How to prepare for your next belt test

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Belt tests at Summit Martial Arts are an honoured right of passage.  Our belt tests are NOT easy.  It is not enough to simply show up, you must EARN your belt.  We adhere to a generations old, rigorous standard for our belt promotions. Students are expected to show physical endurance, technical skills and mental fortitude.  Here are a few tips to help you prepare for your next belt test:

1) Make sure you have your written belt test curriculum.  If you do not have one, please ask Master or Mrs. Morris for the appropriate belt level sheet. These forms are for you to keep, you can check off all the items as you master them.

2) Practice at home!  Practicing at home can make a big difference in the mastery of your forms, hand techniques, kicks and 1 step sparring.

3) Work on your physical endurance at home.  An easy way to ensure you are ready for the push up and sit up requirement is to practice in smaller chunks.  If you are watching television, do sets of push ups/sit ups during the commercials.  As you all know, the requirement gets bigger and bigger for every belt level.  How many is for black belt again?  🙂

Summit Martial Arts Push Ups

4) Talk with Master Morris about areas that need improvement.  Master Morris is always available before/after class to discuss your progress and what you need to work on.

5) Work toward earning ALL 4 of your skill stripes.  We have no set day/time for a skill stripe test.  If you feel you are ready, ask Master Morris to look at your forms before/after class.

6) Make sure to attend EVERY practice.  The easiest way to ensure your progression through the ranks is to come to class regularly.  It is that simple. The more you come to class, the more you learn, the more you get to practice.

Summit Martial Arts Class

7) Be sure to have a positive mental attitude.  Attitude can determine success or failure.  If you believe in yourself, you are capable of doing anything you set your mind to.  The power is in YOUR hands. Black Belt

A student must receive an invitation to grade for their next belt.  Each student’s journey is unique – the time it takes to progress can be different for everyone.  We are dedicated to seeing you be successful in your martial arts journey.  Train hard and never give up!

Top 5 Benefits of Martial Arts Training for Adults

Most people think of martial arts as a sport for youngsters.  The overall health benefits for adults can be astonishing.  Its never too late to start your martial arts journey.  Here are our top 5 benefits of martial arts training for adults,

Summit Martial Arts Push Ups1) Improve Cardiovascular Health – Martial Arts classes are a great total body workout, they are high impact and will use every muscle group in your body.  Regular attendance will help improve your endurance.  As a result, you will be able to engage in physical activity for longer periods without becoming out of breath. As your heart grows stronger and healthier, you will see a lower blood pressure and you decrease your risk for developing heart disease.

2) Build Muscle and Burn Fat – Martial Arts can improve strength, balance, flexibility, and help you lose weight.  No matter what type of martial arts training you participate in, you will increase your muscle strength and improve your metabolic rate if you attend class on a regular basis. This increased strength will help prevent injury from normal day-to-day activities and reduce your risk of experiencing aches and pains. As you age, your muscles begin to lose some of their density and strength. This is why it is important to keep your physically active. When you take a class, your muscles will be in constant use, helping you stay strong. You will also build greater muscle mass, which in turn will give your body a more toned, healthy appearance. More muscle = improved metabolism.

3) Improve Focus and Concentration –  When you are taking your martial arts class, your mind has to be 100% focused on the task at hand. When you are concentrating on learning a new technique or dodging your opponent in sparring, it is almost impossible to think about work, family or anything else. You are completely in the moment.  The more you train, the stronger your mental focus and concentration becomes, the more these technique spill over in to your every day life and work.  You will see a difference in your mental fortitude.

Push Yourself

4) Improve Emotional Health – Martial arts can have many benefits to your overall emotional well being.  It can act as a stress reliever, it will build self confidence, helps with goal setting and achievement, instils a sense of humbleness, you will make new friends, develop a mental toughness, and you will gain confidence in knowing you can defend yourself.  When you challenge yourself to do something you have never done before – and you do it – you feel a sense of pride and accomplishment.

Master Morris - Summit Martial Arts

5) Great Activity for the whole family!  It really is.  You can start your martial arts journey at any age, any fitness level.  It is an excellent way to get the family out and active.  Families that train together, stick together.

