At the Progressive Martial Arts Academy, we believe that no one person, or one style, holds all of the answers to any of the empty hand fighting traditions. No single system is any more evolved or more efficient than another.
There are a set of basic principals that are important to our dojo. It’s essential that in conjunction with building a healthy body that we also work towards developing an honorable character and develop good citizens within our student body. The studies within the dojo are not limited to exercising the body, but also the development of the mind and its thought process.
Our curriculum is unique in comparison to other contemporary, sport-based martial arts programs, where there are fundamental flaws in their construction. The systematic training that we provide lays out the martial education layer by layer, as well as giving ample insight into how the empty hand traditions came to pass and how they were transmitted through the generations. While we practice a modern Freestyle Mixed Martial art, we recognize that it’s important that we learn from the past to better understand the present.
Our’s is a system of strategic tactics as practiced in old-school martial arts, where the focus was not on scoring a point but on eliminating a threat and preserving life. A completely systemized study, it is a modern reinterpretation of those original fighting practices used during Okinawa’s old Ryukyu Kingdom, combined with modern Kickboxing and Submission JuJitsu. Our curriculum is based on renzoku geiko (2-person flow drills), which are essential in learning the principals of defending yourself. We also use randori (free practice wrestling and sparring), as well as Kyushu (pressure points), and Tuite (joint locks). The focus is on learning to defend oneself, and unlike other schools of Karate, the kata (solo forms) are not required learning until intermediate levels.
As for kata, our club teaches and studies the Okinawan and Japanese based kata that originate from Southern China and Fukien Province martial traditions. We are not focussed on learning a lot of kata, most students will only learn a few before reaching the Black Belt level. We are more interested in using kata as a template for developing an understanding of various body movements, breathing techniques and defensive applications. We apply the theory of “Habitual Acts of Physical Violence” (HAPV) as a basis for the self-defense responses of kata application. We’re proud that we’re able to step away from the punch and kick doctrines that permeate modern sport karate and limit’s the boundaries and effectiveness of kata and self-defense. Sport karate is bound by rules of competition that do not apply in self-defense. The kata of sport karate is purely form and not function, and we see this as a radical departure from the true meaning of karate as an art.
We believe that when we put our teachers upon pedestals and take everything they say as an absolute, we would surely evolve into a group that does things just because that’s the way they have always been done. Independent and creative thought would become lost, just as the motivation to search for answers would become lost.