Class Plans for March 2011


Senior Master
MT Mentor
Oct 26, 2003
Reaction score
Springfield, Missouri
I started teaching kenpo again about six months ago at a local school, and in our intermediate class we have a four month thematic rotating curriculum. We spend one month each on Ground Fighting, Street Self Defense, Sparring, and then a month of integrated drills incorporating the previous three months themes while we review for the next belt test. At the end of that month, the students test over all the material from the previous four months, except comprehensive tests which include all previous material, and then we begin again with Ground Fighting. This class consists of purple, blue, green, and brown belts.

The following are the classes I taught during the month of March of this year when our theme was Ground Fighting. Also included are a few beginner classes I taught during this month. Our beginner class is on an eight week thematic rotating curriculum that teaches basic skills including Basic Boxing, Elbows, Clinch and Knee Strikes, Handswords, Front Kicks and Breakfalls, Side Kicks and Wheel Kicks, Rear Kicks and Roundhouse Kicks, and Backnuckle Strikes.

Generally we teach kenpo self defense techniques on Tuesday, and kenpo patterns (sets and forms) on Thursday. The school I'm teaching at teaches a re-ordered list of American Kenpo techniques similar to the EPAK system. Many of the names are changed and some of the specific moves are slightly different, but for the most part it is an easily recognizable and roughly comprable version of the same core curriculum of techniques and patterns, anyone familiar with some descendent of Mitose style kenpo would recognize the movements. It is descended from one of Mr. Parkers black belts through three instructors now.

Standard notation are as follows, () means general aspects or evolutions of drills and concepts. <> means advanced variations or ideas which students may or may not be prepared for. [] mean clarifying commentary. {} means actions taken specifically by the defender within the context of a drill. || to connote dangers, risks, or areas of special concern.

Many strikes are referred to by abbreviations which I will try to list here. If I miss any and you can't understand through context, simply ask. Also many of the technical terms may be either foreign or mean something different to me than they do to you, again, feel free to ask if you are confused.

Abbreviations of Terms

fk front kick
rk rear kick
ssk side snap kick
wk wheel kick
stk side thrust kick
ohhk outward heel hook kick
uhhk upward heel hook kick
rhk kenpo style roundhouse kick
rhk(mt) muay thai style roundhouse kick
ick inward crescent kick
ock outward crescent kick
tsk thrusting sweep kick
A(B) traditional kenpo sparring technique where the student grabs the opponent's lead hand and executes a downward or outward pull to put the opponent out of position
bks backknuckle strike
ihp inverted horizontal punch
vp vertical punch
ihs inward handsword
ohs outward handsword
irhs inward reverse handsword
orhs outward reverse handsword
fihs forward inverted handsword
phs palm heel strike
ubf upper body fake
lbf lower body fake
1 push drag
2 step drag
3 drag step
4 front crossover
5 step through
6 rear crossover

Also, if you see a basic with another basic in parentheses, A(B), fk(vp), that means that the drill in question could be done with either basic for the same general effect and should be practiced as an option drill.

Finally, when a basic is underlined that means it is executed by the rear hand.

My goal here is to focus on developing a strong familiarity with ground fighting in a general sense by providing the students with a progressive structured flow that begins with teaching the students how to train safely and then covers simple basics of position, strikes, and grapples while giving the students the ability to transition smoothly from technique to technique. Amidst that, I tried to include drills, techniques, and activities that both focus on traditional kenpo training and stand up fighting, and demonstrate to the students how those skills translate to their study of the ground.

These classes are the product of my training the teaching of my instructors and the knowledge I glean from the books in my library. The only parts original to me are the mistakes.