Summit Martial Art Family

Top 5 Benefits of Martial Art Training for Kids

Martial Arts training can have a lasting effect on both your health and mental well being.  Here are our Top 5 Benefits of Martial Arts Training for Kids.

1) Improves Physical Fitness – In today’s day and age, our kids are constantly “plugged in”.  Gone are the days when kids would play outside for hours only coming home when the street lights come on.  That is why being physically active is so important. Martial Arts is a great way to improve strength, endurance and overall fitness level.  And, it’s a LOT of fun for the entire family!  It is a total body sport, you use every muscle in your body including your heart and lungs.  Taking part in physical activity will also help your kids sleep better – what a bonus!

2) Fosters Self Discipline and Improves Concentration – While each martial arts style is different, discipline is one similarity they all share.  For us, the 5 tenants of Tae Kwon Do are courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self control and indomitable spirit. Our kids are taught to maintain these moral characteristics both inside and outside the martial arts studio.  During class, children learn how to control their minds and their bodies.  It helps them find focus and a sense of stillness.  By learning to focus and be still, children improve their ability to concentrate when there are distractions. Parents report students with diagnosed ADHD and ADD improve leaps and bounds when enrolled in a martial arts program. The discipline taught in class will spill over in to every day life – including school and home.

Summit Martial Arts Belt Test

3) Teaches Self Defence – Self Defence is the corner stone for most martial arts programs.  Martial Arts teaches children how to handle many of life’s challenges – both physical and emotional.   Being able to deal with life’s disappointments and let downs is just as important a self defence skill as learning how to punch and kick. We teach kids the skills to avoid dangerous situations and how to defend themselves against a bully or attacker should that situation arise.  Children will learn “street smarts” and know how to apply effective techniques when necessary.  Knowing these skills gives kids the confidence to react when the time is right.  These skills could save their life.

Summit Martial Arts Sparring

4) Instils Self Confidence – Working through a martial arts program gives children confidence in themselves, knowing they can achieve their goals. By mastering a new technique or earning your next belt rank, children feel a sense of accomplishment and pride.  This is a feeling every child should know.  We love our belt test days – watching our kids beam with pride as you wrap the new belt around their waist is being a witness to pure joy.

PMA Spring Challenge - Summit Martial ArtsSummit Martial Arts Belt Test - June 2015

5) Develops Social Skills – Being part of a team or part of a group class, children learn important social skills as they interact with other children and their instructor. Our children show their support of their fellow students by cheering each other on at belt tests, tournaments and during class.  Being surrounded by positive influences will have a tremendous effect on your child’s well being and these early experiences will have a lasting impact on the lives.

Our Summit Kids - Summit Martial Arts Calgary

Summit Martial Arts Team

Summit Martial Arts 2nd Annual Beach BBQ

Summit Martial ArtsSummit Martial Arts hit the Mahogany West Beach for their 2nd Annual Beach BBQ on Saturday.  We were so fortunate to have a beautiful sunny day. SMA students and their families joined us for a great day of beach fun in the sun – the kids took a dip in the freezing cold water, took the paddle boats out, we ate tons of food and enjoyed each others company.  We had close to 50 guests!  What a turn out!!  At SMA, we love doing activities outside the dojang to foster sense of family.  Our students spend long hours training hard, it’s good to cut loose and have a little fun together.

Summit Martial Arts Beach BBQ

Check out some of the highlights of the day……..

MasterPaddle Boards with Master Morris Morris took the kids out for a long ride around the Lake – boy, his legs were sore the next day!!  The kids had a blast!

One of our students smoked a brisket – it was AMAZING!!!  Thanks Josh for getting up in the wee hours of the morning to get that on the smoker. Everyone raved about it.

The kids played in the Lake for HOURS, despite the freezing cold water.  Funny how kids are completely impervious to the cold when having a great time.

All in all, we had a safe and fun day.  The food was excellent and so was the company.  Thank you to all the families who came out and brought food.  We appreciate everything you do for our school.  SMA all the way!!  Can’t wait until next year!

