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: Ms. Danielle Bravo

Meet Bo Kyo Sa Bravo – Purple Belt
Ms. Bravo started her journey at Summit Martial Arts in December 2016.  She graduated our Junior Instructor Training Program in July 2019.  Ms. Bravo achieved her Red Belt in ITF Taekwondo before coming to train at Summit.
We asked Ms. Bravo some questions, here’s what she had to say……..
How did you become involved in martial arts?
Looking back, martial arts has been indirectly part of my life. I grew up with uncles and cousins practicing combats as part of their courses in school.  Also, I practiced Krav Maga during my mandatory IDF (Israel Defense Forces) Service.  These early martial arts influences developed my love for the sport.

What is your most memorable / proudest moment?
Aside of each belt test, my most memorable and proud moment in martial arts was last December 2018 where I received the SMA 5 tenets of Tae Kwon Do Award. Whenever I think of it, I get mixed emotions; pride and yet humbleness.
I have also competed in a few local ITF tournaments.  My last competition in 2016, I won  Gold in forms/patterns and Bronze in sparring.
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Why you love martial arts?
Since starting martial arts, I’ve been trying to exemplify the 5 tenets of Tae Kwon Do: Courtesy, Integrity, Self-control, Perseverance and Indomitable Spirit. I wanted to show that taekwondo/martial arts teaches more than physical lessons.  Most people immediately think martial arts is learning how to “fight”. I find this is the most common perception surrounding martial arts – but it is much more than physical training.  It embeds a moral code of conduct to all it’s athletes – teaching them to live by the 5 tenets in all aspects of life.
What is your teaching philosophy?
My current teaching philosophy is: “Teach attitude and skills with actions rather than words”  I find this has become meaningful to me especially when I started assisting with the children’s classes.  It has pushed me harder to practice self discipline and self progress in order to get a good grasp of my skills and techniques so that I can be a good example to my peers.
Why do you love SMA?
I love SMA for the sense of community. For me, SMA has created a very welcoming atmosphere; from the moment you enter their door you become part of the family and for them, ones success is everyone’s success. They help you create and reach your personal goals, they push you to lead by example through their actions and dedications. This past year they’ve taught me that being strong is not just physical but also mental. Knowing your limitation is a strength not a weakness and giving up when you are tired or in pain is not an option.  They will work with you around your limitations and find a way in achieving your goal; as long as you want it they are there for you.
Things you didn’t know about Ms. Bravo:
Outside of Martial Arts Background:
– I was born in the Philippines, grew up in Israel and living life in Canada.
– I fluently speak 3 languages Hebrew, English and Tagalog.
– I am a valedictorian nursing graduate with current focus on the health and technology systems.
– My main hobbies are working out and practicing martial arts but when I don’t do either of these you’ll find me trying to escape a locked room, travelling or enjoying food trips.
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Jr. Instructor Highlight: Mr. Brody Morris

Meet Bo Kyo Sa Brody Morris

Red Belt

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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Meet Mr. Max Stronge – Instructor

Meet Kyo Sa Nim Max Stronge

Black Belt – 1st Dan

Mr. Stronge started training in the martial arts in 2004 after being inspired by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  Mr. Stronge has been with SMA since 2014, shortly after our opening day.  He has been training in the martial arts for 14 years in various styles and has competed in countless tournaments. In July 2016, he was chosen as CTV Athlete of the Week for his Outstanding Performance and Athletic Ability. Later that July, Mr. Stronge competed at the 2016 WOMAA World Martial Arts Games in Essenbach, Germany, bringing home two silver medals in the point and continuous fighting divisions.

Mr. Stronge graduated from the SMA Junior Instructor Training Program in September 2017.  Mr. Stronge has spent several years under the direct supervision of Master Shane Morris, honing his teaching skills and assisting in tournament training.

After almost a decade in the tournament scene, Mr. Stronge has now found a new passion – teaching. His greatest accomplishment has been passing on his love of the martial arts to others.  He is dedicated to learning and improving his skills both as an instructor and a student. Mr. Stronge hopes that everyone he has the pleasure of instructing can find the same joy in the martial arts that he does.

