karate kicksThis week we are working on side kicks. There are 4 basic side kicks you will be learning. A side kick is one of the most important basics in karate. A person with an excellent side kick can dominate the competition in both kata and sparring. As a matter of fact, one of Grand Master Dennis Tosten’s instructors Joe Lewis ( voted by all the major martial arts magazines as the greatest karate fighter of all time) used just 2 techniques 90% of the time – The back knuckle and the side kick.

A strong side kick can stop the biggest opponent in their tracks and a perfect side kick puts you in the winners circle at any kata event. Here are some things that you can do to improve your side kicks!

1. Stretch : The best stretch for a great side kick is a side split. Once you are in the split position try to touch your head to your front knee and then to your back knee. Hold these positions by grabbing the bottom of your foot.

2. Chamber : Great side kicks start and finish with a great chamber. On every kick focus on pulling your knee in a s tightly as possible. At home practice holding your leg in a high chamber position for as long as you can.

3. Extension : At home put one hand on the wall, and practice holding your side kick out fully extended for as long as you can. The goal is to have it point up to the ceiling.

karate kickA black belt it a white belt that never quit.


Get ready for AmeriKick Black Belt Extravaganza.

AKL Tournament Results are at AmeriKick.com

Learn to be an AmeriKick instructor contact Chris Millares at 86638KARATE for details.

AMERIKICK COLLEGE: Don’t miss your chance to learn from ALL the top instructors at AmeriKick. Sat. Aug. 25th! Call now 1-856-797-0300

AMERIKICK DAY AT LINCOLN FINANCIAL FIELD: ALL AMERIKICK students will be performing LITTLE DRAGON LITTLE TIGER at Halftime on the field. Order your tickets now from your sensei. $15.00

I have many goals in life that I have not yet achieved. But one is different. One really stands out to me, and that is my black belt. I have worked many years for this opportunity, years full of hard work. All my hard work really paid off. It is a great honor to have made it this far.

I remember being so shy that first day, but in a few months all that shyness was gone. No one could stop me. It felt great. I could just be me. Every class I remember thinking how hard it was, but now I look back on everything I have done and think it is all worth it. Some people think that once you get your black belt, it’s the end of the road. But to me, it’s just the beginning.

I am 10 years old and I think it’s amazing to get all the way to black belt at this age. Some people don’t get their black belt until they are adults. It’s hard to believe that I started karate over 5 years ago. I mean how many people make it to black belt at 10 years old.

Karate has helped me learn right from wrong. It has also helped me keep my grades up. I have related every day things in to karate, like Math, Writing, and Social Studies. My sensei has once said, “There is no tomorrow. All you have is now”. That is why I do not put things off anymore. I remember being so afraid to mess up that I would just freeze. Now if I mess up, I keep going. Karate has helped me build my self-confidence.

At karate, if I ever have a question, somebody is always there to answer it. Karate is a place where I can get a break from reality, and just focus. At my black belt test, I will be very nervous, but I know I can do it. At every class, if I do not give it my all, I can’t stop thinking I let myself down. At my black belt test, if I don’t give it my all, I let my whole school down. Now that’s a lot of pressure.

Nervous,Proud, and Effort – These all describe how I will feel about my black belt test. Every class, I remember the advice I had been given and use it next class. My dad also does karate. He is a purple belt right now. He has made me better at karate. He might not have the highest kicks, straightest punches, or even some flexibility but he gives it his all every class. No matter what, my dad always comes home from class and teaches me new things, and I teach him.

That makes me very proud to be his daughter. I have come a long way with karate. Karate is not just a goal. It is a part of me that will be there forever. Karate is what I want to do when I am older. Karate has been an amazing journey. This essay is just one step closer to my black belt. This may be the end of essay, but it is the beginning to my black belt.

black belt journeyI started taking karate lessons when I was just 4 years old. I went to a birthday party and thought how much fun karate would be. Now that I have just turned 12, and have been taking karate lessons for 8 years, I look forward to becoming a black belt.

