Recap of Beltramo Kickboxing Workshop

by Gil Acosta (2007-07-24)

Thanks to all who participated in Mr. Beltramo's kickboxing workshop this past weekend (May 18/19, 2007). Thanks also to those who planned to attend but couldn't because of last minute priorities. Life gets in the way sometimes and that's completely understandable.

What a great workshop it was! It started off Friday evening at Sher Khan Karate in Elk Grove, California with 14 people attending what was supposed to be a friendly 2 hour 'Meet and Greet' sparring session from 6:00 pm-8:00 pm. Of course the young guns weren't going to settle for that and claimed 'Open Season' on the over 40 crowd, quickly turning the 'Meet and Greet' into a 'Meet and Beat' session. They immediately tried to separate us older and slower members from the rest of the herd and go in for the kill. Obviously they went for Ms. Plowman first. We didn't need to do much to protect the Queen of Mean as she still had plenty of sting left in her arsenal and was doing just fine in thwarting most of the efforts of her would-be assailants. Mr. B, as usual, had no problems handling anyone as he is always in great shape and was keeping the hoodlums at bay by throwing some serious heat. Fortunately for us 40-somethings, we've been there, done that and were able to hang in there the best we could, too stubborn to give up or step off the mat until the clock actually struck 8:00 pm. Of course when certain peeps (insert names here) waltz in the door fresh at 7:30 pm anxious to throw down for the remaining 20 minutes with the half-dead die hards who have been paying their dues by punching, kicking, sweating, hyperventilating and drinking Ensure for the last hour and a half, they can walk away with what can only be described as an unearned victory. Like jumping into the Boston Marathon for only the last 100 yards.

After that we were off to enjoy some good Mexican food and conversation right next door to a Tae Bo school.

Or maybe it was a 'soft' Kenpo school.

I forget.

After dinner we all retired to our hotels to get some much needed rest until the next morning. Tom Bodet forgot to leave the light on for me and I tripped over the curb. The actual workshop began on Saturday morning at 8:00 am with 28 people attending from five different states: California, Oregon, Idaho, Texas and Nevada.

Kickboxing 2007

Mr. Beltramo started first 3 hour morning session by hitting the basic (and not so basic) fundamentals of boxing, kickboxing and muay thai, working us through the similarities and differences with each discipline. Then it was on to weight distribution, hand and foot positioning, bobbing, weaving, slipping, footwork, and even a modified version of the outer rim concept. There was also some mitt work containing rounds of continuous 1,2 punching drills to work our shoulders and to help develop punching stamina. Once the hand combinations and mitt work started to take place, Sigung Labounty wrapped his hands, grabbed his gloves and stepped onto the mat to validate his ticket along with the rest of us. That's what makes him the Sigung. Then the workshop quickly became a sweatshop and stayed that way for the next few hours with the exception of the one hour break for lunch from 11:00am -12:00pm. Mr. Chris Tanaka, his wife and parents were kind enough to make sure that a light lunch and some fruit was brought in to us so we would not have to leave and come back between sessions.

Plus that allowed us all to relax and visit together at the dojo while we were eating and hydrating. And hydrating. And more hydrating. Then the 2 hour afternoon session began with the introduction of leg kick dynamics and more importantly, how and where to set them up using offensive and defensive maneuvers. Then more continuous punching drills, knees and elbows on the pads. Towards the end, Mr. Beltramo had us put it all together into a collection of drills on the pads as he called out several different offensive and defensive punching kicking, kneeing and elbowing combinations used in conjunction with the footwork and body maneuvering. Everyone worked hard and we were all drained once our day had ended as Mr Beltramo taught an awesome workshop leaving us with lots of new drills and ideas to take home and share with our fellow instructors and students.

As a token of our appreciation, the participants presented Mr. Beltramo with two gifts honoring Kenpo's finest along with a ton of hand shakes and hugs . Thank you, Coach Beltramo for sharing the day(s) with us and for passing on your knowledge and wisdom. A huge debt of gratitude to Mr. Chris Tanaka and his family for not only hosting at Sher Khan karate, but also for making sure that everyone was accommodated before, during and after the workshop and for providing rides to and from the airport. Thanks for also ordering the gifts and making sure that they arrived on time. Much appreciated, Mr. T!!!

Last but definitely not least, thanks to all of the participants who traveled by land or air to train with Mr. Beltramo and to work and sweat with one another.

This workshop would not have been possible without your much appreciated hard work, respect and support.

Sincerely hope you all enjoyed yourselves.


Gil Acosta