What does being a Black Belt mean to you?

Junior Black Belt Test Essay by Mikko Bernardo written May 27, 2017

A Black Belt isn’t just a rank or a belt it is yourself, your life. A person with a Black Belt should bring good to our world. We all got our white belt, orange belt, yellow belt, so on so forth to reach a new beginning. The tenets of Taekwondo: Courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control and indomitable spirit are not only what a person with a black belt holds but also what a true martial artist holds. Master Morris has told us many things but the one thing that I can’t forget is that “A BLACK BELT IS A WHITE BELT WHO NEVER GAVE UP”. Discipline is also a big part of having a black belt because without discipline you will not be able to control yourself, you will just do whatever with the title of a person with a black belt. When Master Morris asked me what a black belt means to me and what I will do to give back to the community… I had to think… a lot.

A black belt is my family. Although my mom Ydelle isn’t in the community of Taekwondo, she has been so supportive to us. Even from the beginning, at the age of 7 and 6 when my mom enrolled us to do weekly lessons at the clubhouse in our community. My mom did this because we were hyper… all the time and she wanted our energy to be drained so that we could sleep early. When Aidan came to visit from Toronto, my mom enrolled him as well so that the three of us can bond because we didn’t know each other at that time. When the program ended, the instructor wanted to build his own school, and that is when we started to go up the ranks and do tournaments. 4 years later, the school that we were in got hit with trouble. My dad told us that we were gonna move schools so that we could continue our journey.

A black belt is also persevering.  Persevering is a big part of preparing and doing the test. I have to persevere because I just can’t keep up with my brother and my cousin so I have to persevere in my training, not just for my black belt but also reaching this point. So to me, a Black belt is my family and perseverance.

What I will do to give back to the community is teach( if I passed the Junior Instructor Training Program (JIT)), assist and help the students. I will do this because I feel joy when I help people. When I taught my first class I felt happy because I am teaching the students what I learn and when I see them smile it makes me happy. I will also do this because my parents would be happy to see me teach or just lead a warm-up or help a student with something they are struggling on. When I see my parents smile when I assist, lead a warm-up or teach makes me happy.

In conclusion, I would like to thank Master Morris, Kyo Sa Nim Chernichen and my dad Kyo Sa Nim Bernardo for allowing me to test for my black belt and helping me along the way. I would also like to thank Mrs. Morris for everything she has done to arrange this test. I would also like to thank my mom Ydelle for starting my journey and watching me grow in this community. Last but not the least I would like to thank Kwan Jang Clark the rest of the board for flying out here to evaluate the three of us. Thank you so much for allowing us to test for our black belt!

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An Essay for our Junior Black Belt Test: May 2017

Black Belt by Aidan Bernardo

For some people they think of a black belt as a way of showing people that they are better than others but for me, a black belt means to never give up and to always finish what I started. In my years 7 years of dedication there were many times in my belt tests that I felt I couldn’t do it. However in that time I kept going no matter what because of all the support of my family and friends gave to me, and that I wanted to prove to my instructors and myself that I deserved the belt that I was being tested for. Never giving up means having the courage and the mindset to keep going even though it’s hard, and that’s what being a black belt is truly about.

In addition to this a black belt also means following the tenets of Taekwondo which are Courtesy, Integrity, Perseverance, Self Control and Indomitable Spirit.  Those tenets help me become the person who I am today.  It help me be more respectful and honest to others, and to encourage me to keep going.

Lastly, a black belt means being disciplined. Throughout my journey I know that without discipline it will be hard to follow the rules of Tae Kwon Do and if you don’t you will fail in your techniques.  Being discipline to me is another way of living life because without it we wouldn’t be respecting others and following the rules.  All of these important values are the ones that got me up to this moment.

If I am to get my black belt, I would give back to the community by being loyal to my school summit martial arts and making more time to help assist and more so to teach a class. I would also be a role model, a champion to other kids. With my experiences, I can teach them how to be disciplined and responsible so they can respect other people and to be honest. I would also give back to the community by helping out whenever they need me. The last thing that I can do to give back to the community is that I can show my fellow students and to my brother Angelo, how to have Indomitable spirit in them and to teach them that no one can overcome their spirit because one day they might test for their black belt, and that they will know that there is nothing to fear about even though there will be obstacles along the way and that through persistence one can reach a goal.