3-1-11 Intermediate --Tapping--

Warm Up
Rolls (barrel, in place, forward + back, <shoulder rolls>)
Falls 4x and standing (back, right and left sides, forward)
Basic Ground Work (box drill, circle movement face up and face down, scissor walking)
Purple Evoking the Spirit (upward wedge striking to the face, leveraging with the off hand, pushing away,)
Green Obscure Claws (wrap around and twin lapel grab, pulling into strikes and shearing, insertions, <flinging the opponent>)
Leap into Danger (forward falls and rolls, roundhouse kicks, spinning rear kicks)
Brown - 1st Brown Review (balance and posture, forcing the opponent to the ground, storing potential energy and releasing it in kicks)
Techniques on the Body
Ground Fighting
Mount (balance and settling, moving up and down opponent's torso, pinning the hands over the head, {releasing the arms with clearing motions, grabbing the belt, moving forward and back under the opponent, lateral rolling})
Guard (crushing into opponent's lower abdomen, plank position pressing down and moving side to side, lateral movement on the knees, grabbing the belt, {lateral movement on the back, swinging the hips out to move from side to side, pressing away with the hips and knees, pulling the opponent into a bearhug, alternating pulling in and pushing away})
Spontaneous Activities
Holding the Mount (moving, balancing, and maintaining the neutral position)
Holding Guard (opponent reaches towards face)
Other Discussions
Grabbing limbs
Posture and Straight Back (avoid countertipping when punching and kicking)
Sitting Down into Stances (for twisting and sweeps)
Pulling Opponent into Strikes (Glancing Poke, Repeated Elbows)

3-3-11 Intermediate --Energy Conservation--

Warm Up
Stretch (legs and back)
Kicks (sk, fk, rhk, hhk, rk) (practice air, shields, body)
Leg Blocks (air, on the body alternating, stop kicking)
Protecting the Head (covering, blocking, evasion)
Wrist Grab Escapes (sloughing, dynamic action)
Stretch Again
Same Kicks from Ground (same progression)
Blocking with the Legs from the Ground
Protecting the Head (covering, moving, rolling away)
Ankle Grab Escapes (sloughing, scissoring)
Curriculum --Reviewing Patterns--
Purple Blocking Set 2, Stance Set 2, Kicking Set 2
Green Finger Set 1, Club Set 1
Brown Finger Set 2, Stance Set 3, Kicking Set 3
Drills --Form and Body Work--
Techniques on the Body
One Minute Rounds on the Bag (form, power, break, alternating)
Practice Stances and Foot Maneuvers (form, balance, mobility)
Ground Fighting
Practice Lowering an Opponent to the Ground (from the front, rear, and sides, applying pressure and hanging, {holding on to the opponent and breakfalling})
Practice Lifting an Opponent (with the hip, back, and shoulder, lifting the legs with sweeps, pressing the opponent up, lifting from the ground by the lapels and the legs)
Spontaneous Activities
Pushing the Opponent to the Ground from the Knees (gentle way, angles + pulling, <moving into ground fighting positions>)
Same Drill Squatting Position (protect knees, knee drive, bearhugs, <side mount position>)
{Add Pushing Away and Rolling Back to Squatting Position}

3-7-11 Beginner

Warm Up
Stretch (legs, arms, chest)
Traditional Punches from a Horse Stance (opposing force, breathing, intensity)
Punches + Palms from a Fighting Stance (air, rotating for power)
Bob + Weave (dynamic action, hi + low in the stance)
Cover (hi + low, right + left, dynamic action)
Pad Drill With a Partner (Instructor calls actions, strikes, covering, bob + weave, <spontaneous>)
Line Drill With a Partner (Moving Forward and Back, strikes, covering, bob + weave, <kiai>)
White Fallen Sword (control space to control time, blocks as strikes, landing with strikes, body alignment)
Yellow Deceptive Vice (pulling the arm and escaping, stress and shock, knee/elbow combination)
Orange Snapping Elbow (arm bar contol, frictional checks, throat strikes)
Techniques on the Body
Three Minute Rounds in the air (boxing style, head and body movement, one minute breaks)
Palm Strikes as Push Techniques ({stepping back, <falling back>, swinging with pushes}, anchoring the elbows to chamber and rotating for power, <pushing to the ground, pushes as strikes>)
Technique Drills
Technique Lines
3 Person Drill (attacker/defender/attacker, one technique, 6/rotate/12/rotate/repeat)
Spontaneous Activities
Pushing the Opponent Back and Attacking with Palm Strikes ({step back and cover}, calling switches)
Push Hands (interactive, competitive, off balancing)

