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

Look what we did in February!

Summit Martial Arts attended the Rocky Mountain Open Martial Arts Tournament in Calgary on Saturday, February 6, 2016.  We are very proud of all the students who competed, all your hard work paid off!  You represented SMA with the utmost respect and sportsmanlike conduct.

Gold for Forms (age 6 – white belt) for Nicolas
Bronze for Sparring (age 6 – for white belt) for Tyler
Bronze for Sparring (age 9 – green belt) for Brody
Silver for Forms (age 12 – yellow belt) for Chaney
Gold for Forms (age 11 – red belt) for Mikko
Gold for Sparring (age 11 – red belt) for Mikko
Silver for Forms (age 12 – red with black band) for Marcuz
Silver for Sparring (age 12 – red with black band) for Marcuz
Gold for Team Forms for Marcuz and Mikko
Gold for Forms (age 15 – brown belt) for Max
Gold for Sparring (age 15 – brown belt) for Max
Gold for Weapons Forms for Mikko
Silver for Weapons Forms for Marcuz
Gold for Forms (men’s division – white to green belt) for Matias
Bronze for Forms (men’s division – white to green belt) for Dan
Silver for Sparring (men’s division – white to green belt) for Dan
Bronze for Sparring (men’s division – white to green belt) for Omar

Grand Total for the Day = 9 Gold Medals, 5 Silver Medals, 4 Bronze Medals!! WAY TO GO TEAM SUMMIT!!!!

Check out Max go for the Gold!

Our 30 Day Challenge came to an end in February.  We had a great 30 days of awesome workouts and support.  Our Facebook group provided for some great accountability.  We learned about the importance of meal prep, healthy eating, portion sizes, HIIT training and weight training.  Our ladies put in the work and saw results!  What more could we ask for?  Are we ready for Round 2 yet?

This month we launched the Summit Martial Arts app!  The goal was to make the sign in process easy and convenient for all our students.  We are still working out all the bugs and hope to have everything running smoothly in the next few weeks.  The SMA app is a FREE download in the Apple App Store and on Google Play.  If you need help getting set up, please see Mrs. Morris and she will assist you.  Click below to see the app in action.

Here is the link to the Apple App

Here is the link to the Google Play App

Our SMA Belt Test was held on Saturday, February 27.  We started our day with our Little Monkeys and Little Dragons test – it was a full house!  Standing room only for friends and family.  Our SMA kids did an excellent job showcasing their skills.  Congratulations Isabella, Micah, Hunter, Rylan, Xander, Sebastien, Cassidy, Hayden, and Calin.  All your hard work paid off!  We are proud of each and every one of you.

Next up was our Orange and Yellow Belt Test.  Our students went up and down the floor showing their kicks, punches, and blocks.  We finished the day with 2 rounds of continuous sparring.  Our belt tests are not easy, we have always maintained our high standards at each and every test. At SMA, you know without a doubt you have EARNED the belt around your waist.  Congratulations to Dan, Omar, Xander, Matias, Brock, and Sam.  Great job everyone!

We finished the day with our Green and Red Belt tests.  These tests are not for the faint of heart.  This is where you show what you are made of.  The physical requirements will test both your mind and your body.  We are so proud of Max and Levi for their amazing efforts.  Congratulations!  You EARNED those belts!

Summer Camp registration opens for current SMA students. Summit Martial Arts is proud to offer full day and half day – week long summer camps for ages 6-12. Week 1 – July 18 to 22 and Week 2 – August 8 to 13.  Our camps are open to everyone. There is no experience necessary. Full day students will have 2 – 1 hour lessons per day. Our days feature a balanced mix of tae kwon do fundamentals, sparring (light contract/flag sparring), self-defence, kicking exercises, punching drills, and board breaking. Students will work on strength training, agility and co-ordination through a series of fun and challenging circuits. Children will be divided in to smaller groups of 4-5 based on their age and skill level and will be paired with a junior camp instructors. There will also be a mini-tournament held on Friday where students will showcase all their newly developed skills.

Our goal is to provide a high energy, active and fun day for our kids. This is a great opportunity for kids to learn a new skill, make new friends, and boost their self-confidence when faced with challenging situations.

Please see our website for more details.

Register Now

We can’t wait to see what March will bring!  Train hard!  We will see you all on the mats.

 

The 5 Tenets of Tae Kwon Do

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 Tae Kwon Do 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.

Master Morris

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.

Black Belts

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.”

Sparring

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.

Throw in the Towel

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

A Black Belt Test at Summit Martial Arts

Summit Martial Arts SignOn 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.

Belts at Summit Martial Arts

Our distinguished Board consisted of 7 Black Belts from Maine, Nova Scotia and Calgary – Grand Master Michael Clark, Master Shane Morris, Master Wayne LangilleKyo Sa Nim Beckey Langille, Kyo Sa Nim Drucie JanesKyo Sa Nim Garnet McLean, and Mr. David Uy.

Black Belt Test at Summit Martial Arts

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.

Push Ups Black Belt Test

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.

Kick at Black Belt Test

Our students are tested on their knowledge of hand techniques, kicks, 1 step sparring, take downs, forms, board breaking, and sparring.

1 Step 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.

Sparring at SMA

Sparring at SMA

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.

Sparring

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.

Stand Before the Board

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.”  

Black Belts

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.

