On Saturday, September 19, 2015 Summit Martial Arts held our 1st Black Belt Test in Calgary. This is a sacred rite of passage only a select few will accomplish. We adhere to a generations old, rigorous standard for our black belt promotion. As with all our belt tests, a student must EARN the belt around their waist. It is not enough to simply show up – a student must show their skill, physical endurance, dedication, determination and their indomitable spirit. Within our organization, Martial Virtue Alliance, all students undergo the same demanding black belt test. When you wear a Black Belt from our organization, you can rest assured you deserve your rank.
Our distinguished Board consisted of 7 Black Belts from Maine, Nova Scotia and Calgary – Grand Master Michael Clark, Master Shane Morris, Master Wayne Langille, Kyo Sa Nim Beckey Langille, Kyo Sa Nim Drucie Janes, Kyo Sa Nim Garnet McLean, and Mr. David Uy.
This day has been a year in the making. A Black Belt Test requires a tremendous amount of work and dedication on the part of the student and their instructor. Our Black Belt test challenges every part of the body and the mind. We spend a lot of time discussing and working on a positive mental attitude. After all, the mind will quit a thousand times before the body will break. Fatigue can play games with your mind. It is only those with an indomitable spirit that push through that barrier and persevere to reach the summit.
The physical requirements for the test are intense. We begin with push ups and sit ups. This extreme physical exertion at the beginning of the test resets the mind and pushes nervous energy aside.
Our students are tested on their knowledge of hand techniques, kicks, 1 step sparring, take downs, forms, board breaking, and sparring.
The Black Belt test runs for about 4 hours. The final portion of the test is 10 – 2 minute rounds of sparring with a fresh black belt. This is no easy feat. After 3 1/2 hours of pushing their bodies to the limits, the sparring is where you really see what your made of.
A tremendous amount of drive, determination and personal fortitude is required to push through 10 consecutive rounds of sparring. Both these gentlemen gave it everything they had. They embody what it means to be a TRUE martial artist.
At the end of the test, the Board meets to discuss the outcome. It was the unanimous decision of that Board to promote both students. On this day, Mr. William Chernichen was promoted to 2nd Dan and Mr. Florian Bernardo was promoted to 1st Dan.
One of the members of our Board commented “This is a True BLACK BELT test. Mr Bernardo and Mr Chernichen truly deserves their rank. Very Honored be be part of it. My utmost respect to Master Shane Morris and thank you for bringing the true Martial Arts back.”
It was an amazing day. Congratulations to both our students on their promotions. All your hard work and dedication paid off. Remember: A Black Belt is a white belt that never gave up. So very true.