3-8-11 Intermediate --Energy Conservation--

Warm Up
Stretch (knees, hips, back, shoulders)
Practice Basic Ground Work (review and flow, add kicks)
Getting Up from the Ground (hands and knees straight up and kicking the legs through, Street Fighter Standup, Knees to Feet Rising)
Side Mount (balance, moving, settling, pressing away)
North/South (same progression)
Scarf (same progression)
Knee on Stomach/Knee on Back (same progression)
Purple Altered Momentum (stepping in with strikes, figure 8 striking, raking strikes, body momentum)
Green Thrust into Darkness (defensive rear kicks, twisting + kicking, re-entry strikes)
Brown 1st Brown Review (attacks from 12, blocks and parries, kicking and punching)
Techniques on the Body
Line Drill Stepping Away with Rear Kicks/Stepping Up With Rear Kicks
Pulling Opponent in to Actions (pushing away and pulling past, pulling into strikes)
Ground Fighting
Double Leg Takedown (lifting and driving, single leg, from side)
Trips (front and side, throws, lowering)
Rear Headlock Dragdown (choke, hang, slam)
Ankle Roll (from the ground up, front, side, and rear)
Spontaneous Activities
Getting into Position
Around the Legs (Mount)
Through the Legs (Guard)
From the Head (North/South)
From the Side (Side Mount)

3-10-11 Intermediate --Balance--

Warm Up
Stretch (back and hips)
Mount (bucking, hugging, trapping limbs, grabbing the belt)
Guard (pressing away with the hips and knees from back and side)
Side Mount (posting, shrimping, rolling hips out and away)
North/South (vulnerable, move first, push legs away, rotate torso)
Purple Stance Set 2 (unusual angles, new guard positions, twisting and untwisting)
Green Finger Set 1 (air, B.O.B.)
Brown Finger Set 2 (air, B.O.B.)
Techniques on the Body
Basics on the Pads (by rank lists)
Line Drill Pushing Away from an Advancing Opponent while on your back ({shrimping, crawling, push to wall, push up wall} and advance on opponent)
Ground Fighting
Mount (smothering, posting, cowboy mount)
Guard (grabbing the belt, elbow wedge, lifting and slamming, {butterfly and half guard})
Side Mount (plank versus hands and knees, compressing with the legs)
North/South (scissor walk to scarf, rotate to side mount)
Spontaneous Activities
Getting Up from the Ground
Mount (palms on chest pressing up and swinging legs away to fighting stance)
Guard (walking legs over opponent's chest to stand up)
Side Mount (knee on stomach, stepping away)
North/South (hands and knees scrambling away)

3-14-11 Beginner

Warm Up
Rolling Stretch on Back
Front Kicks in air for Form
Back Breakfalls (form, seated, squatting, standing)
Shadowboxing with Falls on Command
Kicks on Pads (form, accuracy)
Line Drill Thrusting Front Kicks pushing opponent down floor (shields, alternating)
White Provoking Thunder (overlapping checks, rotating for power and range, vulnerable targets temple and solar plexus)
Yellow Lending Palms (rocking horse effect, rotating hips, wrist escapes)
Orange Attacking Thief (obscure zones, max protect positions, chicken knee strikes)
Techniques on the Body
Kicks against a Static Standing Opponent (form, targets, accuracy, alternating rounds)
Push Opponent (to Breakfall {kick 3x, stand up}, push opponent to breakfall)
Technique Drills
Technique Lines
Two Technique Option Drill (with partner)
Spontaneous Activities
Spontaneous Self Defense (countering with front kicks)
Kicking Shields from the Floor