In conclusion, I would like to say thank you to God for guiding me and giving me strength, and my school Summit Martial Arts, because without them I wouldn’t be saying this.  I’d like to say thank you to my family because they are the ones that make me keep going  and motivate me when I’m feeling weak.  Thank you also to Marcuz and Mikko for being there in this journey, the fun and actions we shared in each of our classes and the support they gave me.  Lastly, I would like to give special thanks to my instructors Master Morris, Kyo Sa Nim Chernichen and Kyo Sa Nim Bernardo for pushing me to this moment and inspiring me to keep going.  Finally, thank you for teaching me how to be a good MARTIAL ARTIST!

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What it means to be a Black Belt

The meaning of a Black Belt and my purpose of being one

Written By:  Marcuz Bernardo for his Black Belt Test on May 27, 2017

What does a black belt mean to me? I had to ponder this question a lot during my training. Being a Black belt, is not just a rank or a belt, it’s a way of living discipline, so we can bring good to the world. We all can get belts and achieve ranks. But discipline is more than all of these, showing us how to be a better martial artist. Kicking and punching are only techniques we can learn easily. Even a bunch of bullies and thugs can do that. When discipline comes in, we learn how to control ourselves not only in a fight, but also in the world we are in.

We have school to attend to, and everyday is that control that we need. Our tenets of Taekwondo: Courtesy, Integrity, Perseverance, Self-Control and Indomitable Spirit, are there for the purpose of being a good person. Even Master Morris said himself, that we can have the best kicks, hand techniques or whatever, but he will never test us if we show that we’re missing one of the tenets in our life. Even the slightest bit of giving up or dishonesty, will bring us down. Without all the tenets, we’re all just kicking and punching.

A black belt is the white belt who never gave up. That is a quote I will never forget. I started taekwondo 7 years ago. My mom had enrolled me to taekwondo so I could get involved in the community. She wanted to see that Mikko and I were happy to take part in self-defence. I never really understood its full purpose in my young age. But when I was going up the ranks, it was getting harder and harder for me to test. It was the most work I’ve done in my life, pushing to get my belt. Even when I participated in tournaments, I couldn’t see how I could ever compete against my competitors. There were great victories, big hardships, and tremendous losses. I never thought I could be this far in my journey.

But practicing those tenets, were commandments to helping me push through no matter what the outcome was going to be. I showed courtesy for those who taught me. I showed integrity by doing my training even at home. I showed perseverance by never giving up on my mind and on my body, but pushed further. I showed self-control by controlling my actions, emotions and thoughts each test, so that I wouldn’t be fussy and give up on myself. And I showed my indomitable spirit, by saying in my head, I will get this belt, I will excell in this test. I can do it!. So with all of these tenets, I know I’ve shown the courtesy for my instructors, integrity in my hard training, perseverance in getting this far, self-control over myself, and the indomitable spirit, knowing that I can excel this test. When I get my black belt today, I will know that I did my best, and that I earned it. As a black belt I will move forward with these tenets as my guide.

Knowing that there is still much to explore, I won’t stop chasing for it. It’s not the rank, or the belt that I want. It’s the discipline, and challenges to overcome. Moo-Duk-Kwan has helped me learn our world today. There is more evil in the world, than there is good. Stepping up to show what is good, is the least we can do to make the world a better place. Whatever door I have to open, whatever path I have to choose, and whatever obstacle comes through, I will push through knowing that I cannot be conquered. I will fight for the good of all. This is what a black belt is all about to me.

What I can do to give back to my community once I become a black belt, is to teach and assist Master Morris, Kyo Sa Chernichen, and my dad. I show a passion for teaching, especially in the JIT program (or Junior Instructor Training) that was launched in September. Ever since the day Master Morris asked me to help him teach and assist, I never hesitated one bit. Teaching is a way of learning. I learned so much teaching the little kids, and helping out. It made me happy to see how kids were enjoying. I feel that I should share our style of Moo-Duk-Kwan Taekwondo and bring it to others. I want to make a school some day. It would be so much fun to be able to teach and help others with my own style of training. I see this as my future. And thanks to the help of my fellow JIT friends, we all can share our passion.