In the past 8 years I have learned all my katas from little dragon to corio. Sometimes I would get discouraged when it seemed so long to get that next belt but when I did finally get the next color belt I became motivated again and more excited since it was getting me closer to that black belt that I wanted. Over the years I have become a stronger person and have gained confidence in everything I do. Karate is a great experience to accomplish your goals and to be more confident and believe in yourself. Since karate is not a team sport, it is with my own determination to work hard to achieve my goal.

All of the Sensei’s have been very encouraging over the years. I work with Sensei Kevin in most of my classes now, so he has been the most encouraging to me. Watching Sensei Kevin perform gives me a goal that I want to accomplish. He is an amazing instructor and really makes me feel that he wants to help me be a better student. I want to be able to do karate like him.

Sensei Kevin and all of my Sensei’s teach us to respect everyone. I have met good friends at karate and like going to class not only to learn but to have fun. I really like practicing with weapons and I have a great time when we play different games. I really enjoy sparring on Tuesday and Thursday nights. Sparring has given me the capability to work on moves that could help me protect myself if I ever need to and it teaches strength and endurance.

Getting my black belt is going to be challenging but I know I can do it. Karate pushes me to work harder and try to be the best that I can be. I have learned that I can’t always give up if I don’t like something. It is the same for school when I have to work harder to get better grades. I will be proud that I finished what I started and I am also excited to perform for my family at the extravaganza.

I also want to thank Sensei Sharon and Sensei Dennis for encouraging me and teaching and correcting me in karate throughout the years. They want me to do the best I can. I hope I can become a Sensei so I can help younger kids who are just starting out at AmeriKick.

As the AmeriKick saying goes “As AmeriKick students I will work hard, aim high and finish what I start.”

black-beltWhat does a black belt mean to me?

To me a black belt means an accomplishment that I honestly did not expect to get to. More than once I remember telling my mom how much I wanted to quit karate. There were many times that I would have preferred to stay home playing and not go into class. I lost interest in it the higher belt I received. My mother pushed me and pushed me to make my classes. She kept telling me that I had to learn to finish what I started and that meant getting my black belt. She always mentioned that in life you never give up and that is exactly what I have been doing.

I remember exactly the day I received my red belt. Instead of being happy I was scared, no not scared, I was TERRIFIED. I knew that receiving my red belt only meant that I was closer to my black belt test. To me that was a nightmare because I did not feel prepared for the test. Every month that I received a black stripe on my belt I got even more scared because now there was really no way to stop time and avoid doing the black belt test. I have been scared of this test since I was a 3rd Q brown belt. I always doubted all the hard work and dedication that I had put into all my years of karate training and all the time spent by my mother making sure I was in class. Now all that hard work is paying off.

I am extremely close to my black belt and I cannot help but feel not only prepared but also excited and proud of everything I have accomplished. Every time that I go into class and see my black belt on that rack it makes me train even harder to finally be able to tie it around my waist. I must admit that karate is nothing like I thought it was going to be. At four years old I wanted to join karate to become a ninja. I know now that karate and ninjas have very little in common and that is all thanks to the wonderful training I have received from my sensei. I know now that I am not going to become a ninja and I can say without a doubt that earning my black belt is 100 million times cooler. I have worked hard and I feel ready to cross that finish line and make everyone that has supported me and helped all these years feel as proud as I do for finally getting my black belt.

Earning my black belt means finishing what I started as I heard my mother tell me time and time again. Earning my black belt means being a role model for my brother so he can be motivated to work harder so he also one day have the satisfaction of earning his black belt. Earning my black belts means showing my brother that I am not a quitter and neither will he. Earning my black belt means that I DID IT that I earned the right to carry the title of Sensei Edwin!!!!

The Amerikick International tournament posted it’s highest competitor count ever! But that didn’t stop the martial arts kids from Amerikick Warrington from scoring big this weekend. They came home with plenty of wins, a ton of trophies, and lots of smiles.