3-15-11 Intermediate Psychological Combat

Warm Up
Basic Ground Work (review and flowing)
360 Degree Spin Face Down on Opponent (swimming, positions, <face up>)
Lateral Rolling (top and bottom positions, pressing opponent away with back)
Knee on Stomach Movement (hope over opponent, around head, switch knees)
Guard (calf on body, press off and swing hips)
Striking in Mount (straights and hooks)
Striking in Guard (body, groin, legs)
Purple Striking Crane (hooks, figure 8 striking, long range/short range)
Green - 3rd Brown Review (grapples, anchoring the elbows, stance transitions)
Brown - 1st Brown Review (stepping in, out, and off angle, body slamming)
Techniques on the Body
Defending Kicks (blocks, parries, evasion)
Pummeling + Sticky Hands (seperately, combined)
Ground Fighting
Rolling Mount Escape (arm wraps, hooks, clearing motions, up and at an angle, pushing off with the feet and hands)
Elbow Wedge and Knee Drive Guard Escape (straight or cross knee, swimming on opponent)
Spontaneous Activities
Combining Escapes (mount to guard to side mount to mount)
Grappling for Position (no strikes or submissions, instructor calling positions)

3-17-11 Intermediate --Psychological Combat--

Warm Up
Basic Ground Work
Grappling for Position
Striking from the Side Mount (elbows and knees)
Striking from North/South (knuckle strikes to vulnerable targets on the legs)
Striking from Knee on Stomach (bracing strikes and knee drops)
Defending from the Ground against Strikes from a Standing Opponent
Purple Stance Set 2
Green Club Set 1
Brown Personal Club Set
Techniques on the Body
3 Hit Kenpo with Takedowns and Ground Fighting
Club Evasion Drill
Ground Fighting
Elbow Wedge and Shrimp Mount Escape (scooting away, pressing the opponent's legs away)
Guard Stack and Roll Escape (over opponent's torso, compressing the lungs, to the side)
Spontaneous Activities
Combining Escapes (one partner leads, alternating after several positions, increasing intensity)
Free Grappling with Light Striking

3-21-11 Beginner

Warm Up
Stretch (arms and shoulders)
Backnuckle Strikes from Horse (to front and side)
Backnuckle Strikes on Pads (form, accuracy)
Backnuckle Strike Drill Level One (from horse with overlapping checks)
Backnuckle Strike Drill Level Two (from fighting stance with off hand checks)
Blocking Backnuckle Strikes in a Fighting Stance (covering and blocking, hunter/prey)
White Sword of Destruction (blocks inside the arms, handsword strikes, waiter's tray checks)
Yellow Concealing Elbows (body slams, groin grabs, obscure elbows)
Orange Orbiting Force (insertions, body alignment, raking strikes)
Techniques on the Body
Standing Body Slams (against the shield, body)
Arm Bar Control (locking, striking)
Technique Drills
Technique Lines
Practicing Insertions in Techniques
Spontaneous Activities
Blocking and Single Counters versus Backnuckle Strikes (static, dynamic)
Mass Attacks Pressing in with Shields (surrounded, stances, balance and mobility, state management and emotional control)

3-22-11 Intermediate --Psychological Combat--

Warm Up
Stretch on Ground
Basic Ground Work
Grappling for Positions
Grappling with Strikes
Practicing Escapes from Mount and Guard
Grappling to Escape and Stand Up
Purple Shielding Knight (parries, close pummeling strikes, storing energy for kicking)
Green 3rd Brown Review
Brown 1st Brown Review
Techniques on the Body
Stepping in and back with Parries and Counters (static, opponent holds arms out straight)
One Beat Sparring Style Self Defense with Kicks (attack, {defend, step away, kick}, attack, {repeat})
Ground Fighting
Gi Choke from Mount
Straight Arm Bar from Guard
Spontaneous Activities
Grappling for Position with Strikes
Slow Speed Sparring with controlled Takedowns
Sparring to Takedown and Ground Fighting, Grapple to Escape and Stand Up

