Summit Martial Arts 101 – Etiquette & Guidelines for Training

Summit Martial Arts 101

We love the martial arts and we want to instill that love in our students. If you are brand new to the martial arts, or just brand new to our school, martial arts etiquette and school rules can be a little overwhelming. We want you to feel comfortable to ask us anything. In an effort to make things easier, we’ve put together a parent “cheat” sheet to help you in these beginning months. We will start from the beginning.

When you enter the building – also called a “dojang” for Tae Kwon Do.

• Students should arrive no earlier than 10 minutes before class.  Do not be late.
• We highly recommend bringing your uniform to class and changing here
• Please remove your shoes at the door. Families can share a cubby.
• Please be quiet when entering the building as there may be other classes in session
• Hair must be tied back and all jewelry must be removed for class
• Coats may be hung up on the coat hooks

There is no gum allowed in the building and no food allowed in the training area

Before your class starts:

• Don’t forget to sign in for your class – attendance counts!
• Student should bow when entering at the edge of the training mats
• Please ensure students use the bathroom before class starts
• If a student needs to use the bathroom during class, simply raise your hand and ask
• Children should not climb on the training bags or touch the mirrors
Always bring sparring to class – for boys, groin protection is mandatory on sparring nights and should be put on BEFORE class
• Don’t forget to bring your water bottle and take it home when you leave

What to call your instructor:
• Master Morris is our head instructor. He is called “Master” as he has earned his 7th Degree Black Belt
• Mr. Stronge and Mr. Bernardo Sr. are our Assistant Instructors.  They are referred to as Mr. by all students – they are both 1st degree Black Belts.  All our Junior Assistants are referred to as “Bo Kyo Sa……….insert last name” – example, Bo Kyo Sa Bernardo.
• All other Adult staff should be referred to as Mr. or Ms. For example, Mrs. Morris works at the front – Ms. Bravo and Mr. Zeller assists with kids classes.
IMPORTANT: when a black belt enters the room – ALL student should face the door and bow. The highest ranking student in the room will say “Face the Door” to get everyone’s attention.

For a full list of instructors, please visit our website to read about their journey.

A few things of note:
• In Tae Kwon Do, the uniform is referred to as a “dobok”
• It is very important to have a clean uniform. A meticulous uniform and belt is a symbol of your pride and dedication to the art. A sloppy, wrinkled, dirty uniform shows disrespect to your school and instructor. Show pride in your appearance by coming to class dressed appropriately.  Check out our video on how to tie your belt properly.

• Students should remain quiet when they are waiting for their class to start
• Please refrain from videotaping during class, pictures are allowed
• Please be respectful to all other students, staff and instructors
• If you have any questions about anything, please do not hesitate to ask.

Jr. Instructor Highlight: Ms. Chaney Mowat

Meet Ms. Chaney Mowat:  Blue Belt

Ms. Chaney has been with Summit Martial Arts since March 2015.  Chaney has been training in martial arts for 6 years. She completed her Junior Instructor Training in 2017 and has been assisting in our children’s classes for 3 years.

We asked Ms. Chaney some questions, here’s what she had to say……..

What is your most memorable / proud moment in martial arts ?

My most memorable moment was when I was SMA’s 1st Athlete of the Year in 2018, it was huge turning point in my martial arts career. I realized how much of an impact you can have on people’s lives and it was a huge honour.  I cannot thank SMA enough for providing me with this award. I am very proud to be a part of the SMA family, and I’m so proud to represent them.

A few other of Ms. Chaney’s proudest moments are winning her first Gold medal in 2015, and earning a Bronze and Silver in an all-boys division in 2017.  In May 2018, Chaney was chosen as CTV Athlete of the Week for Outstanding Performance and Athletic Ability.

What is your teaching philosophy?

My teaching philosophy is based on what I feel are important qualities for a martial artist to have. I feel that every martial artist needs to have a strong foundation built on respect, discipline, and confidence. To me, martial arts is not only about striking and fighting it is about living by the tenants of Tae Kwon Do in my everyday life. Martial arts has helped shape me as a person, it has made me physically and mentally stronger.

Why do you love SMA?

When I was competing at the 2014 TAFISA World Martial Arts Games, one of the Team Canada instructors was from SMA.  When my own instructor (from a different school) did not show up, the SMA instructor took me on like one of his own students. At my trial class, I was welcomed and immediately felt like a part of the SMA family. They have always pushed me to be the best martial artist I could be.  They have supported me from day one and have taught me the most important lessons in life.

