Tim Larkin, Black Belt’s 2011 Self-Defense Instructor of the Year, knows how to get people’s attention. One of his favorite ways is to rattle off a statement that just happens to form the nucleus of Target Focus Training, the fighting system he founded: “Violence is rarely the answer — but when it is, it’s the only answer.” Intrigued? We were, too. That’s why Tim Larkin and his Target Focus Training system were featured on the cover of our February 2012 issue. In fact, response to Tim Larkin’s cover article was such that we decided to feature him in our upcoming June 2012 issue (which ships to the printer this week with another Black Belt Hall of Fame member — Julius Melegrito, the 2011 Weapons Instructor of the Year — on the cover) to teach readers how to master deadly self-defense techniques without killing their partners.


TARGET FOCUS TRAINING VIDEO Tim Larkin on How to Defend Yourself Against an Attacker by Training for Opportunity Exploitation

For Tim Larkin, the name of the game in Target Focus Training is recognizing opportunity and turning it into an injury. “An injury, as we define it,” Tim Larkin says, “is breaking something on the human body — either a sensory system or a structure — so that part of the body no longer functions during the time you’re involved with that person.” In other words, Tim Larkin wants you to learn how to hurt “them” so they can’t hurt you anymore. He wants you to "put [them] into a nonfunctional state."

PREDATORS LOOK FOR VICTIMS THEY CAN SURPRISE
Learn how to defend yourself against an attacker using Tony Blauer's SPEAR System, which strips away rehearsed martial arts techniques and relies on human instinct. Learn more in this new FREE Guide — The SPEAR System: Tony Blauer Shows You 6 Self-Defense Moves Based on Real Street Fights.

"['Nonfunctional' means an attacker] is injured to the point where you can turn your back on him and he's no longer a threat, or he's unconscious or dead," Tim Larkin explains. "Only then can you disengage. If he's not in one of those states and you turn to get away and he pulls a gun — maybe you thought he just had a knife — you're dead. Making sure he's in a nonfunctional state is the only way to guarantee your safety." In the video above, Tim Larkin talks about the methodology he developed for target selection through opportunity. Each strike you unleash against an attacker has the potential to cause damage. When deployed correctly and effectively, a strike elicits an immediate reaction — a cringe, a collapse ... some sort of alteration in trajectory and/or stance that opens up vital targets for a follow-up strike. That strike then causes a reaction, which opens the body to another strike. "We'll do like eight to 10 strikes," Tim Larkin explains. "Often times, people will ask, 'What the hell are you doing? The second strike would've taken care of the guy.' We assume you're going to miss under stress." When asked about technique sequences in martial arts magazines like Black Belt, Tim Larkin says, "We assume that [the photos shown] are the success points. There may have been eight, 10 strikes back and forth. But you recognized that one [vital] area of the human body, you got right in and you blasted it. And now everything's changed in your favor [because now your opponent's] in trauma. He can't respond anymore at this point." For more information on Tim Larkin and Target Focus Training, visit targetfocustraining.com.
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Judo
Saddleburn

Two-Time Black Belt Hall of Famer Hayward Nishioka has been campaigning for judo in the United States to harvest more shodans (1st degree black belts) Shodan literally means student. It's analogous to being a freshman in college. It's not the end but the beginning according to Jigoro Kano, the Founder of Judo.

A very dear friend and sensei of mine the late Allen Johnson, may he rest in peace made a home at Emerald City Judo. In Redmond, Washington.

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Competitive Edge Karate
Photo Courtesy: Jackson Rudolph

Team Competitive Edge, coached by Jackson Rudolph, Reid Presley, and Cole Presley, has become one of the premier teams in the sport in recent years. The team consistently takes home individual overall grand championships and they are the reigning U.S. Open ISKA Team Demonstration World Champions. Moving into the 2022 tournament season, they have made a huge move to deepen their roster and add seven junior competitors to the team. The new additions range from proven champions bringing their talents to the squad, some skilled workhorses who have previously joined the team for the Team Demo division, and some promising young stars who will be making their debut in the black belt division this year. Keep reading to learn more about each of the new additions (ordered alphabetically).

