As 2017 comes to an end both Lara and I are truly grateful for all our wonderful students, parents, and fans. 2017 was an amazing year of accomplishments, passion and the growth of our martial arts family. We are looking forward to an amazing 2018 with the growth of several success programs such as Black Belt and Freestyle Tribe, awarding instructor certifications to a few students, a solid year for Black Belt Excellence and a few other surprises. We wish everyone a strong and powerful start to the new year and we look forward to some amazing training, kicking off in January.

Hat Day – January 22nd to 26th

Our annual celebration of Winter is a few weeks away. During hat week, students wear a hat to class to keep their ears warm and to have a little fun at the expensive of Old Man Winter! We have had everything from basic toques to cowboy hats, Elmo masks, and many more.I even had a stuffed Olaf on my head one year! Students and parents are encouraged to wear a hat!

Black Belt Excellence

Goals and beliefs are the foundation for 2018. Our complete list of Black Belt themes can be seen on the school poster as well as for download on our Black Belt Excellence posting page. Our January theme is goal setting and the focus on accomplishing goals – through the thick and thin, is the driving force behind this years character development approach. Goals are things we want to accomplish and creating those accomplishments starts with our belief system. These two ideas go hand in hand in January.

Black Belt Tribe members will have additional work in January, establish goals and plans to achieve their next rank within 2018 – this means getting prepared for the first green belts at our school. All students are welcome to talk with me about setting up their short and long term goals for 2018 and the development of their personal high-performance training plan.

We will also be shooting videos of our mat chats so students can review the notes and expectations around each months themes. These videos will be available on our website as well as you tube. One focus of these videos will be a story, analogy or saying that helps drive direction. Mr. Bryan has many stories to share on every subject for this year.

Through thick and thin is an old English expression about driving through all obstacles that are in your way. It refers to having the determination to make it through the thick English countryside which was difficult to traverse. It’s earliest known use was in the 14th century in a story written Geoffrey Chaucer.

Black Belt Tribe FAQ and January Focus

Black Belt Tribe is one of our success programs that focuses on commitment. It is a student’s commitment to their peers, parents, and our school that they are focused on achieving their Black Belt. In recognition of their membership they are awarded a challenge coin as a symbol of the expectation in being a member. Membership in the tribe is open to all students ages 9 and above. It is a program that focuses on commitment, responsibility and personal discipline.

Theme of the Quarter. In addition to the fundamental training students will work through, each quarter we will have a specific theme. Our summer theme is Staff work and will include some great outdoor training. Our winter theme (January to March) is stick and knife fighting – a unique approach to weapons.

Wednesday Night Class. In addition to their normal training, students can also attend a Wednesday Night Black Belt Tribe class at 6:30PM. This class is optional but highly encouraged! Each week students explore a specific aspect of the art in order to improve the quality of their skills, develop new proficiencies, and move closer to their personal goals and Black Belt status. Wednesday night classes also feature the development of a “weapon of the year” with 2018 being “the Nunchaku”.

Commitment. As mentioned, this is a program about commitment with new members being allowed to join once each quarter. It is a public commitment to focusing on success in the martial arts, school, work and relationships. As we state, we train on the floor and practice in every day life. It is a tool to help students achieve their Black Belt and apply their art in a focused approach.

Joining. In order to join the Black Belt Tribe, please talk to Mr. Bryan before your next class. Please make sure you can explain why you want to join the tribe in your own words.

First Class. The first Wednesday night class of 2018 is January the 10th and 6:30 PM. All Black Belt Tribe members should attend this session. If you cannot attend, please let us know immediately. In addition, all tribe members should attend our January Nunchaku workshop on the 28th.

Pound for Pound Fighter

Starting in January, all students that participate in sparring matches, during Freestyle Tribe, Black Belt Tribe or during classes (and Yes Jayden…even before class begins) will gain points for each match they win. At the end of the year we will be awarding a Pound for Pound fighter award to the student who has had the most intelligent wins over the year. In addition to a trophy, we will also have the Pound for Pound fighter award plaque in our school. This plaque is in honour of one of the greatest martial art fighters in the last forty-years – the legendary Joe Lewis.

Tuesday January 8th at 7:15 is our first Freestyle Tribe class of 2018!

Nunchaku Workshop in January

On January 28th we will hold the first of our quarterly martial art workshops at the school. This first workshop is open to all students and will focus on the use of the traditional martial art weapon – the Nunchaku. The Nunchaku is a fun weapon and students will learn how to strike, twirl and catch this weapon in a two-hour workshop ending with the development of their own personal set in addition to some nunchaku sparring for those who are interested.

When. January 28th at 1:00 PM until 3:00 PM
Where. Durham Modern Martial Arts of course

The cost of the event is $30.00 plus the cost of the ActionFlex Nunchaku. For students who purchased the ActionFlex Nunchaku as part of our November special, this workshop is free. Spaces are limited so please register as soon as possible.

