The US Open Karate Championships is the most prestigious tournament in sport karate. Lately, the fighting divisions draw the most competitors and at the top of the fighting sector is Team All Stars. All Star fighters have consistently won their divisions and grand championships ever since the team was created. And to gear up for the US Open, Raymond Daniels and the All Star elite athletes organized a camp to teach the lessons that brought them their success.
Jason Chen, the team manager, brought out the entire team to instruct the campers. Working one on one with the campers provided a more impacting experience. The fighters led drills, introduced new techniques, drilled the techniques, and then sparred with the campers. Instructor Robbie Lavoie, made an emphatic point that the campers shall spar each instructor. Lavoie described the common struggle of applying newly acquired techniques to different fighting styles. The instructorship had fighters from all ends of the country, providing a more eclectic experience for the campers and making them more versatile.
Another important lesson the campers received was the terminology. There is an unofficial language in point fighting that’s crucial to understand. The campers learned what “blitz”, “D-side”, “wall”, “dive bomb blitz”, and other terms mean.
Along with the the self-improvements, the campers also learned to consider the judge’s
perspective of a match. Jack Felton made it clear that they must make decisions based upon the judge’s placement throughout the ring; make sure all their points are visible. The instructors have all experienced scenarios of scoring a point without it awarded.
Many of the instructors, including top Canadian competitor Robbie Lavoie, have signature moves that we’ve seen showcased on stage or in eliminations. Chris Walker took the campers through an effective combination that racks up many points for him, and all the instructors divulged a few of their secrets to the campers.
All Star Camp proved to be a great pedagogical avenue for the instructors because all the campers attended with a voracious appetite for new information. Instructors Raymond Daniels and Jadi Tention gave concluding speeches at the end of each workout to empathize with the campers as they yearn to improve their skills and grow as a martial artist. For a few months now, campers have been beating at their craft and applying the All Star’s lessons, so it will be interesting to see how much they’ve improved this weekend at the Diamond Nationals.