My plan to begin martial arts was to have my son trained in techniques/principles to defend himself in an ever increasingly dangerous world. I decided to take classes with him and it has been one of my best decisions. My son at age 11 was scared going into the first class. At the end of that class, he looked up at me and said, “Can we do this stuff, I love this stuff.” That boy is now age 21 and has achieved the rank of 2nd degree black belt at the Steiner Academy of Martial Arts. The foundation martial arts style is Shaolin Kempo. But Sensei Steiner has opened the philosophy to the basics of “what ever works in self defense.” Students are taught techniques against punches, grabs, knives, guns and clubs. Additionally, Sensei Steiner has contacts with martial artists across the country and has included pressure point fighting techniques and grappling (ground fighting), along with sparring in order to provide a well-rounded experience. Sensei even holds Citizen Handgun Training classes for those interested. One of the most important and personally rewarding aspects of studying under Sensei Steiner is that practical self defense tactics are taught and various scenarios are discussed to engage the student’s mind and awareness. One unique opportunity is Budo Camp. This is a Friday night – Sunday afternoon camp where instructors from around the country come to a camp just south of Omaha to teach aspects of their arts. It is an amazing way to get exposure to different arts/styles/philosophies in a concentrated time-frame and anyone who has attended has raved about it and shows up the next year. This is open to any martial artist across the country and usually is attended by students of both coasts, the midwest and southwest. I am one of the oldest students and at age 55 achieved my 1st degree black belt. If I did not realize the high standards of instruction and broad opportunities presented at Steiner Academy of Martial Arts, I would not have put in 10 years of effort and still my training continues. Many people want to “find themselves” and I can tell you that the study of martial arts is a valid path towards self- discovery. This training has boosted my confidence, challenged old ways of thinking, improved my physical/mental health, instilled a sense of commitment towards earning goals and provided a venue to develop friendships with many high quality people. Knowing what I know now about Sensei Steiner and the multitude of unique experiences afforded at our school, I would be signing up again. As an older man with not much range of motion at my hips, the Kempo training of primarily arm/hand techniques fit my abilities wonderfully. Accommodations are made for different types of physical limitations that still allows even the over-40 year-olds to gain significant benefits of training while limiting risk of injury.
Entering into martial arts is a way to see what you are made of. The training is not easy, but definitely worth the effort physically and mentally. It is a way to improve coordination, balance, strength, grace of movement and speed of movement. I view martial arts similar to the way I think about swimming: it is a fun activity in itself, but under the right circumstances it can be a life-saving skill. I encourage anyone reading my thoughts to please visit the school and talk with Sensei Steiner and the students to gain a better sense of the quality of this instruction and what it can provide you. Typically, Sensei will allow anyone interested in martial arts to take a free class so they can make a better informed decision. Sincerely, Dr. Kip Burkman