Jr. Instructor Highlight: Ms. Elena Guo

Meet Ms. Elena Guo – Brown Belt

Elena has been training in the martial arts for 4 years, joining SMA in April 2016. Elena completed the SMA Junior Instructor Training Program in September 2018.  She believes the mental aspects of Tae Kwon Do are the most valuable lessons. These lessons have taught her discipline, perseverance, self-control and respect.  She understands that to succeed you must break through the mental barriers and never give up.

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We asked Ms. Elena a few questions, here’s what she had to say:

What is your most memorable/proud moment?

My most memorable moment in martial arts was after completing my brown belt test, Master Morris said that he and the Black Belt Board collectively agreed that my belt test performance was the strongest performance of the day and that he was incredibly proud of me.  The brown belt test was by far the hardest belt test I had done, and after having endured almost 4 hours of pushing myself to my physical limits, it was extremely rewarding to hear that praise.

What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy is to ensure that students are having fun while learning. I am happy if there is just one thing that they can take away from each class, no matter how big or small that thing is.

Why do you love the martial arts?
I love martial arts because it is not a sport that only purely trains your physical body, but it is a sport that trains your mind too. Martial arts teaches you practical skills such as self defense, but more importantly, it teaches you respect, discipline, and perseverance.
While the physical skills are not something that I can use every day in my life, the 5 Tenets of Taekwondo are aspects that I apply in my daily life, helping me become a better person.

Why do you love SMA?
I love Summit Martial Arts because we get to know one another and eventually, we grow to become a family together. Everyone supports and helps each other to improve and become the best version of themselves.

Hobbies outside of martial arts?

My hobbies outside of martial arts include badminton, piano, and choir. I have completed level 10 Royal Conservatory of Music piano, and I am a part of the Festival Choir at school.

Elena believes that words and actions reflect who you are.  Showing respect to others is also showing respect to yourself.  Elena enjoys instructing because it allows her to pass on knowledge and experience to younger students. She believes if you can help one person improve it makes a difference in their lives. She looks forward to expanding her knowledge and skills through her martial arts journey.

Thank you for your dedication to our school and to teaching our young students.  We are lucky to have such an amazing group of young people at SMA!

 

2018 Comes to a End……..

As 2018 comes to a close, we take some time to reflect on the amazing year we have had.   We are humbled and extremely grateful to have such supportive and dedicated students and families.  SMA is truly one big family – you can feel the camaraderie the minute you step through our doors.  The support of our students shows at belt tests and tournaments when everyone cheers on their fellow SMA training partners.   It is truly a wonderful thing to be part of.  Mrs. and Master Morris would like to thank everyone who is involved with our school – we wouldn’t be where we are without ALL of you!!!

Let’s look at 2018:

Kicking off 2018, SMA was voted Top Martial Arts School in Calgary!

Tournament Grand Champion for Bo Kyo Sa Mikko Bernardo

All our hard work around the dojang every single class

All the hours of practice for our belt gradings

All the dedicated students who came out for tournament training on Friday nights

All the tournaments!!!!!  And there were a LOT!

All the amazing displays of good sportsmanship and encouragement

A tremendous honor for Ms. Chaney who was named CTV Athlete of the Week

A BIG congratulations to Mr. Stronge for achieving his Black Belt

A pretty cool summer camp held in Truro, Nova Scotia

A BIG BIG congratulations to Master Morris for his promotion to 7th Dan

A brand new Junior Instructor Team was selected

A Tournament Team was hand selected to represent TEAM SUMMIT

All the students named Most Improved and Most Dedicated at our annual Holiday Party

And of course, the 5 Tenets and Mrs. Morris award going to Ms, Bravo and Lorenzo!

Our special awards including Athlete of the Year going to Ms. Chaney

And, ending the year with being an official nominee for the 2019 Top Martial Arts School (don’t forget to vote and share!!)

Check out our 2018 Year in Review – it’s pretty amazing!!  Click here to watch the video.

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.

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 little spring in our step for April

A little late but here’s what happened in April.

We started the month off a bang!  On Saturday, April 2 we had our monthly belt grading.  We started the day with our Advanced ranks – green belt and red with a black stripe.  A lot of hard work goes in to preparing for our tests.  Today, our students demonstrated their tenacity and indomitable spirit pushing themselves till the very end.  Congratulations Coban, Chaney, Mikko and Aidan on your promotions.  You EARNED those belts!

