Monday, January 31, 2011

Dynamic Academy of Martial Arts 4th Annual Boot Camp

Hi Everyone,

I wanted to let all of you know about an exciting martial arts boot camp being held in Sarnia, Ontario the weekend of March 18-20th. The training camp will be held at the Dynamic Academy of Martial Arts, 1886 London Line. This boot camp will consist of 15 hours of training over the course of three days, and if you pre-register by March 1st, the cost is only $125 ($140 after that date). I have been asked to be one of the camp’s instructors, along with several other American Kenpo Karate experts. The seminar topics for the camp are very diverse, giving each participant the exposure to many different facets of training. The seminar topics (and instructors) are as follows:

A. JEFF DUKES (9th Degree Shinja Ryu; 8th Degree American Kenpo)

(1) Transitional Stance Changing and the Universal Kenpo Patch

(2) Understanding Linear and Circular Motion

(3) Reality Street Self Defense: What Works and What Doesn't?

B. JAMIE SEABROOK (6th Degree American Kenpo Black Belt)

(1) Kickboxing (bring boxing gloves/hand gear & t-shirt)

(2) Family Related Self-Defense Techniques

(3) Short Form 3: Opposites, Reverses, and Mirror Mechanics

C. JASON ARNOLD (5th Degree American Kenpo Black Belt)

(1) Lock flows, Sensitivity and Energy Drills

(2) Kenpo from the Ground Perspective

(3) Kenpo Knife Work

D. Rob Broad (5th Degree American Kenpo Black Belt)

(1) Belt Defenses

(2) Short Stick Techniques

To register, please call 519-344-3221 or email:

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Bowing in the Martial Arts

One of my students asked me the purpose behind bowing in the martial arts. Although I could give many answers to this, I would like to give my own slant on the purpose and meaning behind bowing. Please note that there are some traditions that I choose to follow, and others not; many of the traditions that I do not follow (or ask my students to follow) have to do with my Christian faith.

One of the most common traditions in martial arts training is to bow before entering and leaving the dojo (training area). By bowing, we are not worshipping the area, but rather are showing respect to the area in which we are to train, and are showing that we don’t take our training lightly. In some schools, thousands upon thousands of classes have been taught in that particular training area, and some highly skilled black belts have been produced in that very setting. By bowing, we show respect to the instructor(s) of the school, to fellow classmates, and to the knowledge that one is about to or has already acquired.

Another common tradition in martial arts is bowing to your opponent when engaging in sparring, or when practicing techniques. By bowing, we are demonstrating that we value the person that we are working with, and that the purpose of the fight or technique is to mutually improve one another’s skills. We often will bow to the referee as well, to acknowledge that the referee is in charge of conducting the fight and ensuring fairness, and that the referee may see things that we did not when engaged in our fight. A similar tradition is followed when being evaluated by several judges in a tournament forms/kata competition.

We also bow when commencing and finishing each class. The bow shows mutual respect in that students are thankful for the knowledge they have acquired (or are about to acquire) from the instructor, they honor the martial art that they are learning, and the instructor is thankful to have students committed to his/her teaching methods.

All of these traditions are beneficial in my opinion because they instill discipline, humility, courtesy, and respect for the system of American Kenpo, as well as for teachers and fellow students. There are times, however, where I believe that bowing can be misused. For example, at some schools students must find the head instructor before doing anything else and immediately bow to him (even if he is in his own office). Often, the bow is not reciprocated from instructor to student. That’s called pride, and it makes the head instructor out to be almost godlike.

Some Japanese/Okinawan martial art schools even have students shout out at the beginning of class “Onegaishimasu” which translated means, “Teach me, I beg of you.” Beg? Really? Tell me that won’t inflate an instructor’s ego. Don’t get me wrong; it’s important to respect and honor one’s instructor. But we need to be careful not to put the individual on a pedestal. It’s very possible for an instructor to be espousing perseverance and self-control, for example, while also having a very difficult time with anger management and fidelity. The reality is that the instructor may not be practicing what he preaches.

