what this post is about.


embedded by Embedded Video

YouTube Direkt


Full Story »


Forwarding an Announcement about our organization’s event.


Dick Willetts’s American Kenpo Karate Association will be have a belt promotion and demo on Sept. 20th, 2014 at the main studio located at 3030 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego Ca.   The event will start at 1:00 PM.  Below is an outline of the event.
The event agenda is as follows.
Dick Willett’s
American Kenpo Karate
Belt testing and Promotion event
Saturday Sept. 20th, 2014
Time 1:00 to 4:30(ish) pm
1:00 – Welcome and opening comments plus an outline of the day’s events – Mike Roberts
1:15 – Introduction of Honored guests (Master Bob and Barbara White, Master Ted Sumner) – David Hays
1:20 – Recognition of ALL Black Belts in attendance
1:25 – Opening ice breaker entertainment – David Hays, Todd McElhinney, Kim Kimmel
1:40 – History of Dick Willett’s American Kenpo Karate – Mike Roberts / UKF Rey and Chicken
1:55 – Explanation of our belt and testing system (mainly Black Belt) – David Hays
2:00 – Council Demonstrations
·         Rey – Tiger and the Crane
·         Foots – Self Defense techniques
·         Mick & Todd – Ground Work
·         David & Terry – Sparring
3:00 – Joe Scarafone Testing
3:30 – Kerry Maull Testing
4:00 – Other Belt Promotions
·         Calvin Sanders – 4th – Presented by Todd
·         Brian Stull – 5th – Presented by David
·         Franklin Vasques 5th – Presented by Todd
·         John Zimmer – 7th Presented by Mick
·         Jack Shamburger – 7th Presented by Mike
·         Victor Hervias – 7th Presented by Mick
·         Herb Patus – 8th Presented by Todd
·         Joyce Libert – 8th Presented – Terry
4:30 – Comments by Honored Guests, Bob and Barbara White and Ted Sumner
4:35 Q &A
4:40 – Closing comments and invitation to join us at the town and country Hotel for a few hours of socializing.
5:00 – 8:00 PM a gathering of the Kenpo family at the town and country resort hotel
Thank you
Dick Willett’s AKKA Senior Council

Under: Self-defense
14 Sep 2014


The Summer of 2014 brought fear to the women of North Park, a community of San Diego. You see there was an attacker on the loose apparently trying to sexually assault women in the neighborhoods. Here is the story: STORY.


The interesting thing to me about this story and many more like it is the normal advice for women to not walk alone at night, walk in a well lighted area, or avoid walking the streets at night seem like the normal advice parents have told their children ever since they were little – seems to have been ignored. So now that this suspected has been caught, are women now going to walk on dark alleys at night and feel safe?


This post is going to speak about common sense and yes I realize that everyone knows how to stay safe. I will speak about social norms that have changed and how it is not affecting the safety of women and what can be done about it. Oh yes – I will also cover self defense from a martial arts point of view.


Full Story »

Challenging your Karate School!

Posted by: John W. Zimmer
Under: karate, martial arts
7 Sep 2014


Many of you have watched the Karate Kid or heard about challenge matches Bruce Lee had to endure from the Chinatown Kung Fu masters, and are probably wondering in this day and age – does that ever really happen?


Well more than you probably think. The challenges come from other schools, various kind of fighting arts, and what I encountered a lot was fighters creating their own martial art that wanted to test.


Before we get started, here is a scene from the karate kid were Mr. Miyagi issued a challenge.



Full Story »

100 Man Fight? Not What I Expected

Posted by: John W. Zimmer
Under: karate
30 Aug 2014


I was searching for a topic for today’s article and I came on this youtube movie trailer entitled 100 Man Fight. I’ll let you see the movie trailer below but after watching that – I was thinking – ok – this is something I will enjoy writing about. But alas the movie was not on Netflix or Amazon Prime so I started searching around some more.


I found another 50 man fight video and started watching it. From the first trailer I was expecting a tough, hard fought fight with lots of injuries and blood maybe (if I was lucky) but watching an actual representation of this type of fight I was disappointed. You see I must come from another era. Sparring or kumite  one had to use hand and foot pads and cups. We also did medium contact to the body and light contact to the head.


The contact for this 50 man match was very light to the body and for the first 10 minutes of so – no contact to the head. So my guess is anyone in good enough aerobic shape could have done one of these matches without issue so long as they had margional fighting skills. But anyway – please review the movie trailer and some of the 50 man fight video I found and decide for yourself. I’ll give my opinions about the kumite after.



Full Story »