Mr. Stronge earned his first degree Black Belt on Saturday, June 2, 2018.  In his essay what it means to be a black belt, he wrote:

“I’ve come close to the black belt twice before. When I was ten or eleven, I became a junior black belt at the first school I ever trained at. When I was thirteen, I was a black stripe at a different school, and my black belt test was within reach for the second time. Looking back on where I was, and what I was, I wouldn’t have measured up to our green belt standard. That’s why this black belt, and this organization, is so meaningful to me. When you test for a belt, you know that you have earned it. The level of prestige associated with the black belt is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before in my martial arts experience, and I’m glad that this is where I’ve chosen to spend my time.”

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“To me, the black belt is the difference between training in the martial arts and being a martial artist. When a student is a red belt or black stripe, it should be expected that the fundamental, physical aspects of the discipline are mastered. The black belt test, the one I’m about to undergo, is the last true test of physical aptitude. After that, once the black belt is attained, the journey becomes more of a mental one. It is the end of one part of the journey, but the beginning of another. A black belt embodies the tenets of taekwondo, their own personal code, not only on the mats and in training, but in every aspect of life. They are courteous – kind and respectful to everyone they encounter. They have integrity – they operate with truth, and honor, and hold themselves to a high personal standard. They persevere through any challenge or obstacle. They possess a sense of discipline, of self-control, of both their actions and their emotions. And they refuse to let their unbreakable, indomitable spirit be defeated. In my view, the difference between a red belt and a black belt has nothing to do with kicking and punching. The difference is in those tenets. We learn them on the mats, but we adopt them in endeavors unrelated to martial arts too. We develop the ability to regulate our emotions, our feelings of anger, of recklessness, of doubt, of fear. We interact with our peers with a sense of respect, and of fairness. We refuse to give in easily when faced with adversity. That is what makes a black belt a true ambassador of the martial arts.”

“Over the last year, I’ve caught another martial arts bug, and learned more about a whole other side of all this. I had the opportunity to start teaching kids. I never thought that I would be much of a teacher: the idea of standing in front of a class of students and talking to them terrified me. But as I’ve watched them grow and improve over time, I’ve realized that I’ve wanted to do this my whole life. It’s not a cliche to say that teaching is the most fulfilling job you can have – the sense of pride I have in my students when they break through barriers and improve is unparalleled by any other feeling I’ve felt. I’m going to keep chasing that feeling as long as I can find students that want to learn from the experience I have.Teaching martial arts is what I was meant to do, and I hope I can give back to the organization that has given me so much by continuing to be a part of training the next generation, and I hope I can do that for a very long time.”

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Mr. Stronge is an integral part of of the SMA Team.  He brings a level of excitement, energy and passion for the martial arts to every class!  Our students come out of class with big smiles and enthusiasm for learning – what more could we ask for!  Thanks for being an awesome part of the Team Mr. Stronge.

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.

 

Jr. Instructor Highlight: Bo Kyo Sa Aidan Bernardo

Meet Bo Kyo Sa Aidan Bernardo – Black Belt – 1st Dan

Bo Kyo Sa Aidan Bernardo began his martial arts training at the age of 6.  He has been with Summit Martial Arts since it’s inception in May 2014.  He completed his Junior Instructor Training Program Team in 2017 and has been assisting in our children’s classes for 3 years.

Aidan has competed in dozens of tournaments over the years including the 2014 TAFISA World Martial Arts Games earning a Gold Medal for Team Canada in Bo Staff, winning Grand Champion at the 2015 Shuswap Open Martial Arts Tournament.  In 2018, Bo Kyo Sa Aidan was hand selected to be a member of our tournament team.  He has represented our school at dozens of tournaments over the years.  He competes in Bo Staff, Forms, Sparring, Team Forms and Team Sparring.

On May 27, 2017, Bo Kyo Sa Aidan Bernado alongside his cousins tested for his Black Belt.  In his essay “What it means to be a black belt”, Aidan shows his gratitude for his martial arts journey:

“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!”

To Aidan, martial arts is not about becoming the best kicker or puncher, it is about being disciplined, helping others, learning to protect himself and others. He enjoys teaching because it is an opportunity to build connections and to learn new things and grow as a martial artist. Throughout his journey, he has learned how to defend himself by using different techniques and strategies, learned some awesome take downs and learned how to push his limits and set new goals.  Bo Kyo Sa Aidan credits martial arts for making him the person he is today.   We think that’s a pretty awesome person, we are grateful to have him as an integral part of our school.

