We had a busy May & June, time for summer fun!

Here’s what we’ve been up to in May and June:

Happy 2nd Year Anniversary to Summit Martial Arts!  We held our very 1st class on May 13 at the Sheppard Community Centre.  That seems like a million years ago.  We have come so far and are grateful for all the love and support our SMA families have shown us.  Here’s to the next 10 years!

On May 14, we had another wonderful visit from the KSL Mobile Boutique – we love to support Canadian business owners and their products.  It was a great day, we can’t wait until our next Pop Up Boutique in the fall.

On May 30, we had a Little Monkeys Belt Test.  Our Monkeys did their best and earned their next belt.  Congratulations to David, Leila, Xander, Ignacio and Calin.  Great work!

The 38th Annual Western Canadian Karate Championships were held on May 21 in Red Deer, AB.  It was a big turn out – several hundred competitors – and some stiff competition.  Team Summit showcased their skills and represented SMA with the utmost integrity and sportsmanship.  Team Summit came away with 4 Gold medal wins, 7 Silver medals and 4 Bronze medals. We are proud of each of you!

In June, we had a 3 week Bo Staff Workshop.  Our students learned the basics of Bo Staff, worked on these techniques to prepare for their 1st Bo Staff form.  This was an exciting class for all.

On June 14, CTV Calgary was at the dojang to film our very own Max. S. for CTV Athlete of the Week.  We are so proud of Max!  He will be heading to the World Martial Arts Games in Germany in July to compete for Team Canada.  We would like to send a special thank you out to @BigChiefBeef and CTV’s Lisa Bowes for supporting amateur athletes on their journey to the World stage. Max’s story airs Friday, July 1 at 6:45pm.  Be sure to tune in!

On June 18, we headed out to Beiseker for the East End Tae Kwon Do Kids 4 Kids Tournament.  Team Summit came home with 3 golds, 1 silver, 1 bronze and 2 4th place!!  Congratulations Max, Chaney, Cole and Brody!

Our final test of the season was on June 25.  It was a BIG one!  Our students work very hard to prepare for their tests.  As a student moves up in the ranks, there are months of practice to get ready.  We uphold a rigorous test standard for ALL our students.  Anyone that receives a promotion at SMA knows that they have earned that belt.  Congratulations to Brody, Shelley, Jann, Jeannie, Cole, Ethan, Matias, Jason, and Elena!

Later in the day, we had our Little Dragons and Little Monkeys test.  Our kids did an amazing job showcasing their skills.  Great job everyone!  Congratulations to Nicolas, Tyler, Evan T., Jorden, Sebastian, Xander, and Evan D.

Summer is here!  Remember students may wear their SMA T-shirts to class for July and August.  We are looking forward to an awesome summer – let’s work hard and get ready for next season!  We wish Max the best of luck as he steps on to the world stage in a few short weeks……….stay tuned for updates!

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

Top 5 Benefits of Martial Art Training for Kids

Martial Arts training can have a lasting effect on both your health and mental well being.  Here are our Top 5 Benefits of Martial Arts Training for Kids.

1) Improves Physical Fitness – In today’s day and age, our kids are constantly “plugged in”.  Gone are the days when kids would play outside for hours only coming home when the street lights come on.  That is why being physically active is so important. Martial Arts is a great way to improve strength, endurance and overall fitness level.  And, it’s a LOT of fun for the entire family!  It is a total body sport, you use every muscle in your body including your heart and lungs.  Taking part in physical activity will also help your kids sleep better – what a bonus!

2) Fosters Self Discipline and Improves Concentration – While each martial arts style is different, discipline is one similarity they all share.  For us, the 5 tenants of Tae Kwon Do are courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self control and indomitable spirit. Our kids are taught to maintain these moral characteristics both inside and outside the martial arts studio.  During class, children learn how to control their minds and their bodies.  It helps them find focus and a sense of stillness.  By learning to focus and be still, children improve their ability to concentrate when there are distractions. Parents report students with diagnosed ADHD and ADD improve leaps and bounds when enrolled in a martial arts program. The discipline taught in class will spill over in to every day life – including school and home.

Summit Martial Arts Belt Test

3) Teaches Self Defence – Self Defence is the corner stone for most martial arts programs.  Martial Arts teaches children how to handle many of life’s challenges – both physical and emotional.   Being able to deal with life’s disappointments and let downs is just as important a self defence skill as learning how to punch and kick. We teach kids the skills to avoid dangerous situations and how to defend themselves against a bully or attacker should that situation arise.  Children will learn “street smarts” and know how to apply effective techniques when necessary.  Knowing these skills gives kids the confidence to react when the time is right.  These skills could save their life.

Summit Martial Arts Sparring

4) Instils Self Confidence – Working through a martial arts program gives children confidence in themselves, knowing they can achieve their goals. By mastering a new technique or earning your next belt rank, children feel a sense of accomplishment and pride.  This is a feeling every child should know.  We love our belt test days – watching our kids beam with pride as you wrap the new belt around their waist is being a witness to pure joy.

PMA Spring Challenge - Summit Martial ArtsSummit Martial Arts Belt Test - June 2015

5) Develops Social Skills – Being part of a team or part of a group class, children learn important social skills as they interact with other children and their instructor. Our children show their support of their fellow students by cheering each other on at belt tests, tournaments and during class.  Being surrounded by positive influences will have a tremendous effect on your child’s well being and these early experiences will have a lasting impact on the lives.

Our Summit Kids - Summit Martial Arts Calgary

Summit Martial Arts Team