Karate College 2002

Submitted by Sensei Don Gemmell

After returning from Karate College, I felt compelled to write about this fantastic opportunity to workout with the best of the various martial artists.

Even though I had heard of a few of the other instructors who would be there, I was glad that the first seminar on Thursday would be with Bill Wallace in the early evening, as he was the only one that I had actually worked out with in the past. His session was an excellent introduction and focused on basic safe stretching and of course kicking techniques. After waking up at 4:00 that morning and spending eleven hours traveling in a vehicle, I sure appreciated the stretching exercises to help prepare for the remaining two full days.

The next day started with an 8:00 am seminar working on some ground fighting techniques followed by effective pressure points, chokes, grabs, control and takedowns, basic boxing, kata bunkai, hand immobilization and finishing the day with 3 hours of Joe Lewis teaching kickboxing drills. All workouts are scheduled each hour until completion at 9:00 p.m.

On Saturday, I started with a Renzo Gracie seminar working on submission holds from the standing, kneeling and ground positions followed by another Bill Wallace seminar which was similar to Thursday with more intensity, additional kickboxing drills, finishing off with a very intense leg workout with Bill Wallace and combination kickboxing forms with Joe Lewis.

The day ended with a graduation ceremony where all instructors and students get together with recognition of accomplishments and a personal time for reflection including comic relief from some of the instructors.

I found that most of the sessions were more mentally than physically tiring as the techniques were described, demonstrated and then we were given time to work through them with a partner. With the intensity and the flow of information, I found it very important to concentrate on each technique and taking notes with the intent of remembering key points and not trying to perfect each one. I decided very early that the only way to feel comfortable with many of the new techniques learned would require much more practice and repetition once at home. Looking back at the whole Karate College concept, I wouldn’t hesitate to say that it was a very richly rewarding experience and an event in my life, which I won’t soon forget. The camaraderie of all the people in the group we traveled with to the people I met from various parts of the U.S. and Canada, it is obvious that most people who train in the martial arts have a deep respect for one another no matter which style you are practicing. I would highly recommend attending Karate College to experience first hand for yourself, a feeling of personal accomplishment and a wealth of knowledge available for a minimal cost.

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