Product Review – Strikemeter and other impact detecting technologies.

We are starting a new type of post here at Coloradomanews.com – product reviews. The first product we review is the Strikemeter, reviewed by Master Bill Pottle of the Korean Academy of Taekwondo


The Strikemeter isn’t the first item designed in order to measure how hard a martial artist strikes, but it’s arguably the best. At our school, we have a ‘School Records Board’ where we record the best any student has ever done in categories such as “Most Kicks in 10 seconds” or “Longest Flying Side Kick.” We started this about 7 years ago, and naturally we wanted to know the hardest kick and hardest punch. We purchased a system from an English company named Imp-tec. You can see examples of their products. To be fair, ours was an earlier generation that had the sensor/readout connected to the pad by a wire. The impact would be affected by the holder, so we constructed a wooden vertical platform with sand bags in the base to hold it steady. However, the problem was that the sensor was taking our hardest shots, and soon broke. We sent it back and they fixed it for just shipping, but then we soon broke it again. It appeared that this wasn’t the answer.

A few years later electonic hogus came on the scene. At $500 each they were pricey, but we bought some in order to prepare our competition team. We purchased some from LaJust and they seemed to work fine for their purpose. Being wearable and wireless was cool, and we could beam the results to our dojang’s projection system. However, they faced another problem with regards to our school records board. They were only made to measure a narrow range, and thus many of our students could ‘max out’ the readings. (which also depended on the hogu size) The currently used system is Daedo Truscore, but they face the same problem with respect to maxing out the system.

So enter the Strikemeter. It has been designed in a way that manages to avoid both of the above problems. First of all it is self contained, and you aren’t striking the instrument itself. It simply attaches to the bag via velcro and sits there until you strike. There is an internal accelerometer that measures how the acceleration that occurs after a strike. The units are dimensionless and for our purposes, not particularly important. We just want relative measures that are consistent.

The other thing to notice is that the Strikemeter has a great range. It records weak strikes from children, as well as very strong strikes from 300+ lb black belts. Harder strikes get higher numbers, but it’s hard to say if a strike of 2000 is exactly twice as hard as a strike of 1000. They say that a strike of 400 is about equal to breaking one board, while 1000 is about 3, so there has to be some non-linear relationship.

Some people will be bothered that it doesn’t read out in pounds of force (as the $100,000 crash test dummies used in National Geographic’s Fight Science do) but force itself isn’t really the best measure of a kick. To see more, visit the physics of martial arts 101 presentation. It is important to note, however, that your results won’t correlate with anyone else’s, unless they use the same bag. We even changed a wavemaster top for a BOB and got different results. Measuring the acceleration from the kick is a good step, but it depends on the amount of stuff in the base and to a small extent where on the pad you strike. However, this isn’t a problem for us, as we just require all school records be set on the same bag.

If you max it out too easily or if it doesn’t detect weak strikes for your kids’ class, you can always vary the amount of weight in the base (water/sand/concrete/etc) in order to affect the range.

Using the product couldn’t be easier. There is only one switch. Turn it on and the display reads either CAL (Calibrating) GO (kick!) or the number of the last strike.

We used it in class and found that kids and adults alike love kicking it. We haven’t used it long enough to report on durability, but with the design I seriously doubt that there will be any issues. The unit is powered by one 9V battery (included).

You can purchase a StrikeMeter for $199 (including shipping) at http://www.strikemeter.com/

At this price this device represents a sensible investment for the majority of schools out there. It will easily pay for itself in terms of the excitement it will generate in your intro and regular classes. We will plan to contest a ‘hardest strike’ division at the 2013 Twin Dragons Tournament. The only thing that we would like to see is extra velcro included. For owners of multiple schools, you could take one unit between locations. You wouldn’t need to use it in class every day. We can buy it ourselves, but it represents a pain.

ColoradoMaNews did not receive any consideration for this review.