On June 27, 2019, Bo Kyo Sa Aidan Bernardo was promoted to 1st Dan Black Belt.  Congratulations!

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The 5 Tenets of Taekwondo

5 Tenants of Tae Kwon DoMartial Arts is steeped in tradition and principles.  People are often drawn to the practice based on this adherence to a high moral code of conduct.  Students are expected to follow this moral standard both inside and outside the dojang.  At Summit Martial Arts, we ask all our students to conduct themselves in a way that is becoming of a true martial artist.  It is not enough to simply learn the movements, one must embody all the tenets of Taekwondo that have been taught for generations before them.  Our instructors consider each student’s ability to follow these “rules” when determining readiness for belt promotion or leadership training.  Today, we will discuss the 5 tenets of Tae Kwon Do and what it means for us as martial artists.

Black Belt Test at Summit Martial Arts

1. Courtesy

Courtesy by definition:  The showing of politeness in one’s attitude and behaviour towards others.

What does this mean for our martial arts practice:  It means showing respect to your instructors and fellow students by being on time for class, bowing when entering and leaving the dojang, bowing to black belts as they enter and leave the dojang – you are showing courtesy and respect for their earned rank, standing at attention when speaking to a black belt, always listening to your instructor when he or she is speaking, always addressing instructors with the appropriate title (Master, Mr. or Mrs – please ask if you are unsure), being respectful to your senior ranks and courteous to your junior ranks, it is important to be patient and kind to our junior ranks – you set the example for them, do not interrupt or talk when an instructor is speaking, being respectful of your fellow students training time and the instructors time, be polite – always.

 

2. Integrity

Integrity by definition:  The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles.

What does this mean for our martial arts training:  the best way to think of integrity is to always do the right thing.  If you are asked for 25 push ups, you do 25, not 23. If you commit to something, see it through.  Always be honest with yourself and others, dishonesty is never rewarded.

For Summit Martial Arts, maintaining our integrity is of the utmost importance. Our students are a representation of what we teach.  We take this seriously.  We teach our techniques properly before we move on, we do not promote unless a student is ready, we do not reward ego or unsportsmanlike conduct, we set the example.

 

3. Perseverance

Perseverance by definition:  Persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success

What does that mean for our martial arts training:  this tenet can be applied to any goal a student would like to reach both inside and outside the dojang.  If you are looking to achieve your Black Belt, you must persevere to achieve this milestone. To persevere means pushing yourself when you feel like quitting, pushing yourself to practice when no one else is watching, doing what ever it takes to achieve your goals.

 

4. Self Control

Self Control by definition:  The ability to control oneself, in particular one’s emotions and desires, especially in difficult situations

What does this mean for our martial arts training:  Self control is extremely important inside and outside the dojang, whether conducting oneself in sparring or in your own personal life. A loss of self control in sparring can cause great harm to both student and opponent. Senior students should control their ego and not feel the need to dominate or “show up” less experienced students.   As Lao Tzu says ““The best fighter is never angry.”

 

Self control in one’s own life can be crucial at home, at work and in public. Controlling our emotions is a skill – one that can be honed with practice and determination.  Remember, Tae Kwon Do is an art based in self defence and should only be used as when absolutely necessary.

“You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”

― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

5. Indomitable Spirit

Indomitable Spirit by definition:  a spirit that cannot be subdued or overcome; unconquerable

What does that mean for our martial arts practice:  any martial artist must possess an indomitable spirit in order to develop their physical, spiritual and moral character.  This spirit helps you to persevere through seemingly insurmountable obstacles, it keeps you going, it pushes you through mental and physical exhaustion, it cannot be crushed, it tells you to try again if you fail, to pick yourself up when you are down, to keep practising, and it pushes you to face your fears.  This indomitable spirit will push you to be the BEST you can be.

 

What do the 5 Tenets of Tae Kwon Do mean to you?  Think about this as you go about your daily life and be mindful in your training.  We should spend time reflecting on these principles as they are the most important part of being a true martial artist.

