America’s Best Karate of Danville teaches American Budo Kwan “ School of the Martial Way “.
American Budo Kwan is a complete martial arts system, not a combative sport. Our curriculum is consistent with traditional martial philosophy for character development and includes traditional forms, reality-based self defense, sparring, weapons training and test breaking, using powerful strikes with speed and accuracy to break boards and bricks. Our core curriculum is based on the traditional Arts of Tae Kwon Do and Karate known for striking, kicking and footwork as well as discipline and physical conditioning. It also incorporates elements of Hapkido, Aikido and JuJitsu grappling and throwing arts. Okinawan and Filipino weapons are learned for better understanding the role weapons may play in self defense as well as for developing the heightened focus required in weapons training. This well rounded system gives our students essential understanding of self defense concepts, life skills to deal with challenge, confrontations and emotions, as well as everyday movements for everyday life, such as bending, squatting and lifting or falling without injury.
Our goal is to strengthen the body through hard work and flexibility and strengthen the mind through education and calmness, elevating the human spirit to improve one’s quality of life.
The benefits of the mental and physical development as well the virtues that one learns from training in traditional Martial Arts are invaluable. The skills and abilities to enable an individual to confidently protect oneself are life changing.
American Budo Kwan Precepts of Training
1. Train to be strong in the mind and body.
In most challenging situations, you do not have to be stronger than the opposition, you Do have to be strong enough to engage, endure and survive. Strength will shore up fortitude and increase confidence. Mental strength will reinforce your conviction. Strength without confidence and conviction will remain inactive when it is needed.
2. Train to be tolerant.
In life you will encounter more situations that require cooperation rather than competition. Let your strength foster empathy, understanding and a relaxed cooperative nature, so that you will not be quick to miss judge but instead be more accepting and respectful. Fighting when acceptance is in order will deplete your strength. Tolerance says “ it’s not always about winning “ sometimes, just not loosing is not only acceptable, but also most appropriate.
3. Train to become patient.
True persistence can only be learned through the quiet struggle of patience. Patience with oneself creates tolerance for others. Patience will improve observation, observation will improve awareness, awareness is imperative to appropriateness. Patience will quiet the mind and allow for understanding and acceptance.
4. Train to have discipline.
Discipline is the only way other than through suffering and hardship, to learn and practice acceptance when acceptance is not mandated by necessity. Discipline will develop and garner respect for oneself and others. Discipline will foster honesty, most people do not like to be told what to do, only if you are honest with yourself can you be respectful when others are honest with you. Discipline is respect in action.
5. Train to have courage.
When you are in acceptance and with understanding of your fear, your strength, compassion, patience and discipline will allow you to be accepting of your situation, therefore allowing for an appropriate response, even when you would rather just be Right. Being Right is never more important than being Appropriate. Courage will allow humility to emerge when it is difficult but necessary.
American Budo Kwan shares similar precepts and philosophies with Karate Do, Tae Kwon Do and most other “ Do “ arts. Martial arts are not the only art forms or disciplines to teach or embrace these ideals, they just use a hands on approach to the teaching and manifestation of them. Discipline, patience, humility and courage are tools for navigating through life. The best way to learn to use any tool is through practice, Martial arts training routinely provides situations that require students to put these characteristics into practice.
Principles of Practice and Application
1. Training in the Martial arts is like a new pair of shoes, hard in the beginning but should soften over time. In the beginning
Deep stances will improve strength and power, high kicks will increase balance and flexibility, flexibility will increase balance and speed, however, over time strength and speed will be replaced by skill and timing.
2. Techniques must find their mark.
Only through well trained mental focus can targets be quickly and precisely identified, especially when under duress. One must develop and master concentration so as to be observant and honest when assessing a situation, deriving a timely response as appose to an undisciplined or fearful over or under reaction.
3. Technical proficiency is of the utmost importance, only time and repetition will hone your skills. The amount of return is based upon the amount of investment. Practice should not be a chore, carried out only for the sake of repetition, but rather conducted while being mindful and present, with the belief that the time spent practicing will be beneficial and result in the ultimate goal of improvement.