As a third example, some instructors insist that their students call them “Master.” Again, I am all for “Mr.,” “Mrs.,” “Mam,” and “Sir.” Those words are ones we should all use more. But insisting or better yet correcting a student for calling him “Mr. Smith” versus “Master Smith” is called pride. Interestingly, in the Chinese Karate Federation (CKF), one is not even considered a “Master” until one has obtained the rank of 9th Degree Black Belt (an “Associate Master” is an 8th Degree Black Belt). Today, I see all kinds of “Masters” with lower-ranked black belts, or who have high-ranking black belts with amateur skills at best. For the record, my students refer to me as “Mr. Seabrook” and always will. My master died a brutal death on a Cross for me 2000 years ago.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Jamie Seabrook American Kenpo Karate Seminars

On Friday, January 28th, I will be teaching two seminars at the Berkshire Club in London, Ontario. The first seminar will be for children, and I will be teaching the American Kenpo Karate Purple Belt form, Short Form 2. The children’s seminar will run from 6:00-7:00 pm and the cost of the seminar is $15. The second seminar will be for adults and will run from 7:00-8:30 pm. The adult seminar will focus on evolving techniques in the American Kenpo Karate system. Specifically, I will show how self-defence techniques that were taught earlier in the American Kenpo curriculum are utilized later in the system when dealing with multiple attackers. The cost of the adult seminar is $25. Everyone is welcome to attend this event. I hope to see you there.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

My 2010 Logged Training Time

Hi Everyone,

Happy New Year!!

Below is a list of what I accomplished in 2010 in terms of my training routine. Each year I try to excel what I did, but it's never easy.

Days Practiced Martial Arts (minimum of 1 hour time): 344
Total number of days I taught martial arts: 197
Total number of classes that I taught: 523
Number of days devoted to sparring: 65
Total number of random techniques – 3741
Pushups – 29,440
Sit-ups – 29,440
Blocking Set 1 – 157
Blocking Set 2 – 87
Kicking Set 1 – 76
Kicking Set 2 – 19
Finger Set 1 – 85
Finger Set 2 – 25
Coordination Set 1 – 29
Coordination Set 2 – 15
Striking Set 1 – 18
Striking Set 2 – 16
Stance Set 1 – 100
Stance Set 2 – 63
Two Man Set – 7
Staff Set – 16
Short Form 1 – 166
Short Form 2 – 131
Short Form 3 – 80
Long Form 1 – 61
Long Form 2 – 56
Long Form 3 - 40
Long Form 4 – 26
Long Form 5 – 15
Long Form 6 – 18
Long Form 7 – 12
Long Form 8 – 25
10 Yellow Techniques – 12
12 Orange Techniques – 12
12 Purple Techniques – 12
16 Blue Techniques – 12
20 Green Techniques – 12
20 3rd Degree Brown Techniques – 12
20 2nd Degree Brown Techniques – 12
20 1st Degree Brown Techniques – 10
20 1st Degree Black Techniques – 5
2nd Degree Black Techniques (Orange ext) – 12
3rd Degree Black Techniques (Purple ext) – 12
4th Degree Black Techniques (37 Blue-Green ext) – 12
5th Degree Black Techniques (36 Brown ext) - 12
Anyo Isa – 11
Anyo Dalawa – 11
Anyo Tatlo – 11
Anyo Apat – 11
Trapping Hands - 2
Tiger and Crane – 18
Book Set – 2
Cross Path 1 – 19
Long Fist 1 – 17
Long Fist 2 - 14
Breathing Law 1 - 35
Single Dragon Short Stick - 38
Double Dragon Short Stick – 18
Wandering Dragon Staff - 8
Tonfa Set 1 (NBD) – 27
Tonfa Set 2 – 6
Bando Knife Form - 2
12 Basic Strikes – 1
Figure eight – 1
Six-count drill - 2