Thursday, February 26, 2009

Whats new at Steve Lavallees?

The curriculum continues to evolve. There is a new emphasis on calisthenics and strength. Students must do "extras" after class. Specifically, the black belts are asked to do 175 pushups and situps after class. Most of consider this to be *A LOT*. In my case, given the iffy condition of my back, it's not possible. There is a hierarchy of expectations starting with 35 for the orange belts.

There is an increased emphasis on weapons. The chucks are now part of the orange belt curriculum, the brown belts are working on a Kama Set Two and the black belts on on the American Bo Form. They are introducing a sword too. Some people are grumbling about how the introduction of a fourth weapon increases the overall expenses at a time when the sensitive thing would be to be thinking about evolving the curriculum away from additional expenses.

In self defense,we seem to have ended the focus on krav maga type reference point defense by working last week on a traditional kempo defense. We protect against a downward strike with an Xblock, writst grab, then step under, elbow strike, then rotate back under again breaking the arm. Like all the kenpo defenses, it's a little complicated but deadly effective if you can get it right. On this one, if you cross your wrists wrong for the initial block or don't wrist-grab properly, you are SOL.



Rich Holmes said...

Interesting; again, in DeWitt NY, we haven't seen most of these changes. None of the "extra" pushups and situps. No weapons below red belt. They are introducing sword: Our senseis have just had some sword training and will be teaching it probably to the black belts in the future. As a (as of last week) blue belt I don't have as much context for change as you do: I do know they taught a new response to rear bear hug (arms free) this month, but the other two holds and grabs we covered are what they've been teaching.

Rich Holmes said...

Brown belt, I mean... they start weapons at brown belt.