Finally, I would like to thank Master Morris, Kyo Sa Chernichen and my dad for helping me through this hardworking journey. I would also like to thank my mom for starting my journey and watching me grow in this community. I thank my friends and family who have supported me in all that I’ve been through. Lastly, I would like to thank Grandmaster Clark and the rest of the board for being here to evaluate the three of us. We promise you, we will push as hard as we can to excel in this test. Thank you so much for allowing us to test for our black belt. We will give our all.

December in a Nutshell

December has been a crazy month.  We’ve had the KSL Fashion Event, wrapped up the Purse Project, we’ve welcomed some new students, had an all day belt test marathon and our awesome Christmas Party!  Who’s ready for a break?

On Saturday, December 5, we hosted our 2nd KSL Actionwear Fashion Event.  We love supporting other Canadian business owners.  And, what a great turnout for our Pop Up Fashion event.  Who exactly is behind KSL? Former Canadian Championship cyclist, Katy St. Laurent designs comfortable, convertible clothes for sport, travel and every day life.  All clothes are designed and made in Canada!!!  We love our KSL!  Don’t worry if you missed it, we will be hosting another fashion event in the Spring.  See Mrs. M if you would like to order something in the meantime.  Thank you to Jessica for bringing KSL to us!

The Purse Project wrapped up on December 6, SMA collected two huge boxes filled with toiletries and purses.  We were happy to be part of this awesome initiative lead by Smarty Skirts.  Don’t forget to check out their Facebook page to see what else they have to offer.  We look forward to helping with this project again next year.

We had our last belt test of 2015 on Saturday, December 19.  We started the morning with a Little Monkeys, Little Dragons, and Warriors belt test.  The kids did an amazing job showcasing their skills to the judges panel. Congratulations to Xander, Tyler, Spencer, Isabelle and Jeanne!  All your hard work and practise paid off, you EARNED those belts!

Our Advanced rank belt test started later in the afternoon.  As many of you know, our belt tests are not easy.  It is not enough to simply show up, you have to put in the work. We follow a generations old, rigorous standard of belt promotion criteria.  If you receive a belt from SMA, you can rest assured you have EARNED it!  This test was no different – our students showed all heart in their 3 hour test.  Congratulations to Josh, Shane, Mikko, Aidan and Marcuz on their promotions.  We are proud of each and every one of you.

Later that night, we had our annual Christmas Party.  There were 85 SMA family members in attendance – what a great turnout! There was food for miles!!  Thank you to all the families for coming out and bringing such yummy treats and dishes!

Our award ceremony had a few new categories this year.  We presented our Most Improved New Students to Dan, Xander, Mia and Rylan.  Our Most Improved Overall went to Florian, Jann, Nicolas and Hunter.  This year we awarded Most Improved Sparring to Angelo, Most Improved Hand Techniques to Olivia, Most Improved Kicks to Coban and Most Improved Forms to Brody.  The Most Dedicated Student award went to Lee and Aidan.  And, the final award Best Sportsmanship went to Marcuz.  Congratulations to all of you!

The evening ended with a video montage of our year in review.  What a year it was!  We want to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season.  We can’t wait to get back to the dojang and start training for the World Martial Arts Games trials.  Let’s make 2016 another year to remember!


			

November at SMA

2015-11-21-Canada_Logo_roundNovember was a busy month at Summit Martial Arts.  We had a Little Dragons Belt Test, our very 1st Little Monkeys Belt Test, Master Morris was appointed National Director for the National Martial Arts Committee – Canada by the World Martial Arts Games Committee, we attended the Kick’s Open Tournament, and collected purses for the Purse Project to help out Smarty Skirts.  We were busy!!

Here are some of the highlights:

On November 5, we had a Little Dragons Belt Test.  The students did an amazing job showcasing their hand techniques, kicks, forms and sparring. Our Little Dragons curriculum follows along with our Warrior/Adult program, it is broken down in to smaller skill chunks for our younger students.  Congratulations to Nicolas, Isabella and Olivia!