Outside of the martial arts, Ms. Chaney is an accomplished show and performance horse rider.  This July, she (and her horse Vicky) took home top honors for winning Provincials 2019 Top Youth in Alberta!!!!! A talented young lady we are proud to have as part of our team. Take a minute to congratulate her on this awesome achievement.

Chaney loves working with kids, she enjoys watching them progress and improve their techniques. Through her martial arts journey, Chaney has learned a lot about discipline and responsibility. Assisting in our classes has helped her learn the importance of proper movement and mechanics.  Teaching has helped her grow immensely in her own journey – allowing her to perfect her techniques.

We are very proud to have this young lady as part of our school.  She has been a tremendous help over the past few years.  Thank you for your dedication to SMA!

Jr. Instructor Highlight: Mr. Brody Morris

Meet Bo Kyo Sa Brody Morris

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Brody began his martial arts journey at the age of 5.  His early experiences took place in the basement of his home under the instruction of Master Morris.  If you didn’t know, Brody is the son of Mrs and Master Morris and brother to Riley.


Before the opening of SMA, Brody achieved his yellow belt in ITF Tae Kwon Do.  Brody has been training at SMA since it’s inception in May 2014.  He has competed in numerous local and provincial tournaments, taking home Gold in Forms, Sparring and Bo Staff.  Brody’s proudest moment was at the 2019 Western Provincial Open in Edmonton when he qualified for the World Karate Commission Provincial in Sparring.

Brody enjoys assisting in our youngest children’s classes.  He is dedicated to giving back to the martial arts as it has taught him many lessons that he applies to his daily life.  Brody has set a goal for himself and hopes to test for his red with black band belt this coming September.

Most recently, Brody attended the 2019 MVA Martial Arts Camp in Halifax, NS to hone his skills and learn from top instructors in our organization.

In his spare time, Brody enjoys biking, hiking, camping and walking his dog Maui.

Brody has been a tremendous help in the children’s classes over the years.  He assists in Little Monkeys and Little Dragons classes.  We thank him for all his hard work and dedication to the school.

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Jr. Instructor Highlight: Mr. Richard Zeller

Mr. Zeller began training at Summit in October 2017 after watching how much his two children had enjoyed their training.  Mr. Zeller loves the challenge that every class brings.  He is a firm believer in the 5 tenets of TKD and the lasting impact they have on students and instructors alike.  The physical and mental strength gained through training at SMA is something that he embraces each and every day and is always looking forward to the next chapter of his journey.  Mr. Zeller is extremely honored and equally excited to be part of the JIT team and is looks forward to helping other students learn and have fun through their own journeys.

We asked Mr. Zeller some questions, here’s what he had to say……..

What is your teaching philosophy?  I try to make sure everyone is engaged / having fun, but at the same time pushed to achieve their potential.

Why you love martial arts?  To me it’s a combination of honing & perfecting body, mind and spirit.  Being able to apply what has been learned to achieve your goals.

Why you love SMA?  SMA embodies a passion for martial arts.  Your achievements are earned through hard work and dedication which makes your journey that much more fulfilling.

What is your most memorable / proud moment in martial arts ?

As an Orange belt there was one Kicking class where we were practicing our Jump Front Snap Kicks, and one of the instructors came by, took the clapper pad from my partner and held it higher than I’ve ever kicked before.  In fact, I thought it was ridiculously high / and near impossible.  He told me he believed in me, to get into a good stance and really push myself.  I ended up kicking the pad much to my surprise, and after a solid high five from the instructor I realized just how far I can go if I put my mind to it.

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Mr. Zeller graduated the Junior Instructor Training program in July 2019.  He is an key member in our team.  His dedication and passion for the martial arts can be seen in every class.  Thanks for being part of OUR journey!!

How to choose the RIGHT martial arts school for YOU?

We originally published this is 2015!  After some recent discussions with parents, we decide to revisit this topic as we want students to LOVE  the martial arts.  Getting off on right foot is crucial to a proper martial arts education.  Do your homework!  It will be worth the extra effort in the long run.

How do you choose?  Taekwondo, 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 you 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, go 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.

 

4)  Does the school have metrics for progress?  Do they have a written curriculum?  Are there belt grading guidelines?  Do they participate in mandatory belt grading?  Or is it earned through mastery of skill and attendance?  Does every student who grades pass regardless of their proficiency?  A martial arts journey should be unique to the individual.  A school who is invested in teaching proper technique will not be handing out belts simply for showing up.  Ultimately, martial arts is about protecting yourself.  Giving children a false sense of skill by handing out belts only does them a disservice.

