步步高升 Bù Bù Gāo Shēng

May every step take you higher! Chinese New Year is just around the corner and as a martial art school with heavy Chinese influences, we wish everyone a New Year full of harmony, prosperty and wealth! Friday, February 16 starts off the Year of the Dog!

According to legend, it is said that the Jade Emperor ordered that animals become part of the calendar – and that the 12 who arrived first would be selected.

At the time, the cat and the rat were good friends. When they heard the news, the cat said to the rat, “We should arrive early to sign up” knowing that he would normally wake late in the day. The rat promised to wake his friend up so they could go together.

The next day, the Rat was so excited that he forgot to awake the cat and went to see the Jade Emperor alone. During his travels the Rat came upon the tiger, ox, horse and other animals – who were all much faster than him. Being clever, the Rat convinced the ox to carry him on his back and he would sing a beautiful song as they travelled.

Just before being in the presence of the Jade Emperor, the rat leaped off the Ox and scrambled in front to become the first lucky animal; even though the Ox was the first to arrive.

The cat arrived moments late to be selected by the Jade Emperor. Furious, the cat has held a grudge against the rat every since.

Black Belt Excellence Theme

Last month was about defining things we wish to accomplish – GOALS. I am very happy to hear about so many of the great accomplishments our students had at home, in school and the martial arts. Getting perfect on math and science tests, cleaning the dishwasher and improved side-kicks are just a few of the things our students accomplished!

February is about taking goals one step closer to continuous success. This is done through FOCUS! Goals without focus is simply a dream that won’t come true. Focus is the “concentration of body, mind and breath”

This month we are going to look at a few ideas that help us focus. We are than going to put it into action in school, chores and the martial arts.

We will discuss this month…

  • Three key ideas to help anyone focus.
  • Concentration, the master key to mental fitness and a key to focus
  • The analogy of white-dot and black-dot focus

Students will also begin to refine their ability to define and plan goals starting with February short-term goals and review our long-term goal. Download our Black Belt Goal Planner now!

Successful people maintain a positive focus in life no matter what is going on around them. They stay focused on their past successes rather than their past failures, and on the next action steps they need to take to get them closer to the fulfillment of their goals rather than all the other distractions that life presents to them. ~ Jack Canfield

Movie Night

Our annual Parent’s Night Out Movie event is just around the corner. The great evening of movies and popcorn is scheduled for February the 17th. RSVP is required by February the 13th. We will be holding two sessions this year – the first is from 5:30 to 7:30 and will be for students ages 6 to 10 while out 8:00 to 10:00 PM session is for kids and teens, ages 11 and above. Spots are limited so please make sure to get your RSVP in ASAP.

The rules of Movie Night are simple – drop off your student (and any siblings age 6 and above) and have two hours to have dinner, read a book or relax and we watch a great movie, eat popcorn and have a great time. Pillows, sleeping backs, stuffed animals and PJs are more than welcome!

The cost of Movie night is $15.00 per family.

Game Night

Maybe you like a classic game of Clue, the more modern Catan or the extra-dimensional Mountains of Madness? Regardless of your game play interest, Durham Modern Martial Arts Board Game night is going to be a great experience for students to get together, enjoy a few games while munching down on some traditional game-night food!

Our first game night will be held this March. Student’s can suggest games they own to play or use some of the ones we are suggesting. Sign-up will be based on each game and have a minimum number of players. We will have game blocks so students can try out different games. Mr. Bryan will be trying his horror-based Mountains of Maddness that evening!

Stripe Test Expectations

We continually look at refining our approach to teaching the martial arts so our students have the best experience possible. One of those changes is a clear identification of expectations associated to stripe testing. These expectations are built around boundaries of success – helping our students establish their accomplishments with more competence and confidence.

Stripe tests are built around a three-point rule. Students lose points for consistent issues in their performance during a strip test. A student who loses all three points will not be awarded their belt stripe.

Here are some of the things that students should demonstrate correctly during any test. Everyone in our school knows these are important so this rule is about boundaries.

  1. Do your Best!
  2. Understand this month’s Black Belt Excellence theme and your homework
  3. Appropriate listening and focus associated to your belt-level and experiences
  4. The correct formation of your natural weapons
  5. The correct grip when using man-made weapons
  6. The knowledge you have gained this month

Students will not receive their stripes if Black Belt Excellence homework is not handed in on time, if its incomplete or if their name is not on the worksheet.

Monthly Curriculum Charts

Starting this month, in our training area, students will see a monthly curriculum chart. These charts illustrate the lessons students will be exploring this month and the material they are required to understand to pass their test. Student’s will also be able to download the chart in an 11x17 format. The February curriculum chart can be downloaded here.

This months topics include:

  • Focus
  • Margin for Error
  • Faling and Rising
  • Takedowns and Throws

Congratulations for new Ranks

I want to congratulate everyone who earned new ranks in the martial arts this month. A special congratulation to Holden for earning his Kenpo Dragon Green Belt – one of the highest Kenpo Dragon ranks to be achieved! Very proud of his strong performance, intensity and concentration!

Tactic Charts

Intermediate rank students will make an in-depth focus this month on tactics and strategies! To help our students out we have provided two tactic charts for download. The first one is related to a posture strategy and the second is about a balance strategy. I highly suggest students to download these files, print them out and use them to improve their knowledge of this subject

Download the Posture and Balance Strategy Chart.

Black Belt Tribe Members

Congratulations to the new members of our Black Belt Tribe! Our first month of training in 2018 included experiencing some hard-hitting self-defense techniques, perfection of forms, work on stick and knife work and of course – Nunchaku fundamentals! This theme will continue throughout the month of February and into March. Welcome new tribe members – Justice, Ayushi, Brody, Jason and Brad!