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21st Annual Colorado State Open Martial Arts Championship 2012 by Tiger Kim’s Academy

300 Participants Compete in the 21st Annual Colorado State Open Martial Arts Championship
Tiger Kim’s Academy, one of Denver’s oldest and most respected schools for martial arts training, recently hosted the 21st Annual Colorado State Open Martial Arts Championship on Sept. 22, 2012, at 1480 Steele St. in Denver. More than 300 participants competed from ages three to over 60 years old. Participants competed in Tae Kwon Do, Tang Soo Do, Karate, Kenpo, Kung Fu and other martial arts styles in the categories of Olympic Sparring, Point Sparring, Weapons Sparring, Weapons Forms, Traditional Forms and Breaking. A state-of-the-art Daedo Electronic Scoring System was used for all sparring events in 4 rings, and swords were awarded to top winners in sparring and medals were awarded in all other events.
Tiger Kim’s Academy has been a leader in martial arts in Denver for over 36 years since the school’s founding in 1976. Run by a father-son team, Tiger Kim’s Academy has trained more than 10,000 students, including over 1,000 Black Belts, during its years of operation. Students study Korean martial arts styles of Tae Kwon Do, Tang Soo Do and Hapkido under the instruction of experienced and certified Black Belts. Tiger Kim’s Academy teaches self-defense; strength and fitness training; self-discipline, responsibility and respect; as well as Korean language and cultural customs. Students range in age from three years to seniors, as well as many families study together.
After receiving Black Belt #123, Grand Master Jung Kil Kim, “Tiger Kim”, 9th Dan, opened his martial arts studio in Denver, but not before being invited to Hong Kong in 1969 to instruct the legendary Bruce Lee in the art of breaking. Master Sung Hwan “Tiger” Kim, son of Grandmaster Kim, holds the rank of 7th Dan in both Tang Soo Do and Taekwondo.
Tiger Kim’s Academy contributes to the community in numerous ways, by providing after-school enrichment training in the Denver Public Schools, as well as martial arts demonstrations at many community events each year. The school sponsors many free community events for anyone wanting to learn self-defense, including classes for women and the GLBT community with donations benefiting various charities. In addition, they host frequent State tournaments for students to compete and demonstrate their skills. For more information go to www.tigerkim.com

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2012 Scrimmage in Parker

The 2012 Scrimmage in Parker held at Victory Taekwondo Center on Sept. 22nd was a huge success!!! Teams from MOD Taekwondo Elite (Utah), Korean Academy of Taekwondo (KAT), US Taekwondo Center (USTC) and host Victory Taekwondo Center (VTC) had a great time testing their skills, gaining new friends and most of all the experience of multiple sparring sessions, board breaking and forms competition made the event a huge success.

Master Sammy Pejo, Master Paul Kimmich, and Master Kim Fenton and her son (head of the table) did a phenomenal job on being volunteer center referees (hats off to them). The VTC and MOD instructors who also volunteered as corner referees together with respective parents from each school made the event complete.

One of the officials said that this event is one of the most organized events that she had been into and would definitely help out next year. But the most surprising thing happened on that day was Ryan Tomas’ (Pinoy Big Brothers –Philippines) special demonstration. The Filipino parents and students of MOD Taekwondo Elite were so thrilled to see him. A huge thanks to Master Pottle and Mr. Tomas.

The event wrapped up on time and everyone left with a big smile on their face. A lot of them wanted to come back and look forward to another exciting event.

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Free Child Safety Seminar November 17th

It’s a terrible thing that child abduction has been in the news so much lately. Recent cases have had parents asking “What can we do?” The Korean Academy of Taekwondo in Aurora, CO will be hosting a free child safety seminar on November 17th, 2012. The seminar will be at their headquarters location at 16850 E. Mississippi Ave, Aurora, CO 80017. There will be two parts to the seminar. From 6-7 a police officer will be going over the best ways for children to recognize and avoid dangerous situations. Then, from 7-8 the instructors will teach children escapes from basic holds and grabs. The instructors will practice grabbing the students and trying to drag them across the room while the children will practice escaping and running away.

The event is free and open to the public.