SMA Kids at the LakeJosh's Smoked BrisketSummit Martial Arts BBQ

Summit Martial Arts BBQ

How to choose the BEST Martial Arts School for YOU!

How do you choose?  Tae Kwon Do, Karate, Hapkido, Jui Jitsu……it can all be a little overwhelming.  There is certainly no lack of martial arts schools out there.  If you are in a big city, there is literally one on every corner.  However, not all martial arts schools are created equal.  It is important to do your research before committing to any school.  You’ll be happy you did.  This is especially true when children are involved.  Choosing the wrong school can turn the child off the sport forever.  With that said, there are many reputable schools out there that practice what they preach and have an excellent program in place.  Here are a few tips when looking for a martial arts school.

1) Decide what you would like to gain from learning martial arts.  Are you to improve your physical fitness?  To learn Self Defence?  Would ySummit Martial Arts Sparringou like to compete in Tournaments? Are you interested in the philosophy/character building part of martial arts?  Or go the long haul and get your black belt? These are all important considerations when deciding on a school. Writing down your goals can help you tremendously when searching for the right school.  When you call/email for information, have these ideas in mind and ask questions.  It is important to know this up front before committing.

2) Shop Around.  Look at a number of different schools in your area, if possible.  If the school offers a free trial class, Interest and Committmentgo check it out.  Was it fun and enjoyable for you? Also, check out reviews online.  What are people saying about the school?  Do they participate in social media – check out their pages.  The school that most closely aligns with your goals and values is your best bet.

3)  Find a qualified instructor.  Take the time to read about this person’s credentials.  Ask questions:  how long have they been teaching?  How long have they trained in the martial arts?  How often does the head instructor teach? Just because the head instructor is an accomplished martial artist themselves, it does not mean they are a good teacher.  A great instructor takes time to explain why and how the techniques they are teaching are important.  Moreover, how those techniques can be applied in real life situations.   One key point is to make sure the instructors correct improper technique.  This is especially true in the case of children.  If you are going to pay for someone to teach you, make sure they teach you right the first time.  Sometimes paying a little more or driving 5 minutes longer are worth it.  You come away being a better and more well rounded martial artist.  Quality instruction is worth it.

allow yourself

4)  Goal Setting.  A good instructor invests in YOU and is interested in YOUR goals.
Watch a class, is the instructor motivating?  Or preaching? Sit down, talk about your goals, ask questions.  Find out if they have a written curriculum. You deserve the best instruction available.

5)  Some final things to consider:  take a look at class size – is the class size capped? what is the student to teacher ratio?  Do they use student assistants?  Do they have age appropriate classes?  Take a look at the students in the class.  Are there a number of intermediate and high ranking belts?  This may indicate that the school motivates students to stay. If the students are all beginners, that may say something too. Or are there an unusually high number of black belts?  This could speak volumes about the program.

These are some general tips on how to choose the BEST school for you and your family.  The RIGHT school is out there – do your research, be diligent, don’t be afraid to ask questions.  It’s your money.  It’s your time and effort.  You deserve to get the most out of your martial arts education.  It’s a great sport for the entire family.

Summit Martial Arts – Our Year in Review

SummSummit Martial Arts Logoit Martial Arts had an amazing year! It was a year of growth, progress and success, both at tournaments and in the dojang. We started the 2014 tournament season with a bang! In September, Summit Martial Arts students Marcuz, Mikko and Aidan represented Team Canada at the 2014 TAFISA World Martial Arts Games in Richmond, British Columbia. Our instructor Mr. Chernichen served as Team Canada coach. Before heading off to the Olympic Oval in Richmond, the boys were featured on Global News talking about 2014 TAFISA World Martial Arts Gamestheir preparation for the Games. The boys did an amazing job bringing home 4 golds, 2 silver and 1 bronze for Team Canada in Bo Staff, Korean Forms and Sparring. We all watched the live feed sitting on the edges of our seats. It was a very proud moment watching the boys step on to the podium representing Team Canada and our school. All their hard work and dedication paid off!

