I love the fall. It’s my favorite season – a combination of many things including perfect breezes, the concepts of change, and the start of something new at our school. August represents our birthday and September has always been used as a moment of change at Durham Modern Martial Arts. Lara and I leave for a little retrospective to review the last 12-months and plan the next twelve. This newsletter is a little longer to introduce you to some of the changes that are happening this year. Lara and I both thank you deeply for being part of our school.

Strategy – The Magazine

This year will see the launch of our in-school magazine called Strategy. This will be a full-fledge martial art magazine available in print and PDF format. The magazine developed out of several projects I have had running over the last few years – a magazine to celebrate the 30th annual Gathering and a martial art book I was writing for my students. This magazine will be available to students quarterly and cover all aspects of the martial arts we teach in class in full color detail. We are looking for our first issue to be available in November if not sooner.

Christmas Gifts

I know…please don’t throw Ninja Stars. I need to mention Christmas. Based on some historical problems we are planning a Christmas guide and early Christmas Shopping sale at the school. This is to help our adults and parents get some amazing stuff from over the border for their favorite students. Grappling Dummies, Impressive new Uniforms, Weapon Bags, Videos, Books, Weapons and more will be available in our Christmas catalog available in October. Orders will be going for the end of November for early wrapping at the start of December. Our 2018 T-shirt will also be ready – Miss Lara has picked out the 2018 colors and is keeping it a secret!

Light Contact Week

Starting this month (ages 8+), the third week of every month will include drills and ideas that explore tournament and street freestyle exercises to build attitude, logic, basics and fitness. For students that own DMMA-approved Freestyle Gear; please bring your gear to class to train with light contact. If you are interested in purchasing the Freestyle Gear, please talk to Mr. Bryan or Miss Lara. The use of freestyle gear during these classes is optional.

December Purple/Blue Belt Grading

Our Winter Intermediate Belt Grading to award the final group of 2017 Purple and Blue Belts will be on December 10th. Students will be notified in the first three weeks of September of their intention to promote. As always, there is still a lot of hard work the students need to put in to be awarded these significant ranks. Students who have the option to be promoted will be provided promotion Q&A worksheets as well, should attend on Sunday review classes. We will also have lesson workbooks available in early October to help with training. In next month’s newsletter, we will announce our Winter 2017 candidates.

Sunday Class Schedule

The last Sunday of each month is our make-up/catch-up classes as well as specialty training sessions. All students are welcome to attend the appropriate 10AM/11AM class to make-up a missed class or to catch-up on a little bit of extra work before the upcoming stripe test. Our Martial Art Coaches program will not have a standard monthly meeting and of course, the return of our Purple/Blue belt review class for our December Belt Test. RSVP is required.

Kenpo Dragons 10:00 AM
All Other Students 11:00 AM
Martial Coaches 12:00 PM
Purple/Blue Review 1:00 PM

The September Sunday Class will be on September 24th.

Black Belt Excellence Theme

I am super-excited about our September Black Belt Excellence theme and our approach. This month’s topic is self-esteem and the connection to being bully-proof. We are going to explore fundamentals of “attitude towards yourself”. Black Belt Mat Chats will be posted to our Facebook Page each week as well as a Black Belt Excellence page on our website. We have “healthy” self-esteem you feel good about yourself and see yourself as deserving the respect of others.

Bully-proof Poster Contest

As part of our Black Belt Excellence theme this month, students will design Bully-proof Posters that we will place throughout the school. At the end of the month we will have our parents vote on the poster that best represents this month’s theme for each age group in our school. The winner of the contest will a prize.

Parent September Special

For any parent who is interested in trying out the martial arts – try 2 weeks of classes in September for free. Classes are Tuesday and Thursday evening at 8:30. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask Mr. Bryan or Miss Lara.

Black Belt Tribe

Black Belt Tribe is a public commitment to success through the Martial Arts. In addition to our normal training sessions we meet every Wednesday to improve our martial arts through weapon training, form development, self-defense techniques and focus sessions.  Black Belt Tribe is about working with like-minded people who recognize that Black Belt is a symbol of accomplishment through demonstrating qualities of leadership & athleticism.

  • Weekly Focus Classes every Wednesday
  • Monthly Study Guides
  • Martial Art Weapon Training
  • Tailored Goal Worksheets

Students interested in joining Black Belt Tribe should ask Mr. Bryan for details.

Martial Coaches

In the background, we have been working on our Martial Art Coaches program with Hayden, Ashley and Jay. This program is built around the “Path to Excellence” Instructor Levels and the Martial Arts Teachers Association Instructor Program. The goal of this program is to develop the next generation of martial art teachers through a comprehensive curriculum. The coaches program covers:

  • The American Kenpo Curriculum
  • Class Planning and Skill Progression
  • Principles of Teaching and Education
  • Building a Flash Class
  • Professional Code of Ethics
  • and much more

For students interested in learning more about the program and participating; please talk to Mr. Bryan. Martial Coaches meet once per month for classroom work and focus on individual development throughout the remainder of the month.

DMMA iPhone App

We are putting the final touches on our DMMA Mobile Application for the iPhone. A summer project, this application will give you notices, event details, training videos, and more. This application will be available for the iPhone first followed by the iPad. An Android version will be implemented if interest exists. The application will also have workout tracking and a few additional martial art training specific features.

Competition Training

Time to time we get asked about Martial Art Competitions. For students interested in local, national and international competitions in the Martial Arts we will help support your endeavours for a variety of events including forms, weapons, freestyle, and showmanship. As our ground fighting program progresses, students will also be able to participate in ground fighting tournaments.

For competition training, we will work with each student to develop a schedule, goal definition and establish expectations for success!

Ground Fighting

Every Wednesday/Thursday class starting this month will focus on the development of forms and sets as well as ground-fighting. The fundamentals of ground-fighting for street and tournament was introduced in August with students working on the Bridge and Roll technique from the mount. This month we will continue this work with review and additional lessons.

Ground-fighting is complementary to our martial art approach and supports personal protection skills against bullies.
Some of the work we will be exploring this month include:

  • Bridge and Roll escape fundamentals
  • Bridge and Roll against a head-lock
  • Bridge and Roll against a punch to the face
  • The Open Guard Pass