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?  Or Dan rank black belts under the age of 12?  This could speak volumes about the program.

6)  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.

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.

Jr. Instructor Highlight: Bo Kyo Sa Mikko Bernardo

Meet Bo Kyo Sa Mikko Bernardo

Mikko started his martial arts journey when he was just 6 years old.  He has been with Summit Martial Arts since it’s inception in May 2014.   He completed his Junior Instructor Team training in 2017 and has been assisting in our children’s classes for 2 years. To Mikko, martial arts is not just a sport, it’s a way of living. Mikko believes strongly in conducting his life according to the 5 Tenets of Taekwondo – Courtesy, Integrity, Perseverance, Self-control and Indomitable spirit. He works hard to apply these principles to his daily life. The Bernardo’s were featured on Global News as they prepared for their World Games.  Check out their story.   When Mikko is teaching, his greatest joy is seeing kids smile.   That alone makes his day.

 

Mikko’s proudest accomplishment was earning his Black Belt in May 2017.  He is the youngest SMA student to bestowed such an honour.  When asked what it means to be a Black Belt for his essay, Mikko said:

“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.”

Mikko also competed in the  2014 TAFISA World Martial Arts bringing home Gold in Forms and Pt. Sparring, Silver for Continuous Sparring, and Bronze for Bo Staff for Team Canada and taking home Grand Champion from the 2018 Calgary City Championships. Mikko competes extensively throughout the year and is dedicated to continuing his own training.  He was selected as a member of our Tournament Team in 2018/2019 and represented our school with pride.  We are very proud to have him as an integral part of our school.

Meet our SMA Family: Mrs. Morris

Meet Leigh-Ann Morris aka Mrs. Morris to all our students

Did you know that Mrs. Morris is a Librarian and holds a Masters Degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Western Ontario?

Did you know Mrs. Morris is currently a Top 10 candidate for Muscle and Fitness Hers 2019 Ms. Health and Fitness contest?  Did you know you can enter a free vote daily to see her be featured in the magazine?  Click here to vote!!!

Mrs. Morris has been active in sports her entire life from swimming, to dance, and gymnastics.  Her competitive gymnastics career started at the age of 5 and continued well in to her university career. Travelling around Canada and throughout the US, her gymnastics journey had a tremendous impact on her view of sports.   These early experiences set the tone for an active lifestyle that continues today.

As a competitive athlete, Mrs. Morris spent countless hours training and competing.  She has competed in numerous local, provincial and international competitions, capturing top honors.  She understands first hand the time and effort students dedicate to a sport they are passionate about.  

In 2014, Master and Mrs. Morris decided to open their own martial arts school.  Our humble beginnings in the Shepard Community Centre quickly turned in to a full commercial endeavor.  Mrs. Morris left her library career to run the school full time.   

Over the past few years, Mrs. Morris has developed a passion for fitness and training. She is a certified personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine.  She has earned the Certified Program Design Specialist and Sports Nutrition Coach designation through the National Sports Performance Association.  She is a certified MMA Conditioning Specialist and Youth Exercise Specialist.  Mrs. Morris also is CPR and AED certified. She is currently working on a certification in Corrective Exercise.

Mrs. Morris is dedicated to continuing education and lifelong learning.  She enjoys taking courses, attending conferences and training camps to expand her knowledge and to keep current on exercise science.  From 2017 – 2019,  she was an Ambassador for IFBB Fitness Pro Jessie Hilgenberg.  She traveled to Phoenix to learn about weight lifting, proper form, and nutrition and assisted in teaching women during training camps.  

Around the school, Mrs. Morris handles every aspect of the schools daily functions. From new student registration and orientation, SMA schedule, gear ordering, arranging belt gradings, school get togethers, designing SMA swag, she has got all the bases covered. She is your first point of contact at the school and handles the front of house on a daily basis. 

Mrs. Morris runs boot camps, offers personal training sessions and personalized training programs.  She is a certified Gymnastic and Trampoline Coach with 10 years experiencing coaching. 

Mrs. Morris is the social media manager and website designer for Summit Martial Arts and Martial Virtue Alliance.  

