Carmichael Simon

Carmichael Simon is widely regarded as one of the founding fathers of extreme martial arts and tricking. He won numerous world championships, was the first person to land a 720 kick in competition, played "Kid Carmichael" on WMAC Masters as well as "Liu Kang" on the broadway show Mortal Kombat Live. Keep reading to find out how he defines "A Performer's Blueprint".


VISION: The American Division

Many styles of martial arts contributed to the evolution of Sport Karate Creative and Extreme performances. Once known as the American and Open form divisions, the 1990s was the era where our individual styles not only embraced movement but captured moments that have defined our history. Post 1988 Olympics, ice skaters and gymnasts were perfecting triples. With the introduction of Tae Kwon Do at the Olympic Games, we were still executing the 360 and discovering the 540. Inverts, combinations, and 720s were merely a figment of imagination. We were a few revolutions behind. Literally!!!

STRATEGY: Designing the Choreography

Inspired by video games, comics, and animation, these visuals allowed our young artists to develop and standardize performances to mainstream culture. The opportunity was to shift our mindset from training marathon forms to sprinting sections. We redesigned the existing traditional patterns while creating unique choreography. Forms were reformatted from the "Classical" 90 second base to a "Contemporary" 60 seconds max. As we continued to explore, we began to understand and recognize that practicing the same form for self-mastery took the same level of effort to develop a plethora of sections. These sections began to take a life of its own and the forms created had individual character.

EXECUTION: Developing the Sections 

The Blueprint

• 4 sections are adopted from Chinese Wushu. (Timing/Quickness/Endurance)

• Hand sections and Stances are evolved from the beautiful lines of Japanese Karate. (Power/Posture)

• Dynamic kicking, acrokicking, and tricking pay homage to Tae Kwon Do and Capoeira. (Flexibility/Balance)

Personality, charisma, and foundational basics were the key attributes for our 1990s youth to have the opportunity to share their choreography on the national stage. Traditional I-patterns evolved to diagonals which ultimately standardized to our 4 sectional Sport Karate performances. Each section has a purpose and can be interchanged within the following 15 second intervals:

• Section 1: Explosive hand striking techniques with solid stances and ground kicks.

• Section 2: Dynamic acrokicking and tricking combination.

• Section 3: High flying invert and acrokicking.

• Section 4: Hybrid spinning hand striking techniques, ground kicks and finale acrokick/trick.

The individuality and integrity of all well known performances are the transitions. Transitions are the subtle movements of sticking, switching, and spinning that unifies each section into the overall performance.

METRICS: Progressing the Culture

Carmichael Simon

During our forms training, we began to integrate the use of resistance bands, weight vests, ankle weights, and weightlifting. With these training tools to enhance our strength and conditioning during practice, the goal was to complete the following workout in 30 minutes:

1. Stance Lines for 2 minutes

2. Switching Drills for 2 minutes

3. Full Form: 1x within 1 minute

4. Full Form: "Move by Move" for 5 minutes

5. Section 1: 4x within 2 minutes

6. Section 2: 4x within 2 minutes

7. Section 3: 4x within 2 minutes

8. Section 4: 4x within 2 minutes

9. Section 1&2: 4x within 3 minutes

10. Section 2&3: 4x within 3 minutes

11. Section 3&4: 4x within 3 minutes

12. Full Form: 2x within 3 minutes

At each section, we augmented conditioning with 25x squats or 25x pushups between each interval to exhaust our performance and peak our mindset. Perfect practice evolved to perfecting our reps as we focused on details.

By 1995, X-Games was introduced. The Sport Karate performances and athletic standards were established. These 5 years were very instrumental and would carry our sport to the present. With this blueprint foundation, we now had the ability to take flight as the rise of Tricking and Team Sync performances would inspire our protégés.

Dr. Craig's Martial Arts Movie Lounge

When The Fast and the Furious (2001) sped into the psyche's of illegal street racing enthusiasts, with a penchant for danger and the psychotic insanity of arrant automotive adventure, the brusque bearish, quasi-hero rebel, Dominic "Dom" Toretto was caustic yet salvationally portrayed with the power of a train using a Vin Diesel engine.

Keep Reading Show less
Over the last few months, there have been many changes. With the restrictions brought on by the pandemic lifted, most people are having to go back into their places of business for at least a few days, if not the entire week. Also, many virtual school programs are ending in favor of in-class instruction and frankly, we're all ready for it, right?
While being able to work in sweats, take Zoom meetings in the bathroom, and throw a load of clothes in the washer between client callbacks was fun for a while, returning to our pre-lockdown lives is what we've all ached for. However, that brings back some old problems with training: finding the time.

Now that we have work schedules, commutes, school pickups and dropoffs, increased in-person activities, and all those things we had previously excised from our daily routines, we have to find the time to train again. But how?

Keep Reading Show less

Eighteen-year-old Anastasija Zolotic became the first American woman to win Olympic gold in taekwondo since the martial art earned full medal status in 2000 when she defeated Tatiana Minina 25-17 in the finals of the 57 kg category Sunday in Japan. Dana Hee, Arlene Limas and Lynnette Love had previously won gold for the U.S. back in 1988 when taekwondo was still considered a demonstration sport. On the men's side, Ulugbek Rashitov of Uzbekistan won the 68 kg class over Britain's Bradly Sinden 35-29.

In judo, host country Japan added to it's gold count as Uta and Hifumi Abe made Olympic history becoming the first siblings to win gold medals on the same day. Uta Abe captured the women's 52 kg division defeating France's Amandine Buchard by pin in overtime. Then Hifumi Abe earned the men's 66 kg gold hitting an osotogari, outside leg reap, for a half-point to defeat Georgia's Vazha Margvelashvili.