2014 Kicks TournamentNext up was the Kicks Tournament on November 29, 2014. Summit Martial Arts had students in every age category from 6 to 14! And the GRAND total for the day was – 15 Medal Winners!!! 7 – Gold medal wins (Team Forms, Forms (various belt levels) Ages 8-9, 10-11, 12-13 and 14-16 and Sparring Age 14-16) 4 – Silver medal wins (Sparring -various belt levels – Ages 10-11, Ages 12-13) 4 – Bronze medal wins (Weapons Forms, Forms – various belts – ages 6-7, 8-9, Sparring Ages 10-11). Congratulations Angelo, Aidan, Marcuz, Mikko, Brody, Arianna, Kassidy and Max. We were so proud of the way everyone represented our school – both during competition and on the side lines. While winning medals is a wonderful thing, the level of sportsmanlike conduct is what was really impressive!

The 2014/2015 season saw a number of belt promotions. At Summit Martial Arts, we Summit Martial Arts Belt Test - June 2015take our belt promotions seriously. It is not enough to simply do a set amount of classes before you can test. Each student is evaluated to ensure they are properly prepared to test for their next belt. A student is then invited to grade when THEY are ready. Each student’s martial arts journey is unique and so is their progress. We do not believe in cookie cutter belt tests. We adhere to a generation’s old, rigorous standard for our belt promotions. Our tests are NOT easy. Students are tested both physically and mentally. This truly brings out the best in each student and shows a strength of character and will. Our students showed their tenacity and dedication to the sport – practising at home on their forms and push up/sit up requirements. All the sweat and sore muscles were worth it – knowing each and every student has EARNED the belt around their waist. Student’s regularly comment on the deep satisfaction they feel when receiving one of our belts!

Summit Martial Arts Christmas Party 2014Our SMA Christmas Party was a celebration for all!  Master Morris presented students with the “Most Improved Awards” in various categories and the “Best Sportsmanship Award”.  The youngest members of our Summit family had fun at the craft table, personalizing their own white belts to take home.  There was glitter everywhere!  Everyone enjoyed the parade of dishes that lined the wall at the Shepard Community Centre.  The night ended with good music and a LOT of dancing.  A great time was had by all – we can’t wait until next year!!

Tae Kwon Do Class at Summit Martial ArtsOn April 1, 2015, we moved in to our new location. All the Summit Martial Arts family pulled together to help get our mats down, paint and clean our new home. We were up and running in no time. Thank you to all the parents and students who came out to help. We couldn’t have done it without you!

PMA Spring Challenge - Summit Martial ArtsAt the end of April, Summit Martial Arts attended the PMA Spring Challenge in Calgary. We had 10 students compete in age categories 6 through 13 for forms and sparring as well as team and weapons forms. Summit students came home with 11 Gold Medal Wins, 10 Silver Medals, and 3 Bronze Medals. Congratulations to Angelo, Aidan, Marcuz, Mikko, Brody, Coban, Jonas, Arianna, Kassidy and Chaney! We are proud of each and every one of you.

Shuswap Open Tournament - Summit Martial Arts 2015Our last tournament of the season was the Shuswap Open Tournament on June 6, 2015. SMA students travelled the 6 hour drive to BC with their families to compete. We had 8 students compete from ages 6 through 14 in forms and sparring. Summit competed in Weapons forms and had 2 Teams compete in the Team Form division – Summit Junior and Senior. We are proud to say we came home with Grand Champion, 11 Gold Medal Wins, 8 Silver and 2 Bronze. The Summit Team celebrated with some much needed rest and relaxation at the Lake! What a great day for everyone!

In the months to come, we are looking forward to our 2nd Annual Beach BBQ and our upcoming Black Belt Test in September. The past year has been more than we could ask for. Our Summit family has made us proud in so many ways – both inside and outside the dojang. We could not ask for anything more. You have all been a pleasure to train with.

Check us out:  Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Pinterest to hear our latest updates.

Our Summit Kids - Summit Martial Arts Calgary Summit Martial Arts in Calgary - 2015