3-24-11 Intermediate --Psychological Combat--

Warm Up
Stretch (wrists and ankles)
Basic Ground Work
Transitions on the Body
Grappling (positions, striking, escaping)
Grappling to Submission (choke, arm bar)
Purple Review Stance Set 2, Practice Kicks from Kicking Set 2
Green Review Short Form 3
Brown Review Short Form 4
Techniques on the Body
Kicks on Shields and Bag (form, rotating)
Practice Mount and Guard Escapes
Ground Fighting
Paintbrush from Side Mount
Ankle Lock from North/South
Headlock from Scarf
Spontaneous Activities
Sparring with Takedowns and Ground Fighting
Grappling for Dominance and Control

3-28-11 Beginner

Warm Up
Stretch (front and back of legs)
Knee Strikes in Air (straight, out, cross)
Knees on Shields (for power, grabbing the opponent and pulling him in)
Clinch/Knee Combination on Body with Partner (switching stances)
Line Drill Step Thru Knees Advancing
Knees as Blocks (in air)
White Attacking the Kick (blocking kicks, double factor blocking, stepping through opponent's position)
Yellow Gathering Energies (hair grabs, covering the head, zones of sanctuary)
Orange Hidden Sword and Sheath (moving into obscure zones, chicken kicks, borrowed force)
Techniques on the Body
Covering the Head During Hair Grab Attacks (blocking, twisting escape)
Turning into Attacks from 6 (with checks and strikes, <covering to defend flurries of attacks>, kicking the opponent away)
Technique Drills
Techniques Lines
Covering against Flurries of Strikes (until commanded to counter with technique combination of choice)
Spontaneous Activities
Line Drill Chase Opponent to Wall (with strikes, {cover to defend against wall, when commanded counter with strikes}, chase opponent to wall, {repeat})
Blocking from a Fighting Stance (6 blocks spontaneous, knee blocks)

3-29-11 Intermediate --Poison Hands--

Warm Up
Free Roll (stretch between rounds)
Purple Turning Retaliation (blocking kicks, rear kicks, bringing the weapon to the target AND the target to the weapon)
Green 3rd Brown Technique Review
Brown 1st Brown Technique Review
Techniques on the Body
Blocking Kicks (dynamic, sparring style)
Reviewing Stand Up Grappling (from techniques)
Ground Fighting
Frictional Burns (rubbing with the gi)
Positional Asphyxia (smothering and compressing the chest)
Crushing the Head (forearm to head, neck, and jaw, sitting on the head)
Biting and Pinching (vulnerable targets)
Spontaneous Activities
Free Roll (stretch between rounds)

4-1-11 Intermediate --Poison Hands--

Warm Up
Stretch on the Ground
Basic Ground Work
Transitions on Body
Review Grapples and Escapes
Free Roll
Purple Kicking Set 2
Green Review Sets and Forms
Brown Review Sets and Forms
Techniques on the Body
Lying Prone on the Side Practicing Kicks to a Prone Opponent Facing you on his Side (shields, body, both hips, <flipping over to face head to feet>)
Practicing Basic Club Strikes on the Bag
Ground Fighting
Roll Hips out and Push Away Side Mount Escape
Elbow Wedge and Shrimp Side Mount Escape
Hands and Knees Pushing Away Scarf Escape
Scissoring Guard Sweep from Bottom Position
Spontaneous Activities
Free Roll
Free Roll with Tools (club, knife)
Free Combat

Ok, that's it. I feel like by the end they'll learn how to grapple, submit, strike, and hurt an opponent on the ground. They'll still be beginners, but they'll be beginners who have a clue, or at least that's my hope. These classes went really well. I had to make some adjustments to the drills and schedule due to attendance and class flow, but I managed to get most of the material transmitted and I felt pretty good about that. As you can see, I planned some pretty dense classes. I do this on purpose. That way I have plenty of material to draw from during class, and if we need to spend more time on some specific drill I can always drop something from the plan or move it to another day.

Anyway. If anybody finds any use in this feel free to share it with others or incorporate it in your own training. I posted it here in the hopes that someone might get something valuable from it. If you have any questions feel free to ask.