|The under black belt weapon division|
This year at the AKATO Invitational a black belt and under black belt weapons kata division has been added. A few months ago I wrote to GM Yates (who is the head of AKATO) and asked him to create this division as another avenue for AKATO’s students to compete in. I believe that this would help the AKATO Kobudo students to have an avenue to compete against one another and also a way for our students to compete with them. Six of our students have entered this division.
|Anna bowing in for Baston Anyo Isa|
Currently Emily and Anna who are Yellow belts in Modern Arnis are planning on doing Baston Anyo Isa (stick form 1). Matthew who is one of our young TKD Blue belt standouts has also decided to do Baston Anyo Isa as well. All three of these students will be competing against higher ranked students (generally brown belts) who could have been training for a year or more in Kobudo. Their goal is of course to win but they know what they are really doing is challenging themselves and representing our school even though they have only been practicing Modern Arnis since June.
Isaiah one of my TKD brown belts and a yellow belt in Modern Arnis will be also competing in empty hand forms (brown belt division) doing a Yellow belt Modern Arnis form, Anyo Isa (empty hand form 1) and in weapons kata with Nunchaku Ni which he has learned in our kobudo classes here at the Rec. Center. Kimberly a young Purple belt (4th brown) also decided she wanted to compete with Bo Ichi in weapons kata. Jackie will be doing Baston Anyo Lima (stick form 5) which is our competition form in our Modern Arnis program in Black belt division and Anyo Tatlo (empty hand form #3) in the Black belt empty hand forms. As a side note Jackie believes Anyo Tatlo represents what we do better than Anyo Apat or Lima (forms 4 or 5) so she is stepping down in complexity to better show what she feels Modern Arnis is about.
All of these students are stepping out of their comfort zones in order to represent themselves, their art, and our school. Such as these Yellow and Blue belts competing against higher ranked Brown belts in weapons kata, or our Purple belt who just started training in kobudo a couple of months ago and wants to compete with her first Bo kata, or our Brown belt doing his first empty hand form in Modern Arnis (the only one he knows) in Brown belt kata division. Then of course there is Jackie who in her first ever competition, is competing as a Black belt in Black belt empty hand kata and weapons kata demonstrating Modern Arnis forms in a karate/TKD tournament. Everyone of these students are entering the tournament knowing that the deck is stacked against them in one way or another but are eager to accept the challenge.
As October started, I started promoting this tournament and we as instructors started prepping our students. All of these students wanted to step up and do this, they are excited and have prepared pretty well. Of course it goes without saying that all of these students would of course like to win their division, but what is more important is that they are willing to step up and out of their comfort zone and demonstrate their skills even with the odds of winning not in their favor. That is the kind of attitude I want to see in our students here at Hidden Sword martial Arts.