Black Belt Journey

Summer’s ALMOST Here! How to keep up with your training.

Summer is finally here!  This is the time of year when lots of our SMA families take vacation or break from their training.  After working hard all year, you don’t want to lose your momentum and start over in September.  Here are some tips for keeping up your training over the summer months if you are away.

  1.  Push ups and Crunches as always can be done at home all year long.  Try doing sets of 25 when you first wake in the morning and again at night before bed.  Or try doing sets of 10 during commercials while watching your fave television program.
  2. Keep up your stretch!  This one is crucial – losing your flexibility can lead to injury and will effect every part of your training when you return.  Kicks and stances can be greatly improved by regular at home stretching.
  3. Take your workout outdoors – at the park, camp ground or on the playground – simple exercises can be done any where.  A few effective exercises – squats, lunges, push ups, chin ups on the monkey bars, sprints, dips on a park bench, knee tuck ins off the bench – simple and a great workout any one can do!
  4. Get the whole family involved – parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters – a healthy family is a happy family!
  5. Sign up for a Team race – summer has a lot of fun, family friendly races – Spartan, Tough Mudder, Color Run – get a team together – train together – Team Summit is training for the Spartan!
  6. Make it fun!  Exercise should not be punishment – it releases endorphins which help with stress and overall health.

What’s on for May at SMA

The year is going by in a flash!! We are wrapping up our tournament season at the end of May. It’s been a busy season!  On April 6, we competed at the 2019 Calgary Open Martial Arts Championships at Bearspaw Christian School.  This was a tremendous tournament – over 300 competitors – the top martial artists in Alberta were out and it was spectacular!  Team Summit did an amazing job!  We are so proud of each and every one of you.

Alisha – GRAND CHAMPION (age 8 and under) AND Gold for Forms, Silver for Sparring
Team Summit – Bronze for Team Forms
Zosia – double Gold for Sparring and Forms
Oliver – Gold for Forms
Jayden – Bronze for Sparring
Rylan – Silver for Forms, Bronze for Sparring
Sebastian – double Silver for Sparring and Forms
Brody – Silver for Continuous Sparring, Gold for Sparring, Silver for Forms
Chaney – Gold for Forms
Mikko – Silver for Forms, Bronze for Sparring
Aidan – double Bronze for Sparring and Forms
Marcuz – Gold for Forms, Silver for Sparring
Finished the day with an EXCITING Team Fighting Division where TEAM SUMMIT TOOK HOME THE GOLD!

 

We would like to congratulate Bo Kyo Sa Bernardo for being promoted to 1st Dan. You have shown your true dedication to the martial arts.  You have shown that the journey is not over when you get your black belt, it is just the beginning.

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Our final 3 tournaments are PMA Tournament of Champions April 27, the 2019 High River Martial Arts Championships on May 11 and the 2019 Western Canadian Karate Championships on May 25. Please join us and support your fellow SMA athletes at any one of these tournaments – more details can be found on our FB page

SMA will be celebrating our 5th Anniversary on May 13th!  Stay tuned for celebration plans once tournament season comes to an end.

Private lessons are now available on Fridays and Sundays for those wishing to get in a little extra practice  You can book online or in person.

 

Congratulations Master Morris!

As many of you know, Master Morris flew out to Halifax, Nova Scotia in August for a weekend long training camp with Grand Master Clark and the members of Martial Virtue Alliance.  It was a weekend filled with seminars on weapons disarming, Bo Staff, sparring, cardio kick boxing and review of our entire curriculum.

The members of SMA and MVA believe strongly that the journey does not end when you get your black belt, it is just the beginning.  All our instructors are committed to life long learning.

The highlight to the weekend was Grand Master Clark (Master Morris’ instructor for the past 28 years) honoring Master Morris with his promotion to 7th Dan.  We take our Black Belt promotions very seriously.  Even our instructors have to demonstrate they have earned their rank with hard work and dedication.  Master Morris trained for 7+ years in between promotions.  His knowledge, dedication and commitment to the martial arts has remained strong for the last 26 years.  He continues to inspire and ignite passion for the martial arts in his students.  Congratulations Master Morris.  We are all very proud of you.