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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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.