It was an amazing weekend and an amazing showing at the 20th annual Amerikick Internationals. Over 1,000 competitors from all over the United States, Canada and Europe traveled to Philadelphia to compete at the NASKA World Rated AMERIKICK International Karate Championships.

Min and Jin Lee 5 first places
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Friday began with the super exciting continuous sparring divisions. Both junior and adults competitors went to battle in this event. Then all the weapons divisions began. Super performances from the top competitors could be seen in many rings. You never saw a weapon move so fast! The colorbelt rings also show cased lots of amateur talent. Logan Kulick of Warrington won 2 first places! From the young white belts to the older and more experienced brown belts and red belts, the extreme weapons and musical divisions were amazing to watch.

The highlights of Friday night are always the Demo Team divisions. Every Amerikick school enters a team to hopefully earn bragging rights and the title of Demo Team Champion. This year saw over 25 teams enter. There was tough competition to say the least. Stand out performances were made by the 1st place winner of the Dragons, Team Eggharbor Township.

Amerikick Warrington put on a spectacular performance in the colorbelt division. Thanks to Jimmy Sholly, Hailey Metzgar, Grace Newell, Mckenzie McCarty, Alex Ursino, Aiden Heiser and Ian Sharp, all led by the super energy of Micheal Errichetti.

The Warrington black belt team put on a great performances. Emily Cid, Isablla Manzella, Anthony Fonterossa, Blake Feingold, Kain Johnson, Tommy Balkir and, Ben Wenzke. Made us proud!

Tommy took home 1st place in Amerikick Forms, 1st in Amerikick Weapons, 2nd in Amerikick Sparring, 2nd in NASKA Weapons, 3rd in NASKA Forms, and 3rd in NASKA Sparring!!
kids karate tournament 5

Saturday’s began with weapons in the colorbelt rings and the NASKA black belt divisions. It was great to see many Amerikick black belts enter the NASKA rated divisions. Warrington black belt Emily Cid along with Isabella Manzella, Katy and Nick Nichini, Ben Wenzke, and Tommy Balkir all were winners in the highly competitive divisions.

Emily Cid and Tommy Balkir : Tommy Balkir took home 1st place in Amerikick Forms, 1st in Amerikick Weapons, 2nd in Amerikick Sparring, 2nd in NASKA Weapons, 3rd in NASKA Forms, and 3rd in NASKA Sparring!!
kids karate tournament 3

The colorbelt rings had an over whelming number of competi-tors. There were divisions with over 40 competitors that were separated four times! This showed the great excitement and support for the events. Christina Fonterosa took a first place crushing the competition with a beautifully executed Koreyo form.

Christina Fonterosa 1st place sparring and Kata | Anthony Fonterosa first place kata
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RYAN PINTO 1st Place Kata. A perfectly executed form. Way to go ryan!
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The adult sparring divisons were amazing with Amerikick World Team member Alana Wegfahrt, from Warrington, winning first place in the womens light weight divison as well leading the womens fighting team to victory. Sensei Kevin, Sensei Eric and Sensei Dennis all rocked in their fighting divisions. You make us proud! Great Job Everyone!

ALANA Wegfarht 1st place womens lightweight sparring
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karate for kidsThe highly trained students of Amerikick in Warrington PA. traveled to compete in the Masters Karate Tournament at the University of Scranton on Sunday March 11th and swept every event they entered. Emily Cid 13, wowed the crowd with her spot on form, which accented her total control through balance precision and power. She easily took first place, as did Isabella Manzella 10, who amazed all with her high precision kicks. One judge commented,”That’s the best performance of that form I have ever seen.” Isabella not only performed a perfect first place winning traditional form, she also used her speed and accuracy to win the point sparring event.

The youngest member of the team Tommy Balkir age 8, showed even though he is a very young black belt he deserves it. He had no trouble taking first place in all of his events, even against much older black belt children.

