|Group photo of students and instructors who participated|
Last Saturday; students at Hidden Sword Martial Arts participated in a invitational sparing event at Master Starnes’s North Texas Karate Academy in Bridgeport TX along with two other martial art schools. Students and instructors came from as far away as Jacksboro, and Bowie all in an effort to give their students a chance to work with other students on their sparring skills.
|Mereck under the watchful eye of Jackie gets ready to spar|
After speaking to the students, the instructors, and the parents who took part in this event, I must say this was a huge success. For us at Hidden Sword Martial Arts this was an important cross training opportunity and an important networking opportunity for us as a school. As the head instructor at Hidden Sword I have been looking for opportunities such as this to give our students a chance to work with other students at other schools. In talking with Master Starnes and the other instructors hopefully we will continue this process of giving our students unique training opportunities like this in the future.
|With close to 40 students participating sparring was tight on the mat|
Cross training opportunities like this are the business model that the AKATO works on. Instead of having closed schools because their style is to secret or to dangerous for the common man they instead encourage cross training opportunities amongst their students and the instructors. In the DFW area many of the instructors and students cross train by going and working out with other classes or under different instructors in the AKATO organization. We on our side of the DFW area don’t have quite the same opportunities however some instructors such as master Starnes and I, are actively pursuing these types of training opportunities for our students.
|Mereck blocking a punch (why we teach blocking skills)|
By having our students work with other students from other like minded schools, it helps them to get a clearer picture as to their true abilities. Having our students work with other students of different ages, skills, ranks, adults and children ultimately helps them to adapt accordingly to the various opponents; ultimately helping to give them confidence in their skill sets while at the same time laying bare the skill sets they need to work on.
|Kimberly showing good form with her side kick|
While Saturday was a great first step for our school cross training with these other schools, hopefully in the future we might expand this training to tap into the various skills that we as instructors (of the schools that participated) have such as grappling, sparring strategies, self defense and of course my specialty the Filipino martial arts.