Gavin Bodiford

Gavin Bodiford

Photo Courtesy: Kellie Austin Bodiford via Facebook

Bodiford is twelve years old and hails from Lebanon, Tennessee, a product of Premier Martial Arts Lebanon (formerly known as Success Martial Arts Center), where the Competitive Edge coaches have all earned black belts. He has five years of martial arts experience and was the 2020-2021 ProMAC Southern Region Champion in four divisions. He also finished the 2021 NASKA season in the top ten for creative, musical, and extreme forms and weapons. Bodiford is one of the competitors who has stepped up for Competitive Edge in the past, joining the demonstration team to help them secure the 2021 U.S. Open ISKA World Championship.

Riley Claire Carlisle

RC Carlisle

Photo Courtesy: Mallory Parker Carlisle

Carlisle (pictured with coach Sammy Smith) is a 10-year-old rising star from Starkville, Mississippi who has been training for four years. In the underbelt division, she has won grand championships at the Battle of Atlanta and numerous regional events. She holds multiple divisional and grand championship titles from the ProMAC circuit, and has amassed over ninety divisional wins in recent years. She is moving into the black belt division in 2022 and looks to continue her winning ways.

Kodi Molina

Kodi Molina

Photo Courtesy: Priscilla Molina via Facebook

Molina is a 13-year-old world champion from San Antonio, Texas with 10 years of martial arts training under her belt. She has won many grand championship titles on the NASKA circuit, and has claimed world championships from NASKA, ISKA, ATA, and WKC. At the 2021 U.S. Open, she became the reigning ISKA world champion in 13 and under girls creative/musical/extreme weapons. She is a versatile competitor who can win with extreme bo or kama routines, performs beautiful traditional forms, and is a solid point fighter as well. She is an active member of her community and participates in a variety of leadership programs, making her a great role model for younger members of the team.

Michael Molina

Michael Molina

Photo Courtesy: Michael Molina via Instagram

"Super Bomb" is the 9-year-old brother of Kodi, who is a world champion in his own right. In his seven years of experience, he has already won a variety of titles across multiple leagues, including NASKA overall grand championships at the 2021 Battle of Atlanta and AmeriKick Internationals. Since he began training at the age of two, his regimen has included strength, speed, agility, and conditioning training at "Rojo Dojo", where a number of world champions and national contenders gather to train. He is known for his incredible performance ability, always putting on a show when he graces the stage.

Gavin Richmond

Gavin Richmond

Photo Courtesy: Bobby Benavides

Richmond is yet another world champion being added to the Competitive Edge roster. The 13-year-old from San Antonio has been training for five years and has accumulated several grand championship titles, including wins at prestigious events like the Diamond Nationals and U.S. Open. The young star is a well-rounded athlete, not only because he competes in a variety of divisions at sport karate tournaments, but he also finished in 7th place in the pentathlon at the 2021 AAU Junior Olympics which included the high jump, long jump, 100m hurdles, 1500m run, and shot put, resulting in him being named an All-American. He is currently recovering from a knee injury, but his high-flying routines will be back on the mat soon.

Madalynn Wiersma

Madalynn Wiersma

Photo Courtesy: Gabrielle Dunn

Wiersma (pictured with coach Gabrielle Dunn) is another rising star moving up from the underbelt division who is expected to make waves in the black belt division. She first moved up into the black belt ring at the WKC world championships, where she won her first world title. The 9-year-old Georgia native was the 2021 Underbelt Competitor of the Year for ProMAC and she secured underbelt grand championships at the Battle of Atlanta and U.S. Open this past year.

Elijah Williams

Williams is a 16 year old from Lebanon, Tennessee who trains at Premier Martial Arts Lebanon. His eight years of martial arts training has culminated in black belts in Tang Soo Do and Tae Kwon Do. He is on an upward trend as a competitor as he has started breaking into the top four in his divisions, which are some of the most stacked on the NASKA circuit. Williams has been a great asset to Competitive Edge in the past, stepping up to fill in for team demonstration, such as in the world championship effort at the 2021 U.S. Open.

The Competitive Edge coaching staff told Black Belt that they are thrilled to take their roster to another level with these moves. They believe that these new players will create the perfect storm to win more overall grand championships now, strengthen the team demo, and build a great foundation for the future of the program.

Jose Also
cdn.vox-cdn.com Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC
The seemingly ageless Jose Aldo won his third straight fight at bantamweight Saturday claiming unanimous decision over Rob Font in the main event of UFC on ESPN 31. Font started well against the former featherweight champion working behind a strong jab that kept Aldo on his back foot and allowed Font to consistently land sharp punches. But with 30 seconds left in the first round, Aldo threw a stiff left jab and immediately followed with a powerful straight right hand that dropped Font though time ran out before he could do more damage.
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