On November 9, we had our very 1st Little Monkeys Belt Test.  What a great showing by our youngest students.  Our Little Monkeys are ages 4/5, they train once or twice per week.  Their curriculum was designed to work on balance and co-ordination, setting the foundation for their martial arts journey.  Congratulations Zurrin, Hunter, Jayden and Rylan!  Great job!  Here are some of the highlights:

On November 11, 2015, Master Shane Morris was appointed National Director for the National Martial Arts Committee – Canada by the World Martial Arts Games Committee.  The 2016 World Martial Arts Games will be held in Johannesburg, South Africa from October 5-9.  The World Martial Arts Games are a proud member of TAFISA (The Association for International Sport for All).  Their aim to bring martial arts to all regardless of style or affiliation.  We cannot think of a better organization to be teamed up with.

 

On Saturday, November 28, Summit Martial Arts attended the Kicks Open Martial Arts Tournament in Calgary, Alberta.  We had 11 students compete in both individual forms and sparring, team forms, and weapons.  SMA students brought home 4 Golds, 5 Silver and 4 Bronze!  Congratulations to all those who competed!  You showed great sportsmanlike conduct at every opportunity, we are proud of all of you.

 

Summit Martial Arts was teamed up with Smarty Skirts for the Purse Project.  From November 16 through to December 6, we collected purses, toiletries and other essential items for distribution to those women in need.  These was an excellent cause!  We would like to thank all the SMA students who made donations.  SMA is always up for helping a cause that gives back to the community.

December is shaping up to be another busy month, we have our KSL Actionwear Fashion Event, our final belt test of 2015, our famous Christmas Party and a much anticipated break over the holidays!  To stay connected and up to date, make sure you follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.  Stay tuned for more updates……..

 

Giving Back – The Purse Project

Summit Martial Arts has teamed up with Smarty Skirts this holiday season for a special project.  SMA is proud to lend a helping hand for this wonderful organization.  Smarty Skirts offers free and low cost educational services to women.  They believe in empowering women through education and community support.  We are happy to continue our relationship with such an inspiring group of women.  When we heard about the Purse Project, we could not wait to get started.  Here are the details:

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The Purse Project is a charitable campaign aimed at helping homeless women across the city of Calgary.  The Purse Project has been picked up in a number of cities across Canada.  With the help of social media and amazing volunteers, the Purse Project is set to be a major success story.

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Our Summit Martial Arts family jumped on the opportunity to donate.  Our students and their families helped fill the boxes with much needed supplies and purses.

If you have any gently used purses, please consider donating them to this wonderful initiative.  YOU can make a difference in someone’s life. Donations are being accepted from November 14 through to December 6. There are a number of drop off locations though out the city.  Please see Smarty Skirts Facebook page for a location nearest you.  A BIG thank you to everyone who has made a donation.

SMA teams up with Smarty Skirts for Ladies Self Defence

Summit Martial Arts SignSummit Martial Arts has teamed up with Smarty Skirts (formerly Calgary Mastermind) to offer a FREE Ladies Self Defence Class on Wednesday, October 14 at 6:30pm.  Smarty Skirts offers free and low cost educational services to women.  They believe in empowering women through community building, education and support.  Smarty Skirts organizes social meet ups for Mom’s and families as well as many volunteer opportunities.  We could not think of a better organization to be teamed up with.

Summit Martial Arts is hosting a 60 minute workshop designed to teach women how to defend themselves from an attacker. We teach women how to spot danger signs and how to defend themselves in various scenarios. We use realistic drills to emulate real life situations.
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The program deals specifically with how and where women are commonly attacked. Prevention and awareness are crucial skills in would be dangerous situations. Women will learn how to safely and effectively fend off an attacker with strikes, elbows, knees, and kicks. More importantly, women learn how to handle themselves in the worst case scenarios.

Weapons DisarmingMaster Morris has taught self defence to law enforcement officers and civilians alike. In cooperation with the RCMP and Sanctuary House for Battered Women, Master Morris instructed high school girls in the art of self defence in preparation for living on their own. In appreciation for his efforts, the RCMP awarded Master Morris for his contribution to the S.H.A.R.E. Program.

We want to empower women with the skills and knowledge to protect themselves! What you learn could save your life!!

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To register, visit the Smarty Skirts Facebook page.  Follow the link to the Event Brite registration. You MUST register to attend this event.  If you have any questions or need more information about Smarty Skirts, please email smartyskirtsyyc@gmail.com.  Summit Martial Arts does not take registrations directly.

We look forward to meeting all the Smarty Skirt Ladies in person.