Next up was the Beginner ranks – orange and yellow belts.  Belt Tests can sometimes be an eye opening experience.  We pride ourselves on maintaining a high standard at all our belt tests.  It is not enough to simply show up – you must demonstrate your techniques correctly to be promoted.  This is where all the at home practice becomes evident.  Congratulations Tynan, Shawna, Carson, Spencer, Taydon, Isabelle, Ethan and Angelo.  Well done!

Our Little Monkeys and Little Dragons closed out the day.  These kids did an amazing job showcasing their skills and physical endurance.  We are proud of each and every one of you.  Congratulations Cayden, Tyler, Evan, Nicolas, Rylan, Zurrin, Aiden, and Ignacio on your belt promotions!

Cardio Kick Start kicked off on Saturday, April 9 and what a kick off it was!  Cardio is a huge component to successful sparring.  We’ve had a great turn out and it’s only getting better.  This may become a permanent class on the SMA schedule.

On Saturday, April 23, Team Summit attended the Calgary City Championship hosted by Provincial Martial Arts.  We had 7 students compete in divisions ages 6 through to adult.  Team Summit came home with 7 Golds, 2 Silver, and 3 Bronze!  A special congratulations to Max who earned a spot on Team Canada for the W.O.M.A.A World Martial Arts Games in Germany in July!!  We are so proud of each and every one of you.  You represented SMA with the utmost sportsmanlike conduct, we could not ask for any thing more.   Great job!

Congratulations to our own Mr. Chernichen for finishing the Calgary Police 5k on April 24 in 25:29! Great job!  It’s not all about TKD, all the time.  Way to get out there and support Calgary Police Services.

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We finished off the month with a final Little Monkey and Little Dragons belt test.  Congratulations George, Cassidy and Rogan on your belt promotions.

Up Next Month: KSL Pop Up Boutique on May 14 (open to the public), 38th Annual Western Canadian Karate Championships on May 21 in Red Deer, AB, and more.

 

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

The importance of goal setting – what are YOUR goals for 2015?

You don’t need to wait for January 1 to set goals for yourself.  Goal setting is about finding what’s important to you and figuring out a way to attain those goals.  It is crucial that your goals are something YOU want to do, not just something that sounds good to others.  The process of goal setting helps you understand where you are and where you want to go – it also helps keep you motivated.  Here are some tips for setting goals for yourself:

1) Choose a goal or 2.  Be specific. For example, “lose weight” or “get my black belt” are too vague.  You want to be crystal clear in your intention – “lose 25 lbs” or “get my black belt by XXXX year”.  Try to find a middle ground between aiming too high and underestimating your abilities. It is important to understand why you are doing what you are doing.  What will accomplishing this goal mean to you?

2) Write your goals down.  Be as specific as possible, include a timeline for achieving your goals.  Be realistic – getting your black belt in a year is not an attainable goal. Write your goals in a positive tone – positive thinking goes a long way in helping you achieve the goals.  Keep a journal of your progress.

Interest and Committment

3) Make your goals measurable.  For example, if you goal is to lose 25 lbs, you want to set a specific measure to lose 1 lb per week.  Tracking your progress in these little increments provides you with small victories.  These positive steps build momentum, boost your confidence and help you to keep motivated and on target to reach your goal.

4) Create an action plan – make it happen.  This is vital to achieving your goals.  “Failing to plan is planning to fail”.  Decide when you are going to put your plan in to action, include details and timing of your plan, make milestones to help you achieve the goal on time.

5) Review your goals often.  Go back to your journal, make sure that this goal is really what you want to do.  Recognize and celebrate your success.  Adapt your plan if necessary, just make sure to keep to your main objective.

6) Stick to the plan, but stay flexible.  This will be the biggest challenge.  Life sometimes throws you in a direction you were not expecting.  This is where you will see how much your goal means to you – if it is important, you will find a way to make it work despite the change in circumstance.  Don’t let distractions lead you down the road to procrastination.  Go back, read why you are doing this, keep motivated!

7) Share your goals and find an accountability friend.  Be brave, share your goals with a friend, family member, or instructor.  As you go through the process, ask for feedback and reward yourself for milestones in your journey.  For example, if you achieve the next belt on your way to black belt – reward yourself with a special dinner or a new uniform/bo staff/punch mitts.  Having someone to help you stay accountable for your goals is priceless!

The bottom line is goal setting has powerful and lasting effects on your life and your well being.  The power is in your hands – the sky is the limit!  You can accomplish anything you put your mind to!!  Be BOLD!  Be AMAZING!!

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.

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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