 

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Krav Maga for the TKD practitioner

As much at we can, Colorado MA News, tries to visit martial art facilities and events within the region to interview school owners, instructors, and their students. It helps in connecting the Colorado martial arts family on a more intimate level and keeps everyone informed, if they feel the inclination. Today’s journey takes me to MartialArts 4 Colorado, located in the heart of Thornton,CO. This facility has integrated reality-based self defense into their child/family Tae Kwon Do program. Owner/operator, Steven Marak, spent many years learning self defense as a necessity. Combined with his training in both Tae Kwon Do and Krav Maga, Mr. Marak has created a Krav Maga method for the Tae Kwon Do practitioner. He calls it, Krav Maga Do. I spoke with him about the subject. Here are a few statements from him and from a few of his students.

 

“…I just want children to be able to protect themselves. They need to realize that the body goes through certain physiological changes when under stress. I want them to address those issues when training and not while it’s happening. Too many children become a victim. If I can help just one child get home safe, then I will have done my job.” He went on about the dangers that children face everyday and how families might be relying on technology a little too much to keep their kid’s safe. As I was speaking with him, a few young students walked in. I asked them what they thought about the Krav Maga Do program. “I like hitting the pads,” one child exclaimed, while running onto the mat. Another one yelled out from across the mat, “It’s really, really fun!” “We perform countless strikes during our Kid’s Krav week. Repetition is muscle memory. I want it to be second nature for them.” As he went on about self defense, I sensed urgency in his voice- as if he felt responsible for their safety. “I know what it is like to fight for survival. It is a scary thing. You have to learn to recognize it early. If confronted- most people will freeze up, initially. This creates doubt and uncertainty. It is at this time to act fast. Sparring on the mat and performing poomsae is important for training. But I want to, somewhat, simulate the stress levels involved in a panicked response and the fight or flight response- of course, within a child friendly environment.” Then he added, “And then there is the subject of weapons and ‘taking it to the ground’. That also needs to be addressed.” He went on by saying, “The biggest percentage of Tae Kwon Do students quit before black belt. It is those students that must learn Krav Maga Do. In my opinion, anyway.”

Finally I asked him, “Why did you place a ‘Do’ on the end of ‘Krav Maga’? He laughed really loud and then looked directly into my eyes and said, “I am protecting, because it is in my nature to do so.” Protecting what, I asked. “Protecting the integrity of the Krav Maga name, its method, and what it represents. I am in no position to try and change that, nor do I feel the need. But Krav Maga can be brutal in the eyes of the parent and we are a family based Tae Kwon Do school. So, I have toned it down to be more suitable for the Colorado family not war-torn Israel.” He went on by saying, “there are also a few vital techniques that differ from Tae Kwon Do versus Krav Maga. I created Krav Maga Do to embrace the differences, not to choose between the two. It was necessary.” As his next class began to line-up, he got up and said to me, “I have lost many things important to me in my lifetime. I will not lose a student in the hands of violence.” He then bowed to me while offering his hand, and then turned to the mat and yelled out, “Get us started Ms. Danielle!” “Yes sir!” She replied.

I walked towards the exit, faced the class, and bowed with great respect. I left the martialArts 4 Colorado facility sensing that he cares for his students and that he and his Krav Maga Do have a deep personal drive that propels him and his students forward along with Tae Kwon Do.

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Date Set for 2013 Twin Dragons Tournament

The Twin Dragons Tournament is one of the most anticipated martial arts events in Colorado in 2013. This event follows up to the White Tiger Championships, which was held in April 2012 and was the largest Olympic Style Tournament held in Colorado in 2012.

Competitors won medals with magnetic sides which attach to other medals in order to form one ‘super medal.’ The Twin Dragons Tournament will provide the opportunity to earn the 2nd piece of the medal.

More details will come as the event draws closer, but for now we plan to have ‘ultimate division’ where competitors of any age, rank, and gender can enter. The winners of these divisions will earn $100 prizes ($50 cash + $50 discount on the 2014 Lone Wolf Classic Entry Fee). We also plan to offer embroidered black belts to winners of the black belt divisions, as well as championship belts to the 4 grand champion winners. Winners of grappling divisions will face a winner of a higher or lower division to win a katana sword.