Routine practice is required of all who train in the Art of American Budo Kwan.
4. Forms should be practiced both fast and slow. Forms should condition the body and instill muscle memory as well as free the mind of doubt and confusion by serving as a form of moving meditation. Form creates structure, structure defines the relationship between the parts and the whole.
5. Proper breathing must be utilized to maximize power, intensity and endurance of techniques. Martial artist must learn to coordinate breathing, relax breathing and intensify breathing. Think of breathing like speaking and you will see the correlations, only breathing is more important.
6. Techniques should be used situationaly and governed by strategy. Self defense strategy implies once a threat is imminent, avoidance is the safest action, if a situation becomes physical, kicking should be used to stop an attacker’s entry, strikes should be used in close range followed by grappling to hold, throw, subdue or neutralize the attacker.
Basic sparring strategies include:
Use foot work and movement to bring an opponent into range or create openings. Don’t form the bad offensive habits of initiating techniques out of range or only throwing one technique, these mistakes are inefficient and will leave you open to counter attacks. Against skilled opponents it will be difficult to find opportunities to land techniques, the use of fakes and combinations are of the utmost importance and counter attacks will yield great results.
Avoid remaining static or even worse, remaining in your opponents strike zone after the completion of an attack. Remember, the universe is in flux, and an object in motion stays in motion while an object at rest gets knocked out!
7. Your force should be non-lethal and limited to only what is necessary to eliminate the threat and appropriately gain control the situation. It is both more difficult and more honorable to avoid violence, and it is always best to do so.
8. Weapons should be considered lethal force and should only be used to protect human life. One should learn to utilize weaponry and gain an understanding of the range and capability of weapons and when wielding a weapon the goal should be to defend, not destroy.
While these basic principles and strategies may appear to be simple, it will take many years to understand and develop the awareness, focus and timing to execute the appropriate techniques and movements when it is your turn in sparring or in life. It will take many more years to realize that regardless if it is landing a punch, countering an attack or waiting to return a serve, it is always your turn.
What makes our system work?
Our system fulfills the 6 Basic Human Needs: to fit in, to stand out, the need of certainty, the need for variety, the need for growth and acknowledgement and the need for contribution.
Our classes are divided by age group and skill level (belt rank), which gives students a sense of belonging, helps them form bonds with instructors and fellow students.
Our students are given the opportunity to be noticed or stand out during class, as well as during special events and testing. This gives our students recognition, which nurtures their self confidence, accountability and collective responsibility.
Our class structure and class schedule are consistent, which provides certainty and familiarity in the students’ experience.
We teach a varied curriculum, we add new methods which keeps students stimulated and enables them to learn. Good effort, performance and improvement are well recognized at our school, which validates the students efforts, shows them that they are appreciated and acknowledged.
Our school provides opportunities for students who want to be a part of our community and take the next step to provide a community service, which fulfills the student’s need for contribution.
How will your teaching process be fun and keep my child or myself interested and motivated?
We teach a varied curriculum, our instructors train consistently and new teaching methods are developed continuously, which stimulates students and enables them to learn in a fun and challenging environment.
Will you help my child feel more confident and deal with bullies, without becoming one himself?
We teach confidence through checks and balances, students are given recognition and positive feedback for what they do well, as well as being addressed for their shortcomings, which teaches accountability. These collective experiences build confidence and conviction – the main skills needed to avoid a bully.
If at some point it is necessary, will I be able to defend myself?
Real life self defense techniques are a part of our curriculum. We emphasize avoidance and conflict resolution, however our students are trained to use series of defensive techniques and tactics, which have been used successfully in real life self defense situations.
Will I be comfortable with you and with the other students at the school?
We foster an environment of camaraderie and a sense of community. Our instructors teach with compassion and commitment and take their art seriously.
Will this be safe, or am I or my child at risk of being hurt?
As with any physical activity, there are inherent risks of injury. We take safety very seriously and we use safe methods of teaching as well as protective equipment. The progression of our curriculum prepares the students gradually for the more challenging techniques, which diminishes greatly the risk of injury.