Mrs. Morris has enjoyed watching the students at SMA grow – both as young persons and as martial artists.  Some of our families have been with us since we opened our doors in 2014.   We are truly humbled by all the tremendous support and loyalty our families have shown us over the years.  For that, we are truly grateful.

 

What’s on for June SMA

Here’s what is going on for June

1.  Our 5th Anniversary Party is Saturday, June 1 from 6-8pm.  This is a casual drop in event.  Join us for some cake and a look back at the last  5 years.  Click here to RSVP

2.  T-shirt season starts JULY 1.  Students may wear an SMA official white t-shirt for the summer months beginning July 1 – August 31. No sooner!!!

3.  Escrima Training – Saturday, June 9 from 1-3pm.  This class is open to all students age 9 and up and all tournament team members.  Click here to register.

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4.  Bootcamp – starts Saturday, June 8!!!  Don’t miss out – limited spots available.  See Mrs. Morris for more details or book online today.

5.  SMA Sweatshirts are available for pre-order.  Zip and Regular Hoodies in youth and adult sizes S – XL.  We do not order extras so if you are interested please see Mrs. Morris.  Sweatshirts can be customized with the students name.

6.  SMA Beach BBQ is confirmed for Saturday, August 24 from 1:30-5:30pm at the Mahogany West Beach.  This is a Pot Luck Event – invitations to follow.

7.  Fall Tournament Schedule is available on the website under “Detailed Schedule” if you are planning to compete next year.

Tournament Season is complete!

Well, that’s all she wrote for our 2018/2019 tournament season!  What a season it was!!  Team Summit attended 7 tournaments this year and represented our school with pride.  We would like to acknowledge all our students for their dedication to competition, giving up all their Friday nights and working extremely hard to improve on their skills.  This year, more than any before, we became a team.  One of the things that stands out in our mind most is the unwavering support of ALL our students and parents to each other.  You cheer loud and stay to the bitter end to support your fellow SMA students.  THAT IS AMAZING!!!

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Congratulations to our 3 Grand Champions this year – Alisha at the Calgary Open Martial Arts Championships, Oliver at the High River Open Martial Arts Tournament and Marcuz at the 41st Annual Western Karate Championships.

And, to ALL our competitors – there is a lot of work and effort that goes in to a tournament.  You should be very proud of yourselves as we are very proud of you.

On that note, we hope you have a restful summer and are excited to get back at it in September.  The Fall schedule is already up on the website.  A lot more going on in the fall this year – we look forward to our inaugural tournament the Summit Open Martial Arts Challenge on November 16.  The 1st tournament of the fall will be the Kids 4 Kids tournament in Beiseker on Saturday, October 5.  Tournament training is listed on the detailed schedule.

Train hard!!!  Go TEAM SUMMIT!!!

2018 Comes to a End……..

As 2018 comes to a close, we take some time to reflect on the amazing year we have had.   We are humbled and extremely grateful to have such supportive and dedicated students and families.  SMA is truly one big family – you can feel the camaraderie the minute you step through our doors.  The support of our students shows at belt tests and tournaments when everyone cheers on their fellow SMA training partners.   It is truly a wonderful thing to be part of.  Mrs. and Master Morris would like to thank everyone who is involved with our school – we wouldn’t be where we are without ALL of you!!!

Let’s look at 2018:

Kicking off 2018, SMA was voted Top Martial Arts School in Calgary!

Tournament Grand Champion for Bo Kyo Sa Mikko Bernardo

All our hard work around the dojang every single class

All the hours of practice for our belt gradings

All the dedicated students who came out for tournament training on Friday nights

All the tournaments!!!!!  And there were a LOT!

All the amazing displays of good sportsmanship and encouragement

A tremendous honor for Ms. Chaney who was named CTV Athlete of the Week

A BIG congratulations to Mr. Stronge for achieving his Black Belt

A pretty cool summer camp held in Truro, Nova Scotia

A BIG BIG congratulations to Master Morris for his promotion to 7th Dan

A brand new Junior Instructor Team was selected

A Tournament Team was hand selected to represent TEAM SUMMIT

All the students named Most Improved and Most Dedicated at our annual Holiday Party

And of course, the 5 Tenets and Mrs. Morris award going to Ms, Bravo and Lorenzo!

Our special awards including Athlete of the Year going to Ms. Chaney

And, ending the year with being an official nominee for the 2019 Top Martial Arts School (don’t forget to vote and share!!)

Check out our 2018 Year in Review – it’s pretty amazing!!  Click here to watch the video.