The home school for the tournament is Championship Karate and Taekwondo (CKTKD), Littleton CO’s branch of the Korean Academy of Taekwondo.

The tournament will be March 23rd, 2013 in the spacious gym at Metro State College of Denver. More information and registration (coming soon) can be found on the official tournament page.

 

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Colorado State Taekwondo Team Hosts 1st Trainings

The Colorado State Taekwondo Association selected its annual team at a competition on August 4th, 2012. Since then the team has met for its first practices, with the sparring and poomsae teams meeting and training separately. The Poomsae Team had its first training at Championship Karate and Taekwondo in early September, while the sparring team had its first practice September 29th at the Korean Academy of Taekwondo.

CO State Sparring Team meets at the Korean Academy of Taekwondo for their first practice.

To be on the CO State team, you must win first place in the Colorado State Team Trials. Once you do so, however, you will be able to attend all state team trainings as well as receive a free uniform and other gear from Pine Tree USA as well as a stipend from the Colorado State Taekwondo Association.

Non-state team members can still practice with the team, however they must pay $10 to the Colorado State Taekwondo Association in order to do so. At the first sparring practice, the masters present agreed that this is an excellent group of people to represent the state.

Colorado State Poomsae Team. From Left to Right: Nikita Karamian, Jeremiah Moran, Alexis Menjares, Steven Humphries,
Kinsey Musso, Angela De Oliveira, Kim Fenton, Dale Zamora

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Colorado Cup Taekwondo Championships

Medal from the Colorado Cup Championships

Littleton, CO – Master Marcus Santos and Littleton Taekwondo hosted the Colorado Cup Championships here on September 15th, 2012. The venue was the beautiful Ridge Rec Center.

The tournament featured competition in traditional forms, board breaking, and Olympic Style Sparring with the Daedo electonic scoring system. About 120 competitors came from across Colorado and New Mexico in order to participate.

The sparring format was different than most tournaments, due to the large number of ‘demo matches.’ This meant that competitors were allowed to match up against several opponents who might be a different size, belt, weight, or even gender.Head contact was reduced in order to make this safe.

“In a local tournament, we are really looking more for our athletes to gain sparring experience rather than just getting a medal. This tournament was great for us, because most of our athletes had three or four matches.” said Master Bill Pottle of the Korean Academy of Taekwondo.

At the black belt level, the tournament featured several top level athletes including Sara Fossum (US Collegiate Team Member), Aaron Turner (2012 US Heavyweight National Champion), Cameron Weber (2012 US Middleweight Silver Medalist), Joshua Kosloski (2012 AAU Cadet National Team Member) and Ahmed Alsubaihawi (Iraq National Team Member). There were also numerous CO State Team Members and Rocky Mountain Collegiate Taekwondo League Champions.

The tournament also gave $100 cash prizes to the top sparring athletes not from the host school. The prizes were won by:

Ahmed A with Master Andre and Master Santos

Ahmed Alsubaihawi (KAT – Men’s Black Belt), Alyssa Roseman (A Team Women’s Black Belt) Joshua Kosloski (KAT – Boy’s Black Belt) and Grace Kosloski (KAT Girl’s Black Belt)

Four schools also won the ‘best school award’. The winners were Champion Taekwondo (New Mexico) Korean Academy of Taekwondo, A Team Taekwondo, and Champion Taekwondo Academy.

 

 

 

 

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Colorado MA News Official Launch

Denver, C0 – Colorado Martial Arts News officially launches today. The mission of the site is to provide hard hitting news coverage of the martial arts scene in Colorado. We will feature everything from tournaments to MMA fights to seminars to demonstrations. Look for interviews with pioneers of Colorado martial arts.
Anyone who is interested in being a reporter should check out the become a reporter page. If you have a story to tell, we are interested in hearing from you!

 

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