AMERIKICK is the place to go for children and teens who have outgrown their smaller schools and are looking to compete at the highest level of the martial arts. On the NASKA open tournament circuit ( widely recognized as the best in sport karate) Amerikick has the highest number of wins in the country. The highly experienced Sensei and coaches at Amerikick martial arts bring their students to the top consistently. There is currently a waiting list to train with the award winning coaches, as more and more competitors realize the need for top tier training. Amerikick has been training Champions since 1967 and will be running the prestigious Amerikick Internationals, the nations best run tournament on March 30 and 31st at the PA convention center.

10 degree Black Belt Dennis Tosten


Work on  positioning after every basic, or technique.  Getting behind one attacker, and putting  that person between yourself and all the other opponents.  At the finish of a self defense  technique, you can push, that opponent into the others. Students should  be able to perform any self defense technique on either side.

TIP: Hit the biggest guy or the leader first.

Kicking the Arm- Often in a multiple attacker situation, one  person will grab your arms from behind, while the other punches.  Block the punch with a Crescent kick to  arm (Student holding focus pad) combined with a Front kick to body (On  Sheild).  Finish person behind with  Interlock or Crushing Hammer.

Combining- Putting two or more  techniques together for Multiple Attackers.
For example:  Students do Step and Chop on one side and Step and Hammerfist on the other, then  reverse it. OR After they finish Tackle Technique and are still in the horse stance pretend someone grabs them from behind and have them perform Driving Elbows.

Staff at AmeriKick Kids Karate

What a Black Belt Means To Me
By: Benjamin Wenzke

My name is Benjamin Wenzke and I am 8 years old. I asked for Karate
lessons for my 5th birthday. My parents told me that my grandparents looked into several Karate schools and had decided that they liked the way that
AmeriKick Karate Warrington taught. I was enrolled on a monthly basis to see whether I liked it or not — I LOVED it!

The way the Senseis taught me were fun ways. I liked to practice my katas
and techniques at my house. I watched my AmeriKick Kids Karate videos all the
time, so I would get better.

When I first started Karate, getting a black belt didn’t seem that
important to me. I just wanted to have fun and learn something new. When I was a yellow belt and Sensei Alana asked me to join the demo team, I was nervous about being on stage. My first tournament on the demo team was the International Tournament in Atlantic City. It was a lot of fun. We took first place
at the tournament and I took first place in my forms and brought home my
first 5 foot trophy. I have been on different demo teams since then and one of
my goals is to be on the Black Belt Demo team.

I always like to watch the black belt demo teams and higher belts because
they would teach me new tricks and techniques and what I need to know for
my black belt test. They looked like they were having a lot of fun and
practiced well. I would like to do some of their tricks too.

I have made a lot of friends in Karate. A lot of the people who have
higher belts then me have helped me a lot. A lot of times I would stay after
class and watch the next belt class, to see what I needed to learn for my next
belt. My karate friends all cheer me on at tournaments and demonstrations.
Sensei Kevin teaches me in a fun way and shows me things. He teaches me how
to do things right.

Getting a black belt means that I set a goal and was able to get it. I
have played football for the past 4 years and was still able to go to Karate
on a regular basis and keep up with my school work. Sometimes it was very
hard because I got very tired especially after sparring. But in Karate I
learned how to be focused. I learned how to do football and Karate at the same
day or night 3 or more times a week.

I can’t wait to get my black belt and go to the next tournament and

karate for kidsTommy Balkir National tournament competitor receives his Amerikick Junior Black Belt.

Tommy the youngest tester hails from Amerikick Karate Warrington PA and passed his test with honors.  During the full 8 hours of sparring, self defense techniques, basics and katas.  Tommy demonstrated full speed and power on every one of his moves. He is mature far beyond his 8 years.  An Amerikick Black belt is recognized across the nation as being of the highest quaility in the martial arts.  Tommy is on the track to be a part of the Amerikick National Tournament Team.  The top team in Sport Karate.   Tommy is a true champion often sweeping his divisons with first place in kata, weapons kata and sparring.  He has a bright future ahead of him.