January/February Calendar

Stay up to date with special events, workshops, catch-up classes and more with our monthly calendar. Make sure to mark these special dates in your calendars and schedules. Please remember that our school is closed for winter breach from January 1st to the 7th.

January 8th – First class after the New Year Break
January 28th – Make-up/Catch-up Class
January 28th – Nunchaku Workshop
February 10th – Parents Night Out: Movie Night
February 18th – Make-up/Catch-up class
February 19h – Family Day (open)

As a reminder, make-up/catch-up class requires an RSVP for attendance. If we do not have sufficient attendance, that class is cancelled for the particular month. Make-up/Catch-up class RSVP is available at the school in our sign-up sheets.

Movie Night

February 10th is our annual movie night. As many of you know the theme is simple – drop off the kids at our school and we will watch a great movie and eat popcorn while you have a few hours of free time. Many parents have used this time to go out with friends, have a nice dinner, or simply chill out. This year we will be holding two different time slots – one for the younger kids and one for our teens and near teens. The cost of Movie night is $15.00 for the first child and $5.00 for each additional child (including a best friend). Sign-up closes on February the 6th.

• Students 6 to 10 are from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
• Students 11 to 15 are from 8:00 PM to 10:00 PM

For our adult students, we will be discussing our Perfect Weapon movie night and schedule it appropriately. Parents are welcome to join us for our martial art movie night!

Freestyle Tribe

Freestyle tribe is a group of students who train to build the functional nature of their fighting skills in tournament and street freestyle. Freestyle tribe is a great tool to build confidence, poise, discipline and fighting capability. This is a must training-session for students interested in tournament fighting. Freestyle tribe is Tuesday evenings at 7:15 to 7:30. Students new to the tribe can join the first class of each month.

Focus. Our focus in January will be the chaining of freestyle techniques into counter-for-counter combinations. This approach allows students to explore fighting basics and methods in an interactive manner so they can learn basics in application, fighting stages, and mobility.

Test. Our last freestyle class of January will focus on a hands-only round-robin competition of one-minute rounds for students to demonstrate the skills they have developed throughout the month.

Freestyle Gear in Class

Students should bring their freestyle gear to the third week of classes each month. This session will focus on Freestyle techniques and light-contact drills with students with the appropriate equipment. Freestyle gear is required for all students who are Blue Belt and above. Gear is required for the week of the 15th to the 18th.

All freestyle gear must be purchased through our school with the exception of groin protection. This includes mouth guard, head, foot and hand protection. Shin and forearm protection is optional.

Hock Hochheim Workshop

I am very proud and honoured to have Hock Hochheim return to our school for our second workshop. Hock is an internationally renowned Martial Arts instructor focusing on teaching and practice modern Combatives and the Filipino Martial Arts. He has had decades of experiences in the martial arts in addition to serving in both military and law enforcement roles. Hock is also a Black Belt Magazine hall of fame instructor.

Hock returns to Durham Modern Martial Arts for a three day workshop focusing on knife and stick work. A skilled fighter in the Filipino arts and a student of both Ernesto and Remi Presas, this workshop will be a great experience for martial artists and combative practitioners of all experience levels. Participants will explore some great exercises and scenarios that build functional experience in weapon skills. All this coupled with legendary story telling, great training partners and fabulous teaching.

The cost of the event for all three days is $250 Canadian. Space is limited so make sure to register as soon as possible. You can find out more details about the workshop on our event page.

New Publications

Our intermediate cycle workbook is complete and will be going to the printers in January. Like our basic cycle journal – this is a workbook that allows students to track their training, make great notes, and help retain information needed for their blue and green belt tests.

In addition to our cycle workbooks, we are putting to publication our training journal. This is an experienced based log to help students document their martial art experiences and help create a plan for success. Unlike the workbooks which are available to students only, the training journal will be available on Amazon for an international audience.

The workbooks and journal are part of a series of interconnected “step on the mountain” publications that help a student retain and reflect on their training in the martial arts. These books are meant to work with our “Accumulative Journal” magazine and our normal group and private training sessions.

Accumulative Journal, 2nd Issue

Our physical copies of the accumulative journal are now sold out. A new batch will be ordered shortly and PDF copies are available. A print copy of issue #1 is $20 and a PDF copy is $6. Issue number two is under development and will include articles on Long Form 1, Kick Set, Maneuver Set, several self-defence techniques, locking the arm long and much more. We also plan to have a special nunchaku edition released for issue #3. Each issue is roughly 70-pages in length and comes in a full-colour high-end format.

What will you find in issue number two?

  • What it means to be a Green Belt!
  • Problem Solving Fundamentals – a Guide
  • Long Form 1 Explored
  • Short Form 2 Explored
  • An Introduction to Speed
  • In-depth Analysis of Ten Techniques
  • And much more!

Durham Modern Martial Art students are encouraged to submit their own articles for publication in our magazine. If this is something you are interested in, please talk to Mr. Bryan about what is required.