Black Belt Test

A Black Belt Story: Grand Master Michael Clark – 8th Dan

For those new to our organization, Grand Master Clark is Master Morris‘ long time instructor and the head of the Martial Virtue Alliance. The Martial Virtue Alliance was established in May of 2011 during a meeting of 26 like minded Black Belts from Canada and the USA.  The founding members of our organization are all associated by the teachings of Grand Master Michael Clark.  Grand Master Clark has been teaching Moo Duk Kwan Tae Kwon Do for 40 years.  His teaching philosophy is that of simple yet effective martial arts.  Grand Master Clark guides the curriculum and standards upheld by the schools in the MVA.  He adheres to the traditional methods of teaching maintaining the integrity of the art, respecting its traditions, martial arts etiquette, and ethics.

This is his story:

Grand Master Michael Clark began his martial arts training during his tour in Vietnam at the age of 20. He was stationed at DaNang Air Base on the DMZ of North and South Vietnam.

Danang Air Base

He attended training 6 days a week, 4 hours per day for 10 months with the Korean Masters.  The training was gruelling and brutal in its methods.

7 Tiger Divison Martial Arts demonstration

At the end of the 10 months, Grand Master Clark made his 1st attempt to earn his black belt.  The test was to be 4 hours long with the fighting at the end.  To earn the coveted black belt, Grand Master Clark needed to knock out his challenger and physically remove his opponents black belt.  This was no easy feat.  His 1st attempt, he was knocked unconscious in the first minute of fighting.  He failed the test.  Over the next 6 weeks, Grand Master Clark tested 3 more times – all with the same outcome – failure.  He had one last and final attempt before being shipped home to the USA.  Grand Master Clark made a decision to NEVER be knocked down again.  On his 5th and final attempt, Grand Master Clark did what he set out to accomplish.  At age 21, he was able to knock out his opponent and removed his belt. Grand Master Clark had earned his black belt.

Black Belt

In 1973, Grand Master Clark returned to the United States and started the first martial arts school on the Pease Air Force Base.  The school grew from 35 students to 125 within the first few months.  He remained there until his discharge from the military in 1975.

Pease Air Force Base

After the military, Grand Master Clark moved to Massachusetts started a family, worked for the US Postal Service and continued to train at a Kenpo Martial Arts school.  For the next 24 years, Grand Master Clark would train and teach future generations of martial artists.

Grand Master Clark believes strongly in adherence to traditional Tae Kwon Do practice.  This tradition is at the very core of martial arts and should not be forgotten. Over the years, he has had the honour to meet and train with many martial artists. Grand Master Clark holds all his black belts to the highest standards and is proud of all they have accomplished. Grand Master Clark is passionate about passing on his extensive knowledge and expertise to the members of our organization and looks forward to being involved in the Martial Virtue Alliance for years to come.

Grand Master Michael Clark – 8th Dan

A Black Belt Story: Master Shane Morris – 6th Dan

The road to black belt is a unique and personal journey.  If you ever have the opportunity to talk to black belts about their experience, you will not regret the time spent listening.  The stories are ones of giving it 110%, sheer force of will, against all odds, never accepting defeat, digging deep and giving it your ALL.

Black Belt

No matter where you are or what your station in life, if you want something bad enough, you are wiling to do whatever it takes to get there.  Master Morris was determined to get his black belt – there was simply no other option.

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The Morris’ moved to New Brunswick after a harsh economic downturn in Manitoba forced the family to relocate.  At age 14, Master Morris found a school in Woodstock, NB where he continued his training in a new style – Moo Duk Kwan Tae Kwon Do.  Master Morris went to class 2 days a week and practiced at home on his off days.  Once a month, he would travel to Maine for additional training with Grand Master Clark.
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Times were tough – the family was living in a trailer while their house was being built. Space was limited. There was no basement to practice in so Master Morris took his training outside.  Out there on the lawn, Master Morris spent hours working on his kicks and perfecting his forms.

There was no money for fancy equipment so Master Morris filled the bottom of a burlap potato sack with sand, filled the rest with rags and fashioned it to a 2 x 4 on the side of a shed.  This would be his training partner for the next 2 years.

Hard Work

Master Morris knew what was expected at the black belt test.  This test was not for the faint of heart, he was faced with a 4 hour gruelling test of the mind and the body. Every part of the body would be pushed to the limit.  So he trained harder.

Every night, Master Morris ran.  He knew he would need to be in the best shape of his life to endure the test.  And, every night before bed Master Morris did 2 sets of 100 push ups and 100 crunches in preparation for his black belt test.

It will hurt

Finally, the big day was here.  Had all his hard work and dedication paid off? Master Morris was nervous.

On Saturday, May 23, 1992, Master Morris travelled to Bangor, Maine to test for his black belt.  He recalls there was 1 water break, that’s it!  (How times have changed!!)  After hours of pushing his body to the absolute limits, the test was over.  The students were bowed out and told…….”see you at dinner”.  At the time, the board met to determine if the students had met the criteria for black belt.  Having no idea if he had passed or failed, Master Morris spent a few hours wondering if he had done all he could?  At dinner, the board went over the test results.  Students were told to eat something.  Master Morris remembers being so nervous that he could not eat a thing.  Finally, the wait was over!!  The 3 students that tested that day were all promoted to black belt.  On the drive home, Master Morris held on to his black belt and did not let go.  He had done it.

Master Morris - Black Belt

For the last 23 years, Master Morris has remained dedicated to the art of Tae Kwon Do.  He continues to hone his skills as a martial artist and trains with his students during every class.  When asked what it means to be a black belt, Master Morris replied:

“A Black Belt is ultimately a symbol of the type of person you are.  It is a symbol of all the hard work and dedication you have put in to the martial arts.  It is recognition of the discipline you have shown to go the distance.  A recognition that you have persevered through all the mental and physical challenges.  A recognition that you are committed to the perfection of the art. You are a warrior, you have displayed courage, you have conquered, you are an indomitable spirit.”

Master Morris - Summit Martial Arts