Thursday, January 30, 2014

Welcome Back My Friends

2013 a Year in Review

A few days ago I took a beating for not posting on this blog (rightfully deserved by the way) and once I got back on track and took a look at what I had already written (last year) I was amazed at why I hadn’t posted anything.  It was pure laziness on my part and one of my resolutions for the coming year is to not let that happen again.  So this year this blog will be regularly updated and I have already written about a variety of things as it relates to our school and my experiences in the martial arts.

While I was taking the drumming for not posting on this blog is was brought to my attention that people would see that I hadn’t posted since late October and think that our school was dying and the website was dead.  Far from it actually, and that point was driven home to me that our school is actively growing and we are getting out there and it is my duty to not let people think we are inactive.

My first blog for 2014 is a short recap of 2013 and then I’ll post a recap of the AKATO Invitational Tournament results that our school took part in.  After that we should be back on track with regular posts about the other various topics I’ve written about.

In 2013
·        Jackie and I taught Kombatan Arnis double stick principles and techniques to the AKATO black belt Kobudo students translating double stick techniques to the Tonfa, Sai, and Bo over four two hour classes.

·        I started teaching sensei Master Starnes Modern Arnis stick techniques for his 7th dan test and we (Hidden Sword) have ultimately partnered with his school the North Texas Karate Academy in Bridgeport Tx for cross training purposes.
Group photo of all of the students at the September Sparring event in Bridgeport, Hidden Sword had the most students (almost 1/3) out of the four schools that participated.

·        Cross training with Master Starnes has lead to him teaching a sparring class for Hidden Sword, as well as having sparring events with his and other karate schools in September and November.  You can read about that in the Training with Others blog post.  More are being planned for 2014 by the way.

·        Both Master Starnes and Mrs. Hawkins (another instructor who took part in the sparring training) also sat on our November belt test and we (some students here at Hidden Sword and I) will be attending a black belt exam at sensei Hawkins school in Feb. 2014.

·        Last year in the Kobudo classes on Saturdays here at Hidden Sword, we covered the Nunchaku and this year we have started the Jo.

·        In 2013 we had five students promote to red belt and this year we (the instructors here at Hidden Sword) are planning on them testing for their 1st dans.

·        In 2013 we rewrote our Modern Arnis and American Karate/Tae Kwon Do curriculums and instituted a new belt and belt striping progression so that we have better progress reporting for our students.
·        I promoted my first Lakan Isa and Dayang Isa (male and female black belts) in Modern Arnis at a surprise test for them.  They were approved for their rank by David Jones and GM Bruce Chui at this special test.

·        Speaking of promotions I was promoted in Dec. 2013 to 7th dan by sensei M. Proctor and K. Yates  

·        Our school did their first outside demo displaying our Karate and Modern Arnis skills.

·        Our school took part in Celebrate Roanoke festival for the first time.
·        We competed once again in the AKATO Invitational Tournament and you can read about that in the Tournament blogs 1-3 and finishing in the up coming Tournament 4 blog.

·        We held our annual Christmas party in December with the largest crowd yet.

Some of the students in our new Junior Modern Arnis class
No our school is far from dying, in fact we are growing, the Rec. Center has even granted me more time to expand our classes and we have now added in January 2014 a Junior Modern Arnis class for students 10 yrs old and up.  2014 will be my 33rd year in the martial arts and my 7th year teaching here at the Roanoke Rec. Center so 2014 is shaping up to be an even better year than 2013 but that is another blog.  Till next time.

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